A/N- I'm back (well…sorta…)! I know it's seemed as if I've disappeared off the face of Planet Earth, but I promise you, I haven't. Life has just been once hectic struggle after another these last couple of months, I finally got a new job a few months ago, but by the end of every day and week, it's left me completely drained and wanting to do nothing except to crash. Plus, I'm moving again at the end of May and there's so much to do in between now and then that, truthfully, writing hasn't exactly been on my to-do list lately; but that doesn't mean I've abandoned my current unfinished stories (specifically "Trapped in This Memory"), I have no intention of quitting them. It's just taking me a while to get back on my feet and there's so much more important things on my plate at the moment. But I've had multiple one-shot story ideas floating around in my head for a few months now, so I figured I'd finally put this one down in writing before I forget it!
A/N2- Fair warning though, this is a death fic, so don't like, don't read. More specifically, this is a suicide fic and I know that can be a touchy topic for some folks. So I'm just putting this out there in advance.
A/N3- This story was originally written and saved as a one-shot, but as I began writing, it became much longer and more complex then I had set out for it to be. This is, however, completed, but I am posting it in separate chapters; that way, the length of the story won't be so long it will take forever to read.
Author Dedication: Also, I would like to take the time to dedicate this story to my lovely friend, LilyBolt… You, my friend, are amazing! I've enjoyed every chat we've had, every gmail conversation! You're a great friend! *tackles you and hugs you tightly* I'm so excited for June! Remember, look for the sign of the "blood-sucking, singing ferret "! *wink*
Summary: What happens if more was said between Sam and Dean at the end of episode 9x13? Sam never expected his brother to react the way he did, but once more hurtful words are spoken between them, there's no taking them back. With the Winchesters each believing completely different things about the other, and the lack of real communication, it's only a matter of time before one of them commits an act that can never be repaired. Suicide fic.
Something You Can't Replace
Written by: Erin
"If the situations were reversed and I was dying, you'd do the same thing."
Dean Winchester was still looking straight at his little brother as the words escaped his mouth, never moving from his spot in the kitchen. His green eyes were intense as he watched a mixture of different emotions play out over Sam's face. There was no question in his mind that what he said was the truth; yes, he should never had lied to his brother in the first place; yes, he was wrong to cram an angel into Sammy without his consent – and more importantly, without his knowledge – and Kevin had died because of those decisions…and the older Winchester knew full well that he would burn for what he had done to the young Prophet.
Kevin did not deserve what had happened to him. He deserved to be alive and well; he had his entire life ahead of him before it was snuffed out in the blink of an eye. He deserved to be reunited with his mother – wherever she may be – and live the life he was supposed to live before fate snuck in and transformed him into a Prophet of the Lord. He deserved all that and more.
What he didn't deserve was to have his eyes burned out of his skull and to have his brains fried.
But Sammy was dying. He was dying. Was Dean supposed to have just stood by and allowed Death – the real Death – to come and personally take his brother from his life? Was Dean supposed to just sit back and watch the life drain from his brother when he had all the power to stop it…even if Sam himself wanted to die?
Because that wasn't Dean Winchester. That wasn't him.
Saving Sam, protecting Sam…that was his job. It was who he was and who he always would be, until the day he drew his last breath.
Did his choices over the last couple of months make him selfish? Okay, maybe so; after all, as it had said when he had tricked his brother into letting Gadreel in, there was no Dean if there was no Sam. And that was the God's honest truth. Even if it was the angel and not Dean who had spoken those words to his brother, everything he had said to convince Sam to live was the God's honest truth.
And Dean would gladly accept responsibility for being selfish if it meant his brother was alive.
Of course, he never expected the angel to completely betray them by killing Kevin Tran and then hijacking Sam's body; he never expected to find the angel was now working with Metatron. And he most certainly did not expected to suddenly lose his little brother's trust…but at the same time, if he had to do all of this over again, he would still make the same choice, despite the consequences.
He would still shove that angel inside of him all over again despite what his little brother requested and he wasn't sorry for that; and he never would be.
Because Sam was alive.
He was breathing.
He was healthy.
Sam could be pissed off at him as much as he wanted, he could kick and scream as much as he wanted, but that didn't change the fact the most important person in Dean's life was still here, in this very kitchen with him.
And there was no doubt in Dean's mind that if the tables were turned, and Sam was forced to choose between letting him die and shoving an angel inside of him, he would choose the latter.
Because that's what Winchesters did. They made sacrifices for each other.
Just as Dean had said back in that church, there was nothing past or present that he would put in front of Sam; and that included making the choice for his little brother if he was choosing to make the wrong one. Yes, he was taking Sam's choice away from him, but Sam would have done the same thing-
"No, Dean. I wouldn't."
Dean jerked as if he had been slapped across the face; his eyebrows furrowed in confusion and a frown formed on his lips. He couldn't have heard this correctly; there was no way he could have heard Sam – his Sam – say that. It wasn't possible. What did his brother mean that he "wouldn't"? They had always sacrificed their lives, their safety, the entire world, for each other, and now-
What the hell?
"Same circumstances, I wouldn't." Sam lifted his head and met Dean's eyes from where the older brother was still standing near the counter. He blinked his hazel eyes rapidly to try and force back the moisture that was building up; he refused to cry in front of his brother right now.
And from the look of complete and utter betrayal that was currently on Dean's face, Sam knew he was making the right decision to hold back his emotions until he was back in the safe confines of his bedroom. An awkward silence fell over the kitchen as the youngest Winchester finally lowered his eyes away from his brother's, not having the strength and courage to meet Dean's gaze any further.
He was strong; but right now, he wasn't that strong.
He knew the words that he had just spoken – words that just a few years ago he would never even consider uttering – had pierced his brother's heart and shattered his soul; it was apparent just from the devastated look on Dean's face. He knew the words hurt like a bitch and he wasn't the type of person to deliberately speak hurtful things to his only family – his big brother, his best friend – and cause them pain.
But there was no denying it this time.
Sam was hurt. He had been hurting for years, but this current stunt Dean had pulled…this betrayal of his trust and having his choice and consent being taken away from him yet again...There was no other choice this time around. He and Dean had spent a good portion of their lives lying to each other, betraying each other and hiding things from each other; and none of it was good for either of them, especially in the long run.
And Sam could deny the fact that Dean had broken and shattered his trust this time around; and the younger brother couldn't just sit by and allow it to happen…much less let Dean get away with it and attempt to make him feel guilty for being angry. This wasn't like that time over two years ago when his brother had killed his friend Amy and lied to him about it.
Although he had let it go, despite not completely forgiving his brother for the act, Sam had chosen to be the one to apologize that day. He had chosen to own up to being wrong when he knew that Dean owed him an apology himself.
But his relationship with his older brother was more important to him then anything and although the wound had been re-opened again when Benny had come into the picture, Sam had once again chosen to let it go in the long run.
But not this.
This was a direct, personal violation on his own body; one that Dean knew full well about. Dean knew full well what his wishes were; he had seen his conversation with Death and had heard every word that Sam had spoken…and yet had still chosen to take the decision away from him even after everything.
After Azazel, Meg, Lucifer, Ruby, the demon blood…even Becky and the love potion a few years back.
Even after all of that, Dean had still chose to make that decision for him and refused to apologize for it, but instead, claimed that he would do it all over again if it was necessary. And that wasn't something Sam could handle. Blinking back tears from his eyes as he started to lift his head again, Sam felt his heart crumble as he cleared his throat and whispered,
"I'm heading to bed."
Meeting his brother's eyes only briefly before lowering his head again, Sam pushed himself up from the table and turned towards the door. He had just made his way to the doorway when Dean's voice stopped him in his tracks.
"So I guess that's why you didn't bother to look for me when I went to Purgatory, huh, Sammy?"
If the younger Winchester's heart wasn't already in shattered pieces on the floor of the bunker, it was now as he listened to every word his brother spoke right then. With a heavy heart, all the while still forcing himself to not cry right there in the kitchen, Sam slowly turned back around and flinched at the look on Dean's face.
It was filled with betrayal, hurt and a deep, deep anger that Sam hadn't seen since his big brother had held him at gunpoint well over a year ago shortly after he had returned from Purgatory with a grudge a mile wide directed only at him. It was that same look…only this time, Dean wasn't being possessed by the spector; he was saying it on his own free will.
"I'll bet you probably said 'Fuck you, Dean; I don't need you or want you anyways.' I'm right, aren't I, Sammy?" Sam's nickname that Dean was only allowed to use slipped from his tongue, only this time it wasn't filled with love or fondness; it was filled with mockery and near hatred.
The minute the words escaped Dean's mouth, he knew he was going to regret it eventually; he knew that once they were spoken, he couldn't take them back. He knew that he was going to be hurting his little brother…was already hurting his little brother. The look on Sam's face was a mirror duplicate to how he looked all those months ago back in the church when he was confessing to Dean what his "greatest sin" was and had let loose so many of his pent up emotions that it took the older brother's breath away. Right now, that look was back – only minus the tears, but Dean could tell Sam was trying with everything in him to hold them all back; it was evident even with the distance between them.
But Sam had hurt him with the words he had spoken – he had pretty much disowned him, no longer considered him his brother and didn't trust him, plus to make matters worse, refused to save Dean's life if the situations were reversed – and even if Dean didn't want to admit it to himself or to his brother, he was still hurt from Sam not bothering to look for him; it was still a sore spot to him and right now, the older brother didn't really care that he was throwing this back in Sam's face.
Even if he was repeating some of that "junk" that he had admitted to saying to Sam back in that church.
Sam needed to hear it; he was going to hear it.
"That's it, isn't it, Sam?" Dean sneered, meeting his brother's eyes as he took a step closer,
"That's why you didn't bother, right?" With a snort, he shook his head,
"You really hate me that much? After all I've done for you, after all I've sacrificed for you – for our family…and this is how you repay me? You've never changed at all, have you? You're still the same selfish son of a bitch who ditched his family for Stanford, aren't you? Why aren't I surprised, Sammy?"
The words pierced through the shattered remains of Sam's soul as the younger brother never bothered to say a word to defend himself; he deserved Dean's anger after what he had spoken to him that night. But that didn't make it hurt any less, especially since he had heard these words come from his brother's mouth more times then he cared to remember and with each word, it was like an arrow through his heart all over again.
With a quiet gulp, and never removing his eyes from Dean's face, Sam whispered,
"No, you know what? You can go to Hell, Sammy."
Dean had been known to say some pretty horrendous things to his brother over the years; he wasn't blind to that, he knew that they had hurt. And he was saying some extremely hurtful things to Sam at this very moment, but the minute those three words escaped the older hunter's lips and were flung at Sam's face, Dean instantly wished with everything in his being that he could take them back.
Because they knew more then anybody else that Hell had a whole different meaning to them; Dean wasn't the only one who had been to Hell and lived to tell about it…Sam had been in Lucifer's Cage and had even taken a trip downstairs during the second trial. Not only that, but Sam's soul had been trapped and tortured down there for a year and a half, which had nearly killed him. Who was he to fling that phrase at his little brother?
A silence unlike any other filled the other as soon as the words hung in the air between them and Dean had to look away when he finally saw a loan tear trickle down Sam's cheek and then another and he looked up just as Sam's face started to crumple. The older Winchester thought his little brother was going to say something in return, but just as Dean opened his mouth to speak again, he watched as Sam turned his back and rushed out of the kitchen.
Dean took a few steps towards the kitchen's doorway, but as he reached the hallway, he heard the distant sound of Sam's door slamming shut and he lowered his head in self-hatred. What the hell had he done? Even if Sam did deserve some of the words he had spoken to him, there was no question that he did not deserve those last words.
On the other side of the bunker, as the door shut loudly behind him, Sam moved the lock on his door and locked himself inside his room. As soon as he had shut himself in, the younger Winchester, whose charred remains of what was left of his heart was now shattered into a million pieces, leaned his head against the door frame. If there had been anything he had been expecting his brother to say to him, it had not been that.
It had never even crossed his mind that Dean would condemn him back to Hell like that.
But who's to say that he didn't deserve it? Who's to say that he didn't deserve to go to Heaven? Hell, that was what he deserved; when Death had come for him all those months ago while he was in a coma, he should have taken him straight back to Hell where he belonged.
He deserved nothing less. He deserved to be separated from his brother forever.
Sinking down on the floor beside the door as he felt more tears streak his face, Sam closed his tortured hazel eyes and allowed himself to finally cry – to really cry – for the first time since Dean had been taken to Hell all those years ago.
As the tears streaked his cheeks as he sobbed, Sam realized he had never felt more alone then he did right then.
As the rain continued to pound against the roof of the Impala as she drove back to the bunker, and the tense silence filled the space between the brothers, Dean kept shooting glance after glance over at Sam as he drove, his foot pressed hard on the gas. Each time he shoot a look over at his little brother, Sam never once met his gaze; instead, he just turned his head towards the passenger side window, and if he had turned to look at Dean, he never showed it. The younger Winchester instead was just slouched in the passenger seat, his hand pressed against his head while he leaned against the windshield.
It's probably just a headache, Dean mused as he turned back to the road. He had assessed any injuries Sam may have developed after he had been thrown – again – by that werewolf; like always, even with the tension between them and neither of them speaking to each other unless it was absolutely necessary, Dean had looked his little brother over and there had been no blood, no guts, nothing that seemed out of place…except for what seemed like a splitting headache.
But why in the world had Sam saved him all those hours ago? Anger churned through Dean as he glared at the highway they drove down in silence. Sam didn't think of him as his brother after all; he wouldn't do the same thing for him if his life was on the line-
Well, that's what Dean had thought up until that evening and now he was more confused then ever.
As the silence continued to fill the Impala and the only sound that was made was the sound of the engine running and the rain pounding against the windshield and the roof, Dean finally shook his head and pulled his beloved car over to the side of the road, quickly and without warning.
"Okay, what the hell was up with that back there, Sam?" Dean finally spoke for the first time since they had left that god-forsaken field hours ago. He narrowed his green eyes and glared harshly at his brother, watching as Sam finally turned to look at him for once,
"I thought you were never going to save my life again, huh? Brothers don't save each other, Sam!" He threw the last words in Sam's face angrily,
"That's what you said the other night, right? You don't think of me as your brother anymore and you wouldn't do the same for me, so why the hell did you save my life back there?" He waited for Sam to say something, but even as his brother's hazel eyes narrowed into slits, he still didn't speak up,
"Make up your mind, Sammy!" He sneered as he slammed the heel of his hand against the steering wheel of the Impala. Dean opened his mouth to continue, but stopped when he heard the sound of the passenger door opening and his eyebrow arched as he watched Sam climb out into the pouring rain,
Rolling his eyes at his brother's behavior, Dean let out a heavy sigh and after turning the car completely off, climbed out as well, ignoring the heavy rain. Slamming the door shut, the older Winchester called after his little brother again, who had started walking away from the Impala, his hand still pressed against his side,
Hurt and anger churning through him all over again, Sam came to a stop on the sidewalk and just let the rain drench him, his now wet long hair sticking to his face. Closing his eyes hard, unsure if the water on his face was from the rain or from the tears, but in the end deciding that it didn't matter, Sam shook his head hard before finally turning around, albeit painfully – his back was screaming in agony at the moment – to face his older brother again, who he found had rushed after him and was now just a few feet away from him. Unable to stop the hurtful words coming from his mouth, Sam finally snapped,
"You know what? Screw you, Dean!"
Sam watched as Dean's eyes narrowed angrily back at him and he took a hesitant step backwards as his brother came even closer to him. He ignored the wetness on his face, the rain mixed with his tears, and with a shake of his head, the younger Winchester started to turn back around and walk away when Dean's voice shouted after him,
"Just get back in the damn car, Sam!"
His heart heavier then it had ever been before, Sam whirled around and shouted back, hurt and anger – and a mixture of betrayal – laced in his voice,
"Just go on without me, Dean, alright? Just go!"
Rolling his eyes to the sky, the rain coming down even harder around them and drenching the brothers from head to toe, Dean rushed forward and grasped Sam's arm, yanking him forward,
"Seriously, Sammy?" He hissed,
"You're going to start acting like a bitch again? Just get in the fucking car!" He pulled his brother's arm again and waited a few tense moments before Sam finally appeared to give in and started back towards the waiting Impala…although rather slowly. Placing a hand on his little brother's back, Dean gave him a small push without another word.
Flinching at the push, Sam bit his lower lip to keep from screaming in pain. Inside, his brain was telling him to tell his brother exactly how he was feeling – to be completely up front with him and let him know just how hurt he was…physically and emotionally – but Dean's words from days prior flooded his brain.
"No, you know what? You can go to Hell, Sammy."
"You can go to Hell, Sammy…"
"Go to Hell, Sammy…"
His brother didn't care anymore; that's all there was to it.
Yes, Dean had looked him over back in that field once the werewolf had been killed to check and see if he had any major injuries – at least any injuries that he could see to the naked eye – but that was part of his big brother's "job", right? Taking care of Sam was his "job", his "responsibility". He didn't do it because he wanted to, because he cared…After all, he wouldn't have told him to "go to Hell" if he did.
And who's to say that Dean would care if he knew that he had in fact been injured on that hunt?
Sam was most certain of that.
As the engine of the Impala started up again once Dean had climbed back into the driver's seat, Sam turned his head back towards the window once again and stared outside, his head and back pounding even harder then before, and watched as the scenery passed by them.
He would not break down and cry right now; he would never do that again in front of his brother.
After all…Sam's feelings didn't matter.
Sam lay painfully on his side on his hard-as-a-rock bed several days later, his arms wrapped around his pillow as he listened to the rapping on his door and the sound of his brother's voice that wouldn't go away.
"Sam! Sam, open up, man!"
Shifting his eyes to the side and re-checking to make sure that his door was not only locked, but bolted shut – he didn't want Dean lock-picking his door and heaven knew that his brother would do just that if he didn't answer – Sam turned back to stare at the wall, trying to shut out the never-ending sound as well as the intense pain in his back and in his pounding head.
But none of that compared to the pain – the agony – that was in his already fragile heart.
The heart that was broken and shattered beyond all repair; the heart that not even love from his brother could fix.
Tightening his arms around his pillow as he buried his face deep into it, all the while listening as the rapping on his door stopped and he heard footsteps walking away, Sam squeezed his eyes shut and allowed a few tears to fall into the pillow just as his finger trips brushed up against the gun that he had stashed underneath that same pillow. Opening his tortured hazel eyes, the youngest Winchester wrapped his hand around his gun and pulled it out from under the pillow, just staring at it in silence for a few minutes.
If there was anything he was certain about in his life – if there was anything that he didn't doubt – it was the mere fact that he should be dead.
He should have died years ago.
Getting killed by Anna.
Jumping into Lucifer's Cage.
The trials…and finally being in a coma.
He should have been dead a long time ago…everyone's lives would have been better off if he hadn't been brought back to life so many times.
Tightening his grip around his gun, his hand shaking, Sam then placed it back under his pillow, but didn't allow his fingers to leave the cool metal – the only relief he had felt at all these past couple of weeks.
"Cas, get your ass over to the bunker right now, you hear me?" Dean growled into his phone as he paced back and forth in the map room, every once in a while turning to face the hallway Sam's room was down,
"Just get here-"
"Dean, what's happening?" The newly-restored angel interrupted and Dean rolled his eyes as he finally sat down in one of the chairs, running a hand over his stubbled face as he attempted to regain control of his temper and lower his voice.
"It's Sam, Cas," The older hunter sighed as he closed his eyes,
"He hasn't come out of his room in days; he won't eat, he won't talk to me, nothing! There was a hunt a few days ago and he was tossed around, but I didn't think he hurt himself; but this just isn't like him, Cas. I think he might really be hurt, but he won't say or do anything and I'm getting worried-"
"I'll be there as soon as I can," Castiel interrupted again and Dean was just able to make out a deep concern laced in the angel's voice,
"Keep trying to get him to open up."
With that, Dean shut his phone off and placed it back in his jeans pocket. Now what? What was he to do now other then wait? Sam wouldn't let him in; he wouldn't even open the door a crack to at least let Dean know that he was still alive in there…but his little brother was still alive; there was no other choice.
Sam wasn't so selfish to just take his life like that, not after Dean had saved his life from that comatose state all those months ago. Sure, his brother had wanted to die; sure, Dean had tricked him, but the older Winchester had still saved his life and Sam should be grateful to him for that instead, but now he's giving him the silent treatment? What was he, five years old again?
Shaking his head in annoyance, Dean knew that it all went deeper then that, and he was in fact deeply concerned over Sam's physical state at the moment. The younger brother had never shut him out to this extent before, not even when they were on their worst terms. Sure, Dean knew he could have just picked the lock on Sam's door to get inside, but his little brother had bolted his door shut and there was no physical way for him to get in there without help. What if Sam really was hurt after that hunt and Dean just didn't know about it?
Well, that's what Castiel was coming over for; and the angel would help him with Sam's stubbornness and heal him if he was injured. Because despite the tension, despite the hurtful words the older brother had thrown in Sam's face, Dean still did not want to see his brother hurt.
Slumping deep into his chair as he carded a hand through his hair, Dean reached for the half-empty bottle of beer sitting on the table and took a long swig, having no other choice but to just wait it out now.
"Dean, what happened?" Castiel demanded several hours later as he hurried towards Sam's bedroom with the older brother on his heals,
"This isn't like Sam to do something like this-"
"I told you everything over the phone, Cas," Dean snapped, shoving past the angel as they finally came to the younger Winchester's bolted door. Balling up his fist, he rapped twice and called in his usual no-nonsense tone with Sam,
"Sammy! C'mon, Sam, open up!" Several moments passed with nothing but silence and Dean was unable to stop the dread from churning in his gut. What if Sam really was hurt after that hunt and he had passed out? Worst of all…No, Dean wasn't even going to think of that other option,
"Sam, c'mon, this isn't funny anymore!" Dean rapped once more before he felt himself being shoved aside by Castiel. Before the older brother could snap at the angel or even open his mouth, he watched as their friend lifted two fingers and pressed them against the door and the next sound he heard was a deadbolt clicking open and finally the door slowly swinging open.
"Sammy…" Dean wasted no time entering the bedroom and nearly felt his heart drop to his feet as he saw his little brother lying on his side on the bed, facing away from his brother. Castiel was faster then him, however, and the older Winchester watched as his friend hurried over to Sam and placed his hand on his back and that's when Dean let out the breath that he didn't know he was holding in.
Sam was still breathing.
"He's still alive, Dean; but…he's hurt…" Castiel kept his hand on Sam's back as he furrowed his brow,
"He's asleep, but he is hurt…How long has it been like this?" He turned back towards Dean and was rewarded with a glare sent his way.
"I told you, Cas; a couple of days at least," Dean growled as he stepped forward and pushed his way through to palm his little brother's forehead and raised both eyebrows as he felt a high fever,
"He's burning up, Cas!"
"That's not the only thing that's wrong, Dean," The angel frowned as he moved the protective older brother aside,
"Did Sam actually say anything to you about being in any pain after this hunt you two went on? Because…" He laid the palm of his hand back on Sam's back and quickly removed it when the younger Winchester flinched in his sleep and slightly moved away from the feather-like touch.
"You're hurting him, damnit-"
"He hurt his back, Dean," Castiel interrupted,
"He's in a lot of pain-"
"No shit, Sherlock!" Dean snapped back,
"Just tell me you can heal him without waking him up?"
He watched as the angel nodded his head in reply right before he moved his hand again and placed it over Sam's head, feeling the heat rising from him. Dean had to force himself to stay quiet as to not wake up his little brother – heaven only knew how Sam would react to finding both of them in his room right now; hell, his brother would probably accuse him of invading his personal space. Silence filled the bedroom as Dean's eyes never once left Sam's sleeping figure as their angelic friend moved his hand back to Sam's back and after a few short moments, went to lay it back on Sam's head. Dean expected Castiel to remove his hand, but soon frowned as he watched a look of concern and then shock come over the angel's face.
"What is it, Cas?" Dean demanded, folding his arms over his chest as he stepped forward again.
Shaking his head in reply as he finally removed his hand from Sam's head, making sure not to disturb his friend while he slept – hopefully much more peacefully – Castiel raised himself back up to his full height and turned back to face Dean. What he had just seen caused the angel much shock and fear – two emotions he remembered having felt while he was human, just to name a few…those emotions that he had talked with Sam about just a few weeks ago while he had tried to talk the younger brother out of killing himself.
Now however, while he had been healing Sam's mild head injury, Castiel had gotten his first look inside his friend's head – and he had seen things he never wanted to see, and things that he knew that Dean didn't know about.
These were things that Sam had kept hidden deep within himself for so many years, allowing himself to feel the pain and agony, never once revealing how he truly felt to his big brother.
These were things that, as much as he didn't want to admit it, scared Castiel.
"Dean…" The angel began seriously, looking back over at Sam while he slept and watched as Dean's brother rolled further away from them and clutched his pillow tighter to himself before falling back to sleep,
"Dean, I need to show you something."
His eyebrows furrowing in confusion as he looked between the angel and his little brother, Dean stepped closer to Sam's bed, but before he could even ask just what the hell Castiel was talking about, he felt a hand on his forehead and heard a stern order,
"Close your eyes."
Before Dean could even do just that, he watched as Castiel laid his left hand on Sam's head once again and the next thing the older brother knew, he was no longer in the bunker – in Sam's bedroom – but he was back in the Impala and with a glance in the backseat, he saw that Castiel was seated there, looking at him.
And Sam was now in the driver's seat.
What the hell?
Looking around him, Dean shook his head to try and clear it as he tried to make sense of what the hell had just happened. His head was pounding from the sudden transfer from bunker to Impala,
"What the hell was that, Cas?"
When Castiel remained silent – and more importantly, Sam didn't even make a move to show that he had heard him – Dean frowned and turned back to his brother,
"Sam?" Glancing at the speedometer, the older Winchester felt his heart rate pick up speed when he saw that Sam was going close to 90 on the road,
"Sammy?" Waving a hand in front of his little brother's face, but still not seeing a reaction other then the practically dead look in his eyes, Dean turned back to the still silent angel,
"Cas, you gonna tell me what the hell is going on here?"
"We're inside your brother's head, Dean."
"Inside his…" Dean started then stopped as he felt the Impala – his baby – speed up even more, quickly reaching past 90 miles an hour,
"Sam, slow the hell down! What are you doing-"
"Dean, look at your brother," Castiel interrupted from the back seat, leaning forward,
"I'm showing you this for a reason. Now look at him." The last four words were spoken harshly and the angel waited until Dean finally looked from the speedometer to Sam's face and that's when Castiel watched the older brother's expression slowly starting to change.
Sam's face was white as a sheet and his hazel eyes looked dead – as if all the life had been sucked out of them – but there was no mistaking the streak of tears running down his cheeks as he drove. His knuckles were also white as his fingers clutched tightly at the steering wheel and if Dean looked close enough, he could see just how badly his brother's hands were shaking.
"Cas, why is he alone in the car? Where was I?" Dean demanded, reaching out to attempt to take Sam's hands off the steering wheel, but cursing under his breath when his hand passed right through his baby brother's,
"Castiel, where the hell was I-"
"We were in Purgatory, Dean. Do you not remember?"
Purgatory? What the fuck?
"Purgatory?" Dean repeated his thoughts out loud, his eyebrows furrowing together,
"What do you – oh shit…" A slow realization started to sink in and after a quick glance at the angel, the hunter cursed himself,
"Yes," With a sad nod of his head, the angel replied to the silent question,
"This is shortly after we were sent to Purgatory and Sam thought you were dead, Dean. Look at Sam and tell me that he doesn't look like he's wanting to kill himself!" Knowing the words he spoke where harsh, Castiel knew there was no other choice this time. He had seen so much – too much – in Sam's head just now, and if there was any chance of saving his young friend, then he was going to do it.
Even if that meant using his newly stolen angelic grace to transfer himself and Dean into a sleeping Sam's head. Because Sam would never say any of this out loud.
"Sammy, stop the fucking car!" Dean finally shouted, attempting to reach for the steering wheel again, but like last time, his hand passed through like a spirit would,
"Cas, make him stop the car!" He watched, his heart racing, as the speedometer finally reached 100,
"Cas, did you hear me?" He turned to glare daggers at the angel.
"Dean, I'm unable to do that," Castiel shook his head, a rare sadness filling him at that moment,
"We're inside his head, you understand? You're watching what your brother attempted to do when he thought you were dead."
"Nothing says 'family' quite like the whole family being dead."
"Did you look for me, Sam?"
"He was our responsibility, and you couldn't even pick up your damn phone?"
"Last I checked, you took a year off. I need a day!"
"Let's go through some of Sammy's greatest hits."
"Benny's been more of a brother to me this past year then you've ever been!"
"One thing I can say about Benny is that he has never let me down!"
"If you had trusted me, all of this could have been avoided."
All of his words – those hurtful words – Dean had hurled at his brother right after his escape from Purgatory filled his brain and washed over him like a tidal wave. Had he really thrown all of that in Sam's face, accused him of so much, when in reality, his brother was so broken – so devastated and lost – that the only option was for him to kill himself? Did Dean even really sit down and listen to Sam? Did he even attempt to understand Sam's point of view and where he was coming from during that year he didn't look for him?
No, he didn't.
And now, Sam was behind the wheel of the Impala, heading to heaven only knows where…and Dean was unable to stop it.
"I'm so sorry, Dean…" The barely audible voice broke into Dean's thoughts and with a jerk of his head, the older brother watched helplessly as more tears escaped Sam's large eyes,
"…So sorry…so sorry…"
Before he could open his mouth to attempt to stop the kid from doing the unthinkable – like he would even be capable of that in the first place – the next thing Dean felt was himself jerking forward and the car coming to a sudden halt.
Dean didn't even have to get out of the car after Sam to know what had just happened – not even when he heard his brother's soft cries coming from outside. Memories of the younger Winchester's words from nearly 2 years ago echoed in his mind.
"I hit a dog."
That was it. Those four little words told so little, but at the same time, told so much that Dean was surprised he didn't see through Sam's façade right away.
That he didn't see that the reason Sam hit that dog in the first place was because he was attempting suicide.
"Cas-" Before Dean could get the rest of his question out, the hunter soon found himself no longer sitting in the passenger seat of his baby; instead, he was standing in an all-too-familiar motel room, his eyes suddenly on himself as he saw a slightly younger version of himself looking down at something he held in his hands.
And Dean didn't have to be a genius to figure out where he was now.
That motel room. The way he was looking down at the little golden amulet he held in his hands and the way that a second version of Castiel was also staring up at the ceiling cursing God and his disappearance.
His heart thudding loudly in his chest as he turned from himself to Castiel and finally to the present-day angel standing beside him, a saddened look on his face, Dean was unsure what to say as he listened to Sam talking.
"We'll find another way. We can still stop all this, Dean."
"Why the hell did you take me here – of all places, Cas?" Dean demanded, turning to glare at the angel standing behind him,
"Because, like I said, we're in Sam's head, Dean," The angel interrupted sharply, nodding his head in the direction of the past-tense brothers,
"Because you need to see this…and you need to see what Sam's sees, okay?"
Turning away from the angel and facing his brother, Dean sucked in a sharp breath as he saw for the first time the determined and desperate look on Sam's face, even as the older Winchester watched himself walk towards the door. Dean knew what was coming up next and the last thing he wanted to do was watch it all over again – he had lived this moment after all.
But there was no stopping this, and there was no way Castiel would allow him to leave this moment in Sam's head without seeing it.
The clink that sounded in the trashcan as the amulet was dropped carelessly into it caused Dean to flinch and after closing his eyes for a brief moment to gather himself together, he soon opened them to watch Sam's reaction. The look on his little brother's face…it was one he had hoped he would never see again. This was the look of a man – a brother – who had just watched his big brother throw out the one cherished symbol that represented their relationship.
And by throwing it out like that, Dean knew that Sam had believed that his brother was throwing him out as well.
Dean chose not to watch himself walk out the door and to the Impala; instead, his green eyes remained on his little brother and for the first time since this happened, the hunter realized that he never once asked what had taken Sam so long in that motel room.
Now, as he watched tears cloud Sam's large, pained hazel eyes, he bit his lower lip as a few tears slid down his cheeks and were never brushed away. A few tense moments passed before Dean watched this version of his brother finally nod his head and moved back to the bed to grab his bag, swinging it over his shoulder and then grabbing his laptop case. The tears still on his cheeks and the sadness still shining brightly in his eyes, Dean held his breath as Sam now stopped in the doorway and after a few seconds of staring down at the trashcan where the amulet now lay, the older brother felt his heart skip a beat as the younger Winchester reached a trembling hand down and grasped the necklace without actually looking at it and shoved it deep into his jeans pocket before walking out the door and closing it behind him.
As the door closed shut behind Sam, Dean stood staring at the wall for a few seconds before turning back to Castiel,
"Cas…He kept it the entire time? And he never told me?" An unexpected anger churned in the hunter's gut,
"Why the hell not? If he grabbed it…why the hell wouldn't he return it or at the very least, say something about it-"
"Because you said so yourself that you didn't believe in him, Dean," The angel interrupted, frowning at the human as he took a step closer,
"Really, be honest with yourself, Dean. Did you expect him to do anything else?"
"Don't make me the bad guy here, Cas-" Before Dean could finish his rant, however, the scenery around him changed once again and he cursed loudly,
"Goddamn it, Cas! The hell-" He stopped suddenly when he then found himself standing outside next to the very being he never thought he would lay eyes on again. The very being that he had killed all those years ago.
Ruby. With Sam.
Anything and everything that was being said between Ruby and Sam at that moment went in one ear and out the other as Dean stood invisible to the demon and his brother; he was unable to say anything as all his anger from the past returned and he found himself glaring now just at the demon bitch, but at his little brother. His hands clenched into fists, Dean eventually turned back to Castiel and demanded,
"Why here, Cas? This is right before Sam killed Lilith, isn't it? I don't want to see this-"
"You have to, Dean," Impatience started leaking into the angel's voice,
"Haven't you learned yet during your time in Sam's head that you're seeing things from his point of view?" When he got no response, Castiel continued,
"Just watch and listen, then I will return you to the bunker."
With a sigh and nod of his head, Dean reluctantly turned back to the conversation between the two and for the first time since they arrived, noticed that Sam was holding his cell phone in one hand, staring at the screen. With a frown on his face, Dean stepped forward and looked over his brother's shoulder and saw the flashing screen.
One new voicemail from: Dean.
A light bulb seemed to go off over Dean's head as he read the bright screen and his anger started to intensify as he recalled that very message he had left for Sam, apologizing to him for the nasty and hurtful words he had hurled his way the night before; telling him that he shouldn't have said them and that they were brothers.
He had spilled his guts on that voice mail to his little brother and still…still, Sam had apparently just ignored all of it and went along anyways to kill Lilith.
Once again, he had chosen a demon over his own brother and that was not something Dean could forgive easily, if at all if he was honest with himself.
"Give me a damn minute, Ruby!"
Sam's yell suddenly brought Dean out of his thoughts and he took a step back, but his green eyes never left Sam's face as he watched his brother turn back to his phone and his the screen, putting the phone to his ear. Dean fully expected not to be able to hear his message that he left for Sam, but he soon jerked when he heard his own voice on the other end of the line.
It was his voice…but it was not the message that he left.
Dean's heart suddenly dropped to the hard ground and his world seemed to stop as he listened to the hard, hateful voice.
Listen to me, you bloodsucking freak. Dad said I'd either have to save you or kill you. Well, I'm giving you fair warning. I'm done trying to save you. You're a monster, Sam – a vampire. You're not you anymore. And there's no going back.
There was nothing but silence, the coldness in the air chilling Dean to the bone and his eyes widened in shock and horror as he watched Sam close his eyes, doing everything in him to stop the tears that were brimming in them from falling,
"Sammy…" The older brother started, his voice cracking as he shook his head.
This was not happening.
Although he knew the demon behind his brother couldn't see him, Dean glared in hatred at Ruby as she smirked behind Sam's back and the hunter wished more then anything that he could take that demon-killing knife and stab her in the gut all over again.
Dean's eyes widened as the words came out of Sam's mouth, and although he wasn't surprised that his baby brother was still choosing to kill Lilith, the next words spoken seemed to hit Dean even harder in his gut.
"He doesn't care anymore. Which means…I don't care anymore," Sam whispered, his eyes, though saddened and hurt, also held a determination in them,
"I'm probably going to die anyways, right?" At Ruby's raised eyebrow, Sam continued, lowering his head in shame,
"I was hoping…I was hoping this message would cause me to want to change my mind, you know?"
"But?" Ruby prodded, her arms crossed over her chest and the smirk never leaving her face.
"But…you're right. You're right about everything." Lifting his head as he squared his shoulders, Sam moved past Ruby, his shoulder brushing against hers, and moved towards the car where the demon-nurse was still trapped in,
"Let's get this over with."
Feeling like he was going to throw up at any minute, Dean rested his hands on his knees as he keeled over just as the little food he had consumed that day came up and out. Minutes seemed to pass before he slowly started to rise back up and nearly fell over when he saw that he and Castiel were back in Sam's bedroom in the present time.
And Sam was still sound asleep in the bed in front of him, not having moved once since they had been gone. It was as if no time had passed at all. Whirling around, Dean gripped the lapels of Castiel's coat and shook him, even as the angel's eyes were filled with sadness,
"Why did you just show me all of that, Cas? Why?"
Placing his hands on Dean and shoving him away from him, Castiel lowered his eyes into slits,
"Because you needed to see it. How many more times do I need to tell you that?" Silence greeted him as Dean shook his head and turned around to rush towards the bedroom door,
"No, Cas," The hunter shook his head as he stood in the doorway,
"I can't stay here. I think I've seen enough." Without waiting for a reply, the older Winchester stormed out of the room, leaving Sam's door wide open behind him and not looking back.
Sam opened his eyes and stared at the wall on the left side of his bed, but not moving from his position. He knew that Castiel was still there, staring at his back and as quickly as he opened his hazel eyes, he shut them tightly, but that didn't stop the lone tear from streaking his cheek.
He had heard everything.
And Dean knew everything as well.
Another tear slipped down is other cheek and fell onto his pillow, but Sam ignored it; instead, he just tightened his arms around his pillow and wished more then anything that he could disappear and never be seen again.
He had never wanted Dean – or Cas for that matter – to see the secrets, the pain that he felt on a day to day basis; he never wanted his brother to see what was really going on inside his head for years now. Shame washed over him like a tidal wave as he tried to keep himself from letting out a soft sob.
He was supposed to be asleep after all. He couldn't let Castiel know that he was indeed awake.
Not yet at least.
The youngest hunter flinched slightly as he heard his big brother's footsteps leave his bedroom, despite Castiel's protests, and within a matter of moments when the heavy metal front door of the bunker slammed shut behind Dean, Sam was unable to stop the rest of the tears he was trying to hold back.
He left. Again.
Even after being inside of his head…even after seeing all of that shit – the never-ending hell inside of him – Dean still chose to leave him all over again.
It doesn't matter anymore. Sam was unable to stop himself from thinking these words – he was unable to stop himself from believing those words.
And he did.
He believed them to the core of his being now.
Because if his brother – his big brother, his only family – could just walk away again after this…if Dean believed that he deserved to be thrown back in Hell…then what was there to live for?