Character/relationship: Sam, Dean
Theme number: 33 - money
Disclaimer/claimer: I own nothing Supernatural.
Summary: Sam and Dean both feel guilty.
Dean leaned against the Impala and watched the large gates. Sam appeared after awhile, his books kicking up the dust. His shoulders were tense and his jaw was set. Gone were the smiles, dimples and light in his eyes.
He bobbed his head up and down as his eyes scanned the lot and he slid into the passenger seat.
Once on the road, Dean turned and apologized to Sam. "We got you out as quick as we could. It took some planning to get the evidence planted."
"I wish there had been a way to dispute the evidence they had in lockup earlier. You didn't deserve to be in jail at all."
"I killed him. I should still be in jail."
"Meg killed Steve Wandell. The fact that she was in your body doesn't change that fact."
"Only hunters would see it that way. His daughter is still without her father. Even if she knew about hunting, there's no way she'd be able to accept that a demon killed him."
"One day she might. She just needs to get over her grief."
"You never got over losing Mom. What makes you think she'll do something you couldn't?"
Dean focused back on the road and just drove, knowing that there was no way to change Sam's mind.
After he pulled up to their motel room, Dean threw Sam his duffel. "Thought you might want a change of clothes after your shower."
Sam emerged from the bathroom clean but no more relaxed. Dean saw how the months had aged Sam more than Jessica's death did. Even Sam's favorite foods that he'd stashed in the room before springing Sam didn't bring a smile to the younger man's face.
Cautiously, Dean walked on eggshells around Sam. The talkative brother and usual banter was gone.
When evening rolled around, Sam found the nearest bar and hustled pool. Dean sat back and watched him. He'd always known Sam was better at pool than he claimed to be, but the man he saw before him was sharp, ruthless and dangerously obvious.
"You scammed me!"
"You lost," Sam replied and stood up to his full height.
The local yokel was just drunk enough to take a swing. The speed that Sam slammed his fist into the man's face startled Dean. Apparently he'd gotten over his dislike of hurting people while behind bars.
Dean would have tried to drag Sam out of the establishment but he decided that it was easier to allow Sam to take his frustrations out in public rather than coop him up in the motel room and compound the problem even more. He planned on suggesting that they start their physical training and sparring routine the next day.
A few weeks later, Dean caught Sam slipping an envelope into a mail box. "What's that?"
"Nothing." Sam stalked off with those long legs of him and left Dean behind.
When they had settled for the night and Sam was in the shower, Dean did some snooping. he wasn't proud of it and he would have rather talked to Sam but Sam wasn't cooperating with that idea. That's when he found the address for Miss Wandell.
"What are you doing?" Sam startled Dean.
"Why do you have Wandell's daughter's address?"
"Because why?" When he didn't get an answer, he thought back over the time Sam had been free. He'd won all that pool money but he hadn't been offering up any funds to upgrade their motel stays or meals. "You're sending her your winnings."
"What's it to you?"
"You think she's going to forgive you because of some money?"
"No. I feel guilty that she's struggling through college and doesn't have her dad to help her with expenses. I don't send a note. She doesn't know where it comes from."
"How long are you going to keep doing this, Sam?"
"Sending her money? As long as I can."
"Holding yourself responsible. You need to let it go before it eats you up inside."
"Who's to say it hasn't already?"
Dean was speechless. The man that walked out of those gates was not the same one who'd been arrested. Dean wondered if Sam held him guilty for how long his stay was. Even if he didn't, Dean wouldn't ever forgive himself for letting Sam linger in that filthy place.
Each of them needed to get rid of their perceived sins. The problem was, neither could lift the burden themselves or allow the other to help.