This episode left me completely heartbroken. So of course...enter the angst!


Dean tightens his hands around the steering wheel. Trying to ignore Sam next to him is getting harder and harder and the tension in the car is so thick, almost palpable and Dean can practically taste it, bitter on his tongue.

Sam has always been his baby brother, always been someone he looked out for, would...did sell his soul for. Would gladly do it again. Except he can't shake the feeling that the person sitting next to him in the car isn't Sammy anymore. He meant it when he said it earlier, I don't know when it happened. Maybe when I was in hell. Maybe when I was staring right at you. But the Sam I knew… he's gone. Its slowly killing him, has been for months now, since he crawled his way out of the grave and he can't help thinking that Sam was lost the minute Dean died. The minute Sam had to bury his brother.

And he had no right to put that on Sam. No right at all. But Sam risks a glance at him across the seat, over the gulf that has settled between them, and Dean can't read the expression in his eyes. And he knows that Sammy is gone.

Sammy, the little boy who used to hold his chubby, sticky hands out to Dean when he fell, fat tears rolling down cheeks, arms asking to be held. Sammy, the gangly 16 year old, uncomfortable in his own skin who looked to Dean for every answer. Sammy, the stubborn 18 year old who walked out of the front door leaving a broken brother and father in his wake. That Sammy has gone.

Leaving a hard Sam in his place. A hard Sam who looks at Dean with no emotion in his eyes. A hard Sam who keeps secrets, who lies, who breaks Dean's heart every time he walks out of the door, trailing lies and attitude.

And Dean can't see a way out of this, can't see how this is going to get better. And the thought makes him want to cry, makes him want to rip Ruby's head clean off her shoulders. But try as he might, he can't blame Ruby entirely, although he wants to. The glutton for punishment that Dean is blames himself. Because if he had taken better care of Sam, he wouldn't have died, Dean wouldn't have held his brother, rain water and mud seeping into his jeans as he knelt in the dirt, holding on for dear life, feeling the life slipping from his baby brother. And Dean wouldn't have had to sell his soul for Sam. And Dean wouldn't have left Sam on earth, alone, scared and drifting.

"We're not ok, are we?" Sam asks from the passenger seat. And its the first words they have spoken to each other since they climbed into the car and turned the music up loud, covering the screaming silence between them. And it makes Dean jump slightly.

"No Sam, we're not." He can't lie anymore. Hates lying to Sam.

"Are we going to be?" Sam looks at him, and Dean would almost sweat that he can see a hint of Sammy in those brown eyes.

"I dunno, Sam. I dunno." God, I hope so.


V!

xox