Always my Shadow

Chapter 17

Sam stopped, standing still at the edge of the bridge, eyes glaring at his older brothers back. Dean continued to walk, eyes watching the EMF recorder, oblivious to the fact that his brother was not behind him. Dean had gotten to the middle of the bridge when the EMF began to light up, he turned around hastily to show Sam. It was then that he realized that Sam was not behind him. Sam stood at the far end of the bridge, right where Dean had shoved him moments before. Sam's stunned body not moving, eyes gaping widely at his brother in an exasperated glare.

"Sam….GET OVER HERE!" Dean stammered out quickly, head turning to scan the area around the bridge, around his brother. There was no one there; the bridge was empty except for Sam. Seeing the seriousness in his Dean's face spurred Sammy back to action, he made haste with his lanky legs, reaching his brother in moments, looking down at the EMF.

"Careful, Sammy, be on the lookout. Something is here; we just don't see it yet." Dean turned slowly on the soles of his shoes, stuffing the EMF back in his pocket, he brought a protective arm up in front of his brother, who moved silently with Dean, body turning in perfect time with him. Dean pulled the flash with holy water out of his jacket, Sam slowly pulled the salt gun from his back; both moving slowly in a synchronized motion.

The chill came up behind them, a cold feeling creeping across the back of Sam's neck causing tingles to run down his spine. Dean glanced at his brother.

"You feel that?" The back of Dean's hand touched Sam's jacket on the sleeve.

"Uh Huh". Sam whispered.

Suddenly, a fine white mist appeared behind Sam, catching Dean's attention immediately, he turned, grabbed Sam by the sleeve, and pulled him away from the mist as it weaved and rose up. Dean hastily stepped in front of Sam, placing himself between the aberration and his brother.

"Dean", Sam's voice came out in an angry whisper as he stomped his foot. God, the thought, hadn't his brother outgrown the 'throw a fit' stage long ago. Dean rolled his eyes at Sam, stepping backwards, his body bumped up against Sam's.

The ghost looked to be that of a young man in his twenties, uniform torn, blood pooling on his chest. He stood there weaving in the air, eyes staring blankly straight at Sam.

"Hey, what can I do for you" Dean huffed out in a questioning tone, snapping his fingers, drawing the ghouls attention from his brother; he nodded his head at the ghostly figure.

"I want you to come with me", the ghost spoke as he raised a transparent hand up and motioned to Sam".

"What the hell Sam, can't we go anywhere without out you having supernatural freaks coming after you". He nudged his brother with the back of his elbow. Sam snickered, shuffling in closer behind Dean, their breath coming out in unison as they stared down the poltergeist in front of them.

"You can't have him". Dean twisted the top of the holy water bottle open, eyes watching the wavering ghost.

"I'm all alone here; I need him to join me". A hollow voice bellowed out as the mist rose and swirled around the brothers.

"Don't think so", Dean eyes squinted as he cocked his head at an angle and gave the ghost a stone cold glare.

"But, I'm all alone. They left me here". The ghost stammered out, head slumping down, looking at the bridge and off to the water below. "They all marched off that way, and left me here on the bridge, to die, all alone".

"I'm sorry", Sam mumbled, Dean shifted, turning wide eyes to his brother.

"Well, that's just too bad, you can't have my brother", Dean stated firmly. The mist grew angry and began to swirl madly around them, cold air stunning them both as the mist closed in around them. Dean slung the holy water at the figure yelling at his brother as he did so.

"Shoot it Sammy", Dean yelled.

Sam pointed the salt gun at the ghost, pulling the trigger as he murmured 'sorry' under his breath. The ghost screamed into the air as Dean shoved his brother with both hands to exit off the bridge.

"Run Sammy" he blurted out, one hand grabbing the salt gun from his brother, the other hand flat on Sam's back, pushing him.

When the reached the edge, they stepped quickly off the bridge, heads turning to see where the ghost was at, the mist stopped at the bridge rail, empty eyes gazing at the brothers.

Chests heaving, Sam and Dean looked at each other, and back at the poltergeist, swaying as it watched them from the edge of the old wooden bridge.

"Interesting, guess it can't come out here" Dean mused, grin curling up on his lips.

"Guess not" Sam huffed out as he pulled his body away from his brother's hand still resting on his back.

"I swear Sammy, I can't take you anywhere", Dean gave out a little chuckle as he nudged his brother again with his hand.

"Stop it Dean" Sam bellowed out angrily, turning to look Dean in the eye. "What is your deal anyway, you act like I can't do anything".

Sam felt like he was being treated like a small child and it was starting to really piss him off. He glanced at the sad ghost, still standing on the edge of the bridge, weaving in a misty glow; and then back to his brother. He was lucky to have someone care so much about him, this poor ghost had obviously had no one, but still, he was 23 years old, Dean needed to give it a rest.

Dean shrugged up his shoulders at him. "Let's get Dad's journal out of the car, we need to read a banishing spell and get rid of this lonely soldier".

They walked silently to the car, Dean grabbing the journal from the trunk, shuffling through the pages until the right banishing spell appeared on one of the rumpled pages.

"Here Sam, here, use this one". Dean handed the journal to his brother as he retrieved the candles, amulet and banishing oil slamming the trunk closed. They both looked back at the bridge, where the misty ghost now seemed to be pacing back and forth as if waiting for someone to come. Dean shook his head, it really was kind of sad, poor guy, dying along on the bridge so many years ago. He motioned for his Sam with a nod and began walking back to the bridge.

"Let's get this done". He stepped in front of Sam and began walking back to the bridge. Sam grimaced as he pushed to get past his older brother.

"Dean, we need to talk about this. I know you're my big brother. I get that you care about me, but….you're driving me nuts". Sam grabbed his brother by the wrist, fingers curling around his tightly, stopping Dean in his tracks. "Talk to me man".

Dean shuffled on his feet, darting his eyes up at Sam, and then quickly away, staring over Sam's shoulder at the bridge and the white misty floating around.

"Sam, I just worry about you, that's all. You're all I've got in the world. Without you, I'd…I'd…" Dean's voice hitched. "I don't want anything to happen to you. You hit your head; I was supposed to be watching out for you. The doctor said…..I well, I forgot all about the concussion at Caney Plantation…" His voice quivered. "What kind of big brother is that?" Dean stammered out, his words in one breath, wrist pulling out of Sam's grasps. Dean rubbed his fingers slowly across his forehead; eyes staring at the ground.

"I'm fine now, no more concussion. I'll be careful, I promise". Sam said in a gentle tone. "Dean, you can't watch me all the time." Sam's hazel eyes shimmered as the sun reflected lightly on his face.

"I can try…." Dean raised his eyes, looking Sammy in the eyes.

"Look Sammy; I have always been your big brother. I have always taken care of you. Hell, you are more like my own son than my brother. I will not stand by and watch anything happen to you…"A sigh escaped Dean's lips.

Sam felt the tears well up in his eyes, he couldn't believe his brother, his Dean, was instigating a 'chick flick' moment. Dean never expressed his vulnerability, and he was doing it right here in broad daylight.

Dean watched the ghost out of the corner of his eye as he looked at his little brother. If a chick flick moment was what was in order for him to keep his Sammy safe, then that is what Dean would do, right here in front of god and everyone. His desire to protect Sam at all costs far outweighed his desire not to have a 'chick flick' moment.

Sam's wide eyes gazed back at him, feelings welling up as tears, ready to run down his checks. Sam could feel his brother struggling with his own emotions, searching for just the right words to convey his feelings.

"You are all I have left." Dean stated calmly. "I need to take care of you. I have always done it. You followed me around all my life; you have always been my reason for being, my brother, my shadow. There is nothing you or I can do about it, it is who you are, who I am, what we do".

"But Dean, You don't have to…" Sam whispered.

"Sorry, Sammy, but you don't get to tell me to stop being me, you don't get to be mad at me when I do it, and you just have to live with it. That's all, it's that simple. You are my brother, and I will always, always look out for you."

Sam brushed his sleeve up to his eyes and wiped quickly to remove the tears. He nodded his head slowly at his brother. His feelings at that moment threatened to overcome him, right out here in the open. He curled his lips up at his brother as he saw Dean blink his eyes quickly, darting his eyes around looking to see who was watching.

"Lets get this done" Dean grinned up at his brother as he turned and continued to walk toward the bridge, Sam's long legs overtaking him in mere moments and stepping up next to him.

"Whoa there little brother", Dean raised his open hand; palm out, back of his hand on Sam's chest. He held Sammy solidly at his side. "Get behind me". Dean whispered at Sam, "Remember…you are always my shadow".

Sam's face shifted, as he stopped, eyes beaming over at his older brother. The look he gave Dean was far from the look he had given him only moments before; it was a smile, beaming brightly at Dean. Sam hesitated, letting Dean gently push in front of him. Dean's head nodded slightly in agreement; he stepped to the front of his little brother, eyes leering at the ghostly figure on the bridge.

The End