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As they drove down the road, Dean looked at Sam who hadn't said a word since they had left.
"You okay?" he asked gruffly. Sam's only response was a shrug.
"So...how come you never told anyone about Uncle Lyle?" Dean persisted. Finally, Sam turned to face his brother.
"Why didn't you?" he asked hoarsely.
"I asked first," came the retort. Sam just looked away. The older man realized if the conversation was going to happen, he'd have to start it.
"I did...threaten to tell...after the first time," Dean confessed.
"What happened?" Sam asked.
"He threatened to go after you," Dean replied. "I honestly thought you were safe. I had no clue, Sam," he continued.
"I was scared. I was so young the first time it happened. And all I could focus on was not letting Dad know, 'cause I thought he'd hate me, or not believe me. Uncle Lyle said he wouldn't," Sam whispered.
"But after you got older---" Dean began.
"I began to fight," Sam finished. "And that's when he started taking me out to the shed for...a talk," he continued. Dean glanced at his brother sharply, then returned his eyes to the road.
"He hit you?" he asked thickly.
"As long as it was one or the other, I could handle it. But when it was both..." Sam trailed off. "I wanted to tell so badly Dean, but I---I was afraid. I mean---what if he was right? What if Dad didn't believe me? Or worse---blamed me?" he continued in despair.
"Dad would never---" but Dean cut himself off. Wasn't that part of the reason why he had kept quite?
"I didn't want him to blame me either," Dean confessed. Then, "When was it both?"
"Well, last night for example. I fought back when he was---and now I look like something ran me over," Sam answered.
"What? Let me see!" Dean said sharply.
"It's fine. It'll heal," Sam said.
"You sure?" Dean questioned.
"Yeah," Sam said. Then, "Dean, did we just have---"
"A necessary conversation," Dean finished.
"Right," Sam noddded. It wasn't a chick flick moment. They had just told each other why they had kept their uncle's secret. That was all. There was nothing chick flick about it. Just two brothers coming clean.
If you or someone you know is being physically abused, call 1-800-4-A-CHILD (2-24453). If you or someone you know is being sexually abused, call RAINN's national hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).