Confession Box
K Hanna Korossy

Sam was in the midst of trying to show Cas how to fry an egg when his phone buzzed in his back pocket. "Hold on a second," he said, and stepped back to pull out his phone.

Dean: Meet me in the dngn.

Okay, weird. Why not just come ask? And the dungeon?

"Okay, uh, you practice that. I'll come back in a bit to check on you." Castiel was so focused on the egg, it was as if he could see the chick it could have been. Which, who knows, maybe he could. Grimacing at the thought, Sam turned and hurried out of the kitchen.

He was still puzzled by the dungeon. They hadn't needed it for a while, so unless Dean had gotten himself stuck somehow, Sam couldn't figure why his brother would want to meet there. But there'd been no urgency in the message…

The dungeon door was closed, and Sam opened it curiously, pulling it shut behind him as he caught sight of Dean's silhouette. He took a few steps closer, then stopped.

Dean was standing with his back to Sam, in front of the chair he'd been chained to when he was a demon. His feet were planted, arms crossed and head bowed as he stared at the piece of furniture, motionless.

Sam frowned, gut twisting a little at the memory. He couldn't help wonder what his brother was thinking. After a handful of seconds of neither of them moving, Sam softly cleared his throat.

Dean's whole body tightened; he'd been uncharacteristically oblivious to Sam's presence. He spun, and Sam could see Dean's tension drain as he caught sight of his brother.

"Hey," Sam started casually. "What's up?"

"Nothing," Dean said a little too quickly, stepping away from the sigil-painted center of the room. "I mean, it's not a big deal, just. I wanted to talk to you. Uh, privately."

"Right," Sam drawled. "Because Cas is always eavesdropping."

Dean's gaze ping-ponged around the room, and Sam immediately became serious. Dean didn't get this squirrely unless something big was about to break. Considering he often raised topics like the end of the world, graphic death, and safe sex over breakfast, the fact he wanted Sam here, apart, focused, was significant.

"Dean?"

"It's Amara, okay?" Dean's arms rose and fell a little, a sign of how helpless he felt, and how hard this was for him. "You were right. I couldn't kill her." Now that he was confessing, his eyes were glued to Sam, baring it all, ready to accept censure. "At Crowley's, I had her right there, knife at her throat and…I couldn't do it." Self-disgust filled his face. "I couldn't do it."

Was that all? Sam took a relieved breath and crossed his arms. "I know."

"You…what?"

"I know. When I busted in, you two were just standing there. I could tell you couldn't kill her." And he got now why they were in the dungeon. What better place for Dean to torture himself over the past?

Dean nodded uncertainly, a crease forming between his eyes over how this wasn't going like he'd expected.

"But I also saw what happened after," Sam continued.

Dean's frown deepened.

"She attacked me, remember? Threw me across the hall, into the wall." Sam watched him closely. "And then you lunged at her."

The glare was softening.

"If she hadn't tossed you then, too, you would've stabbed her. And she knew it, too."

Dean's shoulders came down an inch, his gaze turned inward, replaying the scene. Sam knew he'd see what Sam had. And would know what Sam did, what he didn't even have to say.

Maybe Amara did have some kind of power over Dean. But not as much as Sam had.

Sam shifted his jaw. If they were doing confessions… "But that doesn't mean the knife would've hurt her. For all we know, Dean, she's one of the things the Colt couldn't kill, stronger than anything we can throw at her." He cocked his head at his brother, looking at him through a fringe of hair. "I can't just let these visions go. If they're the only way we can stop her…" He swallowed. "I can't just ignore that, Dean."

Dean gave him a look, then a sharp nod. "I know."

Sam startled back a half-step. "You know?"

"Dude, when have you ever been able to let go of a bone?" Dean asked, not without affection. And resignation. "But you listen to me—you going back in there, it's not happening. Whatever these…visions are, we're gonna deal with them, together. We clear?"

Sam took a cleansing breath, feeling some of the burden lift. "Clear."

"Okay then." Dean cast around for distraction, but the dungeon offered little. "You wanna go to the diner for lunch?" he finally asked, hopeful.

Change of scenery: Sam got it. His mouth quirked. "Meatloaf Monday?"

"Meatloaf Monday," Dean concurred.

"All right, yeah. I just need to check on Cas upstairs first. I bet he's cooked every egg we've got." Sam turned to lead the way out of the bad memory-laden room. "We might need to make a grocery run while we're out."

"Pick up some of those fancy apples you like at the market," Dean proposed. I've still got your back.

Sam smiled in front, unseen. "Couple'a fresh pies from Mrs. Feretti's," he added. Me, too.

As long as they understood each other.

The End