There was a thing on tumblr this morning about wanting to see Dean finally have the big emotional breakdown that's been eight seasons in the making in season nine. It spawned a ficlet. Title from the Rolling Stones song of the same name.
When it finally happened, when Dean finally lost his shit, it wasn't even anything that should have triggered a panic attack of that magnitude.
He'd simply been adding a new bag of flour to the canister on the counter, lost his grip on the bag, and it fell to the floor, a white cloud of dust filling the Batcave's kitchen.
True, it had been a pretty rough couple of weeks. Sam still wasn't feeling well, recovery from his stint with the trials going slowly, still fairly weak and sleeping a lot. Dean made sure he was fed and bathed, but he always felt like he should be able to do more for him, that he should be able to make Sam well just by the force of his own stubborn will.
It ate at him constantly. Sam should be better by now. There had to be something else Dean needed to do, he just needed to find the missing link.
And then there was Cas.
The angel was struggling with humanity, to say the least. He spent many days just staring off into space, as if he could see his lost grace out on the horizon, just out of his reach. Dean had to push him to do anything, practically force him to eat. Cas was losing weight because he didn't want to eat, and there were dark shadows under his eyes because he didn't want to sleep. He relied on Dean for everything, simply because he couldn't rely on himself anymore.
Dean did his best to be everything for both of them. It was his role in life after all. He was the caretaker, the guardian, the big brother, the best friend. This was his job, and this was what he was supposed to do.
He does his best to clean up the flour, hands shaking, and he doesn't even realize he's sobbing until Sam is there, pulling him into his arms, and begging him to calm down.
But he can't. He can't calm down.
Dean's shaking, tears blurring his vision, and Sam's hold tightens as he whispers it's ok, Dean, everything's going to be ok over and over again.
Then Cas is there as well, both of them hugging him, and he can't see the worried looks they exchange over his head.
Cas hasn't been the only one not sleeping and barely eating.
They get him off the floor, and into his room, push him into the bed, and Sam lays on one side, Cas on the other, and right before Dean drops off, Sam whispers,
"Sometimes you have to be taken care of too, big brother."