There's this one image that has been in my head since Thursday, and I figured I should probably write about it. This is the result.

Title: Shattered

Summary: Dean was broken, and he made a deal. One year later, he's taken, and Sam's left to carry on.

Rating: K

Warning: Spoilers for AHBL2

Disclaimer: SN isn't mine. Never will be.


The TV blared, announcing a brand new season of some totally awesome yet chronically overlooked show about a pair of ghostbusters as Sam and Dean Winchester watched with mild interest. They both knew what day it was, both knew what was bound to happen.

Dean was ready. He'd given his little brother strict instruction in the care of the Impala, had handed off his favorite necklace to the kid, and had said his good-byes. He'd accepted it, he'd asked for it, he was ready for it. Sam wasn't.

Sam hadn't said a word all morning, just kept gazing blankly around the room, his eyes unfocused and watering with the tears that were bound to come. He'd known it was coming, but that didn't make it easier. He'd known for a long time that his brother was broken, broken because of him, but hadn't realized how badly broken he truly was until that night in the cemetery the year before.

It had been exactly one year since that night, and Sam wasn't ready. Dean was, though. He turned his head sharply towards the door, his eyes narrowing, heart thumping. Slowly, he got to his feet.

Sam reached out a hand, opened his mouth to speak, and then stopped. It was his own fault. He'd broken his brother, caused him to do things that weren't right, and then hadn't been able to save him. He'd tried. It just hadn't happened.

Dean didn't seem to notice his brother's movement. He walked toward the door, feet heavy, throat dry, eyes determined, face set. He was scared, but he wasn't going to show it, couldn't let Sammy see. He'd made his bed, dug his own grave, and now he had to lay in it.

He crossed the room, always aware of Sam behind him, aware of the small, sad sounds that escaped his brother's throat. His hand rested on the doorknob and the noises coming from the other side stopped. He sighed.

His hand reached up, turned back the deadbolt, unlocked the chain. He unlocked the door and turned back to his brother, who sat on the bed, staring at him, his eyes no longer blank, but shining with tears.

"I'm sorry," Dean muttered, pulling open the door.

Sam watched in horror as his brother was ripped from the room with a scream. The door slammed shut as soon as his body was gone, and Sammy was left alone.

He stared at the spot where his brother had once stood, the image of the older man being pulled from the room replaying over and over in his mind as the tears that had spent the day welling in his eyes finally slipped from his control and ran down his cheeks.

It was over. The deal was done. His life for his brother's soul.

It didn't seem fair, had never been fair. Nothing was fair, nothing was ever fair, and his brother had deserved better. His big brother, who had willingly sacrificed himself because he didn't know what else he was supposed to do. Sam wasn't quite sure what he was supposed to do, either. Not anymore.

Life seemed so hopeless and stupid without Dean. He had nothing left anymore. A demonic army had been unleashed upon the world, and he didn't care. He didn't know what he was supposed to do. He didn't understand why everyone he loved had to leave him, didn't understand why he had to end up cold and alone, without anyone to care, without a shoulder to cry on.

Dean had been broken, couldn't be alone, didn't know how. So he'd made a deal.

Dean had been broken. And now Sam was shattered.

So, comments?