Title: It's a Nightmare

Wordcount: 2297

Rating: PG-13

Characters: Sam, Dean, Bobby, demons

Warnings: Demons, mentions of torture, some parts are using an unreliable narrator, Sam contemplates suicide.

Summary: Demons have plans for Sam and Dean. But... sometimes, those plans aren't so bad. Sam seems to like them. Dean too. But Bobby... well, Bobby would beg to differ.

Spoilers: Not a whole lot of spoilers beyond season three, actually.

AN: This was written for the Summer of Evil challenge on evilsam_spn on livejournal To be honest, I'm not quite sure how my song led to this story, but here's what I've got. My song was Under Cover of Darkness by The Strokes. The title is a line from the song.

All my thanks go to vyperdd and lezendame for betaing this story for me. It's a much better story with your help!

Dean was dead. Sam had no one- nothing left. He had, in the space of three years, lost the woman he loved, his Dad, his own life, and his brother.

What did he have to show for those losses? A car, the death of the demon that killed them all, and a demon that wouldn't leave him alone.

Sam shook his head and picked up the bottle of rotgut whiskey he'd picked up at Moe's Liquor Store two towns back. He smiled grimly. There was no humor or happiness in the expression. He'd also picked up a heavy drinking habit. If he was lucky, it'd kill him and this time he'd stay dead.

If he wasn't luckily, he'd be one of those hunters who would live to retire. Sam didn't want that. He wanted to kill as many demons as he could, and then kill himself. He wanted to go to Hell, where he belonged.

Sam took another drink. The best way to die on a hunt was to go in drunk. So he drank.

The pain stopped. Dean gasped in shock. The demons standing above him didn't move. "It's enough," one of them said. "He must remember who he is, if the Boy King is to forgive us."

The chains holding him melted away and he fell into a demon's arms. The demon was gentle, far more gentle than he expected, as he was carried away from the rack.

Dean had no idea what was going on. Why had they taken him from the rack? And what did they mean, he should remember who he is? Who was this Boy King, that Dean would matter to him?

What were they going to do to him now?

They started with a shower. He had no control over his limbs, so another demon held him up, while the first washed him. Then, they tended to any wounds he still had, and placed him on a bed.

Even though he wanted to stay awake, the comfort was too much and he was too worn out.

He woke up in the same room, despite the fact that he was sure he'd wake up on the rack. And to his surprise he was able to move. He found a neat pile of clothes on a chair next to the bed and slowly dressed.

The door opened just as he finished tying the laces on the boots he'd been provided.

The... man who stood there smiled at him. "Good, you're awake," he said. "Come, you have a lot to learn and we don't have much time."

Dean didn't move. "You're a demon," he said. "Why should I do anything you want me to do?"

"Because you're a demon as well, Dean," he replied. "You turned on the rack. Everyone does. But you are too important to be allowrf to remain on the rack until you forget your human life. Your brother needs you."

"Sammy," Dean gasped, jolting forward.

"Yes," the man said. "Your brother is..." he shook his head. "...not doing well. There is someone keeping him alive, but he won't even consider taking up his destiny. All he wants to do is destroy Lilith- and then himself."

Dean shivered. "He wants to kill himself?" he whispered.

The man nodded. "We have a little over a topside month before we run out of time. We need to get you up to speed and back to him before the end of September."

Dean frowned. "He won't believe it's me.

The demon smiled. "He will know it's you, Dean," he said. "In any case, we'll explain everything, now come with me."

Dean followed, curious and worried. He somehow knew he was safe with these demons, and that scared him. The demon led Dean to a small conference room, where three others waited.

"My name is Arthos," his guide said. "I'm the temporary leader of our group."

The other demons introduced themselves and Dean nodded.

"So, what is this group about?" Dean asked, folding his hands over his chest.

Arthos sighed. "The higher-ups, some of them, are trying to break Lucifer out, and start the apocalypse. You and Sam play pivotal roles in the whole thing."

"Why us?" Dean asked after a moment.

Arthos sighed. "We're not sure. It's something to do with your parents, or your families. Maybe your bloodlines."

Dean scowled. "So, why am I here? Why are you telling me this?"

"Because we don't want Lucifer free," Arthos said. "And we need you and your brother to keep that from happening. We have made sure that Sam is aware of the plot, and the demon sent to keep him a part of it, but we still have more that needs to be done."

Dean nodded. "And this will help Sam?"

Arthos nodded. "At the very least, he won't be a pawn."

Dean smiled. "Sign me up."

Sam glared down at the human shell Ruby had been using. He'd discovered that she was working with Lilith. He'd figured it out a few weeks ago, and had just been waiting for the right opportunity to turn what she was teaching him against her.

Finally, the perfect moment presented itself and Ruby was, at the very least, stuck in Hell for a long time.

He considered the body for a moment, before turning and leaving the abandoned warehouse. She'd be found eventually. He had other things to do. Important things

Sam stared down at the knife he'd taken from her. It might be specially enchanted to kill demons, but it would work on humans just as well. Humans like Sam. It would be so easy to find some deserted place and put the knife to use. He'd always been told that suicides go to Hell, and that was where he wanted to go, so...

Sam shook his head. Not yet. He still had one thing to do. Once Lilith was dead, however, he'd do it.

Sam took a deep breath and nodded. "Time to get to work," he said. The first thing to do was master the mental exorcism, without resorting to demon blood. Then, he could work on getting more powerful.

He wasn't going to let any demon use him. If that meant he had to get powerful enough to scare every single one of them to make sure they didn't, he would.

Or, he could get powerful enough to take over Hell. If he could take over, he could rescue Dean, and then...

Sam smiled. He had a plan now.

Dean shivered slightly. Sam had... done something. Ever since he'd started learning about his new abilities, he'd slowly become aware of a connection between himself and his brother. And now, he knew Sam was planning something. He leered at the soul he was working over.

"Little brother's up to something," Dean told the soul- a murderer if Dean remembered correctly. Killed five little kids before he was caught.

"He is," Arthos said from behind him. "And it's time."

Dean grinned. Up on Earth, it was the middle of September.

"He's turning," Arthos said as he looked at Dean.

Dean grinned. "Sammy's got a plan," he said.


Dean shook his head. "I don't know what it is," he said. "Just... he's got a plan. And I can't wait to see what it is."

"Are you ready?"

Dean nodded. "More than," he said. "And I know whatever he's planning, it'll be good. I can't wait to help him."

Arthos nodded. "Let's go, then. Your body is waiting for you."

Dean nodded and set down the tools he was holding. "I'll come back to you later," he told the soul. "But in the mean time, I'm sure there's plenty of demons who want a piece of you."

Dean turned to Arthos. "First thing we need to do, is lure Sammy in. And I know just how to do it..."

Bobby Singer scowled at the demons that had captured him. They hadn't tried to posses him yet, but he was securely bound and gagged. One of them had bluntly told him that he was bait, in the hopes that they'd be able to talk to Sam without the hunter simply killing them all. But worst of all, one of them had the sheer gall to be wearing Dean's meat suit.

It was even trying to pretend that he was Dean, back from Hell, but Bobby wasn't listening. Dean wouldn't have turned, not this quickly.

The door slammed open and the demons all turned to face it. Bobby looked up, hoping against hope that it wasn't Sam.

No such luck. Bobby was perfectly placed so the first thing Sam saw was Bobby. Sam looked stunned for an instant before his face hardened and he turned to one of the demons. He flipped the knife he was carrying to his left hand and raised his right hand.

"Sammy, stop," the Dean-demon said almost immediately.

Sam froze, turning to face the Dean-demon. "Dean?" He whispered.

It smiled. "It's me," it said, even though his eyes were flat black. "I couldn't let you face Lilith alone." It stepped forward. "And I've learned so much, Sammy. I've got so much to teach you."

Sam reached toward him. "It's really... how? I thought it took centuries to become a demon."

The Dean-demon shrugged. "What can I say, I'm an overachiever," he quipped. "You needed me."

Sam closed his eyes and relaxed, grabbing Dean's form and pulling him close. "Dean," he breathed.

The demon hugged back. "Still such a girl, Sammy," he said fondly. "Now..."

"Let Bobby go?" Sam ordered as he pulled away.

"Of course," the demon said. "He's Bobby, and we just needed to get your attention."

Sam glanced around and stepped over to Bobby. Bobby glared at him as he took off the gag. "You don't actually think that's..."

"It's him, Bobby," Sam said. "Dean came back."

Bobby opened his mouth again but Sam shook his head. "And I don't care," Sam added. "Just... he's back. I have my brother again." Sam ducked behind him and undid the ropes tying him to the chair. "Just... forget about us, Bobby," Sam said as Bobby stood up to face him. "It's..." he trailed off and shook his head.

"Sam," Bobby started.

Sam grinned. "I'll be fine. I've got Dean."

"Dean's a demon," Bobby said.

"He's Dean," Sam answered. "Go, Bobby. Forget us. And forget about demons. Stick to monsters. I know what's going to happen, what we're going to do, and I don't want you in the middle of it."

Bobby froze. "Boy, what are you planning?"

Sam took a deep breath and looked straight into the older man's eyes. "What I was born to do, Bobby," he said, as his eyes flashed yellow for just an instant. "I'm going to do what I was born to do. I don't want you in the way."

Bobby closed his eyes. He should do something. He was surrounded, but he was close enough that he could... he shook his head. "Balls," he whispered.

Sam smiled slightly and opened his eyes. "It'll be alright, Bobby. You'll see. You'll be safe, and so will everyone else."

"Not everyone, Sam," Bobby said.

"Everyone who matters," Dean said as he leaned forward, holding Bobby's weapons. Slowly, Bobby took them from him.

"Everyone who matters," Sam repeated. He grinned. "Let me show you," he added as he reached out and before Bobby could move, grabbed his shoulder.

Bobby started and then the world disappeared around them.

Sam smiled as he and Bobby stood on what appeared to be a city street. Of course, they were still in the old warehouse, but for now, as Sam shared his vision, neither of them could see it.

Bobby jerked away. That didn't change anything, Sam had only needed the connection for an instant.

"Look, Bobby," Sam said quietly. "This is my plan."

Bobby looked. Here, with Sam in his head, he couldn't do anything else. Sam looked around as well. This place, this time, was incredible. It was going to take so much work, but Sam couldn't wait to see it for real. Demons and humans walked around them, busy with their daily lives. In the distance, Sam could see one of the new centers, where people would go to be possessed. No one would be possessed for indefinitely, of course, but everyone would have to spend some time as a host- unless Sam pardoned them.

Sam started to walk. He knew the court was nearby, and he wanted to show Bobby how much more efficient it was, using demons to discover the truth.

"Sam," Bobby said.

Sam turned around, and saw that Bobby wasn't moving. "See, Bobby? It's peaceful."

Bobby shook his head. "The people... can't you see how afraid they are?"

Sam looked around blindly. "They're not afraid, Bobby," he said. "They're safe. Criminals are possessed, they can't hurt other humans now. No child will have to go through what Dean and I did. Demons handle all the other monsters. And... our family is safe." He smiled at Bobby. "All of us, alive and safe, when before we would never be safe."

Bobby shook his head. "It's a lie, Sam. You're going to rule, and..."

He pointed at the center, where some of the people seemed to be a little reluctant, but Sam just shrugged. He didn't see what Bobby was trying to point out.

"What?" Sam asked.

Bobby ran his hand over his eyes. "Take me back, Sam," he said tiredly. All of a sudden, he looked old and defeated. "Just..."

Sam nodded, and the vision dissolved. "Don't worry, Bobby," Sam said. "I've got it all planned out.

Bobby slumped. "That's what I'm afraid of," he said wearily. "That's exactly what I'm afraid of."

I am already making plans to come back to this universe, with what may end up being a much longer story. I have no idea how soon that story may be up (I'm pretty much solidly busy through September), but it will eventually come.