Title: When Satan Takes You Over

Author: Sylvia37

Summary: Set in Season 5 during "Point of No Return". After his talk with Dean in the panic room, Sam decides that the only way to keep Dean from saying "yes" to Michael is to take things into his own hands and enlists Castiel's help.

Author Note: This is my first venture into "Supernatural" fanfiction. This story has been puttering around in my brain for a while and finally decided to go for it. Hope you enjoy.

"When Satan takes you over….there's gotta be someone there to stop him. And it ain't going to be that kid…so it's gotta be me. "

Sam stood in the shadows outside the panic room that he had just vacated, staring at the closed door.

"I don't believe…"

"In what?"

"In you."

"Don't sugar coat it, Dean," he thought, pushing away from the wall, wiping at his burning eyes.

God, he'd been such an idiot.

He'd actually believed that Dean had forgiven him. Sam almost choked on a bitter laugh at the thought.

Sam had thought that Dean was actually starting to trust him again. When his brother called him after initially telling him they would be better off in different hemispheres, he'd really thought he had a chance and that Dean believed he would have his back. But obviously his brother had been lying to him ….and to himself. All of those times he'd said to Sam that it wasn't his fault, that he'd had good intentions, Dean hadn't really believed any of it.

His gut churning, Sam sat heavily on the bottom step of the basement stairs and put his head in his hands. He knew he deserved it. He'd been living on borrowed time as it was, hanging on to his brother's absolution with both hands, trying to be worthy of it, but playtime was over. If Dean was no longer willing to keep up the charade, then what chance did he have? Sam was pretty good at denial himself, but his brother's words had scraped his own wounds raw and there was no longer any need to keep pushing the truth away.

Not that he would do it on purpose. No, Sam thought bleakly, Dean was just doing what he did when the situation seemed beyond his control. Deny anything was wrong until you absolutely had no choice. Bury the feelings that you couldn't face until they forced their way up again. Well, Dean's true feelings about Sam had finally forced their way up and now they were out in the open, bleeding and infected like the unhealed wound they were.

"You're angry…..you're self-righteous…"

Self-righteous. Sam blearily wondered what he had to be self-righteous about. He'd failed at just about every endeavor he'd ever pursued. The long list of his failures played as constant background noise in his brain, reminding him on a daily basis of just how screwed he really was. His Mom, his Dad, Dean, Jess had all died because of him. Bobby was in a wheelchair, he was an addict, the list went on. Not exactly stuff to put in a resume. Sam snorted wetly at the thought.

Staring at the floor, he thought about how he used to consol himself about his demon-blood heritage. Denial, once again, had been his only solace after Dean had brought him back from the dead and he'd had time to dwell on the horrifying Technicolor vision Azazel had showed him of his mother's death. After all, he'd been six months old. He'd had no control over what was done to him.

But the truth was, God….or whoever was running the show…. must have known that something was inherently wrong with him. Sam swallowed against the bitter gall of that truth in his throat. Why else would he have been chosen to be the one who unleashed hell on the world? Why else would he be the one who was supposed to house the soul of the devil in his body?

Yeah, denial was a fickle bitch.

So what now? Sam wearily rose and took a step toward the stairs, only to stop, unable to figure out his next move.

What was he supposed to do now? He couldn't fix this. The sick feeling in his gut made him dizzy with the hopelessness of it. His well of reserves had finally run dry. Always before this point, even when he thought he was at the bottom of the barrel, Sam found a way to keep going, scraping up some tiny bit of hope and managing to go on. Even when he didn't want to.

But now…there was nothing. And he knew why.

"I don't believe…"

"In what?"

"In you."

Falling back once more, Sam leaned against the wall. He stared into the shadows of the basement and wondered if he just curled up in the corner and covered his head, if everyone would just forget about him and let his memory die a quick death. Not since he'd watched Dean get torn to shreds and had to bury his body, had Sam wanted so badly to just not exist. To die for real this time, and…..

Anna actually looked slightly sad as she shoved the rusted pipe into his gut, the pain supplanted by the coppery taste of blood, surging up his throat to spill onto the dusty floor…..

Sam grimaced as the memory flashed in his head. If only it had worked. If only Michael had refused to fix him or better yet, if only Dean and Castiel had allowed Anna to go ahead with her plan to kill him and scatter his cells, he wouldn't be standing here…..

Sam stood upright from the wall, his thoughts suddenly churning, remembering the look on Castiel's face when he told him that Anna's plan wouldn't work. It was obvious to Sam that the angel was lying, but he hadn't pursued it because he knew Dean would fight him on it and he wasn't willing to go against his brother.

Things were different now.

Maybe it could still work. Sam scrubbed at the moisture on his cheeks before agitatedly pushing the hair back from his forehead, the thought taking root. Not Anna of course…but some other angel who would be willing…he glanced up the staircase. Castiel. No….he shook his head. Even if he was willing, Castiel's powers were not enough to perform that kind of task anymore. Thanks to him and Dean, Sam thought guiltily.

No, it would have to be some other angel. Surely there was another who would be more than willing to help end the boy with the demon blood's life for good. Sam felt a sick hope, still remembering the pain those words invoked. But he would have to have Cas's help.

Starting toward the staircase again, Sam suddenly paused, turning back to stare at the panic room door.

He wasn't so much of a martyr as to believe that his death wouldn't affect his brother. Sam knew that Dean didn't really want him dead. Whether it was truly out of actual love or just the long time duty of looking after him that their father had invoked, Sam knew that Dean would still not condone this plan, no matter how much he was willing…. as Michael's vessel…..to finally give into the inevitable that Dad had laid on him so long ago and kill him.

God, that hurt. Knowing in his heart that he deserved Dean's condemnation and actually giving voice to it in his head…..Sam rolled his shoulders back against the pain. Dean would survive. He might not want to, but eventually, the pain would lessen and he would get through it. He was stronger than Sam. He'd proven that by coming back from hell, changed but intact. He was not the same man who couldn't live without his brother all those years ago. He would find a way to go on.

Continuing to gaze at the closed door, Sam imagined his brother inside, lying on the cot, and doubt suddenly crept in. He really didn't want to do this. As much as he wished sometimes for his sad excuse of a life to be over, Sam didn't really want to leave Dean alone. He didn't want to die knowing that his brother no longer had any hope left or worse yet, no longer believed in the two of them.

"Lucifer's gonna wear you to the prom and you know it."

"Don't say that to me. Not you...of all people."

"I don't want to. But it's the truth."

"When Satan takes you over….there's gotta be someone there to stop him. And it ain't going to be that kid…so it's gotta be me. "

The doubt slowly drained away in the wake of the memory of his brother's weary voice. Dean had tried so hard to stand by him, working with him after the night at the convent, first letting him go then taking him back after seeing their doomed future, and even willing to try and put them on equal ground after Sam had asked him to, but the fiasco with Famine and the bitter disappointment of heaven had been too much even for Dean's stubborn faith.

Sam got it. He really did. No matter that heaven had been rigged as far as he was concerned and Famine notwithstanding, Sam didn't blame Dean for giving up on him. His big brother had held on longer than anyone had a right to expect, especially after going to hell and coming back to find his little brother had willingly gone off the deep end and done exactly what he'd asked him not to. No, Sam didn't blame him in the least.

He stood there for another second, then turned to the staircase and slowly started to ascend, pushing down the regret that made him want to go back into the panic room and blurt out more useless apologies. What good would it do? His words meant nothing in the face of his failures. His failure to prove to Dean that he was trustworthy, his failure to fight his self inflicted weakness against Famine, his failure to show Dean what he was worth to Sam himself and to the world… so many things….

But this time, hopefully, he would not fail. Sam didn't know if Anna's plan would work, but it was no longer an option to be ignored. They were at the end of the line and if his death was what it took to stop the apocalypse, then at least this time when he died, it would not be meaningless. It wouldn't make up for what he'd done to Dean, but at least it could save the world he'd helped to condemn. That would have to be enough.

These stairs had never seemed so hard to climb before…