I absently picked up my phone within a second of hearing it ring expecting to see Lisa's name lighting up on the screen. I almost didn't even check and very nearly answered with my usual 'Hey babe.' It was only because I was taking a sickie from work that I thought better of it. Knowing them they were probably calling to check up on me or wanting some sort of useless information on the useless boxes I unpacked the useless day before.
What flashed on my screen was something that caught me off guard though. It was definitely the last name I expected to see and it stopped me from breathing. All I could do was just stare at the screen and wonder if indeed I was going crazy.
'You going to get it?' Bobby asked me.
'It says it's…' I pulled myself together and blinked hard before looking at it again. Any second it was going to go to my voicemail but I was frozen, I couldn't move. 'Bobby, it says it's Sammy.'
I looked up at him and held up the phone for him to see it.
'Answer it and put it on speaker. Quick.'
I did so and said a weak, 'Hello?' I could hardly breathe and wondered how I could have missed seeing Sam's phone left behind at Stull Cemetery on the worst day of my life. That was probably why. I had other things on my mind.
'Dean, Hi. It's me, it's Sam.' I dropped the phone as if it had just given my hand third degree burns and watched as it flipped and then landed face up on the table. Bobby looked at me as if he believed what he was hearing. I had to admit, it sounded exactly like my kid brother and because of that I felt like I was going to throw up. 'I know this is a shock, but it is me. I'm out. I got out.' The voice said.
I couldn't talk. All I could do was swallow and pray that this was the miracle I had been begging for but my mind wouldn't allow me to believe it, it wouldn't even process it.
'Sam?' Bobby questioned, his tears already forming.
'How?' He kind of breathed.
'Michael and I got the cage unlocked.'
All I could do was close my eyes. It sounded so real. I took a seat to steady my legs because I knew if I didn't I would fall down right where I was standing.
'Dean?' Sam's voice penetrated through my head. 'You have to believe me. It's me.' God it sounded so much like him. 'Dean, say something.'
'Where are you?' I could only manage. This thing was probably a shape shifter and I was going to kill it for damn sure but before I did, I wanted to see it and pretend that my brother was standing in front of me one last time. I would travel the world to see that.
'Room number 22.'
'Room number 22 where?'
'Four doors down.'
Bobby and I stared at each other for a split second before we both shot out of the door and bolted four doors down to room number 22.
I hung up the phone and stood up. 'They are probably gonna try to kill me.' I said to Cas.
'Not when they see me here.'
'Tell me this was the right thing to do.' I said as I watched them through the window tearing across the car park towards my room.
'It's the right thing to do.' Cas answered before stepping over to the door. 'Let them see me first.'
I nodded and swallowed my nerves. Why I was so apprehensive to see my own family I had no idea but I was and I gladly let Castiel take the lead on this.
When he opened the door and Dean saw it was him, he stopped short, his face taking on a flushed hue. Bobby ran into the back of him and then saw for himself exactly who was greeting them. If it was any other situation it would have been a funny sight to see, but it wasn't and right then, the last thing I felt like doing was laughing.
My brother was running towards me and I wasn't running away. This was it; the one thing I wanted the most but the one thing I had been fighting the hardest. I hadn't had time to think it through and now that it was happening, it was spinning out of control because I already felt like I wasn't going to be able to keep up.
'Dean, Bobby.' Cas took on a detached demeanor probably to settle them both.
'What are you doing here? What's going on?' I saw Dean frown and try to look behind the angel for me – or whatever was pretending to be me.
'Your brother is inside. It's really him and I need you both to believe that before I let you in.'
'Get out of the damn way.' Dean demanded physically pushing him aside so he could get into the room. Before I could move, our eyes locked and once again he stopped dead in his tracks.
There he stood, right in front of me; my tall little brother, his dark hair falling into his eyes with an expression of scared desperation on his face.
It was Sammy, I was sure of it. Standing right in front of me was my Sammy alive and well.
Right in front of me.
'Sam.' I swallowed, my whole world flashing before my eyes.
He nodded and smiled and took an uneasy step towards me.
'Come here.' I said as I rushed over to him and held out my arms. He fell into my hug and I gripped onto him as tightly as he gripped onto me. Every time we hugged after reunions like this, we clutched onto each other in the fear that if we let go some other sons of bitches would take us from each other again and this was no exception. The only thing different about this hug was that we both started to sob like little cry-baby bitches, right in front of Bobby and Cas.
God, I loved him. He was everything to me. He was my whole world and having him so close gave my life meaning all over again. I had no intention of letting him go first but the more we held onto each other and the more we cried, the more I realized this was the first time he had seen me since…I jumped and I knew, If I didn't pull away he might not ever let me go.
So I did and smiled at him as we both wiped our eyes. Then I turned to Bobby who grabbed me roughly and pulled me into his chest. My tears began to flow again and when he patted me twice firmly on my back I stood up from him and noticed his eyes were as red as mine.
The four of us stood in silence for what seemed like an eternity before Dean asked me the dreaded question. 'When?'
'A couple of weeks ago.' The younger brother in me stiffened. This was not going to please him and as his eyes turned from confusion to realization I took another deep breath in.
'What? Weeks? Are you serious?'
'That's not important.' Cas tried.
'Why didn't you come straight to me?' Dean asked me not even hearing Cas.
'I did.' I tried.
'Well, you didn't.'
'No. I mean I did, I came to Lisa's. I just didn't come in. I mean, I wanted to but –'. I breathed out. 'I'm sorry.'
I don't know if I was supposed to see it or not but Bobby placed a hand on Dean's forearm to stop him from dwelling on that little detail and thankfully he did because I was still so bewildered I really wasn't up for any kind of argument.
He looked me up and down. 'Are you okay? Anything wrong?'
'No. Everything's fine.'
'Take off your t-shirt, let me see.'
I did so and let him check me over. I knew nothing was wrong with me - I was back to exactly the same way I was before Lucifer had taken me over- but Dean didn't so I let him step around me and examine the top half of my body.
He nodded and sat down. 'It's so good to see you man. So good.'
'So tell us, what happened? How'd you get out?'
I looked at Cas who nodded.
'What? He needs your permission to tell me does he?' Dean frowned at him.
'No.' Cas said simply.
I didn't know why I had checked with Cas but now I regretted it because Dean seemed suddenly on edge.
'Okay, great, so what happened?' he turned back to me and asked.
Bobby took a seat on my bed and Cas leant back against the window sill out of Dean's line of sight. I remained the only one standing.
'Cut a long story short, Michael held down Lucifer and let me out.'
I shrugged, 'He had contacts.'
'In hell? Michael had contacts in hell?'
'Who?' He turned his head back to Cas. 'Did you have anything to do with it?'
'I did. So did others but Sam helped. He was working hard along with Michael and fighting against Lucifer. It really came down to those two.'
I swallowed the huge lump in my throat and shut my eyes as tight as I could in an attempt to block out all the memories. Dean must have seen because his voice softened.
'Thank God you're out, hey buddy?'
'Yeah.' I tried to smile at him but it came out kind of pathetic.
'He was brought back up at the cemetery.' Cas said when no one continued. 'He hitched over here.'
'And you have been staying here ever since?' Dean asked me gently.
'And the other motel. I just got here last night.'
He hadn't been taking care of himself, that was obvious. His hair was overgrown and matted in parts. When I stepped over to the fridge it was empty and all the frickin cupboards were bare; there was no evidence of any food or dishes anywhere. The limpness in his shoulders and his stance as well as the dark circles around his eyes signified to me just how little he had been sleeping and the food and sweat stains on his t-shirt signified to me just how little he had been doing laundry. Speaking of laundry...I looked around. The only items of clothing I could see were the creased ones on him and a tossed shirt and jacket on the floor by his bed. That wasn't like Sam; none of this was like Sam.
'So what have you been doing for the past couple of weeks then?'
'What do you mean?' He asked me with that Sammy innocence that I used to see all the time when we were kids.
'Like, I have all your clothes still right? So you've been out shopping then?'
He looked down in shame. I looked up to the ceiling willing myself not to do the insane thing and flip out. I had to keep my cool.
'Sam?' I asked again.
'So what do you wear then?'
'Dean.' Bobby moaned. I ignored him.
'Sammy, what have you been wearing?'
'Just this - what I've got on.' He was embarrassed as hell, so I didn't push. Instead I pulled my keys from my pocket and stood up. 'Okay, come on. You're favorite; clothes shopping time.'
The panic in his eyes took me back. I mean Sam wasn't ever a fan of clothes shopping and either was I, but never had I ever seen any kind of fear in him associated with just the thought of it. The kid had terror in his eyes. 'What's wrong?' I asked him.
'Nothing.' He stood up to appease me and gave Bobby the fakest smile I had ever witnessed from him. He was totally freaking out.
'Okay look,' I said throwing the keys to Bobby. 'How about Bobby goes out and gets you some stuff and you and me go and get a drink?'
Bobby was up for the idea, yet even though Sam said, 'Okay.' I knew he didn't really mean it. He was worrying me. He was trying not to but he was worrying me.
'You don't want to?' I asked him.
'Yeah, I want to.' He lied.
'How about we catch up in here instead?' I tested watching as he visibly relaxed.
'Or we can go for a drive in the impala. I bet you've been missing her.'
Right then I was willing to bet my life on it that if I suggested we jump off a bridge my brother would say 'Okay.'
Hell had broken him. Pure and simple.
Hell had broken my brother.
(to be continued...)