A/N Set at the end of Season 9, Episode 14 - "The Purge". I was pretty mad at Sam for being a sensational asshat at the end of this episode so I wrote an alternative ending where Dean lays in to him a bit. Don't get me wrong, I love them both, but I felt like Sammy was being unfair so I decided to let Dean retaliate a little.

Probably a one-shot but I might continue if anyone would like me to. Needless to say, the dialogue in the first little section is from the episode, (no copyright infringement intended) so it's clear exactly where I picked up from.

Dean sat alone in the kitchen after returning from a case at Canyon Valley, having encountered his very first Peruvian Pishtacos, one of which was sucking the fat out of his victims until they were nothing but human jerky on the floor. Sam would have been vacuumed himself if Dean hadn't killed the thing just in time. Just as he was mulling the case over in his mind, Sam appeared in the doorway at the atmosphere became instantly stiff and cold.

"You know Sam, I saved your hide back there," Dean said, looking up at him. "And I saved your hide at that church. And the hospital." Sam just raised his eyebrows derisively and looked at the floor. "I may not think things all the way through, okay? But what I do, I do because it's the right thing." Sam scowled at him, but Dean held his gaze. "I'd do it again," he said, taking a sip of scotch from the glass in front of him.

"And that is the problem," Sam said, emotionlessly. "You think you're my saviour. My brother, the hero. You swoop in and even when you mess up you think what you're doing is worth it because you've convinced yourself you're doing more good than bad… But your not. Kevin's dead, Crowley's in the wind, we're no closer to beating this angel thing. Please tell me, what is the upside of me being alive?"

"Are you kidding me?" Dean said. "You and me, fighting the good fight. Together." Sam turned away with an exasperated sigh, and he looked like he was about to leave. He took a couple steps in to the corridor before turning back and sitting himself down in front of Dean.

"Just once," Sam said, looking intently at his brother. "Be honest with me. You didn't save me for me. You did it for you."

"What are you talking about?" Dean asked.

"I was ready to die," Sam said. "I was ready. I should have died, but you, you didn't want to be alone. And that's what all this boils down to. You can't stand the thought of being alone."

"Alright," Dean murmured with a disbelieving, mirthless smile, and turned away from Sam, walking a few paces to the other side of the room. As Sam started talking again, Dean wondered how long he had been waiting to get all of this off his chest.

"I'll give you this much," Sam said, coldly. "You're certainly willing to do the sacrificing, as long as you're not the one being hurt." Dean couldn't believe what he was hearing. Had he not spent forty years in Hell? Didn't that count as a sacrifice? Because all the pain and the terror and the guilt was permanently etched in to his mind. That felt like a pretty damn real sacrifice.

"You wanna be honest?" Dean said, turning back to Sam, forcing down his indignance and trying to keep the conversation calm. "If the situation were reversed, and I was dying, you'd do the same thing."

"No, Dean, I wouldn't." Dean looked at him incredulously. "Same circumstances, I wouldn't."

"You wouldn't save my life?" Dean asked. Sam opened his mouth to speak but Dean interrupted him. "What happened to you, man? What happened to us? I've saved your skin more times than I can count and you used to want to save me too. But now you'd let me die just because you've become some bipolar, depressive son of a bitch with no interest in living anymore? Screw you Sammy, you don't get to decide whether or not to save me. We save each other. Always. No ifs or buts." Sam just sat there, his jaw stiff like a moody teenager waiting for the rant to be over, but Dean still wasn't done. "I mean it Sammy, if I had my time over, I would still stop you from closing over Hell and I would still get you out of that coma, because I would much rather have you pissed at me for bringing you back to life than have you floating around in the freaking netherworld, pissed at me for letting you die."

"Are you done?" was all he said. Dean could have punched him.

"No, I'm not done," Dean said. "Like it or not, we're family." Sam rolled his eyes. "I will never be done with us. I'm not as quick to give up on my brother as you are." At last, Dean elicited some reaction from Sam.

"Stop twisting my words," Sam said. "I never said I would give up on you, but if you wanted to die, if you were ready to go, I would let you because I'm not as selfish as you." Dean gave a short, bitter laugh.

"Bullshit, Sam. You let me rot in Purgatory for a year because you wanted out of the life. If Benny hadn't come along and got me out, I would still be in there because you didn't even try to find me. I could have been anywhere, man, and you just left me."

"You said you were over that," Sam said.

"Well I'm not over it!" Dean roared back, slamming his fist down on the table. Sam fell silent. They stood in stony silence for almost a minute, Dean too angry to speak, Sam's pride too injured.

"At the end of the day," Dean said, picking his words carefully, "I will always look for you. I guess I just thought you would do the same."

"Look," Sam said, "you're still my brother - "

"Oh I'm your brother now am I?"

"I don't want anything to happen to you but I just think we need to stop fighting fate. We're both going to die one day, and I'm tired of getting dragged back again and again in to this life. Maybe we should accept that when our time is up, our time is up."

"Since when were you such a defeatist? You used to have some fight in you man."

"Maybe I'm just sick of this life!"

"Here we go again," Dean said. "You have had every opportunity to quit being a hunter but you keep coming back, so don't you dare blame that on me."

"You're the one who talked me out of - "

"No, enough Sam. I asked you to come back to me when you were in that coma and you agreed. I didn't force you in to anything."

"That wasn't even you, that was Gadreel!"

"Look, I'm sorry that Gadreel turned out to be a raging douche canoe, and I'm really sorry that it got Kevin killed, but it doesn't matter who it was, you chose to come back so quit chucking the blame around."

"You know what, I don't want to talk about this anymore," Sam said, getting up to leave.

"That's right, give up again. You're getting pretty damn good at that," Dean said, following him to the door.

"Oh, get over yourself, Dean," Sam snapped. "I'm sick of trying to please you, you've turned in to this self-righteous, idealistic, pig-headed - " Dean punched him hard across the face and he stumbled in to the doorframe. When he looked back to Dean, there was blood on his lips and a sneer in his eyes. He shook his head and left the room without another word, slamming the door behind him.

Dean sat back down, hands shaking with fury, feeling completely betrayed. He went to put his head in his hands and realised that his knuckles were bleeding. He stood up so forcefully that his chair tipped over with a metallic clang, and he left the kitchen, heading for the front door. He grabbed another bottle of scotch and a glass and walked outside, sitting on the grass outside the bunker. He poured several large glasses and downed them swiftly, impatient to be rid of the sharp pain of anger and hurt that was clawing a hole in his chest.

"Cas," he said, his voice cracking as he spoke in to the silent air. "I…" He shook his head, poured another glass and finished it in one gulp. "I know you've got your own stuff going on but uh… I need you here. Everything's just falling apart. The one thing I thought I could really count on is just… gone." He felt hot tears sting in his eyes and wiped them away angrily. He looked up and saw nothing but the empty street.

"Dammit, Cas," he growled. He gave a shaky sigh and then in a sudden rush of anger, picked up his glass and hurled it in to the road where it smashed in to a thousand tiny pieces that sparked and flickered in the sun. He put his head in his hands and tried to steady himself. When he looked back up, he jolted with fright because a figure had appeared in the corner of his eye. Cas was by his side, sitting on the grass, knees bent, squinting in the sunlight.

"Jesus," Dean breathed, feeling his heart beat a little faster. Cas tilted his head slightly, with a little frown creasing his forehead.

"I am not Jesus," Cas said.

"I know you're not Jesus, Cas," he said. "You just about gave me a heart attack." Cas still looked confused.

"I don't understand. How could my presence induce a myocardial infarction?" he asked.

"It's a figure of speech, man," Dean said, exasperatedly. "I mean you scared me."


"You okay?" Dean asked.

"Fine," he said. "What about you?" Dean didn't know what to say, so he stayed silent. "Are you and Sam having difficulties?"

"That's one way to put it," Dean said, picking up the bottle of scotch and taking a long swig.

"You're bleeding," Cas said. His deep, gravelly voice had a note of concern in it as he looked down at Dean's hands.

"So is Sam's face," he said. Cas didn't seem to know what to say, so he reached out and took Dean's hand.

"Hey, dude, what are you doing," Dean said, looking down at the angel's hand covering his. Cas drew his hand away and the cuts on Dean's knuckles were gone. "Thanks," he muttered.

"Would you like me to talk to Sam?" Cas asked, watching Dean closely, his blue eyes even bluer in the sun.

"Probably best you don't," Dean said. "Not right now anyway." For the first time, Dean was glad that small-talk wasn't Cas's strong point. Just having someone sit with him was comfort enough, seeing as Sammy couldn't bare to be in the same room as him at the moment.

"I just wish we could go back to hunting Wendigos y'know? Before everything got so complicated." He sighed and stared up at the sky. "I thought family was the one thing I would always have," he continued. "But it doesn't seem to mean anything anymore."

"You told me once that I was part of your family," Cas said.

"Yeah?" Dean said. He couldn't remember saying it, but he didn't doubt Cas's memory.

"Well, family must mean something," Cas said. "Because you still have me."