Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural or any of its characters.

Author's Note: This is a oneshot inspired by "Faith." It's actaully the third I started,but the first I've posted.I have a rough sketch of one and another mostly finished that are also inspired by this episode...

This piece however, sort of wrote itself... and in two hours! If only the muse was always so kind:)

It's Sam's POV, and for any Sammygirls out there...I will be honest-- Dean is my baby. When I went back and re-read it I considered making a few changes here and there becuase even I think one of themes running through it is wrong-- but the Muse had be write it in first person... and people... Sam in particular has a self-punishing streak in him.

For the record though, I don't think he's a bad person. (I know how protective we can all get about our favorite Winchester! ;D )

I hope you enjoy.

"Whatever it takes," that's what I told Dad. "I'll get him better—whatever it takes."

It scares me a little, thinking back on it; on that moment, those days… how absolutely, how completely I meant those words.

whatever it takes...

Dean has been quiet since then, almost brooding. Nothing like the usual brush-it-off-and-keep-moving attitude I'm used to from him. All this touched him, she touched him. He connected with her; I don't think my brother has let himself connect in a long time.

He mourns for her, for the innocent that died in his name… for the injustice committed, the hope given, the lives spared, the lives stolen…

We need a break; this case was too much… too many facets to consider, too many shades of gray…

We don't do gray. We do black and white, right and wrong, good and evil… we don't do the in-between's.

This case was all in-between.

And I know-- I can see… its gnawing at him inside.

My brother is a good person.

My brother knows how to sacrifice.

He would've sacrificed his life for Layla's. I know that. It pisses me off to no end – that he'd leave me alone, to save another – but it's just the way he is… he wouldn't be Dean if he didn't want to help those that couldn't help themselves.

I'm in awe of that; because although I've learned a lot from my brother… I never learned that; to sacrifice.

whatever it takes…

I am not a good person.

When I put all the information together, when I realized what was going on – one life exchanged for another – I couldn't help breathe a sigh of relief…

Thank you, I whispered to whatever entity wanted to accept the gratitude.

Thank you for letting me find out afterwards, thank you for sparing me that guilt…

whatever it takes…

I meant it.

I have survived a lot in my life.

I survived growing up without a mother; I survived growing up with a boot-camp instructor for a father, I survived not having friends, not having a home, being the weirdo, mocked, teased, bullied.

I survived learning to pick-pocket and lie professionally by my fifth birthday, learning to kill before mastering long-division, having twelve scars and having earned approximately 118 stitches total by my tenth birthday.

I survived having the man who raised me curse my name, cut me off, disown me.

I've survived lying to my friends, hiding who am, never truly being "normal."

I've survived the death of my girlfriend…

I can't survive losing my brother.

More than that… I refuse to try.

whatever it takes…

I know he's having trouble with it. I know he's blaming himself. I know he wishes things could have been different.

I don't.

I'm content with how things turned out— I can see his chest rising and falling in the gentle rhythm of sleep. I'm content.

He taught me everything…

… except how to sacrifice.

I could blame him if I wanted to-- he gave me everything. I never had to learn to.

And I sure as hell wasn't going to start now.

whatever it takes…

I wasn't going to let him go. I can remember that feeling… it's almost all I can remember. The memories of those three days are fading rapidly; leaving behind nothing, but an endless slideshow of useless web-pages and fruitless phone calls—that and a feeling… a mantra… one all consuming thought, one certainty…

whatever it takes…


The voice, slurred and sleepy, startles me.

"Yeah…" I say softly, getting up from the chair and moving back to my bed.

"What's wrong?" he asks, concerned, propping himself up on one elbow.

I sit on the bed and stare across at him, "Nothing…"

"Nothing?" he asks, his voice is still scratchy from sleep and clearly skeptical.

"Yeah… I just…" I trail off. I can't share with him my thoughts—not these thoughts.

"You what?" he asks, I can see he's fighting to keep his eyes open. He's been sleeping more in the couple days since… then.

I guess almost dying twice takes a lot out of you.

"Nothing… go back to sleep." I tell him. It's all I can tell him. I can't ever mention the truth; not because he won't understand, but because he will.

Because my brother is a good person; the kind of good person who can never see anything bad in the people they love—what more evidence do I need then his blind devotion to Dad?

He rationalizes all Dad's actions until they're okay, until they're good… he'll do that with me too.

I'll tell him and he'll understand. He'll say something to make me understand. Something that will make it seem okay… something that will make me good too. He'll comfort me; blur reality for me, and when he's done… I'll believe it.

I'll believe I'm good too.

But it's not true.

whatever it takes….


"Leave it, Dean." I warn, looking away from those hazel eyes that have suddenly sharpened. Eyes that see me, all of me—and always have…

The urge to tell him, to just… to let him make me believe, is almost overwhelming.

He can do it.

He's my big brother.

He can make me believe anything— Daddy's a superhero, it's the world that's wrong, it's all going to be okay, her death isn't your fault…

"It's nothing." I repeat, my voice begging him to let it go…

And he's my big brother who gave me everything.

Who gives me everything.

So he lets it go.

I can feel the gaze drop from my face, the way he stops studying me.

"Dude…?" he mumbles, "It's like 3 AM… do nothing at a decent hour…" I watch as he drops back onto the bed.

"Get some rest, Sammy," He orders, his voice muffled against the pillow as he settles against it again.

I nod, but remain silent… I won't be resting tonight, but there's no need for him to know that.

He has enough to think about, enough to deal with… he doesn't need to deal with this too…

whatever it takes…

She was desperate, he said of Sue-Ann; desperate to save her husband. I wasn't desperate.

I wouldn't even have had that excuse. I was coldly determined. Eerily calm.

whatever it takes…

"It wasn't your fault, Sammy." His voice breaks into my thoughts again. Soft and warm—trying to make it better, to fix it—like always.

"You didn't know." He adds.

And a hysterical bubble of laughter floats to the surface…

I bite it back.

He's trying to comfort me.

I draw in a long breath, "I know that." I tell him, softly… because in a wonderful twist of fate—it really wasn't my fault.

"Then go to sleep… I need your ass sharp, remember…"

I smile a little…

And deciding that he wasn't going to sleep until I did—or I pretended to at least, I lay down on my bed and turned on my side to stare at him across the small space that separated our beds.

He was lying on his chest, his face turned to me.

"I remember." I tell him softly.

"Good." He murmurs back, then turns his head to the other side; and a moment later his chest is rising and falling in the gentle rhythm of sleep again.

I turn and lay on my back—keeping my eyes closed… no need to stare at the ceiling.

It wasn't your fault.

No. It wasn't. I can see that, accept that. It wasn't my fault.

You didn't know.

No. I didn't,

… but…

The burst of hysterical laughter threatens again and I grind my teeth against it, clench my eyes as a sting of tears burns behind them. That is what scares me... that... "but..."

You didn't know.

Oh, Dean... my wonderful brother… my good brother…

I don't sacrifice, Dean.

And even if I did… I wouldn't sacrifice you… never.

You didn't know.

It wouldn't have mattered if I had.

I try to imagine my life… without my brother and all I can see… is… nothing.

I can't see anything, because a tidal wave of fear and panic wash over me completely… and I can't seem to get my head above the water…

I didn't know—and that has saved me. Thank you, whoever's listening… thank you for that… for the gift of not knowing; not making me cross that line…

I'm not a good person. I don't sacrifice. I wouldn't have started then…

You didn't know.

A sad smile touches my lips before I can stop it, Oh Dean…

… a selfish bastard— you said it yourself, that's what I am...

My brother's life in exchange for the life of a stranger…

I wouldn't have hesitated. There would have been no doubt, no concerns… nothing but certainty…

whatever it takes…