Inspired by Sam's face during THAT conversation at the end of 4.10 from Dean's 'the things that I did to them' line until Sam's 'you held out as long at you could line' I was fascinated by the look on Sam's face almost as much as I was by Dean' s heartmoving speech. I just love the sheer helplessness and hurt that was there.

Jensen rocked this scene but the bits that got me the most where the ones that had Jared reactioning to it, hard thing to do - add to a performance like that - but Jared managed it. Loved both guys in this scene.

Last thoughts in this caused by Sam's wish in 4.08 - Lillith's head on a plate.

Italics are quotes straight from the episode.

Dark - Dean

Light - Sam

Everything else is mine.

My Brother's Tears

Be careful what you wish for.

He told me but when do I listen to him.

He told me that but I couldn't help it. I still wanted to know, still wanted to sate my curiosity. I thought that if I could just get him to let me in that I could ease his pain, share his burden.

He warned me but I still thought that I could handle it when the time came, I still thought that there was a way that I could help him, get him through this. If I could only get him to open up that we could find a way through for it for him together.

How could I have been so wrong?

I got my wish, my glimpse into his time in hell, but the cost has been high.

They say that confession is good for the soul, but someone forgot to tell my brother that because somehow instead of lightening his burden, it has made it worse…it's broken him, more so than he already was… he waits for me to judge him as he judges himself and I have no idea anymore what to say or just how to make things right.

How do you help heal a wound that you cannot even reach?

My brother's soul is still bleeding and even his salvation has not stemmed the flow.

----

"I know you heard him."

"Who?"

"Alastair. What he said…..about how I had promise."

"I heard him."

"You're not curious?"

"Dean, I'm damn curious, but your not talking about hell and I'm not pushin'."

------

I know that he is going to tell me then, know that is why he has chosen to stand with his back to me, hiding his eyes and the torment therein from my sight, even as his lips bares his soul to me. To hear him speak of his pain will be bad enough but I am glad that I will not have to witnessed it in his eyes…….

"It wasn't four months you know…."

"What?" I can hear the shock that has crept into my voice.

"…it was four months up here but down there….I don't know, time's different…..it was more like forty years."

The first revelation is bad enough…he had been there forty years, had spent more time in hell than he had living and breathing as my brother and I wonder just how I could have given up trying to save him.

How could I have left him there?

I knew though that I had tried everything to reach him…but still that knowledge doesn't ease my guilt…I had failed him once again and it weight heavily on us both, I close my eyes briefly knowing that I was about to learn just how much my failure had cost him.

"My god."

My reaction is lame but I just have to say something…anything.

"They a…they sliced and …carved…and tore at me in ways that you…until there was nothing left….and then suddenly… I would be whole again…like magic…just so that they could start in again all over. And Alistair, at the end of every day…every one…he would come over…and he would make me an offer…to take me off the rack…if I put salt on…if I started the torture."

His voice is so even, so…normal as he speaks, talking as if he was describing events that had happened to another not to himself. Alistair's daily offer chills me but I am proud that he had held out as long, although I know that it would have cost him dearly, that his suffering would have been made worse because of his defiance.

"And every day I told him to stick it where the sun shines…for thirty years I told him…

I wait for the punch line of his whole speech, almost certain of what is coming next but hoping that it wouldn't…that somehow he had managed to hold on until the angel had pulled him free….but I didn't think that Alistair's idea of 'promise' would be a show of Winchester strength and he had said he had held out for thirty years which can only mean…..

I know that he is going to tell me that he had broken…that he had done something which for him was awful…unforgivable even…I just didn't expect him to break again as he did so.

.but then I couldn't do it anymore Sammy…I couldn't…and I got off that rack…God help me I got right off it…and I started rippin' them apart."

His voice tears at my heart, the way it signals the tear in his own as he tells me that he'd given in. Tears welled in my eyes as his voice breaks…his confession of guilt finally bringing his own tears to the surface…the pain and the torment leaking from him, causing him to start to crumble in front of me.

I realise as he speaks that he had given up hope for himself just as I had finally given up hope for him too…his thirty years had been my three months…that's how long he had been gone when I realised that he was truly lost to me…the point where I realised that no matter what I did Dean's damnation was to be eternal…and I see now just how true that feeling was…my brother may have been rescued from hell but he may never be saved from it.

"I lost count of how many souls."

"The…the things that I did to them."

The pain behind that statement broke me too. My brother had spent forty years in hell and his tears weren't for what he had endured there himself, they were for what he had caused other to endure. I wanted to tell him that these souls were in hell for a reason…that they had most likely deserved their suffering but I knew that he wouldn't care about what they had done to cause their fall…only what he had done to them, he would not justify his actions with their failings.

"Dean…Dean look you held out for thirty years that's longer than anyone would have…"

I lower my head and try to control my own voice and emotions as I speak to him, try to offer him words of comfort but there is a moment as I say his name that my own voice fails me. I stop to clear my throat…and that little moment is what finally breaks his hold on his own emotions.

I turn my head and his walls are gone…head down he can no longer damn the flood inside and I want to go to him…I really do, but I am afraid that if I do he will shatter like broken glass into a million pieces at my touch and I will never be able to find all the pieces to make him whole again.

"How I feel…this….inside me… I wish I couldn't feel anything Sammy…I wish I couldn't feel a damned thing."

As he finishes speaking, I know now what he meant when he told me that I wouldn't understand, that he couldn't make me understand. He's right, in a way I don't understand, but not in the way that he thinks…I don't understand how he could have managed to hold out as long as he did.

What I do understand though is that he did what he had to do to survive, and that I can relate to, really I can, because until he came back that's all that I had done.

Existed.

Survived.

Doing only what I had to do to make it through each day.

I had been so pleased to have my brother back that I didn't want to see that he wasn't right…that he was merely going through the motions. I knew but didn't want to see that although he was standing as flesh and blood in front of me that he wasn't whole…that he had left a part of himself in the pit…a part that he desperately needs if he is to make it through the coming days. That part that knows how to survive this, to move on, to fight…how to adapt…to forgive himself.

The part that let him do what he had to do to survive Hell.

What they eventually had made him do.

I watch as he turns away from me and I feel something inside myself stir but it is no longer pity for my brother's plight…it's something much deeper and darker, changing my tears of sorrow for my brother into controlled tears of rage and anger…and it keeps me there… still…on the hood…at a distance.

I cant hold and try to comfort my brother because that isn't what is going to fix this, that isn't what is going to make this right.

Nothing is going to do that for him now …he is right…I finally realise that.

No, what I want now more than anything in this world is to right this wrong. What I want is a cold hearted, cold blooded vengeance on those that have brought this suffering down on the head of my brother.

And I will have it.

I want Lillith and Alistair to suffer the way they have made him suffer and then I want to watch as they burn in my fury at their treatment of him. I feel the darkness in me stir again and think that perhaps it is time for me to finish my training with Ruby after all…my turn to protect and serve my brother as he has always done for me…to hell with the consequences.

I watch the shake of his shoulders and listen to the sobbing hitch of his breath and I swear silently that I will find a way to finish them both, even if it costs me everything that I believe in and everything that I am.

For that is what his price has been…that is what his love and sacrifice for me has cost him.