Title: Putting the Pieces Back Together
Author: OXBastetXO
Rating: K+
Archive: Please ask first
Status: Complete
Category: Episode Tag
Summary: Sam may not remember everything, but there something a friend won't let them forget. Tag to Born Under A Bad Sign
Spoilers: Born Under A Bad Sign
Sequel/Season: Season 2
Authors Note: I don't own them, CW does. I'm just borrowing them for while and promise to give them back when I'm done, though I might just keep Dean and the Impala little longer ;-)

Putting the Pieces Back Together

By

OXBastetXO

Sam watched the road stretch out in front of them. The mile markers whipping by at regular intervals. What little he and Dean had talked had eased the tension between them, but it hadn't eased the guilt in his heart.

Sam leaned his head against the window, closing his eyes against the pounding behind his eyes, only to open them again as images flickered through his mind. The looks on Dean and Bobby's face when things had finally came back into focus and Meg…that thing…was out of him. The light fading from Wardell's eyes.

He swallowed hard and sighed.

Heavy base beats suddenly broke the stillness of the car and both Sam and Dean jumped. Dean fished in his pocket pulling out his cell phone. "Hello," he said tightly and then he relaxed a bit. "Yeah, sorry about that. I forgot. Yeah, he's okay. I caught up with him and we got that thing out of him. He's pretty shaken, but okay. Yeah, I'm fine. Jo," he said in exasperation. "I'm fine."

Sam looked at him. "That's Jo?" he asked and Dean nodded. "Let me talk to her," he said, holding out his hand for the phone.

"Yeah. I know. Like I said, I'm fine. Here, hold on a minute. Sam wants to talk to you. Yeah." Dean paused. "Hey, thanks." He passed the phone over to Sam.

"Jo?" he said tentatively into the cell phone.

"Sam, are you okay? Are you hurt?" the questions came pouring out of receiver.

"Yeah, I'm fine," he responded. "Jo, I'm sorry about what happened, what I did—" he started.

"Wasn't you," she stated, cutting him off. "So, not your fault."

"But—" he started again, only to get cut off once more.

"Sam, it's cool. It wasn't you." She stopped. "How's Dean doing?"

Sam glanced over at his brother. "Okay." He sighed. "I…that thing beat the crap out of him though."

There was a stony silence across the connection. "Again?"

Sam frowned. "Again?"

"Is his shoulder okay? I could barely keep him sitting still long enough to let me patch him up before he started after you."

"His shoulder?"

Jo swore on the other end of the line. "Sam, you…that thing shot him."

Guilt twisted Sam's gut into a knot. "Dean, pull over," he hissed at his brother.

Dean glanced over at him. "What's wrong?"

"Just pull the flipping car over," he snapped.

The Impala slowed as Dean eased onto the shoulder.

"How bad?" Sam asked Jo.

"Not bad, tore up some muscle, but missed anything vital. He lots a good bit of blood though. He was in shock when I found him down at the dock. Practically had to carry him back to the bar." She paused. "Sam, before you rip yourself up over this, it's not your fault. If you want something to be angry at be angry at the demon, not yourself or your brother. You're both a pair of knuckleheads when it comes to things, but you'd have to be total jackass to think you'd hurt him on purpose."

Sam sighed. "Jo—"

"And don't you start apologizing to me again. Like I said, not your fault."

Sam shook his head and smiled a little. "Thanks."

"No problem. Now, go kick your brother's ass and check his shoulder. I'm sure he'd rather just bleed to death instead of actually acknowledging he's hurt."

"I will."

Jo hung up and Sam snapped the phone shut slowly.

Dean stared at him. "You okay?" the older Winchester asked carefully.

Sam blew out a breath. "I shot you?" he said slowly.

Dean grimaced. "Well, it wasn't you you, but—"

"I shot you," Sam said, turning to face his brother, getting a good look at him as the headlights of passing car illuminated him.

Dean looked like crap. The livid bruises covering the left side of his face in stark contrast to the greyish pallor of the rest of his face.

Sam groaned. "Why didn't you say something?'

Dean shrugged and then grimaced as the movement jarred his injured shoulder. Sam shook his head, opening the passenger door and getting out. He saw the confused look on Dean's face as he stocked around the car. He jerked the driver's door open. "Move over."

"Dude?' Dean blinked at him.

"You are not driving. Crap, I should have never let you drive in the first place. Move over," he said, motioning for Dean to move to the passenger side.

Reluctantly, Dean complied.

"Did Bobby know?" Sam asked, giving his older brother a caustic look.

Dean nodded sheepishly. "He put things back together before we left. That little tangle the demon and I had before Bobby got her out of you pretty much ripped up the patch job Jo did on me."

"When were you going to tell me?" Sam demanded.

Dean huffed. "When I had to," he said finally.

"Why?" Sam shot back bitterly.

Dean eased his head back against the seat, staring straight ahead. "Because you were already beating the crap out of yourself about what happened. I didn't want to add to it if I didn't have to."

"Dean," Sam started.

"No," Dean said firmly.

"What?"

"I am not discussing this. What happened happened. Not your fault and I am not going to 'talk it out'. It wasn't you, so, not your fault. It happened. End of story. We go from here."

Sam rolled his eyes.

"Hey," Dean said sharply. "You told me once 'you're my brother, I'd die for you', two way street, man."

"That's what scares me," Sam said quietly.

Dean sighed. "Me too, but you are not going darkside. This was not signs and portents. This was just crap that happened. Now, we do what we always do. Put things back together and keep going." Dean closed his eyes and rested his head back.

"Do we?" Sam asked, staring out at the road.

"We do," Dean said confidently. He shifted and groaned, trying to find a more comfortable spot. "You hit a pothole and I'll slap you," he said abruptly fatigue making his words thick.

Sam raised an eyebrow, but Dean head had already started to drift off. He sighed and started up the Impala, easing back onto the road.

The road hummed by under them. Dean was right, that's what they had always done. Put it back together and keep going. It was getting harder and harder, but it was still working, for now.