Disclaimer: The characters of Supernatural were created by Eric Kripke and are owned by the WB network. No profit is being made.

Note To Readers: This story has nothing to do with my story series currently in progress. This is a One-Shot.

And, yes, I'm still working on the next installment to the "Uninvited" series, and with luck I'll have that sequel out soon. Maybe, next weekend. But, I had this in my head and needed to purge it from my mind. And, thank you for all of the reviews for my one-shots, and my series!

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Awake

By Dawn Nyberg

"Dammit hold still Sammy," Dean hissed as Sam sat on the floor leaning against the wall nearest the bathroom. He had walked in and started his slow decent the moment he leaned against the wall for support. The hunt had gone awry, and Sam had taken a hard hit from the Rawhead in the chest, and his side was bleeding. Dean had fried the Rawhead, and promptly ended the hunt when Sam fell. "Stop pulling away," Dean chided.

"It's not that deep Dean," Sam complained. "It won't even need stitches." Dean pulled up the side of his brother's t-shirt looking at the cut.

"Let me decide that," he opted to just tear the T-shirt where it was ripped to get a better look.

"Hey, you owe me a shirt" Sam grumbled.

"It was all ready ruined," Dean countered. "Yeah, it's just a scratch," the older brother agreed. "Some antiseptic and you're good to go. But, you bled like a stuck pig for such a shallow gash." Sam just rolled his eyes at his brother. "I'll run out to the car and get the first-aid kit. I put the antiseptic in it." Sam watched Dean leave the motel room from his vantage point on the wall. The cut didn't hurt, but something did, and he felt strange. His heart felt like it was palpitating, and suddenly his world was beginning to feel like it was sinking and dipping away from him, as the movement inside his chest began to feel more sluggish.

"Shit," he whispered to an empty room. A chill worked its way up from his arms and legs growing toward his chest. He tried to get up, as a panic started to grow, he was in trouble, where was Dean? All he managed to accomplish was to go from sitting to lying on his side staring at the door waiting and wondering when Dean would come back. He felt his heart jumping and slowing inside his chest, and he couldn't quite draw in a full breath, and he felt like he was suffocating. His world was graying out, and his last coherent thought was, is this what dying feels like? His eyes slid closed.

And, a brief moment later Sam Winchester's heart stopped.

Dean had run into the motel owner's twenty-something daughter, Ann, in the parking lot. He had momentarily looked at his and Sam's door, but he reminded himself that Sam wasn't mortally wounded, in fact, he had probably all ready headed into the shower, so what was a few minutes with a gorgeous blonde? He had met Ann the other day, and was putting down the groundwork for a possible hook-up.

"So, what is there to do around here for fun," Dean smiled his Winchester smile at the girl, and she was obviously buying into, as they all did.

"Scotty's Bar and Grill, can be a blast on some nights. Tonight they are having beers from around the world. Hey, I saw you bring your brother back earlier, was he hurt?"

"Huh? Yeah, we were, uh…" Dean searched for an excuse. "Hiking earlier at the Preserve, and he slipped on some loose rocks and hit some large rocks sticking out on a slope he slid down."

"Ouch," she said smiling. "He's okay?"

"He was when I left him. Just a cut." Dean felt a pang of guilt suddenly, and decided that he shouldn't sell his brother out for a piece of ass. "Yeah, I should get back," he commented. Making a point to wave the first aid kit in her field of vision.

"Oh, yeah, of course. If you get bored … you know where to find me."

Dean smiled and started his track across the parking lot toward his and Sam's room. "Got side tracked," Dean commented as he pushed the door open and closed it without looking into the room. He turned and saw Sam lying on his side. At first it just looked like the kid had decided to crash right there on the floor. But, then he noticed how pale he was, he looked bloodless, his lips a translucent blue hue. "Sammy?" His voice a whisper, as the first aid kit slipped from his fingers as the sight of his brother began to truly register in his mind.

"Sam!" the scream erupted from his throat as he ran the three feet to his brother. His hand shaking he felt for a pulse, and two things struck him instantly: the coolness of his brother's skin, and the lack of a beating pulse beneath his fingers. "No!" He grabbed Sam roughly pulling him away from the wall and laid him out. He pulled his brother's head back roughly and breathed air into his lungs, and traced the proper spot on his brother's chest to begin compressions. He did several sets of breaths and compressions before grappling in his pocket for his cell. He took a brief moment to call 911 and have them send an ambulance. "Yeah, he doesn't have a pulse," he shouted. "Yeah, I know CPR," he screamed. "Sunshine Motel, ground floor, room seven. Hurry!" He hung up.

"Sammy," Dean pleaded. He was on autopilot. His mind reeling, how long had Sammy gone without oxygen. He was in here dying, and I was picking up a chick. Don't die Sammy. Come back. Dean kept breathing for Sam and compressing his little brother's heart pumping blood through his body.

The paramedics arrived, and began working on Sam. A third EMT asked questions. And Dean gave them the same story he had given the girl. He had hit himself on some rocks, but he was conscious, and appeared okay except for the minor gash. He watched them cut away the rest of his brother's shirt, as they attached electrodes to his chest. "Hey, Martin," one EMT yelled to the one talking to a distraught Dean. "Radio into Mercy that it looks like we have a blunt force trauma to the chest from a fall. Traumatic Arrest." Dean saw the bruise that fanned across Sam's chest. It was dark purple in the center, and a deep blue on the edges. How did he not know? They loaded Sam quickly still working on him, and Dean followed in the Impala.

He burst into the ER and ran for the reception desk. "My brother Sam Winchester was just brought in. Chest trauma," was all Dean could get out. His eyes frantically scanning the ER for a glimpse of his brother somewhere in one of the rooms he could see in the back.

"He's in a trauma room. The doctors are working on him. Please, I know this is difficult," she comforted. "But, you need to wait out here. Someone will come for you." Dean felt like whatever hold on sanity he had was slipping away from him. If he lost Sammy, he chased the thought out of his immediate mind with a fury.

"Damn this kids, pericardium is full of blood." The doctor slid a large gauge cardiac needle into Sam's chest evacuating blood from around his heart that was preventing normal activity. "Okay, we got a fine V-fib. Charge the paddles to 360. Clear!"

Sam lurched off the table as the electricity traveled through his chest trying to restart his heart. "Dr. Sloane," a second year intern commented. "The kid's pretty cyanotic, how long was he down before CPR was started?"

"The medics said his brother had left him conscious and talking, and when he returned five to ten minutes later he was unresponsive and had no pulse. So, my estimates probably eight minutes. But, I could be wrong, so I'm giving this kid the benefit of the doubt. Push, another Epi."

"I hope you are, otherwise, his brain is going to be cooked." The intern replied as he pushed the Epi. "We'll be resuscitating an organ donor." Dr. Sloane nodded with a grim look.

"Clear!" He shocked Sam again, and a slow, but steady heart rate showed on the monitor. "We got a pulse." They proceeded to slide a tube down Sam's throat and hook him to a ventilator. "I have to go talk to the brother. Keep an eye on his cardiac status. The blunt force trauma he has could cause him to arrest again." The intern nodded.

The doctor asked where he could find Sam Winchester's brother, and he went out to Dean.

"How is he Doc?" Dean scanned the man's face for bad news.

"Follow me, and we'll talk."

"No," Dean was resistant. "We'll talk here. Sam he's not …"

"No, he's alive. We were able to get his heart started again." Dean relaxed just a fraction and followed the doctor to a private family briefing room.

Thirty Minutes Later

Dean waited as they were settling Sam in ICU. His mind numbly reviewing what the doctor had said: Blunt force trauma. Severely bruised heart and lungs. Unresponsive. Deep coma. Life support. The doctor had mentioned possible brain injury due to oxygen deprivation during the arrest. He had even said they would run tests to confirm brain activity. Dean had to shut his mind down. He had to focus on Sammy. He approached Sam's ICU cubicle with unsteady steps.

Sam was so still, wires, tubes, and monitors surrounded him. Dean watched the slow blimps across the heart monitor. The only sounds in the room were the beep of the heart monitor, and the whoosh of the ventilator that breathed for his brother because Sammy couldn't. That simple fact made Dean ache inside his chest.

"Hey Sammy," he began softly, as he pulled up a chair next to the bed. "Man, kiddo, you can sure find trouble can't you?" He tried to be light. "The Doc says you're taking a nap, but how about you open your eyes." Dean squeezed Sam's hand gently in his own. "Give me a sign Sammy. Let me know you're in there, okay?" He could feel he was close to losing it, but he refused to fall into that dark place, not now. Sam needed him to be strong, and he would be.

Dean had wrangled a sleeping chair after getting permission to stay with his brother. He fought sleep, but succumbed a little after 2 AM. He was jerked awake by a horrible noise; a solid beep from Sam's heart monitor. He shot horrified eyes to the monitor only to see a steady flat line. "Sam!" ICU staff began to flood the room pushing Dean outside to watch through the cubicle glass until they pulled the curtain.

For the second time in a matter of hours Sam Winchester's heart was silent.

Dean paced outside Sam's cubicle finally stopping to lean against a wall and wait. Finally he noticed medical staff leaving, and he tried to read their faces. Damn their poker faces, he cursed inside his head. Dr. Sloane stepped outside Sam's cubicle, and Dean took the cue and approached the man. As he drew closer he could hear the steady beep of the heart monitor, and he let out a silent breath he didn't know he was holding. "Dean," the doctor began as he watched the older brother step next to his younger brother's bed looking down at him.

"He's okay?" Dean spoke softly.

"We were able to get his heart restarted, but we need to talk." There was something in the man's voice and Dean turned sharp concerned eyes to him.

"Why? What's wrong?"

Dean sat next to Sam's bed holding his hand staring at him. His mind reeling from what the doctor had told him an hour ago. The words ricocheted in his head. I'm sorry Dean our exams show that Sam has no brain activity. There is no chance for recovery. Brain dead…brain death…brain dead…brain death. The words tore at his mind violently. He looked at his brother. He studied his young features. He was smart. He was College Boy. He was his research Geek Boy. No, those two words brain dead had nothing to do with his brother. Not his Sammy. He watched the EEG monitor that was attached to Sam, and he could see with the logical part of his brain that there was no activity. He knew if he looked at his brother's eyes under those closed lids that he would see pupils that were fixed and dilated. He knew that his brother only lived because a machine breathed for him, and drugs kept his heart going.

Screw Logical, he thought to himself. Just a few hours ago they had been on a hunt. It was a scratch, a simple cut. They were talking. Hell you were complaining Sammy. You said I owed you a shirt, Dean's voice bounced around in his own head. I want those lost minutes back, Sam. I wasn't there for you when you needed me. You were dying and I was talking to a chick. If I had come right back you'd be…you wouldn't be…

Dean Winchester leaned forward and dropped his head onto his brother's arm and cried. He allowed himself five minutes to be weak. He chastised himself even for those few minutes because he didn't deserve to cry. He should own this pain and let it burn him to ash. He took in a shaking breath and sat back up. He looked at Sam and a smile spread across his face as a memory flooded his mind, unbidden, but it came anyway.

"That's it Sammy," Dean was on his knees with his arms open waiting for his toddling brother taking his first steps. "Daddy, Look!" Dean chirped. "Sammy's walking." Sam had a huge smile on his wide-eyed toddler face. He had an infectious gurgling laugh that would explode out of him and quiet to a babble and giggle, and then explode again to a loud baby laugh.

"I see that Dean." John said smiling.

Sammy bobbed and weaved on his feet. His arms outstretched toward his brother. While his little blue t-shirt peeking out from under his jean overall's as he raised his hands. Dean watched his little brother with amazed eyes. "De De," Sam burbled as he toddled to his brother's waiting arms. When his little brother made it to him he scooped him up, and smiled. "Sammy, you're a big boy now. You walked." Sam placed his little hands on the sides of his big brother's face, "De De," and he laughed, and then seeing their father reached his hands up in the air. "Dada-Dada," his little hands opening and closing in mid-air until John laughed and took Sammy from Dean's arms.

The memory shifted again.

"Dean?" a quiet voice came from the dark hallway as the thunder rolled and the lightening filled the room with a flash.

"Sammy, what's up buddy?" Dean rose up from his pillow, as he looked at his six-year old little brother holding his teddy bear close to himself.

"Boomers are scaring me," his young voice made Dean smile. He scooted over a little in his twin size bed, and lifted the blankets.

"Come on," Dean encouraged, and Sam ran jumping into the warm blankets. He nestled his back against his brother chest. "You okay, Sammy?"

"I am now," his little voice spoke softly. "You always make the boomers not so scary."

"I'm your big brother. It's my job to chase the scary things away."

"You do good, De De," he hadn't heard that for a while. It still could make him smile. His little brother had had a problem pronouncing 'Dean' when he was little, and he had been four before he started using 'Dean', and this was the first time he'd heard 'De De' in a long time and it made him warm.

"Thanks Sammy. Now go to sleep." He wrapped a protective arm around his little brother. Sam snuggled down. And they slept.

The memory shifted.

"Hey, you owe me a shirt," Sam grumbled. Dean was pulled out of his recollections at that memory. Those had been his brother's last words to him. There was no 'I'm dying' speech. His little brother didn't know. His last words weren't prolific, not angry, just simple brotherly annoyance over a ripped shirt. He looked at his brother, and he knew in that moment that he'd lost his brother back in that motel on dirty shag green carpet. His brother hadn't died an old man, or in a blaze of glory with his brother in battle. He had died in an empty motel room on the side of a highway, on puke green shag carpet. Alone. And, it was that final realization that shredded the core of Dean. Sam had died alone while he wasted time talking to a girl. If he had gone right back, then Sam wouldn't be…

There was a rustle of the curtain, and Dean shifted to look at Dr. Sloane and could see the clipboard in his hands. "Have you had a chance to think?" Dean shifted back and looked at Sam's still features. He stood and reached a hand up to his brother's forehead and pushed his bangs gently away from his forehead. He turned toward the doctor.

"I'll sign," his voice cracked betraying the emotional struggle underlying this decision. "I want to stay with him." Dean scribbled his name on the bottom of a paper. He didn't need to read the words he knew what he was signing. His signature on this paper meant the IV's would be removed, and the ventilator turned off. He was letting Sammy go.

"Of course," Dr. Sloane answered. Dean watched the doctor go about removing IV's. He watched him remove the EEG electrodes attached to Sam's temples. He desperately wished that the EEG had given him one tiny wave, anything to say they were wrong, but it didn't. Finally, the last thing left was the ventilator. "Once, I turn this off, and pull the tube, it may take a minute or so, maybe longer. I'll leave the heart monitor on, but I'll put it on mute." Dean nodded never taking his eyes off his brother's face. The doctor moved about with assured accuracy at what needed to be done, and he pulled the curtain leaving Dean alone with his brother.

Sam's chest didn't rise and fall anymore, but the heart monitor showed his heart still struggled inside his chest, but it would soon be silent. Dean lowered the handrail on his brother's bed and slid in next to his brother pulling him into his arms. He supported his brother's head as it lolled backwards reminding him of when Sam was a baby and his head always needed support. He held his brother and waited. "Sammy, I'm sorry I wasn't there when you needed me. I don't know…" Silent tears blazed a trail down his face. "What am I gonna do without you? Sammy…" And, Dean pulled Sam close to himself stroking his cheek with his thumb as he rested his chin against his brother's soft brown hair. He watched the blips on the heart monitor space further and further out, and the heart rate number drop. "I'm right here," he whispered into his brother's ear. "It's okay to let go Sammy," he choked out. And, with that he saw the numbers drop to zero, and the blips become a solid white line across the screen. Sammy was gone.

Dean fought against a voice yelling at him. He knew the voice it was Sam's. But it couldn't be. He had just held Sammy as he died. "Dean! Wake up, Man!" The voice was yelling close to his ear. "Dean! Hey man…" He could feel arms grasping his shoulders. His eyes snapped open and he lunged forward. His eyes frantic, and his face wet from the tears he had shed in his sleep. He turned wide, stricken eyes to his little brother. He studied Sam for a long moment in the dark of the room. His face was illuminated by the light of the neon motel sign shining into the room through the thin curtains. He raised a hand and touched Sam's face, and he was real.

"You were dreaming Dean," Sam assured. "You okay?"

Dean looked at Sam and could see the gauze bandage on his side secured with medical tape. The hunt had happened, but Sam was here, he was alive. There was no horrible bruise across his chest that had been the precursor to his death. "You're hurt," Dean said absently.

"I'm fine. Just a scratch," Sam comforted. "But, you still owe me a shirt," Sam said smiling. Dean grabbed his brother and pulled him close. "Dean?"

"I'm awake?" Dean's voice still held a hint of confusion from his nightmare.

"Yeah, man. You're awake," Sam assured. "Must have been one hell of a nightmare." Dean nodded absently as he pulled away from his brother. "You wanna tell me about it?"

Dean shook his head, "Nah, I'm cool," he smiled at his brother. "Go back to bed," Dean encouraged. Sam went back to his bed and crawled in.

"You sure?"

"Yeah, I'm good. I'm awake now."

"Okay," Sam relented as he settled into his pillow. "Night, Dean."

Dean turned and looked at the silhouetted figure if his brother under the covers. "Night, Sammy."

Dean was awake, and he listened to the best sound in the world, his brother breathing softly in sleep. And, in a few hours the sun would rise, but for now Dean Winchester was awake and his brother was safely next to him, and he had never felt so rested, never so awake.

The End