Not mine… sigh….

This is one of those thing that you just write and then post. Not really sure if it even makes much sense. But I was feeling the need for a nice brother moment, so I wrote myself one. Ain't life grand? g

Trick of the Light

Sam woke up from a dead sleep with the immediate thought that something was wrong. He quickly looked around the room, his heart skipping a beat as his eyes found the empty bed beside his.

"Dean?" His voice held an air of uneasiness that he couldn't quite suppress. He glanced toward the bathroom near the front of the room, noting the open door and lack of light coming from the small room. Outside of the small alcove-like closet, there was no other place in the motel room that was out of his immediate line of sight, which meant his brother was not in the room.

That thought alone made him swallow the lump forming in his throat. It wasn't that Dean wasn't allowed to leave the room alone at – Sam glanced at the digital clock radio on the stand between the beds – 4:48 a.m. It was just that ever since their run in with Gordon, Sam had sensed a change in his brother. He wasn't entirely sure if the change was for the better or worse quite yet, and he had vowed to keep close tabs on his brother until the verdict was in.

While Dean had never been one to 'care and share' and he so eloquently put it, he had been doing an awful lot of staring into space lately. Sam was sure that his brother's fate was playing heavily on his mind, even more so now that Sam had managed to get him to lower his defensive walls just a bit. Of course, that meant that Sam was able to see more and more of Dean's pain, which was something that the younger man hadn't really considered when he was pleading with his brother to just let him help.

Now that Dean had given in just a bit, Sam was left breathless with the actual scope of his brother's turmoil. He had never anticipated that Dean could hold so much emotion inside, that a brief sliver of release was enough to overwhelm anyone standing in it's way.

But Sam was determined to help his brother. Hell, Dean had spent his whole life taking care of Sam, taking care of Dad. Who had ever really taken care of Dean?

Sam understood why it was so hard for his brother to let anyone see any kind of crack in his wall, but Sam knew it was more or less a façade. Dean was the strongest man Sam had ever known, but even Superman had his kryptonite.

It just so happened that Dean's kryptonite was Sam.

Throwing back the thin, faded comforter, Sam quickly pulled on a pair of jeans and a hoodie and padded in sock-clad feet to the door. He opened the door, not bothering with a light, letting the full moon and bright, starry sky guide his eyes to the shadowy figure leaning up against the dark bulk of the Impala.

"Dean?"

"Over here, Sam."

Leaving the door ajar, Sam quietly crossed the small walkway to the parking lot. "Jesus, Dean. Do you have any idea what time it is?"

The moonlight was enough to illuminate his brother's outline, and Sam watched as the older man shrugged. "Late… early… don't know."

There was something in his brother's voice that made Sam's breath catch in his throat. "Are you okay?"

Dean gave a sad bark of laughter. "No," he admitted, his voice muffled by a hand as it ran down the length of his face. "Not really."

A cold breeze filtered through the lot, ruffling Sam's hair and eliciting a slight shiver from both men. "How long have you been out here? It's freezing out here, man." Sam took in the thin t-shirt his brother was wearing as the older man wrapped his arms around himself in an effort to ward off the chill of the night. "You don't even have a coat, Dean."

"I doubt if I'm gonna die from a cold, Sammy."

"Just a sec." Ignoring his brother's remark, Sam quickly dodged back into the room, returning moments later with the comforter from Dean's bed. "Here." He crossed back to the Impala and tossed the blanket at his brother. "At least wrap up in this."

"Thanks," Dean managed a smile as he complied.

Sam lowered himself down to the hard asphalt, leaning back until he, too rested against the door of the big Chevy, his shoulder brushing his brother's. Leaning his head back, he turned it slightly so that he could watch his brother, the silvery moon playing against Dean's profile, reflecting in his hair until it almost glowed in the soft light.

Dean sat with his back against the rear tire, his legs stretched out in front of him, crossed at the ankles. His arms, now buried beneath the comforter were crossed tightly against his chest, his head angled down. Sam couldn't see his eyes, but he knew they were focused inward, seeing something that no one else was allowed to see.

"So," Sam began after a few moments of silence. "You gonna tell me why we're sitting in a parking lot at 5:00 in the morning freezing our asses off?"

"I needed some air, Sammy," Dean answered, tilting his head toward his brother. "I have no idea why you're sitting here, dude. You're gonna have to come up with something on your own."

"How about I woke up and my brother was gone."

Dean dipped his head. "Okay. Kind of needy in a pathetic, wimpy sort of way, but okay."

Sam chuckled, appreciating the effort Dean made to keep things light. He could tell his brother had something heavy on his mind, and it wasn't very hard to figure out just what that something was, but Sam knew that Dean needed to sort things through in his own way, and we really wanted to give him the time and space he needed.

But they were sitting in a parking lot. At five in the morning. In the cold….

"So, are you gonna talk to me, or are we just gonna sit here until our asses are numb?"

"Too late."

"Dean…"

A soft sigh escaped from the older man. "Yeah, sorry." He took a deep breath and leaned his head back against the wheel well. "You were right."

"About what?"

"I'm scared." Dean's voice was barely a whisper and Sam found himself leaning forward to edge closer to his brother.

"I know, Dean. I'm scared, too."

"I don't want to die, Sammy." Sam's eyes snapped to his brothers face, his heart clenching in his chest as he watched a lone tear slide down Dean's cheek. "I mean, don't get me wrong… the deal? Having you back alive and breathing? I don't regret it. Not for a second. But…I don't want to die. I don't want to go to hell. But I don't want to risk losing you again. I can't…"

Sam wanted to say something, anything to stop his brother from bleeding out in front of him, but he couldn't force himself to speak. He could only listen as Dean's soft voice broke.

"I know you want to find some way out… hell, I want you to find one, too, but… I don't want you to blame yourself for this, Sammy." He turned slightly toward his brother, his expression lost in the shadows, but his voice stronger with conviction. "It was my decision. It's all on me."

"Dean…" Sam finally found his voice, but his brother wasn't done.

"No, Sam. Just… I can't do this unless I know you're gonna be okay."

Sam's eyes widened as he stared back at his brother. "I'm not going to be 'okay', Dean. I'm not going to be anything near 'okay'."

Dean ducked his head in acknowledgement. "I know, Not right away. But you will be."

Sam took a breath through his nose, trying to quell the sudden anger he felt rising in his chest. "No."

"Sam…"

"No, Dean. I will never be 'okay' with you giving up your soul for me." His voice rose as he grabbed his brother's chin and forced him to meet his eyes. "I will never be okay, knowing that you're in hell because of me. Never. That's too much to ask."

Dean gave him a sad smile. "Yet it's what I'm asking, Sammy." Sam's eyes watched the tear trail down his brother's face before raising them back to meet Dean's. "Please."

"How am I supposed to live with that, Dean? Huh? What kind of a brother would I be if I could even pretend to think about being okay with this?"

Dean raised a hand and patted his brother's cheek. "I don't know, Sam, but never doubt that you're a good brother. You are."

Sam swallowed hard and ducked his head. "Yeah, well I learned from the best."

"Damn straight."

"I'm still gonna save you, Dean." Sam raised his eyes to meet his brother's, knowing the moonlight would allow him to see the determination pooling in them.

Dean grinned. "You do that, little brother."

The End