Disclaimer: Supernatural and its characters were created by Eric Kripke and are owned by the CW Network. No profit is being made.

Note to Readers: I know it has been a while since my last fic, sorry! Well, we've got a long summer hiatus to face after the crushing season 6 finale. So, onward and upward, as we wait for season 7 to start in the fall. This will be AU I'm sure once the season 7 premiere airs, but I had to do something, so this story picks up where the screen faded on the finale. I'll try to update weekly probably on the weekend at some point.

Side Note: the title of the story has a few different definitions, I lean toward the Hebrew take on the word – meaning, 'Thou Mayest' which implies choice. Man's choice between good and evil. Also, it's a great song, too!


Chapter 1

By Dawn Nyberg

"… And Death is at your doorstep; and it will steal your innocence, but it will not steal your substance. But, you are not alone in this … as brothers we will stand …" lyric excerpt from Mumford and Sons, Timshel

"I'm your new God. A better one, so you will bow down and profess your love unto me, your Lord, or I shall destroy you." Castiel leveled a dark look on Bobby and Dean. There was a pause and then he turned toward Sam, who vacillated between looking at his brother and Bobby and back to Castiel. "Bow down and profess unto me, Sam," the former angel's voice held no kind familiarity that Sam once knew.

"You leave him alone," Dean started to take a step toward the now walking, talking soul nuclear reactor. Bobby cupped a hand over Dean's shoulder stopping him.

"Quiet boy," he hissed under his breath.

"Be quiet," Dean looked at Bobby, his voice incredulous. "You know what he did to Sam. He took the wall in his head down … made him remember all that crap." Castiel looked at Dean for a moment seeming nonplussed.

"It was necessary Sam," Castiel's voice flat. "As I said, I am glad you made it. Now, profess unto me, your Lord or die."

Sam took an unsteady step backward, his left leg seeming just a tad hesitant, his eyes were haunted and scared and Dean silently raged under the restraining hand of Bobby. "Bow down and profess," Castiel leveled hard eyes on the youngest Winchester.

Sam started to open his mouth but the words wouldn't come. His speech was fractured and garbled. He tried again and this time his words died inside his throat a guttural sort of stutter inside his mouth. Sam's eyes filled but tears did not break free and then a flash of burning of pain crossed his mind and he grabbed his head with a flinch.

"Sammy?" Dean barked his voice thick with concern. Sam steadied and looked at Castiel but the words wouldn't come.

The former angel studied the young man and something flitted across his eyes, his face that Sam recognized, it was guilt and sorrow. Perhaps, their friend wasn't lost after all. Castiel stepped back seeming to gather himself up and he was gone in a blink. No flutter of wings, just gone. Dean and Bobby looked around quickly and it was clear Cas had left. "Sammy?" Dean stepped forward. He pulled his brother into a hug and held on tight. He thought he'd lost his little brother. "You're gonna be okay, Sammy. I'm here," and with those two words, 'I'm here,'a reminder of Stull before the fall, Sam's precarious hold on his emotions shattered and his legs folded. Dean followed Sam down to his knees supporting his sibling. They needed to get out of there but that didn't matter when Sam was shattering in front of them. "You did real good Sammy, you got here. I'm proud of you little brother."

Sam tried to speak but only managed a garbled, blurred version of Dean's name, but it was enough for his big brother. "Yeah, it's me. You're gonna be okay." Bobby just dropped his hand on Sam's head while the boy trembled in his brother's arms kneeling on the concrete floor.

"You boys think we might be able to get out of here before Meglo-Cas decides to come back?"

"Sammy?" Dean looked at his brother and Sam offered a tentative nod. "Okay, I gotcha." Dean looked at Bobby. "Ugh, the Impala is going to be a problem Bobby." The older man suddenly remembered the car had been flipped. He yanked off his hat.

"Balls!" he ran a hand across his forehead and put his hat back on, "okay, let me think a second." Dean helped Sam stand and kept a steadying hand on his brother's arm while keeping another hand at the small of his little brother's back. Bobby pulled out his cell and walked across the room pacing back and forth waiting for a pick-up. Dean tried not to let his mind paint nightmare scenarios about Sam and his apparent inability to formulate speech. It was fixable, and Dean wouldn't accept another outcome.

"Boys, I called in a heap of favors, I got a friend, he's a hunter that's bringin' some help to get the Impala hoisted up and will get us out of here. He's twenty minutes out; he knows the place, so let's get out of here." Bobby looked distastefully at the bloody remnants of what used to be Raphael.

Bobby stood at the front screen door and gazed out over the salvage yard. He could see the Impala glisten in the early morning sunlight as it crested over the distant trees. It had been another long night. They had returned back to South Dakota a couple days ago and he still felt like he was in the murky remnants of a bad dream. Sam's speech hadn't improved and the boy was frustrated, he could walk but his steps were faltering at times and he couldn't miss the seemingly permanent lines of worry that have settled at the corners of Dean's eyes. But, it was Sam's nightmares; memories of Hell climbing to the surface as he slept that were the hardest to watch. He experienced flashes out of the blue without warning during the day but even his sleep was tormented. Castiel had made no more appearances and he just wasn't sure if that was a bad or good thing.

The floor creaked behind him and he turned. He studied Dean's tired features, "He asleep?"

Dean nodded tiredly, "Yeah, for a couple hours now, no nightmares. I just needed some coffee and then I'll go sit with him again."

"I can sit Dean; you need to get some rest boy. You ain't gonna be doin' Sam any good if you drop over." Bobby's eyes were soft and caring.

Dean cast a glance back into the study and spied his little brother sleeping on the couch his face turned toward him. "What if a dream starts, I can't …"

"Can't what son? Can't leave him alone, he' snot alone in this Dean. We're both here for him and I can stand watch now. Get some sleep," he urged. "You already got a place made up on the floor, so use it. You'll be with him but get some sleep." Dean nodded his assent. Bobby smiled; it was a small victory to be cherished. Dean hesitated and looked at the older hunter.

"He's carrying a lot ... those memories of being soulless and ... he needs help Bobby the memories of Hell, I can try to help him with those but his Hell wasn't mine, and he still can't really talk, I don't know what …" Bobby put a reassuring hand on Dean's shoulder.

"I got some ideas about the speech problem, I'm working on it. Sam's gonna get whatever help he needs, okay? That boy comes from strong stock," he nudged Dean to remind him that he did too, and the slight smile he got from the young man was both an admission of agreement and thanks. "Now, sleep," he ordered with a light voice and cuff of the head.

"Yes, sir." Dean settled near the couch keeping Sam in sight and only a couple or so paces away if he were needed. It was less than ten minutes when Bobby heard the change in breathing and knew Dean was asleep, pulled under quickly by exhaustion.

He leaned back and watched both his boys sleep. The road ahead wasn't going to be easy but when was it ever. He got comfortable with a book and watched his family sleep.

To Be Continued