Author's Note: I realized in great shock that I wrote the returning demon's name in the previous chapter as Ruby when I meant Meg! Sorry about the big mistake and any resulting confusion. Feel free to re-read the first chapter with the corrected name!

Then…

"What the hell kind of game are you playing here, Sam?" Meg asked instead of answering his questions. "What have you done?"

After a moment of studying her face, Sam sighed and ran a hand over his weary eyes.

"He can't know any of it...nothing," Sam hissed through clenched teeth.

Meg smiled again.

"Go on," she said as she pulled the plate of food towards her and settled into the diner booth seat.

Now…

Chapter 2

"I got you and Dean out," Sam began.

"That much is obvious!" Meg exclaimed impatiently. "Do I need to torture the details out of you? Could be fun for the both of us if I do it in just the right way-."

"Shut up and I'll tell you the rest!" Sam shot back before continuing."It took me a long time to find him, or rather lead him to me, but it was exactly what had to happen to put everything else in motion…"

"Poor Winchester, missing your big brother, are you? Want to cry on my shoulder about it?" Sam heard a man snicker from behind him in the dark and deserted parking lot.

"Who's there?" Sam yelled as he whipped around, demon knife at the ready in his hand, as the man walked into view.

"Come on now," a middle aged Caucasian man with light blonde hair added before laughing again. "That butter knife is of no use to you here, unless, of course, you plan on making me a late dinner."

"Who are you?" Sam yelled again, his knife still pointed outward.

"I'll give you one guess," the man offered with an evil smile, "I'm not a demon, nor angel, nor human and I despise all in those categories."

"Leviathan!" Sam exclaimed.

"Such a smart one, hmmm? That's good. Very good," the man said as he licked his lips. "Well, for me anyway. The smart ones do seem to taste better."

Sam clenched and unclenched his jaw muscles, knowing that this was the moment he had been waiting for for months, dropping metaphorical breadcrumbs for this very Leviathan to find him, as he had been very close with Dick Roman before Dean wasted him. Sam knew he had one shot or else everything up to now would have been for nothing.

"Before you chow down, I should tell you that I'm glad that you're here," Sam said as he put away his knife.

"You're what?" the man said with a laugh as someone would laugh at a silly thing a child has said.

"Just hear me out. I want to make a deal. One that will please you much more than just killing me," Sam teased.

"Really? A deal for what? What could you offer us? Because I… we… want you, Winchester, dead pretty damn bad," the man countered as he edged a bit closer to Sam with a look in his eye that Sam did not like at all.

Sam did his best to ignore the menacing glare and continued.

"Not a deal for what," Sam corrected the Leviathan. "A deal for who."

"You made a deal with a Leviathan? You stupid son of a…," Meg said before her voice trailed off and she sunk back against the back of the booth seat. "Who could you possibly promise?"

"Crowley," Sam answered, not surprised to see Meg stiffen in her seat.

"What?" she hissed.

"He was the only bargaining tool I could think of that they'd want in exchange for getting Dean out," Sam answered. "And the Leviathans agreed, doing their part by enlisting a vampire to ride Dean out of purgatory while giving me the time I needed to make my end of the deal happen."

"You're leaving out a hell of a lot of details, Sammy boy. We both know that Crowley is still around," Meg reminded him.

"True, but that's where you come in," Sam answered.

"If you think I'm going to help you try and fail to take down Crowley-," Meg started. "You are crazy. As crazy as if you'd made a deal with Crowley himself!"

"Well," Sam said before pausing. "I kind of did that too..."

"Why have you summoned me here?" Crowley asked. "I would have come if you had simply asked, friend."

"I want to make a deal," Sam yelled at the demon.

"Well, cut to the chase, why don't you? For what?" Crowley asked before laughing. "You have nothing I want."

"I'll stop hunting for one year. No matter what you do or what happens…not even to protect the prophet," Sam offered quickly.

Sam knew he had Crowley's interest peaked when the smirk left the demon's face.

"Why? Why would you offer that? Dean is off the table," Crowley answered.

"It's not Dean I want from you," Sam explained. "It's Meg."

"Meg? Meg?!" Crowley answered before laughing.

"Are you in or not?" Sam yelled.

"Why? Why do you want that whore?" Crowley asked suspiciously. "Oh, I can guess easily enough. Lost brother, lost angel, and all you have left…all you can do, is deal for a demon? Your very last friend in the world, hmm?"

"Yes or no?" Sam pressed angrily.

"I'm through with her anyway, so yes, we have a deal. You must be crazy, giving up protection of the prophet for her. But consider it done."

Meg was quiet after Sam finished speaking.

"The next words out of your mouth better be to explain EXACTLY how I can pay my debt to you and get as far away from you and your suicidal plan to take down Crowley," Meg demmanded. "Because I still don't get why you wouldn't just ask your oh so lovely older brother for help instead of bothering to spring me out of hell!"

"Because Dean's NOT part of this!" Sam replied angrily. "Like I said, he CAN'T know about any of this!"

"Why not?" Meg repeated suspiciously. "You two have always been like dweedle dum and dweedle dee."

"Because I…I need Dean to stay away from me this time," Sam answered as he slumped back into the diner booth seat, suddenly drained of what little energy he had left. "I need…I need him to keep thinking I am a bastard of a brother and to...to hate me SO much that he leaves me there when all of this goes down. Like he thinks I left him in purgatory."

"Leave you where exactly?" Meg inquired.

"In hell. I'm going back into Lucifer's cage…and I'm taking Crowley with me."

Later that night…

Sam jumped when his cell phone began to vibrate on the bedside table. He picked it up, noticing simultaneously that it was 2:30 AM and that it was Dean calling. He hesitated…wanting badly to answer, even though he knew he shouldn't. Why was his brother calling so late? Did Meg tell him something after all? She had given Sam what he wanted, five vials of her demon blood, and then split after he told her that this made them even. Five vials should be enough for the spell that Sam found to bind Crowley to him long enough to use the rings to again jump back into the cage. Sam ran a hand over his face and made the difficult decision to put the phone back down unanswered. He was surprised how much it hurt that Dean didn't try to call right back, even though he knew he wouldn't have answered that call either.

Sam sighed and returned to his laptop and his millionth cup of terrible coffee, too anxious to sleep, but he couldn't get Dean out of his mind. When his vision began to blur, Sam rubbed the tears from his eyes and slammed his laptop shut. Everything he had done up until now was for Dean and his brother would never know it. This realization killed Sam, but he also knew that the deal making to save one another had to finally end with him. Sam could think of no other way to accomplish this, except to make Dean not want to get him back this time. And as for Dean being mad at him about deserting Kevin? Sam knew that Dean would also never know that although he hadn't answered Kevin's calls so as to keep up his end of the deal with Crowley, Sam had successfully kept the demons at bay by creating false trails and leads from his computer and with the help of other hunters. Deciding to abandon any more coffee, Sam instead grabbed a bottle of beer from the small fridge and walked outside his motel room door, letting the cold night air hit him like a slap in the face. Exhausted and heart broken, the fresh air and beer did little to improve his mood. Sam soon hurled the half empty bottle against the pavement and went back inside.