Broken Dreams

"Sam!" Dean called out, the relief lacing his gravely voice evident. It had been days since he had seen his brother and he had not been able to rest since his disappearance; the guilt, the fear, all serving as a reminder of his inattentiveness.

If Dad was alive he would have killed me for that, Dean mused, currently not caring what John would have said, revelling soley in the joy of having his brother returned to him safe and well. He allowed his face to break into a toothy grin that brightened his sombre countenance, scarcely aware of the seasoned hunter trotting alongside him.

"Dean!" Sam's face lit up in response, his own surprised voice breaking slightly in gratitude as he increased his pace, still clutching at his throbbing shoulder, to meet Dean and Bobby. His large brown eyes held a sparkle as relief washed over him, banishing his previous fear and uncertainty. Dean had come to save him, he'd kept his promise.

"Sam!"

Sam's expression was confused as his brother's tone became one of warning; his voice was low, terse, his face set. Suddenly he was running, screaming and Sam half-turned in slow realisation of the approaching danger. Jake...

"Nooo!" Dean's cry washed over him as a searing pain radiated out through his spine setting it alight. He felt the knife twist and gasped. Next he knew he was on the damp, muddy ground, an icy chill coursing through his veins even as his own warm blood ran freely from his wound. He could feel the viscous liquid trickling down his back, felt it gush with every pump of his racing heart.

Dean felt as if the knife had been thrust into his own back such was the horrific pain he felt as he saw his brother, his Sammy, stumble forward and fall to his knees. In a matter of seconds he closed the gap between them and caught Sam as he listed dangerously, dimly aware of Bobby rushing past him, his craggy face twisted in vengeance.

The world seemed to still, to draw in and centre on the shuddering figure of his sibling; all he could focus on was the red stain flowering across his shirt, the strained gasping issuing from his mouth... the glazed look in his eyes. He knew he was talking to Sam, rambling comforting words- empty words- his tone soothing and gentle as he examined his brother's wound, but he could never remember what those words were. He could only remember Sam opening his mouth to speak, could only remember the blood that fell onto his lips as he let out a sigh and leaned into him in a twisted mockery of an embrace.

Sam felt Dean's strong arms round him, rocking him. He tried to talk to him, to say one of the many things echoing round his brain-thank you, goodbye, I love you-anything! but the words refused to form. He cringed in pain as a cold shiver racked through his body, tasting the iron in his mouth, the despair that emanated from his distressed sibling. His vision began to fog and, try as he might, he could not block it out, could not escape the beconing tendrils that whispered to him in soft voices promising release. He didn't want to leave Dean...he almost smiled at the irony that now, when he wanted nothing more than to stay with Dean, locked in their embrace forever, that now he had no control over his departure.

Dean clutched at Sam, cradling his broken body as if his grip was somehow vital to Sam's tenuous hold on life. Suddenly Sam's head drooped and the softest groan escaped him. Dean fisted his hand's in Sam's plaid shirt, forcing his head upwards, and looked into his eyes. A flicker of recognition played across his face before it became blank, the spark in his eyes winking out, taking everything that was Sam Winchester with it. Dean tightened his grip in refusal.

No! Sammy you can't leave me here alone! He thought as despair's icy hands took a crushing hold on him, numbing him as his world died along with his sibling and his broken dreams.