Summary: From a prompt at the ohsam comment-fic meme by the lovely and talented de_nugis, which went thus: What with detoxes and resoulings, Sam's memories of the panic room can't be good. So it's unfortunate that they are under some supernatural siege at Bobby's and retreating into the panic room and closing the door is the only way to be safe. Full prompt can be found here.
Characters: Sam, Dean, mentions of Bobby, Sheriff Mills and Marcy Ward.
Disclaimer: So they renewed SPN, which means all hopes I had of spiriting the whole thing away and keeping it in my closet have been dashed.
Warnings: Eh, none this time around.
Neurotic Author's Note #1: I ended up cutting this short, because it's comment-fic and otherwise it would have ended up five times as long and probably not very good. Also, I couldn't really think of a title, so this is what you get.
Neurotic Author's Note #2: Yes, I am procrastinating on my Big Bang even though I don't have enough time to really do that. But it's Sam, so how could I resist whumping him a bit?
There is PODFIC! By the wonderful and talented juice817. You can get it here.
He's fine. Okay, Sam amends, maybe fine is a bit of an exaggeration, because fine would mean that he'd be standing on his own two feet right now and maybe even helping Dean shove the heavy door of the panic room closed. Instead he's got a pretty good view of the cold floor from where he's on his knees, leaning on his good hand —okay, maybe he's somehow managed to slip so that he's resting on his whole forearm now, but that's fine, because it's more stable that way. His whole right side is on fire, throbbing mercilessly, and every time he moves the pain intensifies like someone is stabbing him, just to change things up a little. Bobby is the one helping Dean close the door, while Sheriff Mills keeps Marcy Ward calm over on the other side of the panic room.
Sam sucks in a shaking breath, willing the pain away. He's fine. He's fine, he just needs a minute. Or three. The heavy door scrapes against the floor, clangs shut with something like finality. He hears the screech of metal against metal as Dean spins the handle, locking them in. Nothing goes in, nothing goes out.
“Nice to be using this place for its primary purpose for once,” Dean says lightly, “right Bobby?”
“Sure.” Bobby doesn't sound convinced.
“Come on. Ghost-proof panic room? What better place than to get away from the army of vengeful spirits?”
“I'm not arguing that point, it's why I built it. I just wish we didn't have to use it in the first place.”
Sam makes a superhuman effort, rocks back until he's sitting back on his heels. When he opens his eyes he's staring up at the huge fan set in the ceiling right above the built-in devil's trap, watching the blades whirl hypnotically.
“Okay, Sammy? That bookcase was pretty heavy.”
He nods mechanically. He's fine. “I'm fine. Gonna need some patching up later.”
Marcy Ward is close to having hysterics, babbling quietly about there being too many dead people still walking around in Sioux Falls all the time. Sam thinks he hears the Sheriff talking to her, but the sound is a little distant, like he's underwater. His arm hurts, but the pain lessens when he brings up his good hand to cradle it to his chest. He starts a little when Bobby seems to materialize by his side, syringe in hand.
“Don't got much to splint that in here,” he says gruffly, swabbing at an exposed patch of skin with an alcohol wipe, “but I got some of the good stuff to tide you over 'til we get that ritual done, banish them spirits.”
Sam looks up at the fan again, blinks for a moment when a shadow flickers across the dimly-lit space. There's nothing there. There's never anything there, he reminds himself, it's not real. The pain starts to fade, just a little bit. When he looks to the side, Bobby's gone. He should get up. He needs to help with the ritual, so they can all go... somewhere. He's not sure where he should go, where he should be. Maybe he's supposed to be in here. It wouldn't be the first time. The fan whirrs overhead, whop-whop-whop, still going in circles. He pushes himself to his feet, staggers, catches himself against the wall.
Dean and Bobby are already rummaging through the cupboards for ingredients, Marcy has fallen quiet, the Sheriff peppering Bobby with questions that he's answering in the curtest of fashions. It's all sort of hazy still, but it'll pass. He's fine.
The spirits are outside the door. Sam can hear them wailing and whispering in turn, scratching out there like abandoned dogs. There's someone standing across the room from him and for a moment he thinks it's Cas, but when he blinks and looks again the figure is gone. There's no one there, he reminds himself, there never is. He glances at the door, locked down tight. Locked inside, so they'll be safe. He feels sick, swallows the mouthful of saliva the feeling produces.
Whop-whop-whop. The fan is at the wrong angle, he thinks, leaning against the wall. He doesn't ever see it from here. It's good, though, the fan means there's proper ventilation, so they're all getting enough air. Sam swallows again, takes a breath through his nose, lets it out slowly through his mouth. He's broken some ribs, that's why his chest hurts. There's a vise slowly tightening around his ribcage, squeezing his heart, and maybe it would be better if he sat, or something, but there's nowhere to sit here except the narrow cot and... Sam looks back up at the fan, flexes his uninjured hand because he's fine, there's no handcuffs on him now. There's no metal biting into the soft flesh of his wrists, holding him down. He's fine. The door is still closed, nothing is coming in, and he's not getting out, not this time.
It's okay, it doesn't matter, he's fine. He's fine, except that the next breath doesn't feel like it's reaching his lungs. The fan is circling, his heart thudding in time with it, whop-whop-whop, steady but maybe a little too fast, and he can't quite catch his breath. His lungs ache and burn, and he looks away from the fan, back towards the door, but it's still closed. Still locked.
The voice is distorted, but he thinks it might be Dean. He shuts his eyes, tries to pull in a proper breath. He's fine. He's been locked in before, he's fine. He doesn't need to be locked down, not this time, there's nothing wrong with him. The voice is still talking, but none of it makes sense. There's a sharp, jarring bolt of pain, and he realizes he's being shaken, hard.
“I'm fine,” he manages, but it comes out as a wheeze. “I'm fine, you don't... you don't need to lock me down. I'm fine. Please.”
There are hands on him, one at his back, one smoothing over his face. The voice is back, too, and after a minute it feels less like he's drowning. “Sam, come on. Sammy, look at me.”
Dean's face swims into focus, but he's been here before, Sam can't trust what he's seeing. The fan blades frame Dean's head like a whirling halo, whop-whop-whop, and Sam can't breathe. Dean's trying to pull him onto the cot, nudging him forward, but Sam's legs won't work and he doesn't —he doesn't need to be tied down, not this time.
“I'm fine,” he tries to tell Dean. “You don't need to. You don't need to. I didn't this time, I swear, I swear I didn't!” He's babbling, knows he's babbling, but if it means they're not going to tie him to the cot and leave him then that's okay, he can live with that.
Dean tightens his hold, forces Sam to look at him, face blurry through tears Sam didn't even realize he was shedding. “Sammy, no one's locking you down. I just want you to sit somewhere other than the floor, okay? Come on. Easy, now, no freaking out.”
He nods, but he can't make himself move. Whop-whop-whop, can't trust anything you see, anything you hear, and there are black spots swimming in his vision now. It's only him and the room, him and the parade of ghosts and demons that live in his mind, and he doesn't need to be restrained, not this time, he's been good, he's followed all the rules, and there's nothing here except him and he's fine. He's fine, he just has to make them understand. He's fine, except that he doesn't remember how to breathe and the dark spots are getting larger and his skin feels like it's come alive independently of him, is crawling with something too small for him to see but he knows they're there... Dean is still talking, pleading with him, but it might not be Dean and Sam doesn't know anymore and it just hurts, it hurts and it's easier to let the dark spots grow until they're holes, huge and gaping, that come toward him and just swallow him whole.
The first thing he feels when he starts to come back to his senses is the brush of soft wool against his fingers and the faint smell of dust in his nostrils. It's bright, wherever he is, with the glow of natural sunshine. He doesn't want to open his eyes, thinks maybe his mind is playing tricks on him. But then he remembers that his mind never does play nice tricks on him, so he risks cracking open one eye, then the other, finds himself staring up at cracks in a plaster ceiling. He blinks blearily, tries to raise his right hand to scrub at his eyes, and is rewarded with a stabbing pain in his arm and side that pulls a startled moan of pain from him before he can stop himself.
“Sam? You awake?” Dean's face materializes right above him, grinning the way Dean does every time Sam's been in trouble and then come out of it. Not the back-from-the-dead kind of trouble, but all the other times, so many now they can't be counted.
“Dean?” It's a reflex. He can see it's Dean, but he has to make sure.
“Yeah, it's me, moron. How're you feeling?”
He twists his head on his pillow, catches sight of the rest of Bobby's study. “I'm not... panic room?” he manages a little incoherently.
Dean's already propping his head up, feeding him pills and water. “No. Bobby didn't want to move you, but after that impressive little freakout you pulled, I figured the last place you should be waking up was in there.”
“Sorry.” Sam's head is too heavy to hold up on his own, falls back the minute Dean's hand is gone.
“Dude, it's fine. You were hurt and drugged and out of it, and let's face it, that room sucks.”
Sam squirms, even though the movement sets his whole arm on fire. “I should've helped.”
“Uh-huh. Because you really could have helped with the two-man ritual in the state you were in. Relax, Sam,” Dean brushes his hair away from his face. “There's no double-secret probation anymore, okay? You don't need to prove anything, and you seriously don't need to apologize for not wanting to be in the panic room, you hear me? We've been in there, what four times? And three of those times really bad shit was happening to you, and the other time you were practically sitting on my head so I wouldn't go out and say yes to Michael.”
Sam's head is throbbing. “I didn't know,” he mutters.
“What, that being in the panic room would literally give you a panic attack?” Dean grins, obviously delighted by his own cleverness, and Sam rolls his eyes. “I think it's pretty safe to say none of us banked on it. Look, we did the ritual, ganked the bad guys, and the worst thing to come out of all of this is that you got crushed by a bookcase and Bobby is never going to get any peach cobbler from Marcy again for the rest of his days.”
“Long story, but let's just say that that crate of peaches Marcy bought came with its own entire supernatural bagful of surprises. The Sheriff took her home.”
“I think I'm glad I was unconscious.”
“Yeah,” Dean's expression softens. “You took a hell of a beating. I think we got you properly splinted, but if you want to go to the hospital, make sure...”
He shakes his head, winces when the throbbing gets worse. “No, I'm fine.”
Dean twitches. “Yeah, you're not really fine, but I'll let that one slide. When you're up for it, you think you can go back in there? I mean, I know it sucks, but it's the safest place we've got when things go pear-shaped...” he bites his lip, trails off.
Sam swallows hard, heart pattering against his ribcage just at the thought. “Won't know until I try.”
“Attaboy,” Dean grins. “We'll bring some Xanax with us and you can work on your meditation and deep-breathing techniques or whatever. Just you and me, no audience. Not even Bobby, so you don't get performance anxiety, princess.”
“Jerk,” Sam huffs, matches the grin. “Are you volunteering a chick-flick moment just for me?”
“Only for you, you big girl.”
It's too hard to keep his eyes open, but the grin stays on his face. “I love you too, asshole.”
“Shut up and go back to sleep.” Dean snorts, but he doesn't let go of Sam's hand, fingers warm and strong, anchoring him in place so that, when sleep does finally claim him, it doesn't feel like he's falling at all.