-- And again, I come back... yeah; this sure is a one-shot, ah? Anyway, people sure are going stir crazy over that ending, popping out fics like hell! I persist that there was only one on the site when I posted this... don't know which one that is; didn't pay attention. I just remember seeing "asylum" and thinking "somebody beat me to it ALREADY?" (I was posting at, like, four in the morning) ANYWHO! I don't own spit, and I ain't makin' money off of this, so turn your lawyers in another direction. I'm gonna go on with the story as if the phone call at the end of the episode never happened, because that would just be awkward trying to work that in here. This really will be the last installment, so I hope everyone enjoys it...--

Dun, dun, dun! Reviewer replies!

Ghostwriter- Really? I thought I might have made him a little too sensitive, but you disagree and that's kicks ass, lol! Thanks for reading :-)

ashlyns - Thank you!

Nate and Jake - It's one of your favorites? Really? That's fantastic! Thank you!

spootycup - Well then I ALMOST suceeded in what I set out to do, lol! Dean'll forgive Sam because he loves him blindly, of course; that's what having a sibling is all about... believe me, I've got an older brother and a younger sister. Thanks for reading and reviewing!

Spectral Scribe - the line "no comment" was just kind of trying to reflect on the chapter in total... on the silence and how Sam couldn't tell Dean how he felt and all that. I'm really glad you thought I was true to Sam, though; I was a little worried I was making him overly sensitive... I'm more of a Dean person, too. I love Dean's personality, he's a lot like me... except less cooky :-P thanks for reading and reviewing and enjoying and giving me such gracious compliments! Oh, how I suck them up...

4everdreaming - lol! Thank you, here's a final chapter just for you :-)

HealerAriel - "Hold, comfort, and do unspeakable things to Dean" AMEN TO THAT! What? We're all horny Dean lovers here, it's not our faults :-P ANYWHO! Damn right about those stupid evil gusy pitting brother against brother... we need an episode with lots of sappy brotherly-love chick flick moments! Who's with me? lol! And Jensen really is a fantastic actor, watching that last scene if I didn't know better I really would have believed the look on his face! Thanks for reading and reviewing, not to mention juicy compliments... mmm,compliments...

Latanya Kassidy - I, personally, think "Skin" was the best episode... followed by "Home"... by "Asylum" takes a stiff third place, damn it! I totally agree about the ending, we needed more! We, as fans and horny Dean lovers, needed to see the kind of shit writers all over this write are all dishin' out... but thanks for reading and reviewing! Always apprichiated :-)

Angy - happy Thanksgiving to you, too! I'm glad you're liking my story, and my portreyal of the brothers... I was so nervous that I didn't get them in character before I posted this but now everybody's so reassuring! Thanks for reading and reviewing and wishing me, a total stranger, a happy holiday. Have a good one!

Light. It shined on his face, burning through the backs of his eyelids. Dean grumbled and rolled over on his side, but a wave of fiery pain washed through his body, emanating from his chest. He quickly fell over on his back again, in an attempt to stop it. Breathing slowly, the night before came back to him...

Click, click, the empty sound of the trigger being pulled. No bullets... no bullets in the gun, the gun in his brother's hand, the gun he gave to his brother, the gun his brother killed him with.

He clenched his eyes shut tight and groaned, trying to banish the painful memories. So fresh... the wounds... not real... emotional... someone save him, he couldn't live like this! It only got worse when he heard the toilet flush, the bathroom door open. It was too late to pretend to still be asleep.

Sam lumbered back into the room, glancing at his brother's bed. Dean was awake, and Sam winced. What would happen today? Was it going to be a repeat of last night? How long could they go on like this? He couldn't take the silence anymore; he had to do it, even if it grieved him almost as much as the lack of sound...

"Hey Dean," he barely breathed. He had to clear his throat, try to make it loosen up. He felt dumb saying what he was saying, but he couldn't think of anything else; "How y'feeling?"

"Just peachy, thanks," was his older brother's reply.

Dean tried not to visibly wince when his brother asked him how he was feeling. How the fuck did he expect him to feel? For one thing, he'd been shot with rock salt and throw through a wall; and for another, his own brother had done it to him! Sam had tried to kill him! But he had to keep up appearances, so he muttered one of his typical remarks.

Sam pulled a clean pair of pants out of his bag, slipped them on, and then sat down on the foot of his bed. He played with his hands nervously, keeping his eyes in his lap. How could he feel so uncomfortable around his own brother? This was crazy! This was all crazy!

Dean sighed inwardly. How miserable, he'd have to get up and get them out to the car. It was what he would do on any ordinary day, so it was what he would do today... it worried him a little, though. His chest had barely been able to take twenty minutes of sitting upright yesterday! How was he gonna drive all day today?

Well, he'd cross that bridge when he came to it. The immediate order of business was sitting up... which wasn't particularly easy, either. He let out an involuntary hiss at the crunching of his diagram, to which Sam looked up at his.

Damn, he thought. He played it cool, leaning his back against the headboard. He tried to give his brother a "what?" look, but he found he couldn't. He couldn't look in those puppy dog eyes and keep his composure, not yet anyway.

Sam heard his brother hiss, and looked over. Dean was in pain, he could tell... of course, Dean would never admit to that, but it didn't matter. For a moment, Sam forgot all about the events of the previous day, jumping up and turning to his brother.

"Your chest is still messed up?" he asked him, gently.

"No," Dean lied, a little too quickly. "Just stiff is all..."

"Maybe you should let me look at–"

"No, Sam, I said I'm fine!"

Sam jumped at his brother's suddenly harsh tone. Dean seemed to notice this, and shrunk a little where he sat. Sam looked away, remembering his guilt... all he could think was that things would never be the same, it repeated in his head like a broken record, and it broke his heart.

Dean saw Sam jump from the corner of his eye. Immediately he felt bad for being so hard on him... Sam may have shot him, but he was still his little brother, and as impossible as it seemed Dean would never stop trying to protect him.

Dean frowned and tried to keep his breaths even, it hurt to breathe for fuck's sake! He knew how to make up for his behavior, but he sure as hell didn't want to! On any normal day, he wouldn't have... but today was anything but normal. Today was his first day being dead.

"Take a look," he grumbled.

"I said take a look," Dean repeated, a little louder this time. This seriously sucked. "If you wanna, I mean..."

Sam couldn't believe it. He'd heard it twice, and he still couldn't believe it. Was Dean really going to allow baby Sammy to help him? Certainly not! But he'd said, he'd said it twice... and Sam knew he wasn't in great shape. Dean may not have been as pale as last night, but he was still lighted in color then he should have been, and the sound of his breathing worried Sam. It was too shallow, too labored... he worried Dean's ribs might be cracked or broken.

He approached, and Dean sat up straight and held out his arms, pursing his lips miserably. Sam could tell he was hating every minute of this, but he knew it was for the best. Very gingerly, he touched just outside the bruise, feeling for the ribs. Dean cringed as he got closer to the epicenter, and Sam apologized without even on reflex.

Finally, Sam pulled back. He told Dean, "I think a couple are cracked... I'm gonna bandage them to be safe, okay?"

"'Kay," Dean said dryly. Sam would have smirked at his brother's childish mental attitude towards the whole thing, but not on a day like today. Today was his first day being a murderer.

Sam ran out to the car to grab the first aid kit, and Dean finally dropped his arms, letting his breath out in a very long, though shallow, sigh. So was this how it was going to be now? Pretending like some lousy actors that everything was alright as they skirted around each other? Dean thought that just might drive him mad faster than the silence...

Sam came back, bandages in hand, and went to Dean's side to get to work. A few minutes later, it was done, as Dean could breathe again! Don't get me wrong, it still hurt; but at least now he could bear through it.

When that was all done and good, Dean threw on some clean(ish?) clothes and then turned to his brother. "You ready to hit the road, Sammy?"

Sam nodded and followed him out to the car. They got in, pulled out, and drove away... again; the radio – blessed Zeppelin – separated them. Dean tapped his fingers on the wheel along with the rhythm and began to feel a little bit better.

That cassette ended, and another took its place. The day ticked on and it almost felt like everything was gonna be alright if you didn't think about it... until, two or three tapes later, Sam decided to take the place of the musical distraction.



"Where are we going?"

Dean shrugged. "Don't know... some place with food, though, I think; 'cause I don't know about you but I'm starved."

Sam rolled his eyes. Yes, the mood was a little lighter... but the tension still hung in the air above their heads, and as much as he tried to ignore it; it was driving Sam crazy! Well, maybe after yesterday, crazy wasn't the best word for it... damn figures of speech reminding him of his guilt!



"I'm," Sam choked. He couldn't say it. He had to say it. Damn the consequences, he'd rather blow his brains out than go on like this! "I love you, Dean."

The car slowed, and Dean's brows knitted. Sam didn't have the courage to look up, but he did notice the car beginning to get a little too slow... finally, Dean swung the wheel and pulled over to the side of the road. Sam couldn't look at him, absolutely could not! The guilt was racking his body, and the anticipating that this was going to end horribly was heavy in his mind...

Dean sighed shakily, putting his hands together on the wheel and resting his head against them. Sam forced himself to look. His brother looked like a statue, carved from the stone that made him so strong... but how was he holding on now? Was he faltering? Sam couldn't read his face, couldn't read anything about him, not even in his eyes.

"I'm sorry, Dean, I'm so damn sorry," the words just left Sam's mouth, flew right out as if they had a mind of their own. His eyes began to water.

"Sam, what did I tell you about chick-flick moments?" Dean teased, even if his voice sounded nothing like teasing. It was void. But at least the teasing was a good sign!

"I don't care if its chick flick," Sam sobbed. "I don't care! I don't care about anything, damn it! I can't... do this, I can't live like this!" Sam paused to wipe at his eyes, but it didn't matter. The tears just kept coming, completely of their own accord. "... What's the point if you don't love me anymore?"

"I don't love you?" Dean echoed. "Really? 'Cause I could have sworn you were the one pulling the trigger..."

"I know that, damn it; I know what I did! You think I don't know? It's haunted me every second since it happened!" Sam was wiping at his eyes again. This was getting out of hand. He hadn't meant for this to happen. He flicked the passenger door open and stumbled out, but he didn't make it far. He gave up and dropped down, leaning against the side of the car.

Dean battled within himself for a minute, sitting behind the wheel. He didn't even understand what he was feeling! His mind and heart were churning in a way that he, with his devil-may-care attitude, just couldn't comprehend... but he knew that he had to take care of Sammy. That was always first priority. He opened the door, stepped out, shut it, and walked around.

Sammy was sobbing into his hands, trying to be as quiet and humanly possible. His knees were up against his body, and he looked so much like a child again... Dean melted, remembering the days when he was Sam's hero. Sam looked up to him than, trusted him to guild him, wanted to grow up and be just like him... obviously, a lot of things changed after puberty.

Dean walked over and crouched down beside his baby brother, setting his hand on his shoulder. Sam glanced up at him hesitantly, and his eyes were absolutely gleaming with tears yet to be shed. This was too much! It was like watching a starving wounded puppy suffer... just not cool.

Dean struggled for a moment with the words to say. He didn't even acknowledge his own feelings, how was he supposed to help someone else with theirs? He knew whatever he said was gonna suck, but he also knew he had to say something... anything, if it would end Sam's pain.

"Look, Sammy, I'm sorry... for being so hard on you. I do love you, little bro; nothing could ever make me stop... especially not some little ghosty, I don't know why we let it get this far anyway!"

But Sam shook his head. "You're bull shitting again..."


"Dean, why don't you ever just admit that you're not Superman and express something for once? You've kept everything pent up inside you since you were five!"

Dean's eyes faltered to his shoes. Damn, way to shoot a guy down... but he knew that hadn't been Sam's intention. Sam thought that the only way to get passed things was to put them all out on the table. Dean strongly disagreed, but this time; he'd do anything for Sammy.

"What do you want me to say, Sammy? Do the whole David Copperfield thing? I'm born, I grow up, and how does that make you feel?" he mimicked the last line in an weak voice. "That's not me, Sam."

"I know," the younger sighed. "And that's not... what I'm asking, I just..."

There was a silence again, and the two brothers were each far off in their own thoughts. They were thinking about their whole lives, about every little wrong they'd done onto each other, and how fleetingly small and hopeless it all seems now. Could everything they went through be undone by one stupid spirit? Sam wouldn't let it go on like this.

"Dean, I have to tell you... I only apologized for what I said. I need to... I... I shot you, Dean, I could have killed you! But... but I never wanted to, never. You've gotta believe me. I don't hate you, I don't want you dead, I don't... I get irritated with you sometimes, and you know it; I'm sure you get irritated with me, too–"

"– Oh yeah," Dean 'expressed', raising his eye brows. Sam gave a sad little laugh, the best he could muster up at the time being.

"Look, the point is... I love you. That son of a bitch took my emotions and he... he amplified them, turned them into something... dark and unnatural, for lack of a better term. I would never, ever hurt you of my own free will." Now the younger fixed his brown eyes on the elder's hazel ones, a dead seriousness in them that was fierce to its core. "I would die for you, Dean."

Dean tore his eyes away, with some effect, and pretended absent mindedly to be fascinated with his shoe-lace, wrapping and unwrapping it around his finger. Everything he'd felt the night before was replaying for him, and now he was questioning himself again... but this time it was for better.

Finally, he replied. "I know, Sammy... I always have."

The Winchester in question cracked a smile, and this time it was for real. "I'm not gonna leave you again... ever."

Now Dean looked up. "Liar."

"No, I'm serious!"

"We'd kill each other... obviously."

They laughed, and it was free and opened and honest, and the wounds on their hearts began to mend. The scars would always be there, thick and angry, but they could both tell now that the bleeding was going to stop, a scab was going to form and dry and flake and heal, and everything really could be alright. Never again like it was before, but it could still be okay... they could still be brothers, now and forever.

Dean stood up and brushed off his pants. "C'mon, let's get back on the road. We have to get to ­Poughkeepsie."

"Why Poughkeepsie?"

"Check your laptop. Four deaths in two weeks; eyes, ears, and tongues removed."

"See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil," Sam quoted the old saying, catching his brother's drift. He reached for the handle on the driver's side door, but Dean stopped him before he pulled it.

"Oh, and Sam," Dean was looking over the hood. Sam glanced up to demonstrate that he had his attention. "What just happened back there, never reaches another soul." Sam laughed, and Dean had to worry a little. "Dude, I still have shit on you, too."

"Yeah, like what?" Sam was still chuckling.

"Mansfield, Georgia," Sam stopped chuckling the second the words left Dean's mouth. Dean smirked, and dropped himself in the car. "So, we've come to an understanding then?"

"Just shut up and drive," Sam said as he got in and pulled the passenger side door shut.

The Winchester brothers did not die today, neither of them; or any day before... and for the deaths they suffered through the night before, they were reborn. The road may be long and hard, but they would spite it at all turns... and that, my dears, is the real moral of this story.