|winchester, sam. (ex_demonbloo908) wrote in wariscoming,|
@ 2011-06-14 03:01:00
|Entry tags:||dean winchester, sam winchester|
WHO: Sam & Dean | possibly others toward the tail end, as they may need someone to break them up.
WHAT: You know how in high school when two people get into a fight in the middle of the hallway and everyone jumps up and starts screaming, "FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!" Yeah, it's kind of like that, but with two fully grown hunters who are in some serious need of therapy. And possibly medication.
WHERE: The apartment complex.
RATING: VIOLENCE AND LANGUAGE.
Sam wasn’t exactly sure what had happened. One second he had been trying to talk some sense into his brother, the next he was tearing away from his laptop and jumping into Ruby’s car, foot hitting the gas so fast that the tire’s screeched violently and dust scattered into a cloud of smoke from the gravel lined driveway leading up to their house. Somewhere in the background, the Winchester’s newly adopted pup let out a howl at the abrupt sound, but Sam was already long gone by the time the noise had so much as halfway processed it’s way through his searing thoughts.
Everything was a blur from there on out. Cars and buildings and people whizzed by as Sam drove, none of them able to shatter the shield of red that had fallen over his eyes. The journey to the apartment complex was managed on autopilot ; Sam’s hands shook angrily at the wheel, steering him in the right direction, but he was mentally unaware of his surroundings until he was finally there, feet already hitting the pavement and slamming the car door before Sam could so much as take a moment to process the fact that he was walking into an extremely emotional situation that had absolutely zero chances of ending well.
Logic was no longer a necessity. Sam had tried logic. He had attempted patience, he had attempted conversation, he had even attempted to trust that everything would turn out all right, only to have it all burst into flame and launch itself right back into his face.
Sam Winchester was officially done.
He found his brother holed away in the spare bedroom, looking weary and miserable and so damned sure of himself ; that there was only one way to solve everything, that it was the most reasonable, acceptable option, especially since it would finally - finally - give him an out. Because that was what he wanted, wasn’t it? He wanted to be done. He wanted to be free of this life, war, and everything that came along with it, including his girlfriend, his friends, his family, and even Sam himself.
Dean Winchester was done too. But in a different way.
Sam didn’t warn him. He didn’t call him any names, he didn’t tell him to put up his fists, he didn’t even give him a shove before he started swinging. He just did it. Put one arm back and threw it at Dean’s jaw, hoping to high hell that it’d hurt, because right now Sam needed him to hurt. It wasn’t sensible, given that Sam knew he was already hurting in his own way, but the surge of betrayal, fear, and hopelessness that had shoved Logical Sam out of the drivers seat and replaced him with Angry Sam didn’t care.
He only tried to punch him again.
Dean was tired. It wasn’t a physical exhaustion - not really, anyway, because he’d spent most of the past day or... however long he’d been in that stupid cell thing, sleeping or laying around staring at the white ceiling waiting to be let out, so he was rested, but that didn’t seem to translate over to the heaviness in his limbs and the fog in his head. Apparently he was emotionally worn out enough that even his body was done putting up with everything. He was just... done.
He’d even gotten to the point where he was willingly completely honest and open about everything, but it seemed like by now Sam wasn’t going to listen to a thing he said, was convinced Dean just wanted out...
...and really, he wasn’t entirely wrong. There was a part of Dean - a part that was larger than it probably should have been - that really did just want all of this to be over. He didn’t know what would come after, and he wasn’t entirely sure he’d care. There were good things, here, now, but they were all tainted with the fear he felt that he was going to lose them. A fear Adam had managed to turn into a panic with his deal. Dean would easily admit that he hadn’t been entirely rational the other night, running outside screaming at the sky, Michael you fucking bastard get your feathery ass down here and fix this, come on, ready to throw himself and everything else away just to fix this.
If Adam could be lost that easily (if Dad could be lost that easily), if he couldn’t keep everyone safe, what was he supposed to do? Sam could be next. Or Juliet, or Mom, or any of the people here he’d become somewhat attached to. This was why he’d never complained about the constant moving around, never felt too much like he was missing out on anything by having no one in his life but Sam - because he had less to lose, only one person he had to worry about keeping safe.
Now? Now, there were a dozen different people that he could lose, and it would hurt, and he was tired of hurting, and he was tired of fighting useless battles that he was losing anyway, and he was just tired. He just wanted to fix it, just wanted it all to be okay.
And it wasn’t, and it wouldn’t be, and he didn’t know what the fuck he was supposed to do. The only answer he ever got was just keep fighting, as if he was just a soldier, like he was a kid all over again (we gotta keep fighting, Dean, just gotta keep fighting in his ear whenever he couldn’t sleep because the memory of the fire would keep him awake, the motel room’s cigarette smoke scent making his stomach twist with unease and his eyes keep lingering in Sammy’s direction, ready if something sparked, ready to grab his brother and run, again, always).
The door bursting open made him jump, set him to scowling before he even realized that the six-thousand feet of Sam that had just busted in was pissed, and by the time he did it was a little too late to even bother throwing up a hand defensively or talking him down. Sam managed to get two good, solid hits in before Dean even managed to push to his feet and throw up an arm to try to keep his face from being hit again, the other hand reaching out to try and catch his brother’s arm, hoping if he could just get Sam to be still for like thirty friggin’ seconds he might be able to calm him the hell down and figure out what the hell his problem was.
When Dean finally started to do something more than just take what Sam was dishing out, Sam found himself feeling slightly triumphant, but not pleased enough to let anything go just yet. He needed to do more than grab at Sam’s limbs and shield himself from being attacked - that wasn’t fighting, that was deflecting - but it was better than storming in like this, only to find a Dean who wasn’t willing to defend himself at all. Arm caught up in Dean’s grip, Sam dropped his fist and took a sharp step backward, yanking away the limb that Dean had claimed from him back hard enough so that he was able to free it up. “Don’t look so surprised,” Sam said angrily, “it’s not like the idea of me getting fed up enough with your bullshit to come down and here and kick your ass is anything other than expected at this point.”
Sam wished that it was unexpected. He wished that he wasn’t so angry, because maybe then he wouldn’t have to be here now, assaulting his own flesh and blood to make a point.
“You don’t even see how badly you’re hurting everyone, do you? Do you think we like putting up with you constantly threatening that you’ll sell yourself off to some archangel who couldn’t give half a rat’s ass about how you or anyone else comes out of this war, so long as he gets his shot at Lucifer?” Sam scoffed, fists clenched tightly at his sides, all the while itching for another round at Dean’s face. He was stupid and he was inconsiderate and he was so unbelievably blind to everything that wasn’t about finding some way to get rid of himself that Sam couldn’t help but want to strike him again. He didn’t, though. Not yet. He wanted to get Dean riled up. He wanted his brother to see why he was angry and, more than anything else, Sam wanted Dean to get angry too. If he was pissed, he’d fight. If he fought, Sam could show him that he still had it in him to keep on, that all that talk of finding another way and staying strong wasn’t for nothing so long as he still had the power to get mad and get even when he needed to the most.
“You keep saying that you wanna do it because it’s the right thing to do. It’s the quickest way to save the world, right?” Sam shook his head and let out of a low, bitter laugh. “Wrong. It’s the quickest way for you to get out of here without ridiculing yourself in the process. You don’t want to be here. You haven’t wanted to be here for a very long time, Dean, you’re just too proud to admit it. Selling yourself to Michael will give you an honorable exit. People won’t look down on you when you go, they’ll just remember you as the guy who sacrificed himself to clean up the big mess his idiot brother started and that is a pretty sweet deal for someone who thrives on self sacrifice.”
He was being harsh, but it was necessary. “Just do me a favor the next time you decide to go shouting Michael’s name into the sky, would you?” Sam moved in closer, then grabbed Dean by the shirt and shoved him back a few steps. Not hard enough to knock him over, but enough to show Dean that he wasn’t fucking around. “Stop pretending that it’s about us. You don’t want to save anyone. You don’t care about anyone. If you did, you’d want to be here. You’d want to fight. You don’t.”
Another push, this time a little harder. It was enough to send Dean slamming back into the wall behind him, if he wasn’t prepared for it. “Cut the hero act and admit it already. You’re saying yes to Michael for no one else but you.”
The physical confrontation alone would have been fine. Dean knew he was more than capable of not only defending himself, but dealing out his own fair share of damage, possibly managed to take Sam down if he’d made enough of an effort, paid attention to where Sam was moving and where his weak spots were and physically, it was training all over again, sparring when they were kids and teens and young adults, when they’d stop pulling their punches if they were annoyed and cranky from too many hours in a car together, too many days in a motel room that smelled and was too hot and too small and too confining and they’d go out back at dusk and beat the hell out of each other just to do something.
Dean was good with pain. He’d long since learned to shake it off, in the moment, when he was fighting, and Hell had taught him more about pain than he’d ever be able to even understand, so being hit on and shoved didn’t really phase him, not really.
It was the words that hurt. It was always the words that hurt, that broke him wide open. Even in Hell, it had been words that dealt the final blow, set him tipping over the edge.
The combination of words and physical fighting had always been Sam’s thing, Dad’s thing - he could remember Sam and Dad going at it more times than he could even count when they were younger, throwing words and punches around like they were nothing, weight of them like they were everything, though. He’d broken up more of their fights than not, caught in the crossfire occasionally.
It was worse, though, being the one it was wholly directed at.
Dean had never really been one for throwing around words when he was upset. He was more inclined to keep his mouth shut, or say things that had nothing to do with anything he was really upset about: complaining about crappy music or Sam’s horrible breath stinking up the car or bitching about how much dirt he’d gotten in his boots digging that grave. He’d do petty, passive-aggressive little things to annoy his brother, like hide his stuff in stupid places or put pictures of clowns all over the place or throw all his clean underwear in the little motel freezers. Sometimes he’d punch Sam in his stupid face, yeah, but usually once or twice and then he’d storm away and go get drunk and by morning he’d be over it, moving on, maybe dunk Sam’s toothbrush in the toilet the next morning, but never saying anything else about the issue that caused it, shrug off Sam’s apologies and act like it didn’t matter - because it didn’t, not really.
Sometimes he just stopped talking altogether if it got bad enough, but that wasn’t common, because he had his armor and it took a lot to get past the flippancy and the sarcasm and the harmless vindictive pranks and the minor beat-downs to get to that point. And even then, once it was done, it was done. It didn’t stay with him, at least not as far as he let on.
This, though, it felt like Lucifer all over again, wearing his brother’s face, telling him how much he’d failed his brother and his family and the people he cared about (and he did care, damnit, he did, Sam didn’t have a fucking clue), telling him all the ways he just wasn’t right...
By the second shove, Dean was pretty much just letting it happen, didn’t really do more than scowl when his back hit the wall (hard enough to bruise, he suspected). His voice was a growl when he spoke - “You don’t know what the hell you’re talking about, Sam,” - but it sounded angrier than he felt, because all he felt was tired and hurt and for the first time since they were stuck in motel rooms and in the car together he just wanted Sam to leave him alone.
He was just staggering back, taking it like Sam was some little kid who didn't know any better, and all it was doing was pissing Sam off even more than he was already. This wasn't how it was supposed to be. Dean was supposed to be stronger. He was supposed to be the one who knew what to do all the time. He'd tell Sam that they had to keep fighting, that they'd stay strong and get through all the crap together, because they were family and that was what family did. They'd fight hard, go down swinging, and if they didn't make it at the end it'd be fine, because they did all they could and that was far better than taking all the bad lying down. Dean wasn't the same anymore. He was a broken shell of the man that Sam had looked up to all his life and now, more than ever, Dean needed to see just how badly Sam needed him to find a way back. Maybe not to the person that he had been before, but something else. Something better than this, because the Dean that Sam was glaring at now was so far from okay that Sam didn't even know how to look him in the eye anymore without becoming irrationally frustrated. He had vowed to be patient. He had promised himself that he'd let Dean take as much time as he needed to get better, because at the end of the day Dean was only like this because of Sam and if he couldn't stick with him because of something that he was entirely at fault for, then he was no better than the demon that had talked him into that deal that ruined his life in the first place. More importantly though, if he couldn’t be bothered with Dean at this point, he was a terrible brother and had no right to call Dean family.
Which made Sam wonder how he was supposed to deal with everything now that he had snapped, finally more than fed up with Dean’s behavior. Had he lost his place as family now that he had grown tired of waiting for Dean to find himself again? Was he as terrible a person as he felt now, cornering an already broken man and threatening to destroy him even more than he already was in the process?
Sam didn’t know. The only thing he was sure of was that he couldn’t walk away now. If Sam had to sacrifice his relationship with his brother to get him to see straight long enough to acknowledge that Plan Michael was a bust, then so be it.
"Really? Then why don't you explain, Dean? 'Cause I'm having a really hard time seeing anything else right now. And can you really blame me? Do you see how much you're hurting people? How do you think Mom feels right now, knowing that her first child is working so damn hard to throw his whole life away, huh? Do you think she's proud of that? Do you think she spends her time crying alone at night, wondering what the hell she must've done wrong to make you that screwed up?"
He knew he was digging in deep now, laying in cheap shots and hitting Dean in places that he shouldn't have gone anywhere near, but it needed to be done. Dean needed to see something other than his desperation to say yes, he needed to acknowledge that there were people here who needed him, who cared about him, and wouldn't let go of that, no matter how often he insisted that they'd all 'get over it' and 'would eventually move on'. He didn't know a damn thing about having to move on. He'd lasted, what, half a day before he ran down to the first crossroads he could find and sold his soul away because he couldn't deal with Sam's death? If he thought that they were going to handle him being zapped out of existence at the mark of a simple agreement, he was far more deluded than Sam had ever believed.
"You're so focused on Michael that you can't even see what's going on right in front of you," Sam said darkly, "and I don't think you want to. So, yeah, I really do think you don't care." Sam shoved him again, Dean still very much cornered against the wall like someone being faced with a monster they couldn’t quite look away from. The comparison didn’t help improve Sam’s mood in the slightest. "Prove me wrong. Hit me. Now."
Of course it was always going to be too much to hope for that Sam would run out of words to use against him. It was Dean’s own fault, too, because if he was stronger, the things Sam was saying wouldn’t do this to him. But Sam knew all of his weak spots, Sam knew exactly what to say to hurt him, and he wasn’t holding back, he wasn’t pulling his punches.
If Dean didn’t know how to tell the difference between dreams and reality by now, he would have thought he was stuck in his own head again, Lucifer stealing Sam’s face and Sam’s voice, taking all the things Sam would never say to him and turning them loose, bullets from a gun that never seemed to hit a fatal spot, just opening holes everywhere for him to bleed out slowly.
“So, yeah, I really do think you don't care.” Dean didn’t move to fight the shove this time, either, didn’t even meet Sam’s eyes, not because of the burning in his own, but because he didn’t want to know what he was going to see in his brother’s, didn’t want to see the hate he expected to be there. "Prove me wrong. Hit me. Now."
Dean shook his head, stayed silent. Even though Sam was tearing him open, he didn’t want to do the same thing, and he didn’t think he had the energy for even one good hit right now. He wasn’t angry, not really - there was no need to make Sam pay, make him hurt, no need to even hit anything that wasn’t Sam, because he was just... empty, this time. He didn’t have enough left in him to be angry, anymore. Instead, one hand came out to push at his brother, shoving so he could try to move past him and out of the room - the need to get away, make it stop the only thing he really knew what to do with anymore, more instinct than anything else.
Dean wasn’t going anywhere. That little push he tried only made Sam shove him back against the wall again, fists reaching for the fabric of his shirt so that he was able to grab him tightly and keep him in place. Surely, if Dean had enough fight in him, getting out of this hold would be easy enough, but he didn’t. He was trying to walk away. Dean wanted to pretend that this confrontation was unnecessary, that there was no need for Sam to be all up in arms about the fact that his older brother didn’t want to live anymore. He was wrong.
“Say something,” Sam growled, “do something.” Every second that Dean just stood there left Sam feeling worse and worse. Was he really this empty inside, not even able to fight to defend his own name? This wasn’t the Dean that Sam had known. He wasn’t even trying to be strong. “See, this is your problem, Dean! The whole world puts you down, kicks you around, tells you that you’re not whatever it is that you think you should be and you just stand there and take it. You ever think that maybe that’s what the angels want? You ever think that maybe this is how they get you to say yes to Michael, by wearing you so thin that you can’t even remember what it was to be anything else?”
“It’s what they want to do to me,” Sam pressed, angry gaze fixed on nothing and no one but Dean. He couldn’t look away even if he wanted to. Dean had to realize that he was being serious and if Sam couldn’t get the idea through his thick skull by bashing it in, then maybe he’d be able to show him by the disappointed anger that stung through his eyes. “In fact, I bet that’s how they got me to say yes before. You gave up, I said yes, because without you caring - what’s the point?”
Something told Sam that this might not get through to him. That him telling him that even he was at risk by Dean’s crazy behavior wouldn’t matter to him anymore, because Dean really had stopped caring altogether. The thought passed through him quietly, stirring up the anger that had already overtaken him into something colder and darker. It was attacking that side of himself that he had sworn to bury, for both his sake and everyone else’s. Sam ignored it ; it was tempted to reach out and take control, but he wouldn’t let it. If he did, it’d go at Dean without any sense of restraint, it wouldn’t even try to talk any sense into him, it’d just...attack.
As angry as Sam was, he didn’t ever want Dean to see that side of himself. That was just taking it all to a whole new level that Sam genuinely didn’t want to share with the world. Not anymore.
“You’re not going to say yes to Michael. Look me in the eyes and promise me you won’t, Dean, because right now your entire family is falling apart and if you ever gave half a damn about any of us, you know better than to make it worse by throwing yourself to the dogs. Promise me, Dean. We need you as you. Not Michael. Dean Winchester. Promise me.” He had to. It was important that he did. Sam wouldn’t have to keep doing this, he wouldn’t have to feel as betrayed as he did now, he wouldn’t have to walk around terrified that Dean was going to go run off and screw himself over by throwing his life away for the sake of a war that he was responsible for. Dean needed to live, he needed to find a reason to live again, because if he didn’t then they were all going to lose him and that was something that Sam downright refused to accept.
Dean wanted to do what Sam was asking - to promise him he wouldn’t say ‘yes’ - even if he didn’t mean it, even though it would be a blatant lie, just so Sam would drop this, let this go. Let him go. The part of him that was always remembering Hell like that part was still down there was making him uneasy, breath just a fraction too fast, heart pounding just a little too fast; he wasn’t quite at panic or rage, but he hated being intimidated like this, penned in and trapped, cornered animal and that part of him surged to the front, wanted to fight back, tiny burst of energy and he thought maybe he could fight back, like Sam had demanded before...
...but he was pretty sure if he did he’d do something stupid with the knife in his pocket and the idea of being covered in Sam’s blood terrified him more than being cornered did, and that spark was immediately pushed away, pressed down, put out. He couldn’t risk it. There were a lot of things that could happen that would be worse than saying ‘yes’ to an Archangel, and that was only one of them; Sam just didn’t get it.
“I can’t,” he ended up saying, voice low and rough, frustrated and carrying an edge to it, but quiet. He wasn’t raising his voice, even though he almost wanted to, and there was art of him that echoed almost everything Sam had been saying - he was weak, he wasn’t who he used to be. “I’m sorry, Sammy.”
He really was, and that was probably almost worse than if he wasn’t. If he wasn’t, he could feel indignant about it, get offended at Sam’s pushing him around and trying to make him make stupid promises; he could fight back and be himself in all this, the old Dean Winchester who shot things in the face and dealt with the consequences of it later. But he was sorry, because he wanted Sam to be okay, and he wanted them to be okay, and he didn’t understand how Sam could possibly think he didn’t care.
That was the problem, he did - about too many people, now. He had too much to lose. He’d lose them all, too, all at once, all his fault... or they could lose just him. Just one person to save all of them, and the world. Or at least half the world, but half was better than none, better than a wasteland with faux-zombies and Lucifer parading around - with or without Sam’s body - looking smug and reveling in his victory.
There was a small flare of hope buried in deep down, begging for Dean to understand where Sam was coming from. He’d change his mind, he’d realize that playing tuxedo to Michael and Lucifer’s wedding was nothing more than a phenomenal mistake, he’d tell Sam that he was right, that this was all stupid and that they’d find another way, because that was what they did best. Dean would tell him. He would. He always came around, right? He was Dean. The go to guy when a fight needed to be fought, the one that Sam relied on the most for advice, the man who had taught him everything worth knowing about life. He was too smart and too stubborn to find agreeing to Michael’s terms anything but extraordinarily stupid, right? So Sam waited. He held onto Dean’s shirt, fists balled tightly around the fabric, eyes betraying him with a moment’s worth of hope that he’d never meant to let shine through.
Dean would see it. He would understand that the world needed him in ways that didn’t require him giving up everything in the process. Dean would remember that Sam needed him and he’d break out into an inspiring agreement, one that would lead into them coming up with something worthwhile when it came down to them taking on Heaven, Hell, and everything that lay in between. Dean would be Dean again and Sam wouldn’t feel like he was watching the last sibling bond he had left melt away into nothing. He wouldn’t feel like everything in the world was falling apart.
Except it was. That hope in his eyes began to fade, dwindling away into something much, much weaker. Sam’s brows furrowed and he pushed away from his brother, head bowed as he tried to process the downpour of emotions that were flooding through him all at once. He felt betrayed. Hurt. Let down. Alone.
I’m sorry, Sammy.
No, he wasn’t. He wasn’t sorry at all. If he was, he’d consider Sam’s words. He’d listen. He’d at least pretend that what Sam was saying mattered, rather than just stand there, look pathetic, and take what Sam was dishing out without a care in the world. Nothing mattered to Dean. Nothing but Michael and that damn exit route that he already had mapped out in his head.
Well, so much for that restraint.
Sam turned, that moment of weary disappointment replaced with rage so quickly that Dean probably didn’t have enough time to process it until well after Sam was slamming his fists into his face. No restraint.
He’d make him sorry.
There was a brief moment where Sam backed off, turned away, head down, and Dean was scrambling for words - explanations, more apologies, something - because he couldn’t let this be the point where Sam walked away. Whenever Sam left upset, it took way too damn long to get him back. He ran further and faster when he was upset, both literally and figuratively. That was why Dean always left first, when fights broke out - give them both time to chill out. He always came back. Sam walked out a door, left for a couple weeks, three years...
Before he had time to come up with anything to say (what the hell else was there to say, anyway? Sorry meant nothing, he knew that) Sam was whirling back towards him, and he didn’t even have time to see it coming, brace himself, before he was under attack, Sam’s ridiculous strength behind each blow - this wasn’t going to be a fight he walked away from if he didn’t do something fast. The pain in his head, the dazed after effects of just the first blow sent that twisted side of him to the surface for a moment, you know how to stop this, you can put him down for good, no one gets to do this anymo- but he shoved it away before he could whip out his knife and do something he would regret a lot more than a concussion.
Instead, he just reached out, sort of grappling with Sam’s freakishly long limbs to try to make his brother stay still, damnit, so he could get the hell out of here before Sam did something he’d regret. Like bust Dean’s skull open, or something; he really wasn’t fooling around right now, was he?
Before he knew it, Dean was grabbing at his arms, doing everything that he could to stop his giant of a brother from pummeling his face in. He still wasn’t fighting. Not really. Seizing Sam by the elbows, attempting to keep him from making matters worse than they already were - it wasn’t anything different than before. He was shielding himself. Holding back. Always holding back. Growling with frustration, Sam socked Dean upside the head one more time before he twisted out of Dean’s grip, shoved him back, and angrily ran his shaking fingers through the dark hair that had wildly fallen into his face.
“I get it,” Sam muttered darkly, “I do. You don’t have to say or do a damn thing. I get it.”
As to what Sam got, he didn’t specify. Engaging in another verbal, open-ended spar (or lack thereof, really) with Dean was only gonna force Sam into doing more damage than he’d already done.
Looking at Dean now, burning eyes briefly raking Dean over one final time, Sam knew that he’d made a mess. His knuckles were sore, the finger that carried his wedding ring all shook up and bloody from what Sam could tell was some of Dean’s blood. He’d broken skin. He’d broken Dean.
Again. It seemed to be the only thing he was good at ; it took talent, really, to break so many important things in the world.
Tearing his gaze away, Sam drew in an uneven breath and turned, clearly determined to escape from the mess he’d made as quickly as possible. Oh, he was still angry and he was sure as hell still beyond disappointed, but there was nothing here that he could do now. Dean wasn’t budging. He had no intention in taking off his Stupid Glasses and Sam was only going to put him in the hospital if he didn’t get out of here now. Things were already bad enough without adding a hospital bill to the list, as unbelievably tempting as it was.
And it scared him, to think that he had been all too eager to break his own flesh and blood just to make him see things differently. What kind of man did that? What kind of man was he?
Sam didn’t say anything else. He didn’t shoot any meaningful looks Dean’s way, nor did he bother to check and see if there was any change in Dean’s pained and uncertain expression at all. Sam just went for the door, which was still wide open from when he’d first kicked his way in, and left. He didn’t go inside when he got home. Instead, Sam pulled up his rifle from the side of the workshop set up in the garage and trudged out to the shooting range, hands still bruised and bloody, and kept on firing until he was clear out of ammo.
He didn’t miss a shot.
The first thing Dean felt when Sam finally stopped - aside from the throbbing in his head and the subtle spinning of the room and the various aches and pains of being slammed around which, bizarrely, just served as a sudden reminder that he wasn’t as young as he used to be, even though at the moment that really, really wasn’t relevant - was relief, which quickly turned into something like a bitter concern - stinging at the back of his throat where he was choking down his brother’s name and choking down the reassuring words he knew Sam wouldn’t want to hear from him right now, maybe not ever. Because the only thing that would really reassure Sam would be promises he couldn’t make, not without lying.
”I get it,” Sam was saying, and Dean wanted to ask what he meant, couldn’t quite figure out what the hell Sam was on about but he couldn’t quite ask, either, couldn’t say no, I don’t think you do; all his words were jammed up under the apologies he couldn’t quite manage to spit out. And then Sam was turning away, and then he was leaving, and the words unstuck long enough for a quick - quiet - call of his brother’s name while he leaned against the wall and contemplated the effort it would take to go after him.
...too much effort. It hurt to think that way, but he knew final when he saw it. Going after Sam now would only make things worse, would make him run further or lash out again - verbally, physically, maybe both - and neither of those options were going to help either of them in any way. He just had to wait. Let his brother cool down a little.
“Sorry,” he breathed to the empty room - the empty, vaguely spinning room - and let himself slump down against the wall a little more, giving it more of his weight and sliding down to a crouched, almost-seated position. He just needed to rest, just for a second, then he’d get up and he’d wander out to the main room in the apartment and hopefully slip out and get down to his own apartment or the infirmary without anyone in the rest of the apartment noticing how banged up he was. Without Mom noticing. He didn’t want her to see him like this. Didn’t want to have to explain.
He didn’t really know how to explain, either. The simplest answer was just that he’d screwed up. He’d screwed up again, he kept on screwing up and disappointing everyone. It wasn’t going to stop, either. It couldn’t stop, no matter what he did; if he said ‘yes’, if he didn’t... it didn’t really matter because either way he was going to be failing someone.