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[ dead eyes ]
by kHo

The first time Dean wakes up sweating and breathing hard, Sam lets it pass.  The second time Sam rolls over so Dean can´t see that he noticed.  The third time he sits up on his elbows and looked at Dean but Dean just punched his fists into the covers and closed his eyes again.

The fourth time Sam kicked off the covers and put his feet on the floor.  “Alright.  What´s up.’

Dean´s mouth pouted out in a frown but he didn´t bother to open his eyes.  “Nothing.’

Sam shook his head.  “Dean, in the past week you have woken up four times from nightmares.  What´s.  Up?’

Dean sighed and laced his hands together.  “Nothing.  Just your average, run of the mill, nightmares.’

“Really,’ Sam asked, raising his eyebrows and holding back the urge to yell at Dean to just god damned look at him already.  “Because I thought mine were just nightmares at first--’

Dean´s eyes flew open at that.  “That is not what´s going on.’

Sam tilted his head to the side and frowned at him.  “Dean, I know it´s scary, but if you´re--’

“No, Sam,’ Dean said, closing his eyes again.  “That is not what this is.’

Sam sighed.  “Dean, ignoring it isn´t going to make it go away--’

“It was that little girl, all right,’ Dean snapped, slitting his eyes over to glare at Sam.  “And I swear to God, if you give me shit for having nightmares about a thirteen year old girl…’

Sam´s eyebrows lifted.  “Really?  You´re dreaming about her?’

Dean sighed heavily.  “She freaked me out, dude.  Shut up.’

Sam found himself smiling.  “So what, you´re reliving the horror of being bested by a thirteen year old girl?  Feeling challenged in your masculinity--’

“No, dude,’ Dean said, rolling over to glare at him, propping himself up on an elbow.  “More like being gutted by one.  Having my throat slit by one.  Having her dig my eye out with that fuckin´ knife and serve it up on a silver fucking platter and feeding it to me!’

Sam´s mouth worked a few times before he could force it to function again.  “Hey.  I´m sorry.  I thought you´d rather me make a joke out of it.  I didn´t realize--’

“No, you wouldn´t,’ Dean said, huffing and throwing himself back down on the bed, his arm going over his eyes.  “You didn´t have her dead eyes staring at you with a knife to your skull.’

Sam swallowed and tried to shove off the image.  “Dean…’

“Crazy old fucks I can handle.  Those hillbillie hicks with their chainsaws and cannibalism and the teeth in the jar, it´s disturbing, yeah.  It´s fucked up, yeah.  But I can handle that.  They´re old.’  He opened his eyes and stared up at the ceiling, letting his arm slide down to his chest.  “But a thirteen year old?’  He looked over at Sam and it was the most naked he´d ever seen Dean´s eyes be.  “A thirteen year old without a soul?  No.  I can not handle that.’

Sam looked down because he didn´t know what to say.  “Well.  I mean, I guess… it´s just how she was raised, Dean.  They fucked her up young--’

“I saw her and I was just… God, Sam.  A thirteen y ear old being raised by these crazy fucks.  And I thought, poor girl.  Poor sweet little girl.  And she had that crazy look in her eyes, ya know?  That crazy, vacant, not really there look.  And I just wanted to take her out of there, get her some help, ya know?’  He shrugged and maybe shivered a little bit, and that disturbed Sam probably most of all.  “And then she attacked me with that knife, and they tied me to a chair, and left her to watch after me, and she was just taunting me with that knife in her hand, and it looked… It looked natural Sammy.   The way she held it.  I don´t think I would have been the first man she killed.’

Sam swallowed.  “God.’

Dean´s mouth tightened and his jaw clenched.  “And I just thought.  God.  I might have to kill her.’

Sam sucked in a breath.  “Dean.’

Dean looked at him.  “I would have.  You or her, Sam?  I would have.’

Sam closed his eyes.  “But she´s so young.’

Dean shook his head.  “She might have been better off.’

“God, Dean,’ Sam said, shaking his head.  “I mean, I guess… I guess if it was her or you I would have done… Yeah, I guess I would have done whatever it took to get to you, but.  I don´t think she would have been better off dead.’

Dean laughed, this strange hollow laugh that Sam had only heard once, maybe twice, out of him.  “Why not?  Anything would have been better than growing up in that house.  You didn´t see her eyes, Sam.  There was nothing in them except hatred and anger.  She wasn´t salvageable.’

Sam shook his head.  “No.  No, that can´t be true.  Everyone can be saved, Dean.’

Dean rolled his eyes.  “Bullshit.  You think Dahmer could be saved?  Berkowitz?  Fuckin´ Manson?  No.’

Sam just shook his head again and tried to fight off the thing in the back of his head telling him Dean might be right.  “No.  She´s young.  She was raised that way, and if she gets help--’

“I´ve seen some crazy shit, Sammy,’ Dean said, voice soft and low, eyes boring right into him.  “But nothing could compare to what I saw in her eyes.’

Sam hugged his arms to him and fought off a shiver.  “You´re wrong.’

Dean smiled a hollow smile and closed his eyes again.  “Yeah, well.  Doubt that.  But I hope so.’

Sam didn´t sleep at all that night because the thought that kept plaguing him was that could have been him and Dean like that.  Just look at what had happened to Max.

Everything goes back to how you were raised.   Everything.