A/N: Just as a fair warning, I wrote this thing pretty quickly, so there are bound to be many errors. This is actually a story that I've been thinking about for a while. I was just imagining that Sam would be pretty tired after not sleeping for a year and after seeing 6x11, I knew I just had to write this as quickly as possible before it all leaked out of my brain. Hope you like it and let me know if its any good or not. :D
To Sleep, Perchance to Dream
Summary: Sam hasn't slept in a year but now that his soul is back, that's all he can do.
"He'll sleep now." Death turned his cold, dark eyes on Dean, his face just as impassive as if he had simply stepped off a city bus and not traveled to Hell and back to retrieve Sam's soul, shoving it back into his unwilling little brother.
Sam's pleas for him to stop still rang in his ears and for a moment he had doubts about this being the best thing for Sam, but those doubts were silenced quickly. He knew this was what he should do. Sam just wasn't Sam without his soul. Instead, he was a dangerous sociopath without it and his attempts to kill Bobby, the man who came a close second to their own father, only proved that Dean was right: Sam needed his soul, whether he wanted it or not.
"So, it worked?" Dean had to know for certain, seeing Sam's face slacken and his eyes close into a peaceful rest. "He's himself now?"
"Yes." Death answered coolly. "But, the wall I put up in his mind will be a constant irritant to him. He'll want to know what happened to him in the cage, but you must not let him dwell on it or try to remember. If he does, that wall just might come crashing down and the results will be catastrophic."
Dean gulped and nodded. Keeping Sam from thinking and dwelling on much of anything was a tall order under any circumstances, but trying to keep him from thinking about what might have happened to him during his year in Hell was going to be an even bigger challenge. But, Dean would do it, because that was his job to take care of Sammy.
He had other questions for Death, but before he could ask, the sonofabitch disappeared, leaving him alone with his sleeping little brother and Bobby in the panic room. Bobby looked over at Sam's still form and sighed heavily.
"Well...we just can't leave him here...let's get him upstairs."
Even with two men carrying him up two flights of steps and the string of curses that came along with hauling a 6'4, 200lb plus behemoth, Sam never once stirred. Even as they stripped him and placed him in bed, he continued to sleep.
"How long is he gonna be like this?" Dean asked as he and Bobby left the room. He was anxious to hear Sam's voice again, to prove to him that he was okay, that the wall blocking out the tortures he endured in Hell was holding. But most of all he just wanted to talk to Sam; the real Sam. The Sam that felt guilty for stepping on someone's toes, the Sam that laughed, the Sam that played pranks on him, the Sam that loved him back as much as he loved him.
"How the hell should I know?" Bobby grumbled back, obviously just as concerned and anxious as he was to have Sam back whole again. "It's not like I have a heck of a lot of experience with shoving a soul back into someone that's been without it for a year. Guess we'll just have to give it some time."
Reluctantly, Dean agreed, letting his brother sleep and following Bobby back downstairs.
Dean yawned wearily, stretching out sore muscles from napping in the chair beside Sam's bed. He hadn't meant to fall asleep, but staying awake all night and most of the day waiting for Sam to wake up had finally caught up with him and he had been helpless in keeping his eyes from closing. Scrubbing a hand across his face then rubbing his eyes, he still felt exhausted but not as much as Sam apparently. He still remained fast asleep, snoring softly and Dean didn't think he had so much as moved a muscle since they put him in bed.
He didn't know how long he had been asleep, but looking out the window, Dean saw that it was already nightfall. By his mental calculations, it had to be at least 24 hrs since Death went to Hell to snatch Sam back and yet his little brother has still yet to awaken and confirm to him that he was back to his old self.
Frustrated by the lack of change in Sam, he sighed and grumbled "You gonna sleep forever, Sam?"
"Give him a break, Dean." Bobby suddenly spoke from the doorway, surprising Dean. "The kid didn't sleep for over a year, it was bound to cause a little bit of a sleep debt."
Bobby walked in and handed a cup of hot, black coffee over to Dean which he accepted gratefully. It was true enough. Sam's body had gone without sleep for so long that physically he was bound to be exhausted. But, the constant sleeping was beginning to become worrisome.
"Yeah, I get that, Bobby, but..."
"I know." Bobby finished for him. "I want to make sure he's back in one piece too."
"Should we try to wake him up? I mean, he has to eat and drink, right?"
Bobby's face looked wary. "I dunno, Dean. It's only been a day. Maybe we should let him sleep for now, let him have some peace. I don't want to be a pessimist, but Sam's gone a year without his soul and he's done things...things that the old Sam would have never done. When he wakes up, who knows how that's gonna affect him. He might not remember Hell, but I'm pretty sure that he'll remember the crap he pulled here on Earth and it ain't gonna be pretty when he starts to dwell on that. Given Sam's track record with nightmares, I imagine there's going to be quite a few sleepless nights for him to come..." Seeing Dean's expression become troubled by his statement, Bobby shrugged glumly. " I'm just sayin'..."
Dean didn't have an answer for that. To be honest he hadn't really thought too much about how Sam would have deal with his memories of being soulless and the things he had done not only to him, but to Bobby and even to innocent people. He had been too preoccupied with keeping Sam's memories of Hell at bay that he had overlooked the other ones that would no doubt haunt him.
Bobby had a point, as much as he wanted Sam to spring out of bed as his old self, it might be best to just let him rest up because when he did wake up, all that crap was going to hit him like a ton of bricks.
By 10 am the next morning, Sam was still out for the count. Dean had once again slept in the chair and every muscle in his neck and back ached for it. Deciding that his brother wasn't going to wake anytime soon, he figured that he could safely leave Sam's side to take a leak and get a fresh cup of coffee.
Once downstairs, he found Bobby sitting at the table and talking on the phone. "Yeah...okay...I'll see you in about an hour...thanks." Snapping the cell phone shut, Bobby sighed and looked out the window in thought.
"What's going on?" Dean asked as he walked over to the coffee pot and started to pour himself a cup, draining the last of the carafe.
"Oh..." Bobby uttered as though he just then noticed Dean walk in. "Ah...that was Earl Crenshaw, he's an old friend that get's me supplies from time to time."
"And?" Dean questioned as he took a seat opposite the older hunter.
"And, I've asked him to get me some supplies, Dumbass." Bobby shot back unexpectedly. "Sorry...but I haven't slept much either and that was our last bit of coffee."
"Oh..." Dean looked guiltily at his full cup. "Sorry."
"Nah...didn't mean to snap at ya...just worried about Sam is all. You were right. He needs to wake up soon or he'll dehydrate. That's why I called Earl. I asked him to bring some IV's and stimulants just in case..."
"Just in case of what?"
"In case we can't wake him up. I tried earlier while you were asleep to get him to wake up long enough to drink some water at least. But he just mumbled a bit and wouldn't even open his eyes. The longer he goes on like this the weaker he's gonna get..."
Dean pinched the bridge of his nose, his head pounding. "I know...but, before you go sticking him with IV's and pumping him full of stimulants, let me give it a try. He might wake for me."
"I sure hope so." Bobby nodded. "I'd rather not do it the hard way either."
Pushing his chair back, Dean headed upstairs again, hoping that Sam would finally respond to him and wake the hell up.
Sam watched as another wave crashed onto the shore. Breathing in deep, he took in the cool, salty air and sighed in contentment. Alone on the beach, it was utterly silent save for the sounds of the ocean filling his ears and the soft crunching noise his toes made as they dug deeper into the sand. As he sat, he watched as a dense fog rolled in from the sea, just beginning to cloud over his view of the rocks where more waves splashed into them, sending up great plumes of ocean spray.
It had been beautiful weather since he got there: warm and sunny, but the longer he remained, the darker the sky grew. On the horizon, he gazed at a sailboat disappearing into the mass of dark, grey clouds creeping ever closer to the shore and he knew he wold have to leave soon before the unavoidable storm rolled in. But, he didn't want this feeling of quiet to leave him, he wanted to stay a little bit longer, rain or no rain. It was just too peaceful and beautiful for him to go just yet.
Hearing a seagull squawk and catching movement from the corner his eye, he turned his head , seeing the bird suddenly take off. Through the fog, Sam could just barely make out the shape of a figure walking along the shoreline, advancing on his position.
He'd been alone for so long there that it was strange to see someone else. He had come to think of this as 'his' spot and it was disappointing and more than a little annoying that someone else might be coming to invade it.
The man never let up his pace, never once stopped to admire the water or to take in the scenery, he just kept on marching as though single-mindedly determined to cover as much distance as humanly possible without breaking into a run.
Keeping his eye on the figure, the color of the man's jacket became visible through the fog and he was struck by a familiarity of the hair, broad shoulders and long legs, but it wasn't until the guy was almost upon him that he realized who it was.
Standing up in shock and disbelief, Sam muttered a "No. No. No." He wanted to run from him, but his legs were too heavy to carry him away, he was rooted to the ground, unable to move.
"Go away! You...you can't be here!" He shouted at him, but it was of no use. He kept on coming towards him until he stopped only a couple of feet away.
"Hi, Sam." Too confused and dumbstruck to respond, the other man's eyes roamed around the beach for a moment, but his face remained impassive and indifferent to it's beauty. "Hey, I know this place..." He started, looking back at Sam now. "Yeah...summer before senior year, right? We took Jess out to Big Sur and went camping, then we came out to this very spot. It was deserted and...well, you know the rest."
"This can't be happening..." Sam uttered, staring at his own face.
"Oh...it's not." His double answered matter-of-factly. "This is just some kind of dream. But, I gotta tell you, Sam. It's kinda dull here." Not liking this Sam's attitude and cockiness much, Sam felt like hitting him, but wondered if it would be more like hitting himself.
"Then why don't you go and leave me alone?" Sam asked.
"I can't." his twin replied
"Because, I'm you. I go wherever you go. I don't like it much either, but I guess we have to deal with it."
Confused, Sam shook his head. "What do you mean you are me? How is that possible?"
The other Sam sighed as though he were speaking to a four year old that asked too many questions. "Look...you were gone for a long time so I don't expect you to understand all of this right away. But, long story short, you were locked away with Lucifer and Michael. Then Dean found a way to bring you back and put you back in me."
Sam fought for comprehension- he didn't remember any of that.
"Of course you don't remember that. There's a barrier in your mind that's keeping all of your memories of the cage out."
Sam rooted around in his head, trying to recall that, but came up empty.
"Don't even try to remember that, Sam or we'll both become babbling piles of goo thanks to the fun Lucifer and Michael had with you in Hell." Sam wondered how he knew what he was thinking.
"I know what you're thinking because I'm you. God, how many times to have to explain that?" Other Sam's eyes grew dark with anger. It was frightening to see, but it was all too clear now that the man standing before him that wore his face was not human at all, but something else. Maybe even evil, but definitely wrong.
"What are you?" Sam hissed.
"I am what you are without a soul, Sam." He answered succinctly and without passion. "Don't you get it yet? You're the soul. I was walking around on Earth without you for over a year. I didn't want you back, but it was out of my hands. So now we got to live with each other."
"A year? You mean..."
"Yeah. I didn't have a soul for a year." He replied as blandly as if he was ordering a cheeseburger.
Sam mulled on that for a moment, the implications were astounding. "How? I mean..." He sputtered, still trying to wrap his head around all of this. "What did you do for a whole year without a soul?"
"Hunting mostly, you should be starting to remember some of it soon."
Now that he thought about it...he was starting to get little snippets of memories. But, none of them were good.
He saw blood, he saw Dean being turned by a vampire and the vague feeling of satisfaction that came with it, he saw innocent people falling as collateral damage, then he saw himself chasing Bobby through his home, doing his damnedest to kill the only man that had ever been a real father to him.
"No! You bastard!" Sam yelled as he shook his head, praying for the playback of the last year to end, but it wouldn't let up. Coming now in torrents, came not memories of Hell, but memories of the havoc he caused on Earth and he couldn't stop them from coming one after the other. He crashed down to his knees and grabbed his head in pain, screaming for it all to stop.
Other Sam merely loomed over him, offering no help. Sam prayed for his other half to just go away, to die, but he stayed, refusing to leave. "I can't go. I'll always be a part of you."
Hearing that sent him over the edge. Blood pounded in his ears and his heart raced. Wave after wave hit him until he was drowning, fighting for air. He couldn't breathe, couldn't move. He was paralyzed.
He felt hands grabbing his shoulders and shaking him violently. Sam fought back, but his arms were too heavy to respond adequately. He tried grabbing sand and throwing it into his attacker's face, but the shaking continued.
Darkness pulled at him as he lost all control over his body. He had no fight left in him.
On the verge of giving up and giving into defeat, Sam screwed his eyes shut, praying for it all to end swiftly.
It was then that he heard it. A familiar voice in the distance, yelling down the beach, growing louder, getting closer. It grew in intensity along with the shaking.
"Sammy! Sammy! C'mon...wake up! Open your eyes!"
He was afraid to open them, fearing that when he did, he would see only his own face.
"It's just a dream, Sam...wake up!"
He was just up the stairs when Dean heard the first shout. In a flash, all of the weariness he had felt in his body vanished as adrenaline took hold and propelled him to the room where Sam was. Covered in sweat, Sam was tangled up in the blankets, tossing his head from side to side and moaning. He babbled incoherently as he thrashed violently, lost in the throes of one of the nastiest nightmares Dean had ever seen in his brother.
Dean was all action. He rushed in without hesitation and grabbed Sam by the shoulders, practically lifting him off the bed as he shook him.
"Sam!...wake up!" He urged him. Sam fought back, feebly batting at Dean's arms, but he was determined to pull Sam out of this dream and back to reality no matter what.
He shook him harder, raising his voice. "Sammy! Sammy! C'mon...wake up! Open you eyes!" He demanded. "It's just a dream, Sam...wake up!"
Suddenly Sam's thrashing ended, his body stilling and going limp in Dean's arms. For a moment Dean panicked. Had he hurt Sam somehow trying to break him from his nightmare?
"Sam?" He asked, laying him back down gently.
Just then, eyelashes fluttered and Dean breathed a giant sigh of relief seeing his little brother's eye staring back up at him.
"Hey...there you are. 'Bout time...you had me worried."
"D'n?" Sam croaked out blearily, swallowing convulsively and smacking dry lips. Dean reached over to the nightstand and grabbed a glass of water. He helped Sam sit up and he took it without a word bringing it up to his lips. Sam gulped the water down greedily but his hands were shaking so bad that Dean had to help him hold it steady until he had nearly drained it completely.
"Whoa...slow down, Buddy." Dean urged when Sam coughed and sputtered, choking a little on the water. He nodded and held a hand up weakly to show dean that he was okay then panted for a moment, catching his breath.
"How..how long..." Sam managed to get out before another coughing fit took hold. Dean patted his back to soothe the cough before answering.
"You've been out like a light for almost three days."
"Three days?" Sam asked when he finally had his breath again.
"Yeah...guess that's what happens when you don't sleep for a year."
Sam stilled, his face draining of color and Dean immediately thought he was either going to puke or pass out. "Hey..hey. Take it easy. Why don't you lay back down?"
Taking Dean's suggestion, Sam laid back down in the bed, then stared up at the ceiling, his eyes starting to water.
"Then it's true...my dream..it was true. This whole year...I didn't have a soul." Sam turned pained eyes on Dean, tears welling up. He hated seeing Sam in any kind of pain, but this time it meant something different. It meant that Sam was back...the real Sam. However, his relief was short-lived when Sam spoke again.
"Oh God..." Sam eyes turned to horror as if he was watching a terrifying movie in his head. "I-I tried to kill Bobby...and you...I- I..."
"Hey..." Dean cut him off gently. "it's not your fault you didn't have a soul. You just weren't yourself.
"I remember it, Dean. It was me. What I did this whole year...there are things you don't even know about..."
"I don't care." Dean answered immediately. Though he was glad his little brother wasn't focusing on what may have happened to him in Hell, it wasn't good for him to be dwelling on this either "Whatever happened..it wasn't you. I knew it from the get-go that you were different and you feeling guilty about all of it now just proves to me that you're finally you again. That other guy...that other Sam without a soul, was about as far from you as one can get. He may have looked like you, sounded like you and you might have his memories, but he wasn't you." Dean repeated.
Sam still looked uncertain and Dean could see that the pain and the guilt remained. "So if he wasn't me...then what was he?" Sam asked.
"He was RoboSam..." Dean replied dryly. Sam shook his head a little and Dean grinned seeing that he had elicited a tiny smirk. "Or the Saminator..." Sam closed his eyes and groaned, his grin, though weak and only half-hearted grew, spurring Dean on to continue his easy ribbing.
"Maybe a Samdroid?"
Dean barely managed to dodge the pillow that came flying at his head, but he couldn't stop smiling. He hadn't felt like this in such a long time, like a heavy burden had lifted off of him. Sure, it was only a start as Sam was bound to have issues for a long time with this, plus there was still the fact that his memories of Hell were only a weak mental block away, but it was all worth it. If only for this moment, it was worth it.