Disclaimer: I don't own "supernatural" or the boys. I'd hug them if I did.

"Stay here," Dean ordered as he pulled into a parking spot at a Rest Center and paused a moment to watch Sam nod numbly. His brother had been silent for nearly two hours now. He wasn't sure if he should grateful for or horrified by that.

Ten minutes later he settled back into the driver's seat of the Impala with the directions to the nearest ER.

Sam startled a little when the hospital came into view and Dean saw him look down at his wrist like he'd forgotten it hurt.

They parked the car in silence; walked into the ER quietly; spoke to the attendant softly. Then they waited. When Sam was called in Dean didn't get up. He waited outside while they set Sam's wrist. He filled out paperwork with fake names and fake insurance. He smiled at the nurse who came to collect it and must have said something witty because she laughed as she walked away.

She came back out later and told him his brother was ready to go. She looked at him expectantly, so he stood up. She started walking, so he followed her.

Sam was sitting on an exam table, looking huge in the stark surroundings. His younger brother grinned at him when he came into view, his eyes oddly bright.

"Hi Dean." He stated, then looking at the doctor, "That's Dean."

The doctor smiled at Sam and then looked to Dean; a moment later he began a lecture on the fracture.

Dean listened. He'd heard it all before, they'd broken bones before. The break was clean. The cast needed to stay on for three weeks. It shouldn't get wet. They'd prescribed medication. They'd given Sam an injection for the pain. He would likely be out of it for a few hours then go to sleep.

Dean nodded, responding when appropriate, when necessary. Twenty minutes and a quick stop at the hospital pharmacy later he was leading a slightly unsteady and vaguely disoriented Sam to the car and holding a bag of medication.

Sam's attitude had been considerably lightened by the pain meds. His little brother was practically docile as Dean settled him in the passenger seat.

"Where we going?" Sam asked as they pulled out of the parking lot.


"We don't have a motel."

"We're going to get a room in a motel."

"Oh. Where?"

"At the next one we see."

"Oh. Are you mad at me, Dean?" The question was asked with all the ingenuity of a someone who was high as kite.

"Sammy?" He responded softly.


"If you can be quiet longer than I can, I'll answer that."

He could almost feel Sam blinking, could almost feel his brother's frown, the way his brother's mind would work that deal out in his head-- knowing there was something wrong with it, but at the moment, unable to identify what it was.

"Okay." Sam responded a moment later, his tone a little confused and so trusting Dean grit his teeth for a moment.

The rest of the drive was made in silence. When they finally pulled into a motel, Dean looked over and found that Sam had laid his on the window and fallen asleep.

He got the room and unlocked the door before going back to the car for Sam.

"Come on, Sam." He murmured, opening the door.

Sam straightened, blinking at him oddly.

"We have to go inside."


Dean helped him out and took his arm to guide him to the room. In the room he sat Sam on one of the beds.

"I'll be right back," he stated.

Sam nodded-- completely docile. If he wasn't so exhausted he'd find humor in this. It was just the nature of his life lately that Sam was doped up on pain killers and he didn't even have it in him to enjoy it. He went back to the car and collected their duffel bags and a few weapons.

Back in the room, he found Sam tapping his cast on the end table. The dark head lifted as he walked in, "Look Dean... it makes a sound." His younger brother told him.

"Don't do that, Sam." He murmured, blinking back a sense a deja'vu. He'd spent so many years telling Sam what to do, what not to do.


... answering all Sam's why questions.

"Because it will hurt when you're not high."

Sam frowned at him, "Dean. I'm sitting down. I'm not high."

"You're right." He responded setting everything down. "Time for bed, Sam." He stated.

Sam nodded, "Okay." But he didn't move. Dean sighed-- this was going to be a long night. There wasn't even solace in the amusement he could take in Sam's present condition. He didn't have the energy to abuse the present condition to its fullest potential. All he wanted was to get Sam settled so he could fall on the other bed and turn the world off.

He rummaged through one of the duffel's and pulled out sweatpants and a t-shirt.

"You put these on," he told Sam.

Sam nodded, taking the clothing Dean was handing him, "Where are you going?" he asked, tilting his head to one side.

"Bathroom. I'll be right back."

Sam nodded.

"Don't hit your cast against anything," Dean warned just before entering the bathroom.

Sam blinked at him, all innocence and maybe touches of sleepiness, "Okay."

Dean sighed again. God, if this had happened last week... next week... any other day that he hadn't hemorrhaged emotion all over his car.

When he exited the bathroom Sam was sitting exactly where Dean had left him, still wearing his shirt and jacket, in his boxer shorts and staring down at the floor like he'd never seen it before.

A few steps closer and Dean saw why. Sam had tried to take his jeans off without taking his sneakers off. The jeans were all tangled at his feet. Cute.

"They won't come off." He complained, sounding suspiciously near tears.

Dean would have rolled his eyes, but that required more exasperation than he was able to muster.

He nodded as he approached and Sam's dark eyes followed his every move. Carefully he peeled his brother's jacket off.

Sam nodded as he did it, "I forgot." He admitted sheepishly, the sound of tears gone.

Dean nodded again, "That's okay." He comforted, the last thing he needed was a doped up, crying Sam.

Sam nodded.

It was creepy how easily they fell into a routine learned and practiced decades ago. Sam lifted his arms after Dean had removed the jacket and Dean pulled the t-shirt off, mindful of the cast. Dean slipped the new t-shirt over Sam's head then carefully pulled Sam's arms through it. Sam smiled when he had his sleep shirt on and Dean felt the echo of the boys they'd been wash over them.

Then he knelt and started working on Sam's sneakers.

It took a moment before he felt Sam hovering over him, he looked up a little and found that Sammy had leaned forward so that his forehead was nearly touching the top of Dean's head.

"I'm glad you didn't stay dead."

Dean stilled, his breath caught, his heart skipped a beat. God no. Not now. Not this. No more hemorrhaging. He couldn't afford to lose anymore control.

He straightened from bending over Sam's feet, reached up, grasped Sam's shoulders and gently set him back so the younger man was once again sitting erect on the bed.

"I'm very, very, very, very, very glad." Sam informed him, looking into his face.

Dean went back to untying Sam's sneakers.

"If you had I'd be really, really, really, really, really, really sad." Sam continued as he leaned forward again, this time his forehead actually touching the top of Dean's head.

Dean sighed softly and once again straightened, reached up and gently set Sam back. He made a move to bend back down, he had the sneakers off, now he just had to pull the jeans off, when Sam grabbed his shirt with his good hand. He giggled a little, "Hey, glad and sad sound alike... all deh and aaa and with the ad..."

Dean smiled a little, reaching over and gently grasping Sam's wrist, he tugged it away, "Stay still, Sammy." He ordered, bending down to finish with the jeans.


Dean looked up sharply, suddenly worried, "Impossible. Not with the way you're floatin."

"If you'd stayed dead." Wide eyes filled with tears rapidly and Dean felt his stomach drop.

His mouth was dry, but he forced himself to speak, "I'm not dead." He managed, but it sounded hoarse even to him.

The tears vanished instantly, the wide eyes clearing as his little brother gave a vigorous nod, "I'm glad. Very, very, very, very, very glad."

Dean sighed again, "Be quiet now, Sammy."

"I was scared. Really, really, really, really , really scared," their was a waver in his voice as he said the words and something in Dean's chest tightened.

He tossed the jeans aside and stood.

"Lay back," he murmured, lifting Sam's legs onto the bed. Sam blinked at him and nodded, but didn't move.

His brother's eyes filled with tears again suddenly, "You were gonna leave me."

Dean put one hand on Sam's chest and another at the back of his neck. Then he gently leaned the kid back onto the bed. Sam's un-casted hand reached up and grabbed the front of his shirt again, "Don't leave me." The tears slipped down his brother's cheeks.

Dean grasped the wrist gently again, but when he tugged to free himself Sam's hold tightened, "Don't leave me." Sam repeated, a hitch in his breathing.

"I'm not." Dean responded dully.

"Almost. You almost did."

"I didn't."

The tears vanished again, "I'm glad."

Dean sighed, "Yeah, let go, Sammy," tugging Sam's hand again.


"I'm right here," he assured softly.

Sam didn't seem to hear him. His breathing hitched again and he levered himself upwards, "You have to stay," he pleaded.

Dean carefully pushed his brother back, his hand going to the back of Sam's head again as he lowered the boy onto the pillow. "Lie down. It's time to go to sleep." He whispered, feeling like he was 10 years old again and trying to get little Sammy down for the night.

Sam's grip tightened even more, he was pulling Dean down towards him, "Don't leave... please... don't..."

Dean sighed again, "I'm right here." He muttered, shifting so he could sit on the bed, "Calm down."

"You have to stay... you have to... stay... please... stay..."

"I'm right here, Sammy. I'm right here."

"But you have to stay... don't leave..."

"Okay. I'll stay." He stated, reaching over and wiping away tears from his brother's face, "Just calm down."

Sam's hold didn't loosen though and he blinked half lidded eyes at Dean, his breathing erratic, "I'm glad," he whispered hoarsely, "Everybody leaves... can leave... you stay. I need you to stay..." the words slurred together.

Dean wanted to scream, to yank himself away and put a fist through a wall or maybe he just wanted to fall onto the other bed and turn the world off. Either way he wanted Sammy to be quiet, to stop picking at a wound that had been bleeding for weeks for now, a wound that would never stop bleeding.

Instead, he tugged at Sam's hand again, pulling it off his shirt. Then he gently lowered it to Sam's stomach, "Go to sleep now." He ordered, brushing the bangs off Sam's forehead.

Sam turned into Dean's touch and a moment later his eyes slid shut. Dean waited until he was sure Sam was asleep; then he stood and started rummaging through his own duffel bag. He changed into a t-shirt and sweat pants. He meant to go to bed, to turn the world off. Instead he found himself staring at a sleeping Sam. Instead he found himself pacing the room.

Not even Sam could make this right. A tiny part of him had held out hope that maybe Sam could. But no. Not even Sam could make this right.

Turning the world off didn't seem possible suddenly. Both of them with busted up hands didn't seem like a good idea either. He sat on the other bed and bent down to put sneakers on. A run, he would run.

He was at the door when he remembered he'd told Sam he would stay.

He hesitated, Sam was asleep, deeply asleep; sedated, really.

And suddenly he couldn't leave.

He couldn't leave Sam unprotected like that.

His hand slid off the doorknob and he grit his teeth. He couldn't leave Sam unprotected. He should be dead. But he couldn't leave Sam unprotected.

He turned around and made his way back to the bed. He sat down; his gaze fastened on his brother's sleeping form.

It's what kept him here. It's why he stayed.

Sam was his to protect. So he had to stay.

It didn't make it right; not even Sam could make this right.

But it's all there is. It would have to do.