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The Dark Interior Life of Sam Winchester

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Sam spent a lot of time imagining how he would kill himself. It was the most fucked up thing he did, which is saying something for someone who got off at least once a week while imagining his brother’s perfect lips wrapped around his cock.

The two fantasies were intrinsically related.

The brightest suicide fantasy, the one he spent the most time with, found the most comfort in, involved a great heroic sacrifice. It would be doomsday, the big boss fight, and Sam would have a moment to tell Dean that this was what he wanted, that he loved him, that he wanted him to live a life after this— he’d make Dean swear to that point-- and then he would dive in front of the train, or throw himself on top of the bomb. He'd save the world and he’s save Dean and, and this was the part he really wanted, this was the real point of the fantasy, his sins would be expunged in the process. It would all be over. Everything evil inside of him would be made right by this act of self-sacrifice. He’d never have to feel this self-loathing, this fear ever again. That was the part that made it more suicide than heroics.

It was a fantasy of course, because Sam knew deep down there was no way Dean would ever be okay with this. Sam could fill a container ship with assurances, but Dean wouldn’t be able to truly accept any of them.

There was no way Dean would see Sam’s death— suicide, self-sacrifice, or wherever they met in the middle— as anything other than Dean’s failure. Sam’s death would always mean Dean’s utter destruction, and both of them knew it.

So Sam tried hard to stay alive, even when he didn’t want to.

In Sam’s darker fantasy, which was revisionist, because go big or go home, Sam had never gone with Dean, had never left Stanford. He’d stayed with Jess and maybe there was a fire or maybe it had never happened at all, that wasn’t the important part. The important part in this fantasy was that Sam had kept the vow he’d made himself the night he left, sobbing into his fist in the dimly lit bus station bathroom. He’d never allow himself to see Dean again. He’d gone to college and eventually he’d stopped calling Dean. Then he'd slowly started to fall away. He’d switched cell phones, graduated, moved.

One day, when he felt like he’d finally totally removed himself from Dean’s life, from Dean’s reach, he’d leave all of his ID at home and find his way to a shitty, no name motel—something like the kind they’d stayed in as kids, maybe even one they had—and he’d rent a room under an assumed name and pay cash. He’d lie down on one of the double beds and he’d take an entire bottle of sleeping pills and finish it off with a bottle of whiskey and he’d never wake up and Dean would never know what happened to him.

Plan B was perfect, except it had never happened. Except that when push came to shove Sam didn’t have the grit, didn’t have the steel in his spine to say no when Dean had asked. When he’d begged Sam to come so he wouldn’t have to be alone. He’d give Dean anything he asked for.

Sam’s favorite sexual fantasy involved wrestling. It wasn’t something he and Dean had done in ages, which Sam was thankful for, but they used to, as kids. In this fantasy, it would start over something light and fun—not as a way to work out tension like sparring “practice” sometimes started— something like Sam refusing to give Dean the remote, or maybe Dean demanding to try every pillow in the motel room before he would pick one, and they would start to wrestle. Maybe Dean would have just finished showering, and would smell like soap and his skin would still be damp. He’d probably still be shirtless.

They were pretty equally matched in real life, Sam was bigger, Dean had more technical skill, but in this fantasy Dean always had Sam pinned to the carpet. And Sam, because Sam hated to lose and because Dad had taught to them how to fight dirty, would reach up and bite Dean on his shoulder, hard. And instead of punching him, or complaining about how Sam was a cheater, Dean would surprise them both, and moan.

Dean would stop and blink and without thinking Sam would take advantage of the moment and flip them over, Sam on top, because that is what Dad taught them to do when their enemy was distracted. Instead of struggling, Dean would relax under the weight of his brother and Sam would realize that Dean was hard, that they both were. And Dean would fist his fingers in Sam’s hair and pull him down and Sam would nip at his throat, at Dean’s earlobes, before Dean finally pulled him in for a real kiss.

It wouldn’t be a soft I-had-a-nice-time kiss, or even a come hither kiss, it would be a hard, the-ship-is-going-down, bruised lips goodbye kind of kiss.

It would be perfect.

Sometimes, instead of the wrestling, the fantasy kiss would happen after a hunt.

They’d be battered and bruised, Dean would have a split lip and Sam would have been knocked around, unconscious for a moment. Sam would come to and Dean would have his hands on Sam’s shoulders asking “Are you okay, Sammy? Are you with me kid?” in that utterly wrecked voice he used when he thought Sam was injured, when he was trying to decide how much to worry. And Sam would say “It’s okay. I’m fine, I think I’m fine.” And then Dean would pull him into a hug. And Sam's skin would sing at the the touch and he would marvel, as he always did in real life, about how perfectly they fit together.

Dean would let go and then, absently, Sam would reach his hand up to Dean’s face and brush the pad of his thumb against the cut on Dean’s lip. Dean would hiss, but then Sam would lean forward and very very gently brush his lips over that spot.

Dean’s jade eyes would spark with only a moment of confusion, and then he’d pull Sam back and kiss his whole face, paying special attention to the bruises. He'd whisper “Sammy” and run his fingers through Sam’s hair. Sam would press against him, and run his fingers over his brother’s shoulder blades, down his back. He’d kiss back and moan into Dean’s throat and then he’d slide a hand into his brother’s jeans, easily thumbing open the button.

When you spend the majority of your childhood in the backseat watching trees go by, you develop a very active imagination.

Sam also had a recurring nightmare, where these two impulses wound together into something even sicker. In the nightmare, Dean and Sam are also wrestling, but Sam wins and he kisses Dean and Dean doesn’t want it. Dean struggles, and Sam doesn’t let him up because it is a nightmare, and because Sam’s brain can’t even imaging stopping once it had started to kiss Dean. Sam doesn’t stop, ripping their clothes off, leaving savage bite marks on Dean’s chest, bruises around his writs where Sam is pinning him to the floor. Dean fights until he doesn’t fight anymore, and Sam takes him savagely and everything is wrong. Finished, Sam gets his gun out from the bedside table and paints the wall with his brains.

He is pretty sure that if he didn’t always wake up there, sweaty and shouting, he’d see Dream Dean do the same.

Sam didn’t have that nightmare very often, but when he did, it always woke Dean up. Or maybe, Dean always woke up when he heard Sam raced to the bathroom to throw up everything he’d eaten that day. Sam would be puking and Dean would come in half asleep and sit next to him on the cold bathroom floor. He’d rub Sam's back or maybe, if the motel had them, he'd put a cool washcloth on the back of his neck. He’d pour Sam a glass of water, maybe press a palm to his forehead to make sure he didn’t have a fever.

It made it so much worse.

Sam wouldn’t be able to look at Dean for a week. He’d be on edge, he’d barely eat, he’d barely sleep. His worst fears about himself confirmed, he’d start cleaning his guns excessively and plunge full time into trying to come up with ways to die that wouldn’t destroy Dean. Dean would worry and hover and eventually Sam would get better about wearing his game face. He’d at least get into bed, he’d force himself to eat and eventually faking it would give way to actually being kinda okay, until he had the dream again and the whole thing started back over.

Sam never had a normal fantasy about his feelings for his brother. He never envisioned them sitting in the Impala, Dean driving and happy, wind whipping through their hair as they did 80 down some completely deserted back road. He never pictured saying “Hey, we gotta talk about something,” and just laying his soul out for Dean. He never fantasized about talking about it the way they’d talked about almost everything, especially growing up. He never fantasized that Dean would understand, even if he didn’t feel the same way, or that it was something they could work through together.

Sam’s brain could easily picture “kill yourself” or “fuck your brother,” but never a healthier middle ground.

Sam’s brain was an incredibly fucked up place.