Summary: Post-Lucifer Rising, pre-Sympathy for the Devil. AU; Sam's in pain after breaking the final seal; Dean and Castiel help.
Notes/Acknowledgments: Betad by waterofthemoon and slytherinblack. Written for Remix Redux 8: Magic Eight Ball, a remix of Rough and undistinguished on my bones by rivkat.
Sam's entire existence aches.
His head pounds like he's just had the mother of all fucking visions. His stomach won't stop churning, trying to dispel the blood and water and Gatorade in it, and his body feels like it's made of lead. He doesn't think he could move if he tried, which makes it even more awesome and convenient that Dean propped him over the thankfully clean toilet before he ran away to take care of Castiel.
Not that Sam's bitter. Because he isn't, really. Castiel apparently got really tired when he popped them out of the church, and Sam's only vomiting up blood, so clearly Castiel is the one who needs more attention. Of course, most of the blood Sam's throwing up came out of other people's bodies first, so maybe Dean's got the right idea, leaving Sam to go scritch his pet angel's ears or whatever the fuck he's doing.
Sam honestly doesn't have a single clue why Castiel yanked him out of there. Dean, yeah, that one's pretty obvious; he's the new Jesus or whatever. Sam's... fuck, Sam's worse than Judas. Not only did he betray his brother, he betrayed Dad's memory and, fuck, let the devil out of his fucking cage. He ended the world. And why? Because he was so fucking pissed off and angry that he couldn't bother to take a step back and think about anything. He trusted a demon, for G—
He wanted to kill Lilith, rip her limb from limb with absolutely no regard for whomever she was wearing. Hell, he wasn't actually expecting her to be in a grown body. He had been fully expecting to have to kill a little kid just to send that demon skank back to the Pit. And why? For revenge on Dean? Dean, who was alive again, and whom Sam ignored and fought with? Dean who probably rightfully hates him?
Sam ended the world. Doomed mankind for all of eternity—however much longer eternity is actually gonna last.
He can feel the tears stinging at the back of his eyes. He doesn't blame Dean for leaving him in here to go take care of Castiel. He doesn't blame Castiel, either. They both warned him; they told him over and over, and he just wouldn't listen, and now look at what happened. Sam gags again, a sharp scrape of pain in his throat telling him that there isn't anything left to throw up, that the only thing left in his stomach is acid and a bad feeling.
His arm isn't muffling the sobs like he wants it to. He can tell because he can hear the shuffling outside of the door, but he can't tell who it is. Castiel moves like a freight train, like a kid who doesn't realize how loud he's stomping around. Dean doesn't drag his feet; he's got this John Wayne swagger he picked up from Dad that he's never managed to give up, save for a few weeks in Richmond after he dislocated his left hip going off the roof of a two-story house. Sam still isn't entirely sure how Dean managed to do that.
The shuffling becomes apparent as the door is pushed open until it bounces off Sam's hip. It pushes again with more force, and Sam moves, clutching the toilet to help keep his balance. Dean and Castiel are both there; Castiel has an arm looped around one of Dean's shoulders, and Dean's got an arm wrapped around Castiel's waist. Even with that, they're lopsided as hell. Dean's bent almost completely in half, and Castiel seems to be resting all of his weight on the arm Dean's supporting. Sam remembers doing the same thing when he was little, clinging to Dad or Dean's neck, his hands locked around his wrists as he would just dangle there.
Dean bends down further and, after some shuffling, deposits Castiel on the ground next to Sam. Sam leans back because, really, there's only one reason to be there, and Sam would not like angel puke on him on top of the rest of his day.
But instead of stealing Sam's position over the toilet, Castiel leans forward towards Sam, hand outstretched. Two fingers touch his forehead, the rest coming dangerously close to stabbing him in the eyes with nails that look like they haven't been cut since, oh, about the last time Jimmy had control.
"Cas?" Sam manages to croak out. His voice sounds completely wrecked, and it hurts to talk.
Castiel makes a face—well, if he was a person, a human, it would probably just be considered squinting, but for him, it's the equivalent of a full-on pissed off scowl—and pushes with his fingers, nudging Sam's head back enough that his entire body makes a valiant effort to follow it.
"Dude, Cas, if you yank out an eyeball, this day is going to get so much worse for everyone," Dean tells him.
"My powers aren't working," Castiel says. He looks his version of confused, like he doesn't understand what's happening. "You are still sick."
"It's called withdrawals, Cas," Sam says. "It happens when you do bad things. I'm pretty sure God doesn't want you to help the guy who ended the world feel better."
"God forgives you for anything, so long as you have pure intentions in your heart."
Sam scoffs because he doesn't believe that for a second. Castiel and Uriel hated him on sight, and he wishes he had money for every time an angel looked at him with that sickening, stomach-churning contempt. He's snapped out of his wallowing and self-pity by Castiel's hand slipping down, cupping his cheek like Dean hasn't done since almost right after he came back.
Dean breaks the moment. "Touching as this is—and really, it makes my heart swell three sizes—this bathroom is not big enough for all of us."
Sam pulls back from Castiel's touch, guilt rolling around in his head. It isn't exactly unexpected, Sam figured he finally managed to cross that line between unconditional love and unforgivable betrayal, but it still hurts. Sam feels himself yanked forward again, head snapping back at the suddenness of it. Castiel has a fist wrapped around the front of Sam's shirt and he seems to be pulling at it, tugging it upwards while Dean tries to haul Castiel back into a standing position without taking a header into the floor.
"Cas, knock it off," Dean tells him, trying to bat Castiel's hand away from Sam. "He doesn't need Touched By An Angel: The Chris Hansen Edition right now."
Castiel, for his part, doesn't let go, but he does huff out what almost sounds like it could be a frustrated sigh if it were anyone human. "I don't understand what you're saying."
Sam shoots Dean a worried look, because that was definitely a very annoyed voice and Sam was not aware that angels could get annoyed. Dean shrugs back, at Sam, clearly at a loss himself. "I'm saying you need to let Sam go before you rip his shirt or his head pops off."
Castiel does, and Sam drops back down. He's not sure if it's the leftover blood or the vomiting or something else new and different that made him not notice he was hauled up on his knees, but he sure as hell notices the sudden drop.
Sam would like to say that he doesn't get planted on his ass before tipping over like a particularly wobbly toddler, but he would be lying. He doesn't hit his head and he falls away from the toilet, and those are basically his only saving graces.
"Oh, for fuck's sake," Dean complains. "Really? Both of you heavy-ass bastards have to lose all ability to function at the same time?"
Sam's propping himself back up, slowly, but surely, and from a half-sideways angle he sees Dean propping Cas against the sink outside of the bathroom like a pair of crutches. "Stay here," Dean tells him. "Don't move, okay?"
Castiel just stares unblinkingly—which is even freakier at a forty-five degree angle—and Dean just stares back a second before nodding awkwardly and then turning back towards Sam.
"Come on, Sam," Dean grunts, and then there are hands and grabbing and a lot of swooping and then Sam's flopping down on the bed and the nausea is back again and all he wants is to be back in the bathroom so he doesn't ruin the bed if manages to bring something up with a dry-heave.
The bed shakes again and Sam is positive he's gonna be sick but then it stops and Dean's there. Sam doesn't know exactly what he looks like, but he knows it's pretty bad, and he must look downright pathetic because Dean doesn't mock him at all, he just pulls Sam closer, away from the edge of the bed.
"Can I move yet?" Castiel asks from outside Sam's line of view. He still sounds annoyed and it's still fucking freaky as hell, but it's easier to focus on that then anything else.
Dean groans that half-disgusted groan Dean usually reserves for Sam when he does something Dean finds particularly disgusting like put on Nirvana. "Yeah, Cas, you can move. Do whatever the hell you want," he tells him.
The bed shakes again and before Sam can respond there's a warm body pressed against his back. Castiel throws an arm over Sam's side, his hand pressed to the middle of Sam's chest, mirroring the hand Dean has between Sam's shoulder blades. Sam knows Castiel is just mimicking Dean; that he doesn't really know what he's doing, but it still feels good. It feels better than it should considering that he doesn't deserve even a half-assed attempt at comfort like this.
Sam wants to say something, wants to apologize or beg forgiveness, but how exactly do you say, "I'm sorry I didn't trust you and ended the world?" His lungs burn and his eyes sting but he's not crying, he isn't because that would be too pathetic even for him and, besides, there's nothing for him to cry about because he brought this all on himself and it's his fault.
Dean leans forward and presses a kiss to the bridge of Sam's nose, one to the middle, one to the tip. Sam can't take it anymore, he can't. He knows he's not just crying; he's sobbing and he can't breathe and Dean hauls him in, pulling Sam close, wrapping his arms around him and tucking Sam's face into his neck, just like when they were little and Dean used to be able to make everything better just like that.
"Sh, sh. Come on, Sammy, come on," Dean coaxes. "We're here. We got you. It's okay. We got you."
With the help of Dean and Castiel the sobs die down eventually, and while nothing's really changed Sam can't help but feel that maybe with them, it'll be okay. Maybe Sam might not have God on his side, but he's got a stubborn-ass older brother and a pissy angel, and that's a hell of a lot more than most people get.