A/N: Here's another tag, I couldn't get Dean's words out of my head—not the end—what came before. And since those words referenced a favorite episode directed so beautifully by the late Kim Manners, I needed to make it better. I honestly don't know why this came up, but since it did, Dean needed to deal with what he'd done. Here's my take… Minor spoilers for "Sex and Violence."
Words Spoken in Anger
Dean had to admit the silence was worrying. Not a sound, a peep or even an angry curse from Sam. Nothing. Sam's phone had been ringing off and on all day, and he never answered. He didn't even pull it out to check the caller ID. The tone for voice mails was beeping over and over and still nothing. Sam didn't react, didn't answer, didn't say anything.
It was worrying.
At first he'd been worried that Sam had been injured far worse than he let on during their little scuffle. Yeah, you tried to kill Sam you asshole, you thinks that's a scuffle? Dean had double checked, but after those few brief words of feigned apology, Sam had stopped reacting. When they'd checked into their new motel for the night, Sam had trudged into the room and dropped onto the bed without a word. Dean checked Sam over again, but his brother didn't react to anything—even when Dean had poked a particularly dark bruise harder than was needed.
Nothing, not a word, nothing but a little grunt of pain.
He'd tried talking, asking for forgiveness in the trusted Winchester way. Poke and prod and make fun of Sam and himself until they laughed and got drunk and it was over. It was the way it always worked. Or always had in the past. This time it wasn't working. Dean made siren jokes, blood jokes, axe murderer jokes—that was his favorite "Hey, Sammy, look, I'm starring in a slasher film, think I could play Jason?"
But still nothing.
Dean left his unmoving, uncommunicative brother lying on the bed and went in search of anesthetic. He was tired of whiskey and the like and wanted something that tasted less like numbing the pain of hell and more like tequila. He drove through town and found a drive through liquor store. After buying enough alcohol to preserve a corpse, he headed back to the motel. He was brooding over Sam's mood when something hit him.
"Did I actually say that?" he asked the car. Oh shit, oh god, oh I'm a jerk. Oh shit. He spotted a bakery and pulled in, hoping he could find something to offer to his brother. The cases were mostly empty, but on the top shelf were several huge chocolate chip cookies. Despite his brother's tendency to like all things healthy and cardboard, Sam had always had a weakness for chocolate chip cookies. Dean bought a dozen and started back.
When he reached the motel, he sat in the car for a long time, thinking about how to handle it. Shit. He got out and walked to their room, the bags of booze and cookies heavier with each step. When he opened the door, Sam didn't even move, he was still lying on his back, eyes closed. He didn't even shift to acknowledge Dean's entrance.
It hit Dean—and hard. Sam was wearing a shirt almost identical to the one he'd had on in Cold Oak. He bolted for the bathroom as the nausea hit him. Once he finished he wandered back into the room—if Sam had reacted, he was being careful not to let on. Dean stopped in front of the bed. Sam didn't move. Dean nudged him with his toe. Nothing.
"Fine, fuck you, then." Dean grabbed the bags from where he dropped them, fished out a bottle of tequila and dumped the rest on Sam's chest. "I'm taking a shower. Have a party."
Sam didn't move.
Dean slammed the bathroom door hard enough to knock his shaving kit on the floor. He picked it up, undressed, grabbed the tequila and got in the shower. Drinking in the shower was nothing new—he'd done it a lot when he was a kid and hiding the bottle from John, but it hadn't happened in awhile. The guilt from what he said, the pain of the memory of Sam lying dead in his arms was catching up. He took a long swig and leaned his head against the wall. I suck. He drank again, and again. By the time he reached to turn the water off he was beginning to feel the effects of the tequila. He dried off, got dressed and opened the door.
"I…" He cleared his throat. Sam didn't move, although he looked like he had at some point, the bag was on the floor and a bottle was open on the bed. "Sorry," Dean mumbled.
Sam didn't move.
"I…" Dean stopped, unsure what to say.
Sam didn't move.
"I didn't mean it."
"I never knew you felt that way," Sam said suddenly, his voice a little slurred.
"Sorry, I didn't mean…"
"You said it."
"I know, I…" Dean was desperate. There was something in Sam's voice that set off every warning bell in his head and made adrenaline buzz through his body like a shock.
"You said it." Sam picked up the bottle and took a drink. "You said it, without a thought."
"You know what that did to me?"
"How could you?" Sam sat up and finally looked at Dean.
"Sam…" Dean closed his eyes and leaned against the wall wondering how to fix this. "I…" He opened his eyes, Sam had stood. "Sam?" Dean's eyes locked onto what his brother had in his hand. "Sam?" Before Dean could even get his body to react to what he saw, Sam, was across the room. He grabbed Dean's shirt and pulled him away from the wall, then slammed him back with enough force to stun Dean for a moment.
"Do you even know?" Sam said, pinning Dean with one arm and raising the gun. "This was the one I used. I haven't even looked at it since then, just left it in the bag."
"Sam…" Dean gasped out, Sam had effectively cut off his air.
"I loved Madison, Dean. LOVED HER!" Sam shouted. He held the gun in front of Dean's face and slowly pulled the hammer back. Dean didn't even wonder if there was a round in the chamber. "Gun without a round ready to go is nothing more than an expensive rock to throw at someone," his father's voice played in his head.
"I know, Sam, I'm sorry."
"I loved her." Sam went on. "And you know what I did? To THAT MONSTER?" Sam stepped half a step away, still keeping Dean pinned. He looked at the gun, then pressed it into Dean's chest, over his heart. "She was scared."
"Of course she was, Sam." Dean was terrified, the look in Sam's eyes was… was… empty, desperate, heartbreak made physical.
"I held her, but she tried to run, so I had to pin her, like this." Sam leaned on the arm over Dean's throat. "She was so scared, crying, trying to be brave, but wanting to run." The lack of emotion in Sam's voice pushed Dean's panic into overdrive. "She never begged, though. Never once."
"And I killed that monster, Dean, put the monster out of its misery. Saved the world." Sam leaned in, increasing pressure on both gun and arm. Black spots danced before Dean's eyes. "I did this too, so she'd be a little out when it happened. She trusted me." Sam was only inches away. "I kissed her, Dean, so she wouldn't know. Remember how dad would? Like you did when I was a kid, on the forehead, to make me not worry about how bad I was hurt." Tears were suddenly pouring down Sam's face. "I kissed her. On the lips, with her, but I remembered—how it would make me less scared."
Sam leaned forward and planted a gentle kiss on Dean's forehead, it was just a brush of contact. He stayed there, the tears dropping on Dean's face.
"Shhh, it's okay, it won't hurt, it'll be okay, I promise," Sam said without moving. His voice was lost—distant, Dean wasn't even sure if Sam knew where he was.
Dean felt the muscles in Sam's hand tense.
The hammer slammed down.
The sound of the gunshot filled the room.
Something burned into Dean's side, he grunted in pain as his body relaxed, the need for oxygen suddenly taking the upper hand.
"Oh god," Sam stumbled back the gun dropping from his hand, the arm holding Dean up fell away and Dean collapsed to the floor. "No, please, no." Sam sobbed. "Dean?" A shaking hand touched him then pulled away. He felt Sam drop beside him. "Dean?" Sam was sobbing—it sounded like each breath was tearing a piece of Sam away with it.
Dean shoved himself up into a sitting position, there was a large bullet hole in the wall, the wound in his side must have come from a piece of plaster. "Sam?" Dean pulled his brother against him. "Sam?" Sam didn't react to the touch at first, instead sitting there, head in hands. It was so like Sam after what had happened with Madison, Dean almost wished Sam had killed him—for bringing this back, for his insensitivity, for everything. "Sam? Oh, god, Sammy, I'm so sorry." He was suddenly crying with Sam, not worrying about anything else in that moment. Nothing except his brother, broken beyond belief.
And he'd done it.
"Sammy?" Dean was shaking. "Sam, please, I'm sorry. I didn't mean… Sam… I never meant…. I… You shouldn't have moved the gun."
Sam was crying, but he was suddenly completely still.
"If I can do that, say that, you should kill me."
Sam didn't seem to be breathing.
"I'm the monster, Sammy. I'm so sorry, so sorry. If I could take this away I would. I know you loved her, she was so beautiful, I was so happy for you, I wanted you to have that happiness again, after Jess. I didn't mean she was a monster. I…I would have done anything to spare you." Dean pulled Sam closer. "I'm so sorry, Sammy. I…" He couldn't go on. "I'm sorry." He was rocking. "I can't take the words back, Sam, but… Oh, god. How could I?" Sam hadn't moved. I don't deserve forgiveness. I'll get him back together, and go. "I'm sorry," he whispered one last time. He let himself go, weeping, rocking Sam like he had the day Madison had died.
"A long time ago," Sam said, his voice harsh with tears and pain so palpable Dean could feel it. "A long time ago, after I had a fight with dad when I…" Sam stopped, swallowed and took a deep breath. "When I told dad that mom would hate him for what he'd done to us, I ran away."
"Yeah, I remember," Dean said softly.
"You found me late that night. I didn't want to come home because of what I'd said." He pressed his hand against Dean's chest, over the aching bruise where he'd held the gun. "And you said…you said…" A soft sob came with the last word. Dean didn't move, everything he had was taken up with listening to Sam. "You said words spoken in anger can wound—can even kill—faster than a bullet."
"Sammy," Dean said, trying to breathe, unable to take in a breath because of the ache in his throat. "I'm sorry, I didn't…"
"You also said," Sam continued, pulling back to look at Dean. "There are words that can heal the wound."
"I don't know if you meant it or not, that you thought she was a monster," Sam said, the tears still pouring down his face.
"Sammy…" Dean said desperately.
"But I do believe you're sorry."
"I am, too."
"You have nothing to be sorry for Sam." Dean pulled Sam against him, this time Sam's arms wrapped around him. "Oh god, Sammy." Dean leaned against his brother. "I'm so sorry."
"Dean? I forgive you," Sam said it softly, so softly it was the barest whisper of sound. He was crying again.
Dean heard it and let the words sink in. "Thank you, Sammy."
Sam forgave him.
And maybe sometime…
Dean could forgive himself.