Hi everybody! Did you all have fun last night? There were so many Christmas stories posted but I haven't seen any New Year's ones, so to help me get over my own hangover I got to wondering what the Winchester boys would do for New Year's Eve? Just a little oneshot, hope you all like it and that the year ahead is a wonderful one! Feel free to review with any suggestions or feedback and you'll make my New Year get off to a nice start:)

I don't own Sam, Dean, or anything else that belongs to Kripke...or the words to the song Auld Lang Syne.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

Note: Auld Lang Syne is a song sung at the stroke of midnight in nearly every English speaking country in the world. The words 'auld lang syne' translate to 'old long ago' or 'the good old days'.

Dean Winchester closed his eyes and leant his head back so the spray of the shower could hit him in the face. The water was as hot as he could bear it, turning his skin pink, and it was a huge relief. It felt good to be warm, and clean, after he'd spent the last five hours traipsing around in the snow and the dark on a hunt.

He didn't know how long he'd been in the shower, but when the water started to run cold he sighed in regret and reached for the taps, stopping the now luke-warm flow of liquid. He felt like he could have stayed in that shower for the rest of the night. The hot water had relaxed his tense, cold muscles and he was feeling content, drowsy, and ready to curl up under the covers of the motel room bed and sleep for a good solid eight hours.

When he opened the door to the bathroom clouds of steam escaped quietly into the room, and Dean's eyes fell on the still form of his younger brother. Sam was sitting on the end of the bed, long fingers tangled in his hair and rubbing absently at the back of his head.

The younger Winchester had been the one to come off worse in tonight's hunt, catching a nasty swipe across the lower back from the Wendigo they'd been hunting in the snow covered woods, and then taking a nasty tumble down a hillside. By the time he'd reached the bottom he was soaking wet, freezing cold, and to complete his night his fall had been broken by his head smacking against a rock not yet pillowed by snow.

Dean had sent him for the first shower to get him warmed up, and satisfied that Sam's injuries weren't life threatening, indulged in the hot water himself before playing doctor.

Now he crossed to the bed and stood beside his little brother, taking Sam's wrist and guiding his hand away from his head. "Let me have a look."

Sam sat still, eyes on the television set while Dean parted his hair and gently ran his fingers over the swollen bump on his brother's head. "Hurting much?"

"No, not really." Sam said absently.

"Lucky you landed on your head. Anywhere else and you might have broken something," Dean teased lightly, automatically. Sam responded in kind.

"Ha ha, very funny."

Dean chuckled a little, smoothing his brother's hair back down gently before crossing to the table to get the first aid kit. "Okay, hard head, lie down so I can patch up your back. I'm so ready for bed."

Sam's eyes darted away from the TV to rest on his brother. "You're going to bed?"

"Yeah, after I put you through a bit more pain. Help you sleep," he grinned easily.

Sam was still looking at him, his brow furrowed a little. "You're going to bed, like, straight away?"

Dean returned the slightly-furrowed-brow look. "Um, yeah. Why, Sammy, something you wanna do? You want a bedtime story?"

Sam snorted, turning away and stretching out on his stomach, folding his arms beneath his head. "Not from you. Your bedtime stories gave me nightmares."

"Hey, that only happened that one time," Dean protested, sitting down beside his brother, "And once I realized you couldn't handle a bit of action in your bedtime stories I started reading you all that crap you liked."

"Yeah, always with the Dean Winchester commentary running through them."

"Dude, I'm telling you, Tinkerbell was hot. That Peter Pan guy? So should have picked her over that Wendy chick. And Beauty and the Beast? The prince should have just hunted that ugly bastard's ass down."

"I think you miss the point of the stories, Dean."

"What was so great about them anyway?" Dean's question was theoretical; an end to the conversation, but Sam answered him quietly.

"I liked the endings. Everyone always lived happily ever after."

Dean paused while soaking cotton wool balls in antiseptic and looked down at the back of his brother's head. He wasn't sure whether the comment was just Sam being Sam, or whether there was some deeper issue running beneath the light hearted conversation. He hesitated a moment longer, wondering if his little brother had something on his mind.

"Yeah, yeah, I know. Your beloved chick flick moments," he said lightly at last. He rested one hand on Sam's upper back, between his shoulder blades, fingers splayed. "Ready? Deep breath."

Sam buried his face in the crook of his arm and nodded. A second later Dean felt his brother's body tense beneath his hand as he cleaned the long, jagged cuts. He moved his thumb absently as he worked, smoothing it over Sam's back, lightly rubbing at knots between his shoulder blades to distract him from the pain.

"The good news is, only one of these is going to need stitches."

"Great." Sam's voice was muffled by his arm, but Dean caught the frustration in his tone. "What a way to spend tonight."

"What, you got something better to do?" Dean didn't understand Sam's irritable mood. This was how they spent a lot of their nights. He wondered if Sam was just tired and cranky because he was the one injured. But Sam had suffered from injuries a lot worse than this. A moment later Sam spoke again.

"It just would have been nice to do something normal on New Year's, is all."

Dean stilled his hand, surprised, and he turned his wrist a little so he could see the date on his watch. 31st December. He'd lost track of the days. Most of the time he didn't know what day of the week it was, let alone the date. Leave it to Sam to remember.

"I guess it's kind of fitting that we spend it like this anyway." Sam muttered.

"What do you mean?"

"Well, if this year is anything to go by, we've got nothing to look forward to in the next one."

"Oh, come on, Sam. A little melodramatic, don't you think?" Dean snapped, pressing the wool down a little harder than he meant to on Sam's wounds. Even as he spoke he realized the reason he was angry was not because of Sam, but because he felt the same way and just didn't want to deal with it right now. He hadn't let himself switch off auto pilot since their Dad's death and he'd be damned if a stupid holiday like New Year's was going to be the breaking point.

"Ow, Dean!" Sam tried to squirm away and sit up, but Dean still had a hand on his upper back and he pressed down, stilling his brother.

"Sorry." He muttered. "Just...stay still, okay?" The last thing he needed was Sam on his feet, confrontational, getting worked up. Looking at him with those damn puppy dog eyes. At the moment he was still, his face hidden, and Dean wanted to keep it that way. He really didn't feel up to dealing with this right now.

"I'm not being melodramatic." Sam muttered almost sulkily, and Dean would have laughed at how much like his five-year-old self he sounded if his heart hadn't suddenly been so heavy. Thinking about the past year. About what they'd lost. Sam spoke again. "My girlfriend died. I've turned into some kind of freak. We haven't accomplished anything. We didn't kill the demon. We almost died...we've almost died like a hundred times this year, but in the accident...we really almost died. Our Dad died. We're orphans, we've lost everyone, and we haven't accomplished anything." The last word was said with anger and frustration and misery all blended into one, and it hurt Dean to hear his brother like that.

"Well bitching about it and feeling sorry for ourselves isn't going to change anything, Sam." He snapped, because he was tired and starting to feel cold again, now that Sam had reminded him of everything they'd lost, and because he knew his brother was hurting and he didn't know how to help him. He didn't know how to help Sam because he didn't know how to help himself. Losing his father was like losing a part of himself to Dean, and he thought maybe it was one of the best parts he was now missing. He should have been able to help his brother get through the death of their remaining parent; instead he'd shut him out, yelled at him, hit him, hurt him.

Dean winced at the memories and his voice came out harsh and angry to mask the pain. "Do you think it makes me feel better to hear you point out how fucked up our lives are at this point? Does it somehow make you feel better to think about everything that's gone wrong? This constant...replaying you do, Sam, worrying about everything and thinking about everything and letting it get to you all the time...it's not helping you and it's not helping me. Yes, your girlfriend's dead, yes our Dad is dead, yes we haven't killed the demon we've been hunting all our lives and yes the New Year is probably going to be even shittier than this one because of all those things and a heap more. But bitching and moaning isn't going to change that. You're just going to have to deal with it." He hated that he'd said those words to his brother. He hated himself for being so harsh and cruel and rough when he should have been supportive and comforting and kind. Dad, that last job you gave me? Looking after Sammy? Yeah, turns out I'm not so good at that anymore. In fact I really fucking suck. Sorry.

He expected his brother to throw his hands off him, to snap back, to yell. Sam didn't do any of those things. He stayed still on the bed, not moving his face from where it was hidden in his arms, and after a minute he said, defeat in his voice, in every inch of his body, "You're right, Dean. I'm sorry."

Dean threaded the needle in silence, hating himself.

Hating the situation.

Hating the defeat in his brother's voice as much as he hated the pain and misery and frustration it had replaced.

He pierced the skin of his brother's back as gently as could and apart from a sharp intake of breath and stiffening off his body Sam didn't react.

He didn't speak again, or move, even after Dean tied a knot, finishing off the stitches twenty minutes later. Dean knew he was awake because his breathing hadn't evened out, it was still shallow and a little too fast, and anyway even his freak of a little brother couldn't fall asleep while someone was stabbing his back with a needle.

He put a dressing over the wounds and hesitated, his hand hovering over his brother's hair. Sorry, Sammy. He got up and packed the first aid supplies away, turned out most of the lights and locked the door. When he was finished his eyes fell on the luminous red letters glowing at him from the clock beside the bed.


Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?
And here's a hand, my trusty friend
And gie's a hand o' thine
We'll tak' a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne

His eyes fell on his little brother, still lying face down on top of the covers, the last of his family.

The most important person in his life.

His reason for living.

He thought of all the times he'd hurt Sam over the last year, said words that had brought that puppy dog look to his eyes.

All the times he'd brushed him off, following his 'no chick flicks' rule, showing no weakness, being a soldier when what Sam really needed was a big brother.

His right hand twinged with guilt. The day Dean had punched Sam.

Yeah, Sam was right. This year had been a bad one, and Dean felt it now, so much so that he felt the unfamiliar warmth of tears behind his eyelids.

It had been a shitty twelve months, and Dean too had been thinking all the things that Sam had said, had been feeling sorry for himself. Wondering why his life was so screwed up.

But looking at his little brother lying on the bed, here with him, hurt but alive, Dean knew it had been a wonderful twelve months as well. Almost twelve fell months of seeing Sam every day, hunting with him, eating with him, drinking with him, fighting with him, laughing with him. He still had his little brother. And if he got to spend another twelve months with him, the next year couldn't be that bad. Despite everything bad that could, and probably would, happen.


Half an hour left to make sure the year wasn't a complete loss.

He went and sat down on the bed again, beside his brother, and laid his hand on the back of Sam's neck. He felt his brother tremble, saw the muscles in his back tense as his breath hitched and he tried to hold back tears. "It's okay, Sammy." Dean said softly.

"I just...I just want things to be different, you know, Dean?" Sam said, his voice trembling, pleading with his brother to understand his weakness, to not be angry with him for it.

"Yeah, Sammy, I know." Dean moved his hand up under Sam's hair to the place where his neck met his skull and rubbed the tense muscles there. "It's okay, Sam." He said again, willing his brother to let go. "Go on. Let it out." Sam trembled, and Dean pushed once more. "Let it go, little brother."

And because he was exhausted, and hurt, and he'd been cold and tired most of the night, and his mind had been in overdrive all day thinking about all the days that had made up this painful year, but mostly because his big brother said it was okay, Sam let the tears come. His back shook under Dean's hand and his brother sat with him, quietly, and while he wept he kept rubbing with one hand, undoing knots in Sam's neck, his shoulders, his upper back, knots that had probably been there all year.

Sam couldn't see, because his face was hidden in his arms, but his brother kept his other hand free to wipe away the tears running silently down his own face. In the last minutes of the year, Dean let go as well.

When he was quieter, when the tears had stopped and Sam lay still, his brother's fingers now running through his hair, slowly, soothingly, he spoke again. "I miss Dad, Dean."

"I know, Sammy. I do too," Dean said simply, and honestly, and Sam was grateful.

"Is it New Year yet?" He asked, sleepily, the motion of his brother's fingers through his hair lulling him into sleep.

"Not yet." Dean glanced at the clock. "Five more minutes. What should we do to celebrate?"

"It's too late to get drunk." Sam said drowsily. "Remember when we were kids? Dad was never around on New Year's Eve, so you always let me stay up and watch the fireworks on TV."

"Yeah, and you were always a tired, cranky little shit the next day." Dean laughed. "The good old days, huh?"

He got up then and turned the TV back on, flipped through the channels until he found a countdown about to start, cameras focused on the night sky, waiting. He turned the volume off and went back to the bed, turning down the side Sam wasn't lying on. "Roll over, kiddo." He nudged Sam onto the side with the covers turned down, slid in himself and settled the blanket over them, tucking his little brother in. "Just like old times."

Sam rolled onto his side, resting his forehead against Dean's shoulder, one eye on the TV, waiting for the fireworks to start. He wasn't willing, not tonight, to give up the contact with the last living member of his family. Dean was all he had left, and he was afraid of the coming year. Afraid that the days ahead might take his big brother from him. "Dean," he said, his voice small, afraid, but his big brother spoke lightly.

"Hey, Sammy, have you made a New Year's resolution?"

"No." His little brother said. "Have you?"

"Yeah, actually. You can share mine if you like."

"What is it?"

"Not to let that yellow-eyed bastard, or anything else, hurt anyone in this family. Including me." Dean gave him a little squeeze. "You've still got me, kiddo. I'm not going anywhere."

Sam blinked back more tears. "I thought I was the psychic one." But he knew Dean didn't need to read his mind to know what he was thinking, and that in itself was a comforting thought.

"Watch the fireworks." Dean said gently.

Both boys were asleep before the display ended, the multi colored lights from the spectacle on TV playing gently over their peaceful faces.

And although they weren't exactly looking forward to the year ahead, they knew now that they could-and would-handle it.