Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural, just playing with the boys for my own amusement. Lyrics belong to Metallica's song "The Unforgiven".

I realize that this story can either be a multi-chapter fic or a stand-alone. Y'all let me know what you want to see. And please, while it makes me all warm and fuzzy when y'all favorite the story, reviews would be awesome. I know y'all have important stuff to say, so hit that review button please! Enjoy!

/Song Lyrics/

Thinking

"Talking"

Dean flopped back on his bed with an irritated sigh. He just couldn't take any more of his father and brother bickering. The two men had screamed insults at each other for at least three hours, and when they ran out of things to say to each other, they had turned on him. He was tired of playing peacekeeper and tired of being the scapegoat. He jammed on his headphones and turned the music up as loud as he could stand it. The dark sounds of Metallica flooded from the earpieces, slowly easing his agitation.

Dean found himself tangled in the truth of the lyrics as his eyelids fluttered shut. /New blood joins this earth/ And quickly he's subdued/ Through constant pain, disgrace/ The young boy learns their rules/ So true he thought to himself with a snort. It was like he had been born simply to take care of his father and Sam. He remembered being strong-willed and rebellious until he'd had a baby thrust in his arms. Dean quickly took on the role of his deceased mother. He had learned John's rules swiftly; he didn't like pain enough to buck his father. And Sam learned how to manipulate situations to suit his needs, not that Dean would ever admit that aloud.

/With time the child draws in/ This whipping boy done wrong/ Deprived of all his thoughts/ The young man struggles on and on/ He had put up thick shields to lock them out and his tortured soul in. The elder Winchester sibling had learned that a mask of humor and smartass remarks kept everyone at arm's length, with perhaps the exception of Bobby Singer. He remained safe behind his mask and steep walls. Dean sighed softly as he thought about all his hopes, ideas, and dreams that he had long ago locked away in an attempt to protect himself and Sam. It allowed him to be the perfect soldier that his father desired. Sam tormented him frequently about it, calling Dean selfish and unthinking. Yep, that's me. A crude, unfeeling, unthinking moron.

/They dedicate their lives/ To running all of his/ He tries to please them all/ This bitter man he is/ He had quit school so that he could hunt full-time with John, allowing Sam the freedom to attend school and some extra-curricular activities. He let his father and Sam both think that he was stupid; it was sad that they would never get even a single glimpse of the intelligence hidden behind Dean's empty green eyes. Not that they notice that either. He had been taught by the best to keep a blank face and to never let his emotions betray him. Sam proclaimed that he had the ability to read his brother, and occasionally he was correct, but more often than not he was wrong. Neither John nor Sam knew of Dean's pain, bitterness, betrayal, or resentments. The loneliness was almost intolerable sometimes. Bobby knows, but he keeps his mouth shut. He was grateful for Bobby's reassuring hand on his shoulder and the endearing nickname of "idjit". That was much better than what John often called him.

And he had felt so betrayed when Sam had left him to go to college and to escape John's desire for revenge. But I'm the one who's selfish. No one had thought to let him even consider going away to school. In fact, his father had downright laughed in his face and Sam's comments about his terrible grades had pierced like bullets. He had wanted to scream at them and show them the proof that he wasn't stupid. He knew Bobby had kept the results of his GED test and that he had scored near perfect. Like it's so easy to work two jobs, take care of a teenager and a drunken father, all while maintaining a household and hunting! Of course, if he had given in to his urges and shown them he had half a brain in his pretty little head, it would give away his cover and weaken his walls. So he smiled and made fun of himself right along with them, watching Bobby's anger rise from the corner of his eye. He spent quite a lot of time drowning in their laughter at his expense. /Never free/ Never me/ So I dub thee unforgiven/

God, it hurts so much! Why can't they see who I really am and how much they're killing me? He had made so many sacrifices for them and their vendetta. He had gone hungry many nights so that Sam wouldn't have to. He'd stitched John back together before tending to his own wounds while his father watched and got drunk. He did the laundry, the maintenance of their weapons, cleaned, cooked, cared for John and Sam when they were sick. But who had done those things for him? No one. Who had comforted when he was sick or hurt or had nightmares? No one. Who had held him and let him grieve for his mother? No one. Had John or Sam ever thanked him for his kindness, or his dedication, or his sacrifices? No. Had either of them cared enough to see who Dean Winchester really was? No. Did his existence even matter? No. /He's battled constantly/ This fight he cannot win/ A tired man they say no longer cares/ Tears slipped from beneath closed eyelids to ghost down his cheeks. He felt so broken inside and was so wrapped into his own pain that he failed to notice when the bedroom door creaked open.

Sam slipped in to check on his brother, guilt eating at him for verbally attacking Dean when he was really angry with their father. He stopped short, slightly taken aback at the state of his brother. Whoa. I've never seen him cry. Sam sat quietly on his own bed and took the time to actually look at his brother and felt as if he was seeing him for the first time. Sam stared at the tears, noticing how pronounced Dean's cheekbones were. His clothes hung loosely on his body. He was not that skinny before I went to Stanford, I'm sure. He noticed that his brother's usually golden skin had paled, making the dusting of freckles across the bridge of his nose stand out, and that there were dark smudges beneath his closed eyes. Dean's lips were drawn into a frown and Sam cursed himself for not noticing before. He had been so wrapped up in finding their father and now arguing with said man that he had never once given thought to his brother's physical or mental health. He moved slowly from his bed to Dean's, gently smoothing away tears. "Dean, what have we done to you?" Sam whispered to the quiet room. He decided then and there that he was going to bring his brother's needs to John's attention and he'd be damned if either of them ignored the most important link in their family ever again.

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