Title: There goes the boy

Rating: pg-13

Spoilers: Heart

Summary: He heard the shot and flinched. It was too late now, and there was no undoing it. Sam left the room a boy, and would return to it a man.

Disclaimer: If the boys belonged to me, I wouldn't have time to write fanfiction.

He didn't want this. He'd never really wanted this for Sam. His Sammy. But this was happening, and there was nothing Dean could do to stop it. "No you're right, she's right," his baby brother said with a broken acceptance. Dean could feel his chest tighten at the sight of Sam's tear stained face, the sound of his thick voice. This wasn't fair, he had to do something. "Sammy, I got this one, I'll do it." Please let me do it, he thought with an ache. Let me do this so you don't have to. Let me save you.

"She asked me to," Sam replied, his voice thick with a hidden regret. He didn't want to do this, and he'd wished to God that Madison had never asked it of him. But really, what was God gonna do about it? Sam sniffled, his belief in a higher power was shattering slowly, and in truth he didn't care so much anymore. What kind of God would let this happen to one of his own? Sam didn't know, and he didn't care to.

Dean's face assumed a pained expression as he tried one last time, "you don't have to." Sammy didn't understand, if he did this, he'd never be the same. The change wouldn't be drastic, and no one but Dean would notice, but there would be change nonetheless. He didn't want Sammy to change, he done enough of that this past year. He watched as his brother denied his statement and saying brokenly, "yes I do." His brother's tears came then, flowing freely and without any sign of stopping. Sam couldn't look at him for a moment. Weakness was abandoned, it was the Winchester way. Sam had never felt less like a Winchester than in that moment, crying openly in front of his brother…over a girl. He held back the sobs that wanted so desperately to come out. He closed his eyes and regained his composure for a few seconds. "Please," he begged as he held out his hand for the weapon.

Dean couldn't help the look that crossed his face in that moment. Regret, fear, sadness and a longing to make this all go away, mixed together. He handed his baby brother the gun reluctantly, holding onto it for as long as he could. Sam nodded to him to let go, to let him do this, and so Dean let his hand drop.

Sam struggled for a moment before saying, pleading, "just wait here." He couldn't bear it if Dean aw him do what he was about to do. A part of him felt wrong at the very thought of what he was doing. Murdering her, saving her, they both battled in Sam's head, fighting for control. Just wait here. He thought as he turned to leave the kitchen. Her kitchen. He made it to the hallway before turning back one last time to look at Dean.

Dean saw a mixture of messages in Sam's pained look. The tears shone brightly, betraying Sam's inner strength. His eyes begged something from Dean. I wish I didn't have to do this. Don't make me do this. Maybe you could do this. Someday you'll have to do this. He tried to look strong for Sam, but his shaking hands made him feel weak. He watched as Sam turned and purposefully strode into the room that she was in. There goes the boy. Dean felt a pang as he imagined what was happening. Would Sam say anything? Would he apologize? Will he be able to pull the trigger and end her? Dean waited, holding his breath. A tear slipped from his haunted eyes and he let it. It had escaped him, it deserved to be seen. His heart hammered and ached in his chest, as he waited.

A shot rang out.

The sound and force of it made him flinch. So that was it then. He felt the tears flow freely and let the sobs come silently. Sammy, his baby brother, was gone now. He had taken her life, had saved her, forever. Dean held onto the counter to keep from sliding down to the ground. The thought that he might have to be in Sam's place one day weighed heavily on him. He knew right now he wouldn't be strong enough, and if he was, he wouldn't survive it.

Sam returned with an unreadable expression on his face. "It's done," he said quietly and then looked at Dean a long moment. Dean looked back at his little brother with a fresh wave of grief. It wasn't for Madison, for even though she had died only moments ago, so had a part of his brother. Sammy had left him still very much a boy, but he had returned to him a man. It wasn't undoable, could not be taken back, and the change was permanent. He looked at Sammy and thought sadly, I can't call him that anymore.