I Know @khkorossy
Chapter 1

I Know
K Hanna Korossy

Sam knew Dean was becoming ill from not killing, saw the vomit in the dungeon, heard the pain in his brother's voice under the anger.

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Dean's limp in his arms. Even as Sam tearfully begs him to come back, he knows he's already gone, feeling the stillness, the absence of life. Final words trickling out like his blood, "I'm proud of us."

The little brother buries his face in his big brother's neck and cries and cries.

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Sam knew his brother was wrong in tricking him into letting Gadreel in, that no matter how Dean had intended it, it was a violation and a betrayal.

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He can't bear to just toss Dean over his shoulder like a sack of meat. He gathers him up bridal style instead, Dean's head tucked under Sam's chin, arms trapped between them.

The vagrants outside, so hostile when Sam went in, part before him in silence as he comes out, eyes everywhere but on him and his burden.

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Sam knew why Dean had done it, and how sorry he was.

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He can't bear to lay him in the backseat. It isn't where he belongs, where the two of them are meant to be.

Propped against the window in the passenger seat, Dean almost looks asleep.

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Sam knew his brother was their best shot at Metatron, perhaps their only shot.

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It's almost a twelve-hour drive from Muncie back to Lebanon. Sam cracks the window as needed, tucks a blanket around Dean to hide his wounds at gas stations.

He stops only long enough to refuel the car and the tears that roll silently down his cheeks most of the way home.

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Sam knew his brother was addicted to the Blade, the Mark, and not thinking clearly.

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Oddly, Dean's body hasn't grown stiff on the trip home. Perhaps a result of death by an angel blade, or the Mark. It doesn't make the long walk from the garage to the bunker's clinic any easier.

Sam's pretty sure nothing could do that.

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Sam knew what it was like to lose his brother. He'd done so more times than he could count.

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He leaves the blood-stiff, ragged clothes, but wipes all the dried blood off his skin with as much care as if Dean could feel it.

It takes seventeen packs of gauze.

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Sam knew why Dean had knocked him out in Muncie, and that Sam wouldn't have survived the fight with Metatron if he hadn't.

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Castiel arrives just as Sam finishes, worried because the brothers weren't answering their phones. He has news of Gadreel's death at his own hands, Metatron's defeat.

But once he sees Dean, it's all just silence and the pained grip of one survivor's shoulder by the other.

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Sam knew long before the moment he admitted that he'd lied about letting his brother die.

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He should be gathering wood, a sheet, making a pyre. Instead, he carries his brother's body to the bedroom Dean lovingly furnished, and lays him on the bed.

Every time he thinks he's run out of tears, it turns out he hasn't.

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Sam knew he would go to Crowley and try to get Dean back any way he could.

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He's sick but can't throw up. Filthy but he can't do more than toss his fouled jacket into the bathroom corner. Smeared with his brother's blood, but he can't do more than wash it off his face and hands.

The stains go so much deeper.

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But Sam didn't really, fully know until that moment in the warehouse that his brother not only loved him, but was proud of him.

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He stumbles into the library and heads straight for Dean's liquor stash, pouring himself the first of many glasses.

It doesn't numb the grief at all.

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And so no matter how ready he thought he was for this, the pain and loss wasn't like anything he'd ever felt before.

Sam realizes he hadn't really known anything at all.

The End

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