Disclaimer: Hmm…still hasn't changed.
Author's Note: Thank you to everybody who reviewed Chapter 1. has been weird lately, I wasn't able to get into my account. Did anybody else have that problem? And I just today got all of my alerts. And then I couldn't post until now. Something about "error processing your request." Hmm. Anyway.
I'm sorry for the long wait. Writer's block. Major block. Great Wall of China type block. Okay, okay, not a good excuse. But I'm still sorry.
Thanks to (pmsdevil and boscoslut, your usernames made me giggle. Wink.):
LynyrdSkynyrdRoadie- LOL, me too. Thank you for reading and reviewing!
Spuffyshipper- Thanks! Here you go.
And now…onto the fic.
Legacies, Crossroads, and Sacrifices
They still hadn't said a word to each other when they walked into their motel room two and a half hours later. The air around them was still thick, heavy, and very nearly oppressing.
Dean waited for the apology he knew he didn't deserve, Sam waited for the explanation he knew probably wouldn't come.
Duffel bags hit individual beds with identical thumps that sounded at the same time.
Dean went about unpacking his stuff, placing his Beretta on the dresser between the beds and his cherished ritual knife under his pillow.
Sam just sat at the edge of his bed, trying to rub through his casted arm to ease the ache caused by hitting his brother's hard damned head.
"So how long you gonna keep this little bitch fit up?"
Sam didn't look up at Dean's question. He just placed his head into his hands then dropped his right one when there was a twinge of pain. "I don't know who you are anymore."
Dean paused in surprise. "What?"
The fury was gone. That burning, hot, raging feeling was gone. Evaporated or just all sparked out, he didn't know. But it was gone. Now there was only…emptiness. Nothing. Not sadness, not grief, not despair. Not even curiosity.
He supposed that was worse.
"Do you remember what we were talking about right before Meg called us, when we found out she had him?"
Dean screwed his face up. "Yeah. So?"
Sam stared at him, face still impassive.
Dean was pretty sure it was freaking him out now.
"You were so damn stuck on saving me when I was so willing to get myself killed. Spouting on and on about sacrifices and it not being worth our lives and those gone were gone and they weren't coming back."
Dean shut down. As easily as that. He could see where this was going.
"You wouldn't let me push you away. You just had to wear your goddamn, big brother cape and look after poor-little-Sammy, he's the baby. He can't take care of himself. You were so intent on saving me from myself."
Dean was silent, then he lifted a hand, and stabbed a finger in Sam's direction. "We're not talking about this." His tone was dead serious.
"Wrong. We are. Dad's dead, Dean. Okay? Goddamn it, Dad is dead. Yes, he sacrificed himself for you; he gave his fucking life up for you. And you're all so willing to throw it away. For what?"
Dean's body was stiff, every line was rigid, Sam was willing to bet every muscle was as hard as granite.
"For the past year and a half, I was so caught up in revenge and 'why?' Why did Jess have to die? Why couldn't I? Why am I still here? You told me her death wasn't my fault. It took me awhile to believe it. So why in the hell can't you believe Dad dying wasn't your fault?"
"Because it was, Sam! Why the hell is it so damn hard for you to understand?!"
"Why the hell is it so damn easy for you?" Sam shot back. "It's not always black and white, Dean. You of all people should know that! This life isn't easy, we're gonna lose people, I know that and you know that. Why is it so hard for you to get it all of the sudden?"
"Because it's Dad! Dad's not stupid, he should've known better."
An unreadable look passed over Sam's face. "Maybe he did." Then he waited for his brother to get it.
He knew the exact moment Dean did. Golden jade eyes widened for a second before Dean looked away. "Oh, come on."
"Maybe he did, Dean. Maybe he just didn't care."
Dean turned his head back to him. Sam didn't know what to make of the look that shined from that gaze for just a second. "Maybe he should've."
Sam blew out a harsh breath and pushed himself to his feet. There was the anger. And there was the hurt. "You're pissed off that he sacrificed himself for you. You're pissed off that he didn't think about what that would do to you. You're pissed off that he left you to deal with things you don't think you can deal with without him." The words exploded from him as he stalked to his brother. Finally, he was toe to toe with him, inches away and Dean had to force his head back to meet his eyes. That slight surrender had unholy glee dancing in him. "You're a hypocritical, selfish, son of a bitch."
Dean's eyes flashed once, sparked dangerously before settling into ice. "That's the second time, Sammy. You're running out of free shots."
Sam twisted his mouth and forgot all about the fact that his wrist was cursing him, "Oh yeah?" He shoved Dean back, fought the urge to take another swing. "What're you gonna do about it, huh?" He did it again.
And when he made the movement to do it again, he somehow found himself falling backwards. As his back hit the ground, he kicked out with his legs and caught Dean's. He rolled away and jumped up to his feet just as Dean did. He rushed forward and tackled his brother, relishing in the explosion of air from Dean.
From then on, it was a no-holds-barred spar. Grunts and the thumps and crashes of bodies hitting the floor or walls filled the room. The brothers exchanged their hits and kicks, some never made contact, some were just barely dodged, and some made it past tight defenses.
It was a dance, brutal and beautiful. It was fury, hot and overwhelming. It was emotion. Emotion kept too long under taut reins, too intense to be tempered any longer, too pure to be anything but vicious. Emotion that couldn't be expressed in tears because the tears just couldn't make it past the anguish-driven anger. Not completely.
Neither knew how long it went on. Neither knew how many strikes were taken, and how many were evaded. They didn't think they wanted to know. It would mean too much. It would speak of too much. And they didn't want to hear.
Then Dean's head was slammed into the wall and the world swam slightly around him. A lance of pain raced up Sam's right wrist so sharp, white spots danced over his vision.
Dean slid down limply until he was sitting with his back pressed against the plaster, and Sam stumbled back gripping his hand to his chest.
They stared at each other. Bruised and bloody. And broken.
"What about me?" Sam hadn't meant to say it aloud. Then he thought, what the hell. "What about me? What am I going to do? You and Dad …you're the most important people in my life." He repeated his brother's words from not so long ago and wished he could see it meant more to Dean. He knew it did. But…just but. "And Jess. I've lost Mom, Jess, and Dad. How can you make me almost keep losing you too? How can it be so easy for you to be furious and hurt that Dad was so willing to give everything for you, and so easy for you to want to die?"
Dean swallowed thickly. God, everything hurt. Why wouldn't it stop hurting? Could it hurt anymore?
"No. Damn you. Goddamn you." The tears flooded but they didn't fall. When would they fall? "It's so easy for you to say it. It was so easy for you to keep me from doing the same. But now you're doing the exact thing Dad did. You want to throw everything away, everything you've ever gone through, everything we've ever fought for, and the hell with everyone else. Is it payback, Dean? Do you hate me that much?"
"What?" Dean looked shocked, just…dumbstruck. Sam might've thought it was funny.
But he couldn't.
"For not thinking of you when it was me. Or do you just not care anymore?"
Yes. It could hurt more. As he gaped at his little brother, he realized it could hurt more.
Dean brought his hands up and scrubbed his face with it, wincing when they came in contact with bruises and cuts. He didn't know what to do. He didn't know what to feel.
God, he didn't know.
"I don't hate you, Sam. I couldn't." And he meant it. If there was one thing he was sure of, it was that. "I'm just really…fucked up right now."
Sam was still for a moment then he sank to the floor. "So, what are we going to do?" Will you let me help you?
"We keep doing what we're doing." I'm sorry, Sammy. It's all I have.
Sam stared then nodded. "Listen…about what I said, I'm sorry—"
Dean lifted a hand and he tried to ignore how weary he felt. "No chick flick moments." It was code for 'You were right and I deserved it.'
He clenched his jaw, then nodded again. He winced as the aches and twinges registered, saw identical ones on his brother. "God, we're so messed up."
Dean smiled bitterly, "Yeah."
They were quiet again, before they brought themselves to their feet in mirroring movements.
"Let me see your hand."
Dean laid a hand on his little brother's shoulder lightly and gazed at him almost imploringly, "Let me see your hand."
Sam hesitated. They seemed to be doing a lot of that around each other lately. And they both knew it. And hated it. But what could they do?
Dean inspected the outstretched hand gently, ignoring the slight hiss of pain. "We should probably go to the hospital. Check it out with an x-ray."
Sam shook his head. "No. No." He repeated it when Dean opened his mouth. It was their 'I'm sorry. I love you. You're my brother. We'll take care of each other. No matter what.'
They wouldn't say it aloud. Not now. Not yet. But they would.
Or they'd try.
So the outward wounds were tended and cared for. Blood was cleaned from the cuts, ice was applied to the bruises, but the wounds on the inside? Those wounds couldn't be soothed.
Not much. And not for long.
They weren't okay. They had no idea when they would be. If they could be.
But they would keep doing what they were doing.
Even if it meant they would keep getting what they were getting. Maybe it would be worth. Hopefully it would all be worth it.
Maybe they would be good enough.
But until then…all they had was then and there.
They were at a crossroads. With life, with their war, with themselves and with each other. Time would tell what that crossroads would bring. Time would tell what the legacy left to them would cost. And time would tell what sacrifices would be required.
But they were brothers. They were chipped, broken. They would fix what they could. Hold together what they couldn't. They were brothers.
And that would mean everything.
There it is. Thank you for reading! I'm hoping you'll review. This took me so long to write, and tonight, it just flowed out of me. I hope you enjoyed it. Oh, and I read this over so many times but I'm pretty sure there were some typos I missed. I'm sorry. It's all my mistake.
"If we keep doing what we're doing, we're going to keep getting what we're getting" is a quote from Stephen R. Covey.