Afraid to Say It

Summary: "Dean, I'm scared, man. These nightmares weren't bad enough, now I'm seein' things when I'm awake? And these visions, or whatever, they're getting more intense, and painful." Written for the Summer of Sam Celebration 2010.

Tag to 1.14: Nightmare (alternate ending)

Beta: none- look Ma any hands!

Word Count: 2126

Disclaimer: I don't own them.

By: supernaturaldh

Afraid to Say It

Sam leans his weary head against the Impala's passenger window. His breath fogs up the glass. He's been pretending to be asleep for awhile now; ever since they'd left Saginaw, Michigan, ever since they'd left Max Miller - - dead.

He isn't sure how much longer he can keep the act up. Pretending everything's okay.

The car tires hum along the roadway causing a constant buzz that's humming deep inside his head. The sound bleeds into the music that Dean's got blaring on the radio.

He can't stop thinking about Max.

His burrows deeper into his corduroy jacket and unconsciously rubs his thumb and forefinger against his throbbing skull. He'd tell Dean he's got a headache but he doesn't want to dump anymore crap on his big brother. He just prays it's not a 'vision' headache at this point.

Dean, I'm scared, man. These nightmares weren't bad enough, now I'm seeing things when I'm awake? And these visions, or whatever, they're getting more intense, and painful.

He bites his lower lip and scrunches his eyes shut. He hates this - all of it. He doesn't want to be different. He can still hear Max's voice inside his head - talking about his mother - how she died - pinned to the ceiling - burning to death inside his nursery. My mother died the same way Max – we must be connected, but how? He can still see Max blowing his brains out with Dean's handgun. I should've saved him.

His head's pounding now. He tugs his hand up and rubs at his aching temple. He slumps in further against the passenger seat, leaning his forehead against the car door, eyes staring at the shadows that go whizzing by outside along the road. He vividly remembers the conversation with Dean before they left Saginaw. The words still bounce around inside his head.

It just came out of me, like a punch. You know, like a freak adrenaline thing.

Well, I'm sure it won't happen again.

Yeah well, maybe. Aren't you worried, man, aren't you worried that I could turn into Max or something?

Nope. No way. You know why?

No. Why?

'Cause you've got one advantage that Max didn't have.

Dad - - Because Dad's not here, Dean?

No. Me. As long as I'm around, nothing bad is going to happen to you.

He sighs. He hopes that Dean is right. He bites his lip and holds back a sob, mashes his forehead harder into the cool window and slowly shuts his eyes.

-0-

Dean's been watching his baby brother out of his peripheral for the last two hundred miles.

Sam isn't looking too damn good.

They've been driving all day to get away from Saginaw - away from Max Miller's house -away from the kid blowing his brains out. It was bloody, it was bad. He shakes his head, attempts to push the memory from his thoughts. He's worried about all of it, but mostly, he's just worried about Sam. Kid has barely said a word since we left Saginaw.

He lets his eyes dart across the bench one more time to take in his brother. He sighs, taps his fingers on the steering wheel and attempts to mask his fears.

We're not going to kill Max.

Then what? Hand him over to the cops and say, "Lock him up, Officer. He kills with the power of his mind."

Sam isn't like Max. He knows his brother isn't. He should talk to Sam, but that's not easy when the kids all bunched up in a knot. He really doesn't want to deal with it all yet, so, he'll just keep his mouth shut and let the music fill the car.

Another hundred miles go by.

Max Millers mother died like Mom? He can't imagine how that must make Sammy feel. He can't believe it himself. It just came out of me, like a punch. You know, like a freak adrenaline thing. What is up with that? Sam can move things with his mind – holy shit!

He grips and releases the steering wheel in agitation.

He's mad at himself too. He really messed up. If only I hadn't taken that damn gun in with me….stupid, stupid thing to do. He can still see brains being splattered on the wall. He can still see the stunned look on Sam's face. It's all still to vivid and he blinks his eyes to get the image from his head.

He huffs out a weary breath and glances over at the kid again. Sam's wild hair is covering his features. He can't see his little brother's face and that kind of makes him nervous.

Contrary to common belief, big brothers do care about little brothers.

He flips the radio off.

Tires hum against the road.

Silence hangs inside the car.

After several uncomfortable moments, Dean clears his throat. "I know you're not asleep over there." He states.

At that, Sam tilts his head up slightly and looks expressionlessly across the car.

Although the light is dim Dean can still see the pained expression in his little brother's eyes.

Dean frowns.

"You got a headache?" He asks softly, although he's sure he already knows

Sam just nods his head.

Dean's got one hand on the steering wheel now while the other is fumbling for something underneath the bench seat of the car.

"Yahtzee!" He grins at Sam.

He pulls a bottle of pain reliever from its hidden spot beneath the seat and waggles it gleefully in the air. He unceremoniously dumps the bottle in his little brother's lap.

Sam pinches the bridge of his nose. He doesn't say a word. He doesn't need to. It's obvious; Dean already knows he's got a headache.

"You should have said something sooner." Dean fusses. "Hell, I should've said something sooner." He drags one hand across his tired face. "It's just…" He sighs loudly. "I'll find us a motel."

The older brother watches as Sam picks up the Tylenol bottle and dry swallows three pills. His chest clinches. He wants to beat the shit out of something. Instead, he pushes his foot harder against the accelerator and the car barrels faster down the road.

-0-

Dean moves slowly into the motel room. He doesn't turn on the lights, what's the point; they just need to go to bed.

The older brother drops his bag to the floor and then falls, haphazardly, and face first, against the lumpy motel mattress. He doesn't think Sam is up for talking just now, and actually, that's quite alright with him. They'll talk later.

Sam lugs his own bag into the motel room behind Dean. He shuts the door with his booted foot and looks around the sparsely furnished room. He sighs. Slowly he places his duffle bag down on the dirty motel carpet by the bed furthest from the door. He sighs again and sets down heavily on the edge of his bed. He looks across at Dean. His brother already looks to be asleep, and well, that's okay, 'cause Sam doesn't need to talk.

He rubs at his tired eyes with his thumb and forefinger. His thoughts are sluggish, his feelings overflowing, and he's just so freaking tired. He already knows that he's not going to be able to get to sleep. He's too stressed out; too many things are running around inside his aching head. He stares down at the floor and runs a shaky had through his all too messy hair. What if I'm like Max? He exhales. What if what if what if?

Warm tears well up in his eyes and he tries to blink them back.

Don't cry Dean will hear. Don't cry Dean will hear.

Dean dozes for a moment. In a half asleep half awake state he vaguely hears Sam's bag drop down against the floor. He hears the other bed squeak with his little brother's weight. Sam sighs. He wants the kid to get some sleep. Things will look better in the morning, they always do.

"Sam, get in the bed." He says. His words are muffled by the pillow he has scrunched against his face. He listens; doesn't hear Sam move at all. He pulls his head up and blinks his tired eyes open. He squints across the darkened room.

Sam's sitting on the edge of the bed, long bangs covering his downcast eyes. His elbows are on his knees, his hands clasped loosely between his legs. He's staring blankly at the floor and Dean still can't see his face.

"SAM…" Dean says louder. "Go To Bed." The older brother drops his head back to the pillow, shuts his eyes, and nuzzles in.

Slow minutes pass and Dean is drifting in and out of sleep.

"Dean." Sam says softly.

"Go – To – Sleep."

"De…"

Sam sniffles.

Dean's head darts back up. He fully opens his eyes and peers across at Sam. Kid hasn't used my nickname in years. He strains to get a better look at his baby brother in the pale moonlight from the motel window.

"Sammy?" he says curiously. He looks inquisitively at Sam.

"D-e –A- n," Sam hiccups out unevenly. He seems to wobble on the edge of the bed.

Dean sits up. Is Sam crying? He's at Sam's side in record time. He wraps his fingers tightly around his brothers unsteady arm, attempts to push him backwards down against the bed. Kid just needs some sleep.

"Lie down Sam," he urges. "Just…just …you need to get some rest."

"No," Sam states abruptly. He doesn't want to go to sleep. He might dream. He doesn't want to dream.

He fights to stay upright, pushing harshly against Dean's hold.

"Sam - - STOP!"

After several tense moments Sam sags back into Dean - - and its then, that the tears break loose. He can't hold them back any longer. The feelings that have been stalking him all day long just come bubbling to the top. He sobs uncontrollably, his whole body shaking with the sound. He gasps for air as tear drops roll down his distraught face. He grabs at Dean's tee-shirt, his hands twisting and turning at the edge of the fabric.

Okay, Dean thinks, we probably should have talked.

"Sam?" Dean pulls little brother up against his side and rests his head against his chest. "It's okay Sammy, it's going to be okay, you'll see…"

Sam hiccups in some air. He cries harder.

"I…I just…I don't want to…." Sam's weak voice trails off.

He's grabbing at Dean desperately, pushing his face into his older brother's chest. I can't say it, because it might just make it so.

Dean blinks back the warm tears that have welled up in his eyes. Damn chick flick moments. He pulls Sam closer, wraps his brother in his arms. Sam's hanging on to him like there's no freaking tomorrow, like he's going to fall apart.

He pats Sam lightly on the back, pushes the dark wobbly head into the crook of his shoulder blade - - and lets his brother cry.

They set like that for a while, until Dean's feeling stiff and out of sorts. He'd let go, but he thinks not. If this is what Sam needs right now, then he's okay with that? He frowns slightly. Huh? Go figure. He feels Sam's brown hair tickle at his chin and it makes him almost smile, if this wasn't so freaking serious, he would. It kind of reminds him of another time, when they were just kids, when Sam was little and just needed Dean to make it all okay. It was sure a heck of a lot easier back then.

Dean sighs.

"You don't want to what Sammy?" The older brother finally asks.

Several minutes pass. The clock on the nightstand and Sam's strangled breathing the only sound that Dean can hear.

He knows his little brother is trying to pull himself together, trying to sort things out; to rationalize everything in that big old head of his.

He rubs his thumb in tiny circles against the base of Sam's neck.

Sam cuffs at his damp red swollen eyes.

"Dean?" the younger brother chokes out in an almost wordless sob.

Dean just holds on tighter. Sam sounds all of five years old.

"I… I don't…I don't want to…I don't want to be like Max."

THE END!

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