It wasn't so much the physical pain that came with the breaking of the wall, but the mental.
Sam would wake up screaming on the few occasions when he managed to get to sleep, limbs thrashing and hitting the covers. This time, a lamp hit the ground and shattered, the meagre light going out. Dean leapt from his bed quickly, hands holding his brother's body down onto the mattress.
"Sam! Sammy, it's not real!" he half growled, half yelled. The familiar warmth and scent of Dean helped Sam to calm down, taking deep breaths and wracking sobs as he buried his head into the chest. Dean wrapped his arms around him, a hand hesitantly placing upon the strong back. He felt so helpless when Sam was like this, knowing that there was nothing he could do. Castiel had gone AWOL, Bobby was dead, and there was no one that could help them. For the first time ever, the brothers were truly alone. They had each other, but Dean couldn't help Sam. He couldn't help him.
That thought was the one that kept repeating through Dean's mind as he held his shaking brother. He hadn't been able to stop Castiel from walking into the lake, and he had been powerless to stop Bobby being fatally shot. He hadn't been able to do anything. Dean clutched Sam tighter to him, cheek pressing to his hair.
"It's gonna be okay, Sammy. I promise," he murmured roughly, tips of his fingers digging into the muscle of Sam's back. Sam drew his head back, attempting to sneakily wipe his red eyes, before he shook it.
"No, Dean, it's not. It's not going to be okay."
He couldn't help him, he couldn't do anything.
He was helpless.
Sam pushed himself away from Dean, holding his head in his hands. For a few moments, silence fell across the brothers, Dean's hands curling into fists so tight that his nails left white imprints on his skin. Then Sam clumsily got off the bed, almost tripping from the sheet wrapped around his ankle, and placed his palm on the wall.
"Dean, I need you to do something for me."
He walked over to his bag, reaching in. Dean strained to see what he was doing.
"Anything, Sammy. You know I'll do anything for you."
Sam pulled out a gun, turning to face Dean and holding it out.
"Then I need you to shoot me."
A few seconds passed while Dean looked at the gun. It was just one of their pistols, the black curves barely able to be seen in the dusk. There was nothing remarkable about it.
"I can't… I can't." His words faltered in his throat, feeling like something was clinging and making it harder to breathe. His gaze travelled upwards to meet Sam's, and he really looked. The pain was evident even now, when Sam was coherent. Dean had been to Hell. He knew what it did to a person, and he had only endured thirty years. His brother had been trapped with Lucifer and Michael for well over a century. He knew what Sam was going through, but not to what extent.
"Dean, please. I can't do this anymore. I just can't. Please."
He couldn't do anything to help.
He could do this.
Dean's shaking fingers took the gun from Sam's own, tips brushing his palm. He didn't want to do this. He couldn't be without Sam. But he would do it, and only for Sam's sake.
Look after your brother, Dean.
His hand curled around Sam's head, bringing it down to his shoulder. Sam willingly went, his arms looping around Dean's waist to draw some comfort.
"Thank you," he whispered, eyes closing.
Dean lifted the gun unsteadily, pressing the cold end to the side of Sam's head. Sam flinched a little as the metal made contact.
"Anything for you, Sammy."
His finger moved over the trigger.
The shot rang out around the cheap motel room, the body in his arms relaxing and slumping down. Dean caught his brother, dropping down onto his knees. He cradled the larger, blood staining his cloth shirt.
"Sammy…" Another shot resounded, the two forms falling together onto the filthy carpet, the arms of the smaller still around the larger.