I watched him through the window. Sitting out the back on a fold out chair with a case of beer next to him, surrounded by beat up cars he was eyeing one by one. Bobby placed a hand on my shoulder while he stood behind me probably following my gaze to my brother.
'How're you feeling now?' He asked me.
'Like an idiot.'
'He's only trying to help you. He just doesn't know how.'
'I know.' I looked back at him. 'Do you want me to do anything else?' Dishes were done, counter scrubbed, floor swept, stove cleaned, table wiped; all by me. While Bobby watched – or should I say supervised; every detail, correcting me when I did wrong, pointing out when I missed a spot.
'You can take the trash out on your way to your brother. That is where you're headed isn't it?'
Dean only realized I was there when I unfolded my chair with one hand and placed it down beside him. 'Got a beer for me?' I asked him.
He handed me one and took a swig of his own. The damn lid was on too tight and it was a bitch trying to get it off but I was determined. I could handle a damn screw top. 'Hey listen, I'm sorry about before.'
'S'okay.' He said staring straight ahead.
'It's just –' Usually it was then he would stop me from saying anymore, but he didn't. He continued to focus on the white and rusted Toyota at the furthest point of the yard. 'I don't want to go on any medication.'
'I got that.'
'Yeah I guess you did.' We both took another gulp at the same time. 'Yesterday I freaked out because I thought Bobby was going to stop you coming. I mean there was other stuff as well, but that was the main thing. And then I don't know why, but it felt like Lucifer was coming for me – and he was angry; really angry, like he always was…'
Dean looked at me with eyes that compelled me to continue. 'I thought he was going to slice me up and so I kicked and hit out at him – or what I thought was him, only it was Bobby.'
'Is that what happened to you down...stairs? He sliced you up?' He struggled to say. I hated when he struggled - with anything.
'Among other things.' Always after any kind of meltdown, I came up stronger and I wondered if that was normal – but what was normal? An hour ago there was no way I could have said this stuff, now it seemed easier. That's all I knew.
'Tell me what happened.'
'So much - and you know what, it doesn't even matter because it was no worse than you went through.'
'Eighty more years Sam.'
'Yeah, well. I'm out now.'
'And how exactly are you out?'
'I told you, with the help of Cas and other angels but Michael mostly.'
'I don't really know. I mean it was a combination of things but I managed to take control and once I was free of him, Michael held him down and the angels and I opened the door; them with their language, me with brute force. It took thousands of tries. Over and over again and for awhile there I thought it would never happen, but we kept at it; it had to be perfect and one time, it worked. And suddenly I was out. There was a lot of enochian, a lot of fighting and a lot of mind control. Sometimes I was with it, other times I wasn't. I can't tell you anymore than that. I don't even remember half of it.'
'And…him?' Scared of saying the word now. I couldn't blame him. If he did, I'd probably have a freak out once again.
'A lot of the time he was fighting it, but most of the time he was just angry. Really, really angry.'
'Wanting revenge on you.'
'Yeah. But like I said, I'm out now.'
He closed his eyes as he said: 'You know what. I bet the worst things I could imagine wouldn't even come close to what you went through.'
'So don't imagine.' I said looking down at my fingers, not inclined to tell him the visuals Lucifer so kindly flashed in front of my eyes. Not willing to let him know I saw exactly what they did to him, how they tortured him and cut him up and then started all over again the next day. I didn't want to tell him how I couldn't close my eyes or shut it out. The devil made me watch it, made me watch every single detail while the background music he played was of his callous and evil laugh. And then when he was done, he'd show me again; on a continuous cycle. Again and again and again. Whatever else happened to me, that was the worst of it; watching my brother suffer like he did and knowing it was truth.
And I couldn't do a damn thing to stop it.
I shook my head and slammed my eyes shut, but the tears rolled out one by one. I turned to face away from him so he wouldn't see and took another gulp of beer; a long one.
'But your right,' I heard him say, 'You're out now.'
'And totally messed up.'
'Yeah, but you'll get through it. You will. If you let me help you too.'
Right then, I could only nod.
'I'm on your side Sammy. You know that don't you?'
'Always know that.' I wiped my eyes and smiled at him.
'So, tell me what you need? Tell me what kind of help you want from me.'
'I'm not really in the position to tell you that.'
'Then tell me what works.'
'I don't know.'
'How Bobby's doing it?' He asked hopefully, desperately needing a solution.
'No.' I laughed. 'Nothing annoys me more than how Bobby is doing it.'
He looked at me in confusion. 'But you called him.'
'I know. Go figure.'
'I'm not following.'
'I'm insane.' I laughed, 'I don't think you're meant to.'
'Just be yourself Dean.' He said to me when I couldn't shift the utter lost expression on my face. 'I just need…you.'
I nodded not convinced.
'But you have to think about what you need as well. Lisa and Ben; they would have come wouldn't they?'
'Yeah, they would have, but it wouldn't have worked.'
'Because I can't be in two places at once.'
'So you threw it all away to save me again.'
'What would you've done?' I looked at him with all the blankness I could muster. Not wanting to sway him any way. Just wanting the truth to come out so he could understand. His eyes were wet; tears still threatening to continue. I supposed mine were the same. 'Sammy, tell me, what would you have done?'
'You know what I would've done.'
With a shrug and after another swig I said, 'So don't fight it.'
'But it's not fair on you.'
'Let me decide what's fair on me.' When he didn't reply, I continued, 'Don't take it on. Just know there is nothing more I want than to be here with you. That's all you need to know and I know,' I smiled for him, 'you wouldn't want to deprive me of what I want the most right?'
'You deserve it all though Dean.'
'That's not the way it rolls with us. You should know that by now.'
'Yeah, well, it sucks.'
'That it does little brother.' I finished off my beer and grabbed another one. 'But there was nothing worse than losing you to that place and all I wanted every second of every day was to get you back…and it happened. Other people don't get so lucky. So I'm happy.' I raised my bottle to his and we clinked it with a smile.
'Even if I'm screwed to hell.'
'Even if you're screwed to hell.'
I shot up in a panic, dripping in sweat. Nothing new; just another night. I peeled off my t-shirt, tossed it onto the ground, kicked off the remaining sheet and lay back down relieved it was just a bad dream- well a terrifying dream. My heart was still racing and my breathing was taking its sweet ass time to settle but it was a new kind of normal for me now and I never expected anything else. As I wiped my hair from my forehead and turned my head to check the time, a scream erupted. For a second I figured it was my own but when it happened again I realized it wasn't coming from my room, but from the one directly across the hall.
The three of us had only just set up his room before we went to bed. When Bobby disappeared that morning he'd loaded a new bed, two lamps, a digital alarm clock and second hand drawers onto his truck. Even though I remembered all this, when I bolted in there I smashed my knee against his bedside drawers and tripped over a leg on his bed, falling right onto him. 'Sorry. You okay?' I asked him. The blue hue coming from the clock emitted enough light for me to see he was still dead asleep.
He was having a nightmare as well.
Another yell from him made me jump and flinch. His voice was deep and raspy and as he screamed his feet kicked and his body tossed. 'Dean.' I said sitting up, hoping my voice and movement would stir him.
'Sam, no.' I heard a voice from behind me say. I pulled something in my neck when I whirled around. It was just Bobby. Why couldn't I get used to it being someone human and safe? 'Don't wake him.'
'Why? We have to.'
My brother kicked me in the shin when he screamed again.
He was sweating as much as I was. I wrapped my hand around his bicep and shook him slightly.
'Sam! I mean it!' Bobby snarled. 'Don't you dare wake him.'
'Why? That stuff about not waking up someone from a nightmare isn't true. Dean!'
'Just go to bed.' Bobby commanded.
'Okay, look, I'm asking you nicely here Sam. Just please go back to bed.'
Another scream, more kicking and tossing. No way was I going to leave him. No way in the world.
'Sam!' Bobby tried again with a growl when I shook Dean again with a little more vigor.
The old man actually grabbed hold of my left arm and tried to haul me up. 'Bobby, don't. Leave me alone!' Still he kept pulling me with force I didn't even know he had in him. 'What is wrong with you? I'm not leaving him. Quit it!' I ripped my arm out of his grasp and turned back to my brother. 'Dean, hey. Wake up man.'
'Sam, leave him. I've got this.'
'No you haven't.' I spun around and snarled at him. 'You don't' know what it's like! You haven't been there and if he is reliving even a second of that place, I want him awake! Dean!' I continued as I turned back to him. 'Why isn't he waking up?'
'He's in too deep.'
'Then get him out of it!' This time I shouted; in fact I rivaled Dean's volume because the thought of him being in too deep terrified me to the core. 'Get him out of it Bobby!'
Finally I saw Dean's eyes flicker. 'That's it!' I said to him calmly, sitting closer and shaking him some more. 'Come on, wake up. Please, just wake up.'
He was trying. God knows he was trying. 'It's just a dream.' I tried to tell him not sure he could hear me.
'Sam!' Finally he spoke and said my name. That meant he knew I was with him right? 'Sammy! Noooo!'
'Oh God. Bobby get him out! Quick. Please.' He was dreaming about that day, I was sure of it and the fear, torment and trauma in his voice was scaring the crap out of me; it was intense and petrified and I couldn't handle even the thought of what he went through when I jumped into that damn hole.
'Go back to bed Sam.' He shoved me so he could take my seat and this time I let him. 'Let me handle this. You don't need to see it.'
'I'm sorry Dean.' I said as I backed up against the wall and watched Bobby rub his arms to softly wake him.
'Sam, go back to bed. I'm not going to tell you again. I'll be in when I wake him. Go.'
'You're not helping!' It was his turn to yell at me which was fine because it made Dean stir. I dashed over to the other side of the bed and sat down next to my brother, almost falling off. I gripped hold of his arms and shook him once again. Maybe too hard because even though this woke him, Bobby had to literally pry my hands from his skin.
'Oh thank God.' Dean sighed when he managed to open his eyes. 'Thank God.'
'You're telling me.' I said breathing out and noticing how much I was shaking.
'How're you doin'?' Bobby asked him.
He shook his head, frowned and sat up. 'Killer headache. Jesus.'
'Get him some aspirin.' I said to Bobby who fixed me with a heavy glare before doing so.
'What was it about?' I asked Dean just to be sure when I heard Bobby's feet on the tiles of the bathroom.
'Nothing Sammy.' He said swallowing and resting his head back on the new bedhead breathing in and out just as I was.
'You can tell me.'
'So tell me.'
'I don't remember.' He lied. And I accepted it because knowing Dean he wouldn't tell me anyway; no matter how much I begged him to.
'Does this happen a lot?'
'Nah.' Another lie. For my sake. I could tell.
'Go back to bed Sam.' Bobby sounded like a parrot when he handed Dean a glass of water and three pills. Or a broken record. No more like a squeaky, annoying, little parrot. 'Now.'
'Dean?' I looked at my brother. What he wanted, I would do. 'Do you want me to go?'
Dean glanced at Bobby and then back at me, 'No. Just five minutes.'
'He needs to.' Bobby told him seemingly unfazed at my brother's answer yet determined to get a point through to him; one I wasn't sure of.
'But go anyway Sammy.' Dean said to me. 'I'm okay.'
Freaking Bobby. Fair enough he tells me what to do when it has to do with me; I'd cop it. But not when it was about Dean. No hope.
I shrugged. 'Not going anywhere.'
'Sam do as you're told!' Bobby screeched in the God damned middle of the night.
'No! I said no! So no! You can't force me so you might as well accept it.'
'Guys-' I vaguely heard Dean say.
'In here Sam. Now.' He stood up, ready to step into my room with me following behind. I didn't. Just glared at him from my position on the bed feeling like a ten year old but knowing I was an adult. Yes a screwed up adult, but still an adult. I didn't have to do what he said all the frickin time.
'I told you, I'm not going anywhere.'
'Dean, tell him.' Bobby ordered.
Both of us looked at my brother who closed his eyes and sighed. 'Both of you go back to bed. I'm fine.'
'I'm staying here.' I said.
'No, you're not. Both of you need your sleep.' Bobby said. 'What is staying in here going to prove?'
'I knew this would happen.' Dean mumbled to himself. 'Was just a matter of time.'
'Umm, that I'm not going to leave him alone.' I told my surrogate-and-infuriating-father.
'Not that it was a long time.' My brother continued. 'What was it? Like a day?'
I had no idea what Dean was talking about, so I glared at Bobby who told me 'He needs his sleep and so do you,' again. Parrot.
'He can sleep. And when he does and he's not dreaming, then I will too.' I said simply. 'Not before.'
'Just like old times.' Dean went on to himself I think. Couldn't be sure. 'Awesome.'
'You can be a stubborn little git sometimes Sam.'
'And so can you.'
'Guys, enough!' Dean exclaimed. He was right, this wasn't fair on him. He didn't need us arguing over the top of him even if the old man was plain wrong and bossy and …annoying. 'Name calling?' he said to Bobby. 'You're kidding me right?'
With a surrending huff, Bobby's shoulders deflated. 'You sure you're okay?"
'Yes, I'm fine. It was just a bad dream. No big deal.'
'So you're fine to deal with this?'
'This?' I scoffed at Bobby. 'I'm a "this" now am I?'
'Sam, stop! Bobby, go to bed. Goodnight.' Dean rolled his eyes, waited for Bobby to say goodnight back and then glared at me – just like he used to when I was a teenager. 'Really?'
The least he could do was take my side.
(To be continued…)