Dean was outside, saying his farewells to Garth. Sam sighed shakily, eyes flickering from the closed door to his half-packed duffel. He wanted to get done with his own stuff and get the weapons packed before Dean came back in. As he headed out the door, Garth gave him a look, an apology, and a promise to keep the elder Winchester outside for as long as possible, so as to give Sam some time alone to compose himself or whatever. Absently folding a semi-clean shirt, Sam doubted there was enough time in the world to compose himself for his brother’s return to the broken room… back to his useless brother.
You should’ve looked for me when I was in Purgatory!
Sam winced, forehead wrinkling in spite of himself. Dean was right, in a way. He had started to look, but their promise to each other, to move on, to not look for each other, and most of all, to not bring the other back from the dead had changed Sam’s mind, at least partially. At the same time, he had thought – hoped – that Dean and Castiel had both made it into Heaven. Why would he have wanted to yank his brother out of there and back to Earth? Why force him back into this life, back to fighting, hunting, exorcising, getting hurt, having to look out for his demon-blooded little brother? No. He was better off in Heaven.
Left me to rot in Purgatory!
He should have made sure. Should have found a way, been positive Dean was safely in Heaven. Not Hell, not Purgatory, not trapped somewhere else. But in Heaven, sipping a beer, driving the Impala down memory lane. That he was happy, free. Free like he never could’ve been during his life on Earth. But no. He, Sam, the loving, messed up younger brother, had given up. In more ways than one. What kind of loving brother did that? Maybe he didn’t deserve to be called that, especially now… or maybe he never had in the first place. A loving brother was always there, never backing down, never giving up.
Cas let me down, you let me down, the only person that hasn’t let me down is Benny.
Come to think of it, he’d been letting Dean down since he’d been driving them and dad to the hospital. Everything had just snowballed from there.
Let’s go through some of Sammy’s greatest hits.
He didn’t even need to remember Dean’s growled out accusations. He had a list all of his own on his head.
His own death.
Dean making a deal to bring him back, and going to hell.
Not looking for Dean.
The list went on and on, big points and little, shouted out, snarled hatefully, spitefully, in his brother’s voice. Always a disappointment.
Everything you’ve ever done since you climbed into my ride has been to deceive me.
He had, in a way. He’d kept secrets, omitted things, lied. To his brother! Dean was right to distrust him, to hate him. God, all he’d ever done was lie, and then expect it to be alright when the truth came out! Time and time again, he betrayed his brother.
I might’ve lied, but I never, once, betrayed you. I never once left you to die!
Benny’s been more of a brother to me this past year than you’ve ever been!
Sam’s knees gave out, causing him to half sit, half fall onto the bed, eyes squeezed shut as his brother’s voice continued to scream at him inside his head. Thin lines of blood trickled down his arm from where his nails were digging into his arm in an attempt to ground himself.
“No! No,” he whispered. “I can fix this… I can fix this.”
Those aren’t mistakes, Sam, those are choices!
Sam’s eyes flickered from his half packed bag of clothing, to his backpack, to his weapons. There was one last way to fix this, one last choice. And Sam made the choice. No more being a burden. No more lies, anger, and failure.
Garth waved half heartedly to Dean as he pulled out of the small motel parking lot, worry still creasing his forehead as he left the Winchester brothers. He hoped he was doing the right thing, leaving them alone with each other. Dean was now free of the coin’s influence, but the coin had only brought out feelings and thoughts which were already there, just below the surface. Sam had said he was fine, but the gangly hunter didn’t really believe him. All he could do now was hope the younger brother would manage alright. And if not… he flexed his sore hand experimentally. He would just have to punch Dean again.
Dean sighed heavily as he slowly turned back to the motel room door, hand resting on the knob. Hopefully his brother was ready to go before the destruction of the room was noticed by a staff member. They didn’t have the money to pay for it, and explaining to the police was nowhere near the top of his to-do list.
The bathroom door was closed and the sink running at full force when he finally went inside, locking the door behind him. He scowled at Sam’s bed, where a good portion of his brother’s clothes and weapons were scattered haphazardly. “C’mon, Sam! Let’s get rolling! Places to go, people to see, monsters to kill!”
Ignoring the lack of response, Dean started grabbing his few shirts, a pair of pants and his weapons, shoving them with no ceremony into his bag. He could sort it out later. Right now he just wanted to get out of here, and away from the memories this room held; the broken furniture, shattered glass, and blood on the floor from where he’d thrown his brother. He was not looking forward to being stuck in the car with Sam by any means after what had happened. Rage still rolled through his veins from the emotions the coin had conjured, but it was slowly being tempered by guilt and shame.
The silence stretched into minutes as Dean zipped up his bag and Sam still had yet to emerge from the bathroom. And the water was still running. Frowning, Dean stormed over to the closed door and pounded on the faux wood. “Enough primping, Sam! Stop wasting time!”
Once again, silence beyond that of the water greeted him. Dean’s frown graduated into a scowl as he tried the handle; finding it unlocked he yanked the door open wide. “Sam, what the hell are you…” his snarl trailed off into silence as he realized the bathroom was completely empty, not even a toothbrush or shaving razor remained.
Movement behind the door made him whip around, gun yanked from his waistband without a second thought. The curtains over the bathtub danced in the breeze as it puffed its way into the bathroom, bringing smells from the diner across the street.
“What the hell…” Dean looked out but nothing was disturbed outside, and the window hadn’t been forced or knocked off its tracks. Scowl still in place, he turned around to search the room again.
Sharp eyes swept carefully over the room, he finally noticed Sam’s backpack was no longer open on the table next to the closed laptop but was missing completely – though the laptop was still sitting there. Also missing from the mess on his brother’s bed were some of Sam’s more ambiguous clothing, the demon knife, two guns and another, smaller silver knife.
“Son of a bitch. Sam I don’t have time for this!” he shouted, yanking his phone from his pocket and punching the speed dial to Sam’s phone. Ringing from his end was answered by a buzzing on the table next to his brother’s laptop.
Phone still in his hand, Dean slowly walked over. Sam’s phone jittered across the tabletop next to the pocketknife Dean had given him for his 13th birthday, set on top of a piece of paper. Snapping his phone shut and pocketing it, Dean hesitantly pulled the folded paper out from under the knife and opened it.
Two lone words glared accusingly up at him in Sam’s handwriting. It took several attempts to read and reread before their meaning sank in.