The sun comes up again, filtering through the cracks in the padlocked cellar door. Sam doesn’t stir from his spot on the stairs where he’s apparently spent the night. He ignores the waves of pain from his injuries and stares at the sunbeams filling the cellar with a glow that makes him feel much warmer than he should.
It’s all because of Dean that the sun is even still up there, shining in the sky. The whole world warmed every single day by his brother’s sacrifice. It makes him smile to think of it, Dean is kind of the new version of Ra the Egyptian Sun God. What would Chuck have written in one of his books he wonders? He promises himself to call Dean that when he sees him next.
He loses more time staring at those sunbeams, the dust motes dancing through them in an endless twirl and feels the empty space inside where Dean is supposed to be. They give their lives over to cycles of sacrifice, death and rebirth and this is where it’s brought him? Tortured in a cellar by some British Men of Letter’s goon? Sam goes back to spacing out on the sunbeams, imagining finding his brother in the light, made of light, shining and whole and his to keep forever.
Sam comes back to himself with a start and mentally slaps himself awake. What would Dean do? He momentarily rallies at the thought, how would Dean McGyver his way out of this situation? He knows he’s already made his best pass at it yesterday with the faked suicide attempt. It had come so close to working too, if only he’d just killed her, Toni, whatever her name is. She deserved it, but he’d stopped himself, not out of compassion, but because he’d wanted to try and get more of the whole story out of her. Figure out what all this was really about, because what she’d told him didn’t make a bit of sense. If there was really a UK Men of Letters outfit, why hadn’t they made themselves known before this, or tried to help at some point?
Dean would have just killed her.
But Sam is not Dean, and even Dean isn’t Dean any more. Because Dean is dead. Dead and gone, out there alone in-the-Empty dead. Dean’s not coming to the rescue because he’s gone. He’s not lurking out there somewhere blaming Sam for being a freak like the awful hallucinations had reminded him. He’s not anything anymore but a memory.
He’s Sam’s and only Sam’s to remember. Keeping that memory alive is his only purpose he’s got left now. He’s going to have to hold on and figure out how to get out of this. Because there has to be someone left in the world that remembers who saved it.
And that someone is going to be him.
Sam flexes his hands, picturing how they had looked wrapped around Toni’s neck as he’d choked her. He should have twisted her delicate English neck and ended it right then and there. He’ll get another chance. He has to. And when he gets out, he’s going to sell a few of the antique books they don’t really need to keep in their library and get enough money together for a trip over the Pond to take out the rest of the “old men” as she’d called them. This deep current of revenge is all-too-familiar, but it’s comforting in a way, he knows this, he’s been this person before. He’s tried to stay away from it, but now it’s all he got left to work with. They should have known how dangerous that would make him.
But they don’t really know that Dean was everything to him, that he loves him more than life or death. Otherwise they would have used that during their lame torture session. He smiles to himself at the thought, they have no idea how much he loves Dean, in all the ways that word can mean. He’s been told they are soul-mates, but they are even more than that. Dean is his reason for carrying on and not giving up.
Sam pictures himself, flying alone in a plane to England to find the Men of Letters house. Imagines not having to hold Dean’s hand, or whisper in his ear to calm him down like he had the other two times they’d ever flown together. He imagines he’ll be able to read or study or maybe just sleep the whole way over there. But he can picture that at the apex of the plane’s journey, he’ll look out the window at the sun above the clouds, and feel closer to Dean. His brother that saved the sun for the whole world below.
Sam looks up at the camera on the ceiling through his hair and grins the savage grin he knows will be the scariest if Toni happens to be watching. She thinks she knows him, but she doesn’t what he’s done, or what he’s learned in the Cage, she has no idea how far he’ll go. But she’s going to find out.
“I’m proud of us, Sammy,” echoes in his mind’s ear. His brother’s blood-filled last words the last time he’d been rude enough to go and die. Sam holds onto the slippery memory by recounting each step he’d had to take while holding his brother’s quickly cooling body all the way back to the car. The long drive home with Dean laid out on the backseat, a blanket covering him, but not his face, never his face. He’d spent so much time looking over his shoulder at Dean’s face it was a wonder he hadn’t crashed the car.
“I’m proud of us too, Dean,” he says to the empty cellar. “I wish I’d told you that. I hope you knew I was. I think you did. But I swear I’ll tell you when I see you next, because I will see you. Either here somehow or out in the Empty.” He hopes there isn’t audio for Toni to hear his words, because those aren’t for her.
They’re for Dean.