Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural - duh.
A/N: Sam's keeping things from Dean, and this can only be bad. Dean's determined to help, with unexpected consequences. Lots of brotherly angst.
Dean took a quick look at his brother in the passenger seat and sighed. He had no idea where they were going this time; Sam was keeping that information to himself. Come to think of it, Dean thought, Sam seemed to be keeping a lot of information to himself lately.
But this was the first time Sam was keeping his vision quiet as well. All Dean knew was that his younger brother had woken up that morning, gasping in pain, and then shook his head when Dean asked what he saw. Instead he just mumbled something about how they had to go and pretty much ran out the door, leaving Dean to follow. If I hadn't busted my ass catching up, the idiot would have left without me. Since then Sam hadn't muttered more than a few words, mostly telling Dean where to turn or what exit to take on the freeway. Dean, not being the most patient person in the world, decided he'd been accommodating long enough.
"Sam, really – this has got to stop. I wasn't exactly happy about being woken up at 4am this morning to be told we have to get moving, but I went with it. But it's damn irresponsible of you to not tell me what your vision was this time! How am I supposed to go into a job not knowing what we are up against? At least tell me where we are going in such a rush!" Dean pounded the steering wheel with one hand. His voice had come out harsher than he had intended, but he was tired, frustrated, and a bit scared for his brother. Never a good combination.
Sam opened his mouth and seemed ready to make an angry retort, but then stopped and sighed, running one hand through his dark hair. He quickly tried to decide how much to tell Dean. "OK, you're right. I'm sorry. It's just….well you know how my visions have actually been getting more clear and vivid lately?" Dean nodded. He wasn't exactly thrilled about it because the more Sam saw, the worse the pain seemed to be. "It's not like that this time. In fact, everything is really fuzzy. I hear voices, but nothing is clear. Except for one thing. I keep flashing back to a highway sign saying "Welcome to Faulk, Louisiana." Sam snuck a guilty look at his brother and decided to fess up. Well, somewhat fess up. "Actually, umm, I've been seeing this for a few nights now."
Dean stiffened, his heart pounding. "Excuse me, but did you just say you've had this vision more than once? And you haven't said anything? Why the hell not?" Sam shrugged, not really wanting to put it into words.
"No, Sam, that's not good enough. You have to tell me what's going on!" Dean didn't know why, but this was scaring him. Sam had never, to his knowledge, kept a vision to himself. They were usually so painful and so clear that Sam felt he had to do something right away. Something was really off here. What was happening?
"Look Dean, I don't KNOW what is going on. The fact is, these visions weren't painful. In fact, at first they just felt like normal dreams. I didn't even wake up from them. I would remember the welcome sign to the town when I woke up, but that was it. I didn't think it was anything to worry about." Dean threw him an exasperated look. Sam ignored it. "In the past two or three nights, something's changed. They feel much more urgent, and I'm getting flashbacks during the day. I feel like something is pulling me there, but I don't know what is going on." He looked out the window instead of having to face his brother. He was uncomfortable looking at Dean while leaving out huge pieces of information that normally he wouldn't hesitate to share. Just not this time. Dean had been right – Sam would have preferred togo without him. For a lot of reasons.
He felt Dean glance at him, silently urging him to continue. He knew then he had to tell him more, but tried to stay vague. "The thing is, something seems wrong, like maybe we shouldn't go, but at the same time it's pulling at me to the point where I can't ignore it. I have to go." Sam silently cursed himself for putting such emphasis on the last sentence. Then an idea came to him. "But if you don't want to go, I understand." Dean stared at him, incredulous.
"Not go? What, and just leave you to fend for yourself?" Dean couldn't believe his ears. He was starting to fume, and pulled over the car to have it out with his brother.
"Hey, I am more than capable of taking care of myself, you know!" Dean scoffed at this and immediately cringed, wishing he could take it back.
Sam felt his face heating up. "What the hell was that for? You know what, don't even bother answering. Obviously you still don't think much of me, even after being on the road together this long."
Dean started to protest but was cut off. "Well, you know what? I DON'T need you Dean! In fact, I don't even want you around right now!" Dean inhaled sharply as he felt his heart tear a little at those remarks. Before he had a chance to respond, Sam had flung open the passenger door and stepped out. "Just leave Dean, ok? There's nothing you can do here that I can't do myself."
Dean looked on in disbelief as Sam slammed the door and started walking away from the car. No, he thought. This can't be happening again. Sam is not leaving me AGAIN.
He sat there for a few minutes, not able to process all his emotions as he watched Sam walk farther away. He replayed the last few minutes in his head over and over, and all of a sudden a sneaking suspicion came to him. He turned the key and the engine came to life.
Sam walked straight ahead along the side of the road, not looking anywhere in particular as he felt tears threatening to fall. He shouldn't have said that to Dean; he hadn't meant it. He would always need Dean. No, he thought as he brushed away an escaping tear. It's better this way. He'll be safe, and it'll cause him less pain in the long run. And I can continue to hide the truth from him. Sam knew Dean thought it was his responsibility to always protect Sam, but this time was different. He needed to keep Dean away until he figured out what to do. No matter how much he wanted to lean on him. No matter how much he wanted to run back to the car and tell Dean how sorry he was. For everything.
In the back of his mind, he was listening for the car driving away and felt his heart break as he heard it start up. He knew any second Dean would drive past him, leaving him. I deserve to be left. Hell, I told him to do it.
He watched in misery as Dean drove past him, then stumbled a bit in shock when the car stopped quickly just a few yards ahead.
Dean couldn't believe how stubborn his brother was. As he drove, catching up with Sam, he wanted to wring his neck. As soon as the car stopped, he jumped out and turned towards Sam. He saw the surprised look on Sam's face and knew his suspicion had been right. Sam had been trying to start that fight to get him to leave. He stormed towards him. "Sam! I could kick your butt right now for being so stupid, you know that!" His voice was furious.
Sam turned away, not wanting to get into another confrontation. He wasn't sure he could take it without breaking down and telling Dean the awful truth. Not that I could blame him if he didn't even care after what I said to him. God, he's never going to forgive me for that. He started to walk back the way he had come, hoping Dean would leave him alone, even while knowing the chances of that were almost non-existent. Sure enough, he felt a hand grip his arm tightly and spin him back around.
Dean was about to make another angry comment, but saw the tears brimming in Sam's eyes that he tried to hide quickly, looking down. Dean sighed, and pushed his anger aside. There were more important things to deal with right now.
"Sam." He said it more quietly, willing Sam to look at him. It took a few seconds, but Sam finally lifted his face to look at Dean, fearing what he would see on his brother's face. But instead of the anger he thought he would find, he saw only concern and yes, hurt. He tried to steel himself against both as Dean spoke again.
"Sammy, you need to talk to me. Please. I know there is something else going on. This ridiculous attempt to get me to leave you isn't going to work, no matter what you say." While Sam's heart leapt at the thought of staying with Dean, he mentally shook himself and told himself to stay focused. He made his voice harsh.
"There's nothing ridiculous about it. I told you the truth Dean. I don't want or need you around!" Dean just shook his head at that. Sam was getting frustrated and a little panicked that Dean wasn't buying it. He tried again.
"Look, Dean, I…" Sam stopped suddenly. Oh no, not now. Please God, not now!
"Sam?" Dean was shocked by how pale Sam suddenly looked. "Sam, what's wrong?"
Sam tried to concentrate, but the waves of pain washing over him were drowning out any coherent thoughts. It was too fast, too soon. He usually had more time, dammit! All he could think over and over was Don't let Dean see this! He made one last ditch effort, knowing he only had a few seconds left beforethe paintotally consumed him.
"Dean, please- just go!"
Dean never had a chance to respond because a second later Sam's vision blurred and his knees started to buckle. Before he passed out his last thought was I'm so sorry Dean. I tried… He never felt Dean's arms catch him as he fell towards the ground.