A/N First of all thanks to my wonderful Beta AlELizabeth
And sorry about the delay in this chapter it just didn't want to write itself.
Please read and review and tell me what you think.

Chapter two

Step back

Sometimes the best way to deliver a punch is to step back.

But step back too far, you ain't fighting at all.

Bobby POV

It has been two weeks since Sam came to stay at his house. Two weeks of constant nightmares, two weeks of Sam waking up at the middle of the night screaming his heart out.

Bobby doesn't have it in himself to talk to Sam about it, Sam is a Winchester after all and Winchesters are well known for their pride issues, if the kid was going to talk about his dreams then he will do it of his own accord and no amount of nagging was going to change that.

But every time Sam's agonizing screams echo in the darkness of his house, Bobby's heart breaks a bit more. He has no idea what Sam dreams about but he doesn't doubt that the kid must have been through hell and back since his family died almost a decade ago.

Speaking of the devil, the kid has been staring at him for the past god only knew how many minutes and Bobby was sure the kid wasn't seeing him at all. He would have to do something about that.

"Take a picture boy, it will last longer." He said in his gruff voice.

Sam blushed and looked down, like he hadn't realized he had been staring at Bobby this whole time.

A displeased look crossed Bobby's face but Sam wasn't looking so he didn't see it. Truth be told he tried to be less gruff with the kid, he knew that he is in a delicate position right now even if the kid won't speak about it at all. But no matter how much he tried to be gentle with the kid, it didn't seem to be enough. It was just who he is, he showed his affection by his curt manner, the gruffer he was the more affection he felt.

Sam opened his mouth as if to say something but changed his mind at the last second. And the hopeful look that crossed Bobby's face fell almost as soon as it had come.

Sam turned around and grabbed two cups of coffee and placed one of them in front of Bobby and then he sat across from him nursing his own cup.

It was silent in the kitchen for a couple of minutes until Bobby tried to start a conversation, he had given the boy all the time and space he needed and still he was silent as a rock and that needed to change now.

"So, how did you sleep last night?" Bobby winced internally as far as conversation openers went this one was definitely in the worst ten.

Sam tried to hide his flinch but he didn't really succeed, like at all. "Alright, I guess." He said after clearing his throat a couple of times.

Bobby didn't want to talk about the dreams – not now anyway, he was hoping to bring it up more softly – although it can't be helped now, so he might as well use this opportunity fate has provided him.

"Sam, you know you can talk to me about anything right?"

Sam hesitated for a moment before answering without making eye contact. "Yes, of course."

"Oh really, well that's good to know. Care to tell me now what is going on exactly?" It was obvious that Sam was lying through his teeth – maybe calling him on it wasn't the best, or the most mature thing he could have done but so what sue him. It broke his heart to think that Sam doesn't trust him all that much, although he should have expected that, it has almost been ten years since he last seen the kid.

"It's nothing, Bobby, really." Bobby's gave him an incredulous look, which prompted him to continue, "Nothing for you to worry about anyway."

"I should be the judge of that, don't you think? Now won't you tell me what exactly you have been hiding?"

"That is a bit of a general question Bobby I haven't seen you since… in almost ten years, there is a lot of stuff that ''I am hiding'' right now."

"Well you better start talking then." He retorted almost harshly, not that Sam seemed to notice.

"Bobby I– " Sam looked down at the ground almost like he was gathering his strength before he looked Bobby in the eye for the first time since he arrived at Bobby's doorstep. "Bobby, please can we not talk about this."

He didn't know what broke his heart more, the fact that the kid had to gather his strength to look him in the eye, or the amount of hurt he saw in Sam's eye.

"Sam– "

"It's not your business alright, so just leave me be." He said in an irritated tone that brought back memories to Bobby from when the kid was a teenager throwing tantrums like they were going out of style.

"I say it's damn well my business, you are the one who made it so. You don't knock at people's door at four in the morning looking like you had a wrestling match with a truck and lost repeatedly and then instead of getting better, you look half dead and act like the world is ending and then expect me not to get involved," He said in a level tone, or as level as he could get it.

Sam looked like a kicked puppy and Bobby remembered this look from when the kid was but a toddler following his brother like a shadow all over the junk yard, and it seems the kid has only perfected the look since then.

"I…Bobby you are right I shouldn't have gotten you involved." Geez, it's like the kid misunderstood him deliberately.

"Sam, you know this isn't about– "

"l know that's not what you meant." interrupted Sam tersely maybe even a bit harshly. "But that doesn't mean that I should have gotten you involved anyway."

"Family don't end with blood, Sam." He remembers telling John the Same thing what seems like eons ago, little Sammy had asked him what it meant and he had explained it to the kid then, but it seemed that Sam has forgotten.

There was a moment of silence before Sam continued more softly. "It's just…there is a lot of stuff on my mind right now and I need time to figure things out and then I will be good as new."

Bobby stared Sam in the eye for a long time before he finally relented, he couldn't even begin to describe – let alone understand – the emotions running through the kid's eye but he saw that Sam was earnest and honest. Whatever the real situation was, the kid believed he could solve it on his own, given time and all Bobby could do is cross his fingers hoping the idjit was right about this.

"Fine, but if you don't get better by the end of the week then you better expect another conversation about this. And I won't be easily put off then." He said giving Sam a stern look.

Sam only nodded, there was nothing else to say.

'That conversation went well' thought Bobby sarcastically.

The pair drank their coffees in silence albeit now it was painfully awkward. Normally Bobby would start making breakfast at this point but he had no desire to cook anything right now – his appetite has gone poof in the last ten minutes – and Sam hardly had any appetite at all these days, so he figured they could skip breakfast today.

Once Sam finished his coffee he left and went to his room without saying anything only offering a halfhearted smile at Bobby that was more of a grimace than anything, though he appreciated the effort just the same.

When Bobby was sure that Sam was in his room, he banged his head on the table and a muttered "idjit" could be heard in the quiet kitchen.


As much as he wanted to deny it he had to admit that Bobby was right. He had been running around himself in circles since he had gotten out of Hell. There is a lot of stuff he needs to figure out and instead of pointing his efforts in one direction he had been trying to solve all of his problems at the same time and the only thing that accomplished was mixing it up all together.

He is an experienced hunter, a small situation like this shouldn't get him so worked up, except this was no small dilemma. He hoped it was as easy as it sounded but everything was already tangled up together before he came along and tried to make sense of it and only ended making it much worse.

The only thing he found out from spending countless hours in the library was that getting out of hell was impossible, which is obviously not true – what with him being a living proof and all – so it's safe to say that his research is all bullshit.

He knew that Bobby could really help him, he was one of the best researchers out there after all, and furthermore Bobby knows his library better than anyone else, he could at least tell him what books would be complete rubbish.

The problem is he can't ask for Bobby's help and not because of pride or anything like that – although it does play a role – but the bigger reason that prevented him from asking Bobby's help was that it would require telling Bobby about his resurrection and by subsequence his death, which would undoubtedly lead to discussing the deal he made almost a decade ago, which would lead to talking about his stint in the pit and the fact that Dean is still alive.

So, no, talking to Bobby is out of question right now. It seems like he is on his own.

He needs to think about his problem from a new light, since he obviously has been doing it all wrong earlier.

He has two priorities, who or what got him out? And for what reason? He learned a long time ago that no one does anything from the goodness of their heart. He doesn't want to be ungrateful he had just been sprung out of hell after all; maybe he should focus on the bright side. Yeah right like that ever worked out before.

Truthfully what is bothering him most is the fact that he is out of Hell. The terms of the deal with Azazel were clear as day.

Dean is cured, Sam's soul rots in Hell for all eternity, with the added fact that Dean looses his memories of his younger brother.

But that wasn't what happened, Sam is out of Hell after only spending about fifty years there and although fifty years is not something to be taken lightly, compared to eternity it's not exactly much.

So what does that exactly mean regarding his deal and more importantly, what does that mean for his brother. Did Dean drop dead the moment Sam woke up in his own grave? Or maybe Dean suddenly remembered everything about hunting, dad, mom and his little Sammy? Could Dean be out there looking for him right now? Or maybe Dean remembered, but decided not to leave his apple pie normal life; decided that he was better off without his little brother.

Aghh, he should stop thinking about it, it won't do him any good what happened has happened and he can't change the past, he can't throw himself back in the pit and he can't change the terms of the deal.

Besides it's best for him not knowing, because sometimes ignorance is bless and he knows that if he learned that everything he did was all for nothing it would break him, shatter him to a million tiny little pieces and nothing would be able to put him back together.

He is better off living in the illusion that Dean is happy and safe, he can't afford to think otherwise, that belief is what made Sam survive all these years, when he was at his lowest he would think about Dean and take comfort in the fact that for once in his life he hadn't screwed things up – Dean was free – and Sam would know that it was all worth it.

However it's not that easy, how could he live in an illusion if he knows it's not real? How could he discard the very real possibility that Dean might be dead?

But in the end, no matter how much thought he gives it, or how many hours he spends away thinking, all he ever is going to accomplish is more theories and more doubts. Maybe it's time to think about something else, something that is productive at least.

So the only thing left to worry about is how the hell he got out of hell and (yes the pun was intended), and the only way he could figure this out was by more research – like he hasn't done enough research to last him several life times already – but it's not like it can be helped, it seems like it's reading time for him again.

Funny how once upon a time - that seems so far away now - research had been his favorite part of the hunt.

Sam powered up his trusty laptop and continued reading where he had left off, he was reading on some pagan gods that might exist and have the ability to raise the dead.

''Osiris is an Egyptian god, usually identified as the god of the afterlife, the underworld and the dead. Osiris was a god chiefly of regeneration and rebirth.

In one version of the myth Set (Osiris' brother) fooled Osiris into getting into a box, and threw it into the Nile. When Osiris' wife (Isis) finally found him, he was already dead. So she used a spell and brought him back to life so he could impregnate her and then he died again. Afterwards Osiris was resurrected again and became the god of the underworld.''

Well that was highly informative, he thought sarcastically. Unless of course he was resurrected to impregnate someone, which was disturbing on many levels.

Besides that spell probably only worked for pagan gods or something, furthermore he was still standing while the myth clearly stated that Osiris died after impregnating her, then again he hadn't impregnated anyone lately and the myth was vague on the possible fate of Osiris if he hadn't impregnated Isis and in the end Osiris was still resurrected as the god of the underworld –

What the hell is he thinking? Impregnating? God he obviously needs to get some rest like yesterday and more than just a few hours. If there is one thing he learned from his father it was to never do a job without a clear sharp mind, and it was obvious to Sam that his mind was neither of those things.

So he closed his laptop and laid down on the bed, he thought about taking some sleeping pills, before he shuddered remembering what happened last time he took those before he slept, yeah he is much better off not taking them.

A spell to bring back the dead, he was busy researching creatures with power over death but a spell could be used by practically anybody, hmm that needs a bit of looking into – and that was the last thing on Sam's mind before he entered Morpheus' realm.

He was burning and burning.

There was fire everywhere.

And he was burning and burning.

And the fire was everywhere, all around him, inside him.

He was the flame, and nothing else existed except for him, and yet he watched helplessly as the inferno ate everything in its path leaving ruins behind.

And he was burning–


Sam woke up with a start at the sound of a gunshot going off downstairs; his dreams fading back into the abyss in his mind were he locked everything up.

He felt like he had only been asleep for a couple of minutes however guessing by the dimming light outside it is past noon already, nevertheless Sam didn't have time to wonder about that, considering he woke up on the sound of a gun being fired.

He grabbed his shotgun from the floor – his dad would kill him if he ever saw Sam's careless handling of his weapons – before hurrying downstairs.

When Sam arrived at the kitchen – which he figured was the source of the commotion he heard – he found Bobby pointing his shot gun at a relatively tall stranger, the man appeared human but judging from the several gun holes in his trench coat and the fact that he is still standing and appears unruffled, Sam could make an educated guess that he was far from human.

The stranger locked his eyes with Sam and he almost dropped the shotgun from the intensity of his stare, there was something about those eyes that was not human – or evil for that matter– something that was almost divine, he felt like he could get lost in this cerulean azure gaze forever, trying to know what was hidden in their abyss, to see what lay deeper.

Yet he never got the chance, for the stranger averted his eyes and settled them somewhere above Sam's shoulders. And just like that, Sam was out of his trance and though he felt like he had spaced out for a long time he knew it couldn't have been more than a few seconds.

"Who are you?" said Sam

"That is exactly what I planning to find out," said Bobby before addressing the stranger. "How the hell did you get in here, demon? This house is fully proofed against scumbags like you."

The stranger didn't even turn to look at Bobby. "I have informed you before that I am no demon," said the creature in a gravely steady voice. And although this was the first time Sam heard the being speak – in fact this was the first time Sam saw the stranger at all – there was a feeling of familiarity he couldn't shake, as if he met the stranger before.

"Like hell you ain't." said Bobby and he sounded and looked a couple of seconds away from adding a few more holes to the stranger's torso, probably the only thing stopping him was how infective it appeared to be so far.

"I have nothing to prove to you, nor do I have the time to quarrel with a mere human who is inconsequential in the wide scheme of things, I have come here to converse with Samuel Winchester. You simply don't matter." and Sam wondered if the last part sounded like a thret to Bobby's ears too. And suddenly Sam realized that he wasn't surprised he knew – at least subconsciously –the moment he laid eyes on the stranger that he was here for him personally.

"You can speak to Sam after you start ans– "

"It's alright, Bobby." Sam said while lowering his weapon, it's not like it would do much good anyway.

"What the hell do you think you are doing, boy?"

"He means no harm." He said, lying through his teeth, he knew that the stranger wasn't a demon – thanks to his psychic powers and the demon blood running through his veins – but he had no idea if he was going to kill them. But he wanted to hear what he had to say, and it's not he had done anything threatening or tried to harm them although he had had many chances, and that has to count for something, right?

Bobby looked flabbergasted and was obviously about to protest, but for some reason or the other, he held his tongue and Sam was grateful for that, Bobby however didn't lower his firearm in fact he only held it tighter.

"You wanted to talk to me, well here I am. You clearly know my name, so who and what are you? It's only fair, right?" He said calmly.

"My name Castiel and I am an angel of the lord."

"Angels don't exist." Sam answered without batting an eyelash or even pausing for a second.

Castiel looked puzzled, "I don't understand, how you cannot believe in angels when you obviously have faith?"

Sam's eye twitched at this, "I haven't prayed in a long time. Besides what does faith has to do with you claiming to be an angel." He can't believe he was discussing this. Angels don't exist; it is a fact end of the story. There was nothing to discuss.

The angel gave no indication that he had heard Sam, "I would have showed you my true visage, to prove myself however only certain people – special people – can perceive it, and I have reason to believe that you aren't one of them." And the being gave him a long look, and Sam felt like this stranger in front of him knew about Sam's darkest secrets.

Sam snorted in disbelief off course Castiel can't show him his true visage, how very convenient. "And I am supposed to take your word for it. I am afraid I am going to need more than that." He scoffed disdainfully.

A heartbeat passed where no one moved and the silence rang clearly then suddenly lightning flashed across the skies although there wasn't a hint of clouds earlier, when Sam looked up he saw great shadowy wings appear on Castiel's back, stretching off into the distance, they looked to be made out of shadow except they were much darker. Then the lighting stopped and the wings disappeared like they were never there in the first place.

This time the silence lasted far longer, until Sam cleared his throat. "This still doesn't prove to me that you are an angel," he said, but he looked less skeptical and more calculating.

"What else could I be? I have managed to bypass every single one of your protections and your weapons have no effect on me. Yet you still hold into your belief that I am not to be trusted. What would wash away your doubts?"

Sam refrained from saying that even if he was proved to be an angel it wouldn't be reason enough to trust him – Life has taught Sam he could only trust himself.

He wondered what exactly was going on Bobby's mind, whether he believed him or if he was aiming his shotgun a bit higher, yet he didn't dare move his eyes away from the being.

"If you are an angel, then what are you doing here?" The way Sam saw it; it was pointless to argue on what the creature was, apparently they reached a standstill, Castiel insisted that he was an angel and nothing Castiel would say would be able to convince Sam of that. So he might as well discuss another topic, one with much more importance.

"I have already informed you of my objective, I am here to speak to you."

"About?" asked Sam warily.

"The work we have for you. You were rescued from Hell for a reason and it's time you learned of it."

Sam did a double take, he almost though he heard him wrong – what with the way he said it so flippantly. "Y– You mean you know who brought me back from Hell?" he asked breathlessly

"I'm the one who gripped you tight and raised you from Perdition." Castiel confirmed in his emotionless voice.

"Y– you? You freed me from Hell?" Sam didn't want to believe it, except that when he looked in the Castiel's eyes he knew it was the truth. "Why? Why would you do it?"

"I already told you," said Castiel frowning as if he couldn't understand the enigma that was humans.

Sam almost pulled his hair out in frustration, the answers he had spent weeks looking for were right in front of his eyes and in the end it seemed like he would end up with more questions than answers, "What work a supposed angel would need the help of a human with, and why me specifically?"

Castiel locked his eyes with Sam for the second time that evening before nodding to himself as if he understood something, that wasn't making a lick of sense a moment before.

"Good things do happen; Sam and you deserve to be saved." Said the angel gravely before continuing with an even deeper tone – and apparently that was possible. "The end of times is nigh and unless you do something about it, then we are all condemned."

And with that the angel disappeared – before Sam could even wonder about that ominous statement – with only the reverberating sound of flapping wings indicating that he was ever here before.

"You better start explaining kid, and fast."

Sam looked up to find Bobby glaring daggers at him; he totally forgot Bobby was still here, oh God that means he heard everything.

"Maybe you could just ignore this whole fiasco and act like nothing has happened," he said with the nervous laugh. He knew it wasn't going to work, but he had to try anyway.

And forget about glaring daggers Bobby was partially glaring nukes now. Guess there is no easy way out of this one.

So what do you think, i am open to suggestions.