Another "connected stand alone" one shot. And I just want to say thanks to everyone who read and reviewed "My Hands" and "Sesame Street and Make Believe" they're kind of a trilogy I guess, but they stand alone as well. So, due to popular demand (I just really want to say that) here is the next one. It's not as long… and I wrote it fast because I was worried I was going to look the focus. No flames and apologize profusely for any errors I missed. It's like, 2 am… give me a break. : )

And I'm leaving for Spring Break, so it will be a while before I can post again. If anyone has any ideas for me, about what to write, tell me. Because I need them. : )

I hope everyone enjoys. Reviews please me.

A Child No More © M.Kena

Seeing the one person you care about most in the world, the one person you'd die for without question, the one person you know you were made to protect, with a deathly pale face and a still body is enough to make you scream.

And that's exactly what Dean did.

He screamed for his father. He screamed Sam's name, rushing to the bedside and lifting the six year old out of the bed and feeling for a pulse.

At the tender age of ten, Dean Winchester knew CPR and many other life saving maneuvers. At the tender age of ten he knew how to stitch wounds with a standard issue sewing needle. At the tender age of ten he knew how to wield a crossbow with deadly accuracy.

But at the tender age of ten, he didn't know how to react to this.

He didn't know how to react the increasingly slow pulse he felt under his fingertips or the ashen skin of his little brother.

All he could do was scream.

John Winchester burst into the room and found Dean sitting on the floor, his little brother held tightly to his chest.

"Dean…" John whispered. Dean turned around.

"I was gone for a second, Dad…" Dean whispered. John moved Dean out of the way and checked Sam's pulse and listened to his lungs. He was breathing, but barely. Each breath came with more and more effort.

"Get his coat, Dean." John instructed and lifted the little boy into his arms. "And go to the car."

Dean wiped his eyes quickly, refusing to let his father see the tears. "Where are we going, Dad?"

"The hospital." John explained and rushed out of the room.

Dean didn't like the urgency in his father's voice. Dean didn't like the way Sam's arm was jutting out, his hand curled inward, looking dead and useless. Dean didn't like the hot tears streaming down his face. Dean didn't like how he felt weak. Dean didn't like that he didn't know how to deal with this. He didn't like that the room was spinning and the floor was coming up fast.

He didn't like that all he could see was darkness.

- - -

Two days ago he hadn't even been that sick.

Dean had been home the past two days with a mild flu. A blessing seeing as whenever Dean came down with something it usually hit him hard. But this time it was nothing. A low fever, an upset stomach, that was it.

Sammy of course, being the cute little brother he was, demanded on sitting with his brother every second he was awake and not at school. Dean wasn't complaining, that was until, he saw Sam's sniffle and felt his hot forehead.

Instantly, Sam was the one in the bed with the cold compress on his forehead. Dean was the brother demanding to be at the bedside until he passed out.

He was just getting him a glass of water.

He was gone a minute, maybe two.

But that's all it took.

One hundred and twenty seconds is all it took for Dean Winchester to end his childhood.

One hundred and twenty seconds is all it took for Dean Winchester to realize he would never live another day without worry. He would never live another day without fear. He would fear for Sammy's live with every breath that passed through his lungs.

One hundred and twenty seconds is all it took for Dean Winchester to realize that he feared being left alone.

One hundred and twenty seconds kick started the first day of the rest of Dean Winchester's life.

- - -

"Dean." John whispered, a hand on his eldest son's knee. Dean woke with a start and John calmed him with a firm grip on his shoulder. "Relax, Dean. You're okay." John whispered. A tugging at his hand made him look down.

An IV.

"What happened?" Dean asked.

"You passed out, kiddo." John explained. "Exhaustion, apparently. Didn't I tell you to stay in bed one more day?" He asked softly.

"Where's Sam?" Dean asked, trying to pull the IV from his hand. John stopped him.

"Leave that in, Dean." He demanded, letting his eyes shift to a doctor standing in the back of the room, writing on a clip board. Apparently the fading bruises on Dean's neck and collarbone were cause for concern. They needed to see John interact with his children. It wasn't the first time John had been suspected of child abuse. It wasn't like he was going to tell them what they had REALLY been doing. "Why yes doctor, those are strange bruises. But I'll tell you what, exorcisms can go awry sometimes."

"Where is Sammy? Is he okay? Can I see him?" Dean was frantic. John smiled gently, pushing Dean back down in the bed and tucking him in.

"I want you to sleep, Dean. When you wake up I'll let you see your brother." The doctor spoke up.

"Fuck you!" Dean shrieked, receiving a glare of reprimand from his father, though the smile he was suppressing did all but cancel out the silent scold. "I've been sleeping for way too long all ready! I want to see my brother!" John shrugged at the man and the doctor walked over and carefully removed Dean's IV.

"On one condition, Dean." The doctor said gently. "Only half an hour and I want you back in this bed, resting. You were severely dehydrated and over exhausted… and you appear to have some bruising around your ribcage…" But Dean was all ready off the bed and leaving the room.

He got into the hall and faltered, almost tripping, but John was at his side, holding his elbow.

"You didn't tell me your ribs hurt, Sport." John whispered softly. "And we'll have a talk about your language when I take you home." John added, not bothering to touch the "severely dehydrated and over exhausted" part, yet. Dean nodded and let his father lead him to Sam's room.

- - -

Dean had never seen his little brother look so pale and fragile and he knew he never wanted to see him like that ever again. Once would last him a life time.

Dean sat in the chair next to Sam's bed and stroked the little boy's hand. He got a quiet groan in exchange.

"Sammy. It's Dean." He whispered, grasping the hand. "I'm here now, okay? And I'm not leaving again. Too damn bad if you want water."

"I've got some all ready." Sam explained weakly and smiled when Dean's face lit up. "Are you okay?" Sam asked, concern wrinkling his brow. Dean nodded.

"I'm fine, Sam. I was sure worried about you though, kiddo." Dean explained. Sam's eyes widened.

"You were? I'm sorry Dean…"

"Don't be, Sam. It was my fault. I shouldn't have left you… I'm the sorry one, Dean."

"Why? Did you get me sick?" Ah the innocence of a child. It was a simple question, yet it made Dean's heart break.

He felt responsible. Why couldn't he just be responsible? Damn reality. He knew deep down it wasn't his fault… and some how that made it all worse. Because there was no one to blame. There was no one to kill or beat up or vanquish. There was just life.

And life scared the hell out of Dean Winchester.

Review and I will love you forever.

Ideas for the next "connected stand alone"?