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Falling Away

By Dawn Nyberg

Sam struggled to stand after being thrown against the tree by the skin walker. He could hear Dean yelling his name at the same time he was firing his gun running after the creature. Sam's vision was beginning to close in on him as darkness pulled him down. He passed out landing as a crumpled heap on his side.

Gunshots echoed in the woods and shortly after Dean emerged from the thicket of woods.

"Man, Sammy, that bastard put up a heck of a …" Dean's voice trailed off as he saw Sam was unmoving his back facing him. "Sam!"

Dean ran to his little brother dropping to both knees instantly. "Sammy, come on." Dean's fingers moved to his brother's neck in search of a pulse. He could feel the rapid beating against his fingers. He knelt closer to his brother's face to hear if he was breathing, and thankfully he felt the soft exhale of Sam's breathing against his cheek. He gently rolled Sam onto his back. "Sam," he patted his cheek, but it elicited no response. He lifted his hand up and brushed back his younger brother's unruly bangs, "Sammy, open you eyes!" His voice was commanding and somewhere in the fog of his head Sam heard his brother and tried to obey.

Dean noted that Sam was trying to open his eyes, "Come on Sammy, open your eyes." And, slowly they did open.

"Dean?" He looked at Dean and fought to focus on him. "My head," he groaned.

"Yeah, you look like shit, man," Dean, offered with a slight smile. "That skin walker walked all over you, " and then he chuckled, "no pun intended."

"Yeah, you're a real comedian," Sam hissed as he moved.

"Where else are you hurt?"

"Leave me alone." Sam was angry. He sat up suddenly and tried to get up too quickly and Dean had to catch him before he fell back down.

"Sam, slow down, man. Hey, your jacket is bloody in the back. Let me take a look."

"Back off," Sam hissed. "I hit a tree, Dean. Of course I'm bleeding. I got it handled, okay."

"Whatever." Dean grumbled.

They drove for a few miles and stopped at a hotel in the middle of nowhere. "Do you want the shower first," Dean asked Sam.

"No, you go. I'm taking a long one."

When it was Sam's turn he went into the bathroom and started to take off his jacket, and he hissed quietly as the drying blood pulled on his back. He knew his back wasn't hurt from hitting the tree, but that the skin walker had clawed him, and he knew what that meant, death. And, he was afraid. He couldn't tell Dean not yet. After all, he knew of no cure for the infection that would soon rage through his body from the skin walker. He was letting Dean down. He knew better than to let a skin walker claw you, but he had dropped his guard for a second and it has been able to scratch him, and then threw him like a rag doll against a tree. He turned his back to the mirror and cranked his neck around to look at the damage. It was a single claw mark that went from his right shoulder blade to the small of his back. The bleeding had stopped, but the wound didn't look good. The edges were all ready red, and beginning to show signs of infection.

The shower was long and hot. The water hit the claw mark and stung. The hot water even caused it to bleed a little more, but nothing note worthy. Sam felt tired to his core. He turned the water to a cooler temp, and then shut it off completely. He went through normal routines in the bathroom: he brushed his teeth, rinsed with mouthwash, and then he looked at himself, and shook his head thinking, 'man, you're gonna die, and you're getting ready for bed like nothings wrong.' He pulled on a clean t-shirt grimacing as it brushed against the claw mark.

He noticed his cheeks were a little flushed and he could feel the beginnings of a fever brewing. He just wanted to get into bed and sleep. He hoped it would happen in his sleep. He wanted to tell Dean, but he just couldn't. His mind raced at the idea of his brother waking up tomorrow and finding him dead. Maybe, it wouldn't happen as quickly as that, he tried to convince himself. He knew it happened differently for everyone. Some lasted only hours, others lasted a few days. He'd tell Dean in the morning. This hunt had been strenuous for them both and his older brother needed the rest. Sam shut off the bathroom light and went into the room. He glanced at Dean's bed illuminated by the light of the TV the only light source on in the room, and saw his brother was all ready on his stomach fast asleep. Sam pulled back the covers of his bed, and sat down. He looked at Dean for a long moment, and then decided he would just go to bed.

Something had pulled Dean from his sleep, and he sat up looking around the room. He saw a form in the other bed next to him on its' side, and knew Sam was where he should be, but something nagged at him. He didn't feel there was something lurking in the shadows, but something had awoken him. He considered maybe Sammy had had a dream, and whatever noise he had made woke him. His eyes were pulled toward Sam once again, and he noticed something a little off. He thought that he could see Sam trembling violently under his covers. He tossed his covers aside, and clicked on the lamp, and what he saw scared him.

"Sammy?" Dean edged onto his younger brother's bed and touched his shoulder. Sam was shaking.

"Cold," was all Sam could manage to say between violent shakes. Dean immediately put his hand on his brother's forehead.

"Fuck Sammy! You're on fire." Dean's heart began to hammer in his chest. Sam moved his head and started to roll onto his back slightly, and when he saw his older brother's eyes he could see fear. Dean could see how glassy Sam's eyes were, and there was something else there that he saw in them; they looked apologetic and they were also saying goodbye. "Sam, I gotta get you to a hospital. You're really sick. Your fevers too high."

"No, hospital. Can't help me." Sam continued to roll completely over onto to his back, and the sudden movement caused him to arch in pain.

"What is it?" Dean's voice was sharp. And, then he forced Sam onto his side roughly, and lifted his little brother's shirt. "Shit!" He got up quickly and went to his bed and pulled the knife he kept under his pillow out. He slit the back of Sam's t-shirt with it and removed it from his brother without making Sammy do it. "This isn't from a tree Sam. You stupid dumb ass!" Dean was furious. "You let that damn skin walker get the drop on you."

"Sorry," Sam's voice was quiet and his eyes were sliding closed. Hearing Sam's weak voice and watching his eyes begin to close pulled Dean from his anger quickly.

"No, Sammy!" Dean didn't yell, but his voice was loud and urgent. Sam opened his eyes. "Why didn't you tell me?"

"It doesn't matter now."

"Yes, it does."

"I didn't want to disappoint you."

"Jesus, Sammy! What am I going to do with you?"

"I don't want to be buried Dean," Sam's sudden statement made the bile rise in Dean's throat.

"You're not dying Sam." Dean's voice was emphatic.

"You know I am, Dean. I can see it in your eyes. Hell, I knew the moment it happened. You can't stop this."

"No there is something, Sammy." Dean got up from the bed suddenly and dialed his cell phone. "Please, be there. Pick up." Deans' eyes lit up as he heard a voice on the other end.

"Hello, Dr. Mitchell's residence."

"Joni? It's Dean Winchester."

"Dean! How are you? How's your Dad? What a surprise."

"Joni, my little brother's in trouble. He was attacked by a skin walker."

"He was clawed," the voice was serious now.

"Yeah, he's in bad shape. I need Doc Mitchell." Dean could hear Joni yell for her husband.

"Dean," the voice was all business, "how long ago was the attack?"

"A few hours. No more than six."

"How far are you from me?"

"Two hours," Dean glanced as his brother who lay watching him with half open eyes still shaking.

"How high is his fever?"

"He feels on fire."

"Okay, listen to me you're going to have to buy me some time to try and help him. You need to cool him down. Do you have some holy water to rinse the wound?"

"Yes," Dean said hurriedly. "How do you want me to cool him? The shower?"

"Dean I want you to get him to the shower and make him stand or sit in the cold water. Normally, I'd say lukewarm, but I think his fever is probably so high he'd die before you get here. It needs to come down fast. And, I want you to find something to put ice in and I want you to place it on him in the car. Put him in the back seat, and put the ice on each side of his neck, along his sides near his rib cage. Put him in the car wet if you have to just get him here as soon as you can." Dean's mind was racing.

"Okay, will you have the stuff ready?"

"It'll be ready when you get here. Dean," the doctor's voice paused and Dean cut off what he knew the doctor was going to say.

"Don't," Dean said quietly. "I'm getting him to you. This is going to work."

"I'll do everything I can, Dean. Hurry."

Everything was a flurry of activity as Dean lifted Sam up from the bed. His adrenalin coursing through him made lifting Sam feel like he was only five instead of twenty-two. "Come on, Sammy. I gotta get you cooled down."

"Who was that on the phone?" Sam speech was a little slurred, but coherent.

"Long story. It's a doctor Dad knows. He's a good guy, and he knows all about things that go bump in the night, and his wife, too."

"Hmm…" Sam was nodding off.

"No, Sammy, Stay with me here." Dean jostled his little brother in his arms to rouse him. "This is gonna be cold." He sat Sam down in the tub still in his boxers and turned the shower on its coldest setting. Sam jerked away from the stream of pounding cold. But, Dean held him firmly with his arms leaning into the tub supporting him. "Sammy, I gotta go get some ice from the machine. Here," Dean pulled a towel from the towel bar above his head and placed it against the back of the tub. "Here, lean against this. I don't want you drowning yourself while I'm getting ice. Stay awake for me Sammy, please."

"Okay," the reply was soft, but his younger brother managed to make eye contact with him.

"Stay right here, got it?"

Sam nodded as he shivered in the cold water.

Dean had ran to the front office and got some plastic bags from the night clerk. He began throwing their things in the car. He filled the bags and tied them off making ice packs. He was ready for Sam now. He ran into the bathroom, and was honestly surprised that the kid had kept his word of staying awake. Sam's mouth was chattering slightly. Dean shut off the water. "Here Sammy," Dean bent in toward his brother and pulled him up to a sitting position and then helped him stand. His skin was still hot, but the shower had brought his temp down from the inferno that he had earlier. The younger Winchester's legs shook as Dean stood him up. Dean grabbed the holy water and rinsed it over the wound as he was told to do. He grabbed another towel, and quickly ran it over Sam's head, arms, and legs to dry him just a little. "We gotta get going, Sam."

"Yeah, what job this time?" Dean glanced sharply up at his brother.

"Sam?" Dean patted his brother's face as he supported his shaking frame. "You with me here? You're sick, remember?" Dean could see the light of recognition fill Sam's eyes.

"Oh," Sam's voice was quiet. "I remember."

"Here Sammy, I gotta get a shirt on you."

"Hurts."

"I know, but it'll help to keep the ice next to you, okay."

"'Kay."

The older Winchester half walked, half carried his brother to the Impala. Dean didn't feel comfortable putting Sam in the back seat he wanted to be able to keep an eye on him. He put him in the passenger seat and had put him on his side. He closed the door, and then got in. He shoved the ice packs up under his shirt and placed them where he was supposed to, and he wedged the others around his brother's neck. "Cold."

"I know. Sorry, Sammy."

"Not your fault." Dean glanced down at his brothers head laying across his thigh, and he knew Sam wasn't just saying it wasn't his fault the ice was cold, but that it wasn't his fault he was sick or that he got hurt. And, what scared him the most is that his little brother was trying to let him off the hook for his death. And, hot tears stung his eyes threatening to fall, but he be damned if he lost it now. Sammy needed him to be strong, he needed him to be brave, and he would be.

Dean drove with a purpose. It was only 4 AM, and the back roads were empty and he was making could time to Hadin where the doctor and his wife lived just on the outer rim of the town. "Hey, Sam? Talk to me little brother," Dean didn't like how quiet Sam had become although he shook from the fever still and the ice, too he suspected.

"About what?" The voice shook.

"I don't know, um…" Dean couldn't believe he didn't know what to talk to his brother about outside of hunting. Then Sam spoke.

"I meant what I said earlier," he offered quietly.

"What did you mean?"

"I don't wanna be buried."

"Shut up, Sammy. You're not dyin' on me! Got it," he spat.

Sam coughed. "Not up to you."

"You are not going to die, Sam." Dean made his voice as controlled as he could. His tone brooked no argument.

"Okay," Sam agreed for his brother's sake, but he could feel himself slipping. He just wanted to live long enough for the doctor to try, so Dean didn't have to deal with him dying in the car with his head in his brother's lap as he drove. He didn't want to talk anymore, so he hummed. Dean furrowed his brow, and looked at his brother.

"What are you humming?" He didn't recognize the tune.

"Mad World," Sam said softly.

"Never heard of them?" As sick as Sam was he attempted to chuckle.

"Not them," Sam offered. "That's the song. It's by Gary Jules. See, I was right, look what too much mullet rock has done to you."

Dean smiled. "My music is classic."

"Some," Sam agreed, "but other stuff is just classic crap." Dean reached down and pushed Sam's bangs back gently. Sam continued with his humming.

Whenever the humming would stop Dean would jostle his brother to either make him continue or to talk a bit. Sam's breathing had taken on this ragged sound. It reminded him of some of the noises he made when being strangled by the lamp cord in Lawrence when he had found him. "Sammy?"

"Hmm…" the response was quiet.

"We're almost there, okay? We just passed the sign for Hadin."

"Okay," came out as a whisper, but Dean had heard it.

Dean pulled down the doctor's long gravel driveway, and he could see Joni and Peter waiting on the porch. Peter Mitchell was all ready on the move toward the Impala as it came to a stop and turned off to reach his young patient. "Dean," his voice urgent as Dean got out. "How's he doing?"

"Holding his own. Sam we're here. Peter's going to help okay. Don't fight him." The doctor leaned in the now open passenger door to look at Sam. He heard the ragged breathing.

"Sam?" The young man opened his glassy eyes and looked at the doctor. Peter was glad the kid seemed coherent enough.

Dean stepped forward "I'll get him out of the car."

"I can help you with him," the doctor offered.

"No, I got him." Dean levered up his little brother and picked him up and carried him as he followed Peter and Joni.

Sam wanted to stay awake as long as he could. He wanted to fight as long as he was able for Dean's sake. Sam was placed in a bed, and he could hear the doctor saying something about feeling a sting, but he was detached and everyone's voices seemed so far away. He kept looking at Dean. He felt his t-shirt cut off, and then he was rolled onto his side, and could feel the claw mark being tended to with more holy water. He was glad when that was done. He was gently placed onto his back once again. Dean was still there. He had felt his brother's hand on the top of head the entire time rubbing his hair. It was very unlike Dean and he could feel how scared his older brother was and he worried how'd he handle his death.

Sam glanced around a noticed an IV bag hung on a pole next to his bed, and idly wondered what was in it that could possibly help.

Two hours passed, and Dean watched Sam as he slept. He watched the fog of his little brother's exhales gather in the oxygen mask he now wore, and it was comforting despite the sound of his ragged breaths. His fever was down to 103, but was holding firm. Peter had taken Sam's blood pressure and shook his head. "What?" Dean's voice was hushed, but sharp.

"Dean, his pressure is extremely low," he paused. "You should prepare…"

"No, you can stop right there." Dean's eyes were on fire. "I'm not preparing for anything, other than the fact my brother will walk out of here on his won." Peter saw the same stubborn defiance he knew from his old friend John Winchester. Dean was definitely a Winchester. Even Sam struck him as a survivor. The kid was trying to live, but he had his doubts about winning this battle. He would fight for the young boy's life as long as he could.

"I need to start another bag on him," the doctor turned toward his at home exam room. "This one is almost dry."

Dean was thankful this man knew of the things his father did. This treatment had been successful in the past with a few people, but not all. Dean knew that, but he wouldn't accept anything, but success when it came to his baby brother. It was a simple sterile water and dextrose solution that had been blessed and consecrated with chrism oil. And, he was glad that Peter seemed to have a good supply of it. He watched the doctor take down the empty fluid bag and replace it with a new one. Sam still slept. And, Dean studied his still features. He looked so young and fragile. He found himself humming the tune his brother had hummed on and off during the car ride to Hadin. He wondered what the actual song sounded like. It wasn't his usual taste. Give him Metallica any day, but the tune had grown on him. He had brought in their duffel bags earlier and he glanced at them sitting on the distant bureau. He looked at Sam and watched him breathe a few breaths and got up from his bedside and went to Sam's bag. He unzipped it, and he rummaged through it until he found some of his little brother's CD's. There weren't many only about six, most had burned in the fire that took Jessica. And, the one he hoped he had he saw, Gary Jules. He flipped the CD container over, and scanned the songs, there it was, 'Mad World.' He looked over at Sam again, and watched the rise and fall of his chest to reassure himself. He dug out Sam's CD player, and popped the CD in. He kept the volume down in the headphones, so that he could still hear his little brother's harsh breathing.

The song started. And, he listened, really listened. And, after the first few lines he looked at his brother and felt the hot tears rise again, and as he continued to listen the tears broke free and fell silently down his cheeks.

"All around me are familiar faces

Worn out places

Worn out faces

Bright and early for the daily races

Going no where

Going no where

Their tears are filling up their glasses

No expression

No expression

Hide my head I wanna drown my sorrow

No tomorrow

No tomorrow

And I find it kind of funny

I find it kind of sad

That the dreams in which I'm dying are the best I ever had

I find it hard to tell you

I find it hard to take

When people run in circles it's a very, very

Mad world

Mad world

Children waiting for the day they feel good

Happy birthday

Happy Birthday

And I feel the way that every child should

Sit and listen

Sit and listen

Went to school and I was very nervous

No one knew me

No one knew me

Hello teacher tell me what's my lesson

Look right through me

Look right through me

And I find it kind of funny

I find it kind of sad

That the dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had

I find it hard to tell you

I find it hard to take

When people run in circles it's a very, very

Mad world

Mad world

Enlarging your world

Mad world

When the song ended Dean pulled off the headphones and put the CD player back with his brother's things. He walked over to Sammy. He pulled a chair up next to the bed. He took his brother's limp hand, and held it against his own cheek and cried. "Sammy, I never knew you felt like that. You could have told me. Damn it, Sam! I knew you hated hunting growing up, but I never knew you felt so alone. You'll never be like me, and I get that. I don't want you to be, okay?" He reached up and pushed back his brother's bangs. Dean felt as if his brother had talked to him through those lyrics, and they haunted him even now ten minutes later. Sam stirred and opened his eyes. He saw the concerned blood shot ones of his brother looking at him. "Hey, Sammy." Dean smiled and his voice was soft.

"You okay," Sam whispered from under the oxygen mask. "You look tired."

"Don't worry about me, okay." Dean assured. Sam could see the remnants of tears on his brother's face, and he tried to ignore them. He hated causing his brother this much pain. He couldn't remember a time he had ever seen his brother really cry. Sam reached up and pulled at the mask. "Don't Sam you need it. Leave it alone."

"Have to talk," his voice was soft and strained. Peter came back into the room and Dean turned toward him.

"He's awake I see. Sam I'm going to check you pressure okay?" Sam nodded slightly. When he was done Dean saw his eyes and knew his blood pressure wasn't any better, and possibly worse. Sam reached up weakly and grabbed the wrist of the doctor. "Yes, Sam? What do you need?"

"This off for a while," Sam tapped the mask. "I have to talk to Dean." Peter saw it in Sam's eyes, and knew the kid knew these may be the last few conscious hours he had with his brother. This twenty-two year old kid was looking at his own mortality head on, and he wasn't faltering, and he was in awe.

"Here," Peter bent down and pulled the mask down and loosened the strap while he angled the air flow up toward Sam. "You can still get the oxygen flow without the fuss, okay?" Sam offered a weak smile.

"Thank you." The statement took a concentrated effort, but the doctor knew the underlying meaning. He nodded and smiled.

"I'll leave you two alone. Call me if you need me." He checked the fluid bag, and increased the flow rate slightly and left.

"Sammy, you should sleep." Dean felt tense. His brother was pale, and the shock of red in his cheeks from the fever only reminded him how pale he was. His breathing was rough, and he just wanted him to rest.

Sam shook his head at his brother's statement. "I'll sleep when I'm dead," he offered.

"Sam, I hate repeating myself. You're not going to die." Dean asserted.

"Yes, I am," his voice sounded so small, so young that it threatened to shatter Dean's very soul. "I want you to know…" Sam stopped to draw in a slow shaky breath.

"I know Sam, okay. You've said it twice," his voice was angry. Sam looked at him confused.

"What twice?"

"You don't want to be buried, I got it, okay. Now shut up and sleep."

"Not that," Sam reached out and touched his brother's arm that was next to him. Dean felt a chill work it's way up that arm from his brother's cool fingers.

"Then what do you want me to know?" Dean didn't want this conversation and turned his head away from his brother.

"That I love you," the admission came softly, but was said with conviction. Dean's eyes darted to his little brother's.

"Don't Sammy," his voice pleading.

"Don't what? Love you? I do."

"I know you do." Dean said quietly. "Please, just rest okay?"

"Not yet," Sam whispered. "Soon though." And, Dean's face took on a hard expression as he took his brother's hand in his own.

"It was fun you know?" Sam offered.

"What was?" Dean was confused at the sudden statement, and wondered if his brother was becoming delusional from the fever.

"Being around you again. I'm sorry I bailed on you for those two years," Sam drew in another breath. It was hard, but he was going to talk to his brother.

"You were in college, Sam. It's okay. I know you hated hunting, I guess I just never realized how much."

"I just didn't want it to be my whole life, Dean," Sam said with a tired voice.

"I know Sammy. You never got a normal childhood growing up. I never really thought about it, but at least I had five years of normal."

"Don't feel bad about it. I'm glad you did. I never wanted a normal life, Dean, just a safe one. I wish I had known Mom, though."

"I know. She was great."

"You know that time in Lawrence was the first time I can remember seeing her outside of a picture," Sam looked at his brother. "I get mad that I have no memories of her."

Dean nodded. "Sam," Dean's voice was tentative. And, Sam noticed that.

"Yeah?"

"After your well, maybe we could find a place to stay for a while. No hunting."

"Dean, you love to hunt. You're the hero type. You know, lives to save. It's not what you do it's who you are."

"You're more important," he said looking away from his brother again afraid to meet his gaze. "I want you to be happy and you're not. I don't want you to feel like the 'dreams in which you are dying are the best' you've ever had." Sam's gaze shifted with intensity to his brother.

"You found that CD didn't you? I never meant for you to listen to it."

"I'm glad I did, Sam."

"It's just a song, Dean."

"I suppose," Dean relented for his brother's sake, although he didn't agree. "But, I meant what I said you're more important than hunting."

"You'll need it when I'm gone Dean." Sam's voice was as strong as he could make it given the circumstances. He saw the anguish cross through his brother's eyes briefly and then they hardened again behind that famous Winchester stoic nature their father John had passed on to his eldest son.

"You're not going anywhere," Dean hissed.

"You're pissed, I get that, really I do," Sam offered. God, he was tired and breathing was such an effort, but he had to finish this. "I don't want to die Dean, but I'm going to."

"No," Dean's voice was soft, but emphatic. "Then don't," he glared at his brother.

Sam smiled ever so slightly. He felt a darkness pulling on him and he knew their time was almost gone. "Dean," his voice a mere whisper.

"Yeah," Dean took his brother's hand again there was something in the way his name sounded that scared him.

"Tired," Sam said smiling. "I have to go now." Dean felt his heart begin to hammer in his chest. "Had more to say… not enough time… sorry."

"No, Sammy!" Dean's voice cracked. "You just need more rest you'll feel better. We have plenty of time." Sam shook his head ever so slightly telling Dean 'no.' Sam squeezed his brother's hand and kept squeezing.

"Love you," left Sam's mouth sounding almost like a sigh and his eyes slid closed, and Dean felt his little brother's grip release, and it was over. There was no tremble, no noise. Just peace in the end.

"No!" Dean screamed. "Sammy! Somebody help!" Peter and Joni came running into the room. Dean stood over Sam with a stricken look completely paralyzed. He looked at the doctor. "He stopped breathing."

Peter felt for a pulse and found only stillness under his fingers. He put his stethoscope against Sam's chest and heard only silence. "Dean…"

"No! You do something. He's only twenty-two. He has a strong heart. He wants to live. Do something!" Peter saw Dean was on the verge of losing himself.

"Here, help me put him on the floor. The bed's too soft for compressions." Dean felt on autopilot and did as he was told. "Dean stay back and let Joni and I work, okay?"

Dean watched in horror as Peter did CPR on his little brother and Joni pushed breaths into his mouth and into s chest that didn't move unless she was forcing air into it. It felt like hours that they worked on Sammy, but it had only been minutes. He saw Peter lean back and check for a pulse again, and he looked at Joni and shook his head. "Dean" his voice was gentle as he leaned back on his knees. Dean just stared he felt like he was trapped in his own body unable to move or speak, a prisoner in his own flesh. He heard Peter talking, but couldn't respond. He just stared at Sam, his face so peaceful. His cheeks were no longer red from a fever, and his lips were so pale they seemed almost translucent. "Dean," Peter began again. "He's been down over seven minutes. I'm so sorry. He's gone."

Dean heard 'he's gone' and it ricocheted inside his head like a bullet in a metal box. He broke from his temporary paralysis, "No!" His scream was primal. He dropped to his knees at his brother's side. "No, Sammy!" He knelt over his brother, and shouted. "You never backed away from a fight in your life you bastard, so fight!" he screamed and slapped his brother. Sam's head jerked slightly from the impact of Dean hitting him, but stilled again. Joni stepped forward and Peter stood up stopping her.

"Let him."

"Fight!" Dean screamed making a fist and striking his brother's chest over and over. Dean started doing compressions vigorously on his little brother. He moved up to Sam's head and pulled it back gently and blew two breaths into him and watched his chest rise and fall with the forced air. Peter and Joni stood back. They both knew this was something that Dean needed to do. Dean worked on Sam until he was sweating. And, every time he checked for a pulse he felt nothing.

"Dean…" Peter reached out for Dean and the young man lashed out like an animal protecting its young.

"No! He's not gone." Dean did another set of compressions, and breaths. He stopped with a sob escaping his mouth. He took Sam's face in his hands, "Please, Sammy," he begged. He felt defeat and acceptance starting to move over him. His brother was gone. But, a sudden rage filled him toward his brother. "You bastard!" Dean hit his chest again. "Mom died for you, and you're quitting!" Dean's eyes were wild. "You lousy bastard, don't you quit on me!" He struck his brother's chest again. His face was a mess of anger, grief, loss, and defeat. "Damn you!" And, he struck Sam one last time, and then suddenly there was a gasp, and Sam took in a struggling breath as his heart and lungs began working again. Dean looked at his brother in shock, and then suddenly Peter and Joni were at Sam's side. "Sammy!" Dean shouted. "That's it little brother come back."

The sun had come up hours ago, and Dean sat watching Sam sleep. He kept feeling compelled to touch his brother to make sure he was still here, alive and with him. He was. Peter had hung a third IV bag, and Sam had made a turn for the better after being resuscitated, and his vitals were getting stronger. Peter had given Dean hopeful words earlier that morning. "He's a strong kid, Dean. You fought for him and won. His vitals and pressure are looking a lot better. The fevers down to 101 and he's breathing a lot easier. I didn't think I'd be saying this, but Sam's going to make it." Dean smiled at his brother's soft features and brushed back his bangs, and leaning forward he kissed his forehead softly like he used to when his Mom would take him to say goodnight to Sam in the nursery. And, when he pulled back he was startled to see Sam's eyes open and studying his older brother as he pulled back from him.

"Hey there," Dean said with a soft, but wide smile. "Sleeping beauty decided to wake up from his nappy-poo." Dean's voice was amused.

"Hey," Sam said softly his throat dry. He offered a slight smile of amusement at his brother for the 'nappy-poo' comment. He moved under his covers slightly and made a face of discomfort.

"You're going to be sore for a few days," Dean offered.

"Damn," Sam whispered. "My chest feels like it was hit with a baseball bat." A chuckle from the doorway made both brothers' look toward the voice.

Peter stood there smiling. "Your brother made a punching bag out of you." Sam looked at him curiously. "He wouldn't let us give up on you. Your brother saved your life you know." Sam looked at Dean, but his brother didn't look at him.

"You did that for me?" Dean startled by the statement looked at his brother now.

"Sammy, I wasn't going to let you go. Of course, I fought for you."

"Thanks." Dean just shook his head.

"Well, Sam," Peter began. "I'm hanging one more IV bag on you, but you're a trooper, and I think you'll be up and around in a couple days. "Rest, and let your body heal itself. Oh, and one more thing," Peter began as he headed out of the bedroom to leave the brother's alone, "do try to avoid any other run-in's with those pesky skin walkers."

Sam started to chuckle, but stopped as the action of laughing made his chest ache. He simply gave the doctor a thumb's up. Sam shifted his gaze back to Dean and saw that his brother was staring out the window and his eyes seemed haunted. "Sorry," Sam said softly in an apologetic tone. His voice drew Dean's eyes back to him.

"Sorry? About what?"

"For the last few hours. Sorry, I worried you." Dean smiled and touched Sam's face with the palm of his hand.

"Get some sleep Sammy. I'll be here."

"You need to sleep Dean, okay. I'll still be here when you wake up." Dean relented to make Sam happy. He leaned back in his chair. "No," Sam said quietly.

"What? You said sleep, okay I will, but I'm not leaving you." Dean's tone was direct.

"Then here," Sam said weakly lifting the covers on the opposite side of his bed. This bed's big enough for us both." Dean eyed his younger brother.

"Sam we haven't shared the same bed since we were kids."

"This isn't chick flick Dean, it's sleep, and I won't sleep unless I know you're getting a good rest yourself. Just shut the hell up and get in." Dean chuckled. Sam was back, maybe not 100, but he was on his way.

"Fine." Dean got up and removed his shoes and climbed into the empty side of the bed, fluffed the pillow, and pulled the covers over him. "Happy now," he glanced at Sam.

"Yeah."

"Sammy," Dean said his voice all ready drifting off as exhaustion was finally claiming him.

"Yeah?"

"You ever die on me again, I'll kill you myself." And, Dean was asleep.

Sam smiled, and fell asleep listening to his big brother breath.

THE END.