This is the nicer version of 'I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL'. This one is not as brutal and with a much better ending. Sam's POV as well.
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE PENNY
"Alright, look, I know how you feel," Dean said sombrely.
"Do you?" came Sam's reply.
Dean looked at him, confused and taken aback by the harshness of his brother's voice.
"How old were you when mom died? Four?" Sam went on, a rage in his eyes that Dean had never seen directed at him before, "Jess died six months ago. How the hell would you know how I feel?"
Two years ago:
Dean opened the window slowly and leaned out, carefully planting his foot on the ground outside before letting the rest of his body follow. "This is ridiculous," he murmured under his breath. Here he was; having to sneak out in the middle of the night to see a girl.
John was sound asleep in the other room; Dean had made sure to check before leaving. They'd have at least a couple of hours before he would have to get back to the motel.
It had been three days since he last saw her. His dad had dragged him along on a hunt that had lasted longer than usual. Three days of wishing he was somewhere else. Three days of longing, and waiting to get back. He'd missed her terribly; the soft curves of her body, the smell of her hair, the warmth of her skin against his. His heart fluttered in his chest at the mere thought of her.
He parked outside her house and waited, leaning against his car. A minute passed and then the door to the house opened and she slipped outside. His heart pounded in his chest. She turned and her face broke into a smile when she saw him. She scurried over to him and he wrapped his arms around her.
He stopped the car by the lake and glanced at her. She didn't notice, her eyes were on the lake. He watched her twirling her hair into a tight knot and releasing it. He loved her hair. She opened the door and turned to him. "C'mon," she said softly.
They lay by the lake - naked, wet bodies sprawled on Dean's jacket. They were lying close to each other, her head resting on his chest and his arms wrapped around her small form. Only a minute ago their bodies had cut through the surface of the water as they jumped into the lake.
"I missed you," he murmured into her damp hair.
"I missed you too, Dean," she whispered.
He felt her shiver and pulled her closer. "You cold?" he asked.
"A little," she replied.
He reached out for his sweater. She sighed happily as he covered her upper body with it.
She nodded and kissed him.
Dean and his dad had come to town three months ago to work a case. One night, while on a hunt, John had been severely injured and had had to spend a month in the hospital. He was out of the hospital now, but had been told to rest for at least a couple of weeks.
Dean had met her at the hospital. Her grandfather had had a heart attack and she had been waiting in the hallway while her parents visited him. Dean had been there too, waiting for news on his father's condition. They hadn't talked that time. They had just watched each other, sneaking a peek whenever they thought the other wasn't watching. A day later they had met again and Dean had introduced himself. They had been talking that entire day. And Dean had bonded for the first time with someone other than Sam and his father.
He dropped her off at her house two hours later and headed back to the motel. He opened the creaking window and climbed inside, fumbling with his clothes as he undressed. Then a hawk and he jumped, the legs of his jeans twisting around his ankles and causing him to fall. He landed with a loud thud and a groan of pain.
"Where the hell have you been?" His father had worked up quite a rage already. He'd probably been awake for a while, waiting for him, and gotten angrier and angrier as the minutes ticked away.
Dean drew a shaky breath and let his hands slump to his sides. He was tired. His muscles had tensed during the beating he'd received from his dad and now they were aching. He felt pain and sadness work their way up his body, stopping by his heart shortly to give it a good wrench and then moving up his throat to choke him. He swallowed hard, forcing them down again. Not now. This was not the time to cry. Maybe later when he was dead. He walked slowly towards his bed and laid down on his belly. He fell asleep and dreamt about truth and rage and the never-ending war between them.
Seconds turned to minutes turned to hours turned to days turned to weeks turned to months and Dean hadn't gone back to see her.
But months felt like weeks felt like days felt like hours felt like minutes felt like seconds when he let himself think about her. She was as fresh in his memory as if they'd never parted that night by the lake. He could smell her hair, feel her warm soft skin against his and he had to swallow hard many times to not choke.
Then one day truth hit him like a brick wall. A family murdered in their home by burglars. And a photo of her on the front page. And he could not swallow hard this time to keep from choking. He couldn't think. He couldn't breathe. He couldn't move. His hands were shaking so hard he couldn't hold on to the newspaper and it fell to the ground. He gasped for air because his lungs felt like they had collapsed. His hands fumbled to stop the bleeding from his heart, but there was no blood. His vision became blurry all of a sudden and he wondered if maybe he was losing his eyesight too. He felt weak in the legs and tried in vain to hold on to something to keep him standing. But he fell. Hard on his knees. Asphalt kissing them so hard it drew blood. And he screamed. He screamed at Sam for leaving. He screamed at his dad for not wanting him. He screamed at the world for hurting him so much. He screamed until his voice broke and he could scream no more. Then the sobs took over and he couldn't stop them. They attacked him from inside and pounded on him so hard he had to throw up.
Someone stopped beside him and put a hand on his shoulder. "Are you okay, son?" But he couldn't hear the man. His ears had blocked. And the hand soon disappeared.
Then he cried. And he cried until there were no more tears to shed. He started punching the asphalt with his fists. Punching asphalt's ugly face. Wanting to hurt it, to break it like it had broken his knees. And he continued until the asphalt was bleeding his blood and his fists were numb.
Then suddenly air returned to his lungs and the sobs stopped pounding inside him. His vision cleared. There was no more to give. He was empty inside. But calm.
He struggled to his feet and wiped at his tears with his sleeve. Ran a hand through his hair and swallowed hard. And then he went back to the motel.
He opened to door to find his dad on the bed cleaning his guns.
"What happened to you?" his dad asked.
"Got in a fight with some dudes outside."
"Did you win?"
He nodded and smiled a fake smile.
"How the hell would you know how I feel?"
Dean looked away quickly. 'Please, Dean, don't break down now,' he begged himself silently. But this time he couldn't stop it. He felt tears well up and quickly turned his head away from Sam so he wouldn't notice. He tried to push away the memories. He couldn't let himself think about her, it would break his heart all over again and he couldn't go through it one more time. But it hurt, it really did and the pain it had brought him to hear Sam talk to him like that was just as strong as the pain had been when he lost her.
"I, uh," he stammered, trying to come up with an excuse to leave the car. His mind was blank. The tears were starting to fall. He couldn't come up with a good reason and time was running out. He opened the door to the car quickly and got out.
"Dean, where are you going?" Sam asked.
"Stay in the car," Dean mumbled, his voice trembling. He had to get out of here quickly. He strode across the road and in between the trees at the other side of the road. He needed to be alone.
"Stay in the car."
Dean had sounded like he was about to cry when he had said that. Sam was confused. Dean never cried. He never showed emotion like that, or rather he never let anyone see emotion like that. Dean always tried to avoid chick flick moments, shrugging off anyone who was getting too close or wanted to help. Why was he on the verge of crying now? What had happened to make him so sad all of a sudden? He couldn't wait in the car. He had to go check on Dean, see if he was okay.
"Dean, we can't get close to people period. With what we do we'd just put them in danger. It's easier to just stay away. Trust me."
His father's words echoed in his mind. His dad had been right. He hadn't understood that then, but he did now. After going through the pain of losing someone he knew all too well.
Dean made his way through the clearing. Tears were stinging his eyes and made his vision blurry, but he kept going. There was nothing that could stop the emotional breakdown now and he had to make sure he was alone when the bubble burst.
Sam was in the dark – in more ways than one. What the hell was up with Dean? And why did he have to take off in the middle of the night? It was so dark Sam could barely see his hand when he held it up in front of him. Suddenly he slipped and fell face down in the mud. He cursed and struggled to his feet. "Dean!"
Alone. Finally. He was getting tired of running anyway. Dean dropped to his knees, panting heavily, trying to catch his breath. He was surprised at this. He was pretty fit. He shouldn't be out of breath already. Then he realized that he was crying and sobbing now and that it was the sobs that were making it so hard for him to breathe. He figured it would be impossible for him to hold back now so he let the tears fall. He slumped back on the trunk of a tree and buried his face in his arms. 'She's gone,' he thought. 'She's been gone for a long time. She won't ever come back. You have to move on!' But it wasn't as easy to do it as it was to say it. She'd been a part of him and when she died she'd taken a piece of him with her. He wasn't whole. He was half a heart, half a soul, half a body – half a Dean. Nobody could ever fill the void after her. And he was getting sick and tired of living life like a hemi paretic.
The sound of muffled sobs. Sam stopped to listen. He wondered if maybe a kid had got lost in this jungle that was the clearing, or rather forest, and that he or she cried for his or her mommy. But when he walked towards the sound it became more and more apparent to him that it was an adult crying – not a little kid. A kid would've wailed, like - well, like a little kid. This was a muffled cry. This cry held more pain than any kid's cry would ever do. It was a mature cry; quiet and kind of strained, as if the person had to force himself – Sam heard it was a man now – to let it out. He recalled Dean's trembling voice by the car and moved closer. This couldn't be Dean? Could it? Dean didn't cry. He just didn't.
Sam inched closer and stopped short when he suddenly saw Dean sitting against a tree. His body was shaking with the soft sobs. He really was crying. Sam was taken aback by the whole scene that was played out before him. Was this really his brother? Dean seemed totally crushed and Sam's heart overflowed with pain and guilt. He knew he had been the one to set all this in motion. He'd been the one to kick-start it.
The last thing he'd said to Dean before his brother left the car had been 'How the hell would you know how I feel?' Sam got a bitter taste in his mouth just thinking about the words he'd spat at his brother. He hadn't been thinking. How could he have been so stupid? How the hell would he know if Dean had experienced loss or not? He'd taken off for college and been away for four years. Anything could've happened during that time. Suddenly he realized just how selfish he'd been. Dean had always treated him fair, had always protected him. He would've never spoken to Sam like Sam had just spoken to him. He was Dean. It wasn't in his nature. Sam bit his lip and felt tears welling in his eyes as well. 'I'm such an ass," he thought.
He backed away slowly. Dean had wanted to be alone. He was going to respect that. This scene wasn't meant for his or anyone else's eyes. Well, at least not until Dean chose to let him in. He turned and walked back to the car.
Dean had no idea how long he'd been gone. Sam was probably getting worried. 'What's wrong with me?' he questioned, 'How could I've been so stupid to leave Sam alone like that?' He wiped at his eyes with the back of his hand and stood up. He was done bawling like a baby.
Finding his way back to the car wasn't as easy as the aimless running away part had been. But finally he sighted the car and Sam's tall frame that was leaning on the hood of the car. Dean slowed down his pace, not sure what to say or how to explain his hurried escape from his brother earlier. But he shouldn't have been worried about coming up with an explanation. Sam didn't ask for one. Dean studied his brother's face for any sign of pity, but there was none.
"Glad you made it back," Sam said. He smiled a little. "I'm sorry about before. I was angry with dad and took it out on you. I shouldn't have."
Dean instantly forgave him. He would always forgive Sam no matter what he did. Sam only had to say the words.
"There's nothing to be sorry about, Sam," he said and then he added with a sly grin; "But if you get in the car covered in all that mud I'll make you sorry."
Sam laughed at this and it warmed Dean's heart.
"How long before we reach Indiana?"