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{Fic} Stay (Awake) With Me | 2/10


Two: ____

I see earthquakes and lightnin', I see bad times today

"Sammy!" Dean's insistent shout momentarily broke through the haze holding Sam's mostly asleep mind.

Don't go around tonight, well it's bound to take your life, there's a bad moon on the rise

"Come on, Sammy, wake up."

Sam had trouble getting his body to react, but he eventually he managed to open his eyes and could see a pickup truck speed past Dean's winder. Apparently they'd stopped on the side of the road.

Dean released an explosive sigh of relief. "Jesus Christ, Sammy." He gripped Sam's shoulder like he was afraid to let go. "You weren't waking up."

"'M fine," Sam said even though he knew that wasn't about to fool his brother. He rubbed his eyes and straightened up in his seat. He flexed his wrists and stared at his unmarred skin. He could still feel the phantom pain of chains wrapped tight enough to gouge into his skin.

"Bull," Dean snapped. He tugged at Sam's shoulder until their gazes met. "I don't expect you to be Mr. Well-Adjusted but it shouldn't be like this!"

With effort, Sam dislodged his brother's grip. "I'm fucked up, fine, I get it."

"Sam... Damn it, that's not what I mean." Dean leaned back to his side of the car and slapped the button to turn off the stereo. "You've been hiding how bad it's been. Has anything gotten better since Gabriel got back?"

Sam felt mildly impressed that Dean asked without hesitation, given that the question basically translated to "Have things improved since you started boning the archangel again?" That didn't mean he particularly wanted to answer the question, but Dean wore an expression that clearly said he wasn't going to let the matter slide.

"Are you up for this? Seriously? 'Cuz Bobby and I thought you were doing better than it seems you really are." It didn't look like Dean was about to pull out onto the road again until he got an answer.

Sam resigned himself to his brother's interrogation. "He's been helping," Sam mumbled. He avoided Dean's gaze as he crossed his arms. "I thought I was doing okay, things were sort of getting better." He sighed before reluctantly continuing, "There's been a couple really intense... nightmares the past few days."

"What sort of things are we talking about here, Sammy?"

Dean had to know what a loaded question that was. Sam wondered how much truth his brother actually expected to get. Sam knew he had to choose his words carefully, giving enough information to assure his brother that he wasn't hiding anything important. They'd had more than enough lying between each other over the years and unfortunately Dean was quick to assume the worst. At the same time, Sam didn't need Dean worrying about things he couldn't fix. Just as Dean had avoided divulging details of his time spent in Hell, Sam had no desire to go in depth.

"They're about the Cage," Sam muttered. "You know... Hell stuff." From the corner of his eye Sam saw Dean grimace and nod.

"Yeah, uh..." Dean shifted and put his hand back on the steering wheel. "Yeah. I hear you."

Sam let out a near silent sigh of relief when Dean pulled back onto the road. Sometimes he was extremely grateful for the Winchester reluctance to talk things out. Dean had experiences and memories of his own to draw on for nightmare material. Sam didn't know what else he could have said, not without providing more detail than he would have been comfortable giving.

Not even Gabriel knew the particulars of the worst memories and Sam preferred to keep it that way. How could he tell Gabriel how far his brothers had Fallen? How could Sam admit to the memories he had managed to block until recently? Memories of being stripped bare in every sense of the word. Bound and beaten and broken, only to be made whole again for the cycle to continue.

Sam hoped no one would ever know the full extent of what he'd experienced. He prayed that in time the nightmares would stop and the memories would fade. Given that recent nightmares had brought blocked memories to the fore, he hoped that the nightmares abated sooner rather than later.

As the Impala crossed into a town out in western Nebraska, Sam focused his thoughts on the werewolf hunt ahead.


Gabriel would have liked to be just about anywhere else expect in a Heaven full of angels trying to comprehend the concept of "free will". The old top-down, bureaucratic organization needed to be cleared out and revised; however, there remained a significant population of angels who preferred outright direction and order. Honestly, Gabriel was impressed by the number of supporters for a more democratic organization.

Castiel seemed to have found many like-minded individuals since returning to Heaven. Gabriel had been tempted more than once to make a snide remark about the free will supporters who had remained safely in Heaven during the start of the Apocalypse. It was hard to refrain himself, but Gabriel acknowledged that he had nearly avoided getting involved and that was after he'd spent nearly a millennia on Earth with independent thinking.

The reactions to his return were mixed. The apathetic and positive responses far outweighed the negative, much to Gabriel's surprise. He hadn't yet gotten close enough or had sufficient time to judge Raphael's reaction, which bothered him. His older brother held significant sway over how Heaven's reorganization went. With Michael in the Cage and Gabriel only newly returned, Raphael was considered by most to be a good candidate for sole leadership. The main problem with reorganization, then, lay in swaying mass opinion towards democratic order; but if Raphael decided to take a stab at leadership, Gabriel didn't think there would be much opportunity to challenge the old ways.


The phone rang once before Gabriel answered with a chipper, "Hey Sammy!"

Sam wondered where the archangel was answering from. Did he stay in Heaven to take the call or "step out" for a bit? "Told you I'd call," he said, dismissing his idle curiosity. He had his laptop open on the table in front of him as he scanned the local news reports.

"You're in town, I assume. So how's it looking?"

"The sort of things you'd expect with werewolf attacks. Timing is the only unusual thing. Dean should be back soon with autopsy reports, just in case there's something more there."

"Any leads?" Gabriel asked.

Sam glanced at the notepad sitting next to the keyboard where he'd jotted down addresses and sketched a map. "It's a little spread out... so we might be dealing with more than one," he concluded.

"Don't underestimate these things, kiddo. This may not be a pack, but more than one can get tricky if they catch scent of predators."

Snorting, Sam muttered, "I can do my job, thanks." He wasn't as irritated as he might have been since he could detect a hint of honest worry in his lover's voice.

"So, how's Heaven?" Sam asked. He didn't know how to picture what it was like for angels. For humans he knew the environment was made from memories. Did angels simply wander through the worlds dreamt up by mortals? With what he now knew about angels, Sam couldn't imagine a white, fluffy cloud-covered scene as depicted by so many minds throughout the centuries. Gabriel's clipped reply cut into his thoughts..

"Fine." Apparently realizing Sam would continue to pry out more information, Gabriel continued, "Castiel has a lot of fans. I think we better watch that it doesn't go to his head."

Sam grinned. "You're just jealous."

"Nah," Gabriel countered, "I'm perfectly fine just appreciating the fact that no one's tried to stab me yet."

The memory of Lucifer's hand driving Gabriel's own blade into his heart made Sam's breath catch in his throat. Don't joke, he thought desperately, remembering all too clearly the weight of the archangel's blade and the amount of pressure it took to stab through muscle and bone. Lucifer had made sure Sam experienced the memory first hand, enough times that Sam had lost count of that particular torture.

"Winchester, you answer me right now or so help me, I will come down there and tear that town apart to find your crappy hotel room!" Gabriel's voice came through loud and insistent over the phone, demanding attention. Sam finally reconnected with the present and released a shaky breath.

It sounded like Gabriel let out a relieved sigh. "Jeez, kid. I wasn't boring you to sleep, was I?"

Sam went with the tease rather than dwell on his mini panic attack. "Well, you weren't really answering my question, so why listen?"

"It's all this politics stuff. Boring." Gabriel drew out the last word to emphasize his point. "Do you like that stuff? You're totally welcome to take my place."

"Maybe you should step up, I know you like attention," Sam said with a smile.

"Order isn't really my thing," Gabriel complained. His voice suddenly lowered, taking on a more intimate tone; "Besides, the only real attention I want is from you."

Warmth flushed Sam's skin at the implication, which was embarrassing considering that he'd long grown out of the blushing stage and the comment had been pretty innocent. "You're just trying to get out of seeing your family," he muttered.

Gabriel's chuckle was warm and familiar. "Is it working?"

"A little," Sam admitted as he leaned back in his chair. "You've been spoiled," he said, thinking about the last couple weeks at Bobby's and away from hunting.

The levity in the angel's voice became a little strained. "Never say I don't make up for lost time."

Sam closed his eyes briefly when he heard the implied apology. He'd heard that tone fairly often recently and he wasn't sure how to react.

Luckily the rumble of the Impala's engine gave him a way out and he straightened in his chair. "Hey, Dean's back so I should go."

"Keep me updated."

"Will do."


Turned out there were three werewolves using the town as their hunting ground. The third hadn't shown up until mid-fight when Dean was on one side of a fenced-in parking lot and Sam was on the other, each brother engaged in a fight. The creatures had a lot of weight to throw around in addition to their preternatural strength, making the fights more difficult than expected. Sam had just managed to roll away from his target and aim his gun when the third werewolf appeared and tackled him. Claws dug into his arm and wretched it until Sam was forced to drop his gun.

With his free hand Sam fumbled for the silver knife sheathed at his hip. He managed to move quick enough to pull it free and stab the creature's chest. With a pained holw his attacker fell back and Sam lunged for his gun. He only got off one shot, miraculously an effective one that felled the already wounded beast. Before the dead body even hit the ground, Sam had an enraged werewolf attached to his back.

Sam stumbled and fell face-first into the pavement. He was at an impossible angle to get a shot off and his silver blade was in the dead creature several feet away. Seriously? he thought with no lack of irritation and self-derision. He felt the claws slice into his injured shoulder and the creature's fetid breath blew against his cheek. Vampire nests, Yellow-Eyes, ghouls, and the fucking Devil, but it's a damn werewolf that's about to take me out.

"Hey shitface!" Dean's shout coincided with a trio of gunshots. The werewolf's howl trailed off into a whine as it collapsed heavily on top of Sam. Despite the weight still pinning him down, Sam closed his eyes and said a silent thank you for his brother's impeccable timing.

"Come on, princess, there's no sparkly transformation turning this beast into Prince Charming."

Sam rolled his eyes and pushed up when Dean kicked the creature off his back. "Don't sound so disappointed." Sam smirked; "Someday your prince will come." He went to retrieve his silver knife and grimaced as he pulled it from the werewolf's torso.

"How bad is it?" Dean asked in his no-nonsense voice.

"They got a few good swipes in," Sam said. He looked down at his ruined shirt – torn and bloody – and used the bottom to wipe off his knife.

"You pull anything?" Dean asked, moving closer and squinting in the dim street light. He frowned at the claw marks in Sam's shoulder. "Looks like we're stitching you up, too."

Sam gingerly felt at his shoulder and reluctantly admitted, "Strained something."

"Well aren't you the delicate flower tonight," Dean joked. "Come on, let's get back to the hotel and cleaned up. I think we even have the good pills, it's your lucky day."

"Yeah, sure," Sam replied, feeling a little annoyed as he looked over his brother's cut-free form. Bracing a hand against his wrenched shoulder, Sam made his way to the Impala.


Sam needed help getting his shirt off since drying blood made it stick to his shoulder and back. Dean easily sliced it away and after a quick look to make sure his brother wasn't about to bleed out, pointed Sam to the shower. Sam didn't take long, mostly focusing on clearing out open wounds and letting hot water ease some of his aches. When he came out of the bathroom wearing a pair of sweatpants and his hair still dripping trails of water, Dean had the first aid kit spread out on the bed and side table.

"Told you we had the good stuff," Dean said, holding up a pill bottle and rattling it. "I think I can finish stitching you up before it kicks in; take 'em now."

Sam accepted the pills and a bottle of water as he sat down on the bed. He hissed when the peroxide fizzed over his deeper cuts and Dean took the additional precaution of swabbing rubbing alcohol over it.

"So what other things aren't following the usual cycle?" Sam asked, trying to distract himself from the pain of his brother stitching him up. It had been a while since they'd had to do this with only some basic local anesthetic cream.

"Bobby's gotten some calls about loner creeps starting to team up. More ghouls are going out of the way to kill and feed rather than wait for meals-on-wheels." Dean tightened a stitch before continuing. "Also hearing about things that shouldn't be stateside. Rugus called in about a lamia and an okami."

Surprised, Sam asked, "Anyone have a theory for the changes?"

"Apocalypse averted, time for the other evil shits to crawl out and celebrate? I don't know, man. I think Bobby and Rufus have been talking about it." Dean tied off the last stitch. "You've got another cut here I should get. Think you can stay awake a few more minutes?"

"Huh?" Sam opened his eyes, not having realized he'd closed them. He blinked a few times to clear his vision and then nodded. "Um, yeah. Just a bit."

Dean snorted but apparently decided it would be okay; he started on the next claw mark.

A few minutes later, Dean hauled Sam up and pushed him towards the bed clear of supplies. Sam barely had the energy to think of crawling beneath the covers before he fell asleep.


Space and scenery were strange things in the Cage, changing without clear explanation and frequently more bare than full. Currently a diffused sort of dim light made visible shadowy walls and dark shapes that appeared to be cloth-covered furniture like in an old, abandoned house.

"Sam? Sam, are you...? Are you, you?" a hesitant voice called.

Sam unfolded himself from the dark corner he had curled himself into at the sound of the familiar voice. Cautiously he moved a little farther into the open and looked for the source. "Adam?"

Adam's pale face appeared above a couch-like form a couple yards away. "Sam? It's really you, right?"

"Y-yeah," Sam replied in a shaky exhale. He shivered as he pushed himself to his feet and moved slowly to his half-brother. As he drew closer he could see that Adam was also shivering. Sam didn't remember when the temperature had changed from literally blistering heat to the borderline frigid temperatures. "Are you okay?" he asked and immediately wanted to kick himself.

A humorless smile crossed Adam's lips as he stepped around the couch and closed the distance between them. "Good as I can be for now, I guess." He shuddered and crossed his arms tightly against his chest. "Cold. Really, really c-cold. But it's been worse," he said quietly.

"I'm sorry," Sam whispered. The temperature seemed to be dropping again, so he followed Adam's example and tucked his hands under his armpits.

Adam shrugged. "I thought Hell was supposed to be hot," he said.

"I don't know. Maybe it changes. Maybe it's just the Cage." Sam nodded at the couch and stepped forward. "Let's sit down, huh?"

They sat close together, hunched side-by-side to share what little heat they could.

After several minutes passed in silence, Adam tilted his head and whispered, "Is he still running around your head?"

Sam offered a crooked smile as he replied, "No. They don't need vessels here." The lack of need hadn't stopped Lucifer from slipping back into Sam from time to time, however. "Is... is Michael still with you?" he asked hesitantly.

Adam shook his head and hunched closer. "I don't think so. No, not right now." Not the most encouraging of answers, but then Sam had started to think Michael had more in common with Lucifer than anyone wanted to admit.

Another indeterminate amount of time spent huddled close and shivering passed in silence.

Eventually Adam asked, "Do you think my mom's okay?"

"She's in Heaven, Adam." Sam smiled a little, remembering the Roadhouse and Ash and Pamela. "She's surrounded by her happiest memories. It's okay, Adam, she's safe."

"I'm all she had," Adam said in a monotone. "She's probably waiting for me. But we'll never get there."

Sam flinched as the fond recollections of his glimpses of Heaven splintered apart. He had known he was condemning himself when he decided to say Yes, even if he hadn't thought in detail about what that meant for his "immortal soul". Adam had made no such choice; Sam dragged him down and denied him... everything.

There was nothing Sam could say or do to make things right with Adam.

The ensuing silence weighed on Sam heavily with a surge of shame and guilt. He hardly dared to breathe lest he draw attention to himself. Adam hadn't raged at him, not yet, and although Sam knew he'd deserve whatever his half-brother may decide to dish out, he didn't want to face that. It wasn't that he expected an ally in the Cage, but he wasn't sure he could handle another entity trying to tear into him.

A burst of painfully bright light made Sam cover his eyes. Even with his eyes closed he could tell the light took a long time to fade. Adam leaned against his shoulder heavily and gasped. Hesitantly Sam opened his eyes and although it still hurt to look, he couldn't turn from the sight of Lucifer standing calmly a few yards away.

The Morningstar had his arms at his side as he watched the brothers on the couch. His skin and the air around him danced with gold and cream-colored light. It took a few moments for Sam to realize Lucifer had his wings spread.

"Sam," Adam whispered harshly. His fingers curled into Sam's shirt and tugged insistently.

Sam licked his lips nervously and unfolded himself so that he could stand. He stood in front of Adam and gently removed his brother's fingers from his sleeve. Lucifer looked amused by his actions.

"I could have you kill him, you know. You have no ability to save anyone here." Lucifer took a step forward and the shimmer of light moved with him. Sam flinched as something brushed his cheek and the sharp snap of a spark followed. "What do you think, Sam? Shall I tie you up and make you watch, or let you handle the knife?" Lucifer's wings moved again, brushing along Sam full-length this time and causing a series of loud, bright static-like sparks. The rapid-fire sound had Adam leaning away from Sam and whimpering quietly.

"You want me, take me," Sam said, somehow managing to keep his voice steady.

Lucifer smiled enigmatically. "Oh Sam, there are so many ways I can interpret that. You shouldn't be so open."

The dark promises underlying the statement made Sam shudder. If Adam hadn't been making small, frightened noises behind him, Sam would have at least attempted to run.

Lucifer's gaze slid past Sam as he stepped forward. With a strengthened resolve to protect his brother from the Devil's torments, Sam moved to intercept Lucifer. "Adam, go!"

"Sam?" Adam sounded surprised.

"Just—Go, damn it!" Sam didn't give himself time to think as he rushed the archangel. He was close enough to touch when Lucifer raised a hand and calmly flicked his wrist. Sam went flying through the air and hit the ground in a daze several yards away.

It took a while for Sam to catch his breath and clear his head.

Sam looked up and groaned when he saw Adam still standing where he'd been when Sam told him to run. Lucifer glanced negligently at Sam; when their gazes met, the Devil smirked and turned to Adam.

"No! Adam, run!" Sam scrambled to get up, desperate to try anything that might spare his brother.

Then he heard a quiet chuckle that made him freeze in his half-crouch. He stared in shock at his brother. Adam's lips twitched up in an amused smirk as he met Sam's stare. Sam's mouth shaped Adam's name in silent question.

"Oh Samuel, you have such hope, don't you." Adam's smile widened and he glanced at Lucifer. "He's quite amusing, Brother."

The Morningstar inclined his head in silent acknowledgment.

Sam scrambled to his feet and stepped back as the other two beings – archangels – approached him. "Where's my brother?" he whispered.

Michael waved his hand dismissively. "Him? He hasn't been around for years, Mortal. Adam burned out, couldn't hold his own. Most human souls are so... fragile. A shame, really." He ran a considering gaze over Sam from head to toe.

"His soul is unique," Lucifer said as he stepped past his brother and closed in on Sam. The human couldn't back away quick enough to avoid the hand that reached out to grab his bicep. "Resistance always on your mind until that very last breath..." The expression on Lucifer's face was unexpectedly bemused. "It's impressive, to be sure, but you will break eventually."

Michael joined them, closing his fingers tightly around Sam's other arm. "There is much I can share with you, Brother."

Sam struggled to pull free but succeeded only in making his shoulders ache as he pulled against the immoveable hold of two archangels. His sorrow for Adam took a backseat to his terror at being the focus of two angels clearly interested in causing him harm. Lucifer had been twisting souls for millennia, but Sam had no doubt that Michael could contribute his own brand of torture.

Please let it be quick. Get it over with... Sam didn't know why he bothered begging anymore, even in his mind. There was no one to hear him, and even if there was, as far as he knew no one else could invade the Cage. Lucifer had no mercy and Michael seemed disinclined to grant any to the human who had trapped them in an eternal prison.

Lucifer was probably right; sooner or later Sam would give into the inevitable and submit completely. He didn't know if there was a permanent death waiting for him or if his soul would be corrupted and torn to shreds. He just hoped Dean would never have to know.

"We shouldn't leave him guessing," Michael said, looking falsely considerate. "I suggest a change in scene." He glanced around and after a few seconds, their surroundings began to transform.

The cloth-covered shapes faded to darkness and previously shadowed walls closed in on them. Sam felt chains wrap tightly around his wrists and ankles and yank him backwards. Lucifer pressed his hand against Sam's chest and the human felt his back press against something flat and metal. The metal plane tilted silently until Sam lay horizontal on his back with feet spread and arms pinned down near his sides.

Michael leaned over Sam's head wearing an eerie smile. "You'll have to let me know if I detailed our setting appropriately. I'm trying for authenticity here."

Sam nervously looked around. He'd visited more than enough morgues to immediately recognize the surroundings.

He felt his blood run cold when he saw Michael offering a tray of autopsy equipment to Lucifer. "Brother, you may have the honor."