Dean is panting and his knuckles are aching and Sam is on the floor unconscious and bloody. Dean can still hear Sam's lies, still hear Veritas telling him Sam isn't human. That's not what hurts though, that's not what finally got him to snap. It's that the only person who wants to be his family, without trying to fit him into some kind of 'normal' is Sam. His little brother and Sam can't even tell him when he doesn't feel right. Can't confide in him at all apparently and the hole of empty loneliness that always crops up when he looses something that resembles family just imploded and he couldn't help but lash out.

Now though, the anger and rage are gone, leeched away into grief and heartache. He checks to make sure Sam doesn't have a broken nose, or any permanent damage before he sits himself against the nearby pillar. Ragged breaths are the only thing he can hear and his heart is pounding against his chest. What is he going to do now? How can he possibly fix this? His eyes are stinging, his throat clenching and each intake of air is proceeded by a half sob.

Dean pulls his knees close to his chest, wraps his hands around his head and places his elbows on his thighs. He's trembling with the force it takes not to cry, not to let the tears loose because if he does then he knows he won't be able to stop. Because he hasn't cried for his brother yet, hasn't grieved like he should have. He didn't want to be a burden to Lisa, or Ben. Didn't know how to start being normal without just stuffing his old life away in the garage where he only visited it when he was too drunk to stop himself.

There's a groan and a whispered "Dean?" But he can't answer he's too busy trying to breath, trying to get the air in and out of his lungs without suffocating on his grief and pain.

Shuffling and more groans of pain before he can feel hands on his arms, tugging at him. "Dude? What's wrong?"

The way Sam said it was like a punch to his gut. Sam really couldn't feel anything anymore. The words were right but the tone was off the expression forced. That was when he couldn't hold it in anymore. Tears were running down his face and every breath was like a small wail of pain.

"Dean? God...I didn't. I don't know..." The expression on Sam's face, still bloodied and starting to swell in several places, turned from that forced concern to confused and agitated. That was real. At least there was still something of his brother in there.

Dean launched himself at his baby brother. Needing to know he was still there, even if he was something different now. "Please Sam, don't pretend. Not anymore."

"Dean?" Sam raised his arms awkwardly to wrap around Dean's chest and whispered. "Yeah, okay. Whatever you want."

Dean didn't know if they were ever going to figure out what was wrong with Sam. Didn't want to make a promise that he couldn't keep. Not again. But he could make sure that Sam didn't have to pretend to be anything more or less than what he already was. Because if it was one thing Dean knew about it was that pretending just made it hurt more when people figured out you aren't who they want you to be.