It was like poison. A swirling colorful mass of toxic energy. The only other time he'd felt so consumed by such force, he'd been stumbling head first into the pits of Hell. It wasn't a pleasant comparison. The masks didn't help.
They were all smiling, laughing. Torturous things and Sam couldn't remember how he'd wandered so far. This was worse than the lecherous part of town were women flashed for trinkets. This was sinister. The dark underbelly of a city rife with magic and demonic energy.
They were closing in on him, their limbs moving up and down, their bodies circling and casting him in their web. Glitter fell like ash around him. It burned his eyes and throat when he breathed it in. He tried to move forward and plastic necklaces broke beneath his feet. When did there become so much plastic?
He tried to remember what had happened but nothing came, only more color. More dizziness. He fell to his knees. He pulled handfuls of beads from the ground and pulled them over his head. All of the dancers, the millions of people seemed to step back. A hand was offered to him. He pulled himself upright. Someone else came from behind and placed something over his eyes. A mask. Because one could never have too many.
His eyes locked on the man before him. He was familiar somehow. Like the whisper of an echo of a dream's remembrance but nothing came clear. He took his hand and let the other grip his waist.
Then it was Sam who was dancing. In time, in step, though the ritual around him refused to cease. His dance partner was fluid like the lap of a flame dancing on a candle's wick. Just like flame. It burned but didn't hurt.
Plastic was fire and that fire burned away everything, and everyone else.
A ballroom dance set to the sonnet of a hum. It was nearly inaudible at first, and then it slowly grew. The crackle of the flame increased with his voice. Sam's dance partner was exquisite in form and not eager to let him go. The grip on his hip was firm and, in a way, calming. He had no desire to stop.
The music, his voice, filled Sam's ears like an orchestra and the fire ate away at the ground, and the world, and his mind.
"That's right Sam. I knew you missed me." The dancer croons as Sam melts gently into his arms. He feels malleable, but there is something underlining that is unsettling. The arms around him are tight. They burn, but they don't hurt.
The glitter weighs heavy on his mask and eyelashes. His lids begin to slip closed.
Then there is a gunshot. Through the fire, and the smoke, and the glitter, and the warm embrace.
It resounds like a sonic boom that breaks the shell of the illusion around him. But the man doesn't leave. He smiles.
"Get away from my brother you assholes!" Another gunshot. The sound of the voice suddenly reminds him why the arms around him burn. And suddenly they hurt.
Sam tries to pull away, but the grip tightens.
Another shot. A warm hand is on his shoulder. He screams.
"Sam! Damn it Sam, what did they do to you?" Dean's voice reminds him. Pulls him back, lets the arms fall away.
"You can't repress me forever Sam. You need me." The man leans forward, runs a rough thumb over Sam's lower lip. He can't help but quiver.
"Sam? Answer me! Say something?" Dean is shaking him now.
Sam lifts his shaking hands and presses his thumb roughly against his palm. The dancer fades, for now.
"I'm fine Dean. Thanks." His voice is remarkably steady.
"Nice mask." Sam's hands go up to touch the blue cover on his eyes. Dean just sighs. "Only thing worse than witches? Damn bayou witches in the middle of the friggin' Mardi Gras midnight bash."
Sam still stares where no one stands and he can't quite agree with his brother. But he nods anyway. "Yeah."