Title: Shellshock
By: nancy
Pairing: Sam/Dean
Rating: R
Warnings: angst, language, incest, spoilers
Summary: Dean helps Sam until Sam can help himself again.

Dean wasn’t surprised when Sam didn’t say a word from leaving the apartment to the car and then straight out of town. They didn’t need to go back to the hotel, thankfully, so Dean just drove until they’d crossed the state line that was furthest away. He also wasn’t surprised that Sam didn’t say anything during the four hour drive to, and then over, the state line. He’d glanced at his brother every so often, but hadn’t tried to start a conversation.

Small talk didn’t really seem right, with what had just happened.

There were all kinds of dark thoughts running through his own brain, so Dean could just imagine what Sam was doing to himself. To say he was worried was a serious understatement. Sam had that stoic look on his face that spoke of serious trauma. The same look he’d worn after Jess’ death almost two years ago. It was a look that Dean had hoped never to see again. That difference this time, of course, was that Sam had no one and nothing to hunt in revenge. He’d been the killer this time, even if it had been the only option.

Dean prayed that they never found a cure to someone becoming a werewolf. If they did, he was sure that Sam would never recover. He already knew that his brother was mentally beating himself up for not waiting longer or researching harder. Dean felt a little of that himself, but if none of their sources had turned anything up, chances were very good that there was nothing to turn up.

It was almost ten when Dean finally pulled into a crappy motel off the highway. He had to jostle Sam’s shoulder to get his attention. When vacant eyes looked back at him, Dean swallowed against a suddenly tight throat and said gruffly, “We’re stopping for the night, Sam.”

Sam nodded, but still didn’t speak. He got out of the car and Dean hurried to do the same and grab their gear from the backseat, since Sam didn’t. When he jogged around to the front of the car, Sam stood there waiting, but Dean knew it wasn’t out of courtesy. Sam was too shell-shocked to do anything except turn in. Hesitating, Dean finally dropped the bags at his brother’s feet and hurried over to the check-in. Better not to risk questions about Sam’s obviously traumatized state.

When he rushed back with the key to their room, Sam was in the exact same spot. Dean picked up the bags and guided him up the rickety stairs at the edge of the motel. They were on the last room, as requested for when Sam had nightmares, so they didn’t have to walk down the porch. Just as well, since it didn’t look all that sturdy to Dean, anyhow. They might’ve been safer sleeping in the Impala, but Dean wanted Sam to be able to at least stretch out and get comfortable.

There were two smallish full beds with surprisingly clean bedding, a worn dresser, and an old tv on a tv stand. No perks in this place, Dean thought with a snort.

Just as well since neither of them was in any shape to enjoy them.

Looking over at Sam, Dean said, “You should take a shower.”

…to wash off her blood…

Sam swallowed convulsively, as if hearing his thought, and nodded. He moved stiffly towards the bathroom and shut the door.

Dean sighed, scrubbing a hand through his hair and yawning. It had been a horrific and draining day for both of them, even though he wasn’t comparing what Sam had gone through to his own trouble. He hadn’t had to off a lover and Dean bitterly regretted giving Sam implicit approval for sleeping with Madison. He’d thought it would be a good thing. He’d thought that for once, Sam would be able to let go and not worry about the consequences.

“Because you’re a fucking moron,” Dean muttered.

Shaking his head, Dean pulled off his shirt and tossed it towards his duffel, not caring that it missed. On auto-pilot, he salted the door and windows before collapsing on the bed. He stared up at the ceiling, trying his best not to think about anything for a while. The shower came on and then stayed on for a long time, but it did eventually shut off. It seemed too long a time later that the bathroom door finally reopened. A dark worry niggled at the back of Dean’s mind, but he refused to listen or to even give it space to truly surface.

Dean rolled onto his side when Sam exited the bathroom at last. His brother didn’t look much better for the shower, but at least the tear-tracks and dried splatters of blood were gone. Dean wanted to offer something…words of comfort…words of wisdom…a hug…anything, really, but he knew all offers would be rejected. Sam wasn’t even close to being ready for anyone to forgive him his actions, even though to Dean, there was nothing to be forgiven.

He watched as Sam mechanically got out clean boxers and pulled them on before getting into bed and turning face-down into the pillow. Still no words. Dean sighed, but didn’t try to get Sam to talk, knowing that it still wasn’t time. He got off the bed and headed for the bathroom to at least splash some water on his face and brush his teeth. His world was bad enough without adding skanky teeth to the mix.

Dean avoided looking at himself in the mirror the whole time, not ready to see the accusation staring back at him. He might think about how completely he’d failed his brother from start to finish of the whole werewolf thing, but Dean was in no way ready to see it in his eyes. Not for a couple days, anyhow. In a couple of days he would add it to the Seriously Fucked Up list and then ignore it for as long as possible.

The lights in the main room were out by the time he’d finished taking care of business, which startled Dean at first. He reviewed his automatic mental map and walked to the bed by the door, not having given Sam the option to take any but the most protected spot in the room. Not in his current condition. Dean had his doubts that Sam would even try to stop something, or someone, from killing him right then.

Just as he drifted to sleep some time later, a muffled sob from the other bed pierced Dean’s sleepy haze. He tensed, but didn’t do anything. There’d been plenty of times in the past where Sam had cried himself to sleep and not wanted Dean to know about it, let alone offer help. Pretty much not since he’d hit puberty and developed more than a fair share of Winchester pride.

Dean listened to the quiet, barely-audible, heart-wrenching crying for far too long before it finally stopped. His neck and back ached from holding himself so stiffly, his heart a painful lump in his chest. He took a deep breath and slowly let it out, not wanting to disturb Sam’s hard-won sleep, now that his brother was finally out. Dean forced his body to relax and closed his eyes in an attempt to find his own rest, though he knew it would be a long time coming.

A soft moan woke Dean some time later, jolting him unpleasantly into consciousness. He listened, not sure that he’d actually heard what he thought he’d heard, waiting for it to come again. It did a few minutes later and Dean turned his head to look at Sam. Not much was visible in the dark, though there was some moonlight coming through the two windows. Sam was hunched onto his side, that much was obvious, and likely wrapped around a pillow.

Dean sighed softly, rubbing at dry, gritty eyes before climbing slowly out of bed. They’d been through this after Jess’ death. Sam wasn’t awake, something that had surprised Dean the first time. He was sound asleep and acting out his trauma in a nightmare from which he wouldn’t wake up. Dean had woken him the first couple of times and gotten bruised ribs and a black eye for the effort. He’d learned the hard way just to ease Sam through it while his brother was still asleep.

Picking up the blankets, Dean climbed carefully into the bed behind Sam. He slid forward and eased himself around his brother with an arm over Sam’s waist and the other under his pillow. Dean pressed up close and gently rubbed his brother’s stomach in a soothing movement as he murmured, “It’s okay, Sammy, you’re going to be fine. It wasn’t your fault. There wasn’t anything else you could’ve done, Sammy, I swear it. You did good, little brother, so don’t beat yourself up about it. I promise there wasn’t any other option, okay? I swear it on Mom’s soul.”

Dean kept up the subconscious pep talk until his throat protested. When that happened, he just kept up the comforting touches. He held Sam tight when the crying started up again and rubbed his belly when his brother drifted into a silent sleep.

By the time the first rays of dawn came, Dean was exhausted, but Sam had slept the final three hours without any more tears. He carefully pulled free and staggered over to the bathroom with no feeling in his left arm, thanks to Sam lying on it most of the night. He forgot not to look at himself in the mirror and grimaced at the bloodshot eyes with, yes, accusation first and foremost in them.

Sighing deeply, Dean turned on the faucet and splashed cold water on his face. He wasn’t sure what shape Sam would be in when he finally woke, but they had to keep driving. There were now two murders in that town and the cops would more than likely get descriptions of them entering and leaving Madison’s apartment building from the other neighbors.

Henricksen is gonna love adding that to our rap sheet,” Dean muttered, then silently added, Hopefully just to mine. Hopefully he still thinks that Sam’s just trying to protect me.

Two murders. Dean shuddered as he remembered the look on the second victim’s face. It had been almost as bad as Madison. Did no werewolves know that they were monsters? If that was the case, Dean prayed that they never met up with another one ever.


Dean jumped a little and turned to find Sam standing in the bathroom doorway, rubbing at his eyes with the backs of his hands. His heart clenched at the sight and he answered, “Yeah, Sammy?”

“I need to take a leak.”

Dean nodded and left the bathroom, relieved that Sam had finally spoken.

It wasn’t much, but it was a start.