Hello all!! Okay, I've been feeling a little dark lately and if you're like me, you're pretty sad about the recent strain that's been placed on the boys relationship. :( So what was my solution to this little dilemma? Beat the crap outta Sam! Huzzah! Lol, hey I'm a sadist, what can I say?? Hehe, so this story takes place about a week after the last episode and things are still really uncomfortable between the two. Sound fun?? Anyway, I'll be honest, I haven't actually seen any of the fourth season yet because I don't get CW *tear* and everything I know about it has come from the episode synopses and fan fics :D So if there are any problems with my story please feel free to (politely) tell me about them and I'll be sure to change it! Please no flames though becuase that's just mean O.o

I own nothing!! If I did, this would actually happen in my world. Hehe, hope you enjoy!!

How many times can
I break til I shatter?


A crimson sunset had just faded behind the horizon, the sky still dusted pink back behind the line of trees that stretched along the side of the road. The evening air was cool and clear, the smell of pine drifting through the breeze. In spite of the dull lyrics of Led Zeppelin's Bring It On Home playing through the speakers, an uncomfortable silence had fallen inside the Impala.

Sam shifted slightly, glancing back down at the manila folder resting across his lap for about the 60th time that hour. He flipped it open again, his eyes scanning across the news story he'd already almost memorized. It was their first case since the incident with the siren a little over a week ago and things had only gotten more tense between them. Dean said everything was fine, he said they were fine, but Sam knew that wasn't true. They hadn't been "fine" in a long time. Sam had gotten uncomfortably used to the distance that had grown between them after Dean's return from Hell. Sure, Dean was back with a pulse and a core temperature and all the other spiffy things that go along with being alive, but that didn't mean he was the same smart-mouthed, protective big brother Sam had grown up with. He knew that those four months had changed him, made him a completely different person, but Sam was okay with that. He didn't expect things to go back to the way they were. Not ever.

"How much farther do you think?" Sam asked, willing to try just about anything to break the silence. It was almost deafening and was very close to driving him insane.

For a long minute, Dean didn't respond; in fact he barely even acknowledged that his brother had spoken. Finally, he shrugged slightly, never taking his eyes off the road. "Few more miles." He replied hollowly, his voice sounding flat and lifeless as he spoke.

Sam nodded slowly and sank back into the seat, looking out the window once more. No, they weren't fine. It was obvious in the way Dean had barely spoken to him in almost an entire week, his sentences short and clipped anytime he did say something. It was obvious in the way he would sometimes glance at Sam with a hurt look flashing briefly across his green eyes, the "how could you" look of ultimate betrayal.

Sam desperately wished he could take back the things he'd said, he wished he could somehow reverse the tables and it had been Dean saying such awful things to him. Sam could handle that, he knew he could, but not Dean. When those words had left his mouth, when they had crossed that point of no return and everything they'd tried to salvage over the past year was shattered, Dean's heart nearly broke in half. And what was worse was that he believed every words of it.

Sam shook his head slightly, squeezing his eyes closed against the memory. He had apologized so many times that first night the words "I'm sorry" and "I didn't mean it" had become almost like a mantra. But it was true; the awful things he'd said couldn't have been any further from the truth. Sam had idolized his older brother for longer than he could remember, following him blindly without any question whatsoever. Dean had practically raised Sam, he'd trained him, protected him, he even went to Hell for him. How could he ever possibly believe Sam meant the things he'd said while under the siren's spell?

It didn't matter though; the last remaining ounce of trust Dean had in his brother had been shredded that night and now there was no turning back. It was bad enough that Sam had been sneaking around with Ruby and using his powers, but this was something that couldn't be repaired with a simple apology or a promise not to do it again. The bond they'd both relied on so heavily throughout their lives was beginning to crumble and there was nothing they could do about it.

Dean flipped on the blinker and pulled across to the exit ramp. A thin stretch of well lighted buildings lined the road off to the left: a motel 8, a gas station, a small diner, and another building that was more than likely a bar tucked off in the distance. The Impala bounced across the large potholes that cut into the driveway of the motel and came to a stop in front of the front office.

Sam unbuckled his seatbelt, not needing an invitation to the get out of the car for a minute. He dug through his wallet and pulled out a fake credit card, glancing across the numbers briefly. They hadn't used this one in a while. "So, single bed or double?" He asked, forcing a small, watery smile onto his face, hoping it would lighten the mood at least a fraction.

Dean refused to look at him, not even attempting to rise to joke. "Double." He answered, fingers drumming across the steering wheel rhythmically.

The younger man nodded a little, slightly crestfallen but not really expecting the joke to do much of anything else. He closed the door and walked into the front office, paying for the room and signing into the guestbook. Apparently, the motel hadn't quite made it to the new millennium because Sam was handed a brass key with a purple plastic tag reading room 6 attached to it. He took the key, thanked the clerk, and walked back outside. The Impala was gone and for a split second, Sam felt a flash of fear race through him. He left, he left, he left, his mind repeated like a broken record, the air suddenly very thick and hard to breathe. He looked across the nearly empty parking lot, his eyes coming to rest on the familiar shape of the car and he let out a sigh of relief. Keeping the key in his hand, he walked over to the room they'd been assigned, Dean appearing next to him a few seconds later.

"Dude, I thought you left." Sam said, unlocking the door and voicing his anxiety in a small chuckle that sounded fake even to him.

Dean just shrugged and pushed past him into the room, dropping his bag on the ground next to the first bed. He pulled a few things out of his pockets, dropping them onto the table next to the door and taking a look around the room.

"Alright, see ya." He said, turning on his heel as Sam came in behind him, his bag tossed over one shoulder. Sam blinked in confusion, looking at his brother's retreating back and then back at the room.

"Where are you going?" He asked, frowning when Dean shrugged and didn't turn around.

"Don't know. Have fun." He said, cutting around the corner of the building and disappearing into the evening shadows. And just like that, Dean was gone.

Sam stood in the open doorway for a long time, staring out into the dark, empty parking lot. He thought about following him, demanding that the talk about this and get it all over with instead of just letting it continue to build. However, Sam knew that would only make things worse because if Dean hadn't wanted to talk about it the entire week, he sure as hell wasn't going to talk about it now.

The younger man sighed and closed the door, walking back into the room and rummaging through his bag. Dean hadn't even said when or if he was planning on coming back. Sure, all of his clothes were here but his wallet along with the car keys and everything else of material worth were either with him or in the Impala. The only thing he'd be leaving behind that he couldn't replace was Sam and that left a cold, hollow feeling in the younger man's stomach. For a long time now Sam had been wondering whether it would be better for them to split up and search for Lilith separately or not but it seemed that Dean may be making that decision for him.

Sam fell on the stiff mattress on his side of the room and collapsed back, the coarse material of the comforter scraping against his jacket. He stared at the ceiling for a long time, trying not to think about anything in particular but it was impossible. He's going to leave. If not now then soon… Sam thought, tossing his arm over his eyes, the crook of his elbow making the world dark for a split second. I wouldn't blame him…

While under the siren's spell, Sam had told Dean that he was holding him back, that he was the better hunter and that Dean was too weak and stupid to stand up to him. The words were his, as was the voice and the body but they couldn't have been more wrong. In Sam's eyes, Dean was one of the best hunter's he'd ever known and also one of the smartest. He knew more about the things they hunted than Sam would have thought possible and he knew exactly how to destroy them. If anything, it was Sam that was holding him back. Dean had sacrificed everything for his little brother; his freedom, his happiness, even his life and how did Sam repay him? By saying he didn't need him, that he was holding him back. Sam was disgusted with himself.

Sam sat up, pulling the phone out of his back pocket and glancing at the screen. No missed calls, no voice mail, a full battery but that was about it. He'd half expected a call from Ruby somewhere along the way but wasn't sure he would have answered it anyway. Dean didn't trust her, never had and probably never would and to be perfectly honest, Sam wasn't 100% sure he could trust he completely either. But so far she was one of the only leads they had to finding Lilith and if it meant literally preventing all Hell from breaking loose then he would do whatever it would take. With a sigh, he tucked the phone back into his pocket and stared at a rather ugly painting of the surrounding landscape on the wall.

They were right on the outskirts of a small town in Pennsylvania and had a meeting with the town librarian the next morning. The case they were sent to work on appeared to be some kind of ritual murder but considering sulfur was found in the room with the body, the case had drifted through the grapevine to them. It seemed simple enough, some kind of demonic possession or release but you could never be sure with demons. Bobby knew they were in the area and said he would offer some assistance if they needed it but Dean had turned him down, politely explaining that they could handle it. In other words, Dean didn't want to deal with Bobby being the peacemaker and trying to mend the rifts between them.

Sam sighed again and flipped on the television, keeping the volume low enough so that it just barely filled the room. He flipped open the folder again and looked at the few grainy, black and white photographs that had been sent with the news article. The pictures showed a young woman, possibly mid-20s, a deep slash marring her pale throat. She was almost completely nude, clad in nothing but a pair of underwear, strapped to a table in what looked like a basement. Intricate patterns had been carved into her arms, legs, and torso but the picture was too dark to make out any better details. Her name was Leslie Foster.

Sam scrubbed at his eyes; he felt like he'd been looking at the same picture for hours, which ironically, he had. There was something he was missing in this photo; something was odd about the room or Leslie's body, he couldn't tell which. Black and white was terrible for quality anyway, what he needed were the original copies of the crime scene. However, he didn't know his way around the town well enough to do a B&E to the get the police records and also, Dean had the keys. Sam flipped the folder closed once more and set it on the bedside table, turning his attention to the local news. He settled back on the bed and crossed his arms over his chest, knowing Dean probably wouldn't be coming back for a while.

So is it okay so far?? Let me know, okay?? Trust me, it picks up in the next chapter I promise!! Hope to see you then!! :D