Okay so here he was standing right beside me and here I was biting my tongue. He still wasn't talking and I still wasn't asking.
Only that was getting both of us nowhere - fast. And the thing was I didn't know where to start. I'd tried, I had, but the guy just fed me with all kinds of denials and cover ups I couldn't break through. He was fine. He told me enough. Came out of hell all good.
It scared me he believed that.
"So what do you think?" He asked me still staring at the dead body splayed in front of his two feet.
I think I want you to tell me what is going on with you.
"Could be anything." My mind wasn't on this job. That wasn't from lack of trying. Whenever I caught my thoughts drifting I pinched my forearm or thigh as hard as I could through my jacket pocket to get back with the program. Being distracted in this line of work was dangerous. I had to remember that. Always.
"Samuel thinks it could be connected to the other deaths." He told me for like the third time.
Samuel, Samuel, Samuel.
So over Samuel.
"You said that."
He squatted down and pushed at the guy's bare chest.
"Yeah?" The guy's insides poking through his outsides didn't seem to faze my brother at all. He merely took hold of his shoulder and turned him slightly to search for any more damage.
"Speaking of Samuel," Even though I wished we never had to, "I think we should let him deal with this."
"Why?" He turned his head and frowned up at me confused. Offloading a case wasn't like me but Sam wasn't like Sam either and after everything, I felt like now was the time to hit this.
"Because he can deal with it." I shrugged. "What else is he doing?"
"Umm, helping Christian with a boatload of decapitated Engineers."
I scrunched up my face. "What's that about?"
"Hey look at this."
"What?" I crouched down next to him and followed his gaze to a hole in the guy's back. "Gunshot?"
"No, maybe not. Look here... ."
So there it was, back on the job, the both of us. Work interruption again. For Sam that was preferred, for me it was another time waster. I wanted to sus all this out and more than that, I wanted my brother back. Every single time I wished for that though, guilt slapped me right across my face. I had my brother back. My brother was back. Here he was right next to me but as much as the old Sam could frustrate the hell out of me, stir me right up and pull me right down, I just wanted him back.
Dinner was in another diner. That was fine but it wasn't me choosing it any longer. It was Sam. He probably didn't think I'd noticed but I had. Not often did we get take out, never did we eat back at the motel. He wanted other people around us. The reason, I guessed, was so I couldn't drill him about anything. I was onto him in that regard. The more distractions he surrounded himself with the less time and chance he had to face the real deal.
He ordered a steak sandwich. Pretty close to a burger. Downed all the fries before I could even get through half of mine. Not a salad or a single vegetable in sight.
"What's with you going all me-like with the food?" I asked him.
"Well not your usual meal of choice."
He shrugged and looked through me it felt like."Sam?"
"Just felt like it is all."
"Anyway, red meat equals protein." He shrugged again.
"Gets me through." I smiled and bit into my double bacon cheese burger.
"Gwen makes good burgers." He smiled back at me. "I'll get her to cook you up some."
Oh Joy! A barbeque with the wonderful Campbells. Couldn't wait.
"They're not bad people." He had the nerve to say to me when my response wasn't one of complete enthusiasm like he obviously wanted.
"No, they're lovely. Really." Sarcasm oozed out of me but I didn't care. Not a fan and I wasn't going to pretend I was.
"If you just gave them a chance…"
"When didn't I give them a chance?" I frowned a bit put out. I might have been on the defense as soon as I laid eyes on them, but sure as hell they were on the attack. No one. Not even their one true supporter could deny that. Could you Sam?
Nope, not a fan.
"They just need to warm up to you."
"Look forward to it."
"Dean." He sighed and for a split second I saw a flicker of a flustered old Sammy. Would it be wrong to lean over the table, grab hold of his shoulders and pull him through? Impossible, I know but wrong? Surely not wrong.
"I think you could really get along with them. That's all." He took another bite and so did I. Not convinced but not willing to let him know that. Sure, these egg shells under my feet were beginning to crack with all this mounting pressure but it was still too important to me to keep most of them intact. Yes, that was the one thing getting in our way but it was also the one thing we needed the most. Who knew what would happen to him if I forced everything to crumble and crash around him.
Back at the motel, he took a shower and announced he wanted an early night. Nothing new. I wondered if he remembered he said that the night before too… and the night before that. Sometimes I honestly believed his self-awareness was left in tatters down in the pit along with the rest of him.
I swallowed but nodded. Sure thing Sam. Anything to distract you. Even the nightmares that make you scream your lungs out at seem more appealing than talking to your own brother. I get it. I do. But not for much longer buddy. It ends soon.
Just as soon as I figure out how.
(To be continued…)
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