Sam couldn't fall asleep. It wasn't uncommon for the man to fall asleep at two in the morning and only get about five hours in for the night, but tonight was different. His thoughts were driving each other into this train of trauma that he couldn't escape.
Jess, his parents, Dean, everyone that he had lost at some point in his life, their memories replaying in a cycle of pure terror.
Sam’s mind took him to the night he lost his brother. His beautiful body torn to shreds in a matter of seconds by that monster. And he couldn't do anything. He thought he had felt the worst of pain, oh, he was so wrong. Being tortured with hot coals or Lucifer’s best wouldn't hurt as bad as the pain he felt when he watched his brother, his protector, his friend, die in front of him.
In those months that Dean was in the depths of Hell, Sam just broke. He slept with more women than he could count, spent the majority of his time outside of the bedroom in bars coping with his guilt through shots of whiskey and bottles of cheap beer. It even got so bad that he started doing...things to deal with the pain. And god he regretted that to no end afterward.
That morning when Dean and Bobby showed up at his hotel room, Sam thought he was dreaming. After his failed attempt at trying to cut his brother’s head off in front of his one-night stand (was her name Katy?), and his life started getting back on track, he swore not to tell anyone about his… acts… ever. He didn't want others to worry about him like that. He cared about Dean too much to let him worry about his issues. Sam knew that people that self-harm should tell someone, but he didn't want his brother to know. Dean just cared too much.
The train of memory lane brought him to the one person he hated the most to bring up, Jessica. Oh god, Jess. His girlfriend, his best friend, his first real love, the woman he wanted to spend his entire life with, maybe even start a family with. Her voice and words of advice still sang in his ears in times of confusion and distress. She didn't deserve her death. If anyone in the world deserved it, it definitely was not her.
Every student he came across on the campus was jealous that Sam Winchester, the teacher’s pet and law student with the stupid hair, got her. The smartest blonde bombshell that Stanford University had ever seen. Her intelligence still shocked him to this day. She got a full ride to Stanford in Medicine Studies and Nursing and even with that, she still took some of the hardest Mathematics and Chemistry class the school could offer. She even was on the Stanford trivia team and came out in third place for the whole team. Her grade point exceeded even Sam’s, which was pretty hard to beat by the way.
She also was one of the sweetest girls Sam had ever met. Always there for him when he had a bad day and always put others before herself. She took care of herself of course, but she always worried about Sam, no matter where he was.
And all of his and her dreams shattered in a matter of minutes. Her bloody body and shocked face on their dorm ceiling: burning to nothing in a matter of seconds. He couldn't believe that the woman that he loved, the kindest, smartest, prettiest girl he'd ever met had been taken away from him, and he was never going to get her back.
His mind took him to his third stop on this train, his parents. His mother, Mary, the woman his father forbade anyone in the house to talk about, the woman with long blonde hair and fair skin in a picture that John kept inside the glovebox in the Impala, the woman that Sam never knew. She died just like Jess, just as cruelly.
Dean talked about her sometimes when the man felt up to it and stopped being the, “I'm totally fine,” guy while punching his brother in the face because he didn't want to deal with something. He didn't remember too much about their mother, but he tried to remember as much as he could for Sam’s sake.
And his father, the man that was supposed to take the boys to school and go to their school choir concerts, but instead he was off on a hunt somewhere. He was hardly a father to the boys. Dean was the one who saw their father the most because he was the one that stayed up to make Sam late night dinners and tuck him into bed.
John certainly wasn't abusive as some depicted, he didn't hit them at all or downplayed them when it wasn't necessary, he was just... distant. Sam always thought it was because he didn't know how to take care of his children after Mary’s death. Sometimes, Sam would overhear some of Dean and his father’s arguments. Usually about keeping Sam away from all this mess of hunting and the supernatural in general (Dean’s side) and how Sam can't escape what his family was forced to be (John’s side). For what the two knew, Sam didn't know about these fights and Sam freaking out behind the door or in bed, not knowing whether to barge in or to stay back and wait for the fighting to stop. Sometimes, ignorance is bliss.
After their father died, Sam realized how much he cared about his sons, and not just because he made a deal with the Yellow-Eyed Demon. He realized that all those hunts were not only to protect the people of that were affected by the monsters, but he was also protecting his kids from getting hurt or killed by them too. He left Dean out of the hunts until he was in high school because he knew he couldn't bring a child into a fight that might get him killed. He would rather never come home to his kids because he was killed or kidnapped in a hunt than have one of his own sons face that same fate.
Sam was the one that found his father on the ground unconscious. He felt his heart drop in that moment and started screaming for help. He was one of the two people in his family that were still alive. Even if they had a fight only minutes before John had died, he still loved him. He still helped Dean cremate the body. He was one of the two brothers that openly cried when that happened. He was always the sensitive one, the small guy (not in height but during hunts), the one that actually openly needed to depend on someone, the one most unlike John. Sam thought that was maybe why John sheltered him so much compared to Dean. He still had a bit of himself left in him, not a shadow of their distant father.
The very last stop that train took Sam to, the one that tipped the scale and made him break down into quiet sobs, was the people that he couldn't save. That was the one that hit him the hardest. More than all the people he and his older brother had saved, more than all the evil monster they slew. It was the ones that had to suffer in the hands of the evil and wrong. He always knew that someone was going to be effected during a hunt, but the ones that started the hunts, the people that Sam read about when he researching for a case always hit him more than they should've. He always had too much guilt on his shoulders. Yes, he knew that not everyone in this job could be saved, but he still didn't understand why he just couldn't save them.
The people that he fell for that had died because of those things. It ripped his heart to shreds. Dean didn't know it, but this job killed him. He loved the aspect of saving people and killing the evil in the world, but the amount lost weighed his heart down more than the number of bad guys out there. God, he just-
Sam shot up in bed, tears streaming down his face. He couldn't take it. He just really needed someone to hug; to comfort him while he was in this state. He pulled the covers off his body, shivering a little from lack of warmth. He shuffled over to the small bed next to his own and tapped on his sleeping brother’s shoulder. Much to Sam’s surprise, Dean rolled over and looked at Sam with a sleepy look in his eye.
“Why you up, Sammy? Hope you weren't-”
“Help m-me… please. I-i need someone t-to h-help me…” Sam choked out. Dean’s face went from tired to understanding and he scooted over to the other side of the bed. Sam took the invitation and slipped into the small bed, pulling the covers over his shoulders. He turned away from his brother and stared at the darkness of the room for a few minutes silently. The man felt a pair of strong arms wrap around his torso. He snuggled into the newfound warmth and let out a shaky sigh.
“Do you want to talk about it?” Dean asked quietly. It surprised Sam that his brother would be so willing to talk about anyone’s emotions. When he would get upset about something small (in his brother’s eyes), Dean would just call him Samantha and laugh it off, which usually would start an argument.
“N-no, not right now. Maybe t-tomorrow,” Sam sniffled.
“You know I love you, right?”
At that, Sam broke down sobbing. Not because he didn't believe him because that's all he needed right now. He really just needed someone to tell him those three words. To feel loved throughout all this shit that life has thrown his way. All of the fights and losses in his life were too great for someone his age. He shouldn't have the weight of the world on his shoulders for a twenty-four-year-old.
Sam turned over and buried his face into his brother's neck, still crying. Dean’s arms tighten around his brother. He kept whispering things into his hair, saying how he's always going to be there for him and everything was going to be okay. After a while, Sam's sobs slowed to small hiccups and then turned to small shaky breaths. Dean glanced at his younger brother, seeing he was sleeping. He placed a butterfly kiss on the top of his head and closed his eyes to go to sleep.
“G’night, Sammy,” he whispered before the man fell asleep to his brother’s heartbeat and the silence of the dark room.