It Happened Before, When Sam Was Four
reminds him of the time when Sam was four years old. He’d barely been
nine but even then he had done things that no other nine year olds ever
dreamed of. At nine, he already knew how to handle firearms, clean them
and shoot them with precision every time. He knew how to cook a basic
dinner, wash the family laundry in a Laundromat, take care of his little
brother and basically be a good kid. It was quite a feat for a nine
year old because Sam was annoying when he was four, especially when he
got whiny and clingy.
It had happened during one of his dad’s hunts. They’d been staying in a motel room for a few weeks and Dad had left that night promising to return in the next two days. Sam had spent the previous night watching horror movies, courtesy of Dean, and had had one hell of a nightmare. He clung to Dean like a limpet for the rest of the two days until Dad got back. He wouldn’t go anywhere without Dean, even dragged him to the bathroom every time he needed a wee much to the exasperation of his big brother. But then, Sam would look up at him with his puppy-dog eyes and say, “But I’m scared Dean,” and Dean was doomed.
Yet, the truth was that taking care of Sam was pretty much what Dean did best. So, when the wall in Sam’s mind broke a year ago, he knew he was the only one who could get through to his little brother. Now, come hell fire and high water, if the only thing that can keep Sam sane is him then he swears he will get Sam through it.
is driving along the interstate with Sam’s head on his lap because he
is tired of reaching out across the seat. This way, he can drive safely
without worrying about his brother’s mental health. Sam is sleeping
right now with his right cheek plastered to Dean’s bare stomach. Dean
had to lift up his shirt up for that and Sam had to fold his giant body
in just the right way in order to fit inside the car’s too small space.
It makes Dean miss the impala all the more. His baby sure can
accommodate both of them better.
Of all the craziness that has happened to them, this is definitely the most odd. They don’t get touchy feely with each other except for the occasional hugs when the other is near death or just back from death. So, the past three days have really stomped on Dean’s comfort levels.
Dean blames the Devil. If he could, he would go back down to hell and stab the bastard with the angel sword repeatedly until he was satisfied. He is sure that what Sam is seeing are only left over memories of hell but damn that snake-tongued son of a bitch for playing with his brother like this, as if he still has a hold of him somehow.
It is all started three days ago in a motel room after they’d ganked that psycho in Idaho.
Dean is startled awake by the sound of crashing. He looks around the dark motel room only to find Sam thrashing around on the floor between their beds with both arms bleeding.
“Shit!” He jumps out of bed immediately, grabbing his brother’s shirt and calling his name with panic clear in his voice.
“Sammy! … Sam, please stay with me…Sammy!”
Sam is curls up on the floor with his eyes closed and all of his muscles pulled tight. He grits his teeth while tremors wrack throughout his body. Dean grabs him tight, turns him over on his back and straddles his waist. Then he holds his face in both hands, pleading for his brother to open his eyes. “Sammy, come on open your eyes, man. It’s me, Dean… come on, Sam, snap out of it. Come on…”
Dean feels Sam’s body start to loosen after a while and then he opens his eyes much to Dean’s relief.
“Sam? … You with me?” Dean looks into Sam’s dazed eyes, worry marring his face, deepening his age lines.
“’s n’t workin’…’s n’t workin …” mumbles Sam repeatedly.
“What’s not working? Sam, what’re you talking about?” asks Dean, frantic but Sam ignores him. He keeps mumbling it over and over again until Dean gets a good look at both his arms and sees that they are bleeding from several slice wounds.
“What the …” Dean grabs one of Sam’s bleeding arms and inspects his wound. “What the hell did you do, man?” shouted Dean horrified. He makes quick work of lifting Sam’s giant limp body off the floor and onto the bed then gets the med kit.
He cleans Sam’s wounds carefully, three slices on the left arm and two on the right. The wounds aren’t that deep so they don’t need stitches. He only needs to roll them in bandages but goes a little overboard, so that his brother looks a bit like a mummy. Sam is not aware of what he’s doing the whole time. He just stares at the stained ceiling quietly, not even flinching as Dean tends to his wounds.
“Sam?” Dean touches his brother’s wide chest and scrutinizes his lax face for any sign of coherence. “Hey, man, you there? ... Can you look at me, Sam?”
Sam slowly shifts his eyes to look at Dean’s worried ones then whispers, “He won’t go away, Dean.”
“Who won’t go?” Dean looks confused before the fog clears away and he finally gets it. “You mean him? The Devil?”
“Usually, when I press on the wound in my palm he goes away but not now. Now, he is back for good. I dunno how to … how …”. Sam sends a pained look at his big brother, pleading with him to help him because he’s lost as to what to do.
“And you cut yourself because of it?!”
Dean is feeling outraged partly because of Sam’s stubbornness in keeping it from him. He is angry that Sam chose to hurt himself rather than wake him. “You should’ve woken me up, Sam!”
Dean goes to pack up their med kit and put it in their supplies bag.
“How did it happen, anyway? I thought you said you’d got it under control. How did he get past your wall?”
Sam doesn’t answer. Instead, he turns his face away from his brother to stare at the wall. Dean stands up and goes to the foot of Sam’s bed. His face is pinched with worry and the muscles in his jaw are rippling as his anxiety rises.
“Can you see him, now?”
Sam shakes his head slowly while still facing the wall. Dean knows that his brother is hiding something. Judging from his shifty eyes and the way he won’t look at him directly, Dean knows that this something must involve him. Dean is determined to get to the bottom of it, even if he has to hang the little jerk upside down to get him to spill the beans.
Dean has to sigh at that. This is why he always shies away from any ‘chick-flick’ moments of any kind because he knows that dealing with Sam always exhausts him emotionally. He does not need drama from other people.
“A’right, I’ll get us some coffee and … You stay right here!” Dean points his finger at his brother with all the seriousness he can muster. “Ya hear me, Sam? I mean it. Don’t leave the room. Don’t … don’t even get out of bed!”
Dean walks out of the room quickly with the sole intention of getting back as soon as possible because experience has proven that he cannot leave Sam alone. Who knows where his brother will end up this time if he takes another imaginary trip with the Devil. Little does he know that Sam’s tremors restart as soon as he clears the door.
Dean returns five minutes later with two cups of hot coffee. It is still too early to buy anything else so he’s settled for just that right now.
Dean closes the door and puts the coffees on the table while looking around the room for his brother. The beds are empty. He circles around the room heading for the bathroom. The door only opens a few inches despite Dean’s insistent pushing. Looking down he can see stray hairs on the bathroom floor just behind the door.
He crouches down and thrusts his hand through the space to touch Sam’s head. “Sam, can you move?” asks Dean. “I can’t open the door, man. You gotta move so I can get in.”
Sam’s head jerks up when Dean touches it, then there is a slight pressure pushing into his hand which makes it difficult for him to move his brother away from the door.
“Come on, you gotta move, buddy.”
Dean strokes Sam’s head for few seconds just like when they were kids and he was trying to coax a sulking Sam into cooperation. Usually it didn’t end well since Sam hated being treated like a child even when he still was one, so Sam’s lack of reaction now worries him immensely. He doesn’t know what’s happening to Sam behind the door. Is he cutting his wrists again or is it worse this time?
Dean tries pushing the door again and this time it gives slightly, just enough for him to peek inside. He slides his head through the gap and looks at his brother. Seeing Sam curled up naked on his side with his back to the door makes Dean’s eyebrows rise. He quickly pulls his head out and pushes the door harder with both hands at the base, moving Sam with it. Once he’s made enough space to slide his whole body through, he crawls in and kneels in front of Sam.
Sam lets out a quiet whimper just before Dean touches his cheek, both his palms planted firmly over his ears as if to block out sounds.
“Sammy … come on you can’t sleep on the floor naked. Get up, now.”
Dean grabs Sam’s hands off his ears and cradles his head. Looping his arms under Sam’s armpits he helps him up. Sam clutches Dean’s shirt tightly as his big brother shuffles both of them out of the small bathroom.
“Fuck, you’re heavy,” grouses Dean. “Can’t believe salad bulks you up this much. Why are you naked, anyway? Were you gonna shower?”
Sam wraps his arms tightly around his brother’s torso putting more pressure on his chest which is already wheezing from the exertion of carrying his almost dead weight to the bed. He presses his face into Dean’s shoulder mumbling the word ‘fire’ into his shirt but Dean hears it anyway.
Prying Sam’s hands off of him proves another chore since the giant limpet won’t loosen his hold until he’s dragged Dean down onto the bed next to him, naked Sam! Somehow that fact disturbs him. It is true that he used to bath Sam when they were kids but that was when they were kids. Granted they’ve been living in each other’s pockets for their whole life. (Sam’s period of insanity when he ran away to Stanford does not count and the last year when he’d been stranded at Lisa’s was only because soulless Sam was a jerk). And they have seen each other naked countless times but they have not slept in the same bed since Sam was eight.
Dean struggles to get out of Sam’s deadly grip but his little brother keeps dragging him back whenever he senses that Dean is getting away. “Are you gonna let me go anytime soon?” he asks his brother who is still hanging on to him as if his whole life depended on it. An exasperated sigh sneaks out past his lips.
Sam lets out a distressed sound that is more like a whine in Dean’s ear. So Dean gives up his efforts to get away because Sam just keeps pulling him back.
“At least get under the blanket will you? I won’t have you getting sick on top of this.”
To Dean’s surprise, Sam lets go one of his hands to blindly reach behind him for the blanket. Dean kicks off his boots and pulls the blanket over Sam as he curls beside him, face pressed firmly into his shoulder and both hands wrapped tightly around his torso.
“Coffee’s gonna get cold,” says Dean to no one in particular and gets no response. He takes a deep breath and settles in for another couple hours sleep. He hopes his brother will be through this episode when they wake up later, so they can get out of this town as soon as possible.