Title: Affliction of the Soul
Category: Character Study, Ficlet, Episode Tag
Spoilers: Bedtime Stories, Mystery Spot, No Rest for the Wicked
Summary: Even at the end, Sam is haunted by the Crossroad Demon's words.
Word Count: 412
Disclaimer: Supernatural and its characters are the property of Eric Kripke and co. All other characters, the story idea and the story itself are the sole property of the author. This is for entertainment purposes only; no financial profit has been gained from this story. This story is not mean to infringe upon the rights of the above-mentioned establishments.
No more desperate, sloppy, needy Dean. You can finally be free.
Those words had haunted Sam for months. At first, he had been angry. He had sped back to the hotel, flying at speeds that would have even made Dean nervous. He had wanted nothing more than to burn away the sting and bite of her voice, of everything she implied about him, his soul, his very self.
He hadn't slept at all that night. Instead, he had carried the weight of the Crossroad Demon's words, finding himself sick and nauseated from their bitter taste.
But then something happened. As the days passed, the anger had started to fade, yet the words persisted. They buzzed by his ear, teasing him and tempting him, reminding him of the burdens he carried. Every day would be different, but also the same. No matter the city or town or county or state, they found themselves in a rundown, half-rate roach motel, with Dean's sloppiness oozing out of every crevasse and crack in the moldy walls.
He carried Dean's recklessness. He carried Dean's total disregard for himself. He carried Dean's desperation and insecurities and complete lack of self-worth. He carried this affliction every day, and he found himself hoping, just maybe once or twice, that it would be over, and he wouldn't have to worry anymore.
It had almost happened back on that miserable day in February. Sam had tasted the cruel, harsh life that awaited him. He had felt the grief change. The pit in his stomach had become dark and hollow, filled with a rage and power so carnivorous that it threatened to consume him.
Sam raised his blood soaked hand and wiped the tears from his face.
He had won that time, but the words hadn't set him free. They turned and twisted, becoming more aggressive, more persistent, clawing at his mind until it bled red and raw. They didn't speak of freedom. They only spoke of never ending torment that he knew would never leave him and of a cruel reality of what he really was inside.
Carefully, Sam eased Dean's body onto the floor and closed his dead empty eyes. He sat back on his haunches and stared into the shadows.
There wouldn't be any more desperate, sloppy, needy Dean, but Sam also knew he would never be free. While Dean burned a thousand times over in the fires of Hell, Sam would serve his own personal hell here on Earth.