A/N: There's plenty I could say about 5.10 but it'd be a long note, so I'm going to stick with just saying that episode ten was amazing, heartbreaking and totally epic. The shout out to Kim Manners was beautiful and made me cry like a little girl, and at the same time made me feel a little bit…proud, of the Supernatural cast and crew. Is that weird? Probably. Anyways, this is a tag but surprisingly, it doesn't really center on Jo and Ellen's deaths and how the boys are handling it. It's definitely mentioned a few times and plays a part, but it's more than that.
Warnings: Major spoilers, language, some irrational/kindaCrazy!Sam and angst (but hopefully with some resolve and a happy ending.)
Restore the Heroes
Morning dew clings to the rusted metal in Bobby's Salvage Yard and reflects the sun's morning rays of pink and orange. The earth is still silent and peaceful from the night, and Sam's thankful for that. Silence means another day on earth. It means for now, they're safe.
The crowbar he's carrying in his right hand feels heavy and sure, like an absolution, but to what, he doesn't really know. The irony of the situation doesn't escape Sam. A few years ago in rage and heartbreak, Dean did something similar to what he's about to do. At least he's not about to haul off on the Impala but Sam thinks that if he did, Dean wouldn't even notice or care. And more than Death rising or Jo and Ellen dying, that rips at Sam's fragile heart.
He exhales loudly and watches as his breath turns into fog in the morning chill. He didn't sleep last night or at least, not much. Dean had passed out not too long after they burned the picture, mostly thanks to Lucifer introducing him to a tree. Dean and trees had never been a good combination. Add that to the absolutely desolate and draining day they had, and Dean had been out like a light. Sam hauled him upstairs and watched him sleep for a moment before even that got to be too painful, and so he went back down stairs to sit with Bobby. Bobby had been on his third shot when Sam got back down to ground level. When he saw Sam, he pushed the glass away and offered to share the bottle. Three hours later they were both fairly inebriated and on the verge of passing out in a drunken stupor.
Sam ignored Bobby's slurred curses and half yells, and rolled him to his bedroom, so that at least one of them could sleep comfortably. After one last jab about taking advantage of the handicapped, Bobby fell into a drunk but probably peaceful sleep. That left Sam, who went to grab the liquor bottle off the table but only managed to knock it over, spilling the precious liquid inside. It didn't really matter, there wasn't enough left to take the pain away anyways.
He tried to sleep after that but all he could see when he closed his eyes was Jo's blood, the store exploding, and Lucifer's eyes burning into him. He woke up gasping for breath and gagging as the alcohol he drank threatened to make itself known for a second, less pleasant time. With sleep out of the question and his stomach rolling uneasily, Sam was left with nothing to do but sit and think. And like Dean and trees, Sam and thinking after such a disastrous day was not a good combination.
He wanted to think about Jo and Ellen, and how they sacrificed themselves so that he and Dean would have a chance to save the world. He wanted to think about how unfair it was because they didn't deserve it, and the Winchesters needed all the friends they could get. He wanted to think about Dean and Jo and how they might've had a shot, if things were different. But he couldn't. He couldn't think about any of that because his brain was being overridden with thoughts of Lucifer: Lucifer filling in a hole of dead townspeople, Lucifer backhanding Dean into a tree, and Lucifer telling Sam the truth, just like he promised he would.
Sam gagged again and worked to keep his stomach in check.
"You're the one, Sam."
"It always had to be you."
"You were born to this, boys. It's your destiny, it was always you!"
Suddenly, the air in the house had been too hot and too much and he found himself stumbling out the front door, falling to the ground. He laid there, panting, feeling sweat form over his skin as the cold night worked on calming his body.
"It was always you."
"He said that I had to save you and that if I couldn't…"
"He said I might have to kill you, Sammy."
That's when everything had clicked into place, like a key in a lock. Dad knew, he knew the whole time. There's no way he didn't. Dad had always been closer to Dean and was always proud of him. Some times Sam would catch his dad looking at him like he was scared. That's why he threw such a fit when Sam left for college. It's why he told Dean he might have to kill him if he couldn't be saved. John Winchester knew.
Sam rolled over fast as the bile he had been trying to keep down emerged with a vengeance, making Sam clutch at the ground with desperate fingers. When it finally stopped, Sam scrambled backwards and laid back down, his blurry gaze trying to focus on the stars.
Not for the first time Sam wished Dean had left him for dead at Cold Oak. It was fate, the way it was supposed to happen, and it got interrupted. Now look where they are. Between Cas and Bobby they have two allies, no way to kill Lucifer, and a looming destiny that's constantly being shoved down their throats.
Sam snorted drunkenly. Destiny. Looking back, Sam can't believe he didn't see the parallels before. He and his brother loved each other, no doubt about it, but things change. He still would do anything for Dean, kill or be killed, take a hit or a bullet, even condemn his soul to hell. But he knows Dean doesn't feel the same anymore and if it didn't hurt so damn much, he'd be proud of the fact that Dean was becoming his own person, and cutting his ties.
"That's the difference between you and me. I have a mind of my own."
"Michael turned on me, called me a freak, a monster. All because I was different, because I had a mind of my own."
Sam groaned as his stomach started to cramp again but then thankfully calmed. Sam's not sure why he didn't see it before. Dean never wanted to watch out for his little brother, he was programmed to, conditioned to from a young age. Sam was like the tether he couldn't get rid of and over the years just grew used to. The only thing that broke the spell was Sam's betrayal which proved there was something evil inside him. Dean kills evil, he doesn't protect it. Now Dean's not required to kill or be killed, take a hit or a bullet, or condemn himself to hell all for his little brother. That's done with and Sam knows it's all his fault. That's why there were no last words between them when they went to face off against Lucifer. That's why Dean's been more concerned about Castiel's safety lately then Sam's, because Dean doesn't care anymore. He doesn't have to.
Sam felt his face grow wet and he reached up to touch his skin in confusion. Tears, as in he'd been crying and hadn't even realized it. It was at that point when Sam realized he was way too drunk. In fact, he was drunk enough to lie out on the porch all night, fading in and out of consciousness while keeping a steady stream of morose, apocalyptic thoughts, all the way until dawn.
When the alcohol finally burned out of his system Sam could see the sky starting to tinge to pale blue with daybreak, and he didn't feel any better. In fact, his emotions had only shifted from depressed and hurt, to angry. That's how he ended up in the center of the salvage yard, crowbar in hand.
"All that pent up rage? I'm going to need it."
Sam snarls and lifts the bar to hit the first window, "You're not getting it, you bastard."
He swings and the window shatters.
Bobby is not a happy guy. He wakes up with a screaming headache, a gross taste in his mouth, and a lingering bad feeling in his gut. He rolls out into the kitchen blindly, blinking against the harsh sunlight. He jams the coffee pot into the machine and glares at it, as if the hard stare will make it fill up faster. It's days like this when Bobby feels like he is at the end of his rope, like he's ten years older than he really is (and he should know exactly what that feels like.)
"Damn witches," Bobby mutters darkly as he watches the coffee slowly fill up.
That's when he hears the smash. He sits up straighter in his chair, his hunter instincts sparking and his eyes narrowing.
"What was that?"
Dean's rough voice sounds from behind him and he can feel the younger hunter shift to move closer.
"Not sure, s'coming from the yard," Bobby replies, moving closer to the window.
Bobby sighs and his eyes soften as he sees the source of the chaos, "Kid…"
Dean's mouth tightens and his eyes narrow. Bobby's unsure if it's anger, pain, or impatience that has the eldest brother on edge.
"You gonna go talk to him?" Bobby asks as more glass breaks, one smash right after the other.
Dean gives Bobby a pointed look and a humorless smirk, "I'm not really up for Sam's emo, girly side today. He'll work it out with the crowbar."
"Damn it, Dean," Bobby growls as his fist hits the armrest on his chair, "You listen to me. You are not the only one in this damn brigade who lost someone and is feelin' it. You understand? This is exactly what got you and your brother in this shit hole in the first place. How many times does it have to be beat into your thick skull before you get it? Now get your ass out there and help your brother. Now."
Dean has the decency to look sheepish but he still carries a lingering look of weariness. Bobby has seen it before, when their dad died. It's a look that says Dean doesn't care what's going on with Sam, because he's hurting too badly himself. Tough, Bobby thinks, as he contemplates smacking the look right from Dean's face.
"Git," Bobby orders, glaring harshly.
"Alright already," Dean mutters and moves out the front door, letting the screen smack shut behind him.
"Idjit," Bobby growls and pours the coffee.
Dean isn't up for this right now. He feels like the glue that holds him together is slowly but surely disintegrating, revealing cracks and leaving him wide open to shatter. Jo and Ellen…God, he can't even think about it. It's another notch to add to his failure list, more blood that is on his hands, and all for nothing. The Colt can't kill Lucifer and he feels like the world's biggest idiot for assuming it could. Now their small little family is down by two and Dean just doesn't know what to do anymore, he doesn't have the answers. He doesn't think he ever did.
So whatever Sam's problem is, Dean's hoping he has it worked out by the time he makes it out there. At this point he can't guarantee that his anger, his heartache, and his guilt won't turn on Sam like it usually does and make things worse.
Under the bitterness he's feeling, he knows that Bobby is right about learning lessons and repeating mistakes. But he just doesn't have it in him to make things better for Sam when he can't even make things better for himself. He's not even sure if he wants to because on some deep, betraying level, he still wants Sam to hurt for what he's done. It feels foreign and wrong, but God help him, some times that's how he feels.
The closer he gets the louder the shattering gets, and the more he can hear of his brother. Sam is grunting with each swing, muttering things occasionally, and some times letting out a rather fearsome roar. Dean swallows, suddenly feeling apprehensive about how he should deal with this. He rounds a corner of stacked cars and freezes as he gets the full view of exactly what Sam has been up to.
Glass. Everywhere. At least ten cars are missing all of their windows, front, side and back, some even missing the mirrors too. The glass glitters on the dusty ground, reflecting the sun and getting crunched into smithereens under Sam's huge clown feet. Sam doesn't seem to notice Dean's even there as he swings the crowbar like a baseball bat, and connects it with another window. Dean flinches at the sound as it falls apart from the frame.
"Sammy?" Dean asks and then rolls his eyes at how pathetic his voice sounds compared to the loudness of glass shattering.
"Sam!" he tries again, louder and more in tone with his usual gruffness.
Sam either doesn't hear him or doesn't care, because he raises his arms again and swings hard, the crowbar annihilating another window.
Dean takes a few steps forward, calculating what he'd have to do to stop Sam and not get hit with the crowbar, or sliced open with glass. Speaking of, now that Dean's closer, he can't help but notice that Sam is sporting some pretty wicked looking cuts on his arms and face, some even shine slightly with the glass that's still stuck in his flesh. He curses and steels himself, deciding that this has gone on long enough.
"That's enough, Sammy, come on and give me the crowbar," Dean demands as he makes his way towards Sam, making sure that he stays out of the way of both Sam's swing and the potential windows that can be broken.
His brother ignores him as he prowls the aisles of cars, his face stone cold and his eyes deadly.
Ok, talking? Not working. Check.
Dean sighs and wonders why he loves his kid brother so much, because he's a real pain in the ass. Tackling is out of the question. He'd just grind more glass into Sam's skin and that doesn't sit well with him. That leaves interception which he's not excited about because Sam's freakishly long arms are kind of frightening when they're wielding a pry bar.
Dean slithers up behind Sam and waits until he moves to swing back, ready to hit another window. As soon as the bar is behind Sam's head, Dean latches on to it and tries to dislodge it from his brother's hands. Unfortunately, Sam has other ideas as he whips around, ready to strike out in defense.
"Sam!" Dean shouts as he ducks Sam's punch, "Calm down, it's just me!"
The supposed reassurance doesn't really have the desired effect because all Sam does is shove Dean away, making him stumble. Pissed off and surprised, Dean regains his footing and glares, "What the hell is your problem?"
"What are you doing out here?" Sam demands, his voice rough from shouting.
"Trying to stop your crazy ass from smashing all the windows in the whole damn lot! Now, come on, man, just…"
"You don't have to do that anymore, Dean," Sam growls and stalks away, his eyes searching as he passes beat up cars.
Dean grits his teeth and goes after his brother, "Do what? Damnit, Sammy, stop for a second!"
Dean grabs a hold of Sam's shoulder and swings him around, forcing Sam to be face to face with him, "What's going on with you?"
Sam surprises Dean yet again by laughing, darkly, "You really have to ask? Do you remember yesterday at all?"
There it is, out in the open, and Dean finds himself shutting down. His heart rate picks up, his throat freezes around words and works to hold off tears. Of course he remembers yesterday. He doesn't think he'll ever forget.
"I remember," Dean finally grits, "And I get it, Sam, I do…"
Sam laughs again but to Dean, it sounds more like a desperate sob, "No, you don't and even if you did, you wouldn't care. It's the same shit, isn't it, Dean? You still think your pain is above everyone else's. Why is that? Is it because you've been to hell? Because Jo died for you? What makes you so much more important?"
Dean's emotions are like a spinning kaleidoscope, ranging from shocked to hurt to raging pissed off.
"You want to talk about the same shit, Sam? I came out here to help you but surprise! You threw it back in my face! It's the same selfish, stupid crap!" Dean yells, hoping that Sam doesn't realize how much his words stung.
Sickeningly, Dean's reminded of the siren last year and the verbal blows they traded during the spell. He kind of feels like all Sam's missing from his new speech is a "boo hoo." That particular conversation nugget still burns like it happened yesterday.
"You don't have to," Sam repeats, softer, a lot more broken than before.
The switch in Sam's emotions causes a shift in his own, and he feels a tiny bit of concern wiggle its way into the anger and the hurt, "What are you talking about?"
"Help me. You don't have to. I know you don't want to."
Dean feels like he's staring at nine year old Sam instead of twenty-seven year old Sam. His eyes are glossy with tears that he's refusing to let fall and his voice is absolute, and defeated. Dean knows that tone. It's the tone Sam uses when he figures out something bad and has accepted it, like when their dad used to announce that they were moving again.
"Where's all this coming from, Sammy?" Dean asks, wondering how things got turned around so quickly.
"You still think about dad?"
The question throws Dean off guard and he blinks, surprised, "Yeah, course I do."
"I haven't, not really. Not since the night we killed Yellow Eyes," Sam says as he stares at the shards of glass on the ground, "There was too much going on, you know? Your deal and trying to stop it…not being able to stop it."
"Ok…" Dean's having a hard time keeping up. He's torn between being angry as a bull and panicking. He's having trouble switching gears from 'who hurt who more' to 'what's wrong with Sam?'
"But I thought about him last night," Sam continues, "I thought about the time when you took out both of those werewolves by yourself when you were seventeen, and dad gave you the Impala. Remember? And then the time when I took out my first spirit by myself when I was fourteen. Dad patted me on the shoulder and let me ride up front for once. And all the times when he praised you for being faster, better, stronger and I was always wrong, no matter what."
"Sam, come on…"
"Why'd he do that, Dean? Was it really because you were better? Or was it because…" Sam stops and sniffs, his first real sign of weakness since this whole thing started.
"Because what?" Dean asks, even though he's pretty sure he doesn't want to hear the answer.
"Because he knew."
Knew. There were a lot of things that their dad knew, things that the man took to his grave, and Dean's scrambling to figure out what secret his brother thinks he's figured out.
"Gonna have to give me more to work with than that, Sam. Dad knew a lot of things," Dean replies smartly but softly, trying to keep the situation calm.
"He knew we were going to be the vessels. He knew there was something wrong with me," Sam says, his jaw tightening in his classic, pissed off way, "it's why he said that you were going to have to kill me."
Dean swallows. He has to admit, the idea has crossed his mind a few times. John obviously knew that Sam was special and that the demons had plans for him, but Dean didn't know if their dad had any idea just how deep those plans went. And now there was no way to know and no reason to even really care. Unless you were Sam, apparently, who seems to care a lot.
"He knew and it scared him, I scared him," Sam finally meets Dean's eyes again, "I scare you."
"Sam, you didn't scare dad, nothing scared dad," Dean finally says as he tries to diffuse the situation and comfort Sam at the same time, "And you know you don't scare me."
"Stop trying to lie to me!" Sam shouts, his calm exterior melting back to rage in an instant, "I know, Dean!"
Dean resists the urge to jump at Sam's increased volume and settles for clenching his jaw, "You know what?"
Sam's nostrils flare and Dean can feel his alarm bump up a notch or two. This is Sam out of control. This is Sam hurt. This is Sam scared. For the thousandth time since he climbed out of his own grave, Dean wishes he still knew how to reach his little brother. And for the tenth time since Lucifer rose, Dean wishes he could just let the past go so that he could learn how to again.
Sam paces in a circle a few times like a dangerous, caged animal, before he lashes out with a wild yell and puts his own fist through a car window. Dean jumps as his eyes widen in shock and then narrow in concern. Sam's arms is sliced to hell, rivers of blood flowing down his limb, covering his skin with the thick liquid.
"Christ, Sam! What the hell?" Dean demands as his hands reach out to grab Sam's injured arm.
Sam yanks away and puts more distance between them, "Don't, Dean. Ok? Just, stop."
Dean's angry enough and tired enough that he contemplates doing just that, just walking away and leaving Sam (and his bleeding arm) to work shit out on his own. He doesn't want Dean's help? Fine. Been there, done that, Dean's got his own problems.
But that's the problem. They've been there and done that and all it got them was an apocalypse, and a wall the size of China between them. Dean grits his teeth and realizes that he's tired of it. He's tired of fighting, not just with Sam, but with everything. Yesterday, they lost Jo and Ellen. What if next week it's Cas and Bobby? What if the week after that it's he and Sam? What if they die with this wall between them and thousands of words unsaid? What if Dean's last dying thought is that he wished he had fixed everything between him and his little brother? Screw that.
"Like that's going to happen. Now stop being a pain in the ass and let me see your arm," Dean says as he moves closer and respectively, Sam moves farther away.
"Stop what? Seriously, Sam, talk to me!" Dean pleads, realizing that he actually wants, needs, to know.
"Stop pretending like you care about me!" Sam rages, closing the gap between them a bit with a few angry strides.
Dean would've been less shocked if he walked in and saw Bobby wearing a dress. He knows things have been rocky lately, earthquake rocky, and Dean's been pissed, but Sam should know that he still cares about him. Right? Apparently not, Dean finds out, as Sam takes his silence as a queue to keep going.
"You should have let me die in Cold Oak, Dean. You should've left me there! I know it, you know it, and the angels know it. Then the world wouldn't be ending because Lucifer would still be in his cage! And you…you'd be ok, you never would've gone to hell and I never would've hurt you," Sam says and then sobs, "And Jo and Ellen would be alive."
Dean swallows a few times as despair threatens to climb up out of his chest and into his throat, "Sammy…"
"So just stop, ok? Because I know you don't care anymore and that's ok, I deserve it, but just stop. Please," Sam sobs, unable to stop the tears anymore.
Dean has to force his mouth to work, "You know none of that's true."
Sam laughs darkly through his tears, "You've been more concerned about Castiel the past few months then you've been for me in the past year."
"Well, I'm not sure if you've noticed but we're a little short on allies. Castiel is the only damn angel we know who's not trying to kill us and who wants to stop the apocalypse. So yeah, I kinda want him to stick around," Dean retorts, "not to mention, he is the guy who yanked me out of hell."
"It's more than that," Sam states, "He's replaced me."
Dean narrows his eyes and then shakes his head, "Sam, this is getting ridiculous."
"Why's it so hard for you to admit it? You had no problems telling me to leave and never come back, hell, a few weeks ago you told me to stay on the other side of the planet! Why can't you just say that I'm not your brother any more?" Sam pushes.
"Because you are, damnit!" Dean shouts, "You are my brother and nothing is going to change that!"
Things are starting to spin out of control fast. Sam's looking too pale and is shuffling his feet like he's struggling to keep up right. Dean's eyes flicker between the small blood pools that are forming in the dirt under Sam, and Sam's eyes. Dean knows he needs to put an end to this fast or things are going to get ugly. Too bad that Sam has other plans, like usual.
Sam turns and starts stumbling through the aisles of cars again, an attempt to run.
"Sam!" Dean yells, as he takes off after his brother, keeping his distance but at the same time keeping close just in case Sam goes down.
Sam's talking but he's not forming complete sentences. It's more like rambling, like crazy I'm-at-the-end-of-my-rope rambling. And what Sam says makes Dean's chest ache and blood run cold.
"I'm not your brother. Never was. My blood's dirty, it's not like yours, never was. Why didn't I know? Should've seen it. I saw it when Lucifer rose, the look on your face. Sorry wasn't enough that time, will never be enough again. That was it, the end, don't have to protect me anymore, not yours to protect. Not your brother."
Dean tries not to take that to heart and tries really hard not to panic because, God, Sam's losing it. His eyes are completely glossed over from the blood loss and Dean's pretty sure that yesterday's events aren't helping any. But he refuses to believe that any of this is a real mental breakdown, and is all just down to Sam being injured and scared.
"I'm Lucifer's, he told me, told me I was his. Wants me to say yes, he said I would. Can't say 'yes.' Don't want to be his. Can't say yes, Dean."
Dean's stomach churns dangerously at the mention of Lucifer and Sam saying "yes" to the bastard. He's immediately overwhelmed with memories from five years in the future, with Lucifer's calm and sinister smile on Sam's face. How could he have forgotten all the reasons he let Sam back in? How could he have forgotten his doppelganger who was willing to send his friends to their deaths, and who left Sam to deal with Lucifer alone? How could he forget that's what it comes to?
"Sam, stop," Dean pleads and it comes out a little more desperate than he'd like. But who's he kidding? He is desperate and he'd be lying if he said he wasn't holding back tears. Between today and yesterday, Dean figures he's going to use up his crying quota for the whole year.
He didn't want to tackle Sam because the risk of injuring him further was too much, but now, it feels like the only option. Dean needs to get Sam back to the house and stop the bleeding. Then he needs to drill it through Sam's stubborn head that he is Dean's little brother, and he damn well better get used to it.
At that moment, Sam stumbles and trips, sending him to the ground. On reflex, Sam's hands shoot out to try to catch himself but the pressure on his injured arms makes him cry out and fall the rest of the way to the ground, glass now stuck in his palms.
Dean tries to dislodge his heart from his throat as he skids to a stop next to Sam, who isn't moving. Carefully, Dean kneels next to him and ignores the sharp edges of glass threatening to pierce through his jeans.
"Sam?" Dean says as he fists Sam's shirt in his hands and pulls, bringing Sam up to his chest.
Sam's eyes are thankfully open, even though they're at half mast, and he's still breathing. The knot in Dean's chest loosens a bit but still stays tied because Sam is still too pale and is still muttering and whimpering, trying to pull away from Dean's hold.
"Lemme go," Sam murmurs as he struggles against Dean's arm around his chest.
"No, Sammy, come on," Dean says softly as he starts to haul Sam up to his feet, taking almost all of Sam's weight and height.
Dean grunts under the added heaviness but manages to stand Sam up. He throws Sam's arm around his shoulders and keeps a tight grip on his waist, his hand clutches Sam's shirt to help keep him up.
"Work with me, here, alright? We need to get back to the house and clean you up. Bobby will wanna rip you a new one for what you did to his yard, not to mention your arm. What were you thinking putting your fist through the window, you moron?" Dean says as he half drags his brother to the house.
"Not a moron," Sam slurs as he stumbles along.
"Only on your best days," Dean grunts as Sam starts to slip from his grasp.
It's slow goings but they make it back to the porch, blood splatters trailing behind them. Dean kicks the door open, which earns a "watch it, boy," from Bobby.
Bobby rolls into the main room and Dean watches as his eyes widen comically, "Jesus Christ, Dean, I told you to talk to the kid not cut him to ribbons."
"You're funny," Dean replies darkly, "Idiot put his arm through a window."
"Need any help?" Bobby asks in all seriousness.
Dean bites his lip as he lowers Sam to the couch, who's almost passed out. He thinks about taking Bobby's offer for help but decides against it, knowing that right now, Sam needs him and he needs Sam.
"No, I've got it, thanks," Dean replies and then goes to fetch the first aid kit, water, and towels.
Bobby nods knowingly and goes back into the kitchen, far away enough to give the boys their space but close enough to rush in if Dean needs help.
Dean comes back with the supplies and he settles in a chair next to the sofa. He runs his eyes over Sam, taking in all the little cuts and the few really huge ones, and the dirt smudges that are peppered all over him. The idea of taking Sam into emergency crosses his mind but he decides that as long as Sam doesn't start to show signs of shock, that he can take care of him just fine.
"Can't do anything by the halves, can ya?" Dean asks softly as he dips a towel in the water and gets to work.
He manages to clean most of Sam's cuts and work one of the five pieces of glass out of Sam's arm before the kid wakes up.
Dean freezes in his administrations and watches Sam's face closely, "Sam? You with me?"
Sam's face pinches in pain for a second before it smooths out and he takes a breath, "Yeah."
"Good," Dean says and swallows, "I, uh, already cleaned you up but there's still glass stuck in ya. You need any pain meds?"
Sam shakes his head, "I'm good, just…keep going."
Dean looks at him unsure but then nods, and reapplies the tweezers to the piece of glass stuck in Sam's forearm.
"They shouldn't have died for us," Sam says softly.
Dean pauses but it's only for a second and then he gets back to it, "I know."
"We can't win."
Dean wants to say something along the lines of "aren't you Mr. Sunshine?" or "that's just the blood loss talking…again." But he can't because Dean has thought the same thing a few times, a lot more since yesterday.
Dean clears his throat, "I don't know. Crazier things have happened."
A heavy silence falls over them, one that's only disturbed a few times by a low grunt from Sam or from the sick squelching of glass being pulled from flesh. Dean concentrates on patching Sam up while Sam stares at the ceiling.
"We gonna talk about it?" The words surprise Dean and it takes him a few seconds to realize that he spoke them. He hasn't been in a talking mood in, well, over a year but this is something he can't let go. They can't be against each other any more, too much is at stake, and if Dean admits it, he misses his brother.
"About you smashing every piece of glass that looked at you wrong," Dean says as he threads a needle and prepares to stitch up the worst of Sam's cuts.
Sam shrugs as much as possible on the couch, "Got mad."
"And the rest of it?" Dean presses.
"Was still mad. It was just the blood loss, Dean, and maybe some left over whiskey. Don't worry about it," Sam says in a classic, 'I'm not talking about it' voice.
"Whiskey? You got drunk last night?" Dean asks, surprised.
"Didn't you see the puke on the porch?" Sam asks flatly.
"No, I was a little bit distracted by all the blood," Dean replies sarcastically, "Bobby's gonna kill you for up chucking on his porch."
Sam half shrugs again and Dean tells him to hold still as he starts sewing.
A few more minutes pass in tense silence before Dean decides to take the plunge, "All the things you said, none of it's true, you know?"
"No, hear me out, ok? I know that I haven't given you a lot of reason lately to believe it but you're still my brother, always will be. We've both screwed up but that doesn't change. And dad…I don't know what he knew, man, but I do know that everything he did, he did to protect you. He loved you Sam, even though he had some weird ways of showing it," Dean says softly as he continues to put stitches in Sam's arm.
"It's not that simple," Sam replies tersely and then meets Dean's eyes, "You saying it doesn't make it true. It doesn't work like that anymore. I know what you really think of me."
Dean's jaw tightens and he glares, but it's not in anger, it's in determination, "Lucifer and Michael want to ride our asses and tear each other apart. One of them, one of us, won't make it out if that happens. I am ready to let the world burn instead of letting that happen because you dying? Isn't an option. I'm sick of people pitting us against each other and I'm even sicker of us doing it to ourselves. Are you hearin' me, Sammy? I'm ready to let Lucifer tear the planet apart because he's not getting you. You're my brother, Sam, and he's not getting you."
Sam closes his eyes and lets out a breath through his nose, as a tear wrenches lose from under his eyelids.
"You promise?" Sam asks softly, his eyes still closed.
Dean swallows. It's been a long time since they promised anything to each other. Too much has been in the way and the trust between them has been depleted. But this, this seems like the perfect place to start again, to start rebuilding permanently. He can't think of a better promise to make to set things in motion.
"Yeah, Sammy, I promise."
Sam smiles tiredly and even though he can't see it, Dean smiles too.