It had been an unreasonably hot and long summer the year when Sam Winchester turned up on her doorstep in early September, looking even worse than Dean had a year ago; wide eyed and dirty, barefoot and swaying. Dean was at work and she didn’t open the door, too aware that things could look like one thing and be something else entirely, (and also wondering why Dean had seemed to imply that Sam was dead) but he didn’t knock either.
He curled up in a corner of her porch and stayed there, watching the road. It took her a moment to realize that he was trembling minutely.
She retreated into the house, grateful that Ben wasn’t home, and paced back and forth in the living room before calling Dean. He picked up after a few rings, and she could hear the buzz of construction in the background.
“Everything okay?” he sounded immediately worried, and Lisa gave up on subtlety and blurted it out.
“Your brother or something that looks an awful lot like him is sitting on our front porch,” she said. Dean didn’t even answer, just hung up.
Lisa returned to the front door and watched Sam. He was still wedged into the corner. A dog barked and his head whipped around, and she imagined being able to see the whites of his eyes as they rolled like a nervous horse’s.
Dean made it home in record time (of course he did) and the car screeched into the driveway. Lisa could see some of the neighbors looking out their windows, curious, staring, and felt self-conscious. The car had barely stopped before Dean was out and moving, and Sam’s head lifted.
Lisa turned away, feeling suddenly that she was intruding on a private moment.
“He’s not dangerous,” Dean promised her. He glanced over his shoulder. Sam was sitting in the next room, on the couch, his shoulders up by his ears and wild around the eyes. Lisa raised an eyebrow.
“Dean,” she started to say, as gently as she could manage, but he was already shaking his head.
“He’s not okay, Lis,” Dean was saying. “He’s just…not.”
“Maybe he should go to a hospital, then,” Lisa said, and Dean stared at her like she’d suggested something insane.
“Do you want me to list the problems with that?”
“No,” she said, and sighed. “Just…Dean.”
“It’ll be okay,” Dean said. “I just can’t…send him away. And I don’t want to leave you. Or Ben. You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”
She knew it wasn’t smart, knew she had to think about Ben and herself besides. But it always made her glow just a little to feel needed, and whatever else he was, Dean was a good guy. What was she going to do, send his brother – his shattered looking brother – out the door?
“You can fix up the guest bedroom,” she said, and Dean looked so grateful she almost felt badly for her doubts.
“Sam’s here,” she told Ben straight off when he got home, and Ben blinked.
“Sam who?” was his first reaction, and Lisa remembered that Dean really didn’t talk about Sam, hadn’t almost the whole summer, and never to Ben. Only ever to her, when he was a little bit drunk or just before sleeping.
“Dean’s brother Sam,” she said, and Ben looked confused.
“Oh, right,” he said, and paused. “So he’s visiting?”
Lisa sat down and ran her fingers through her hair. “I don’t…no, not exactly. He’s not well right now. I think he’ll be staying with us for a while.”
“Okay,” Ben said, apparently nonplussed. “Whatever. Where’s Dean?”
“With Sam,” she said. They’d been upstairs for two hours without Dean emerging. Lisa wanted to go and check on them (both) but she suspected it wouldn’t be wise.
“Huh,” said Ben, and then, “When’s dinner?”
Dean came downstairs for dinner, looking exhausted and unhappy. He barely ate anything, though Lisa noticed he also didn’t take any alcohol, which was unusual to say the least. “Does Sam want anything?” she asked, carefully, to which Dean shook his head.
“Nah. Not tonight.”
“What’s the matter with him?” Ben wanted to know, seeming more curious than concerned. He probably didn’t remember much of Dean’s brother, Lisa decided. Dean gave Ben the sharpest look she’d ever seen him cast at either of them. It made her skin prickle briefly.
“He’s just a little messed up. No big deal.”
“Are you okay?” Lisa asked, and Dean turned his head and stared at her like she’d surprised him with the question. Maybe she had. He gave her that look sometimes when she showed concern over things he seemed to consider trivial. Sleep, for instance. Or just about anything else.
“Yeah,” he said at once, almost automatically. “I’m fine. Listen, I probably shouldn’t leave Sam alone for too long. I’ll clean my dishes, make it up to you tomorrow, okay?”
She felt a sinking feeling in her stomach, but she ignored it and just nodded her understanding and found a smile. “Tell your brother he’s welcome to join us even if he’s not hungry,” she said. Dean nodded absently, already seeming far away.
It took Lisa a long time to get to sleep, and she felt Dean slip in beside her around two o’clock, silently so not to wake her. He rested his head on her shoulder and she fell asleep like that.
And woke up an hour later to the sound of screaming. “Shit,” Dean was saying, “Shit, fuck,” and then he was out of bed and moving. At first Lisa’s confused brain thought it was someone outside, and then she thought it was Ben being attacked and panicked, and then she realized it was coming from the opposite direction, from the guest room.
It was a terrible noise. Lisa had never heard anyone scream like that, not even in movies, and it made her want to run and hide. She climbed out of bed instead and followed Dean down the hall, found the door open and the two Winchesters on the floor, Dean with his arms wrapped around Sam, body used like a shelter.
“Wake up, Sam, it’s okay, you’re fine, you’re here,” Dean was saying, and it seemed an eternity before that awful sound trailed off into muffled, gasping breaths like choking. Sam’s face burrowed into Dean’s shoulder.
Lisa realized her heart was pounding.
“Is there anything,” she said in a small voice. Dean had woken up like this a few times – no, not like this, she amended. Not quite. “…anything I can do?”
“Maybe some water,” Dean said, his voice low and quiet. He didn’t move. “Shit, is Ben…”
“M’sorry,” Lisa heard, muffledly. “M’sorry, m’sorry.” That wasn’t from Dean, and it took her a moment to realize that Sam was apologizing. His voice sounded rough and rusty, nothing like she remembered it. “I shouldn’t, shouldn’t have, please don’t please-”
Lisa’s stomach turned over. It was pleading; a grown man begging like a child. She wanted to leave and go back to her bed and pretend she’d never woken up. “Sam,” Dean said, low and serious and stern, almost the same voice he used to talk to Ben when he needed Ben to really listen. “It’s okay. I promise. It’s okay.”
She went to get the water, checking on Ben first. He was sitting up, rubbing bleary eyes. “What,” he started to say, and she shook her head.
“It’s okay,” she said. “Go back to sleep. Sam just had a nightmare.”
“Oh,” said Ben, and lay back down and was asleep in moments. She envied him.
She got the water, and by the time she returned to the guest room Sam had shifted to leaning against Dean’s side, head hanging down. He was still taking short, ragged little breaths, and Dean was rubbing his back in slow circles.
She held out the glass wordlessly and he took it. “Lisa,” he said, and then stopped, expression one of consternation.
“It’s okay,” she told him, before he could go on. “I took care of you, didn’t I?” She gave him a small and worried smile that Dean didn’t return.
“You can go back to sleep,” he told her. “I can take it from here.”
She didn’t feel him return to bed.
In the morning, early, Lisa found Dean drinking a cup of coffee. His head was pushing toward the table and his shoulders looked weighed down. She sat down and put her hands on the table, waiting.
“I called in sick,” Dean said, after a moment. “Just for today.”
“Okay,” Lisa said, doing her best to keep her voice reasonable. She took a deep breath before asking. “Dean, what happened to him? To Sam?”
Dean was quiet. He turned the coffee cup around in his hands, and then took another sip. “Hell,” he said, finally, and then stopped, and seemed to shake himself. “No, worse. Lucifer happened, the fucking Devil, and I don’t even know…”
And Lisa promptly realized that she knew next to nothing about the world, once again. “I don’t understand,” she said, “You don’t mean-”
“The Apocalypse was going to happen,” Dean said, tonelessly. “Everyone – Heaven and Hell – was expecting it. Sammy dragged the devil and his brother into their own special compartment of Hell and followed them down. He wasn’t ever coming back.” Dean stared into his coffee.
“God, Dean,” Lisa said. She couldn’t understand – couldn’t begin to comprehend – what all this meant. But she could gather enough. And thought of the man upstairs, screaming-
Screaming like someone was pulling him apart like an insect.
Dean dropped his head into his hands, apparently oblivious to her horrified stare. “At least he’s back. At least…god. I don’t know. He knows who I am, anyway, that’s…”Dean trailed off, made a muffled sound.
“Dean,” Lisa said, and then didn’t know what to say.
“I’m sorry about this,” Dean said. “Really. I just can’t…hand him over to someone else. He got out of Hell and came here. Came to find me. That means something, right?”
Lisa was torn, briefly, between resentment and pity. She sighed. “Just sleep,” she said, finally. “Please just do that?”
Dean was quiet for a while, but then he nodded. “If anything happens,” he said, finally. “Wake me. Okay?” He trudged upstairs, though, no matter how reluctantly, and she could see the exhaustion written large all over his body.
Lisa held very still for a while, just waiting, and finally moved gingerly up the stairs. The door to their room was closed. The guest room door was open just a crack, and she looked inside, resting her fingers lightly on the doorframe.
Sam was awake, sitting on the bed. His back bent in a perfect curve, his hands resting palm up, and he was murmuring, softly, softly, to himself. She couldn’t quite understand the words and wasn’t sure she wanted to. What, she thought grimly to herself, had she taken on?
“Sam?” she said, finally, plucking up her courage and opening the door a bit more. His head snapped around and he stared at her, white visible all around the color of his eyes. Then he blinked, and seemed to calm.
“Oh. Hi. Uh. Lisa.” The smile he gave her was so fast and so false that it almost made her want to wince. Lisa cleared her throat.
“Do you…need anything?”
“What? No,” he said, quickly, and seemed to curl up more tightly, as though making himself a smaller target. Remembering how tall he was, it was miraculous how well he imagined it. “No. It’s fine. I’m fine. It’s fine.” His eyes skittered from place to place, never pausing, never settling. It almost made her skin crawl to watch. His fingers moved up and wrapped around his forearm, and Sam started murmuring to himself again, eyelids sinking to half-mast, hooded.
“Sam?” she said, carefully, and he jerked, skittered back away from her into a corner.
“I’m sorry,” he said frantically. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to. I’m sorry.” His fingers tightened, clawed at the sweatshirt he was wearing. “Please. Stop. Stop stop stop.”
Lisa stepped back. Dean was just down the hallway, but he might be sleeping. She didn’t want to wake him. But she didn’t know what to say either, and just stood frozen in the hallway, watching Sam shiver and gradually lapse into murmuring to himself in some language. It seemed to die down slowly, though, and eventually she slipped down the hall and into the bedroom she shared with Dean, where she curled up next to him and closed her eyes.
She woke up to an empty bed. It was five o’clock in the morning and down the hall she could hear Dean’s voice thick and urgent and plainly not talking to her. Rubbing her eyes, Lisa got out of bed and padded down the hallway.
“Sam,” she heard Dean saying, his voice rough and urgent. “You can’t do this to yourself. You just can’t.”
“I didn’t know,” Sam’s voice, hushed and cracked around the edges. “I couldn’t tell. It didn’t. I didn’t. I’m sorry.”
She looked through the open doorway. There were blood-soaked towels on the floor, and Dean was kneeling next to the bed, wrapping Sam’s outstretched arms in bandages.
“You’re not there,” Dean said. “You’re here. With me. Don’t go making a bid for freedom yet.”
Sam made a weak, anemic sound that was probably supposed to be a laugh. Lisa turned away at once and hurried downstairs, feeling suddenly that she’d intruded on something private.
The rest of the house was quiet and still, and Lisa didn’t know what to do with herself. If maybe she had taken on too much to handle and should let go now. But she didn’t think she could. Too late for that. And Dean was right; where would they go?
Her compassionate streak had always been, her sister said, too wide.
Dean came down a half an hour later. He looked exhausted, still, but there was something determined in his mouth. He went straight for the coffee-maker. “Is Sam okay?” she asked, carefully.
“You saw?” Dean sighed, rubbed the back of his head. “He wasn’t trying to kill himself. It’s just…things get a little screwed up afterwards. And sometimes you can’t feel…” Dean cut off. “Sam’s fine,” he said, almost mechanically, and something had gone dark in his eyes. “Resting, at least for now. I think I might give him some of that stuff you got me, later.”
Lisa nodded. Back in the first months after Dean had come and found her, he’d been practically unable to sleep, and when he did, the nightmares were terrible. Lisa’d gotten him some sleeping pills, good stuff that put him out like a light when Dean needed to sleep. At least for a while. It got better after a month or two, and he slept on his own, just not very much. “Okay,” she said.
Dean rubbed his eye. “It should…get better than it is now. I think it’s been a couple days. To get himself here.” Dean breathed out harshly. “Jesus. I don’t even know how he did get here.”
“Dean,” she broke in. “He was saying…something. In a language I didn’t know. Do you…”
Dean swallowed. “It’s Enochian,” he said, and then his mouth closed like a trap and he drank the rest of his coffee in a rush. “I tried to get in touch with someone last night,” he said, hurriedly, like he thought Lisa might stop him. “Someone who can help. So if a weird guy in a trenchcoat knocks on the door...he’s supposed to be here. You think it’ll be okay if I bring Sam down for a little bit of breakfast before Ben gets up?”
Lisa just nodded. “I can make something,” she offered, feeling queerly helpless, as though she were looking at her life from the outside.
“Nah,” Dean said. “That’s fine. He’ll expect it to be me.”
“I can go,” she said carefully, moving a step toward the living room. “Step around the block…”
“No,” said Dean, and rubbed his face. “No, I need…you should be here. I want you here. “
She bit her lip, and nodded. Dean was halfway to his feet when one of those screams, those awful screams, issued from upstairs and then he was running, and Lisa following after him. Dean burst into the guest room and stopped dead.
Around him, Lisa could see a man shorter than Dean, wearing a trench-coat and standing awkwardly near the center of the room. And crammed into a corner, Sam; speaking louder and more frantically, desperately in that strange language – Enochian – and Lisa didn’t know the words but could practically hear the pleading in the tone.
“What,” she started to say, but Dean didn’t look worried, or angry, just pained. “Dean,” said the stranger in a rough, gravelly voice.
“Sam,” Dean said, with a quick nod in the trenchcoated man’s direction. “Sam, it’s okay. It’s just Cas.”
Sam looked from Dean to – Cas? – but his fear didn’t seem to lessen, and he kept talking. Castiel frowned, and spoke back, the words flowing naturally from his tongue. Sam fell silent, but he looked more terrified instead of appeased.
“Translation, asshole,” Dean snapped, his eyes on his brother. Cas didn’t turn his head, but Lisa caught a flash of pity in his eyes.
“Your brother is pleading for mercy. He recognizes me, after a fashion, but not as…myself.” He seemed to be stepping around something, but Dean seemed to get it and deflated.
“Oh,” he said, “Right.” Lisa stared at them both, and Dean suddenly seemed to remember her presence. “Cas, this is Lisa. Lisa, this is Cas. He’s an angel. And a friend.” With that, he was crossing the room toward Sam, dropping down next to him, leaving the angel (what?) and Lisa to stare at each other.
“Dean is not particularly skilled at introductions,” the angel said. He did not seem exasperated. Or…anything, really. Lisa cleared her throat.
“Do you…want anything?” Her mother’s hospitality skills, drilled into her, taking up slack. She thanked - god? That seemed awkward – for it now. The angel Cas shook his head. “Dean said you could help,” she added, after a moment. “With Sam.”
The angel glanced over toward the brothers. Dean was talking to him in a low voice. Sam’s eyes kept flickering back to Cas. “I don’t know,” he said finally. “I hope that I can. Lucifer is a great deal more powerful than I am, however, and his wounds leave deep scars. And I would not even dare to touch Sam now.”
Lisa felt a shiver at hearing that name spoken so plainly, with such – nearly banal calm. “If you’re an angel,” she said, finally. “Why is Sam so scared of you?”
Cas looked at her for a moment, impassive and still, and then glanced away. “Lucifer was an angel, and still is in many respects,” he said finally. “As is his brother Michael. Sam’s soul recognizes an angel and has learned to associate it with pain. Truth be told, I don’t blame him.”
“God,” she said, without thinking, and then expected something from the angel (seriously?) next to her, but he said nothing. Just watched Dean try to soothe Sam as Sam clutched at his jacket, his neck, his hair, like if he stopped touching Dean Dean might not exist anymore.
She stood next to an angel in a guest bedroom, watching her lover try to keep his brother back from Hell after defeating Lucifer together. Lisa felt slightly hysterical.
“I think I’m going to go make breakfast,” she said to Cas, who just nodded. Dean didn’t seem to hear, and she fled downstairs without interruption, and stood shaking in the kitchen. The world seemed to grow more uncertain every day.
It hurt too much to think about, so she made pancakes and waited for Ben to get up.
Lisa was amazed, the next morning, to find Sam downstairs at breakfast, Dean hovering over him, eating an English Muffin. Nibbling tentatively at, but still. His hair was damp like he’d recently showered, and his eyes looked calmer. The smile he gave her was no less twitchy, though.
“Good morning,” she said, carefully, and looked at Dean. “You look…better.”
Sam twitched, juddered slightly. Had another bite of muffin. “Yeah. Uh. Thank Cas.”
“And I do,” Dean said loudly. “Cas is awesome. If we get a new god, I’m voting for Cas.” Sam smiled slightly and ducked his head.
“Good,” she said, and felt herself relax. “Good. I’m…glad.”
“Do you want some orange juice, Sammy?” Jesus, Dean was practically…puttering. Lisa marveled at it. He looked better, happier, than he had since first coming to her after…whatever had happened. She didn’t want to think about it. “Is Ben up?”
“I’m up, I’m up,” grumbled Ben as he stumbled down the stairs, and blinked at Sam, then just said, “Oh, hey,” and wandered to the cereal cupboard. For a moment, Sam looked panicked, and then Dean walked around behind him and brushed lightly against his shoulder and it went away, Sam’s whole body seeming to go slack even at the slight contact.
“If you’d like me to do any chores,” Sam said, looking at her through a fringe of hair. “I’d – be happy to help out until I can get a job. Whatever you need.”
Lisa looked down at his arms for a moment, the bandages peeking out from under the long sleeves, and shook her head. “No,” she said, finding a smile. “It’s fine.”
“I don’t want to be a burden,” Sam insisted, and Dean broke in.
“You’re not a burden, Sammy,” he said, and dropped his hand on the back of Sam’s neck, squeezed once. “Finish your breakfast. You do get to do your dishes.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Sam said, but she saw that little flicker of a smile again. Dean wandered over to the sink and she followed him.
“It’s like a wall,” Dean was saying lowly, before Lisa could even ask. “Cas put up – a kind of wall. In his brain. To keep things sorted out. I mean, it’s not perfect, but…”
“He looks a lot better,” she said. Carefully.
“Yeah,” Dean said, and the corner at one side of his mouth turned down. “But that’s why the trouble’s going to start kicking in.”
She found out what he meant when she eavesdropped on a heated conversation in the living room. She’d been upstairs reading and come down for a glass of milk when she heard them both talking. “I can’t stay here,” Sam was saying. “Dean, this isn’t what I wanted-”
“Fuck what you wanted,” Dean said. “What you wanted sucked. And where are you going to go, anyway?”
A pause. Then Sam, almost mumbled, “There are places…”
“Insane asylums,” Dean said flatly. “You want me to let you go shut yourself in a nuthouse?”
“Cause I’m not going to!”
“This isn’t going to last forever.” Sam’s tone was resigned, but stubborn, determined. “You know that. Cas told you like he told me. This is a quick fix. When it fails…I’ll be back where I was. And I don’t want that to be…here.”
“With me?” Dean’s voice was a challenge. Sam’s answer was soft and barely audible.
“Dragging you down, Dean. What you’ve got…it’s good. For you. I can see that. And I’m…not. No, Dean, don’t-”
“Is this some shit he fed you? Down there?” Dean’s voice was full of righteous anger.
“No – well, yeah, but it’s not just him, Dean,” Sam said, with a peculiar kind of evenness in his tone. “I think I always knew. I just couldn’t admit it. In a – ‘nuthouse’ – it’ll be safer for me. For you. What if I think you’re a demon, or that Lisa’s Lucifer, and-”
“No.” Lisa had never heard quite that tone of voice from Dean before, quite that level of anger and ferocity. “This conversation is over, Sam. You’re not going anywhere. And so help me, if you suggest it again I will beat the fucking idea out of you, understand me?”
“I just think you should think about it.”
“Thought about it. Not going to happen.” She heard Dean turn on his heel. “I’m going outside. Goodnight, Sammy.”
Lisa fled, embarrassed, some part of her aching.
Sam tried it on her next. “Why are you asking me?” she cut in, before he could even get started, and Sam seemed to stutter for a moment, puzzled. And then smiled; a small, pained curve of his mouth.
“Dean’s being stubborn, and I just thought if you-”
“If I say anything to him about kicking you out, Sam,” Lisa said, surprising herself with her own certainty, “Dean will never speak to me again. And I wouldn’t blame him.”
Sam just blinked at her, like he didn’t understand the words she was saying. Lisa pretended politely not to notice.
Two weeks out from the visit by the angel, Sam lost it for the first time. They were sitting in the kitchen, Sam was drinking a cup of coffee and froze. It dropped to the ground a moment later and shattered and Sam’s body was twitching and jerking. Lisa’s brain said seizure you should you need to but she couldn’t move, just staring at the broken mug on the floor, wondering when this had become her life.
Dean was at work. Sam had convinced him to go back, though not without difficulty, and his brother was seizing and Lisa didn’t know what to do.
Except a moment later it was over and Sam fell still and quiet, his eyes closed, and she forced herself over to find his pulse. It was there, but weak and erratic, and his breathing was so shallow it took her a moment to find. She struggled, uncertain, not knowing what to do.
Call an ambulance. He needs medical care.
She could picture the look on Dean’s face, though, and thought about if – things went wrong. She wasn’t sure what kind of documentation Sam had, didn’t know what would happen if he came around in a strange place, didn’t know-
-anything, really, and she’d only just realized it.
Sam saved her the trouble by taking a deep, harsh breath and opening his eyes. He stared at her in obvious confusion, gaze slightly unfocused. “Lisa?”
She realized she could smell the acrid scent of urine, and winced. “Are you all right?”
“Fine,” said Sam, his eyes swimming with confusion. “I’m fine.” He flushed, abruptly, and she saw the shame clearly in his eyes. “—oh god. I’m sorry.”
“No,” she said, quickly, “No, it’s fine…are you sure you’re all right?”
“Yeah,” Sam said, so quickly she knew it was a lie, even without the quick skid of his eyes away from her face. “Let me just – I’ll clean up, okay? I’m sorry,” and the repeated apologies remind her a little of those first few days, nothing but apologies, like they would never be enough. Part of her wanted to call Dean, but she didn’t know if that would be the right thing to do.
“When Dean gets home,” she started to say, and Sam cut her off.
“I’m fine, honestly. Don’t worry him, okay?”
“Sam,” she said, hesitantly.
“There’s nothing he can do,” Sam said, and his eyes were so deep and sad and – old that she surrendered, recognizing an argument she couldn’t win when she saw one.
Dean came home whistling. Sam had changed clothes, cleaned the entire kitchen, and was reading a book like nothing had ever gone wrong, and Dean grinned at him before waltzing into the kitchen and taking one look at her face.
The smile melted. “Lisa,” he said, alert and tense immediately. “What happened?”
“I don’t know,” she said, and glanced at Sam, lowering her voice to be sure he couldn’t hear. “Sam just – it was like a seizure.”
Dean’s face went pale. “Already?” he said, and then he wheeled around and was marching toward his brother. “Sam,” he said, in a tone that boded nothing good.
“Dean,” Lisa started to say, but Sam was already looking up, blinking.
“Something happen today you want to tell me about?” Dean’s voice was a growl. Lisa never wanted that voice directed at her, but Sam didn’t seem surprised. He did shoot Lisa a look around Dean of pure betrayal, however.
“It was nothing,” he said, soothingly. “Just a little…”
“Crack,” Dean finished, “Just a little crack, is that right? Damn Cas, if it’s falling apart together – I’m calling him back down here to fix this, that son of a bitch-”
“Dean,” said Sam, and then looked at Lisa, seemed to consider for a moment, and kept going. “It’s not going to last. You knew that. I know it. Look, this is more than I ever expected.” Sam’s smile was thin and small and sad, a pathetic attempt at the real thing. “This just proves…”
“Don’t you dare,” Dean said. Sam’s eyes actually narrowed.
“I thought we were done with this,” he said, slightly more sharply. “You getting in the way of everything coming at me. I’ll stay here as long as I can, but I need to know that when the time comes-”
“When the time comes what?”
Dean and Sam both fell silent and stared at each other. Lisa chewed on her lip, realized she was doing it, and stopped.
“I can always walk out, Dean,” Sam said quietly. “Would that be better?”
“Don’t do that to me again,” Dean snapped. “Don’t you think you’ve done that enough?”
“Would both of you please just-” Lisa took a breath through her nose. “—don’t I get a say in this?”
They both looked at her, seeming surprised, then guilty. Dean opened his mouth, then closed it. Sam sat back down and said, “Of course you do, Lisa, this is your house,” and she could see the faint trace of satisfaction in his expression.
She cleared her throat. “I’m with Dean,” she said. “And you’re both welcome here as long as you need.”
It was an impulsive decision, and she had a feeling she’d live to regret it, but at the moment it felt right, and it gave her some small satisfaction to see the surprise on both their faces. “Lisa,” Sam started to say, but she frowned at him and he fell silent.
Dean came in as she was getting ready for bed, crossed the room, and kissed her soundly. “Jesus, Lisa,” he said. “You have no idea how much I don’t deserve you. Thank you, thank you so much. For taking me in. For taking Sam in,” and she knew which one was really more important to Dean.
“You’re welcome,” she said, with a tiny smile and more than a little bit of a glow. She leaned into him and listened to his heartbeat for a few moments. She paused, and chewed her lip. “There are – medications. Maybe those would help.”
“Maybe it won’t get bad,” Dean said. “Maybe it’ll be okay, and Cas is just being a pessimist.” She could hear in his voice, though, that he didn’t really believe it.
“Maybe,” she said, and wished she could sound more convincing.