Disclaimer: I do not own "Supernatural" or The Brothers Winchester.

Author's Note: Hi all! Yes, I know I should be working on "A Beer," but... well... blame the repeats!

I hope you all enjoy!

It was driving Sam nuts. He knew that. The silence. His little brother thought he was mad, thought he was hurt, thought things would never be the same again; that he'd broken something irreparably, done something unforgivable. And Dean wished it were that simple. God, how he wished it were that clear-cut, that easy.

He wished he could turn to his brother and scream and yell and curse and punch the little shit in the head—wished he could rant and rave and demand how could you at the top of his lungs. He wished he could vent the anger and hurt and betrayal that was roiling around inside him like poison; wished he could look Sam in the eye and ask, after everything I've done for you, everything I'd do, why?

But he couldn't. He couldn't do that and not just because of his personal distaste for "chick-flick" moments, but because of an entirely different reason.

He couldn't ask Sam why or evern how he could hate him because he knew.

Because in the darkest corner of his soul he knew why his brother hated him—he knew because he could reciprocate the sentiment.

Sam hated him.

Sam hated him because he couldn't let him go, because he could turn away from everything but him; because some days nothing made sense but him. Because Dean was his constant, his immovable force and Sam couldn't deny that, couldn't run from that. Because Dean was the only tie Sam couldn't cut.

It was easy to despise the one thing that kept you tied to an existence you did your best to run from; easy to blame that person for existing, for making everything harder, for being there…

It was easy to dream of what your life would be like if that person just disappeared, if that person had never existed—even as you knew that you'd never let go.

It was a dark, twisted feeling and he knew it well. He knew what it was like to be tied to something, to someone and be unable to break free.

It would shock Sam into speechlessness, he was sure, to know that once his brother had had dreams too. That Hunting hadn't always been the sole player in those dreams, that once he'd dreamt of doing something else—being someone else.

Hell, he'd been a teenager too. He'd been in school, he'd had options, opportunities… he'd also had Sam.


Who was eleven and twelve and thirteen and hadn't hit his growth spurt yet; who read all the time and fought with Dad when he wasn't reading. Sammy who'd depended on his big brother to pick him up from school and make dinner and be there.

He hated Sammy.

He hated him because Sammy was something he couldn't turn away from. Because Sammy made sense when nothing else did – guard him, love him, be there; – because Sammy was his purpose, his reason; because Sammy depended on him and he couldn't run from that, couldn't ignore that. Because he couldn't untie himself from Sammy.

It was so twisted; so fucked up—like most things in their world.

Sammy had bound him to this life before he'd chosen it. Granted it was different now… now it was his choice… now he saw what they did as a necessity. Now he knew they saved lives, changed lives, made a difference one family at a time.

There had been days though, when he'd imagined what it would be like to just walk out the door and never come back, to not have to worry about someone else, to not have to guard him, to love him, to be there. Imagined what it would be like to be free of his little brother— even as he knew he'd never let go.

The darkness of the emotions horrified him, the fierceness behind them made him sick. To have those emotions, those thoughts released, exposed, acted upon—he could only imagine how sick Sam felt.


He sighed, his brother's voice reaching him through the door.

"Are you okay? Do you need any help?"

Any other day and he would have made a joke out of Sam's phrasing, but not today. Not now. Neither of them could take joking right now.

"I'm fine." He called through the door.

He could hear Sam not moving.

He got up off the toilet seat and opened the door before he could talk himself out of it. His brother was standing there—abject apology written all over his face and Dean hated it. Hated it because he knew how Sam felt and god this is so twisted and fucked up and goddamn that asylum…

They just stood there; neither one saying anything. Sam was studying him intently as if he'd be able to see the bruising beneath the gray t-shirt Dean was wearing.

"I'm fine," Dean repeated and then swallowed hard, "… really it's fine…"

Sam shook his head, "Dean…"

"Believe me, Sam," he interrupted, "It'll be fine."

He wanted Sam to drop it. For both their sakes because he wasn't sure what was harder to bare— that Sam could hate him or that he could hate Sam.

He moved past his brother and sat on the bed.

Sam moved too.

Sam sat across from him and wouldn't drop it. He talked about how sorry he was, about how he couldn't control it, about how the doctor did it to him; about how he didn't feel that way, about how he could never hate Dean—

And that's where Dean held his hand up and stopped him.

Sam's eyes flashed with hurt and he set about with more determination to explain how none of it was true.

But he was tired and hurt and he wanted this day to end. So he stretched out on the bed and closed his eyes. He shifted into the pillow and began to block out his younger brother's voice.

Sam murmured his name, but Dean didn't move, didn't respond—this entire topic needed to be dropped now.

He didn't want to hear Sam deny that he could hate him; didn't want to hear that lie. And he knew it was a lie—

Sam could hate him enough to want him to disappear because Sam loved him enough to never to let go.

And as twisted and fucked up as it was -- it was a sentiment Dean could reciprocate.

-- Fin