Sam has found himself staring off at nothing quite a lot, lost in his own head, longing for something that he can never have again, something that he can’t tell anybody about, especially Dean.
“Heya, Sam,” Lucifer said, sitting on the bed next to Dean in some shitty motel room they’re in for the night.
Sam flinched, pushed down on the bandaged wound, tried to remember that the guy smiling at him wasn’t real, the one who was talking to him in that soft tone of voice he’d grown to love.
“You okay?” Dean asked, frowning at him and glancing down at Sam’s hand. "You seein’ him?“
"I’m okay,” Sam said, forcing his gaze to the television. He really didn’t care about what they were watching.
“I miss you,” Lucifer said.
Sam’s breath caught in his chest and his eyes burned. For a moment he thought he was going to die, just fall over and expire from grief, but then he started breathing again. He didn't know if he was relieved or disappointed.
All those years. He was locked in a cage in Hell with Lucifer for all those years. He’d been terrified, scared out of his mind in those first few moments, sure that he was facing an eternity of unimaginable torture at the hands of a master.
Michael had reached for him, but there had been a flash of light that would’ve blinded a human, and then Lucifer was wrapping himself around Sam, holding him tight and shielding him from whatever Michael was attempting to do.
Sam could hear Michael raging, could feel Lucifer shivering from the pain, but nothing was getting through Lucifer. Nothing hurt him. And soon he didn’t even hear Michael anymore.
“You wanna pick the next movie?” Dean asked. "There’s some pay-per-view channels.“
"Tell him you want porn,” Lucifer said, and Sam could just hear the smirk without even looking.
“No, I’m tired,” Sam said, and he wasn’t even sure if he was talking to Dean or Lucifer. He wriggled out of his jeans and tossed his overshirt onto the floor, not bothering to turn out the light before he crawled under the blanket and turned away from Dean.
“I’ll keep the volume down,” Dean said.
Sam knew Dean was worried about him. He really shouldn’t have been. Yeah, Sam was upset. Sam was fucking devastated, but not for the reasons Dean thought he was.
His heart was broken, and it was because Sam spent well over a century with an angel of light, the Morningstar, and now that he was up top again, none of it seemed real, and he missed Lucifer like he would an amputated limb.
“It’s all going to be okay, Sam,” Lucifer said from behind him, and Sam knew it wasn’t real because he couldn’t feel the bed move, but it comforted him just the same.
Because that’s how Lucifer had calmed him down. When he was scared those first few years, worried that Michael would somehow get through or kill Lucifer. They’d cuddle, spooned on a bed that wasn’t really a bed, but rather a manifestation just for Sam’s benefit because Lucifer knew humans needed small comforts like that.
The flames of Hell never touched him, never came close, and Lucifer’s caresses were cold, refreshing and cool in a way his brain could never wrap itself around, but he liked it.
“I’ll keep you safe,” Lucifer said.
Sam didn’t know if it was a memory or the hallucination, so he closed his eyes and let himself fall into it. He was back there with Lucifer, strong arms wrapped around him, a leg tossed over his own, and soft kisses were being placed on his shoulder, his neck, and the back of his head.
“You have nothing to worry about,” Lucifer murmured against the skin of his neck. "I won’t let him hurt you. Ever. Nothing’s going to happen to you.“
It took Sam a few years to believe him, to realize that everything Michael was trying didn’t do a damn thing, and he could relax.
And the sex. Oh, the sex was amazing. Lucifer was every lover he’d never had and all of the ones he’d had put together in one. He could be rough and possessive, but for the first decade or two Sam needed gentle and soft, so that’s what he got.
"I’ll stop,” Lucifer said, covering his chest and stomach with kisses. "Just tell me and I’ll stop. I’d never hurt you.“
Sam came harder than he ever had in his entire life that first time with Lucifer’s fingers up his ass and his mouth around Sam’s cock. And instead of trying to get himself off, Lucifer curled up behind him and sang him to sleep.
Because Lucifer? He had the most beautiful voice Sam had ever heard. It was soothing and at times so full of love and emotion that Sam cried.
He missed Dean. He missed life up top. He knew he saved the world, and Lucifer made it his mission to remind Sam of that every day. But he still missed it.
And when he realized he couldn’t remember Dean’s face anymore, when he broke down and cried because he couldn’t believe he could forget that, Lucifer held him, shushed him, and pushed the image into Sam’s head, letting him see Dean’s face again.
"Thank you,” Sam said, crying into Lucifer’s chest, fingers holding the archangel’s arms so tightly he would’ve left bruises behind had it been a human. "I can’t ever thank you enough.“
"I don’t like seeing you sad,” Lucifer said, then kissed the top of his head. "And I told you I wouldn’t let anything happen to you, and that includes making sure you don’t forget what Dean looks like.“
Sam believed him. Why wouldn’t he? Lucifer had never lied to him.
The first time he told Lucifer he loved him, the creature older than mankind had smiled as if it was the best thing he’d ever heard. He’d kissed Sam, holding him so tightly that Sam had laughed, squirming and poking Lucifer in the side because Sam thought it was hilarious that an archangel was ticklish.
"Hey,” Dean said.
Sam flinched back, suddenly seeing Dean crouched beside the bed. "What?!“ he said, maybe a little too loudly.
"I think you were having a nightmare,” Dean said. "Here.“
Sam frowned at him as Dean held up a tissue, but he took when he realized his cheeks were wet and his eyes felt raw and puffy. Dean gave him a small smile, then stood up and left him alone.
"Everything’s gonna be okay, Sam,” the hallucination behind him said.
He knew it would be. He’d get used to living up top again. He’d try to push the memories away. He’d tell himself to suck it up.
All of his smiles would be forced. He’d pretend like he was happy to be up top, away from Hell. He’d pretend it was awful down there. How the fuck could he ever look Dean in the eye when every sympathetic glance his brother gave him was because Dean assumed he’d been tortured, that he’d had it even worse than Dean himself had experienced.
But no, it had been Sam’s own Heaven. It had been a fantasy world that Sam hadn’t realized he never wanted to wake up from until it was all taken away.
And Lucifer was still down there, suffering whatever Michael felt like doing to him, and he was alone. Lucifer hated being alone.
Shielding Sam had been horribly painful for him, but he’d done it because he loved Sam. Always had. Sam knew that Lucifer was happy for him.
He hadn’t even been able to say goodbye, too busy screaming at Cas to let him go, holding onto Lucifer in desperation, but Lucifer had pushed him away, sacrificing the one thing in Hell that made him happy because he wanted Sam safe and topside.
“I’d make the same choice all over again,” the hallucination said behind him.
And even though Sam knew it was a hallucination, knew that it was something his fractured mind was manifesting to help him deal with the loss of his archangel, it reassured him. He couldn’t help but relax and start to drift off.
For over a century that voice had been telling him it was okay, that he should sleep after they’d spent days, weeks fucking, and Sam obeyed. He let the hallucination sing him to sleep, hoping he’d dream of Hell.