Title: What Is and What Will Always Be
Summary: The Mother of All is dead. They should be celebrating, right? So why is Sam so furious at Dean? And once Dean gets to the bottom of Sam's anger, is that it? Or is there something more going on?
Just a bit of angsty, upset Sam and big-brother Dean…'cause September is too far away!
Author's Note 1: This was written for two reasons. The first one is that after watching 6.19, Mommy Dearest, I just couldn't believe that Sam would just let slide what Dean had done. So this is a tag of sorts to that episode and contains spoilers up until that point.
The second being I needed an outlet for the frustration that has been growing regarding my minivan. That van has given me nothing but trouble since I got the damn thing home and if I didn't do something, I was going to take a tire iron to it. So I figured, hey, Dean took out his frustrations on the Impala once…I'll have Sam help me with mine. So I wrote it into the story…I feel so much better now! :)
So, the little bunny wouldn't leave me alone…and this is the result. It's not exactly how I had pictured it, but once I started writing, well…Sam and Dean decided that this is where they wanted it to go. And we all know just how stubborn and set in their ways the boys are. It ended up being longer than I expected (per usual with me), so I split it up into two chapters.
Author's Note 2: I have to thank the wonderful and lovely Ceillean for giving this the once over and catching all my mistakes, as well all the great advice she provided. Hugs Sweetie!
~ SPN ~
It didn't take long to locate Sam amongst the towering stacks of crushed and rusted out old vehicles piled around the Salvage Yard.
The shattering of glass had given him away instantly.
Dean made sure to stop well outside of the debris field and leaned up against the trunk of a beat up old Mustang. He stuffed his hands into his jacket pocket and crossed his legs at the ankles, making himself a bit more comfortable as he watched his younger brother pace in front of him like a caged lion. The old rusted tire iron he was swinging back and forth was clenched so tightly in his fist that his knuckles were white from the effort. Even through two shirts, Dean could see the muscles in his younger brother's back bunched taut.
Dean wasn't surprised by the outburst. He had been expecting it. He was only surprised that it had taken his brother this long to erupt.
With him, Sam and Bobby all trading off, they had made the seventeen hundred mile trip from Oregon back to South Dakota in less than twenty hours. It was by unspoken agreement that they had all kept the conversation light, none of them wanting to delve further into the possible implications of Cas knowing that the bones he'd burned weren't Crowley's.
Or what that could possibly mean for all their futures.
Sam had joined in on the conversations, had even tossed a couple of his own topics into the ring of discussion. He had hid his inner turmoil well; if it had been anyone but Sam, the older Winchester might have missed it. But Dean had always been able to see right through him, he had known it was all just pretense. A forced veil of exterior calm and normalcy.
Well, normal according to the Winchester scale, at least.
He had said just enough, done all the right things, so as to distract his older brother from realizing he was brooding about something.
Sam should know better by now.
There's nothing that they could hide from one another.
"That's quite the remodel job you've done on that Windstar, dude," Dean said casually.
Every window of the blue minivan was smashed. The hole in the front windshield had a perfect imprint of the tire iron, the cracks leafed off in all directions making it look like a giant spider had spun her web in the glass. The grill lay in pieces on the ground. The headlights, and taillights as well Dean would hazard a guess to say, were smashed. Dents to numerous to count littered the doors and hood. Not one part of the vehicle seemed to be untouched.
"I think you missed a spot, though." Dean remarked offhandedly, pointing to the driver's side mirror even though he knew his brother couldn't see the gesture.
Sam stopped mid-swing, not surprised at all by his brother's presence behind him. He glanced at the mirror to his left, instinctively knowing that was where his older brother had pointed. Feet planted firmly in the dirt, Sam twisted his upper body, swinging the tire iron up over his shoulder and then let loose with all the pent up frustration he had.
Dean blew out a low whistle as he watched the mirror sail through the air, landing three quarters of the way across the yard, the clanging and rattling echoing in the distance as it tumbled down through the heaps of cars. "We should send you out to the Majors, we'd make a fortune."
Sam whirled around quickly, his mouth set in a tight line and his eyes hard as he glared at his older brother. Dean raised his hands in a placating gesture, then ran his thumb and forefinger across his mouth, effectively locking his lips shut with an imaginary zipper.
Dean didn't say another word. The last thing he wanted to do was to further enrage his already infuriated kid brother. He knew Sam as well as he knew himself, and intuitively understood what made the kid tick. The harder you pushed Sam for answers, the more he would pull away. Give him his space and a little time and he would start the conversation for you. That was something that their dad had never learned.
Dean was torn from his thoughts by movement out of the corner of his eye, and he watched as wispy clouds of dry dirt settled around the tire iron that had been unceremoniously tossed aside.
He glanced back to Sam who still stood with his back towards him. The only movement was the rise and fall of his shoulders as he took deep breaths in an attempt to get himself back under some semblance of control. Dean knew that he was being partially successful as he watched the corded muscles in his younger brother's neck and arms relax slightly.
Dean bided his time, he knew it wouldn't be long now.
"My first thought," Sam said suddenly, then huffed out an almost manic laugh, "well, not my first thought, cause that probably wouldn't've gone over too well…was why?
But then I realized that was stupid, ya know. I already knew why; desperation, out of options and all that stupid shit."
Sam's tone was eerily calm, but Dean knew there was a storm brewing on the horizon and he was just waiting for it's full fury to be unleashed.
Sam finally turned around to look at his older brother. Some where, some time, Dean had heard the phrase the eyes are the windows to your soul, probably from some Angel that had meddled in their lives at some point. Dean was confident that saying had been invented specifically with his brother in mind.
Sam's eyes were always so full of life. Always held so much expression in their hazel depths. With one glance, Dean could tell his frame of mind, his very mood; see his true feelings reflected there.
Now was no different.
Dean saw a dozen different emotions swimming in them right now, each one warring for the top spot and a chance to be let free. Anger, on the brink of fury, and frustration Dean had expected to see; but it was the anxiety, bordering on worry and panic that sent a bolt of fear straight through Dean.
Dean ran his hand across his stubbled chin, the events of the last week whipping through his mind, as he searched furiously for anything…any clue...that would help him understand what had happened, what he had missed, that would have upset his brother like this.
And it's not like there wasn't a lot to choose from.
Winchester luck had struck again and things had gone from bad to worse to disastrous.
Sure, they had killed the Mother of All. But not before she had used an entire town as her own personal beta test subjects for her monster of the week project; or seeing yet another monster take on the visage of their mother to try and force them into a deal; and then there was the one seemingly bright spot of the entire screwed up hunt that had ended with tragic and heartbreaking results.
It had been like peering into a looking glass when they had come across Ryan and his big brother Joe. Dean would never admit out loud to having feeling, let alone one's he undoubtedly would tease Sam with and tell him he was being a girl, but it had been heartwarming watching them together. By the light he had seen in Sam's eyes and the slight nostalgic smile on his face, the same memories of their own childhood were playing in his mind.
Both boys had endured every test for the supernatural that he and Sam had been taught, and they had passed them all with flying colors.
Finding them alive, unaffected by Eve's handiwork and being able to return them safely to relatives and keep them out of harm's way had felt great.
Saving innocents. Protecting them from evil. It was what the job was all about; before it had been complicated by Destiny, Angels, Demons, Heaven, Hell and the Apocalypse.
It had been a very long time since either him or Sam had felt that way.
Dean should have known it was too good to be true. Or to last.
Little Ryan had been experimented on by Eve, and had won the prize. Her experiments finally meeting with success. Ryan had been turned into the perfect monster; the ability to walk, live and interact with humans and other creatures. All the while being totally undetectable.
It didn't matter that there had been no way to detect what he had become. Or to even save him from the fate that had already befallen him.
He and Sam had been the one's who had let him go free.
Ryan had bitten and turned his brother and then they had killed their uncle. They themselves had been killed before he and Sam could get there; by of all things Demons. Which only added more chaos and unanswered questions to an already complicated and convoluted mess.
So, no. Dean wouldn't begrudge his brother his anger. He had more than enough legitimate reasons to lash out. Probably more than most. It was the rest of what he saw in his little brother's eyes that had alarm bells ringing and his heart racing.
Sam tipped his head, furrowing his brow in thoughtful confusion. "What I want to know is….why?"
The pleading vulnerability that had laced Sam's tone and the slight hitch in his voice would have been imperceptible - to anyone who hadn't been attuned to his every ache and pain for the past twenty-eight years.
Only Sam was capable of putting so many feelings and emotions into one simple three letter word. Suddenly it wasn't his twenty-eight year old, six foot four brother in front of him, but six year old Sammy looking to his big brother for all the answers.
And Dean still didn't even know what the question was.
"You're being a little vague there, bro," Dean said, forcing his voice to remain calm and dropping his tone to one he used only with Sam. He took a couple of steps away from the car he was leaning against, closing the distance between himself and Sam, mindful to not crowd his brother in the already tight spacing of the aisles. He kept his movements slow and non-threatening, trying to diffuse his brother's temper. "Gonna have to give me a little more to go on."
"Vague! I'm being vague?" Sam nodded his head, clenching his jaw shut, his lips drew into a tight line as he took a deep breath through his nose and blew it out. His hands fisted tightly, but he kept them securely at his sides, resisting the urge to go back to his original plan of simply beating some sense into his obviously thick-headed big brother.
Sam tipped his head, eyes wide in disbelief as he looked at his brother, shocked that he even needed to explain any of this. "Okay, how about this?"
"What the hell were you thinking, Dean!"
Sam's deep yell reverberated off the piles of wrecked, junk vehicles surrounding them. He unclenched his hands, running them agitatedly through his hair as he resumed pacing a tight circle.
"You know I know that you're not stupid, right?" Sam glanced at his brother as if waiting for an answer or seeking confirmation. Dean opened his mouth to offer up a response but Sam's continued tirade cut him off.
Obviously that was a rhetorical question, Dean thought wryly to himself.
"Far from it; your smart, cunning, calculating. Oh, and we can't forget stubborn and reckless. But this," Sam threw his hands up in the air, spinning back to once again look at his brother, " this was so far outside of reckless, I don't even think insane covers it."
Sam paused, waiting for Dean to jump in with an explanation, but all he received was an expression of confusion and bafflement.
Sam stared incredulously at his brother for a moment and felt what little control he had gained on his rising temper quickly evaporate, anger once again boiling to the surface at the realization that his older brother still didn't have a clue as to what he had done or why he was so upset.
"Don't You Dare!" Sam fumed, eyes sparking as he cut off what he knew would be some clever remark or sarcastic quip to brush the entire incident off, or worse yet, tell him that he was over-reacting, that everything was fine and to calm the hell down . "You don't have a friggin' clue as to what I'm talking about do you?"
Dean let out a breath he didn't even realize that he had been holding as he ran a calloused hand down his face. He figured that honesty was the best policy at this point. The only option really. Because, yeah, Sam was right. He didn't have a clue. Couldn't even begin to guess what he had done to get his brother this upset.
"No," he stated simply.
Sam interlocked his hands behind his head and huffed out a frustrated sigh. "Your new after dinner cocktail that you so nonchalantly drank? The phoenix ash whiskey shot! Ringing any bells yet?" Sam asked in irritated bewilderment, his arms gesturing wide in exasperated questioning.
"What the hell, Dean? Do you not realize just how dangerous that was?"
Dean saw the anger that had been fueling his younger brother drain away, his last words spoken in a broken, anxious whisper. Icy fingers gripped his heart as he instantly recognized Sam's anger for what it really was. He wanted to kick himself for his own stupidity of not realizing it sooner.
The tried and true Winchester method for dealing with fear; bury it deep and disguise it with anger.
Their eyes met and Dean's heart clenched tighter. He hadn't missed the pleading need for reassurance, the vulnerability, that had reflected in his brother's eyes in the unguarded moment before he was able to grab a tentative hold on his emotions.
Dean would whole-heartedly admit, he was never the 'caring and sharing' type. He sucked at saying how he felt, hated even admitting to having anything that could even remotely be construed as feelings. But with Sammy he would make an exception. He always did.
"Sammy, I'm sorry I scared you, man." Dean professed remorsefully. "I'm sorry I didn't tell you ahead of time."
"No, your not." Sam chided lightly. He felt the fury of the anger and frustration of before subsiding, rolling away in waves like the tides of the ocean. The intensity of the emotions having burnt themselves out as quickly as they had overpowered him.
He stuffed his hands into the pockets of his jeans and walked over to lean on the trunk of the car. "You're not sorry you didn't tell me 'cause you know I would've kicked your ass and thrown you into the nearest jail cell for even thinking about something as stupid as that."
"You would've tried, little brother," Dean threw back, walking back over to sit on the bumper next to him. "Huge emphasis being on tried. You may be like eleven feet tall, but I can still take you down."
Some of the tension left Dean at the sound of Sam's quiet laugh. It wasn't much. But it was a start.
"I really am truly sorry that I couldn't've warned you, Sam," Dean said candidly. "It was a last minute decision. I was afraid that Mother of All bitch would pick up on even the slightest move."
"Besides," he said matter of factly, "I already knew it wouldn't hurt me. You explained how the phoenix ash worked while we were in the Panic Room."
"What…" Sam stammered, looking at his brother in wide-eyed shock. "Dean, that was a guess. I just-"
"-did that geek thing you always do." Dean finished. "That's all the confirmation I needed."
Sam hung his head as his eyes glazed over at the absolute confidence that he heard in his brother's voice and he shut them against the sting of tears that threatened to fall.
"I wasn't sure, Dean." Sam barely got the words past the lump that was building in his throat. His quiet confession tentative and uncertain.
"Sam…Sammy…look at me." Dean gently prodded his brother as he tipped his head forward to catch his gaze, forcing Sam to look him in the eye. "Your best guesses, hell your hunches, have never let us down. Have never let me down. That's all I ever need to go on. I trust you with my life, Sam. You know that, right?"
Sam managed a small nod as he hung his head, taking a deep breath to try to bring his spiraling emotions back under control. The realization hit him once again that after everything that had happened between them, every screwed up thing that he had done in the year leading up to him jumping into the Pit and his Soulless year after, had been not only forgiven, but forgotten.
Trust and confidence in one another had been rebuilt and restored.
Unbreakable and stronger than ever.