Blindsided by the bombshell that Castiel had just dropped on him about the missing part of his soul, Sam let the door slam behind him when he re-entered Bobby's house.
"Damn," Sam cursed under his breath as soon as he realized his mistake.
"Sam? Why were you outside-," Dean began to ask before he obviously read Sam's expression and saw the tears on his cheeks. "What happened? Another flashback?"
Sam quickly wiped his cheeks with the back of his sleeve and paused only long enough to tell Dean "no" before he continued to make his way back to his room.
"Where's the fire? We're not done here yet," Dean said as he grabbed Sam's arm.
"Quit grabbing me all the time!" Sam yelled in annoyance.
"Quit walking away from me when I'm talking to you!" Dean yelled back.
"What's going on now?" Bobby asked as he entered the room, drawn in by the commotion.
"Nothing. Nothing is going on," Sam assured him.
"Ri-iiight," Dean agreed sarcastically.
"I'm in no mood to fight with you, Dean. Okay?" Sam replied. "Just leave me alone. Let me go to sleep."
"Outside is a funny place for sleep," Dean noted. "And for the millionth time, I am not the enemy here!"
"I never said you were! Just…just stop treating me like a child! I don't have to answer to you about everything!" Sam yelled.
"Hard to stop treating you like a child when you keep acting like one, right Bobby?" Dean asked as he turned to the older man.
"Like I said before," Bobby said. "I ain't getting in the middle of you two."
"Can I have a car, Bobby?" Sam asked so out of the blue that Bobby and Dean both asked "What?" in unison.
"Why?" Dean asked next. "I thought you were going to sleep?"
"Changed my mind," Sam answered, even though he had nowhere to go. Just seemed better to get out of there for a while.
"Forget it!" Dean replied.
"I thought you brought me here for Bobby's help. Not to be a prisoner!" Sam yelled before turning back to Bobby. "Please."
"I feel for you, kid. I do. A drive is a good way to clear your head. I just don't think it's a good idea right now," Bobby answered.
Sam didn't hear his response, distracted by the increasing brightness in the room.
"What?" Sam asked Bobby as he was forced to squint at the offensive light.
"What's wrong?" Sam heard Dean ask before the room was completely lost in bright, white light.
"What's wrong?" Sam heard another male voice repeat in a mocking tone.
"Lucifer," Sam said into the whiteness.
"Yeah. Thought I'd save you from your brother's mother hen crap," the voice said as the light in the room receded until the only source of the brightness was Lucifer's shape.
Sam did not reply as he looked around. He didn't recognize where they were.
"Took the liberty of changing the scenery for you as well. You don't need to drive anywhere to do that. I'm happy to oblige," Lucifer continued as he motioned around the room which now looked like a motel room he and Dean would stay in.
"What do you want now?" Sam asked, doing his best to keep the fear out of his voice.
"You've been talking to my old pal Castiel, so don't you have it all figured out now?" Lucifer asked as he circled Sam.
"WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME!" Sam yelled at the glowing figure, although it was still so hard to look directly at him.
"Is this easier for you?" Lucifer asked before he suddenly morphed into Dean. "Or this?" he asked before changing again into Bobby and then lastly into his father.
"Stop!" Sam yelled and knew he was starting to lose it already.
"Let's be clear about something," Lucifer said before he morphed back into Dean. "I am in control here. You understand nothing. When I want you to know something or do something, I will tell you. Let's be clear about something else as well. You also don't understand the meaning of the word torture. Now that…that I do want you to know about."
When Lucifer began to walk toward him and knives shot out from the palms of his hands, Sam backed away, desperate for escape, even though he knew there wasn't any.
"Sam! Sam!" Dean yelled desperately as he leaned over his brother. "Bobby, what do we do?"
"I don't know!" Bobby yelled back. "Did anything work last time to bring him around?"
"No," Dean replied.
"This is new territory, kid," Bobby said. "I'm sorry. I just don't know what to do here."
"I don't either," Dean said with determination as he stood up. "But maybe someone else does. I'm getting Castiel here now."
Five Days Later…
"Dean," Castiel greeted in his usual monotone voice.
"Dean? Dean! Don't Dean me!" Dean hissed angrily at the angel. Where the HELL have you been?"
"I apologize. I have been…unavailable," Castiel answered calmly.
"For FIVE days?" Dean yelled, not caring how loud his voice was getting now.
"How can I assist you?" Castiel asked, still annoyingly calm.
"Take it easy, kid," Bobby said as he lightly touched Dean's arm. "Sorry, we, uh…haven't gotten much sleep lately. Sam has been…down…for five days now and we can't seem to get him back. Let me explain-."
"No need," Castiel interrupted. "I am aware."
"You are aware?" Dean echoed. "What the hell does that mean?"
"Sam came to me a few days ago," Castiel began.
"Wait. Wait! A few days ago or exactly FIVE days ago?" Dean said as he began to put it all together. "Was seeing you why he was outside that day?"
"Yes," Castiel agreed.
"Why didn't you say anything? Come to us? We've been going crazy here and you ARE AWARE?" Dean yelled as charged toward the angel before he hit what felt like a wall.
"DO NOT forget who I am," Castiel warned. "I will help as much as I can, but I will not stand for inappropriate behavior."
"Again, sorry," Bobby said in an attempt to again dial down the tension in the room. "What do you know?"
"He summoned me five days ago and described what was happening to him. How it was…progressing. Asked me questions. That is when we learned about…well, he told me that he did not plan to inform the two of you until he had more information. However, under the circumstances, I believe full disclosure would be most wise," the angel said.
"You think?" Dean agreed sarcastically.
"Please tell us what happened," Bobby asked Castiel, knowing how badly they needed the angel's help and it was unlikely a pissed off angel would be of any help to them or Sam.
After Castiel relayed to them the conversation he had with Sam, Bobby and Dean were stunned into silence for a moment.
"Wow," Dean finally managed to say.
"Yeah," Bobby agreed.
"So you were gone for days, trying to figure out a way to help Sammy?" Dean asked, sorry now that he had been rude.
"Precisely," Castiel confirmed, "I have a possible solution, but first I need to know if Lucifer has told Sam anything else regarding his motives for keeping part of his soul. I was not able to find out any additional information on that front."
"I'd ask him for him, but SAM'S NOT HOME RIGHT NOW!" Dean yelled as he motioned at the unconscious body of his brother.
"Can you snap Sam out of this?" Bobby asked.
"I believe I can. For how long, I do not know," Castiel explained.
"We'll take it," Bobby said.
"Very well," Castiel replied before walking over to Sam and touching his forehead.
Bobby and Dean watched as Sam's eyelid's fluttered before opening completely a moment later.
"Sammy?" Dean asked gently as he looked down on his brother.
Sam raised his arm and swung, but Dean was ready this time and easily avoided the blow. Dean wasn't ready for what came next. Sam stood up quickly and backed into a corner of the room before beginning to moan and wail so pitifully that it was difficult for Dean to hear. Breathing quickly, Sam's eyes darted around the room as if he did not recognize his surroundings before finally settling on the other three men.
"It's okay," Dean reassured him as he moved closer. "You're okay now!"
Sam went silent for a moment before finally raising his arm slowly and pointing at Castiel.
"You," Sam said in a hoarse voice. "You are not allowed here!"
"Did Lucifer tell you that, Sam?" Castiel asked. "What else did he tell you? I need to know if I am-."
"SHUT UP!" Sam yelled as he pushed against the wall behind him as support to shakily stand up.
"It's okay, son," Bobby said, unsure of what else to say.
"No! NO! NO!" Sam began to yell over and over before he slid back down the wall, put his head in his heads and drew his knees up to his chest.
"What do we do?" Dean asked the pair desperately. He thought waking Sam up would be better. This was NOT better. Not by a long shot.
Sam suddenly gave an almost primal sounding yell before starting to pound his head back against the wall.
"Sam, stop!" Dean implored as he rushed over to his brother in an attempt to calm his self-destructive behavior.
Without a word, Castiel pushed Dean aside, grabbed Sam's shoulders, pulled him up as he weighed no more than a feather, and wrenched him around until the two were looking into each other's eyes.
"I want you to tell me exactly what Lucifer told you about why he kept part of your soul," Castiel stated slowly as the two maintained their unbroken gaze.
Dean watched Sam go still, appearing to be held up in the standing position mostly by Castiel, before he began to speak.
"He says he will only release the part of my soul when he is released," Sam answered in a trance-like state as he continued to stare.
"Or what?" Castiel asked.
"He will torture me for eternity," Sam answered in the same monotone voice.
Dean clenched his jaw and resisted the temptation to punch his fist through the wall.
"Did he say if Death knew that he left part of your soul with Lucifer?" Castiel asked next.
"No," Sam responded.
"What else do you remember?" Castiel asked.
"I remember everything now…from the moment we fell into the pit. He said he wanted me to remember everything he did to me…and to know that it will only be worse for me still if he is not freed," Sam answered.
"Hmm," Castiel said as he touched Sam's forehead again and lowered his limp body to the floor.
"What now?" Dean asked anxiously, unable to tear his eyes off of Sam.
"We must act. I must take him now before his soul is so ravaged that it is unrecognizable," Castiel said. "Without the majority of his soul to connect to, the small part of Sam's soul that Lucifer has will be rendered impotent."
"What do you mean by take him now?" Dean asked.
"Take him with me to heaven," Castiel answered matter of factly.
"What?" Dean asked again in stunned disbelief. "Like permanently?"
"Yes," Castiel confirmed. "Lucifer must not be released and Sam must not be left with him to suffer."
"So you want to kill him?" Dean yelled. "How is dying the best choice?"
"Dean, returning home to the Lord is always the best choice," Castiel replied as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.
"Do you hear this guy?" Dean said to Bobby.
"Yeah, I do, kid," Bobby answered without sarcasm. "We probably should at least consider it."
"What? Has everyone gone crazy?" Dean yelled.
"Look, Dean. I don't want Sam to suffer anymore. He can't stay in the pit with Lucifer and even if that part of his soul is released by letting Lucifer free, you know that Lucifer will continue to hunt your brother down until he is his meat suit again!" Bobby continued.
"We are talking about killing Sammy here, Bobby! Not going to happen! Not after all this! Sam deserves to live! Sam deserves for me to save him!" Dean countered.
"He's a hunter, Dean. Always will be. Just like you and me. Heaven is not an option for most of us after the lives we have led. Let Sam finally be at peace," Bobby said, his voice quivering a bit now before continuing. "Let him go."
Dean clenched his jaw before Castiel added, "Sam's soul was already significantly damaged before this recent…time with Lucifer. You saw how Sam behaved when I brought him back just for a few minutes. He is not your brother anymore. The only one who can save him now is God."
"Listen to me very carefully, both of you. Like I told Sam before. I am not going to let him go. Not ever. Not until he is safe and happy and living the life he deserves. NOT UNTIL THEN!" Dean yelled with tears in his eyes. "There has to be another way that I can save him!"
"There is," another male voice replied from the far end of the room. All three turned in that direction to see Death standing next to a long table covered in a red and white checkered tablecloth with two open pizza boxes. "Glad to finally join the party. Brought refreshments from a pizza establishment called "The O" near Pittsburgh. Ever been there, Dean?"
"Did you know?" Dean yelled as he stormed over to the table.
"Know what?" Dean asked with a slight smile as Death took a bite of the steaming cheese and sauce covered dough before sitting down.
"That you didn't do the job! That you left part of Sam's soul in the pit with Lucifer!" Dean yelled.
"Oh, that," Death responded in his usual calm tone. "We can talk more about that if you would like to join me?"
"We don't have time for a meal here!" Dean yelled. "Sam is in a lot of trouble right now!"
"There is always time for a meal," Death replied in a tone that Dean knew the invitation was mandatory for further discussion to ensue.
Dean sat down and picked up the piece of pizza Death laid down in front of him on a paper plate.
"Why did you leave part of his soul with Lucifer?" Dean asked angrily.
"If your brother had not disturbed my barrier around his soul, it would not have provided a bridge back to Lucifer so soon," Death said.
"Again, beside the point!" Dean yelled. "You left behind part of his soul…on purpose…and didn't tell me!"
"Do you wish to move beyond this new revelation of yours to other matters?" Death finally agreed.
"Why are you here?" Castiel barked.
Death took another slow bite before answering.
"I have a business proposition for Dean," he explained.
"A deal?" Bobby yelled. "You want to make a deal?"
"Not a deal!" Death yelled before regaining his composure and lowering his voice again. "Demons make deals. As I said, I would like to make a business proposition."
"What kind of business proposition?" Dean asked, intrigued now.
"What does it matter, Dean?" Bobby said as he walked over to the younger man. "You can't trust him!"
"I propose that I can retrieve the final part of Sam's soul and therefore break any remaining ties with Lucifer and hell," Death answered after ignoring Bobby.
"In exchange for what?" Castiel inquired.
"Dean's service," Death replied.
"What?" Dean asked in confusion, not comprehending what Death would want him for.
"When you die of natural causes, or as natural as the causes may be as you are a hunter, you work for me. I enjoyed your short employment with me and I could use more…days off," Death explained.
"For how long?" Dean asked, realizing that Death's option, no matter what it may be, may be the only option he would have to seriously consider. He would not consider Sam dying, Lucifer going free, or Sam being stuck in the pit forever with the torturing fallen angel.
"Dean!" Bobby yelled. "Forget it! This has to end now! No more deals!"
"This will end," Dean decided as he stood up. "But not with Sam. Sam will not pay anymore. He has done enough. For ALL of us! Can you put up another wall around his soul?"
"I can…smooth out the rough edges a bit, so to speak. He will remember everything, but with… perspective," Death offered.
"Dean, any consideration of this proposition is most unwise," Castiel intervened.
"I'm not considering it," Dean said as he stood. "I'm accepting it."
"No!" Bobby yelled.
Death smiled, pulled his napkin off of his lap, and stood as well.
"Very good," he said as next held out his ring finger.
Dean clenched his jaw and without further hesitation kissed Death's ring.
"It is done," Death confirmed before he vanished.
A few seconds later Death reappeared over Sam, his bag in his hand. He opened his bag and pulled out a small glowing ball before inserting it and his entire hand into Sam's chest. Sam's body arched and then went limp again. Death smiled once more at Dean and then vanished.
"Sam would not want this!" Bobby insisted to Dean.
"He doesn't have to know!" Dean replied.
"We're back to lying to him again? Because that worked out so well for you in the past?" Bobby yelled.
"Who cares what I did? Sam is okay now," Dean said as he stroked his brother's hair. "He's going to wake up now and be fine. Everything will be fine.
"Dean," Castiel said. "Sam's soul may be whole now, but he is far from healed! There is no guarantee that Death will be any more successful this time in keeping Sam from complete deterioration!"
"There was no other choice. And just keep this in mind, Bobby, that if I die before you, I'll make sure you get a really hot reaper," Dean joked. "No...no a hot naked reaper."
"You are joking with me about this?" Bobby yelled in disbelief. "And you didn't even ask for...for any details from Death! You're that ready to offer yourself up?"
"Just help me get him to a bed, Bobby?" Dean asked the older man instead of answering his question.
Bobby hesitated, completely against what the younger man did, but knowing what was done was done.
"Thanks anyway, Castiel," Dean began, knowing that Castiel was only trying to help, but the angel was already gone.
Dean decided not to focus on his friend's unannounced departure and took Sam's shoulders as Bobby took his feet.
Later that Night…
"Dean?" Sam called with difficulty. His throat was so dry. His head also hurt bad . Hell, his whole body hurt bad. Then he remembered and sat up quickly in alarm. Sam felt instant relief when he quickly recognized he was in one of Bobby's rooms and was very relieved to see his brother as well.
"It's okay, Sam," Dean said before raising the volume of his voice. "Hey, Bobby? Can you bring a glass of water for Sam?"
"What happened?" Sam asked. "The last thing I remember is…literally hitting my head against the wall."
"Death, uh, Death came back and brought the piece of your soul with him," Dean said as Bobby entered the room with a glass and handed it to the younger man.
"So he didn't know Lucifer had it? Who told him then? Castiel?" Sam asked.
"Yeah," Dean answered, uncomfortable with the questioning in front of Bobby now. "How do you feel?"
"Physically, I hurt like hell, to be honest with you. Mentally, well, I still remember everything, but it's like all a bit fuzzy. More like I'm watching my memories…like a movie…than being the star of the show. Does that…does that make sense at all?"
"Sure, it does," Dean said, glad that Death had seemed to come through with his part of the deal. "And we'll get through it. All of it."
"So it is over now?" Sam asked as he shakily took another sip of water.
"Yeah, Sammy," Dean confirmed. "It's over."
"Liar," Bobby commented in a low voice so only Dean could hear as he walked past Dean and out of the room.
Thanks for reading and reviewing! Hope you enjoyed it!