Fight or Flight

by: W.M. Scott

Rating: G

Author's Notes: After reading slight spoilers for the next season, especially the opener, I got lost in Dean's head when after waking from the nightmare and this is what came out. I hope you enjoy. (All errors are mine.)

A/N/N: This is only a small snippet while I'm working on two stories and additions to my other story Boat Ride. Ridley, my writing partner and best friend, has been my inspiration. Thanks Rid.

The one thing Dean Winchester hated most in the world was seeing his baby brother hurting. And Sam was definitely hurting right now. He could see the play of emotions and thoughts run across his kid brother's face like a late night movie without commercials.

Ever since he woke from the abyss, Dean had been paying close attention to what Sam wasn't saying about the demon, their dad, and anything else, even the trivial stuff. Sam had a way of knowing what was right and wrong and how to help other people, but when it came to knowing how to help himself, he couldn't see past the nose on his face.

Dean knew the guilt that plagued the younger Winchester every time the mention of the demon came into the conversation. He knew that Sam kept telling himself there should have been something else he could have done to save Dean, their Dad, and get rid of the demon. Now, they had lost their Dad to the thing they had been chasing for years and Dean was still on the injured list.

Dean wanted to tell Sam that he did everything he could, with or without the shining, and second guessing himself would only make matters worse. But, telling the stubborn Winchester anything would be like bouncing snowballs on pavement. Sam had to realize things on his own and sometimes he would live through things that were bad for him for too long because of the rose-colored glasses effect.

As Dean lay there watching the brother he loved with heart and soul, he knew that the only thing he could do to help Sam would be there for him as always. To pick up the pieces and put the puzzle back together and hope the next time won't be worse.

A sigh escaped before the older brother could stop it and this caught Sam's attention.

"Dean, you okay?" Sam immediately deviated his walk across the hospital room back toward his brother's bed. "Do you need me to call the doctor?" He stopped at Dean's left side and reached his hand toward the call button.

"Stop, Sam."

The younger Winchester froze in mid-motion and glanced toward Dean. He had heard his brother use this tone of voice on very few occasions. Usually it meant Dean had had enough of something and was about to put a stop to it. Sam let his hand fall back to his side and looked his brother in the eyes. What he saw had him itching to run.

Dean watched the flight motion enter Sam's eyes and knew he had only a few moments to say what needed to be said.

"Listen and listen good, kiddo. You did what needed to be done and that's it. You chose to save Dad and me and there is nothing wrong with that. You have to do what you think is right for you Sam and forget about what others will think." Dean saw some of what he was saying start to sink in and continued. "No matter what happens afterwards Sam, you have to live for the moment. You have to live for the here and now and not worry about tomorrow. You more than most know that tomorrow's are not guaranteed for anyone. You have to live for today and if you're granted tomorrow make it even better. Stop the guilt Sam and think about how to fix what's broken and do it. Do you understand me?" Dean reached up and grabbed Sam's left hand and gave it a hard squeeze.

"Answer me, Sammy."

Sam could feel the tears threaten to spill but force them back and got lost in his brother's gaze. Dean had been the one constant in his life. No matter what he did or where he went, he could always count on his brother to be there unconditionally. Sam, unfortunately, had forgotten that until now.

"It's Sam." The younger Winchester moved his hand until it gripped Dean's. "And yeah, I understand."

The End.