Tag to 7.06 "Slash Fiction". I'm getting a little annoyed with Sam always walking away. I think it's because he knows it's the one way to really hurt Dean. Dean didn't tell Sam about Amy for the same reason Sam didn't tell Dean he was having hallucinations to begin with – to protect the other from having to deal with more than they could handle. So why is Dean the bad guy for doing his job? I wrote this as therapy. I hope some of you agree.

Stone Number One

Sam walked across the street from the pier, his anger having dissipated somewhat. He'd been so completely pissed at Dean for lying to him about Amy. He'd walked the pier for hours, silently cursing his brother for his deception before realizing that he wasn't angry with Dean for killing Amy, simply for not telling him he'd done it.

That had forced him to consider that maybe, just maybe, what Dean had done wasn't something he needed to be angry about at all.

Sure, Amy had saved him all those years ago – killing her own mother in order to protect Sam – but maybe it was just as much for herself as it was for him. She had admitted to being a freak – a feeling he was all too familiar with. She had made it clear she didn't want to be like her mother any more than Sam wanted to end up like his father. He'd identified with her, and, if he was honest, he knew that made his judgement suspect.

He hated to admit it, but Dean may have been right. Looking at the situation from a hunter's perspective, Amy was a monster. The voice in his head that sounded suspiciously like his brother had asked him if he could be 100% sure that Amy would keep her promise and, much to his chagrin, he had been forced to admit the answer was no. She had killed even after she had promised Sam she was finished, and there was no way to be certain she wouldn't - given the same circumstances - kill again.

But that didn't excuse the fact that Dean had lied to him. Or, technically, not told him the truth. Dean had stood right in front of him and told him to his face that he'd trust Sam's judgement. That was what hurt the most. He needed Dean to trust him. He needed Dean to believe that he was capable of knowing what was real and what was not.

And that was the rub.

He wasn't even sure he trusted himself. How could he expect Dean to when he couldn't even be sure if he was seeing what was truly there or just what he wanted to see?

He stopped as he approached a small park on the far side of the road. The park was bordered on one side by trees, a small playground filling the area on the right. The grassy area between sat on top of a small hill, a view of the Iowa town spread below like a painting. Sam swallowed as his eyes locked onto the lone figure in the park. Seated at the peeling picnic table near the empty playground, the familiar shape sat hunched forward, his head bowed, his eyes fixed somewhere over the scenic landscape in front of him. The six pack of beer was missing a few bottles, but Sam couldn't tell how many from this distance.

So Dean hadn't gone far. Sam snorted softly and shook his head, not the least bit surprised that his brother had given him the space he needed without actually leaving him behind. Sam hitched the backpack higher onto his shoulder and made his way across the park, his steps slowing as he approached the solitary figure on the bench.

He knew Dean heard him – hell, Dean was always aware of Sam's location, a fact that was both disturbing and comforting at the same time. But the older man didn't move or acknowledge his brother in any way. Sam let his eyes drift across the tabletop, noting that only two of the beers remained unopened.

"You think you can spare one of those?"

Dean lowered his head but didn't respond. Sam took that as a yes, dropped his backpack onto the ground and took a seat beside his brother. He reached across the table and lifted one of the bottles from the cardboard carrier, twisted off the top and took a long sip. He leaned forward, resting his arms across his thighs, staring out onto the landscape in a mirror image of his brother.

"I told you to go."

"I went."

"You didn't get far."

Dean shrugged and took a swallow of his beer. "Didn't really have anyplace I needed to be."

Sam grunted in acknowledgement and took another drink of his own. "You should've told me."

Dean sighed almost silently. "I wanted to."

"Why didn't you?"

"I…" the older man hesitated, lowering his eyes to the ground.

"Talk to me, Dean," Sam pleaded. "You owe me that much."

Dean nodded once. "Yeah. I suppose I do."

"So why?"

"Because she was a monster, Sam."

Sam shook his head. "No. I get why you killed Amy. I don't agree with the decision and I certainly don't like it, but I understand why you felt you had to do it." Sam finally turned his head to look at his brother. "Why did you lie to me? I thought we were past all that."

Dean sighed again, swinging his bottle between his fingers. "You really want to know?" He squinted sideways at his brother, his brows raised in question.

"Yeah, Dean," Sam answered softly. "I want to know."

Dean nodded again, licked his lips before replying. "Because I was afraid you'd leave."

And that was it, really. Of all the things Dean had had to face in his life, the one thing that he actually feared was being left alone. Sam should have realized that. He should've screamed at his brother when he found out, maybe punched him or shoved him on his ass.

But he'd walked away.

Exactly what Dean had been afraid he'd do.

"You said you trusted me." Sam's voice was a whisper, not wanting his brother to hear the hurt he truly felt, but hoping he realized it anyway.

Dean turned to him, a look of puzzlement on his face. "I do, Sammy. I've always trusted you."

"Then why did you kill her?"

Dean shrugged as if it was obvious. "Because I didn't trust her." At his brother's look of confusion he waved a hand in the air and continued. "Sam, I know you had a past with her and I know you truly wanted to believe she would keep her promise. But, man, I couldn't. It wasn't you I didn't trust. I know you believed it, but she was what she was, man. She was a monster and you know as well as I do that if her kid got sick again or whatever, she'd do it again."

Sam lifted the bottle and drained what was left of the ale. It was something he didn't want to admit, but he knew if he expected Dean to be honest, it was only fair he was, too. After a moment he nodded slowly. "I know."

"I'm sorry."

Sam gave him a sad grin. "I know that, too."

Dean nodded and returned his eyes to the town that lay below them.

"So is that what all the drinking is about?" Sam asked after a few minutes of silence. He raised his empty bottle as if to illustrate his point. "And what Osiris sensed? Guilt about Amy?"

Dean tilted his head, shrugging a shoulder indifferently. "No. I mean yes, I guess that was a part of it."

"What's the rest?"

Dean took a deep breath, his face giving away his reluctance to delve further into the subject. "It's just… I don't know, Cas, Amy, you, Jo… everything."

"Still taking responsibility for the Lindberg baby, huh?"

Dean answered Sam's chuckle with one of his own. "Something like that."

"Well we're really gonna have to work on your coping skills, man. Crawling into a bottle isn't the answer."

"Tell me about it," Dean grinned. "I think I'm developing a tolerance to the stuff. It takes a half a bottle of whiskey before I can even feel a buzz."

Sam laughed sadly. "I bet these beers aren't doing jack, then, huh?"

"It's like drinking water."

"Well then how about we go find something with a little more kick?"

Dean turned to his brother, his brows pulled together in confusion. "You obviously learned nothing from the AA lady."

Sam shrugged. "We'll start your new sobriety tomorrow. Right now, I think we both deserve to get shitfaced."

Dean grinned at his brother. "You sure?"

Sam gave it a moment of thought before responding. "Yeah. I am." He was still upset about Amy, but Dean was the only person who had never given up on him his whole life. He wasn't exactly playing with a full deck thanks to Lucifer and his memories of the cage, but Dean was the only one who could even come close to understanding what he'd been through and he knew he'd need his brother to lean on when things got tough. Besides, Dean was his family. And sometimes that meant accepting things even if you didn't agree with them.

Dean drained his beer and stood, placing the empty bottles back into the carrier. "So does that mean we're good?"

Sam leaned over and grabbed his pack before standing and facing Dean. His brother stared back at him, the hope reflecting in his wide eyes. Sam could never understand how easily Dean could forgive. He'd just walked away in anger, confirming Dean's worst fear, and here he was, still hoping to make things better. Maybe he could try to give his brother a little of that forgiveness right back. "We'll get there."

Dean looked disappointed, but quickly masked his emotions, giving Sam a half grin that would've fooled anyone else. "Then we'd better get started."

The End