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Probably Never

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  • Probably Never

    Nothing new here - this is an old fic finding a new home

    Disclaimer: Alas, Dean and Sam, and Dean's gorgeous Impala, do not belong to me. I'm just playing in Eric Kripke's sandbox, and make no profit from this beyond my own entertainment.

    This ficlet is a tag for Supernatural 1.10: Asylum and contains spoilers for that episode. All blame for this is attached to Chris, Cori and Andrew who triple-ganged me and set the challenge: write about Dean's feelings after the Asylum incident, when he says to Sam he is not in the caring and sharing kind of mood.

    Probably Never

    "Do we need to talk about this?" Sam asked, with that look on his face, the one that made him seem about eight years old.

    And?yeah. They probably did, Dean had to admit, somewhere at the back of his mind where Sam couldn't see it. They probably did ? and they probably never would.

    "No. I'm not really in the sharing, caring kind of mood. Just wanna get some sleep." He brushed the question off, slung himself into the Impala, and managed not to move like a little old man, in spite of everything.

    Damn. He was going to be stiff as hell in the morning.

    He gunned the engine, and tried not to let Sam see just how pissed off and frustrated he really was.

    Do we need to talk about this? Yeah, they probably did, but he didn't want to.

    It was too hard. Simple as that. Too hard, and right now he was too tired and too sore to even think about opening up that can of worms. He'd end up saying something they'd both probably regret, and then Sam would say something they'd both probably regret, and where would that get them? They couldn't change their situation just by exchanging a few words. A few heated words, which: they would be. This had been coming on for a while now. He wasn't blind; he'd seen it coming. He'd just pretended not to and hoped it wouldn't blow up.

    He hadn't seen the gun coming, though. Thank you, psycho spirit of Professor Ellicott, for that one.

    What did Sam expect him to say? Yeah, rock salt to the chest at point blank range is a real bitch. I'd always wondered; thanks for that. Probably not the kind of 'talking about this' Sam had in mind, although until the fiery ache all across his chest went away it would remain topmost in Dean's mind. No, it was the other thing Sam wanted to talk about, the 'what he'd said and whether or not he'd meant any of it' thing. And whether or not Dean believed that he hadn't meant any of it, and that was the can of worms that Dean really didn't want to open. Not now, and hopefully not ever.

    The things Sam had said he didn't want to think about, yet his mind ? prompted by that fiery stinging reminding him that rock salt and open wounds of any size really weren't a good combination ? insisted on replaying the whole scene, over and over. The gun going off. The pain. The blind rage in Sam's eyes.

    "Why are we even here? Because you're following Dad's orders like a good little soldier? 'Cause you always do what he says without question? Are you that desperate for his approval?? That's the difference between you and me. I have a mind of my own. I'm not pathetic, like you."

    Sam had known Dean his entire life ? hell, they'd spent the last six months in a car together ? and he still didn't get it. He just wanted what he wanted, and had a lot of good arguments to back that up. But Dean believed that what they did was important, was more important, and felt he shouldn't have to explain why.

    Didn't mean any of it? Maybe not the way it had come out, but Dean had seen the resentment simmering away for weeks now, breaking through now and then in tone and expression ? it was hard to miss.

    But Dean had always taken the lead, since they were kids. It was automatic ? it was expected. It was his job. In the thick of a hunt when things were going to hell Sam expected it, looked for it even. And then resented the hell out of being told what to do because it reminded him of Dad.

    So, maybe Sam had never meant to say what he'd said, but the content? No, the content came straight from Sammy himself. Spiced up by the mad professor, perhaps, but it was still Sam, striking right at the heart of who Dean was and condemning him for it.

    And Sam of all people should understand why he did what he did, but he never had. He never had.

    "You hate me that much? You think you can kill your own brother?" Dean had asked. And it turned out that, yes, apparently Sam could. He'd pulled the trigger, more than once, and that hurt in all kinds of ways that he'd never know about. How could he? He'd never made any attempt to see Dean's point of view. Sam was Sam and Dean was Dean. And the gun part hadn't been Sam's fault. Not the rock salt loaded shotgun ? that, dammit, that really did hurt like hell ? nor the pistol that Sam hadn't known wasn't loaded when he tried to fire. Aimed right between the eyes. Yeah. It hurt, and not just physically, and yeah ? he was pissed about it. But he kept reminding himself that the gun hadn't been Sam, not really. Not his fault.

    The words were, though. More or less. The words and the meaning behind them were what Sam wanted to talk about, wanted to make things right, for a little longer, at least, by believing, and by making Dean believe, that he hadn't meant even the smallest part of it. And the words and the meaning behind them were what Dean wanted to forget, to gloss over and pretend had never been spoken. Because Sam was Sam and Dean was Dean ? and Dad was Dad ? and they all saw the world so differently. And if they actually stopped to look at the gulf between them and saw how big it really was, they'd all fall apart. More than they already were.


    Sam had apologised, of course, when it was all over. And what he'd apologised for, specifically, was what he'd said, rather than the shooting. That was actually pretty funny, in a warped kind of way. And an apology Dean could take ? it didn't even need to be said. Sam was sorry about what had happened and Dean knew that, without a word spoken. But not meaning any of it? That he didn't believe, whether Sam believed his own denial or not.

    All of which left them ? where, exactly?

    Driving back to the motel in uncomfortable silence was where, for now, at least.

    Uncomfortable silence because Sam was clearly feeling guilty but didn't know what to do about it, and because Dean was feeling pissed off and angry and not really inclined to help him out with that. Pissed off and angry because Sam had shot him and tried to kill him, and had had some pretty harsh things to say in the process. Also disappointed, for pretty much the same reasons, not to mention frustrated, because he knew Sam wasn't to blame, and try as he might he could never bear any kind of grudge against his little brother. He understood Sam's rebellion and fierce desire for independence too well for that, even if he didn't agree with it. Understood it and resented it in equal measure.

    Sam was the baby. Sam could rebel, and run away, because he'd always had Dean standing between him and Dad, between him and the hunt, between him and everything, like some kind of buffer. Rebellion and independence and that so-called normality Sam craved were luxuries Dean had never been able to afford. They came at the expense of other peoples' lives and safety. And because Dean didn't, Sam could. And Dean wanted that for him, because that was kind of the point, but did it really mean he had to just take the gift and run with it without ever looking back? All or nothing in their family, always.

    He also felt guilty. Guilty about his own attitude when Sam obviously felt bad about the whole thing, and guilty because the damn spirit had got to Sam in the first place, and he should never have allowed that to happen. Dad would have his hide for that.

    It was too complicated, too much of a can of worms to even think about, never mind make any kind of attempt at talking about, and that was even before they got anywhere near the actual heart of the matter which was, always, Dad. And the hunt. But mostly Dad.

    It was always about Dad, really. And there wasn't a damn thing either of them could do about that.

    So. Do we need to talk about this? Yeah, they probably did. And they probably never would.


    ? J. Browning, June 2006
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