Author's Notes: Because I still don't know exactly what Cas has done, but I'm more certain than ever that he had something to do with Sam's soullessness. Also, could be considered a sequel to Goodbye Blue Skies.

Bit of background. Sam was already crumbling, but he tore down the rest of the wall to get to his powers. To save Dean and Castiel from Raphael.

Summary: Sam gives up everything to save Dean and Cas. Cas wonders why Sam deemed him worthy enough to pay such a price. Post 6x19.

Our Sins in Times of War

When the light receded, Castiel found himself and the Winchesters standing in Bobby's yard. At a loss, Cas stared as Dean started toward Sam.


His steps broke into a run as Sam collapsed to the ground bonelessly. Dean caught him, cradling his unconscious brother close to him and pawing at his face.

"Sam? Sammy? Come on, please…don't do this!"

And Cas only continued to stare. Looking to Dean, to Sam, to the sky as if his missing father had returned and could give him the answers he needed. Why had Sam…why…?

As Dean's pleas became stilted sobs, the angel approached the pair carefully. His eyes remained riveted on Sam's still face in some kind of reverence.

"Why did he save me?" Castiel shook his head slowly, uncomprehending. He had betrayed them. Betrayed Sam in the worst way and still…

Cas dropped to his knees on Sam's other side, every muscle in Dean's body tensed, but he didn't look up. Reaching a hand out almost without thinking, Cas was surprised to find a gun barrel between his eyes.

Dean wasn't looking at him, wasn't willing to tear his eyes away from his wrecked baby brother for even an instant, but the intent was clear. He cradled Sam close to him with one arm, shaggy head tucked underneath his chin. With his other, he held the gun steady on Cas. The weapon would have no effect, but Cas thought it was the message he was supposed to get.

"Stay away…you son of a bitch…" Dean grated out through clenched teeth. "Don't you touch him!"

Cas should knew Dean was right in his anger, in his grief. But he had to know for certain what had been sacrificed. He had to. Holding his palms up in a placating gesture, Cas reached forward ever so slowly.

Dean cocked the hammer, but he didn't fire and Castiel wondered why. It wasn't that the gun would have no effect, Dean wasn't thinking on that level right now. He thought maybe it was still difficult for Dean to stomach shooting him despite what had passed between them. Then, much more likely, he thought it was because of Sam's desperate plea moments before he'd saved them. Hanging onto Dean's sleeve with one trembling hand while the other pressed against his own head. Tears of pain in his eyes and blood dripping from his nose and ears as he struggled to hold on long enough for it to matter.

"Don't kill him. Dean…he'll…right choice in the end. Dean…"

Sam had saved him. Broken the wall and let every catastrophically horrible memory out along with the power he needed to help Dean. To help Cas. He could have left the angel there. He already had his brother and Cas had brought this on himself…but he didn't.

As if he were touching something more powerful and sacred than he had any right to lay hands on, Castiel brought his fingers to rest on Sam's forehead. He closed his eyes, searching. Maybe, maybe…

Cas's shoulders slumped and he sat back on his heels, looking devastated.

"It's gone." He told Dean. "The wall's gone."

The gun still pointed at Cas shook and Dean's body jerked with a heartbreaking sob. He dropped the gun and wrapped himself around Sam even more. Like if the world couldn't see his brother, it couldn't hurt him anymore.

Dean cried and wailed out into the night, the noise summoning Bobby who appeared on his back porch and began racing toward them in bare feet. The last member in their circle of grief. Sam was utterly silent, barely breathing.

Castiel felt his strength sapped by the wounded cries of the older brother and lead into despair. He slowly curled downward until his forehead rested on the ground, as if he were praying or bowing to something holy. To a martyr and his guardian who'd never had a chance.

Dean sobbed and shook and Castiel only listened to the ramifications of what he'd done, what he'd given up.

What he'd stolen from the only friends and brothers he'd ever had.