Broken Friendship

Summary: After returning to Bobby's from their meeting with Eve, Dean's doubts begin to grow until Sam's nightmares brings him face to face with a truth that will change things forever. SPOILERS: Do Not Read if you haven't seen 7:18-Mommy Dearest because it may contain spoilers.

Warnings: Rated for language since it does have some minor cussing.

Pairings: None.

Tags: Slight ones to 7:18 Mommy Dearest.

Disclaimer: I don't own the boys or anything to do with the CW or Kripke's creations. Just writing for fun.

A/N: Note: This is one possible idea and just the way my evil little mind is working tonight after watching the show. Fans of Castiel probably should avoid reading any further.

SPN SPN SPN SPN SPN

The term 'life sucks' really has no meaning for me these days considering Sam and me…we just go from one huge mess into another one.

Ever since my brother got his soul back, yeah I'm still manic obsessive over that whole wall thing, it's like we've been too busy chasing this new 'Mother of All' to concentrate on what Death said to me the night he put the soul back into Sam.

The souls, it's all about the souls. I've heard that probably three times since I got back into the game. The first was from good old Balty when he was messing around buying up souls in exchange for pieces of weapons from Heaven. Then Death brought it up before he went to get Sammy's soul outta the Cage but if I'm honest it was the third time I heard it that things really began to bug me.

We'd been in Oregon looking for Mommy or Eve as she's known to her not so close friends…meaning Sammy and me, when my plan backfired in our faces…yeah, I'm waiting for the patented Bobby Singer lecture on that one, and she laid the mother of all, no pun, bombshells on us. Crowley, the very same underhanded, backstabbing former Crossroads King turned King of Hell was still alive even after Cas supposedly burned his bones and he was still nailing monsters.

Crowley…damn, he got my brother outta the Cage minus a soul…and that makes me wonder all kinds of things but then comes my other issue. Castiel. He's not acting like himself and every time he pops in I notice it more and more but now…now even Bobby's concerned.

Bobby's been hunting for a hell of a lot longer than me and Sam so I trust his instincts but this is Cas. He's an Angel for cryin' out loud, an Angel fighting a war…

There's just been too many unanswered questions and by running around after Eve and being worried about Sam I haven't had the chance or time to really sit down to think.

We're back from Oregon and have been for a couple days. I know Bobby's just busting at the seams to unload about Cas but he thinks I won't want to hear it and a part of me, the part of me that owes the guy for yankin' my ass outta Hell a couple years back doesn't. The other part, the Hunter part knows that something's gone off track with the guy and that will probably mean issues for me down the road.

The other thing that I've noticed is Sammy. Ever since this last deal he's been on edge. I picked up on it right after our trip back to the past when we got back to find out that Bobby let Cas use his soul as a battery charger. Sam gets real uneasy whenever our Angel pal comes around and when I asked him if he agreed with Bobby about Cas hiding crap he wanted to say something but shut down…just like he used to when he was scared to tell me something.

Of course what's tipping the big brother radar off the damn charts is the nightmares. I expected Sam to have 'em after he got his soul back and Cas opened his mouth about a couple things he shouldn't have and they did come in those first few weeks but nothing like the past few days.

The night we got back to Bobby's place Sam woke up four times and each time it took both me and Bobby to handle him until I got him awake enough to know who he was with. He says he doesn't know what he's dreaming about and he ain't lyin' cause Sammy can't look me in the face and lie. Something's bringing the damn nightmares on, something's scaring my brother and that worries me cause I can't be sure it won't bring that wall down.

"Sam asleep?" Bobby asks and I just nod while accepting the beer he hands me.

I've been outside trying to put it all together while Bobby works on other angles but it all comes back to one damn thing. Someone or something is stealing souls for some purpose that's beyond the paygrade I'm used to.

Looking up as if I can actually see through the house to be sure my brother was safe, I wish it was as simple to protect Sammy as it was when we were kids but it ain't. Especially when he's got a ticking time bomb in his head.

"I've been timelining all this crap and I gotta admit I don't like how it's shapin' up," well that doesn't help my bad feelings but then I don't expect Bobby to sugarcoat anything so I reach for the paper he's holding to see everything in mine and Sam's recent life laid out like clockwork. "Dean, I know he's your friend but you were outta hunting for a year. Cas has changed and it ain't for the better, boy."

Yeah, I knew that but to think that Cas was doing anything wrong still made me laugh. This was the guy who could barely work a cellphone and he did get himself blown up by Adam…Michael during that whole mess last year when Lucifer was possessing my little brother.

It was Michael's becoming trapped in the same Cage with Lucifer and I believed Sam, that caused Cas to be promoted…okay, so maybe that's not the way to look at it.

God leaves Heaven, Michael gets locked up and Cas gets brought back to become the new Sheriff of Heaven. Now there's a war up there and Cas is fighting to maintain control. A war in Heaven, the power of souls. Cas used the power in Bobby's to heal himself after his so-called deputy betrayed him…which was another thing I wondered about.

Rachel didn't look to have the same power wattage as Cas so why would she have taken him so openly? Rafael wants me and Sam dead, or so I've been told, so if she had been turned by him she could've wiped us both out the day she showed up in the basement.

Souls…Balthazar changed history because he didn't like the movie Titantic and people were born that shouldn't have been…souls existed that wouldn't have. Balty worked with Cas when we were used as bait and a distraction so Cas could get the weapons from…

"Dean? You gonna stop squeezing that bottle before ya break it?" I hear Bobby but my mind is suddenly flooding with tiny little things that I let slide before.

Theory has it that Crowley brought both Sam and our Grandfather back but Sam was brought back with one key thing missing. His soul and a soul as huge as Sammy's would be like a furnace to someone needing the power of 'em.

Samuel was brought back fine and used by my less than favorite demon to hunt other demons or monsters, looking for a way into purgatory or so we were told but Eve says that's wrong. Again with the damn souls. Samuel kept Sam with him, isolated from me until…until maybe it wasn't an accident those damn djinns went after me. Maybe…maybe they needed to finally let Sam near me because he was becoming too hard to control without a soul?

Of course as soon as I saw Sam I knew something was wrong so it's also possible that was why whoever did get him out didn't want him near me…because I'd see the change and dig until I found out what was wrong with him. Cas didn't want Sam getting his soul back. In fact he was the one who started Sam having doubts about getting it back…well after my stupid speech on feelings equaling pain that is and after Death put it back…sonouvabitch

I'm just beginning to decide what emotion was going to win out, fury or sickness when I hear the one sound I'd become attuned to since I was four freakin' years old, the sound of my little brother screaming for me.

Bobby shouts something at me but I only hear part of it in my haste to get in the house and up the steps to the room that Sam and I've always shared.

"Noooo!" Sam's screaming and thrashing the same way he has been since we got back here but tonight it's different and I feel it as soon as I step into the room.

He's sitting up and flailing his arms like he's trying to push at something or someone so I'm more than cautious when I sit next to him but it was when I see the tears that I react.

"Sam! Sammy, wake up!" having dealt with Sam since he'd been a baby I knew most of his reactions so I took a chance that he'd move in a similar way to when he'd been younger and grabbed for him as soon as he shifted toward my voice. "Hey, wake up. Sammy, wake up. You're safe."

I'm talking to him in a tone that I only used with him and hoping he still responds to it since we haven't fully gotten over all the issues of the last few years when I finally feel him stop fighting me and go still but I wait until I'm sure he's halfway calm before I ease him back.

Keeping a hand flat on his chest, I automatically feel his pulse and find it fast but that's not unusual considering he's just had another nightmare but it was the weak grip of his fingers that I don't like…well that and the fact that I feel like I've been dropkicked in the gut by an 800-pound sumo wrestler.

"If I have to Molotov your ass with Holy oil this time I'll make damn sure you don't come back," I don't have to fake the growl in my voice because I'm pissed and if he's learned anything about me in the past few years it's that you don't screw with my brother and let me find out about it. "Why?"

"Why what, Dean?"

Oh, that's so rich and I don't know to be proud that he picked up my attitude or scared that he could still sound so damn cold. "Why did you think you could pull this and me not find out? Why hurt Sam, why get him out of that damn Cage but keep his soul?"

"Sam was a better hunter, he was more in tune with the modern ways than Samuel was so I needed him out. As for why his soul was taken, you've guessed how valuable those are and a soul as pure and strong as Sam's was, even after all he'd been put through, was still powerful. It was a necessary tool."

Tool. He just called a part of my little brother a tool. I am so frying his feathered ass in a second. "Crowley could never give Samuel back what he promised because my Mother never would've gone to Purgatory but you could've," I'm feeling sicker with every moment I think this through and with every whimper Sam makes. "Undo what you've done to him."

"Dean, you fail to understand once again that the lives of…"

That did it. I was pissed anyway and that just pushed me over. "You didn't want Sam to have his soul back not only because you'd lose your battery but because he's seen you!" I knew this even before I watched a single expression pass over his face. "Sam saw you and that's what these nightmares are. You've tried to take it again, haven't you? Damn it, answer me! Castiel, take back whatever the hell you've done to my brother before I light you up and all bets are off!"

"Death, when he told you to keep looking into the souls, knew the situation which is why I didn't want Sam to have his back but you have to understand that I tried to keep you out of this for as long as possible," Cas seems to think that's going to help cool me off but it didn't.

"Every damn thing Eve said was true. Crowley ain't dead because he faked it, you lying sack of…" looking at Sam I still see him without his soul and I still recall the anger Cas showed after Death gave him his soul back. "You took a piece of my brother, you touched him and then tried to keep me away from him because you knew the moment I got involved it would all come tumbling down! Damn it, I trusted you!"

"The war in Heaven…if I lose it could cost…"

Shit. I see it. I finally see it and I could kick myself. Cas is a lot like Sam in one area. He can't look at me fully when he has to lie directly to my face and right now he's looking at the wall above me. "What's the scam?" I ask him, opening the nightstand drawer slowly while still staying next to Sam. "You get rid of Michael, God's still MIA, Lucifer's locked up so…maybe you and Crowley make a deal. He helps you get the souls you need to power your army to oust Rafael and you…what? That's what I'm almost afraid to think too hard on Cas. What deal did you make or what's he got on you?"

"Crowley and I both need the souls to win, Dean," he replies easily enough and I suddenly understand Bobby's concern. "The wall Death put up protects Sam now but…"

I flick the lighter a second before I ignite the one protection element I always used before leaving our room because I guess in my gut I learned early on…Angels were dicks and I wasn't leaving my brother open to another one.

"You knew Crowley wasn't dead, you told Balthazar to save the Titanic to create more souls for you and you used me and Sam as bait how many damn times?" I shift enough to allow the flames from the holy oil surrounding the bed to shine off the Angel killing blade I'd kept from sometime. "Get outta my sight, Cas and stay out of it because if you ever come near me or Sam again I may die trying but I'll kill you before you or that damn demon ever touch my brother again."

Cas knows me and he knows that Sam's the one thing I won't bluff over so he knows I mean what I say…of course I know he can wipe me out with a blink which is why I'd installed something else the other day.

"Anti-Angel sigals, Cas. You can pop in but you can't go cosmic on me but I can blast you outta here," looking up at the design I'd put on the ceiling and thinking about the ones under the rug. "I'm hoping you come to your senses and stop this crap with Crowley because I'd hate to think you were just using me all this time but you'd better think twice before coming after Sam or Bobby."

There's a moment of silence in which we just look at each other and I wonder if he has the juice to go past the wards I'd put when he gazes past the holy fire at Sammy before offering a small smile and then I was alone.

Sonuvabitch. I'm barely able to put out the holy fire since I didn't want Bobby killing me if I burned down his house before my knees give out and I just scrub both hands over my face. This sucks in ways even I can't describe because while fighting to keep the Great Wall of Sam up, I now have to deal with a power hungry Angel who was working with a demon I detested all the while figuring out why it was happening.

Looking down, I notice that Sam's still and sleeping easily again which means Cas did at least undo what was causing him pain…this time. Carefully carding my fingers through Sam's hair to get it back out of his face, I didn't realize how long it's been since I'd done that until he reacted like he used to, flopping onto his stomach with a mumble to leave him alone.

"Go back to sleep, Sammy," I whisper, keeping a hand on his shoulder a moment or two longer until I'm sure he'll stay asleep before I stretch out on my bed but making sure to keep that knife within easy reach. "I'll tell Bobby tomorrow that he was right…again. Tonight, I just want to be sure my little brother stays safe and figure out how to get us out of this mess cause come hell or high water, maybe a wrong term considering one of the jerks I'm dealing with, I'm not letting either of us sacrifice our lives again.

The End

Author Note: I have another version planned in 3rd person. While I hope for all the Cas fans out there that this doesn't happen, it's how my evil little brain is working right now. My deepest apologies to all Castiel fans.