Notes: I know what you're all thinking, "When in the bleedin' hell is she going to stop writing new oneshots and update her damn chapter fics?" Answer: Sometime really, really soon, I hope. I've been kicking at my muse to try to make her get going on them, but the stupid bint won't budge. I might have to bribe her with chocolate or something.
Warnings: Language, schmoopy speeches, brief blood, and minor (yes, minor) angst.
Spoilers: 6.01 – 6.04, with AU allusions to 6.06 and 6.07. I started this before 6.06 so now it's cannon but AU at the same time lol. Make sense?
Disclaimer: Not. Mine. I don't own anything.
Blood at the Crossroads
I have not uttered lies.
I have made none to weep.
I have not attacked any man.
I am not a man of deceit.
I have not been angry without just cause.
I am not a man of violence.
I have wronged none, I have done no evil.
Sam tells the widow that her husband was better off being torn apart, cause it turns out he had a heart condition that would've taken him out slower, and at least his violent end had been quick.
Dean doesn't know who is more horrified: himself, or the sobbing woman who throws them out on their asses.
After he glares at Sam with an unmistakable 'what the hell is wrong with you?' expression, he thinks, "Alright. This shit is ending now."
He's been hunting, living, with robot Sam for two months now. There's no humor, no sadness, no easy jokes or irritated sighs, no compassion, no pain, nothing that indicates that Sam knows what emotion even is any more. Dean's pushed, prodded, threatened, and pleaded, but Sam maintains that there's nothing wrong with him. Dean knows better because he's the big brother, and no one knows Sam like he does. Not even the freakin' Campbell's.
He put up with it at first; watching uneasily as Sam went through their daily lives with blank expressions and case facts. He let himself believe that it was the literal hell that Sam went through that was making him act differently. Having gone through hell himself, he could relate. Then he told himself that it isn't his place to fix Sam anymore. Before Sam did what Dean refers to as "the jump," he had let his little brother go and be his own man. It had been the hardest thing he'd ever done, letting his kid brother sacrifice himself for the world. Three years ago he never would've even considered it, but things change, and it had to be done.
But own man or not, Dean thinks it's in the brother code that if your sibling is acting like a psycho, then intervention is allowed. And yeah, he's definitely intervening.
Sam isn't a demon, Dean knows that much. He doesn't react to holy water, salt, silver, Devil's Traps, or even a few of the angel wards they have lying around (and thank god for that. At least he knows that Lucifer isn't still lingering in there somewhere.) But that leaves Dean fresh out of options, which scares the living hell outta him. No paranormal or supernatural explanation means that Sam's just come back wrong; back from the dead with a blackened heart and a soulless body.
That's when the light bulb, the realization, the possibility hits, and it hits hard. Dean whips his head over to the passenger seat so fast that he almost swerves onto the shoulder of the road. Sam looks back at him, and raises an eyebrow in question. Dean's seen the physical movement thousands of times, but it's always accompanied with something: concern, amusement, impatience, something. This time, Sam quirks his eyebrow…and that's it. Dean can't see a single damn emotion reflecting back in his brother's eyes. It makes something cold, dark, and final settle in his gut.
"Nothing," Dean chokes out at Sam's silent question, wondering if he looks as terrified as he feels, "Bug flew in front of my face."
Sam goes back to looking out the windshield like nothing happened. Dean steals another glance and then wonders if deep down, he knew the truth all along.
He calls Bobby. He feels bad about it because of what happened the last time he called about Sam, but he needs help. Like he really, really needs help.
"Something's wrong with Sam," Dean says as a greeting, "Not wrong like he's-burying-his-crap-Winchester-style wrong, I'm talking sociopath wrong. Bobby…I think Sam's soul's gone."
There's stunned silence on the other end for a moment, "I'm gonna need a drink for this, hold on. Start from the top."
Dean sighs and then reviews all of Sam's weirdo emotionless behavior. "And I get it, I really get it, he went through something," he says after he's done recapping, "But it's more than that. I can feel it in my damn bones, Bobby, Sam's not right. I've run through all the tests and this is my last option. If this isn't the answer then Sam's just…"
He doesn't finish. He knows he doesn't have to.
"Alright," Bobby sighs. Dean can hear the exhaustion in his voice, the kind that only comes with being a hunter.
"What do I do?" Dean tries not to sound like he's pleading or like he's half way to desperate, but he is, and he thinks Bobby knows that anyways.
"You're gonna need an ostrich feather…"
In ancient Egyptian mythology, Ma'at is the concept of peace, justice, truth, balance, and morality. The Egyptians lived their lives on the concept, thinking that if they upheld Ma'at, then they'd be blessed and reincarnated in the afterlife. It's a lot like the concept of Christians not committing sins so that they can go to heaven. The Goddess Ma'at wore an ostrich feather on her head; therefore, Ma'at is represented with a feather. When a soul went to the underworld to face Osiris, the heart was weighed on a scale against the feather. If the heart was heavier than the feather, the heart was eaten by a beast that the Egyptians named Ammit. If they balanced, the soul was free to pass on for reincarnation.
So, the idea is that if Sam can't lift a blessed ostrich feather, then his soul isn't in Sam's body. If he can lift it, then Sam's just, well…Dean doesn't really want to think about it.
It's about the stupidest thing Dean's ever heard of (soul testing with a feather? Really?), but he'll try anything, if it means getting Sam back, the real Sam.
"How the hell am I going to convince him to do that? You know the geek's gonna know what I'm up to!" Dean rants into the phone as he tries to think of ways to make Sam pick up the damn feather.
"I don't know, put it in his pillow or something. Use your brain; I know it's in that thick skull somewhere. Call me when you find out."
So that's what he does. The next town they blow through, Dean makes a discreet and brief stop at the nearest occult store for the feather, and for the herbs he's going to need to bless it. Then while Sam's off getting food, Dean quickly does the ritual and jams the feather into one of the motel's pillowcases. He spends the next half hour staring at the pillow like it's a new enemy, with a pit of dread swirling deep in his chest.
The door swings open and Dean jumps. He mentally berates himself for being off his game, and then forces his body to relax, "You get your coffee, Francis? Took you long enough."
Sam grunts and then wrinkles his nose as he looks around the room, "It smell like cinnamon in here to you?"
Keeping his face neutral Dean shakes his head, "Must be your girly coffee."
"I don't put cinnamon in my coffee, Dean," Sam replies, but there's no edge to it, no false irritation or hint of little brother anywhere.
Dean can't stand it for one more second.
He stands and marches right over to the pillow that's housing the blessed feather, and whips it in Sam's direction, "Think fast!"
Sam fumbles to grab the pillow that comes catapulting towards his him. The cotton and polyester hits his hands and he manages to clutch onto the pillowcase before it hits his face. Then his entire upper body, including the pillow, pitches forward as if Dean had tossed a four hundred pound boulder at Sam instead of a piece of bedding. The pillow drops to the floor.
Dean feels his heart drop with it.
"What the hell, Dean?" Sam demands in near anger as he straightens up, glaring down at the pillow on the floor in confusion.
Dean swallows back nausea as he bends down and picks the pillow up from the floor with ease, "Maybe your muscles are finally failing, Samantha." The jibe is weak, if not in words, then definitely in his tone of voice.
Sam stares at him for a second, calculating. Dean grips the pillow, staring back as he prepares for the fight. If his newly soulless brother comes at him he can swing the pillow, and the feather inside might do some damage. But in the end Sam just rolls his eyes –it looks like out of habit more than anything- and says, "Bite me, Dean," before going back to his coffee and pastry.
Dean swallows a few times, unsure if his body wants to puke or cry.
Later that night, when Sam's asleep (and Jesus, he feels like a hypocrite with all these secret calls) he calls Bobby back in barely contained hysterics, "He couldn't do it, Bobby, he couldn't lift the damn feather! He freakin' dropped it like it weighed a ton. What do I do? His goddamn soul…"
"Easy, son, take a breath," Bobby says from the other end, trying to be soothing but Dean can hear the concern in the gruff tone.
Not for the first time that day, Dean forces himself to relax, "Please tell me there's something that we can do to fix this."
"Honestly? I don't know. We have no idea where Sam's soul is, what happened to it, who took it, or why. We have nothing, Dean," Bobby explains, wishing like hell that he had better news to tell the oldest Winchester.
"Bobby, please. It's Sam. There has to be something…"
Bobby sighs, "There might and I mean might, be something you can try. But you're not gonna like it."
"Story of my life. What is it?" Dean asks and closes his eyes, preparing for the worst.
"Summon the Keeper of Souls."
Dean blinks, "And then?"
"Try to get him to give Sam's soul back," Bobby replies, with a silent but obvious "idjit" attached to the end of it.
"Oh, is that all?" Dean chirps sarcastically and then sighs, "How do I do this?"
There's hesitance from the other side and then, "You need to find a crossroad…"
Dean feels his pulse jump as dread starts to thrum through his veins, "No. No more deals. Bobby, I can't…"
"If you'd let me finish," Bobby interrupts dryly, "Find a crossroads. It's not a normal gig, there's no deal involved, it's just a summoning. Only difference is what you're burying in the center."
"And that is…"
Dean rubs a hand over his face, "How much?"
He can almost hear Bobby shrug, "Pint or so would probably do it."
"Alright, so I bleed myself like a stuck pig and the Soul Man shows up, then what? I ask for him to pretty please with sugar on top give my brother's soul back? What if it doesn't work?" Dean asks.
"I don't know, Dean, it's not like there's a whole bunch of written accounts of people meeting Osiris. I already told you that the plan is sketchy at best…"
A new sense of fear and panic builds up inside Dean, "Wait a second, Osiris? As in the friggin god? What the hell happened to the Soul Keeper?"
"Osiris is the Soul Keeper, idjit," Bobby replies with an eye roll that Dean can't see, "Where were you for mythology 101?"
"Well sorry, my walking encyclopedia is being possessed by someone from Planet Vulcan right now," responds, glancing in through the motel bedroom to look at his sleeping brother, "Anything else I need to know?"
"Yeah, don't piss him off or do anything stupid. He might not be there to harm you, but that doesn't mean he won't if you shoot your mouth off," Bobby warns.
Dean huffs, "Great." Then he pauses, "Hey. Thanks, Bobby. Really."
"Don't mention it," Bobby says with sincerity, "just take care of yourself, you hear?"
Then he hangs up to go see a man about a soul.
It's really the last place he wants to be at again, a crossroads. After he sold his soul to the pit, Dean promised himself that he'd never go near one again, unless he was driving through it. He doesn't even like to do that. But it's Sam, and his soul's gone, and Dean did not suffer for a whole year just to get a soulless little brother back from hell. No, he's going to fix this.
He takes out the empty pint of whiskey from his jacket pocket, and then his favorite pocket knife. The slide of the blade across his wrist makes him wince, and the sting intensifies as he squeezes the wound over the opening of the bottle, forcing the blood inside. It feels like it takes far too long to fill up the glass container, and by the time the crimson syrup starts to climb up the curved edges of the top, Dean's feeling a little woozy. He caps off the pint, wraps his wrist with the gauze that he had ready, and then drops the bottle into the hole in the center of the crossroads.
His heart's pounding as he waits anxiously for something to manifest. All he can think about is the last time he was here; filled with grief so strong that he sold his soul for little more than a dime. He can almost feel it as if it were yesterday, the raw pain that came with Sam dying in his arms, the knowledge that he was the last Winchester on earth. He's literally shaking with it.
"You don't need to be frightened."
The voice from behind startles him, making him reach for a weapon that isn't there. In front of him is a man, not much older than Dean, with dark features and normal clothes.
"You're Osiris?" Dean's voice is rough, full of hesitance.
"I am," the god responds, tilting his head in a way that reminds Dean of Cas, "You are Dean."
"In the flesh," Dean replies with false bravado as he sizes up the being in front of him. Osiris is standing in what appears to be a relaxed, non threatening pose with his arms to his side and his legs slightly spread. But Dean's not fooled. He's been around enough angels and the like to know something powerful when he sees it, and he definitely sees power thrumming under the calm demeanor of the Egyptian god.
"You are here about your brother, Sam. About his soul," Osiris says as he steps closer. Dean forces his feet to stay put, even though he desperately wants to move back a few steps.
Dean nods slowly, not trusting his voice and being perfectly ok with letting Osiris run the show for right now.
"I'm sorry, but I cannot help you," the god continues and looks genuinely regretful. Which just pisses Dean off.
"What do you mean you can't help me?" Dean demands, "Sam's alive, and you still have his soul. So give it back!"
The easy expression slides from Osiris' face for a brief moment, and is replaced with irritation. Dean can't help the step backwards that he takes.
"I am well aware that Sam Winchester is alive," Osiris states with a raised eyebrow, silently challenging Dean to respond.
Dean glares, "Then why didn't his soul come back with him?"
"Because it has been judged."
After two years of near apocalypse crap, Dean's getting pretty sick of talking to gods, angels, and demons who think it's fun to yank his chain with half answers, "What do you mean judged? Judged, like…"
Osiris stares with that damn eyebrow still raised, like he's just waiting for comprehension to take Dean out. And it does. His earlier conversation with Bobby comes rushing back, and suddenly, Dean's having trouble breathing.
"Eaten," Dean whispers, barely able to push the word out of his throat without wanting to vomit, "Sam's soul was judged but he didn't pass the test."
"It is unfortunate, but it happens," Osiris replies with a small shrug, "Ammit needs to be feed, as well."
"You son of a bitch," Dean snarls, "Sam didn't deserve that! He sacrificed himself so this damn planet could continue to be miserable! How could he have not passed?"
"He did deserve it," Osiris replies patiently, "His heart was weighed and it did not pass. Yours was weighed once, too."
"Then why'd I get to keep mine? I've done bad shit, too. If Sam didn't pass then there's no way that I would've!" Dean argues.
"But you did. Why do you think you came back to earth with it intact? Why do you think you lasted so long in hell?" Osiris questions, pressing even closer to Dean's personal space. This time, Dean doesn't move, "Were you not the righteous man in hell?"
Dean feels his lip curl into a snarl, "So what'd you do? Rig the test so I could get the ball rolling on the apocalypse?"
"Of course not, you passed all on your own."
"I speak the truth," Osiris persists, moving in even closer so that he is now a mere foot away from Dean.
"Yeah, because you otherworldly types are so infamous for your honesty," Dean comments sarcastically, bitterly, "Cut the crap. Give my brother's soul back or so help me, I will find a way to waste you."
Osiris is close enough that Dean can see that the god's skin is tinged vert green, and that his eyes are metallic gold. He can also see the exact moment when Osiris decides that they are done playing games, because his eyes literally flash white with rage.
"You are in no position to be making demands or threats," Osiris states calmly, but Dean can hear the thinly veiled warning underneath the composure, "We would not want both Winchester sons to be missing some pieces, would we?"
"You can't take my soul," Dean protests, even though his heart rate has sped up from the onset of fear, "I'm not dead."
"Not yet," Osiris agrees while he cocks his head, "But every man has his day, and when yours comes, I just may rig the test."
The look that Osiris pierces him with makes his hair stand on end. There's hunger behind the god's stare, like he's a primal animal and Dean's the bunny rabbit. It makes him uneasy, feeling like he's on the wrong side of the hunt. But being the hunter, the Winchester, that he is, he doesn't back down. God help him, he's crossing into the realm of 'scared shitless,' but he's not going to look away or step back.
A crooked grin crosses Osiris' face, "Your bravery and pride will get you killed sooner rather than later."
"Is that some kind of promise?"
"Hardly. Merely an observation."
Osiris stares for a moment longer, almost as if to test to see if Dean will budge. Of course, Dean doesn't move. Osiris "hmmms" in amusement before stepping back, putting a fair amount of distance between himself and Dean. Dean relaxes inch by inch until Osiris is a good meter, if not more, away.
"I am sorry that it turned out this way," Osiris says, boring his gaze into Dean.
Dean scoffs, "If you were that sorry, you'd fix it."
"It is against the rules…"
"Screw your rules," Dean starts, forgetting Osiris' threats mere moments ago, "Sam saved the world and got jackshit outta the deal. Someone owes him, and I know the angels and God, the real God, aren't going to man up so you might as well step up to the plate!" This time it's Dean invading space as he marches up to the god, "You are supposed to be the most merciful, the most humane, of the gods. You're supposed to look past the sins and give everyone an all access pass to the other side. So what the hell is the problem?"
Osiris looks like he doesn't know if he wants to rip Dean limb from limb, or crawl into a corner and cower in his shame, "I fought for him." Osiris says it with a stubborn set in his jaw, like he didn't want to confess to it.
The admission was something Dean was not expecting, "What?"
"Your brother. I fought to keep his soul from Ammit's hungry jaws," Osiris clarifies, his metallic glare staring straight through Dean.
"I was overruled."
Dean stares, baffled, "You're the god of the whole damn underworld, who the hell could overrule you?"
"There are ways," Osiris replies cryptically, and this time, there is betrayal shining through his expression.
Dean lets that sink in for a moment, rolling around possibilities in his head. He doesn't know Egyptian mythology as well as the Christian myths, so he has no idea who'd be powerful enough to overthrow the god of the underworld. What's worse is that he has no idea why they'd do it, or if it was Sam's soul that they were specifically out to destroy. The idea makes him shiver.
"Look, I'm sorry that someone stepped on your toes, ok? I know the feeling. But Sam's soul didn't deserve what happened and I think you know that. So I'm asking you, please, bring it back. Bring Sam back."
Osiris holds his gaze for a moment before huffing in frustration, shaking his head, "It will not be easy."
"I wasn't it expecting it to be."
Osiris regards Dean for a brief second and then resolves, "This will hurt."
Before Dean gets the chance to respond, Osiris thrusts his fist into Dean's chest. His hand goes right through his torso, disappearing into his body as if Dean weren't corporal at all. The agony is above and beyond anything he's ever felt, even when he was in hell. It's like every molecule in his body is on fire, like every single tiny nerve is being electrocuted. His brain is in a white out of pain, there isn't a single thought, not even a silent plea to make it stop. He's literally incapable of processing anything except for the pure anguish that has a hold on him. He can't even tell if he's screaming.
Then it stops.
Osiris yanks back his hand and Dean immediately collapses, more or less face planting into the crossroad dirt. Saliva strings from his mouth to the ground and he realizes now that his face is wet with tears. He can barely breathe, and he wonders if he had been taking in any oxygen at all during that whole ordeal.
"Give yourself a moment, it will pass," Osiris says from above him.
He wants to tell the god to fuck off and then punch him in his green face, but he doesn't even have the energy to lift his head, so he settles with playing out the scenario in his head.
"The hell'd you do to me?" Dean slurs, the memory of the pain still thrumming in the back of his mind.
"I used your essence to piece Sam's soul back together. It was the only way to re-create it," Osiris replies.
"Some warning would've been nice," Dean mutters as he pushes himself off the ground, wincing as his now stiff muscles protest.
"I did warn you."
Dean glares, "Buddy, that was not a warning."
Osiris tilts his head again, frowning as if to silently ask, "Well, what was it, then?"
Once Dean gets himself right again and wipes down his face with the edge of his shirt, he looks at Osiris suspiciously, "Why'd you do it? What's the catch?"
"I do not expect compensation," Osiris says, his eyes glittering, "I am merely correcting a mistake."
"Right," Dean replies, hesitant to buy the reasoning, but too over the moon to really care, "Thank you." And he means it.
"Do not expect this kind of goodwill again, Dean Winchester. I suspect you are quickly running out of divine favors," Osiris responds, and then disappears, leaving Dean alone at the crossroads.
"Yeah," Dean says into the solitude of the night, "You and me both."
He calls Bobby to let him know that he's not dead and that it all worked out, and then he drives back to the motel at break neck speed. His stomach is in nervous knots and his palms are sweating. He has to keep rubbing them on his jeans so that he can drive properly. He has no idea if Osiris' little soul meld worked. He tried calling Sam's phone but it went to voicemail, which isn't encouraging at all. But if Sam went through even half the pain that Dean had to go through to get his soul back, then Dean can understand the need to take a few minutes to regroup. But he called a grand total of ten times and left a total of ten messages, so yeah, he's a bit nervous.
Not to mention, he has no idea what kind of shape Sam's going to be in emotionally. Sam was trapped in Lucifer's cage, and Dean's willing to bet that the only reason Sam's been pressing on is because he hasn't had a pesky soul around to feel all that residual pain and fear. With a newly instated soul, Sam might be a complete, post-hell mess. Dean can relate, in a way. He's pretty sure that his tour of hell was like a trip to the Bahamas compared to Sam's, but at least they've both done the hellfire tango. Dean just needs to know that he can help Sam deal, in some way.
Dean's back in front of the motel before he even realizes it. The first thing he notices is that their motel window is blown out. Underneath the windowsill the glass glimmers in the dim street lights. The reflections on the pavement send bolts of panic into Dean's heart, making it pound faster and faster with every step.
"Sam?" Dean shouts as he pulls his gun, just in case. The motel door opens easily, it's unlocked and undamaged despite the ruined window. The room's dark, lit only by moonlight and street lamps, but Dean can easily spot the outline of Sam curled up on the floor at the foot of the bed.
"Sammy?" Dean steps into the room, does a glance over just to make sure that they were alone, and then shoves the gun in the back of his jeans, hastily making his way over to his brother, "Hey, you with me?"
He crouches down in front of Sam, bringing his hands up to cup the sides of his face. Sam's eyes are slammed shut and up close like this, Dean can see tear tracks on his cheeks. His winces in sympathy as his thumb swipes over a tacky trail, remembering his own fun time while Osiris pieced Sam's soul back together.
"Sammy, answer me," Dean half pleads, half demands. He wants to believe that the tears are evidence of Sam's soul, but he thinks that if the physical pain was great enough, Sam could cry with or without it.
Sam's eyes open and they're so lost, so freaked out, so Sam that Dean's heart clenches.
"What happened to me?" Sam's voice is wrecked, possibly from the pain of the soul reimbursement, maybe from something else.
"Just did a little soul searchin,' that's all," Dean responds with a small smile, unable to help the relief he feels despite Sam's obvious upset.
"Never mind," Dean says as he looks back at Sam, does a quick once over, and asks, "You ok?"
"I…I don't know. I was fine, but then…this really intense pain, and I don't know…I don't think I…" Sam frowns, clearly confused and maybe a little panicky, "I remember, but it's all wrong, like I was there but I was watching myself…was I possessed?"
"What do you remember?" Dean asks, rolling off his haunches and sitting on the floor across from his brother.
"I don't know, everything?" Sam says in hesitation, "I remember falling into the pit and then…the cage…"Sam swallows as if he has the sudden need to vomit, "And then waking up on earth. I tried to call Cas."
Dean frowns, "Is that it?"
"No," Sam replies slowly as he shakes his head, "Samuel found me. Then we started hunting together, with the other Campbell's…they're kind of dicks."
Dena snorts, "I noticed. Anything else?"
"Coming back for you, working a few jobs with you, Cas?" Sam asks and Dean nods in confirmation, "But it's weird, Dean, I remember all of the events, but, that's it. I have no idea how I felt the entire time or even what I was thinking, it's like remembering a movie, or something."
"Yeah," Dean replies and then licks his lips, "The thing is, you've kinda been walking around the past year or so without a soul."
Dean watches as Sam's eyes widen to near comical proportions, "What? How is that even possible? What'd you…" Then his eyes narrow, "Dean, what did you do?"
"What? Nothing!" Dean replies defensively and then rolls his eyes, "Well, I did something, but not deal-something, if that's what you're thinking. Been down that road before, dude, don't really wanna do it again."
"Then what did you do? What the hell is even going on?"
Dean gives him the run down, ending with his almost show down with Osiris. He even reluctantly tells him why his soul wasn't returned with his body.
Sam smirks cynically and shakes his head, "I didn't pass Ma'at. It's not surprising, really, considering…"
"Stop. Stop right there, Sam," Dean demands, "All that is in the past, and you've more than paid your dues. You didn't deserve to go to hell and you sure as hell didn't deserve to have your soul eaten by a friggin hippo/crocodile hybrid, and you never will. Wanna know how I knew something was up with you? When Cas stuck his hand in that kids chest, you didn't even blink. It was like watching the Discovery Channel for you." Sam winces but Dean keeps going, "I know that you, the real you, would rather take the hit than let some innocent kid get hurt like that. You would've found another way, or at least made some damn noise about it. You just stood there."
"Why are you telling me this?"
"Because if you deserved hell or the hungry hungry hippo, then the real Sam would stand there and do nothing too. You wouldn't, would you?" Dean tilts his head, makes sure to keep eye contact with Sam, "You wouldn't just stand there."
Sam's eyes are glassy and he's swallowing like he has to work at keeping tears at bay, or to get his voice to work, "No, I wouldn't."
Dean nods, "I know. So no more of this "I deserve whatever comes to me" crap. Got it?"
Sam huffs in light amusement, but his expression is more than grateful, "Yeah, I got it. Thanks, Dean."
"Don't mention it," Dean replies, already moving to stand up.
Sam reaches out and grabs his wrist, "Really, thank you."
Dean stares at Sam, takes in the raw gratefulness, understanding, and love shinning out from his expressive eyes. For the first time since he's been back with Sam, he can hear all the silent things his brother isn't saying, all the things that he's been able to hear since Sam was a toddler. It's what should've been there when he opened his eyes from the djinn poisoning and found Sam staring back at him.
Dean smiles, feeling more like a chick every second but not really caring, "It's good to have you back, Sam."
Sam smiles, a bright, dimpled smile and Dean rolls his eyes, yanking his arm away from his brother's hold, "Find us a case before you turn me into a girl. Actually, no, we should pack up. I think when your soul came back it busted out all the windows, I'm surprised no one's banged on the door yet. We should hit the road. The deposit's coming out of your hustling fund, Samantha."
"Whatever you say, Deanna."
Dean reaches over and throws a pillow at Sam head. Sam laughs and ducks, catching it before it bops him in the face. Something floats out of the pillow, landing softly on Sam's crossed legs.
"Uh, Dean? Is that…is that an ostrich feather?" Sam reaches down and picks it up, twisting it in his fingers as he examines it.
Dean smiles, "Long story, man."
A/N: I debated for a long time on how freaked Sam should've been when Dean got back to the motel room, and I decided to forego the hell PTSD. It wasn't fitting in with the flow of the story. I might come back later and add a second chapter/epilogue that deals with it. Also, Dean came out really schmoopy in this lol sorry about that. I guess I'm just missing my BroMos.
All the Egyptian lore is accurate, except for the part about Osiris being a soul keeper. He's the god of reincarnation/death, but souls aren't really his gig. Actually, I'm not sure there is any specific God for souls. I'm not sure he's this humanized either (though he is said to be very merciful and let's everyone into the underworld scot-free) but I wanted Dean to have a somewhat nice experience with a powerful being. Negative Confessions are prayers that souls/spirits would plead to Osiris before their heart was weighed. It's basically them saying, "I deserve to be reincarnated because I haven't done this, this, or this." Depending on the source, there are usually 40 Negative Confessions. I listed the confessions that I felt Sam broke.