Title: Sin and Salvation
Author: Sam
Pairing: Sam/Dean
Fandom: Supernatural
Warnings: incest
Rating: NC-17
Disclaimer: Not mine, no money made.
Summary: Sam leaves with a demon but comes back with an angel.


Standing in front of the car, Castiel appeared in the alley just before Sam could close the door.

Startled eyes flew between him and the de - Ruby - before coming to rest on him, wary and no little defiant. He dared not allow the anger to grow before entreating quietly, "Do not do this."

Cas - "

Please, Sam. May we talk?"

Castiel ignored the frustrated curse from the driver's seat, keeping his sole focus on the younger Winchester instead, all but willing him to take the hand he held out to him.


Ok...so talk."

After Sam had taken his hand, Castiel had pulled them from the parking lot to another motel a few states away. Ruby would have been able to find them had she dared, but personally Castiel was more worried about Uriel finding them should Castiel take Sam into the Ether.

Unfortunately now that he had the human here, he was finding himself at a loss as to where to start.

Cas? Look, *you* brought me here...I think you owe me an explanation," Sam demanded angrily. "Or put me back so that... "

It was as the human trailed off that Castiel found his starting point. It was as good a one as any, and would allow him to address the most volatile issue first. "So that you and Ruby can go track down and exorcize demons?" he asked, making sure to keep the accusation quiet. "Or was it something else the two of you were planning on doing?"

Sam stood coiled tight, his eyes darting everywhere before falling to the rough brown carpet at their feet. It was hard for the angel to tell which of the two possibilities Sam was most uncomfortable with him knowing about; the using of his demonic powers or the fact he was having sex with a demon.

I - should not be telling you this," the angel admitted, "But it is not the risk you run of the taint in your blood overtaking you that Uriel fears. At least, it is not only that."

What do you mean?" Sam asked, voice tight and defensive. Castiel would imagine he was tired of being told he was evil.

Castiel met that defense with truth, knowing the sympathy in his eyes was hitting Sam harder than anything had in a while. "You're strong, Sam," he said. "Too strong. If you gain control over your powers - " He held up a hand in caution. "Complete control, Sam. Nothing less will suffice and everything less shall mean the destruction of all. But if you manage to gain that control, you and your brother, together...you will become all but unstoppable."

That's why you've been trying to separate us," Sam gasped in realization, his eyes snapping up to accuse the angel. "So I wouldn't corrupt Dean. Lead him astray."

That is a part of it, yes."

But I thought it was - that's why you demanded I give up exorcizing demons. So I wouldn't go all dark side and start the damned apocalypse myself."

Castiel nodded gravely. "Another concern. Sam, what we do, we do not do solely for one purpose, nor do we do it lightly. Each thread of this war is being woven with a speed that is both timeless and immediate. As we speak, there are threads being connected, threads being strengthened, changed, altered - and threads being cut short, many years, even decades - millennia - before their time. Nothing is absolute except that there will be a battle at the end of this. There will *be* a winner, and a loser. You may not understand what it is we ask of you, but please understand that it *is* for the greater good. For the chance to save what my father has created from those that would do nothing but see it all torn asunder."

He watched as the broad shoulders deflated, hunching in on themselves as Sam Winchester dropped to the corner of the bed and gave in to the pleading Castiel no longer bothered to hide.

Uriel may think they were the higher beings, but pride was a sin and Castiel has watched alone in his silence for far too long to be sure that was necessarily true anymore. There was nobility in sacrifice, it was true; but was as true that there was waste there, if the sacrifice were to bear no fruit other than a bleak desolate service to duty. With Sam at Dean's side there would still be sacrifice, but there would also be purpose, hope and the stability that having someone at one's side with which to share the burden would bring.

Uriel would rain down fire and brimstone on the heads of their allies for the sole purpose of making an example in the world that the Word of the Lord was absolute. Castiel no longer believed the Word to be that unforgiving; so heartless and cold. Absolute, yes - but also open to interpretation.

Looking down on the man that looked up at him now, Castiel tried to look past the tears that shone in the green eyes. He tried to look past the grief and the anguish to find that last bit of hope that had prompted the younger man to get out of Ruby's car; that had allowed Sam to deny the call of the demon blood that had been forced upon him and grasp the chance for another way.

There was fear there, which, given who Sam was, was dangerous, and another flavor to the fear that maybe everyone was right; maybe he was dangerous and evil and needed to be put down. That maybe this time he would be the one to get his brother killed; if not by demons than the very angels that had saved Dean from the Pit.

Under that there was a sense of low self worth and a weariness that resulted and fed into the depression that had prompted him to take up the demon's invitation to begin with...a sense of frustration and the futility that came with doing nothing when there was so very much to do.

But under that...under that was the Sam that had left his life behind to find his father; the Sam that had joined his brother in the very life he had escaped and had never wanted to be dragged back into. Fighting the darkness. Becoming a warrior of the Light.

Sam Winchester had had faith. He had wanted to believe in God and His angels, long before Dean Winchester had had that faith forced upon him by Castiel's hand that had burned the flesh from his bones even as it had pulled him from hellfire.

With the salvation of his brother, Sam had no choice now but to believe in those messengers of the Lord; even when their message was to pit brother against brother in a battle that would serve none but the enemy they now faced. Castiel no longer believed that Dean could withstand the final battle alone, and what he had unknowingly ripped asunder, so now it fell to him to put right. Before it was too late.

To make his stand, Dean needed Sam to make that same stand at his side - not run off with Ruby for the false promise that doing something wrong was better than doing nothing at all.

Sam - "

You said I was powerful," Sam spoke slowly. "If I learned control - "

Absolute control, Sam," Castiel warned. He had only been surprised that it had taken the young man this long to come to this point. "Anything less would be nothing short of disaster."

Green eyes looked up to him, resolve seeming to firm as he demanded, "But could I - would I be strong enough to take care of Alistair," Sam pushed. "Keep him away from Dean?"

Strange. Castiel had been sure Sam's first concern would be Uriel; the other angel's opinion and venom made well known in their earlier confrontations. It was only the fact that Sam's concern had leapt directly to his brother that prompted Castiel to allow the conversation to go on.

You could, yes."

He watched the wheels turn, watched as the boy came to the same realization Castiel had accepted as he had watched Sam leave the hotel and get in the demon's car. He would need a teacher.

The shock would have been amusing had it not been quickly eclipsed by the hope and desperation that practically screamed from him. "You could teach me."

I could, yes."

But - how?"

The bitter smile that graced his lips was becoming more and more familiar as of late. He may not have emotions, but that did not mean Castiel could not *feel*.

Demons are just angels that disagreed with God, Sam. Our powers are pretty much the same, it is only in the details that we differ. Your problem is not in your faith, nor in your desire, Sam. Your problem is focus and control." Castiel allowed their eyes to meet, wanting to be very clear in this point. "Focus. Control. For that you need practice, but not that which Ruby would have given you. That way relies far too much on the demon in your blood for direction. What I will give you is a way to direct the power you possess without the need to delve into the taint in your blood."


The smile that twisted his lips now was softer, though still dry. "In time."

Cas - "

Patience, Sam," he told the younger man seriously. "Despite what Ruby might want you to believe, there is still time. Not much, perhaps, but enough for you to go back to your brother and...clear the air."

Running a hand through his hair, Sam admitted ruefully, "We need to get back on the same page. Too much has happened...I don't want to lose Dean, I just don't know what to do now that he's back and has this big 'mission' being the General for Heaven..."

Now that demons and angels both have placed themselves between them and use their influence to distract. He wondered how long it would take Sam to realize that demons weren't the only things he could pull from their human hosts...

Talk to him, Sam. Tell him. Don't let miscommunication and doubt come between the two of you. Secrets...they breed distrust and doubt. Don't let angels and demons come between what the two of you share."

Startlement and the first blush of shame widened his eyes and stained the tanned skin a light pink. "Ah, Cas..."

I know," he admitted softly. "Love is...not always what we might expect. But I believe God is love and what my Father has built, all was built on that love."

The war between Heaven and Hell was started because of love," Sam told him quietly. "Angels have fallen, all because of love."

Yes, we have," Castiel told him honestly. "Love is a powerful emotion, Sam. It can raise a man up and tear him down just as quickly. It can be spiritual, emotional, physical; it can show you glory and tear you to pieces, all for its own sake. Love is creation and destruction and it rests in the hands of mortals every day. It is the cause of the greatest of suffering and the most glorious of redemption. It can throw you down into the depths of the Pit and raise you up into highest tier of Heaven." He rested his hand on Sam's shoulder, promising softly, "It is how we choose to love that makes us different, Sam. It is your ability to love that makes you human - more than the blood that runs in your veins stains you."

When we first met, you shook my hand," Sam offered a weak, lopsided smile. "You weren't sure you wanted to."

No, I wasn't." Castiel admitted honestly. "I wasn't sure what to expect. Rumors. Gossip. Tall tales told around the water cooler... Angels aren't as different as you might think. But the battlefield is not the general's tent; it is easy to maintain distance, to maintain prejudice, when one is not asked to fight side by side."

Yeah." Sam ducked his head, no doubt thinking back over a few misconceptions of his own. "So, you'll teach me?" he asked instead. "I need to know I can protect Dean from Alistair when he comes back. Dean told me - what happened in Hell.."

I know."

Sam nodded warily, his resolve once again firming. "I won't let him near Dean again. I can't. I couldn't keep them from taking him but now that he's back, I won't let Alistair fuck with Dean's head. Not again."

Sam...what your brother went through..." Castiel sighed, claiming the chair across from the bed. But although Castiel might be willing to unbend enough to speak freely with him, this was another matter completely. Angels may not be the perfect, all powerful beings that most humans idealized, but for balance to be maintained Sam would still need to respect them, and that meant not confessing a sin as great as any human may have committed.

Worse. Angels should have had the grace and compassion to have known better. If he had been paying better attention...if the battle had not begun the very night Sam lost his brother...

But he hadn't and it had and there was nothing for it now but to make sure they won the war, even if that meant putting aside the battles they had lost along the way.

I'm sorry."


Sam took a deep breath and unlocked the door to the room he shared with Dean. Castiel had given him a lot to think about, not the least of which was the fact that they needed to stop lying to each other. Sam lied to Dean about Ruby; Dean lied to Sam about Castiel...it all needed to stop.

They needed to get back to what had made them strong. Before Azazel, before Ruby...before Castiel and Uriel and Lilith and Alastair and anyone else whose secret agendas had been slowly tearing them apart.

They needed to get back to just being Sam and Dean - Winchesters against the world.

Dropping his duffle taken from the car, Sam looked up to find Dean sprawled in the room's lone chair, one foot propped against the metal under rail of the bed, drink in hand. Bleary eyes looked up from his glass and for a moment Sam was struck by the pain in his brother's eyes before they closed, Dean slamming back the rest of the whiskey in a single swallow. An almost steady hand reached for the bottle, pouring himself another fingerful before he spoke.

Ruby all tucked in nice and tight?" he snorted, tossing back the shot before rolling the glass around in his hands, inspecting the rim for cracks.

Dean, I - "

Yeah, that's what I thought."

Sam actually jumped when he slammed the glass down hard enough on the table to break it. The sound of glass shattering was loud in the otherwise silent room.

So, let me guess. You guys sucked out a demon from some poor schmuck and then she sucked out something else, is that it?"

His first instinct was to protest - to lie and hide the part of him he didn't want Dean to see. But that was what had brought him here. At least this time he could deny the last and it be the truth.

Taking a breath, Sam stood his ground and looked Dean in the eye - something else they hadn't been doing a lot of lately - and said simply, "No."

Dean launched himself from the chair, though he didn't move more than a couple of feet in Sam's direction before the barrier between them did it's job and kept them apart. His fists clenched and his breathing grew erratic as Sam stood there and watched as every hurtful, damning thing his brother wanted to say flashed across Dean's face. "No? Don't you fucking *lie* to me!"

More than the anger, Sam flinched at the hurt in the bitter words.

I'm not. I mean, I was going to, but..."

But what?" Dean barked.

But Cas - Castiel asked me not to. We talked."

You were going to go running around playing Exorcist and screwing with a demon and end up having an Oprah session with an angel instead?" Dean shook his head demanding sharply, "How does that *happen*?"

You tell me. You sober enough to take all this in?" Sam asked, the guilt and frustration making the words come out sharper than he had intended.

Sam," Dean warned.

You're right. That - doesn't matter, at least not right now." He denied, falling to sit on the bed, much as he had in whatever motel hotel Castiel had whisked them off to. "Seriously, Dean, I'll tell you, I promise. It's just - right now I need you to know that this thing with Ruby, it stops now."

Arms resting on his knees, Sam looked up at Dean, his brother standing uncertainly in the middle of the floor. At a loss as to what to do now that Sam had obviously not come back in the same frame of mind as when he left, Dean dropped down onto the other bed. Running a hand through his hair, making it stand on end even more than it had before, Dean huffed out a breath and suddenly shot back up, restless.

But Sam had expected that. Dean needed to pace; ever since they were kids, he had thought better on his feet.

So," Sam asked long moments later, listening to the swish of Dean's work boots on the thin motel carpet. "Now what?"

What do you mean?"

Sam hated the vulnerability in Dean's voice, knowing he had been the one to put it there. "I mean...Dean, I *miss* you," he admitted roughly. "I miss *us*. I just - I just want things to be the way they were. Before Hell, before angels - before - "

Before I came back and was afraid to let you touch me, you mean." Dean countered quietly. "Before I was afraid to admit to what I wanted..."

Sam stood up, making sure to stand close to his brother when he said, "Before you were afraid to let me back in."

Not meeting his eyes, Dean admitted softly, "Yeah."

No more secrets, Dean." Sam told him firmly. "No more lies, no more denying who we are and what we need. I need you. I want you. No one else again, ever."

Dean looked up wearily, tears in his eyes as he smiled, "Yeah?"


Dean's smile, that hope, was worth more than anything else. "Okay."


His newly found sense of calm was disturbed as Uriel violently appeared at his side. Castiel resisted the urge to sigh as he waited for the rant that would surely be dropped upon his ears.

He didn't have to wait long.

The plan was to separate them! You know that! Only by getting Dean Winchester away from the demonic influence of his brother and that stain - "

We were wrong," Castiel denied gravely. "It is their connection, their loyalty to the other that is their strength. It is - "

An abomination!"

It is love." Castiel denied, watching from the Ether as Dean kissed his brother, Sam curling around his body, wordlessly begging for forgiveness with hands and arms and tears. "And it just might be our salvation."

Watching the brothers as Sam pulled Dean in, deepening their kiss before diving in for another, Uriel brooded darkly. "What they do - it does not disgust you?"


Castiel did not need to turn to know the sneer that now graced his own ' brother's' face.

It arouses you," he accused, disdain dripping from his very tone.

It comforts me, " Castiel ignored the slight tingle of the body he wore and offered instead, hoping that this time his fellow angel might understand. "That they can still feel hope. We demand so much, with so little given in return - "

It is our right, and their due," Uriel denied callously. "Just as it is the Lord's right to command us and our duty to do naught but obey."

It made Castiel want to weep, knowing nothing he had said had gotten through the righteous self-containment the other angel wore the way Castiel wore his borrowed trench coat. Still, as he turned from watching the brothers as Dean ripped Sam's shirt in his haste to reach skin, Castiel allowed the tingle to fade as he sighed and agreed. Uriel was right. They were angels - Warriors of God. It was their duty.

Straightening his shoulders, Castiel forced the Winchesters from his mind as he began to stalk through the Ether, turning instead to the next likely Seal in Texas.

They still had a war to win and there were likely to be many more battles won and lost along the way. He still had a job to do.