Disclaimer: I do not own Dean or Sam Winchester, or the show Supernatural. I only own the plot.

Warning: Adult theme, contains self mutilation. Read at your own risk.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------These Scars I Hide

Sam woke up at his usual time, before Dean. Sam doesn't bother looking at the clock anymore. He doesn't care what time it is, as long as it is before Dean wakes up. Sam always liked to use the bathroom first, before Dean is up, so he can change without questions.

Sam has been depressed for a long time, and Dean has yet to notice it. Ever since Jess's death, Sam has never been the same, but Dean hasn't noticed because he was out of his life for the four years previous, and had forgotten what his Sammy acted like. Sam used to be loud and overexcited all the time. He used to be a bubbly person, easy to laugh, just someone everyone could get along with. After Jess's death, he became reserve, depressed, quiet, withdrawn and hated to laugh because it would always remind him of Jess. Sam had become so depressed that he couldn't hide it to himself anymore. He had begun to use his hunting knife as release. Every night, when Dean either was at the local bar or having his nightly shower, Sam would make a new cut or two, or would just reopen the ones he already had.

The scars they made were an angry red colour, and Sam would never let them heal completely before he would reopen them. Sam was desperate for Dean to notice, but Dean would just look over it. Dean thought everything was peachy fine with Sam. But everything wasn't. Sam was dying inside, and outside. Sammy needed help.

Sam silently made his way to the bathroom and turned on only the hot water. He stepped in the boiling water and let it burn his skin. He washed quickly and then got out and dried himself off. Sam looked for his clothes that he usually brought in to change in the bathroom, but only saw his hunting knife. Sam sighed and picked it up and sat down on the toilet. He looked at his arm and traced over all the scars and cuts he made. The ones from the night before looked infected, but Sam only smiled at the thought. If they were infected, they would cause pain for longer, and take the pain away from inside. Sam decided against making new cuts on his arms, as he had to walk out in the room without his clothes on, so he looked down at his thighs.

Sam's thighs used to be toned, and deeply tanned, but now they were pale with many red lines cris-crossing over them. They were still toned and muscular, as they need to be as he still needs to be in top form if he's going to continue hunting with Dean. It would seem suspicious if Sam would wince every time he ran, or jumped off stairs or other objects found at a hunting site.

Sam played with the hunting knife against his left thigh, the thigh with less cuts and scars. He then pulled the cold metal of the blade against the burned skin of his leg, drawing a line of blood. Sam winced slightly when he pushed the knife deeper in his leg. The blood ran down his leg and started to make a small puddle on the white tiles beneath his feet. Sam stopped cutting for a minute to watch the blood run down his leg and puddle on the floor. A small smile of contentment flashed across his face until Sam stopped short. Someone was knocking on the door.

"Sam, are you almost done in there?" Dean asked groggily.

Sam quickly grabbed some toilet paper and started to clean his knife of the blood.

"Yeah, I'll be out in a minute," Sam answered back. Sam then tried to stop the blood from pouring out with more toilet paper. He got up and put all the toilet paper he used in the toilet and flushed it. He then grabbed the hand towel from the nail and wrapped it around his leg, before wrapping the bath towel around his waist. Sam opened the door to an impatient Dean.

"About time, Sammy. What did you do in there, die and be resurrected?" Dean joked. Sam looked disgusted and tried to move out of the door to let Dean in, but Dean didn't budge.

"You ok, Sammy? You look pale?" Dean asked, concern sweeping over his features.

"Yes, Dean, I'm fine," Sam said quickly. Sam put his arm up to scratch his head when he saw Dean pale considerably.

"Dean, your looking a little white yourself. Did you see a ghost?" Sam asked back. Sam dropped his arm back to his side, and Sam noticed Dean's eyes follow his arm. Sam looked down at his own arm and saw the scars and the cuts stand out on his skin. Oh crap, Sam thought.

"Sam," Dean started, then lost his voice.

Sam brushed past his older brother and sat down on his bed, hiding his arms from sight.

Dean tried again. "Sam? What happened?"

Sam ignored the question and started to get dressed when he pulled off the towel to pull on some boxers, when the fresh cuts came into Dean's view. Dean let out a gasp and Sam flinched when he came over and touched the fresh ones. Dean sat down on the bed across from Sam and pulled his legs to his chest, so he was sitting in a ball.

"Why Sammy?" Dean asked again. He didn't want to know how long Sam has been doing this to himself, but wanted to know why, so he could help him stop.

"Because I'm dead, Dean!" Sam said loudly, causing Dean to flinch. Dean shook his head slowly and forced himself to look away from the cuts and to look Sam in the face.

"No, you're not dead, Sammy. You're talking to me right now, you're breathing, you're alive," Dean said quietly.

"No, Dean, I'm dead. I'm dead inside. I've got nothing anymore. Jess died. My life died with her. I've got nothing anymore!" Sam almost shouted at Dean.

Dean tightened the grip he had on his legs and scrunched himself into a tighter ball. Sammy, his Sammy, cut himself because he lost his girlfriend, the same way their mother died. Dean thought over the facts, tried to figure out how long this has been going on for.

"How long, Sammy?" Dean asked.

"Will you stop calling me Sammy! My name is Sam!" Sam said angrily. Sam didn't know why he was angry at his brother, but he was. He wanted his release to be a secret forever. He didn't want to stop. He couldn't stop now.

"How long, Sam?" Dean asked again. Sam's anger instantly abated when he heard how scared Dean was. Sam never would have thought Dean to be scared if he ever found out. He thought Dean would be raving mad, and yelling at him, instead of using a scared, quiet voice. When Sam actually thought about it, he never heard Dean use a voice like this before, and felt instantly ashamed.

"A little more than four months now, I think" Sam said quietly.

Dean stood up abruptly and walked to the bathroom and grabbed the first aid kit from under the sink. In the kit there were bandages, gauze, disinfectant, tensor bandages and a few other odds and ends. Dean grabbed the disinfectant and the bandages from the kit and sat on the bed beside Sam.

"This is going to hurt, Sam," Dean said slowly. Dean felt a tear trickle down his face because he knew that Sam has been hurting himself for more than four months and this was going to be nothing compared to it, but he still felt like he had to say it.

Sam was watching all of Dean's movements critically, and wanted to hurt himself so bad when he saw the tear fall down Dean's cheek, unchecked. When he felt Dean pour the disinfectant on the fresh cuts, he winced, which caused Dean to flinch.

While Dean was cleaning the cuts and bandaging them, Sam was watching Dean cry silently to himself. Sam felt so ashamed for bringing this all on Dean, for slipping and letting Dean notice. Dean was treating Sam like a child because he didn't know what to say to Sam, how to act. He didn't even know how he was going to get Sam to stop, but he knew he had to if he wanted his Sammy back.

When Dean finally had all of Sam's cuts bandages, his arms and his legs, he stood up and stretched his cramped muscles and started walking to the bathroom.

"I'll be back in a few minutes Sam. When I get back, we are going to have a long talk," Dean said gently, but with his normal voice.

Sam nodded, not really taking in what Dean said. All Sam was thinking about was he should just leave Dean alone. Dean was better off without him. He was just a burden to Dean. Sam wanted to die, to kill himself, so Dean could move on and have a better life without his baby brother always being around.

Sam then realised just how much Dean needed Sam, just like Sam needed Dean. Dean could have yelled at him when he found out about all the harm he'd done to himself, but instead he's going to help him. Dean never once told him to leave. He always wanted Sam around. Needed Sam around. If Dean didn't have Sam, he would have no one, and Dean hates being alone. Sam also needed Dean to watch out for him, to be his brain when they needed to find the demons haunting innocent people. Sam needed Dean just as much as Dean needed Sam. They were a team. They were a family. They were everything to each other, and Sam almost killed it.

Sam then felt the urge to cut, to release all his murderous thoughts about killing himself. He wanted Dean to be proud of him, not scared for him. Sam ignored the urge to cut and tried to focus on Dean's needs instead of his own, for the moment being.

When Dean finally came back out of the bathroom and dressed silently, he sat down on the opposite bed as Sam and looked at Sam right in the eye.

"Sam, tell me everything: when you started, why this, and why you never told me," Dean said steadily.

Sam took a deep breath before he started. "This started a few days after Jess's death. I couldn't stand her being gone, and me still being here, alive. So one night, when you were out, I found my knife and tried to cut myself to see if it would feel any better. I didn't cut my wrist when I first started, but my thighs, so I could hide it easily. It relieved some of the pain from Jess, so I continued with it. I would only cut at night, when you were either out at the local bar, or taking one of your long nightly showers. It became habit, and routine for me to do every night. Today, I don't know why I did it, but I cut this morning, for no reason at all. And now I want to do it again. I need to do it, Dean. It's a part of me now."

"Why did you never tell me? I could have helped you, Sam."

"How was I supposed to tell you? 'Oh by the way Dean, I cut myself at night!' Because that would go over well with you. I didn't want you to know in the first place. It wasn't supposed to happen. You were never supposed to know. This was just to help me get over Jess, and it still hasn't helped."

"It hasn't helped because it's only adding pain to yourself, not taking any away."

Sam took in what Dean said and sat in silence for a few minutes before Dean spoke up again.

"But now that I know Sammy, I'm going to help you. You're going to stop now, and you're going to get better. I know it still hurts about Jess, but it will heal in time. But for now, we have to get you to stop. So you have to tell me whenever you get the urge to cut again, and you also have to give me your knife until I know you're not going to use it on yourself."

Sam gave his knife over to Dean and nodded his head slowly. Sam then looked into Dean's eyes before he asked his question.

"So you don't hate me Dean?"

"Hate you? I could never hate you Sam! Where did you ever get that idea?"

"Nevermind," Sam shook his head. Sam pulled a shirt over head and put in on, gently easing it over the cuts. When he finished that, he looked back at Dean, who was still watching him.

"Dean?" Sam said tentatively.


"I love you," Sam said quickly. This was the first time Sam could remember telling his brother that he loved him.

"I love you too Sammy," Dean said gently. Dean smiled then started packing up his bag.

"Hey, Dean," Sam said, a small smile coming to his face. "What ever happened to no chick flick moments?"

Dean looked back at Sam with a small smile on his face as well. "I think this one was needed,"


A/N: This was an idea that popped in my mind and wouldn't go away. It had to be written. Hope you all like it, and will leave me a small review to tell me who I did. I did not forget about Hangman's Noose, I plan on updateing it tomorrow if I have the time. Tell me if you want another chapter telling more of Sam's recovery story, and if you want that, ideas for it.

Happy Hunting!