"The cruelest lies are often told in silence." - Robert Louis Stevenson

Chapter Two - We Are So Not Good

I am not an idiot. I see the hurt in my brother's eyes, the betrayal knotting his gut and I hate that I'm the reason he feels that way. All his pain comes from me…his time in Hell the cost of saving my life, the hurt he now feels based in words I spoke in haste, under duress, words I never, ever would have uttered if evil hadn't loosened my tongue. Words designed to maim and destroy. To hurt my brother like I never would hurt him.

I know it's unfair, unwarranted…wrong.

Dean doesn't deserve to look like that…feel like that, not after what he's already been through.

He looks like he wants to just give up…that is, if he hasn't given up already.

I never would have believed it, but Hell took something from him. He's not whole. He's damaged now, beaten down…broken.

I don't want to believe it, but it's the truth.

Dean's not Dean anymore.

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

I have to protect him, take care of him like he's always taken care of me. I owe him that and so much more.

I want the old Dean back, the big brother I always looked up to and wanted to be. I need to see the man who fought back regardless of the cost…or the odds.

It hurts to see him like this…hesitant and scared.

Dean needs to pull himself back out of the pit and start fighting again.

I don't know what to say to make him see, to get him back on his feet, to fix him…

So I say nothing, nothing except I didn't mean it, the words…the hurt that wells in his eyes.

He tells me it's okay, it's past, it's over…but I see the pain.

Whipped…like a wounded animal, trapped and helpless and broken. Surrendering to the evil that's the true enemy.

I see it in his eyes, tender eyes unable to hide the hurt.

I hear it in his voice, that raspy growl, hoarse from the screams he swallowed through the night…only soothed by the whiskey he swallows through the day.

My brother is lost…unable to find his own way.

I am just the messenger…calling him back to action.

He's not up to full strength. He's struggling…and I never would have thought I'd live to see him struggle, not Dean. Even after Hell.

If anyone can survive Hell, it's Dean. He's always been the strongest man I ever knew…but that was before.

I only hope he's strong enough to withstand the words, strong enough to know I didn't mean them…not really. He's got to know I'd never say anything to hurt him.

Whatever I do think, deep down inside, I'd never say it….

I wouldn't.

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

I don't think he's weak, but he's not who he used to be either. He's changed, and I can't blame him, I mean, god…to suffer what he suffered, thirty years of torture…. I don't blame him for wanting to play it safe. But then, that's not Dean, that's not the warrior I've always known, the guns-blasting, shoot-first-ask-questions-later, courageous and decisive…reckless big brother I've always looked up to.

The guy I always had to rein in. The hunter I had to force to slow down, think it through…to not be so cocky and bold as to risk everything. The man I always tried to keep safe in spite of his nature.

Now Dean's the one playing it safe. He's cautious…hesitant, but I wouldn't call him weak. Dean's never been weak. He doesn't know how to be weak.

But I can't deny he's changed.

He's not who he used to be, not nearly as strong.

I am so much stronger now. We aren't even in the same league. He has no idea what I am capable of, how I can turn demons to smoke and pull them from their meatsuits with the flick of my mind.

I am powerful.

Powerful enough that Lilith is scared of me…like Dean is scared of Alastair and Hell and well…he's only human. I can't fault him for that; I mean, he lasted thirty years being tortured in Hell. Thirty years…gotta give the guy credit for that.

It's just…he needs to move past it.

He always has before; that is what Dean does. Bad crap happens and he sucks it up and moves on. I'm sorry for his pain, really, I am; but we are facing the apocalypse and there isn't time for him to come to terms with Hell…not if it's gonna take time we don't have.

I don't like it, but that's the way it is.

I'm glad he opened up to me and told me what Hell was, I am. It's good he got it off his chest, but it's time to move on. He needs to move on.

He's the one who never wanted the chick-flick moments; I'm just doing what he's always wanted.

I need him to move on.

The truth is, I can't deal with Hell…listening to him, picturing him down in the pit, seeing it on his face, what it was, what it did to him.... God…on top of everything else I'm going through, it's too much. I just can't deal with that now.

I don't like it, but I can't ease his pain or my guilt. I don't know what could. All I know is it's over…we both need to put it behind us.

I'm sorry I hurt him, but it wasn't me. I would never put more pain on my brother. I love him, but things are complicated now and he doesn't understand. And I can't make him understand.

Things have changed between us.

I was alone for four months…four months, and Dean…Dean was in Hell. We've not the same men we used to be and there is no going back.

I don't know what he expects. This ain't Kansas and I am not just the kid brother following him down that brick road. There's no great and powerful wizard who's gonna swoop in and save us or get us back home…not that the Winchesters ever had a home.

He can't just rise from the dead and expect me to fall into line, blindly following whatever he says. I am not just the little brother and he is not Dad. Face it, I was never the good soldier, obedient and willing to do whatever I was told. That was always Dean…not me.

Dean made his deal and left me. And dammit, that was his choice.

He left me alone.

I had to survive on my own and I did. It was damn hard, but I did it.

Things have changed between us and I get that Dean doesn't like it, but I have powers that hadn't even started to develop back then, abilities he can't begin to understand.

Powers he wants me to turn away from…but how can I?

Why would I?

I killed more demons in the four months he was gone than the two of us did in a year. A whole year! And I saved most of the people they were riding, unlike Ruby's knife or half the standard exorcisms that end with another meatsuit salt and burn. With these powers I can wipe the demons out of their bodies and save them, and that's pretty damn impressive.

And he expects me to just give all that up?


Why should I?

Because God and his angels told me to? Those angels are dicks. Dean said so himself, and yet he wants me to listen to them? Follow them?

He doesn't. He fights them every step of the way.

He doesn't listen to what they say, so why should I?

I spent years praying to God and his angels, and what have they done to help us? Nothing, that's what. All they've done is threaten us.

I am tired of their crap.

I am stronger than they are. I'm more powerful than I ever imagined I could be. And I am getting stronger every day. Who knows how far I can go…what I can accomplish, what good I can bring.

I am the key to winning this war. I know it.

Why can't my brother see that? Why can't God's angels? If they are so powerful, so almighty, then they at least have to admit that.

Dean doesn't deserve to be hurt anymore. He's been hurt enough.

I'm trying to protect him. Hell, I'm trying to protect the world. He needs to just back off. Let me hunt down Lilith, kill the bitch and save the freaking world.

If he can't support me in that then he needs to step aside. Get out of my way and let me do my job, what Ruby and I have trained for. We can beat this evil, but not if I'm always looking out for Dean.

I never would have said it, but the truth is he is holding me back. He wants to do things the old-fashioned way, the way Dad taught us. That was fine when that was all we had, but these powers, this blood that's pumping through my veins, it's a blessing. It's given me the means to beat Lilith and defeat Lucifer.

I know it.

Dean is scared and he is weaker than me; that's just fact. Some terrible things happened to him in Hell and I think he's afraid of getting sent back. He's listening to these angels 'cause he owes them. Castiel pulled him out of Hell. Hell, I owe him for that. But that doesn't mean I have to listen to everything he says or do what he tells me to do.

I have a mind of my own. No one tells me what to do…no one!

Castiel doesn't know me. He doesn't have a clue what I am capable of. He doesn't understand that I am strong enough to handle all this power. Direct it for good. I know what I am doing here and I am so tired of everyone treating me like the kid brother.

I'm a grown man. I can do this. I need to do this.

Why can't everyone just back the hell off and let me do my job?

Dean doesn't understand and I never expected he would. I can't talk to him so I shut him out. It's easier.

I'm tired of listening to his concerns, his desperate pleas. I'm tired of seeing the hurt and doubt, the contempt and self-righteous spouting of God and angels and what they want, things Dean never believed in before. I know what I have to do. And when it's over, I know Dean will finally understand. He has to…once he sees the truth.

When this is all over, everything between us will be good again. I have to believe that.

I've lost the brother I knew, the guy I always depended on…and this is all I have to try and save him.

Whatever is coming, however this turns out…

There's only one thing I want, one thing I need…

This is all for him.

I just want my brother back.

The End


April 2009

All standard disclaimers apply.

Thanks for reading. I know this is a touchy subject and everyone has their own opinions. I was honestly a little scared to post this story, anticipating more flack and defense of one brother over the other. I love 'em both and it is their very complexity, including their very human imperfections that fascinate me.

The right and the wrong of it are only a small piece of the conflict.

I'd love to hear your thoughts if you'd like to leave a comment. While times are tough for the boys now, I have no doubt they will eventually come together as brothers again, closer than ever. It is their humanity, together with their heroic core, that will ultimately save the world.

Until next time, take care, B.J.