Author's Notes: Okay, so, I know it's been done, but I couldn't help it. I got the idea and I was like, well, what is fanfiction for if not to deliver an unrealistic amount of angst heaped upon two very hot men? And that was all the justification that I really needed.
So here it is. My story, takes place sometime after Tall Tales, I guess. Enjoy.
Concussions. Broken bones. Bleeding out. Next to death. It's all been there, done that for the Winchester brothers. Hell, Dean's survived electrocution, a heart attack, and not one but two reapers. Sam may not have as an impressive of a track record, but he has been strangled more than any other man alive.
Blood. Death. It's all pretty par for the course, really, and Sam doesn't think that there's much they haven't seen or felt or been through.
Then Dean wakes up in a hospital bed after being pushed out a three story window and waits patiently through Sam's, "Thank God's" and "Good to see you, man's" before mentioning that he has absolutely no idea who Sam is.
And that . . .well, that's new.
Dean's always been an overachiever in the worst possible ways.
Dean cracked a couple of ribs and broke his wrist in the fall, but other than that, that and the complete and hopefully not permanent amnesia thing, anyway, he's completely fine in the eyes of the medical world. He gets released from the hospital two days after waking up.
Sam waits until they're back at the motel before telling Dean what they do for a living.
Dean doesn't take it well.
"Dean!" Sam says, banging on the bathroom door. "Dean, you can't stay in there forever!"
"I don't plan to!" Dean yells back. "No, I plan on waiting for the psycho that's kidnapped me to fall asleep, and then sneaking out and getting the fuck out of dodge!"
Sam raises an eyebrow. "You know," he says, "that plan might have gone over better if you hadn't told me about it."
"Yeah, well. My first plan would have worked fine if the window in here wasn't freaking two inches wide."
"Why didn't you just run for the door? You probably could have made it."
"Well, you were sort of standing in the way there, Sammy."
Sam leans his head into the bathroom door and closes his eyes against the familiar nickname. He opens his mouth to call Dean on it (You remember, Dean, don't you see? You ALWAYS call me Sammy) but closes it again quickly. Sammy's not exactly the most original nickname for Sam, and even paranoid, amnesiac brothers could make the connection between the two. Dean calling him by that nickname doesn't mean a damn thing, and Sam has to push down the hope. It's too dangerous right now.
Sam's planning on trying a peace offering via frozen burrito, or, at the very least, a stick of neutral gum he can slide under the door, when he stops in mid-motion, backtracking through the last few minutes of their conversation.
"Wait," Sam says. "Wait. You didn't go for the door because you're scared of me?"
"No, Sammy," Dean says sarcastically. "I'm just hiding in the bathroom because I can't get over the awesome shade of puke painted on these walls."
Sam grins. It's inappropriate, given the circumstances, but he just can't help it. "Dude," he says, "you think I can kick your ass, and you're just hiding in there like . . . a chick."
"Hey!" Dean growls behind the door, making Sam grin wider. "I'm just Amnesia Guy over here, okay? You're the freak who thinks he hunts down demons and ghouls and, I don't know, possessed chickens or something."
"See! You even know the name for possessed chickens! Who knows the name for possessed chickens? No, you see, here's the plan: you stay out there with your war against the lokhas, and I'll just hang in here for awhile before you decide to use me as bait for a demonic turtle or something." There's a long pause before Dean finally says, "Sam? Aren't you going to tell me the official name for a demonic turtle?"
"There's no such thing."
"Right. Vampires and poltergeists and homicidal fucking chickens . . . those are all normal. Those are all so fucking sane."
"Dean . . ." Sam trails off, not knowing what to say. It's not like Dean doesn't have a point here. There's no way he's going to believe any of what Sam's saying if he doesn't see it with his own two eyes. But there's also no way that Sam can take him out on a hunt, certainly not now, not like this.
For a minute, Sam just sits there hopeless, floundering for anything that he can possibly do, and comes up with one big, fat nothing. "Dean," he tries again, because Dean's the one who fixes things, who knows what to say and do and takes care of his little brother.
But not this time, because this time it's Dean, not Sam, who's broken. "Sam," Dean says, his voice harsh through the bathroom door. "Just . . . just go away for a while, okay?"
"I'm not asking you to actually go anywhere. Wouldn't want your prisoner to break free of his little crazy cage." Dean's voice is so bitter that Sam actually winces. "Just . . . just leave me alone for a little while, okay? Let me think."
And really, what can he do? Kick the door down, he supposes, and try to shake Dean's memories back into him, but that will only make Dean more scared, and Dean being scared of him has suddenly lost all appeal. "Okay, Dean, okay," Sam says and goes over to sit on his bed.
Where he waits and waits and waits.
But Dean doesn't come out because Sam's not really his brother, not now, not anymore, and Sam isn't really surprised to find himself crying. He tries to keep quiet so Dean doesn't hear, but he's sure Dean does . . . and Dean still doesn't come out.
That's not Dean anymore, Sam thinks and starts to cry harder.
He doesn't mean to fall asleep (because falling asleep is really a bad fucking idea) but the tears and the exhaustion make everything feel heavy, and he has to lie his head down, just for awhile, just for a little while, just . . .
Sam opens his eyes and Jessica's on the ceiling, and that's only where the nightmare begins.
Because Dean's there like he was before, pulling him away, pulling him to safety, but without warning he gives up and lets go, and Sam falls to the floor with an audible thump. Sam gets to his hands and knees, trying not to breathe in the smoke, and he finds himself staring up into the double barrel of Dean's shotgun.
"Dean—"Sam tries but Dean doesn't listen.
Dean says, "I don't know what you are, but you're not my brother."
And when Sam tries to correct him, Dean just leaves, locking the door behind him, locking Sam in. There's no where to go, and the smoke's getting thicker, but he won't choke to death. That's not his way.
The fire is around him, closer, closer.
And even Jessica's gone now, so Sam burns alone.
"Hey, Sam! Sammy! Come on, man, wake up."
Sam comes to, slowly, blinking back both flames and abandonment, and realizes that Dean's two seconds away from smacking him into consciousness. He reaches out and catches Dean's good wrist loosely within his fingers, bringing it back close to his chest where he can hold on to it like a teddy bear. "Shit," Sam mutters, closing his eyes, and he hears a small snort from somewhere above him.
"Yeah," Dean says dryly. "That must have been one hell of a nightmare, Sammy."
Sam's eyes shoot open and he sits up quickly, staring at Dean with too much hope in his throat. "Dean—"he says.
Dean shakes his head, anticipating the question. "Still Amnesia Guy," he says. "Only now I'm Insomnia Guy too." He shakes his head. "I guess I should be grateful I'm not Dead Guy or anything, but frankly, I'm just not in the fucking mood."
Sam looks at him. "I'm grateful," he says as clearly as he can, and Dean slides his gaze away, unwilling or unable to maintain eye contact.
For a few minutes they sit like that, so close and so far apart, until Dean finally mentions that he'll need his wrist back eventually. Sam looks down, surprised that he's still holding it, and lets go with a reluctance that he can't voice.
"Why are you still here?" Sam asks instead.
Dean doesn't look up, doesn't even acknowledge the question. So Sam asks it again and Dean just shrugs.
"Dean," Sam says. "I fell asleep. I was out, I was gone; you could have hightailed it to Vegas by now. Playing slots, dealing cards, hanging out with people who don't hunt crazy chickens . . . you could be gone by now, and you're still here." Sam watches Dean's face, careful for any kind of sign. "You woke me up," Sam says. "Why did you wake me up?"
Dean shrugs again, as if that's any kind of answer. "I don't know man," he says finally. "Where was I going to go? The cops?" He snorts. "They'd probably think I was the one who was crazy, and besides, apparently that'd have been a lousy fucking move."
Sam blinks, confused, and Dean gestures towards the laptop. "Tried this thing out," Dean admits, "while you were snoring away. Figured I'd Google our names or look for top secret files or something that would give me a clue on what the hell was going on." Dean snorts again. "Didn't exactly expect to find the FBI's Most Wanted List freaking bookmarked."
"Ah," Sam says.
"Yeeeah," Dean replies. "It's not a very good picture of me, you know. Which is a shame, considering. I'm one hell of a handsome devil."
Sam smiles but Dean's so obviously miserable that the smile doesn't last too long, fading as if it never was. He watches as Dean stands up and walks over to the table where Dad's journal is lying open. "After that little pleasant surprise," Dean says, "I found this and started looking at it. Man, this thing's got some crazy shit in it."
That's an understatement, Sam thinks, but it also feels like sacrilege, because those are Dad's words, Dad's thoughts, and Dean was practically disregarding them.
Or maybe not, Sam reconsiders as he watches Dean look at the journal. Dean's smiling, in the way that his lips are curved upward at the corners, but he looks confused and frustrated and, maybe most of all, frightened.
"Thing is," Dean says, still looking at the journal. "There were some entries in here where . . . uh . . . where our Dad talked about these, uh, these hunts, and . . . well, there was this one, I guess, this, um, werewolf thing, and I guess I got a little sliced and diced there, and, well . . ."
Dean lifts up his shirt to reveal his stomach, and Sam looks at scars he's already seen. He can remember that night, ten years ago now, where a particularly vicious werewolf had nearly ripped his brother in half. Sam had been the one to hold him, to press white gauze down on his stomach. Sam had been the one to pray while John drove like the devil to get to a hospital.
Dean almost hadn't made it. But that was pretty par for the course, too.
"I don't remember them," Dean mutters, glancing at Sam. "I don't remember them, but I bet they hurt like hell."
Dean in his arms, bleeding, gasping jokes while his entrails practically spilled out. "They did," Sam says softly, "but you never let it show."
Dean apparently doesn't know what to do with that, so he drops both his shirt and his gaze. A few minutes worth of pacing leads him back to his bed. He sits back down and stares at the floor.
"It's not enough," Dean says softly, so softly that Sam can barely hear him. "The scars . . .they're not enough." And Sam understands that Dean's not looking for proof so much as reassurance.
Reassurance that he belongs somewhere. That he isn't all alone.
"We have some pictures," Sam offers quietly. "Of Dad and Mom and the house before. Do you . . . do you want to see them?"
Dean won't look up. "Sure," he says quietly.
Sam goes out to McDonalds for some much-needed breakfast, and when he gets back, Dean is still looking at the pictures. They don't exactly have an attic's worth, so Dean must have looked through each over and over again.
"I don't recognize anything," Dean growls as Sam throws him an Egg McMuffin. "They're just . . . they're just pictures. They don't mean anything."
"Give it time," Sam says. "Doctors said it could be awhile."
Dean snorts. "That just means they don't know shit. They don't know when my memory's coming back, or if it's coming back." He tosses the pictures aside carelessly, as if he hadn't spent the last twenty minutes staring at them. "Fuckin' doctors probably couldn't find their asses in the dark."
Sam raises an eyebrow. "Somebody's cranky today."
"Excuse me, Princess, but not everybody got their beauty sleep last night. Some people just found out that the freaking Boogeyman is real." Dean unwraps his breakfast and begins taking his frustration out on the Egg McMuffin, chewing so savagely that he seems to be thinking, I hope you can still feel that, you stupid freaking cow.
The gesture is so perfectly Dean that Sam has to look away. I want my brother back, Sam thinks, and then reminds himself that his brother hasn't actually left.
Sam finishes his breakfast and picks the pictures up off the floor, glancing for a moment at a close up of their mother. He sits down on the mattress by Dean and puts the picture in front of him. "This is Mom," he tells Dean.
Dean does everything but roll his eyes. "I guessed," he snaps, and it makes Sam recoil a bit. Dean's always treated Mom with such . . . reverence.
But Sam knows Dean's just frustrated, and he tries to find something that they can both relate to. "I don't remember her, either," Sam admits, and Dean's head lifts quickly. "I was just a baby when . . . I only know what you told me." Sam taps his fingers, nervously, against the ugly comforter they're sitting on. "Do you . . . want to know anything?"
Dean just shrugs. His face is guarded, hard to read, as always, but Sam decides to take it as a 'yes' because he honestly doesn't know what else to do. "Well," Sam says, thinking of the hushed stories Dean used to tell, "she used to make brownies a lot. Those were your favorites. She baked all the time but she was a pretty terrible cook. You told me she burned almost everything. You and Dad used to tease her about that."
Sam can tell Dean's listening by how blank his brother's face is, working too hard for neutrality when anyone else would be hanging on every word. "She used to garden, too," Sam says, "and you used to help by picking out weeds with your hands. You said you liked getting them dirty, and you liked picking up worms to give to her. She'd . . . she'd pretend she was scared of them, but you both knew she wasn't."
And God, it's weird, giving Dean back memories that Dean had first given to him. Sam tries to remember everything that Dean's ever told him, but even before the amnesia, Dean hadn't remembered all that much. Sam tells Dean what he can, about playing hide and seek and taking picnics, and he finally draws to a close with Mom's belief in God, in the angels.
Dean closes his eyes at this. "Tell me about the fire," he says.
Sam's immediate reaction is which one but of course he knows which one. "You never told me much," Sam hedges cautiously, hesitant about what to say.
"Tell me what I did," Dean says . . . so Sam does. He tells Dean all that he remembers.
They sit there quietly for a long time, Sam staring at Dean, Dean staring everywhere else. Sam wants to be able to read his brother, but he can't; that mask of neutrality is on full force. Finally, Dean looks over at Sam, his hands twitching in a nervous habit that Sam doesn't recognize. "I carried you out?" he asks, and Sam nods his head.
Dean nods to. "I take care of you," he says, only this time he's telling Sam and not asking him.
Sam answers anyway. "Yeah," he says. "You take care of me."
Dean nods once, like he's filing this information away. "Okay," he says. "Okay."
"Okay. I can do that."
Author's Notes: Please tell me if you're liking this so far, what you think, etc. etc. Reviews are good for the soul. They make us crazy fangirls very happy!