Inspired by Rowena and Sam sharing their fear of Lucifer in Season 13's Various and Sundry Villains. The fact that Sam said it still keeps him up, that he doesn't talk about it and he isn't and hasn't dealt with it, made me want to deal with it for him.

Summary: Tag to 13x12. Sam being a former vessel. Luci can sense that weakness and he exploits it to his advantage. A power up. What else is the devil for? Protective Dean. Hurt/scared Sam.

Warning: Swears...

Sam's eyes snapped open. He heart painfully beating in his chest. The first thing he was aware of in the dark was the cold. His breath misted in front of his face.

Sitting up. Eyes scouring the shadows in the dark room Sam's hunter senses prickled uneasily.

Sam was in his room in the bunker as his eyes adjusted to the darkness and it wasn't unusual for his nightmares to set themselves here.

The cold was though. Dread tightened around him.

His face was so cold it tingled.

Suddenly the door to his room slowly creaked open and Sam felt the temperature plummet.

Standing quickly Sam pulled the gun from under his pillow and swiftly aimed at the opening door.

Light started to flood his room from the hallway and he slowly moved to the light.

The door stopped, half swung open and Sam eased slowly forward, finger on the trigger.

Something ice cold touched the back of Sam's neck and he spun, gun in his hands to aim at...nothing.

Heart in his throat Sam carefully surveyed the room. Nothing was out of place but it all felt, wrong.

When nothing moved in the darkness Sam slowly lowered his weapon, glancing around him.

Eyes pinched, Sam took a step back, towards the open door. His senses pulling at him.

Backing his way out of the room Sam kept his eyes trained to the dark corners of his room.

The loud sudden slam of the door behind him jolted Sam uncomfortably, and he spun, gun in one hand, frantically pulling at the door knob.

He hissed as he pulled his hand back, the cold burning into his palm.

Jaw tight, Sam shoved his back to his blocked exit and held the gun before him again. It wavered in his hands as he controlled his breathing. The anticipation almost painful.

The darkness seemed to close in around him. Sam blinked to adjust his eyes. Making out the familiar shapes out of the shadows of his room.

Fighting his rising panic, Sam took a step forward steadying his aim.

Something was in here with him, he could feel it.

The temperature plummeted and the cold stole Sam's breath, leeching into his clothes. He shivered.

The lamp at his bedside flicked on and Sam squinted at the sudden light.

The bulb hummed as it sucked up power, glowing enough to brighten the whole room.

The overhead light flickered to life above him and Sam quickly cast his eyes up and around.

Sam's hand stung as the gun was suddenly knocked from his grip, it skidded across the floor and under a set of drawers.

Chest heaving Sam pushed his back harder into the door, his muscles bunching, hands curling into fists at his side.

A rustle in the corner snapped Sam's gaze to his desk.

His notebook flipped open and the pages scattered as if there was a strong wind.

Sam slowly made his way over, eyes darting around the room.

The pages stopped, his notebook open to a blank page.

Sam frowned as he got closer, peering over the open book.

Sam's eyes widened as writing scratched itself onto the page.

TURN AROUND.

Breath caught in his throat, Sam spun, adrenaline spiking.

Nothing was there.

His chest heaved.

It was playing with him.

Urging his feet forward Sam rushed back to the door.

Before he even made two steps, Sam felt something slam into his chest and with an 'oof' he was launched backwards. Breath forced from his lungs.

His shoulders caught the chair at his desk and it splintered as it clattered under him.

Head spinning and his chest tight Sam struggled to drag himself up, scooting back to use the wall as he swayed.

Still he couldn't see what was in his room.

The lights flickered around him ominously.

Absently rubbing the sore spot on his chest Sam pushed his back into the wall.

The lamp to his side suddenly whined as the light flared and hissed. The buzz of electricity hummed loud in the too quiet room and Sam tensed, expecting the bulb to blow.

The blow to Sam's cheek forced a cry of surprise out of him as his head snapped back to hit the wall and his vision swam.

Before he could recover Sam felt his shirt bunch as if it was being fisted in invisible hands and he was lifted, feet kicking at the floor as it disappeared beneath him, he was shoved painfully into the brick wall, the pressure crushing.

Searing cold hands made him shudder as they touched the exposed skin on his neck and squeezed.

Gasping Sam desperately grabbed for them as he struggled to draw breath.

His hands hit nothing but cold air.

The wisp of something touching his face jerked Sam's head against the thing pinning him.

Mist so cold it made his teeth ache started to form around him and Sam heard the echo of cruel laughter.

The pressure tightened around his throat as he felt himself being shoved further into the wall.

"Nuh!"

"Oh...Sammy... you make it so hard to take it slow when you make sounds like that."

Panic tightened painfully around Sam's chest.

No! No no...

The wisp of cold air again stroked across Sam's cheek almost lovingly and Sam tried to fight the hands holding him to lean away.

"Missed me?"

Sam grunted.

"I missed you..."

Sam felt cold breath graze his face and he shuddered. The mist before him starting to take shape to something painfully familiar.

"I missed this..."

Sam's head spun as he felt himself being dragged up the wall. The grip on his throat unrelenting.

"You know..." The voice ghosted over Sam's face again and he snapped his eyes shut as he recognized the cruel eyes staring into him from the coalescing form.

"I was just minding my own business, when I felt you today..."

Sam choked as he tried to breathe past the iron grip on his throat. He head beat relentlessly as the pressure increased. He was starting to feel light headed.

"I felt your fear..." Lucifer chuckled as he shuddered against Sam. "And oh..."

Lucifer leaned in close, nose to nose.

"It just gave me this warm fuzzy feeling inside, knowing you still think of me that way..."

Lucifer loosened his grip and allowed Sam to heave in a desperate breath before he tightened his hands again, slamming him back.

"Ngh-"

Sam's feet scuffed the wall as he tried to find purchase.

"That I still had a hold on you..."

Sam's head spun as he suddenly felt weak, closing his eyes against the dizziness.

The elbow that knelt into Sam's ribs forced out the only breath he'd managed to inhale.

"...Ugh..."

Sam pushed at the changing shape and made contact. His eyes widened as he fought to pry Lucifer's hands from his throat, where before it had been mist. Like Lucifer was materializing into the room.

"It made it so much easier to reach out to you..." Lucifer brushed his finger over the mark he'd left on Sam's face.

"Nuh..."

"What do you think, huh?"

Lucifer leaned in close. Cold hands pressing in uncomfortably close.

"Just us, like the good old times..." Lucifer ran a hand through Sam's fair softly, before he suddenly twisted a handful, arching Sam's head to the side.

"Ah!"

Dean's voice boomed from the hallway.

"SAM!"

Sam frowned at the face he knew all too well, his face too readable to his torturer.

"Oh you're not dreaming...this isn't a nightmare..." Lucifer pointed around them, smiling.

Lucifer tightened his grip as Sam gasped. Fighting against his hold with new terror.

"Well...it is...for you..." Lucifer's eyes narrowed.

"N-" Sam choked.

Dean's fists banged on the door.

Sam struggled against the force holding him with new resolve, straining to get his voice out.

"Guh!"

Lucifer tightened against him, angry eyes flicking to the door and back to Sam.

"Always ruining the moment isn't he?"

"D-"

"Ah ah...I haven't finished with you yet..."

The door thundered as Dean beat against the wood shouting for Sam. The door jamb shook and then Sam heard Dean's boot strike the door as it shook in its frame.

"Sammy!"

Lucifer waved his hand and Sam's desk skidded across the room, pushing itself up against his only exit.

"SAMMY!" Dean's voice increased in intensity along with the jolts to the door, shaking the desk as he struck it.

Lucifer bit his lip like a guilty pleasure.

"I just hate sharing..."

Sam grunted as the Devil leaned close.

"What do you say Sammy?" Lucifer's breath ghosted Sam's cheek and he shuddered.

"Show me yours I'll show you mine..." He waggled his eyebrow.

Fear shuddered through Sam. His conversation with Rowena earlier that day painfully bubbled to the surface of Sam's racing mind. He paled. He'd admitted his fear out loud for the first time in...ever and he'd heard him.

"There it is..." Lucifer smiled, breathing in deeply. The Devil's form seem to solidify against Sam as the last of the fog turned to pale flesh.

Sam's hands tugged uselessly at the suddenly too-real hands holding him in place. As if Sam's fear gave the devil more power over him.

"That fear...I like so much."

The desk groaned as it jumped forward, the door starting to shake and splinter as Dean kept up his battering pace.

"Ready for mine?" Lucifer smiled cruel and close as his features started to morph into something twisted and dark.

"Nuh!"Sam cried out. Panic jerking at him like the tugging current of cold water.

The desk jumped as it grated across the floor, half of Sam's door collapsing into his room.

"SAMMY!" Dean's voice echoed around the room as he forced himself in, kicking at the splintered shards of door in his way.

The lights buzzed as they flared brighter, the brightness nearly blinding.

Dean stared in shock as he spotted his brother, held against the wall by a dark twisting shape that seemed to suck in all the light.

Dean could clearly see the fear plastered across his little brothers face and his insides twisted. His brother didn't scare easily.

Quickly raising his gun, finger on the trigger Dean aimed at the thing holding Sam.

The lights above, overloaded with power hissed and burst as the bulbs shattered and the room was plunged into darkness.

Dean saw the shadow release Sam as he fell, hands scraping against the wall as he struggled to find purchase, hitting the floor with a loud thud as sparks rained down over them.

The dark shape swirled into a pale mist as it started to fade out, cold laughter bouncing off the walls.

Dean dove for his brother as he heard Sam gasp in a painful breath.

Fingers fumbled for Sam in the sudden blackout he grabbed at him, dragging him forward.

Sam tensed against him until Dean spoke.

"Hey! Sammy...hey...hey -take it easy. I've got you." Dean rushed, world's tumbling into each other as he tumbled into Sam, wrapping his arms around his little brother.

As Dean half dragged, half pulled at Sam, he could feel the kids catching breath bordering onto panic and the thundering pulse under his touch.

He shuffled them backwards, pulling Sam up with him and out the half broken down door, out into the light of the hallway.

Sam sagged into Dean as his feet staggered under him, his fist so tight in Dean's jacket it nipped at his skin.

Dean didn't even feel it.

Sam's rasping breath was loud and rough to his own ears but he still heard Dean as clear as day as he knelt before him.

"Hey, Sammy?" Dean's gentle hands held him propped up, half against the hallways wall and himself as his fingers brushed Sam's cheek, feathering over the blossoming bruise Sam could still feel stinging there.

He still felt the cold touching at him.

Sam flinched back, turning away. The memories still too fresh to relax into Dean's hand.

"Sammy?" Dean asked, worry lacing his voice.

"S'not..." Sam tried to explain and faltered, unable to catch his breath. He couldn't stop his head rushing with his thoughts. All fear and pain and blood and ...Lucifer.

"Hey!" Dean snapped with big brother authority. All concern and bravado.

"Sammy...take it easy." Dean's hand splayed over his chest to calm him, Sam patted his hand away but didn't let go of Dean's sleeve.

"...air..." Sam gasped, eyes squeezing shut.

Dean didn't need his brother to finish that sentence.

Gritting his teeth against the rage building at what did this to Sam, though Dean had a pretty solid idea, he pulled Sam's arm over his shoulder and wrapped his around Sam's middle, dragging them through the hallway.

The lights in the library had gone haywire above Dean as he'd felt the cold and heard the slam of Sam's door, his cry and then the sounds of a fight.

Running for him Dean had knocked the chair over he'd been half falling asleep on, book splayed open on the floor, coffee spilt over the wooden table to find Sam's door fucking frosted over, then he'd heard the furniture being remodeled and someone talking. And it wasn't Sam judging by the choked noises he could hear in the background.

Dean couldn't see the shadows face as it held Sam, but the feel of the room he'd bust into and the cold that was all wrong. Dean guessed what or who it really was.

Pulling Sam, who really wasn't doing so well, up the stairs Dean reached the bunkers doorway and the metal squealed as he spun the hatch.

Fresh crisp autumn air rushed over them as they made it outside.

Sam's feet scuffed on the concrete as he staggered, veering side wards.

Dean leant with him and lowered Sam to sit against the bunkers outer wall.

The rough concrete scraped Dean's knuckles as he steadied Sam, but he didn't complain.

Sam leant forward, head in his hands as he gasped, his knee's drawn up to his chest.

Dean's hand felt warm and heavy on his shoulder.

"Sammy..." Dean eased.

Sam struggled to level his breathing. Breathing in sharply though his nose he blew it out a few times through his mouth.

Dean counted.

"Hey...take it easy." Dean gently whispered somewhere on the 4th or 5th strained breath.

"Dean...ngh-"

Sam started as he leant his head back, hitting the concrete none too gently. One of his legs straightened as he pressed deeper into the wall, his eyes searching Dean's.

"I get it man." Dean whispered, leaning toward Sam on his haunches. His hand at Sam's shoulder gave a gentle squeeze.

Sam leant into it, tipping his head onto Dean's arm.

Something twisted in Dean at how young and vulnerable Sam looked right now.

He glanced around them, making sure they were truly alone.

The sky was beginning to turn to dusk, all dark greys and blues behind the tree line.

The impala sat to Dean's right, the steel smooth in the shadows.

Sam's foot twitched, and he brought his eyes back to his brother.

Sam's eyes were clenched shut, his chest shuddering.

The concrete under Sam was dark with damp from recent rain, in the corner of the rectangle slab they were sat on, grass grew in clumps and a few scattered leaves lined the other end, just before stone steps that lead them back down into the bunker. Nothing but the wind moved around them. Dean checked.

Sam made a choked sound in the back of his throat.

Dean winced.

"Just focus on the wind Sammy." Dean said as calm as he could muster. "Nothing but us and the wind."

Sam shook under his hand, but he drew in a sharp breath and focused his eyes forward.

The breeze picked up and lifted the hair shaking in front of Sam's eyes, and the leaves skittered past his booted feet.

There was the odd rattle and whisper of branches and leaves in the wind but nothing else.

Sam's breathing started to even out.

There was no cruel laughter, no ice cold grip on his throat, no elbow digging into his already sore chest. No Lucifer. Just Dean.

Sam absently rubbed at his now aching chest.

Of course Dean noticed.

Without a word, Dean was gently moving Sam's hand out of the way, eyes searching Sam's.

The buttons to Sam's shirt easily popped open as Dean pushed at it, pulling down his t shirt collar beneath Dean gasped.

"Jesus Sam..."

Vivid bruises mottled Sam's chest.

Shit. Dean thought, maybe that's why Sam couldn't breathe.

Chastising himself for not sitting Sam down in the infirmary straight away, Dean cupped Sam's face in his hands as he tilted Sam toward him.

Sam's glassy eyes cracked open and shone with fear. Something Dean hadn't seen in a long time. There was a reddening bruise to Sam's cheek and angry red marks around his throat.

Dean swallowed.

"S'Lucifer..." Sam shivered at the name.

Well, that confirmed Dean's suspicion. He grit his teeth.

"What did that asshole want with you?" Dean asked, masked fury with fear.

Sam grimaced, but it wasn't from the pain.

"...uh..."

Then Sam scoffed, shaking his head with a sad smile.

"S'my fault..."

Dean shook his head back at Sam, eyes hard.

"Nothing that he did was ever your fault."

Sam shook his head again. Eyes pained with, wait was that guilt?

"No. He-" Sam rushed. "He said he felt me today..."

Sam shifted uncomfortably.

"...felt my...fear..."

Dean's mouth opened but he didn't speak.

"It's- "

Sam coughed to clear his throat.

"Why I gave Rowena the page..." Sam's voice softened, but a little louder.

"She's..."

Dean didn't move. Just kept a careful eye over Sam.

"She knows...what...what he really looks like." Sam's voice broke. "His true face...and how he...he-"

His eyes shone suspiciously wet.

"She just wanted... to not be powerless."

Dean read the unspoken words painfully aloud in his head. Sam's face confirmed it.

Like me

"Hey..." Dean softened. "Hey..."

Dean licked his lips, softened his tone even more.

"You're not powerless."

He squeezed the back of Sam's neck. "And you're not alone."

"He said he could...reach out to me somehow easily because...because he felt me-"

Sam frowned.

"It's like he wasn't really here..."

"The trashed room and the marks he left are real. Not to mention you pinned halfway up the wall."

Dean's voice was hard but it was all protection.

"No..." Sam swallowed. "He started out like...like a mist. If he wanted to- to just...just get me, he could." Whenever he wanted...

Dean didn't miss Sam's flinch at his own words.

"It was like he was...getting more corporeal the more I was afraid. Like my fear fed him somehow..."

"That why he looked like a fucked up shadow when I showed?"

Sam didn't speak.

"That's what he wanted." Sam sad quietly.

"What?" Dean asked, unease tugging at him.

"Show me his true face, again. Remind me... that I'm still afraid of him."

Dean didn't waste a moment. He'd had enough of seeing that look on Sam's face. That fear. And big brothers took care of shit like that.

"So what?" He shrugged. "I'm still afraid of some of the things I know are out there in the dark. But you and me, we still fight 'em, you still give them hell."

Dean smiled at his little brother, holding him close. All bravado big brother.

"Doesn't mean you're not brave, it means more. You fight it anyway, you always have. Evil sons' a bitches. We give 'em hell."

Sam searched Dean's face like a lifeline.

"That's how we win. Cos we never give up. No matter what they throw at us..."

Dean was nodding, his own eyes shining.

It took a moment, but Sam's face relaxed, he closed his eyes as he nodded weakly.

Okay then.

"So...Rowena wanted that page for more power...what- for protection?"

Sam nodded.

"Do you think it's enough?"

Sam shrugged.

"Maybe." He sounded hopeful. "Maybe not..."

Dean pursed his lips.

"Okay, so... " Dean hesitated a moment. "You took a hit for her, right? She knew I didn't want her getting that page. But you gave it to her anyway?"

Sam started to look worried. Like maybe Dean was still pissed about that.

"So," Dean smiled. "A now super powerful witch owes you."

And that's how big brother Dean took that awful look of fear from his little brothers face.

"Why don't we ring in a favor with redhead and see what we can do about a little extra protection of our own."

And if he came at them again, well, they'd fight him, like they always did. And Dean would be Sam's protection, just like he always has been.

The End

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