Fighting. That is all they ever did anymore. Fight. Fight. Fight some more. It was like they were teenagers again, fighting over the remote control, or who got the last cookie, or even who had to take the cot instead of the bed. However, instead of innocent fights over spots in the Impala, and who got the last of the sugary cereal, they were fighting over the apocalypse. It is amazing how things change.
"Sam! Using your powers isn't good."
"How is it not good?! I'm saving the victim. I'm killing demons! Tell me how that can possibly be a bad thing!"
"You are losing little bits of yourself every single time you use them!"
"I am not!"
"You are too!"
"For God's sake Dean don't be so dramatic!"
"I'm not being dramatic. You lose a little bit of your humanity every single time you come back from getting stronger. Whatever in the hell that means! You can't keep doing this!"
"I will do it if I want to. I will do it because I need to do it."
"Well if that isn't selfish."
"No. Selfish is you selling your soul because you can't stand to be alone. Yeah. That is being selfish. Because if you had just not been a hypocrite and left me dead, you wouldn't have started this whole mess!" Dean jerked back, the words were like physical blows. He pursed his lips and went for his duffel. "What? You mad and going to try to leave me again? Come on Dean. It doesn't work. You won't go. You can't go. You need me to be strong for you."
Dean dug in his duffel for a book and slammed it into his brother's chest, starred him straight in the eye, and in a voice so low Sam could feel the ruble of his brother's chest he said, "Start reading at page 256. Then tell me how selfish I am." He pushed a little and took the room key and left. The door slamming left an echo in the small motel room.
Sam, wide eyed, held the book to his chest and realized what he said to his brother. Most of the time anymore, they were fighting and Sam had no real clue why they were fighting or even why he was saying the things that he was saying, most of them were mean and hurtful. Never before Ruby had he even dreamed of saying some of the things to Dean that he had lately.
He pulled the book away from his chest and looked down at the book. It was part of the Winchester Gospel as Castiel had so unceremoniously put it. It was the one entitled All Hell Breaks Loose. Dean had read the entire series, cover to cover, not stopping. For a while it had been an obsession, all he did was read these stupid books. Sam didn't understand why. They lived it. Who wanted to relive some of the worst experiences of your life? Who wanted to read about your brother being shredded by hell hounds when you could still see it if you left that particular door open in your mind? Hell he could call that night up so well, that he could smell Dean's blood and his bowels being shredded open, his last bacon cheeseburger partially digested and all over the floor. Why should he read these?
Sam sighed, frustrated with himself and for his temper, and sat down on the bed and starred down at cover of the book. There was a crossroads in the center, and the figure Sam assumed to be Dean standing in the center. Was this a recollection of the time he sold his soul? Why would Dean want him to read this? Sam sighed and shook his head.
"Page 256 huh Dean? What could be so terribly important that you want me to read this garbage?"
The page was heavy in description, explaining how Dean had arranged his corpse on a bed that had seen better days, arranged his hands, made sure he looked peaceful. It went on to discuss how Dean told Bobby that he was willing to let the world be taken, because he had nothing to live for, he had paid enough in this life and he didn't have anything left to give. The demons had taken everything he had left except his life. Sam choked up when he read about Dean shoving Bobby, tears started flowing when his brother apologized.
Then he got to the part that was watermarked. Dean had cried while reading this part and his tears marred the text.
"You know when we were little? You couldn't have been more than five….you just stated asking questions…how come we didn't have a mom? Why do we always move around? Where'd dad go? He'd take off for days at a time. I remember I begged you to quit asking Sammy. You didn't want to know. I just wanted you to be a kid just for a little while longer. I always tried to protect you. Keep you safe. Dad didn't even have to tell me. It was just always my responsibility you know? It was like I had one job. One job. And I screwed it up. I blew it. And for that I'm sorry. I guess that's what I do. I let down the people I love. You know I let dad down. And now I guess I'm supposed to just let you down too. How can I? Am I supposed to live with that? What am I supposed to do? Sammy. God. What am I supposed to do? What am I supposed to do!"
Sam licked his lips and wiped tears away from his eyes. Dean had been truly a mess when he died. Sam never understood why Dean kept telling him over and over again that he was stronger that he would be able to cope without Dean by his side. Dean truly believed that he was so weak that he had been unable to keep Sam from dying, that it was his fault that Jake stabbed him in the back. Dean felt as if he had failed him by allowing him to die. How could Dean feel that way? It wasn't his fault. It had never been his fault.
Sam spent the rest of the evening reading the books, reading them to find out what went through his brother's head. Learning that the Asylum incident hurt him more than he ever let on, learning that it wasn't' the rock salt or the first time he pulled the trigger on the gun that bothered him, but the subsequent trigger pulls, then coupled with the revelations of Meg, when he found out that Sam had complained about him, that he had really been hurt. Felt like he was worthless, like he had done a bad job. Like he should just leave and allow his brother whatever he wanted. There were just so many things he didn't know about his brother. Didn't ever think he would need to know. And here it was, a stranger knew his brother inside and out better than he did. It made him slightly green around the gills.
Sam was putting the books back into Dean's duffel and was getting ready for bed himself when Dean entered the room. Sam looked up and nodded his head. Dean did the same.
Dean put the keys on the table next to the door and was taking off his jacket when Sam said, "So, read that page."
"Glad you do."
"I'm sorry about earlier."
"S'okay Sammy." And that was all he said, went into the bathroom, and shut the door quietly.