A/N: This story is a new direction for me, a new point of view brought on by some of the authors here. One in particular who has me thinking about the way God and the Angels act toward Sam and his supposed destiny. I'd been taking Sam's unavoidable doom as one of the facts of life for the show, for various reasons (including the fact that I love me some Evil!Sam, however bad he is for the characters, lol) but now I realize that "unavoidable" might not be the right word. God is all about Free Will, right? Plus it gives me an excuse to tackle a few unanswered questions.
Hope you all enjoy! Reviews are deliciously helpful. :)
Disclaimer: Nope, not mine. sigh
Sam sat alone in the dimly lit motel room, Dean having been gone for about an hour now, out to the nearest bar. He would have joined him, if the look on Dean's face hadn't stopped him dead in his tracks. Dean's confession about Hell…it had rocked them both. Sam's mind whirled with a mix of idle (and useless) threats against the angels-- for letting Dean rot down there for so long-- and slightly less idle plans of revenge against that bitch Lilith and all her furry little friends. But that meant he would have to get close enough with Ruby's knife, or he'd have to start practicing again. The same arguments for and against such a course of action ran circles around his aching head. He could do this all night, or at least until Dean got back.
Sam started and spun around, surprised not only by his visitor's sudden appearance but also by the fact that he could be snuck up on at all anymore. He'd thought that sensation was long gone. It was Castiel, standing in the pool of light from the street lamp outside, watching him for a change. Sam mused that he just must not be as used to angels—dicks--sneaking up on him as Dean was. At least it was him though, and not Uriel.
"What do you want? Come to threaten some more innocents?" Sam stood up, tensed and ready for a fight, however futile it may prove to be.
"You are not exactly what we would consider innocent, Sam. But you already knew that." Castiel's face was made of stone, his blue eyes ice that betrayed no emotion and gave no clue as to his presence here.
Sam didn't flinch; he'd heard that one before. "Right. I'm 'The Boy with the Demon Blood.' I'm real sorry about that too. Shoulda stopped that demon. You know, thrown a rattle at it or something."
"It's not your blood that would condemn you, Sam, but your choices. God does not punish the just for the crimes of the wicked."
Sam took a step forward, violence simmering down inside him but defiance practically radiating from his frame. "Oh, okay. And exorcising demons, saving people. Those are crimes worth punishing."
"It is not the job of man to wield the power of Heaven or Hell."
Sam blinked, but continued on. He'd gottten his argument down pat in his mind, especially after all that practice with Dean. "Yeah, well I'd be dead right now if I hadn't used those powers. So would a lot of other people, way I see it."
Something flickered in the angel's eyes, but his voice was as calm as ever. "Trust me, it is better to die pure of heart than to live long enough to offend God. Damnation is not your Destiny, Sam. That is why I've come."
"My destiny? Hah, then what exactly is it? I'm just dying to know what this side has to say on the subject."
Castiel sighed, glanced around the room and appeared…pensive. This was a new one for Sam, but he kept silent with slightly bated breath until the angel spoke.
"We don't know." He paused, gaze returning to Sam's, "But that does not mean there is no hope. The fact that your future is uncertain means it is up to you to decide. Your choice was just in the past, and you were rewarded. There is no reason to believe you wouldn't make the same decision now, except…for your extracurricular activities as of late."
Sam, confused, cocked his head and stared for a moment. "Wait, what do you mean 'my choice in the past'? Rewarded how? I don't—"
"You died, Sam Winchester. Or have you forgotten why your brother endured forty years of Hell? He could not live without you, his love too desperate and his choice…regrettable."
Sam stiffened again. "Regrettable. Cuz I was supposed to die that day in Cold Oak. I was supposed to go to Hell, not Dean. It's where I belonged—still belong." He said the last part quietly, not able to meet the angel's eyes.
"Actually, that knife brought you to God, not Lucifer."
Sam's eyes snapped back to Castiel's, his body frozen and his head swimming. A few moments passed in silence before he finally found his tongue. "You mean…I was…"
"In Heaven, yes. Before Dean made his deal. An instant, a small glimpse of Paradise." There was a twinge of sadness in his voice now. Sam was…at a loss.
"I don't remember…"
"Mortal souls are not meant to."
Confusion continued to be the overwhelming emotion in Sam, and he took a step forward in attempt to understand. "But…Dean remembers Hell. Why is Heaven any different?"
At this Castiel laughed, actually laughed, softly. It was a strange sound that reminded Sam vaguely of the church bells he used to hear at Pastor Jim's.
"Different is the whole point, Sam. Heaven and Hell are complete and perfect opposites. True Love and its Absence. Hell scars its inhabitants so that they may only remember their torment; Demons are those who have forgotten Love. Hell makes sure they know nothing but its lack. But my Father's house has…different rules. Heaven is not about remembering or forgetting, but about the constant state of Love. It is…hard to explain."
That, Sam understood. He was till reeling from the possibility of him ever being in such a place, let alone fathoming its greatness. "But if it was so…If I was really there…"
"The memory would torture you. Being pulled from Paradise is as painful as Damnation. They are near synonyms, Sam. How do you think Hell was created? Lucifer fell into his own pit of despair."
Sam had started pacing by now, mulling this new information over. It made sense, he guessed, except for that niggling voice in the back of his head that whispered his unworthiness. He stopped and faced the angel, doubt in his eyes. "So you're saying…I was in Heaven? Even though my…even though I'm not entirely—"
"Yes. As I said before, your choices that night saved you. You spared a life; you did not give in to Azazel's games. God was…pleased, to say the least."
Sam thought for a moment, still trying to wrap his mind around the concept of forgotten Heaven, when—"Does Dean know?"
Castiel looked down again, definite sadness in his eyes now. He didn't return his gaze until he answered, slowly, "No. I thought it best not to tell him. Just as the memory would haunt you, so would the thought of your…relative suffering torture Dean. He takes on too much blame as it is."
Thank God, Sam thought, relief an emotion he didn't expect to feel after a conversation with an angel, a nice change. He breathed out a short laugh, "Tell me about it."
Castiel smiled then, the emotionless aura of before almost gone now. He took a step closer to Sam and stretched out his hand, this time waiting for him to return the gesture. "That love you have for your brother, that may well be your saving. Choices made out of Love cannot be evil. There's hope for you yet, Sam Winchester."
Sam stretched his hand out to make contact, but before his eyes could meet the angel's he was gone, complete with the telltale rush of wind and rustle of fabric from a long trench coat. He stood there for a few minutes, hand still reaching toward the long gone messenger.
Then he smiled and went to find his brother. Dean might not know what Sam couldn't remember, but Sam would work tirelessly to erase what Dean couldn't forget.
Translation:arbitratus-- choice, decision