Summary: Post Devils Trap Dean emo moment. Sorta thing.
Dean knows that while he's had to languish in his hospital bed a while longer than his father and brother, he actually came out of the wreck in the best shape of all. The only reason it's taken him longer to heal is because they'd had to drain a lung and re-inflate it and that took time. Although the tubes are out, they want to keep him in longer, but he's already made up his mind that he's signing himself out today. His dad and brother have already signed themselves out, Sam looking particularly gruesome with his black and blue face atop the soft neck brace. A whale of a concussion and some whiplash, but after a shaky start, he'd pulled through and passed all the tests that told them the youngest Winchester wouldn't be haemorrhaging or falling into a coma anytime soon. And dad had broken his right side, casts on leg and arm, ribs bound and a concussion that made his ears ring. Dean didn't have any broken bones, and not even a little concussion; just the ragged tears through his flesh. So really he was the best off of the three of them so long as he didn't breathe too hard.
Dean knows that his father, and probably his brother, will be expecting him to show up at their motel sometime, and Dean half expects one of them to come visit and help him get himself out of there. But he also knows that he needs to fix himself up before he can go anywhere. Not the physical fixing up, because the doctors have done as much as they can already. It's the touchy feely crap he needs to get a handle on. Over the last few days he's not really had to deal with either Sam or his dad with them all strung out on painkillers or sedatives or whatever the hell else they kept pumping into them, but he knows that he's not in any shape to deal with them. He quite honestly thinks he's as likely to burst into to tears as tell them to burn in hell and he cannot, will not, let himself get all emo with his family or anyone else.
Dean knows he came off best, but that he needs to deal with his own shit before he can be there for them.
Dean knows that his dad was not responsible for tortures he inflicted on Dean, and he can only imagine what it must have been like for his father to have been trapped in his own body while his mind was violated, even raped by the Demon. His dad did not need for Dean to be getting all knotted up over words and actions that were not his dad's fault, and Dean knows that he will help his dad get over that trauma. Probably help him drown it in a lake of bourbon, make sure he puked in the bathroom and feed him coffee and Tylenol in the morning. His dad rarely got drunk, but when he did it was always a bender followed by the worlds worst hangover and anguished promises never to get that drunk ever again. But it all helped his dad get whatever demon he was battling out of his head. And this particular demon had to be one hell of a bender in the making.
Dean knows that he has no right to feel sorry for himself when his dad has that kind of trauma going on.
Dean knows that Sam has got be beating himself up. How must his little brother be feeling, knowing that he's a part of the Demon's plans, knowing that both his mom and his girl had both been murdered for him? And Sam'll be blaming his inability to move that gun with his mind for some of Dean's injuries. It was a given that Sam's nightmares would be haunting him again, and Dean's pretty certain that his brother won't be taking good enough care of himself, not eating properly and getting cranky at the least little thing.
Dean knows that he has no right to feel sorry for himself when his brother has all that horror to deal with.
Dean knows that while it's true that his family doesn't need him like he needs them, they still do need him. They need him to have pulled himself together and be there. They need him stand between them when they fight, they need him to not hold things they had no control over against them, they need him to help them through their trauma. But he needs to pack his own shit up and put it away somewhere first.
Dean knows very well that he internalises a lot, letting off steam in a brawl or a hunt, but that's just the way he deals with his crap. He's always hated people telling him to let it out, to express himself, mostly because they've never understood. Maybe when he has something that's worth screaming and shouting about he'll have a hysterical fit or whatever it is he's expected to do, but he honestly doesn't believe he's had any one single moment of anger or pain worthy of that. Except maybe with Meg; he was pretty close to the edge just then over his dad getting caught. And he doesn't believe that accumulating all the small pains and angry moments is going to make his head explode or something. And in any case he stopped listening to people sometime when he was still taller than little Sammy.
Dean knows that if he tries to push away the shitstorm left over from the cabin as is, he won't be able to hold himself together for long. He's been doing that the last few days when he's been lucid enough to know what's going on, and really it's only a temporary fix. He needs to face every word and cut that hurt and replay it. The memory of physical pain has already receded, replaced with the current pain albeit masked by painkillers, but it'll be forgotten, even the scars will recede into just another war wound, eventually fading altogether with luck.
On the other hand, the words are not so easily forgotten, but he's always known the truth and known that the truth hurts. Lies are easily forgotten, but truths, no matter how twisted, needed to be dealt with. He needs to compress it all to its purest form, relive it bit by bit in bite-sized chunks, replaying each little chunk until the pain attached recedes, until he becomes inured to the truths twisted by the demon raping his father. Only when he's satisfied that each chunk can be replayed without the threat of angry tears or words or adrenaline or any other unacceptable reaction does he take a step back and look at the whole picture, examining it all with clinical ruthlessness until he it's all reduced to that familiar ache that he can push down to the cesspit deep inside where it won't bother him and he can pull that mask the demon so helpfully pointed out comfortably over the top.
Back when he still listened to people, they said he couldn't keep doing that, that one day he would fill himself up with all those things he pushed down, that he would harden himself so much he would become brittle and unable to feel anything at all, until the pressure of all those things built up to a point where he'd self-destruct in one shattering blast. That was about the time he stopped listening to people, after all what did they know?
Dean knows that when he gets to the motel his father will ask how he's doing, and he'll really be asking if Dean's sure he can stay upright, that he won't need to have his father or brother support him. Because that would be a waste of resources. And that would be his father's way of telling him everything was the same as it had always been and it was all alright.
Dean knows that when he gets to the motel Sam will ask him if he's okay, and he'll really be asking if Dean needs to talk. Because Sam will be the one that really needs to talk and Dean will make sure he does and Sam'll know that's Dean's way of telling him everything was the same as it had always been and it was all alright.
Dean's mildly surprised to see both Sam and his dad come into his room, but he knows they'll help him get out of this place today. He hopes they can keep from fighting for a little while because Dean knows that he should be in the middle keeping his brother and his father apart, but he doesn't have the strength right now so he would have to let them get on with it and look how well that turned out last time with Sam leaving and all.
"How are you doing?" his dad asks.
"Are you okay?" Sam asks too.
Dean knows better than to answer either one of them directly. "Soon as I sign the forms I'm good to go," he says, plastering a grin in place. "Unless you're gonna sneak me out through the morgue," he asks with genuine hopefulness.
Dean knows that his dad'll be on the forms asap, and Sam will bitch about Dean signing himself out, not withstanding that Sam had signed himself out, but then he'd be helping Dean get dressed all the while. Dean is a bit more surprised when his dad sits on the bed, and Sam comes around and sits on the other side effectively pinning Dean. His father's mouth moves, but no words are coming out, and Dean is on the verge of telling him it can wait until they get to a bar when Sam steps in. He and dad have been talking, he says, and between them they've decided that Dean's staying in the hospital until the doctors say he can leave. And they've decided that Dean's going to talk about what happened.
Deans knows now that the people he stopped listening to were right. He's way more brittle than he thought because he'd gotten too hardened to notice. And suddenly the pressure from all the pain and anger inside is almost too great to bear. He'd always looked out for his dad and Sam, not the other way around, and he'd never imagined, never prepared for a day when they'd gang up on him. "Oh god, we're not going to have to hug, are we?" he says, expecting a laugh and a return to normal, back to where he has a handle on things. But they knew he would do this and his next line of witty sarcasm is choked back as they pull him gently forward and enclose him in a familial embrace.
Dean doesn't know what to do with this.
And Dean doesn't know if there's enough glue in the whole world to put himself back together afterwards.