Sam was sleeping outside again. Bobby had given up trying to get him to come inside. He woke up when he heard the gravel crunching under someone's feet.
"You know they went back to torturing me after you disappeared," Adam said bitterly.
"I figured they would," Sam answered tonelessly. He wondered if this was just a new take on his nightmare. He knew it wasn't though.
Adam pulled out a knife and lunged at Sam. Sam easily ducked it and pulled it out of Adam's hands. What Adam was failing to realize was that Sam wasn't strapped down here, kept helpless for Adam by Michael and Lucifer.
Bobby came running outside. He had heard the commotion. He pulled out his shotgun. "Get out of here, boy!" he yelled to Adam. He didn't want to kill one of John Winchester's sons, but Sam meant more to him than this one. He barely knew this one.
Adam ran out into the night.
"Why didn't you kill him?" Sam asked. He would have if Bobby hadn't intervened.
"Can't just go around killing people, Sam." Bobby was surprised. Sam was always the first person against killing people. He wondered how else Hell had changed him.
In the morning, Bobby called Dean. "Hey, something happened last night."
"What is it? Is Sam OK?"
"He's fine, but your other brother showed up and tried to kill him. I scared him off and Sam got mad at me for not plugging Adam."
"I'm coming," Dean said, knowing there would be no quick fix to this.
Dean arrived at Bobby's at night. He called to Sam as he walked in the yard, not wanting to spook him. A spooked hunter is a dangerous hunter.
"Dean, what are you doing here?" Sam asked.
"You really think you should be sleeping outside when someone wants to kill you?" Dean asked instead of answering the question.
"Bobby called you." It was a statement, not a question.
"You should have called me."
"I can take Adam. I'm bigger than him."
"Not really the point, Sam. We need to work this out. All three of us. We're brothers."
"He tortured me, Dean," Sam reminded him.
"Do you know how many people I tortured when I was in Hell?" Dean asked, trying to get Sam to understand. "If the tables were turned, don't you think you might have tortured him?"
"I don't know. But, I didn't. I can't be punished for something I might have done," Sam said, his old law school training coming back.
"I'm not talking about punishing you, Sam. I'm talking about forgiving Adam."
"I don't want his forgiveness." Adam had managed to sneak up behind them while they were arguing.
"Adam, I'm glad you're OK," Dean said.
"I've got no beef with you," Adam said. "This is between me and Sam. He's the one who pulled me into the pit with him."
"And you tortured him. You're even," Dean declared. He was the oldest. What he said went.
"Not hardly," Sam and Adam said at the same time.
"Sam, Adam did what he had to do," Dean said.
"You're on his side," Sam said, sounding like a hurt three year old.
"I'm not on anybody's side," Dean assured him.
"That's almost worse. You should be on my side," Sam begged. Dean had always been on his side. Even against their father, who Dean idolized.
Dean didn't have much time to consider that. Sam just turned and walked away. Adam considered going after him, but decided it would hurt Sam even more, if Dean were to choose him. He had just spent what felt like an eternity with Lucifer. If anyone could manipulate, it was him.
"You're right, Dean," Adam said, nearly choking on the words. "It wasn't really Sam's fault. But, I had to torture him, so they wouldn't torture me. I felt terrible doing it and then I hated him for it. Hell really messes you up."
Dean smiled. That was an understatement. "it sure does. Don't worry. Sam will come around."
Adam frowned. "I don't have anywhere to go."
"You can stay with me and Lisa for a while," Dean offered.
"She won't mind?"
Dean had no idea, but Adam was family. Family came first. "Nah."
A few months later
"Bobby," Sam said when Bobby answered his phone.
"Where you been, boy. I've been worried sick," Bobby scolded.
"Hunting," Sam answered without apology.
"Have you heard from Dean?" Sam asked. He had felt bad about the way he left, but he had too much pride to reach out to Dean himself. It was like Stanford all over again.
Bobby hesitated. He wasn't sure if he should tell Sam that Dean had taken Adam in or not. But then he decided lying and hiding things was the Winchester way. And he wasn't a Winchester.
"Yeah, once in a while. He took Adam back to Lisa's."
"Oh," Sam said. He considered that the ultimate betrayal. He chatted with Bobby a little longer and then hung up.
He fumed about the whole Adam/Dean situation for days. If the roles had been reversed, he wouldn't be so quick to forgive Dean's torturer. He knew it probably all came down to the fact that Dean harbored resentment about him "ditching them for Stanford." How many times had he brought that up over the years?
He decided for once, he wasn't going to do things the Winchester way. He was going to go to Indiana and confront Dean. He didn't care if it was a girl thing to do. Dean owed him an explanation. He had gone to Hell to save the world.
Sam pulled up outside of Dean and Lisa's house. He was happy that Dean had this life. He wished he could have it with Jessica, but he didn't begrudge his brother. The only thing he was mad about was Adam.
Sam got out of the car and rang the doorbell. Adam answered. "Is Dean here?" Sam asked as hostilely as he could.
"He is, but he doesn't want to see you," Adam said.
Sam rolled his eyes. He would only believe that from Dean himself. Just because Dean betrayed him didn't mean he didn't still love him. Or did it?
"Who is it?" Dean asked as he walked up to the door.
"Sammy!"Dean said and smiled his goofy smile.
"Hey, Dean. Can I talk to you?" Sam asked.
"No, you can't have him back," Adam said and pulled a knife from his back pocket. Ever since Hell, he felt better if he had a way to defend himself.
He lunged towards Sam and before Sam had time to react, Dean stabbed Adam with a knife of his own.
"Thanks," Sam said. He didn't know what else to say. "How did you know?" Dean had reacted way too fast to have been caught off guard by that.
"When I heard your voice, I was afraid he might be planning to hurt you or kill you. Every time I bring up your name, the hatred in his eyes is immense," Dean said, remembering the last few times he had tried to draw Adam out about Sam. He had wanted to reconcile his two brothers so badly. "I couldn't let him hurt you. You're my brother."
"But, I thought he was your brother, too?" Sam was confused. He had thought Dean had chosen Adam over him.
"Not like you are." Dean cleared his throat. This was getting to be a little too chick flicky. "Come on. We have to take care of this mess before Ben and Lisa get back.
They salted and burned the body and cleaned up the blood. It was kind of like the old days, except for the fact that Dean really felt bad about what he had just done. He would do anything to save Sam. Nothing would ever change that. But, Adam was his brother, too, and he had killed him. He remembered what John had whispered to him before dying. "One day you may have to kill your brother." He had meant, Sam, of course, but Dean had finally done it.