I'll Always Be There

Author: JALover7

Rating: PG

Genre: brotherly love and angst (my two favorite things)

Disclaimer: I don't own Sam, Dean, or anything related to Supernatural (if only) – Kripke and others do.

Spoilers: for "Croatoan."

Summary: Ficlet, 800 words. Missing scene from "Croatoan." When Sam was 6 years old, Dean taught him how to ride a bike.

AN: One small scene stuck out a lot for me in "Croatoan," and it got me thinking, and this idea was begging to come out, so I didn't fight it. Short and sweet and kind of angsty, as per usual. Enjoy and review. :)


I'll Always Be There

When Sam was six years old, Dean taught him how to ride a two-wheeler. Sam had practically begged him to teach him how to ride without training wheels, and after a lot of wheedling and an unfairly excessive use of puppy-dog eyes from his little brother, Dean had obliged.

Things went smoothly at first. Dean would run next to his brother, holding tightly onto the handlebars, and when Sam told him to let go, Dean would count to three and yell, "Go!" before taking his hands away. Then Dean would run alongside Sam, and every time the wheels wobbled and Dean heard his brother cry out in fear that he would fall, Dean was right there to grab onto the bike and set him right again.

But once, Sam got ahead of him. Dean continued running, but Sam was pedaling fast, and suddenly he was pedaling too fast. Before Dean could catch up to him, Sam lost his balance and he crashed to the ground, yelling Dean's name at the top of his lungs. Dean ran faster, and when he reached his brother, he noticed Sam was clutching at his knee, which was scratched and bleeding. Sam looked up at him, tears pouring down his face, shaking slightly with quiet sobs, and Dean's heart clenched at the sight. Then Sam whispered his name, choking slightly on his tears, and reached out his arms, just like he used to do when he was a toddler and he wanted Dean to pick him up.

Just like he still did when he woke up screaming from a nightmare, crying loudly and calling out for his older brother.

Dean whispered "Sammy" so quietly he wasn't sure the word even came out. He knelt down next to his brother and pulled him into a tight hug. He felt Sam's arms come around him, holding him tightly, and Dean sighed, pulling his little brother closer, running one hand through his hair and moving the other in gentle circles on his back.

When Sam's crying subsided, Sam pulled away and let go of him. Dean sat back, watching as Sam wiped the tears from his eyes and the snot from his nose, looking in disgust at the mess it left on his sleeve.

Dean chuckled lightly at the face, and Sam looked up at him and smiled.

And Dean knew that he would always be there for his brother.

So when Sam held out a hand to him, silently asking his big brother to help him up, Dean didn't hesitate, grabbing Sam's hand and pulling him slowly and gently to his feet.

"Come on, dude. Let's go home and get that cleaned up. Then we can try again."

"Do we have to?" Sam asked, a look of fear crossing over his face, and Dean hated to see his brother looking so upset.

"Sammy…." Dean bent down and placed one hand on his brother's shoulder. "You don't have to be afraid. I'll always be there for you when you need me. I may not always be there to catch you."

At this, Sam's eyes widened, and Dean placed his remaining hand on Sam's other shoulder.

"But I will always be there to help you up again."

Dean noticed his words sink in, and when Sam smiled happily at him and asked, "Do you promise?" Dean smiled back, ruffled his little brother's hair, and said, "I promise, Sammy."

Then he grabbed his brother by one hand and the bike by the other, and together they walked home.

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Dean gazed at his brother lying on the ground in front of him now, reaching out to him with his injured hand. Sam may have been twenty-three years old, three inches taller than him, and outweigh him by a good sixty pounds, but he was still his little brother.

He was still Sammy, and he always would be.

As Dean reached out his hand to help his little brother up off the floor, he felt his lips form the word "Sammy," though his voice failed to create the sound.

And when he was held back, when he realized that his brother had been infected and that there was no way to save him, when Sam pulled his arm back realizing that Dean couldn't help him up this time, Dean felt his heart break.

But Dean had made a promise. So he shrugged off the man standing next to him, walked over to his brother, and grabbed his arm. And when Sam held his arm lightly with his fingers, Dean knew he would not let Sam die alone.

Because Dean would always be there for his little brother.

THE END