Real Connections Can Never Be Broken.

Author: Shimmerinstars77

Disclaimer: I don't own anything "Supernatural."

A/N: This is my fan fiction entry for SFTCOL(AR)S.

A special thank you to Faye and Geminigrl for creating SFTCOL(AR)S and to my friend JJ Phoenix for pointing me in that direction. Their site for me, was the proverbial port in the storm.

A huge thank you to Eric kripke for speaking out, and validating what most of us Supernatural fans already knew.

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Other things may change us,

but we all start and end with family

Anthony Brandt



Summary:

Sam and Dean Winchester are back on the road again, leaving behind them the muck filled swamp's of Louisiana and a vegetable-like being called "Swamp thing."

With information obtained online, the brothers had left to persue this as a hunt. But ended up working side by side with this gentle man-creature, whose only intentions are for doing good. In this instance saving the lives of a nearby family.

Accomplishing this mission as a newly formed team, the brother's witnessed once again, that everything is not black or white in the world of hunting.

In this battle against evil, the good guys, can come in all shapes and sizes...life forms too. They had found an ally and friend in "Swamp thing" otherwise known as Alex.

Presently entering the state of Georgia, on their trek for the New England coast, the brother's decide to stop for the night.

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In the lobby of "The Sea Breeze Motel" the conversation is getting a little intense between a very tired and road weary Dean, and one petite and pompous motel clerk named Debbie.

Her insult comes not by way of her words, but mainly from the condescending tone that carries them.

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"What?" Dean asked out of disbelief.

"This card, has also been declined." Debbie said gently placing it on the lobby desk.

"Declined?"

"I've already stated that."

"You 're kidding me right?"

"I don't kid Mr. Winchester!"

With a look of annoyance, Debbie excused herself to help another customer.

"I can't believe this," Dean mumbled, combing his finger's through his hair.

"What is it?" Sam asked, stepping up to the lobby desk, duffle bag's slung over his shoulder. "Are all of our credit cards maxed out?"

"Apparently, " Debbie chimed in ,as she whisked about behind the desk.

Dean glared at her,wishing for a moment he had the power of telekinesis He'd give that little witch a ride without her broomstick.

"How much cash do you have Sammy?" he asked, quickly diverting his attention back to the problem at hand.

Setting down their bags, Sam emptied his pockets and between the two of them, there was enough money to stay the night.

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Inside the motel room Dean is busy blaming himself for the money situation.

"Man, I messed up big time, I should've been filling out credit card applications weeks ago."

"You didn't mess up anything Dean!" Sam lectured gently.

"With losing Dad and everything that's been going on,what WE did or didn't do is understandable. Besides, there's nothing WE can do about this tonight, so why don't you get some sleep,you look exhausted?"

"No argument here Sammy, I'm beat. But maybe WE both should try to get some sleep?"

Dean flashed Sam a big grin , acknowledging his brother's less than subtle way of making a point.

Maybe it was from lack of sleep,but Dean found his brother's parental style of lecturing very amusing.

"What? Sam asked looking puzzled. Did I say something funny?"

With his head down, Dean's shoulders' shook from silent laughter.

"Want to let me in on the joke Dean?"

"Nope."

"I was trying to make a point!"

"I know you were Sammy" Dean said giving his brother a look of gratitude. We're a team you and me, I get it."

"Okay," Sam nodded, satisfied his big brother understood , he's no longer the little boy who needed to be taken care of,or protected

Dean sat on the bed closest to the door. He staked out this position whenever possible,to protect his brother. If anything big and bad was thinking about coming through that door tonight, it would have to get past him first.

Tossing his shoes into a corner of the room Dean laid back on the bed with a sigh.

"I'm hitting the shower." Sam stated, rummaging through his bag for clean clothes.

"Good idea stinky, I was getting ready to fabreeze you, along with this furniture."

"Real funny Dean! I do know, you had something to do with me falling into that swamp."

"Me!" Dean feigned a pained look. "I'm hurt Sammy!"

"It felt good didn't it Dean? Not having to kill anything...saving that family ...finding Alex."

Smiling Dean nodded in agreement, "And I thought the idea of vampires was funny. Now we have a comic book character who is real!"

" Hey, you know what I was thinking Sammy?"

" No Dean, Sam played along. What were you thinking?"

"That it's too bad, I still don't have my "Swamp thing" comic books. Bet I could've made a fortune, if Alex autographed all of them."

"I bet you could have," Sam smiled. Although he rarely conveyed it outwardly, in a positive manner, Sam often marveled at the childlike viewpoint Dean possessed. Especially with his big brother having few years of such innocence.

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The warm water cascaded over Sam's body, carrying away with it the soap and grime. He lingered under the showerhead longer than usual,to shake the chilly dampness that had set in after his early morning plunge into the swamp.

Pulling on a pair of gray sweats and a white tee shirt. Sam couldn't remember another time, it felt so good to be clean.

It had been a long and exhausting weekend and finding Dean sound asleep in the same exact position he'd left him in, only re-affirmed that.

Grabbing the end of his brother's rose print bedspread Sam pulled it over Dean, wrapping him in his own floral cocoon.

"Good night tough guy." he whispered, switching off the light.

Sam wasn't counting on getting much sleep tonight. There was a way he could help with the money situation,but it required him doing something very difficult. It also meant revealing to Dean something he'd kept quiet about for months.

Lying in bed, for what seemed like hours, Sam couldn't stop thinking about what he needed to do the next morning. Searching for a distraction he tried focusing on the sounds around him..

The sound of faint chatter could be heard coming from the next room, and outside there was the lone voice of that one cricket ,who hangs on long after summer is gone. But it would be listening to the calming sound of Dean's gentle breathing ,that relaxed him enough, to fall sleep.

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The following morning Sam awoke to find Dean at the computer filling out credit card applications.

Empty coffee cups and wrappers strewn about told him, his big brother had been at it for hours.

"Dean?" Sam spoke softly trying to get his brother's attention.

"You know Sammy, crashing at Ellen's is a option. She's been there for us more than once. But I'll never buy that crap Dad had something to with her husband's death."

"And it's total crap you know Sammy!"

"I know Dean."

"Dean" Sam began again...

"We're not going to see any of these credit cards for a while, so I'm going to check out the local bars and ..."

"I can help!"

"You hustle pool Sammy, I don't think so."

"Dean please! I'm trying to tell you something."

The pleading tone in his younger brother's voice got Dean's attention.

"What is it Sammy?"

"I know how to get us some money!"

"How?"

"The demon missed something Dean."

"Missed something? What are you talking about?"

Sam struggled to find the words, this was harder than he imagined

"When the yellow eyed demon possessed Dad, it didn't know everything."

"About what?"

"About me, Dean."

Reaching inside his jacket Sam unzipped a small pocket and pulled out a ring.

"Dean, I didn't just shop around for a ring. I bought Jessica one!"

Wide eyed, Dean stared at the ring in his brother's hand.

"You've been carrying this with you all this time?"

"I'm sorry I didn't tell you."

"That's not what I meant Sammy."

"Dean, I want to explain... I couldn't..."

Raising his hand, Dean signaled for his brother to stop.

"You don't have to explain anything Sammy or apologize. You did what you needed to do and that's good enough for me."

Those soothing words were exactly what Sam needed to hear.

"Thank's Dean."

Taking a moment to gather his courage Sam reached out, and offered the ring to his brother.

"Dean, take it and sell it."

"What? No way!"

"I want to help."

"No! We'll get by some how Sammy, we always' do."

"Please Dean! I want to do this! I need to do this!"

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Standing outside the pawn shop Dean realized he'd lost the argument once he looked into his brother's eyes.

Dean swore,and he often has after succumbing to those soulful brown eyes,that they must possess a power all their own. What other reason could explain backtracking 400 miles to St. Louis with just a glance from them?

Maybe Sam was right in saying it's time to part with this token of love he'd bought for Jess. Maybe it would help him move forward with his life.

Unclenching his fist Dean stared at the ring.

Something seemed oddly familiar about this position.

Dean placed the memory with a "Lord of the Ring's "poster he'd seen in a small collectible shop, while interviewing a witness. Pictured on it, is the hobbit named Frodo holding a ring in the palm of his hand. And the quote couldn't be any more fitting

"Power can be held in the smallest of things."

Studying the ring,Dean found it mystifying how a small piece of jewelry could play such an important part in a persons life. Right now relinquishing this ring was causing his brother a great deal of pain.

Catching a ray of sunlight the ring sparkled brilliantly. The shimmers of color, symbolically representing all the hopes and dreams Sam once had for a lifetime with Jessica.

Dean wanted nothing more than to get back in the car, head for the motel and hand the ring back over to Sam.

But he had made a promise.

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Sam was sitting on the bed, packed and ready to go when Dean returned. He couldn't be sure with the poor lighting in the room but it looked as if his brother had been crying.

"Everything go okay?" Sam asked softly, his head down.

"Not sure how fair the deal was Sammy , but I did my best."

"I know you did"

Reaching into his pocket Dean pulled out the money.

"You hold onto that." Sam blurted out,looking visibly shaken.

The ring was gone and the money finalized that. But the memories attached to it lingered and at that moment they were overwhelmingly painful for Sam..

"You all right?" Dean asked, reaching out to touch his brother's shoulder.

" Yeah, I just need to get out of this place."

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Tossing his bag in the trunk,Sam leaned against the car.

"Hey Dean, before we leave I just wanted to say I'm sorry."

"For what?"

"For the way I've been handling this."

"Dude,stop apologizing! What you did took guts and it helped us out of a tough spot!"

Sam gave his brother both a smile and look of appreciation,before continuing on course with what he needed to say.

"I know a ring is just a material possession but that ring was my last connection to Jess."

Dean closed the car trunk and looked intently at Sam. "You're wrong about that!"

Placing a hand on Sam's chest, Dean patted gently where he believed his little brother's heart to be.

"There are some connections,that can never be broken."

As the words sunk in Sam's eyes filled with tears..

Then slowly, a small smile crept upon his face.

"Thank's Dean, Sam said, lifting his eyes to meet his brothers. For always' making me believe everything is going to be okay."

"Your welcome." Dean said returning his brother's smile. But it would be shortlived.

The ominous warning John had left with Dean , concerning Sam's future had been pushed to the back of his mind these past few days. But the frightening reality he could lose his brother, had crept back in, along with doubt.

There was no information on what this demon plans were and it could come down to relying on might and will. What if giving his all ,including his life if necessary ,wasn't enough to save Sammy. This terrifying thought encompassed Deans mind, and sadness erased his smile.

"What is it?" Sam asked, not understanding why his brothers demeanor had so suddenly changed.

"Nothing Sammy, forget it!" Dean scoffed it off ,quickly recovering his game face.

"No Dean tell me, what is it?"

"It's nothing Sammy. You hungry? Dean said quickly changing the subject.. Let's get out of here and find something to eat, I'm starving!"

Dean was the master of diversion, but Sam knew what to do. He'd give him some space and then if his big brother didn't start talking, he'd start asking questions, in the unrelenting way only a little brother can.

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Back on course for the New England coast, the brother's decide to hold off eating until they get in a few more miles of driving.

The music was loud ,but the brother's rode in silence ,each locked up in their own little world.

Sam alternated in a continuous loop between staring out the window thinking about Jess, and then scouring the internet for anything suspiciously Supernatural to halt those memories, when they got too painful.

Dean, with his eyes fixated on the road ahead ,was deep in thought. His brother wouldn't hear of taking a trip to the Grand Canyon or Amsterdam.

If Sam were still a child, it wouldn't be necessary to ask. Dean would simply scoop his little brother up in his arms and put as much distance as possible between them and the yellowed eyed demon . He'd stay on the run for a life time if that's what it took to keep his brother safe.

But Sam wasn't a child anymore and there was no place to hide . The plans this demon had for the chosen children were unknown, so there was no way to be prepared.And this scared the hell out of Dean.

"Sammy you know I'd trade places with you in a minute if I could?"

"I know you would Dean."

"The visions, being chosen,everything! I'd take it on a minute so you could have..."

" I'd never let you do it."

"You'd never let me?" Dean asked floored by the calm tone and confidence with which his brother spoke.

"Nope, and there wouldn't be a thing you could do about it.

"Oh yeah,is that so tough guy!"

"I'm stronger than you think Dean."

"I've never doubted your strength Sammy. It's just that I don't want..."

"I don't want anything to happen to you either Dean." Sam finished his brother's words, while echoing his own. Please don't worry about me so much."

"Not possible!"

"Just a little less."

"How did you get to be such a pain in the ass? Okay,I'll try but I'm not promising anything."

"Okay" Sam grinned. How about IHOP Dean I'm getting hungry and there's one coming up off the next exit."

"Sounds good to me."

"I learned from the best."

"What are you talking about Sammy?"

"You asked me how I got to be such a pain in the ass."

"Cute!"

"So tell me Dean, what sounds good to eat?"

Remembering their last visit to IHOP,Dean knew exactly where his brother was headed with this. Exiting off the highway he made his way onto the side roads,while Sam continued his teasing.

"Are you going to order your favorite ? Let me know huh, and I''ll make sure not to be in the bathroom or drinking anything when you do."

Dean gave him a playful glare

"I just love the way you say "Rooty Tooty Fresh N Fruity!" Do you practice in front of a mirror Dean? I bet the girls just love watching those lips...

"Shut up Sam!"

"Oh come on, say it five times fast,,,,for me...pretty please."

Dean glanced over and smiled at his brother who continued to laugh at his own jokes while watching out the window for the restaurant.

Sam's strength was evident. It was how he endured everything this past year and remained the caring and gentle soul he'd always' been,

"Thank's Sammy!" Dean spoke gently, his eyes radiating the affection he felt for his little brother.

"For what?"

"For always' making me believe everything is going to be okay."

The smile on Sammy's face was well worth the discomfort of a chick flick moment.

The End.