Crashing and Burning Chapter Five

By Almost Heaven

The drive back to the hotel was as silent as the drive to the apartment. Upon reaching their room, Sam mechanically set about getting ready for bed. A maid had obviously been in the room as the beds were freshly made and the food was once again wrapped in its various plastic and foil. Dean made himself a plate of the stuffed shells and settled on the bed to eat.

"You know, Sam, you really should eat something. These stuffed shells are pretty good." At this point, he was actually starving and he knew Sam had to be hungry, whether he would admit it or not. Sam paused in his gathering of bathroom supplies and glanced at the counter of food. With a slight grimace he wandered over and filled a plate with stuffed shells and casserole. He also settled his back against his headboard. At first, he just kind of poked at the food but after taking a bite of the pasta he began to eat with more gusto.

Once finished with his own plate, Dean cleaned it and his fork in the sink and set it back next to the dishes on the counter. Picking up his jacket, he pulled out his cell phone so he could charge it. As he pulled out the phone, a business card fell to the floor. He picked it up and then cursed softly.

"What?" asks Sam around a mouthful of food.

Dean looked up at his brother and sighed. "I'm sorry, Sam. I completely forgot we have to go somewhere in the morning." He hesitated, unsure how Sam was going to take this.

Sam just looked at him expectantly, an eyebrow raised questionly. For a moment Dean sees the old Sam giving him his "what did you do" look. Then he casts his eyes back to his plate where he pushed his food around some more.

This is just gonna suck thought Dean. "We have an appointment with an Officer Bryant at the police station tomorrow." He paused as Sam looked up at him in panic. "He wanted a statement this morning but I talked him out of it. I'm sorry Sammy." He watched as his brother set down his plate and crossed his arms across his chest. Classic Sam is not a happy camper. His brother looked from side to side rapidly, obviously trying to work it out in his brain. Dean waited for him to look at him before he continued. "All we have to do is go in and tell him a believable story. Shouldn't be that hard, won't have to lie that much. But we will have to lie, Sam. Can you do that?"

Sam frowned and looked down at his bed. To think that yesterday he was worried about having to lie to Jess about what he and Dean had been doing this weekend. This was so messed up. Yeah, Dean was right. He just didn't want him to be. Not about the lying part, that was so true. Sam wasn't prepared to relive the fire. Not now, maybe not ever. He was going to have to though. So far, he had managed to keep the memory in a little corner of his mind, so he could function. Now he would have to dig it out, something he knew was not a good idea.

Sam looked at Dean and could see his big brother was watching him carefully. He knew that look. Dean was waiting for him to start talking. Sam was always the one to open up and talk about things that bothered him. He didn't keep anything from his brother. The nightmares he had as a child, his first crush in high school, even his decision to go to college he talked about with Dean. Sam felt a cold pit of fear in his stomach. For the first time in his life there was something to horrible, to painful, to discuss with Dean. His dreams about Jess dying had come true. He didn't know what to do about it. He didn't know what it meant. But he did know that he couldn't tell Dean. Not yet.

Sam cleared his throat." I have to. I guess the easiest thing is leave out seeing Jess. " He flinched when he said it. "I'll tell them I was asleep and you came in and pulled me out. Short and sweet." He tried to look determined, strong. From the look on Dean's face he wasn't buying it. Sam leaned his head back and sighed.

"Sam, I know this sucks. But we talk to this cop once and we're done. Then we can go to the library and see what we can find out." Dean hoped that emphasizing their search for Jess' killer would take his mind off of what he would have to talk about in the morning. Secretly, he didn't believe they were going to find anything. Their dad hadn't when Mom died. He wouldn't tell Sam to give up though, not ever. Sam had to figure this out for himself. If Dean tried to make him stop, Sam would never forgive him.

"Its late, we should get some sleep." Dean said as he pulled out some clothes and changed for sleep. Sam cleaned up his plate and put it with Dean's. Climbing into his bed, he lay on his back as he always did to go to sleep. Dean was already under his blankets and reached over, turning out the light when he could see Sam was settled.

Dean woke out of a slight doze to Sam coughing and crying out. He knew before he reached his side that Sam was not really awake yet as he jerked to a sitting position crying out for Jess and coughing harshly just like he had been when Dean had drug him from the apartment.

Dean barely caught him before he fell from the bed her name dying on his lips as the realization that he was not in that apartment hit him. His head thudded into Dean's chest as he remembered what had happened, his breath still catching in his throat. Dean held onto his shoulders and said nothing. No words would take away this fresh touch with grief. He just held on and waited to see what his baby brother wanted.

Sam looked up slowly, tears sliding down his cheeks. He wasn't sure what he expected to see on his brother's face but the concern and love he did see was a strangely welcome sight. When they were kids, Dean had been the one to fix his bumps and bruises. He made Sam feel safe, even to this day. Sam knew his brother was not good at sharing his feelings. He liked people to think he was this tough untouchable guy but Sam knew he felt things just as deeply as he himself did. He just didn't seem to know how to handle those feelings so he repressed them until he couldn't take it anymore. Until he exploded one way or another. Sam didn't want to force his brother to deal with his little brother's grief. He knew he was a mess and he was going to totally lose it if he let himself really feel it.

Looking at his brother now, Sam realized Dean wasn't judging him on their fathers terms, he wasn't expecting him to act like a soldier. There was no judgment at all. He was looking at his brother, his overprotective big brother, who loved him.

Sam gave in. He let his walls fall and he leaned against his brother's strong chest and cried. Not the silent tears that he had felt the wetness of yesterday. No these were gut wrenching sobs of loss that made him feel like his chest was splitting in two and his heart was breaking just a little bit more with each one.

Dean felt Sam press against him and he wrapped his arms around his baby brother's shoulders. Each sob vibrated through their embrace and made him want to cry as well. He didn't let himself though. Sammy needed him to be strong so he could really let go. He could feel it. The kid was shaking like a leaf and clutching at his shirt like he was afraid he would leave. Dean grabbed handfuls of the back of his brother's t-shirt and leaned his head against his brother's. He wasn't going anywhere and he wanted Sam to know that.

They stayed like that for over an hour until Sam finally started to straighten up, clearing his throat. Once Dean was sure he was with the here and now, he helped him back up on the bed and then moved over to sink to fill a glass with water. He brought the glass over and handed it to Sam, sitting on the bed beside him. Sam took it gratefully and drank it quickly.

"Do you want to talk about it?" Dean asked once Sam was done with the water.

Sam glanced over at him and then back at the glass in his hand with a slight frown on his face. "Not really." He paused then looked Dean in the eye. "Dean, I know this is not easy for you."

Dean started to protest but Sam put up his hand to cut him off. "No, here me out. You said yourself back in Jericho. No chick flick moments. You never have been good with emotional stuff so I want to just want to say thank you. For being here. I don't know what I would have done if you hadn't come back. If you hadn't pulled me from that building. I guess I'm just trying to say I'm glad you're here, big brother."

Dean smiled at his brother. "I'll always be here, Sammy." Dean's smile turned into an impish grin as he looked at this sleep ruffled baby brother. "Now, if ya don't mind, we need to get some more shuteye before you give in to this slumber party moment and start trying to braid my hair or something." He moved over to his bed quickly before Sam had a chance to react to his lame attempt at humor. He slid into his covers just in time to receive Sam's extra pillow in the face. Yep, that's his little brother. Maybe he would be okay after all.

the end

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Author's Note: Okay that was probably as lame as I think it was. I had intended this story to be longer but I just can't seem to keep going with it. I'm sorry but real life has trumped the bunny this time and rather than go on a long hiatus I just shortened it a bit. Please don't flame me. Thank you to all those that reviewed and I hope your not too disappointed. Laters.