Sam meditates over Dean's death at Metatron's hand, and he comes to a fearsome decision on how to get him back. But for Dean there's nothing he wouldn't do. He knows that now.
The fragile whisky-filled glass was doing a herculean job of resisting the crushing pressure of Sam's hand as he gripped like it was his ultimate life-line to sanity.
He'd just carried his big brother's body into the bedroom and laid him out on the bed. Dean had been killed by Metatron, a member of the most evil race of supernatural beings ever to grace the Earth, worse than monsters or demons, for angels killed and tortured with an air of righteousness that allowed them to carry out the most heinous acts with the excuse of acting for Heaven and the greater good!
Like a robot, Sam filled the glass and drank, filled and drank, filled and drank until the last drop had been squeezed from the bottle.
He ran a trembling hand though his hair. He didn't know how much more he could take.
How many times now had he seen Dean die? Cried bitter tears over his body?
This was only the last of a never-ending series, most of which had been due to Gabriel, another of the perverted breed of winged bastards.
Sam thought back to that day two years ago when they had grappled with the Leviathans.
Ever since Dean had disappeared in Dick Roman's lab, things had begun to go wrong; everything had become twisted, nothing had made sense any more.
That day Crowley had taken gleeful delight in taunting him. The last Winchester standing, he'd said. Poor little moose, left on his own, no big brother squirrel to baby him, to watch his back, Crowley had smirked, thoroughly enjoying Sam's pain.
Sam remembered how distraught he'd felt, how he'd rushed out of the lab in a state of agitation after he'd set explosives to destroy all the phials of virus with which the Leviathans were getting ready to infect the world's population.
His memories were hazy and rather smoky about the first months after that. He recalled bundling himself into the Impala and driving off.
He frowned. It had seemed the right thing to do at the time but now an awareness was creeping over him that he'd never have acted like that, never have abandoned his brother. He would have looked for Dean!
In any other scenario he'd have quickly suspected that Dean had probably been sucked into purgatory, for that's where Roman would have ended up.
Sam was drunk, and in his altered state he began to have serious doubts about his actions back then.
Any of those supernatural bitches could have interfered with his mind, beginning with Crowley himself, to prevent him searching for his big brother.
He pushed back the chair and pulled himself up, swaying like some majestic oak-tree about to fall. This wasn't the time to wonder about what he'd done two years ago. He'd brood on that later; he had far more important things to deal with. Dean was lying dead and this time Sam was having none of it.
Since he'd found out what Dean had done to keep him alive, using Gadreel as an internal bandage, Sam had tried to loosen the bond that chained them together; tried to diminish the atavistic need to bring each other back from the dead.
He was well aware he'd hurt Dean with his words, but that's what he'd been aiming for, not because he didn't love his brother above all else but because in their line of work either of them could be killed at any time by a claw or a bite from the monsters they hunted, and this eternal circle of death and resurrection by ever more outlandish means had to stop.
But Sam hadn't convinced anyone, especially himself, he grimaced wryly, for here he was, the only thought filling his mind being how he was going to get Dean back. Sam Winchester and his attempts to disengage their co-dependency, be damned!
He breathed in deeply, willing his stubbornness to overcome the alcohol that was flowing though his veins, taking the edge off his pain at Dean's death. But this would be his last concession to drink, for he vowed not to touch another drop until he had Dean in his arms alive and bitchy once again. Then they would share a celebratory beer.
He threw back his shoulders and made his way to the room where Crowley had been kept prisoner.
Sam Winchester wanted his brother back, and nothing was going to stop him.
He called up the words he'd once uttered to Dean after Cold Oak.
"You're my big brother. There's nothing I wouldn't do for you."
Perhaps his younger self would have drawn the line somewhere but he was no longer that relatively innocent Sam.
Since then he had tasted Heaven and Hell.
How did the saying go? " Better to reign in Hell, than to serve in Heaven." Milton had it right.
Sam was through with being used by others. This Sam would take over Hell if it meant getting Dean back.
He'd never looked into himself too closely, never tried to investigate whether he still had his powers but as he entered the summoning room, he concentrated, sending out feelers and at the edges of his mind he felt the enticing tendrils of the dormant power calling to him.
Sam had always been terrified of going dark-side, of being a freak.
This time he actively searched for it and as he dragged the match over the rough surface of the match-box to light the candles, Sam Winchester took the first step on becoming one of the most dangerous beings in Creation.
Dean opened his eyes to the sight of Crowley reclining comfortably in the chair by his bed. A flush of power thrummed through his limbs.
That douche Metatron had killed him! He'd died in Sam's arms once again, yet he wasn't dead.
He flexed his fingers and smiled dangerously at the King of Hell, like the predator he now was.
Crowley felt himself cringing uncomfortably. Dean Winchester's up-curved lips conveyed no friendliness, the black eyes far more frightening on the Winchester than on any of his other demons.
A hand snaked out grasping him, and he found himself in the middle of nowhere completely alone; of Dean Winchester there was no sign.