Found and Lost

Hi. Just another thought I had about 7x17. Sam is found, another is lost. Hope you enjoy.

Of course, and per usual, I own nothing except my ramblings.

"…get Sam on his feet again…"

He hears determination and purpose in the angel's words, a small glimmer of hope weaved through the inflection of his tone.

"I'll be fine."

His heart jumps at those words but he doesn't move to stop him; doesn't demand an explanation when his question is ignored. He can't. Not when he zeroes in on the fear and panic etched within the widened eyes of his brother; not when Sam is who knows how long away from dying, all the while his perception altered to the point where he doesn't even realize his big brother is there by his side.

So, instead, he stays with his back against the wall to watch with apprehension as Cas presses his hand on Sam's terrified form.

A shiver rolls through him as he watches the taint of Hell itself; sees the burning red embers from the fires of the pit be syphoned out of Sam's mind; leeched right out of his soul to be absorbed by the angel's own.

It's not until he hears Sam gasp in a breath that his body remembers how to move. He doesn't acknowledge the angel as he heads to Sam's side, his intense focus busily searching his brother's face for confirmation that Sammy is back in the realm of the real world.

The sound of his name uttered loudly and coherently from Sam's lips affects him more than he thought it would; it's a sound he had all but resigned himself that he would never hear again. The emotions that start to bubble up from the very core of him are suddenly tempered, as disbelief forms on his brother's features and slowly morphs into concern, not for him, but for the angel who remains unmoving on the bed.

Shock. Terror. They flit through Cas' eyes and the warmness that had started to regain hold of his heart at having both his brother and Cas back is stopped in its tracks; his blood begins to crackle and freeze as reality crashes back through. The horror and poison Sam just breached the surface of has now found a new prey; its talons having found new purchase in the mind of Cas.

The angel, the friend that somehow had been found again is now a prisoner in his own head.

He exhales loudly; wishes he could have had more time before Cas had been taken away from him again by one single touch; by one act of promised redemption.

He presses his hands against the edge of the trunk for a moment before he slams it shut. The reflection of sun on metal glints into his eyes and he closes them briefly in an effort to regain his composure; to try and instil some sort of calm within the tidal wave of emotions that surge up from within; the same ones that have him close to collapsing from the sheer weight of the roller coaster ride he feels like he has been pummelled with for months.

There is a shift in the brightness and he doesn't need to open his eyes to know that Sam is now standing beside him. He breathes deeply before prying his weary eyes open to look upon the exhausted and sympathetic gaze held within his brother's face. It's like Sam is peering directly into the very essence of him and his tenuous grip on composure is close to breaking right then and there.

He offers the tiniest smile to his brother, the sight of Sam right there next to him, walking and talking and not on the verge of death making him teeter on the edge of a full blown chick flick moment.

But he can't speak; can't trust his voice to be steady and sure, so being unable to blurt out his obligatory 'I'm fine', he offers no words.

Instead, he turns his attention back to the closed trunk and runs his fingers along its body in an almost tender caress. He presses his hand on the metal and sighs. He needed more time.

The warm touch of Sam's hand on his shoulder rouses him from his melancholy and gives him strength enough to release his hands and grab the keys from his pocket.

The brothers share one more glance, their eyes saying more at that moment than words would be able to, before Sam retreats to fold himself into the passenger seat.

He walks to the driver's door and hesitates as his eyes drift to the back of the car and the newly placed item within.

The trench coat he had extracted only hours before now rests hidden among the tools of a hunter's life, ripped from its rightful owner to be place once more in his vigilant care.

His lips curve into a sad smile.

For now.

The End. Thanks for stopping by.