Word Prompt: Innocence

Warnings: Hurt/comfort, can be taken as wincest


"Hey, Sammy?" Dean called, trying for innocent. He laid on the couch, eyes trained, unwavering on the television.

Sam's exhausted form lay splayed out over the rickety, moldy colored motel bed spread, his head barely picking itself up from the pillow of his arms at the sound of his name.

"Mmmmhmm," he mumbled, eyelids drooping unconsciously over hazel orbs, the last of Sam's energy being released with the small sound.

"Sammy!" Dean called again, throwing one of the pillows stacked underneath him at his brother, hitting the back of his head. Sam made no attempt to retaliate or even respond. The efforts of their last hunt having wore him out so thoroughly.

"Sammy?" Dean called out once more, inquisitive tone in place before deciding to be an awesome older brother and let Sam rest.

With his desired form of entertainment tucked deep into the land of unconscious and the television no longer proving entertainment, Dean huffed and stood to wander the room, looking for something else to hold his attention.

After minutes of pacing and finding nothing, footfalls took the elder Winchester to the side of Sam's bed, subconsciously letting him take up his favorite pastime: watching over Sam. He had not done it in a while, having been knocked out after most hunts, himself. Now that Dean thinks about it, the last time he watched his brother sleep was before he left. Before Stanford. Before Jess and Azazle and John. Before the weight of the world crashed on top of his brother's too weary, too weak shoulders.

Green eyes stared, watching the gentle rise and fall of Sam's back, body tightening with each inhale, each exhale, though, brining little relief to the taut muscles.

Traveling up the length of Sam's back, shoulders, neck, calculating, analyzing eyes took in the definition of the younger's body, the toning that had not been present years before. Eventually, they landed on the younger's face, partially hidden by the cushion of arms. But what Dean could see, the half of Sam's face that shone in the pale light of the only lamp in the room and the flickering of the television, made him silently gasp.

No longer was Sam's face childlike and innocent, a face full of dreams and admiration and willingness. It had transformed. Hard lines were drawn where soft, malleable ones used to be. Jaw clenched tight where a mouth used to open, happy to share or mumble to Dean even in sleep. Eyes scrunched, unwilling to open in fear of what might greet him in the darkness where eyelids used to flutter closed in sweet embrace of sleep. Forehead creased, nightmares plaguing the mind where before Dean had been enough to hold the monsters at bay. Even the arms that Sam's heavy head rested on were poised perfectly, prepared to snatch out and grasp hold of the knife hidden so closely to his form.

Dean forced himself to tear his eyes away from the boy, the adult, Dean reminded himself, before him.

Guilt washed over the older brother; guilt for dragging his once-innocent brother back into the fray against the creatures that he succumbed to in his nightmares. He was unable to protect his brother from the darkness when he was younger and it overtook him, both of them.

Anger grasped hold of him, anger at his father for dragging them both into the battle against his enemy, and for forcing him to drag Sam back in when he refused to return Dean's calls.

Everything took over, the feelings, the guilt, the anger, and it became too much. Hands gripped themselves into fists, fingernails digging crescent shaped scars into palms, blood beginning to pool against the open wounds. Clenched fingers shaking. Tense shoulders pulled in on themselves. Entire form drawn together, a last ditch effort to keep it all in; a dam before breaking completely and everything is freed.

"I'm sorry, Sam," Dean whispered, everything that he is feeling ringing out so clearly in those grated, growled words, "I'm sorry."

Reaching out for his brother, an unconscious need to do something for the man who has given so much, Sam unwittingly murmured, "It's okay, De," before shutting off once more.

The shaking halted suddenly, the familiarly of the words pulling the breaks and tears of the damn completely together again.

"Sam," Dean whispered, suddenly thankful for the small bit of innocence that remained within his brother with the idea that such small words, that such small actions, could have an enormous effect. The innocence of the memory of a tiny creature, barely able to talk, grasping his older brother's hand, relaying the same exact words when Dean accidently ripped his favorite shirt, the shirt that used to be Dean's.

A small smile graced Dean's features as he laid a hand on the back of his brother's shoulders, gently rubbing as he used to when Sam was stressed. The familiarity brining his childhood back with greater force, taking over. The taut of the man's body melting away with the pain and hurt and tense of Sam, both of their forms loosening, relaxing; both boys unwittingly finding such great comfort in the innocence and memory of their past and the closeness of their brother.