A/N: Contains male rape, so if that makes you feel queasy, stop reading now. This is something that's been kicking around in my head for a while. Hope you like it. Tell me what you think, either way. Maybe my muse will be inspired to write more...
It's been a year since I lost my big brother. The hardest part is his body is still here. It still occupies the bed closest to the door, still tries to take all the abuse for me in a fight, still hunts and kills with a frightening proficiency. But I haven't seen those eyes light up with genuine joy once in all this time. He doesn't have to be passed out drunk to sleep through an entire night anymore, but he still wakes up screaming sometimes and I can't do anything about it. The last time I tried I got a six inch scar for my trouble. The only thing that kept that damn knife of his from slicing my heart in half was twenty years of begrudging training and reflexes honed from growing up with someone like Dean. The way he used to be… God, I'd give anything for him to just pull a prank on me. Anything. But he isn't the same, and he almost killed me. I could see the remorse in his eyes. He trembled and blinked away tears. It took twenty minutes for him to stop shaking enough to sow me up but he refused to give up his knife. I can understand that. He wants to protect himself and I can't fault him for it. I couldn't protect him last year. Why would I expect him to think I can now?
The therapist told me to start this stupid thing, this journal. I go to her to figure out how to help my brother, how to bring him back from the pit he's been stuck in for the past thirteen months because the damn stubborn bastard refuses to go for himself and what does she do? She tells me I need to get in touch with my feelings. My feelings? I'm perfectly in touch with my feelings, thank you very fucking much. I'm angry and I'm frustrated and I'm guilty and I'm useless. Really, what else is there for me to feel? How the hell am I supposed to feel anything different?
I have nothing to vent my anger on except the things that we hunt. Sometimes I get as excessive as he does and I swear that if something doesn't change soon, someone's gonna get seriously hurt. Like dead hurt. Dean won't talk about what happened… he never talked about what happened. But I know. How could I not? I saw the injuries, I took him to the emergency room when he was passed out from blood loss, heard the pronouncement of the doctor, saw the look of disgust from one of the nurses who somehow got the impression that it was me who did that to him. I wanted to punch the stupid bitch because how could anyone think that I would do that to my own brother? My freaking hero. I've never even thought about hitting a woman – at least one that wasn't possessed or some evil supernatural creature – in my life, but I really wanted to that day.
I'd be lying if I said that I've never wanted to kill someone in my life. I'm pretty sure that the occasional murderous rage goes hand in hand with being a Winchester, and no matter how much we try to escape it we all end up there at some point. But really, what I wanted to do to those sons of bitches who hurt my brother wasn't just murder. It was the worst torture a very fertile imagination fed by years of researching, and seeing and enduring torture could come up with. I'm also pretty sure that I would have gone through with it too… that I'd still would go through with it. But my jackass of a brother wouldn't tell me who did it. Wouldn't even admit what it was they did. Just kept trying to feed me some bullshit about hustling the wrong people and getting his ass kicked. He was fine. No big deal. Yeah, since when does an ass kicking require stitches to your damn rectum? And what about those fucking hand prints on his hips and thighs? Or the bruises around his throat? But he wouldn't look at me, and he flinched whenever I touched him. So I did the only thing I could do. I packed up our stuff before I picked him up from the hospital the next day and took him to a different part of town until he was healed enough to travel.
I would have gone looking for the bastards. I did actually, the first night my brother was out of the hospital. But I came back to find Dean not only awake but in the shower, huddled in the corner sobbing. The water had long since turned cold and he was shivering, on the edge of hypothermia. I turned off the water and reached for him, towel in my hand to wrap him in. He flinched away and my heart sunk into my stomach. I could hear his damn teeth chattering.
"Dean," I said as gently as I could, my voice shaking and hoarse, "I need to get you warm, man. Please."
"Sammy?" His voice sounded thin, broken. I could barely understand him with the chattering and shivering.
"Di… did they… did they… hurt you?" He looked up at me, and his eyes were wide and terrified. He looked all of about five years old. All I wanted to do was scream at the top of my lungs.
"No. I'm fine. I swear. Please Dean, let me get you warm."
"Doesn't matter," he said as he looked away, his eyes empty again as if his fear had used up the last of him. He rocked in the tub, spasming from cold. "Doesn't matter anymore."
I felt him giving up, slipping away. I panicked. I didn't know what to do or say. But I did, didn't I? Cause I was the consummate little brother. I'd always known just how to manipulate Dean. I knew how to get exactly what I wanted, because he was always so ready to give me everything anyway. So I took advantage of that. I took advantage of him. And I've never been so ashamed of myself in my life. Unfortunately, that's saying one hell of a lot. "I need you, Dean. You promised me you'd stay, that you wouldn't leave me. Don't go back on your word."
I watched as he pulled himself together, saw the effort it took. Finally he took the towel from me and clutched it to his chest. "I'll be out in a minute Sam." When I didn't move he looked up at me again. His features were carved out of stone, the way they were when he was truly pissed, but his eyes were still empty. "Get out. Now!"
I stood and walked out on shaky legs, feeling like I was going to throw up. How the hell could I have done that to him? How could I have emotionally blackmailed my brother after he was… after what happened to him? It hadn't even been four days and I was already piling on a man who was all but broken. But I couldn't take the chance that I'd come back to the hotel with food to find his body, his favorite gun in his hand, his brain scattered across a wall. If I had to use emotional blackmail to keep that from ever happening, then God help me I will.
True to his word, he was out of the bathroom in less than a minute. He made his way to his bed on shaky legs and threw himself on it. I wanted to offer my body heat, because Dad taught us that was the fastest way to warm up, but I knew that physical contact was probably the last thing he needed right now. Instead, I went to him, ignoring how he cringed when I came near, and pulled the blanket from underneath him and cover him up. I followed that up with my own blanket.
"Don't do it again, Sammy." His voice was so soft I almost thought it was my imagination.
"Don't do what?" I paused as I tucked in the second blanket and looked down at him.
"Go looking for them."
"Who's the better fighter, Sam?" He said it calmly, no bragging or bravado. Just a statement of fact.
"But you were drunk and hurt Dean. Your ribs, and you had stitches."
"When has that ever stopped me from being able to kick your skinny ass?"
I stopped then, realizing what he was trying to tell me. Understanding that he wanted to protect me. I didn't want to give this up, though. "I can go after them one at a time, Dean."
He shook his head. "I won't see you become a murderer and I won't see you hurt. You're all I got. You and Dad. Nothin' else. I can't lose half my family just 'cause I couldn't protect myself."
"It's not your fault."
"No, Dean! I don't ever want you to blame yourself again."
He sighed. I knew that sigh. He didn't agree with me but he wasn't going to argue. He still blames himself. Which leads me to the frustration. I don't know what else to try, what else to say. Nothing gets through to him and if I talk about it too much he gets this look and I think that if I don't shut my pie hole right the hell then he'll just walk out and put a bullet in his head. So I just live with it, like a third person traveling with us. It's always there, between us, infecting everything. I can't even talk to Dad about it because Dean made me swear not to tell him. 'Don't tell Dad what happened last month, Sammy.' 'What exactly did happen last month Dean?' He gave me that look and I let it go. 'Swear.' His voice broke on the word and I agreed before I even realized the words were coming out of my mouth. So I can't talk to Dad, I can't talk to Dean and the therapist who's stupid idea this journal was is three thousand miles away in a town I may never see the inside of again. I can't find the bastards who did this to my brother, and I really don't want to go find another therapist. So, yeah, loads of frustration. And did I mention the complete and utter uselessness that is my existence?
And the guilt? I should have gone with him that night. I should have been there to protect him. Maybe they could have taken me down on my own, like they took down Dean, but no way they couldn't have taken us both at the same time. I knew Dean was still hurt, and I knew how he rubbed people the wrong way sometimes. I've even seen him getting hit on a time or two by men, and while logically I know that there's no way that fact could have lead me to conclude that someone would want to rape him let alone could actually do it, I still feel like an idiot for not watching his back. So now I'm hyper vigilant, and I know it's driving him crazy to have me following him around everywhere he goes, or getting nervous when he's out of my sight for more than five minutes at a time (Jesus, Samantha, can't I take a piss in private?). I sit up at night sometimes and relive it all. Dean suddenly announcing he had to go out and bring home some bacon, driving around in a panic trying to find him when he was gone too long and wasn't answering his cell phone. Finding him in that fucking alley, broken, bleeding, half naked and damn near catatonic. The way he flinched when I got too close. The shame in his eyes when he realized it was me. Trying to find the source of the blood and realizing it wasn't just from his stitches… it was from his…
It makes me shake with anger to think about it. To know those sons of bitches are out there, roaming around free, while Dean is barely surviving. Dean's getting out of the shower now. I really don't want him to find out about this since I have no idea how he's going to react. Maybe I'll write more later.