Sam I Am

Summary: After being healed, Sam considers things that have been and wonders what may come next when he's reminded that some things won't change & that he isn't alone. / Thoughtful!Sam / Concerned/big brother!Dean. Spoilers!

Tags: 07x17: The Born-Again Identity

Warnings/Spoilers: This will contain spoilers(not too many but some) for the latest episode and also mention of other events from this season and previous ones so readers beware if you're not caught up on this season.

Disclaimer: I don't own the boys, Supernatural, or anything to do with the show. I merely write them for the enjoyment.

Author Note: I don't normally write in this style but it seems like Sam wanted to write himself so bear with him. It's not all journal style. Don't think I need to add any warnings except the usual for some language here and there. Read and enjoy.


From the Journal of Sam Winchester:

'How many people can honestly say they've lived through a fire…well two of those I suppose, dealt with an addiction to demon blood, had a brother give up his soul to save you, had a fling with a demon, let the Devil out of his Cage, learn you and your brothers were supposed to be vessels for two literal warring Archangels like Michael and Lucifer, saved the world from the looming Apocalypse by locking yourself in the Cage with two very pissed off Archangels, come back without a soul, let your brother get turned into a damn vampire and abducted by fairies, have your soul put back in after you tried to kill a man who was like a Father to you, fight dragons, go to the Wild West then have the wall in your head that was protecting you from all that crap done to you in the Cage kicked down by an Angel gone postal and very literally fall down the rabbit hole when you start to see Lucifer only to eventually be saved by the same Angel who kicked that wall down in the first place? Probably not many…at least I hope to God there aren't many others who have lived my life.

'I don't usually do the internal introspection thing since I learned years ago that if I thought too long or too hard on the life I've had that I probably would be locked up. It wasn't until I was locked up a few days ago for what the medical field liked to call a psychotic break of massive proportion that I decided it might not hurt to start a journal.

'We've kept a journal for the hunting side of thing for as long as I can remember seeing my Dad write in his. Dean and I've kept that up since we started hunting again but as for a personal one? I know Dean has one because I've seen him writing in it when he thinks I'm asleep but the one thing with having Lucifer constantly blabbing in my head these past months is that I've seen a lot of little things that my brother does that he doesn't know I've seen…not that I plan on pointing that out to him right now either.

'I could start this all the way back at the beginning since one of the doctors in that hospital was always asking what in my past traumatized me so much that what happened eventually happened. I could've told him but then I wouldn't have seen the light of day again and probably would have gotten a knife to the brain before Dean could stop it cause if I'd opened up to those doctors about my life they would have decided right then and there that I was beyond help.

'I mean what could've traumatized me even though I think I've always handled things as well as possible considering my Mom died on the ceiling of my nursery when I was six-months old, I was fed demon blood that same night by the demon who killed her, my Father went on a one-tracked, one-sided quest to find the thing that ruined our lives and took my brother and me along for the ride.

'I grew up with a hunter for a Father who barely knew Dean and I existed except for when he was training us and to say that me and Dad didn't see eye to eye most times would be an understatement. I grew up wondering if each time my brother went out on a hunt if he'd come back and I never let Dean or Dad know how much that thought terrified me.

'My childhood wasn't normal and I've gradually learned to accept that. Hell, I've had to learn to accept that both mine and Dean's lives were pretty much laid out for us…so that in itself should've been a warning. I lost my girlfriend in a fire just like my Mom, Dean and I've pretty much lost every single person close to us including very recently Bobby Singer who was like a surrogate father to us.

'Maybe I should've told them that my Dad died to save Dean but before he did he dropped it on him that I'd more than likely go Dark Side one day. I saw my brother tore to pieces by hellhounds the night his deal came due and for four months I was solo…or as much as I could be with a demon riding shotgun and turning my head that eventually led to what would be the biggest rift between me and Dean.

'I could've said that a demon bitch got me addicted to demon blood, I let Lucifer out of his Cage and nearly destroyed the world but how would any of that traumatize me? Would having no soul for over a year and a half do it? Would knowing I let a vampire turn my brother or knowing damn good and well what happened to Dean the night he was grabbed by fairies (even though he still won't touch that subject) traumatize me?

'Hmm, does this sound too cynical? I guess it does but this is about me being honest and honestly it could've been anything in my life that helped to make me snap but the biggest thing was when Castiel destroyed the wall Death put up in my head to shield me from those memories. That wall went down and I'm honestly surprised I wasn't a drooling mess that night. I mean it's not easy to argue with Lucifer but there was one man even harder to argue with and that's my brother.

'Dean fought to keep me sane even though I know these last months have been the hardest on him which is why I didn't tell him how bad things were getting. I didn't tell Dean when I couldn't make Lucifer go away by pushing on the scar on my hand and I didn't tell him about the nightmares I was still having or about not sleeping…or how I managed not to sleep for four days straight.

'Y'see, I know what those doctors would've said if I had mentioned that. I would've gotten the co-dependence speech again. Been there, done that. No one will ever understand me and Dean. He raised me so he's a lot more than big brother. Hell, he went to Hell for me which is something I'll never forget or forgive myself for because a huge part of my brother never came back from those four months or forty years depending on which frame of time you're subscribing to.

'Dean's always been more closed off in his emotions than me but after Hell, after what happened to him there, he closed himself off more from everyone. These days, with everyone happening to me, to Cas going postal, Bobby dying (even though my brother still thinks Bobby's a ghost following us around), now Frank vanishing and finally me breaking down I see the occasional break in Dean's shell.

'After what went down with Becky (and yeah, I still look over my shoulder for her), we'd been getting closer again or at least as close as I could let him without letting him see how shaky I really was. The first thought I had after waking up in that hospital…well, after really being pissed that even getting hit with a car couldn't shut Lucifer up was that Dean was gonna be ticked then the guilt would hit and I was tired of my brother feeling guilty over me.

'Dean blames himself too much. He blames himself for what happened when we were growing up, he blames himself for every damn thing that's gone wrong, for not being able to keep me safe like he promised, for leaving me alone those four months. But most of all I know he probably blames himself for the wall falling even though none of us saw how deep Cas had gone off the tracks. I don't blame him for getting my soul back since I can guess how bad I was then. I've never blamed him for a damn thing in my life. He's my big brother and I love him…though I can't usually tell him that without getting the patented 'no chick-flick moments' line.

'I knew when he got there that he was scared and angry and angrier that I wasn't angry but I was too tired to be angry. I was too tired to be anything…but scared out of my mind when he walked out the door because a huge chunk of me knew that I'd never see Dean again. Oh, not because he'd given up on me because I know that Dean will never give up on me…on us but I just knew in my gut that I couldn't fight it much longer and if I didn't lose my mind then I probably would die.

'Since I'm being honest with myself here I'll admit that no matter how old I get, whenever I'm sick, or hurt, or scared that I want Dean around. I know a few months ago I opened my mouth and said it was good that he admitted that I didn't always need my big brother but…I will always need him. I just wish he'd let me help him more.

'Even tired, even having Lucifer doing everything he could to finish the job I still couldn't escape what I was. Even in a lockdown ward I still found a ghost to banish. When I told Dean about the girl and her dead brother who was haunting her and how I got rid of him he didn't seem surprised. He just gave me that little smile he has which was enough to tell me that he was proud of me. That even though I was emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausted that I still did what we'd been trained to do. Save people.

'He did ask me why and my only answer was that I didn't want anyone else hurt. I might be going down but that poor girl didn't have to suffer. The next thing I remember is the demon, that electroshock room, the damn pain and then…Cas.

'To say that Castiel and I have never had the greatest friendship would be an understatement. He was the Angel that got Dean out of Hell and I suppose he was basically what I would've once called my brother's guardian Angel. He knew what I was, what I'd been doing so that didn't make us fast friends. Even when he turned on Zachariah to help us we were strained and I knew he was closer to Dean. When I was soulless (that's weird to write) I tried to call him but nothing. Dean shouts once and there he was and maybe if I hadn't been soulless I would've seen it but by the time I got a soul back, by the time my memories started coming back, it was too late. Too late to warn Dean just who the real enemy was.

'Do I blame Castiel for what happened to me? That's a little harder. I know Dean still does to some degree because it was Cas who got me out of Hell without a soul, it was Cas who knew a lot more about me than he was sharing, it was Cas who did his best to keep Dean from getting my soul back and finally it was Cas who blew that wall in my head to pieces just to deflect Dean from stopping him and Crowley from opening Purgatory. So do I blame him for nearly destroying my mind? For making me remember every damn thing from both Hell and what I did while soulless? No, not really.

'If Dean reads this one day he'll be slapping himself…or me. How can I blame Cas for what he did when I've done so much worse. I was born to let Lucifer out of the damn Cage and be his Vessel. I cut so many corners while trying to kill Lillith that I probably lost a good chunk of my soul even before I sacrificed myself to stop the Apocalypse. I…cost Dean his soul and very nearly lost my brother. All Castiel did was foolishly listen to Crowley but then Cas always was too innocent for some things. He tried to run Heaven and when he realized what he'd done he tried to make it right.

'Sure, we now have Leviathans running around and up until the other day we thought Cas was dead but from what little Dean will tell me once he remembered who he was he tried to make it right. He did save me from that demon and he tried to heal me. He felt bad for blowing the wall to pieces and when there was no other way to put Humpty-Dumpty back together again he tried another way.

'Dean didn't understand what Cas meant when he said he could try to shift the damage and I was too far gone by then to either understand it or try to stop it. To make right what he felt he'd done to me Cas took the damage from my brain onto himself and now he's got Lucifer and all of the crazy in his head and I've got…no clue what happens next.

'We had to leave Cas in the hospital. I'm still leery about that since Meg knows he's alive and where he's at but Dean's right…as usual, we couldn't drag him with us. It would put him and us in too much danger. I just hope we can find a way to help him because I've lived with Lucifer in my head and I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

'I'm still not sure what Dean said to that main Doctor to get him to release me but I was never so glad to see blue sky again. Though I have to talk Dean into getting the Impala back because the cabin that we'd been staying at with Bobby is good but for me the Impala is home and I miss that. I miss the rattle of the Legos in the heater, the little soldier in the backseat ashtray, the damn three cassette tapes that Dean always played. I miss those things…I miss Bobby calling us idjits at every turn and I miss the brother I had before I went into the Cage.

'Oh, Dean's still Dean in the big ways but it's the little things I miss. Dad's leather jacket, the bad jokes, the way he'd flirt with anything (though I guess after that deal with the Amazons he might be backing off the flirting). I miss him calling me names (God, did I just write that?) but the little one-liners or insults were how I knew we were okay. Since this whole mess started and Dean began shutting down more emotionally it's harder for me to know that. That last honest time I can say I saw a glimpse of my big brother, the big brother who I knew would always have my back, was after that mess with Becky and yeah, that was the Dean I grew up with.

'He's finally crashed. I know he watched me like a hawk on the way back here though I can't blame him for that. I've gotten too good at hiding things from him and I suppose he's still wondering if I'm me or if Lucifer or something else is lurking around in my head. He thinks I'm sleeping but after all of this I guess I'm a little worried if I go to sleep what'll happen. So, I wrote this and I'll sleep either when he wakes up or while we drive to wherever the hell it is we need to go to help Garth. It was that way when I was a kid too. I couldn't sleep a lot of times unless Dean was awake because I knew I was safe so long as my brother was there and…'

A hand reached over to flip the journal closed and also let the young hunter know he was no longer the only one awake in the cabin.

"Hey, Sammy, we self analyzing for a reason or should I be worried cause I'm pretty sure you should be sleeping."

The voice gruff from sleep still gave Sam Winchester a small amount of the internal security he'd felt as a kid when he'd have a nightmare and would wake his older brother up. Right then it also made Sam wonder something else.

"How long have you been there, Dean?" he asked, noticing the silver ring that his brother seemed to have taken to wearing again but he also caught the tension in the knuckles of the hand that slowly slid the journal away. "Thought you were asleep."

"Yeah, right back atcha, Sammy," Dean rolled his eyes then rubbed them to finish clearing the sleep aside as he sat at the table across from his younger brother to gaze between him and the journal he'd been writing in for the past couple hours.

Dean took his time in deciding which to examine more closely, his brother or the journal before deciding that Sam wasn't showing any of the recent signs of being afraid to sleep.

Since getting him out of that hospital, Dean had been watching for those. He'd made certain Sam was eating, even though his brother's tastes in food still made him roll his eyes. He'd also, for those first few days out, sat and watched the kid sleep to be sure he was sleeping and not faking it as Sam had apparently started doing.

Deciding that this didn't seem to anything odd or Lucifer-talking issue since Dean was still praying that was over for his brother he let his fingers flip the journal open with one hand while reaching out to grasp the retreating arm across from him.

"Uh-huh, sit down," he guessed after reading the first few paragraphs that this could very well turn into one of those chick flick moments he hated and had been avoiding these past few months. "Huh, really?"

"You…weren't supposed to see that," Sam mumbled, looking away to avoid the look he was pretty sure he'd be getting soon since in a lot of ways Dean, in recent months, was acting like their Dad used to when it came to expressing emotions and he wasn't up to a huge argument yet. "It was…just something to do tonight and…"

Dean glanced up to see Sam looking down and away from him as he slowly read between the lines of what was written and understood more than he figured his brother had counted on.

"I thought we'd gotten past most of this, Sam," he began slowly, being careful when he tightened his grasp to keep Sam seated because if Dean knew one thing about his brother is was that he still hated to be held down or restrained which was one of the reasons that Dean had ripped that Doctor a new one once he'd gotten to Sam in that electroshock room. "Nothing was your fault. Not me going to Hell, not letting Lucifer free, not the vampire thing and no I still won't talk to you about the fairies so shut up."

Finally able to pull his wrist free, Sam stood up to move a few steps away from the table since he knew how hard it was to gauge Dean's reactions in this mood. "I know, Dean," he sighed, going to move toward the couch only to feel a firm hand touch his shoulder and he froze on instinct. "Dean?"

"You scared me this time, Sammy," Dean's voice was quieter, carrying the gruff emotion that he hadn't shared in months. "I knew it was bad and I told myself that I was waiting for the call but when I woke up to find you gone and then I got to that hospital and actually saw you…we've been through a lot of crap in our lives but it was seeing your eyes that scared the shit out of me because I knew I'd let you go too long."

Lightly squeezing the shoulder he was holding to stop the automatic defense he knew was coming, Dean nudged his still pale looking brother toward the couch and while Sam sat down, he made certain to keep the contact when he sat beside him which Dean knew had been something he'd stopped doing.

"Yeah, I knew the risks of getting your soul back and I knew the risks of that wall falling. I hadn't counted on Cas blowing it to bits and while he redeemed himself a lot by what he did to help you this time I will probably have issues with you having to cope with that to begin with for awhile yet," he went on, shooting Sam a familiar look to keep him quiet as he decided to risk breaking that one cardinal rule he had. "I let you go, I let you deal with it alone because I was stupid and listened when you said you were fine. I know you, Sammy and I know when you're fine and you sure as hell haven't been fine.

"You weren't fine after Bobby's house was torched, you weren't fine after you stole my car to go on that case alone, you weren't fine after I hurt you by lying to you about killing Amy and I still think I should've killed that twit after she doused you with that love spell and I knew that you weren't fine after Bobby…died," Dean had to grit his teeth on that last word but he was quick to grab Sam before he could push up. "I knew it, little brother but all I could see was my rage at Dick Roman. All I knew was that everything we had we were losing and if I had opened myself the way I needed to in order to help you I was so scared that I couldn't close those feelings off again."

Biting his lip, Sam was slow to look up to meet the green eyes of his older brother but felt his breath catch when he realized for the first time in months, maybe over a year, he saw a glimpse of the old emotions his brother had always tried to hide unless forced to bring it out. "I know all that, Dean. I didn't want to add to everything else you were doing so I…didn't."

"Yeah, and that worked out so well for us," Dean snorted, rolling his eyes with a smirk and lightly letting his hand reach up to smack his brother in the head. "Y'know, for a former college boy you aren't always so smart," he saw the look of surprise register in Sam and knew it had been a long time since he'd used that line on him but then Dean understood that it had been a long time since he'd done a lot of things and he could almost hear the grizzled voice calling him names.

"Sammy, I'm your big brother. I will always be your big brother and even though I suck at the whole protecting you thing or protecting anything these days it seems I really do try to keep you safe and I swear that the next person, thing, demon, Leviathan, spirit, witch, obsessed super fan or whatever the hell else may drop in our laps I will kill before you're hurt," Dean knew he probably couldn't keep that promise but he was going to try then narrowed his eyes the moment he caught a tired bitch face being aimed his way. "Yeah, you're feeling better if you can give me that look."

Understanding that his brother did mean what he said and that he'd try, Sam also knew it was nearly impossible to keep that promise with all they were facing. "I'm not twelve or even twenty-two anymore, Dean. I'm not saying I don't need my big brother because there are still things I'm probably going to have problems coping with but…I also don't want to lose you like we did Bobby. No stupid risks because…" he paused to take a shaky breath before rushing the words out. "Iloveyou and I don't want to be alone and…"

"Hey, hey, Sammy," swallowing the emotions he could feel building just at the barest trace of huge pure Sammy style puppy dog eyes and the breaking voice, Dean reached out to grip his brother's face in order to lift his eyes up and also saw the weariness and fears reflected in the those same big hazel eyes he been watching since the first day he saw his brother. "You're not alone and I'm not leaving you alone. We'll take on Roman and his black goo goons but we'll do it on our terms not his and…" he paused to blow out a breath that was filled with resignation. "I love you too…geek-boy."

"Shut up, jerk," Sam chuckled, relaxing more and not fully aware of when Dean nudged him down on the sofa that didn't come close to fitting his 6'4" frame but after all he'd been through recently he didn't notice and just shifted like his brother seemed to be expecting. "Dean…?"

Letting his fingers hesitate a second before carding back through Sam's hair like he would years earlier, Dean heard the unspoken question and closed his eyes, feeling his own exhausted breaking through. "We're gonna help Garth not get killed then we'll try to find a way to help Cas, beat Roman at whatever the hell game he's playing and…maybe find out if we're haunted," he reassured his brother, keeping his hand moving through hair that had become long enough to fall back into sleepy hazel eyes and knew the moment that Sam was falling to sleep fully because he felt the kid's body relaxing fully which was something Dean realized he hadn't seen in a long while.

"Least you're…not running from…a Yorkie this time," Sam mumbled, smirking at the memory and missing the smile Dean offered in response but shot a hand out on instinct to keep his brother sitting where he was for another moment. "Stay…until I'm asleep, De'n?"

Not missing the tired tone or the way Sam dropped a letter in his name, Dean nodded while reaching under the couch for something he'd brought inside earlier to gently place it over Sam then smiled fully for the first time since losing Bobby as he watched the kid reach up to draw the battered leather jacket closer to him like he would as a kid and either Dean or their Dad would use it to cover Sam.

"Yeah, Sammy, I'll be right here," he promised quietly, staying on the edge of the couch until he was certain Sam was sleeping fully this time, Dean then eased down into the recliner that he'd made certain to position close to the couch in case he needed to wake up in a hurry. "You're safe, we're safe and…I'll find someway to make all this better…somehow."

Looking toward the table to gaze at the journal his brother had been writing in Dean knew that he couldn't begrudge the kid an outlet for things he normally wouldn't share with Dean when he'd been keeping just such a book ever since his return from Hell…even though he hadn't known that Sam had known about it.

Taking another look to be sure Sam was still sleeping peacefully, Dean yawned before kicking back in the recliner with the notion of just resting his eyes but was soon falling back to sleep himself since he knew he'd secured the cabin as best as he could and that his little brother was safe and sleeping fully for the first time in months.

Grumbling about the lumps in the battered chair, Dean missed the breeze that blew through the cabin and would, when he woke up much later the next day, wonder how the old quilt from the bedroom had come to be covering him. He also missed the thin shadow that seemed to hover between the Winchesters as if watching them before the breeze blew the hunter's journal open on just what creature they'd be facing soon before gradually dissipating as a whisper seemed to float through the room.

"Just watch yourselves…ya damn idjits."

The End

Author Note II: Do I think Bobby's floating around as a ghost? Yep! I hope you enjoyed it. Writing first person or journal style like this one was wasn't easy so I hope it came off like intended. Thanks for reading.