Something inspired by the two quotes at the beginning and end.
I'm still working on "Explaining is an Admission of Failure". I just had a little spark of an idea and had to type this little thing up. Hope you enjoy :)
Coming to Sensible Madness
When you are behaving as if you love someone, you will presently come to love them.
– C.S. Lewis
Dean hasn't always liked Sam as people would think from looking at them later. In fact, when the news came that he was going to have a brother, Dean wasn't exactly thrilled. He didn't totally understand what was going on, but from what he gathered, there was going to be a baby in the house. Something that, he noticed from other families, needed attention. And a lot of it. Something he didn't really want to share.
It wasn't that he was selfish. At three years old, it's not really selfish to want to have your parents to yourself. It's being a child. Wanting to have the most important people in their lives to themselves. But no matter the fact, Dean didn't want to share. He wanted things to stay just as they were. He didn't want a baby in the house. Something he knew cried a lot and really did nothing at all besides that.
He grew increasingly wary of the idea as the proof became tangible. Seeing his mother's belly grow and listening to her talk about how great it was that he was going to have a little brother or sister only made things worse. He didn't want a brother or sister. He didn't want a baby in his family. That's all there was to it.
He didn't tell his parents that. Especially not his mom, because she seemed so happy about it. So he pretended to like the idea. He listened when his mom went through possible names and put forth his opinion. They sounded mostly the same. She settled around 'Samantha' or 'Samuel'. He said 'Sammy'. It worked for both.
When he found out it was going to be a little brother, he was a little more accepting. At least he wouldn't have a girl around. A brother was better than a sister any day. But it was still a baby. So he acted happy when his mom told him. It was mostly true. He did at least approve of having a brother if it was unavoidable that a baby was coming.
When his dad told him that his brother was born, he sighed to himself in resignation. No more having his parents to himself. He wonders if maybe they'll get tired of the baby and get rid of him sooner rather than later. He dismisses the thought when he walks into the hospital room and sees the smile on his moms face. Oh well.
His dad picks him up and walks over, setting him down on the bed next to his mom. "Dean, this is your little brother Sam."
He looks down at the tiny red thing in his mother's arms. He wonders what the big deal is. When it opens its eyes though, he reaches forward to gently touch one of the baby's cheeks. "Hi, Sam." He still isn't happy, but at least it isn't crying yet.
It was only hours ago that he had said goodnight to Sam before his parents had put him to bed and the house had gone quiet. Now, he's sitting in the hospital hallway while his dad gets treated for smoke inhalation, little Sammy in his arms as tears run down his face. It took him a while to understand, but he does now. His mom isn't ever coming back.
Looking down at Sam, he suddenly wonders if he understands. "Mommy's gone, Sam." He sniffs. "Do you know what that means?"
Sam's eyes open, his face blank before contorting into a grimace and a whine coming out as he starts squirming.
Dean holds on tighter, trying to rock him like he had seen his mom do sometimes. He's crying again too, sniffing before he talks. "Yeah, I'm sad too. But it'll be okay, Sammy. I'll take care of you."
He may not have decided on whether he likes having a baby in the family or not, but his mom had liked Sam. And he knows Sam needs him now. His mom had to take care of him because he was just a baby, but now that she's gone, it's his job. Dad gave Sam to him. Now he has to take care of him.
Sam starts really crying now, making Dean's face crumble as he keeps crying. "Don't cry, Sammy. You don't have to be sad. I can take care of you just like mommy did. Okay?" He keeps rocking his brother, digging through the stuff his dad had set down next to him to find the pacifier his mom would use to quiet him. He gets it into Sam's mouth, nodding to himself when Sam quiets. "There. See?"
His mom's gone. She's never coming back. Sam is his responsibility now. He has to keep him safe. Care for him. Just like his mom wanted him too.
Sam's fussy today. Going through the stage where he cries when he has no idea what he wants. Dean understands. He sees Sam's frustration at not being occupied with the few toys in front of him or the cheerios in the bowl. That doesn't mean that he has to be happy about it.
"Stop crying, Sam," he wines. He doesn't yell. It just feels wrong yelling to a baby when they can't even understand anyway.
Sam looks at him, sniffing and still letting out little whines now and then.
Dean gets a paper towel and carefully wipes the snot away from his nose with a sigh. "See what happens when you cry? You don't need to cry, Sammy. I'll take care of you if you do, though."
Sam looks at him, then holds his arms out. "De."
Dean's chest puffs out with pride as he smiles in triumph. "Yeah, Sam. Dean." He lifts his brother into his arms. "C'mon. Let's go see what's on TV."
Sam lays his head on Dean's shoulder.
Dean looks down at him as he sits on a bed in the hotel they're presently in. His first word was Dean's name. Dean grins again. He always knew Sam was awesome.
The first time Dean punches someone for Sam is when he's in eighth grade, Sam in fifth. He's walking around to the front of the school to where he meets Sam to walk to the hotel when he hears his brother's voice. The distress is evident to him, having become so attuned to the little differences in Sam's voice. His brother practically lives in his back pocket. Heck, the kid still links his finger in said back pockets when they're walking through crowds to not get lost.
Walking around to the side of the school, he frowns when he sees the source of the problem. Fellow eighth grader, Jackson Donehey, has Sam's backpack over his shoulder. Dean's eyes narrow. "This might sound a little cliché," Dean growls walking up, "but pick on someone your own size, Jackson."
Jackson looks to him, scowl in place. "What's it to you, Winchester?"
Dean steps up to him, noting the height similarities. Assessing Jacksons weight and possible strength. Scoping out his enemy. "That's my little brother you're messing with."
Jackson's eyes widen for just a second, before he composes himself. "What are you going to do about it?"
Sam laughs then, the sound out of place in the tense atmosphere. They both look over in surprise, seeing Sam smiling. It could almost be described as evil. "I don't think you grasp the entire situation here."
Dean flashes him a grin before advancing on Jackson. "Drop the backpack. Now."
Jackson debates for a second. Just a second. Then drops the bag. "He's not worth it anyway," he mutters.
For some reason, that really gets Dean's blood boiling. Sam is worth everything. Without even thinking, his fist shoots out. Then there's blood everywhere, Jackson crying out in pain as he covers his nose. Dean turns on him, not even giving him a second thought. He goes over to Sam, giving him his bag back. "Ready to go home?"
Sam grins. "Can we stop for an ice-cream?"
Dean rolls his eyes, throwing his arm around Sam's shoulders and tugging him along. "Yeah, we can stop for an ice-cream."
Dean never liked losing Sam to college. It wasn't really a surprise to him when he thought about going to get his brother. He thought about it a lot. More than he should considering he knew it's what his brother wanted. Still, he was glad when his father going missing was an excuse to go get him.
Sam didn't get it though. Not for a long time. That whole time they were searching for their dad, Dean slowly started seeing him understand. Until he knew he had the brother that left him when he went to Stanford back. Not quite the same. Sam would never be the snot-nosed little kid Dean had to take care of. He latched onto him again though. And Dean thrived.
That's why when Sam died, he felt like he had died himself. Could only sit and stare at Sam's body for days before finally getting the totally insane idea to make that deal. Jumped into the car and made the deal he would never regret, no matter how things turned out now.
Sitting on the couch, watching the game with Sam and his crappy eggnog, he can't make himself regret it. Even though he knows tomorrow, Sam will be back to his sulky self and not just enjoying the days he has left like he is now. Looking around the room at the effort Sam put in to decorating their room for the Christmas he didn't even want, Dean lets himself smile. He kind of loves his brother. It's why he made the deal in the first place.
Even though Dean never really wanted a brother in the first place, he has to admit he's grown on him. From his first word being Dean, to the utter trust and devotion he always saw in his little brother's eyes, he knew the kid was something he should like. Not just take care of like he promised himself after his mother died. But more. Love him like someone as special as Sam deserved to be loved.
Dean's not an idiot. He knows Sam is a good man. Someone intent on putting others before himself. Of taking care of things that aren't even his fault. Like Dean's Deal for example. But he can't help but feel pride too, for the fact that this is the kid he raised. A man now, and a better man than Dean ever hoped he would be. But he also knows that somewhere along the way, he decided to love the idea of having a little brother. And now? He couldn't live without the kid.
Even when Sam started going in the total opposite direction he wanted him to go, Dean still loved him. Fought tooth and nail against Ruby and whatever the demon blood inside his brother wanted him to do. Fought with his brother, for his brother, in hopes to keep him around after dying for him in the first place.
He knew the second Sam let Lucifer out of his cage that he'd forgive him. Not trust him now, but he'd forgive him. He didn't hate him. Never could do that. Even later when in that possible future he saw what Sam could do. That his brother had the capability to say 'yes' to Lucifer. But he also knew that his brother said it for some reason he wasn't there to fight against. So really, it was his own fault.
Calling his brother back was probably the best thing he could have done. He got his brother back. Started getting on the right track again. And maybe that kept the whole world from dying, but it didn't keep Sam from dying. Somehow it still feels like he lost. He still got the short end of the stick.
He still didn't hate his brother when he wasn't able to fight against Lucifer in his head. And later, when he could feel the bones breaking with each punch to the face, he didn't hate his brother. He hated Lucifer. Hated him for being inside his Sam's body. Hated him for using Sam to hurt him. But he could never hate his brother. Especially when he saw Sam take back over. Saw him lock his eyes with his and told him everything without a word. Before he even told him it would all be okay. Of course, that was a lie. His eyes said the truths.
If you asked Dean to point out the moment he knew Sam had wormed his way into his heart, he wouldn't be able to tell you. It could have been the moment Sam said his name for the first time, when Sam told him he was the 'best brother in the whole world' for the first time, or the day Sam ran to him and asked him to promise he'd always keep the monsters away.
He could never tell you when it happened, but the why is evident every time Sam looks at him with that look he had as a child. The look of trust and almost hero worship. The look that told Dean he was as important to Sam as he was to him. And maybe that was the moment. The first time Sam looked at him like Dean was his whole world. He'll never know.
What he does know, driving away from Bobby's without his brother for what could most possibly be the last time, is that his love for his brother was past a point most brothers love. Dying for his brother. With his brother. By his brother. There's nothing he wouldn't do for the kid. But for Dean, loving Sam has always been the only sensible way to love.
"I have loved to the point of madness, that which is called madness, that which to me is the only sensible way to love."
- Francoise Sagan