Of Closets and Graves
“Dad! Let me out!” Dean screamed as he threw himself against the door once again.
“No Dean. You need to get over this fear or it’s going to be the death of you one day.” His dad said. He knew Dean had claustrophobia and he had a pretty good reason too. But yesterday while the two of them were out hunting, it nearly got them both killed. The poltergeist threw Dean into a room and sealed the door and instead of killing the damn thing before any more people died, John had to deal with his hyperventilating son who was on the verge of a complete breakdown by the time he got him out. John thought that the best way to overcome a phobia is to face it and right now he was holding a door to a closet with his oldest trapped inside and he wasn’t planning on letting him out until Dean calms himself down.
“Dad, please. I can’t stay in here. I can’t breathe.” Dean cried. And it was true. His breathing was labored and he was having a hard time to stop shaking like a leaf. Being twenty-two, Dean was very embarrassed about having such a dumb fear but he just couldn’t help it. Every time he was in a tight space he felt like he was trapped and there was no getting out. He thought as if the walls were closing in on him. He felt as if there was not enough air and couldn’t breathe properly. The reason behind all of this was that he was buried alive when he was eighteen. He was in a coffin under six feet of dirt for more than three hours and he passed out from the lack of oxygen but of course, his dad and brother were there to save him in time before he ran out or air.
“Yes, you can Dean. There is plenty of air in there and you know just as well as I do that you need to get over this. This is putting all of us in danger. This might happen again on a hunt and you won’t be there to back me or Sammy up. You need this Dean.”
“I will dad. I will get over it. But not like this. Please let me out. I need-I need to get out.” I am going to die. I am going to die. Sammy… Where are you when I need you? Please, Sammy, help! I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe. I need to get out. I need to get out! I am going to die. Were the thought that ran through Dean’s mind. Then he heard it. His brother’s voice. It sounded like he was shouting at his father but he wasn’t sure. Dean was full on crying right now and his breath came out in harsh gasps.
“Dad. What the hell!” Sam screamed as he saw his father pressing his body against the door. He heard Dean’s pleads to let him out from behind the door and immediately knew what was going on. “Dad, get out of the way,” Sam growled.
“No Sam. Your brother needs this.” John barked back.
“Like hell he does! He is panicking dad! He is going to pass out if you keep this up. It’s not his fault that he is scared. If anything, it is ours. We were the ones who let this happen so move out of the way!” Sam felt the anger building and as well as the need to help his brother. He heard Dean’s shallow breaths as the pounding at the door continued. But it wasn’t as hard as before and that’s what concerned Sam. Not breathing properly was weakening Dean.
“I know that it wasn’t his fault but this has to stop. These… attacks, or whatever you call them are going to kill him one day.” John tried to reason with his son but Sam and Dean were overly protective over each other and the rage in Sam’s eyes just proved it.
“You are not going to solve anything by looking him up like that. You are just making it worse! So open the damn door or…” He didn’t get to finish when his father cut him off.
“Or what? What are you going to do boy?” John said angrily, glaring at his son.
Sam clenched his fists, fingernails digging into the palms of his hands painfully. He knew that he couldn’t do anything. His father was much bigger and stronger than this eighteen-year-old self. Suddenly it got quiet. There was no more hitting, shouting or pleading. It was quiet except for the harsh breathing of his big brother.
“Sammy…” Dean got out between the gasps for air. Sam gave his father a glare that immediately made John step away from the door. Not that he was so determined to keep Dean in there any longer after hearing how desperate and young he sounded, calling for his little brother.
Sam sprinted towards the door and yanked it open. Dean was sitting down on his knees, hands clutching his chest as if it hurt, and it probably did. Tears were streaming down his cheeks and his eyes were unfocused. Sam dropped down in front of his brother, the impact his knees made with the floor hurt but he just didn’t care at this point.
“Dean. Dean, look at me. It’s alright. You’re alright. Breathe with me ok. C’mon man, breathe.” Sam took one of his brother’s hands and pressed against his own chest.
“Dean, copy my breathing ok? In and out, in and out just like me.” Sam coached. Gradually, Dean’s breathing slowed down a little but not completely. Dean’s hand reached forward grabbed Sam by his shirt and pulled him in for a bone crushing hug. Sam was a bit taken aback by his actions since Dean wasn’t really the hugging type but he hugged back knowing that his brother needed it right now. Sam felt hot tears soaking his shirt but he didn’t mind. “It’s ok Dean. You’re out, you’re out.”
Suddenly Dean let out a strangled sob that broke Sam’s heart. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’ll get over it. Sorry dad, Sammy…” Dean cried quietly still holding onto his little brother like his life depended on it. Sam couldn’t believe that his dad could lock Dean in the closet just because he wanted Dean to be the perfect soldier. Sometimes Sam felt as if John didn’t care about anything else. And he knew that this was one of the things he could never forgive his father for.
“Dean, you don’t have to apologize. Is it not your fault ok? Everybody’s afraid of something. I mean come on, I’m scared of clowns…” Sam chuckled. He kept rubbing Dean’s back in circles and squeezing his neck gently.
After another minute of whispering sweet nothings into his brother’s ear, Dean seemed to calm down enough to pull away from the hug. He looked at the floor, not daring to look Sam in the eyes.
“Dean, you got buried alive! You are allowed to be afraid. So stop saying that you’re sorry. We are the ones who are supposed to say sorry.” Sam kept hands on his brother’s shoulders and it seemed like Dean didn’t mind.
Sam knew how insecure Dean was about his phobia. So he would be a good brother and for once, he won’t mention Dean’s moment of weakness ever again. He will let this one slide.