Dean had been looking for Sam for hours, and when he finally found him, he sat in the Impala watching his brother who was curled up with his arms around his knees staring out at the small lake that was located on the edge of the town they were currently staying in on the back roads of America. Dean sighed and got out walking towards the hunched over figure.
Sam’s shoulders became tense as Dean came up behind him, so Dean knew that his little brother had heard his shoes in the gravel. Dean could handle a bitchy Sam, hell he had been dealing with that Sam since Sam hit puberty and began to buck against everything that their family stood for.
But this was different, Sam didn’t look bitchy, he looked sad, angry, and torn apart all at once. As Dean got closer he saw a half empty bottle of whiskey hanging from his brother’s fingers. Sam was eighteen, it wasn’t like Dean didn’t know that he had drank before, it just wasn’t Sam’s way. It was their Dad’s way, which meant that Sam wanted nothing to do with it.
Dean sat down in the dirt beside Sam, and looked out at the lake waiting for Sam to say something. Sam sighed and took another sip of whiskey, wincing at the sting behind the alcohol.
“Do you think we are good people Dean?” Sam whispered. Dean frowned and finally looked at his brother’s silhouette.
“What kind of question is that Sammy?” Sam shrugged.
“I think it’s a valid question.”
“You’re drunk.” Dean said, as he swiped the bottle out of Sam’s hand. Sam didn’t fight for it, but did turn his angry eyes towards Dean.
“Just answer the damn question De.”
“We kill monsters, and we save people. Isn’t that the definition of good?” Sam laughed coldly.
“We kill monsters because it makes us feel better about our own sad existence. We fight for vengeance. We are blood hungry; saving people is just a bi product. It is completely secondary. Isn’t that the definition of bad?” Sam choked out a sob and put his head down into his arms trying to regain some composure. Dean was floored, Sam hadn’t cried in a long time.
“Jesus Sammy, what’s going on with you?”
“I don’t want to be this anymore…” The hair on the back of Dean’s neck stood up.
“What does that even mean?”
“I don’t want to be a hunter Dean, I want something more then this… I want a life. Please tell me you understand that.” Dean stood and put a hand through his hair.
“I will never understand that. This is what you are Sam, and what your family is. You can’t walk away from your family; it’s all we have. I don’t even know who you are anymore.” Sam watched his brother and a sad smile made its way across his face.
“Yeah that’s what I thought…” Sam said, standing on wobbly legs. On instinct, Dean caught him and wrapped an arm around his waist.
“Lets just go home Sam… let you sleep this off…”
“Yeah… mmmkay…” Dean put Sam in the passenger seat of the car, and got in the drivers seat, but didn’t put the keys in the ignition.
“Hey Sammy?” Sam shifted his head towards Dean.
“You aren’t going anywhere right? Like, there isn’t anything you need to tell me?” A few too many seconds went by before Sam turned back towards the windshield.
“Nah Dean. I’m staying right here.” Dean tried to ignore how sad Sam sounded when he said that.
Dean groaned when he pulled into the parking lot of the motel and saw that his Dad was back. With a drunk and groggy Sam in the passenger seat, John Winchester getting involved was sure to cause a fight, and Dean didn’t have the energy to deal with the mismatched Winchester bookends.
Dean pulled Sam into the hotel room, and deposited him on the bed, before turning to his father. Another bottle of whiskey was sitting on the table, and John was eyeing both of them. Dean sighed, great another drunk Winchester.
“Don’t even bother Dad, let him sleep it off.”
“Where was he?”
“Is he drunk?”
“Very.” John sighed and rubbed a hand through his four days of beard.
“Stupid kid.” Dean bristled.
“He isn’t stupid Dad. He is smarter then us.” John snorted and walked into the attached room, leaving Dean alone with his brother. “Are all families this fucking moody?” Dean whispered to himself, while heading to the bathroom to change. He grabbed a glass of water and the bottle of aspirin as an after thought and put it on the end table between him and Sam. His brother was going to need it.
Sitting on the edge of his bed, Dean took the opportunity to look at his brother. It was hard to comprehend that this six foot four ball of muscle was once the scrawny baby that Dean had carried out the door of his house. Dean looked at Sam for the first time, really looked at him and noticed the frown that Sam seemed to have on his face even in sleep. For the first time Dean admitted to himself that maybe this was more then teenaged angst and moodiness. Sam looked truly and thoroughly done, he looked tired and there was something depressing about the way Sam seemed to curl in on himself nowadays.
Sam had been running into burning buildings since before he could shave, he had been saving people, and hunting monsters since before he was in high school, but Dean knew one truth about his little brother that his Dad didn’t. Sam wasn’t a hunter. He didn’t have the hate in his heart to be one, and Dean was starting to feel Sammy slipping away from him.
Dean ran his hand through his hair and sighed, then pulled the covers up around Sam’s shoulder. Subconsciously, Sam turned his body towards his brother, reaching his hand out, so it dangled over the bed. Dean smiled to himself, hoping that this meant something good, that maybe Sam still loved him.
“Good night little brother.” Dean walked away, climbing into his own bed, not realizing Sam was still awake.
Sam opened his eyes and held back the tears, he wanted out, but he knew he couldn’t leave his family. He thought about the acceptance letter in his bag, and closed his eyes hoping maybe that at least in dreams, he could enjoy the world he wanted, but could never be apart of.