The window shades were open and the moon was staring down at the form of Sam Winchester, unconscious on the bed after a long day of fighting off the nightmares that were slowly creeping from behind the veil. He’d fallen asleep almost as soon as his head hit the pillow and for once, the uncertainty of his dreams were more welcome than the reality he was going to have to face if he stayed conscious. Awake, he knew Lucifer waited in the shadows. Asleep, his dreams were always a surprise. Maybe he’d be riding shotgun in the Impala, or choking down crappy diner food across a table from Dean, or helping Jess study for an upcoming midterm exam. The unpredictability was an endless open-armed loop.
Unfortunately for Sam tonight, the Devil invaded.
The scenery changed; a bright Monday afternoon at Stanford sitting next to Jess turned into a barren, steel-walled cell with no doors or windows. Barely big enough to be considered even sizable as a city apartment, Sam turned every which way looking for a way out but found none. Claustrophobia kicked in; he tried to even out his breathing.
He appeared out of thin air, fabricated only from memory, and so he looked the same as he did last: straw-colored hair, green jacket, blue eyes wide to the world.
Sam reached for him but in his shock, his strength failed. “Adam.”
Adam stared, face devoid of emotion. Sam tried again to reach out, succeeding in grabbing a handful of jacket. “You’re here.”
“Of course he’s here, Sammy.” Lucifer’s voice echoed in the small room, disembodied from on high. “He’s right where you left him. He’ll always be right where you left him.”
Sam shook his head no, denying it all, as he subconsciously heard the hotel room door slam as Dean returned from a late night burger run. He could feel himself surfacing, and with a gasping, drowning breath his other hand reached out to Adam.
“Not yet,” Sam gasped, desperate. “Please, wait. Adam—”
As the image faded, Adam morphed. Blood leaked from open wounds forming on his face, skin peeled, flesh rotted and burned before Sam’s eyes. The last thing he saw of Adam didn’t even look like his little brother anymore.
Sam woke clutching at nothing, tears in his eyes and the last image of his burning brother scarred into his memory.
The empty air in Sam’s hands felt heavier than before.