Pick Up The Pieces And Start Again

Disclaimer: Neither Sam, Dean nor Supernatural are in anyway mine (unfortunately) – see E. Kripke and CW for ownership details.

Summary: A companion piece to the end of 'A Letter Home'

Rating: Some bad language

Author's Note: This starts just before and overlaps with the final chapter of 'A Letter Home' and explains Dean's injury. This chapter is told from Sam's Point of View.

Chapter One : Big Brothers – Who'd Want One?

Killing the Mambolin had ended up being the least of the problems. That in itself had been a surprise. Dealing with the aftermath turned out to be more difficult by far, and it was all down to Dean, in Sam's opinion.

His brother had to be the most obstinate and obnoxious person on the planet right now. It should have been a straightforward shoot-to-kill but Dean had to be a Big Damn Hero about it and now look at the state of things.

Okay, neither of them could have known just how fast it moved, none of their research had mentioned speed. Mind you, in truth, all they had found out about it was that it was vicious and had sharp claws. Well, they were eyewitnesses to those facts now. They'd gone in armed to the teeth, carrying every possible combination that might just kill it.

Dean had won the bet; plain old buckshot, consecrated, had done for it, but not before it had taken a chunk out of his leg. Of course, if it had been that straightforward, Sam wouldn't have minded so much, but it never was that straightforward when Dean was around. It wasn't going to hurt Dean, in truth the angle it was coming in on, he was well out of the line of danger, but Dean being Dean had got in the way saving Sam. Too bloody typical by half.

Sometimes it appeared that Dean had some sort of preternatural speed that only kicked in when he wanted to put himself between his brother and danger. In fact for all they hadn't known about the Mambolin's speed, Dean's must have been a virtual match for it, to be able to get there in time.

And after Sam had picked himself up of the floor and manoeuvred the great dead thing (ugh! It had been truly repulsive and he shuddered even now to think about it) off his brother, he then had to prise its claws out of Dean's leg and then get his brother up and moving back to the Impala. A much quieter brother than the one he'd shared the car with earlier in the evening. Worryingly quiet in fact, he hadn't even fussed about getting blood in the Impala, which Sam knew was a significant factor in being able to judge how much pain Dean was in and how bad the injury was. It was too much to expect Dean to tell him anything useful and all he'd got so far by way of inquiries into the state of the injury was the assurance that it was bearable. The colour of his skin said otherwise but he hadn't let Sam look at it and had just insisted he get on with driving back to the motel.

He'd driven 'Dean speed' back, trying to get there quickly so he could get his brother inside and get a look at his leg. Rounding one corner a little too sharply, he'd had to adjust to keep control of the car and he was certain that the sharp intake of breath he'd heard from Dean was not due to concern for the car. Although having said that, he could have been wrong, because moments later, Dean had said 'What's the car done to you?'

'What? What are you on about Dean?'

'The car, you are handling it like, I don't know, but this is my car, man, look after it.'

'Feeble there Dean. Not up to your usual quip standard.'

'Yeah well I'm tired and nauseous, your driving is making me feel car sick and I never get car sick.'

'Sure it's my driving and not your leg.'

'Definitely your driving. Now concentrate before you run us off the road,' and with that he went quiet again.

He pulled up to the motel as close to their room as he could. As Dean reached for the door handle, he said,' Geez, just keep still Dean, stay here. I'll just get the door open and I'll help you in.' and with that he ran from the car to the door pulling the keys from his pocket.

As the door swung open, he turned back to Dean, 'Christ, Dean, I said to wait. What is the matter with you? Can't you do anything the easy way?' Sometimes he wondered if there was any common sense in Dean at all.

'Obviously not. I don't need you to mother hen me Sam. I can manage.' Sam watched as he took three steps away from the car before his injured leg gave way and he began to crumple face first towards the floor. Relief washed over Sam as he managed to grab hold of enough of Dean's leather jacket and arm to keep him from actually hitting the floor.

Disbelief and anger raced through Sam as he exclaimed, 'You're an idiot. What would it take to let me help you in? That thing's claws went straight through your leg, how do you expect to walk on it with the amount of blood that has been pouring out?' Sometimes, he thought, big brothers, who'd have them?

'Give it a break, Sam. My ears are in more danger of dropping off from the damage your whining is doing to them.' Still fighting admitting that anything was wrong, Dean acquiesced to the actual physical assistance whilst denying that he needed to do so – Sam marvelled at Dean's adamant determination that he was invulnerable. Fat chance!

Sam supposed it was a good sign that Dean was still trying to banter but he wouldn't be sure until he'd seen just how much of a mess his leg was for himself. 'Well they've not being doing you much good lately. Do you listen to anything I tell you? Don't answer that, I don't want to know the answer. What was that about anyway? You do not have to put yourself between me and every evil thing that comes along. I could have shot it, just the same as you.'

'Yeah, but it would have hurt you first before you could have shot it.'

Sometimes, the man could just wear a person down with his persistent self-sacrifice but persistence ran in the family, a definite Winchester trait and he wasn't going to give up easily either. One day, Dean would get the message, either that or he would have been proved right and Sam would be dead. No, Sam wasn't going to let him win that bet. 'What? You mean, instead of it hurting you? Dean, this is stupid, we've had this conversation before. I do not expect you to sacrifice yourself to keep me safe. I know what we do, I know what the risks are and I am not a child anymore.'

Author's Note: This is written in response to the suggestions that some people wanted more from 'A Letter Home'. As there would be no more letters once the boys were together, I thought I would give it a go separately. There will be some overlap with the final chapter of that piece as we progress forwards. So please review and let me know if you like the way its going.