Hi everybody! This is a little piece I wrote quite a while ago before I knew sites like this existed! So I've decided to post it here, just to try and work out how this site works and as a little practice piece. That doesn't mean I wouldn't love to hear what you all think...I would! There's no gore or wincest here, just a major chick flick issue and the resolving of some issues I thought the writers should have tackled. I don't own Sam or Dean or anything related to Supernatural...just borrowing them. Thanks for reading!

"You never should have brought me here."

"I was trying to save your life."

"And now some guy is dead because of me."

"I didn't know."

"There's only one thing that can give and take life like that. We're dealing with a reaper."

The sun had long since disappeared below the horizon when Dean made his way back to the motel where they were staying. After Sam had confessed to him hours earlier that there was something strange about Roy Le Grange's 'healing' powers, Dean needed to be alone. Sam's reluctant admission that Marshall Hall had died at the exact time Dean was healed had been like a punch in the guts. All his worst fears were confirmed in that moment and he expressed the overwhelming emotion he felt the best way he knew how-with anger. Sam couldn't seem to look him in the eye, except for when he had said, "I didn't know," and he turned his puppy-dog look on his brother, pleading with him to understand, to not be angry. Dean had bit back his anger for a moment, knowing the situation wasn't his brother's fault, and turning to grab his coat back off the bed he'd shrugged it onto only ten minutes earlier. "Dean, where are you..." Sam began, only to have the door slammed in his face, cutting off his voice, forbidding any further conversation. Dean's anger still simmered in his gut now, hours later, but he was tired and wanted nothing more than to curl up and go to bed. He just hoped his younger brother was already asleep, because he hated seeing that damned puppy dog expression, and worse yet, knowing that his behaviour was the cause of it.

Sam, of course, was not asleep, despite the fact that he desperately needed the rest. Since Dean falling sick he had slept even more sporadically than usual, plagued by bad dreams. Not visions, but what Dean referred to as 'a normal, naked-in-class nightmare'. Nightmares about his brother dying. Nightmares from which Sam awoke sweating, often sobbing, but he would grit his teeth and force himself not to show the toll his brother's sickness was taking on him. Dean, who usually woke himself when Sam was in the grip of a nightmare, slept through these nights because his body was exhausted simply by living. A part of Sam longed for Dean to wake up as he usually did; for his fears to be soothed by Dean's gentle hands and voice, his tears to be wiped away by his big brother casually stroking his thumb over Sam's cheek, smoothing the moisture away. His voice, still rough with sleep, murmuring words of comfort. "Go back to sleep, kiddo. It was just a bad dream. I'm here, it's okay." But if Sam couldn't do something, soon Dean wouldn't be here, and it would never be okay again. Every time he had thought about losing his brother, his mind shied away from the idea, like a child who dips their toes in the water and decides it's too cold, backing away. Sam couldn't even begin to comprehend or imagine life without Dean, so he didn't sleep, he researched, and prayed, and drove to Nebraska. Now his plan had gone horribly wrong, at least in Dean's eyes. Sam couldn't feel anything other than overwhelming relief at his brother's recovery. Dean, on the other hand, was furious with him, Sam could tell. His brother's anger radiated from him in waves like heat. And Sam was the only one standing close enough to get burnt. Dean had stormed from the motel room, slamming the door hard enough to send a quiver through the solid wood frame, and Sam sat and waited for him to return, barely holding it together. It was late; almost midnight, and he was afraid. Had his brother decided to go after the reaper? It wasn't like Dean to jump into hunts without planning them first, in this at least his older brother controlled his reckless nature. But this was personal and there was no telling what move Dean would make. The ticking of the clock was loud, too loud for Sam's ears, with every second passing he felt the tight cold ball of fear in his stomach grow and expand until it was sitting in his throat. Had he lost his brother despite everything? Even if Dean wasn't...(don't think it he's not dead don't even think it) was he so angry with Sam that he had simply left? Decided he didn't need his little brother around after all and taken off, leaving him behind? After all, in the last couple of weeks Sam had really managed to screw up their relationship in a spectacular way. First, he'd shot his brother with rock salt and then with a gun...Dean's gun. Admittedly the chamber was empty but Sam had seen the expression on Dean's face when he pulled that trigger, not once but four times. Then he'd drawn him into a huge fight in the middle of the night on some lonely highway, left him for his own selfish reasons, and that too had nearly ended with Dean's death. Sam brushed aside the idea that it had been him that had saved his brother; if he hadn't left him in the first place the situation never would have come about. Now this. Dean called him his 'geek-boy sidekick' but what if he'd realised he didn't really need a sidekick after all? Dean had figured out the pagan god in the orchard alone, had known how to kill it. He had gone into battle prepared. But Sam hadn't even done any research on Roy Le Grange himself, had simply jumped at the slim hope Joshua offered him and dragged Dean to the healer against his brother's own wishes. Maybe this was one screw up too many. Maybe Dean had finally had enough. Sam buried his head in his hands where he sat at the table, a sob rising in his chest. That's when he heard the sound of a key in the lock, and as he lifted his face from his hands Dean entered the room and tossed the door shut behind him. He didn't look at his brother though, simply crossed to his bag and started rummaging through it. Sam's sense of relief disappeared instantly and his heart plummeted as he realised what Dean was doing here. He was going to leave, had simply come back for his things before hitting the road.

"Dean," he said desperately, "Look, can we..."

"Shut up, Sam." His older brother growled, his back to the younger Winchester, and Sam shrank from the anger in that voice. "I don't want to hear any more from you. No more of your great ideas."

"I'm just trying to help," Sam defended himself, "I was only trying to help you!" His emotion made his voice stronger than he felt, and Dean rounded him, mistaking the volume in his brother's tone for anger.

"I don't want your help!" He yelled savagely. "I told you that in the hospital, Sam, and you didn't listen! I told you that on the drive here, and you didn't listen! I told you I didn't want to go to that fucking healer as soon as I saw the tent, and you didn't listen! I've been telling you things the whole damned time and you haven't listened, and look where it's got us now! So listen to me for once in your life, Sam, and shut the hell up! I don't want your damn help! I don't want anything from you!" He was roaring, and he knew it, and knew that if they didn't want to get kicked out he better shut up, so he spun back to the bed, away from his brother, and kicked it furiously. A moment later he turned back, ready to keep giving Sam hell a little more quietly, but he stopped. His brother had buried his face in his hands, and his shoulders were shaking just the tiniest bit. Dean could hear the muffled whimpers Sam was making, a familiar sound to Dean's ears. The sound of his younger brother trying desperately to hold back tears and failing. "Oh, shit, Sam." Dean said then, but the dull anger in his tone was for himself, not his brother, and there was regret and misery in his voice as well. Big brother mode kicked in immediately. If there was one thing Dean Winchester couldn't watch, it was his brother shedding tears, and he mentally kicked himself for being the cause of them. His angry words still ringing in his ears, still haunting the space between them, he crossed the room to his brother. "Sammy, come here." He said softly, putting his hand on his brother's shoulder and gently turning his upper body towards him, away from the table. He ignored the way his brother shrunk from his touch and pulled him against him, wrapping his arms around Sam's shoulders and pressing his face against his chest. Sam was still sitting so his forehead rested against Dean's heart, and Dean looked down at him sadly as his brother sobbed against his shirt.

"Dean...Dean...I'm sorry...I'm so sorry..." Sam sobbed, and his hands turned away from his face to clutch at his brother's shirt so hard that he pinched skin in his grasp, but Dean didn't say anything or make any move to loosen his hands.

"No, no no no, buddy, you've got nothing to be sorry for. I'm the one who needs to say sorry, and I am sorry, Sammy. I shouldn't have yelled at you like that. None of this has been easy on you, I know, probably even harder than it's been on me. I'm sorry, little brother."

"No," Sam sobbed harder at his brother's words. "Everything...everything is my fault. I've been...the worst brother..."

"Hey, no you haven't." Dean soothed, stroking his brother's unruly hair. "You did this, brought me here to save my life, and you did. It's not your fault Le Grange is a fraud. You couldn't have known. You saved my life, Sammy. You've been the best brother."

"No I haven't. I...I shot you..." Sam was crying so hard he was having trouble forcing his words out, but he had crumbled now and he couldn't stop. "I shot you, Dean, and I left you, and you could have been killed..."

Damn it. Dean knew not dealing with what had happened at the asylum had been a mistake. Now it was back to bite him on the ass. "Hey, hey hey hey." He murmured as a new round of sobs shook Sam's shoulders. "Sammy, what happened at the asylum wasn't your fault. Some dead doctor dude did a number on your head, remember? That wasn't you. And from what I remember, it was me who left you on the side of the road, not the other way around. You're the one who came back and saved my neck from a seriously scary scarecrow." He stopped stroking his brother's hair, slipped his hand under the hair at the back of his brother's neck and rubbed gently at the knots there. "None of this is your fault, Sammy. You brought me here because you were trying to do the right thing. I'm not angry at you, and I'm sorry for the way I've been acting."

"Does that mean you won't leave?" Sam asked through his tears, which were slightly more controlled now.

"What? What are you talking about?" Dean asked, bewildered, trying to catch his brother's eye, but Sam's face was still buried in his chest.

"I saw were packing your stuff just now."

"Sammy, I was getting some fresh boxers so I could have a shower and go to bed." Dean pulled his brother away a little so he could crouch in front of him, holding his shoulders and forcing him to meet his eyes. "Kiddo, why would you even think that I'd leave you here?" He was genuinely baffled. Sam was the one who did the leaving.

"Because...I haven't been much use to you." Sam's breath hitched as more sobs shook his body. "I haven't helped...find keep having to save me from...things...I keep...screwing up...and now...with my visions...I'm more of a burden than a help." His little list of personal failures and shortcomings ended in a sob, and Dean, shaking his head, pulled his brother back into his arms. Sam leaned into him willingly, burying his face in the hollow between his brother's neck and shoulder, and Dean rubbed his hand up and down slowly on Sam's back. "Shhhh," he hushed his baby brother, cradling the back of his head in his spare hand. "Sammy, what goes on in that head of yours? Listen to me, buddy. Firstly, you've been a huge help. We're a great team. You know that, we always have been. Secondly, you are not a burden." Dean fell silent for a minute, struggling to find the right words. Then he figured, what the hell, this was already the biggest chick-flick moment ever, he would just say what he meant and hope it got through to his little brother. He took a deep breath. "I don't want anything from you, Sam." He said, and felt Sam stiffen, remembering his angry words from earlier. He stroked his brother's back. "Wait. Let me finish. I don't want anything from you, and I don't expect anything from you. I don't want you around because you're useful. I want you around because you're my brother. I like having you around, and not once, not once Sammy, has it even crossed my mind that I should leave you behind. It broke my heart to leave you on the side of that road and I did it because you said it was what you wanted and I thought I needed to respect your wants. But in the future, you pull a stunt like that and all you're going to get is the ass-kicking of a lifetime until you get back in that car." Sam gave a little snort through his tears. Only his brother could throw a threat into a conversation like this and still make it sound like words of comfort. "I am not going to leave you." Dean's voice was soft now, serious. He was making a promise, and he would keep it. "I'm your big brother, and I'm going to stay with you, and look after you, Sammy. Not because I have to, or because you're useful, because I want to. Because I love you. Okay?"

He waited anxiously for Sam's response. To have these moments went against Dean Winchester's nature. He didn't know how to say what he felt, and he had no more words left. If these words didn't convince his brother, he had nothing left to offer.

Sam's arms came up and wrapped around his brother's neck, as if he were very small again, and he nodded against Dean's neck. "Okay." He said, his voice muffled, and Dean hugged him a little tighter in relief.

"Okay." Dean said again, and this time it wasn't a question, it was a promise. "Now come on, baby brother. You're exhausted. Let's get you into bed, huh?"

He tucked the blankets around his little brother and sat on the edge of the bed, still stroking his brother's hair, trying to soothe him into sleep. Sam's eyes were still too bright, unshed tears catching the sliver of light coming from under the bathroom door. "Close your eyes, baby, and go to sleep." Dean said softly, and when Sam reached for him he took his hand in his own and curled his own warm fingers around his little brother's. "I'll be right here."

"Dean," Sam's voice was husky from crying, and he swallowed once before speaking again. "I...I don't want to do anything about this. Just this once, please? I don't care if he's using a reaper, I don't care what's going on, please can we just leave, just this once, can we not do anything? Please, Dean?"

Dean shut his eyes for a second and said silent thanks that he had turned the lights off and couldn't see Sam's puppy-dog expression. "Sammy, you know I can't do that. We can't do that." His voice was still gentle, but firm.

He heard the tears in Sam's voice. "Dean, I couldn't stand it if...if you..."

Dean sighed softly, nudged his brother over and slid under the covers with him. "Sammy, come here." The younger brother didn't need to be invited twice, he slid closer and buried his face in his older brother's chest, the only constant source of comfort he had ever known. His tears fell against Dean's skin, not the harsh sobs of before, but quiet tears of exhaustion. Dean rubbed his back as if he were a small child again, and rested his chin on his brother's hair. "I promise, I'll be careful. I promise. Listen to me, Sammy. I promise I won't leave you. I'm right here, with you, and I'll be here tomorrow, and next week, and next year, and whenever you need me. Okay? Don't cry anymore, little brother. I'm right here. I'm here, and I'll always be here for you."

And Sam's tears slowly stopped, because his brother was telling him the truth. Dean always had been there. That was why his voice, soft and tired and full of love, was so familiar. Why his touch, his strong, warm hand rubbing slowly against Sam's back, was lulling him to sleep so quickly; because it was as familiar to Sam as the feel of a bed beneath him, and his brother's warmth as comforting and surrounding as a favourite blanket. He could hear Dean's heartbeat, slow, strong, and he turned his face and pressed his cheek against his older brother's chest so he could hear it better. "Close your eyes and go to sleep, baby." Dean said softly, his own voice husky with impending slumber. "I'll be here when you wake up." And Sam obeyed his older brother, because he knew, the way he knew that the sun would come up in the morning, that Dean was telling the truth.