Poor Unfortunate Souls

I clung as tightly to Dean as I could, shutting my eyes. What had I done? The things I'd let happen to Dean, what I'd said to Castiel...Oh God…

"I'm so sorry, Dean," I choked. "I'm so sorry. I l-let that thing turn you, and…and I let those flying things-"

"Shh, it wasn't you, Sammy. It's alright," he assured, rubbing my back.

"Dean," Cas said, I looked up at him. He glanced at me sadly. "We have to be sure." Dean's embrace tightened around me. He shook his head.

"Cas, we don't have to-"

"Dean it's alright," I said, looking at Cas. Dean reluctantly let me go, stepping back and watching me closely. Castiel sat in front of me, looking as if this were the last thing on planet earth that he wanted to do. "It's okay, Cas. I understand." I was shaking all over, tears in my eyes. I was scared. What if there was something wrong with me and they sent me back? Would they do that? I missed my brother so much, they wouldn't take me away from him again, would they?

He hugged me, gently, but firmly…so I couldn't get away. "I'm sorry, Sam." I didn't have time to say it was okay.


I saw Dean flinch and start to come toward us when Sam screamed. I hugged him tight, feeling for what I was sure was there. But if it wasn't…

I pulled my hand back out, gently rubbing his back, calming his pained sobs. "I'm sorry, Sam. I know it hurts." I nodded to Dean in assurance.

"After what I s-said to you, I deserve it." I felt an unusual pang in my heart. It hurt, and I didn't care for it.

"Sam, everything you've said or done this past year isn't your fault. You had no control over what you said or what you did. Dean and I both understand that; there's no need to explain yourself," I said. It was a fact, whether his humanity acknowledged it or not. He shook his head.

"You have better things to be doing th-than helping us. Why did you?" He asked, eyes tear-filled as he looked up at me. I couldn't imagine what they would be like if Michael and I hadn't fixed him.

"You're my friend." I said simply, standing.

"Thank you," he said.

"There's no need to thank me. I can see how gracious you are, Sam." I put my hand on his shoulder in a soothing gesture. "I have to go. If Raphael sees Michael he might draw him over to the other side." The boys nodded. I looked at Sam one more time before leaving the room.

I sat back down in front of my little brother, looking at him steadily. "Sammy, are you alright?" He looked at me. God, his eyes. I knew what that look meant. That look meant he was going to lie to me and tell me he was okay when on the inside he was burning. He was in so much pain, I could see it. God, Sammy…

"I'm okay," he nodded. "Why wouldn't I be?"

"Sam," I smiled a little, "you spent over a year down there with them. That's more than a hundred years Hell Time, I know how that works." He stared at me through sad eyes, tormented eyes, eyes that made me wanna go back in that hole and rip Lucifer apart myself. I had my brother back, but he'd just gotten back from Hell. I knew what all of those firsts were. The first time you see daylight. The first time you realize that you truly won't be hurt anymore. The first time you see your brother again.

He swallowed, blinking rapidly, lips shaking as he spoke. "Okay, so I'm afraid I'm going to blink and I'll be back in that place." I put my hand on his shoulder, ducking my head to meet his eyes.

"You're not goin' back there, Sammy. You won't ever go back there again. You're out, you're free, and he can't hurt you anymore," I assured. "I didn't believe it when I first got out either. I thought just like you did." I glanced at his hands, which were folded in his lap. They were shaking.

"Sammy." I hugged him, tight. This was my brother. This was Sammy, not that robot he was before. He hugged me back, so tight it hurt. I wouldn't be surprised if his fingers were white. He wasn't crying, but I could tell he wanted to.

"I'm really tired," he said softly. I nodded, understanding how late it was, and that he hadn't slept in over a year.

"Okay," I smiled. I stood, tossing him his bag. He took it, looking over it as if he'd never seen it before. "You alright, Sammy?" He looked up at me.

"I…it took me a minute to remember this was mine," he whispered. I nodded solemnly.

"It'll be alright, Sammy. I promise."

I changed into my own clothes, peeling off the many layers until I was down to my T-shirt. Sam was already lying down, almost asleep. I flicked the light in the bathroom off, leaving the room dark. I stretched, heading for my own bed.

I heard the whimper then. I froze, turning toward Sam's bed. "Sammy?" I whispered.

"Dean, can…can you turn that light back on?" He breathed, voice shaking. I obliged as quickly as I could, bending down next to him when I did. He looked at me through the semidarkness with bleary eyes.

"It's alright, buddy," I assured, nodding a little. "You want me to turn the T.V. on for background noise?" I saw the shame in his eyes as he nodded. "Sammy, it's okay," I gently rubbed the back of his head. "It's alright. Just rest, okay? And if you need anything, anything, I'm right there, okay?" He nodded, sniffing a little.

"Thank you, Dean." I smiled.

"No problem…bitch." He grinned.


I gave him another smile before going to my own bed, flicking on the T.V. I knew I wouldn't be sleeping well. I waited, watching him closely, making sure he got to sleep alright before I dared to let myself doze. It took almost two hours for him to fall asleep. He was scared, I'm sure. Scared that the motel room would melt away and he'd be left alone in that place again, left for Lucifer to do God knows what, or Michael for that matter.

I'm here, Sammy…I'm here.

Screams made me jolt awake. I sat up, looking at my brother.

He was tangled in his sheets, soaked in sweat, writhing and screaming my name. "DEAN! DE-EAN! HELP ME! Oh, oh, god, no…please, PLEASE! GAHNN! DEAN!"

I rushed over to him, shaking him in an attempt to get him to wake up. "Sammy, Sammy, wake up! I'm here, buddy, I'm right here. Just wake up!"

He sat up, gasping, shuddering, sobbing violently. I wrapped my arms around him, holding the back of his head. "Shh, shh, it's okay. It's okay. Shhshhh….I've got you, Sammy."

"I'm s-s-sorry," he gasped. I frowned.

"Sammy, it's alright. I had more nightmares than I could count my first night out. It's alright," I assured.

"B-but I wa-wasn't there for y-you."

I shut my eyes, trying not to remember waking up by myself, scared out of my mind and wishing Sam was there with everything I had. "That doesn't matter now, Sammy, it's okay," I smiled lightly at him. His breath was shaky, tears spilling onto his cheeks. I hugged him again, tight, gently rocking him back and forth. "It's okay, Sammy. It's over now, it's over."

"Th-they, I-"

"I know, I know, shh…Hush. You don't have to explain it to me, it's okay." I smoothed his hair. For someone so big he felt unbelievably small, like he did when he was a kid. I shut my eyes, holding him just a little tighter. "I've got you, little brother. It's alright now."

I don't deserve this. After the Hell I'd put him through, after what I'd done when he'd gotten out of Hell I didn't deserve his comfort. I'd left him alone, then wondered why he didn't tell me what had happened to him. I was never there…

"Shh, it's okay, Sammy. It's okay." I cried at the memories that had plagued me. That horrible black room, Lucifer's monstrous hands all over me… God, the floor had been filled with my blood, all the way up to my knees.

I gripped Dean harder, hoping I wasn't hurting him. I was so tired, so weary. I just wanted to forget that place. And until I did, I had my brother to help me. My eyes were growing heavier, sobs becoming small whimpers and shakes. "Dean…"

He fell asleep while I was hugging him, and I didn't let him go. I knew that hollow feeling you got when someone wasn't there. When someone let you go, you felt it, and that just fed the nightmares into coming back, stronger, like they knew you were alone.

I stayed with him all night, dozing seldom, soothing him every hour or so. Complications, ones I could deal with. I understood what he'd been through, I knew what Hell did. And he'd had four times the torture I did.

Samuel could wait. Meg could wait. Cas's war in Heaven could wait. Right now I had to be here for my little brother. And I would be, every second, until he was alright again.

"Dean," he whimpered.

"I'm here, Sammy."