Summary: "Tremors start in Sam's hands, then slither up his frame to shatter the rest of him as well. He's never been so thirsty." Sam is back in the panicroom after the Famine-incident. He's not having a good time. Basically, the obligatory angsty demon-blood detox fic. Written for the prompt 'withdrawal' at the 'You only hurt the one you love' meme on ohsam. Lots of lovely fics, so go check it out ;)

Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural or anything affliated with it, nor am I making any money off this.

Heart of the room

Babump. Babump. Babump.

It's loud, echoing through his head in an endless cycle.

Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh.

Also loud, echoing through the room, over and over.

Babump. Whoosh. Babump. Whoosh.

Heart. Fan. Heart. Fan.

Manacles dig in his skin, the cold metal warming under his bodily heat. The mattress is lumpy, Sam remembers that from the last time. Remembers the pain in his back that remained after his blood was cleaned.

An ache shoots through him. Sandpaper in his throat, parched and dry. He's just so thirsty, everything in him longs for blood. For thick red sulphur on his tongue. Power in his fingertips and peace in his mind.

Bloodlust, he thinks with an almost-snort. He doesn't quite let it escape though. There's going to be enough opportunity for Dean to worry about him, without him having to think Sam has gone truly insane (like when he's hallucinating a shit-storm, or flying through the room, as Bobby had so delicately put it).

And Dean would hear him, because he's right outside.

Sam knows Dean is out there (like he always is). It's not just that though. It's this gut feeling, uncanny and frightening, like he can sense his brother's back against the door. Like he can hear his brother breathing to calm himself. Like he can see the panic on his brother's face, see the bright soul pulsing within. And maybe he just knows Dean is there because he knows Dean. He knows him better than he knows himself. Knows that Dean will stand there forever if that means he can be close to Sam. To his tainted brother, who started the apocalypse.

Or maybe it's the demon inside him, tearing at the boundaries of his human perception. Maybe the blood is letting him see and feel things he never could.

Whatever it is, it's proof. It's proof that the emptiness that Famine described, was a lie. As long as Sam can sense his brother, can see the emotions in his eyes, Dean is not empty. Not dead inside.

The lights in the room flicker twice, then they go out entirely. A chill permeates the air, and Sam knows, heknows that it's impossible for anything to be in here. Anything but him. It's a hallucination, he tells himself. Don't yell out to Dean. Don't do it.

The whirring fan above him lets in the only light, the moon's reflection dancing down between the staccato beats of the blades. They slice through the air like a knife, casting ghostly shadows over his face.

Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh.

The air grows colder still, breath crystallises above him. It's not real, he tells himself. It's not real.

Then Lucifer appears. He just pops up out of the blue and sits at the end of Sam's bed. Sam pushes as far away from the man as he can. It's not real. The devil snakes out a hand, lays it on his knee in a gesture that hints at familiarity. At intimacy.

"Look what you've gotten yourself into this time." Lucifer sighs, sweeping the room with his hand in an encompassing motion.
Sam doesn't reply. Dean is out there, and his brother shouldn't have to see him tripping on demon blood. Shouldn't have to hear him tripping Lucifer of all things. It's a good thing this only happens when he's in withdrawal, Sam thinks, or when he's dreaming. He can't imagine having the angel in his head every moment of the day.

That would be the worst torture he can imagine.

"You do what you can to save Dean and Castiel, and what good does it do you, huh?" the devil continues his tirade, "Are they grateful? No, they just lock you up like an animal."

It's not real, Sam thinks. But maybe it is. If Lucifer can get into his dreams, can disguise himself as Jessica and sneak into his mind like the snake he is, then maybe the devil can get to him here too. Here, where he's vulnerable. Here, where he's tainted and most demonic that he's been since Lucifer started walking the earth.

After all, Sam can't imagine even his subconscious thinking up the train of thought that Lucifer is on now. Still, he keeps his mouth shut. Lucifer smiles a sad sort of smile.

"Seems your family loves you about as much as mine loves me," he says wistfully.

Fucking child, Sam thinks, petulant and spoiled. But he doesn't say anything, doesn't deny any of the words, or tell the devil where he can stick his opinions about Sam's family.

Then the devil reaches out again, the same smile on his lips as when he first started speaking. With a swipe of his fingers he reaches through Sam's skin, through the flesh and the blood that makes the inside of his body the inside, and not the outside. And then the devil runs his hands over Sam's ribs, worships them like a child worships its favourite toy.

It feels like he's being pulled inside-out, and Sam doesn't think he's ever felt pain like this before. Not when Jake stuck a knife into his back and severed his spine. Not when he took on ten demons at one with Ruby, and his head almost exploded. Not even when the clock struck twelve, and Dean's soul was pulled from his body before Sam's eyes.

Pain like this, can't not be real. Which means…

Lucifer his here.

"These little markings," the devil murmurs sweetly, "They're all that's stopping me from coming here. Without them, I'd be at your doorstep every day. I could get you out of here, you know, if I took these away. I could give you enough blood that you'd never, never, have to go through this again."

No. No, no, no. He can't take the markings away. He can't come here.

Something builds in Sam's chest, an energy, a power, that Sam hasn't felt in months. Cumulating, more and more, just building and building over his heart. It pushes his lungs away and grows and grows. It's going to explode soon, Sam thinks. Like a time-bomb. Like a Jenga tower just waiting to fall. Sam's lungs fill with power, and this must be Lucifer's doing. The devil must be taking the markings away, and Dean needs to stop him. Either that, or Dean needs to run and never come back.

"DEAN!" He yells, voice somehow already hoarse, "Dean, he's here, and he's going to take the marks away."

Babump. Babump. Babump, babump, babump.

The heart outside the door beats faster, and Sam realises only now that that's the heart he's been hearing all this time. Not his own, Dean's.

The pressure in Sam's chest is still building, then reaching a breaking point. It explodes with a bang, a lightning flash of white. He's only ever seen this once before, felt this once before. Back then, Dean's heart had stopped beating, stuttering under the onslaught of invisible teeth. It retreats now, too. Further and further away until Sam can no longer hear it. Now there's only the fan.

Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh.

And Lucifer has disappeared, as if banished by the light. The mirror on the wall has fallen – why is there even a mirror in here? – and a million shards litter the floor. Sam is reminded suddenly of the mirrors Dean and him broke when they defeated Bloody Mary. What did his brother say, then? 300 years of bad luck?

Seems about right.

As another pulse of power wracks through his body, Sam reminisces those days. When hunts were simple. When his biggest secret was his premonitions of Jessica's death. When her name was the only one that weighed on his heart.

Tremors start in Sam's hands, then slither up his frame to shatter the rest of him as well. There's a dull ache in his… everywhere. There's an empty feeling in his body, weak, empty.

And he's never been so thirsty.

Not for water, though he doesn't know how he'll ever be able to reach that, either. No his thirst is for blood. Thick, congealing, powerful blood.

Jessica appears on the ceiling. She smiles down at him, waves a burnt hand as drops of blood hit Sam's forehead. Again. Now he knows shit has hit the fan.

Time changes after that.

Millennia in a moment. Seconds like sticky toffee, stretching and thinning until they break.

Sam has lost track of his visitors. Thousands of Deans, interspersed by Lucifers. Mocking, worrying, dying. Bobby relearned how to walk and was paralysed from the neck down in one visit. Castiel spit at his demon-blood. Famine whispered in his ear, dying breath hungry to be heard. Even Jo and Ellen dropped by, faces mutilated but their tongue still intact. They described how it felt to be torn to a million pieces by an explosion. How their every nerve burned and broke and burned again.

Sam thinks he knows the feeling. Through it all, there is always that ache, that emptiness. The pulling of a hundred nerves as he convulses in his bonds. Always the tremors. Always the thirst

And always Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh.

The heartbeat is back, too. Joined by another. Bobby? How did he get down? It's him though, Sam can tell. Them. Dean, Bobby, and something bigger and brighter than life; Castiel.

John and Mary lean over their son, discussing calmly what a failure he is. Sam's mother is smoothing back his hair, her voice a soft whisper. She smiles down at him between her words. John is less tactile, but he's here and that's more than he was most of Sam's life.

"We should probably just have stopped after Dean." Mary says.

"You're right about that. I would never have wanted Dean to carry this burden, he would probably have done better than Sam." John agrees, and shoots Sam a worried look.

"He wouldn't have trusted Ruby, and he entire apocalypse probably wouldn't be happening."

They're right. They're so right. Dean is strong, so strong. Strong enough that he can withstand Famine; a horseman. Good enough that he doesn't have a craving beyond saving the world, saving Sam one step at a time.

"But don't worry." Mary whispers, "We still love you."

John gives a nod in agreement, and Sam feels his heart constrict. They shouldn't. They really shouldn't. Why does everyone have to be so kind? So good? It only makes it worse to see what he's done. What he's done to them.

Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh.

The lock is slides from the door with a thump. Like before. But he won't leave this time. Sam will not leave.

Creeeeaaaaaak.

The door opens quietly, and three people walk in, but Mary Winchester is on the ceiling again and Madison is staring at him with a gun in her hand. He hears them enter though. A swish of wings. The threefold heartbeat.

Babump. Babump. Babump.

Fingers on his hair, voices in his ears. A chair goes flying as he panics and tries to get Madison to drop the gun. Squeaking wheels of a wheelchair. Gruff beards and baseball caps. Trenchcoats and wings. Brothers and plaid.

Calloused hands.

Sound returning. Pleading with him.

"Come on Sammy. Look at me, dude."

"Throat's probably a bit too dry to talk, Dean. Toldya we should a' put the water closer." Squeaking of wheels again. Cool, fresh water on his lips.

It doesn't quench the thirst.

"You're supposed to swallow it, idjit."

"D'you think he's hurting?"

"I cannot heal him. However, I may be able to ease his suffering."

"How?"

"I can make him sleep."

Fingers on his forehead, pain receding. Darkness encroaching, but not bad this time. Peaceful. The talking stops. There's only the sound of the fan.

Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh.

It's a constant in this room.

Not nearly as constant as the other sound though. The sound of Dean, always steady, always there.

Babump. Babump. Babump.

The end