I don't own Supernatural. That pleasure belongs to Mr. Kripke. I just play around with his toys.

The Miracle of Brotherhood

Sam was saddened that it had to come to this. Before he went to Stanford, it had been his father and brother. When Dean came to get him, then it was him and his brother. Now, it's Dean and Castiel. After just a few short years he was tossed aside for someone else. Now Sam decided to leave after some deep soul searching. Leave Dean to his best friend and new brother. Since Castiel had carved the Enochian sigils on his ribs, Sam knew that he would never be found if he didn't want to be.

Sam waited until Dean went out to meet with Castiel one night to put his plan into action. First, he smashed his cell phone. He didn't want any reminders of his life. Then, he wrote the note:

Dear Dean, Bobby and Castiel,

For a while now, I've been an outsider. Let's face it, I let Lucifer out of the cage and drank demon blood. I tried to kill Bobby. I don't blame you for hating me and not trusting me. Castiel said it best when he called me an abomination and ever since we came back from Heaven, Dean doesn't want me around. Bobby was right when he said I should lose his number and that's what I'm doing now. In fact, I'm doing everyone a favor and losing every number I have. I don't want anyone to find me, I'm just not worth your effort or the possible cost of your lives. Forget me. Sam.

He put the note on his brother's pillow, picked up his duffel and, after taking one last look around, he left.

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It had been a year since that awful night when Dean found his brother gone. None of them could find him; it was like he dropped off the face of the Earth. Cas had even searched both Heaven and Hell but he was in neither place. Not even Dean's knowledge of his brother helped. Like Bobby said, if the kid didn't want to be found, he wouldn't be. All Dean could be grateful for was that Lucifer couldn't find Sam either. Cas reported that Nick's body finally wore out and Lucifer had to take another lesser vessel.

There were signs that Sam was indeed around. Zachariah's body was found, the angel's wings burned behind him. Michael wasn't found at all and there were rumors that he was imprisoned in a ring of Holy Fire. Gabriel had also disappeared along with many of the angels. On the demon side, Crowley and many of the demons were gone from Hell. There was no trace of them either. That wasn't to say there wasn't a wholesale slaughter of demons because there was. Every time Dean and Bobby got to a place reported to have demon sign, they found dead demons and living hosts. The signs were so conflicting that Castiel went to talk to Joshua who said that things had changed but wouldn't elaborate.

The apocalypse ended without Dean being there. Joshua sent word that Lucifer was once more in the cage. When Dean heard that, he was sure Sam would come back but he didn't. No one even knew how Lucifer became trapped in the cage again or if they did, they didn't say. Finally, Bobby had gotten word from other hunters that Sam had been spotted in Colorado.

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Dean, Bobby and Cas found the bar where Sam was last seen at. According to the other hunters, Sam came there regularly by himself. He would have a drink then leave. When Dean asked the bartender about his brother, the bartender shut down and wouldn't say anything other than to ask if they wanted another one. Bobby found out from one of the regulars that Sam only drank soda and he came in Wednesdays when the bar traffic was light. Sam never spoke, smiled or even met anyone's eyes. He just drank his soda then left. The three of them decided to stick around to see if they couldn't catch up with the missing Winchester.

Since they had arrived on Monday, they got a motel room. Then Cas and Dean started to ask around the town about Sam. Most of the people asked said that he was silent, never meeting anyone's eyes, but always polite, caring, and very helpful. Some people said he was a freak who liked playing pranks on people. A very small percentage said he was scary. Everyone agreed, though, his family was the only thing keeping him from going crazy. Sandy, the florist, said his brothers would come and get him when he was wandering around aimlessly. It was rumored, she said, that he was suffering from a very bad case of PTSD. Karl from the local garage said that Sam had been in an accident and sustained brain damage. No one really knew but one thing was very clear, there was something off about the young man.

By the time Wednesday came along, the two men and the angel were even more confused. They decided to make it a day at the bar, hoping to catch Sam when he came in. When they did finally see him, they were shocked. The Sam they knew wasn't even close to the Sam who walked into the bar. This Sam had hair down to the bottom of his shoulder blades. He was very thin and wore dark glasses. It was Cas who saw the scar on his throat. They watched as Sam got his soda and drank it slowly. He never looked at anyone, just stared at the bar. Then another person walked into the bar. He went to Sam and whispered in his ear. Sam nodded and the man helped him up. He kept his hand on Sam's arm and led him out.

Dean looked at Cas who was sitting with his mouth open, "What's up, Cas?"

"That was one of the missing angels," Cas replied. "I thought they were dead. Why is he here with Sam?"

"I don't know. Is there any way to track him?" Dean asked.

"I can try," Cas said. He concentrated for a while then brightened. "I found him," he said softly.

Cas touched Bobby and Dean. Before Dean could say "it", they were outside a two-story house. Cas went to the door and rang the bell. It just a minute before the door opened and Gabriel looked out.

"Huh," was all Gabriel said before he let them in. When they walked in they saw angels and demons alike in the house.

"What the hell?" stormed Dean.

"Well, Deano, it's kinda hard to explain," Gabriel said.

"Try," Dean shot back.

"Why don't you three come in and sit down," said an unknown voice. They looked around and saw the angel Cas identified earlier as one of the missing angels. "We will answer your questions as best as we can. As Castiel will undoubtedly tell you, my name is Jeremiel. It means Mercy of God."

As soon as they were seated, Crowley came in with Sam. Both angels went to the man and led him to a chair. When he was comfortable, Gabriel came to stand behind him. As when he was in the bar, Sam was wearing dark glasses. Bobby looked at the young man and started to get a bad feeling. The teddy bear in Sam's arms didn't help at all in fact it made Bobby's feelings get worse.

"Sam," he said gently, "how are you boy?"

Gabriel whispered in Sam's ear. Sam just cocked his head and Gabriel said, "He says he's fine."

"What's wrong with him," Dean asked a little hysterically.

Jeremiel answered, "Sam can't understand your language anymore. He can't speak either. Zachariah made sure of that. He also wears dark glasses so his eyes don't freak anyone out."

"Why, what happened to him?" Castiel asked.

Gabriel answered this time, "He said yes…"

"What do you mean he said yes? Lucifer is back in the cage and Sam's here!" Bobby inquired a bit loudly.

"You didn't let me finish," Gabriel shot back, "Sam said yes to Michael. Zachariah used his sword to try to prevent him from doing so. It didn't kill him but it did severe his vocal cords. We were able to stop the bleeding but not much else. Only God can heal wounds caused by an angelic sword. But Zachariah forgot one thing; Michael could hear Sam's prayers and came to him as he was bleeding. It was Michael who killed Zachariah."

Jeremiel continued, "When Sam became Michael's vessel, he knew the possibility of being damaged. The damage isn't very extensive but he has what is like brain damage. That's why he doesn't understand any human language. It took us a long time to figure that out. When we did, we taught him Enochian."

"What about his eyes," Dean asked shakily.

Gabriel sighed. He went around the chair and bent over Sam. Then he gently took Sam's glasses off. There was a startled gasp from Team Free Will as they saw his eyes. The irises were bicolored. Most of them were hazel but there was a ring of pure gold around the hazel. The most startling thing about them, though, was that they glowed softly. After a minute, Gabriel replaced the glasses and turned to his stunned audience.

"Since the damage done to Sam rendered him helpless, Michael gave him a bit of his Grace to protect him. Emotionally and mentally Sammy is a young child. We take care of him and protect him to the best of our abilities. It's the Grace that causes his eyes to shine like that," Gabriel said sadly. He stroked Sam's hair in comfort. Sam tilted his head and smiled at Gabriel's attention.

Seeing the question in Dean's eyes as he looked at Crowley, Jeremiel volunteered, "Crowley and a few other demons fought with us against Lucifer. When it was done, Father made them into dark angels as a reward. They now help protect the Earth and her inhabitants. Crowley asked if he could help with Sam and Michael accepted. Michael has the last say in Sam's care."

"But why did he say yes in the first place?" Dean asked with tears in his eyes. He couldn't believe what happened to his beloved baby brother.

"For you, chucklehead, for you," Gabriel said. "He didn't want you to be hurt and he didn't want to fight you. Even though he was Lucifer's chosen vessel, he was also able to be Michael's since his bloodline was the same as yours. He did it because he loved you."

"Because of his sacrifice, Michael reconnected with his feelings for all his siblings, angel and human alike. He learned from Sam that brothers and sisters were worth sacrificing for. Heaven is a better place because of this lesson. Father is very pleased with Sam and would have healed his wounds if Sam had let Him. Your brother felt that he needed to atone for what he believed was his past wrong doings and this is the way he chose to do it," Jeremiel told them.

"Moose will never be the person he was. In fact, that person is dead," Crowley was very blunt, "He is happier now as a child but he does give us quite a bit of a scare now and then. Some of the people in town help us keep an eye on him when he goes wandering and many have become very protective. He still is missing something, though. He isn't complete because his blood brother isn't with him."

Hearing it put so baldly, Dean hung his head in shame. He knew that Sam believed he was the third wheel in Dean's life. He had felt that it was Dean and dad, then Dean and Bobby, and now Dean and Castiel. Quite honestly, Dean could see how Sam felt that way. Especially after letting Lucifer out of the cage and everyone dumping on the poor kid. No wonder he said to forget him. Then Dean realized that the Sam he knew was dead. The man in front of him was someone else. He hugged himself thinking he had indeed lost his brother forever. The three angels saw this and decided to put the young man out of his misery.

"Dean," began Jeremiel, "Sam is different but his basic personality is the same. Besides, Father does listen to prayers and answers them. He also would like it if Sam could forgive himself, even if it is so deep down in his mind he doesn't know he's doing it. Miracles do occur, you know."

It was after this was said that Sam started to squirm and scrunch his face. "Uh-oh," grimaced Gabriel, "We forgot his schedule. I think we have a mess to clean up."

"I'll do it," Dean said immediately, "just show me where everything is."

"I'll help if you want," Bobby said with tears shining in his eyes. He felt guilty about his part in the whole mess. He looked at Cas and saw that the angel was also dealing with his own feelings of guilt. All three of them had drawn away from Sam when he needed them the most but Sam still did the right thing and ended the apocalypse. He also kept his brother safe. Now, he needed them and Bobby for one wouldn't walk away from the kid again.

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Bobby

Even with everything Dean and Bobby had heard the room that Gabriel led them and Sam to was still a surprise. It was a mix of very young child and young adult. The bed was king sized but had rails placed on the sides. There were books that were the type that adult Sam loved but also children's books. All written in Enochian. There was a computer on the desk which sat in front of a window but also toys enough to satisfy a daycare center. A bathroom was attached that had not only a toilet, sink and full mirror but also a very large bathtub with a chair placed next to it. The shelf in the bathroom held shampoo, crème rinse, bubble bath, towels and rubber ducks. Fluffy rugs were in both rooms.

It was the way the rooms were decorated really cemented just how different Sam really was now. The walls were painted in a rainbow of colors, designed to catch the eye. The rugs and bedclothes were a warm honey color and above the bed was a mobile of very colorful and sparkling stars, planets, and rainbows. The light in the room was a warm, yellow light and the curtains on the windows were made from moss green velvet. The furniture was made of cherry wood. All in all it was a very striking room.

Gabriel took Sam to the bathroom and started to undress him. When he was done, he started the tub and put some bubble bath in it. While Gabriel was busy with that, Dean went to the dresser and pulled out some clean clothes. Bobby noticed a can of baby powder and a brush. He picked them up and brought them to the bathroom at the same time Dean was bringing in the clothes.

Picking up Sam's soiled clothes, Bobby looked questioningly at Gabriel. "Put them in the hamper. I'll clean them after we do Sam. Could you get his duckies?"

Bobby smiled a little and got the ducks from the shelf. As he watched Gabriel sigh, Dean grinned. He knew what was going to happen. When Sam was very small it was hard to get him in the bath. He loved being in the water but he didn't like to be put in it. One time, when Sam was four and had been fighting Dean about getting in the tub, Dean asked him why. Sammy answered that he was a big boy like Dean was and big boys didn't need help to get in the tub. Dean told him that sometimes even big boys needed help. After that, Sam let Dean help him to get in the tub.

Sure enough, as soon as Gabriel tried to get Sam in the tub, his baby brother started to fight. Dean took pity on the archangel and went to help. He silently asked Gabriel to translate and said to Sam, "We know you are a big boy but sometimes even big boys need help." Gabriel smiled and translated. Sure enough, Sam stopped fighting and, with a small grin, let Gabriel help him in the tub.

Dean took the wash cloth and began to wash his brother while the others watched. Bobby could see the echo of what the boys were like when they were young. He also saw the way Gabriel was hovering protectively over Sam, just like a big brother. After a few minutes, he motioned to Gabriel and walked to the bedroom. He wanted some information. Something was really bothering him.

"Uh, Gabriel, why didn't you just snap your fingers to get Sam clean?" Bobby asked.

"We want him to stay connected to his human side," Gabriel answered. He waited politely to answer the other questions he could hear in Bobby's mind.

"So you mean he can do…?"

"When Michael gave Sam part of his Grace, it came with some perks. In many ways, he is more advanced than other fledglings of his mental age and in others, he is behind. To be balanced, we need to make sure he stays as human as possible while working with him to control his powers."

Bobby nodded then went on to his next question, "When we asked around, some people said he played pranks on them. How could he do that?"

Gabriel turned red, "Um, that was actually my fault. I found out a guy in town was abusing his children. When they were seen with new bruises, he would tell people that his kids were clumsy, forever walking into the door or falling down the stairs. I was talking to Crowley about him and Sam was in the room with us. I honestly didn't think he would understand what I was talking about but the next

thing we know he had disappeared. Jer found him in front of the guy's house, just staring at it. At first, we didn't think anything about it until we heard the jerk was seen with bruises and cuts. Apparently, Sam made it so anytime the idiot hurt his kids and lied about it the lie became the truth for him. If he said his son 'fell down the stairs', the guy would fall down the stairs. If his daughter 'walked into a door', he would walk into a door. After a couple of weeks of this, the a-hole left his family and the town. He got tired of being hurt. We thought it was just a coincident until the same kind of thing happened a couple more times. I learned my lesson, though. I don't talk shop around Sasquatch and we all watch what we say if he's around."

Bobby laughed at that, "Yep, that sounds like Sam! He never liked it when people were being hurtful to the smaller kids. That came from him being bullied in school when he was younger, I bet." The Bobby turned thoughtful and asked his next question, "Why does it seem that sometimes you can read his mind and other times you can't?" Bobby was interested. He never thought he would get any straight answers from the angels and yet, they were very forthcoming. He didn't know how long that would last so he wanted to get as much as he could out of them.

Gabriel grinned. He knew what Bobby was thinking but they had their reasons for being honest and open with both men at this time. He answered, "Fledglings are like that. At this age, their thoughts aren't very cohesive unless you ask them direct questions. Next?"

Bobby rolled his eyes then went on to his next question, "Can he fly? I mean, does he have wings?"

Gabriel laughed as he answered, "Yeah. It can be hard keeping him on the ground. We had to make a deal with him that if he didn't fly on his own, we would take him to a private meadow and let him fly with us there."

Then Bobby came to the hardest question yet, one that was weighing heavy on his heart. "Will he get better? Will he ever be the Sam he used to be?"

Gabriel stopped smiling. He said, "Only Dad really knows, contrary to what Crowley said. My guess is that he may never be one hundred percent Sam again, but if he can forgive himself he will be healed physically. Mentally, who really knows? He's very intelligent and quick to learn. He still is the same emotionally though and his morals are very much intact. His faith is still very strong, so strong it puts some of the Heavenly Host to shame.

"Before you ask your next question, let me tell you. I do believe that Sam will learn to forgive himself but it will take you and Dean to help him do it. Cas will also need to be part of that process. The three of you had said some really harsh things to him and he believed it. Why not? Wouldn't you believe something someone you loved told you?"

Bobby hung his head and his shoulders slumped. He had hurt Sam when he told him to lose his number. Actually, he had been possessed by a demon at the time and the demon was the one who said it. Bobby explained that to Sam but he could see the kid didn't believe him. After that, he pulled away from Sam. Oh, yeah, he tried to tell himself that he wasn't but he really had. When Ellen and Jo died, secretly he did blame Sam. Sam was the one who broke the final seal and let Lucifer loose which led to their deaths. After Sam left, he had actually been relieved, for a couple of days then he started to think. He remembered the young boy that John Winchester would bring to his house every so often. He remembered how intelligent that kid was. He remembered how much he loved him. It was because he started to remember Sam, Bobby put in a call to as many hunters as he could, trying to find him.

Bobby looked up as he felt as though he was being wrapped in a warm blanket of feathers. Gabriel had taken him in his arms and was crooning a soothing melody softly in his ears. "It'll be okay, Bobby," Gabriel said after a minute. "Everyone makes mistakes. It's how we deal with them that count. Sam is dealing with his mistakes by trying to atone. He decided that the world would be better off without him in it but he also knew that Dean needed him here. So he made a compromise and this is the result. Now, we need to convince him that he is needed back here with us. All of him or as much as possible. We need to get him to forgive himself for everything that he had done, intentionally or not.

"Hey do you know the reason Michael killed Zachariah? It wasn't just because Zach slashed Sam's throat. It was because Zach gave Sam only like 10% of the information he needed to make an informed choice in the first place. Dad places great value on faith but He did give you the Bible and other Holy Books with a lot of examples to follow and make your choices from. He gave you information, Zach kept it from Sam. Michael also was mad for the fact that what Zach did to Sam and Dean was tantamount to torture. I mean really, having Uriel tell Dean he needed to torture Alastair for information? Or sending Dean to a possible future to force him to say yes? Or trapping the boys in Heaven to tear them a cosmic sized one?"

Bobby wanted to ask another question but was afraid that Gabriel would smite him for it. He really wanted to know why Michael didn't smite Gabriel for putting Sam (and Dean) through his own forms of torture at the Mystery Spot or in TV Land. Gabriel laughed sadly and said, "I did get called on the carpet for those tricks but Sam told Mikey that he forgave me for those tricks. He said that deep down I actually had their best interests in mind. I still got in trouble, though. I can't go see my friends for like a hundred years. Kali is so mad but, oh well!"

"This may sound selfish and petty," Bobby began, "but how can I help Sam when I live in South Dakota and you guys are here in Colorado."

Gabriel grinned at this, "Have you ever heard of a mobile home?" He closed his eyes for a minute then opened them with a sparkle.

"You don't mean…"

"Look outside and see for yourself," Gabriel answered.

Bobby looked outside and started to laugh. Instead of seeing a strange street, he saw his house and the salvage yard with the Impala parked there. Mobile home took on a whole new meaning.

"All your stuff from the motel was retrieved by Cas and is in your house. Michael gave the okay while we were wrestling with the Jolly Green Giant. He knew what was in your heart." With that, Gabriel gently disengaged himself from Bobby and disappeared.

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Dean

Dean watched his baby brother play with the ducks in the clean, warm, bubbly water. After his initial washing, Sam started to play. Dean decided that if his brother was to play, it should be in clean water so he drained the tub and refilled it with Sam sitting there, watching the water go down the drain with fascination. Sam had fun and laughed silently when the ducks were hidden by the bubbles or when his toes would peek out at him from underneath the washcloth. When Sam was totally engrossed with playing, Dean got the shampoo and crème rinse to wash his hair. When Sam was very little, this was the only way their Dad or Dean was able to wash his hair. After a final rinsing to get everything out of Sam's hair, Dean pulled his brother up and got him out of the tub.

Getting Sam dried and dressed was an adventure. Those long arms and legs pulled away from Dean's touch but eventually Sam was dressed. Then the shoes. Sammy was like a little kid and splayed his toes out to prevent his shoes from being put on. Dean did another trick of his and tickled his baby brother's feet. When Sam curled his toes, Dean was able to slip the shoes on.

While brushing Sam's hair, Dean started to reflect on how much he really missed this. He missed doing things for Sam, missed protecting Sam, and just missed having Sam in the same room as him. He knew that most of the wall between him and his brother was his own fault.

When he was done, he proclaimed to Sam, "There, you're done! Such a handsome little brother!" Then he remembered that Sam couldn't understand what he was saying. Then he remembered what Sam did…for him! Dean went around and stood in front of his brother. He knelt down and, reaching for Sam, pulled him into a bear hug. It was only then that he let the tears fall. Dean thought he imagined Sam rubbing circles on his back in comfort. After a few minutes, Dean pulled back and wiped his eyes. He smiled at Sam who smiled back. Then Sam got up and went to his toys, pulling some toy cars down. Putting them on the floor he then went and pulled Dean until he was sitting on the floor with Sam.

After the waterworks ended, Dean pulled back and looked Sam in the eyes and said, "I know you can't understand what I'm saying, but I'm going to take care of you baby boy. I want you to know how much I love you. No one could ever take your place in my heart and I'm so sorry I let you think they would. You are the best person I know. Even sacrificing yourself for someone who caused you so much pain and who turned his back on you when you needed me the most. Mom and Dad would be so proud of the way you turned out. I bet that Dad is sorry he told me if I couldn't save you that I would have to kill you. He shouldn't have said that. He didn't know that you would be the one to save me instead of killing me.

"I should have had more faith in you but I was so mad finding out about Ruby and the demon blood. I listened to others when I was supposed to listen to you. You don't know how sorry I am and I will spend the rest of my life trying to make it up to you."

Sam frowned at Dean then put a finger on Dean's face. When he pulled the finger back, he stuck it in his mouth and tasted salt water. Dean hadn't realized that he had tears falling until Sam did that. He smiled and quipped, "Now don't tell anyone about this chick flick moment, huh? I don't need my macho reputation to take that kind of hit!"

Sam smiled at Dean, a beautiful sunny smile complete with dimples then he pushed some of his cars towards Dean. They started to play, no words were needed. When Sam began to yawn, Dean put the cars away and led his brother to the bed. Since it was just a nap, Dean laid Sam on top of the covers and put an afghan on him. Sam held his arms out so Dean gave him the teddy bear he had downstairs. Sam took it and held his arms out again. Dean understood his baby brother's silent request. It was something he had done when Sam was younger when he was trying to get the toddler to sleep. Dean smiled at the younger man and nudged him over. Then he climbed into the bed and put his arms around his brother who promptly curled into his side. It didn't take very long for the two of them to fall asleep.

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Castiel

The pain Castiel was feeling was deep and utterly foreign to him. As an angel, he knew the joy of Heaven and the certainty of the rightness of what he had done. But this was totally different. Even after all his uncertainty since dealing with humans, especially the Winchesters and Bobby Singer, this was the worst he has ever felt.

He believed his superiors when they told him that Sam Winchester was an abomination, a monster that was destined to be Lucifer's vessel. They had told him that the young man was sullied and was unworthy of God's love. And he believed it. Even after meeting Sam and seeing the love in his eyes, to Cas the man was a stain on his Father's creation. He told himself that he would only be around Sam if Dean was there and it was only Dean that kept Sam in line. For a long time, he believed that if Dean wasn't there, Sam would have been very evil and only worthy of being smote.

He never saw the deep love Sam had for his brother as good but something that dirtied Dean. He didn't believe that Sam was worthy of Dean, Bobby or himself. Now he knew he was so very wrong about it all.

He called Sam an abomination. Who really was the abomination?

Castiel began to really see Sam for who he was: a man who was flawed but tried so very hard to be what his Father wanted him to be. Sam had been cursed from the day that Mary Winchester made the deal but he rebelled against that curse to do the impossible. He was a kind, gentle soul with a steel core. His intentions had never been anything but good. And no matter what, he forgave those who had hurt him so very much to the point he sacrificed who he had been. To Cas, Sam's name would forever mean the deepest love possible. Tears began to flow from his vessel's eyes.

Jeremiel watched silently for a while giving Castiel some privacy, then he walked over to his distressed brother and put his arms around him. Cas gave himself to his sorrow and cried heavily on Jeremiel's shoulder. He crooned softly as he held his brother. Finally Cas' tears stopped and he sniffed. He lifted himself from his brother and looked away, ashamed for his tears.

Jeremiel said softly, "Castiel, it's okay to cry. It actually helps to heal the heart, even in angels."

"I don't deserve to heal. I don't even deserve to be an angel. I was so sure that my superiors were right when they told me about Sam that I didn't even stop to get to really know him. I hurt him so badly," Cas mourned.

"Sam had forgiven you a long time ago," said a new voice.

Castiel whirled around only to see Michael standing behind him with a smile on his face. Instantly he launched himself into his eldest brother's arms. Michael tenderly hugged the little angel and then said, "Sam understood where you were coming from especially after the voice mail he had received before killing Lilith was found to have been sent from Zachariah, not Dean. Even before that, he never felt clean enough or good enough to be that important to you. He had felt very grateful that you had brought Dean back from Hell, but he was angry also since he couldn't do it himself. It was your actions towards Dean that earned you his forgiveness."

Castiel gaped. Then he closed his mouth and wondered about the miracle that was Sam Winchester. This was a man who he had looked down on but who had forgiven him. This man had wanted to thank him for his actions towards Dean. Even after what Michael revealed, Cas felt sullied by his own actions and thoughts.

He looked at Michael and asked, "How can he forgive me so easily? After everything I did, how can he even look at me?"

Michael sighed, "Even after having him as my vessel, I still don't understand Sam Winchester that much except he is a miracle of our Father. You would think that a man who had his history would have eagerly wanted the power that being Lucifer's vessel would have given him but Sam was strong in his faith and love. His only real problem is that he takes so much on himself, blames himself for everything that he can't really forgive himself. He would even take on the blame for the Lindbergh baby kidnapping if he could find a way!" Michael smiled then continued, "What we need to do is to find a way to help Sam forgive himself and you can help. Be a brother to him and love him unconditionally. It will be hard since he will be somewhat suspicious but if you keep at him he may be able to do it. Will you help little brother?"

As Castiel looked at his brother and thought about what he said, Michael's next words decided him, "It will help you to learn to forgive yourself."

Castiel smiled at his brother, tears still on his cheeks. He nodded. He would help Sam.

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It took just a few days for Team Free Will to figure out Sam's schedule. Gabriel and Jeremiel helped a lot while Crowley watched from a distance. Sam was nervous about the new people around him and he would flinch if they got too close when he wasn't expecting it. Dean found that yelling would get him drenched, even if he was yelling at Crowley for not getting out of the way. When that happened, he turned to face Sam who was scowling and Gabriel ended up on the floor laughing. Bobby found out that he could score brownie points by bringing the dogs in the house to meet Sam. Castiel found that Sam like falling asleep to his singing but Sam also persisted on pulling his wings like any fledgling when trying to get the angel's attention.

Bobby and Dean found that Sam was on a strict schedule that balances both his angelic and human sides. Michael had it set up that Sam would be up at 8:00 a.m., get dressed and groomed by 8:30, eat breakfast then watch t.v. until 9:30. From 9:30 to 12:00, Sam would have his angelic lessons which included flying. The noon hour was for lunch and from 1:00 to 2:30 was nap time. From the time he woke up from his nap until 4:00 were human lessons then he could play until 5:00 which was dinner time. The evening was for fun until 8:00 which was bath time. 9:00 was bedtime that included a story and lullabies. Even bathroom breaks had to be scheduled as every 45 minutes from the time he woke up to the time he went to bed. When Dean complained, Michael reminded him that Sam's mental state was that of a toddler.

Even with the schedule and supervision, Sam still was able to slip away from his caretakers constantly. Bobby found it a wonder that a man Sam's size being watched by angels could just wander away and hide for hours. Gabriel reminded him that since Castiel gifted Sam and Dean with the Enochian sigils on their ribs Sam remained hidden from their regular radar.

When Dean heard this he came up with the idea of putting a GPS chip in a bracelet and having Sam wear it. Castiel also suggested that they make the bracelet so it couldn't be taken off by Sam who would regularly "lose" his shoes. Bobby suggested they put the GPS on a wavelength that only they would know so demons or other baddies couldn't use it for their own devious reasons. Michael agreed and the bracelet was made. When it was put on Sam, he tried to take it off but thanks to Cas' suggestions it was permanent.

Dean requested and received permission to stay in the Mansion. At first he had his own bedroom but after Crowley found him in Sam's room many mornings, it was decided to expand Sam's room to make a space for Dean. Bobby took over cooking for the boys since the angels didn't need to eat. He made sure to consult with Michael about Sam's diet and made delicious meals. Castiel had taken over some of the angelic training and found Sam to be intelligent and fun to teach.

Since communication was hard since Sam couldn't understand any of the human languages, Castiel taught Dean and Bobby Enochian. Even though he couldn't speak, Sam could write and boy, did he love being able to "talk" to his brothers (he started to think of Castiel as his brother) and father figure. What gave him the giggles was when Bobby or Dean mispronounced the words they were trying to say. When Dean first saw his brother silently laugh, he figured out what was funny to Sam and started to repeat it. Jeremiel and Gabriel saw that Sam was happy and laughing so they also would purposely mispronounce words. Castiel was very puzzled until it was explained to him then he joined in the fun.

Michael started to come down more often to play with his new brothers. Father had given permission for Bobby to receive a piece of Jeremiel's Grace and Castiel was to give Dean part of his. Gabriel meant it when he told Bobby about fledglings' minds being not cohesive. Sam was scatter-brained, his mind jumping from one thought to another in a blink of an eye. It reminded Dean of when five year old Sam asked dozens of questions in a ten minute period. It took him a few days before he fell into his nine year old role of a big brother who patiently answered all the questions his baby brother put to him. It took Bobby a bit longer to get used to the questioning fledgling's inexhaustible need for information. His temper would fray and he would snap at Sam who would look at him with those sad, wet eyes that caused Bobby to immediately apologize and gather Sam into his arms. After a few weeks, he also found himself just answering Sam's questions automatically.

Castiel though was having a very hard time with the whole thing. Gabriel said that it was because he was used to being the baby of the family and he was a bit jealous. After a week of Sam's questions, Castiel would hide whenever he saw Sam coming towards him. After the last time Cas disappeared on him, Sam sat and cried as if his heart was broken. Michael, Dean and Gabriel all tried to console the young man but he just cried harder. Michael was angry but Dean told him that Cas was probably feeling a bit left out since the new baby was taking everybody's time. Dean said that when Sam was first born, he felt the same way. It took John and Mary giving him more time with them that helped him out. The one thing that really cemented everything was when Mary was reading him a story and Sam started to cry. She kept reading to Dean and, after a while, Dean couldn't take it and asked if he could help Sam. Mary smiled and said yes. Dean sighed in relief and went to check on his baby brother. Sammy needed to be changed and fed so Dean took care of his brother. After he got Sam's bottle, Dean picked the baby up and sat down on the rocker. He put the nipple in his brother's mouth and was suddenly washed in love for the little creature in his arms. Later Mary explained that babies are helpless and needed help in order to live. It was the duty of the parents and older brothers to provide that help with love.

The two Archangels listened to Dean's explanation and came up with a plan. The next time Castiel was in the Mansion with Sam and his brothers, Sam started to fuss for attention. Instead of going to the distressed young man instantly, Michael challenged Castiel to a chess game while Gabriel watched. Sam's distress kept climbing while the two angels played. Finally Cas couldn't take it anymore and said he needed to find out what Sam's problem was. It turned out that Sam needed to be cleaned from an "accident". Instead of asking his brothers to do it, Cas took Sam to the bathroom and cleaned the young man. After he got Sam into clean clothes, he took him down to the kitchen and got Sam a snack. Michael and Gabriel stood in the doorway watching their brother smile as he stroked Sam's head. The next time Sam approached Castiel; he didn't disappear but smiled and played with Sam.

Because of Dean's memories of his baby brother, Sam began to slowly heal.

SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

It started slowly. Not noticeable really. One day Bobby had talked to Dean about a hunt he was researching and Sam was playing with his cars on the floor. They forgot what Gabriel had said about talking in front of Sam. They thought since they were speaking English Sam wouldn't know what they were saying. They forgot he could tap into their heads like any angel. After a while, Bobby got up to go back to his house. When he got to his study, he noticed a book on his desk. When he looked at it he noticed a page marked off. He looked at the page, he found the information he needed.

The next thing that happened was that coffee had been made in the morning before Dean got up. He didn't remember if he had set the pot up the night before and didn't know if someone else got up and made it. He poured a cup and went to get his brother up for the day. When Sam saw his brother he smiled. Dean thought it was because he came through the door. He didn't see Sam's eyes staring at the cup in his hand.

Castiel noticed that all of Sam's stuff was lined up just so. When he brought it up to Dean, Dean laughed and said that Sam's OCD was just coming out. He also noticed that Sam's bed was starting to be made every morning and he knew it wasn't Dean doing it. It was Cas who noticed that Sam was using the bathroom by himself instead of being taken by someone. It was Cas who found Sam dressing himself for the first time. The angel, when seeing this, went to Sam and gave him a hug. He praised the young fledgling. Sam smiled then, taking the angel's hand, led him to the kitchen for breakfast.

Gabriel and Crowley accused each other of playing pranks. They didn't see Sam in the corner laughing silently.

Jeremiel watched Sam read a book that should have been too hard for him at his mental age.

Sam asked Michael to teach him how to use the angelic blade. Michael put Sam through some exercises. After a couple of days, Sam had expanded the exercises to include some katas. Sam also asked Michael to tell him stories of the beginning. Michael sat in the rocker in Sam's room and pulled the young fledgling to him. He began to talk about his part in the history of humans. Sam would fall asleep listening to Michael. After a while, Sam asked Gabriel about his part in history. Gabriel humored him and talked about the many things he had seen or done. Jeremiel was the next on Sam's hit list. It wasn't until Sam was napping one day that Bobby found a complete history from the views of the three angels written on Sam's laptop.

It was after Bobby's discovery that the angels, Bobby and Dean sat down and discussed what was going on.

"I think he's beginning to heal," said Michael. "The hard part is to keep him improving and knowing what is too much and what is too little. We need a base line to figure out where we go."

Bobby spoke up, "How about testing him on what he knows now? We can gauge where we need to go with him from them. We'll also be able to determine what he can't do as well as what he can."

Michael nodded in agreement. The angels and blessed men came up with a series of tests to find out where Sam was in his "development" and healing. The first was easy for Sam: Research with Bobby on obscure monsters. Sam was brilliant and found all but two of the monsters in Bobby's books and on the Internet. The last two were false but Sam got very frustrated while looking for them and by the time Bobby called the research off, his library looked as though a bomb exploded in it. Bobby also figured out that Sam could now understand English since most of his books were written in that language.

Dean was next in the hit parade. He had to let Sam do things for himself and it was hard for Dean. Sam showed that he could dress himself, use the bathroom when he needed to, brush his hair and teeth, put his shoes on and even get himself something to eat. It went well except when Sam couldn't find his shoes he sat down and cried until Dean found them for him. Then when he went to get something to eat he left the kitchen in total disarray.

Castiel tested Sam on his angelic powers and found that Sam had control over them. He did very well until a dog came upon them and Sam accidently turned the dog blue. He giggled but when he found he couldn't turn the dog back he hung his head and started to cry. Castiel was able to rectify the problem but Sam just went back to his room and wouldn't come out for hours. When Cas went to find the distraught hunter he found Sam in his closet curled into a ball. Cas carefully extracted Sam from the closet and sat down in the rocker with him in his lap. Sam fell asleep after a while.

Gabriel tested Sam also. He took Sam out in public for some people watching and ice cream. After getting their cones, they sat in the park. It was enjoyable and nothing happened until a man got angry with his wife and screamed at her. Sam's cone dropped as he watched the woman cry. Then he zeroed in on the husband and with a wave of a finger, the man dropped to the ground with his hands to his ears. His wife watched with watery eyes as her husband started to cry, "I'm sorry!" Sam looked at Gabriel who smiled and said "Good job, Sammy."

After Michael, Jeremiel, and Crowley did their own tests, the group once again assembled for the verdict.

"It seems that Sam has healed a lot but there are some challenges that may never be fixed," Michael said. "Sam has great intelligence and good motor control but he gets frustrated really fast if he can't find something. (Library, coughed Bobby. Shoes, snorted Dean.) He will need to be accompanied wherever he goes but I think we can have him help research hunts. The only other thing that bothers me is that his self-esteem is still very low. We need to work on this with him. Any suggestions?"

"When we were growing up Dad would give us chores to do that were progressively harder to do. The older we were, the harder the task. Dad said that it was to help us realize what we could do. He demanded perfection by the time I was eighteen. What he forgot was that Sam was not me and by the time he was fourteen, he had to do the same things I was doing and he had to be perfect. It really did a number on his psyche," Dean said sadly.

Michael thought for a few minutes. Even though he didn't like the way John Winchester treated his youngest son from Mary, he recognized the rightness in the way John had his children learn responsibilities but how to adapt it for what they needed. Then he figured it out. "Okay, what we will do is to give Sam some chores that need to be done every day. Make his bed, clean his room, set the table and the like. We'll wait until he has perfected these chores before giving him something else. But, and I can't stress this enough, he needs positive feedback. This should help with his self-esteem problems."

SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

Sam's smile grew larger by the second. Today was Dean's birthday according to Bobby and he wanted a party to celebrate his brother's birth. Gabriel was happy to help and they got decorations, pies (since Dean liked them better than cake) and lots of presents. When Jeremiel suggested a clown, Sam said NO! Bobby helped out when Sam wanted a present to give to Dean. He handed Sam a necklace and said he should wrap it up for his brother. Sam was delighted and couldn't wait for the party to begin.

When Dean got to the Mansion he was surprised by the party. When he was told it was Sam's idea, tears began to form in his eyes. When he got Sam's present, he broke down. It was the amulet he had thrown away years ago. Sam had retrieved it and gave it to Bobby to hold on to until he could give it back. Dean put it on with shaky hands and smiled, "It's great Sammy! I'll never take it off."

With those words, Sam began to glow in a golden light. After it faded, Dean got his best present ever. Sam opened his beautiful eyes and said, "Dean."

A simple act but one that enabled his brother to finally forgive himself. Sam was finally healed.