AN: I know that Jared is going to wow us to no end with his lack of soul issue this season, but being a fan, I just can't leave Sam so unSamlike. so, I'm fixing it. And those who read my stuff know it won't be easy. Enjoy!

They were all there, all that truly loved and cared for Sam Winchester: Dean and Bobby, and Castiel was on the way. Castiel was the one who would deliver the son of a bitch who had imprisoned Sam's soul, kept it from returning to Earth with his body, leaving him the shell of the man he was, leaving him without his moral compass, leaving him without his emotions, leaving him without the essence that was Sam.

Dean's fingers itched with the desire to punch the shit out of the angel/demon/spirit/general asshole or whatever was keeping his brother's soul in the pit, keeping it with Lucifer and Michael and making him suffer tortures that had to be far greater than any Dean had suffered, and that made him want to kill something, hit something, maim something, do something violent to whatever had kept his brother in the pit with those two sons of bitches.

A sound of wings and a small breath of air made Bobby, Sam and Dean turn to face the angel.


"The hold on the soul is gone."

"What does that mean?" Dean asked.

"I destroyed the angel who did this to you Sam."

"An angel did it?"

"Yes. An angel that has fallen, an angel who thought that he could harness the energy of your soul, because the soul of a Winchester has a lot of energy to harness, but when your soul proved too difficult to tame, he threw it back into the cage, where he thought no one would notice."

"That angel obviously hasn't met Dean." Bobby grumbled.

"Most true." Castiel nodded.

"So, my soul is where then?" Sam asked mechanically.

"In hell."

Dean stepped up closer to Castiel, and Castiel forced the desire to move away down deep. Dean was the only human on the face of the Earth whose anger could make Castiel want to back up and away. "Why isn't it with you? I thought you were going to take care of that son of a bitch and bring Sam's soul back and fix this." Dean asked clearly angered by the news.

"I had to dispatch of the angel first. And I thought it best that I report back to you before I go back into hell and retrieve Sam's soul. Because when I bring it back…"

"It will be scary and painful." Dean said, eyes focused somewhere internal, a place he didn't wish to remember.

"Yes." Castiel said simply. "I thought it best to give Sam a warning and time to prepare to receive his soul back into his body."

Sam nodded. "Thank you." Castiel nodded back.

"So, how long will this take?" Bobby asked.

"It took me two Earth days to go to and locate Dean's soul and bring it back. I know where Sam's soul is, so it will take only several minutes, but I fear that when Sam's soul returns, it will be…"

"A mess." Dean said. His voice barely audible.

"Yes. Sam has been tortured for…"

"100 years…a little more." Dean said, doing what he could to keep the tears at bay. This was hard for him. He ran a hand down his face and then through his hair. He started to pace. He'd been tortured and done torturing for forty years, and that had left him in shambles, had left him broken, tired, scared, unable to sleep, unable to eat, unable to live. His Sammy had been tortured far longer and by a man much more skilled than Alistair ever hoped to be. Dean swallowed and then looked at Castiel. "Get him home Cass." Castiel nodded, put a hand on Dean's shoulder, then looked at Sam.

"Are you ready?"

"Yeah." He said casually. Castiel disappeared. Dean escorted Sam to the bed they made up for him, not in the panic room, but in an actual bed, upstairs, somewhere comfortable, and where the faces of loved ones would surround him.

Dean couldn't sit down while they waited, he paced the length of the bed, never leaving the perimeter of it, always keeping on eye on the form of his brother, but the nervous energy he had swimming though his veins just wouldn't allow him to sit down, wouldn't allow any form of stillness to take him over. Bobby sat just at the head of the bed on Sam's right with his shotgun lying across his lap prepared for any evil thing that might try to hitch a ride on Cass' trench coat.

When the process began it startled them all, they heard something pop, then they saw Castiel, ruffled and rumpled, standing on the left of Sam, hand on his left shoulder, and then they heard it, they heard the intake of breath, and a wail that could curdle blood. Dean rushed to his brother, put a hand on his chest, green eyes as wild as the hazel eyes that were searching and unfocused.

Sammy caught his breath only long enough to scream again, wordless, and at the end soundless. He started to shake, shake so hard that it made Dean and Bobby flash back to the time in the panic room when a detoxing Sam was seizing on the cold hard floor.

"Sammy!" Dean yelled. Dean kneeled on the bed next to his brother. Bobby stood up and stood behind Dean. "Sammy! It's me! Sammy, you're okay! You're okay!" Dean shouted trying to get through to his little brother, trying to cut through the panic and confusion. "Sammy, you're at Bobby's. You're okay, you're with us. Bobby is here, Cass is here. You're okay. You're okay." Dean said trying to calm him down, and finally the soundless screaming stopped, but the wild hazel eyes stayed wild and Sam pushed away from Dean, pushed away from Bobby, and drew his legs up to his mouth, and he held them tightly.

"It's not real. Nothing's real. It's all a trick."

Dean's heart sunk. Maybe they were too late.