3 days and nothing had changed. 3 days of Sam not speaking a word, not moving a limb unless it was moved for him. Bobby had quietly proposed the idea of taking Sam to the hospital but Dean had exploded "what so they can lock him up and throw away the key? Nobody is taking my brother" Bobby shuffled uncomfortably in his seat, trying to ignore Dean's worn expression. Dean would allow no more talk of hospitals after that. Bobby wanted to leave, wanted to hunt down Ruby and Sam's other demon followers but he was troubled by the thought of leaving Dean to cope alone.
5 days passed and Dean had barely left Sam's side for a moment. Bobby silently acknowledged to himself that he now had 2 people to worry about. Eventually Bobby picked up a leaflet about some fancy psychiatric hospital in the next town and left it on Dean's bed. Bobby returned to the house later that night. He checked in on the boys to find the leaflet scrunched up in the bin, Sam asleep on his bed with Dean curled up asleep in the chair beside him.
On the 6th day, Missouri had left to return to Lawrence. At Dean's request, she had attempted to penetrate the wall which blocked Sam's mind from her. She had started to try and crumbled it away but Sam's hands had quickly risen to clutch at his head and a moan escaped his lips. Dean wouldn't let her try again after that and Sam had quickly returned to his catatonic state.
7 days had come and gone as Dean continued to watch obstinately over Sam. Sam looked ill and thin, too thin and Dean had found himself scrambling through the bin for the leaflet Bobby had brought even though he knew the bin had been emptied since he'd thrown it away.
On the morning of the 10th day, Bobby was sick of watching Dean coming apart in front of him and finally convinced him to leave the house to get some fresh air. Bobby knew he was running low of food supplies so he sent Dean out to fetch them breakfast. Dean was gone 20 minutes and his idea of breakfast consisted of 2 candy bars and 2 cans of soda from the nearest gas station. Bobby didn't complain, but instead was relieved to see a little colour had returned to Dean's face.
After that, Dean had begun making regular trips to fetch groceries. Each time though Bobby found Dean was gone a little longer and eventually Dean stopped bothering to bring back any food at all. Bobby recognised the smell of whisky on Dean's breath but knew better than to mention it.
By day 14, Dean broke. Dean had returned to Bobby's place with a noticeable stagger in his step. His eyes settled upon Sam, sat in the same chair and staring blankly at the wall just like he was over 2 hours ago when Dean had left. Dean could hear the faint sound of water coming from the upstairs bathroom where Bobby was busily brushing his teeth. He looked despairingly again at his little brother. Dean knew then that he just couldn't take it anymore, couldn't bear to watch his brother fading away. He walked over and crouched down leaning back on his haunches in front of Sam. He took his brother's face with both hands, pulling him so he was forced to meet Dean's gaze. "Sam, look at me" Dean whispered "I know you can damn well hear me". Sam continued to stare at him his eyes glazed and vacant.
"You think you'll stay safe if you keep hiding in there? Sam?" Dean's voice had risen and Bobby's worried face appeared at the door toothbrush still in hand. "Goddamn it Sam, say something, say anything" before Bobby could comprehend what was happening, Dean had started shaking Sam roughly by the shoulders watching as Sam's head bobbed backwards and forwards. Dean's face had become twisted, frantic and Bobby watched in horror as Dean backhanded Sam hard across the face. Bobby was moving then, diving for Dean as Dean raised his hand to strike Sam again. Blood was dripping from Sam's nose as Bobby tackled Dean to the floor, holding him in a tight bear hug. Dean thrashed against his embrace, his body tensed and then relaxed. Dean pressed his face into Bobby's shoulder, fisting at Bobby's shirt with his hands whilst his back shuddered with silent sobs.
"Dean!" Bobby whispered looking up but Dean was too out it to listen, "DEAN!" he said again louder this time, pulling Dean away from his chest and forcing him to look over at Sam.
Sam had lifted a shaky hand and was wiping at the blood pooling on his top lip, lifting his fingers and holding them in front of his face like he couldn't quite believe the sight. Dean was by his side in a flash crouching again "oh God, Sammy, I'm so sorry, I...I just wanted you back, wanted you to snap out of it" Dean's eyes wandered desperately over Sam's face until their eyes met.
Sam was looking directly at him and his mouth rose in a small dimpled smile that was so familiar to Dean, so perfectly Sam. "Dean...you're an asshole" he mumbled. Dean didn't answer, he couldn't, his face too deeply buried in Sam's neck as he hugged his little brother tightly to him.
Post story note: Thanks for reading and reviewing if you have taken the time to do so. Got to say, since finishing this story I can see it has faults. Firstly, there's a lack of meat on the bones and I must be honest it was rushed, that's for certain. I wish I'd taken more time with it but felt like ideas were coming too thick and fast and I was struggling to find time to expand on them. Anyway, it's my first attempt at a fanfic so if you liked it at least a little, then please check out my other stuff...always working towards improving.