Summary: Tag to 10x23 – Pre-series flashbacks to present – Little Brother Sam, Big Brother Dean – Sam tried to smile, tried to reassure Dean that he understood...that he accepted his fate...and no matter what, he still loved his big brother.

Disclaimer: Not mine of course.

Warnings: Spoilers for 10x23 with vague spoilers for other seasons as well.


I love you so much I'm gonna let you kill me. ~ Florence and the Machine


It was remarkable the number of times one statement had been said throughout their lives.

Sammy, close your eyes.

Instructed by a four-year old big brother concerned about the stinging effects of water and soap as he helped his mom give their newest addition a bath.

Sammy, close your eyes.

Gasped six months later by the same four-year old as he carried his crying baby brother out of a burning house, shielding the infant from the unforgiving heat and unforgettable image of their mother engulfed in flames.

Sammy, close your eyes.

Whispered by an exhausted six-year old who had been up all night with a sick, restless little brother held against his chest.

Sammy, close your eyes.

Sighed by an eight-year old who knew the drowsy four-year old blinking at him should be asleep instead of trying to stay awake until their dad came home.

Sammy, close your eyes.

Ordered by a ten-year old who didn't want his little brother to see the amount of blood that covered their father as he stumbled through the door following a particularly violent hunt.

Sammy, close your eyes.

Sing-songed by a 12-year old who could already picture the dimpled grin of his little brother when the eight-year old saw his Christmas surprise.

Sammy, close your eyes.

Urged by a 14-year old as he watched his kid make a wish on the single candle glowing from the center of the chocolate cupcake.

Sammy, close your eyes.

Chuckled by a 16-year old who was thoroughly enjoying the porno onscreen but knew his little brother was uncomfortable and embarrassed...and really didn't need to see what position Bendy Mindy came up with next.

Sammy, close your eyes.

Soothed by an 18-year old thumbing tears from a pale, blood-streaked cheek before stitching the jagged gash above the kid's eyebrow, a souvenir from the night's hunt.

Sammy, close your eyes.

Laughed by a 20-year old sprawled on the bathroom floor with his passed out little brother when the 16-year old's first experiment with drinking alcohol had ended quick and messy after only two beers.

Sammy, close your eyes.

Smiled by a nostalgic 22-year old who felt dangerously close to crying as he blew out the candle on a slice of pie in honor of his little brother and wondered how his kid was celebrating his 18th birthday in Palo Alto.

Sammy, close your eyes.

Said by a 24-year old for no reason at all, except he missed his brother and sometimes spoke to him out of habit...especially at night as he imagined the kid awake past his bedtime in the motel bed across from his.

Sammy, close your eyes.

Murmured by a 26-year old big brother keeping watch over his kid covered in soot and haunted by nightmares of a burning girlfriend...and then murmured repeatedly months later when his little brother was debilitated by piercing migraines and recurring visions.

Sammy, close your eyes.

That one statement said so many times during their years back together, back when they left Stanford in the Impala's rearview and hit the road – them against the world.

Sammy, close your eyes.

Whether said with a chuckle at a little brother nodding off in the passenger seat but stubbornly refusing to give in to sleep.

Or said with an irritated growl at a little brother who didn't know when to stop researching and call it a night.

Sammy, close your eyes.

Sometimes said with the reassuring tone of a big brother who still believed he could protect his kid – his sleep-deprived kid – from anything...including hallucinations of Lucifer himself.

Or sometimes said with the pleading tone of a big brother who just wanted his kid to stop coughing up blood and get some rest.

Sammy, close your eyes.

No matter how it had been said, it had always been tinged with protective affection.

And that's how it had been spoken just now – with the last bit of good left in Dean.

The part that was untouched by the Mark.

The part of Dean that loved his little brother and would do anything to keep him safe.

The part of Dean that instinctively wanted to protect Sam, the part that needed to shield him from anything dangerous and evil...including Death's scythe swung by Dean's own hand.

Sam gave a jerky nod because he understood.

And on some level, he agreed.

Dean had taught him everything – except how to live without him.

Sam didn't know how to live without Dean.

So, if Dean was going...Sam might as well go, too.

It was the right decision.

And the right decisions were usually the hardest.

Still knelt on the floor, Sam could feel himself shaking, could feel his heart pounding in his chest and the tears slipping down his cheeks as he stared up at his big brother, just like he had done for the majority of his life.

Sam tried to smile, tried to reassure Dean that he understood...that he accepted his fate...and no matter what, he still loved his big brother.

If it was time for last words between them, Sam was glad Dean – the real Dean – had chosen these.

Sammy, close your eyes.


END