At My Brother's Bedside

Disclaimer: - I've just borrowed the boys, I will give them back again now. They belong to CW and Mr Kripke, unfortunately for me.

Author's Note:- Thanks to Rae Artemis, who is not always as crazy as she makes out - but thanks for sending the boys to play and then betaing the results!

Summary:- Another bed in another hospital in another town. It's the waiting for your brother to recover that is the worst part.

He sat beside the bed, watching. He hated this, always had. He watched his brother sleep and wished things could be different.

The more time he had to spend sitting in hospitals the more he hated his life. He knew he'd never liked it, just hidden it well. Dad had believed he'd chosen it, wanted it, understood it and Sam, yeah Sam. Sam had always resented his choice.

It wasn't what he'd wanted, never had been, but he'd never managed to work out any other way to be the person his family wanted him to be. Dad needed a good soldier, someone who obeyed without question. He managed it most of the time. As for Sam, Sam had despised him for it, seen him as weak, a drifter who never had a proper job, someone without the commitment to set himself goals and work for what he wanted.

Dean didn't blame him for that. He knew he'd never made any real attempt to show Sam that it wasn't like that. He couldn't show Sam that, it would be too much like trying to put a guilt trip on him.

Dean knew if he'd rebelled, kicked back against his father's authority and left home, there would have been no one left to protect his brother, and when it came time for Sam to study, Dad would have been harder, they'd never have stayed anywhere long enough for Sam to pass exams. He'd never have got into Stanford.

That alone had made it worth it, knowing Sam had got his exams and had a shot at Stanford. Dean would have given anything if he'd been able to let Sam have his dream life with Jess, graduating, getting a job, a house, a family. It didn't work out that way and Dean knew there was nothing he could do now or could have done then to change it. All he'd managed to do was save Sam.

Save Sam and bring him back to this. Another hunt in another county, another hospital bed in another town.

Sam deserved better. Hell, Dean knew even he deserved better himself. It didn't change what they'd got though.

Dean leant forward resting his elbows on the side of Sam's bed and his head in his hands.

"I'm sorry, Sam," he said quietly. "I wish things were different. I hate this. I hate seeing you here. I hate it when you have to sit by me and wait. I wish our lives could be different. I wish we could... I don't know any more... I wish you could be a lawyer but me... I think it's too late. I don't think this will ever be over for me. I think I'm stuck with it."

He sighed sadly before continuing, "I wanted out. I know you never knew that. I've always wanted out, but it was never an option. I couldn't leave Dad or you. I... I had to try to keep you both safe, but I can't, it's too big. Dad's gone and you... you... I'm not up to the job. You need better than me."

He sighed wearily and closed his eyes in defeat. He had to have this all locked back inside before Sam woke up. He had to hide away the self-pity and be who Sam needed him to be.

He felt a hand rest on his head and looked up, horrified to think someone might have heard his pitiful monologue. He looked up into Sam's open eyes, sad smile and heard his brother say, "I never knew, never guessed. I'm sorry."

"You weren't supposed to know."

"Dean, why? Why for all these years have you lived a life you hated?"

"It was the right thing to do."

"The right thing for who?"

"Dad, you, Mom, all the people we've helped."

"But what about you?"

"Didn't matter. Still doesn't, just ignore it, Sam, I'm just tired you know."

"Yeah, Dean. It did matter or it should have done. Listen to me now. I'm not sure that we can walk away completely, but we can settle somewhere, get jobs, have a regular life."

"I don't know that I can."

"I do know that you can. You know what? This time we try it, we try what you want, where you want. And something I believe... I believe we can make this work. You know why?"


"Because we'll try it together. When it's tough we'll both be there. We'll work it out."

"You're still dreaming if you think we can just walk away."

"Not just walk away. I want to have more. Hunting and a life"

"I don't know that we ..."

"Don't say it. Be positive. It's what you want, it's what I want. We can try. We can give it a go. Now, say yes."

"Yes," he answered with a shake of the head showing his disbelief.

"Dean, don't just humour me. We are going to try this. Even if we fail, we are going to try it."

"Okay." Sometimes letting Sam in wasn't so bad, he figured. Some things were worth trying, even if they didn't work out.