Author's Note: And here's part two! Thanks for the kind words. I hope you enjoy!
"With every little thing that I hear,
It's another thing that I've come to fear."
—Jake Coco, "Angels"
Logically, Sam knows his brother did what he thought was best. If the situations were reversed, the youngest Winchester has no doubts that he would do the same thing. He had lost Dean before and it had shattered him to the very core of his being. In that time when his older brother had been rotting in Hell, Sam had wanted to either bring him back or die with him. He got Dean's desperation; he truly understood it.
His heart; however, felt nothing but grief at Dean's revelation. Being a vessel for an angel—that was the one thing that Sam never wanted to be again. He had allowed someone else to take control before and he had almost caused his brother to be killed before he had been able to regain control and throw himself into the cage. That feeling of helplessness, of being unable to look away and stop—that still haunted him in his dreams to this day.
Of course, mixed in with the logic and the grief, there was an all-encompassing anger. Dean had lied to his face, had tried to play off Sam's fears as a sign of the trials were still messing him. He met Sam's gaze and assured him that everything was fine and that the youngest Winchester was overthinking things. Dean had known what was going on—Sam was being repaired by a friggin' angel—and he had chosen to say nothing.
"Sam?" Dean's voice is unusually soft and as the motel door creaks to a shut behind him, he comes to stand by Sam's side. For his part, the youngest Winchester refuses to meet his gaze and chooses to let his eyes rest on the cars driving by on the nearby highway. The night is peaceful, crickets chirping and stars shining. Yet, there's no piece for Sam and he knows it will take some time to work past this. "Sam, I'm not going to say I'm sorry."
Sam doesn't rise to the bait and keeps his mouth shut. Sighing, Dean comes to sit on the curb beside him and takes a few calming breaths before continuing.
"You were dying, Sam," Dean reiterates quietly, as if saying the words too loud will cause the magic keeping his brother alive to break. Sam wraps his arms around him and continues to ignore him. "What was I supposed to do?"
"Let me go?" Sam challenges bitterly and a fierce determination fills Dean's expression. Hand tight on Sam's shoulder, he makes his younger brother face him and Sam is startled by the sheer desperation dancing in his brother's eyes.
"No," He interjects sharply. "I couldn't have—"
"When people die," He begins wearily. "They should stay dead."
"So, what? I should've let you die at Cold Oak?" It's said with hidden fury and the youngest Winchester stands up. He doesn't want to be here, not when he knows he will end up saying something he will regret. He's angry, yes, but Dean doesn't get it. It's not just anger over being lied to that Sam's suffering from. Dean's never felt what it was like to be completely engulfed by a stronger presence, to have your body set on autopilot while you watched on in horror.
"Dean." Sam sighs softly. He doesn't want to go there right now. He's come to peace with what happened at Cold Oak and rehashing the past wouldn't solve anything between them.
"What was I supposed to do?" His older brother reiterates. "Just let you die when I had a chance to stop it?"
"I never wanted to be this—"
"I know," Dean interjects sharply. Running a hand over his face, he grimaces. "But Sam if you reject Ezekiel, you'll die."
"That's what should have happened though—" Suddenly, Dean is in his face, his strong hands slamming him against the motel wall. Fury rolls off him in waves, but grief is evident in his cloudy eyes.
"Don't," He pleads. "Don't you dare start." The pressure increases ever so slightly and Sam doesn't have the heart to push him off.
"I don't want to be a vessel."
"I can't go back there, Dean," He confesses. "When Lucifer . . ." He swallows nervously and his brother's grip releases him. "I just can't."
"So what? I just watch you die again." Bitterness sharpens Dean's tone and Sam feels bad for this. His older brother waits for something, but Sam's mouth remains shut. Growling, he glares at his little brother. "Fuck you." He steps away, pacing like a lion does trapped in a cage. As agitated as his movements are, his face shows nothing but careful reflection. When it came to Sam, Dean was always a walking contradiction. Rough hands as he helped his brother, but soft words as he comforted him. Anger when he was afraid, but sadness if he knew Sam was there to listen. No one had seen past Dean's defenses like he had, not even their father.
No one understood Dean better than Sam.
"I'm just not sure what I'm fighting for," He confesses quietly and Dean's ears perk up. "We keep swinging and keep fighting, but I don't see a point." He gestures to the surrounding town. "Demons are still here and now we have fallen angels." He grimaces. "If I had died doing the trials, I could've at least shut the Gates of Hell."
"Don't talk like that." His older brother hisses, determination and strength evident in his eyes. "There's always something to fight for."
"Like what?" Sam challenges.
"Me." It's said so softly that the youngest Winchester almost misses it.
"Me." Dean informs him, his tone much stronger. "Fight for me."
"I mean it," Dean insists, once more putting a hand on Sam's shoulder. "I meant what I said at the church, okay?"
"But I'm a vessel."
"Temporarily," Dean echoes. "Just until you get better."
"And if I never get better?" Sam inquires.
"You will." His older brother insists and Sam just shrugs. He isn't sure what to believe right now. He wants to be with his brother, but some days, it felt like all they managed to do was get people killed. They had lost so many people—old lovers, family, friends—and Sam often wondered what life would've been like if he had died at Cold Oak. Would Bobby still sitting in his library, lecturing Garth for being an "idjit"? Would Sarah be sitting with her husband, their little girl in her arms?
Would Dean be happy with Lisa, living the normal life that Sam had always wanted for him?
The thoughts plagued him on sleepless nights and it was only through a sheer force of will that he pushed them away. He always found something to keep him going, be it his brother or whatever their latest hunt was. Now, he could admit that he was tired. Nothing they did seemed to matter.
Nothing ever seemed to work out.
"Sammy." Dean's eyes met his and as if he could read his little brother's thoughts, he pulled him into a hug. Dean's arms held him as if he were holding the most precious treasure in the world, yet strong enough to reassure Sam that he wouldn't give him up without a fight. "It's you and me against the world."
And in his brother's arms, Sam believed it.
Sam stood in a white room that seemed to go on endlessly. The youngest Winchester knew he was asleep—he could faintly hear his brother's even breathing on the wind—and he had to take this chance to talk to the angel that was now residing within him.
"Ezekiel?" He tries again, stepping forward and the white room transformed into a field of amber grain. A picturesque blue sky hung above him and as he made his way forward, he wondered why his mind had conjured up this image.
"Sam." The voice comes from everywhere and as he craned his head around, Sam couldn't seem to pinpoint it. "My apologies. In my injured state I am unable to manifest into a form that you can see."
An awkward pause passed as the wind ruffled his hair and the sun warmed his skin.
"Dean has told you of my existence." Ezekiel states calmly and Sam nodded his head vigorously.
"Yeah, he did." Sam shrugs and runs a hand through his hair. He had wanted to talk to the angel, but now actually faced with him, the youngest Winchester wasn't sure what to say. Part of him wanted to kick the angel out, part of him wanted to keep fighting for Dean.
"Yes?" His eyes glinted in the sun. Smirking slightly, he was amused by how real this place felt.
"I understand how reluctant you are to allow me to remain here—"
"You have no idea." He mutters darkly.
"But you must believe me when I insist that I only wish to help both you and your brother." The sincerity in the words takes the youngest Winchester a bit back.
"And heal yourself, of course." He mumbles.
"I admit there are a few selfish reasons as well," The angel concedes. "However, I made a promise with your brother. I will heal you." The determination evident in his tone causes Sam to smile a bit.
Ezekiel sounds like Dean.
"How's that going?" Sam sits lazily in the field, idly playing with a stick he found on the dirt.
"Not well," The youngest Winchester frowns and waits for clarification. "The trials were designed to kill you. Your lungs are almost beyond salvation and your heart is quite weak, not to mention all the other problems that I have encountered."
"If you can't save me—"
"I will save you," Ezekiel reiterates. "It will just take time."
"And I'm supposed to trust you?" Sam asks. "I haven't had the best track record with angels—"
"My siblings were easily swayed, much like tall grass in the wind," The angel informs him in that same detached tone that all angels seemed to possess. "I am not as foolish as them. I would not dare go up against the two men who adverted the apocalypse."
"That so?" Sam chuckles.
"Indeed," He echoes. "I shall endeavor to earn your trust. I will keep you safe from harm and when the time comes when you are fully healed, I will leave."
"Just like that?"
"Just like that." Ezekiel affirms. Sam sighs softly and lets the imaginary sun offer him some peace. The wind tickles his nose as it blows by, the field swaying in its wake.
"All I ask is that you keep Dean safe," He closes his eyes and lays back, the sound of the wind and the feel of the sun lulling him to sleep. "Please."
"Of course." Ezekiel's voice begins to fade away, the field vanishing as sleep began to pull him under.
Then, Sam was out.
Sam never officially forgave Dean, but the next morning, it was obvious that the issue of being a vessel had been dropped. Yes, Sam still worried about becoming a prisoner in his own mind again, but he liked Ezekiel and he trusted his older brother's judgment.
For now, he would take things one day at a time.
He would focus on fighting for his brother.
And, maybe, one day, Sam would find that one day, he would no longer need a reason to keep swinging.
"You okay?" Dean glances at his brother from the driver's seat as they drove towards their next hunt.
"Yeah, I think so."
Life went on.
Author's Note: I really want to trust Ezekiel, but part of me feels like he'll end up betraying both of them. I will probably visit that concept in another story. Thanks for reading. If you have a second, please review!