Word count: 885
Summary: Set mid-season 7. Sam resorts to more extreme measures to try and keep from seeing Lucifer everywhere he goes, and Dean's the one who finds him afterwards.
A/N: Fills the "electrocution" square on my hc_bingo card. Maybe a bit more with the hurt than the comfort.
Dean was halfway down the mile-long driveway from their latest squat when he hit a pothole and grimaced. Not because of the jolt to the car—he didn't care about the piece of crap he was driving except to make sure that it functioned—but because the familiar press of his cellphone in his front pocket was missing. It had taken so many tries to jerry-rig the electricity that the phone had been out of juice by the time the lights flickered to life.
Cursing under his breath, he did a three-point turn into the long grass next to the road and reversed course. Sam would probably be all grouchy at seeing him again so soon: he'd practically shoved Dean out the door earlier to get dinner, claiming he was starving. Years ago and miles away, Dean would have teased his little brother about wanting some "alone time," but right now he was pretty sure that being "alone" was the last thing Sam was going to get.
He cursed again when he rounded the last curve and saw that the rundown house had gone dark. "Damn it," Dean grumbled, putting the car in park. There was maybe half an hour of sunlight left, and then they'd be breaking out the flashlights to fix the electricity with.
"Sam, what'd you do?" he hollered as he shut the car door and headed for the house. He pushed open the front door that wouldn't close properly and froze in his tracks.
In the middle of what had been a living room, mouse-chewed sofa and dust-covered table pushed against the far wall, Sam was sprawled on the ground, limbs faintly twitching.
In an instant, Dean was kneeling at his side. Damn it, he must have had a seizure as soon as Dean left the building. It had been a while, but they still came on without warning. "Sam, you in there?" he asked, reaching for his arm.
Sam's arm twitched more violently, and then something shiny fell from his hand and he went still. Dean's heart sank when he saw it was the stripped end of the wires they'd been using to get the electricity going. The power must have cut out and Sam got zapped with too much current when he tried to fix it.
This time, Dean checked to make sure Sam wasn't touching anything else before grabbing his arm to shake him out of it. "Hey, Sam, c'mon. You with me?"
It was a long minute before Sam's eyes blinked open. He slowly focused on Dean, then frowned in confusion. "Dean, what—?" He looked around the room like he expected to see someone else there, then dropped his head back against the musty carpet.
"Shoulda waited for me to get back before trying to fix the power," Dean chided. "You could have fried yourself pretty good."
"Power was fine," Sam muttered. He raised the hand that hadn't been touching the wire to his forehead, pressing against his temples. "Sorry."
"What do you mean, the power was fine?" Dean sat back on his heels. "Then what were you doing?"
Sam grimaced. "Never mind. Help me up."
"No, I think I will mind. What the hell were you doing, Sam?"
Sam covered his eyes with his hand, like he was a reverse ostrich or something. "Some hallucinations are the product of neurons in the brain misfiring, tricking the brain into thinking it's seeing something when the eye hasn't actually registered anything. They're electrical impulses gone haywire."
Dean was about to thank Sam for the science lesson and ask him what the hell the relevance of it was when it clicked. "You gotta be kidding me," he growled.
Sam shook his head wearily. "It was worth a shot."
"You were trying to fuckin' fry Lucifer out of your brain?" Dean demanded.
"'Try' being the operative word," Sam grumbled as he slowly sat up, batting away Dean's hands when he tried to help, despite his earlier request.
"Sam, what were you thinking?"
The glare Dean got in response could have leveled a city block. "I was thinking that I'm getting pretty damn tired of seeing things I know aren't there. And I know he's not really there, all right? That doesn't mean he's gone away." Sam pressed his thumb into his palm, now lined with angry red marks from where the bare wires had been, and said more quietly, "I just want him to go away."
"Damn it, Sam." There was no heat in Dean's voice, only weariness for them both. He reached out and cupped the back of his brother's neck. "I hear you, all right? But next time you want to do something stupid like this, make sure someone's watching your back."
"I want to do this on my own, Dean. I want—"to fix myself was the unspoken conclusion, even if Sam didn't say it out loud as his eyes cut away from Dean's.
"Doesn't mean you have to do it alone," Dean said with another squeeze of Sam's neck.
Sam didn't say anything, but he nodded and closed his eyes, bowing his head and letting Dean rest his hand on the nape of his neck like it was the only thing grounding him to the world.
Dean was terrified to think that maybe it was.