Supernatural © not mine.

AN: Second in the Redemption series, sequel to Salvation Unto Men and Angels

Faith Enough for This

Sam simply lays back on his bed and stares at the motel ceiling while Dean cleans his guns. He's been at it for the past six hours, and Sam's pretty sure the guns are now officially rust-free. It's supposed to be a calming ritual, something Dean does when he needs to think, a way to keep his hands busy and his mind focused.

Right now, Sam thinks it's more a way to keep his mind blank. Judging from the thick, familiar scent of Hoppes #9, Sam's pretty sure he's failing. Miserably.

Sam waits until Dean gives up and starts packing away the cleaning supplies before he speaks. "I think we have the cleanest guns this side of the Appalachian Mountains." There's a slight tease in his voice, but Dean only acknowledges him with a grunt. Sam doesn't even look at him as he keeps talking. "For that kind of clean, I think you'd have to be either seriously brain dead, or thinking really hard about something."

"You are not Cas – don't try to read my mind."

"Wouldn't dream of it." Sam's too tired to be offended by the bite in Dean's tone. "But I am your brother. I still know when something's wrong."

Dean sighs. "Just thinking."

"I know. I could smell the smoke." Sam aims for a joke, but Dean doesn't laugh. The bed dips a little as Dean sits down next to his brother, close enough to touch his side. They used to sit like this when they were younger – when Sam had had a nightmare and Dean wasn't willing to lay down next to him. It is familiar and comforting, and apparently they both desperately need it. Sam tries again. "What are you thinking about?"

"Faith."

Sam blinks. That explains the Bible that lays open on Dean's bed. Sam had thought that Castiel had something to do with that, but apparently that's not the case. "You doing a bit of research?" he asks.

"Something like it. Trying to figure out why Cas is always talking about it." Dean shrugs one shoulder, and now that Sam is actually watching him, he can see it's the shoulder Cas's handprint is burned on. "I mean, he keeps telling me to have faith – might as well figure out what faith he's talking about so I have a reason to tell him to shove it." He sounds like he's trying to be the same Dean Sam has known all his life. The Dean that doesn't need anybody except his family.

Sam knows better. He knows his brother. So he sits up, putting just a bit of distance between them so he doesn't wind up in Dean's face, and puts his hand on Dean's shoulder. "C'mon. You aren't going to tell him to shove it."

"Why not?"

"Because you're actually considering this faith thing." Sam says with all the confidence a little brother can have. "If you were gonna tell him to shove it, you would have thrown something at him."

Dean smiles slightly. "It's just – what do you think about it?"

Sam shrugs. "You're gonna have to be more specific."

Dean motions at the Bible on his bed. "If you have the faith of a mustard seed, you can move a mountain." He sounds like he's mocking one of those TV evangelists, but Sam knows better. "What do you think?"

"I think – I think that's pretty incredible, even after all the crap we've gone through." Sam admits. "Pretty hard to believe too."

"Tell me about it."

Sam tilts his head back, brows furrowing. "So why are you even thinking about it?"

Dean sighs, closing his eyes. For a moment, Sam thinks Dean isn't going to say anything. He thinks the conversation is over, and quite frankly, he prefers that. Ever since the angels came, Sam isn't sure what to think of them, or God, or anything else for that matter. His worldview has been shaken. He doesn't know what to believe.

"I don't know about God." Dean says slowly. "I don't know if I have faith in Him or what. Kinda hard to when I haven't thought much about Him, ya know?"

"I know." They've had this conversation before, back when they first got an inkling that there might actually be a God. Sam still remembers that hunt. It still haunts his dreams, though not as much recently. "So what's changing?"

"With God? Nothing." A slight smirk crosses Dean's face. "I don't have faith in God, but I have faith in Cas. What does that say?"

Silence falls again between them. Dean seems content to just sit there and let Sam stew over the implications of such a simple statement. Sam had thought that Dean didn't trust Castiel any more than Dean trusted the other angels. Castiel was just useful.

Faith and trust are interchangeable to Sam. He has faith in those he trusts. Lately, that list has narrowed to include only Dean and Bobby. Castiel isn't on that list. Neither is God for that matter.

He had thought Dean had the same theory.

Suddenly, Sam laughs. "Well, I think that having faith in an enigmatic, pain in the ass angel is a pretty good start to having faith in a quasi-mythical God." he says simply.

Dean laughs as well. "When you put it that way – "

"I'm good at that."

"Oh, shut up."

"Make me, jerk."

Dean grabs Sam's pillow from under his head and tries to smother him with it. It's the first real smile, the first real laughter, that Sam has gotten from him since he came back from Hell.

To Be Continued

An: Ya know, that was supposed to be more focused on God and faith than Cas and faith, then my muse pointed out that Dean needs baby steps. I listened.