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[livejournal.com profile] marenzi had a birthday and I accidentally wrote her a fic. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, I GOT YOU A SAM&DEEN. ...sort of. /0\

Long Past Time (Sam/hallucinations, Sam/Dean; ~1,900 words)
Warning: physical violence and a scene of consent issues.
SPOILERS. Based on and set after 4.21 through the finale.

Sam detoxes again, and it's worse because now he's had it all, seeing and feeling everything, all of time, all at once, his own existence an insignificant speck within the life of the world. He had seen Lilith's life there in front of him, and it was easy to stretch out his hand and crush her small life into nothing. He could have died, could have lived forever, could have flown.

And it's better because Dean doesn't leave him by himself this time, and it's worse because Dean has to watch Sam screaming at everything his brain shows him, and it's better because Dean doesn't vanish like the people Sam's mind creates.

And it's better because at least it's Dean turning the key in the locks. It's Dean holding a cup of cool water to his cracked and bloody lips, real water that will not change to fire when Sam begins to drink. This is not heaven, not even close—but it sure isn't hell. Hell is when Sam is alone with his head.

But everything gets worse before it gets better, every fucking thing, because Winchesters don't get a break. Worse is Sam sobbing for blood, just a pinprick's worth, just a taste; and the cuffs rip into his wrists no matter how Dean tries to pad them, because Sam pulls at them constantly during the cravings, and the cravings never end. Worse is chewing a hole in his bottom lip because his own blood is better than none at all. Worse is rasping, "You're just like Dad, always trying to run my life, you never let me make a single choice for myself. The you in my head, he'd have the courage to shoot me, get the job finished, because that's what you do to monsters when it's not gonna get better, and it's not gonna get better and you know it. Don't fucking tie me up and let me tear myself to pieces, don't stand around whining about the situation, just fucking put a bullet in my brain and walk away."

That's when Dean punches him in the jaw, shutting Sam up for a minute while he recovers from the ringing in his head.

Dean grabs him by the collar and shakes him. Sam's head thuds against the bed. "I have cleaned up your piss and your vomit and your shit. I've washed sweat and blood off your face and out of your hair, and I've strapped you to a bed so you don't beat yourself to death against the walls. Don't tell me to give up on you, because that ain't gonna happen. I don't give a fuck if you're tired. I'm tired. But we are staying here til it's out of your system and then we're killing that fucker Lucifer, do you understand me?"

"Fuck you," Sam says through swelling lips. "Fuck you. I want to die."

"No, fuck death. Don't you think we've had enough of death? It's gonna get better. I will fucking make it get better."



All the time, day and night, the false Dean is pacing a circle around Sam, spitting poison words, but the difference is so fucking clear when the real Dean is standing right there watching over Sam. When Dean is there, Sam's mind is clear enough to know what's real and what's not.

But Dean can't stay awake forever, and the false Dean needs no sleep. One night, it waits until Dean is deep in his dreams of hell or sex, and then it slides out of the shadows and edges past Dean where he's lying on the floor next to Sam's bed, wrapped in a couple of blankets Bobby loaned him, like he's required to sleep almost as badly as Sam does these days.

The false Dean prowls on over to Sam, nothing to hold it back now, and it bends its head down next to Sam's like a mother about to kiss or kill her child goodnight. "Just you and me now, Sammy." With Dean asleep, it's somehow easier for the false Dean to borrow the voice and clothes and mannerisms, maybe since Dean's not using them right now.

Sam rolls his head to the side, trying to see Dean on the floor, but the night is dark and his bonds hold him tight. He can't see Dean there. He can see Dean leaning over him, leaning into him, because personal space drops to zero when you're chained to a bed. Sam says, out loud because that makes it real, "Dean is asleep on the floor. He's there, he's there."

Dean—the false Dean, Sam makes himself remember—says, "I've got some things to show you, and then you and me are gonna talk about them, and then we're gonna figure out what to do about them." He snaps his fingers and Sam's vision blinks out, and it feels like the darkness is crushing his chest. He wants to scream, he's going to scream, and then his sight returns, blurry and black at the edges.

There's a spotlight on two figures at the foot of the bed. It's himself and Dean, both high school aged, and his younger self is tear-streaked and red-eyed.

"You're sick, Sammy," says the young Dean. "There must be some kinda monster inside you, and so help me God, I will cut it out of you."

"Rewind," whispers the false Dean, and Sam closes his eyes because he cannot stand to watch what happened before, or what would have happened before—he's not sure what happened; he's losing track of his life, with so many moments intertwining with imagination against his will. But it's as if his eyelids were transparent, and he must watch the scene play out.

"I don't want anyone else," the young Sam is telling the young Dean. "There's no one else who understands. Hunting has to stay in the family, and if I have to hunt, then I want you with me. I want you."

"Shut up shut up shut up!" Sam yells at the false Dean "Why are you doing this? That never happened, I never said that, I wouldn't have—"

"But you wanted to." The false Dean is smiling like it laid the best trap in the world and Sam has just strolled right into it. "You had dreams, you wrote about me in your English class—names changed to protect yourself, of course—and you wanted me bad. This by itself is a wonderful joke, but wait til you hear the punchline: I knew it. How could I not? You followed me around all the time, asking questions, fluttering your pretty eyelashes, anything to get me to talk to you. Oh, I knew."

The young Dean turns to Sam as if noticing him for the first time. "Of course I knew. You made me sick, Sammy. My little brother getting a crush the size of Texas on me? Where in the hell did you get the idea that was all right? I figured you'd grow out of it soon enough when you discovered girls, and you did discover girls, but you didn't grow out of it, did you? You're still hanging around me like a damn mutt, hoping I'll notice you. Jesus Christ, Sammy. It's long past time to let it go."

"Shut up," says Sam. "Just fucking be quiet." He'd kill to get some sleep. Maybe that's an improvement over wanting to kill himself to get some peace.

The false Dean snaps its fingers; the young Sam and Dean vanish. The walls of the room come back into shadowy semi-focus. But the false Dean doesn't shut up—can't shut up, because it's Sam's mind endlessly talking, and Sam can't shut it off.

The false Dean climbs onto the bed with Sam, settling its knees on either side of Sam's arms. "I haven't even gotten to the best part and you already want to get rid of me. How fucking rude is that? But I'll make this quick, as a favour to you." It unbuttons its jeans and pushes its hand down inside, and Sam looks anywhere else, but he cannot close his ears. "The best part is that I wanted you, too. You didn't give up on me no matter how bad I fucked up. You didn't leave me when you found out the monsters were real. Oh, you did leave eventually—but you came back, and I gotta admit, just then I thought maybe. But you were different when you came back, so sure Dad and I were the failures and you were the success. If there could ever be a right time for us, it sure wasn't then."

Out of the corner of his eye, Sam can see the false Dean's arm moving faster, faster, and then the false Dean curls forward, its face knotting up, and it puts its free hand on Sam's chest to stop itself from falling.

It draws its other hand out of its jeans and holds it where Sam can't help but see. In the faint light of the approaching morning, its fingers shine. "This is what you do to me, and you can tell me to shut up if you want, but—" It grabs Sam's jaw in its slick fingers and forces Sam to look at it. "Nothing you can say or do will make me into a lie. And you know it, Sammy. You have always fucking known it."



"Sam. Sammy."

Sam opens his eyes. Dean—the real one—is bending over him. Sam doesn't say anything. The sun is blasting down through the skylight, but the night still has a grasp on his mind.

"How'd you sleep? Talk to me, man."

Sam swallows. It hurts to move his jaw. "Could have been better."

"Did you, you know—" Dean waves his hand at the room. "Any dreams?"

"They're hallucinations, Dean. Call them what they are. And yes, I did. Several hours of them. You were out cold." It sounds like an accusation. Maybe it is, a little.

"Shit. Shit. I was gonna stay up, but I just—I wanted to protect you. Guess I fucked that up, huh?" Dean's hands are fidgeting, clenching and relaxing, the fingers twisting into each other. It hits Sam that Dean is acting nervous, but there's no reason for it, except—

Sam closes his eyes against Dean's face, just for a moment, just to give himself a break. "Don't bother lying. It does neither of us any good, okay? Just—tell me what you heard last night."

"Are you gonna tell me it's not what I think?"

"I'm gonna tell you the truth."

Dean drags his palms across his eyes. "Fuck. Okay. I heard you saying a lot of things, and most of them I do not want to repeat. Jesus Christ, Sammy, how long have you been thinking about that?"

"Maybe since sixth grade? I don't know, I didn't exactly mark it on my calendar."

"Thank God for that. Okay. They don't teach you how to deal with shit like this. I guess I'm supposed to reaffirm our relationship or something—don't give me that look, I had a psych class in high school, same as you. Look. There are worse monsters in the world than a kid brother with a shitbrained crush. Is that all right? Do you understand that I'm not ever going to leave you by yourself again?"

"Yeah," Sam says. "Yeah, I got it."

Today, Sam might be able to breathe again. Tonight, he might even be able to sleep.
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