Hey guys! Back with another One Shot!

I got a few reviews for my drabble, 'Hellbent On Vengeance' with the request for the 'big story' behind it. But it was DeansBabyBird who actually managed to send me on my butt and write it down. She told me the plot she had in mind reading the drabble. So, the basic idea for this one is hers, I just wrote the story around it.

Bev, this one's for you! Hope you like it! Thanks for tickling this story out of me :-)

And once again a giant hug to my lovely Beta MeAzrael, who managed to rap on my fingers despite the horrible time she's currently going through. You rock, you're so strong, honeypie! I'm very proud of you!

Enjoy, everybody!


Story type: One Shot

Genre: General

Characters: Dean, Sam

Timeline: Set in Season 2

Summary: When their delay claims the live of a child Dean searches for a way to cope. He finds the wrong one.

Rating: K+

From one second to another lights and shapes became blurred, what had been focussed became unfocussed. "Damnit", Dean gasped, wiping at his eyes angrily and gripping the steering wheel harder, if that was even possible at all.

He wasn't sure if the direction was right, but then, every direction lead to one of the places he was yearning for. It was only a matter of miles.

The small town was quiet at this late hour, only the usual suspects wandering the streets and alleys. A few drunks singing folk songs, a love struck couple on their way home. And a group of teenagers besieging a bus stop, chatting and laughing, enjoying their night out.

They had just reached that age – when your parents allow you to stay out longer, not without gnashing their teeth; when you begin to hit on the opposite sex, searching, discovering; when you don't stop drinking even when your mind tells you to, because you want to check out how much you can tolerate.

An exciting age.

An age little Katie would never reach.

His breathing hitched in his chest and Dean jerked the wheel violently, bringing the Impala to a rough halt at the side of the road. He didn't let go of the wheel, held it tight with both hands, staring through the windshield but seeing nothing, his breathing a stringing together of forceful pants. This time he didn't bother when his surroundings blurred once more, he finally welcomed the tears he had fought so hard from spilling.

It had supposed to be such an easy hunt. A piece of cake. A stupid little poltergeist being up to mischief. Destroying it would have been an easy task, they had been well prepared.

If they had been in time. If they had only been in time.

Dean dropped his forehead heavily on top of the steering wheel. It hurt so much.

"Shhhhh, I gotcha! Hush, little princess, I'm not leaving you here!"

With a howl of rage he slammed his hand on the dashboard, for once he didn't care if it was his precious car that took the brunt of his fury, his desperation.

How much more was he supposed to take? Was this a test? Was someone toying with him?

He needed a drink. He needed a bucket full of it. Now.

To forget the sight of the largest blue eyes staring at him in horror and panic. To drown the screams out. To erase the sight of greedy licking flames swallowing everything whole.

Wearily, he pushed himself up until he felt his head roll back against the head rest. The Impala's engine was purring, a strange sound of familiarity that seemed so utterly wrong in his presence. He just didn't deserve something so close. He was cursed to lose it anyway.

A spasm in his leg reminded him that his foot still stood on the brake, a herald to a possible nasty cramp in the calf.

Bring it on. That was the very least he deserved.

Dean dragged his foot off the brake pedal and stepped on the gas instead, pulling the heavy car back onto the street, not bothering to check for any traffic. He blinked against the tears, tried to swallow past the huge lump in his throat.

He should have fought harder against Sam's restraining arms. Should have slammed his fist into his puppy dog face to force him by violence to let go. The flames wouldn't have harmed him. He could have saved her.

Damnit, Sam.

Neon light caught his eye and Dean slowed down, wiping his eyes again. Bingo. With a sudden calmness he eased the Impala onto the parking lot and didn't once hesitate to escape the normally soothing presence of the car.

Not tonight, honey. Tonight he needed something else.

The bar was crowded. The pool table occupied. Smoke wafted through the surprisingly chilly room, the air conditioning did it's best to keep the establishment from turning to a stuffy cave. A juke box past it's prime played Kenny Loggins' 'Welcome To Heartlight' to ignoring ears and raised voices trying to drown it out.

Dean headed straight to the bar – a spot he would make himself at home as he certainly wasn't going to leave for the next few hours. He pondered on ordering two bottles of Jack or starting with one, deciding to start with a few shots first to get in the mood.

And man, it felt good. Every glass he downed managed to numb him further, the acid-like liquid biting it's way through his throat.

Screams, smells, eyes, a beautiful face – burnt away to nothing.

Sleep was gone. As was the fatigue. He could toss and turn for as long as he wanted, the events of the last evening had their death grip on his mind and soul. And his heart.

They had been to late. When they had rounded the corner the house had already stood in flames. They hadn't hesitated one bit, had jumped from the car and into the burning hell that had been a home for a mother and her 2 year old daughter.

Sam didn't know what his brother had seen. He had tried to drag a screaming, flailing woman from the house while Dean had rushed upstairs to get the kid.

The only thing Sam knew for sure was that if he had returned into the house only seconds too late his brother would be dead now.

Thank God he had listened to his inner voice. Thank god he had made the right decision when he had debated with himself whether to stay outside with the woman or go back inside.

It had all happened so fast, the sight that had greeted Sam a hot, biting blur.

Dean, crouched on the burning stairs, surrounded by angry licking flames, reaching out to the little girl on top of the stairway, half-saying, half-shouting soothing words to her over the roaring fire.

"Shhhhh, I gotcha! Hush, little princess, I'm not leaving you here!"

Little Katie standing on top of the staircase, reaching out to Dean, huge, blue, terribly frightened eyes seeking for help.

A hole in the staircase separating them.

The roof giving way.

Sam knew Dean hated him for what he had done. Hated him for grabbing him, pulling him back, outside, for saving his life. Hell, Sam had been close to knocking his brother out to keep him from struggling and fighting him. He was sure Dean would take a swing at him sooner or later for his actions. But it was all Sam could have done. He wouldn't have reached Katie. Neither would have Dean. There just hadn't been enough time.

It was terrible. He was as devastated by the happening of events as Dean was. Damn, Sam wanted to hit holes in the wall, break something, howl and scream in rage and frustration. And if the tables had been turned Sam was sure he would have fought as hard to save the child as Dean had.

But to Sam, it had been Dean's life at stake. And if he hadn't reacted the way he had, Dean had gotten killed tonight.

It had been no surprise to Sam when Dean hadn't got out of the car after they had reached the motel, the drive back fraught with tension and heavy silence. Had stayed in the driver's seat, staring at the dashboard. No words had been necessary between them, Sam had just nodded silently and got out, had looked after the Impala when Dean had steered the big black car back on the road with screeching tires, searching for an appropriate way to vent. His emotions. His anger.

Sam stared at the dark ceiling, his eyes wandering along the barely visible shapes of the sleeping fluorescent lamp. A car drove onto the parking lot, it's headlights illuminating the motel room. A jolt of hope ripped through him, only to be shattered by reason. Of course not Dean. It was far too early for him to be back. Sam turned his head and grabbed his cell from the nightstand, turning the small screen on.

1.30 a.m.

Yeah. Definitely too early.

He felt the urge to call his brother. Just to make sure everything was okay. Just to let Dean know that he was there. A good listener, if needed. Even if Sam knew that the 'talking thing' wasn't Dean's cup of tea.

Before Sam could change his mind, he pressed the speed dial and listened to the dial tone, waiting. For a grumpy 'What!'. For a slurred 'Sammy? That you?' Even for a light-headed 'Go to sleep, m'fine, Sam!'.

He got what he had expected. And dreaded. A never-ending dial tone.

Hanging up, Sam ran a tired hand over his face, letting his phone drop beside him. He needed to get some rest. At least one of them should have a clear-headed start into the new day in a few hours. And he was sure as hell that Dean wouldn't be the one.

He watched the tiny rest of golden liquid splash from one wall of glass to the other, balancing the almost empty bottle of Jack on it's rim. The noises were dulled now, shrunk back to leave him alone with his battle-weariness. The bar stools around him abandoned, maybe because people avoided him, maybe because it was almost dawning, Dean didn't care.

His blank gaze fell on his cell, resting beside him on the bar, skimpy words on the screen and a flashing signal indicating one missed call.

A deliberately missed call.

A call Dean wasn't in the mood to take.

Unscrewing the bottle, he poured the precious remnants into the glass in front of him with a surprisingly steady hand – the glass, the bottle and him forming an unified whole.

Still, where the soothing warmth of alcohol normally managed to take the edge off, was nine times out of ten efficient against the pain in a way even Sam couldn't be, this time it just failed to work. The crushing weights remained. Like a vice anger and guilt embraced him from the sides, squashing him, suffocating him. Self-doubt pressed down on him from above, while desperation threatened to swallow him forever.

Dean downed his drink at one gulp and slammed the now empty glass on the bar, gritting his teeth, ignoring the disapproving look of the bartender. A familiar sound reached his ears, a sound that had been there the whole time, but only now attracted his attention.

He turned sluggishly, searching for the source with tired eyes. The sonorous sound of the white billiard ball colliding with its colorful counterparts, putting them all in motion, causing them to roll into all directions on the faded green. A fiery game took place at the pool table. Five rather big men, obviously bikers, cheered over the last move, slapping the player's shoulder in approval.

Curious, Dean leaned back, resting his elbows on the bar and watched the overgrown guys fighting their duel. It was ridiculous. The billiard cues were like giant tooth picks in their meaty grips, the men's movements resembling the ones of stranded whales. The guys could consider themselves lucky when they were able to hit the white ball with their cues, let alone managed to send it into the right direction.

If he weren't so drunk, Dean would have loved to challenge them, squeeze some money out of the big guys. Instead, he settled for watching their game and trying to keep his mind off the unhappy events that had hauled him to this place.

It was an unbridled snort that betrayed him.

An unstoppable laughter, escaping Dean in his alcohol-induced frenzy, his disastrous reaction to another man's hilarious shot at the pool table.

Suddenly, the bar went completely silent, only the age-worn juke box staying unimpressed and continuing to play it's tunes. The five heavy guys looked up from their game, staring at Dean incredulously.

It was the moment every other person would have grabbed their jacket and left. Fast. But then, a sober person wouldn't have dared to laugh at five adult men looking like testimonials for the world's strongest fitness club in the first place. For a normal, sober person this was a nightmare.

To Dean it was gleeful anticipation.

Where the alcohol had failed to release him from all the burdening emotions poisoning his mind and soul, he knew that the only other antidote was violence.

And while the tiny part of sanity that hadn't been addled by Jack and defiance screamed at him – begged him – to let it go, to get his ass outta here, his heart and the majority of his brain cheered him on.

Part of him knew that this was going to end bad. The very same part welcomed it.

Dean's laughter turned into a smirk and he kept his blurred eyes on the fuming men. The one who had made the allegedly funny shot straightened and threw his cue on the pool table. He slowly walked towards the bar, glaring. Dean held the man's gaze, his eyes darting only once over to the other four guys when they looked around the bar as if to check how many witnesses they had to avoid.

The sight was certainly satisfying. The bar was empty except for the bikers, the bartender and Dean.

The professional pool player planted himself in front of Dean and crossed his arms, the look on his face a mixture of disbelief and rage.

"Mind telling me what's so funny?" he rumbled, looking down at the Winchester.

Dean snorted and scratched his nose. "That's one helluva style you got there", he replied, a slight slurring quality to his voice giving his condition away.

"That so?"

"Jerry!" Dean almost flinched at the voice erupting from behind him. Looked as if the bartender had made his way over to them. "Leave him be. That kid's drunk, don't let him get a rise out of you."

The muscleman, Jerry, held his hand up. "Relax, Marcus. I just want to talk."

"Yeah, Marcus, relax. We're good." Dean didn't dare to turn around or even slide his eyes away from his opponent. Jerry crossed his arms again and tilted his head, eyeing Dean suspiciously.

"Did you just laugh at me, kid?"

Oh yeah. Dean loved this conversation already. And if the people in here wouldn't quit calling him 'kid' he would throw punches at the bartender, too.

"What did it sound like?" Dean asked, smirk firmly in place.

"Well, it sounded a lot like you laughing at me."

A pause. A certain smirk turning icy. "Well, then maybe I did."

A pair of huge, meaty hands grabbing Dean's collar, wrenching him off the barstool and far too close to Jerry's face.

It was all Dean needed. He pulled his knee up and rammed it right into his opponents private parts, the satisfaction of looking into Jerry's pained expression and hearing his surprised grunt boosting Dean's weariness right out through the roof.

He was all there. He didn't know for how long, but for now it would be enough.

Jerry let go of Dean's collar and sank to his knees like a sack of potatoes, meaty mitts now holding the wounded area in a protective manner. From somewhere behind him Dean heard the bartender shout something before a billiard cue flew past Dean's head, missing him only by an inch.

A stampede of foaming bikers stomped towards him, two of them armed with billiard cues, the other two armed with two pairs of clenched fists.

Bartender Marcus still shouted at them, but Dean was too busy to listen. He grabbed the bar stool he had occupied a few moments ago and swung it at the man closest to him with full force, succeeding in sending the big guy into oblivion by shattering the piece of furniture on his bald head.

A genuine smile ghosted over Dean's face. For the first time since he arrived in this town, since they had driven down the alley only to be greeted by a house in flames and a family in despair he felt something resembling solace. The force and power he was able to muster up for every swing he took at his attackers brought him closer to the satisfaction he searched for. The pain, the grief, and the massive weight that was his guilt didn't vanish – but instead of suffocating him, it encouraged him. Fueled him.

The voice in his head, his common sense, it had stopped it's warnings. It didn't scream at him anymore. It was absolutely calm now. It stood in a corner, leaning casually against the wall of his mind and just shrugged.

It had, too, accepted the fact that he was probably killing himself here. Dean knew it. His sanity knew it.

But it felt damn good.

The next blow to the jaw sent a familiar person struggling with his balance – Jerry was back on his feet. Surprised but not put off his stride he grabbed Dean's right arm and yanked it back and around, forced it into an angle it surely wasn't suppose to move by itself. The audible 'crack' Dean awaited rang out instantly, followed by his outcry of pain.

Pain he could handle. Pain he deserved. Nothing compared to the pain Katie had gone through.

A second guy appeared to Dean's left and, too, grabbed his arm, held him tight but passed on the bone crushing session. A third hulk rushed up to Dean, the man's aim clearly Dean's nose. But the second he was within reach, Dean pushed himself off the floor, his boots meeting the guy's midriff.

Dean rather heard than saw his opponents reaction, his last move sending spikes of excruciating pain through his right arm, causing his vision to blacken and his legs to give out the moment they landed back on the ground.

One second ago he had stood on a cliff. His arms spread out as if he was about to lift off. His eyes closed, inhaling the fresh sea air, relishing the soft breeze. One second ago he was free.

The next second someone shoved him. Pushed him over the edge. And after a short drop he plunged into the freezing water, his senses, his mind, his body going numb immediately.

The hits and blows raining upon him were merciless. He didn't fend them off. Didn't even maintain cover. He deserved them. When his head hit the bar, the impact shattering the glass that had kept him company the whole night, he wondered if it were tears or blood running down his face.

Somewhere in between the grunts and cries and impacts of flesh on flesh and flesh on everything else Dean thought he heard the bartender, Marcus. Talking. Intervening. At least trying to. At some point Dean's surroundings tilted. He couldn't say if it was by his own steam or if someone was dragging him. Moments later the temperature dropped, the smells changed. If the sounds did, too? He didn't know. Everything was just a blur. One single, giant, hazy mass of voices, smells, shadows.

God, he hurt. Everything hurt. He couldn't move, he couldn't think. Never ending pain, surrounding him, eating him up.

Let it come. It was alright. Everything was alright.

When darkness came, he smiled. At least he thought he did.

The ring woke him with a start.

It wasn't the strident sound cutting through the silence that startled Sam but the fact that he had indeed fallen asleep during brooding and worrying and tossing and turning.

Drowsily he rolled his head to check Dean's bed.

Empty. Untouched.

He fumbled for his cell, surprised that it still lay on his mattress, submerged by a sea of blankets. A wave of concern washed over him. A sense of foreboding. Checking the caller ID he sagged in relief.

"Dean!" he rasped, wondering why he gripped his phone so hard, "Where the hell are you?"

The voice answering him left Sam's heart skip a beat.

"Uh...are you Sam?" a man asked cautiously, uncertain.

Sam was up and alert at the split of a second. "Yes, I'm Sam. Who are you and where is my brother? Why do you have his cell?"

The man cleared his throat, "I'm...my name's Marcus Crown, I'm the owner of a bar in Chester...this is your brother's phone?"

A bar in Chester. So Dean hadn't left the town to get plastered.

"It's his phone, yes...is he still in your bar? Is he drunk, shall I pick him up?" Sam swung his legs from the edge of the bed and scanned the dark room for his clothes. Of course he would get a call from a pissed bar owner. The poor guy wanted to close his premise and Dean lay probably passed out over the counter.

Marcus hesitated. "I...uh...he...well, he got in a fight."

Sam froze. "What?" Nonono.

"He's...he came off second best, I guess. He's kinda...beaten up."

The jeans he grabbed was stained and blackened with soot. His jacket was, too. Sam didn't care. He didn't bother arranging his tousled hair. Minor matters. What mattered was to get to his brother. Now.

"Where?" Sam demanded, approaching his bag with two determined strides and pulling a gun from it. Better safe then sorry.

"The 'Carpenter's Arms'."

"How far is it from the only motel in town?" Please be close. Please be close.

"Walking distance. Just follow the main street northward for about two miles."

"I'll be there. Watch out for him until I'm there." With that, Sam pocketed his cell and was out of the door.

He sprinted down the empty main street as fast as he could, his head reeling. He forced himself to cool down, to stop worrying. If Dean would be hurt badly, the bartender would have called an ambulance first, not him.

But then, why hadn't Dean been the one calling him?

He had forgotten to grab their first aid kit. Damnit. The bar might have one. Or maybe there was another one in the Impala. There used to be two. What had Dean been thinking? Getting drunk, okay, but picking a fight? Probably with a guy two heads taller than him, for all Sam knew.

Damn those guilt trips. Damn those self-loathing sessions. Someday one of those journeys would send Dean far too deep down into the rabbit hole of grief, guilt and pain, to a place even Sam couldn't reach him anymore.

He just hoped Dean hadn't set forth on this journey yet.

Sam stepped it up a notch. The two miles seemed endless. He ignored his protesting legs and the stitches in his side, he just ran. And when he finally arrived at the parking lot of the 'Carpenter's Arms' he was ready to cry out in relief. He passed the Impala, parked all alone in front of the bar, and fought the urge to touch her.

It was ridiculous how much of a family a car could be.

Rushing up the stairs Sam pushed the heavy doors open and found himself on a deserted battleground. Shattered glass and pieces of broken furniture were scattered all over the floor. The arrangement of the tables sure as hell wasn't standard, some were turned over. Glass crunched under Sam's boots.

And there was blood. On the floor. On the bar.

But no Dean.

Running trembling hands through his hair Sam marched into the middle of the room and looked around, searching. Desperate. He opened his mouth to shout when a voice called his name.

"Hey! Are you Sam?" Sounded like Marcus. It came from another room. Or from outside? "Through the kitchen! Back door!"

Something he didn't need to let himself be told twice. Sam was moving and in the kitchen in seconds, stumbling through the back door hastily.

He seemed to crash into an invisible wall, his abrupt stop the reaction to the scene unfolding before him.

Dean lay surrounded by black trash bags next to a steel dumpster on his side. His eyes were closed, Sam couldn't make out any movement. The blood was the worst. Dean's face was darkened by it, the light of a lamp causing his face to glisten. When Sam stepped closer he tried to make out where it came from, tried to find out where to take care first. It came from his nose, his mouth, even from his ears, which alarmed Sam the most.

"Dean?" Sam choked out, and he almost started back when he noticed the small, gaunt man kneeling next to his brother, adjusting a blanket he probably had draped over him earlier. In his shock Sam had just overlooked him.

"Sam? I'm Marcus", the man stood and stepped back from Dean, looking uncertain of how to behave. "He's...I don't know how bad it is...I wanted..."

Sam didn't acknowledge the bar owner. He dropped next to his unconscious sibling and laid a gentle hand on his upper arm. "Hey. Hey, Dean. Can you hear me?" It was almost a whisper, the fear of shattering the fragile remains that were his brother right now too much.

"Should I call an ambulance?" Marcus asked hesitantly.

"No, it's okay, I've got him." Jackass should've called one earlier. "Dean? Come on...open your eyes. It's me. It's Sam."

The sight of his brother's huddled, bloody form in the darkest corner of this filthy alley almost sent Sam's emotions boil over. Whoever had had the nerve to beat up Dean like this and just leave him here, in between the dumpsters like some piece of trash, would pay. Sam would make sure of it.

A weak moan. A feeble attempt to move.

"Shhh. Easy. I got you." Sam's gentle grip on Dean's arm tightened when his destroyed brother tried to move. He wanted to cry. He wanted to scream. He wanted to get the son of a bitch responsible for this and rip his head off.

Sam wasn't sure if Dean realized his presence. He didn't even know if his brother really was awake. The soft whimpering that escaped his bloody lips was proof enough.

Dean just didn't whimper. Never.

Sam's vision blurred. He pressed a clenched fist to his mouth and squeezed his eyes shut. Not wanting to split his attention but needing to know what had happened he turned his head, only so far that his eyes stayed on Dean, but his ear wouldn't miss a single word that left Marcus' mouth.

"Who did this?" he growled through gritted teeth.

"Couple of bikers. Regulars. Listen Sam, I know you must be angry..."

"How many?"

Marcus hesitated. "Five. But they didn't start the fight."

At that, Sam whirled around, gripping Marcus' shirt and pushing him against the opposite wall. "DOES IT MATTER WHO STARTED IT?" he yelled into the stunned man's face, "FIVE AGAINST ONE ISN'T A FAIR FIGHT, DO YOU UNDERSTAND!"

"I...I know", Marcus stuttered, "Sam, I know that. They...they didn't listen to me. I told them to stop. And calling the police wouldn't have helped, they would have stuck to those men, your brother would have ended up in jail. I'm sorry."

Sam's shoulders sagged, he let go of Marcus. Who was he to let off his frustration on the only person in this mess who had tried to help. "No", he whispered, "I'm sorry, okay? It's me who needs to apologize." He patted Marcus shoulder and knelt down at Dean's side again, starting to run his hands along his brother's body.

"I think his arm is broken. The right one. I...", Marcus swallowed, "...heard it break."

Checking the position of the arm, Sam just nodded. He had felt a few broken ribs, too. Touching Dean's face he winced at the amount of blood. And from the swelling Sam was sure the nose and one cheekbone had surrendered as well.

At the poking and prodding Dean's eyes opened. Slowly. And only to slits. Just for a tiny moment. But it was enough.

"S'mmy?" It was barely audible. Unintelligible. It was more a weak sigh then a question.

To Sam it meant the world.

"Hey!" he replied softly, leaning closer to Dean's face, "There you are! Try not to move, okay?"

"'kay..." And Dean went under again. It was an unsettling proof to his condition. But it was also a sign that he knew he was safe. That he knew Sam was there. And that he was okay with Sam taking the wheel and help him.

Sam patted his brother's pockets and pulled the Impala keys out. "I get the car", he stated, "would you help me get him inside? We'll be out of your hair then." He didn't wait for Marcus' answer, just jogged off to the front of the bar.

He let the tears fall. Two or three before he reached the car. Then he wiped his face dry with his sleeve.

Focus, Sam.

Dean needs you composed. Clear headed. Hunter mode.

Maybe he would get his revenge. Find those guys and give them a warning. No one messed with his brother. No demon. No ghost. No human. But for now Dean was his top priority. He'd take him back to the motel and see what he could do. And if the injuries were too serious, he'd take him to the ER. Despite every objection.

And afterwards, when the visible wounds were healed, they would have a talk. They would sit down and talk about what had happened to Katie. What had happened with dad.

What would happen between them when they wouldn't start to trust each other.

He knew that sound.

Where it had failed to soothe him hours ago, now it worked. The rumbling. The purr. The smell of leather and engine oil. He was at home.

When awareness returned, it had pain in tow. Dean didn't dare to breath. To move. To even think. How was it possible to feel so puffy and numb, but hurting so much at the same time?

He had tried to open his eyes. Had it worked? There were flashes of light. Street lamps they passed.

They. They?


Sam was there.

How did he get here? How did Sam find him? Why was he sprawled on the backseat of the Impala?

Memories rushed back like an avalanche, swallowing him completely.

He had totally fucked things up. He knew it. Sam probably knew it, too. He had challenged a bunch of giant, brawny bikers he had been sure wouldn't handle him with kid gloves in the first place. Because the alcohol hadn't been enough.

How sick was that?

Streetlamp after streetlamp passed until his precious car slowed down and seemed to round a corner, coming to a halt.

Would Sam bring him to a hospital? Dean hoped not. But he assumed it. And when he indeed looked like he felt, Sam was probably right.

Through the fog Dean could see his little brother in the driver's seat. Sam wasn't moving, was staring through the windshield at god knows what. Brooding again. That was bad news. A brooding Sam was never a good thing.

When Sam suddenly slammed his hand forcefully against the steering wheel, hissing a "Damnit!" so full of anger and desperation, Dean flinched. He almost gasped in surprise, but succeeded in keeping his hurting mouth shut.

A brooding, angry Sam was never a good thing.

And he was the undoubted cause.

Dean closed his eyes, unwelcome tears blurring his vision further.

Oh yeah, he had fucked things up royally.

Maybe he should open up. Let Sam help. At least give him the chance. Would it hurt to let Sam pull him from this swamp for a while instead of running and find alcohol and trouble that only pushed him deeper down into the muddy, suffocating depths?

Sleep. Aid. Lecture. Emo-talk. In this order.

He could do this. And maybe he'd feel better afterwards.

The end.