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There Was No Time For Me, But That's Okay

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"Are you feeling okay?" Cas asks for the tenth time as they enter the bunker. He and Dean have just taken down a vampire nest while Sam stayed behind to catch up on sleep he didn't get due to a nasty cold. For one of the strongest hunters in the world, Sam is taken down surprisingly quickly by the common flu.

Dean rolls his eyes. "Yes, I'm fine. I'm more than fine, actually. I'm gonna go get some food." He turns to go to the kitchen, while Cas frowns at the lack of Sam's presence in the library. Confused, he goes in search of the younger hunter, calling his name as he does. "Not so loud, Cas!" Dean calls from the kitchen. "He's probably sleeping!"

Cas frowns again at that, but continues his search, silently this time. His first stop is Sam's room, and he's relieved as his sharpened angel senses know the man is there before he opens the door, however they also pick up that something's wrong. Tentatively, he pushes the door open.

Sam is curled into a tight ball on the bed, using his pillow as a teddy bear and curling his entire body around it. He's continuously banging his head against the headboard, pursing his lips tightly and squeezing his eyes shut as small whimpers escape his throat. "Sam?" A small sob escapes at the sound of his name. Castiel rushes to his bedside, sitting on the edge of the mattress and gently placing a hand on the side of his friend's face. "Sam, are you hurt?"

"Go away Cas," Sam whispers back, opening his slightly and blinking against the light streaming in from the open doorway, as if he hasn't seen light in days. Considering the state he's in, he probably hasn't. "Go away. I'll be fine in a minute, just give me a minute. How's Dean?" He tries to stand, but Cas pushes him back down.

"He's fine," Castiel replies, placing a hand on Sam's forehead. "Sam, what's wrong? You don't seem to be hurt."

Sam shakes his head, attempting to stand again, but after so long in bed his legs fail him, and he falls the cold ground. Castiel immediately kneels next to him, and a small sob escapes Sam's throat. "I'm fine," He insists, but Cas doesn't believe him for a second. "I'm fine."

"No, you're not," Castiel tries not to let all of his worry show. He wonders if he should call for Dean. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing new," Sam replies lowly. "I just let it get to me while you guys were away."

The angel purses his lips and squints slightly. Even with his waning stollen grace he can still see the dark emotion blackening Sam's usually bright soul. "What do you mean nothing new?" When Sam doesn't answer he tries again. "Sam, please tell me what's wrong."

Sam stares past Cas for a moment, shaking his head slightly and sucking on his top lip. Tears pool in his eyes but he doesn't let them fall. "I want to die," He finally whispers, and even though Castiel knows somewhere in his heart that this is nothing new, his blood still runs cold. "I just don't care about much anymore. While I was at Standford Jess made me go to therapy and I was diagnosed with depression. It's nothing new; it just became a bit much."

"Why didn't you tell us?" The angel whispers, starting slightly as Dean appears at the door, an intensely worried expression shadowing his face. Sam doesn't seem to notice, simply thumping his head against the edge of the mattress.

"There was no time," The younger Winchester whispers brokenly, sadness marring his features. "I wanted to, but Dean was going to hell and it wouldn't be right for me to burden him with my problems when he only had a year to live, and then he brought you back but I had already fallen so far with the demon blood and Ru-" He cuts himself off and swallows roughly, squeezing his eyes shut and shaking his head. "And then I started the apocalypse, and my problems meant nothing compared to everyone else's, especially when I had caused them. Then we found out about the vessels, and I tried to kill myself, but it didn't work and-" He pauses, and rough sob sounding throughout the room. Cas looks up to see that Dean has gone completely white and slightly green at this new information. They don't have time to comment; Sam ploughs on. "And then Dean lost Jo and Ellen. And then all the crap I did when I was soulless. Then Dean lost you and then Dean lost Kevin and Bobby and there was never time to talk. I wasn't going to burden Dean with that. He doesn't deserve that."

"You lost them too," is all Dean can think to say as he sits down beside them. "They were yours too."

Sam looks at him for a moment before looking away again. "They loved you more. When they looked at me all they could see was how much I had fucked up."

Dean wants to say it's not true, but there were many moments with all these people where they paid more attention to Dean than Sam. That's just how it was. Dean was outgoing and easy to talk to. Sam was shy and slightly closed off. But that didn't mean they loved Sam any less (although he knows that might not be true for Bobby, if what he said during Dean's truth curse is anything to go by).

Castiel is shaking his head over and over. "Sam," He whispers, but the man's name is a wounded, broken sound on his lips. "I may not know as much as you about human culture and emotion, however my time with you and as a human myself taught me a few things, and one of them is that even if someone has it worse that doesn't mean you are any less deserving of help."

Sam shakes his head slightly again, but when he looks up he is smiling sadly. He reaches out and takes the angel's hand, squeezing it gently. "I'm beyond help, Cas," He says. "I've never deserved it."

"Of course you have!" Dean argues. "You always deserve it, Sammy. If you didn't deserve it why did I bring you back so many times?"

The youngest Winchester frowns at that. "No chick flick moments."

Dean's hands clench into fists at his sides. "Fuck that, Sam. If you need help you come and talk to me or him. I don't care. Please, please just talk to us."

"But-"

"But nothing," Cas surprises everyone, including himself, when he speaks. "We are your friends, Sam, your brothers. If you need help, we will always be here for you, night or day."

Even though he still doesn't believe them, and probably won't for a long time, Sam finds himself nodding erratically. Dean sighs in relief and pulls his younger brother into a fierce hug. "Promise."

"I promise."

It sounds weak, a weak promise, but Dean will take it. Cas is relieved too. No matter what has happened over the past few years Sam is one of his best friends, and he will always be there for him. Together, they'll help Sam get through this. They'll give him the help he needs.