Title: Once you cross the Bridge
Character: Sam, Dean
Genre: Schmoop, angst and brotherly talk. Everything you need.
Wordcount: ~ 800
A/N: Not yet beta'd because I'm lazy and impatient and really need to get some university work done. So, sue me.
Disclaimer: They're not mine. If they were I'd feed them ice cream and Oreos all day. I'd make a miserable mother.
Spoiler: 4.22

Once you cross the Bridge

The trees were rushing by, no more than blurred silhouettes. Shapeless watercolours in the passing without the colours, like the last months – or was it years already? Time came crashing down on him, eating away all his memory on its way down, avalanching into the here and now. And all that was left was him breaking the last seal, inviting Lucifer into his world.

He blinked the tears from his eyes but the picture didn't get clearer, the landscape as dark and numbing as before.

What did I do?

He hadn't meant to say the words out loud but Dean's voice made him wince in his seat.

„Sammy!" His brother's voice harsh, yet soothing. Broken, like Sam's own fleeting sanity. „Listen to me!"

Taking his eyes off the window he turned them towards Dean. His brother's knuckles white and tense wrapped around the steering wheel of the stolen car. „Sam, are you listening?"

He nodded, a staccato motion. Muscles in his neck denying their full cooperation. Entwining his finger in his lap he tried to staunch the shaking, the clammy skin making it impossible to feel anything besides the coldness and the painful tremors caused by the demon blood that had poisoned him.

„This is not your fault!" Dean said quietly, yet firmly, and Sam wasn't sure whether he imagined the trembling in Dean's voice or if it was just his hearing that was trembling. A ridiculous thought and he laughed. But somewhere between his chest and his mouth, the laugh turned into something else, a hick-up, a compressed noise, like gravel between his teeth. „You hear me? This is not your fault!" Dean said again.

„Yeah", Sam replied and his brother finally took his eyes from the empty street in front of them.

„Look at me!" He ordered and Sam realized he'd stopped the car.

„I'm so sorry, Dean!"

The headlights were flickering and Dean threw nervous glance into the rear view mirror.

„Why are you stopping?"

„Because I want to look at you when I'm saying this. It'd suck out loud to crash the car when there's a apocalypse to avert."

A bad, bad attempt of humour but it made Sam blubber wetly, quickly followed by a new flood of tears threatening to blur his view. Dean's poor excuse of a grin faltered and turned into a grimace.

Sam shook his head. „It's too late, Dean. Lucifer... I..." He couldn't do it. Couldn't look his brother in the eyes. Not now. Not, when he was the one responsible for the world turning into an upgraded version of a hell dimension. „It's too late. And it's my fault"

„It's not. Don't you see?" Dean snapped and Sam could feel his brother hand, still crusted with Ruby's blood, in his face, forcing him to look up. „It's as much your fault as it's mine. And most of all... it's their fault!" Poison couldn't have been more hurtful than the bitterness in Dean voice. „We've been played. It was their fucking game. From the beginning. Can't you see?"

„I broke the seal. I broke the last seal, Dean. That's what I see."

Dean's brow furrowed, his face almost nonchalant but his eyes were almost black with fury when he grunted: „Yeah? So? I broke the first. I was the one who started it. I guess, we're even now."

Sam's breath stuck in his throat, out came another helpless hick-up, and this time he blinked to efficiently clear his eyes.

„What?"

There was no lie, no deceit in those green eyes, that now were shining more grey in the ashen light of the headlights again. Only passion, anger and understanding.

„Sam, we've been played all the time. Now it's time we took the game back in our hands." There it was, the fire that Sam had been missing ever since Dean had come back. It was burning again, hot and fiery and Dean's anger and motivation filled the car like vibrations of a small earthquake.

And it felt strangely comforting. As if Dean had finally come home. A home that was by his Sam's side, in Sam's life and in Sam's future.

He huffed soundlessly. They had opened the door after Hell had knocked and the apocalypse was closing in on them. But in a twisted way of thinking things were already starting to get better. Because at least they were in it together again. That had to count something, right?

He took one last look at his brother before closing his eyes and succumbing to exhaustion, trust and a sliver of hope.