"You've got it all in the palm of your hand
But your hand's wet with sweat and your head needs a rest
And you're fooling yourself if you don't believe it...
How can there be such a sinister plan
That could hide such a lamb..."
Fooling Yourself by Styx
“Looks like to be in his late twenties. Found him on the floor in a seizure; empty prescription bottle of 50 mg of Risperidone on him. He’s barely holding on...”
Sam was losing track of time, or rather it was losing track of him. He was missing hours of the day, which evolved into days, and now weeks. The young hunter would find himself jolted back into awareness, sprawled on a hotel bed he didn’t remember getting into and in a hotel room he never recalled entering. Dean would be fast asleep, face buried in the pillow, ignorant of his little brother panicking as he couldn’t connect the dots. The only one to keep him company was Lucifer, sly and lounging next to him on the mattress like a well-fed cat. He would pinch his bottom lip, lean forward until cold breath was against his jaw, and sweetly go, “Forgetting something?”
This felt oddly like the time he was possessed by Meg so many years ago, where the lights would go off and Meg would prowl about killing hunters, tempting Dean to kill his own brother. This was no demon, and it would be easier if it was, Dean would see the immediate difference and act without hesitation. Now Dean just tiptoed and did it poorly, unsure himself how to deal with someone who was hallucinating the Devil. Bobby was no longer providing sage advice. Couldn’t even call Ellen because she was ashes and burnt flesh drifting off somewhere or caught in the dirt. Dad would know what to do. He would see this as a lost cause, scowl at Dean and remind him, “I told you, son. If you couldn’t save Sam, you got to put him in the ground.” Yeah, it sounded callous and cold -- what kind of father would say that?
But Sam was losing track of time, and losing track of himself. He researched the drugs taken by schizophrenics who suffer from auditory and visual hallucinations, taking back alley trips to steal the prescription pads from psychiatrists to write down a prescription for Clozapine. But Clozapine made him sick to his stomach, egging him to throw up and spend too much time resting his forehead against the toilet. He tried Risperidone and it worked, but made him drowsy or maybe he always was this drowsy, but it was easier to blame a drug. So whenever Lucifer became too much, whenever he wrapped his hand around his neck and choked him as Dean was talking about a case, he would gruffly excuse himself to take a higher dosage.
“-- looks like it’s been in his system for a while. Could have been forty minutes before staff found him -- ”
He shouldn’t be taking three pills every four hours. It was making him sloppy, concentration steadily deteriorating, and all it could do was mute Lucifer for sporadic periods of time. Sam had a sinking realization that Lucifer was humoring him. Pretending the drugs were working if he took more, and his eyes would sting by how tempted he was to take a whole bottle. How damn desperate he was becoming that it terrified him until he was breaking out in a cold sweat, wishing he could share this fear with Dean but...he would never do that to Dean. Instead Sam kept quiet and suffered in silence, learning how to school his features whenever Lucifer was at it again.
One day it became particularly bad. Dean was using his laptop to scowl at Dick Roman’s face, annoyed and livid that their tech guy, Frank, was gone. No more breaking into security cameras. No more help into breaking into websites. No more someone to go to help to, even if Frank was one hell of an asshole. They poured over whatever lore there was on Leviathans or any creatures that other mythologies that described a similar creature. Nothing was ever specific. Purgatory was a new topic on the plate and in turn, not much information. Hell, there was information that Purgatory didn’t even exist and was created by the Catholic Church during the Middle Ages. The only person that did seem capable of killing the Leviathan was dead.
On a whim, Sam continued to pray like he did before he got pulled from Stanford, but begged Heaven to lend them a hand. Lucifer balked and laughed, mocking his prayer by imitating him poorly. Sam quietly and slowly began to stop, and Lucifer only smiled.
“Heart rate is becoming more irregular. Begin arrhythmia medication. Too late to pump his stomach, it’s already been absorbed -- ”
Sam was losing faith.
Today Lucifer was reintroducing him to something that was all too familiar and too painful. He brought back Mom and Dad. Each making them die a painful and gruesome death before his eyes, his thumb digging into his palm desperately but, his mother’s cries continued to fill his skull. “Think of it Sam,” Lucifer was sitting on the chair backwards, chin resting on the back, “If you were never born...they could be alive. Have a nice, boring apple pie life. Dean probably would be married now with a crummy job. Hopefully not married to that awful woman -- what’s her name? Lisa? Named after a Simpson character? Bart? Oh who knows.” Sam kept his eyes closed, head hung down as if he was looking at the book on the table, silently begging for the images to go away.
“I’m glad you were born, Sam,” Lucifer added after a thought, smiling fondly at Sam, blue eyes watching him affectionately. “You really are perfect to me.”
“He’s going into respiratory arrest. Begin to endotracheally intubate and ventilate -- ”
That’s what Lucifer did. Sling dark words at him that cut deep into his belly, pointed out all his flaws and how he has ruined so many lives instead of saved. Than he would kiss the gashes and purr out loving words to him, and Sam supposed the only good thing about that was whatever torture he was undergoing ceased for a short amount of time. Sam wondered what would happen if he actually gave Lucifer what he wanted. Would the torture stop for good?
Sam pushed himself to his feet, grabbing his jacket, jerking it over his arms.
“Where you going?” Dean’s voice asked him, his head peeking over the laptop.
“Uh...” he exhaled, trying to think of an excuse.
“Tell him you’re going to go see a movie to clear your head,” Lucifer offered as he looked up at Sam from his seat.
“Tell him to contact immediate family members and that we’re beginning other supportive treatment options. Also, contact the psychiatrist that wrote this prescription...”
“I’m going to go clear my head...maybe catch a movie...something. You need anything while I’m gone?”
Dean rose a brow. “Uh-huh. Yeah, I heard that new Twilight movie is out. You sure you’re just seeing it to clear your head?” The green-eyed hunter taunted with a half-smile, but Sam could see the strain and the worry. Sam rolled his eyes and scoffed, and that seemed enough to ease Dean a bit. “Fine, fine. Get me some pie when you come back. Beer, too!” Sam nodded and left the room, aware of Lucifer calling out something that sounded like, ‘I’ll drive!’
Sam supposed Lucifer did. He found himself opening his eyes to be nestled in a seat in the movie theater, aware that he was by himself. Judging from the commercials showing, this had to be a children’s film and one that was doing poorly, seeing there was not a family present. Doing his best not to panic at the fact he couldn’t recall driving. Or buying a ticket --
“I told you I’d drive,” Lucifer sighed out in exasperation next to him, slurping loudly from his cup of what Sam hoped was punch or Kool-Aid. “Anyways, I’m glad we can spend some alone time together. We really do need to talk...”
“Talk?” Sam finally asked.
“Is there an echo here?” Lucifer’s instant rebuttal made him feel something close to familiarity, as if he was picking phrases he heard or spoken out of his brain and using it as his own. Sometimes he said things he heard Dean say, the television parrot out, things he read, Gabriel’s unbearable snark, Castiel’s bluntness and so forth... Yet it was always the extreme of it, and it only confirmed to Sam that this was a problem you can’t spell away or fix with some faith healer. Sam turned warily back to Lucifer, who was smiling to himself.
“50 mg of Risperidone, Mr. Winchester, in his system. After we stabilize him we’re sending him to county. You’re lucky someone found him...if he stayed even longer in that state he wouldn’t be here with us. Has your brother ever shown signs of -- ”
The color from the screen projected colors of bright red and blue, illuminating the side of Lucifer’s face, making eyes glint like kaleidoscopes. They shifted and churned, and Sam swore it was him hallucinating -- what was he taking about! All of this was a hallucination, but it made his heart thump against his chest by how real it felt. Sam felt powerless, desperately wanting the Devil to leave him be, but he was becoming more real by each passing day.
Cool finger reached out to drag upward across his jugular until it moved underneath his jaw, feeling it run across stubble. Gripping his chin, he pushed his head upward, blue eyes meeting Sam’s. A smooth smile fell on Lucifer’s face as he rubbed at Sam’s chin with his thumb, sighing softly, “No matter how you write the story, you were always meant to come to me. Very romantic, hm?” The smile quirked into one more smug as he tilted his head slightly to the right before leaning down to press his lips against Sam’s.
Sam instantly stiffened, moving his head aside but the archangel only laughed softly. Lips found his again, fingers now digging into his jaw, keeping him in place. The hunter could already feel bruises beginning to form, his jaw aching, feeling thumbs pry his mouth open so a tongue could obscenely slip inside. The taller male squirmed and fought uselessly, but the more he tried the more he felt the threatening pressure on his lower mandible that spoke of dislocation if he kept this up. Sam didn’t want to explain to Dean why his jaw was dislocated and instead grudgingly began to subside.
“That’s called learned helplessness,” Lucifer finally drew back to lick his lips, keeping his fingers gripping that strong jaw, feeling the trembling against each digit. Slowly letting go, he was pleased to see Sam remaining put, face a mixture of mortification and despair. “They did a study on cute puppies...put them in cages and shock the floor,” he leaned forward to give soothing kisses to the bruised jaw, feeling Sam flinch with each kiss. “They would jump and yelp...until they found a ledge that led to a portion of the cage that was shock free. Those that could not find the ledge...they continued to endure the shocks. They would no longer look for a way out and instead would lay down on the floor, submissive to their fate. Every time you think of how would Dean react...you’re laying down on that shocked floor,” Lucifer smiled knowingly, tapping the tip of his nose with his finger. “You’re the cute puppy.”
“County has trained professionals and psychiatrists to properly deal with him before deciding what treatment or course of action is appropriate... I’m afraid ‘taking him home’ isn’t going to do him any good -- ”
Sam didn’t know whether to be insulted or feel sick at the truth of it all. Most importantly, it was beginning to shake the foundations of his entire being that he could feel Lucifer. He felt the cold breath against his skin, how his lips were still wet with Lucifer, and he could smell the archangel. He smelled of ozone and something sharp and fresh like pine needles. Sam shouldn’t be feeling this. These were but phantom images and sounds he created, but right now they felt so painfully real.
“Now how about we change the subject. Hearing all this melodrama has a way of spoiling the film,” Lucifer chirped with that ugly humor of his, still leering and looming over him to the point where Sam felt small. “Or,” he drawled out, “We can do something else.”
Fingers brushed against his bruising jaw; Sam swallowed hard. He could feel that. Could feel the pads of his fingers that trailed across his skin. Sam could feel those chapped lips against his cheek, teeth digging into his cheekbone followed by the vibrations of a thick and graveled out laugh.
“T-This isn’t real. T-T-This is all in my head,” Sam stammered out to rationalize with his overworked mind, eyes wide-eyed and soon staring with a pair of blue eyes that were harsh. Castiel had blue eyes that were invasive in a soul-searching sort of way. Lucifer had eyes that could tear it apart, refusing to give away the punchline to a joke that made him feel sick to his stomach. He wanted Sam to feel the punchline, not hear it. He thought Gabriel’s humor was terrible -- hell, he would take Gabriel’s cruel warped realities any day in comparison to this. At least there was a way out. With Lucifer...he had the sinking realization the problem was only going to get serious. He had a feeling the meds were making his mind dull...
“Sam -- Jesus Christ, it’s me. Can you hear me? Sam? Doc said a lot of crap I don’t understand...that you went into respiratory arrest or something. Sam is it...is it him? Did Lucifer do this to you? Look man, you got to open your eyes for me. I can fix this -- ”
The voice came somewhere on both sides. Sam blinked stupidly, befuddled and confused, eyes only seeing Lucifer’s ear. His mouth was busy marking his neck with teeth that felt like cold blades, fingers digging into the armrest. Looking past Lucifer's ear, he gave a start when he found the devil on the big screen, lounging on an armchair and frowning at him.
“Think, Sam. Focus,” the Devil on the armchair exhaled, looking rather insulted that Sam wasn’t paying attention to him. Sam shoved his hand into his jacket, closing his eyes when he felt his hand brush against the firm body hovering over him. Too real. This was getting too real. No. Not real. Warped. Warped. Fingers scrambled in search for something in his pockets. “You know, Dean is exactly like Michael in every single form and way. A bit scary, huh?” Lucifer hummed near his ear, finger trailing down his chest, “They are...tools for our fathers. The hammer and nail to keep the foundation hold steady and remain whole. When there’s a crack...they fix it. There’s nothing creative. Nothing original. No additions added on.” Sam could feel panic begin to become thick in his throat because where was it?! This was otherworldly -- oh god. He had to be asleep. He’d either...fell asleep in the car or here? Shit. Wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up -- “Tell me, Sam, what part of Dean is original? His clothes? Music? Car? Attitude? I dunno, kinda feel like your dad put a claim on all that first. Dean just copied because there’s no room for independent thought when you’re daddy’s little soldier.”
“Wake up, wake up wa ---” ke up, wake up, wake up.
Lucifer was going somewhere with this one. This was a whole new different sort of talk. Sam wanted to desperately ignore it, but there was that voice in his ear and that voice that echoed inside his head. His hand still searched and a relieved sound left his lips when he felt the prescription bottle. Pulling it out, his eyes opened, waiting for Lucifer to smack it out of his hand.
“You and I, Sam? There are things in common,” he argued softly, half-lidded eyes examining the abused cheek before him. “But I’m not ignorant enough to think we’re exactly alike. I’m not going to give you the Tyler Durden speech on how we’re not unique snowflakes. This story has nothing to with the fall from grace, Sam. This isn’t some parody of my epic tumble from Cloud Nine.”
Sam pressed his palm against the cap, struggling to get it off, his hand sweaty and shaking. It was the cool hand that laid over his hot hand that made him freeze, waiting to feel the familiar sting of coming blow. It never came. “Pay attention, Sam, this is the after. After the rebuilding of yourself when you’re broken. This is the part where they kick you into the Cage. Where you can’t see anything before you...and you desperately need your brother...but you’re in this on your own. Only got walls as company and the silence is going to destroy you, Sam. It’s going to break you down and the people that had hope in you...are going to forget about you. You’ll be a comatose wreck missing from action. A lost cause.”
The hand pressed down against his, twisting and the cap came free. Sam stared silently at Lucifer, than at the pills, suddenly unsure. Why did he help him open it?
“Sam, please, I can’t lose you, too...”
“I don’t understand. Why are you telling me this?” Sam finally managed the strength to speak, feeling the fingers on his chest stop in their movement. “What? You suddenly care now?” Came the bitting addition.
Lucifer scowled and stood up straight, sitting on the top of the seat in front of Sam. “Because I’m the only one who understands what you’re going through. I was by myself when this happened to me. I wouldn’t wish this even on my enemies as tempting as it is,” he heaved out firmly, “Revenge didn’t drive me to survive, Sam. It could have. I could have came back and killed Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel for abandoning me. Forgetting me. I could have gone straight to my Father, chaining Death and telling him to deliver a final blow to daddy dearest. It would have been satisfying to do all of the above... The point I’m trying to make, Sam, is that this is something that you don’t want to face alone. Revenge won't even keep you company.”
The fallen archangel stared at him with features that softened with something far from pity and more of a growing concern.
“I have Dean. I have my brother. I think I’m set.”
“You can fight this, Sam. You can fight him. Kick his ass, for fuck’s sake!”
“Tell me, Sam, in what way has he been helping you?” Lucifer countered gently before sighing. “Sam, this can all stop. You can make this stop. You always could. Think, Sam. Every time you resisted me, you got hurt. Innocent lives were put at risk. When you let me in without a fight, we get far. Safe -- ”
The hunter remained rigid because that was...a lie, was it not? Lucifer was already residing in his head. Sam was aware he wasn’t possessed, he knew the dank chill that was Lucifer’s when he nestled inside of him. What Lucifer was implying was not only absurd but impossible, yes? This was no cold fire Grace. This was his imagination, right? “Are you asking me to say ‘yes’ to you?! I’d rather die than say ‘yes’ to you again,” Sam finally spat out, glaring at the tall male.
“I don’t think you will, Sam, but feel free to prove me wrong.”
“I’m going to fix this, Sam. Going to save you.”
Sam took the prescription bottle in his hand, pills rattling and clacking against the orange container. Lucifer scoffed, arms crossed over his chest, “You know they don’t work, Sam. Might as well be placebo pills. Equivalent of someone poking holes in your condoms.” Sam just glared, because Lucifer was right and he wanted to prove a point. Spurned on with desperation and exhaustion, he did the first thing that came to mind:
Sam tilted the entire bottle down his throat.
Sam came to due to other voices, swearing the Earth was shaking -- or was it just him -- as he struggled to obtain consciousness. Hands moved him as he gasped and ached, lungs burning. Somewhere to his left he saw Lucifer in his fading vision, slowly applauding him, making bile rise up his throat.
“What do we got nurse?”
“Looks like to be in his late twenties. Found him on the floor having a seizure; empty prescription bottle of 50 mg of Risperidone on him. He’s barely holding on...”