Title: You're Not Alone
Disclaimer: I do not own Sam, Dean, John, the Impala, or anything related to Supernatural (if I did, I'd have them locked up in my closet, or in Dean's case, my bedroom). Supernatural is owned by Eric Kripke, etc. I'm merely borrowing the characters for my own fan fictional devices.
Spoilers: All Season 1 up to "Devil's Trap."
Summary: Sequel to "The New Big Brother." Sam and Dean take a trip down memory lane when they head to Chelsea, Kansas to bury their father. But of course, things are never easy. Dean is haunted by nightmares, and our boys find that their easiest job yet is also their hardest. Angst!Dean and BigBrother!Sam return. Multiple chapter, work in progress.
AN: For those who haven't read "The New Big Brother" yet, I highly recommend reading it, as this is the sequel to that and this will make better sense if you read TNBB first. To those who have read TNBB, I recommend rereading chapter 3 and the epilogue as a quick catch up, because they are a lead in to this sequel.
Secondly, I want everyone to know that I'm making no promises as to how quickly these chapters will come out, and I'm sorry about that. They'll probably come out pretty sporadically, and not as quickly as they have in my other stories. I'm in my junior year of college, and that has to come first. God only knows why I'm deciding to make myself write any more than I have to right now. Maybe it's because I haven't gotten any real paper assignments yet, and I'm feeling a need to write something. Which is pretty shocking actually. I think I may actually be beginning to almost like this writing thing. Which is a good thing, given I'm majoring in English, lol. So anyway, I decided I wanted to start putting this out, because the ideas have been growing in my head recently where they were kind of lacking before, and suddenly they are really itching to just get out on paper. And when ideas are begging to be let free, sometimes you just gotta go with it. : )
To that end, I hope you all enjoy this, and please don't forget to review on your way out. Thanks: )
You're Not Alone
– – Prologue – –
Dean Winchester flexed his muscles hard, fighting against the invisible force pinning him to the cold, wooden wall of the darkened cabin. They had finally found it. After 23 years, they had finally found the son of a bitch that had killed their mother, destroyed their family, and changed their lives forever. And now, after 23 years of searching, Dean should've had his hands around the bastard's neck, slowly choking the life out of it. He should've had a gun in his hand, firing bullets one after another into it, tearing it to shreds. He should've had a machete in his hand, chopping it up into little pieces…torturing it…making it suffer for killing the people he and his family loved.
Instead, he was pinned to a wall, angry and helpless. And even if he could have gotten free, he was powerless against it. The demon was in his father's body, possessing him, forcing him to hold his own sons captive while it messed with their minds; taunted them…threatened them.
As Dean fruitlessly struggled against the wall, he watched his father approach Sam, grinning evilly as the demon inside him told Sam why he had killed their mother and Jess.
Dean was not happy with how close the son of a bitch was to his little brother. He had to distract it, had to get it away from him before it did something – before it used their father to hurt Sam.
Angrily, Dean spoke to the demon, hoping to lure it away by insulting it.
"Listen, you mind just getting this over with, huh, 'cause I really can't stand the monologuing," he said, shaking his head in annoyance for effect.
Dean was not surprised when his father turned on him instead, and Dean's heart lifted a bit as the demon started walking toward him, leaving Sam alone. Dean smirked in satisfaction as his father approached.
"Funny, but that's all part of your MO, isn't it? Mask all that nasty pain. Mask the truth."
Dean played along; the longer it talked to him, the longer it stayed away from Sam.
"Oh yeah? What's that?"
"You know you fight and you fight for this family, but the truth is…they don't need you."
Dean's face twitched slightly, his heart clenching at the words.
"Not like you need them."
Dean tried hard not to let it show how much the remark affected him. He tried to remind himself that this was what demons were good at – figuring out a person's deepest, darkest fear and exploiting it to their advantage. But as the demon taunted him, as it addressed his worst fear, Dean couldn't help the pain he felt. His heart clenched at the thought that his father and his little brother didn't need him in their lives. It was something he had wondered about millions of times. They were his life, his whole reason for living. But John had his revenge to live for. And Sam? Sam had a normal life. He had friends. How could Dean compete with that?
And they had both left him. His father had left him to chase the demon alone. Sam had left for college and he hadn't looked back. He'd even told him that he would leave as soon as the demon was dead. How much could his brother really need him? As much as Dean tried to tell himself the demon was just manipulating his fears, Dean couldn't help feeling that it was telling him the truth.
Though Dean's head was reeling with these thoughts, he succeeded in keeping his emotions hidden.
"Sam? He's clearly John's favorite. Even when they fight, it's more concern than he's ever shown you."
Dean ignored the pain he felt at the demon's words. He'd be damned if he let this son of a bitch know how much it was affecting him. Smirk firmly in place, Dean did what he always did to hide his feelings; he turned on the snark.
The corner of his mouth twitched up and he gave the demon the most evil look he could.
"Yeah, I'll bet you're real proud of your kids, too, huh? Oh wait, I forgot. I wasted 'em." His mouth twitched again when he saw his retort hit home hard.
His father backed up, a mixture of sadness and rage on his face. Dean continued to smile, proud that he had struck a nerve. He watched his father stop, gaze dropping to the ground. He wondered what the demon was going to do next.
Suddenly, without warning, Dean felt his body tear apart from the inside. He cried out in pain as he felt a hand grab his heart and pull hard, scratching at it, trying to yank his heart out through his chest. He vaguely heard Sam call his name. But he couldn't focus on anything but the pain. It hurt more than anything he had ever felt before. But what hurt more than anything was the look on his father's face – a look of hatred, malice, and satisfaction.
Dean moaned as the hand grasped him harder, and he gasped, breathing heavily, as a deep gash opened on his chest, pouring thick blood down his body. He began to hyperventilate, the pain in his body unbearable. It was too much. He felt like his whole world was being torn apart. He felt the demon tear into his chest again. Dean fought through the pain and tried to get through to his father.
"Dad," he gasped, panting heavily. "Dad, don't you let it kill me," he ordered, voice quivering.
His father didn't respond. Instead, the demon grabbed on tighter, pulling on his heart, shredding his chest to ribbons in its attempt to destroy him. Dean groaned loudly, and he thought he heard Sam yell, "Dean! No!"
Suddenly, Dean heard a voice in his head. "Sam and I don't need you. Your brother left you; left you alone to take care of me while he ran off to live the normal life. He didn't care what you thought, what you wanted. You asked him not to leave, you begged him. But he didn't care. He just left. He didn't really need you, and he never will."
Dean gasped in pain, trying to tune out the taunting in his head. His father couldn't be saying this. He just couldn't. It was the demon…it had to be the demon…
"What could you possibly give this family? You're useless. Pathetic. A waste of space. We don't need you now and we never will."
Dean cried out, watching as the blood continued to pour out of his chest.
"I could never love you."
Faint whimpers escaped from Dean's pain stricken body. He couldn't take it anymore. He couldn't stand it; it was all too much. He was going to die, there was nothing he could do to stop it…And nobody would miss him.
Slowly, Dean lifted his head, blood pouring out of his mouth. Using the little remaining strength and will he had left, he begged his father to save him, to make the pain stop…to make everything stop. "Dad, please," he whispered, voice breaking.
The demon squeezed his heart again, and Dean thrust his head back when he felt blood gurgling out of his throat. Then his head tipped forward, and he never heard Sam scream for him, never heard his father beg the demon to leave his son alone. All he saw and felt was darkness, a never-ending darkness swallowing him whole. He was drowning in darkness and pain, his father's voice echoing in his head."I could never love you…never love you…never love you…"
Dean gave in and let the darkness take him.
"Dean…""Never love you…"
"Never love you."
"Dean! Wake up! Dean!"
Dean groaned as the darkness pulled him deeper.
"Dean! Wake up, man. It's just a dream, it's okay. Dean!"
Suddenly, Dean felt a strong hand on his shoulder and he jerked awake, shooting upright, gasping in pain as his chest protested the sudden movement. He was breathing heavily, clutching his chest and trying to stave off the tears he felt in his eyes as he looked around him, trying to remember where he was. His eyes took in the unfamiliar sight of the giant vehicle he was sitting in, parked in a town he didn't recognize. As he continued to pant, he slowly remembered what had happened. They had just left the hospital that day. He had fallen asleep…
Dean sighed heavily and lay back down. He pressed his hands into his eyes, trying hard to banish the images that were burned into his mind. Trying to rid himself of the darkness, the anger…the pain.
Finally, his breathing slowed down to normal. He could feel a gentle ache in his chest, and he wasn't entirely sure it was from sitting up fast. He opened his eyes and realized that Sam's hand was still on his shoulder, gripping tightly. Dean focused on his brother and the worried expression on his face. He attempted to shake off the feelings the dream had left him with so that he could focus on wiping that look off of his brother's face. When he couldn't get rid of them, he settled for pushing them aside.
"Are you okay?" Sam asked him.
Dean sighed. "Yeah, Sam. I'm fine," he replied, feeling anything but.
Sam wasn't convinced. "Are you sure? You were…you were making an awful lot of noise…"
Dean closed his eyes and groaned inwardly. What was it with Winchesters and not being able to sleep quietly?
"It's nothing, Sam. Just a nightmare," he said quietly. He shrugged his shoulder gently, the contact broken as Sam got the hint and let go.
"Yeah, I kind of got that, Dean, believe it or not," Sam said jokingly, a small smile on his face. Dean knew he was trying to cheer him up.
It wasn't working.
Dean turned his gaze away from Sam, not rising to the bait.
Dean saw Sam frown out of the corner of his eye, and he heard his brother sigh.
"Was it the same one?" Sam inquired gently.
"Yeah," Dean replied simply. He had had this dream before. Since the accident, Dean had had this exact same dream many times. He'd been quiet about it at first, but it got more and more painful the more he dreamt it, and Dean loathed how easy it was for a person to lose control of their actions when they were asleep. Eventually, he had woken up from the dream to find Sam leaning over him, shaking his shoulders and urging him to wake up. He had admitted to having had the nightmare before, but he had never told Sam what had happened in it.
And he never planned to.
"Do you want to tell me about it?" Sam asked him.
Dean knew the question was coming, and so he did what he had done many times before.
He pushed Sam away.
"No," he said quietly.
In the past, Sam had dropped the conversation then and there, not wanting to push his brother too far. But this time, instead of dropping it, Sam pushed back. "Dean…maybe it will help you to talk about it."
"Did it make you feel any better when you told me about your nightmares, Sam?" Dean asked, a bit harshly. He regretted the words the instant they left his mouth.
Sam moved away from Dean and sat back up in his seat, a hurt look on his face. But it was quickly replaced with one of anger.
"Forget it, Dean. I'm just trying to help," Sam bit out, leaning back in his seat and staring out his window.
Dean sighed. He didn't regret pushing Sam away. Sometimes it was better for Sam that he didn't know what was going on in Dean's head. It was complicated enough for Dean, and he didn't want to drag Sammy into his problems. Dean did regret what it did to Sam when he did. But this was just something he could never tell his brother about.
Dean reached down next to him and pulled the lever that would bring up the back of the seat. He sat up slowly and took stock of their surroundings.
"Where are we?" he asked.
"At a pharmacy," Sam answered, still looking out the window. "I was going to go in and pick up your meds until you-" Sam didn't finish his sentence, knowing what would happen if he tried to bring up the nightmare again.
Dean didn't reply or turn to Sam. He continued to stare out his window, lost in thoughts of the dream.
"Never love you…I could never love you."
"Dean!" Sam shouted.
Dean shook himself out of his reverie, angry with himself for letting his mind slip.
"What?" Dean asked, turning to face his brother.
"I asked if you wanted anything else besides the pills."
"Yeah, a six pack would be nice," Dean answered emotionlessly.
"Dean," Sam said warningly.
"Yeah, I know, Sam. No alcohol. Got it," Dean replied bitterly.
Sam sighed loudly, unbuckled his seat, took a fistful of prescriptions off the floor between them, and opened his door. "Whatever, Dean. I'll be back in a few minutes. Don't go anywhere."
"Yeah, right," Dean said under his breath.
Dean winced when Sam's door slammed closed and Sam stalked off toward the entrance to the pharmacy. Dean turned his gaze back toward his window, trying to ignore the stab of guilt he felt at pushing Sam away.
Really, things were better this way. He knew they were. Sam had enough on his plate; he didn't have to deal with Dean's stupid nightmares, too.
"They don't need you. Not like you need them."
Dean swallowed the lump in his throat as his thoughts inevitably drifted back toward the dream.
Only it wasn't just a dream; wasn't just a nightmare. It wasn't just something that plagued him in his sleep.
It was something that had really happened.
That night in the cabin, his father had really whispered those angry, harsh words in his head. And Dean hadn't been able to forget them. Not when he was being constantly reminded of them in his dreams. His nightmares.
He felt himself being dragged back into the images of his nightmare – his reality – and he didn't fight it.
Twenty minutes later, Dean was pulled out of the remnants of his nightmare by the sound of Sam's door opening. He turned to see Sam climb into the car and place a large plastic bag down between their seats. He closed the door, quietly this time, and gazed down at his lap, fiddling with the keys. Dean watched him in silence, waiting for Sam to say something, anything, to break the awkward silence between them.
Finally, Sam sighed and looked up at him. "I'm sorry, Dean. I don't want to push you. I just…I just want to help you. I know how real dreams can be sometimes, and I just…I just want to help you," he finished lamely.
Dean felt another stab of guilt. Why on earth was Sam apologizing to him?
"Sam, it's fine. You don't have anything to apologize for. It's just…." Dean paused, wondering how to put what he wanted to say as gently as possible. "The best way for you to help me is to just…let it go…don't ask me about it. Okay?" Dean asked gently.
He knew it wasn't good enough for Sam. He knew that Sam still wanted him to share. But Sam had to know that Dean was not the sharing kind. He hoped that his brother would understand.
Dean was satisfied when Sam finally looked back up at him and smiled lightly. "Yeah. Okay."
It was good enough for him. "Good," Dean replied.
They sat in silence for a moment, until Sam asked, "Are you hungry? Do you wanna find something to eat? We passed a diner on the way here."
Dean looked at the clock. He wasn't very hungry, but then he hadn't been hungry at all lately anyway. But it was one o'clock in the afternoon, and Dean knew Sam was probably hungry by now. Wanting to appease his brother's request, Dean answered, "Sure. Sounds good," without really meaning it.
Sam buckled up, put the keys in, started the car, and backed out of the space, heading out of the parking lot and back onto the main road. As Sam drove toward the diner, Dean caught a look on his face that he knew all too well; a look that said Sam didn't believe a word his brother was telling him.
Dean sighed slowly and looked back out his window. The mask that the demon had mentioned…it was real. Dean knew it was real. But it was something he needed. Dean cursed inwardly at how hard it was for him to hold onto it sometimes. He knew Sam could sense that something was bothering him.
But how could he admit to Sam how much everything was bothering him when he didn't even want to admit it to himself?