The knock is quiet, almost inaudible. But it’s there. Dean closes his eyes and takes a breath. Then another. The door opens after a moment – his lack of response serves as an invitation. He can’t look up; he can’t see the look on Sam’s face. The one that’s so caring and gentle. The one Sam uses with victims and witnesses to show he cares.
“Hey, Dean,” Sam says quietly. Despite himself, Dean looks up. Sam’s offering a warm half-smile, and Dean can see the sadness in his eyes. Sam’s concern is always Dean, but in Cas’s death, Sam lost someone close, too. He lost a friend.
“Hey, Sammy.” Dean’s voice is rough from disuse. He’s holed up in his room as often as possible, and said as little as possible since they arrived home. He’s left Sam to deal with Jack. Dean can’t handle the questions of What was my father like? Castiel… what was he like? It just hurts too goddamn much.
Sam sits on the edge of the bed, and the mattress groans under the weight. He hands over a beer, and Dean takes it, grateful for the coolness of the bottle. He drinks the neck in one swig and wipes his mouth on the back of his hand.
They sit in silence for a few minutes, listening to the ancient pipes moan and churn and the air system kick on with a clunk. “How are you?” Sam asks finally, taking a sip of his beer.
Dean bends his knee and drapes an arm around it, the bottle neck hanging loosely from his fingers. He stares at the wall, focusing on a crack in the cement. It feels fitting – he feels like his soul has been cracked, if not shattered. “Just peachy,” he says. It’s a default response, his sarcasm. And Sam knows better. He knows Sam knows better.