One Year

Disclaimer: Standard stuff;I don't own the Winchesters or anything officially related to Supernatural.

A/N: Wow! This season was a great ride and what a way to end it. The Yellow-Eyed Demon is dead, but the boys have a couple hundred other demons to hunt down. Next year is gonna be busy because on top of that and the Fed that's still after them, Dean has an expiration date. Sam, even if he didn't come back 100 Sam, isn't going to let his brother make good on that deal he made.

Thank you to Eric Kripke for creating such an amazing show. Thanks also to the cast and crew for their dedication and all their hard work. Season three is going to be great.

This little one-shot is Sam's reflection on the road so far and what's facing them next. Comments, as always, are appreciated.


We came into the world like brother and brother; and now let's go hand in hand, not one before another - William Shakespeare


One year.

Three hundred sixty-five days.

Eight thousand seven hundred sixty hours.

The minutes and seconds are flying by too fast to count.

I don't think Dean brought me back because he didn't want to be alone. At least that wasn't the only reason. Despite all the good he has done in his life, my brother doesn't have a very good opinion of himself. He thinks he's expendable and that almost everyone else, me in particular, deserves to live more than he does. He also figures he's not supposed to be here anyway so why not make the ultimate sacrifice for his little brother? It's his job, right?

When I woke up in that place, I knew something had happened. I felt wrong somehow and it was weird that Dean wasn't there. I remembered the fight with Jake and how I left him for dead, but didn't kill him. I remembered hearing Dean's voice and seeing him and Bobby coming toward me. Then Dean yelled; he told me to look out. I didn't have enough time to react before Jake plunged something into my back. I have never experienced pain like that before. I don't really remember anything else, at least not consciously, but I sense things that are probably pretty close to true.

I think I must have died in Dean's arms. I can feel him holding me as I sank to the ground. I feel something wet fall on my face; maybe he was crying. I can imagine how I would feel if it was Dean. Hell, I don't have to imagine it; I've been there. When he was electrocuted and the doctor told me he only had a few weeks to live and after the truck smashed into the Impala….

When I heard Jake say that he'd killed me, I knew he was telling the truth even though I tried to deny it. I also knew what Dean did; he didn't even have to tell me. I was surprised when he admitted it to me, though. He tried to lie, but in the end he couldn't do it. I was pissed! How could he do that? What's dead should stay dead, right? But he begged me not to be mad and I saw the look on his face. All he'd ever wanted to do was protect me and a part of him probably died with me. I couldn't stay mad. He looked so scared and so lost. So, the rule that what's dead should stay dead doesn't apply to Dean Winchester's little brother.

My brother is smart, funny, and loyal. He acts like he's taking the easy way out sometimes; he acts like a slacker, but he's anything but. He works out, he practices with the weapons, and he studies in his own way. He messes with electronics; he even made his own EMF monitor and it works great. Of course, I made fun of him for it, but honestly I was proud of him. He irritates the hell out of me sometimes, but I'm always proud of him and I always love him.

He doesn't just take care of me; he takes care of everyone around him. When we come across people that need our help, he's really good with them. He's gentle and protective….And when we're on a hunt, he's focused on just that. He doesn't watch television or movies; he doesn't drink or hang out in bars. He saves all of that for when the job is done.

I remember when we were little…. Well, Dean never seemed little to me. He was always my big brother; bigger than life. But when we were kids and I was sad or afraid of something, Dean always made it better. He always knew the right thing to say; the right thing to do. Sometimes he doesn't have to do anything. There are times even now that I wake up at night and I think about all the crazy things we do and I get scared. I just have to look over at Dean, at my big brother, and I feel better just because he's there.

I don't know why he puts so much more importance on my life and my happiness than he does his own. He never wants anything for himself. Even in that fantasy world created by the djiinn, I had a full life. I was in school, with Jessica and we were going to get married. Dean had Carmen; he told me about her and she sounds like just the kind of woman I'd want him to end up with. But that Dean wasn't such a good guy; he told me he'd gone out with my prom date, bailed on my high school graduation and stolen my ATM card. The real Dean, my Dean, would never have done those things. The real Dean would never have done anything to hurt me, but for some reason he doesn't see that. He doesn't see that he's good and kind and important to people. He sees himself as someone who lets people down and that's just not true.

He thinks he's expendable, but he isn't. Not to me. I couldn't live this life without him. I couldn't live any life without him and that's why I have to figure out how to save him. That, and because he deserves to live. He deserves to have a life and now that the demon is dead, that's a possibility. Sure, we have other things to hunt and we have law enforcement on our tails, but what's that considering what we've already been through?

Dean has saved me over and over again. I owe him my life and I'm going to save his soul no matter what it takes. But I only have a year, less than a year, to figure out how to do it. You can't renege on a deal with a demon. When the time your time is up, it's up and the Hell Hounds come for you. I have to find a way to stop that from happening because that rule doesn't apply to Sam Winchester's big brother.