Word Count: 913
Summary: With hallucinations of Lucifer plaguing him, Sam struggles with the truth. But will there be collateral dammage?
Warnings: Spoilers for 7.02 "Hello, Cruel World".
Disclaimer: Still don't own Sam & Dean. Darn.
Author's Notes: This was written in hurry, over 2 days for the contest. Had no beta and only told one friend I was even doing this. *g* Probably not my best stuff, but the idea jumped in my head a few days ago and it was begging to be written. Basically an AU story for the warehouse scene in 7x02.
Bang! The sound of the gunshot echoed in the big empty space.
A grunt of pain.
The sound of a body falling onto the hard, dirty floor of the warehouse.
Then there was laughter.
Lucifer. Oh, God. What have I done?
"Atta boy, Champ! Now finish the job."
Sam ignored the figure standing next to him. He knew who was truly there now. His attention was centered on the still form on the floor a few feet away.
Sam walked over tentatively to the body that he now recognized as his brother, a stain of blood starting to spread out from the bullet wound squarely in Dean's chest. Instantly crouching down, Sam attempted to gather the body into his arms.
"No, no, no...Dean!" Sam shook his brother's body, but there was no response. "I didn't. I couldn't."
"But you did.", Lucifer mocked from beside him. "Bye, bye brother."
Tears began forming in Sam's eyes. "I'm so sorry! I didn't know." Dean's head hung limply as it rested in the crook of Sam's arm. There was no breath, no pulse, just the receding warmth as blood dripped from the fatal wound onto the dirty cement floor. Sam buried his face into his sibling's neck, muttering apologies that only the pleased form of the devil could hear.
"You might as well face it, Sammy boy, you're all alone with me!. So why don't we just get you back where you belong, huh? I've got lots of plans." Lucifer rubbed his hands together in glee.
"Go to hell!" Sam yelled at the fallen angel.
"Hmmm. Been there, done that. Why don't you join me?"
Closing his eyes, Sam tried to ignore Lucifer's taunts. Then another voice pierced the cavern of the warehouse.
It was Dean's voice. But that's impossible. Dean was lying dead in his arms. Sam tried to blink away the tears from his eyes.
"Sam, whatever you're seeing right now...isn't real."
Thinking his fallen brother had returned from the dead, Sam looked down at the body he held, but it was just as still as could be. His voice wavered uncertainly when he spoke, "Dean?"
"Sammy, look up. Look at me. I'm right here."
The younger man raised his face to the familiar voice and there was Dean, alive. A living, breathing version of his brother crouched right in front of him. More of Lucifer's tricks. It's not true!
Anger and disbelief roared through him. "No, no. It's not you! You're just trying to trick me again!"
"Sammy. It's really me, okay? You've gotta believe me." Trying a different tactic, Dean reached out for Sam's injured hand and squeezed it hard. Sam instantly reacted, recoiling in pain and trying to pull away.
"You feel that? It's a different pain than what you felt in hell isn't it? This is real! I was with you when you hurt it and I sewed it up!"
Sam noticed Lucifer standing nearby and his form flickered in and out as Dean pressed on his wounded hand.
But the devil wasn't giving up. "I'm still here, Sam. You can't get rid of me that easily."
Dean tried to get his brother's attention again.
"Sam! Look at me! I'm real. I'm here, with you! This is not a hallucination. We got you out, Sammy. You're free and clear! You've just gotta hold onto that and believe it!"
Sam wrenched his hand free of his brother's grasp. Maybe it's just that easy.
He pressed on the hurt hand himself, digging his thumb into the wound and Lucifer's image flickered again.
The devil shrugged, "Doesn't mean anything. This is my playground, remember?"
"Yeah...maybe....maybe not!", Sam shuddered out, pressing harder into his hand and causing the wound to bleed.
Dean looked on, worried. "Sammy?"
Lucifer finally flickered one last time and disappeared. Sam looked down to see that his brother's dead body was gone with no sign it had ever been there.
Releasing the death grip he had on his hand, Sam looked up at Dean, the real one, concern and worry in his green eyes.
"Dean? It's really you."
"Yeah, little brother." Dean gave that crooked smile that always assured Sam throughout his life that everything would be okay. Before he even realized what he was doing, Sam stood up and rushed forward to envelope his brother in a bone crushing hug.
"I thought....I thought I'd killed you.", Sam confessed as fresh tears streamed down his cheeks.
"Guess it's a good thing I made sure your gun was empty before I left Bobby's.", said Dean, wrapping his arms around Sam and giving his back a grateful pat.
"What?" Sam pulled away, his hands still on Dean's shoulders.
"Yeah, well with you cleaning your guns over and over, and you seeing who knows what, I thought it best to make sure it wasn't loaded. Check for yourself."
Picking up his revolver off the floor where he'd left it, Sam checked the clip & the chamber. Sure enough, it was empty.
He let out a pent up breath in relief. "I didn't even know. Dean, I -"
"- Owe me burger with onions...and some pie!", Dean broke in. "Let's get out of here. We need to meet up with Bobby."
Sam followed his brother out of the warehouse, grateful that Lucifer hadn't made a return appearance. Maybe he could beat these hallucinations after all, as long as he had Dean to help show him the way.