Okay fine, yes I felt like an asshole scratching the back of my head and leaning back so I could check the time, but when the thirty-fifth minute ticked over, I had to physically stop myself bolting out of there. Lisa's face looking up at me in horror pulled me back into the room. It was vital for me to remember; the devil, the cage, the years; this was all new to her. While I'd been living it, she hadn't even considered it a possibility and why would she? It was such an effed up story, no one ever could.
'I'm so sorry.' She finally said in summarization of just about everything I think.
'So that's why I've been all about Sammy lately. I mean, you saw him right?'
'Yes. Yeah of course.' With a slide of her index finger across her bottom lip, she added; 'God Dean.'
'And we can't blame him. Not with everything he's been through.' It was wrong of me, but there was something I wanted to say ever since she started with her crazy, jealous performance, something I was positive would make her understand; 'It'd be like if it happened to Caroline.'
Caroline; her sister, her best friend. The woman she called first when she was happy, sad or otherwise. The woman who had always been by her side, through everything, thick or thin, pushing her up, pulling her down. Whatever she needed, whenever she needed it. The woman she loved the most.
'No,' she said surprising me, 'it wouldn't.'
Or maybe not.
'It'd be like if it happened to Ben.' I swallowed. 'You've told me yourself how you practically raised your brother and I can't even imagine…' She looked up at me again. 'I was such a bitch.' She stood up and took my hands, 'I'm so sorry. I can't believe I acted like that.'
'You didn't know.'
'I knew enough. I was so upset you weren't putting us first but truth is I'd always put my son first too.'
Even though my eyes were watering I smiled at her. She pulled me in for a hug and then asked me the question I did have an answer for; an answer I had been sitting on since I'd known my brother was back.
'What do you want to do from here?'
'Dean's not going to be a fan of this idea.' Bobby said picking up his clothes in one heap and stuffing the bundle in his bag. No folding necessary for Bobby.
'I know.' God did I know, but maybe somehow I could talk him into understanding it had to be done; for both our sakes- especially his. His life was turning to crap because of me and I needed to step out of it so he could pick up the pieces. It was sad and it sucked, but no way was I going to pull him down any further.
He would fight it tooth and nail, that was a given. There would be yelling and screaming and flat out refusal. In reality this decision was anything but personal, but I knew my brother and I knew without a single doubt he would take it personally. Never would he understand this was harder for me than him. The mere thought of leaving him freaked me the hell out; but what choice did I have? It had to be done and even if he didn't realize that, Bobby and I did.
Our bags were fully packed and lined up along the wall when Dean stepped in with two al-foil covered plates. 'Lisa wanted you to have some dinner.' He greeted scrutinizing me and not the floor.
'That was sweet of her.' Bobby said taking them off him.
'She usually is sweet…'
'We know.' Bobby smiled. 'How'd it go?'
'Good. At least she knows now right?'
'How are you doing?' Dean asked me. Truth was now that he was here standing in front of me, seeing his wide eyes hoping for good news caused my strength to fade.
'Good. Sit down?' I had to do it and I had to do it now – before I completely chickened out.
'What's going on?' He asked me taking a seat on the dining chair probably for the last time.
I sat myself down on the edge of the bed and waited for Bobby to sit at the table next to my brother. 'You have to promise me you won't freak out. Okay?'
'Bobby and I are leaving tomorrow.' Bang. Dean dealt with plain and simple better than anything else and I had to go in strong to wipe away any fluff. That was my way of convincing him.
'I'm moving in with him – into his house.'
He looked from Bobby and back to me. 'You're kidding me right? This is some sick joke?'
'No, it's no joke.'
'What the hell are you talking about Sam?' It was then he scanned the room and saw the bags. 'You're leaving?' He asked slowly as I watched his face drop. That sight alone almost killed me.
'Yes. Tomorrow.' I nodded pretending to sound determined.
'Dean,' Bobby started, 'this is something Sam and I spoke about awhile ago and we think it's the right time now. We can get him settled into a routine and you – '
'I can what? Huh? What? I can carry on living a normal life?' Already his voice was rising as he turned to Bobby. 'That's what you were going to say wasn't it? That you can take my brother away and I can go home as though he never came back.' His jaw clenched as he eyed our older friend. 'What are you trying to do?'
'Dean, he just offered his house, it was my idea to take him up on it – and to go now.' I cut in.
'No frickin way.' He shot at me.
'Just try to understand.'
'Understand what? That you're doing it again?'
'Doing what again?'
'The same thing you always freaking do Sam!' Standing up, he took a step towards me. 'Why do you always have to do this?'
'Try to get the hell away from me all the frickin time!' He shook his head as I recoiled. 'Do you really hate me that much?'
'No. What? No! Dean, don't think that. I'm doing this for you, so you can have a normal life.'
'If you think that you don't know me at all.'
'Think about it. Think about how your life has gone to hell since I came back. You lost your job, you got beat up, and you have problems at home. Should I go on?'
'Yes go on because I am really interested to see how you've convinced yourself you are doing this for me. You need me!'
'And how does that help you?'
'You think I can carry on here knowing that? You aren't ready Sam!'
'Dean.' When my hands shook at his yelling I placed them under my thighs. My heart was racing full pelt but I couldn't let it affect me like it was threatening to do. The breakdown before had somehow strengthened me, but it was obvious it could flatten me again at any moment, I could feel it brimming and the last thing any of us needed was for Lucifer to start tapping into my head again. Especially right now. 'I have Bobby.'
'You are a selfish –' He stopped himself and pressed his lips together so no other words would escape.
'-Bastard.' I finished for him. 'I know.'
What the hell did I do to deserve this?
Here they were telling me flat out they were leaving – without even so much as talking to me about it first. Just decided now and packed their things. Going tomorrow and why? So I could get a job and play happy families. Did they realize how ridiculous that sounded? And oh - oh yeah - they spoke about it awhile ago? They had to be frickin kidding me. They had to be.
Sam's scared eyes weren't even affecting me like they normally do. All I felt like doing was hitting him; punching him square in the face. And Bobby – Bobby I wanted to fling out the room and smash him right into his old beat-up truck.
Everything told me to calm the hell down for my brother's sake…but you know what; screw that. No one ever gave a damn about how I felt, so why the hell should I care about how they felt?
If only I could do that. They deserved it. They deserved for me to stand on the doorstep and wave them good bye so I could carry on without them – go back to my perfect little life working at Walmart, playing husband and father and forgetting my brother was ever born.
But no, me being stupid me couldn't do that, could I?
No. Me being me had to cling on for dear life so he wouldn't walk away from me – again.
What the frigging hell was wrong with me?
'Dean-' Bobby tried.
'You do not speak to me. You know better than this!'
Just as Bobby stood up, I made a decision. There was no way this was going down. No frickin way at all. No matter what, my brother was not taking off on me. And yeah you could call me selfish too but anyone – except for Bobby and Sam obviously – could tell you…he needed me!
'I'll go for a drive.' Bobby said to Sam who nodded nervously. He was trying so hard to appear strong and his words were sounding it but they weren't fooling me. I could see right through him and again, I knew…he needed me!
I still felt like hitting him. If he was in any other condition that's exactly what I would do too. And enjoy it.
'You okay?' Bobby checked with him when he picked up his keys from the kitchen counter.
'He's fine!' I screamed.
'Calm down boy.' He dared frowned at me.
'Don't tell me to calm down!'
'Take your phone. I'll call you.' Sam said to him.
I shook my head as Bobby nodded his. 'Take it easy.' He ordered me stepping out of the room and closing the door behind him.
'This is not going to happen.' I told Sam immediately, noticing his leg jumping nervously.
'What's the alternative Dean? Just stay here for the rest of my life?'
'No.' I sat down again more relaxed now that half the posse was gone. 'You move in with us.'
He blinked at me.
'I've spoken to Lisa and she agrees. We sell that house and buy a bigger one.'
'No.' he frowned. Which just pissed me off again.
'Why not?' I growled.
'Because it wouldn't work. Were you not there tonight?'
'Were you? Look at what happened Sam.'
'Yes exactly and who were you calling for? Who got you through it?'
'Don't you get it? If I wasn't there it wouldn't have happened.'
'Oh. Oh I see, this is my fault.' Again with the punch. Right on his left cheek. Would be bliss.
'No. I'm just saying if I wasn't in these situations – if I was at Bobby's –'
'You would crawl up and die!'
'And what would you do?'
'Crawl up and die!' i yelled. 'Jesus Sam don't you get it yet?'
'You coped a year without me, you can do it again. And you know it will be different this time – you can visit – I can visit you. Meanwhile though, you get your life back on track.' He took a breath and released his hands from under his legs. 'Right now you are losing it all and I don't want to be the cause of that.'
'I am and you know it.'
'Sam you are really pissing me off.'
'It's for the best. Best for everyone. Me, you, everyone.'
'This is what you want?' I asked. 'Answer me honestly.'
'No. This is the last thing I want.' That's all I needed to hear. Done deal. 'But it's the only way.'
'You go. I come with you.'
'It's up to you Sam. You go to Bobby's, I come. You stay here, you move in with me. Up to you.'
(To be continued…)