For a few seconds, the demon just watched him with a frozen expression.
Slowly it seemed to grasp the situation and the demonic visage changed.
Sam watched as the face became more human; more like the one that he had seen that day at the supermarket. However, it was not complete. The black eyes were still there.
It also maintained a healthy distance from him, and occasionally, he saw its glance sneak over towards the knife that was lying several feet on the other side of the lawn.
“I just came to talk” Sam finally said; breaking the tensed silence that had come between them.
It didn’t respond.
“There is something I need to say and I need you to listen.”
“You can speak Hunter, but I can’t promise I will listen or not kill you.”
“Fair enough,” Sam said and again the look of surprise came over the demon.
The demon turned away from Sam, this time completely, as he scanned their surroundings.
“He’s not coming,” Sam said, “it’s just you and me.”
The demon looked at him but there was no conviction in his expression. To be fair, he was not convinced as to the truth of what he said. All he knew was that since he left his house he had seen neither head nor tail of Castiel. And though Castiel had appeared and saved him from the demon before, he had not come when he was being attacked by the two security guards, or when that crazy woman was trying to put him under her spell.
He had a theory why, but even with that, he was not certain.
What he was certain was that there was something wrong with this place. And from the way the other demon had talked with this one, and the way Castiel had interacted with them both, Sam knew that they had a better grasp of what was going on.
He racked his brain trying to figure out ways to persuade the demon to help him, to give the information he needed. But as he stood there facing it, he realized that he hadn’t actually given it as much thought as he should have.
It was then that the true gravity of what he had done dawned on him. And his eyes immediately shifted to the knife.
“Where is this place?” Sam asked after a while.
“What does it matter?”
“This place is not real”
“It’s real enough”
“No, it’s not. There is nothing real about this place. The people, the houses, they’re all illusions. Nothing is real. The only thing that I don’t get is what is it that they are trying to hide? What is the reason for all these illusions?”
The demon didn’t say anything, instead, he sneered.
“You have no idea Hunter, what you’re getting into”
“So I keep being told,” Sam said.
“Why can’t you leave things be, Hunter?”
“Because there is something going on. This is not heaven that much I’m sure of. All this” he said, gesturing to everything around them “someone went to great trouble to recreate for a very specific reason and I need to know why?”
“What do you remember about the time before you woke up here?” the demon asked.
“Can we go somewhere else and talk?” asked Sam, suddenly being struck by a thought.
“Why, are you afraid, Hunter?”
“Concerned, of your friend. I get the feeling he’s your ‘gift’” Sam said.
The demon didn’t respond immediately.
“He’s not your concern.”
“Yes, he is,” replied Sam. “Somehow, Castiel and our other watcher are tracking us. But it is not through me or you. They can’t see the things I do on my own, but when someone is around, someone they created, they’re always there to intervene.”
Actually, that epiphany came to Sam suddenly. The fear that Castiel would come at any time and ruin everything was always weighing on him in the back of his head. But he couldn’t make sense of why he and the blue-eyed hostess was always there for somethings and not for others. Until he started thinking of those moments with regard to where he was and with whom he was with.
His mom, his dad, Jess, they were always there when he did things that the two tried to stop. But absent when he was on his own or with Dean.
Jess was with him at the supermarket. But she didn’t see him leave; he had left unannounced and suddenly. There was no way she could have known where he was going or why. But the other demon was there and he was there when this one attacked him.
That realization made things even clearer to him.
There was a reason that they were given back the loved ones that had died. It was not to create a piece of heaven, at least not the sole reason. It was so they could keep an eye out for them. Maybe, just maybe, Jess, Dad and mom weren’t even real. Maybe they were illusions just like the rest.
The thought made him pause.
He suddenly thought back to all the times he was with Jess. Trying to remember how she behaved. Trying to figure out if he had noticed something different. But instead, he found his thoughts going instead to the images that had flashed in his mind, the pictures that had seemed, felt, so real.
Sam found himself lost in thought that he almost didn’t hear the demon call out to him.
“Your friend,” said Sam, snapping out of his thoughts. “He’s not real. He may not even be your friend. He’s something they created to keep you in check. You can’t trust him. He’ll tell on you to Castiel and the others. Because that is why he’s here. You need to realize that.” Sam said but the demon only continued to sneer at him.
He realized he was not getting through to the demon.
“Remember when you were trying to kill me. Remember how hard he tried to stop you. How much he did to convince you to let me go? Does that seem like your friend? Castle came when your friend failed”
“Oh, I believe you, Hunter. Everything you said. Butch has been quite the whiner. But here’s my problem, Hunter. If the dead were brought back to life just to keep us in check. If they’re not to be trusted. Then tell me, Hunter, why should I trust you?”
It didn’t take Sam long to realize what exactly the demon was implying.
The words struck Sam hard.
The demon was sneering at him, taking pleasure in knowing what his words were doing to him.
However, Sam saw none of it nor cared what the demon was taking from his situation. All he cared about was truly comprehending what he had been told.
“Something wrong, Sam?” he heard a voice call out to him and he turned; still lost in that same stupor.
He saw Castiel standing there watching him. But there was something wrong, something amiss. Sam couldn’t quite make it out. Then he realized; Castiel was grinning; not smiling, grinning.
“You look…unwell?” Castiel continued.
“Dead” finished Castiel “Yes, Sam, well at least you were. But then, why should that be a surprise or a shock. You and Dean have more lives than a cat.”
“Why are you dead or why are you still alive?” asked Castiel but Sam couldn’t find any words to speak “Yes, Sam, before you ask, you’re alive. But don’t worry your pretty head with why. Just know that we didn’t bring you back because we wanted you. Why would we Sam? You’re useless; you’re alive because we wanted your brother. All this, all the things we created. All this trouble we went for. It was for Dean. And I must say you have been more trouble than you’re worth.”
Sam suddenly felt like the whole world was spinning around him.
His hand reached for his head as if that simple act could stop all the spinning.
However, it would seem that Castiel was not finished with him.
“What’s the matter Sam, you’re really looking pale. I hope all this is not too much?”
“But then you did want to learn the truth, didn’t you? I mean, wasn’t all this trouble so you can find out why you’re here? Well, now you know, Sam. You’re just an item on Dean’s wish list. Just like you have always been, Sam. You’re just something that came stuck to the boots of Dean.”
“Well, since we’re being honest, Sam. I need to tell you something. I’m not really Castiel” he said and suddenly Sam thought he saw Castiel’s image shift and get fuzzy and then change.
Sam felt like he was going insane.
“Hello, Sam, did you miss me,” Anna said standing where a minute ago Castiel had stood.
Sam was almost on his knees.
He felt like he was kicked in the gut.
Anna was smiling.
He couldn’t see what the demon was doing.
“Well, Sam, all this was fun and I am glad you had the chance to air out your rebel urges. But I think it’s time to go back and be the good little Boy Scout. Time for fun and games are over, time to be big brother’s good little pet.” Anna said as she started to make towards Sam.
However, Anna didn’t get the chance to subdue Sam. As she got close enough, Sam charged. Clarity finally finding him and the world managing to be still long enough for him to lay a right hook on her face.
The punch must have caught Anna by surprise because she barely reacted to it. Sam felled Anna and turned towards the demon. He had also been taken by surprise and was now watching as if waiting for orders.
Sam didn’t want to wait until he got his act together.
He rushed him just as the demon again started to change.
The demon’s hand stretched out but before he could use his powers Sam once again managed to get the drop on his opponent.
“I see you want to do this the hard way, Sam,” Anna said from behind him. And as he turned he found Anna was already on her feet.
“I could have done this quick and painlessly. But now I plan on having some fun. I mean, Dean wants you alive, I don’t think it would matter much how much of you was alive” she said. But there was no smile on her face. Instead, her pretty face was twisted with hate and rage.
She charged him and Sam prepared for her attack.
It came hard and fast.
Sam found himself outmatched by the girl. She was breaking through his defences.
He didn’t get the chance to lay a single punch on her but she managed to lay a few on him. Next thing Sam knew he was sailing through the air.
Sam again fell on the grass, but then he felt something hard hit his back.
As Anna made towards him he reached under him.
Anna was on him and reached down to grab him when he felt the grip of the handle. He pulled the knife out and struck Anna’s outstretched hands.
The angel pulled back, staring at the wound and then the blade on Sam’s hand.
“I’m not a demon you idiot. That knife is useless against me” she said.
“Your right, but he is. So how about we even the odds” Sam said.
Anna turned to look where he was pointing at. Sam made use of the opportunity that her momentary change in focus had given him and got to his feet. He then quickly charged towards where the demon lay.
“No” Anna screamed after him.
He was starting to get on his feet when Sam reached him.
He knelt next to him and prepared to plunge the knife into the demon’s heart when he heard someone scream ‘no’.
Sam and the demon were both taken by surprise. The fear in the demon’s face changed into confusion.
Sam turned to where the sound came and found his eyes once again falling on the familiar hazel browns.
“Alice,” Sam said.
“I am sorry, Sam. I can’t let you kill him” she said and reached out towards Sam.