Come down off your throne and leave your body alone
Somebody must change
You are the reason I've been waiting so long
Somebody holds the key
Well, I'm near the end and just ain't got the time
And I'm wasted and I can't find my way home.
("Can't Find My Way Home" - Steve Winwood)
November 23, 2009...
Sam. Crap. I knew what was coming next, so I chose to ignore him.
"You were talking in your sleep again."
I leaned over the sink and spit the toothpaste out of my mouth. "Yeah? Whose name was I moaning this time? Was it Angelina Jolie's, 'cause I'd do her in a heartbeat. Brad's a lucky guy."
I rinsed and spit, feeling Sam's eyes boring into the back of my head like bullet holes.
"No," he persisted, my sense of humor completely lost on him. That's my Sammy. Always the straight man. I didn't have to look at him to know he was worried. I didn't want him to worry. Not about me.
"Actually, you weren't talking. You were screaming."
Well, at least that explained the raw feeling in my throat. What did he expect? Forty years in hell and you're bound to have a few nightmares now and then. I wiped my mouth, tossed the towel on the sink, and turned to face him, pasting on a cheesy grin.
"I'm good. Let's get some breakfast. I'm starving. Thought I saw a little diner just up the road. Hey, did you know there's a place here called Carhenge? Gotta see that before we leave." I patted him reassuringly on the arm and pushed past him to grab my coat. Well, Dad's coat.
"Dean..." Crap. He wasn't gonna let it go, and I hadn't even had my first cup of coffee yet. It was times like these when I understood why people prayed for patience.
"Sam," I countered, shrugging Dad's worn-out leather jacket onto my shoulders. "I don't wanna talk about this."
"You never wanna talk about it," he argued, those damned puppy dog eyes of his pleading silently.
"So drop it, okay? We've been over it a million times. You're my brother, not my therapist."
"Look..." he spread his hands, tilting his head just a little to the side, his forehead crinkling with concern. "I just wanna help."
Christ, I just wanted a cup of coffee. I was seriously starting to lose my patience. "What are you Dr. Phil now? Let it go, Sam. It's over. Nothing you or anyone else can do about it."
"You should talk about it, Dean. It's like... it's like a wound that's festering inside you and someday it's gonna break open and you're gonna have to deal with it. All of it."
Okay, now I was getting angry. What the hell did he know about it anyway? While I was suffering in hell, he was out with Ruby painting the town red. He didn't need me then, and he didn't need me now. It was me that needed him and always had. What was there to understand? Dad had made me promise to protect him, and I had failed miserably.
"You want me to talk about it, Sam? You wanna know what I'm feeling? Okay, what do you wanna know? You wanna know how it feels to have your flesh peeled away from your body? How it feels to be sliced and diced so many times you lose count? How it feels to be poked and prodded in places you didn't even know existed? How it feels to endure so much pain that after a while, you just give in and ride it out because there's nothing else you can do. You scream and you cry and you beg and you plead, but no one cares. And then, they leave you alone and let you think for a while. That's the worst part. And after a while, you miss the torture. Because at least then, you're not alone. Do you know what it feels like to be alone, Sam? Really alone? I don't think you do."
It all came out in a torrent of words I was already regretting. My voice caught in my throat, and I had to stop and take a breath.
"Dean, I'm sorry." He took a step toward me, and I raised a hand to stop him.
"Don't," I told him. "Just don't." I didn't want his pity and even more than that, I didn't want his apology. I had made my choices, and he had made his. What was done was done. All we could do now was move on. I grabbed my keys from the nightstand, shoved them in a pocket, and turned for the door.
"Where are you going?" he asked. I could hear the worry in his voice, the pain and confusion and maybe even a little fear. Like a jilted lover or a lost little boy, though he was neither. Not to me.
"Out," I said simply. "I need to think."
I knew Sam well enough to know he was nodding behind me, absorbing it all like a sponge, supportive and caring and dying to help. More of a brother than I'd ever been. And it was killing me.
"I just need some air, okay? I'll be back later." Don't worry about me. No, I didn't say that. Couldn't say that. I heard him sigh, and then I walked out the door.
That was the last time I saw him before everything changed. I never had a chance to tell him how I really felt. We never talked about it. Love. Loyalty. The things we'd both done to protect the other. We were all each other had, and it was both our greatest strength and weakness. The demons knew it. So did the angels.
I didn't tell him how I'd lay awake in bed at night thinking that maybe I should just let Michael have me. Just get things over with. It was inevitable anyway, wasn't it? I didn't really care what happened to me. Michael could take my body, and if I died, I died. I'd already been to hell. There was no worse fate than that. So, why didn't I? Because somehow I knew that if I let Michael in, the first thing he'd do would be to kill Sam.
So many people were dead because of us. Because of me. Bobby was in a wheelchair because of me. Dad, Ash, Pam, Ellen, Jo. I didn't want to think about Jo. Not now, not ever. What could have been. What might have been. Crap. I could feel the tears prickling at my eyelids. No, no, no. I had to get away. Just drive for a while, and then I'd come back. All would be forgiven and forgotten. Everything would be okay again. At least, for a while.
How was I to know I'd end up alone in another time, another place with no Sam or Bobby or Cas to help me? If only I'd known then what I know now. I miss you, Sam.