Title: By Any Means
Fandom: Supernatural
Pairing: None
Rating: PG
Word Count: 666
Disclaimer: Unfortunately, Supernatural and the awesome characters within it do not belong to me.
Summary: Sam's reflections as he looks back upon the events in Faith. Would he have saved Dean if Sam had known about the grim reaper?
Warnings: Spoilers for Faith.
Notes: Thank you so much to the awesome xphoenixrising for the quick edit.

"You probably won't even get this, but -- it's Dean. He's sick, and the doctors say there's nothing they can do. But they don't know the things we know, right? So, don't worry, because I'm going to do whatever it takes to get him better."

Had it only been seven days ago that he had called his father? The one emotion he could remember feeling was determination. No panic, no doubts – only the cold certainty that Dean was going to live, end of story. Because Sam would make sure that his brother survived, no matter what it took. By any means necessary.

Looking back now, remembering, how serious he had been when he'd been talking to his father scared Sam. As he'd said, "whatever it takes." - he didn't want to think about the extent he would have gone to try and save Dean. Because as much as he hated it, a small part of him admitted that he really would have done anything. Anything at all to make sure his brother lived.

When they'd been younger, Dean always seemed invincible to Sam. Protective yet charming, Dean Winchester was so full of life and fire that no matter what, he was always there. It was comforting to just know, that he would always be there – teasing him, protecting him – a constant in Sam's otherwise hectic life.

As he'd grown older, Sam had lost some of his naivety. He saw his brother's pain, physically manifested in scars and wounds. He'd realized then that that no one was invincible. Even vampires and spirits could be destroyed if you knew how to go about it, and Dean --

Dean was only human after all.

Yet Dean had gone to so many lengths for Sam. Done so many things so that Sam would be safe, and happy, and protected – that for Sam, it had never truly sunk in that his brother could die. Considering their line of profession, this could be a very real consequence of one of their hunts, and that scared him. But he'd never had to face Dean's mortality — until now.

Even when he'd gone off to college and left behind his family to form a new life, a part of him had always known that Dean was out there, hunting the darkness, trying to make life better for the ones who didn't know. Even when they'd been separated, Sam had always known Dean was there, alive and kicking, humming Metallica as he drove to his next destination. He tried to imagine his world without a Dean Winchester.

He couldn't.

It was true that he hadn't known about the grim reaper, or Sue Ann's dark rituals. But a part of his treacherous mind always muttered - what if...

A life for a life. His brother's for a stranger's. Sam knew that when it came to Dean, morals didn't have any part in his decisions anymore. All that mattered was his brother, and a part of him feared himself, feared how far he could go, because he knew he wouldn't have hesitated.

"She was desperate. Her husband was dying; she would have done anything to save him. She was using the binding spell to keep the reaper away from Roy."

As he recalled Dean's words from a few days back (had it only been seven?), Sam couldn't help but shiver at how well he could relate to Sue Ann. As early as a week ago, he too had been desperate – desperate to save his brother. And he would have done it by any means necessary.

Lying on his bed now, hearing his brother's quiet snores a few meters away, Sam thanked whatever deity out there that had given him ignorance. Given him mercy so that he'd found out about everything after Dean had been saved. Taken away that knowledge so that he hadn't had to make the choice of crossing that border between black and white --

Because Sam knew it wouldn't have been a hard choice at all.