I am a DeanGal but am totally fascinated with the idea of DarkSam simply because I just can't believe he could go bad; he seems so fundamentally good and incorruptible. Will it happen with a bang or a whimper? Anyway, all of that pondering collided with an awful bout of insomnia last night and this is the result. I think of it as 'crack-to-black' and I guess it could sorta be a prequel for Hunter, hunted though you don't have to have read that to read this one. But I hope that if you haven't you will! I should warn you: this is colder than a well digger's ass in the Klondike in a downwind.

Oops, forgot the disclaimer! The usual: don't own them, wish I did.

xxx

Every now and then he flashes back to that awful moment in the motel room when Dean had that ghost sickness: him desperately trying to talk down his ashen, hyperventilating brother from a panic attack like he'd never seen before, and all the while Dean staring at him with this stricken look. Fearterrorhorror, it had been, if he was honest. And even in the few seconds after Dean touched down he'd looked at Sam with this glazed, fixed expression, this thousand-yard-stare that was still fearterrorhorror but laced with something else. Suspicion, he later realized. Distrust.

With hindsight, he reckons that it really all started when he began drifting off during these long, boring debates about seals, endgames, and fucking apocalypses (does that have a plural, he wonders, idly, like "apocalypsi"?), when he kept getting the urge to interrupt Dean and Bobby by saying, "Apocalypse? Now?!"

Mistake number two: pet names for the angels. OK so he had been somewhat awed to meet their new feathered friends, yes indeedy. But you know what? Not as powerful as he'd thought. I mean, fucksake, Cas folded like a cheap suit practically the second Dean's hellbuddy Alastor raised his voice. So while the first set of nicknames were somewhat in awe of the divinity and sheer celestial choir-ness of it all (Butch and Sundance! Starsky and Hutch!) it hadn't taken too long before he was thinking more along the lines of Cagney and Lacey, before descending to the absolute pit of disrespect. Things like Abbott and Costello and Laurel and Hardy… skinny-guy-fat-guy combos.

But the catalyst was The Yawn.

xxx

Cas is droning on and on again, and the A/C is broken so the motel room is as hot as the Pit (in fact he said that to Dean when his brother woke up and the white-faced pain was worth the price of admission).

And he hasn't been sleeping too well because his pathetic loser of a brother can't handle a few fucking nightmares and wakes him up on the hour every hour from 2am onwards. Have another fucking shot already, Dean, he thinks with boring regularity in the wee small hours of every single morning, and he has taken to helpfully leaving Dean's daily bottle of Jack open and ready on the nightstand within reach. You know, because he cares and all that.

Anyway so he yawns right in the middle of Cas's long-drawn out explanation of Why God's Plan Means It Has To Be This Way, and Cas stops and says, "Am I keeping you up, Sam?"

Actually, he likes Cas. Finds Cas fascinating. No, scratch that, he finds Cas's fascination with Dean fascinating. Cas is all the time studying Dean, and he's learning from Dean, even has Dean's sarcasm down pat by now… hence, am I keeping you up, Sam. But something about that fascination puts Sam in mind of mad scientist with a bug in restraints under a microscope, studying that bug to see just how all its moving parts fit together and work, before taking a great big pin and impaling it, wriggling legs and all, in a little wooden box with a glass lid for storage in the insect collection equivalent of that warehouse at the end of Raiders.

So, not a good fascination. And it Goddamn. Pisses. Him. Off. that Dean looks to Cas just like he used to look to Sam. Sam is officially surplus to requirements and has been since Uriel threatened to turn him to dust. He knows damn well he's only there because they keep their friends close but their enemies closer. Because they want him inside the tent pissing out, not the other way round.

But: "Sorry Cas. Rough night," he says, to keep the peace. And Dean throws him the evil eye because he should know by now that only Dean gets to call the holy tax accountant Cas.

"It's Castiel."

"So you keep saying, Cas." Home run: evil eye with flared nostrils. It always cheers him up, no matter what.

"Drone, drone, drone," says Cas, or something like that, with a bit of pontification thrown in for good measure.

Sam's getting pretty sick of not being free agents any more, of not just getting in the Impala and heading off in whatever direction she happens to point, to fight Generic Bad Things. All this Heavenly Good vs. Satanic Evil crap is getting tedious. Just sitting about and waiting for the latest angelic instructions. He gets this ridiculous image in his head ofCharlie's Angels crossed with Mission Impossible, with this voice coming out of some sort of divine speakerphone telling them their mission if they should choose to accept it, and then sees it in his head: him, Dean and Bobby standing there just like Kate, Farrah and Jaclyn in that seventies publicity shot, with their hands pressed together in prayer.

They're not in control any more – they're like chess pieces being moved about. He suddenly thinks of War of the Worlds(of course when he tells Dean this he'll have to namecheck the movie because let's not forget Deano is a dumb fuck who flunked school, and then some, so he won't have heard of the book) and Uriel burbling away in his best Movie Trailer voice, like that Movie Trailer Guy who died a few months ago: "No one would have believed, in the last years of the nineteenth century, that human affairs were being watched from the timeless worlds of space. No one could have dreamed that we were being scrutinized as someone with a microscope studies creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water…"

And he just can't help but snigger.

Big mistake, because let's face it Uri has just been waiting to pounce.

"Blah, drone, stentorian tones, disapproval, disgust, pompous prickery," says Uri. Or something like that.

And suddenly he hears his own voice, his best Movie Trailer Guy voice, inside his head, saying, "No one would have believed, in the first years of the twenty-first century, that human affairs would be sent to Hell in a handbasket when SAM. DECIDED. ENOUGH. WAS. ENOUGH.

And Sam Having Enough goes something like this…

"So you keep saying, Uri. Christ, you never get tired of the sound of your own voice do you?" (And TOUCHDOWN... evil eye with flared nostrils and frantic eyebrows, yadda, yadda, been there done that.)

Naturally Uri strides towards him, simultaneously launching into a stream of his very best Chuck Heston as Moses the Lawgiver, with words like "screed" and "beget" and his personal favorite, "smite", thrown into the mix. And Dean comes too (hmmmm, to protect or serve?), and Cas.

Quite the Triple Threat, they are. Or not. Because, you know, Cas isn't the only one who's been studying.

And Sam stands up and he doesn't even break a sweat as he just nudges them back. Well OK, perhaps he has to work on the whole demonic mind laser nudge thing because Dean hits the wall pretty heavily before sliding down it into a heap. Of course, the angels have their wings to lessen the impact.

"Look, no hands!" Sam warbles, all gleeful. Heck, if there was a couch handy, he'd be having a Tom Cruise Moment.

He's not really in the mood to go a round with Uri so he does that whole Castiel Magic Finger trick, on the forehead: "Smite this, you sanctimonious sack of shit." And poof, he's gone, just like that.

Give him his due: Cas does try.

"Sam, you must not do this… much is at stake and—"

"And you can fuck right off," says Sam, with a flourish, and Cas does.

Dean is cowering in the corner of the motel room, ashen, hyperventilating, having a panic attack like he's never seen before. Well, OK, he has. All the while staring at him with this stricken look, the whole nine yards this time: fearterrorhorrorsuspiciondistrust.

"What did you do?" Dean bleats between pants.

"I sent them far, far away, Dean," Sam says.

"Your eyes…"

"There's nothing wrong with my eyes, dude. In fact I'm seeing things clearer now than ever: 20-20 vision."

He reaches down to give his brother a hand up and Dean flinches.

"Whatever, dude, have it your own way," Sam says. It's, well, boring, to be honest, all the neediness. Where is the serial killer he once knew and loved?

He squats down, and he's going to be all reassuring, and gentle, and soothing, he really is, because he remembers that Dean endured four decades of torture in the Pit. And then he thinks, well no, actually it was just thirty years wasn't it, because for the last ten Deano was having at it himself. And so what comes out goes something like, "OK, I smote, so sue me. But don't be so self-righteous, you pathetic loser," and he spits for effect. "I spent four months saving people. You Lost. Count. Of. Souls. You fucking monster."

And the punchline? "You know, Dean, if I didn't know you – I would want to hunt you."

And ding: proceed to go and collect $200, and here's your get out of jail free card and your keys to the kingdom, because Deano crumples even further in on himself. Even smaller and even more pathetic.

Anyway there's a Dairy Queen the other side of the highway so Sam decides he'll just amble over for coffee. Heck if he'd had his morning cup before Cas and Uri had shown up this might never have happened, after all. He leans down right next to Dean and says, in his best Terminator, "I'll be back."

xxx

He's only gone for ten minutes or so and kicks open the door, feeling ridiculously positive – shining, in fact. "Here's Sammy!"

But there's no sign of Dean, even though the Impala is still parked up outside the room. So he packs up his duffel, settles the bill and makes his way back to the car. It's raining pretty hard, and he turns up his collar. He's trudging on the outside but boy, on the inside he's doing a Kids-from-Fame pirouetting up Broadway, or maybe doing a Gene Kelly tap-dancing through the puddles, or maybe doing a Darth Vader striding along the bridge of an Imperial Star Destroyer, or maybe doing a Ripley taking down that queen alien bitch. He's a cowboy – and fuck if he doesn't have the night on his side.

It's time to embrace his differences.

He roots in the glovebox, ceremoniously reinstates the ipod jack.

He heads off – yup, in the direction his baby is pointing.

xxx

Thanks for reading...