Disclaimer: Not mine, never shall be...sniff...:(

A/N: Product of a crappy week and not near enough Zoloft.

Sam didn't understand. Sure, he knew he was missing a lot of emotional context, but he still had memories. He knew who he used to be. He knew who Dean was. And he knew, with more certainty than he knew anything else in his life, that Dean loved Sam. And while he knew that he wasn't that Sam, he knew under the anger and hostility that Dean did not accept that. So for whatever confused reason, Dean loved him. With the same love that had brought them through so much over the years. Through everything over the years. So why did Dean want him to suffer? It didn't make sense.

He didn't feel things anymore, but he still remembered life before, life with a soul. The way one will have a fever-dream rememberance of the pain of breaking a leg from a decade ago, he had flashes of the kind of pain his old self lived in. The shame of never measuring up to his father's standards, the crushing emptiness of the night he walked away from his dad and Dean for what he thought was forever. The heart and gut wrenching agony of watching Jess burn above him. The horror of knowing that Dean was going to Hell for him. The unbearable guilt of having brought on the Apocalypse. He got only memory glimpses of those feelings, and they were more than enough to remind him he didn't want to ever feel them again.

Worse than the pain was the fear. It had been his constant companion ever since the night he found his dad's journal and learned that every monster he saw on any movie was as real as he was. Fear that one night his dad wouldn't come back from a hunt. Fear that Child Services would take tham from dad and separate him and Dean. Fear that He would lose Dean. Fear of what he was becoming, of what Azazel had made him, of what he was capable of doing. Even worse fear at the fear he saw in Dean's face over it. If it scared Dean… well, if it scared Dean that meant his every fear about it was well-founded and that didn't just scare him, it terrified him.

And Dean wanted to get his soul back? Wanted him to feel again? Why would a loving brother who would do anything for his little brother want him to go through that again. He remembered that love, in similar flashes to the pain, equally strong and intense. The big brother who would shove Sam out of the line of fire without hesitating or even considering that it meant he would take the bullet instead. Who had once offered to cut his own hand to match the wound on Sam's if it would make him feel better. Who had voluntarily sent his own soul to Hell rather than let Sam die. Yet he wanted Sam to have to feel again.

The anger that had been his constant companion for so long was gone, too. The anger that had sparked so many explosions with his dad, the anger that kept him from even trying to call Dean while he was at Stanford, the ferocious anger at Lilith for taking his brother, for torturing him, even more for breaking him, for turning him into something Dean couldn't live with. Dean didn't understand the depth of the hatred he had for Lilith, his continued need for revenge even after Dean was back. Well, he didn't then. Maybe now, having a beloved brother returned to you with pieces missing might help him see what Sam had seen a few years before. Sam wondered briefly if Dean felt the way about Crowley that he had about Lilith, but for now it didn't matter. His anger had taken over his common sense and damn near destroyed the world. Even more than the pain, or the fear, that had tortured Sam Winchester his entire life, that anger needed to be gone. That had done damage to more than just Sam. And Dean was all about the collateral damage. So why didn't he see that? It wasn't just him, the world itself was better off with Sam's soul safely tucked away where it couldn't do anymore damage.

And the nightmares… All his life, that nightly torment had plagued him. As a child, Dean had been able to help chase some of the figurative demons away as easily as the literal ones, but after Jess, it was pretty much a lost cause. But now, no sleep equals no nightmares. He wasn't even sure why he didn't sleep, that was something he would have thought more physical than having to do with a soul, but he wasn't about to look a gift horse in the mouth. Did Dean really want him to go back to screaming himself away two or three nights away and getting them kicked out of motels for making too much racket? To waking up sweat drying on his body and tears drying on his face from whatever combination of pain his renegade brain had decided to put him through? It made no logical sense that someone who loved someone as much as Dean had loved his Sammy would want him to suffer through all that, not when they had the choice not to.

He didn't want his soul back. He didn't want to hurt, to fear, to hate. If he was capable of being happy, right now he would be as close to it as possible. He was hunting, he had his brother, and he didn't feel all the bad stuff he had always felt. But Dean wanted him to have it back. Said he needed it. And feelings or no, he trusted Dean. Dean had always looked out for him, and if he wanted Sam to do something that would hurt that badly, it must be vitally important. He would do it, for Dean. Because even if Sam wasn't Sammy anymore, Dean was still Dean. And Dean would always take care of him.