Title: Sola Fide - By Faith Alone

Author: The White Wanderer

Summary: Pre-Season Four AU one-shot; contains Season Four spoilers. Pre-Lazarus Rising; set during the four topside months that Dean is in Hell. Ruby doesn't escape from Hell, and Sam has to deal with his inner torment on his own until a little something unexpected happens. Depressing thoughts and attempted suicide included. No slash.

Disclaimer: Don't own, don't hunt!

Revised 12/19/08, edited by wildannuette!

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In the arms of an angel
Fly away from here
From this dark cold hotel room
And the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage
Of your silent reverie
You
're in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort there

"Angel" by Sarah McLachlan

All over the world, monsters and demons prowl the night - preying on the weak and corrupting the innocent.

There are hunters out there – though fewer in number than the creatures that go bump in the night – who have made it their job to hunt down and kill all the evil sons of bitches that they can. During the past year, their mission has become harder. More monsters roam free – a hundred more for every SOB they manage to take down. They know that it is growing increasingly more difficult to protect the unsuspecting public from the truth and the threat of mass hysteria looms closer.

Some believe that there will be Hell on Earth.

Others believe that it is already here.

And one man knows that they are all correct.

~*~*~

Night had fallen long ago and darkness has descended upon his part of the world. He does nothing about it though. Inside the confines of the dingy motel little room, he is surrounded by darkness save only for the light of a single candle. The candle's flame flickers softly, casting shadows on the room's unattractive interior while the air-conditioner growls menacingly and the muffled hum of city traffic can be heard beyond the paper-thin walls.

A particular smell also permeates the small residence. It is the stench of blood, sweat, tears and alcohol. A pile of battered, filthy clothing lays untouched in one corner, having become crisp and stale. Books, scattered papers, a couple dirty dishes and a few empty takeout boxes clutter the kitchenette table, and a perpetual gloom hovers about like a shroud.

He takes not notice, oblivious to what he has created.

And so Sam Winchester sits alone in the corner, his back against the wall, with a bottle of vodka clutched tightly in his embrace; his eyes bloodshot and his mind elsewhere.

It has been a month and a half since Dean's death - five weeks since Sam fled Bobby, escaping the older hunter's suffocating presence. He hasn't eaten much since then - he wouldn't have been able to keep it down - and most of his time has been spent trying to numb his senses with the alcohol that is his new best friend.

It is easier this way. He has become lost within himself, drowning in the pain that won't go away. It is unbearable, and he can do nothing to stop it - does nothing to it stop. Oddly enough, it has become the only constant companion he has left in his life since his world fell apart and his sanity crumbled with it.

His guilt is there too, of course, always close at hand. Overwhelmed, he has forgotten how to breathe. He doesn't want to breathe anymore anyway. Why should he care about himself anymore when Dean was is gone and it was his fault it happened?

Sam chokes silently, unable to cry anymore.

If Dean had been here right now, the older Winchester would have been telling him to let up on all the depressing emo angst - that it was giving him a headache.

But Dean wasn't there.

Dean was in Hell.

Dean was in Hell.

Dean was in Hell.

Dean was in Hell.

That litany is screamed over and over within his heart and soul, haunting his sleep and creating the most horrible of nightmares so that he can't even sleep. They tell him that he's a failure and that everything he touches turns to ruin. He wants to think otherwise, but Sam has long since deemed himself a failure.

After all, his last hunt had been a disaster and people had died - just like Dean had.

Sam had no purpose - no reason left to live. He should have stayed dead all those months ago.

Then something inside him finally snaps.

Moving himself out of the cramped position he had forced himself into hours ago, Sam stands abruptly and sets the vodka aside. Completely coherent for the first time in days, the remaining Winchester staggers towards the second bed where he has left his bags. Crouching next to the bed, Sam grasps the piece of luggage he's looking for and pulls it close. Fumbling with the zipper a moment, he opens his carryon weapons cache and begins riffling through it.

He doesn't flinch as his thumb brushes against the expert sharpness of one of the blades, but rather wraps his hand around its hilt and withdraw it from the bag.

It was small, old and seemingly innocuous for any purpose other then that of a kitchen utensil. But Sam knows better. This had been his first knife; a birthday present from Dean, the spring after he had learned the truth about the supernatural that Christmas when he was eight.

His hand trembles as he studies the knife - be it from subconscious trepidation or the high volume of alcohol flowing through his veins, he does not know.

Breathing deeply, Sam's grip on the hilt tightens and he brings it to around to face him. Staring intently down at his left wrist, his eyes map the pale network of veins that run beneath the flesh.

Is he actually doing this?

He hesitates, momentarily uncertain of his decision.

He thinks of the cleaning lady, who will be unfortunate enough to discover his body in a few days time. He thinks of Bobby, and what will happen when he learns of Sam's demise. He thinks of Ellen and Jo, and what they might think of his cowardly choice. He thinks of his mom, and he thinks of his dad. He thinks of Jess, too.

But then he thinks of Dean, and there is no turning back.

They say that suicides go to Hell, and that's exactly where he wants to go.

~*~*~

Suicide…

He hadn't wanted to believe that the Winchester boy would make such a rash decision concerning the value of his own life. Sadly, he was unpleasantly reminded of how little he actually knows about human emotion, and how it is an incredible power unto itself. Samuel's actions were inevitable, however, as was Samuel's growing distress and rapidly declining faith.

That is why he has chosen to intervene.

Father has given him permission to save Samuel and the chance to restore what has been lost. He has watched the boy since infancy, and has always been marveled by the intensity of the Samuel's love, faith and stubborn inner strength. While his brothers and sisters may have turned their backs, he had not.

Could not.

He takes no human vessel once he has descended to Earth, knowing that Samuel will be able to look upon his true form without suffering harm. The same can be said for his voice. Samuel has done it before in the past - seen and heard - but does not remember having done it. At the time, taking those memories had been for the better. It is proof of Samuel's humanity - purity - a fact that his brothers and sisters will be unable to ignore once he had proven it to them.

Determined to heal Samuel's suffering, he will do whatever it takes.

~*~*~

It isn't the pain Sam feels as he sluggishly begins to regain consciousness. Rather, it was the dull ache that confuses him. He can barely move, his limbs having become deadweight while he slept and they no longer listen to his weak-willed commands.

Groaning, he tries forcing his heavy eyelids open, a single thought in mind.

Why wasn't he dead?

Slowly and surely, Sam manages to open his eyes and regrets it almost immediately.

The room is suffused with brilliant light - awash with many hues of bright white and pale blue. Recovering from the shock, he allows his eyes to adjust to the new, foreign radiance. It didn't hurt exactly, it tingled in strange and oddly pleasant sort of way.

Now that he could see, Sam shifts and cranes his stiffened neck in order to take a look at himself. That was how he finds that he is lying in bed with the covers drawn to his neck (he remembered having crumpled to the floor due to blood loss). Struggling to pull himself upright, the youngest Winchester raises a single arm and looks down at his wrist. He frowns, brushing his fingers over where he had cut himself earlier. He had cut as deeply as he could go - straight to the bone - and now only a thin faded scar remained of what had been a wicked wound.

Why wasn't he dead?

"Because I could not allow you to die."

Sam flinches, completely unprepared for the voice. Ever since he drove himself into solitary confinement, he hasn't spoken much and hasn't been spoken to much. It's kind of a shock.

He doesn't hear the voice like humans normally hear, however, he hears it as if the words are actually being spoken inside his head. Gravitating toward the direction of the voice, Sam twists his gaze.

What he sees stills his heart.

It was the source of the room's light, glowing - burning - with an ethereal brilliance that was completely beyond human comprehension. Dressed in luminescent robes, it looks vaguely humanoid in shape and genderless in appearance, but it is completely not human. It is the likes of that practically no human has ever had the honor or the ability of seeing undisguised.

Sam knows that if he had been anyone else, the very sight of the creature before him would have surely melted away his eyes and reduced him to nothing more than a jabbering mess.

This only proves he is unlike other humans.

"It has been awhile, Samuel. I am glad that you are still able to hear my voice and look upon me with distress."

The youngest Winchester gasps, eyes widening.

It has been nearly ten years since he has seen it last - ten years that he has been unable to remember until now - but Sam recognizes the otherworldly creature that he was staring at instantly. And it has nothing to do with the folded pair prismatic wings that twitch and shimmer behind it.

It is an angel.

Images assault his mind's eye the second he came to that conclusion, filling his head with something akin to clips from an old film reel. It is not like the visions he has had in the past. No, these are memories and he remembers with perfect clarity what happened all those years ago.

The first time he'd heard the angel was when he had only been three years old. He had been sick with Scarlet Fever and seven year old Dean, who had been lucky enough to remain perfectly healthy throughout the entire ordeal, had taken over the role of nursemaid; John had been 'too busy with a hunt'. On the night the fever was at its worst, the angel had been there, its unearthly voice whispering soothingly inside his head. It was what helped his brother's gentle nurturing bring the fever down.

He remembers now the calming words he received when he had begged the angel not to leave. After all, it had done for him that which his father would not, in only a single night.

Keep the faith alive in your heart child, and you will see me again one day

The second time he had seen the angel was when he had been seven years old. John had been badly injured during his last hunt, and while Sam hadn't known how it had happened, he had spent the day at the local church praying that his father would get better. It had been the angel that had answered his prayers, appearing before him to tell him that his father would live.

Again, he remembers the angel's words.

You will see me again one day

The third and final time till now had been just after he had turned fifteen years old. He had taken off one night, after having a horrible argument with John concerning where he finished school that year. Distracted as he had been, Sam hadn't noticed the drunk driver careening towards him until it was almost too late. He had managed to run out of the way just enough to only be clipped, but he still suffered a concussion, a couple of fractured ribs, a broken leg, and multiple lacerations. And it had been the angel who had sat with him until the ambulance arrived, all the while telling him that he was going to be all right. Needless to say, he won the fight with his father and finished school where he wanted.

He remembers what it said the last time, too.

You have a special destiny ahead of you, Samuel. Use your gifts in the name of God, and the darkness will have no power over you

"It… it's you," he breaths, awe and disbelief colouring his voice.

The angel nods, its electric blue eyes sparkling brightly. "Indeed."

"Why?"

His sudden question was desperate, imploring.

"Why what?" it asks.

"Why did you save me?"

The angel cocks its head to the side, strands of white hair falling in its eyes as it studied him, as if trying to understand a complex puzzle.

"Why not?"

"Because I didn't want to be saved!" Sam cried, fingers grasping fistfuls of hair and tugging hard. He was finally crying now, tears burning hot paths down his cheeks. He was hysterical. "I don't deserve it. I should have died. I should have stayed dead. It's all my fault. Monster - I'm a monster."

There was no shift in the weight of the bed as the angel sits next to him, its touch feather light upon his cheek as a luminescent hand gently lifted his face so that he would meet its eyes.

"Why do you think so little of yourself, Samuel?"

Sam couldn't answer, opting instead to turn away and stare sightlessly at the wall next to him. After a moment, his breath comes out in a shudder.

"They say that suicides go to Hell," he whispers, his voice choked and broken. He hadn't really answered the question. "And that's what I wanted - I wanted to go to Hell. It was my fault, you know. Dean is in Hell because of me. He should never have sold his soul for me. It would have been better that way."

"Samuel - "

"No, it's true. I'm just some physic demon-blooded freak. I'm a monster."

"No, you are not a monster, child." the angel replied firmly. "Samuel, those powers are yours by right of birth. They were bestowed upon you by God and no other - Azazel only took advantage of what was already there within you."

Sam blinked through tears. "What?"

"Every so often a human child is born spiritually gifted. Some lose their gifts as they grow older and loose their faith, while others keep theirs regardless. You are one such child."

"But the demon…"

The angel shook its head, taking Sam's hands in its own.

"Spiritually gifted children are perhaps one of God's greatest gifts to mankind. It is children like you, and the adults that they become, that help to hold the balance intact and keep the faith alive."

"But what about Max and Webber and Ava and Jake…" Sam asked. "Or Andy and Scott and Lily? What about them? What about the others?"

"They could not escape the evil that had forced itself upon them." was the answer he received. "Because of your gifts, Azazel targeted you and your peers. We know not the demon's true intentions, but there is no doubt that they were vile. By feeding gifted children his blood, Azazel created for himself the perfect pawns. He caused your bodies to go into shock and your gifts to become dormant. That was how he wanted it, of course - for your gifts to be dormant until he had use for them."

Sam grimaced, "Had use for them?"

The angel sighs, its expression grim.

"Yes. If you had learned to wield your gifts while you were young, then Azazel would not have had the kind of leverage over you as he had. By forcing those gifts to awaken later in life, an adult who has been so profoundly 'changed' is rendered confused, afraid and susceptible to the influences of evil."

Sam blinked, comprehension slowly dawning.

"You mean that he - "

"Wanted you to see yourself as a monster? Yes. Unlike the other children of your generation, you received a very different sort of childhood. Although his methods were not always the best, John Winchester raised you to fight against the forces of darkness. And despite everything Azazel tried, you never gave into temptation like the others before you."

Silence grew thick between them as Sam lost himself in his thoughts again.

In the face of something so profoundly meaningful - it was an angel of all things telling him that he mattered - he was still slow to accept those words as truth. Misery was a troublesome bitch to shake once she sunk her claws in. So while he agreed that yes, he might not be a monster, he did not agree that it wasn't his fault that Dean had gone to Hell.

Having sensed his inner turmoil resurfacing, the beautiful creature sighed exasperatedly.

"What is the saying that you humans always use." it asked suddenly. "Oh yes - 'the road to Hell is paved on good intentions'?"

"Huh?"

Blue eyes scrutinized him seriously.

"Your family has a long history of unintentionally hurting the ones they love while trying to keep them safe. In the end, it only brings more pain."

"Then what would you have me do!?" Sam snaps, than feels guilty for having gotten angry at the one who was only trying to help.

"What I am offering you, Samuel, is the chance to make a difference. You want to die, but your death is not the answer. You blame yourself, but it was the actions of others that brought you to this point. You want to punish yourself for something that was out of your control, but the punishment you seek will only make things worse."

"Dean…"

"Suffers in Hell, regrettably." the angel replied. "From what I have seen, he has remained defiant so far so don't loose faith in him. Though the word has not yet been spoken, there is talk that one of my brothers is to be sent to raise him from the Pit."

The world comes screeching to a halt.

Sam's heart began to flutter – to beat wildly. He feels weightless, and then sick. He wants to be sick. Could it be true?

Scrambling out of bed, the youngest Winchester hits the floor with a painful thud. His stomach going topsy-turvy, he lurches to his feet and runs for the bathroom at a half stumble. Hands gripping the toilet seat, he leans forwards and allows the remains of last night's dinner to be expelled into the porcelain bowl. It was mostly alcohol and a couple of bean and cheese burritos.

It tasted better going down then it was coming up, that's for sure.

"Samuel, are you well?"

"M'fucking peachy." Sam groans, spitting away the acidly residue that still clung to his tongue.

Wiping his mouth clean with his shirtsleeve, he gathers his remaining strength in order to stagger back to his bed, barely missing his guest as he does so and collapses.

He is still weak from blood loss regardless of having been healed.

"Did you really mean that?" he finally asks, cracking an eye to look at the angel. "Dean is really going to be saved from Hell?"

"Yes."

"Why are you helping me?"

"I help you because I was a witness to your birth and to your best and worst of moments."

Sam averted his eyes. "But why? It's not like I'm worth it."

If angels could curse, this one would have done so right then. Sam found his face grasped firmly and he was pulled forward until he was staring into an abyss of absolute light.

"Now you listen to me Samuel Francis Winchester," the angel responded coolly. "You are worth it. Many of my brothers and sisters may not agree, but that is because they refuse to see it. I have done what they have not and I have looked upon the beauty in your soul. While it may bare many heavy scars, it remains pure. No man - tainted or otherwise - is beyond redemption if he is willing to atone for his sins. You are sinless."

Sam bit back a sob, bowing his head. He was released abruptly, but a single hand remains on his cheek.

"Samuel, I do this for you because you are one of the special children and because it is my duty to protect such children. If you cannot trust me, then who can you trust?"

He wipes away his tears.

"Y-you could start by tell me your name." Sam eventually whispers. "You never did tell me what it was. Who… who are you?"

The angel smiled.

"I am an angel of God. You can call me Metatron."

~END~

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Dedicated in Loving Memory of My Mother

January 28th, 1955 - July 20th, 2008

~*~

Archangel Metatron (Judaic, Cabalistic) also known as Metatetron, Merraton, Metaraon, Mittron. His aura colors are green and pink stripes and his crystal is watermelon tourmaline. His name comes from his human origin, "The prophet Enoch" and his specialty is healing learning disorders and childhood issues. Metatron's unusual name stems from his uncommon origins, as one of only two archangels who were once mortal men who walked upon the earth (the other is Sandalphon). Since Enoch was a skilled and honest scribe upon Earth, he was given a similar job in Heaven: to record everything that happened on Earth and keeps it in the Akashic records. Enoch is in charge of recording and organizing this material. Metatron is a fiery, energetic angel who works tirelessly to help Earth's inhabitants. He acts as in intermediary between heaven and Earth, since he's had extensive experience as both a human and an angel. Metatron has a special place in his heart for children, especially those children who are spiritually gifted. Metatron helps newly crossed over children adjust to heaven and helps earth children love themselves and become more focused. Metatron's energy is strong and highly focused. He's very motivational, and will encourage you to overcome procrastination and to take bold steps forward. He's also philosophical and can help you understand things like other people's motivations for action, and why different situations occur.

The White Wanderer: And that's a wrap! Well you just read the insane ramblings of a madwoman. I hope they some halfway decent sense. I had this idea in my head for a couple weeks now and I've only just managed to form it into words. I wanted to see what it would be like if there was an angle on Sam's side and I tried to make the second half of the story as believable as possible – we haven't seen the true form of an angel, so I had to make a stretch!XD Also, there is Sam's attitude towards the angel – I figured that since they technically already met and due to Sam's current mental state, he isn't completely 'spellbound' by it all. One last note being the whole failed attempted suicide, for Sam it felt like the only option and after being told that he was truly important, he would see that it was true. That, and knew Dean was eventually getting out of Hell anyway. For now I plan to walk the road of the one-shot, seeing as lately I tend to become scatterbrained when I try to write novel length stories. Anyway, comments would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading. Later!*