Sam stopped at the door of the hospital room and stared at his brother. Dean was sitting on the edge of the bed, waiting for Sam to bring in the wheelchair for his obligatory ride to freedom. Dean's back was to him and from the sag of Dean's shoulders, it seemed as if the weight of the world was riding there.
It had been a week since he had found Dean unconscious after being beaten by Alastair. Sam had talked to Castiel a couple of times since then but he hadn't given Sam any real details about what happened.
Oh, sure, he knew that Dean had been summoned to torture Alastair, which was a complete waste of time since Uriel had been the one killing the angels. Sam also knew that thanks to Uriel, Alastair had gotten free and had almost killed Dean. Sam was glad the angel was dead. It saved him the trouble of doing it himself.
Castiel had hinted that Dean had learned something from Alastair but he wouldn't say what it was. And Dean, well, he just wasn't talking. Sam had been sitting by his bedside almost constantly for the last week and Dean would only talk when Sam spoke directly to him.
"Is he breaking out today?"
Sam jumped at the sound of the nurse's voice. She was a pretty blonde who had been trying to get Dean to talk to her since he had regained consciousness but even she wasn't having any luck getting a response from his brother.
"Yeah, today is the day." Sam pushed the wheelchair into the room and the nurse followed him. "You ready to go, Dean?"
"Sure." Dean's voice was lifeless and Sam swallowed hard to keep his tears at bay. He had to be strong for his brother.
"Okay, let's get you into your ride here and we'll get out of Julie's hair." He smiled at the nurse. "I'm sure she's tired of putting up with you."
Julie put her hand on Dean's arm to help steady him as he lowered himself into the chair. "If every patient I had was as handsome as this one, I'd never go home."
Sam's heart broke as he saw no reaction from his brother. Granted it was a lame line but Dean usually ate those up. In fact, he would have been the one handing them out. But not today.
Sam wanted to scream in frustration. Why had Castiel let this happen? He should have known that Dean wasn't strong enough to face Alastair. If Castiel had questioned where those orders had been coming from in the first place none of this would have happened. Dean hadn't been the same since coming back from Hell but now he was completely broken and Sam didn't know how to fix him.