Author's Note: It's been way too long since I've updated this story. Let's fix that, shall we? Also, I would like to remind everyone that this story was originally started in the very beginning of season 8 and has now been rendered AU by recent episodes. Still, I'm going to finish it as I originally planned. Thanks for sticking with me! Fair warning, there is a heavy amount of torture in this chapter. If this bothers you in anyway, please don't read.

Sam had known much worse pain than what he was experiencing now. His time in the Cage . . . he didn't like to think about it, even now three years after it had happened, but for the first time, he found himself a bit grateful. After all of Lucifer and Michael's torture, he was a master of the poker face and was a skilled at managing his pain. This young demon, try as hard as she might, could not make him scream.

There was nothing she could do that would break him.

And Sam knew that pissed her off more than anything.

She plunged the knife into his shoulder and Sam hissed. She twisted it and he heard muscles rip beneath him. Blood spurted out of the wound, but not enough to be fatal. He had heard Crowley's orders to the girl and Sam wonder if he should jostle himself so that she would kill him, albeit accidentally. With him dead, Crowley wouldn't be able to open the gates to the lower pits of Hell.

"Why won't you scream?" Her voice was hoarse from all her shouting and the youngest Winchester chuckled dryly as blood dribbled through cracked lips. Defiantly, he met her black gaze and smirked.

"You don't scare me." Seething, she pulled the knife out and paced a bit. Her knuckles had turned white; she was holding the dagger with so much force.

"If I could, I would rip out your beating heart." She hissed and Sam forced himself to remain nonchalant. Truth be told, he had lost a lot of blood and the pain was starting to get to him. He wanted nothing more than to just let himself drift away into the numbing dark and wait until his life ended. Dean wasn't coming for him, of that Sam was sure.

Why would he come for him when Sam had left him to rot in Purgatory? His one regret about all of this was that he wouldn't have a chance to see Dean once more, to explain to his brother what had been running through his head, why he had just assumed his older brother was dead and gone.

If only Dean knew . . .

"Enough." Crowley stood in the corner, face darkening with rage. The girl dropped the dagger and immediately backed away from Sam, her rage immediately dissipating.

"Sir?" It was funny how much her whole demeanor had shifted now that her King was in the room. She went from fearless torturer to cowardly subject in a matter of seconds.

"Alison," He drawled, stepping towards her and the girl jumped back. His eyes surveyed Sam and then he shook his head, disappointed. "Did I or did I not specifically tell you to only damage him so much?"

"Y-you did, sir." She stuttered, head bowed, ashamed.

"And look what you've done," He gestured to the floor. "His damn blood is all over the place."

"Sir, he wouldn't scream—" He rushed her and soon she was pushed against a wall, Crowley's hand secured around her neck. She struggled for air but Crowley remained steadfast.

"That's the problem with your generation," He told her. "You never listen." And with his free hand, he stabbed her with an angel blade. She screamed and Sam looked away as sparks consumed her. With a thud, her vessel fell to the floor. Crowley stepped over and came to stand before the youngest Winchester.

"Gonna kill me now?" He tried to sound nonchalant, like Dean would if he was here, but it came out weak as a cough wracked him. Blood dripped from his lips to the floor.

"Regrettably, no," He replied, mocking him. "Still need your bloody heart beating for the full moon." He glanced around the room and sighed. "As for you, it looks like you get a break. Can't waste all your blood on this floor, now can we?" Turning around, he headed towards the door.

"Dean isn't coming." Sam spat. Crowley froze and with a smirk turned around.

"Finally lost your faith in big brother, have you?"

"He isn't coming so don't go after him." Sam continued, determination making his voice strong. The King of Hell chuckled dryly.

"Seen through my plan, have you Moose?" With a shake of his head, he met the youngest Winchester's gaze. "Tell you what, Moose, if Dean doesn't mess with my plans for you, I'll leave him alone. If he does show up . . ." He gestured to the broken body of the girl on the floor. "Well, you get my point."

With that, he walked out the door, leaving Sam to wonder whether he wanted Dean to save him and possibly get himself killed as well or if he wanted to die and spare his brother.

He settled on the second option.

"Benny." Castiel greeted stoically. The vampire chuckled dryly before pulling the angel into his arms in an awkward hug.

"Nice to see you too, Cas." The angel allowed the hug, though appeared considerably perplexed when Benny released him. Dean chuckled softly—they were quite the odd team, even by his standards, yet they had survived Purgatory and they were going to save Sam.

They had to save Sam.

"So, what's the plan?" Benny questioned, easing himself down into a chair with ease of someone completely relaxed, despite how crappy the situation was. That was one of Benny's strong suits, Dean supposed. His attitude had helped him get through many desperate days of Purgatory and had balanced out Cas' strict, no nonsense tone. They were an odd team, yeah, but together . . . well, they were almost unstoppable as Dean and Sam were together.

Sam, who was going to die very soon if they didn't rescue him.

This was all his fault anyways. If he had been more prepared, if he had just paid attention—

A strong arm on his shoulder forced Dean to look and meet Castiel's concerned gaze.

"This is not your fault." The angel whispered and Dean wished he could believe him. Deep down though, he knew that none of this would've happened if he had just bridged the distance between Sam and himself. If he had just taken that first step towards reconciliation instead of arguing, he wouldn't be entertaining the thought of Sam being dead before he got to him.

No. He couldn't think like that. Sam would be okay. Dean would get to him in time and would piece his brother back together if he had too. Regardless, he would find Sam alive and whatever else happened, he would be able to deal with. It would all work out.

It had to work out.

"Chief?" Benny asked, eyes flickering with concern and Dean waved him off.

"What do have, Cas?" Castiel nodded.

"Crowley intends to do the ritual at the gate in Wyoming," Benny nodded and Dean allowed the information drift over him. "He will do the ritual tomorrow night with the full moon. To open the gates he will have to spill Sam's blood over the opening."

"So, we've got to stop that from happening, yeah?" Benny questioned and Castiel nodded his head affirmatively. "Right, so we spring Sam tonight?"

"Indeed," Castiel replied. "I can teleport us close to the warehouse that Sam is being housed in. It is heavily guarded though so we should attempt to avoid unwanted attention."

"Okay," Dean said softly. "Let's do this." He slung the duffel of weapons over his shoulder and Castiel placed a hand on his shoulder and then Benny's.

"Hold on." Castiel told them softly.

And in a flutter of wings, they were gone.


"What now?" Crowley sighed dramatically.

"Sir, there was a disturbance about 10 yards from here." The King of Hell suddenly spun on the demon.


"We have people looking into it—"

"So," Crowley hissed. "Dean has come for his brother, has he? Very well." To the demon, he smiled sinisterly. "Let's give them a warm welcome." The demon nodded and disappeared.

In the empty room, Crowley just laughed.

Author's Note: Next chapter, the rescue attempt goes south. Will the boys make it out of this one alive? Please review if you have a moment!