Summary: AU. Pre-series. Dean Winchester lost his baby brother, Adam, at a very early age, and ever since then, there has been an empty hole inside Dean that kept growing each day, and the guilt sometimes overwhelmed him. But then he meets Sam Wesson, with a dark past and present, a younger brother himself, but lives with an older brother who only has one use for him, to be his little punching bag.
Author's Note: So that's the plot, and I really hope it's either as exciting as it sounds, or the story is more exciting than the plot. :) In this story, Dean is five years older than Adam, since I don't really know Adam's real age, so I'll go by that. Thanks to AlElizabeth for her help and for betaing my chapter. You rock!
-The Broken Road That Led Me Straight To You-
-March 21st 2000
Dean Winchester sat on a stool in front of a bar table, nursing a drink. Today was the anniversary of the most terrible and agonizing day of his life, March 21st. He twirled the bottle around in his hands, staring at it with unfocused and drunken eyes, engrossed in his memories of that tragic day.
"What the hell you idjits think ya doing drinking on a damn job?!" Bobby yelled from behind them, pissed off at the two men sitting in front of the bar.
"S' Maaarc' t'enty firs'." Dean slurred drunkenly, raising his glass towards him. "He'e! 'aaaff' a drin'!"
Bobby's anger dissipated at that, suddenly realizing what date it was. He swallowed down the tears welling in his eyes and forced out a smile, aiming for it to be comforting but only turning out sorrowful and on the verge of breaking as he placed a hand on both of their shoulders.
March 21st 1994. The day Dean's brother died. The day he had found his baby brother, Adam, hanging from the motel fan with the noose of the rope encircling his neck, empty and dead eyes staring downward at the floor, and written with a black permanent marker on the wall were the large, heart-breaking words — 'I QUIT.' His baby brother has been dead for six years now, and all those six years that passed had left a cold, dark pit of loneliness and emptiness, despair and sorrow, guilt and shame, in the bottom of his stomach, and it kept growing each and every day, getting bigger and bigger. Sometimes it was just so damn overwhelming that Dean had the strong urge to grab one of the guns in his duffel bag and put a bullet straight through his brain and join his brother. But then Dean would imagine he heard his Dad's voice, and realize that he couldn't do that to him. His Dad has been through as much as he had, because his Dad had also lost his wife, like Dean had lost his mom, his Dad had also lost his youngest son, like Dean had lost his little brother. How he had managed to live those years like that without his stupid, annoying, geeky and a pain-in-the-ass little brother? He had no idea.
He had failed Adam. He had failed to understand his brother's feelings, what he was going through, at what all this life of hunting was doing to him. Maybe if Dean had held his brother and told him that it'd be okay instead of calling him a whiny little brat and to suck it up, maybe his brother would've never done such a thing. Maybe if Dean had been more patient with his brother's angry rants about how their Dad had always treated them like soldiers instead of sons, how their father always been their drill sergeant for most of their lives than he had been their Dad. Maybe if Dean had controlled his anger and not said those terrible words to Adam, maybe he could have saved his brother's life. Dean felt tears well up in his eyes and roll down his cheeks but he barely noticed. But when Dean did realize he was crying, he roughly wiped at his face, rubbing his nose with his sleeve and sniffing.
Beside him was John Winchester, his Dad, chugging at his own bottle as he observed the anniversary of his baby boy's death. For a few weeks after his son's death, he had grieved, had probably gone crazy for a while, drinking himself into oblivion each night, snapping angrily at everyone including his oldest. He had nothing to blame this on, because his son wasn't killed by anything, no supernatural creature or a psycho-human being. No.
His baby boy had committed suicide, had killed himself with his very own hands — willingly.
And he had no one to blame but himself. Because he had been a terrible father, hadn't understood his son, hadn't paid attention to what was happening to him. His son was suffering internally; the depression that was eating away at his baby boy. But instead of taking a few minutes to sit down and listen to his youngest son's problems, understand his pain and suffering and then help him, maybe hold him and tell him that he loved him, he had taught him to just suck it up and carry on, because that's what Winchesters do.
But then he realized what this tragic event must have been doing to Dean. If this is how he's feeling, then his oldest must be having an even more difficult time of it, because losing the kid you had taken care of for eleven years, that you had given up everything for, had protected like a clam protects the pearl inside, had to be beyond the limits of bearing. And it was one of the few times John had showed affection towards his eldest son, had held Dean and told him that he loved him and that they'd get through this, that it was gonna be okay. Too late. John told Dean the things he should've told Adam.
Because he couldn't bear to make the same mistake ever again, and lose his only remaining child as well.
"Tooo ya', Aaad'm." John raised his glass towards the sky.
"Alright, that's enough you two." Bobby said softly, but his voice was still gruff. He glared angrily at the bartender who came back, probably to serve them, and he quickly walked away quietly, a flicker of fear on his face as he caught sight of the furious stare.
Bobby reached out for both of the Winchesters, grabbing their biceps and pulling them off the stools easily. Both men barely protested as the old hunter led them out of the bar and walked them towards the motel room a few blocks away. The two stumbled drunkenly onto the pavement, eyes rolling around slightly as the whole world spun around them, making it hard for them to see and walk in a straight line.
They reached their motel room in less than three minutes. And before the door even banged against the wall, Dean stumbled over to his bag, holding on to the edge of the table for support as he fumbled with the zippers. It took a few tries but he finally ripped it open, taking out a picture and staring quietly at it, and for a second he looked sober to Bobby as unshed tears filled his eyes. It was a photo of him and Adam on the beach, with their arms around each other's shoulders as they grinned at the camera. It was one of the best days of their lives, just two years before his brother's death. John had decided to take his boys to the beach, wanting them to just relax and experience a bit of normalcy, and deciding to take a break and just chill himself.
He brought the picture to his chest, hugging it closely. "Adam..." He whispered brokenly, wondering why all of this had to happen.
Damn it! Why?
The vacant eyes, the cold expression, it was all that he wore each and every morning he opened his eyes, just staring at the ceiling silently until he'd be snapped out of it by John's voice. For the past six years, he had barely smiled for real, and when he did, it'd be too small, maybe at a simple little joke or even a little grin at times. Sometimes if they'd get lucky, they'd manage to get a chuckle from him or very, very rarely, a laugh.
But there's a huge difference between laughing and actually being happy, just as there's a major difference between breathing and living. Because a whole half of Dean Winchester had died the day his baby brother, Adam Winchester did.
Then the whole 'pretending-to-be-completely-fine' act starts, with a fake cocky attitude and a fake, translucent grin plastered on his lips for the sake of his Dad, to show him that he's fine even when he's not, while he's actually completely shattered inside with each piece breaking again and again with each day that passes without his little brother by his side, when each and every night he goes to bed — he hopes that he won't live to see the next daylight, when it'd take each and every bit of emotional strength in him to get out of his bed and face a whole new day, when he barely made it through the previous one.
With no baby brother to protect and keep safe, with no one to hold and comfort through their terrible nightmares, no cold feet to jolt him from his sleep and the little giggle that followed after the surprised yelp when he and his brother had to share a bed, because the other one's occupied by their exhausted and cranky dad who just came from a hunt.
No annoying, pain-in-the-ass little brother.
So this was how Dean Winchester had lived his six years. Cold and dead inside, lonely and lost inside, filled to the brim it seemed the darkness of despair, with no light.
This is just the beginning now. I hope the next chapter's gonna be better and pretty much longer. I hope you liked it.