Castiel touched him. He dimly remembers wondering what was happening because the two fingers to the side of the head move was most normally used to heal. But Sam hadn't been the one who was injured. Or, maybe, now that things are resurfacing within him he couldn't possibly voice, maybe he had been. Behind that wall. Irreparably damaged. All Cas had done was bring it to the surface, shown it to him. His memories are stringy and hard to untangle, to translate inside the mind of sanity because they belong to a soul without a vessel trapped in a place where nothing makes a modicum of Earthly sense.
He's still going to try.
He's kind of got to now.
He remembers being in the Cage bodily, and he remembers the oddity of being inside Lucifer, being in his own mind and fully aware while he was possessed by a seriously pissed off archangel. He wasn't really touched, then, not for a while. Lucifer and Michael were far too busy with each other to pay any mind to him. He saw the blows they cast upon each other, some of them devastating his body, except his body was Lucifer's now, and he was just a corner in his own mind being ignored. It was pretty damn surreal.
Then there was Cas, and the hope that soared within him was dizzying. He was so excited, and he was screaming inside his own head, against Lucifers hold, just screaming at his friend. He was so sure that he was going to be saved.
The first person to hurt him inside of that cage was not Lucifer, nor was it Michael, it was Castiel. The worst part was not the agony that seared him as Castiel carved his soul out of his body, the worst part came after, when he watched the only thing that could possibly save him leave. It was devastating, and his soul was raw, open, vulnerable and there.
Terror does not come close to what he felt. Especially since, whether it was because he was without his body, or within the Cage, he could see. Vast immeasurable chaos entwined in feathers and light and energy that pulsated and raged, golden, beautiful, right next to him, glaring with huge, violent eyes that resembled no color Sam could've recognized let alone fathom. Dragon. Energy. Immeasurable. A multidimensional wavelength of divine intent, my ass!
Though Sam supposes there's no other explanation, really, for what's in front of him. Michael still had his vessel, but Lucifer did not. A maw that was all atoms sparking and canting over each other opened, wrapped around the tendrils of winding light that was Sam's soul, and snapped with a roar that shook the Cage at its very core. Even Michael seemed surprised.
All Sam could do was scream.
Lucifer would never feel sated of his wrath. His brother was already crumpled and mad, despite his species, and funnily enough, the human was the one still holding out. Still survived. Perhaps he had lost his mind, but unlike his brother, Sam still stood, some days he even still fought. It would almost be admirable, if it weren't becoming so tiresome. Lucifer was used to the Cage, he'd been in it for so long, and whence he got his freedom he had planned never to come back. Yet here he was, bested by the Winchesters, by Sam. It was infuriating. More so because it felt like betrayal, because Sam, however bright and gorgeously righteous his soul was, it was also the color of Will, of Rebellion, Gold. Sam was his. Perhaps it was because he felt this way that he underestimated him, that the sting of being thrown into his jail hurt obscenely more given the context of his jailer. No matter, Lucifer would make Sam pay. Dearly.
He gutted the boy's soul, eviscerated it and flayed it. He took apart the light that clung to the molecules, wrenching and twisting the red away from the hope and the bravery until the gold in that single piece of him was diluted to a brown. He did this to every particle, then scattered the particles across the realm that was the Cage like discarded beads of a cheap necklace and waited, because souls are resilient. They come back together with a magnetic pull that doesn't disappear no matter what you do. When Sams soul was just shy of whole, Lucifer ate him, gulping him down and relishing in the raw shrieks of unbidden emotion that licked at him from inside. When the soul passed, he changed his colors, he recreated him, shattered him, enjoyed his toy, tortured his warden.
Lucifer got bored.
Sam stopped screaming.
And so Lucifer did what he had always done before, after all, he's a very patient being. He waited.
Sam had truly seen Lucifer, and he kind of wonders whether Lucifer meant for him to, or not. Sam is probably suffering from stockholm syndrome, but at this point, he's too broken and lost to care. It's not like there are any repercussions for falling in love with his torturer at this point, right? And besides, he knew so, so much more about Lucifer, now, than he ever had before. It's very easy for a soul and an angels essence to entangle, apparently, and when said angel is raw with bitter rage it's very easy to get a glimpse at their mind while they tear you to shreds. Especially after you stop fighting long enough to look.
Lucifer was really, very small. Everything is small compared to God, and even then, Sam is beginning to think God is just a gardener who planted a seed that was essentially a molecule of randomness, and he didn't know what the fuck he was doing. So he ran away. Sam knows now that Lucifer and Michael were God's first creations to stay created, that all of his other creations got swallowed whole by his sister, and God had a sister, who knew? The Darkness, who God used Michael and Lucifer to trap. Then he put that horrible Darkness, which he had to lock away in order to permanently make anything, under Lucifers skin. And Lucifer suffered, changed. Darkness will do that to you, no matter how bright God makes you. In fact, sometimes, the brighter you are, the worse the damage is.
Lucifer rebelled because Faith is an impossible thing when it stops making sense, because no one should have to suffer an ass-hole of a father. Sam recognizes the similarity, he knows how he felt about John Winchester, he realizes that's part of the reason why he was such a perfect vessel for Lucifer in the first place. God treated his son like a soldier, and his son had too much free-will and flaws to stand it without fighting back. Asking for answers, raging, childish. He wanted attention, more love than he received, and he lashed out. Like a fucking kid.
Because he was, however old he might've been by human standards he was so goddamned young, and the first thing God did in response to his son's cloying was disown him, lock him away. Sam was beginning to understand that locking problems away was kind of a go-to move for God. His sister wasn't allowing anything to grow so he turned her into a grotesque mark. Leviathan, the first beasts, were eating everything up, so God created purgatory. Lucifer was throwing tantrums so God created Hell. People were dying so he created Heaven. Everything has a home. Tidy, certainly, but fucked up all the same.
Lucifer had gotten rid of the mark, by now, Sam knew, given it to Cain of all people, and knowing that, a lot of the lore about Cain actually makes much more sense. Lucifer was still marred, and at that point, utterly abused by his situation, his family, and people in general. There is no pity in what Sam feels for the fallen archangel, just a sad sort of sympathy, followed by the want to forgive him, and to hold him. Perhaps part of the reason for that last part was that pain can make you ache for tenderness, prolonged agony gives way to longing, need, just an acute want. There wasn't even any pain anymore, not for a long time, Lucifer hadn't touched him, and at this point Sam was desperate. Any touch, even a violating, desecrating one, would be welcome at this point.
The Cage was fucking lonely.
He expected many things of Sam, now. Delirium, screaming (as per usual), terror, perhaps rage. It came as a complete surprise, however, when the tortured soul, which was now filled with dark terrible colors that Lucifer himself had put there, sang. Tendrils of light wisped and curled with melodies that bubbled from the boy unhindered. It was a soft, delicate refrain, with a lilting melody. The song was filled with truth, and resignation, and forgiveness, and love. Lucifer shivered. The intensity of the emotions echoed throughout the Cage, which was a rotting terrible place that did not deserve to be in the presence of something so goddamn pure. And how was this even possible? Because the soul was coming closer to his muzzle, and the song fluttered sweetly toward him as the boy who he had ripped apart with his mind, his essence, his claws, and his teeth fucking embraced him. The soul held Lucifer tenderly like he was a small child, and the song reverberated against Lucifer's essence, deep, slow, immaculate. Lucifer shuddered, and for the first time since his Father had abandoned him, he had truly wanted to cry.
What are you doing, Sam? he whispered into the ludicrous light that curled into him blindingly, adoringly. There was no answer, but the song got stronger, and somehow, prettier. It was like a lullaby. But Lucifer was still so confused, he needed answers, needed to know what the fuck was going on, because this was honestly terrifying him. He tried to glare, open his mouth to nip, to retaliate, and as he did his essence responded to the lullaby and Lucifer felt an overwhelming hope, a kindness that made his eyes water fill him, because Sam was praying to him. An honest to god prayer that went straight through him, seeping into his heart and unfurling an old decayed warmth he hadn't felt for an eternity.
It had been so long since anyone had prayed to him like this, prayed to him like he was still an angel, made him warm instead of cold.
Sam smiled (or at least he thought he did, he still wasn't very sure how being a naked soul exactly worked) when Lucifer's eyes fluttered closed, the angel was shaking under him, beginning to breathe him in. It might've been Sams imagination, but Lucifer actually seemed to be preening at his prayer, his song, and so Sam kept singing to him, kept holding onto him, wrapping around him as tightly as he could manage. It was so soothing, and it felt as screwed as it felt right to be touching this earnestly. Shamelessly, because agony is something that makes shame seem rather pointless after awhile, Sam cuddled into Lucifer.
Praying. Hoping. Forgiving. Singing. Breathing.