Of Obligations and Desperation
Following a confrontation with a despair demon, a fight between the brothers sends Sam over the edge.
Set Season 2 after Croatoan.
Limp/Hurt/emotionally broken Sam. Angry/Angsty/Protective Dean.
Warning: suicide attempt.
Author's notes: A stupid little something I came up with on call last night when I was in the mood for some angst. Just a small break away from the Top Secret project I've been working on. Not particularly well written and nothing special, but I do hope you enjoy it.
Idea nicked half-heartedly from an episode of Red Dwarf.
Let me know if you want me to continue with this.
"Well this sucks out loud." Dean stripped off his sodden shirt and threw it carelessly to one side. Water dripped off the end of his nose and he shook his head, rain droplets flying outwards and spraying his younger brother.
Sam barely paid attention. He sat quietly on his bed; shoulders slumped, ignoring his own wet clothes. Sam just stared down at the grimy carpet.
"Sam? Hey!" Dean snapped his fingers right in Sam's face, startling him. "You with me?"
"Huh?" Sam blinked and blew out a breath. "Sorry. You were saying?"
Dean stared at him with narrowed eyes.
"What the hell's wrong with you? You been distracted all damn day." There was the faintest hint of annoyance mixed with concern and Sam hadn't exactly been in the best of moods lately. Dean was getting a little frustrated with his younger sibling's shitty attitude.
The run in with a despair demon had ended with a dramatic exorcism, but not before Dean landed on his head hard enough to rattle teeth, and he kind of blamed Sam for that. Something was wrong with the kid.
Despair demons were a rarity but incredibly powerful, attacking its victim's psyche and upping their despair to dangerous levels. Sometimes the result was suicide, as was the case with a town sheriff who ate a bullet earlier that week, but often the victim became enraged and left a trail of carnage across the state. The brothers had been tracking the activity for weeks; after a high school shooting and one grisly incident involving a madman letting loose with an axe in a grocery store, they finally figured out what they were dealing with.
And put a stop to it.
"You know what's up." Sam's sullen answer disrupted his brother's thoughts.
Dean sighed, grabbed a towel and began mopping up rain water from his face.
"Brooding aint gonna change a thing dude." Dean shrugged nonchalantly. "Just 'cos Dad said it, don't mean he's right."
He turned and pulled out a clean dry shirt from his duffle, missing the grimace of disbelief that crossed his brother's face.
"What? Since when did you turn into a Doubting Thomas?" Sam's mouth twisted into a bitter smile. "I mean, Dad's word is still gospel right?"
Dean's head shot round in anger at the sarcasm. "That aint fair Sam!"
"No it's not...you're right." Sam got to his feet and began to pace the room. "None of this is fair. Dad had his secrets sure, I get that. But this was something involving me Dean. I had a right to know and he kept it from me!"
The pacing paused for a just second then continued as Sam kept up his rant. A rant which, in Dean's view, was probably more than a little justified. He understood his brother's anger, hadn't wanted to tell him in the first place. But as the kid pointed out, he had a right to know.
He said I might have to kill you…
Jesus. Sam had every right to be angry. But it wouldn't solve anything, especially if he couldn't keep his mind on the job.
"How long did he know Dean? Before Salvation? After?" Sam sounded more hurt than angry now. "He had plenty of time to warn me. But he didn't trust me as usual." He shook his head, eyes suddenly brimming with tears. "I guess he was convinced huh? Shows how much faith he had in me. That's why he only told you. He…he thought I was…"
"Stop it." Dean spoke quietly but firmly and moved to stand in Sam's path. "He said might Sam. Ok? Might. You're making too much of this…"
"What?" Sam yelped, his face scrunched up in astonishment. "Making too…" he shifted from foot to foot, struggling to get the words out "he said you might have to kill me, Dean. Not lock me up, or knock me out…kill me, and you think I'm making too much of it?"
Dean winced. "Wasn't quite what I meant. I'm just sayin' nobody knows for sure ok? Nothin's set in stone dude."
Sam huffed, chin falling to his chest. "Wanna bet? Those were Dad's last words to you. Makes it pretty final." The sarcasm was gone, replaced by misery and hopelessness.
Dean felt a stirring of anger and he wasn't quite sure who it was aimed at. John for putting this on his shoulders in the first place, Sam for giving up so early on in the game, or himself for having his own doubts. The incident with Amson and Andy some months ago had highlighted those doubts against his will; Andy's scary mojo forcing him to reveal his inner fears in front of his brother. Given Sam's reaction at the time Dean wasn't surprised his little brother was taking this latest revelation very much to heart.
"Sammy it'll be ok." Dean tried out a cocky smile but it fell flat. "It's my job to watch out for you remember?"
Sam snorted without humour. "Yeah. I've always been your job huh Dean? Dad didn't exactly give you much of a choice about it."
Dean frowned deeply, not sure if he shouldn't be a little insulted but Sam had more to say and it shocked the h*ell out of him. The kid slowly turned round, red rimmed eyes seeking Dean's.
"Do you even love me?" Sam's soft voice held the barest quiver. "Did you ever? Or was I just an obligation to you, a burden you had to deal with just 'cos Dad couldn't?"
Gaping, Dean felt the tenuous control over his temper slipping.
"You never got to do what you wanted," Sam seemed oblivious to the effect he was having on his older brother, his face a picture of sadness. "I was always hanging around like a bad smell. You can't tell me you would've chosen that if you could. And now that bastard left you with a brother that may need putting down like a rabid dog…"
He didn't remember grabbing Sam by his jacket, he only remembered the inner snap as his temper got its way and suddenly he was smashing Sam up against the motel room wall, his brother's head bouncing violently off the cracked plaster.
"Shut up Sam." Dean hissed in his face. "You think I wanted all this? You think I enjoyed all those years you fought with him? As for love…" he let go and backed off shaking with anger "I took care of you, kept you safe, told you stories at bedtime, dried your tears…what more proof do you need? I gave up everything for you!"
Sam watched him sadly. "That's not love Dean," he whispered softly "that's duty. Not the same as love."
Dean stared back at him in angry amazement. "Just what the hell do you want from me? I'm doing the best I can Sammy!"
Sam dropped his gaze to the floor, tears finally spilling over and running down his cheeks. "Guess you just answered my question."
"What damn question?" Dean ground out and turned away, fists clenched at his sides.
"Yellow Eyes back at the cabin…demons lie…I was never Dad's favourite." Sam sniffed miserably. "You were the one he spoke to just before he died. You were the one he said his goodbyes to…not me."
His brother let out a snort. "You really that surprised? All you ever did was question his orders! Little wonder the guy never trusted you." Dean couldn't believe they were even having this conversation. He knew Sam was the emo bitch of the Winchester duo but this was getting stupid. "Seriously dude, you're having a hissy fit just 'cos Daddy didn't pay you enough attention? Christ! Aren't you just the ungrateful self-centred little brat!" Inwardly he flinched at his own cruel words but his mouth carried on running away. "It all has to be about you don't it? Even when you were a kid, Dad had to put up with your whining and bitching, and you didn't even let up in his last few minutes of life. Then there's that all freaky psychic stuff, visions and God knows what else…can you blame us for having doubts about you?"
There it was. Truly out in the open.
"You're right." Came the soft reply.
The last thing Dean saw of his little brother was Sam's grief-stricken face disappearing out the door.
Scrubbing a hand over his face, Dean made no move to go after him. They both needed space and he was certain his little brother would come back after some down time.
He was oh so wrong.
Sam trudged miserably through the freezing rain, not caring where he was going. The rain was useful anyhow; it covered the tear tracks on his face. His heart had been heavy for weeks but now it was breaking…broken.
Dean had never said it, not once told Sam he loved him in his entire life. Call it weird but that hadn't bothered Sam up until now. Now it seemed the most important thing in the world, as though not hearing the words meant his brother couldn't possibly love him. Ever.
And Sam was pretty certain his brother hated him.
Loneliness and fear welled up, absolute terror taking over and engulfing him. Sam suddenly couldn't find his way out, dark thoughts drowning him with little mercy.
Plans for you Sammy…
If I couldn't save you I have to kill you…
Am I supposed to go dark side…?
… You might have to waste me someday…
But something else was creeping up unnoticed in the back of his head.
He doesn't love you…never has…
…pain in the ass little brother…
…John never loved you…hated you…
…too little too late…
…he lost Mary and got you instead…
…Dean hates you…
Sam cried out and stumbled to his knees, hands fisted in his hair as the blackness inside stirred up, confusing him, terrorising him, stripping him of all logic and replacing it with…
The worst thing of all.
Cold shaking hands suddenly released their grip on his head and he slowly rose to his feet again. Blinking rain water out of his eyes he turned and crossed the street, aiming for a small liquor store next to an Italian restaurant.
Emerging a few minutes later carrying a brown paper bag, Sam set out to find somewhere quiet, somewhere he could be alone.
Sam took another long gulp of tequila and stared out into the night. He wanted to get drunk one final time, to dull the pain and fortify him with Dutch courage. Reaching down to his ankle holster he slowly withdrew the hunting blade and stared morosely at his dim reflection in the metal. The dark thoughts continued, pressing excitedly, urging him on.
Not good enough…
…never trusted you…
…Dean doesn't need you…
…blood…let the blood spill…so much of it…need to let it out…
Sam knew what to do and how to do it.
He'd been taught by the best.