"Sam...," Dean began softly, but his younger brother remained sitting on the bottom step of Bobby's rundown porch with his eyes tightly shut, elbows resting on his knees. He clasped a half-drank beer in one hand and rested the side of his head against his other hand looking as if he were trying to drown everything out. It wasn't working. Dean could only begin to imagine everything Sam had to be going through at this very moment. Not only with what happened to him in Hell, but all of the guilt he was probably feeling due to his body going on some kind of crazy hunting rampage without it's soul, everything he did while he was Lucifer, letting Dean get turned into a vampire, all the innocents Sam either killed or didn't save, and well he didn't really need to go on. There was enough guilt there to rest on the kid's shoulders for the rest of his life. Just another reason for Sam to beat himself up over something that honestly wasn't his fault.

The older brother could see his younger brother's jaw working furiously from the emotion - probably overwhelming his poor, fatigued body - along with a few hard swallows. The kid was exhausted, but he wouldn't go to sleep. Now with this consistent anguish probably taking over at the present moment, it was making him feel worse and the last thing he wanted to was close his eyes to the nightmares that awaited him. Dean knew that better than anyone. Dean also needed to remind himself that it had been well over a year and a half since Sam had felt anything like this. Having his soul back inside of him rightfully where it belonged, Dean had prepared himself for anything, whether it be an onslaught of anger or what. He'd prepared himself for Sam to come at him with fists flying and angry words or perhaps even a seriously tearful breakdown with the kid on his knees or in Dean's arms sobbing his heart out, but there was none of that. Sam had remained eerily silent since it happened just awhile ago. Knowing his little brother, Sam was probably holding it all inside and trying to bury it.

Dean seated himself on the step above the one Sam was sitting on. He placed his hand gently on Sam's back in between his shoulder blades. "It'll get better." Sam let out a harsh chuckle. "Yeah? When?" he questioned softly, still not looking at Dean. "Sam? Look at me," Dean ordered his baby brother gently. Sam remained still and silent when Dean finally grasped his shoulder and turned Sam forcefully toward him, grabbing his younger brother's chin and forced the younger Winchester to look at him. "I said, look at me," Dean ordered a little more rough than he'd been with Sam since his soul had been returned to it's rightful home. "We WILL get through this, Sammy. I swear. I'm not going to go anywhere. I'll help you through every single moment the best I can. The good and the bad. It WILL get better. We'll do everything we can, but you can't sit there and hold it all inside. We've got to talk about this." Dean laughed at himself inside. Usually this would be something Sam would say to him.

After a long moment, Sam finally opened his hazel eyes and they quickly filled with moisture as they met Dean's. "I can't," was all that came out of Sam's mouth. "I can't, Dean." He pursed his lips together and gave another hard swallow, trying to push back his tears for the thousandth time, but Dean could tell it just wasn't happening this time. "Yes you can, Sam. And I'll be right there with you," he told him softly. His arm went around Sam's front to clasp onto the back of his little brother's neck with the fist that still clutched the amulet that Sam had shocked him with. All that time he'd still had the amulet in his possession. How? Dean honestly didn't have a clue, but he did. It was one of the first things Sam did as soon as he'd gotten his soul back. It had only been an hour or so ago. He brought out the old necklace and asked Dean if he wanted it back. Sam must have hidden it in a special place in Bobby's house because the younger Winchester disappeared inside only to bring it out to Dean, holding it by the cord and letting the amulet dangle with the lowering sun's ray catching off of it. The older Winchester would be lying if he said he didn't want to cry the moment the sun glistened off the precious amulet. His breath had caught in his throat and he took it from Sam, clutching it in his fist relishing the familiarity of it.

Dean could feel Sam's body loosen from the stiff posture it'd been holding and his baby brother's head rested up against Dean's arm. The ends of Sam's hair tickled Dean's hand, but he thought nothing of it. He couldn't remember the last time he really held his little brother like this. Maybe it was after Dean had gotten back from Hell? Sam had practically lunged himself right into Dean's arms that day and the two clung to each other as if they never wanted to let go. That seemed ages ago now. Now with Sam's weight against his own frame, Dean wondered if perhaps Sam might fall asleep. He certainly needed it, but instead he heard Sam give a small sniff and reluctantly raise his arm to wrap around his big brother's waist in comfort. "It hurts, Dean," was all that was whispered before Dean could feel the sleeve of his shirt slowly growing wet and soon soaked through to his skin.

He could feel the gentle trembling of Sam's shoulders beginning and he held him tighter. "I know it does. It's okay. We're going to get through this, Sammy. I promise," Dean replied, burying his face into his little brother's hair. "We're going to get through this," he repeated into his baby brother's hair as Sam's face found it's way into Dean's chest. Dean wrapped both arms tightly around Sam's shaking form and held on tight. Sam returned the gesture, dropping his beer bottle, and gripped his brother's shirt securely and unyielding in his fists. Dean sighed and rested his cheek on top of Sam's head. He couldn't be sure, but he thought he heard a muffled "I'm sorry" come from Sam between his soft sobs. "It's alright, Sammy. It's alright," was all Dean could tell him and he just held onto his little brother while the sun made it's descent in the sky.