|Help me stand
Author: Onari PM
Jess visions won't stop chasing Sam and he tries to deal with them by himself, and a bit too much of Tequila. Dean doesn't know how to help his brother, though maybe it's easier than he thinks. OneShot.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Angst/Drama - Words: 6,185 - Reviews: 64 - Favs: 77 - Follows: 6 - Published: 03-05-06 - Status: Complete - id: 2830590
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Hello everyone! This is my first fanfic and I know it's pretty bad, but I'd love if you could read it and, why not, review it so that I can improve! Oh, and you may have noticed English is not my first language (if only it was the second...at least), so sorry about any language mistakes. I hope you enjoy!
HELP ME STAND
He saw her constantly, everywhere. At first, she appeared only in his dreams, but now he also saw her when he was awake. And God… she was gorgeous, even more than he remembered. Usually she just stood where he could see her, wrapped in white silk, her golden locks waving in a gentle breeze, soft like lover's fingers. As Sam's own fingers had often played with her hair not so long ago.
There she was now, sitting across the table. Her head was slightly tilted, and her intense gaze was locked onto his. She wouldn't blink; not a single word would slip out of those full lips that used to drive him crazy.
"Talk to me, Jess." Sam whispered. "Please…"
But she didn't say anything and her expression remained chilling cold. Her eyes were like tiny blue beacons that sparkled in the gloomy bar and those piercing eyes never left Sam. Her accusatory look was enough to steal his balance, to take his breath away and leave him shaking in the middle of the day or the night.
Sam downed his shot of Tequila to fight the lump in his throat, and forced himself to focus on the laptop in front of him. The letters on the keyboard were blurring a little and he felt his fingers funny when he tried to type. Sam looked up a second, at the sound of Dean's voice. His brother was in a corner of the bar, playing pool with a gang of locals. Apparently, they were raising the bets, which meant that in half an hour or so, Dean would be back with his usual cocky smile and enough cash for the next two weeks. Sam had to make an effort to spot his older brother among the others, because now the bar was starting to blur as well. Only Jess' image appeared sharp and clear in his field of vision.
"I'm sorry." Sam said, his voice low, "I'm sorry I left. But he…he had said it aloud for the first time. That he needed me. And I…" Sam breathed in and avoided Jessica's eyes. "Forgive me. It was my fault"
His voice cracked and he downed another shot without thinking. He was starting to feel numb and, somehow, he hoped that the numbness would get to his brain soon and just switch it off. He couldn't deal with it anymore. He was too tired.
"Please Jess, just talk to me, say something. Please…Anything. I can't…I don't know what you want from me. If you just told me, I swear…" Sam begged.
But Jessica said nothing. Jessica did nothing. Her coldness reached him across the air and made Sam shiver. He was unable to meet her gaze, and it was getting suffocating. Instinctively, Sam looked for Dean, who was standing by the pool table. Dean didn't know anything about his visions of Jess and Sam wasn't sure he wanted to change that. If he told him what was going on, Dean might think that his geek brother had lost it –hell, right now Sam wouldn't trust his sanity either. Or worse, he would blame his freaky shinning thing and make it even scarier than it was already.
Only, now, he wanted to call him. Just call him and ask him to make it stop. He wanted to call him, because Jess was never around when Dean was. Immediately, Sam glanced at Jessica, full of remorse. Had he just wished that she, the love of his life, disappeared for good? Was he turning his back on her again?
Another shot. How many had he had, already? This time, even Jess' pristine image was starting to fade and her striking blue eyes, the green and red neon lights of the club and the crowd's voices were slurring all together in a sickening mix.
One more down.
Sam grabbed the edge of the table to steady himself on the chair and took a deep breath.
When he regained control of his senses, Jessica had vanished. Sam gasped and looked around, confused. Not seeing her was almost as painful as seeing her. One way or another, it was breaking his heart. He swallowed hard. Wasn't it too hot in there? He needed to get out and get some fresh air, so he tried to stand up.
The whole room started to spin and Sam's knees buckled. He reached out to try to lean on the table but he missed it by a couple of inches and fell back down on the edge of the chair. Involuntarily, he elbowed the bottle of Tequila and knocked it over the laptop.
"Shit!" Sam mumbled.
The screen went black and he took some paper napkins to dry the keyboard, but with the hurries he didn't notice that the bottle of Tequila was still rolling over the table, and when it fell, the loud crash against the floor made him jump.
"What the hell…?" Dean's voice right behind him startled Sam, "What are you doing?"
"I, uh…I didn't mean to…" His younger brother apologized.
Dean took some napkins himself and pushed Sam aside to wipe the keyboard.
"Dammit, Sam! Tell me you didn't spill a drink on the most expensive tool we have." Dean yelled.
Sam grumbled something unintelligible; his cheeks felt as if they were on fire. Hazy and ashamed, it was all he could do to keep it together and Dean's angered voice pounding inside his head wasn't helping at all. His tone was so similar to his father's that he had the feeling that if he looked up just now he would find John's face staring back at him, instead of Dean's. And so, he just buried his head in his hands and pressed his thumbs against his temples to fight the uneasiness that being scolded by his father had always caused in him. Besides, he couldn't really make out Dean's words anymore, because they were slurring and mixing all together.
Dean, however, didn't seem to notice his brother's discomfort and kept on and on…
"Shut up." Sam said tersely.
Dean glared at his brother, wide-eyed and open-mouthed.
"What did you just say?" The older asked, with a dangerous edge in his voice.
"You heard me."
For a moment, it seemed that Dean would punch Sam. Or that he'd yell his throat out at him. At least, that was what Sam was expecting him to do –almost hoping he would do. But Dean froze before making up his mind between the two options, forgot about his useless attempt to recover the laptop and observed his brother warily.
"Are you…drunk?" Dean asked, honestly puzzled.
Sam snorted and looked away. Dean wasn't really expecting an answer, was he? And he was too tired to apologize right now, anyway. It was bad enough to disappoint him. By Sam, Dean's face shifted from anger to surprise, then went slightly amused, and finally a bit concerned.
"Jesus, Sam. What were you thinking?"
Sam took a deep breath and struggled to get to his feet, without meeting Dean's gaze.
"I wasn't thinking, genius"
Dean ignored Sam's annoying attempt to provoke him and made a step towards his little brother.
"Where are you going?
"Nah, kiddo." Dean shook his head. "I'm afraid party time is over."
He tried to help Sam but his younger brother shove him off.
"I can walk!" Sam protested.
Dean raised his hands as surrender and murmured a soft "Alright", as Sam finally managed to walk past him towards the door. Dean frowned and tracked his brother's staggering pace, now genuinely worried. It was so not like Sam to get wasted that the whole situation had caught him by surprise. He took the laptop, paid for the drinks and followed Sam to the parking lot, giving him some space but at the same time keeping himself close enough to catch him if he stumbled.
The night's cold air was like a slap on the face and the younger Winchester's head began to pound mercilessly. He closed his eyes to keep the world from spinning too fast, but it didn't help much. Where was the Impala? Ah, there it was.
And there she was. Sam froze and rubbed his eyes. Jessica didn't move; she remained still against the passenger's door with her graceful arms hanging flaccid by her sides. Their eyes met. Sam stepped back and gave a pained moan. His head was clouded and he searched something to hold onto; finally, he ended up bending against the hood of a dusty red Range Rover. At once, Dean was by his side and grabbed his arm.
"Go away." Sam said weakly.
"Easy, dude, I'm just trying to…"
"So this is how you punish me? By not talking to me?"
"What are you talking about?"
"Leave me alone! GO AWAY!"
"Sam!" Dean shouted, forcing his brother to turn around and face him.
Sam gasped and his whole body shuddered as if he had suddenly woken up from a nasty nightmare. Dean noticed that his eyes weren't focused and he had the certainty that Sam was about to collapse, any minute now. But still, Sam pushed Dean away and stumbled backwards, out of his reach.
"What's wrong with you?" Dean asked, upset. Sam was a mess, and he was a mess too because if there was anything he hated more than ghosts, spirits and the rest of monsters they fought, it was feeling helpless about anything concerning his little brother.
Sam raised a trembling hand to keep Dean from coming any closer and tossed a look towards the Impala. Jess was nowhere to be seen.
"I think I'm gonna be sick…"
The young hunter fell on his knees and retched with a strangled sob. Dean hesitated, internally fighting the urge to go to his brother. Sam had made clear he didn't want Dean to baby him in that very moment and, to be fair, he couldn't blame the kid, because probably he would do just the same if Sam tried to baby him. But still… Something serious was going on with Sam: that was obvious even for someone as dull in dealing with emotional wrecks as Dean was. He shouldn't have yelled at him inside. Sam was probably mad at him now, and that was why he wasn't letting him help. Damn, damn, damn…
Calm down, Dean. He's just sick. Too much Tequila, not a big deal. Give him a minute and then take him to the motel. Tomorrow, you'll kick his ass!
Sam arched painfully with a last heave; his cheeks were wet with tears due to the effort. He had emptied his stomach on the ground, until there was nothing else left to throw up. The younger Winchester sat with his back against the Range Rover and gave a weary sigh. Every single muscle of his body ached as if he had been run over by a million tones truck. He wasn't feeling any better either —weren't people supposed to feel relieved after throwing up?
"Sam," Dean spoke, after giving his brother a moment to collect himself.
Sam wiped the tears of his eyes, hating the fact that his hand didn't stop shaking.
"I'm fine." Sam insisted.
And as if he wanted to prove it, he scrambled to his feet and looked at Dean in the eye with a combination of stubbornness and vertigo.
"Yeah, sure." Dean answered.
There was no sarcasm in his voice. He really didn't want to pick a fight with Sam, because that was the last thing his brother needed right now. He was stubborn, so what? Let him be. After all, that was what his father had taught them since childhood: be strong, do not show your weakness. John Winchester had carefully drilled that into his children's brain and, especially, he had convinced Dean long ago that he had to be tough with Sam to make him strong. Dean had believed John and he had come to hate his own vulnerability, so day by day he made sure no one could tell if he was hurt, confused or scared. So far, he was doing pretty well with that, he even started to believe it himself. The thing was, there was something in the way his brother shut himself from him and tried hard to keep up with their father's "do not let your emotions get in the way" philosophy that felt incredibly wrong. For the first time in his life, the thought crossed Dean's mind that his father may not always be right.
"It's getting late and it's freezing," said Dean as casually as he could, "I don't know about you, but I'm going back to the motel."
Sam looked down and swallowed. The Impala was only a couple of cars away and Dean started his way to the driver's door, keeping an eye on Sam.
"So, are you coming or what?"
Sam nodded lightly and followed Dean, swaying a little. Apparently, Dean had accepted to let him do his own thing, but Sam noticed that his brother walked slower than usual and allowed him to catch up. This way, both got in the car almost at the same time. Dean reached for something beneath his seat and, after a while of rummaging around, he took out a bottle of water and passed it over to Sam. The younger brother seemed a bit surprised at first, but accepted it and took a good swig.
Dean shrugged, with his eyes already on the road as he turned the engine on.
"Hey," He ordered, "Fasten your seatbelt there."
A minute later, they were headed to the motel. This time, Dean didn't turn the music on, and Sam appreciated it. He leaned his forehead against the window's glass and sighed, letting his eyelids drop. Dean kept shooting glances at Sam, internally wishing his brother didn't fall asleep on him before getting to the motel, because he seriously doubted he would be able to carry him inside without waking him up, and that was something he would hate to do, since during the last months he had learnt to treasure Sam's sleep more than anything.
Sam didn't fall asleep, although he didn't say a word or moved a muscle during the drive back. When they arrived to the motel, Sam blinked slowly, with a sad, serene look, opened the door and got off the car. However, a wave of dizziness forced him to sit again. Dean stopped mid-gesture, ready to go to Sam the second his brother made the slightest signal showing that he wanted him to. But Sam didn't do anything close to that and, after a minute, he followed Dean into the room. Once inside, Dean sat on his bed, stretched and let out a tired groan.
"My particular shining tells me there's a wild frat boy who's gonna have the queen of all hangovers tomorrow...If I were him, I'd put myself to bed right away." Dean suggested playfully.
Sam didn't protest. Knowing Dean, he had to be making a hell of an effort to keep a light mood on the whole thing.
"Yeah. In a minute." He answered.
Sam went to the bathroom and closed the door behind him. The white light glistening over dozens of white tiles made him a bit light-headed as he walked to the sink and turned the faucet on. He stared at his own reflection on the mirror as the water slipped though his fingers. He looked terrible: pale, sweaty, exhausted both physically and emotionally. Sam bent over the sink with his elbows on the marble and washed his face, gulping some water in the process. The cool water felt good on his heated skin and, for a second, the thought of letting himself drown crossed his mind.
Sam raised his head slowly to make sure he was able to keep dizziness under control. His face shone with dozens of water drops trickling as little pearls down his skin, eyelashes and honey brown bangs. He took a deep breath and steadied himself before stealing a last glance at the mirror. And when he did, his heart froze inside his chest.
Jess was there, right behind Sam. The younger Winchester bit his lip and shut his eyes.
"She's not real." He said to himself.
But then, maybe she was. Painfully as it was, he among all people couldn't rule out the possibility that maybe it wasn't simply remorse that caused these visions.
Sam opened his eyes but kept his gaze low, unwilling to find Jess' usual unreadable expression. It took a moment for him to brace himself until he felt ready to turn around and face her. His throat tightened. Her vacant expression had changed into a heartbreaking sadness; her cold accusatory eyes were now in tears and her full lips once so tempting and lately so pale were half open and trembled uncontrollably.
Sam's knees buckled and he leaned against the tiled wall, trying to catch his breath. Before he could control them, fresh tears mixed with water rolled down his cheeks. He made an insecure step towards her, but Jessica didn't let him come closer and stepped back, which made Sam stop as if he had been struck by something heavy. He wanted to say something, but his mind had gone blank. Suddenly, a bright tear rolled down Jess' cheek and she shook with a sob.
"Jess?" Sam cried, his heart shattering in hundreds of pieces. "Baby, I…"
Jess glared at him thought her tears and Sam held his tongue. Everything was happening in a haze, the world around the edges of Sam's vision darkened, blended and disappeared. Only Jess stayed, in front of him, with a devastated look that was making all his walls crumble. And then she spoke, with a quivering voice.
"I loved you, Sam," she cried, "I loved you!"
She started to fade away. Sam moved forwards to reach her, but his hands grasped nothing but air.
"No!" Sam exclaimed.
Her hurt good-bye look got engraved on Sam's memory as if it had been branded. Then the emptiness of the room jolted and swirled around Sam making his head spin. Jess was gone…and Sam couldn't breath, let alone thinking about breathing. Actually, he didn't realize he lacked oxygen until white spots distorted his vision and he felt himself slumping to the floor with his back against the wall.
Dean's eyes followed his brother as he went into the bathroom and, when Sam closed the door, the older Winchester rolled on the bed and lay on his back, staring at the ceiling. He heard the echo of the water running inside the bathroom and sighed, still perplexed at the events of the night. Although he tried to relax, he was unconsciously holding his breath because if Sam made any noise he didn't want to miss it. The time passed. How long was he planning to be in there?
For Christ sake, you're acting like a suspicious wife. Leave him alone, it's been no longer than four or five minutes.
Another minute passed. One more minute of water running and running thoughts.
Maybe I should go and check on him…just to make sure he's okay.
Dean bit his lip trying hard to keep his protective instincts at bay.
Of course he's not "okay", asshole, he's fucking wasted. Nothing to be much worried about anyway, he'll be better by morning. C'mon, it's not as if you had never seen him drunk.
Indeed, although Sam drank very rarely, Dean could remember a handful of good drunken nights back when they were growing up. In his first, of course, he was initiated by his older brother, as everyone who has read the secret book of How to be a Cool Big Brother knows it should happen. How old was Sam then? Sixteen? Yeah, they had fun that night, Dean remembered with a silent chuckle. They had gone to a club together (the younger with his first handmade fake ID –ah, if their father had known how useful his lessons were) and they had a good laugh over too many beers. Later that night, Dean practically had to carry Sam home, because the kid couldn't even stand by himself. John had been furious. Especially at Dean.
If Dad was here, he'd lock him in the bathroom to make him learn the lesson.
After that, he had only seen Sam really drunk once, twice…three times at most, but never sick. After a couple of beers Sam would feel talkative (after a third, he would stop making sense, though), act funny or simply get sleepy.
Anyhow, during the last months since they had left Stanford, Sam had behaved as a perfect abstemious. In fact, he used to give Dean dirty looks whenever he had more of two beers (and Dean used to ignore them just as well, if he wasn't planning to drive). Anyhow, one thing was for sure, Sam had never got drunk in the middle of a job. And more important, he'd never looked so broken. Not like this.
Suddenly Dean realized he couldn't care less about what their father would have done or not. Their father wasn't there. Yes, maybe there was nothing to worry about, perhaps he should give Sam some space…That would be the most mature thing to do, right? But something was wrong, this time was different. Sammy was hurting. Shit, Sammy was all alone in the bathroom.
What the hell were you thinking?
Dean was up and in front of the door in a heartbeat.
"Sam?" He knocked on the door. "Hey, you okay?" No answer. "C'mon, Sammy, you haven't passed out, have you?" Still, no answer. All right, now he was officially worried. "Look, I'm coming in."
Dean opened the door slowly and peeked into the bathroom. He didn't see his brother right away, because he wasn't in front of the mirror as the sound of the water had made Dean expect. Instead, he located Sam slumped wretchedly on the floor, next to the sink, with his arms around his knees and his face buried in them. Dean made a hesitant step forward. Maybe that wasn't such a good idea, after all. Somehow, it was like intruding into a very private moment of his brother, and during the last hour Sam had made clear that he wanted Dean to back off.
"Sam," Dean called, to let his brother know that he was there as he approached the faucet and turned it off.
Sam stirred and clasped his fists tighter. Dean swallowed a relieved sigh: at least Sam hadn't passed out. At the same time, he couldn't help but feeling a pang of bitterness towards him. Was it so difficult to answer back when he had called him from the door? He could have saved himself a good five seconds of anguish.
Inch by inch, Sam raised his eyes up to his brother.
"Dean?" He said weakly.
The second their eyes met, Dean felt his heart constricting, and any remains of anger or reluctance vanished as if by magic. Sam looked so lost, just like a little boy, and his voice sounded younger than ever.
"Hey, buddy" Dean's voice came out softer than he had expected. Softer than he believed to be possible, to say the truth. He crouched in front of his bother and smiled to him. "World's still spinning around here, huh?"
Sam looked down, sheepishly. Dean placed a hand on Sam's knee and gave it a gentle squeeze, glad that his brother didn't push him away.
"I'm sorry." Sam's voice broke.
"For what?" Dean joked, "Getting wasted in the middle of a job, damaging your beloved laptop or knowing that you're going to be grounded until you grow bear, young man?"
His attempt at humour was lost on Sam, who didn't laugh, not even smiled. Instead, he looked away deeply ashamed. Dean bit his tongue, angry at himself and his usual lack of tact.
"Don't be silly, Sammy" Dean whispered reassuringly. "It's alright."
Again, he gave Sam's knee a little squeeze and stood up to offer his hand. The younger Winchester accepted it a moment later, and their hands found each other's wrists.
"On your feet." Dean encouraged Sam, as he pulled his brother up.
Sam let his brother help him up, but as soon as he regained verticality, the world swayed and he stumbled forwards.
"Whoa, easy now." Dean whispered, steadying Sam by the elbows as the latter landed practically in his arms and leaned against his shoulder. He gave Sam a couple of seconds to regain his balance and then pushed him gently to straighten him up.
Sam wrapped his arms around his brother and Dean felt how much he was shaking as his little brother gripped his top tightly.
"Please, just this time. Just a moment…Please." Sam implored.
Dean's heart pounded hard against his chest and the knot in his stomach became physically painful. Was Sam begging him not to push him away? But why would he think that Dean would push him away when he needed him?
His baby brother was asking him to let him be weak and he was genuinely scared that Dean would despise him for it. He hadn't realized that things were so fucked up between them, and they sure as hell must be, if Sam believed that Dean had become such an insensitive bastard.
You let him believe that.
No, he didn't... Did he? Alright, Dean was not the sharing-caring type, but Sam should know that he was there for him…Right? He had to know that.
"It's alright." Dean whispered, forcing his voice to sound steady.
He put his arms around his brother and held him. Sam stiffened at first, and Dean had a guess that Sam hadn't seen it coming. Most likely, he had expected Dean to resign himself to "be hugged" by his whining brother for a short while, before forcing him to collect himself. Yeah, that would have been very much like him, wouldn't it? But that wasn't going to happen.
"It's alright." He repeated.
Sam's held him tighter and Dean guided his brother's head to rest against the crook of his neck. The moment Sam buried his face in his brother's warm skin, he broke down. At a complete loss, Dean responded the only way he could think of: by tightening his own hug to prevent Sam from falling.
"Oh, God, I'm so sorry." Sam cried.
His tears were warm and stung like little needles. His uneven breath turned into shallow intakes and he clung to Dean with such strength that Dean could hardly breathe himself. The older Winchester was overwhelmed. Sam wasn't simply hanging on to him, it seemed like he was trying to merge with Dean, to nestle inside of him and disappear.
Dean winced, because Sam wasn't only grasping his shirt while he sobbed his heart out, but his flesh too. Still, he pressed his brother's shaking body roughly against his chest with his left arm protectively wrapped around Sam's back and his right securely placed on the back of his brother's neck, massaging the tense muscles there with his fingertips. He rested his cheek on Sam's hair and rocked his head while hushing soothing sounds into his ear. He was aware such a tender behaviour wasn't like him, but he was equally aware that Sam was leaning into the touch. It made him feel weird, but also a bit warm. Especially it rendered him willing to do anything to give his little brother the comfort he so desperately needed.
It took a long time, but finally Sam's ragged sobs subsided and the younger Winchester started to synchronize his breathing with Dean's. Gradually, Sam loosened his hold, as part of his former angst faded, but he kept hanging onto his brother, who wouldn't let him go either. Since Sam seemed more composed, though, Dean allowed himself to hug him in a gentler way and stroked Sam's hair distractedly with one hand, while he rubbed his brother's shoulder with the other. Sam sighed and his muscles relaxed. His body grew heavier in Dean's arms. Another sigh, this time quieter, and Dean found himself closing his eyes, as Sam's signs of relief washed over his frayed nerves too.
Then Dean did something he hadn't planned. Something that just came out of him and he hadn't done for years. He brought his lips to Sam's temple and placed a soft kiss on his brother's silky hair. He felt Sam swallowing and then his little brother gave him a little squeeze as an answer.
"Any better?" Dean whispered.
"Yeah," Sam muttered, his voice hoarse.
Dean smiled and they held each other for a few minutes longer, until Sam's body language let his brother know he was ready to let go. Dean gave him a little last pat and then released him.
"Don't, okay? I mean it, don't apologize."
Sam nodded, but avoided eye contact. Dean took a deep breath. His steadying hands were still on Sam's shoulders, and he squeezed them gently to coax Sam to meet his eyes, which the younger reluctantly did.
"Sam," Dean started gravely, "What is it?"
"I'm fine." Sam protested.
Dean snorted and let his hands fall, in a clear sign of helplessness. Of course, Sam was aware of how ridiculous that sounded, but he didn't expect Dean to believe it. Only to leave it. Dean swallowed down the bitterness of knowing that Sam had been hiding those tears from him and even now that they had finally been shed, he wouldn't explain where they had come from.
Distressed, he paced the bathroom, wondering when this had all started. When had his baby brother stopped looking up to him for comfort? When had he stopped trusting him to fix things up? When had he decided to shut himself off from Dean rather than letting him in?
At the Benders', Sam had proved he could take care of himself; in fact, he had rescued Dean and not the other way around. And he had also had to see him on the verge of death when he was electrocuted. Sam had saved his life not once but many times before that, since Dean had dragged him out of Stanford. Dean had to admit he had been weak there, he had not only preferred Sam to go with him but needed him to, and maybe his Sammy had grown smart enough to notice the difference.
No wonder his superhero aura was gone.
Maybe it had started earlier. He remembered now the look –this same look- on his 7 years old brother's face the first night Dean had obeyed his father's orders and sent Sammy back to his room after a nightmare, instead of letting him climb to his bed. After that, Sam hadn't mentioned any night terrors again and Dean thought they had stopped. He had never thought that Sam might be actually hiding them, but…that was Sam.
That's the Sam you've created.
He didn't want things to be like this. He really didn't. He turned around and looked at Sam, who was sitting down on the closed lid of the toilet, with a troubled expression. Dean frowned at the realization that Sam expected him to be angry and he was certainly mistaking his frustration for anger, so he forced himself to calm down and went to him.
"Sam, please." Dean started. And it was Sam's subtle change of expression that made him realize that his own voice had broken. He didn't care, though. Not this time. "Please, you've got to talk to me. I can't…" He was pleading now, looking intently into Sam's eyes, "I can't fix it if you don't tell me what's wrong."
Sam's face softened. He wasn't being fair with Dean, and he knew it, but Jess's visions, the nightmares, all of that was his burden, not his brother's.
"You can't fix everything." Sam said softly. "And that's okay, I don't expect you to."
Dean shook his head, looking hurt and upset. Sam wasn't giving in, he wasn't giving him the slightest chance. He felt the sudden need to take a swing at the wall or smash the first thing at hand. Only a miraculous effort of willpower and self-control saved the soap bar to end up in the far corner of the bathroom.
"You could let me try!" Dean finally spoke with a trembling voice, "I dunno… I'm still your big brother, right? I- I could help."
"You're here." Sam said earnestly. "That helps."
Dean clicked his tongue and averted his eyes, looking defeated.
Bullshit. It is me who needs you. It's you being here that makes everything alright.
"Dean, I mean it. It does." Sam repeated.
Dean sighed and eyed his brother. He wouldn't let the conversation turn into a "making Dean feel better about himself" moment. He still thought that Sam needed to talk, but regardless of whether he liked it or not, Sam was free to keep whatever that was bothering him to himself as long as he wanted. The other thing Sam desperately needed was resting, and that Dean could take care of. There, then, there was something he could do to help.
"Yeah, well, whatever." Dean shrugged, and forced a smile back on his face.
Sam frowned; it was obvious that Dean didn't believe him, which by the way annoyed his younger brother more than can be said, because he had meant every single syllable of those words. But before he could insist, Dean spoke again.
"Anyway, Sammy, you look like shit, and I'm definitely not carrying your heavy ass to bed, so what about we get you some sleep before you faint to the floor?"
Sam blinked, taken aback by Dean's sudden change of subject. Then, his lips curved in a lopsided smile.
"It's Sam, you know?"
"Well of course it is, big boy." Dean mocked. "But you're still a lousy drinker, if you ask me."
Sam chuckled and rolled his eyes. After all, Dean was right and he was feeling absolutely worn out.
Dean walked to him, no more words needed, and helped him stand. Sam leaned on his brother's shoulder for support, as Dean put his arm around his waist.
Sam nodded and they started their way to the door, one step at a time, holding onto each other. Before leaving the bathroom, Sam looked back, to the last spot where Jess had stood a while before.
"Hey, you still with me?" Dean asked, noticing the change on his brother pace.
"Yeah." Sam breathed.
The younger hunter turned ahead and flashed a smile at the affectionate look Dean welcomed him back with. He knew his big brother was supporting almost all of his weight and the words "I'm sorry" came to his lips. But there they died, because there was a more pressing thing he needed Dean to know. And the best way to convey it was as simpler word.
"Thanks." Sam said, giving Dean's shoulder a soft shake.
Dean pulled his younger brother's body a bit closer as a response. For some reason, that felt good enough. Maybe Sam hadn't lied after all.
"Don't mention it."
So, what do you think?