Role Reversal

Author: Tara aka LovinJackson

Summary: When Dean nearly drowns on a routine salt and burn Sam saves him, putting his own health aside to care for his brother. Dean isnt happy with the role reversal but at the same time appreciates his brother's efforts. Set after Benders

Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural or the Winchesters ... but a girl can dream :P

Authors Notes: The next chapter of "The Wicked Witch of the West" will be up soon i promise :) ... hope you enjoy this one :)

Flashbacks are in italics


Role Reversal

"Dean!" Sam shouted as his brother flew through the air and collided with the trunk of a tree

"Don't worry 'bout me Sam … just get it done!"

Dean's reply was not a surprise but it was kind of hard to follow when your brother was being tossed around like a rag doll by an angry spirit.

The spirit of twenty year old Mark Kade had been haunting the river where he had died every year on the days surrounding his death for the last thirty years. Apparently Mark didn't appreciate the Winchester brothers coming along and changing that.

Sam had caught wind of their latest case when searching on his laptop for their next gig. It was the first hunt they had been on since Sam had been kidnapped by the cast of Deliverance in Hibbing, Minnesota.

Although Sam had been the one to be kidnapped and held in the Benders barn about to be turned from hunter to hunted it was Dean that had suffered the most at the hands of the sick twisted family.

He had warned his brother when he had gone off in search for a key to open up the cages that he and the cop, Kathleen, had been held in to be careful. As time had went on with still no sign of the cocky older hunter Sam had started to get really worried. His concerns had increased ten-fold when he had escaped and raced over to the house to find out what had happened to his brother.

Upon entering the house Sam could hear snickering. He rounded the corner into what he assumed was once a living or dining room but it was hard to tell with the state of the house. His older brother was tied to a chair with a young girl, who couldn't have been older than thirteen, holding a knife to his face.

Sam was frozen to the spot for a few moments, watching the scene before him. The girl was snickering and taunting Dean who for his part was remaining silent, a blank deadly look in his green eyes. Sam had seen that look before. It appeared whenever Dean had been pushed too far and was beyond angry and pissed. Sam got the unsettling feeling that if Dean could have gotten free at that moment he probably would have taken the girl out no matter how young she was.

Sam eventually snapped out of his frozen state and silently but efficiently reached his brother and disarmed the startled young Bender. She was struggling like a wild animal and hissing threats but Sam made quick work of finding the first stable closet he could find and locking her inside. His only concern right now was his still silent and slightly dazed looking older brother.

Dean jumped when he felt Sam start to untie his hands. "Dean?" Sam asked needing to know that Dean was aware of his presence.

Dean was still silent for a moment but Sam felt him tense and then came the tentative "Sammy?"

"Yeah man."

Sam dropped Dean's wrist bindings to the filthy floor and then stepped around so that he was in front of Dean and knelt down so that he could get to the rope securing his brothers ankles to the chair legs. He made quick work of them and then looked up into his brothers blood marred face. What he saw there was a mixture of first disbelief and then relief.

"God, are you okay?" he asked shakily inspecting his little brother for any sign of injury. Hearing that gunshot had sent tendrils of fear lacing through his frantically beating heart. It had sent his mind and body into overdrive with panic. He'd been deathly afraid that he'd failed in his most important job and gotten Sam killed.

Sam frowned in concern as he saw that blood was still trickling down his brothers face. The older hunter looked like shit. "I think I should be asking you that question."

Dean reached out with his right arm and gripped Sam's shoulder with a shaky hand. "Damn, Sammy, I thought …" he trailed off not being able to continue.

"I'm fine Dean." Sam stood and reached down to give his brother a hand up.

"Where are … arggh!! …God!!" Dean cursed mid question when Sam gripped his recently branded shoulder.

"Shit Dean! What did they do to you?" Sam asked as he kept his brother upright when his knees almost buckled at the unexpected burst of pain.

Why hadn't he noticed the hole in his brothers shirt before now? It looked like a burn that obviously went through to Dean's shoulder. Those sick fucks had tortured his brother. Suddenly he didn't feel so guilty leaving Kathleen to kill Pa bender.

"It's nothing Sam." Dean replied once he had recovered some. "Although I have a new empathy for cattle." the corner of his mouth lifted up in a smirk although he noticed by the look on Sam's face that his joke hadn't had the impact he was hoping for.

"It's not nothing!"

Dean brought a hand up and patted Sam's chest. ""I'll be fine. I'm a lot better already now that I know that Pa Freakiness and his boys didn't have you for supper." he joked again.

Sam rolled his eyes at Dean's odd sense of humour. "I thought I told you to be careful?" the younger hunter raised an eyebrow.

"You know me." Dean's trademark smirk was back in full force but Sam could see behind the walls he constructed and the relief when Dean had first recognised Sam was something that wouldn't leave him for a while.

Sam continued digging as Dean kept the spirit busy. Mark had been buried by a tree near the ledge just above the river he had drowned in. The whole area was surrounded by trees and bushes and totally secluded. The nearest house was at least half an hour away on foot, less time if you were driving. Both Winchesters had thought it was strange for the guy to be buried at the base of a tree not far from where he had died but after speaking to a family member they had discovered that the spot had held a special meaning for the young man. Despite this reasoning Dean had still thought it was weird.

Sam tried to dig faster as he heard his brother fire off two shots of rock salt followed by his heavy breathing. The spirit wasn't going down without a fight and he could tell that Dean was starting to get tired. He continued digging as fast as he could because he knew that even though his brother had gotten rid of Mark's spirit, it could come back at any moment.

"Hurry it up Sam! This ghost is really starting to piss me off!" Dean shouted across at Sam as he leant forward bent at the wist, resting his hands on his knees.

The older Winchester stood up again a few moments later and rubbed at his shoulder. The burn on his shoulder wasn't completely healed. The hunter almost laughed. Sam had only allowed them this hunt because it was supposed to be quick and easy. Ha! Yeah right! Since when did anything they do end up quick and easy? He shivered in the cold air. It was really cold and made even worse by the fact that Dean had found himself on the wet muddy ground on more than one occasion. His clothes were wet and muddy and cold.

Before he knew what was happening Dean felt an invisible force wrap around his ankle and yank him off his feet, shotgun flying from his grasp and mud splattering on his face as he was dragged backwards. "Saaam!" he yelled as he tried to grab hold of something, anything to halt his backward motion. As soon as he felt his legs go over the ledge it suddenly clicked what was about to happen. The bastard was going to drown him just like all the other victims.

"Son of a …" he cried as grass and plants slipped through his fingers. Everything was too wet to get a good hold on and before he had anytime to think about it further he felt himself pulled off the edge and free falling towards the river below.

Sam's head snapped in the direction of Dean's shout in time to see his brother dragged to the ledge and then pulled over it.

"Dean!" Sam called as a light rain was added to their troubles. He could just make out the splash as Dean hit the water. Panic rushed through Sam's heart. The spirit was going to drown his brother.

He wanted to badly drop his shovel and run for the river and drag Dean out but he knew that it would accomplish nothing and he was so close to finishing off the salt and burn. He put his head down as much as he didn't want to and continued digging faster than he thought humanly possibly until he hit the top of the thirty year old casket. He wasted no time in smashing his shovel through the lid exposing the bones of Mark Kade.

Sam chucked the shovel up onto the ground and then scrambled up and out of the grave to get to the lighter fluid and matches. He quickly poured a generous amount into the grave because he wanted to make sure that the rain wouldn't be hindering his efforts. Chucking the empty bottle to the ground Sam ripped off a match from the pack and tried to light it, successful on his third try … he lit the whole packet using the already lit match and through the packet into the fire.

As soon as fire erupted from the grave Sam took off in a mad sprint for the ledge and looked over the edge but there was no sign of Dean. Sam was beyond frightened now. What if he had taken too long to finish the job? Was he going to loose his brother to a damn pissed of spirit so soon after getting him out of the hands of a psycho hillbilly family? The thought of actually loosing his brother was staggering. "Dean!" he called out but didn't wait for a response before jumping over the edge.

The water was icy cold in this weather and Sam hadn't expected the shock to his system. For the first few seconds it felt like he was being stabbed by a thousand tiny little knifes. Sam didn't let that slow him down though. Immediately he opened his eyes ignoring the pain brought on by the frigid water and searched for his brother.

Sam couldn't hold his breath any longer and with a inward cry of frustration he swam for the top, immediately diving back under in search of his elusive big brother once more. It was hard to see but Sam swam around wildly underneath the surface. Just when he thought he was running out of air again he finally caught something out of the corner of his eye. A body. Floating underneath. There was no mistaking the person. It was Dean and he wasn't moving.

Sam swam as fast as he could, lungs burning, to reach his brother. He latched onto Dean's black jacket and dragged him up to the surface. Sam emerged from the icy depths spluttering and coughing. His hold on his brother tight as he pulled him close. His leg muscles were burning with exertion but he ignored it, pulling his brother's limp body to him and making his way to the muddy bank as fast as he possible could with Dean's dead weight.

The relief he felt at finally hitting solid ground was nothing compared to the fear in his heart as Dean's unconscious state. Was he too late? Had Dean been under the surface for too long?

He heaved and puffed out exhausted breathes as he dragged Dean's motionless body out of the water and laid him gently on the muddy ground. "Dean!" he called kneeling on the ground next to the older hunter leaning over him hoping to see his brothers green eyes peering back at him. The blue tinge to Dean's lips and his cold clammy skin did nothing to ease Sam's fear and anxiety. "No, no, no." he chanted as he shook Dean's shoulder.

Sam moved his shivering arms up and placed a cold palm on either side of Dean's head. "Dean!" The rain was pelting down now making it hard for Sam to hear anything over the sound of that and the rushing in his ears. Dean was so cold. He leaned forward and put his ear to Dean's mouth, listening with bated breath to hear or feel his brother breath. Nothing.

"Shit Dean! Don't do this to me man!" he cursed. He placed his cold fingers on Dean's neck searching for a pulse. He couldn't feel anything and Sam prayed silently that it was only because his fingers were numb. "Damn it Dean!"

Sam was just about to lift his hand when he felt it. It was slow and unsteady but there was a heartbeat there. Sam was sure of it now. A choked relieved sob escaped him as he leaned forward and touched his head to his brothers forehead.

It was plainly obvious that Dean still wasn't breathing. He tried to remember all of his first aid training. He got Dean into position and cleared his airway before proceeding to breath for his brother. By the fifth breath Sam had given him with no response Sam's panic started climbing to new levels. "Come on. Come on. Come on." he chanted running his hand over his brothers short wet hair.

Shivering now Sam bent down to start the procedure again when Dean's body suddenly jerked causing him to jump back and quickly turn Dean onto his side as the man expelled the water he had swallowed. Sam thumped his brothers back a few times to help him dispel the water that had been in his lungs.

Dean's coughs were painful to hear. He started shivering as his cough started subsiding. Sam pulled his brother into his own shivering arms and held him against his chest for a few moments. Saying nothing. Just holding him tight as shivers wracked his brothers body. "It's okay Dean … I got you, I got you." He wasn't quite sure whether his whispered assurances were more for his brothers benefit or his.

Dean opened his eyes. His throat hurt and he was shivering that much that his teeth were actually chattering. Sam's strong arms around him weren't doing too much for him in regards to getting him warm considering Sam was also soaked through and shivering and it was raining on top of that. "S-s-sam-y." he coughed again.

Dean's voice broke the spell and Sam jumped slightly. His brothers voice was the sweetest thing he had ever heard. "Hey Dean … god … you're freezing!"

Dean raised his eyebrows at Sam's comment. He could clearly feel his brother shivering as well. "Sa---mmy, we need … we n-need to get out of h-h-here." His shivering went up a notch as a cold breeze blew past them. He clenched his jaw tightly shut in an attempt to stop his teeth from chattering.

Sam nodded and shifted his brother so that he was sitting up. "Let's get you up." he reached under his brothers arms and pulled him up. "and out of these wet clothes. I'm not losing you to pneumonia after all this."

"I'll h-help." Dean muttered as he tried to get his legs underneath him to help Sam get him to his feet.

"Come on. The car's not far from here but it might be a bit of a hike." Sam grabbed his brothers hand and pulled his arm over his shoulder and wrapped his other hand around his waist and immediately began to move them forward. He couldn't waste time. Dean's shivering was worse and although he was breathing again his lips still held a blue tinge due to the freezing cold.

"S-s-shotgun."

"What?"

"Our g-gear."

"I'll go back for it soon, you just concentrate on putting one step in front of the other okay."

Sam guided his brother up the slope that lead to the ledge where the spirit had been buried. The Impala sat where they had left her and as soon as Sam saw her he quickened his pace. Upon reaching the car he released Dean, leaving him leaning against the side of the car with his arms wrapped around himself against the cold.

Sam ran around to the trunk and pulled out a couple of motel room towels that they had taken with them from the last motel plus an emergency blanket that was kept in the Impala for just these occasions. He ran back to Dean who was looking worse and opened the back door, dropping his supplies on the backseat. He turned around and grabbed at Dean's jacket, intent on stripping him of the wet clothes.

Dean helped as best he could with his shaking limbs and it didn't even really register that his little brother was undressing him in woods until Sam went for his water logged jeans. "Hey!" he complained trying to step back.

Sam sighed and rolled his eyes. "Dude, they're soaked. The pants have to go." Sam waited until Dean complied and then reached into the back for the towel when he noticed his black hoodie lying on the back seat. The jacket was warm and bigger on Dean so Sam reached over and grabbed it.

Dean grabbed the towel that his bother handed him and with impossibly shaking hands he began to dry off his chest and torso as quickly as he could. Sam shoved the black hoodie into his arms and took the towel. The last time he had borrowed the jacket was back in Nebraska when he'd landed himself in hospital with a damaged heart. It seemed every time he was sick or in trouble the hoodie came out. Stuck in his memories Dean didn't realise he had been standing there shivering just staring at the jacket until Sam gave an annoyed huff and snatched it from his arms and wrapped it around his shaking shoulders.

"S-s-sorry." Dean murmured, sliding his arms into the sleeves while Sam zipped the zipper up to his chin.

"It's okay Dean, just focus okay. We'll have you warmed up in no time." Sam said calmly.

He handed Dean some clean boxers and sweat pants and then wrapped the emergency blanket around his shoulders as Dean made quick work from changing out of the wet shorts and into dry clothes. Dean didn't have time to think about anything else before Sam was dragging him to the back door and pushing him down into the seat. Despite the fact that he was in warmer clothes and wrapped in a blanket he was still shivering.

Sam put his hand on Dean's chin and turned his head so that he was looking at him. "I'm just gonna go get our gear and then we'll get you back to the motel okay." He stood back and closed the door on Dean's reply and raced through the rain that just seemed to be coming down harder now to where he had dumped their duffle. Finding the discarded shotgun easily Sam sprinted back the car. He was now frozen to the bone himself but he would have to wait until they got back to the motel.

As he sat down in the drivers seat and started the car he immediately reached for the heater, relishing in the warmth has he set it to blasting. He looked in the rear-view mirror as he took off in the direction of their motel room. Dean was huddled in the blanket shivering but some colour had returned to his cheeks. It did occur to him that if Dean were more aware of things he'd be thoroughly pissed with Sam sitting down on his leather seats with his wet clothes. But that was something he would have to deal with later.

Arriving back at the motel had been a big relief. It had given him a chance to get Dean squared away in a hot shower and for him to finally shed himself of his own wet clothes. He was freezing down to his bones. He didn't bother waiting to have a hot shower of his own because on a good day Dean always used up all the hot water and with his current condition Sam didn't expect there to be any hot water left. He was now dressed in his own sweat pants and pullover sitting as close as he could to the heater which he had on the highest level. He couldn't seem to get warm. He couldn't help thinking that if he was having trouble getting warmed up that it was going to be worse for Dean, he had after all been the one to almost drown and had been in the water longer.

The bathroom door opened, steam billowing out around Dean as he walked out into the main room holding clothes and his towel. Sam was relieved to see that his colour was back and that he seemed more steadier.

"Dude, how high have you got that heater?" Dean asked he chucked his laundry in the corner of the room next to his bed. He would pick it up later.

"You're not cold?" Sam asked frowning in his brothers direction. "How are you feeling?"

Dean walked over to where Sam was huddled by the heater, trying to hold back a sniffle. Dean sighed as realisation dawned. "Sammy, why don't you go jump in a hot shower?"

Sam looked up at him confused. "A shower?"

"Yeah." Dean rolled his eyes as he grabbed Sam's bicep, pulling him to his feet. "You know that ingenious invention in the bathroom that allows you to wash standing up."

"I know what a shower is jerk." Sam complained as he was lead over to the bathroom door.

"Good then I don't suppose you'll need any help in there bitch!" Dean counted as he walked over and picked up Sam's duffle bag and threw it to his brother who caught it easily.

"Are you sure you're okay Dean?" Sam asked in that small little worried voice he always got. "I mean … dude, you scared the hell out of me back there."

Dean sighed again, bringing his hand up to rest on the back of his neck. "I'm fine. My head feels a little water logged but I'm fine. My shoulder even feels fine so don't worry okay. It's you I'm worried about now."

"Me?"

Dean's reply was cut off by a loud body shaking sneeze from his younger brother driving Dean's point home. "Gesundheit Sneezy."

"I'm not sick." Sam argued even though as he said it he could already feel the tendrils of a cold coming on.

"What ever you say Mr. Sniffles." Dean gave his brother a light shove back into the bathroom. "And next time you're the one still wearing the cold wet clothes you get the first shower!"

Sam's mouth was opening ready to reply but Dean closed the bathroom door before his brother had a chance. He walked away from the closed bathroom door shaking his head, lying his tired body down on his bed and closing his eyes.

Only Sammy could end up with a cold because he had been too worried about saving his brothers ass. Well that wasn't entirely true. He knew that if their roles had of been reversed that he probably would have been just as much pre-occupied over Sam to worry about his health as well. The difference was that Dean was the older brother. He was the one that was supposed to look out for Sam not the other way around. He hated the whole role reversal thing. Not that he didn't appreciate Sam's efforts but he just preferred to be the one in control and calling the shots and sometimes taking the shots and keeping his brother safe.

His little brother had saved his life tonight and probably ended up with a nasty cold for his trouble. With this little fact in mind Dean was even going to be willing to overlook the fact that he now just realised that Sam had driven them back while sitting in his car with drenched clothes on.

The End


Thanks for reading guys and I really hope enjoyed this one ... it came to me while driving with my dad while he was making deliveries and started writing it out on paper lol Reviews are more than welcome :D

Hope you're all having a wonderful weekend :)

Tara x0x