Mirror, mirror, on the wall,
Can't you show me tall and slim?
Mirror, mirror, on the wall,
Must I look so bloody grim?

-Mark Slaughter

It started off small, his newfound issue with mirrors.

Looking at his reflection irked him, irritated him, and slightly shamed him, but it was unavoidable and it wasn't the end of the world.

Sam found ways around it, most days. On the rare occasion that Dean would actually let him drive the Impala, he would tilt the rear view mirror either right down, or right up, so that if he did raise his eyes from the road, his own reflection would not be staring back at him. He didn't linger in front of the mirror when brushing his teeth, preferring to pace the room or to sit on the tub or toilet seat, avoiding his own scrutiny in the bathroom mirror that pretty much always hung above the motel room sink.

When washing his hands in rest stop bathrooms or diners, he would simply keep his eyes trained on the porcelain bowl of the sink, aware that his reflection was there in his peripheral vision, but studiously ignoring it.

It wasn't that hard. And if he caught a glimpse of himself every once in a while, it wasn't a huge deal. It wasn't the end of the world. It wasn't even anything he couldn't handle.

The truth was, Sam hadn't liked the sight of himself in a mirror for a long time. Ever since Jess' death, it was getting harder and harder to like the man that he saw looking back at him.

Sam had never been vain, but he did have a certain amount of pride in his appearance. Dean, in true big brother style, would rag on him mercilessly about the amount of time that Sam spent in the bathroom, tossing nicknames like, "Princess" and "Samantha" his way, but the truth was that Sam didn't spend any more time than the average male or even Dean himself.

A cursory glance to make sure there was no food on his face, to absently check the spot developing on his chin, to check the stubble growing on his cheek…these used to be part of his daily routine, but that was all. He didn't stand in front of the mirror preening, or staring at his reflection and pondering.

Since what had happened in California though, he avoided even these day-to-day, routine glances at himself. He was confused, guilt ridden, angry and ashamed, and he was finding it harder and harder to face himself, wondering what he would see if he really looked, if he actually stopped and looked.

Bloody Mary had answered that for him.

The image of himself with dark eyes, that cold leer, that unearthly voice…these haunted him, both when awake and when asleep.

Dean's rough, tough-love talk on the side of the rainy road in Toledo had helped him, had eased some of the pain a little, but that had been before the antique shop. Before his own reflection had goaded and taunted him, had thrown in his face the guilt which he had been trying to avoid, but not escape.

He knew, no matter what Dean said, that the guilt was not for him to escape. He was to blame for Jess' death, indirectly if not by his own willing hand. She was gone because of him, and he deserved to carry that burden. It was the least that he could do for her now.

Sam sighed, tired of thinking, tired of worrying, and slouched further in the passenger seat of the Impala. He didn't realise how loud his sigh had been until Dean spoke up from beside him.

"Something wrong?" His brother was aiming for casual, he knew, but when it came to his younger brother, the older Winchester could never quite pull it off.

"No." Sam dropped his head back onto the seat, gazing at the roof for a moment before closing his eyes. The image that waited there was not pretty either, and he dragged them open again after a moment and turned his head listlessly to the side, to watch the scenery passing blurrily by.

He could feel Dean's gaze, half on him and half on the road, assessing.

"You want to talk about whatever is going on in that freaky head of yours?" He offered roughly after a moment, and Sam shook his head listlessly.

"No."

Dean's concern cracked up a notch. Sam was a talker, always had been. Ever since he was a kid, his brother had been full of questions, knowledge, conversation. His willingness to share his thoughts and feelings had been reeled back a bit since his time at Stanford, and the death of his girlfriend, but he was still a better communicator than Dean had ever been. His sudden penchant for one word answers didn't sit right with Dean.

He knew Sam had been having a hard time lately. Hell, that was an understatement. The kid had been suffering, grieving, hardly sleeping and barely eating since the fire in his apartment. The Bloody Mary case hadn't made anything better, in fact, Dean was pretty sure it had made things worse.

He remembered the way Sam had refused to make eye contact that night in Toledo, when Dean had pulled the Impala to the side of the road and told his brother in no uncertain terms that Jess' death was not his fault. Sam had set his jaw and his gaze stayed firmly on the dash, refusing to look at Dean, refusing to listen. Dean would have beaten the concept into him right then and there if he'd thought it would have made an ounce of difference, but Sam was a stubborn ass when he wanted to be and Dean thought it was something he would just have to let the kid mull over, and keep chipping at it, and maybe one day that huge weight Sam was carrying on his shoulders would just fall off.

From the way his brother had been acting though, that wasn't going to happen anytime soon.

Dean studied the younger Winchester from the corner of his eye, small worry lines creasing his brow as he took in the pale skin, the dark circles under Sam's eyes, the way he gazed listlessly out of the car window, watching everything and nothing with a gaze devoid of interest.

"Sam, you know you can talk to me, right?" It was said roughly, abruptly, but there was no mistaking the concern, or the sincerity behind the words, no matter how awkwardly they were said.

Sam rolled his head back towards Dean on the seat, gave him a small, weary smile. "Dean, I'm fine, really. I'm just tired."

Dean considered this offering for a moment, and decided it might be the truth. Hell, almost definitely was the truth…even if it wasn't the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, it was partial. Sam hardly slept on a good night, and the last hunt had been rough. His eyes had bled, and that couldn't be good. Sam had submitted with ill grace to Dean's insistence that he see a doctor, a real doctor, after the incident, and he had gotten the all clear, but still…emotionally and physically, Sam was probably about done in, Dean reckoned.

Well, a tired little brother was something he could at least try to fix.

"It's about time we stopped for the night, anyway." He decided, watching Sam for a reaction and not really surprised when he didn't get one. Maybe the kid was just too worn out to care. "We'll stop at the next place that looks okay."

"Okay," Sam murmured, and then turned his gaze back to the window and the view that had been the same for miles. A moment later and he was cranking the window down, disturbed to find that a transparent reflection had been looking back at him.

He wound the old handle a little faster, making the vintage car creak a little in protest.

"Sam?" Dean's voice, openly concerned now. "What's wrong? Are you sick? Do you need me to pull over?"

"No." Sam's voice was almost a pant, and he managed to get the window down all the way and reign in his distress. He took a second to collect himself before speaking again. "No, I just…I just wanted some fresh air, that's all."

"Okay." Dean sounded uncertain, still, but Sam kept his face towards the window and Dean kept driving.

What started off as a nervous tic had developed into a nearly OCD like obsession. Sam knew that his dislike of mirrors…of his own reflection…was getting out of hand, hut he couldn't help it. He was past the point now of caring whether he was being rational or irrational, acting sane or insane.

He was sure that if he saw his reflection again, he would see something terrible.

Dean noticed the problem when Sam emerged from the bathroom bleeding, although it would be a while longer until he recognised it.

For a horrible moment after he caught sight of his brother's face and saw the blood there, he thought that the doctor in the free clinic in Toledo had been wrong, that there had been some sort of lasting damage done thanks to Sam's encounter with Bloody Mary.

"Sam," he said sharply, rising quickly from the table where he had been sitting in front of the laptop since his brother disappeared into the bathroom.

Sam turned his face towards him, his expression questioning, and even as Dean stepped towards him, saying, "What happened?" He worked it out for himself.

Sam's face was clean shaven, the stubble of fifteen minutes ago gone, but there were a few nicks on his face, and one particularly nasty one just under the left hand side of his jaw, which was trickling blood even now, down onto his brother's bare chest.

"Dean?" Sam questioned, looking confused, and Dean shook his head, huffing slightly in irritated relief.

"You're bleeding, Captain Observant."

Sam narrowed his eyes a little, lifted his hand to touch at his face gingerly. "I am?"

"Yes, genius." Dean snagged the damp towel from his brother's hands and pressed it against the persistently bleeding cut, waiting until Sam raised his hand to hold the towel there himself before he withdrew his grip. "Been shaving long, kiddo?" He ribbed lightly. "Forget to look in the mirror?"

It was a hypothetical answer, not meant to be acknowledged, but Sam's eyes clouded over and he shifted his gaze away, and Dean knew his brother well enough to know avoidance when he saw it.

"I was in a hurry." Sam muttered, and went over to his bed, sinking down on the edge. After a minute he held the towel away gingerly and asked, "Has it stopped bleeding?"

Dean looked up from where he had retreated back to the laptop. "Pretty much. You might want to stick some gauze or something on it though. Don't want to bleed all over the pillows." He advised distractedly, flicking through news pages looking for a new case. After a long moment, Sam spoke again.

"Could you do it for me?"

Dean looked up, a little frown on his face. "What am I, your nursemaid?"

Sam wasn't looking at him, though, wasn't looking anywhere but at his feet, his cheeks a little flushed, and Dean was reminded of a younger, needier little brother.

"Fine." He grumbled, without any real heat. He wasn't sure what was going on here, but if Sam needed help patching up a shaving cut, Dean could do that. He wasn't about to say no to such a small favour. "You'd probably just botch it up, anyway."

He left to retrieve the first aid kit from the car, and Sam watched him go until his eyes met those of his reflection in the window beside the door. Then, they skittered nervously away.

Dean was really starting to get the feeling that he was missing something.

Sam was jumpy as hell, quiet, withdrawn, and all around acting…strange. The cuts while shaving from a few days ago were just the tip of the iceberg, but the small scab healing on the underside of Sam's jaw served as a constant reminder that something was not quite right.

It was like a string that Dean had tied around his finger to remind him of something, but now couldn't remember what he was trying to remind himself of. Something was up with his brother, but he couldn't quite put his finger on what it was.

Besides being dragged back into the world of hunting and the supernatural, his girlfriend's violent death and his father being missing, that was. Dean scrubbed his hand over his face in frustration. Yeah, it should be really easy to work out what was going on with Sam.

He glanced over at the brother who was the subject of his musings. They were in another non descript motel room, sitting on their adjacent beds, watching TV. Well, Dean was watching. Sam had his nose buried in a magazine, ignoring the sitcom that Dean had put on in the hopes of drawing a rare laugh from his moody younger brother. So far, the plan had failed miserably.

"You wanna go grab a drink?" Dean offered at last, swinging his legs over the edge of his bed, regarding his brother opposite him.

Sam looked up reluctantly, and over at Dean. "Like, at a bar?" He asked warily.

Dean rolled his eyes. "Come on Sam, one or two beers won't kill you. Might even liven you up for a while." He rose, tossing his pillow at his brother lightly. "We can get dinner while we're there, mingle with the locals, see if anyone knows anything about our mystery spirit."

The job they were on was showing every sign of being a bust; a simple case of exaggerations and rumours that had led to a local legend of a spirit that lured people to their deaths on the highway.

"So we're working, not playing?" Sam asked dryly, but at least he was up and pulling his shoes on.

Dean shot him a backwards grin as he pulled open the door to the motel room. "You know what they say about all work and no play, Sammy."

The bar was like a thousand others that they had been in. The beer was cold, the food was plentiful and plain, and the music was loud. Dean insisted they play a few games of pool, not for money or to hustle, but just friendly games against each other. He sang along when classic rock game on the radio, grinning, and after a few beers Sam felt his own mood start to lighten in response to his brother's good one.

"Another win, Sammy," Dean crowed triumphantly as he sunk his last ball, leaving two of Sam's and the black still on the table.

"It's not over 'till the fat lady sings, Dean," Sam shot back easily, taking his turn and sinking all 3 balls with one shot. Dean's jaw hung open and Sam grinned widely. It was totally a fluke, but he would never admit that to Dean.

"Not bad, Grasshopper." Dean admitted good naturedly. "I guess I'll get the next round."

"I'm gonna take a leak." Sam leant his pool cue against the table, "No cheating while I'm gone, okay?"

Dean snorted. "Geez, Sam, I let you win one game and now you're the master, huh? What about the four before that, little brother?"

"You let me win, huh?" Sam laughed, turning away.

"Of course. I'm older and that means I'm better at everything! Don't forget that!" Dean called after him, and Sam waved him off good naturedly.

"Yeah, yeah."

A minute or so later he was washing his hands, a small smile still tugging up the corners of his mouth. The down time relaxing with Dean was nice. He had to admit it was doing him good. Lowering his guard.

He looked up into the mirror.

His reflection looked back at him, but it wasn't smiling. The Sam gazing back at him stared at him with eyes dark with resentment and seething with self hate.

Sam felt his stomach clench with cold, instant fear.

"You did it." His reflection snarled at him. "Freak. Murderer."

Sam's hands shook, and he stared back in fear and horror. "I didn't mean it." He whispered. "It wasn't my fault."

His reflection laughed, but there was no joy in the sound. It was bitter and twisted. "Even you don't believe that."

Sam wanted to look away, wanted to walk away, but he couldn't. The dark, loathing eyes held him pinned, trembling under their accusing gaze.

"You did it, Sam. You killed her."

He shook his head, desperately. "No. No…"

"Yes you did! You killed her."

Suddenly there was a banging behind him as another patron of the bar emerged from his own stall. He gave Sam an appraising look, taking in his pale face, the white knuckled grip he had on the basin. "Hey buddy, who you talking to?"

The tall young man in front of the mirror didn't answer, only stared at his own pasty reflection and whimpered, "I didn't mean to."

The bar fly stepped forward, frowning a little, his hand brushing the kid's back, then gripping his shoulder. "Are you all right…"

Even as he spoke, the dark haired young man whirled around and broke his hold, shoving the stranger back hard against the stall behind them. "Whoa, whoa!" He held up his hands, placating. "I'm not looking for trouble, buddy."

Sam held him against the stall a moment longer, but the stranger was no threat. He was. He let the other man go, turned away…and nearly saw the mirror again. Making a low sound, almost keening, he jerked away and out the door, ignoring the muttered, "Freak," from the stranger behind him.

Dean was feeling good, a warm buzz from the alcohol settled over his body and relaxing his nerves. And for once, he thought, it even seemed like Sam was enjoying himself. He took another swig of his beer and held up two fingers to the waitress behind the bar, signalling that they were ready for the next round.

The bar was filling up now, more people taking their places on bar stools around him, and he hooked an ankle around the closest bar stool and tugged it closer, reserving it for his brother.

There was a long mirror behind the bar, running the length of the wall, and he caught sight of Sam coming his way.

Dean thought he looked pale, and turned around to face his younger brother, to see how he looked face to face instead of just as a reflection. He started to ask Sam if he was all right, but the younger Winchester brushed straight by him to the bar and grabbed at his bottle, tipped it to his lips and started sculling.

Dean watched with a slight frown as Sam chugged at the alcohol. He could sense that something had changed. The relaxation and happiness that Sam had exuded a few moments ago had drained away, leaving him tense and brooding. He was pale, too pale, and Dean could see something dark and haunted in his eyes.

"Easy, tiger, easy." He murmured, reaching for Sam's wrist to pull it carefully down before he could finish the entire bottle of beer in one go. Sam let him, and once the beer bottle was on the bar again, Dean let him go. "Wanna do some shots?" He ribbed his brother lightly. "If you're that desperate to spend the rest of the night puking, I mean."

Sam shook his head slightly, raising rueful eyes from the bar top.

What happened next was too fast for Dean to comprehend fully. Sam's face got tight, drawn, and he said in a low, desperate rush, "Why can't you just leave me alone?"

And then he hurled the almost empty beer bottle at the mirror behind the bar.

Glass shattered, a few people screamed and swore nearby. The bar tender yelled, "Hey!" and came storming over in their direction. "You're going to pay for that!"

Since the guy looked like an ex bikie, and a furious one besides, Dean held up his hands in a gesture of surrender.

"Just tell me how much I owe you, dude. My brother's had a few too many." He forced a laugh, turning with exasperation and confusion towards the place Sam had been standing a moment before, but his brother was gone. Quickly scanning the room, Dean caught sight of his dark mop of hair disappearing out the door.

Frustrated, he turned back towards the bar tender and pulled out his wallet.

Half an hour later and nearly $500 poorer, a pissed off and perplexed big brother let himself back into their motel room. He shrugged out of his jacket, switching on the light.

"Sam!" He called, trying to keep the anger out of his voice. There had to be an explanation for his brother's behaviour in the bar. There had better be.

The light flickered once and went on. Dean scanned the room, looking for a sign of his younger brother. Stopped when his eyes fell on something unusual, out of place.

One of the threadbare white towels that had been folded on the end of the bed when they arrived was draped over the mirror that faced the beds.

Dean frowned slightly, twitching the corner of the towel as he passed and pulling it down. The door to the bathroom was open, and he peered in slowly. "Sam."

No answer, but another towel covered the bathroom mirror.

Dean was reminded of the way that they had covered all the mirrors in their last motel room for Charlie while she was being stalked by Bloody Mary. But why would Sam be covering the mirrors now? Mary was dead, vanquished, destroyed, whatever. Wasn't she? Dean suddenly felt a cold pit of unease in his stomach.

"Sam." He went back out into the bedroom, crossed it to the small adjoining kitchenette and flicked on that light as well. And found his brother, hunched over in a chair at the kitchen table, arms folded and fists clenched.

Dean stood in the doorway for a moment, leaning against the wall near the light switch. "Didn't feel like answering me?" He asked, casually. He saw Sam swallow, hard, but there was no answer.

He pushed away from the wall and approached Sam carefully, slowly, trying not to startle him. "I saw that you've covered up all the mirrors." He stopped on the side of the table opposite Sam, put his hands on the table and leant on them slightly. "Is there something that we need to talk about?"

Sam raked his hands through his too long hair before resting his head in them and shaking it in denial. Dean waited another long moment, willing Sam to speak. There was nothing.

"Okay." Dean huffed out a breath that was almost a sigh, trying to decide how to proceed. "Does this have anything to do with the way that you were acting back at the bar?"

Sam didn't respond at all this time. Not a nod, not a shake of the head. Not a word.

Dean sighed this time. "Sam." He went around the table and kicked at the leg of Sam's chair lightly.

Sam shook his head once, slightly, sharply. Like he was coming up out of water. "I'm all right, Dean." He abruptly pushed the chair back and rose, dodging his brother's outstretched hand to walk towards the other room. "I'm just tired. I'll just get some sleep…"

His voice trailed off as he caught sight of the uncovered mirror, and with a sharp intake of breath, turned his face away from it. Deliberately keeping his back to it, he retrieved the towel and hung it swiftly, so he wouldn't have to see his reflection.

Dean watched this with raised eyebrows, before shaking his head and following his brother. "Yeah, you're the picture of normal." He said sharply. Taking hold of Sam's forearm, he steered him to the bed. "Sit down. You look like you're about to fall down."

Once his brother had obeyed, he stood above him, regarding him with worry lines creasing his brow. "Dean, stop, okay? I'm fine," Sam snapped without looking up.

"Fine, huh?" Dean snapped back. "Okay, great. Well since you're fine, we don't need the mirrors covered then, do we?"

He had barely taken a step towards it, his hand outstretched to tug the towel off again, when Sam's hand closed over his wrist, squeezing desperately. "Dean, don't, please." His younger brother's voice was frightened and pleading, and Dean immediately felt cruel for his tough love approach. He let Sam tug his hand away from the mirror without protest, turned back and gently but firmly pushed his brother back down to sit on the bed.

Once Sam was sitting he crouched in front of the younger Winchester, placed his hands on Sam's shins and squeezed lightly.

"Sammy. What's going on with you?" He asked gently. Sam didn't answer, only bit his lip and looked down at his lap silently.

"Hey." Dean squeezed his legs a little harder. "I need you to talk to me, okay? I can't fix what ever is wrong if you don't tell me."

Sam laughed a little wetly. "You can't fix everything, Dean."

Dean mulled this over for a second before offering softly, "I can try."

Sam sniffled a little and shook his head, but stayed silent.

"Is it Mary?" Dean hazarded a guess, glancing over at the covered mirror. "We destroyed her, Sam, I'm sure…"

"It's not Mary." Sam said shakily, and Dean felt a small flower of relief at that, at least.

"Okay, then, so…"

"It's me." Sam confided, in a tear filled whisper. "It's me, Dean."

"Well, yeah…that is what most people see when they look in a mirror, Sam…themselves. It's kind of the whole point, you know?" Dean's voice was gentle, but worried. He had the feeling, still, that he was missing something.

"I'm evil."

Dean frowned, moving his hands up to Sam's elbows and gripping them lightly before giving his brother a little shake. "Hey. Don't you say that." He chided, roughly. "You are not evil, Sam. You are the farthest thing from it."

"I let her die, Dean." Sam whispered, brokenly, and Dean was already shaking his head in denial as Sam hiccupped a quiet sob.

"No, Sammy, no you didn't." He pulled his brother forward and let Sam rest his forehead against Dean's shoulder, still holing him in place by his elbows. Not quite a hug, but an offering of comfort and support nonetheless. "You didn't, and you have to stop this, okay? It wasn't your fault, Sam. None of this is your fault. This happened to you, not because of you, and it sucks, man, I know, but it isn't your fault."

Sam shook his head against Dean's collarbone wearily. "You don't understand."

"I know." Dean admitted quietly. "But I'm trying, Sam. I really am." He breathed out a hard sigh. "I know…I know that we've been apart for a while, but I'm still your big brother, right? At least…I'm trying to be."

Sam nodded this time, sniffling softly.

"And you're still my little brother." Dean added. "Which means you have to listen to me. Right?" He didn't wait for an answer to that one, but cupped his hand around the back of Sam's head and spoke softly and seriously in his ear. "So listen to me, Sammy. You have to stop doing this to yourself. What happened to Jess is not your fault." He felt Sam stiffen almost imperceptibly, felt him try weakly to draw away, but he locked his hand around Sam's elbow and the back of his head and held on, keeping him there.

"You want someone to blame, I get that, okay? But blaming yourself is not the answer. The demon killed Jess, Sam, not you. Not you."

"I should have told her." Sam argued, his voice strained with exhaustion and grief.

"Told her what?" Dean demanded, and Sam settled for an answer that wasn't the complete answer, but enough of it.

"The truth."

"We have had this conversation." Dean reminded his brother, firmly. "No matter what you told her, Sam, it probably wouldn't have changed anything. If you were there, it probably wouldn't have changed anything. But I am sorry that I dragged her away from her. I am sorry for that."

Sam was as predictable as the purr of the Impala's engine when Dean turned the key. "I don't blame you, Dean." He insisted, earnestly if still wearily. "It's not your fault."

"And it's not yours either." Dean said firmly. "Not yours, not mine, just that damn demon. And we will end this, Sammy. We will find Dad, and we will kill that demon. I promise you that."

He squeezed the back of Sam's head briefly, like a pledge.

"I can't look in the mirror, Dean." Sam confessed, and he tried to laugh but it was more like a sob.

"Why not?" Dean asked, softly, "What do you see there, Sammy?"

"What Mary showed me." Wet, weak, heartbroken. "Me…and I'm evil."

"Well it's not real." Dean told him, firmly. "I see you every day, and I see the same thing I've always seen. My pain in the ass little brother, with his shaggy damn hair and puppy dog eyes. You've gotten a bit bigger, yeah, but that's the only thing that's changed, Sam."

"You sure?" Sam's voice was still broken, still beaten, but Dean thought he detected a sliver of hope there.

Dean rubbed his thumb over the back of Sam's neck once before letting go, getting up and going over to the mirror. He pulled the towel away, turned back to see Sam studiously biting his lip and looking away.

The older Winchester flicked on the lamp by the mirror, illuminating the room.

He went back to his brother and took Sam's shoulders in his hands, turned him gently so that he was sitting and facing the mirror, with Dean standing solid and warm at his back.

"Look, Sammy. See for yourself."

When Sam still hesitated, Dean reached around and curled his fingers under Sam's chin, tilted it gently up so that he face the mirror straight on. Sam's eyes met his in the mirror, wide and wet and miserable.

Dean gave him the slightest nod, his grip tightening. The unspoken words were clear. I've got your back, little brother.

After a long moment, Sam closed his eyes briefly, then opened them and looked into his own reflection.

Wary brown eyes stared back at him, no darker than usual. His expression was lost, a little frightened, but there was no cold stare, no taunting scowl. It was just him. Just Sam Winchester, a little lost, a little afraid, but not evil.

"See?" Dean's soft voice broke his reverie, his brother letting go of his chin to settle both hands on Sam's shoulders and squeeze reassuringly. "It's just you, Sammy."

Sam let out a long, shaky breath he hadn't even known he'd been holding, and sagged back against Dean, leaning into the solid chest that was right there at his back.

"Yeah." He sighed.

"Mind you, I'm not saying you look perfect." Dean added, lightly. "Actually you look like crap. You're too skinny and you're too pale and you look like you haven't slept for a week. So you gotta stop with all the beating yourself up, all right? That's what I'm for." He gave Sam a gentle shake before letting him go. "And if I think you need beating up, trust me, you'll be the first one to know."

He went around the side of the bed and Sam shifted back to rest his back against the headboard, and watch his brother move around the room with dry, weary eyes.

"Thanks, Dean." He said finally, his voice small, but no less grateful.

Dean looked over at him, quirked his lips up in a half smile. "Get some sleep, Sam."

Moments later Sam was settled under the covers, his face even and peaceful in sleep in a way that Dean hadn't seen it since the fire, and Dean watched him for a moment, trying to convince himself that this was over, that Sam was fine and that Dean had fixed him and they could move on from this.

Tried to ignore that echo of Sam's voice, of his earlier words that haunted the space between them.

"I haven't told you everything."