No

Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural, which is a good thing, because I would probably forget to update even that.

Summary: Lucifer may be the one who defied God, but Sam will make it his personal mission to be the one to defy the Devil. So he says no, for as long as he needs to. Warning for some disturbing imagery. Set somewhere halfway season five.

"No." Sam says when Dean asks him if he's hungry. He's not lying exactly, appetite went out the window around the time he started sipping demon blood. It doesn't look like it will be returning any time soon.

Dean looks at him in that semi-concerned sort of way. The sort of way that says, I don't really trust you with my back, but I really hope I can at least trust you with some food. While at the same time it holds that copyright big brother worry over a sibling that won't accept his offering.

It doesn't bring back the appetite though.

The problem is, Sam doesn't really know what to make of this new relationship with his brother. It's a dance on a tightrope that hangs over trust and desperation, and his balance is teetering. As usual. Balance has never been Sam's forte. It's always either too much or too little.

Which, Sam reflects, is why it is hilarious that Lucifer wants him as a vessel. Seriously, it's absolutely hysterical. The devil, who in his very essence is the balancing force to the good of God, wants to take a clutz like him for a spin.

Bad idea.

Not because of the balance problems necessarily, but because of the whole 'reign of evil on the world' thing. So every time Lucifer comes calling in his dreams, he's ready. A sassy remark that channels all his inner Dean, and always that obligatory word.

No.

Sometimes it's easy, just a question and an answer. Other times the questions come in layers, wrapped in mystery. Enigma's wrapped in a taco. The answer is always the same, though.

Always no.

And even when everything fades, when all words lose their meaning and all faces turn to dust, there is that one word he still remembers. Fresh like a prayer. Soft a caress. And harsh, harsh in its denial and the pain it leaves behind.

No.

When Lucifer tears through skin and bone to clutch Sam's heart in an unforgiving fist.

No.

When the devil decides to take a leaf out of Gabriel's book and make Dean die, over and over.

No.

When John Winchester ascends from hell to whisper sweet hatred in his ear.

No.

When Mary and Jessica line the ceiling and stare down at him in disgust.

No.

When Jo and Ellen die a million times and scatter to a million pieces.

No.

When Dean Winchester lies on a rack and he can't stop his hands from ripping into his brother's skin.

No.

When Bobby jumps to save him every single time, just to get crippled, blind, deaf and dead.

No.

When Castiel appears to shake his hand with a murmur of 'the boy with the demon blood'.

No.

When the Earth scorches and it's all his fault.

No.

Lucifer may be the one who defied God, but Sam will make it his personal mission to be the one to defy the Devil. And he doesn't even need to hold speeches. He doesn't need to kill, or maim, or even explain what he's doing. All he needs is one simple word. Just one word that stretches over centuries of love and eons of pain.

It's easy to forget things when the world crashes down around you. Every day a pretence of normalcy, of smiles and acting semi-sane. Every night a battle with the most dangerous creature on Earth. So tiring. So painful. It's good to know, that even when his tired brain can no longer string together a witty comeback, there's still a word to say.

Just two letters. One syllable.

No.

Then there comes a time where his vocal chords are torn from his throat and hung on a washing line. The times that he has screamed himself so hoarse at night that he knows even in his dreams his voice will fail him. Then there's always silence. A barrier of nothing hanging in the air and it's the tightest barrier there is, the most definite no.

Still, he says it in his mind.

No.

When Sam is captured by ghouls and tied to the table while they cut narrow slits in his arms, all he can think is not again. It hurts, of course. He is not yet so used to pain that he cannot feel it. Despite Lucifer's best efforts the angel can do little actual damage, neither to Sam's body or the nerves that so neatly make his pain. So this is the same pain as before, a year ago, when the face of his half-brother was plastered over that of a monster. Must be a family thing. This time though, it hurts differently, like something Sam has felt too many times.

An echo of pain.

In his mind, an echo of no.

As Sam struggles against his bonds he watches the ground turn red. His blood, tainting the pristine marble floor with its sulphur. Vaguely, he wonders if the Devil will still want him if he is drained of demon blood. Lucifer would probably just replace it.

When the ghouls ask him if he's having a good time, he groans a weak but indignant, "No."

Sometimes he wonders why he still says it, why he doesn't simply give in and end it all. Then he sees Dean, a brother only just relearning how to trust. He sees Bobby, sarcastic, and somehow terrifying, even in a wheelchair. He sees Castiel, who fell for this cause, he sees Jo and Ellen die, sees the Croatoan virus, sees mothers crying over dead sons, and daughters clutching dead fathers. Whenever he wonders why he still denies the devil, he forces himself to see exactly what the devil would show him.

That's all he needs, a reminder of his failings. A reminder of all the reasons to say no.

Teeth rip through tight muscles in his stomach, tearing away parts of Sam's body he barely realised he could lose. Lucifer has done his, has eaten him and slurped his blood. That wasn't so bad. It was only when the devil turned and forced Sam to do the same to Dean that Sam had started sobbing. Weeks later, the metallic taste still lines his mouth, burning every time his brother enters the room. Even then, as skin gave way under his molars, Sam had whispered only one thing.

No.

Now, as the second ghoul takes a bite, he whispers it again. Over and over. A line to hold on to, the one thing he will never lose. The world grows dim as the chewing continues, full mouthed laughter fills the darkening air. Pain disappears, leaving tendrils of fear and tremors of loss in its wake.

A voice calls through the gloom. Rough, calloused by years of hell and the overuse of one particular name.

"SAMMY!"

As heads roll, and air deceives him, Sam can see the Light. Not a tunnel. Not heaven. Just the silhouette of an archangel, carving out the dark. Morningstar, Sam can see where the name comes from now.

"You see, Sam, it's these kinds of things I can save you from. I can keep you from this suffering. From this pain." Lucifer murmurs almost lovingly, fingers running over Sam's very soul. "You only have to let me in."

Without air and only death to surround him, Sam whispers a denial. A decaying no that brings the devil's hands down on his soul with the force of a hurricane.

"I have time, Sam." Lucifer coos, the words menacing in his too-bright light, "You will say yes."

Sam's soul is harshly shoved back into his body, a ripple of pure grace runs through the room, obliterates the walls and the ghouls, and slams Dean to the ground. Then Sam is breathing, no longer bleeding and searching, searching for his brother through the debris.

Dean stands up, frees Sam and takes him home. As the Impala rumbles over stretching roads, Sam wonders when they are going to talk about this. About him dying. He wonders if they're going to talk about it at all.

No, probably not, Sam thinks.

Dean lasts an hour before he speaks.

"Sammy. Look at me." Dean's voice isn't an order, exactly. More like a plea.

No. Sam thinks, but he looks up anyway.

"Are you sure you're okay?" Dean's asking about the case, about the ghouls who ate so much of him, he had hoped for a split second that Lucifer would no longer want him. He's not asking how Sam is dealing with Lucifer, because he can't possibly know. It's not the question. This is just the question that's been asked a thousand times as Sam sat at home with broken bones and broken hearts.

As Sam died and came back.

The answer presents itself, easy, familiar, something Sam barely lets himself say anymore. It feels like he's lying, like he's giving in. Though Dean is owed the truth after a year of deceit, Sam lets himself lie one more time.

For Dean.

It's something only Dean can make him say.

"Yes."

The End.

Author's Note: So. I have no idea where that came from, but I guess this proves I really cannot write anything but angst… Oops. Anyway, let me know what you all think ;p