"How many times do I have to say I'm sorry!?" Sam hissed, trailing Dean. Dean was still upset about what Sam had said while under the influence of the siren.
"Until you actually mean it." Dean grumbled, scowling at Sam over his shoulder.
"I meant it the first time!"
"Yeah. Right." Dean said sarcastically, rolling his eyes. "Then how about you save it until I can trust you?"
"You /can/ trust me!"
"No, I can't. You've been lying to me and hiding things from me since I came back. You leave whenever you think I'm asleep. That doesn't sound like somebody I can trust."
Sam sighed and lowered his head, maintaining eye contact. "Dean, please…"
Dean turned away. Sam's heart sank. The rest of the day, Sam payed more attention to Dean. By the time they returned to the motel, Sam was fighting heartbreak. Dean really didn't trust him.
Sam sat up in bed once it seemed that Dean was asleep. He hugged his knees to his chest, his thoughts pure torture as he thought everything through.
"No." Dean mumbled. Sam raised his head immediately to see the terrified look on Dean's face. "No. Please. No!" Sam unsteadily rose to his feet. Dean let out a cry of agony. Sam shook Dean awake and brought him into a sitting position. Still worried, he held Dean close. Dean was breathing unevenly with a look of abject terror on his face.
"Dean? Are…are you okay?" Sam asked worriedly.
Dean glanced at Sam and pushed away immediately. "I'm fine, Sam!" he snapped, looking away. "Just another nightmare."
'Another? He's been having these often?' Sam thought as he sat back down on his bed. "You gonna be able to get back to sleep?"
"You…wanna talk about it?"
"Oh, don't give me that!"
"Don't pretend it suddenly matters!"
"It does matter! And I just wanna help!"
"Don't bother. I've been getting along just fine without you."
Sam nodded his head solemnly. "Yeah. Okay." he said nonchalantly. Once Dean was asleep again, Sam went into the bathroom and got in the shower. Relying on the running water to cover his tears, he curled up on the shower floor and wept.
The next day was worse than the one before. Sam could feel Dean's tenseness whenever Dean had his back turned. That night, once Dean had fallen asleep, Sam sat in the shower and cried.
The following morning, Dean looked at Sam's face. "You alright?" he asked.
"I'm fine." Sam answered, turning his head.
"Dude, your eyes are all red and puffy."
"And you've got /bags/ under your eyes!"
"Just drop it, okay?!"
Dean glared at Sam. Sam felt his chest tighten. "Whatever." Dean bit out, stomping away.
The rest of the day followed the same pattern as the past two. The next morning, Dean grabbed the sides of Sam's face. "You look worse than you did yesterday." Dean muttered.
"I'm fine, okay?" Sam huffed. Dean nearly snarled as he shoved Sam away. Sam nearly fell, but managed to get his balance quickly.
That afternoon, Dean brought Sam with him to a bar. They had a few drinks, but Sam avoided getting too drunk. However, Dean managed to almost get into a bar fight with seven other guys. Sam stepped in quickly enough to placate the seven men long enough to get his brother out of the bar. As they neared the Impala, Dean turned to Sam and uppercut punched him in the jaw. Sam fell backwards and yelped as his head cracked against the pavement.
Sam tried to hold it in, but the lack of sleep and the shock of pain won out. He cried. Dean blinked in surprise. "Sammy?" he asked softly. Sam sobbed, choking against the pain. "Crap. Sammy, I'm sorry." Dean sputtered, crouching beside Sam and wrapping an arm around Sam's shoulder. Slowly, Dean began to fade into sleep.
Dean woke to Sam watching him and a /bad/ headache. Sam had a small bump on the back of his head, a split lip, and a rather colorful bruise under his chin; along with the usual dark rings around red, bloodshot, and puffy eyes. The second Dean twitched, Sam sat up a bit straighter.
Sam stood and shuffled to their duffel bags, returning with a bottle of water and two aspirin. "Here." he murmured, handing the pills to Dean, opening the bottle, and handing that over too.
"Were you up all night?" Dean asked, shifting uncomfortably.
Sam shook his head. "No. Woke up to the alarm clock. You whined and turned over. I figured you ought to get more sleep."
Dean's mouth twitched. "Thanks. I guess." he muttered. "What happened to you?"
Sam lowered his gaze. "You almost got in a fight at the bar. I wasn't anywhere near as drunk as you, so I came over and talked them down long enough to get you out of there."
"Okay… but where'd you get the bruise?"
"You. As in I got it from you. We were almost to the car when you turned around all of a sudden and punched me. I fell and hit my head on the pavement pretty hard. You passed out, so I carried you to the car and put you in the passenger seat. Carried you in and put you in bed."
Dean pursed his lips. Sighing and lowering his head, he clenched his fists. He looked up at Sam again. "Does…does it…hurt?"
"It's a little sore, but I'm alright."
"Glad to hear it." Dean said, though the clenching of his jaw and fists said otherwise. Sam didn't fail to notice that for all the world Dean seemed disappointed that Sam wasn't still in pain. He felt his chest tighten to the point he felt like he was going to either choke or sob/ he got up and headed toward the bathroom. "Hey, where are you going?!" Dean snapped.
"The bathroom. I'm gonna take a shower." Sam answered coldly.
"You seem to be doing that a lot. Something I should know about?" Dean asked bitterly.
"Nothing you'd give a crap about." Sam mumbled, opening the bathroom door and slamming it behind him.
Dean paused, thinking about how Sam had answered. Sighing, he walked over to the bathroom door and knocked. "Sam, come on, just tell me!" he called. He pressed his ear to the door, hoping for an answer. Sam didn't say anything, but, thanks to having an ear to the door, it wasn't necessary. Crying. That was why Sam kept going to the bathroom. Dean felt weak in his knees.
When Sam came out of the bathroom, Dean had the concerned and caring face on and grabbed the sides of Sam's face. Sam eyed Dean suspiciously, wincing when Dean gingerly touched the multi-colored bruise. He tried to twist away, but Dean grabbed him by the shoulders.
"Sh sh sh sh. Take it easy." Dean murmured.
Sam stilled, staring wide-eyed at Dean. Dean cupped Sam's jaw to hold him still. He lightly touched the bruise again. Sam whimpered softly in distress but held almost perfectly still. Dean's eyes softened as he put his hands on Sam's shoulders again. Sam's eyes still held a vast amount of skepticism. Dean gingerly touched the still-swollen bump on the back of Sam's head. Sam hissed in pain and his knees gave out. Dean caught Sam in his arms.
Dean situated himself on the bed and situated Sam next to him. "Sam…I'm sorry, okay?"
"Why're you sorry?"
"I didn't mean to hurt you."
"It's fine. If I hadn't made this mess, none of this would've ever happened."
Dean shook his head. "It is /not/ 'fine'! I hurt you!"
"The weird thing is, it's the least painful thing to happen to me all week." Sam sighed. "Least painful thing you've done to me all week."
Dean opened his mouth to argue that hadn't done anything to Sam until yesterday. However, he thought about what he had learned about Sam taking a shower every night. For the past four days. He then realized that yesterday was the first physical wound he had inflicted on Sam. "Sammy…"
"Forget it. It's no big deal."
"How can it /not/ be a big deal!?"
"It's nothing worse than I deserve."
Dean paled slightly at that. "What do you mean?"
"This is all my fault. And I'm done. Done with the lying, the hiding, and all the pretending I don't need help; because I do. I need help. I need it bad. Dean, I need /your/ help."
"With what? What's going on, Sammy?"
"I'm an addict. But…before I explain everything, you gotta promise not to hate me or be angry at me."
"Sam, what did you do?"
"I didn't start it. I didn't know until I was taken by the yellow-eyed demon. And after that it was too late. When you were taken Downstairs, Ruby showed up and she loaded me up with so much I couldn't stop wanting more. But I…I was too afraid to tell you before. So please, promise me."
"Okay, Sammy, okay. I promise."
"I'm addicted to demon blood."
Dean seemed almost completely unresponsive. Then he looked sort of like a dying fish as his mouth opened and closed, trying to find words. "What?!" Sam nodded. "How could you keep that from me!?" Sam lowered his head. "Nevermind. Just…just kinda…"
"Yeah, I know…"
"Don't worry, Sammy. We're gonna get you cleaned up. But…uh…how bad's the withdrawal?"
"What's it like?"
"It flings me into things along with all the normal withdrawal symptoms."
Sam and Dean sat quietly for a minute or two. "One last thing…have you slept at all in the last few days?"
Dean nodded with a sarcastic smile. "Dammit, Sam…"
Dean shook his head. "No. It's my fault."
"It's both our faults."
"Anyway, any /other/ life altering confessions you wanna lay on me while you're at it?"
Sam chuckled dryly. "That I want to? No. And none that are anywhere near as major."
"But there /is/ more."
"Yeah. Uh, while you were gone, I lost about half my weight, I was anorexic, alcoholic, had sex almost every other night, smoked, and…um…" Sam flinched at this part. "I crashed the Impala…at least three times…that I can remember."
Dean's face displayed so much anger it practically radiated heat. "You. WHAT?!" he snarled.
"I didn't mean to! I was so wasted I don't remember how it happened!" Sam flustered. "I got a professional to put her back together! Good as new! Guy used to build Impalas, so he had all the parts!" Sam blushed a little. "Spent a few days looking for somebody good enough to pass your kind of inspection. Guy didn't work as a mechanic. He was retired. So I offered him a couple hundred. He accepted."
The fury changed to pride. "Atta boy, Sammy."
Sam lowered his head as the blush spread further. "But I'd keep away from the back seat if I were you."
Dean scowled. "Why?"
"Let's just say it might still be a little sticky from a few times I had company."
"You're scrubbing it out tomorrow."
"You heard me."
"Knew I should've stayed quiet…"
"If I'd checked the back, I can promise you you'd have another bruise or two to worry about."
Sam rubbed the back of his neck. "Sorry…"
Dean smirked and looped an arm around Sam's shoulders. "Still, you're gonna scrub it out tomorrow. Today, we're gonna fix this mess." Sam looked at Dean in surprise. "We've both screwed up, so we gotta pull it back together." Warmth spread across Sam's face, then he yawned. Dean pulled Sam closer. "Sleep, Sammy. I gotcha." Dean sighed as Sam drifted off.