Dean answered with a sigh of his own, staring straight forward. His eyes were focused, but not on Scott. Just straight ahead. It was the only way to keep from seeing how sallow and sad Scott's face...
Only on TV had he seen this scene play out. It was always some lawyer or bereaved relative visiting someone locked up. The glass divide, those stupid phones, it was all so familiar, and yet he'd never seen anything like it all at the same time.
Head hanging, he walked forward and let himself drop into one of the chairs. He kept his glance downward, sinking into the chair, but he could still feel the figure in orange approach. One glance was all it took. He had to remind himself that the seemingly half-dead man that stood beyond the plastic was Scott, his Scott. As he sat down in the chair beyond the barrier, Dean began to reach for the receiver, but stopped himself. For a moment, he stared intently, a look of disbelief on his face. For that moment, he hated himself; he kept saying over and over that he should've come sooner. He never imagined that two months could do so much damage to one person, but they had, and it was all his fault.
Finally, he lost the strength to make the simplest eye contact, and let his eyes fall to the floor, staring at it as if it were a masterpiece. He fumbled for the receiver, this time grabbing it and holding it to his ear. Dean glanced up just long enough to see Scott holding on to his end as if it would escape him if he didn't, and his heart sank.
"Dean...I--I missed you..." Scott whispered. Dean swallowed hard; the voice was exactly the same. Even with as sick and ragged as he looked, he still sounded the same. Dean couldn't help but stare, now. He was absolutely amazed.
"I didn't think you'd come," Scott murmured. There was desperation in his voice. "Why didn't you come sooner?"
Dean let his hand tighten on the receiver. "I still have shit to do, you know that. Like, oh, I don't know, keeping the band together?" He regretted it as soon as the words left his lips, but it was too late, the damage was done. Frantically, Dean searched his mind for something else to say, something that could somehow heal the wound that he'd just inflicted.
"I'm sorry...I'm sorry..."
He listened for a moment as Scott spoke, teeth digging in to his lip. What could he say? What could he or Scott say? The thought left a sinking feeling in Dean's chest. It'd been two months since they'd said a word to each other, and he couldn't think of anything to say. But then again, it didn't seem like Scott could find anything, either. What had happened? What in hell had happened?
Apologies would be too little and too late, Dean knew it. "I guess you don't have much else to think about..." he said, trying to force some sort of sensitivity into his voice.
A loud sigh echoed from the end of the phone by his ear. "You don't have to fake it. I know you don't wanna be here," Scott said. Dean looked up, almost taking offense until he saw the pained look on his face.
Dean answered with a sigh of his own, staring straight forward. His eyes were focused, but not on Scott. Just straight ahead. It was the only way to keep from seeing how sallow and sad Scott's face had become.
"I'm just fucking stressed," he said quietly, and as he realized it was in the same tone a little child would argue with, he bit his lip. This wasn't getting them anywhere.
There was another silence, but not a long one. "You don't have to walk on damn eggshells around me, Dean. Say whatever the fuck you want."
He didn't even have to look up to know that Scott didn't mean what he had said, this time. "You're such a fucking prick, Scott. You get yourself arrested, and when I finally come to fucking see you, in prison, you have the gall to look at me and tell me I don't wanna be here. You know what? Fuck you, okay? You'll probably end up right back in here once you get out, anyway. I should just stop caring now."
"But before you said--"
"I fucking know what I said before, Scott. I'm starting to realize that maybe I was wrong," Dean glowered at him to emphasize his anger, mustering the most ferocious glower he possibly could. He stared at Scott for a moment, watching his face work in a silent grimace. His hand went slack and the receiver that he had been clutching so tightly fell away from his mouth, making him totally inaudible. He could feel a grim satisfaction well up in him at Scott's reaction, but that all changed when he saw he eyes.
Scott's eyes were terribly hurt, almost woeful. They got wide of all of a sudden, dark, like a puppy that had been kicked one too many times. He started to wish that he was totally lacking a conscience; even someone with a will of steel would totally falter under that gaze. He bit down on his lip. All he wanted to do was gather Scott up in his arms and hold him in his arms until he was okay again, just like he'd done so many times before.
"I...I gotta go, Scott," he stammered quickly. He hung up the receiver, struggling to get it to stick. He glanced around nervously, somehow managing to catch the guard's eye. Getting a nod of approval, he rose to his feet, realizing then how badly his knees were shaking. He couldn't take it anymore. As much as he wanted to stay and try and patch things up, he had to leave.
Finally finding the strength, he turned away, hearing something thud against the glass barrier. He glanced back and saw Scott looking at him with those same eyes, his hand pressed desperately against the glass. His lips moved, and Dean knew that he had spoken, but he could only vaguely make out what he had said.
He wished he had the strength to stay.