Title: Many Things I Didn't Know

Author: Maimat
Rating: T
Spoilers: Season 3
Characters: Dean, Sam.
Notes: Gen, Episode tag to 4.07

Summary: Extending the last few scenes of 4.07. Angst, and Zombie insight, and brotherlyness.

Dean watched as the black smoke belched up and out of the host body, tumbling slowly through the air and down into the cold, marble floor. It wasn't the first time he'd witnessed Sam's powers, but this?

This was so not right; blood dripped from Sam's nose, and his eyes were squinty. Dean didn't even spare a glance at the dead guy now sprawled on the floor.

"Sam," Dean strode toward him, "you alright?"

Sam staggered, stumbled backward, and landed gracelessly on the floor.

"We need to get out of here." It took all of five steps for Dean to bridge the distance to Sam's side. The sound of sirens were an audible reminder to get the hell out before the cops arrived. Dean made a grab for Sam's wrist in order to haul him to his feet, but hesitated at the feel of his brother's unnaturally cool skin. Sam looked like ten miles of bad road; his nose was still bleeding and Dean could feel him shaking. How badly could Sam hurt himself by exorcising something like Samhain?

Sam shook off Dean's hand and pushed himself back onto his feet.

"Sam? Dude, come on." Dean didn't wait for Sam to get moving, he took hold of Sam's wrist once more and was ready to drag him away if he needed to.

Sam's hand caught the door on the way out. "The knife."

Dean looked back and saw the light reflect against the blade. It was across the room from where Sam clashed with Samhain, and as Dean picked it up he also noticed that there was dried blood on the blade.

Not a word was spoken the entire ride back to the motel. Dean felt like he was supposed to be piecing together a puzzle without knowing what the final picture should look like. It had nothing to do with the freaky mind power demon thing. Well, maybe a little, but not everything. This new Sam was too quiet; there were too many secrets between them. How could Sam not tell him about the demon blood for an entire year? Did Sam think he wouldn't have been able to handle knowing the truth?

"Sam. Sammy, hey." Dean shook Sam's shoulder, and jumped as his brother suddenly regained consciousness. "Hey, we're back at the motel."

Sam blinked as he tried to focus, and Dean watched him carefully. "We're going inside?" Sam asked.

"That's normally how it's done."

Sam nodded. He waited while Dean unlocked the motel door, and then went straight to his bed and crashed.

"Your head still hurt?"

"I'll be fine."

"That's not what I asked." Dean pulled the first aid kit from his bag and dug out the bottle of advil. "Extra strength?"

"No thanks."

"Right." Dean put two on the night table. He sniffed the air, and wrinkled his nose,"Ugh, is that…" He sniffed his coat, "I smell like smoke and formaldehyde." He suddenly grinned at Sam hoping to lighten the mood, "Dude, Zombies! Freaking zombies. They were crawling right out of the crypts and everything, just like a Romero film. You know what would have been even better though, if they were chanting BRAINS, but I don't think they could talk."

"Brains?"

"Yeah, you know," Dean screwed up his face and groaned, "BRAINS!"

Sam rubbed his eyes and tentatively touched the blood dried to his face. "Zombies eat flesh. Anyway, they'd have to break the skull of everyone they kill to get at the brains."

"Thank-you Encyclopedia Brown." Admitting defeat, Dean sighed and considered his brother's motions, "You want to shower first? I could wait."

"No." Sam let his arm drop and just sat like he was waiting for something. Only Dean wasn't sure what he was waiting for.

"Hang on a sec…" He walked into the bathroom grabbed a washcloth, wetted it and returned to Sam's side. "Here," he held his hand out, "might make you feel a little better." Sam took it and stared at it for a while. "Or if not you, it will definitely make me feel better, because dude, you look as bad as some of those Zombies."

"So the knife…" Dean took out Ruby's knife and rinsed it in the sink before placing it on the table between the beds.

Sam looked up briefly before turning away again. "It, uh, I screwed up. You were right."

"What do you mean I was right?"

"I don't know." Sam rubbed at his eyes again. "It's all just…" He waved vaguely at his head. "I'm tired."

"Then sleep. You'll feel better in the morning."

Sam closed his eyes, and the conversation ended.

Picking up the discarded washcloth, Dean took it to the bathroom and added it to the pile on the floor with the other dirty towels from their stay. He stripped off his clothes and tossed those too on the floor and stepped into the shower. The evening's events played over and over again in his mind…

Sam battling Samhain. Sam's hand outstretched. Sam's eyes squinted in obvious pain and intense concentration. The knife lay by the entry of the smaller room, no where even close to where Sam now stood his ground.

"Stop him Dean," Dean's memory of Castiel's warning echoed, "or we will."

He stayed in the shower just long enough to get clean, and then got dressed for bed. How could he save Sam from this? They'd get everything straightened out in the morning. .

* * *

Dean got up around nine. Sam slept in, so he went to get breakfast and coffee. He passed a playground and watched the kids playing for a minute; all this would be gone if the Angels had gone through with their plan to go Gomorrah on the whole town. Everything looked picture perfect; clear blue sky, warm day, kids laughing. They failed and another seal was broken. The world was one step closer to ending, and the little boy being pushed on the swing by his pregnant mother was going to get the chance to be a big brother.

Then Castiel appeared beside him.

It was about an hour before Dean went back to the room. He picked up some breakfast and a coffee for Sam along the way.

Sam was still sleeping.

Something banged against the motel room door and Dean dropped the bag of food on the table to pick up the knife. Ruby's knife. Lately it seemed liked there were demons waiting for them around every corner.

He heard laughter coming from outside followed by the rumble of an engine coming to life and it was quiet again. Sometimes a noise is just a noise.

"Time to get moving, Sam."

Sam hadn't moved. He lay on his back, dead to the world.

He was just sleeping.

"Sammy?"

No response, and Dean felt himself transported back to another time when Sam had lain on his back, unresponsive.

Not bothering to take the time to put down the knife, Dean shook Sam's shoulder roughly with his left hand. Still no response.

He grabbed Sam's face and turned his head towards him. He'd had another nosebleed sometime during the night. Dried blood stained the side of Sam's face, trailing down his neck and pooling on the sheet.

He leaned in close enough to feel Sam's breath on his face, and Dean finally let go of the lungful of air he was holding. Of course Sam wasn't dead, it was stupid to even think it, but Dean still placed his fingers on the side of Sam's neck. He found the pulse easily. Sam's skin was cool, but not cold. Dean knew what cold felt like. He let his hand rest on the side of Sam's neck.

It had taken about half an hour for Sam to get cold last time. Dean remembered sitting in the dirt with his hand on the back of Sam's neck because he wasn't ready to let go of his brother yet. It was a mistake. It just wasn't real. Dean wouldn't let go, even after his brother was cold. Even though Sam was cold, he held Sam's fingers in his other hand and rubbed his thumb over Sam's calluses. It couldn't be real.

"Dean?"

Dean jumped; Sam stared up at him, confusion quickly turning to alarm. "Dean?"

Dean got up quickly, really not interested in trying to explain his emo moment to his very much alive brother. "Nothing. Uh, you've got blood on your face." He escaped to the bathroom and grabbed a fresh cloth, soaked it in warm water and came back to hand it to his brother.

Sam sat up and accepted the cloth, but didn't move to wipe the blood away. "What's with the knife?"

He looked at his hand and then at the door, why was he still holding the damn thing? "Nothing." He wanted to explain his paranoia even less. "I was putting it away."

"Right." Sam didn't take his eyes off him.

Dean placed the knife back on the table. "Well, yeah, what else would I be doing with it?"

"You tell me." Sam looked towards his duffle bag on the floor and frowned. "Did you go through my stuff?"

"No. Why would I do that?"

"It was packed. I was packing it when... I was packing my bag, but…" Sam coughed and looked back down at his clearly unpacked bag. "Uriel was here. Was I sleeping?"

"Yeah, you were sleeping."

"So Uriel wasn't here?"

"I saw Cas in the park. They do that; make you think you're awake when you're not. What did he say?"

Sam looked around the room. "Same old."

"You want to be more specific?"

"Not really." Sam wiped his face, and looked down at the blood on the cloth. "I can't promise it won't happen again."

"I must have taken a wrong turn at Albuquerque because you've totally lost me Sam."

"It's not like I'm going to be looking for opportunities, but with what we do, you know. I'll understand if you side with them. But-"

"Shut up. I don't know what's going through that messed up skull of yours, but whatever it is, it's full of shit. You got me?"

Sam looked at the knife again. Dean tossed it across the room. "Do you hear me, Sam? Whatever kind of bullshit Uriel said, he was wrong. Whatever it is you think I'm thinking, you're wrong about that too."

"Last night..."

"Last night you did what you had to do. What you did, it's better than having a demon running around making monster mash out of this town right?"

"But-"

"Forget about the damn angels. They don't know anything. And they certainly don't know you." Enough with the emo bullshit already, it was about time he started acting like a brother again. Dean picked up the bag of food.

"Here, I brought back some breakfast."

He watched Sam tentatively take the bag; waited for him to open it; waited for Sam to take a bite.

Dean grinned; it was time. "So, how do you know Zombies don't eat brains?"

"What?"

"How do you know they don't eat brains. It's not like they're picky. Not like they just eat the living either. Remember the tomb in New Orleans dad took us to? It was sealed tight and so they all just ate each other until there was one last half eaten zombie left. Remember your jacket? I can't believe Dad just wiped it off and washed it. I thought you were going to puke every time you put it on. How long did it take wash out the smell?"

"It didn't." Sam swallowed and put the sandwich down.

Dean grinned. Score! Of course Sam remembered. He'd never seen anyone puke like Sam puked after dad told him to get in there and pour some gas around so they could burn the place. "You see, so that proves it. You lock one of those nasties in a room long enough and they suck the marrow right out of the bones. The flesh only lasts for what, a day tops, before it's eaten away. Then what? Brains Sam. Doesn't matter if it's the main course or dessert, they still eat'em."

Sam groaned and shoved the food back in the bag. "You suck Dean."

Dean laughed. "Bitch."

"Jerk."

the end