A/N: This came out of a fic search, and my muse simply refused to ignore it. So I wrote the damn thing. Actual dialogue from the episode is thanks to Supernatural.tv.

"Sorry Dean; truth is, your daddy probably brain-washed you with all that devil-talk and no doubt touched you in a bad place. That's all, that's reality."

Even as Dean glared and spat at Henrickson, even as Henrickson was obviously baiting them, Sam couldn't help but tense the hell up. He closed his eyes and breathed out, slow and sure, to try and regain his composure.

All he got for his trouble was the memory of harsh, unyielding hands, and the smell of whiskey.

Sam opened his eyes instantly and turned to Henrickson, and found himself caught in Dean's gaze first. Dean, who was staring at him with a look of incredulity and realized horror.

Sam stared back, a deer in the headlights, his heart hammering in his chest. Dean couldn't possibly have guessed...no. If he did, Sam would...he'd...

The bile rose swiftly and he swallowed hard, forcing himself to focus on Henrickson and the here and now. The here and now was bad enough; he didn't need to delve back to find more of it. "And now I have two less to worry about," Henrickson was saying.

The low hum of a chopper was heard approaching, and a light shone in their cell window. Sam turned and watched, chest tightening, as the chopper came in to land. "It's Surf and Turf time," Henrickson said, chuckling to himself. Sam grit his teeth but said nothing, listening to the sure, steady steps of the agent head for the door.

When it closed behind him, metal clanging in the silence, Sam sighed and turned to Dean.

Dean, who was still staring at him with a frown on his face. "Sammy?" he said, his voice low. "What the hell was that about?"

Oh god. "You do know what he meant by Surf and Turf, right? Lobster and steak?" Sam tried, sweat gathering on his forehead.

Dean didn't even take on an affronted glare at the jibe, but kept his gaze serious and hard. "Answer the question," he said.

Sam stood suddenly, needing to be anywhere but next to Dean on that cot. Dean was going to see it all, realize what Sam really was, realize what Sam had done, and he just had to get away from Dean. He'd kept quiet for years, to protect himself from his brother's reaction, to keep himself distanced from it all, and-

He'd taken a single step when Dean yanked on the chains binding them together hard. Sam stumbled back onto the cot and towards Dean's unrelenting gaze. "Sam," Dean said, voice hard, and Sam couldn't help the flinch as another memory sprang to mind. Another hard voice that said his name as it pulled him down, forced him to-

Dean's eyes widened in shock. "Sammy," he said again, his voice softer this time.

The metal door was opened, and Dean and Sam both turned to the man stepping inside. "Sam and Dean Winchester," he said, smiling. "I'm Deputy Director Steven Rose. This is a pleasure."

"Well, I'm glad one of us feels that way," Dean grumbled, but Sam could tell his heart wasn't into the reply. Not when his attention was solely focused on making his little brother spill the worst secret he'd ever kept.

"I've been waiting a long time for you two to come out of the woodwork," Steven continued, ignoring Dean's words. When he pulled the gun out, Sam was beyond unprepared, and could only gasp as Dean took the hit.

It actually got easier to breathe, after that. He focused on the gun, then the demon, the exorcism, and then the others who came rushing in. After that, he focused on patching Dean up, begging the young girl for help, and pocketing her rosary. They were kept busy all throughout the night, from one thing to another. Sam began to dare to hope that Dean would forget about it completely.

His hopes were dashed when Ruby told Dean about the "competition". "Her name is Lilith," Ruby said, and Sam could've sworn she almost looked pleased about the way Dean moved his ever increasing fury from her to Sam. "And she really, really wants Sam's intestines on a stick. Guess she sees him as competition."

"You knew about this?" Dean said angrily. Sam bit his lip but said nothing, feeling himself shift away from his brother's righteous fury. This had been why he'd kept silent about the demon who wanted him dead.

It was why he'd kept silent on all the other secrets that were eating him up from the inside out.

"Well jeez, Sam, is there anything else I should know?"

Sam inhaled sharply as Dean's all too knowing eyes pinned him to the spot. He hadn't forgotten. Dean hadn't forgotten at all.

Oh god.

When Ruby cut in and told them to discuss it later, Sam forced his eyes to unlock from Dean's and look anywhere but at his brother. A part of him selfishly hoped that whatever happened tonight, he wouldn't live through it.

The last thing he could possibly do was tell Dean what had really happened.

Morning came, the battle was finished, their names were finally, finally cleared. They'd been quiet all the way to a hotel on the edge of the town, but it had been an easy, companionable silence. They were free. No more looking behind their shoulders when they passed cops on the streets. No more ducking when they heard sirens. Their names would be taken off the books, and they could breathe again.

When Ruby came in and switched on the news twenty minutes later, however, Sam stopped breathing again. Dean's face was tight and angry, but the grief was easy to read and visibly there, too. Sam knew how he felt. Innocent people, good people, new allies...and they were gone.

Ruby left in anger, slamming their motel door harshly behind her. Sam winced at the sound, then reached to turn the television off.

"Hey, Sam?"

Sam glanced back, and found Dean's gaze hesitantly focused on the set. "You want me to leave it on?" Sam asked, mildly surprised.

Dean shook his head. "No, I just...they didn't find any of the bodies. So maybe they got out."

It was usually Sam who posed the optimistic "what if" question, and if Dean was doing it, he was doing a lot of heavy thinking. "We can head back, later tonight; check the place out. We know what to look for that the cops don't."

Dean nodded half-heartedly, and Sam switched it off. The sudden silence was a little jarring after the announcer's solemn, shaking voice.


"Yeah, Dean?" He slid back on his bed, turning to give Dean his undivided attention.

Dean's gaze was no longer hesitant or half-hearted. "Why'd you freak, back at the station?"

Forget about breathing; Sam wasn't sure his heart was beating anymore. He should've been prepared for this, prepared for Dean's stubbornness to shine through, but had been so focused on fighting through the night that he'd completely forgotten.

Now, though, there was no ignoring it.

"I-I have no idea what you're on," Sam stammered, giving a weak chuckle and sitting on the edge of his bed.

"Really?" Dean said, pursing his lips. "Because I think you know exactly what I'm talking about. And since I'm not in the mood for a game of 'what are you talking about', I'll just say it: is what he said true? Did Dad ever touch you like that?"

Sam stood suddenly and headed straight for the door. He couldn't breathe, the room was pushing in on him, and Dean was way too close. His vision had tunneled to the door, and the only thing he knew was that he had to get out, and he had to get out now.

A hand caught him by his arm and pulled him back into the room. Back to Dean. "Let me go," Sam snapped, trying to wrench his arm free. Dean merely pulled back harder, and Sam tried to shift free again while reaching his open hand to the doorknob.

Dean tugged extra hard, and they stumbled back onto the bed, the doorknob wrenched from Sam's fingers. "Let go!" Sam managed through gritted teeth.

"Absolutely not," Dean hissed, catching hold of Sam's other arm and pushing both down to the mattress to keep Sam pinned. Sam twisted to get away, and Dean leaned on top of him to better hold him, and-

And Sam was right back where he'd been years before, his dad overpowering him, drunken slurs of how he looked just like his mother and to keep quiet or he'd wake Dean up-

Suddenly Dean's hands released him, and Sam came back to the here and now, with his wide-eyed, stricken brother hovering further from him. Sam realized he was panting, and tears were stinging as they pooled in his eyes. They stayed that way for a long moment, frozen in fear.

Then Sam was turning to get off the bed, the door close enough he could make it. Hands caught him and pulled him back down to the bed, though much gentler this time. "Let me go," Sam said again, and he hated that his voice trembled when he said it. "Dean, please-"

"Easy, Sammy," Dean said softly, and spoke as if he were handling a wild, frightened animal. "Just take it easy, okay? Breathe."

Sam turned his head away from Dean, his eyes clenched shut as he buried his face in the pillow. Hands rested on his arms, pressure enough to keep them still despite the increasing shakes. He couldn't hear it, how horrible he was, how he was dirty and wrong for having done it and had destroyed Dean's frickin' hero.

The hands holding him gently slid up to Sam's tightly clenched fists, and lightly wrapped around them. Sam sniffled and turned to Dean, confusion on his face. Why wasn't Dean saying anything? Why wasn't Dean condemning him?

He blinked a few times to clear the tears from his eyes, felt them roll down his face to the pillow below him. When he could see again, the first thing he saw was Dean, still hovering over him. The second thing he saw were the tears in Dean's eyes, each one slowly making their way down his face.

Sam sniffled again and frowned. "You're not...Dean?"

Dean snorted through his tears. "I'm still Dean, dude, tears or no tears."

"No, I meant..." Sam shook his head, trying to organize this thoughts. Dean took his wrists while he thought and pulled him back up to sitting. "You're not...you're not mad," Sam finished.

"No, I'm furious, Sam," Dean said, but his gaze never hardened.

"You are?"

"Of course I am! How old were you when he...oh god," Dean choked out, swallowing hard and breathing deeply before he continued. "When he touched you. How old, Sam?"

Sam let his gaze drop to the bedspread beneath them. He still felt completely confused, and extremely tense. Any minute now, Dean was going to snap on him... "I, uh, I was eleven. The first time he-" The bile rose in his throat, and Sam closed his eyes, swallowed, and focused on breathing. In, out. In, out.

Dean shifted, and then Sam could feel his hand rest on Sam's shoulder, a sure and steady presence. "It's gonna be okay," Dean whispered, and Sam opened his eyes and glanced back up at that.

"You're not mad, Dean."

"I already told you I damn well was-"

"No, you're not. If you were mad, and I mean mad, you'd be yelling, or you'd have slugged me already, or-"

"Wait, wait, wait," Dean ordered, both hands up. His eyes were round with shock, and his voice shook as he asked, "You thought I was mad at you?"

Sam's bewildered frown rose again. "Aren't you?" he whispered, his voice small.

Dean's eyes widened impossibly further, and his mouth fell open into a horrified 'o'. "Sammy," he breathed, stricken. Sam winced at the broken tone, and it snapped Dean out of his paralysis. Before Sam realized it, Dean had him wrapped in his strong and sure embrace. "Oh god, Sammy," he whispered again.

Sam stayed frozen, his thoughts scattered out of order. Dean wasn't angry at him. Dean was angry at their dad, not Sam. "Is that why you didn't tell me?" Dean said, still sounding shaken.

Sam managed to give a helpless shrug. "What was I supposed to say, Dean? That when Dad got drunk, he'd come in and strip me and-"

Dean's arms tightened to the point of pain, and Sam let it cut off the truth and the memories. His dad, who'd been his hero through his childhood, had suddenly become a stranger, one who hurt Sam and disappeared with the morning. There'd been no mention of the night, no apologies, and it'd always been brushed off as if it hadn't happened.

Dean wouldn't have believed him, would've called him dirty and wrong and gross for even thinking about something like that...at least, Sam had always thought he would. So he'd never spoken up, fearing the rejection by the one person he couldn't have taken it from.

Dean took a deep breath in. "I know...I know you felt like you couldn't tell me, but god I wish you had."

"I know," Sam whispered. "You have no idea how many times I almost did, but...I kept losing the nerve." He snorted humorlessly. "I was afraid you'd look at me and hate me for tainting your hero, think I was wrong or dirty for even saying it-"

"Never," and Dean was pulling away to look Sam in the eyes. Sam didn't think he'd ever seen Dean look so wrecked. Not like he did here, with his eyes rimmed red and his face tear-stained. "I would never have said that to you, never even thought it. I would've thought you were stupid to not tell me sooner, stupider still to think there was something wrong with you, and brave, freakin' brave, to have withstood it for so long without cracking." Dean sniffled and wiped tears from his face. "I'm just sorry I never picked up on it, never saw it so I could stop it. Swear to god, Sam, I'd have made sure he never touched you again. Ever."

Sam's lower lip trembled, and he bit down to keep it still. Then he was sobbing, loud and harsh in the small hotel room, and let Dean pull him forward into open arms. Protective arms, arms that nothing ever would get through, and Sam wished like hell he'd remembered that when he was eleven.

"I got you," Dean whispered, voice hoarse and full of pain. "I got you, Sammy. It's gonna be okay, I swear. I swear, Sammy."

Even as he sobbed, even as he struggled and gasped for air, Sam felt like he could breathe again.