It's not an update to Light the Length of August. I know. I'm sorry! That one's coming soon. I just had this brain wave at work and couldn't leave it alone.

Disclaimers:

1. Supernatural is in no way mine. It's called fanfiction for a reason.

2. The "Enochian" in this fic is for entertainment purposes only. It barely resembles a foreign language. It's basically English structure with some word for word substitutions. Sorta. I used a few online resources, but I didn't dig much into it, mostly cause it skeeves me out a little if I'm honest. If you feel passionately about it, I'd love to see proper, actual translations.

3. Translations are provided at the end. Read them if you want, but it's really not all that important. Since the story is told from Dean's PoV, the point is not understanding.


i.

They are supposed to be doing research for a potential hunt. Dean glances over the top of the book he's propped open on the table like a little wall between them. Sam has his head down over his own tome. His lips move occasionally as he reads. Dean flicks his eyes away, wary of being caught out. Sam has already given him no less than three aggrieved sighs in the last hour, because he claims Dean is coddling him.

While Sam flips page after page, Dean is pretending very hard that nothing is wrong. The wall is still fresh, more of a barrier between them than any book Dean could balance on the table. It feels like a wound that might never scab over. The only thing he can seem to do is to act like he's not watching every move his brother makes. He's been reading the same three lines repeatedly between surreptitious glances for nearly a half hour when Sam breaks the silence.

"Hey man," he says, barely glancing up from his work. "Deluge pain butty laid nah see ocean."

Dean blinks. Only half of that penetrated his tired brain, and none of it made any sense. If he didn't know better, he would swear it had been gibberish. He frowns and glances up at Sam, meeting his expectant gaze with bewilderment.

"Huh?"

"Li ladnah. Da. Dluga pambt. Zir vnig oma lap."

Dean feels his worry kick up a notch. That definitely wasn't English. Or Latin or Celtic or Greek or Japanese. It was sharp and spiny, falling easily from Sam's mouth.

"Dude," Dean says, not quite managing not to stare. "What?"

Sam rolls his eyes and stands, leaning across the table and plucking up the fat, leather bound journal that had been resting by Dean's elbow.

"De vaul ma-of-fas. Nonci vng brgdo."

See, that time Dean knows for sure he isn't just imagining things. That's not English. In fact, he has a sinking feeling he knows exactly what Sam is speaking. It's not the first time he's caught a muttered word here or there. When Sam was first back, he'd cried out in his sleep repeatedly in Enochian. Cas had gone pale and wouldn't explain what he'd said, which was really all the translation Dean needed.

Dean swallows down the sick feeling and forces himself to huff. "Keep your hair on," he snarks. "Next time try it in English."

Sam's head snaps up. He stares hard at Dean, searching him as though trying to work out if Dean might be messing with him. Dean can see the gears turning in his head as he mentally checks himself and plans out each word that he's going to say next. Finally, he says, "What are you talking about?" The words are stilted and over enunciated, but they're familiar enough.

"I know your some gee-whiz, language buff, but I only speak the one. So, you know, you gotta keep it English if you want me to follow."

Sam rolls his eyes and turns back to his book, but he's been caught out. Dean can see it in the way his shoulders never quite relax. "How long have you been up? I think you're hearing things," Sam says with forced nonchalance.

Dean picks his own volume back up and shrugs. "I'm just saying."

Sam doesn't say anything else. When Dean catches sight of him from the corner of his eye, he's not reading anymore. He's staring off into the distance with a studiously blank expression. Sam's a million miles away – somewhere Dean can't follow – and it makes his gut churn.

.

.

.

ii.

Dean is pulled from a hazy, drifting sleep by the sound of a shout. He shoots up in bed with barely a moment's thought, tense and armed. He listens and realizes he can hear thrashing from down the hall. Sam.

He picks himself up and pads quietly down the corridor. He's not sure what he's going to find, but he cracks the door open, allowing soft hall light to spill into the room and onto the bed where Sam is thrashing and twisting against the mattress. He has tangled his sheet around his legs and torso. His bare feet are braced against the bed, pushing his hips up as he moans. Dean might have thought he'd walked in on a different kind of dream if it weren't for the fact that Sam is drenched in sweat and his voice is more like a wounded keening than anything pleasurable.

Dean steps forward, tucking the blade he'd snatched up when he woke into his waistband. "Sam," he calls, stopping just short of the bed. "Sam, wake up. It's just a dream."

Sam jerks his head to the side, panting, but he doesn't wake. Dean offers up a prayer that he isn't about to get punched and lays a hand on Sam's shoulder.

Sam's eyes flash open. He launches himself up in bed. Fortunately he seems more dazed than scared, and he doesn't come up swinging.

Sam's eyes rove over him. "Ag. De chis-ge tox."

Dean sucks in a sharp breath. So it was one of those dreams. They'd done so well lately, Dean had even managed to pretend they didn't happen anymore. Dean steps forward and pushes at Sam's shoulder until he scoots over so that he can flop down next to his brother. He tries to smile as Sam mumbles in that sharp tongue and traces his fingers along Dean's jaw.

Dean catches his hand and gives it a squeeze. "It's really me," he says.

"De g-chis-ge vaoan."

Sam's eyes are still wide, and he's still panting harder than Dean would like, so Dean stuffs down his pride and pulls Sam against his side. He cards his hand through the kid's hair and shushes him as he stutters through something Dean can't begin to follow, the last echoes of his nightmare.

"I know. It's okay. I know."

Finally, Sam seems to calm a little. Dean pulls back to look at him. Sam's eyes are half lidded and his blinks are getting longer and heavier. Dean stands and pushes him back down so that he's lying on the bed. He snags the blanket from where it landed in the floor and flops it so that it's actually covering him instead of restraining him.

Sam seems so fragile against the off-white sheets with just the light from the hall to illuminate him. His hair is soaked and matted from his exertion. Dean can't help himself. He finds his hand reaching out to brush the limp hair away from Sam's face. Sam snags his hand and blinks up at him.

"Stay," he says.

Dean stares down in Sam's wide eyes. He's half tempted to shake his fingers loose and go back to his own room. There's something small and scared in Sam's face though. It reminds him of all those nights when he wouldd climb into the same motel bed and tell Sam silly stories after a nightmare.

Dean huffs and slides under the blanket. "Fine, but you kick me and I'll dump your butt in the floor."

Sam curls back against him, and Dean throws an arm across his shoulders in a show of taking up as much room as he can. Sam sighs and before Dean can blink, his breathing smooths out and he's asleep again.

.

.

.

iii.

They are holed up in yet another cabin in some forsaken patch of woods about as far into nowhere as they can get. They are wanted men and the things looking for them are scarier than the FBI a hundred times over.

Sam is jittery. Dean watches him from his periphery as he goes about his day. Sam jerks at the dry leaves brushing against the window. He fingers a knife that he keeps tucking into a sheath at the small of his back then pulling out again as though to reassure himself it's still there. He pulls in tight any time Dean is within arm's reach, and his eyes seem to skitter over ever surface in the room. He's a mess. Dean can't really blame him, but he's not really sure what set him off, either.

Sam's been doing better. Whatever Cas did seemed to settle down the hallucinations and smooth over the worst of the mental trauma. Dean can still see the memories lurking in Sam's eyes, and he hears the echoes of those long months in Sam's nightmares, but he's leveled out. Dean no longer worries about locking up his gun or hiding the car keys.

Today is just a bad day. Dean figures Sam has earned a few of those so he keeps his distance and keeps a discreet eye on the situation.

Sam is positively vibrating when he steps between Dean and the TV that's been playing for far too many hours now. He still keeps carefully beyond any distance that Dean could reach across. He plays with the hem of his shirt, even as he makes eye contact.

"Dean," he says with a little frown. "We have to make a supply run."

Dean grunts and leans to the side. Sam might be having an off day, but he was watching that and being serious is only going to draw attention to whatever Sam's problem is. "Later. Diego is just about to tell Julia that he's been sleeping with her twin sister and now she's pregnant."

Sam makes a disgruntled noise. "Please, Dean?"

Dean blinks. It sounds almost like Sam is asking permission, even though he's never needed anyone's approval a day in his life. Normally, Sam would flip the TV off and bitch about whatever he wanted until Dean caved.

Dean tilts his head and looks at the man across from him. He's hunched in a way that makes him look eighty rather than twenty-something. He's got long, untamed scruff that's almost a beard. Even his hair is looking limp and snarled, so starkly the opposite of Sam's usual careful grooming.

"What's so important?"

Sam waves a hand towards the bathroom. "We need toilet paper, and we've been out of soap for three days. Not sure how you didn't notice," Sam snarks and rolls his eyes. There's tension sitting in his shoulders and he's starting to build steam as he plows on, "But the shampoo is running low too and the last run you brought back pie and French fries and nothing else even though you tossed my comb forever ago and I need to shave but you hid my..." Sam's expression goes tight. His eyes narrow like he's trying to summon up some half-remembered fact. "My..."

Dean feels just a tinge of remorse as he watches Sam. He had only made a food run the last time, and he knew Sam was missing things. Dean had gotten rid of anything Sam could conceivably hurt himself with weeks ago including his comb, which he'd used at one point to scrape at the skin of his thigh during one of his episodes.

Sam was growing frustrated across from him. "You took it and never gave it back!"

Dean frowns, he must have zoned out because he's lost the thread of what Sam was saying. "Took what?"

Sam is scowling at a spot about six inches to Deans left as though the couch cushions might hold the answer. "My thing! For shaving! My…my napta," The strange word slips through as though it explained everything. Maybe it did. "It itches. I just want this scruff gone."

It's Dean's turn to scowl. He thinks pointing out the fact that Sam had forgotten the word might kick up this anxiety or anger or whatever this nervous energy is. Instead he smirks. "Razor, college boy. You use a razor to shave. Geeze what did they teach you at that school?"

Sam's eyes snap to his. "Huh? Oh!" The tautness melts out of his posture and his scowl fades into a more neutral expression. "Yeah. My razor. I need it."

Dean left that in a motel trashcan at least five hundred miles back. "I tossed it."

"I know. I need a new one."

"Fine," Dean huffs. "We'll make a run in a few. I want to see if Diego figures out Julia is really Julio first."

.

.

.

iv.

It's the end of the world again. They have about twenty minutes to solve this thing and undo whatever twisted curse this witch unleashed before...well all she'd said was it would open some kind of portal. Dean doesn't know the specifics, but he's certain that a portal sounds bad.

The only problem is, she's crazy. Well, she's dead too, but that would be less of a problem if she hadn't cyphered all of her notes and if the few reference books she left splayed out across the work space weren't in a mix of forgotten languages that even Sam doesn't know enough to make sense of.

Dean finds the clue by accident. He's riffling through the pages where she'd been standing, when he comes across a diagram that reflects the set-up of the alter and the sigil she scribbled on the floor. The loose pages are caught in the corner of a book, almost like a bookmark, and Dean flips it open on the table in front of him. Little good it does him. The book is written in some kind of runes that look vaguely familiar.

He squints and yeah. He recognizes them. He and Sam spent weeks trying to translate the words etched into their ribs from the inside.

He growls.

Sam looks up at him, expression wary. "What? Find something?"

"If by something you mean her notes in whatever gobbledygook she was writing in and her reference book, which look, is in Enochian. I must have left my pocket dictionary in my other pants." Dean scrubs a hand over his face. "Cas is like twelve hours out and last few times I tried to call it went straight to voicemail. I'm going try him anyway".

"Dean," Sam says before Dean can even get his phone out. Dean can practically feel him rolling his eyes. When he glances over, Sam's gone pale but he makes a show of pulling a bitch face anyway. He gestures for the book.

Dean passes it to him with a shrug.

Sam spends a minute glancing over the text. He frowns down at the paper, flips backwards a few pages then forward again. He huffs. "We're fine."

Dean glares at him. Was this some kind of joke? "Say what now?"

"It's a summoning – a major one – but it has to be completed at the moment of a true new moon, and we're at a waxing crescent. It also requires knowing the demon's true name which as far as I can tell isn't listed here. I think she had some shoddy translating going on. If it was going to work, it would have happened immediately and we would have noticed. There's talk of flame rending the air and gales of wind. Of course without being able to read her notes, I don't know for sure, but I can't imagine something so badly cast actually working."

Dean stares at Sam. He hadn't heard anything past major summoning. He knows Sam speaks Enochian. He's seen him do it enough times, but it's always been just idle knowledge in the back of his head. When Sam speaks it, he's almost always in the throws of a nightmare or a flashback, not when he's calm and lucid. Dean had always imagined him picking it up as a coping mechanism to keep himself safe down there. He hadn't realized that what he'd taken for a passing familiarity born out of duress was actually full fluency.

Sam glances up at him and clears his throat. "Earth to Dean. Did you listen to a word I just said?"

"So we're good?"

Sam eyes him suspiciously, but nods. "I'd do a purification and hang close just to be sure, but yeah."

"Cool. Let's get this show one the road. What do we need for this ritual?"

.

.

.

v.

The other angel is staring at Cas like he's some kind of cockroach under his shoe. Dean bristles, because as much as he'd love to tell this guy where he can shove his "invaluable" information, it could actually be useful. Deans also pretty sure there's a stick shoved up there so far he wouldn't know the difference anyway.

The other guy sneers. "This is the rebel Castiel and his Winchester philistines. How the three of you ever managed to string two thoughts together, much less prevent the apocalypse, I'll never fathom."

Dean let's his chair flop down from where he'd been balancing on two legs. He leans forward, but before he can say anything, Sam clears his throat. "You said you had information for us?" Spoilsport.

The angel's gaze falls on Sam, and he recoils. He rips his eyes away and turns back to Castiel. He murmurs something just low enough for Dean to miss, but Cas's eyes flash. He responds in an equally loaded tone in the language Dean is coming to loathe.

Dean glances sideways at Sam. His brother is staring at them, jaw clenched and fists balled in his lap. Their little aside conversation occupies a good five minutes and Dean tracks what's going on by watching Sam's reaction. Sam is obviously the topic of conversation. His faces shifts the full gamut from annoyed frown to barely concealed hurt. Dean's willing to let this play out because he trusts Cas to set this guy straight. It's not like they've never heard any of this before, but when the fire stokes in Sam's eyes and his nostrils flare, Dean makes to stand and bodily toss this asshole from their bunker.

Sam catches his eye and give one harsh shake of his head. He rises and leans over the table, resting his weight against the wood. He looks like a predator waiting to strike.

"Zirdo canse faboan crip ozazm g-macalza pilah. Trian blans saisch droln napeai vnig," he says barely above a whisper. The newcomer's eyes go wide, and he swings around to face a seething Sam. His face loses color before he honest to goodness starts to tremble.

"Zir l de hoaxmarch," Sam hisses. "So let me make it easy for you. You can either deal with me, or you can leave. I don't care what trouble you're in or how the world is ending this time."

The angel swallows and nods. He puts a shaking hand into his suit jacket and pulls out a folder. "There's a small army of demons. They're massing just outside Omaha. They are about forty strong and are planning to meet Abaddon to join her."

Dean grunts. "So what do you want?"

"Nothing!" His voice actually breaks. He side eyes Sam. It would be funny if Dean didn't know that Sam meant whatever threat he'd uttered. "Just keep them clear, or she'll have all the power she needs."

Sam nods his head. "Then it's time for you to leave."

The guy makes a dash for the door. As the metal thumps home against the frame, Sam collapses down into his chair and lets his head fall back. "Asshole."

"So, what do I need to know?" Dean glances between Sam and Cas. It's a crapshoot who might cave and give him an answer about what just happened.

Sam tilts his head so he can crack an eye at Dean. "Army of demons isn't good enough for you? We should call up Crowley and see if he's got any info."

Dean scowls at him. Fine. Cas it is. "What did he say?"

Cas shifts from foot to foot and won't meet Dean's eye. He seems particularly keen on staying out of this conversation.

"It doesn't matter," Sam says.

"Like hell. Cas?"

"He spoke of Sam as an abomination," Cas said, hesitantly. "Something unclean and unholy that he would not work with."

Sam sat up and rolled his eyes. "Same old crap as it always is. Chill, Dean. We've got bigger problems here than some angel in a suit."

Dean hesitates. For just a minute he wants to say something. He's made his opinion abundantly clear on the unclean Sam front though and there's not much else to say on the matter. Instead he shrugs. "Yeah, but did you see the way he tripped over himself?"

Sam snorts. He pulls his phone out and dials up Crowley before Dean can ask more questions. Dean doesn't miss the contemplative look on Cas's face as he watches Sam. Whatever just happened, it left even Cas a little rattled.

.

.

.

vi.

Sam is staring right through Dean. He's been babbling for the last few minutes and nothing Dean did could snap him out of it. Dean sighs in frustration.

Sam's eyes go wide and his gaze flickers up to Dean's face, but falls almost immediately. "Chiso-ip zonac amiran c oi aziazor."

Dean pats Sam on the shoulder, ignoring the sharp flinch, and stands. "It's okay, Sammy. You just hang tight." Dean's already tried talking to him. Sam either can't process what he's saying or he's so lost in his memories that he doesn't understand. He tried to get the kid up out of the floor too, but any time Dean made contact, he skittered back against the bed.

Dean straights and stretches. His back is groaning from being bent in two for so long. Maybe he is getting a ltitle older. He doesn't spend much time on the thought, though. He has an angel to find.

Cas is puttering around the library when Dean finds him. He has a random stack of books piled on the table, and he is making notes on a legal pad. He nods as Dean enters but keeps scanning the shelves for whatever topic has caught his interest this time.

All Dean has to do is say his name and Cas's unwavering focus in on him. "Dean?"

"It's Sam. He…," Dean isn't sure exactly what to say. He doesn't really understand what happens in Sam's head during these spells. It makes his skin itch to leave his brother alone, but this one seems bad. He's out of his depth here. "He's not making much sense. I think he's stuck in his own head."

Cas frowns. "Not making much sense?"

"He won't look at me. He's not speaking English, and he doesn't seem to understand what I'm saying. Think you can come talk to him? You at least can understand him."

Cas nods. He drops the book in his hand onto the table and trails Dean back through the bunker to Sam's bedroom. Dean steps aside so that Cas can enter, but he lingers in the doorway, unwilling to leave his brother alone even in Cas's capable hands.

Cas moves into the room and drops down on his knees in front of Sam. Sam flinches away from the nearness, but otherwise doesn't acknowledge him.

"Sam," Cas says gently.

Sam tucks his chin down against his chest. "Nonci g-chi-ge homil."

"Zir i homil," Cas says, gently. "Nonci chisa bransg. Nonci chisa blans. Esaiach od lap g-macalza."

Sam jerks his head up and pins Cas with a look. "Ge kures, Ge vaoan."

Cas shakes his head. "Zir emna. Uran lap amiran. Zir ol cnila od tranan."

Sam reaches forward and pokes Cas's arm with a trembling finger. His brow furrows and he stares at Cas like he's putting together the pieces of a puzzle. "Castiel?" The name sounds oddly proper. Dean can't even remember the last time he called the angel by his full name, but this is decidedly formal, like a naming.

Cas makes a noise of agreement. Before he can say anything, Sam tucks his hand protectively back against his chest with a hiss, like he's been burned by the contact.

"It's fine, Sam. Nonci om qui-in aala?"

Sam nods. "The bunker."

The words startle Dean. He's been listening for tone over content. To hear him mutter something recognizable after spending so long trying to coax him into talking in a way Dean could understand is jarring. Dean takes a step forward, and Sam's attention snaps to him.

"Sorry," Sam says as he lets his head drop forward onto his knees.

Dean takes a steadying breath, then shakes his head. "You've got nothing to be sorry for."

Sam squints up at him. "What? Slower." He sounds like he's trying to piece together the words as he's speaking, obviously still thinking in that language.

"You don't have to be sorry," he says, slowly and measured.

Sam shrugs. "In manin amma."

Cas flinches. "Not broken or cursed, Sam. Incredibly strong."

Sam looks like he wants to argue the point. Any other day, he would. Dean wonders if he's so tired that words are beyond him. Either way he's about to pass out, and it won't be pleasant in the morning if he sleeps in the floor. "Think you wanna try the bed now," Dean asks.

Sam scowls at his knees. He seems to think about the question for a long time before he huffs and shrugs.

"Trint mirc tianta?" Cas asks the question offhandedly. Dean wonders if it's a new question or if he's translating what Dean said.

Sam nods and uncurls from his tight posture just a bit. Dean offers a hand and Sam grasps it, allowing himself to be pulled to his feet. He shuffles the two steps to turn himself around, then flops down to sit on the edge of the mattress, like a weight is pulling his limbs downward.

Dean is standing awkwardly to the side just watching him. "What do you need, Sam?" He tries to slow his normal pace and enunciate each word.

Sam mulls the question over. "Tea," he says at last.

Dean frowns. With a sentence that short he has no way of gauging whether Sam is actually asking for a beverage or something else. "Tea? Like a mug of tea?"

Sam nods.

"Sure, princess. I'll bring you some scones too."

Sam lifts his heavy head and smirks, waving the finger in the air at Dean. Dean sticks his tongue out and turns to go put some water on to boil.


Translations

i.

Dluge pambt ladnah c de ozien

Hand me that book.

.

Li ladnah. Da. Dluga pambt. Zir vnig oma lap.

That book. There. Hand it over. I want to look something up.

.

De vaul ma-of-fas. Nonci vng brgdo.

Fine, I'll get it myself. You're working so hard, after all.

.

.

.

ii.

Ag. De chis-ge tox.

You're not him.

.

De g-chis-ge vaoan.

You're not real.

.

.

.

iii.

napta

razor

.

.

.

v.

Zirdo canse faboan crip ozazm g-macalza pilah. Trian blans saisch droln napeai vnig,

I may be corrupt, but that only makes me more dangerous. I will use it to defend my family if necessary.

.

Zir l de hoaxmarch.

I am the one you should fear.

.

.

.

vi.

Chiso-ip zonac amiran c oi aziazor.

Don't pretend to be him.

.

Nonci g-chi-ge homil.

You aren't real.

.

Zir i homil.

I am real.

.

Nonci chisa bransg. Nonci chisa blans. Esaiach od lap g-macalza.

You are safe. You are home. Your brother and I are here.

.

Ge kures, Ge vaoan.

Not here. Not real.

.

Zir emna. Uran lap amiran. Zir ol cnila od tranan.

I am here. See for yourself. I am flesh and blood.

.

Nonci om qui-in aala?

Do you know where you are?

.

In manin amma.

My broken mind.

*It should be noted that there's not a good synonym for broken so Sam uses the word for cursed here, hence Cas's reply: Not broken or cursed.

.

Trint mirc tianta?

Would you like to sit on the bed?