Summary: Sam has a relatively close call and realizes how things would be left between him and Dean if he were to die.
Setting: Season 9
Warnings: Mild language. Mild spoilers if you know what to look for.
References: 9.13, "The Purge" & 9.14, "Captives" - direct quotes used
Author's Note: Just a little brotherly fluff and, though I am enjoying Season 9, it's driving me crazy how the brothers are acting. I'm ready for them to fix their issues. So, I wrote this. Review please :)
"Can you two...get over it? The drama, the fighting...it's stupid."
Sam huffed and thrust his hands into his hair, ignoring the book he had been trying to read for the last freakin' day. His attempts had failed as Kevin's voice continued to echo in his head along with his own heartless words to his brother.
"If the situation were reversed and I was dying, you'd do the same thing," Dean had said.
"Same circumstances...I wouldn't."
He knew what he had meant with the words but had intentionally made sure Dean would only hear the horrible surface meaning. He knew he had every right to be pissed at Dean and they had always tried to hurt each other when they were mad. This though...this hadn't just been hurting Dean because he was mad. No, this had been intentional cruelty.
He had been cruel to Dean on purpose just to be cruel.
He buried his face in his hands. How could he have done that to Dean, to his big brother? To the person who had freakin' raised him? And after telling Dean they weren't brothers anymore!
There was a special place in Hell for people like him. Well, just him because surely there was no one else that would or could do what he did. They would have to make that place in Hell just for him.
"Same circumstances...I wouldn't."
"Can you two...get over it? The drama, the fighting...it's stupid."
He slammed the book shut, causing the table to shake and a couple books to topple off towering piles to the floor. Despite his OCD-ness that Dean used to always tease him about, he ignored the fallen books and stalked out of the library. He spotted Dean in his room from the corner of his eye and walked faster, nearly running by the time he had his coat and was out of the bunker.
He had no idea where he meant to go or what he meant to do, but that didn't stop him from walking. It was cool out but he didn't feel it, pulling his jacket around him out of habit more than anything. He wasn't really aware of entering the bar until he was being asked for his order.
He blinked at the young female bartender who was looking at him with a raised eyebrow.
"Well?" she said impatiently.
"Just a beer," he said, gesturing to the bottle on display behind her. She reached under the bar and put a beer in front of him then walked away.
Sam sat down with a sigh and stared at the bottle. He turned it absently to read the label to keep his mind occupied though it only worked for about two minutes. Done with the label, he turned to watching the liquid roll around inside instead. The action left his mind idle which meant it immediately went to his horrid behaviour, Dean, and their possibly broken forever relationship.
He was horrible. Yes, what Dean had done was terrible, tricking him into saying 'yes' to a psychotic Angel possessing him.
He didn't know Ezekiel—Gadreel, whatever—was psychotic, that voice that now sounded like a mix between Bobby and Kevin said.
He winced. It was true. Dean hadn't known that the Angel he was trusting shouldn't be trusted. If he was honest with himself, it was quite the parallel to when Sam had trusted a Demon that shouldn't have been trusted. And they had done it for the exact same reason: out of desperate need to save their brother.
He shoved the beer away and shook his head, staring down at the bar top. Again, he had every right to be mad at Dean and they both knew that. However, saying that Dean had saved him purely for himself, because he couldn't stand to be alone? How hypocritical was that? Because he was so much better at being alone than Dean?
He snorted to himself. He had turned to a Demon for help to use his own Demon powers that he had promised Dean he would never use and that turn had eventually led to the start of the Apocalypse. And he was accusing Dean of being unable to handle being alone, being without Sam?
Yeah, he was going back to Hell and that one special place for him would be the worst part of Hell in existence.
"You going to drink that?"
He looked up. The bartender had come back and was pointing at his untouched beer bottle. He shook his head and she shoved it under the bar again, irritated, before stalking off to the other end of the bar.
What had happened to them, to him and Dean? When had they come to this place where they said more hateful words than anything else? When had they come to this place where nearly every word they spoke caused a fight because all that was heard was anger, pain, and hatred?
Hatred...was that really a part of their relationship now? Did they hate each other? Did they hate parts of each other?
Did he hate Dean?
Hell no! His mind shouted and he physically jumped at his own thought.
He was pissed, their relationship was not the same, they had both said horrid things over the years, but there was absolutely no way he hated his big brother. He could never hate Dean, nothing could ever make him hate his brother. There's no way he'd ever feel anything less than pride, love, and occasional anger towards his brother.
So there was that...
Did that mean they could fix things?
He only knew how he felt. He didn't know how Dean felt. Well, not completely. He was sure there were parts of him that Dean hated but he couldn't find it in him to care. Dean was entitled to anything he felt after all he had been through, after all Sam was now subjecting him to.
He couldn't change what had been said and done but maybe they could move past it.
He let his head drop against his chest, shoving his hands into his hair again.
Somehow he sincerely doubted he could do anything to fix this. He had destroyed the only relationship he had left. He had destroyed the best relationship he had ever had. He had destroyed the only relationship that had always been a constant in his life.
He had destroyed the bond he had with his big brother.
Wow, he had some kind of evil talent. He had managed to break the bond between them when not even Angels, Demons, Leviathans, Michael, Lucifer, or other hunters had managed to do it.
He was unbelievable. And he was considering asking Dean to forgive and forget? Maybe not forgive but forget? Impossible. He could never ask that of Dean.
He was completely lost in his brooding and heart ache, so he didn't hear the brawl that had taken place in the bar behind him. He didn't hear breaking chairs or shattering pool cues. He didn't hear breaking bottles or even the shouts. However, he did hear the gunshot and felt the bullet that grazed his bicep.
He shouted in pain and looked at his arm to see it was already bleeding sluggishly. He stared at the wound, almost in wonder. He had nearly been shot. He was sitting in a bar, doing nothing but keeping to himself, and he had almost been shot. He was sitting in a bar and no one—Dean—had no idea where he was, and he had almost been shot.
Dean wouldn't have known until police or a hospital or a morgue had called him. He wouldn't have known his brother was dead. If it had taken long enough, Dean might have begun to think that Sam had walked out on him again. Dean wouldn't have known the truth. Dean wouldn't have known that Sam was sorry and wanted to fix things. He would have left Dean behind, would have left Dean thinking that he hated his big brother and didn't care if he died or not.
He shoved abruptly away from the bar and stumbled outside.
He had to get back. He had to get home. He had to get to Dean.
Dean had to know. Dean had to know that he didn't mean it the way he had made it sound. Dean had to know that he was mad, yes, but they could move on. Dean had to know that he wanted to move on. Dean had to know that he hadn't meant to sever their brotherhood. Dean had to know that he hadn't meant to become this hateful person that was purposely cruel to his brother. Dean had to know that he still needed his big brother. Dean had to know that he still loved his big brother more than anything else.
Dean had to know.
He burst into the bunker without even realizing he had made it back. He glanced over the railing into the computer control room before racing down the stairs when he didn't see Dean. He ran around the map and headed for the library, bedrooms, and kitchen. He stopped at Dean's room and moved on quickly, looking into the kitchen where he had fully expected his brother to be. He frowned when the kitchen was empty but didn't miss the light that was on in the oven, indicating something was inside being kept warm.
Looking around the large kitchen-combined-dining room to make sure he hadn't missed Dean in a corner or something, he walked over to the oven and pulled the door open a crack to see inside. He felt his eyes tear when he saw a plate full of food sitting on a pan. Dean had made dinner and, even though Sam was gone somewhere that Dean didn't know, he had made Sam some too and had ensured to keep it warm.
He closed the door and ran out of the kitchen. He had to find Dean.
Then he found him and he ground to a halt in the library's doorway. He found himself just staring at his brother. Dean was sitting at one of the huge tables, casually flipping through a thick book. He had one elbow propped on the table and had his head resting in his palm. He looked so relaxed, despite doing some kind of research.
Sam blinked against his burning eyes and rushed forward. He had to close this distance between them. He had to have his brother back. They were alone and neither of them could be alone. Being alone had never led to anything good for them. They had to be together again. They had to be brothers again. He needed his big brother.
He threw himself against Dean's back and the back of the chair, wrapping his arms tightly around Dean's neck and chest. He felt Dean jump at the sudden attack and he just tightened his hold, burying his face in Dean's shoulder. He wasn't aware that he had begun to shake as he tried not to sob on his brother's shoulder.
Dean, on the other hand, was completely floored and had no idea what was happening. He blinked and tried to determine why his brother was clinging to him. He frowned when he felt Sam begin to shake and quickly became concerned when his shoulder dampened, signalling his little brother was crying.
"Sam?" Dean said and finally moved his hands to rest on Sam's forearms around his chest. "Sam, what's going on?"
Sam said nothing and just hugged Dean tighter. He was sure he was cutting off his brother's oxygen supply but he couldn't let go.
Now Dean was really concerned. Sam had always been the more emotional and touchy-feely of the two of them, but not lately. Lately there had been the huge void between them especially after what Sam had said, both about not being brothers anymore and about not saving him. Dean pushed the thoughts away.
Something was wrong with his little brother and he would fix it, regardless of their massive issues.
He jumped when Sam choked loudly on a sob and clutched harder. He squeezed the arm beneath his hands.
"Sam, come on, dude, talk to me," Dean said. "You're kind of starting to freak me out."
"'M sorry...didn't mean it...can't let you...m'brother...m'sorry...m'sorry..."
"Sam," Dean said and tried to move. He wanted to get out of the chair and be able to face his brother. Sam made it difficult but not impossible. Dean was soon standing and now had Sam pressed as close to his chest as possible. Sam hadn't loosened his hold at all during the movement and now had his face in Dean's neck and his arms tight around Dean's neck and back.
"'M sorry," Sam said again and Dean frowned.
"Sammy, I can't help you if you don't tell me what's going on," Dean said. "Come on, Sammy, talk to me."
He had a hand resting on Sam's back and was slowly rubbing his little brother's spine. His other hand was on the back of Sam's neck in that age-old gesture of comfort. He had missed this, he mused as he waited for Sam to calm down or speak, or both. No, he had never been one for these chick flick moments, obviously, but he missed feeling like they were a possibility. It had been a while since he had felt close enough to his little brother to consider any kind of a chick flick moment.
He missed his baby brother.
"Sam?" he said again, quieter this time as he realized Sam seemed to have calmed slightly.
"Don't want you to think I hate you."
Dean blinked at the random statement. "What?"
"I don't hate you. Could never hate you," Sam said, still speaking into Dean's neck. "Didn't mean it the way it sounded. Made it sound that way on purpose but I didn't mean it. Didn't mean it."
"Didn't mean what, Sam?"
"I would save you, I would," Sam said, clutching Dean tighter, fisting his hands in the back of Dean's shirt. "Wouldn't have let you be possessed but I would've tried anything else. I would try to save you. I didn't mean it, I didn't."
"Okay, I think we need to take a breath here, Sam," Dean said. "We need to talk but you need to calm down."
Sam nodded and tried to obey. He tried to focus on Dean's breathing and heartbeat. He matched his breathing to Dean's and felt himself calm though his grip on his brother never lessened.
"Good?" Dean said and Sam nodded against his neck again. "Alright, let's sit, yeah?"
Sam let Dean move them around until he was placed in the chair next to the one Dean had been in. Dean finally forced him to remove his arms so he could take his own seat again. Sam just latched onto his wrists instead and watched his brother sit in front of him.
"Alright, Sam," Dean said, making Sam meet his eyes. "Talk. What was that all about?"
Sam swallowed and looked down at where he was holding onto Dean. "I-I was at a-a bar. There was a-a fight and someone had a gun."
Dean's eyes widened. "Were you shot?"
Sam shook his head. "Grazed. I thought...it made me think about-about us. If-if I had died, you'd be left thinking I hate you, that I wouldn't save you, that I didn't want to be brothers. I-I couldn't...I don't hate you, Dean, I don't."
"When I said what I did, that I wouldn't save you, I didn't mean it that way but I meant to make it sound that way. I'm mad, I am and I'm allowed to be, but that doesn't excuse what I said. I would save you, I will always try to save you. I-I wouldn't do exactly what you did with the Angel possession but I would try to save you. I'll always try everything to save you."
"I want to be brothers, I don't want to be just partners. I want to be brothers again. You're my brother, Dean, and I want you back. I want to fix this but I don't know if we can. I might have destroyed what we had. I never meant to! I never wanted it to get so bad. I-I want us to get past this and I'm so sorry that we probably can't. I'm sorry I'm the reason we can't go back. I'm sorry! I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry..."
"Sammy!" Sam went silent and looked at him sorrowfully, making Dean's heart twist. "I don't know where this is coming from but I want you to listen to me. Got it?"
"You're pissed at me and you're allowed to be. You can be mad at me the rest of your life. What I did was a dick move but I do not regret it. I regret the way it happened, that I thought I had to trick you into staying alive, into staying with me. Yeah, half my reasons were selfish but I like to think I'm allowed to be selfish when it comes to you. You're my little brother and I refuse to bury you.
"I know—now—that you don't hate me. I don't hate you either, for the record, because I'm sure you think I do. We've hurt each other a lot this past year, Sam. There was everything with Benny and Purgatory and now this. I've been starting to wonder if we even know how to be brothers anymore. It's been so long since I've felt like we were truly brothers. I miss it, to be honest, and I miss you.
"I want us to be brothers again too. I don't think anything here is too broken to repair. It's going to take a long time but I like to think we can move past this. You didn't destroying anything, Sam. We are both still here and we always have a chance. We will always be able to fix things. Nothing is beyond repair. To fix this, though, we have to be totally honest. We have to stop killing each other and ourselves with secrets."
"You think we can fix this?" Sam said quietly. "What I said..."
"Was also a dick move, like mine, but, dude, Kevin's right. This fighting is stupid. We need to get over it," Dean said. He moved his hands so he could hold Sam's rather than Sam holding his wrists. "Can we be honest? Can we be brothers again?"
Sam swallowed and a new wave of tears hit as he nodded. He tried to stop crying but it wasn't working. He soon found himself being pulled against Dean's chest and he held onto his brother.
"We'll be okay," Dean said, rubbing Sam's back and brushing through his hair. After a few minutes, Sam pulled away looking visibly calmer. "We're gonna be okay. We'll get past this. We'll be brothers again soon."
Sam nodded and finally took one of his hands to rub his eyes.
"Now," Dean said. "What was that about getting shot?"
Sam's lips twitched into a smile. "I didn't get shot, I almost got shot. It just grazed my arm."
Dean leaned forward and pushed Sam to turn to the side so he could see his arm. He pulled the torn material apart after pushing the jacket off.
"Damn deep graze, Sam," Dean said.
"It's okay," Sam said with a shrug.
"You're not allowed to say 'had worse'," Dean said and Sam raised an eyebrow in amusement. "Yeah, it's true but you're not allowed to say it."
Sam huffed a laugh. "Fine."
"Are you okay?" Dean asked and Sam looked up at him.
"I'm sorry again about what I said," Sam said. "I made sure you would understand it the way you did while actually meaning something else."
"We'll talk about it, Sam," Dean said. "We'll get it all out."
Sam nodded and then snorted, gaining a confused look from Dean. "I just used up my chick flick quota for the rest of the year, didn't I?"
"Dude, you've used it up for the rest of your life," Dean said and Sam laughed. "Now, let's go. You need to eat. Dinner's in the oven."
"Yeah, I saw that," Sam said and they both got up. Dean started to walk to the kitchen but stopped when he realized Sam wasn't following.
"Since I've used up my quota, can I toss one more thing in?" Sam said.
Dean gave a put-upon sigh and crossed his arms. "Go for it."
Sam walk up to him and hugged him tightly again, only this time he bent down so he could rest his head more against Dean's chest. "I love you," he whispered.
Dean felt warmth flood through him. He put an arm around the back of Sam's shoulders and lay one hand on his little brother's head. He tilted his head so he could bury his face in the shaggy hair. He was positive he had never once said these words, not even to his beloved baby brother.
"I love you, Sammy."
He smiled into Sam's hair. There should be a special place in Heaven for his little brother. He was a kind all his own.