Title: Beast of Burden (Missing Scene from Everybody Loves a Clown)

Author: Will Scott

Rating: T

Disclaimer: Nothing Supernatural or CW belongs to me.

A/N: This missing scene has been playing around in my mind since the credits of last night's episode (10/05). I hope I can do justice to what's in my head. This is dedicated to all my Rowdy crowd.

Sam's POV:

Watching him slave away at the Impala is only a small indication he's hurting. I can see him putting everything he is and has into restoring that car. I know he's trying to rebuild something he has lost. Not just the car, but Dad, the hunt, hell, if I'm honest, his life.

Dean has always been the strong, stoic type. Never letting his emotions show or at the least, get the best of him. Never allowing anyone to see past the facade of hard granite or chiseled mask. But the past few weeks have allowed me the opportunity to see my brother in a whole new light.

I felt my heart clench at the words he threw at me earlier. Berating me for doing what Dad would have wanted and the worse part was I knew what he was doing and why (protecting me as usual). But, it's him I'm worried about most. Even though he said Dad didn't say anything before he died, I know him. I can feel he's keeping something from me, but until he's ready to talk, I'd have better luck winning the lottery.

Right now, though, I need to clear the air between us.

As I near the car I hesitate but know I can't stop now. "You were right."

The whole conversation was close to one sided, but Dean heard what I said. Now, I need to see how he's going to accept what I said. He doesn't notice I stopped just out of sight and I'm glad I did. The look he now carries is the one I've been waiting to see.

The heartache echoing in that one look is almost as painful as watching Dad's body disintegrate into ash. I can see his eyes blanket with emotion. I can literally feel the tense muscles and clenched jaw. I'm waiting and waiting and there it is.

Dean picks up the crowbar and rams it through a car window. I flinch at first, afraid of the violent attack. I slowly begin breathing again when it happens. He slams the crowbar into the trunk lid of the Impala; not once, but twice, no three times. Hell, I don't think he's going to stop.

I step forward, ready to run to the rescue of the Impala, but apparently he's run out of frustration or just come to his senses. I poise ready to catch him, thinking he's going to collapse from emotional exhaustion, but instead, he steadies himself against the trunk he recently mangled.

I relax my stance and once more become the observer. I watch his chest heave from the exertion and begin again to thank whomever or whatever for the action. I remember the ventilator from the hospital and shudder at the thought of Dean having to have something else breathe for him.

He's dropped his head until I can't see his face anymore, but that doesn't stop me from imagining what's playing across his features. The anger, the denial, the hurt and the last one is the hardest to overcome.

I know Dean will exorcize the anger and accept the truth, but he's been hurt by Dad for so many years and I don't think this last strike will heal soon.

Dean's always been the family stone. Our Atlas, carrying the burdens of both this world and the next. His shoulders, even as I look at them now, have forever been strong and harbored many the load. He's carried me countless times and shouldered Dad's failures like a pro. I think Dad's last burden is what is crumbling the foundation of those shoulders now.

I start walking forward again, going once more to my brother. Chick flick moments be damned. Those wide, broad, heavy-laden shoulders need me. They need new support, new building blocks and I'm the brick-mason ready for the job.

I know he knows I'm standing just behind him, so I wait.

"What now, Sam?"

He doesn't turn or even lift his head. Those shoulders stay slumped and his body still rigid.

"I know I can't help you if you don't want my help, but there is something else I want you to know. It is a little too late for me and Dad, but not for me and you." I step forward and turn to lean against the trunk next to his left arm. "I know you don't remember this from the hospital, but I said I wanted you to stay because we're becoming brothers again."

I glance sideways and am rewarded with Dean raising his head, but he doesn't look toward me. That's okay for now.

"I know you've always taken care of me. You even told me the night Mom died, Dad placed me in you arms and you rescued me from the fire." I stop, turn from looking at him and clear my throat. I didn't think this would be so hard to say. "I know Dad didn't mean for it to happen Dean, but I became your beast of burden."

I can feel Dean's eyes boring into the side of my head.

"Hell, Sam, you're not..."

My hand on his arm stops him. I turn and look at him, noticing the sunken eyes, the fading scar on his forehead, and the deep, anguish etched there.

"Yes, I am. Like I said, it wasn't meant to be that way, but it was and is in some ways." I straighten up and so does Dean. I realize how much he hates any emotional moments, but I need to say this.

"I can't promise things will change for the better or things will be different, but the one thing I can promise is this. I'm no longer a burden Dean, I'm your brother." I reach out and touch the pendant hanging from his neck. Remembering when I gave it to him. I drop my hand and turn, heading back toward the house.

I feel him watching me, and this time, the feeling is Dean.

The End

October 2006