Tag to episode 5.17.

Sam tugged his cell phone from his jeans pocket, frantically stabbing the speed dial for Dean and crying out in despair when it automatically went to voicemail. Dean had already cut him off.

"Dean, please, don't do this. You told me we could fight this. You told me we'd do it together. I believed you, Dean. Please……Dean….I can't…." He choked back a sob. "I need you, Dean. Please come back."

Sam ended the call and watched as the Impala's tail lights disappeared into the distance. He held his breath, hoping to see the bright red lights which would indicate Dean had hit the brakes, at least reconsidered what he was doing, but if anything the Impala only picked up speed the farther away it got until the roar of the engine was nothing but a memory.

Sam turned to the motel room but couldn't bring himself to go back in, wasn't sure if he could even lift one foot to move his body in any direction. It was all too much. How was he supposed to do this without his brother, his anchor, the one thing he'd been relying on all this time to keep him from succumbing to Lucifer?

He collapsed to the sidewalk, cell phone still clutched loosely in his hand. He punched in another number, waiting for the familiar hello from the other end.


"Sam? Is that you?" Sam could hear the immediate concern in Bobby's gruff voice. What's wrong, boy?"


"Is he hurt?"

"He l-left me….he's gone, Bobby." Even to his own ears it sounded so final. His brother was gone and he hadn't been able to stop him. Not one thing he'd said had mattered. And why should it? After what they had seen in heaven, Dean had no reason to believe he mattered to Sam, regardless of what Sam said.

"…..get him back…..Sam, are you listening to me?"

"I'm here, Bobby." Sam wiped his nose with the back of his hand and made a swipe at his eyes. Now was not the time to fall apart. Not yet. Not as long as there was any hope of getting to Dean before he said yes to Michael.

"Where's Cas?"

"He's here, at the motel."

"Okay, I'm going to see if I can do some kind of locator spell to find your brother." Sam could hear the weariness in the older man's voice. "God, this is last year all over again."

"Don't say that, Bobby."

He couldn't face the implication of Bobby's words. Dean had been dead set on stopping Sam last year but no matter what he'd done, Sam had still made all the wrong choices and started the apocalypse. If Sam was unable to stop Dean he would lose his brother forever.

Bobby's sigh was heavy over the phone line. "Don't give up, kid. We'll find him."

Sam ended the call without another word. Feeling a presence at his back, he turned to find Castiel standing over him.

"Where is your brother?"

"He's gone, Cas."

"Where did he go?"

Castiel looked as though he hadn't fully recovered from whatever mojo the Babylonian whore had thrown at him. The angel teetered on his feet, finally sinking to the sidewalk beside Sam.

"You okay?"

"I will be." Castiel studied Sam's face. "You think Dean has gone to find Michael."

"I know he has." Sam huffed out a loud sigh. "I knew he'd made his decision the minute he killed that bitch."



"You mean the whore."

"Whore, bitch, what the hell ever Cas!" Sam spat out in exasperation. "My brother has gone to find Michael!"

"We have to stop him."

"Bobby's working on a spell to find him, but Cas, I don't know if I can stop him….if we can stop him. He's lost hope in everything…….including me. And I don't know how to get it back."

Sam's chest ached and he wrapped his arms tightly around himself, trying to reel in the pain. This wasn't about what he was feeling. It was about his brother, about the emptiness Dean felt inside, the hopelessness of the situation and yet Sam still wanted to cry because he knew the reason Dean felt that way. It was because he had a baby brother who had never thought about anyone but himself.


"It's my fault, Cas, it's all my fault."

Then the tears came and Sam hated himself even more. Castiel sat beside him in silence, his hand resting on Sam's shoulder.

"You have to make him believe again, Sam."

Sam ran his hands over his face and gave a bitter laugh. "He never believed in the first place, Cas. How's that going to change now, after he's been told God doesn't even care?"

"I'm not talking about God." Castiel averted his eyes. "I don't even believe in him anymore."

Sam felt a pang of sympathy for the angel. "Then what are you talking about Cas?"

"I'm talking about you, Sam. You have to make your brother believe in you."

"How do I do that, Cas? After what we saw in heaven….he thinks he doesn't matter to me, he thinks those were my happiest memories. God, how could he think the night I left for Stanford was happy at all?" Sam pinched the bridge of his nose. "Dad was yelling at us both and Dean…he tried to make Dad understand that all I wanted was to be normal. I thought for once Dad would be proud of me. I got a full ride, Cas. Do you know what that means?"

The angel shook his head.

"It means for once I wasn't worthless. For once maybe Dad would look at me the way he looked at Dean when Dean took a gun apart and put it back together in record time or just maybe he'd buy me a beer and celebrate the way he did with Dean after he did well on a hunt." Sam took a deep breath and hurried on. "But you know what he did? He threw the letter back in my face, told me if I left to never come back so I did as I was told. I thought at least obeying a direct order might finally make him happy. I just never realized what it did to Dean."

Sam pushed himself up from the sidewalk and Castiel mirrored his actions.

"I wanted to come back, Cas, so many times. I wanted to be part of their lives, just not that part of their lives. I wanted to be more than John Winchester's son or Dean's little brother. I wanted to be my own person but I could never make them understand. I wanted to do something in this life that mattered to me."

"You need to tell your brother these things."

"It won't do any good, Cas. I already told him I needed him and he left me anyway."

"Yes, but did you tell him why you needed him?"

Sam frowned as his phone began to ring. "Hey, Bobby. You got anything?"

"Yeah, I got a lead on where Dean might be."

Sam realized he was shaking. "I guess now I have that chance."

"What are you talking about, boy?"

"To do something that really matters, Bobby. I have to save Dean."

"Any ideas how in the hell you're going to do that?"

Sam raked his free hand through his hair. "Not really. But I think I'll start with telling him something he hasn't heard in a really long time, something he probably doesn't even realize."

Castiel gave him a curious glance and Sam felt his eyes filling with tears again.

"Yeah? What's that?"

"That I love him." He swallowed hard against the lump in his throat. "I have to tell him I love him, Bobby."

"It's okay, son. That sounds like a good place to start."

A/N: I posted another one shot last week called The Diary of Bobby Singer if you'd like to check it out. It's a tag to Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid.

Thanks for reading!