What's Wrong With Me?

Summary: 1-shot. Set between Swan Song and Exile on Main Street, a soulless Sam ponders Father's Day as he goes to see the only real Father figure he's ever known & is forced to make a decision that will alter things dramatically. Soulless/thoughtful!Sam

Tags/Spoilers/Warnings: Isn't tagged to any real episode, may have some mentions to events leading up to Season 6. No real warning since despite what it looks like, this is not a dark fic.

Disclaimer: I don't own the boys. Kripke does that. This is written for fun and meant to taken as such.

Author's Note: Alright, I have no idea where this one came from. I don't normally do Soulless Sam so bear with me since he's the one who came through on this piece. This is fully from Sam's POV though Dean is present some and despite how it may appear this is not a dark fic.

There's something wrong with me. I know and I've known it since I first woke up after finding myself out of the Cage. I've heard Samuel and the cousins whispering about it ever since I joined up with them. I know something's wrong…I just haven't quite figured out what it is.

I have complete memory of my life before the Cage. I know the man I was and I think the longer I'm out it's the difference between the man I was and who I am now that's the biggest clue that something's wrong with me.

Take today for example. It's Father's Day, a day that most people celebrate their father's. For me, it's a day that's always been a little…complicated. My Father has been dead for nearly six years but even before that he and I didn't have the usual or greatest Father/son relationship.

John Winchester was an ex-Marine who served in Vietnam before he married my Mother, settled down to have my older brother and myself…then it all went to Hell for all of us. After the death of my Mother, my Dad changed or at least according to Dean he did since I don't recall what my Dad was like.

My Father and I fought pretty much steadily from the time I was thirteen until the night I left for college. I wanted normal, I wanted to stay in one school and I didn't want to hunt. My Father didn't see those things as I did since he was devoted to hunting, to finding the thing that murdered my Mom. He raised soldiers, not sons and I hated him for that. I hated him for what he turned us into and sometimes I hated that my brother followed every word our Dad said without question.

It wasn't until shortly before the end, before the whole Lucifer/Cage mess happened that I began to understand my Dad and it wasn't until I got back, until I began to understand that something was off with me that I fully did get what my Dad was trying to teach me all those times he drilled me, made me learn to shoot, to kill the evil that was out there.

Since waking up after getting out of the Cage, I've been a better hunter than I was before. Not stronger because of the demon blood since I can only assume that was purged from my system by whoever or whatever got me out but I don't seem to be bothered by the rest of the things that I did once.

Guilt, emotion, hesitance…any form of feeling that once held me back doesn't seem to be an issue for me right now which makes me a better hunter than even my Father which I find odd since for all our fights, all the disagreements, the shouting, I actually find myself thinking like my Father. Hunting like I watched him hunt all those times growing up.

It took me being trapped in a Cage with two feuding Archangels and being yanked out by something or someone for me to become the hunter that John Winchester wanted me to be…a hunter that I knew even was making the fabled Campbell family of hunters wary around me which also let me know something was wrong with me. I've been wondering lately how proud of me, of what I've become, my Father would be because in some way I remember just wanting that moment once between us but knowing that he'd never be as proud of me as he was of Dean…or so I thought.

I don't think of my Father often. Today I was but only because by blood John Winchester was my Father but I honestly never thought of him as my dad. We were just too complicated for that and it wasn't like he was ever around much anyway.

Father's Day for most people mean cards, dinner, just a moment in time to spend with each other…I take time on the way to another hunt to stop at a roadside bar for a drink John Winchester then I'm off again but pause to send an e-mail that's part greeting, part way to speak of the current monster I'm after and also a way to see if the package I mailed arrived safely and it's that and what I'm doing now that seriously remind me how wrong I am.

Bobby Singer was more Father to Dean and me than our own ever was. He let us stay with him with we'd get dropped on his doorstep, he taught us things after our Father died that I suppose would've been nice to know before but he'd assumed John had did all that. For being a grumpy, grizzled, hunter who also owned a junkyard, Bobby was mentor, Father figure and friend which is why I reasoned it was proper to send him a new hat.

Bobby wasn't the first person I went to after getting back but he was close. I went to Bobby because I figured it was safer to show up in person than to have him hear of it and hunt me down to slap me in the head for not telling him I was back.

For Bobby to show emotion was rare but then that was how he was. I'd seen him shed tears the night my brother was killed by hellhounds when his deal came due after he'd saved my life and I'm sure he shed 'em the day Dean came back. I remember being an overly emotional basket case on both those times as well but the day he opened his door to me, I managed to smile and pretend but while he covered his own emotions it was odd for me not to feel what I knew the man I had been should've been feeling. It was then that I seriously knew something was wrong with me because I was cold inside but even now, even unable to feel what I know I should be feeling, I needed to send the man something to show him that I still respected him as a hunter, a friend…a father because in some way that's what Bobby would be even if he'd threaten to slap me or Dean if we ever said that out loud.

Slowing my Dodge down as I hit the town limit, I feel something in my chest tighten which I find weird because I only get this feeling when I come to this place and it's been that way since the night I stood under a streetlight to watch my older brother inside house with Lisa and her son.

I see people having picnics, fathers and sons playing in the park on a day meant to celebrate fathers and once again I have to ask myself why I'm here…why this place was the first place I came when I got out and yet my brother still thinks I'm gone.

Waking up out of the Cage and realizing that I was myself…or as close to it as I could be right now, there was no second guessing as to where I needed to come. No matter how cold I feel inside now, no matter that my emotions have gone south since coming back, I needed to see my brother and the moment I did was the first time I doubted if making Dean promise to come here was a wise move.

I stood outside and watched Dean at the table. Oh, he seemed normal, he seemed at ease in this normal setting but I knew him. I'd grown up with Dean so I knew the moment I looked at him that he was dying inside.

My last memory before waking up was seeing the pain in Dean's eyes the last time we locked eyes before I opened the door to Lucifer's cage and let myself fall…well, with a little help from Michael who was currently in possession of our half-brother, Adam. I'd made Dean swear to go to Lisa because I knew he deserved normal but I could see how bad being here was hurting him and how easy it would be for me to take that pain away…but I didn't.

I walked away from the house, away from my brother, away from it all despite what that small part of me was screaming because I knew right then that something was wrong with me and that something could hurt Dean more than help him. I walked away to let him keep thinking I was trapped in the Cage…but staying away? No amount of being dead inside can make me do that.

I know Samuel doesn't want me coming here. For some reason he doesn't want me near my brother which makes those hunter senses that are now so keen scream warnings that at this moment I ignore in favor of parking across the street to settle in and wait.

Whenever I come here to watch Dean I feel the same tightness in my chest, almost like I'm nervous but I haven't been nervous since coming back…except here. Except when I see Dean. I still smirk when I see him come home…that word still sticks in my throat but it's not easy to see him drive the truck instead of the 1967 Chevy Impala I grew up in or to see him toss the ball for the boy. Yet no matter how much he smiles and pretends, I can still read my brother and he's as fake here as I am with the people I meet now.

Looking next to me on the seat, I lightly touch the card I spent an extraordinary amount of time choosing and debate signing it or just leaving it as is when I hear the sound of that pickup my brother drives now and I know the jittering in my stomach is the only sign of nerves that I get now.

I've been watching the house for the past hour before Dean got home from work…it's scary to think of my pool hustling brother with a nine-to-five job but then I realize the house is empty because Lisa and Ben haven't come home and I wonder if that was because of something she needed to do or because Dean told her to so he could have the time alone.

Father's Day never meant much to us so I can't see why this one would bother Dean until I think back to Gwen asking me why it was so important that I be here on this particular day and what I told her. "Because it's Father's Day."

"Damn," I suppose it should've hit me that while I needed to check in on him that he'd be hurting more than usual because of the day it is and being near Ben would make him worse. The moment I see Dean drop his work stuff inside the house then head for the garage I'm paying closer attention than I normally would.

Dean was the hunter's son. He was the model of perfection that I strived to match up to when growing up. Even at the end when I chose to confront Lucifer it was my big brother that I'd been hoping to make proud because once upon a time Dean had sacrificed his life…his soul…for me. Now, he's only half of the man he was but that doesn't mean he's not dangerous.

Once I came through here with Christian and Mark and one of them made the comment about how quickly my brother forgot what it meant to be a hunter. I was pissed off despite not showing it because I knew better. I knew that no matter what it seemed that Dean still had the senses that he'd been trained to have which is why I try not to get closer than this.

The garage is where the Impala is. It's where Dean's life as a hunter sits untouched but not forgotten. It's where my brother goes to brood or to be alone or times like this to remember but the bottle he's carrying worries me because I also know something else about my brother. When he drinks this heavily, he's brooding too much and for Dean those things can mean one thing. He's self destructive today.

There's a difference between a Father and a Dad or so I learned a long time ago. A Father helps gives you life, he supports you financially, he tries to make you into his image of the perfect son. A Dad loves you for you who are even when you don't want to be what the family wants, he teaches you to drive, he supports you emotionally, he dries the tears you try so hard not to show and he's always there no matter what you do.

My Father died six years ago but to me he'd been gone for a lot longer but my Dad…the person in my life who I consider having that honor, the man who raised me, protected me, taught me what I know and gave me the strength to leave despite what it cost him…that man is still alive even if he's falling apart right now in a garage.

Dean raised me. Hell, he's been taking care of me since I was six months old and the fire took our home, our Mom and changed our Father forever. Ever since I was old enough to write and understand what today was, I would always make two cards when I was in school. One for our Father and one for Dean though I never put what it was for, I think he knew but the no chick flick rule always kept him from saying much.

Even after I left for college, I made certain to send that card because I wanted Dean to know that while I'd left the family business I hadn't left him.

So on this Father's Day, his first since believing me dead or locked in Lucifer's Cage, I wanted to be close but hadn't planned on getting any closer than what I was…until after a couple hours pass and Dean's still in the garage.

Debating on it for all of two seconds, I decide to risk it and use all the stealth I know to ease closer to hear the car running along with the radio but it's the car that concerns me as I make the immediate choice to overthrow all my reasons to stay away in favor of opening the garage door to try to relieve the fumes that either Dean didn't count on accumulating so fast or the ones he didn't care about.

Seeing the trunk of the Impala open, I catch sight of my old duffel bag open with some things laid out as if he'd been looking for something then I see the faded pieces of construction paper on the garage floor and recognize them as the old cards I'd given him over the years.

Stepping over them, I see what had happened and for the first time in a long time I feel a lump forming in my throat as I reach into the Impala to turn the engine off so the exhaust would stop blowing fumes and ease the empty Whiskey bottle from limp fingers.

Dean had drank the whiskey on probably an empty stomach and had passed out unaware of the car fumes building in the garage. If Lisa had been home this wouldn't have gotten so bad but being alone, upset and probably feeling guilty about not getting me out…even though he promised to leave it alone, Dean's darker emotions would have claimed him but this wasn't the first time I've managed to pull him back from the edge but I knew that one day I'd be too late.

Walking around to the side of the car that I'd always sat on, I eased into the passenger seat to just sit still for a few moments while watching my brother. I swallowed the lump as I ignored the tear tracks on Dean's normally rugged face because I still recalled the emotional well I'd fallen into after he went to Hell for me so I knew what he was feeling then I saw the books on the back seat and realized what he was planning.

"Damn it, Dean," I knew the spells in those books. I'd gone through them countless times in my own search to save him. He was trying to find a way into the Cage which meant it was time for me to either reveal myself and pray the changes in me didn't hurt him or let him open that Cage and start is all over.

Not ready for that meeting yet since I knew how Dean would react, I write something in the card that I hadn't planned on then lay it on the dash so he'd see it when he woke up. While it wasn't much, I hope it's enough to give him something to go on for until I can find the right moment to show up on his door.

Slipping out of the car, I pause when I hear a groan and realize he's dreaming. "You didn't fail me, Dean," I whisper, knowing he won't hear me but needing to say it as I place a hand that I'm surprised to see shaking on his shoulder. "You raised me, you were there for me when I needed you to be and I hope I can keep you from being hurt but until I know what's wrong with me it's better for you to think me gone."

I know that won't be easy and I know I have to tell him soon but for now, I see that he's relaxing into a normal sleep and I wonder if in some way Dean did hear me so I lightly squeeze his shoulder much like he would mine before slipping back into the darkness to wait it out because I wasn't leaving until Dean woke up to go back into the house.

I watch Lisa and her son arrive home an hour later and I frown when she considers the open garage door but then goes inside with only flipping on the porch light a consideration to my brother. I sent him, made him promise to come to her because I hoped she'd help him over this rough time but now I'm wondering just how big a help she'd being.

Dean wakes up shortly before dawn and I can tell he's got a hangover to beat all but I also see the card he's clutching and I know he's read what I wrote by the way he's rubbing his eyes and dragging his fingers through his hair.

"'A Father can be a great many things and while you weren't my Father you were everything he should've been. Dean, I know you're hurting and I hope you know that you did everything you could for me. I made the choice to do what I did and I don't regret it. I don't want you to regret it or do anything stupid because I will make it right again. Happy Father's day, Dean. Love…Sam.'"

I can see that he's running the scenarios through his head and I hope he's still too tired to catch on to the truth yet when I see him look up to the morning sky that has the first rays of sun peeking through the clouds and I still hear the words he whispers.

"Thanks, Sammy. I will get you back, little brother."

I know Dean won't stop until he either does or he's dead so as I watch to make sure he's in the house and I put the car into gear, I make up my mind to give it a week or so then finally have to come back to tell Dean the truth.

I have doubts about why I don't have the same emotions that I did when I went into the Cage and I hope Dean isn't hurt by this change because no matter how hard I try I know I'm not the little brother he lost a year ago…though I think I want to be at times. What I do know I want is my brother. Hunting solo isn't right no matter how much I've changed and hunting with Samuel and the cousins also doesn't feel right to me.

It's been me and Dean since I was six months old and as I look back in the rear view mirror, I accept that no matter what is wrong with me now I want Dean because something in my heart is saying that only he can make what is wrong with me right again.

"Happy Father's Day, big brother and I'll see you soon," I tell the image I was leaving while hoping I wouldn't be making things worse for us by telling him.

The End