Hey, everyone. :) It's been a tough year, but I'm trying to get into writing again. After re-watching the first few seasons with a new fan, I became inspired by the raw pain and angst of early season 2. There should be a few chapters, so enjoy the ride! Please, no flames. It's fiction, it's enjoyment. The hate in fandoms breaks me widdle heart. ;)

Sam is on the phone. It's definitely not someone we know; I can tell by the cadence of his voice and his inquisitive tone. I want to keep sleeping. I want to lie here forever and never open my eyes again. I'm tired, sore, and so not ready for another day of staring into Sam's saucer eyes and bruised face.

I'm angry. I know that.

But he'll just have to deal with it. I can't always put a band-aid on his god damn scraped knees. At some point, he's going to have to do it himself. Dad's not here to do it for me, why should someone be there to do it for him?

I feel like I'm going to explode at any moment. The smallest things set me off and an unbearable swelling of emotion sits inside my chest and spews out in the form of nasty words and hateful looks. Everything is just too much, so it's easiest to let it escape in its simplest, most basic form: sheer animosity.

I've drifted off again by the time Sam quietly shuts the phone he'd been speaking discreetly into. There's a pause, as if he is considering what to do next. I tense, the sensation of his heavy gaze palpable. At last, a slow shuffle of feet towards my bed, a soft touch on my shoulder, and an even softer, hesitant inflection, "Dean?"

I sigh, breathing deeply into my pillow. "What?" It comes out a mixture of exasperation and disappointment.

Sam visibly swallows as I blink up at him, his bangs covering his eyes. He clears his throat, "Uh—that was Dad's phone. I've been keeping it charged, you know, just in case…" he trails off, obviously uneasy under my unflinching stare and confrontational raised eye brows. "Anyway, a man called looking for one of his aliases, saying someone tried to break into his storage unit in New York."

He finally looks directly at me, seeming to get a handle on whatever he'd been struggling with. The clown case hadn't been great, sure, but the kid needs to buck up. Life sucks. And it's going to keep on sucking; especially if he keeps looking for things in me that aren't there. "A storage unit?"

Sam nods, shrugging, "Yeah, apparently Dad had one in Buffalo. I told the owner not to call the police; I think it was just a couple of stupid kids anyway. Whoever tried to break the lock didn't get in."

I sigh heavily, sitting up until my feet touch the cold floor. Sam remains where he is, watching. Always watching, always waiting. "Well, that's good I guess."

Sam squints slightly, "Uh, yeah. So…what do you want to do?"

"About what?" I throw the covers to the side, the room shrinking fast.

Bewilderment overtakes his face, pale cheeks flushing, "Don't you want to check it out?" He persists.

I stand up, pushing past him towards the bathroom. I ignore the way he stumbles a bit. "Check what out?" I snort.

"You mean to tell me you're not the least bit interested in what Dad could have locked up in this thing? What if it's something really important? What if he…I don't know, left us something?" Sam's louder now, incredulous, concerned, and downright irritating.

I turn rapidly, "Honestly, Sam? No. I am not the least bit interested in another one of Dad's secrets. In fact, I don't really want to talk about Dad at all, but seeing as how you can't get that through your thick skull, than sure. Let's go to New York." I'm practically spitting now, and Sam's just standing there like a rock. He doesn't move an inch, and for some reason that makes everything completely unsatisfying. I spin away from him, needing the solitary warmth of a shower in order to screw my head on straight. "And don't get you freaking hopes up. The only thing Dad left behind for me was your sorry ass." I'm not sure why I toss the final jab over my shoulder, but I think I'm hoping to make myself feel less miserable and less alone by tearing everything around me down too.

Turns out, I'm awfully good at it.


Half the buttons in the elevator are missing, and the few that are left no longer light up. Sam's tall frame fits awkwardly against the far wall and I stare directly ahead of me to avoid looking at him. I can hear him breathing though, and it's annoying. I can't very well tell him to cut it out either, because what the hell kind of person tells their brother to stop breathing. Maybe I can just say to stop doing it so loudly.

"Dean, " Sam speaks before I have the chance to open my mouth. My hands clench automatically at the placating, sympathetic tone.

"I'm fine, Sam," I growl, peering at his hunched form from the corner of my eye, hoping to convey how essential it is to his well being that he not really talk. A part of me knows I'm being unreasonable and unnecessarily cruel, but I'm too mad to care. Mad at the world, mad at Dad, mad at myself. I just want to stop thinking…stop being, even if it's for a few seconds.

The elevator rumbles and shakes as it arrives at our floor and the floor creak beneath my boots. I reach forward and harshly pull up the metal grate separating us from the open room of bolt locked storage units. Sam rapidly scrambles after me. I hear him stumble and roll my eyes.

"Dean," he tries again, "I know this is hard. I know you didn't want to come, but this might be good for you."

I resist the urge to turn around, "Shut up, Sam. I told you I don't want to talk about it. Let's just find this damn unit and open it up so we can leave."

After a quick survey of the floor, we find the right one tucked in the back, outside of immediate sight. Sam pulls out the bolt cutters from his duffle and makes quick work of the lock. I sigh impatiently; he bites his bottom lip nervously and seems to wither a bit beneath my gaze. As he moves to stand straight up again, I reach for the handle of the door and slide it upward. The metal rattles and the wheels screech inside my ears.

Sam flinches.

We both stand stock still in the subsequent silence, adjusting to the dim lighting and trying to decipher the cluttered storage division. Finally, I begin to step forward. "Dean, wait," and Sam's at it again, his hand gently grasping my shoulder and his vulnerable face pleading and earnest. "You can deny it all you want, but I know you. I know you're struggling, I know you're angry, but bottling it up like this is not what—"

My hands are shoving him away before I can even think, the heat in my chest spreading up my neck to my cheeks. I like the way it feels, the sweet release of pressure. Sam grunts in surprise. "Not what, Sam?" I hiss, "Don't you dare say it's not what Dad would have wanted!" I shove him again.

It feels even better.


"Because you don't know jack shit about what Dad wanted! You left! You never listened! You didn't care!" I yell, drowning out his protest.

Sam's expression recoils in pain, his giant eyes swimming. I may have well as drop kicked him. But he doesn't yell back, he doesn't raise his hands to defend himself. I want him to, though. I want him to fight me, I want him to scream at me, I want him to be as angry as I am. "You know that's not true, Dean. Of course I cared. I loved Dad…"

I cackle, "Well you had a piss poor way of showing it, didn't you?"

"I know I screwed up, Dean!" Sam's voice breaks, the sentiment echoing off the walls. "I know what happened is my fault, and I know there's nothing I can do to ever make up for it. But this isn't about me!" I feel something building, something big, and the power of it frightens me because it's growing without permission and without my control. "This is about you and how you're dealing with Dad's death! You can't treat it like it never happened, Dean—"

"Sam, I'm warning you—"

"—It happened! Dad's dead!"

"Shut up, Sam!"

"Dad's dead, and he's not coming back this time, Dean! He's not coming back!"

It happens in the blink of an eye. It must have been a matter of milliseconds, a couple of quick frames in a single scene. My fist connects with Sam's jaw. His face snaps viciously to the side, blood pooling on his chin from a split lip. The force of the blow causes him to stagger backwards.

I don't feel the ache in my hand. I don't feel the guilt that immediately settles in my stomach.

All I can focus on is the way Sam's feet suddenly become tangled up in something.

I realize what it is at the same exact moment Sam does.

Trip wire.

Our eyes meet, and I don't think anything in the world can ever make me forget the way he looks at me. He's sorry. He's apologizing. He's apologizing, and I just screamed at him, shoved him, and punched him.

There's a quick movement to my right, the soft click of a moving weapon, and then the unmistakable boom of a shotgun. The reverberation shakes me to my bones and I at last find my voice, "SAM!"

To Be Continued…