Title: The One I Used to Be
For the h/c challenge: Prompt by persuna (LiveJournal).
Summary: "Sam has revealed that he is currently feeling no emotions. He gets his emotions returned to him and suddenly has to actually feel everything that happened to him."
Characters: Sam, Dean, Castiel, Bobby, Death
Note: By now there's a million different versions of "What happens next" after 6x11, but I said yes to this prompt quite a while ago now so I did decide to finish it. What's one more gonna hurt anyway? XD
Thanks so much to supernaturalmydreams for beta reading!
"Open your eyes, Sam," Dean's voice was so soft only Sam should hear it - that is if Sam was planning on waking up anytime soon.
Dean was sitting on the side of the little bed his little brother was lying on, hands placed on both sides of Sam's head on the bed.
"It's not working. He won't wake," Dean said and turned his head to the older hunter by the door to the panic room.
"Well," Bobby started, thinking hard about what could be the reason the youngest Winchester wouldn't wake up,
"Considering what both his body and mind have been through, Dean, maybe it's to be expected."
Dean shrugged, but accepted the theory. Death had left as soon as the job was done and Sam stopped screaming. He had assured them Sam was unconscious, but nothing more.
He sighed and stood up restlessly. Sam was still handcuffed to the bed, his long legs bent limply since the cot was not meant for Sasquatches. Dean bent down to uncuff his brother before moving to his feet and removing those cuffs too. Then he rearranged the long legs so Sam was lying more comfortably. He then returned to sit beside his brother.
"Sammy, come on. I bet you need butt loads of sleep, but right now you need to wake up," Dean continued talking, placing his hands where he had earlier and studied his brother's face. His mind kept playing the scene when Sam's soul was returned over and over. It was what he had waited and hoped for since they learned the truth about Sam, but at the same time it was Sam's painful screams and arching neck he kept seeing.
Then Sam tilted his head and Dean straightened, but didn't move away. He wanted to be the very first thing Sam saw.
"It's okay, Sam. Whatever you're thinking, don't," Dean wasn't really sure what the hell he was saying. Of course he had no idea what Sam was thinking, but he decided to consider it something similar to what he was like when he woke up in that coffin -confused and panicked, not knowing what was real or nightmare.
"Open your-" Dean cut himself off when Sam did as he wished,
Dean swallowed. It didn't take more than two seconds to recognize who he had lost.
"Hey Sammy. I've been looking for you," he said quietly and tears started lurking.
Dean helped Sam up in a sitting position on the cot. Sam looked at Dean the whole time, eyes following Dean's hands as he lightly patted him on the shoulder and kneaded his neck while repeating
"It's real, Sammy."
"What happened?" the youngest Winchester asked weakly as if it had been forever since he had spoken.
"We got you out, Sam. you're not in Hell any longer," Dean reassured, smiling with eyes still teary.
"How do I know Lucifer isn't just messing with me?" Sam wondered, still whispering, still watching Dean's every little move. Dean was taken a little aback by that. Did that mean he did remember something from Hell? Wouldn't it all be behind the wall?
"Why? What would Lucifer do to you?" Dean asked, testing to see how much Sam remembered.
"I..." Sam frowned and tilted his head,
"I... I don't know. He created illusions, but... I... I can't remember the details. Why can't I remember the details?"
Dean breathed out in relief. So Sam did have very vague memories of Hell, but no details,
"Why would Lucifer show you this?" Dean asked and carefully put his hand on Sam's neck and pulled him closer until his little brother was resting his head against his shoulder. Dean locked his arm around Sam and smiled sadly when his brother curled a hand into the back of his jacket.
"You smell like human. Like Dean," Sam mumbled somewhere into his shoulder and Dean snickered a little.
"Is that a good thing?" Dean sniffed at his jacket just to be sure.
"I think so," Sam muttered, still confused. Dean put his hands on Sam's shoulders and pulled him an arms length away.
"Okay. Good. You know what? Why don't we find you a Sasquatch sized bed for you to get some rest on?" Dean suggested and stood up. At that Sam gave him a small, but dimpled smile and a nod.
Sam slept for two days - only woke up when nature called or Dean woke him for food. When Sam finally woke up by himself, Dean had decided it was time for them to leave Bobby's and find another quiet place where they could start dealing with things. Things between just the two of them. Sam had suggested a hunt, but Dean had told him they were just going to relax. Another day passed and Sam convinced Dean he was fine enough to do an easy hunt and even pulled out a new card called "How won't I scratch the wall if I have nothing else to think about?" That had gotten Dean interested in the hunt immediately. They would start tonight.
"Do you remember anything from when you walked around without your soul?" Dean asked as he sat down at the little table in their current motel room. Sam looked up from his laptop, but didn't answer at once. Dean handed him a box with a burger and french fries and silently cheered to himself when Sam grimaced, because that was something Sammy always did when he got a burger instead of a salad.
"Don't be picky, Sammy. I want you to eat something more than just salad right now. Let the bunnies have their food," Dean smiled cheekily, but meant every word.
"Okay," Sam said with a nod and closed the laptop. He didn't say a lot these days unless someone - that being Dean, talked to him first and Dean was okay with that. He knew Sam probably had a lot on his mind and a lot of thoughts to collect before things would go back to normal. That was the main reason Dean didn't want to go hunting already, but at the same time, it could prove very dangerous for Sam to think too much. He didn't doubt that Sam would possibly start scratching at the wall in his mind if he let him. Not that he didn't thrust Sam, but for all they knew the wall could be extremely fragile, easily torn down. It's human nature to be curious. Under no circumstances could he let that wall go down.
"No," Sam said and swallowed, looking at Dean.
"Hm?" Dean looked up when Sam's voice pulled him out of his pondering.
"I don't remember," Sam said regarding Dean's question.
"Oh," Dean nodded slowly, feeling terrible when an almost disappointed feeling ran through him. Would he really want Sam to remember what he had done? It wasn't like it was really Sam's fault. He could honestly say he knew his Sammy would never let him get bitten by a vampire or try to kill Bobby. Sam would still blame himself fully though. Dean knew his brother enough to know that.
"You're disappointed," Sam spoke again and Dean felt a strange chill run down his spine. Okay so both of them had always been quite good at reading each other's faces, but Dean was sure he had busied himself with his burger while his thoughts had been running. The two of them had fallen apart ever since he had returned from Hell and Sam was running around with Ruby. Since then, Sam had gotten pretty good at pulling poker faces. That was soulless Sam though. He had been able to read every person and demon alike with ease and the thought that part of that Sam was still there kinda creeped Dean out.
Stop it, Dean. This is Sammy. So what if it's gonna take some time for Sam to become one with his soul again? At least it's there, Dean argued with himself.
"Well that can't be good," Sam muttered and forked a french fries. He continued when Dean just looked at him,
"That you don't answer."
"Sam please. I'm not disappointed okay? I just have a lot on my mind. I know you do too, but you can't ask these questions," Dean told him. He knew the wall was up to hold back the memories of Hell, but he was fearing every little thing that could cause a domino effect. Neither of them continued and they ate in silence.
"You ever wonder what happened to Adam?" Sam suddenly asked once they were done with the food and Dean went to throw away the trash. Dean stopped up by the trash can and looked at his brother.
"Well, yeah. I'd like to think that he was in Heaven by the time Michael met you and Lucifer, but after talking with Death, I'm not sure," Dean explained,
"When I worked for Death for a day I asked if he could get Adam out too, but he said he would only get one of you out," he had already told Sam about how he had gotten his soul back, leaving out any details about what Sam had been doing,
"...So I figured that means he's down there."
When Sam didn't answer, Dean went over to their bags to make sure their weapons for tonight's hunt were ready.
"Maybe we could help him," Sam said quietly, looking over at Dean again while still sitting at the table.
"How are we supposed to do that? It was impossible enough to get you out," Dean said without looking up from the bags.
"If I could remember..." Sam trailed off as soon as Dean stalked over to him. Dean placed both his hands on Sam's shoulders and forced his brother to look him in the eyes.
"Don't go there," Dean's voice was surprisingly friendly compared to the tension Sam could feel Dean's hands on him,"That's exactly why that wall is there. That's what's called scratching, Sam. I would never want to leave Adam down there, but if the only way to get him is to ask you to remember, then forget it."
Dean forced his heart to calm down as soon as he knew Sam was listening to him and clapped his brother lightly on the shoulder,
"What you say we get this job done?"
"Lucifer made me drink the blood of so many demons," Sam mumbled from his spot in the passenger's seat. His eyes were closed, blood was drying on the side of his head and there were tears on his face, but Dean wasn't sure whether they were from the pain or the memories. Of course the hunt was a bad idea. Sure it had been easy, but the creature had managed to get the upper hand on Sam long enough to knock him out pretty bad. Dean carefully patted the side of Sam's face with a bunch of kleenex tissues while wishing Sam would shut up. He had figured out that he perhaps he didn't need to freak out over every little thing Sam remembered since most seemed to stop from the point where he jumped into Hell, but it was painful to listen to him as if he was ashamed of himself.
"He's the fucking devil, Sam. What'd ya expect? Doesn't mean shit now. You took him down and that's what matters," he assured him and Sam opened his eyes.
"And I killed Cas. And Bobby. And you... you looked like you had a wrestling match with a burrito," Sam ignored Dean's gaze and rambled on. Dean couldn't help but laugh at Sam's description of him after Lucifer had used him as a punching bag. Sure it was a painful memory, but seeing Sam seriously mumbling nonsense was quite a contrast.
"It's not funny, Dean. I felt your bones break because of my hand," Sam eyed him grumpily. Dean sighed and patted him lightly on the cheek,
"Still the Devil's doings, Sam. Besides both Bobby and Cas are alive and kickin'," he explained and this time Sam just watched him silently,
"Why don't you sleep and I'll get us back to the motel?"
It didn't take long before the youngest of the two passed out. Luckily the motel wasn't a long drive away.
When Sam had reassured that he was fine, Dean reluctantly agreed to go take a shower. The water running down his back felt so heavenly that Dean stayed in there ten more minutes than intended. He got out and toweled himself off, got into his boxers and t-shirt before drying his short hair, and left the bathroom. He stopped when it took him a few seconds extra to locate Sam on the floor beside his bed, book in hand, but clearly not reading.
"What you got there, Sammy?" Dean asked casually as he tossed the towel away and located his comfy, baggy pants.
"Have we stayed at this motel before?" Sam looked up at Dean with his own question.
"Uh. I don't think so, why?" Dean knelt beside Sam. His brother opened the book to the first page and handed it to Dean.
"Property of Sam Winchester," Dean read and frowned, turning the book to look at the cover. It was some old, dusty child's book that suddenly rang the memory bell inside his head.
"Holy crap. Where did you find this?" Dean gaped like a fish on land and met Sam's eyes. Sam nodded in the direction of the small couch and Dean spotted a loose plank halfway hidden under it.
"What are the chances?" Sam asked as Dean put the book down,
"It must have been there for years."
"That's pretty wicked. Why on earth would you put the book under there?" Dean looked at the couch again. Sam just shrugged.
"I lied to you," Sam said, suddenly changing the subject. It was clearly not what Sam seemed to be on the floor for.
"About what?" Dean frowned, a little unhappy to change the subject. At least the story about the book was rather funny compared to what Sam probably was going to tell.
"I remember...what I've done. Or, the douche bag without my soul did," Sam shuddered and his eyes suddenly teared up as they met Dean's eyes again,
"I just hoped they were nightmares, but of course they weren't."
Dean felt his heart break as he saw reality hit home in his brother's eyes,
Sam nodded and cupped his hands over his face,
"Why would I ever let you get turned by a vampire?" Sam asked, but didn't look up,
"I would never do that!"
Dean noticed Sam was losing his composure quickly and started stroking his little brother's neck,
"I know that, Sam. That's what finally made me realize that something was wrong. I know you would never let something like that happen. It's okay, Sam, honestly. I know I tend to carry grudges quite a while and I thought I'd never get that moment out of my head ever again, but..." Dean trailed off, not knowing whether Sam was really hearing him or not,
"-I swear the moment I saw you were back I knew I didn't blame you."
Sam finally looked up and Dean didn't realize before he saw the tears that he hadn't seen Sam cry in years. Tears in his eyes sure, but not crying. When he returned from Hell Sam had gotten... if not cold, he certainly was way more hardcore than the little brother he left behind. Then Lucifer was released and Sam wasn't that scary demon blood drinking stubborn bitch any longer, by choice anyway. But as soon as they had finally started to get on the road to recover their relationship, Sam vanished into Hell. Now it was all going to crash down.
"Tell that to Bobby. You didn't see the look in his eyes when we left his place. When I tried to say goodbye. He was terrified of me," Sam gasped,
"Bobby Singer or not. He's not going to get over that. You know that."
Dean lowered his head and chewed on his bottom lip. He couldn't talk for Bobby, he knew that. He also knew Bobby would forgive Sam, but maybe Sam was right. What happened to him was way more direct and plain psychotic than Dean's whole vampire incident.
"I might not have been myself, but it was still my body. It was my face that he saw," Sam whispered. Dean swallowed and had to look away for a moment. Soulless Sam hadn't had any intention of killing Dean, but with Bobby, that was exactly what he wanted.
"Give it time, Sam," Dean finally looked back and Sam was looking at him with the most hopeless look in his eyes. He was feeling too much now. It was too much for him. How the hell could he handle the wall crumbling?
"Why would you forgive me?" Sam tried desperately to dry the tears away, but then Dean's arms circled around him and drew him close. That was enough to make a sob escape his lips. His face grimaced in pain and his cheek was pressed into his brother's collar.
"I can see how sorry you are, Sam. It's pretty hard not to. I can't explain how my fucked up mind works, but you really think I'd not forgive you now after all this time? Come on you idiot. I wouldn't have been here now then, would I?" Dean laughed once, but it came out more like a gasp. He did manage to hold his own emotions back, but it chilled him to the bone hearing Sam's purely pain filled sobs. Sam was too close to breaking apart completely to even hug back, but he leaned into the supportive comfort of his big brother.
"You'll be fine, Sam," Dean whispered and kept stroking Sam's back. Dean became vaguely aware of another presence in the room and looked up, keeping his arms closed around his brother.
Castiel was standing by the window, head tilted and face frowning. The angel walked over to the brothers on the floor and reached out to place two fingers against Sam's forehead. Sam immediately collapsed completely against his brother and Dean tightened his hold on his now sleeping brother.
"Thank you," Dean sighed and ran a hand over his face.
"He's Sam again," Cas said quietly and Dean just nodded,
"I am glad. It isn't over though. He will need help."
Dean didn't say anything at once, just got Sam into bed with some help from Cas,
"He's got us, right?" Dean pulled the covers over Sam and sat down beside him before looking up at Cas. Of course Dean would always be there for Sam, but it would be quite useful to have Cas there for them.
"Sam is my friend too. Although he was kind of rude without his soul," Cas said dead panned and Dean rolled his eyes,
"I'll help if I can."
Dean nodded his thanks before Cas could vanish in another one of his 'sucky goodbyes' and got up and got ready for bed. Stupid motel only had rooms available with one single bed, but it was okay for now, Dean shrugged and got into bed beside his sleeping brother. At least he was close if his brother needed him. He turned over so he and his brother were lying back to back.
He picked up Sam's old book and smiled sadly. Sam had just shrugged it off, but Dean found it rather amazing that after all these years they would come over something so small from an easier time. With all the motels they had stayed at all through their lives, they were doomed to return to places they had been before, but the same room as well? Maybe it could be a sign? Maybe they would finally get the time to patch up their relationship now? He put the book on the bedside table and closed his eyes.
Despite himself, he fell asleep that night with a bittersweet feeling all over him. The sweet part was of course that he had finally gotten his little brother back and was going to be there for him all the way. The bitter one was how terrified he was of what the future would bring.
Btw, I hope the sappy parts didn't turn too sappy. I hate sappy! I love comforting, but usually not when things get too sappy, but at the same time I think Sam def. needs at least one breakdown! Anyway sappy or not, it's out for the world to see now. Suck it up so will i do too LOL.
Happy New Year people! =)