Summary: Sam goes missing during a hunt. It's just really an excuse to whump Sam.

Washed Away

The rain poured from the sky, stinging Dean's face like bullets. A flash of lighting flickered, accompanied by a horrific boom of thunder that shook the ground, but he didn't stop.

Every time his foot connected with the ground, the mud would suck it in like quicksand, making it ten times harder to run through the swampy marsh.

A newspaper article describing multiple drownings in the Okefenokee Swamp that straddled the Georgia-Florida boarder had first caught Sam's attention. Eight victims in the last six months, the small black text had read.

They had first suspected some sort of ghost or spirit haunting the 438,000 acre wetlands, but before now, there had been no killings, disappearances, or anything that would attribute to a haunting. That left some sort of demon, or creature, probably something like a kelpie. But it didn't really matter what sort of creature it was, Dean had urged, it was evil, it was killing innocent people, and they needed to take it down.

Sam had been reluctant, suggesting that they should try to figure out exactly what it was, so they could be more prepared, but Dean was anxious and stubborn. Whatever it was, it wasn't a spirit, which means it could most likely be killed with fire, silver, beheading, or any other sort of physical weapon that they had stored in the Impala's trunk. It would be a simple job – go out, kill the bastard, and be on their way.

That had been before the sudden thunderstorm had manifested in the sky. It had started with a crack of thunder in the distance and some drizzling. Sam had shot him a look, but Dean just smirked and thumped him on the back. "Not afraid of a little water, are you Sammy?"

The rain had picked up the further into the swamp they got, both with flashlights out, armed with knives and guns, stocked with both real and silver bullets, and some rock salt just to be safe. The mud sucked them in with a gloop as they walked along the water's edge.

After twenty minutes, it was so dark that Dean could hardly see a few feet in front of him, even with the beam of the flashlight. The thunder and the howling wind created a cacophony of noise that wrapped around them, trapping them, suffocating any other sounds, even their own thoughts. The rain pelting down was soaking them to the bone, and Dean had turned around to yell to Sam that he was right, and maybe they should call it quits until the next day. But Sam wasn't there.

"SAM!"

Dean had bellowed his brother's name over and over, but his voice was sucked away by the wind so that he could barely even hear it. How long had it been since he had seen Sam? Ten minutes? Twenty? He had assumed his little brother had been behind him the whole time, but the storm would have kept him from knowing that he wasn't.

Dean sprinted back through the swamp, eyes drawn to the ground to try to see where his brother's footprints had stopped, but the rain had washed away any trace that Sam had ever been there.

"SAM! SAMMY!"

His voice was starting to go horse, and his throat ached, but he would not stop - could not stop. This was his own stupid idea, Sam had said they should wait. Going out in a storm, unprepared, it was an amateur's mistake. Dean could hear John's voice berating him in his head, and then his own. As long as I'm around, nothing bad is gonna happen to you. What a fat load of shit that was - how many times had Sam almost died because of him?

The minutes ticked by, and Dean was getting frantic. He had called Sam's cell phone, knowing that he wouldn't pick up, but the storm had blocked out the sound of his ring so that Dean wouldn't even be able to hear it if it was right next to him.

Dean ran back and forth, turning around in circles, his eyes darting everywhere, Sam's name screaming from his lips, a constant mantra. His bones rattled, hands shook, as rain dripped down his face, hair soaking and plastered to his head. His heart pounded wildly in his chest as panic set in.

And then - there, like a light shot down from heaven, the beam of Dean's flashlight landed on a shoe. "Sam." His brother's name died on his lips as Dean ran faster than he'd ever run in his life, completely numb.

Sam's body floated on the surface of the thick, swampy water, face down, limbs spread out and bobbing gently to the current of the water.

Oh god, oh god oh god oh god. Please don't let him be dead, please don't let him be dead.

Dean choked back a sob as he splashed into the water, for once grateful for Sam's long limbs as he reached out an arm to grasp onto his ankle and pull him ashore. "Sam," he gasped, turning his kid brother over onto his back.

Sam's head lolled to the side bonelessly, eyes closed, skin ashen and grey, with a slightly blue tinge to his lips. He was even wetter than Dean, if it was possible, and covered in brown sludge.

"S-sammy," Dean said again, grasping Sam's cold face in both his hands as the rain beat down. There was no movement, not even a twitch. Dean put his ear against Sam's chest, a hand under his nose. He wasn't breathing.

"Oh god." He let Sam's head fall to the side as his calloused fingers roamed his neck, searching for a pulse, a familiar thump of his heart, to show that Sam was alive. There was nothing.

"No," Dean gasped. "No, no, no, no, no, Sammy, no, don't do this." He repositioned his fingers, searching again. Nothing. Dean's breath hitched, grabbing Sam's jacket by the collar and giving his brother a shake.

"Sammy, please, no."

Sam's body flopped with the movement, his head bobbing slightly, like a rag doll.

Instinct taking over, Dean tilted Sam's head back, pinching his nose shut, and placed his mouth over Sam's slack one, breathing two large breaths. Watching Sam's chest inflate slightly, Dean placed bother hands on his brother's chest, pumping thirty quick compressions.

Tears mixing with raindrops as they slipped down Dean's face, he once again breathed for his brother, glancing at Sam's still face as he pressed the compressions. "Please Sammy," he gasped in a whisper. "Please don't to do this."

With every breath that Sam didn't wake, more fear set into Dean's chest. His brother was dead. Sam was dead.

Dean could feel his own heart pounding in his chest as he leaned down once more to breathe for his brother. Exhaustion was starting to set in, but he couldn't stop. It had become a mechanical process – two breaths, thirty compressions, please Sammy wake up, two breaths, thirty compressions, Sammy please don't die, please, I can't do this without you, two breaths, thirty compressions, damn it, Sam, breathe! And then, he did.

Sam's mouth opened, taking in a huge gulp of air with a gasp, then a choke, and Dean leaned back, turning Sam onto his side as swamp water and vomit expelled from his mouth.

"Oh god, Sammy…," Dean breathed, hands trembling as he tipped Sam onto his back once more. The sound of his brother's wet breaths was one of the most beautiful things he'd ever heard.

"Okay, Sammy, open your eyes," Dean said, patting Sam's cheek to rouse him, but his brother's eyes remained closed. Dean frowned, his own eyes threatening to close. He was so tired. "Time to wake up Sam, c'mon, please, little brother, open your eyes, okay?"

Sam's eyelashes fluttered, his head turning to the side slightly. "That's it, Sammy," Dean coaxed. "Please, open your eyes." And he did.

Heavy-lidded eyes peered up at Dean, mere slits, clouded with confusion and exhaustion, and Dean's stomach sank when the possibility of brain damage fluttered through his mind.

"Sammy?"

Sam's mouth gaped wordlessly, like he was trying to say something, but no sound came out.

"…De…ean…?"

Dean's face broke out into a huge grin as all the adrenaline rushed out of his body. Sam was alive. Everything was okay. He brushed Sam's wet hair off his forehead affectionately. "You're okay, Sammy, don't worry, everything's okay."

Sam blinked at Dean, his eyes closing once more.

"It's okay, Sammy," Dean repeated in a whisper, repositioning himself so he was behind Sam, and pulled his brother's body up against his."You're safe."

And the rain came down.