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The Sam St. Cloud Mishap

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Dean has gone white as a sheet.

Sam hasn’t seen that look since, maybe, Broken Bow. He thinks.

But he knows Dean’s felt it since then, many times, never showing anything on his face.

The remote control (they call it a clicker where Sam and Dean are holed up now because people are strange and words are regional) snaps resolutely in Dean’s wrist and the screen goes blank.

“Sammy…”

And then...nothing.

*~*~*

Dean couldn’t watch it. Not when he saw-not-saw Sammy, like the year of the firecrackers in an open field, like being alone on an open road alone alone alone alone like where was Sam, Sam not being anywhere Dean needed him to be.

Sam where they are in a motel room somewhere doesn’t say anything, can’t say anything, knows better.

*~*~*

That night Dean twitches in his sleep. He doesn’t cry but he’s shaking even though he seems dead to the world, and two weeks later he’ll say it was like he got Sam’s fever dreams, a throwaway comment over eggs (and toast he gives to Sam because Sam needs carbs).

But the thing is, the haunted, gaunt look doesn’t leave Dean for a week after that and Sam feels like it’s his fault and maybe he should, maybe that’s the way that it ought to be.

Sam knows what Dean’s PTSD looks like.

They all do, but Sam does, especially.

Sam didn’t find the movie. It was a channel change (click with no sound) and, well, PTSD is as PTSD does.

*~*~*

In the dream, Dean’s with them, the not-him and the other Sammy, a Sammy who’s gone before Cold Oak, a Sammy who doesn’t make it to high school. And he screams and he screams and he screams and he screams and he wants to tell the not-him that he never should have, and nothing will fix this.

It’s not something that Dean can ever see again, not even a split second of it.

*~*~*

They call it The Sam Movie a couple of times and then they bury it and never speak of it again.

And Sam is grateful.

He’s really, really grateful.