4.14 Sex and Violence tag with input from 4.15 Death Takes a Holiday

Secrets and Lies

"The first casualty when war comes is truth." - Anonymous

Chapter One - We're Good

How many lies are too many? How many times can my brother tell me he didn't mean what he screamed out in anger? That what he coldly told me, point-blank to my face, isn't real 'cause it wasn't really him?

How many times can he explain it away as simply the supernatural influence of the bad doctor, or a vengeful demon, or a crafty siren pulling out thoughts and words that don't exist…that aren't buried deep down in that darkest corner of his soul? Lies that were never meant to find their way to daylight, lies that would have stay buried forever if not for the curse of some evil using them against us.

Lies he tells himself to hide how he truly feels…what he really thinks of me.

And how many times can I lie to myself and say it doesn't matter? That it's okay…forget it…I'm past it. Tell him we're good…

When we're not.

Lies.…

How can I continue to pretend he's still my little brother? Still my Sammy… That he would ever again look up to me. That he would still want to be just like his big brother.

That we're still who we used to be, brothers united; brothers until the very end…whatever end fate leads us to.

He's changed and I don't even recognize who he is.

How long can I ignore the secrets and lies that are tearing us apart?

When will I finally admit the last of our brotherly bond was shattered by the hammer of his words, fractured into a thousand jagged pieces, too sharp and dangerous to be of any use, destined to be tossed aside like tiny shards of glass, worthless and unwanted?

When will I concede that we may never be able to piece us back together? Both too damaged to ever again connect as one, the edges defining us no longer fitting within the framework of who we once were.

The bitter truth is maybe he doesn't want to hang on to the old, maybe I've been replaced by his new and exciting powers and his new BFF Ruby? When I died, maybe he did learn to live without me…and now he's simply moved on.

Maybe he doesn't need his big brother anymore.

Maybe I am obsolete.

His harsh words slice through my gut, and damn it, how long can I deny that it hurts? Not just the words, but what they mean. What they really mean.…

Maybe I'm just too tired to keep playing this game. Too damn weary to keep pretending.

He's distant.

He's keeping secrets and he's lying to me.

I never would have believed it, but it's impossible to ignore.

Lord knows, I've tried…and I've tried to understand…as best I can. It's just so damn hard.

I've begged him to tell me what the hell is going on. To quit lying and tell me the truth, straight up. Just tell me what he is freaking doing with Ruby and these demonic powers of his. The powers he swore he wasn't using…respecting my dying wish and all….

The distance between us continues to grow, weighed down and stretched taut by all the secrets and the lies, the hurts and betrayals…all the goddamn crap from demons and angels to the freaking apocalypse; and it's too much, too goddamn much.

I've tried, but I'm at a loss…I don't know what more I can do to fix this.

I've tried reasoning with him, lost my temper and used my fists to try and pound some sense into that thick skull of his. I've threatened and cajoled. Told him God doesn't want him doing this, and yet, nothing I do stops the lies…or quells the secrets.

Dad warned me. Told me I might have to end him. I never would have believed it, but now, I'm not so sure. I still don't think I could do it; and Sam, well…Sam hasn't done anything yet to make me think that I should. To make me think it's gone that far.

But the time grows nearer. I can feel it in my bones, the truth whispering in my ear, moving us down that road toward the inevitable.

He tells me it isn't so, that he's not using his powers, but I'd have to be an idiot not to see what he can't hide.

My brother is keeping secrets, secrets from me, and then forcefully denying it as more lies come in a torrent, spewing from his mouth and he doesn't even see how false he is.

How far off the reservation he's gone, how far from normal, from who he used to be.

And I'm left stranded by the side of a road paved with good intentions, watching…knowing…waiting for the deception to seal his fate, exploding out in a fireball ready to consume every goddamn lie he's ever told.

Worrying…hoping we'll be able to survive the blast…that maybe after the smoke clears I'll miraculously find my brother standing amid the rubble.

Sam maintains his innocence, refuses to admit any wrongdoing.

Denial….

She's a real bitch and she's got him wrapped around her finger, denying what he's doing and what I know.

Refusing to see the truth.

How little I believe his lies. How the weight of his secrets is crushing us.

I am not an idiot. And I am not weak.

Every day he lies to me. And the thing is, so often it isn't even important. It's the little stuff. Seems like it's just become habit, something he does. A way to shut me out of his life.

A thoughtless reflex when he feels cornered, like a little kid covering up he stuck his hand in the cookie jar.

We are not kids anymore and he is not fighting Dad, he's fighting me.

This isn't Sam exerting his will…railing against the life and what's expected.

This is far, far more serious.

This is life and death…good and evil…saving the world or watching it burn.

Angels and demons are watching us and waiting for what we do.

The apocalypse is coming. It's happening…here and now.

It has never been more important for us to be together in this and yet…

I've lost the brother I knew, the guy I always depended on…and I don't know how to get him back.

He's gone.

Buried under all the careless lies and half-truths.

Hidden behind the constant deception and evasion.

The secrets….

Screaming out a lack of respect for me…and what we once had.

I am not the fool he thinks I am. Never was.

My brother used to know that. The old Sam used to trust and believe in me.

All we ever had in this world was family. After all we've been through, after all the hurts and loss and unrelenting evil we've faced, the one constant in our lives was us.

The faith I had in him and he in me.

Watching out for each other, having our brother's back. That used to matter to him….

Now he tells me he's stronger without me, that I'm holding him back.

Lord knows, I'd never want to hold back the Boy King. Never want to sway him from his destiny, dark as it may be.

I mean, who the hell am I to stand in his way?

I'm just his brother…the last of his family.

No one…

No one that really matters….

He made that clear enough.

He's broken the last of that trust.

Slammed the door on us.

But somehow I just can't let it end.

As disappointed as I am in him, how absolutely freaking furious he makes me; I can't let go.

Not totally.

Sometimes I think I want to.

Sometimes I think I need to.

After all I've been through, in Hell and in this fractured life I lead, sometimes it gets to be too much and I need to take a step back.

Just one step…find the space to catch my breath and get my bearings.

It's just so damn hard to keep moving forward when there's never any relief from all the promises and lies, the responsibility and burdens…the disappointments.

I am so weary…so damn tired of it all.

But as much as I want to lie down and surrender, I can't.

It's not the Winchester way. It's not how Dad raised us. I was taught to fight. But after forty years in Hell, I don't know how much fight is left…how much Alastair stripped away and what might remain.

I need a break…a moment to figure this out.

Time….

I just need time.

Maybe then I can come back fighting…strong enough to do the job.

I hope so.

It's what's expected.

As many times as Sam's pushed me away, all the hateful words spoken and then denied…what hurts the most is what he doesn't say. Even so, I can't turn my back on him….

Some might call it pig-headed or worse…but it's what I do.

No matter what Sam says or does, he is still my brother. He'll always be my brother.

He's my family…and I need him…always have, always will.

If that makes me weak, if that makes him pity me…how needy I am, how desperate I always was for my family's approval, then so be it. I can't control what he thinks, any more than I can control what he does.

All I can do is my job.

I've always done my damnedest to give him everything he ever needed, but I can't give him this. I can't just stand by and watch him destroy himself…and maybe the world with him.

I keep saying we're good when he asks me, but I'm not sure I even know what that means anymore. I sure as hell know Sam don't. He is so far past good that I don't think he even remembers what it feels like to be honest and open with me.

To not lie.

And you know what the biggest kicker in all this is? Me. I'm the one who's lying to myself. Hoping, praying that I can save him, save us. That somehow, someway, I can make this better.

The biggest lie in this screwed-up mess is that we're gonna make it.

Tessa was right. Humans… That's all we do is lie to ourselves. Otherwise, how could we even manage to get out of bed in the morning? How could we face another day, another minute in these twisted times?

How could he and I keep doing what we've been doing our whole F'd-up lives?

We're all damned…and that's the gods-honest truth.

So here we are, back at the beginning, same old story as my brother turns to me and asks that same damn question, "Dean, you all right? Dean, we good?"

How could I possibly answer that? Like the truth even matters….

Regardless of how he treats me, in spite of what he says or doesn't say…I am still his big brother and I swore to protect him when Dad first placed him in my arms.

Nothing's changed there.

I can't just walk away, I can't.

So I linger, half beside him and half somewhere else, a million hurts away. We are so far apart and I don't know if we'll ever find our way back.

But he is still my Sammy, shaggy brown mop of hair hanging in his eyes, too tall frame filled out now with hard muscle and intent, those sincere puppy-dog eyes gazing at me with concern while a deceptive lilt surrounds his words with tenderness as he whispers his lies. You know I didn't mean what I said, it was just… His voice filled with a softness that belies the dark lurking within as the poison of his lies slice through me with indifferent ease and I'm bleeding out, just like in the pit.

In the train wreck that our lives have become, there is one truth I can't shake, that binds me to him regardless of what he may think or say.

He is still my Sammy. He'll always be my Sammy…

Even when he's not.

I am too tired to fight him on this, so weary of the endless secrets and lies.

So I give him the easy answer, what I've told him since we were kids and he'd look to me for comfort on cold, rainy nights when darkness threatened and it was just the two of us, alone and scared, "Yeah, Sammy, we're good."

I know it's a lie.

But that's what I do…all I have….

My only hope is that someday it might finally be the truth again, 'cause I want my brother back.

TBC

Next and final chapter is Sam's POV.

Boys…you are freaking killing me here.

Thanks for reading, reviews would be lovely. Later, B.J.