Standard Disclaimers Apply

The journey back to the motel was quiet. Dean did not even turn on the music in the car. He knew that even the music that normally would silence the thoughts raging in his head would not work this time. He could not stop hearing the words that his brother had said to him in that basement…could not help but see the truth in them. They were no closer to finding their dad today than they were when they had driven out of Stanford. Dean had followed his dad's orders, followed the co-ordinates without question, because he had wanted to believe that they were leading them closer to finding him. Maybe that made him pathetic, trying to bring together a family that was so determined to stay apart. For four years now, Sam, his dad and Dean had not spent a single minute together. And that was the only thing Dean wanted…to see his family together one more time. Because he knew that time was running out for him.

Getting out of the car, Sam watched as Dean bent to lock the door. He paled when he saw the tiny blots of blood on his big brother's t-shirt, but what bothered him more was the quiet pain in Dean's eyes that had nothing to do with the any physical wound. He wished that he would at least see some sign of the anger that was directed at him outside the asylum, wished that Dean would turn around and punch him for all the awful things he had said, for pulling the trigger on that gun, but it appeared that he was going to be denied that solace as well. Sighing, Sam trudged up the stairs to their room, hoping that he would find the right words to piece together what he had broken in his brother.

Dean walked into the room, threw the duffel bag on the floor and continued on towards the bathroom. The pain in his chest was finally starting to register and he knew he had to take care of it. He shut the door behind him to ensure that Sam would not see him tending to his wounds. Dean knew that his baby brother was blaming himself for everything that happened, and that Dean's silence had only made him feel worse. Dean chastised himself for taking out his anger on Sam…he did not blame Sam, he knew Sam's feelings had been manipulated by Dr. Ellicott's spirit. But Dean also knew that those feelings were his brothers, knew that what he had wished for when he went to fetch his little brother was a quickly fading dream. Dean looked up into the mirror and saw in his own eyes the defeat he felt...he had not, and could not bridge the gap between his brother and him. Dean felt his emotions about to spiral out of control as his eyes started to glisten and willed himself to stop thinking.

Instead he took care of the bodily hurt. The bruises were slowing turning into the nasty shade of blue. Well, at least nothing was broken as far as he could tell. After cleaning out the rock salt and blood from his wounds, he carefully wrapped them in gauze and popped a couple of pills to keep the pain at bay. He knew the pills would make him groggy, dull his reflexes, but he did not want Sam to hear him groaning as he tried to sleep through the night. His brother had been through enough today. Dean pulled his t-shirt back on, walked out the door and slipped under the covers. The tight lid he was holding on his emotions threatened to blow as an image of the last night of his short, normal life flashed before him. An image of him leaning over his brother's crib, his mother at his side, his father at the door. Closing his eyes, thinking of that moment, he whispered, "Good night, Sammy."

Sam had been sitting on the bed, watching the door of the bathroom, listening to his brother tending to his wounds…wounds that Sam had caused. He wanted to get up and help, but he knew his brother would refuse. Dean could be a real stubborn ass when it came to taking care of himself…he had not let Sam help him dress the wounds on his abdomen where the Wendigo had left his claw prints…cuts that he had kept hidden from the EMT personnel as well. Even when he was younger, Sam remembered Dean hiding his injuries from his dad, choosing to take of them himself. But if Sam so much as had a scratch on him, Dean would fuss over it like a mother hen. Sam smiled involuntarily at the thought, knowing how mad it would make Dean to be compared to a hen…he would have remember to rag Dean about it later…when things between them were back to normal again. Normal…he wondered if that was ever possible again. Had Sam destroyed their relationship forever? He knew he had hurt his brother before, when he left home, but that was nothing compared to shooting him. Would Dean ever forgive him for that?

Sam was jerked out of his thoughts as he heard the bathroom door opening. He noticed the stiffness in his brother's gait, knew that his chest was still hurting him bad, though Dean would never admit it.When Dean got into bed, Sam rose to walk towards the bathroom.As he put his hand on the handle,he heard his brothermurmur quietly, "Good night Sammy." Sam stopped at the sound, something about the way the words sounded scared Sam. He heard adeep sadness in his brother's voice, something that he had only heard once before, when Dean had talked about their mom. It was uncanny how Sam could read so much of what his brother was feeling from just those two words. Sam turned and started to walk over towards his brother, wanting to make this right, knowing full well that the only thing he would probably get in return would be a smartass remark about the dreaded chick-flick moments. But Dean's eyes were already closed, the exhaustion from the day's events had taken over, and Sam suspected that whatever pills Dean had swallowed were already at work. So, instead he promised himself that he would talk to Dean in the morning and would not accept "It's no big deal" as an answer again.