Denial and Despair

The sun was slowly making a descent behind the hills, dappling the grass and streets from it's last bit of light billowing through the trees. He didn't bother slowing down at the yellow yield sign taunting him just up the road. Instead, he sharply turned the steering wheel of the black 1967 Chevy Impala, peeling out as he went, not even bothering to care about the skid marks he'd just left in the street or the tire smoke drifting in it's wake. Nothing mattered anymore, so who the hell cared if he drove the, now his, Impala right into oncoming traffic?

It had only been days since he'd buried his brother, just days. It didn't take long for him to take off without a word to Bobby at all after the burial. Those days were probably the hardest days Sam had ever been through in his entire life. He thought it was hard when Jessica died, when his father died, when he had to kill Madison, and all those lives he couldn't save, but nothing compared to this. As Sam drove, his leaned his head back against the seat, narrowing his eyes against the vibrancy of the massive, glowing yellow orb lowering itself in the sky, and the memories flooded him.

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

Sam Winchester and long-time friend, fellow hunter and father figure, Bobby Singer, had taken Dean's hellhound-mangled body somewhere private, not surrounded by a bunch of other stiffs, as Bobby had put it. The two had agreed that it was best to bury Dean somewhere that nobody would know it was him. The last thing they wanted was for his brother's grave to become desecrated by somebody or something. They chose a small spot in the woods, just outside of Pontiac, Illinois. Sam had dug the grave himself, refusing Bobby's help, throwing all of his anguish and his pain into the work, hoping that some of the concentration of digging up the harsh, tough ground would sway his mind from what he was doing.

It didn't work, though; instead it always came flowing back like a raging river and submerged his mind like a torrential downpour, and Sam continued to shove down the floodgates that threatened to burst inside of him. Dean was gone, and he wasn't coming back this time, so what good would it do anyway? If he could just tuck everything he felt away, push it down as far as he could, then maybe it'd be easier, and he wouldn't have to feel anymore. Sam threw every ounce of his strength into digging the grave, muscles rippling and shining with sweat under the burning sun casting it's devilish rays on his skin, but Sam didn't care. If anything could take away the agonizing sensation continuously washing over his body that he felt right now, then let it. If that meant the sun scorching him to hell and back, at least it would all disappear, and he could focus on some other pain instead of this agony. The young Winchester was interruped in his thoughts at a familiar voice piping up from behind him.

"Sam, c'mon boy, why don't you take a breather and let me do some of that?" Bobby offered calmly, holding out a hand for the shovel.

Sam whirled around towards the older man, damp hair falling into his sea-blue eyes. He narrowed those eyes, furrowing his eyebrows, doing his best not to allow those eyes to show the pain he was in. "No," he responded gruffly and turned back around, continue to throw his back into digging the perfect grave for his now deceased brother.

"Sam," Bobby began once more. He huffed a small breath in evident frustration and then continued. "I really think that we should do this traditional way. Dean would've wanted you to."

Sam stopped digging once more and stood up, straightening his back and turned towards the hunter, the same expression never leaving his face. He couldn't bear to think of his older brother inside of the wooden casket they'd crafted for him, nothing moving, not breathing, leaf-green eyes never opening again. Sam and Bobby both knew that Dean wouldn't have wanted a big fuss, so instead of going all out with a fancy casket and flowers and a funeral, they handmade their own for him. Sam could just hear Dean spouting off some sarcastic remark. "Oh isn't this lovely, Sam? You bought me a pretty, shiny casket to place my mutilated self in! Yes, makes perfect damn sense, considering it's just you and Bobby!"

Sam gave the older hunter a hardened expression. "No, Bobby. I said no. I'm not salting or burning him, so just forget it," he stated coldly with a finality to be heard in his tone.

"Why, kid? You know all the things that could happen if his bones aren't properly taken care of," the older man replied in earnest. "Think about Dean. Think about what you brother would've wanted! I mean look at the state he's in, Sam."

"I SAID NO, BOBBY!" Sam roared, throwing the shovel down ferociously to the ground his bare chest heaving. Bobby just stared at him in disbelief. "I'm...," the young hunter began, clenching his teeth, breathing heavily through them and trying to calm himself. Sam could feel his body beginning to tremble, and he couldn't tell if it were from anger and frustration at the older man in front of him or something else. Sam took a deep breath before continuing more calmly. "Look, I'm not burning his body, because Dean is going to need a body to return to once I find a way to bring him back."

The older man just dropped his head and shook it back and forth. "When are you going to realize, Sam, that there's nothing you can do now? Dean is gone, and he ain't coming back. This isn't easy for either of us, but Sam I'm telling you that no demon is going to want to deal with you on this. You'd be crazy to even try, and hell you may even end up getting yourself killed!"

"So, who the hell cares? Dean isn't the one that should be dead right now," Sam growled as he turned back towards the grave and continued digging. He'd probably already dug a good four feet deep now. "I'm not discussing this with you anymore, Bobby," he added as he jumped down into the hole and resumed the digging.

Sam grunted with each scoop of the shovel and tossed out the dirt over him, throwing it onto the ground above him for what seemed like hours, before he finally emerged from the hole he'd dug, and climbed out. Bobby silently extended a hand to Sam, which he grabbed and lurched himself out of Dean's newly dug grave, covered in dirt and sweat. Bobby handed Sam a towel and he wiped himself off. He approached the cooler the two men had full of beer and soda and dipped his hands into the ice water, splashing the cold water on his face and then taking the towel to it directly after. The cold water felt nice on his burning skin, but still nothing could ever make him feel good again. As much as he wanted to put this off, he couldn't. He also found that he couldn't allow his eyes to rest on that wooden casket. He just couldn't accept it.

The younger Winchester made his way over to his car and popped the lid of the trunk. Sam grabbed a white, button-down shirt from his bag in the trunk of the Impala and pulled it over his shoulders, buttoning it halfway up. He slammed the trunk lid and leaned forward on his elbows, folding his arms over the trunk lid and looked out at the trees surrounding them. He felt a gentle breeze across the sky, blowing back his hair and some clouds had begun moving in. He did not want to do this. Burying Dean meant saying goodbye, most likely forever; it just felt too final. Sam could feel himself choke on the thought, but he swallowed past the lump in his throat and took a tremulous breath trying to remain calm and not completely lose it.

He wasn't sure if he would rage, maybe take a crowbar to one of the vehicle's windows or if he'd just collapse right there on the ground and break down like a small child. Sam felt a warm hand close over his shoulder, and the young hunter averted his head away from the touch, closing his eyes painfully, but also grateful that Bobby was there, though he couldn't voice it. The younger Winchester didn't think he'd be able to do all of this alone. He watched Dean die all by himself, but Sam didn't feel he had the strength in him to bury and say goodbye all alone.

"Kid, we're gonna have to do this sooner or later," came Bobby's gentle, almost father-like voice from behind Sam. "He can't stay in the back of the truck forever."

"I know," Sam spoke in barely above a hoarse whisper. "Just..give me a few minutes, and then we'll bury him, okay?"

"Alright. I'll get the ropes hooked up to it so we can lower him down then," Bobby replied and Sam was sure he could hear the older man's voice barely quiver.

The younger Winchester just nodded his head, not able to speak and he dipped a hand down into his jeans pocket. Sam pulled out the necklace he'd given Dean all those years ago for Christmas. It was originally meant as a Christmas gift for their dad, but back then Sam had lost all hope of their father spending Christmas with his boys, and so he'd given it to his older brother. Dean loved it the minute he saw it and had never taken it off, but Sam couldn't stand burying Dean with it on. It was maybe the last thing he'd had to hold onto of his brother that had been close to his brother's heart. Sam held the necklace up and pulled it over his own head, letting the cool charm fall against his chest.

"Alright, Sam. I could really use a hand here, so I'm ready whenever you are," Bobby called from the back of the truck. Sam, stood up tall, took a deep breath composing himself once more and made his way over to where Bobby stood with the tailgate of his truck out and the casket sitting on the back of it ready to be lowered. Sam sucked in another breath, letting it out slowly and approached the end of the wooden casket which was bound with ropes. Wordlessly he grabbed the end of it and began pulling it off of the back of the truck, while Bobby stood waiting for the other end and he grabbed it. The two men lowered it to the ground. The rope they would use to lower Dean curled on the top of the casket like snakes.

"Well, Sam?" Bobby began, looking at the younger Winchester, who had looked away from the casket to gaze up at the slowly changing sky above, squinting his blue eyes against the brightness of the sun still peeking out behind a cloud. "Is there anything you want to say to your brother before we do this?" Sam could do nothing but shake his head. He grabbed one end of the rope as if to say 'let's get this over with' while Bobby grabbed the other end. The two picked the casket up once more by the ropes and slowly began lowering it into the grave. Sam's eyes stayed glued to the casket this time. For some reason, he couldn't pry them away.

"Let's grab a beer and drink to Dean," Bobby suggested, not even allowing the younger man to say anything. Sam watched as Bobby walked over to the cooler and grabbed two bottles out, tossing one to Sam. The two stood and stared down at what was Dean inside of that casket. They popped the lids on their beers, and Bobby held his out. "To Dean," was all he said as he and Sam clanked bottles together and took a drink from them. Sam couldn't even taste anything, but he knew his brother would be happy to see them drinking to him. Dean had always loved popping open a beer with his younger brother, especially after a particularly stressful day on the job. There would be no more of those.

"Well then...," Bobby paused as the two stared down at Dean's wooden makeshift casket, cold beers clutched in their hands. "I guess we'll see you around, kid," he finished softly before, downing the rest of his bottle, tossing it in the back of the truck and then reaching down and grabbing the shovel. Everything inside of Sam screamed no! Don't bury him! He's my brother! I'm not ready to say goodbye yet! But the young Winchester found that he couldn't speak a word. He was afraid that if he opened his mouth to say anything, he might end up saying things he'd regret, or he'd just start crying. What he wouldn't give to not feel anything at all at this very moment. Sam found himself wishing he were one of those types of people who suffered from emotional disorders where they couldn't feel or comprehend any type of emotion. He clenched his fists, feeling the tips of his short nails digging into his hands, as he watched Bobby take the first scoop of dirt. Before he dropped it into the grave, the older hunter gazed upward at Sam, sorrow filling his face.

"Is it alright if I do this?" he inquired quietly, and Sam couldn't mistake that tears had built up in Bobby's eyes. The older hunter turned his head away from Sam, the younger one lowered his to gaze at the ground.

He nodded his head. "It's fine, Bobby," Sam conceded softly. He drank his beer slowly and watched as Bobby dropped shovel-full after shovel-full of dirt on top of his brother, and struggled with himself to remain placid and composed, but Sam honestly didn't know how much longer he could. He could feel all the pain, the anguish, the despondency and grief that he'd done his best to stuff down as deep inside of him as he could, slowly climbing it's way to the surface. Sam squeezed his eyes shut and held the bridge of his nose with his thumb and forefinger, listening to each clump of dirt fall on top of the wood on Dean's casket. Before long, he could no longer hear it. All he could hear was the last piles of dirt falling on top of more dirt, and then Bobby patting down the area flat with the shovel.

By the time Bobby had finished, the clouds had grown thicker, covering the once vibrant sun, and the air had became much cooler. Sam could tell a storm was definitely moving in. It didn't matter to him though. Who cared if it stormed or not? He was burying his older brother. Nothing else in the world mattered and probably never would again. The younger Winchester watched as Bobby laid the finishing touches on top of the gravesite and stood up. Neither men said a word as he carried the shovel back to the truck. Sam wasn't ready to leave yet. Everything inside of him was clawing and screaming, trying to fight it's way to the surface. He didn't want to do this, but there was no choice. It had to be done. The young hunter made his way over to his car, opening up the back door on the driver's side, and he pulled out a wooden cross he'd crafted out of an oak tree for his brother. It was nothing too fancy, just a wooden cross.

"I have one more thing I need to do," Sam told Bobby quietly as he slammed the back door shut and carried the cross over to his brother's gravesite. Bobby stood by the truck and let Sam alone. The younger brother approached Dean's grave, careful not to step on the fresh soil that covered it and shoved the cross into the ground, patting and packing fresh dirty around it, to mark his final resting place. Sam could feel tears stinging his eyes, but he forced them back and closed his eyes, trying to brace himself and stay assuaged. "Goodbye for now, Dean," Sam's voice cracked. "I promise, I'll find a way to get you out of this." However even Sam himself wasn't sure if it were possible. That didn't mean he wasn't going to try though.

Sam stood up and began backing away from the gravesite, but he it almost felt as though he were planted there at the foot of it, like a demon caught in a devil's trap. The clouds opened up and large drops of rain slowly began to fall, splashing Sam. He closed his eyes, lifting his head towards the raging heavens, allowing the rain to cascade down his face. He couldn't move, and then without warning it hit him. Torrents of agony, anguish and grief washed over him, enveloping him in their excruciating grasp. The dam had broke and the floodgates opened. Sam couldn't contain it any longer and he let out a small wail of absolute despair as the realization cloaked him. Dean wasn't coming back.

Sam dropped to his hands and knees in front of Dean's grave, feeling the burn of his tears spill down over his cheeks, his entire body overwhelmed with tremulous sobbing. Bobby approached the young man; once again he felt his hand on his shoulder squeezing it gently as if to comfort him, but Sam didn't even really pay it any attention. Every ounce of heartache and grief he'd fought to keep inside of him won the battle and was now spilling over like a busted dam, or a massive tidal wave. He just whispered his brother's name as he cried brokenly, grasping onto the freshly laid dirt now soaked from the rain, his head hanging listlessly, hair falling into his face, tears descending, hitting the ground one right after another. He couldn't speak, he could barely even breathe, and Bobby just allowed him to, not speaking a word.

Sam didn't know how long he'd stayed there, but eventually he'd wore himself out until all that was left were constant trembling, heaving breaths. The rain continued to spill down onto him, as if expressing it's own sorrow, but nothing could match the excruciating grief, affliction, even remorse that Sam Winchester was feeling at this very moment. He was sitting up on his knees now, the rain had washed away the wet, muddy dirt from his hands at where he'd gripped the freshly dug earth as if to hold onto his brother for longer. Bobby had stayed beside Sam though his breakdown, and the young man was grateful for it. Now he was just exhausted.

"C'mon, kid," Bobby urged gently as he put an arm around Sam's waist, tugging the younger Winchester to his feet. "I seen lightning. We don't need to be getting ourselves struck by it. Besides, your brother wouldn't want to see you like this. Let's go back to the house, get you dried off and something to drink, alright?"

Sam didn't bother to fight the older man. He rose to his feet, allowing Bobby to support him as they made their way back to the truck.

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

The memories of that day had rushed back in Sam's mind like the plague, and he gave the car more gas, determined to make it to the Crossroads by nightfall. No matter what it took, he would do this. He didn't want ten years, five years. or even one year. Hell, he didn't even want a month. It was his fault that Dean was in Hell, and Sam knew he didn't belong here on Earth, alive without his older brother. He wanted to take Dean's place, and he was going to do whatever it took to accomplish this.

His brother deserved to live, not him. Not some spawn with demon blood flowing through his veins like a consistent disease. His sea-blue eyes narrowed as the sun disappeared behind the trees and hills, and the car picked up speed. He grabbed the bottle of Tequila sitting next to him and took a large swig from it. No matter what it took, Sam would do whatever he could to get Dean back, and if that meant selling his soul, then that's what he'd do.

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

Whew! So, it was totally not easy to write this, but I always pictured how it might've gone for Sam and Bobby when they buried Dean and how hard Sam fought to keep himself in check, as well as try to convince himself that he could bring Dean back. So anyway, I would love some reviews guys! They're a writer's crack! xD Thanks in advance, and I hope you enjoyed this angsty one-shot!