"Some things a man doesn't get over so easy." John Wayne, The Quiet Man
Sam stood beside Dean, watching the fire burn. He watched the firefighters and police. He looked over at his brother, who seemed not to notice anything but the fire. His eyes were liquid.
"Dean." Sam said, touching Dean's arm. Dean turned to him, and Sam could see the dazed sorrow in his brothers eyes.
"Come on, lets go." Dean nodded, but turned his head back to the raging fire. Sam sighed and started pulling his brother towards the Impala.
Dean didn't say anything as they went. He didn't complain as Sam sat him down in the passenger seat and Sam got in the drivers side. He didn't say a thing on the way back to the motel, just stared out of the window.
It was unnatural, the silence. The radio wasn't even on, and Sam had gotten used to Dean's constant chatter, sometimes about absolutely nothing. Sam thought, sometimes, it was how he unwound after a hunt.
Dean followed him into the motel room, and sat down on his bed, still sort of staring into space. Sam watched him wordlessly as he sat down on his own bed across from him. He really didn't know what to say at the moment.
The phrase that Dean had said to him so many times when a hunt had gone wrong, the repeated words of 'you can't save everyone' seemed sort of hollow in the face of what had happened today.
The thing was that Sam had actually started to believe it himself, too. He had started to be glad that he had come back into this thing with Dean. He probably would have come apart at the seams without Dean there after Jess died. He had started to believe that, and truthfully he still did, but now he wasn't sure that Dean did.
After a few minutes, Dean got up, mumbled something about taking a shower and disappeared into the bathroom. Sam laid back on the bed wearily. He closed his eyes but immediately snapped them open when images from that night swam behind them. His stomach roiled a little and he had to take a few deep breaths to keep himself from being sick.
He glanced towards the bathroom door. Dean was taking it hard, of cource. How could he not? And Sam wasn't sure how he could convince his brother that this wasn't his fault.
Dean rested his head on the back of the shower stall and stared straight ahead. He couldn't bring up the energy to do anything else. He knew Sam was worried, but he didn't have the energy to bring forth that smirking cocky persona he had perfected, not this time.
He gritted his teeth as images of what happened sprang forth. The kids screams echoed in his head. He turned abruptly and slammed his fist into the wall of the shower, breaking open the skin of his knuckles.
He stared at his hand for several minutes. Even the pain of that didn't drown it out. Guilt welled up in him so strong that he though he might drown in it.
He stood there like that until the water ran cold, but he still didn't get out. He knew what Sam would say, knew that his brother would want to talk about it, but he didn't think he could. It was simple really, he had made a mistake and someone had died for it.
It was stupid and something that he had been taught not to do when he was still a child. He had always been more careful, more vigilant after that whole Striga incident when he and Sam were still children.
It all came down to one simple conclusion. He didn't think he could trust himself anymore. And if he couldn't trust himself, his own instincts, then who could he trust?
His instincts had gotten him out of more tight spots than he could count. Not only him but Sammy too, but they had been wrong tonight and for that, someone was dead. Not just someone but a child, too.
After a few minutes, when he was sure that his lips might start turning blue if he stayed much longer, he got out. No need to give Sam more things to worry about. He dressed slowly.
Sam was still perched on the edge of his bed when he came out of the bathroom, still staring off. His eyes snapped up to Dean's when he started across the room.
"Dean-" he held up a hand, cutting Sam off.
"I don't want to talk about it, Sam." Dean said.
"It wasn't your fault." Sam pressed.
"Really?" Dean said, collapsing back on the bed and staring up at the ceiling. "Then who's fault was it? I'm pretty sure that I'm the one who made the mistake in there, Sam."
"Everyone makes mistakes, Dean." Sam said quietly.
"Yeah, they do. But not everyone's mistakes end with some one dying." Sam fell silent at that. Dean stared up at the ceiling, thinking.
"I don't think I can do this anymore." Dean whispered so quietly that he wasn't sure if Sam heard him. The room was silent for a minute, and then Sam spoke again.
"Yes, you can." Dean held back a bitter laugh at that. He had thought that the good that he and Sam did made up somewhat for the people that they couldn't save. He had repeated that phrase, told Sam that they couldn't save everyone, and he had believed.
In the end, though, nothing outweighed the screams of that boy, nothing outweighed the picture of his death that Dean was sure would haunt him until he died.
Note: I know, short. If you guys like it, I'll continue soon, and the next chapter will be longer.