The Breaking Point

"If hunting this demon means you getting yourself killed, then I hope we never find the damn thing!" And Dean Winchester had meant it. The demon's death for his brother's life was not an option.

"That thing killed Jess." Sam swallowed the emotions creeping up his throat and blinked rapidly. He stared at his older brother and clenched his fists. "That thing killed Mom."

Dean sighed and looked straight into his baby brother's hazel eyes. They looked defeated; angry; broken. "You said yourself once. That no matter what we do, they're gone. And they're never coming back." He knew it was a low blow but he had to get through to Sam. If Sam's reaction had surprised him, he hadn't shown it.

"Don't you say that, not you!" he slammed Dean against the wall. "Not after all this, don't you say that." His tone was angry but his eyes were pleading.

Dean released a breath and allowed himself to stay pinned. He hated the look he was getting from Sammy. He hated chick flick moments. He cleared his throat and kept eye contact.

"Sammy, look. The three of us, and that's all we have." He felt his voice shake with raw emotion and blinked back the moisture that had begun to cloud his vision. "And it's all I have. Sometimes I feel like I'm barely holding it together man."

Sam began to tremble and he slowly breathed in, struggling to keep his tears at bay. He clenched his jaw as tight as he was holding Dean's shirt. He felt a tear escape and ducked his head away from Dean. He realized how close they were standing then, when the motion caused his forehead to rest on Dean's shoulder. However, he made no effort to move it. "I'm sorry." He sighed, gripping the front cloth tighter.

"For what?" Dean brought his arm around Sam and gently rubbed his shoulder. Sam tensed at his brother's touch and released his shirt. A harsh laugh that sounded more like a sob escaped his lips and he darted into the bathroom.

Dean sighed and let his head fall against the wall. He allowed himself a few calming breaths before knocking on the bathroom door. "Sammy I'm coming in." He turned the knob and was surprised his brother hadn't locked it. Glancing up, he saw Sam sitting on the closed toilet with his head in his hands. He took long, deep breaths that were released in shutters.

He maneuvered himself to his brother and kneeled down in front of him. He put his hands on Sam's elbows and rubbed his thumbs across his sleeves. "What's wrong, Sammy? Why are you sorry?"

"For leaving you. For not killing the demon tonight. For trusting Meg. For driving Dad away again. For killing mom and Jess." Sam took a breath and began shaking uncontrollably. Droplets of water slipped out of their ducts and landed softly on Dean's hands.

"Sammy, stop!" he shook his brother gently and blinked back his own tears. "Stop. I don't blame you. No one does. It's not your fault." He rubbed Sam's knee while keeping his voice firm.

Sam stared at him disbelievingly. He gave a half-hearted shrug and sniffed, his eyes pooling over again. Dean let one unabated tear fall.

He sat up a little straighter and pulled Sam close. Leading his head to the crook of his neck, he felt Sam collapse.

His tears were like hot stinging needles as they fell onto Dean's shoulder. Dean wrapped his arms around his brother and cringed as Sam's nails dug into his back as he pressed himself harder against Dean's chest. It seemed like Sam was trying to become him; to merge with his strong, courageous elder. To hide from life.

Jessica's death, Dean's near-death, their father's disappearance and reappearance, and the last year in general had finally taken their toll on Sam and he sobbed his angst out.

"Ssshhh." Dean ran one hand soothingly up and down his back and gently rubbed Sam's shaggy brown hair with his other. Eventually, his sobs subsided and he began to synchronize his breathing with Dean's.

"Don't let go." It was barely audible but Dean's trained ears heard the whispered plea.

"Ok, buddy." He squeezed him again and held on until Sam pulled away. "It's not your fault."

Sam cleared his throat and wiped his eyes on his sleeves. "Dad should've called by now. Let's try him again."

Dean nodded and pulled out his phone, dialing his father.

Sam wiped the remnants of 'weakness' from his face and sighed. Dean didn't blame him. Maybe it really will be ok. He thought.

On the fourth ring, Dean heard a voice. "You boys really screwed up this time." Dean looked up, trying to get Sam's attention but failing.

"Where is he?" he asked, his voice faltering in fear. Sam looked up.

"You're never gonna see your father again." She smiled and clicked the phone off. Dean's eyes widened and he watched Sam's reflect the tears that immediately filled his.

Maybe not.

The End