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Dean’s face is on fire. His brain isn’t down with this, because it’s trying to force its way out of his skull. He cracks open his good eye. Sam appears on the edge of his bed with a mountain of ice. When he settles it against Dean’s skin, it stings like a motherfucker. Dean hisses a curse and tries to recoil, but Sam’s other hand cups his good cheek.

“Not tonight, Sammy,” he slurs. “I have a headache.”

Sam rolls his eyes, but the pressure doesn’t let up. “I’d ask what the hell is wrong with you, but that’s a list for another time, isn’t it?”

Dean snorts, and immediately regrets it. He winces through the ripples of pain before answering. “You would know, huh.”

“But seriously,” Sam says, “what the hell is wrong with you?”

Dean shrugs. “Was drunk.”

Sam stares at him. “Can you even get drunk anymore?”

No,” Dean snarls. Sam blinks. “Yes,” Dean corrects himself. Sam keeps staring. “Shut up.

His brother only keeps staring, mouth pressed into a thin line as he holds the compress against Dean’s face. Dean fidgets under the gaze. Finally, Sam says, “I don’t think anyone followed us back, so I don’t think we have to leave town.”

Dean frowns, trying to remember. “We can’t go back to that bar?” He’d liked that bar.

Sam barks a laugh. “You screamed ‘there will be blood’ and punched a random guy in the face. So no, we can’t go back to that bar.”

“… Oh,” Dean says, closing his eyes. He doesn’t remember starting the fight. He doesn’t remember finishing it.

He remembers wanting it.

“Dean,” Sam ventures.

“I blacked out,” he mutters.


“I blacked. Out. Sam,” he growls, fighting down a wave of nausea. “Now let’s drop it.”

Sam’s fingers dig into his cheek. “You always tell me to drop it, but—” he stops short. Maybe he realizes he should mind his own business. Or maybe he’s just staring at the way Dean knows his eyes are squeezed shut, feeling the way Dean’s jaw is clenched.

“Blackout” has never been the right word. Hellfire isn’t black.