A/N: I quickly wrote this last night when I really should be working on my WIP, but I just felt there was a lot Sam and Bobby still needed to work out at the end of 'Like a Virgin'. They'll probably go into it in the next episode (hopefully, they won't just gloss it over) so this will likely be an AU story by next week. I love hearing from y'all, so let me know what you think of this, good or bad. :D

Disclaimer: I still don't own these characters.

Letting The Cables Sleep

He woke with a start, heart pounding with hot tears spilling from his eyes. Disoriented and panting, he fought for air until it evened out and he could get his bearings. He was in bed...Bobby's house, he now remembered. Across the room, Dean slept soundly, slightly snoring, giving Sam something real to hold onto and shooting him back into reality. Untangling from sheets sticky with sweat, he threw his legs over the side of the bed and rubbed his wet face before running a hand through his hair, not surprised to find it shaking like a leaf.

The dream, nightmare or whatever it was that woke him up was intangible, the details of it forgotten, but the overpowering feeling of foreboding and fear flooding through him spoke to the magnitude of it's power. He recalled only vague images, none of them clear and quickly dissipating, but the sense of it's darkness lingered and left Sam with a strange tingling coursing across his body.

Taking an immense breath and chasing the last vestiges of dread away, he forced his heartbeat to drop back to a normal rhythm before he got up off of the bed.

He needed a drink.

The day before was still a swirl of confusion and conflicting emotions. Nothing made much sense anymore. He'd been up and about for an entire year and a half doing God knows what without the benefit of a soul or a conscience and he didn't remember a lick of it. All he had to go on was what little Cas had told him and none of that had been good, especially how he used Dean as vampire bait and nearly killed Bobby. He still couldn't believe the events the angel disclosed to him, it was all too surreal, but in his heart he knew it all to be true.

Ever since he woke up in the panic room he knew something was off or weird...he didn't have a word for it other than 'wrongness'. However, when the truth came out it all seemed to make a glimmer of sense. Why Dean seemed to dance around the subject of what happened over the last year and why Bobby wouldn't or maybe couldn't look him in the eye and barely tolerated his presence.

Quietly, he tiptoed out of the room, careful not to wake his sleeping brother and made his way down the hall to the stairs. The house was quiet, dark and still save for his movements, which was a relief, he wanted to be alone for a while now that he was awake and still too wired up from his dream to go back to sleep.

He needed to think...or a distraction from thinking. He wasn't sure which. All he was really focusing on at that particular moment was finding the bottle of Wild Turkey Bobby left sitting out on his desk in the study.

Reaching the bottom of the steps to the kitchen, he didn't bother with turning on the light before he rounded the corner to the room where Bobby stored his impressive collection of books and research materials. The second he passed through the door, however, he was taken more than a little off guard to find a gun pointed in his face. His only reaction was to raise his hands in surrender.

"Whoa!... Bobby!" Sam breathed out.

"Jesus, Sam!" Bobby's face registered surprise, but Sam didn't see any relief in his features as he lowered the weapon. It was as if he was still on his guard, Still afraid that Sam might snap at any moment and turn on him. Bobby, to his credit, covered it well, but not before Sam had seen it.

"What the hell? I thought you were asleep, you scared the shit out of me." Bobby shot out.

"Sorry, I didn't mean to startle you."

"Dammit, kid. I could have blown your head off. What are you doing sneaking around down here?"

"I couldn't sleep, so I thought I'd get a drink. What are you still doing up? It's 2am."

"I'm still trying to make heads or tails of that old book."

Bobby turned away, again not meeting Sam's eyes and walked back to his desk, dropping the gun on the table top.

He couldn't really blame Bobby for feeling awkward and wary around him. From all accounts, he had come very close to ending the life of the man that had become closer to him than his own father, but seeing the mistrust on his face and the way in which he eyed him cautiously was like a knife twisting in his gut.

Guilt flooded Sam's senses, he may not recall whatever had driven his soulless self to go to such extremes, but that didn't change the fact that there was some part of him had caused this giant chasm growing between them. It was his fault and he still didn't understand why.

The worst part of all was the fact that he had no clue how to make it any better. All he knew was that he hated the man he must have been this last year and while he may not know the details of what he did, he was certain that if it were ever possible to turn back time and confront his former self, he'd kill him without hesitation.

In the meantime, Sam had the very real problem of somehow making it all up to his mentor, if it was at all possible. His first instinct was to turn back around, go back to bed and give Bobby his space and think further on how to breach the subject with the older man, but his mouth had other ideas. "Need some help with it?" He asked.

"Nah." Bobby replied curtly, closing the ancient book. "My eyes are about ready to bug out of my head from staring at this damn thing all night, so I think I'll just go to bed."

The older hunter walked out from behind the desk and looked straight ahead as he made for the exit. Sam watched him as he left, wanting to call him back, wanting to apologize until his voice was shot, but what could he say? 'Sorry, I almost killed you?' It wasn't enough. It never would be.

As soon as Bobby was out of his sight, Sam swallowed hard against tightening throat muscles and clenched his jaw in order to stifle the emotions threatening to spill out. Dejected and feeling lower than dirt, he took sight of the half-empty bottle of whiskey and walked over to it, picking up the glass Bobby had left out and filling it, quickly downing a couple of fingers and letting the harsh tasting liquor burn all the way down to the pit of his stomach.

With a heavy sigh, Sam fell into a chair in front of the desk and put an elbow up on the table, resting his heavy head into his palm and closing his eyes in order to ride out the first twinges of the headache he could feel building in his temples.

"Balls!" Sam's head shot up and he twisted around to see Bobby stomping back into the study, making a beeline for the chair behind his desk and sitting down with a troubled face..

"Bobby, what's wrong?"

"What's wrong? Are you kidding me?" Bobby asked incredulously. "What isn't wrong?" He snatched the whiskey and took a big gulp straight from the bottle. "We need to talk...get all this crap out in the open and over with, got it?"

"I...don't even know where to start, Bobby." Sam sighed wearily, his heart heavy with guilt. "An apology just doesn't seem to cut it...I mean...what I did..."

"Yeah. You're right. I don't want to hear any 'I'm sorry's'" Bobby grumbled.

Sam hung his head. It was as he feared. Bobby was never going to forgive him and things would never be better between them. Nodding, he swallowed heavily and was half-way out of the chair in order to leave the room when Bobby spoke up again.

"Sit your ass back down, boy. I ain't done. " Sam slowly folded himself back into the seat as ordered, his face unable to suppress his defeat, while Bobby started up again, this time looking Sam directly in the eyes "Now...you don't have to apologize because I already forgive you. Sure, I'll admit that I've been a little uncomfortable being around you, but it was difficult to separate the old you...the soulless you...from who you are now. It's just been so damn hard to look at you and not see the cold, calculating bastard that you were for the past year, but it wasn't until I came back to get a pencil in here and saw you brooding and being all sullen that it finally hit home; You really are back, you really are the old Sam."

Sam was speechless, his mouth opening to form words that just wouldn't come out.

"Ah hell..." Bobby shook his head and leaned back in his chair with a sigh. "I should have known it from the first time you hugged me. You always were the touchy-feely type."

"Bobby...I..."

"Yeah, Yeah...I'm not saying all of this shit again and after this, I don't want to hear any more about it, alright?. What happened happened; can't go back and change it now, so we might as well forget it and move on."

Sam nodded again, not trusting his voice to not crack should he speak and eyes burned with unshed tears. He didn't feel worthy of Bobby's forgiveness, but it felt like a great burden had been lifted from his shoulders and heart to receive it.

"Now, go to bed. You and me got a lot of work to do trying to decipher this book in the morning, got it?"

Sam did get it .

After that, he stood up and walked over to the door, pausing for just a moment and looking back at Bobby. "Thanks..." He managed to rasp out.

Bobby just shook his head, a ghost of a grin breaking out on his face as he motioned with his hands for Sam to leave. "Sleep, Sam. I'll see you in the morning."

Heeding the older hunter's orders, Sam headed back to his bed and curled up under the covers, falling into a deep, dreamless slumber almost as soon as his head touched the pillow.

The End