Then, The Gunshot

Dean couldn't remember the last time he'd jumped at the sound of a gunshot. His heart stopped, the painfully restarted… again. He knew that Sam had to do it, but it didn't make anything easier.

Note: contains the ending of the episode "Heart," so beware.

The gunshot rang through the quiet apartment and resonated inside Dean Winchester's mind. Dean couldn't remember the last time he'd jumped at the sound of a gunshot, it must have been so long ago, but he jumped now. His heart stopped, then painfully restarted… again.

"Please. I'm asking you to save me."

Dean had been good; he'd been quiet and polite and sincere. He had let Sam handle the situation. He had succumbed to his brother's pleading eyes the whole job and kept his hope alive reluctantly, but he couldn't keep doing it any longer. The look in his brother's eyes, the pain and indecision tore through his soul. Sam had too big of a heart to be able to end someone's life, especially someone cared about without destroying what innocence he had left. It was a part of him that Dean wanted to keep safe and sound; that big, goofy heart of his.

Silently, he stood from his seat and came up behind Madison. Carefully, watching Sam, Dean reached around the woman's small frame and took his gun from her hands. The two of them, breaking from the inside, stared at each other until Sam couldn't take it any longer and retreated to the kitchen. Dean hated to see him look that way, so torn and broken; it was a face Dean wore, never Sam. He followed his little brother.

"Sam?" He found his brother leaning against the doorframe, his back to him, swallowing back tears. The heartache radiated off of his shoulders and hit Dean in the face, like a blatant punch. Dean would do anything to protect his brother from the gruesome fate he was facing.

Slowly, Sam turned to face him, tears leaving glistening steaks down his boyish face. Dean had never been good at these moments, he had never been able to say the right thing at the right moment. He had to say something though; he couldn't just stare his brother in the eyes and not say something to try and comfort him.

"I'm sorry," Dean gestured with his gun weakly, unable to think of anything else to say.

"No, you're right." Sam's eyes were glued to the silver and pearl hand gun. "She's right."

Dean didn't know what to do. The only thing he knew to help his brother was to do it himself, spare his little brother the pain of killing the woman he cared about. "Sammy, I've got this one. I'll do it."

"She asked me to."

"You don't have to," Dean replied quickly. Sam didn't have to shoot her, Dean could do the job and come out the other side much better. Somehow, though, he didn't think Sam would relent and in a way, Dean knew that his brother had to do it. He would never forgive himself if he passed it over into Dean's hands.

"Yes, I do." More tears fell out of his eyes, killing Dean a little more each time. After a few moments of struggling to regain a hint of composure, he held out his hand for the gun. "Please."

Dean didn't want to hand the gun over. He wanted to hang onto that thing with every fiber of his being. Irrationally, he wanted to throw it out the kitchen window so that Sam would have to go down and get the gun while Dean did the deed for him. Staring into those eyes told him that he couldn't do that to Sam. He had to give the gun over to the young man in front of him. He had to let him do it.

Dean clenched his jaw and passed the gun over to Sam, who glanced at it before he looked back at Dean. "Just wait here."

Dean was frozen in his boots, watching Sam walk away. He could hardly breath as Sam stopped for a moment to look back at him. His expression was so pleading, as if he were asking Dean for some other way than killing her. Dean could do nothing but stare back, not even really seeing that Sam had walked toward his fate.

In his mind, he could already see himself holding his gun, pleading with those same eyes not to do what their father had asked him, not to kill Sammy, pleading for some other way. Voices echoed in his mind, replaying John's words over and over again. They overlapped the all too recent memory when Sam, possessed by Meg, had handed him the gun and asked Dean to shoot him, just like Madison had asked Sam. The parallel was not lost on him. There had been other options at the time, but what if the time came when there were no other options left? Would Dean really have to kill the only family he had left? Would he even been able to do it?

Dean was shaking. He was afraid of that day and he was praying, oh, he was praying that the day would never come when he would have to do what Sam was doing. A tear rolled down his cheek and he fought back the terrified and painful sobs that threatened to overtake him. Dean could never do it, never.

Then the gunshot.

Note from the author: Ok, so this scene, so beautifully acted, tore me up inside. I had to write something for it, as pathetic at this is, but I had to write. It screamed for me to write.

Disclaimer: Please note that I do not own nor pretend to own anything to do with Supernatural and the CW. I'm just a fan and this is just for my own amusement.