Sam had been quiet, withdrawn and on edge for a couple of weeks now. At first Dean had thought that it was as simple as Sam picking up some sort of bug. It seemed to start when they were in Brockport, NY. They had exorcised a demon from a teenage girl after it had used her to murder her three best friends. Sam had hurled beside the car before they left the abandoned warehouse, twice more on the way back to the motel and had barely spoken the rest of the night. As far as Dean knew he hadn't thrown up since even though his appetite seemed almost non-existent. When they weren't on the job he was hunched over his laptop barely grunting responses whenever Dean attempted to make conversation or tried to convince him to eat. When he asked Sam if he was sick he had said he was fine.
But this last week his mood had become even darker and he spent a lot of the little down time they had going for long walks on his own and even when they were in the same room they may as well have not been. Dean was worried that Sam was scratching at the wall Death had erected in his head and maybe he was remembering something more from his time without his soul or worse - hell. Fault lines had already developed and the one seizure he'd had was one too many. When Dean reminded him yet again that he had to stop prodding at it Sam had almost bitten his head off, stormed out of the room and didn't come back for hours. When he finally did return the anger was gone but he was back to being completely withdrawn again. As much as Dean hated talking, he was terrified the Great Wall of Sam was about to come crumbling down. He carefully broached the subject again but was quickly shut down by Sam telling him that what was bothering him had nothing to do with hell or the time he was soulless, that he really didn't want to talk about it and to just back the hell off. Once again he said that he was fine. Yeah right.
Tonight Dean had finally convinced him that they both needed to relax and blow off some steam so they went out for a couple of beers and a game of pool. He had probably only given in to shut Dean up but he was just happy to get Sam out of his own head for a while. He was still much quieter than usual but had loosened up a bit, seemed less stressed and that was something at least.
Dean had flirted with a cute little blonde named Candace with a great rack and had asked her and her friend Nina to join them at their table. The mood was pretty relaxed...at least it had been until Nina started flirting heavily with Sam. Even though he looked more than a little uncomfortable, Dean had leaned in and whispered that he needed to loosen up and maybe get himself good and laid. After all – in Dean's mind – drinking, fucking and fighting were excellent solutions to most problems but when Nina put her hand on Sam's thigh he shot out of the seat like his ass was on fire, choked out that he wasn't feeling well and practically sprinted out the door. He had left so quickly Dean barely had time to react.
"Was it something I said?"
"Nah, sweetheart, he hasn't been well for a few days. I probably shouldn't have dragged him out tonight."
He sighed, finished his drink, made his apologies and walked back to the motel. It was a testament to how worried he was that he wasn't even angry at being cock-blocked...again. By the time he got to the room the bathroom door was closed and the shower was running so he sat and waited. Twenty five minutes later the water was still running and Dean started to think that maybe Sam had passed out – that maybe he really was sick. He lifted his hand, about to knock on the door to ask if Sam was still alive and kicking when he heard it – faint but unmistakeable sobbing.
He wondered if he should knock or wait because things have gotten worse with Sam – he barely eats anymore, his concentration has been shot to hell, but crying was a whole new level of wrong. He'd always been a little emo but this – this was not his brother's normal brooding. There's definitely something big going on and he needs to know what it is so he can fix it. Dean can't remember a time when Sam was so low other than after he lost Jess or when their dad had died.
Dean was all for denial. Hell, he's the master of it but burying emotional stuff never seems to work for Sam, so as much as it pained him, he knew he was just going to have to go all Dr Phil on his ass to find out what was eating him because if he kept going the way he was, he was going to end up dropping the ball on a hunt and getting himself hurt or worse. But if this was still about his guilt over things he did – no things RoboSam did – he was gonna kick the kid in the jewels.
Sam stayed in the bathroom a long time and when he eventually emerged he wouldn't meet Dean's eyes. Just walked over and started to rifle through the duffle on his bed.
"There's something going on with you, man."
"Yeah...sorry I bailed on you at the bar, I just got tired but you should've stayed. You seemed to be doing alright with Candace."
"That's not what I meant. It's not just tonight, this has been going on for weeks. You're not sick as far as I can tell and I know you're not much for picking up chicks in bars but you're not a monk either. Dude, every time a woman shows the slightest bit of interest in you lately, you head for the hills like you have hellhounds on your tail. You're moody, you don't eat, you disappear for hours at a time. What gives?"
"I really don't want to talk about it Dean."
"Well tough, princess, you're gonna. This isn't only about you, Sam. You're unfocused and it's making you careless. If you keep going the way you are you're gonna get yourself hurt or you'll get me hurt with sloppy back up." He knew that was a low blow but it was also the one thing that would likely work.
"C'mon Sammy, there's something wrong. You can talk to me. Whatever it is can't be that bad."
Sam pulled on a pair of sweats and sat on the end of his bed, elbows on his knees. He put his face in his hands and sighed deeply. When he glanced up, he looked like a kid whose puppy had been run over. His expression was so anguished. For a moment it seemed like he was going to refuse to speak again so Dean pulled up a chair in front of Sam and straddled it, leaning his arms across the backrest.
"Talk to me, Sam."
There were a few moments of silence while he looked up at the ceiling and then he lowered his gaze to meet Dean's and when he spoke it was so quietly it was barely a whisper.
"I raped someone."
Of all the things that his brother could have ever said to him, this was so far off the reservation Dean couldn't help his mouth falling open.
"The hell you say? I don't think I heard you right because it sounded like you said you raped someone."
"That's exactly what I said."
He looked Dean in the eye with a grim expression and then lowered his gaze back to the floor.
"Sam, I don't know what you think you've done but I know you dude, you aren't capable of forcing yourself on a woman."
"Not a woman, Dean, a seventeen year old girl." His voice broke. "Jesus, I took her virginity!"
Dean's head was reeling. First and foremost, he didn't believe it for a second but Sam obviously did. Secondly, Sam hasn't and would never pick up a girl that young let alone force one to have sex with him.
"Okay, you're going to have to explain this to me, Sammy."
"Do you remember the night of my senior prom? My date?"
"What? You mean Rebecca or Rachel or whatever her name was?" Dean was incredulous, that was ten years ago!
"Her name was Rachel. Rachel Nave"
"Yeah, I remember her – blonde girl, always had her head stuck in a book. You dated her for a few weeks. But I also remember seeing you with her the day after your prom. I saw her Sam, you can't be talking about her surely? She was practically beaming and you guys were making cow eyes at each other."
"She was possessed."
"What?! You're not making any sense."
Sam scrubbed his hands over his face. "Lucifer told me."
Dean growled out, "Sam!"
"This isn't a memory from hell, this was before the cage. When he was wearing me like a cheap suit just after I said the big yes. The demon inside her was one of Azazel's Gang." He uses air quotes for the name. "He showed me people I knew when I was growing up – friends, even my third grade school teacher...and Rachel."
"Your prom date was a demon?"
"And you banged her?"
Sam scrunched up his face at the wording and then sputtered out, "no...yes...I took...I mean...Okay, let me tell you the whole story."
Dean waved his hand in an encouraging gesture.
"They were sent to watch over me – jerk me around. Yellow Eyes pretty much had his hand up my ass like I was some kind of puppet the whole time." He huffed out an unamused snort.
Dean's stomach churned at the thought that Sam had been surrounded by demons pretty much his entire life and he hadn't protected him. This was as bad as finding out about Brady and what that son-of-a-bitch had done to poor innocent Jessica. How had they not known it had gone back so far? He had to swallow back bile knowing that for every precaution they'd taken against monsters and demons, always trying to protect Sam, and his baby brother had never really ever been safe. He wanted to rage, punch walls, kill something but that wouldn't help Sam so he gritted his teeth and let him continue.
"Then so much happened after that – jumping into the cage, all the time I didn't have my soul and then coming back. I didn't think about any of it again until Brockport."
"The demon we exorcised?"
"Not the demon, the girl it possessed. She told me some of the things it made her do. She was a teenager, Dean. It made me think about Rachel and it made me sick to my stomach. I had to find out about them, you know? Especially Rachel."
He went on to tell how he had researched what had happened to her – to find out if she'd basically been dead from the time the demon jumped her body. He hated himself for how much he'd hoped that was the case. It wasn't.
He explained how he had found out that after the Winchesters had picked up stakes and moved towns, Rachel had had a breakdown and slashed her wrists. Her family had to have her committed to mental health facility and how after three short months she had hanged herself in her room using the sheets from her bed. Of the people Lucifer showed him, he'd looked up those that he could get information on. All of them dead. All of them because of him. But the one he felt the most guilt about was Rachel.
Dean remembered what Meg – the real Meg Masters – had told them before she had died. That she was awake for some of what that black-eyed bitch had done and he knew where Sam was heading with this.
"Sam, you had no idea. This is just...Jesus, it's horrible. But you didn't know. You didn't rape the girl!"
"Fuck, Dean. Don't you get it? I slept with her, we were both virgins." Sam blushed. "Rachel was in there. She killed herself, man. She must have been aware and trapped the whole time. The demon said yes to sex, not her. She didn't consent to any of it. Hell, she may not have even liked me at all. For so long, even though I couldn't take her to dinner or somewhere nice and we ended up at our skeevy motel room, I thought that night was something special for both of us and I...Christ, I violated her!"
Sam's face crumbled and Dean's heart broke at the guilt and grief he could see playing across his expressive face and once again he had to rein in the rage he felt. After all of the shit Sam has had to endure and everyone and everything he's lost because of those evil bastards, the poor kid had even had his first time manipulated and horrifyingly ruined by them. They had been toying him his whole life. As much as he felt bad for Rachel – for all of them - as far as he was concerned, Sam was the victim here.
"I get it, Sammy, I do. But you've got to get this – you didn't do anything wrong. You didn't know and you didn't force her. I'm assuming she was into it?" When Dean saw the thunderous expression on Sam's face he put his palms up in a placating gesture. "No, listen. I didn't mean it like that. I meant, at the time, Rachel – the demon – was telling you yes? She wasn't fighting you or saying no?"
"Of course not Dean, because she couldn't say no!"
Dean sighed in frustration. "But you didn't know that, Sam. How many times do I have to say it? I know you, you wouldn't have made a move on her if you hadn't made sure it was something she wanted. At the time, you had every reason to believe she wanted it didn't you?"
Dean cut him off. "No damn it! You thought the girl was a willing participant and before you say she wasn't willing, the demon made you believe she was and you couldn't possibly have known any different. You must know that – come on, you're a smart guy. What happened to Rachel was Not. Your. Fault."
Sam hung his head. "It sure as hell still feels that way. Everything that happened to her – to all of them – was because of me. They would never have been possessed, wouldn't be dead, if it wasn't for me."
"We've been over this a hundred times, Sam. None of what happened was your fault any more than it was my fault or dad's fault. We didn't choose to have the stupid destinies those asshat angels and demons planned for our family. You can't carry the guilt for this because it's not on you. I'm going to say this one last time – you couldn't have known."
He rested his hand on his little brother's knee and spoke softly. "You didn't rape her Sam. You couldn't. You would never hurt anyone like that – you don't have it in you. It's just not possible."
Sam looked at him, his face a mask of suffering.
"She didn't deserve it."
"No, she didn't."
Dean moved to the bed and sat down beside his brother.
"She was just an innocent kid, Dean."
They rarely cried in front of each other but Sam was openly sobbing. He pulled Sam's head to his shoulder and wrapped his arms around him.
"So were you little brother...so were you."