I Don't Have the Words
Disclaimer: Nope, they're not mine
Subject: Post Asylum, Sam doesn't know what to say.
Sam stared at his brother, asleep in the other bed. He could practically reach out and touch him, yet Dean was worlds away. They hadn't really spoken since the asylum, and Sam knew that was his own fault. He didn't know what to do, what to say. He wasn't ready to see the pain in his brother's eyes, or face the knowledge that he had caused it.
Sam sighed, throwing himself back onto his pillow, continuing to watch over his sleeping brother – not that Dean would appreciate it. He'd tried to apologize in the car, but he just couldn't find the words. Instead he'd watched from the corner of his eye, seeing his brother's clenched jaw and white knuckles, unable to speak.
Dean had disappeared into the bathroom as soon as they reached the motel room. Sam was not surprised that his brother didn't ask him for help with his wounds. He had helped with bandages in the past, but those weren't for injuries that he had caused.
When Dean came out of the bathroom and crossed to the bed, Sam felt a pang of guilt as his brother studiously avoided eye contact and kept his back turned as he removed his shirt and slipped gingerly under the covers.
Sam had tried one more time, "Dean, I…" He still couldn't find the right words.
"Sam, I just want to rest." Dean still wouldn't look at him. Instead he closed his eyes and appeared to fall asleep at once.
Sam watched his brother, lying there on his back and felt another twinge of guilt. Dean was rarely still while he slept – usually favoring a position on his stomach with a hand under his pillow. His current position seemed unnatural and uncomfortable, and Sam wondered again how much physical damage he'd done.
Sam sighed once more. If it had been the other way around, Dean would have known just what to do or say to make it okay. Dean always knew the answers. He was the big brother, the protector, the parent. Much as Dean hated "chick-flick" moments, Sam could always count on his brother to know just what he needed – be it a hug or a slap upside his head – and give it to him. Sam knew without a doubt that his brother loved him unconditionally.
But what did I do to make him doubt that I feel the same? Sam asked himself. He found the answer right away. Idiot, you left him, went off to college without him. He remembered the shape shifter's words about Dean's anger and jealousy. They had hurt him initially but, as his brother held him after the creature's death, he'd realized that Dean's resentment was barely even a conscious thought. It was certainly lost in the face of his concern and protectiveness, erasing all of Sam's doubts. But now Dean was the one who questioned his brother's feelings, and Sam was pretty sure that a hug wasn't going to be the solution.
Dean's cell phone rang, interrupting Sam's thoughts.
"Dean?" He looked to the other bed, but his brother wasn't even stirring. Sam hesitated for a second; then reached for the phone, deciding to let Dean sleep if he could.
"Hello?" Sam heard a burst of static from the phone. "Dad?" His heart jumped to his throat, but only the static answered him. "Dad, is that you?" He let out a short bark of laughter that was more like a sob. "If it is, I just want you to know that your coordinates almost got us killed today. I got possessed by a spirit and shot Dean, and we really need you. Dean needs you." Sam stopped abruptly, realizing that the line had gone dead and he was shouting at no one. "I hope it was you and you got all that, you son-of-a-bitch," Sam muttered as he tossed the phone back onto the table.
A gasp from the other bed caught his attention, and Sam looked over to see his brother sitting up in bed, staring at him.
"There was no one there," Sam found himself explaining quickly, "I just thought it might…" His words trailed off as he saw Dean's chest. Still half asleep, Dean sat with the blankets pooled in his lap and the vivid reds and purples of his wounds slapped Sam like a physical blow.
"Jesus, Dean, I could have killed you!" Sam ran his hand through his hair as he dropped to his knees by the side of the bed. He reached out to his brother, but Dean turned away, hanging his legs off the far side of the bed.
"Yeah, Sam," Dean answered in a tired, old-man's voice. "You could've, but I took the bullets out of the gun."
"Dammit, it wasn't really me!" Sam shouted miserably. "I was possessed and I couldn't control it. He made me so angry with you, took every little disagreement and twisted it," he paused for a breath and moved up onto the bed.
"I never knew you hated me that much," Dean said in the same tired voice, still not looking at him.
In desperation Sam decided to give his brother the whole truth. "I don't know what to say to make you believe me. Yes, I resent you sometimes. You've always been stronger, a better fighter, Dad's favorite. You're happy with this life and you don't question what Dad's doing- what he's done. But Dean, you raised me. I've always known that you'd be there for me, and I need you to know that I'm here for you."
Dean expelled his breath in what could have been a sigh or a sob, and Sam started to reach out to him, knowing that if roles were reversed he'd be in his brother's embrace by now.
"Don't turn this into a chick-flick moment, for god's sake." The older Winchester managed to spit the words out through his clenched teeth. He still did not turn around, but Sam could clearly hear the pain in his voice and read it in the lines of his body.
Sam forced himself to move across the bed to his brother's side, one hand resting on his back. "Dean, you have to know that I don't hate you. I'm grateful to you, and I love you, and I promise – no matter how much we fight – I'm not leaving again."
Dean finally looked over at him, and Sam felt a momentary pang of shock. For a second Dean looked like he was going to cry. "Don't make promises you might not be able to keep, Sammy." Just as quickly as the expression had appeared it was gone, leaving Sam to wonder if he'd imagined it. He stared at his brother uncertainly.
"Don't just sit there like a dope. Get the first aid kit and give me a hand wrapping these," Dean gestured to his ribs with one hand, cuffing Sam in the back of the head with the other, and Sam felt relief flood through him as he recognized the forgiveness in his brother's voice.
Picking up the kit, Sam turned back to the bed. "Lay down for a minute so I can check you out," he instructed, "jerk."
"Bitch," Dean retorted with a ghost of a smirk. He settled back on the bed and, as his little brother patched up his wounds, stared through a crack in the curtains out into the night.
A/N: Sorry to anyone waiting for a big breakdown. That was originally my intent, but I realized that neither one of them wants that to happen. Dean's gotten used to the pedestal, and Sam want's to keep him up there. Please R/R and let me know if you're disappointed.