It took Sam several months to understand what was happening. At first he'd shrugged it off as just another side-effect of Death's Wall. Sam had always had a strong sense of intuition, but from what he remembered, it had never actually spoken to him before his time in the Cage. For a while, he thought this was just another form of memory-bleed. Previous experiences from his soulless-year floating into his consciousness in imagined sound, rather than images.
The first time it happened, he and Dean had just solved a very distressing (even for them) case. They thought they were looking for a very neat rugaru, or some other kind of beast that fed on humans. Instead what they found was a Mr. Morris - 37 years old, single and batshit insane. Mr. Morris had been getting away with his cannibalistic lifestyle for nearly 5 years.
Dean had put in an anonymous tip to the police and left Mr. Morris cuffed and tied to a chair in his house surrounded by the bones of his latest victim which he hadn't yet had a chance to dispose of. Sam watched Dean spit on Mr. Morris and went to follow Dean out of the house, when he heard his own voice in his head saying That man is a monster. He doesn't deserve to live. Sam frowned. He agreed of course, but what could he do?
Later that night, Dean slept the deep sleep of the deeply inebriated and Sam...didn't. He'd been sleeping less as the weeks went on.
Dean had told him that while soulless, he hadn't slept at all. It was strange though - he didn't feel tired even though he was only averaging about three hours a night now tops. More often than not, instead of sleep- he'd lie in the dark and try to remember. He succeeded most nights, sometimes so well that he'd induce a seizure as memories of the Cage flooded over him. Dean would hear him and run to his side in a panic and Sam would snap out of it and tell Dean not to worry.
He didn't want to worry Dean.
That night though, Sam didn't have time to remember. He couldn't shake the feeling that letting the police handle Mr. Morris was just wrong . His voice came again, more insistent this time and reminded him The justice system will see to it that that scumbag walks again in ten years tops. And then? He'll just pick up where he left off. He doesn't deserve to live. If he does, others will die- because you didn't take care of it. And with that, Sam got up, snuck out of their motel room and paid a visit to the police station.
Sam cleaned his blade thoroughly on the walk back to the room and felt an inner calm at a job well done. He had wanted to hurt Mr. Morris more, honestly, but he'd had to be quick and silent- and he had been. When he got back to the room, Dean was still out cold, but Sam was far too wired to sleep. He did push-ups until his arms started to shake and then went into the bathroom.
Since he'd gotten back, he'd been somewhat obsessed with his own eyes. He kept checking them for signs of...something. He didn't know what he was looking for exactly, but he just felt like something wasn't right about them. He leaned forward...closer and closer until his nose was touching the mirror, but he still couldn't see anything in his pupils other than his normal hazel-specks of green and brown. The eyes were the window to the soul, right? Had his eyes looked the same when he'd had no soul?
A few weeks later Sam heard more inner commentary as he and Dean brought the three victims of the banshee to the local hospital. Two women and one teenage boy.
Banshees didn't attack people directly, they were omens more than anything else. This one was warning a whole suburban block about the death of a neighbor. Unfortunately the banshees' wails also tended to drive anyone too close to them insane. The man's family hadn't fared too well. The son was trembling, frightened, but would probably be okay. The daughter was sobbing and hadn't stopped for hours, but Sam was certain she too would recover. The wife however...She isn't going to recover. Ever. She's trapped inside her own mind and she isn't coming back out. If you leave her here, that's where she'll stay- and her children will be burdened by her for the rest of their lives. It's cruel to leave her like this. Sam glanced at Dean, who was busy giving their cover story to the nurse, and calculated that he'd be able to get back to the hospital in eight hours or less, with Dean none the wiser.
He didn't want to worry Dean.
On his way back from the hospital later that night, Sam heard his inner voice again, this time in approval. We did the right thing. She's at peace now, and her children are free. Sam felt energized, and jogged back to the motel instead of hotwiring another car.
In the motel bathroom he looked into his eyes again, and just for a second, thought that the brown specks looked a little darker tonight than usual. He didn't think much of it though, washed his face, and went to lay on the bed and remember.
Tonight when he closed his eyes and visualized the wall, he didn't have to look very hard to find the cracks. What had been hairline fissures before were gaping holes now. He went over to one, and started removing more of the already crumbling bricks. He did this all night, but never had a seizure, just a flood of memories blood, fire, pain, sex, and kill after kill- efficient, guilt-free and calming. Sam never did sleep that night, but he stayed in bed until well after Dean got up and showered.
He didn't want to worry Dean.
Dean hadn't noticed any of Sam's clean-ups until Oregon. In Oregon, Sam had made the mistake of thinking he'd be back before Dean woke up, but the vampires' nest had been more populated than he'd expected. Sure they were 'vegetarians' but that didn't matter. They were monsters- end of story. The world was better off without them and he wouldn't have to worry.
He didn't want to worry.
He didn't worry.
When he opened their motel room door, Dean was sitting at the table, with his back turned to the door. "Hey Sam, trouble sleeping?"
Don't worry. "Hey Dean, yeah- I just went out for a walk, lost track of time, sorry." He walked past Dean, and into the bathroom and looked into his eyes. The specks of green looked yellow today, and the brown was more black than brown. Don't worry. From outside the bathroom Sam heard the door to their room slam as Dean left. Don't worry.
Sam walked back out into their room and looked at his cell phone for a moment, wondering if he should call Dean. Don't worry.
He decided against it, because what would he say, really? Instead he dropped to the floor and did push-ups until his arms shook. Then he laid down on the bed, closed his eyes and started pulling out the last few remaining bricks from Death's wall.