AUTHOR'S NOTES: I keep thinking that with all the crap Sam and Dean have been through, both of them could use some psychological help.
SPOILER ALERT: This story will contain stuff from the 6th season including 6.07 in later chapters.
STORY SUMMARY: While Bobby, Samuel, and Castiel help Sam with his problems, Bobby sends Dean to a psychiatrist who specializes in burnt-out hunters.
Dean Winchester looked up from the beer he'd been nursing for the past hour to see the bartender looking at him with a mix of sympathy and regret. "Yeah?" he asked, not really eager to leave yet. There were probably some brain cells in his head still kicking and Dean wasn't in the mood for that tonight. Tonight was about getting drunk.
"Closing time, buddy. Sorry," the bartender replied as he walked up to Dean.
Dean didn't say anything as he dug money out of his pocket and tossed a couple bills onto the bar. After downing the rest of his beer he headed outside into the chilly fall Ohio weather.
After the whole mess with the goddess, Veritas, Dean had just left town. After dropping Sam off at a local ER, Dean just started walking. He didn't even go back for the Impala, just hopped a bus and rode as far as he could.
There was just too much in his head right now, Dean decided as he went to the motel room he was staying at. He wanted… He wasn't even sure what he wanted more at that moment. It was all so confused and tangled and nothing seemed to make sense anymore.
The past few days, Dean had kept pulling out his phone but when he started to dial Lisa's number, he always stopped. He needed her to help him keep his head straight, to provide the calm normalcy that balanced his harsh, violent life as a hunter. But she didn't want him around anymore. Even in his dreams—not that he'd been having many good dreams lately—Lisa would push him away after a tender memory.
Hearing his phone ring, Dean reluctantly looked at the caller ID before answering. Seeing the name 'Bobby' on the display, Dean paused for a second or two before answering. "Yeah?" he asked, expecting to hear the older man shouting at him. He wasn't disappointed.
"Son, if you're sitting alone in some motel watching porn and getting drunk," Bobby Singer's voice said, sounding both concerned and annoyed. "—I am going to come over there and kick your ass until you tell me just what the hell is going on!"
Dean sank onto the bed with a long sigh as he said, "Well, I am at a motel. And honestly, I think I left drunk about an hour ago." Well, not quite, Dean thought to himself. He'd been pretty steady on his feet as he'd walked toward the motel.
"Damnit, Dean," Bobby said, sounding exasperated. "What's going on? Sam showed up yesterday in the Impala alone! And then he told me that you were the one who kept hitting him till he was unconscious!"
"Is he okay?" Dean asked, wondering just how bad he'd hurt his brother. Sam had been pretty out of it on the way to the hospital.
"You broke his nose and cracked his cheekbone," Bobby replied, simply, as he seemed to calm down. "He's pretty sore but he's okay. Worried about you, though." When Dean didn't reply, Bobby went on. "You got a pen handy?"
Dean ran a hand over his face-every passing second seemed to make him feel 10 years older. "Bobby, I'm not in the mood for a job right now."
"It's not a job," Bobby assured him. "I just need you to do me a favor."
Although he was tempted to say 'still not in the mood', he refrained. Last thing he needed right now was Bobby jumping down his throat again for being an ingrate. "Okay, hang on," Dean muttered, grabbing a notepad and a pencil from the drawer of the nightstand. "Shoot."
"Friend of mine named Dallas Morgan," Bobby said, simply. "Lives in Colorado, just south of Boulder."
"Okay," Dean said as he wrote down the exact address, somewhat confused about why the older hunter was telling him this.
There was a pause and then Bobby added, "I'll wire you money for a rental car. Soon as you can, go see her."
"Why?" Dean asked, wearily. "Who is she?"
"A psychiatrist," Bobby replied.
At that, Dean let out an exasperated sigh. "Bobby, I'm—"
"If you say 'okay' so help me, God, I'll come down there and drag you there myself!" Bobby snapped, but the anger in his voice was mixed with concern. "You are so far from okay, Dean! Sam told me what's going on." After he'd calmed down, he sighed. "I'll help your brother. You just take care of you for a while, alright?"
Dean didn't like the situation but he had a feeling that Bobby wasn't going to drop the subject until he agreed. "Okay, Bobby. I'll go. I promise."
"I'll call that angel of yours to help me with Sam," the older hunter added after a moment.
Dean didn't protest and after he hung up, he wondered if maybe Bobby didn't have the right idea. Obviously, Dean was in trouble and maybe talking things out would help him get his head together. Figuring he'd try and get some sleep, he removed his wallet and gun and flopped down on the lumpy bed and closed his eyes, hoping tonight at least he'd be able to avoid dreams of Lisa.
The Previous Day…
When Bobby opened the door of his house, seeing Sam looking like he'd been worked over several times made him worry but what worried him more was the fact that Sam was alone and driving the Impala. "What happened?" Bobby had asked as he let Sam inside. Had Dean done this in an effort to get to the truth about his brother? Or had something happened to Dean that was unrelated to Sam's situation?
"I need help, Bobby," Sam had replied, simply, before telling Bobby what he'd said to Dean earlier.
Once Bobby ran through the usual salt/silver/holy water tests—using his own supplies this time—he hesitated before asking, "Dean hit you?"
"Yeah," Sam replied, calmly. He hated that Dean had done it but it was too late for that now. "Bobby, I don't know what's wrong with me. I want to find out."
"I hear ya," Bobby replied, thinking. But as he ran down the list of what could be wrong with Sam, he kept coming up empty. "Okay, well, we know you're not a demon or a shifter." After a second, Bobby's expression turned grim. "Unless you're something we've never seen before."
"Great, Bobby. Thanks," Sam said, derisively. "Glad you're looking on the bright side."
"Oh, quit whining," Bobby snapped as Sam sat down on the couch in the living room. "Look, if it'll make you feel better we can lock you up down in the panic room."
"It's not necessary," Sam insisted. Just the idea of Bobby's salt-coated iron panic room brought up awful memories of detoxing from demon blood. But after a moment, he pulled his phone out and brought up his directory.
As Bobby went to get some of the newer books he'd started keeping around, he looked over at Sam who was calling someone on his cellphone. "Who're you callin'?"
"Samuel," Sam replied, looking away as he heard his grandfather pick up.
When Dean pulled up to the old stone house, he wondered if he was doing the right thing. For that matter, he wondered if this shrink knew what was out there or if he'd have to spin a whole cover story off the top of his head. He really hoped that wasn't the case since he wasn't in the mood to lie like that right now. For a few minutes, he just sat in the rental car, wondering what Bobby would do if he just left and headed up to the salvage yard instead. But Bobby would probably just bring him back. "Screw it," Dean said as he got out of the car and headed up to the front door, knocking lightly.
He wasn't sure what he'd expected the shrink to look like, but for some reason Dean was still surprised when Dr. Dallas Morgan opened the door. She was about 45 years old, a redhead, and looked like she could probably hold her own in a fight—not exactly typical for a shrink. "Hey," Dean said, looking around as Dr. Morgan stepped aside to let him in.
"So you're Dean Winchester," she said with a smile as she looked him over. "You look tired. Coffee?"
"Yeah, sure," Dean replied, following the shrink down the hall and into a comfortable office. Once he had a cup of black coffee in his hands, he looked the doctor over before glancing around the room. There was weaponry all over and old tomes were piled up on the bookshelves. "Hunter?" he asked, looking back to Dr. Morgan.
"My husband was," Dr. Morgan replied with a slight shrug. Seeing Dean's sympathetic look, she smiled. "He retired. He's a trucker now. These past few years I've been learning the trade from what other hunters have told me during sessions." She sat down in one of the armchairs and gestured for Dean to sit down as well. "Honestly, I don't know how you people do it. All the demons and death… It's enough to drive anyone crazy."
"I hear that," Dean muttered. He remembered when he and Sam had gotten themselves into a mental hospital to help a fellow hunter. Lately he'd been thinking of checking in again. Hell, that was probably where he belonged right now. "Look, I-I'm not exactly good at the whole sharing my feelings thing, Doc, so…"
"How about we start with you calling me Dallas?" She said with a smile. When Dean nodded and took a long drink of his coffee, she continued. "Look, Bobby practically talked my ear off about you. What you've been through—your brother, your parents, your friends… You are not the worst I've ever seen, Dean. And you're here so that means you want to help yourself. So… Let's start from the beginning. Tell me about your parents."
Dean leaned back in his chair and thought for a few moments. "Mom came from a long line of hunters. Dad started after she died when I was four. He wanted to hunt down the demon that killed Mom. He trained me and Sam to be hunters as well." That was all he meant to say but as he thought about everything his father put him and Sam through, he added, "There are still times I hate him for it. I hate that he put so much on Sam and me."
Dean tried to swallow back the tears that he'd been fighting for days but he just couldn't. Sniffing, he said, "We didn't deserve it. It was his fight, his obsession and he dragged us into it! He could never see what all those years did to Sam. What it did to me."
Dallas sighed and leaned forward. Deciding to change subjects for a while to let Dean calm down, she said, "Tell me about Sam."
Dean rolled his eyes as he tried not to completely break down. "First thing Dad ever told me was to watch out for Sam. It's been my whole life, just looking out for my brother." Sniffling again, he managed to regain a small amount of composure. "It's always been my job. Protect Sam; don't let anything happen to him… And right now just the idea that something's wrong with my brother just—"
Seeing that they were getting into current events, Dallas held up a hand to stop Dean. She wanted to know more about the history of the Winchester Brothers. "Start from the beginning," she instructed.
Dean nodded and let out a long breath before starting over. "Mom died when Sam was six months old. I was four. Dad handed Sam to me and told me to take him outside. Dad made it out of the house just before the fire consumed everything." It was his first memory and despite all the horrible things he'd seen after that—even including Hell—it was still the most vivid memory he had. "We stayed with some of Dad's old Marine buddies for the next week," Dean went on, continuing the story. "Then Dad became obsessed with finding what killed Mom."
"And while he was hunting this demon," Dallas said, following along with the tale. "—your father kept telling you to watch out for your brother."
Dean nodded. "I never thought of it back then, but… Sometimes I wonder if Dad knew that the demon would be going after Sam later on."
"What do you mean?" Dallas asked, curious.
Dean took a moment to finish his coffee before going on. "That night—when Sam was a baby—the demon bled into Sam's mouth. Basically, the son of a bitch made Sam into a… a part-demon… freak." But that wasn't how he really felt about Sam. Afraid he was giving the wrong impression, Dean added, "But you know, it doesn't matter what kind of crazy crap Sammy gets into, I'll be there. Because for better or worse, he's my brother. And he's just about all the family I have left."