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Two days later, Sam was back in the bunker taking pain medication and chasing it with a fifth of Jack. He didn’t need to fall asleep while he was searching for Dean. Wincing when he moved, Sam glared at his right arm as through that would stop the pain.

Normally he would shift into his wolf to heal faster, but because the injury was to one of his limbs, it was difficult to maintain his balance so if he shifted to heal, then he would have to be prone and it would take away research time.

He wanted to shift just to run, but with his injured arm he couldn’t and that only served to make Sam more frustrated. Dean had to be found soon, or Sam was going to go crazy from the need to be near his brother and the need to shift and run.

Had he not been trying to find Dean, Sam would have shifted and stayed in his wolf form for three or four days to heal his broken arm, but he didn’t know if Dean was in trouble so he’d just have to work through the pain, on his own.

Castiel meant well, but he wasn’t Dean, so he put Dean’s angel on the back burner until he needed his help. Of course, without his angel mojo, Sam’s not sure what kind of help a literal broken angel could provide.

Besides, it was uncomfortable having the angel around. An Omega, a natural submissive who would do anything for Dean. At one time Sam thought that the angel was going to fall for Dean, but had he lost his angelic powers then he would have been no use to his brother.

Like now.

Right now, all Castiel was to Sam was a nuisance, the whining about how Sam’s injury wasn’t his fault and asking had he found a lead on Dean yet was wearing thin. Sam told himself that his irritation didn’t have anything to do with the jealousy he felt towards the angel.

After the days turned in to weeks, Sam was ready to hurt someone or something, and he’d been taking out his anger on three lower level demons he’d managed to trap. He didn’t get an answer, but torturing them made Sam feel a little better.

It had been three days since he last had a crappy lead on Dean, but it fell through, and now Sam was sitting in dive the owner tried to pass off as a bar to drown his sorrows. Perhaps it was fate, kismet or some other shit Sam used to believe in when he overheard the man sitting on the stool next to him.

He hadn’t been paying attention to the conversation; he just wanted the man to shut up so that he could wallow in his sorrows. He was about to tell the man that but then he heard, “I’d sell my soul to get even with that bitch.”

Once he heard those words, Sam tossed back the last of his drink before ordering two more, one for him and one for his new friend, Lester Morris.

It hadn’t been Sam’s intention to involve a civilian in his hunt for Dean, but once he heard Lester, the idea just popped into his head, use Lester to summon a demon to sell his soul. He’d get the idiot out of the way before he could seal the deal and Sam would have a Crossroads demon trapped.

He’d get the stupid man out of the area, and it would give him something to tell his friends around the water cooler. If those friends didn’t think he was deranged already, a story about selling his soul to the devil would do the trick.

Lester was easy to manipulate, free drinks on a stolen credit card and the man was as malleable as clay. Four drinks later, and different variations stories about how his wife was a cheating slut, Sam had Lester on the outskirts of town sitting in his car while Sam drew a devils trap.

After completing the trap, the hunter filled a tin with Yarrow that was growing nearby, the bones of a black cat and a vial of graveyard dirt. Because Dean had the Impala, Sam had a hell of a time trying to find those bones, but Castiel came through with a contact.

Before calling the demon, Sam made sure he had all he'd need once the demon was trapped. He had Ruby’s demon killing knife, handcuff and a cup to catch the blood. After his time addicted to demon blood, Sam felt nervous about this, but demons could use blood to contact one another so he’d have to get over his uneasiness.

Summoning Lester from the car, Sam had the man to add his driver's license to the tin before burying it in the middle of the Crossroads. Sam gave him a printout of the summoning spell, and he read it surprisingly well.

Once he was sure that Lester wasn’t going to fuck this up, Sam ran and hid behind a tree to wait to pounce on the demon when it arrived. But he fucked it up anyway. Sam hadn’t counted on the drunk man could move with such speed, and before he could stop the kiss which sealed the deal, Lester fucking Morris was kissing the Crossroads demon and signing away his soul.

Fuck it all to hell; Sam had been played by a douche civilian who’d sold his soul to stop his cheating wife from getting his money. Angry and frustrated, Sam bound the demon with handcuffs with devil’s traps engraved on them, because of course, she didn’t appear where he’d taken the time to draw one.

Because of her meat suit, Lester felt sorry for the demon and tried to stop Sam from binding her. It was hard enough wrestling a demon with one good arm, but add in a douche who’d turned into a white knight, Sam was done.

The handcuffs assured Sam that the demon wasn’t going anywhere, but with Lester fighting him, he could help free her and then Sam would be in trouble.

With his good hand, Sam pulled his gun from his waistband and pointed it at Lester, “Leave now, or they’ll get your soul ahead of schedule.”

“Come on man,” Lester pleaded, “You don’t want to hurt her, she's a tiny thing.”

“What do you care?” Sam huffed, “You just made a deal with her to kill your wife so don’t go all chick flick now. You have five seconds to leave.”

Looking down the barrel of a gun and hearing Sam cock it apparently made the decision easy, because soon Lester was in his car and barreling back towards town.

“I never thought I’d get you alone,” Sam snarked when he turned back to the demon and pointed Ruby’s knife under her throat.

"Wow, Sam don’t be such a tease,” She said in a voice dripping with sarcasm, “If there’s going to be blood involved we need to be on a first name basis. I’m Dar. I would shake your hand, but I’m a little tied up at the moment.”

“Don’t waste my time being cute, or I’ll send you back to hell on a one-way trip,” Sam threatened as he pressed the knife into the soft flesh of the demon's neck.

“I heard the rumors. I said 'no, that can't be. A Winchester, one of us?' But it's true, isn't it? Whatever soul you had; whatever boy scout code you cuddled up to at night; it's all gone. Leaving what? Look at you! It’s all kinds of sexy.”

She was toying with him, and Sam was already frustrated because he couldn't find his brother because of her boss Crowley, so he asked, “Where is Crowley?”

“Eat me,” She sneered.

Having been in this position before, he hadn’t expected an answer, but for once it would have been nice. So he slid the knife down Dar’s body and stopped at her stomach. He could tell that she thought he was going to stop, but he smirked before plunging the knife into her body. Perhaps he shouldn’t, but he enjoyed the grunt of pain from her as he twisted the knife.

“One more time, where is Crowley?” Sam demanded as he twisted the blade and the sound of her moaning in pain satisfied something primal in him because now someone else was hurting as well. Twisting the knife again, Sam asked: “Where's my brother?”

“I don't know,” Dar screamed with each turn of the knife, all traces of humor gone.

Pulling the knife from her gut and sliced her throat, and collected the blood in the cup, Sam told her, “Then you're going to call somebody who does!”

“No one knows where he is” She tried, “and even if they do they won't answer!”

“Make the call!” He demanded again holding his patience trying not kill the black-eyed bitch.

“We're under orders,” She pleaded him to understand, but Sam was not going to give in to fucking Mother Theresa, let alone a demon.

“Make the call,” he demanded again once again plunging the knife in her gut.

“Please,” she begged crying now.

Seeing a demon crying was not something Sam was used to, but he was not going to be taken in by her guile, he still needed to find Dean. Knowing she was going to make the call, Sam dropped the cup and screamed, “Where's my fucking mate!”

Her only response was a broken sob, and Sam knew that she was not going to give him what he needed, he plunged the knife into her heart and killed her.

After the clusterfuck with Lester, Sam knew that he was not in the right mindset to take on another case without getting himself or someone else killed.

He took a couple of days to himself and even though he couldn’t run he shifted because his wolf demanded to be freed. It wasn’t enough to heal his arm, but it made it feel a lot better. Once his mind was back on track, he began to search for leads to find Dean.

A name popped out at him, Drew Nealy. The man had gone missing from a cult three years ago after killing his wife and children; now he was dead at a convenience store in Portage, Wisconsin. What happened there and why did the man show up all of a sudden.

He wasn't sure if he had anything to do with Dean but he needed another opinion, and Castiel was all he had right now. He called the angel and noted that he sounded tired.

“I think I might have found something Cas, but I’m not sure what it means or what it has to do with Dean.”

“Oh good, good,” Castiel said before he began coughing.

Sam wondered did he have a cold, but angels don’t get sick, right? “Cas? You there?”

“Yeah,” the angel answered before breaking into another coughing fit and Sam wasn’t sure he this was a good idea. Sam had called to get Castiel’s opinion because he still might need him for back up, but right now he wasn’t so sure if the angel would be helpful or a liability.

He tried to explain his findings but had to stop several times because of Castiel’s coughing.

“This man has been missing for three years, I know it's a long shot but if this guy was possessed...”

“That would make him the first…” Castiel had begun before coughs racked his body again.

Sam was about to admit that it was the first lead they’d had, but coughing once again interrupted him. There was no way Castiel was in any shape to help him. He’d be more of a hindrance than he’d been on their last outing and look how that turned out.

“You know what? I think I jumped the gun here, let me do some more research before we make a move.”

“No, Sam, you said it was something,” Castiel said, and when Sam didn’t answer, Castiel pleaded, “I can help. I know we tried before, but she was just a kid Sam.”

“What happened, happened, and you need to be worrying about yourself. I really shouldn't have bothered you.”

He needed to end this call because he didn’t want to get emotional with Dean’s angel, Dean’s omega, but he could feel himself softening towards the man. Despite what Sam felt towards him, Castiel cared for Dean almost as much as Sam did.

What the fuck was happening to him that he felt sorry for his competition for Dean? He tried to end the call when Castiel reminded him why he didn’t like the angel. “I miss him,” Castiel whispered, “so why would he just disappear?”

He didn’t need to hear the heart break in the angel’s voice reminding him of the relationship between Dean and Castiel. He had his brother in a way Sam never would, and he didn’t need to be knocked over the head with it.

“Who said he had a choice?” Sam bit out, his anger returning.

“Well then, who wrote the note?” Castiel reminded him, “If there's any chance- any chance at all that Dean is still...”

“Still... even remotely Dean?” Sam finished.

He didn’t want to concentrate on what Dean might be, he just wanted him back and the rest he’d deal with later. Before giving Castiel a chance to respond, Sam ended the call and walked over to the bar to find something strong enough to get him through the night.

Chapter 4
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April 2017


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