A/N: This is it! Thanks for sticking with me through this :)
He didn't have the memories, but he didn't need them. Sam realized that, now. They went from job to job, as a team, unstoppable.
He should've known everything was going too well.
One minute he was in a small diner, ordering dinner for the road while Dean relaxed in the car, and making sure to get pie. The next, he was being ripped away, a spasm of something painful through his chest, an influx of memories, and he was flat on his back, a grey sky above him.
Sam's head was aching, but he was finally whole. Sam closed his eyes, his thoughts overwhelming. His eyes snapped back open again, and he sat up.
There was no response, and the emptiness surrounding him was frightening. Sam realized with a shiver that he was in the place in his dreams with the demon.
Sam heard yelling, and went to check out what was going on. He realized what was going on, then. The demon was collecting all of the psychic kids in one location.
Most of them were freaked. No idea what a demon was, and no clue what to do. Sam stepped up, took charge.
In some weird way, the demon taking his memories had prepared Sam for this. Prepared him to be alone. That didn't mean Sam wasn't missing his brother desperately. He wanted to tell him sorry, tell him he remembered everything, tell him sorry . . .
Sam was visited in his dreams by Azazel. The plan was sickening. They were in the Coliseum, Azazel was Caesar.
"Why did you take my memories?"
Azazel smiled. "To prepare you."
"Why give them back?"
Yellow-eyes looked at him in a weird kind of fond exasperation. "It's dark magic, taking someone's memories. Can't hold onto them forever, and I had other things to do. But don't worry about that now. C'mon, Sammy. You're my favorite. You're going to win this."
Things began spiraling out of control. Sam didn't kill anyone himself, but two girls and one of the guys were taken out before Sam could do anything. He was left facing off the remaining.
"Jake, we don't have to do this," Sam pleaded.
"It's got to be this way, or he'll kill us both," Jake insisted. Sam watched him warily.
"We can fight him. Together. And my brother, he can help. We just have to get out of here. Look." Sam dropped his knife, looking expectantly at the other.
Jake dropped his crowbar reluctantly, and Sam relaxed.
Jake took advantage of that. The blow was painful-Jake had super-strength, after all. But Sam wasn't a hunter for nothing. He fought viciously, finally taking Jake out with a blow to the head.
Matt would've finished the guy off. Sam . . . Sam couldn't.
"It's lucky the demon gave me my memories back, buddy," Sam muttered. He used the arm that Jake hadn't dislocated to drag him over to one of the porches, tying him up with the leftover rope from one of the girls's death by hanging.
He made it halfway out of the town before Azazel showed up.
"You have to finish it, Sam."
"No can do," Sam grunted. He doggedly continued walking, clutching his bad arm. From the buzzing in his head, he was going to pass out soon.
"Maybe I can convince you."
Sam had no warning before he was once more yanked into somewhere foreign. Except for it wasn't. He was in his nursery as a baby, and being fed blood from Azazel himself.
"So I'm part demon," he said hollowly.
"Very good, Sammy. See, you were made for this."
Sam watched, pained, as his mother rushed into the nursery. His mother recognized the demon, and Sam looked at Azazel questioningly.
The demon's smile was feral. "She and I made a little deal," he grinned.
The betrayal bit a little deeper than Sam liked. "For whom?" he asked.
The hurt eased slightly. Sam turned to Azazel. "It was a nice try. But if you think I'll ever accept my so-called destiny, then you've got another think coming."
Azazel looked furious, but shrugged. "Fine. I've already got another soldier. Guess I'll just use him for now. I'll see you around, Sammy."
Sam blinked, and he was on his back, staring at a blue sky again.
Sam allowed himself to finally relax. "Dean," he murmured before passing out.
Dean was running on fumes, desperate and helpless. All he could think was "not again, please."
Bobby had figured out demonic signs surrounding Wyoming, so Dean had headed there, reaching the border.
When Sam appeared on the ground next to the Impala, Dean sent his silent thanks to whoever sent him there, jumping out of the car desperately.
Sam's head lolled towards him, and Dean heard him whisper his name before his eyes rolled back into his head.
"Hey. Hey, Sam. Wake up, man. Wake up."
It took a couple tries, but finally the hazel eyes blinked up at him.
"Sammy, what happened?" Dean reached under Sam's arms in an attempt to lift him up, but Sam yelped.
"Arm. Dislocated," he grunted.
"Sorry, man." Dean carefully pushed him into a sitting position, taking in the painful looking bruises on Sam's face and the limp way his arm was held. Judging by his pained breaths, probably a couple broken ribs to boot. "All right, ready?"
It was sad, that it wasn't a new situation for them, Dean thought as he popped Sam's arm back into place.
He helped Sam lean into a slumped over position against to the Impala. He knelt in front of him, examining him worriedly. "Sorry," Dean apologized again.
Sam groaned. "Shut up, jerk."
Dean sighed, and then reassessed Sam's statement. "Sammy?"
"In the flesh. And the mind."
Sam's smile was huge. Dean hadn't seen him looking so happy since . . . well, since a long time. He very nearly socked Sam in the arm before remembering the dislocation.
"You moron," he laughed, settling for messing Sam's hair up.
Sam smiled for a moment more before the smile slowly slid from his face. "Dean, big stuff is going down."
"No kidding. Where did you go?" Dean asked.
Sam sighed. "The yellow-eyed demon. It was his showdown for the psychic freaks. Last one alive wins."
Dean shuddered. Sam could've died and he'd've never known. "So you won?" he asked, relieved.
"Sort of." Sam's voice was too weak, and Dean looked at him worriedly. "It came down to two of us, me and a guy named Jake, and I knocked Jake out, but left him tied up. Azazel wasn't happy about that . . . For some reason he let me come back here."
Dean didn't like the sound of that. "We should get you to a motel," he said, deftly changing the subject. "Or a hospital."
Sam's head shook slowly. "No. Something big is going down, and we need to figure out when and where. Just . . . give me a few."
"Sammy, you're hurt."
"A bit." A pained expression ghosted across Sam's face. "I'm sorry, Dean. For not remembering, before. The way I treated you . . . I'm just sorry."
"Don't say that, Sam. You've got nothing to be sorry for. I'm just glad you're back."
Sam smiled. "Me too."
Something big was at stake, and Sam couldn't see what it was. Dean told him about the signs in Wyoming, and together they figured out about Samuel Colt's enormous devil's trap.
Dean was driving, Sam was examining the map, and then the vision hit.
It played out with a strange vagueness, unlike the previous ones. There was a graveyard, and Jake was shooting at them. Sam watched as Dean caught a bullet in the leg. And then there was a weird flash, and the vision stopped there. Sam came back to himself with a pained gasp to find the Impala pulled over and Dean frantic.
"Vision," Sam choked out. "Graveyard."
"What's there?" Dean asked, gunning the engine, though still keeping an eye on Sam.
"Jake. He was there, he was shooting, and . . . I . . ." Sam swallowed.
"Sam?" Dean prompted.
"I don't know. I don't know why, the vision was really unclear," he sighed. "We should get back-up for this one."
Dean pressed his lips together tightly before nodding. "I'll give Bobby a call. He'll meet us there."
"Dean, I . . . I saw you get shot."
As Sam watched Dean's face, he saw a nearly imperceptible widening of his eyes before they narrowed. "I'm not sitting this one out, Sam."
"I know, it's just . . . be careful, okay? It was in the leg, but I'd prefer no bullets."
The corners of Dean's eyes wrinkled as his brother smiled. "You got it, Sammy."
Pieces were falling into place. Sam gripped his gun tightly, getting out of the car unsteadily. He could feel Dean's gaze on him, and fought to stay upright. He needed to be strong.
The graveyard was empty, as graveyards tended to be. No sign of Jake.
"Sammy, you're sure this is the right one?"
"It's in the middle of the devil's trap," Sam responded tersely. "It's the only one that makes sense."
Dean didn't look happy, but nodded in agreement anyway. "Bobby will be here any minute," he commented.
Sam heard the click of a gun too late, and whirled to find his vision coming true. Jake shot, catching Dean in the leg. Sam raised his own gun but hesitated.
It was an instant too long, and a pain exploded in his chest. Dazedly, Sam stared down at the blood blossoming above his heart.
"Dean," he mumbled, and then he was falling, and there was blackness.
When the bullet had hit his leg, Dean had just groaned with pain and the fulfillment of Sam's vision.
When a bullet hit Sam, his world fell apart.
Dean reacted the way he always had. Screaming Sam's name, crawling over to his brother.
But he was too late (always too late) and Sam was already dead.
"Sammy." Dean pulled Sam close, his brother's skin already cool compared to his own.
"I just want the Colt."
The kid's voice was shaky, and a very very small part of Dean felt pity for him. Probably hadn't wanted to kill anyone. Probably was being used by Azazel.
Probably had no weight, not now. Dean pulled Sam's gun out of Sam's unresponsive hand, pointing it at Jake.
"Sorry," he said hollowly. Jake's reactions were too slow, and Dean killed him before looking back down at Sam. Sammy. He couldn't be dead. Not after everything, everything that had happened.
The sound of a vehicle approaching didn't make Dean raise his head. Bobby's voice didn't either. Everything became a blur. With Bobby's help, Sam was in the backseat, and then Dean was pulling out the Colt and getting in the driver's seat. Bobby was protesting, but Dean ignored him.
He was finishing this.
The instant the Impala crossed the lines of the devil's trap, Yellow-eyes was there.
Dean kept the gun out of sight as he exited the car.
"Well, I don't know much of what went on in there, but it wasn't as planned. So how about you and I-" Yellow-eyes began.
"So. Little brother didn't make it out alive. You know, we could make a deal . . ."
Dean raised the Colt and shot Azazel between the eyes. He would make a deal, just not with him.
Azazel was dead, Dean had a bullet hole in his leg, and Sam was dead. Something was going to change, and it was going to be the latter.
It didn't take long for Dean to find a crossroads and go through the normal steps for summoning a demon.
"Dean Winchester. Well isn't this . . . very predictable."
"Give him back."
"Straight to business, then." The demon's grin was wide. "You want little Sammy back?"
"Yes." Dean glanced at the Impala. "Just give him back."
"So, a trade, then? Him for you?"
"I'll give you a year."
Dean swallowed. "Not ten?"
Her eyes flashed black. "One year. That's it, kid. Try and wiggle your way out, and Sammy kicks it."
Dean closed his own eyes. "Deal." He kissed the demon, tasting sulphur.
Sam opened his eyes. He opened his eyes. That wasn't supposed to happen when he was dead.
And dead people didn't wake up on their backs in the Impala.
"Dean?" Sam whispered. There was no reply, and Sam tried to sit up, but there was a sharp pain that started in his chest and travelled through his body rapidly. Sam groaned, pulling at the back of the front seat.
Nothing made sense. Would the Impala be in heaven? (or hell, his mind supplied.)
Right. Dean. So everything was somehow all right. Sam kicked at the door ineffectually, suddenly feeling trapped.
The door was yanked open, and Dean was there.
"Sam, you're . . . you're okay."
Sam blinked at him. "Is this heaven?"
Dean's laugh turned into a sob, and Sam found himself being pulled out of the Impala into a bone-crushing hug.
"Ouch, Dean. Dean, busted ribs."
Sam had never heard Dean sounding so broken before. "Dean, what happened?"
Dean wouldn't meet his eyes. "Jake, uh . . . "
"Shot me," Sam finished softly. "I remember up to that."
"I took him out. Yellow-eyes showed up after we left the devil's trap, and I shot him."
Sam looked at his brother in amazement. "Azazel? He's dead?"
"Yeah, man. I got him."
"Whoa." Sam didn't know what to think about that. He narrowed his eyes at Dean. "Wait. How am I alive?"
"I . . . I made a deal."
Sam couldn't help his sharp intake of breath, but it made Dean wince anyway. "What?" he hissed.
"I'm sorry, Sammy. But I couldn't . . . I couldn't let you die."
Sam closed his eyes. "How long?" he asked softly.
It took Sam a couple deep breaths to orient himself. "A year to get you out of it. All right."
"No getting out of the deal, Sam. Part of the terms."
"I'm gonna do it."
"Sam . . ."
"No! I don't care. I just . . . I just got you back. I just got all my memories back." Sam grabbed Dean by the shoulder as his brother was about to turn away. "I'm not losing you."
"Then promise me I won't lose you again," Dean whispered.
Sam offered his brother a pained smile. "I'll try." He paused. "Jerk." Dean didn't respond, but Sam saw the glint of relief and love in his eyes. And Sam . . . Sam had a job to do. "We've got work to do," he murmured.
"We always have work to do," Dean muttered, half-grumbling, half-serious.
"Well . . . how about a nap first, and then work?" Sam offered. The startled grin he got from Dean made everything seem small in comparison. Amnesia, Dad's death, Azazel . . . they beat them all before. And they could beat this too.
"C'mon, little brother. Let's get out of here."
"Right behind you."
A/N: Whew! It's done! I do realize that it's a bit short (especially seeing how it's practically an AU of Season 2), so sorry for that, but what with school and all, I didn't have time to go in depth with this story. Wish I did, but if wishes were horses, we'd all be eating steak.
Let me know what you thought! Reviews are loved :)