Disclaimer: I own nothing, unfortunately. The boys belong to Kripke and the CW.

AN: This is my first story! I've been reading long enough I figured it was time I give it a shot. Let me know what you all think!

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There was fire all around, and only an all consuming darkness beyond the flames. Dread, fear, and a million other emotions raced through him. The heat, the smell of burning flesh, the screaming, it was all so overwhelming. He had to concentrate to keep himself from crying out at all the overbearing sensations, and swallowing down the bile that was creeping up his throat, threatening to make an appearance at the awful stench that surrounded him. The noises, the crackling of the flames, the screaming, all echoed around him. He wished, and not for the first time, that he could cover his ears, block out all sound and be rewarded with blissful silence. He wouldn't be that lucky tonight, he hardly ever was.

The flames grew closer, nipping at him, and searing his flesh. The smell only grew stronger and more pungent, while the noises all but made his eardrums bleed. He knew he was dreaming, but it was as if he was trapped in a never ending hell, and he only had himself to blame.

Through the growing chaos around him, a figure was slowly coming into focus, and the screaming was beginning to form words, a single word. At this point he simply didn't care, and was more than certain that he didn't want to hear or see anything in this hell. But his nightmares never were kind to him, and as the seconds that felt more like hours passed, the figure before him morphed into a person he knew all too well. And throughout it all he could finally hear what was being said, screamed, through the flames and darkness. A name, his name, was being called. The voice was beckoning, questioning, asking the questions he couldn't and didn't want to answer.

He was at the point that he could hardly bear it any longer. The pain, grief, sadness, anger, all the emotions that filled him and surrounded him almost brought him to his breaking point. It was at that point, the point where he was so overcome by the raging emotions, that the voice changed. It was still the same person, he knew that without a doubt, but it no longer held the pain, agony, and suffering that it had only moments before. This time, the voice held only worry, concern, and the promise of an escape from his own personal hell. He held onto that voice, that promise, like the lifeline that it was, and used it to pull himself from the darkness that had surrounded him.

Suddenly, Sam sprung up from his bed into a seated position. He was breathing heavily, sweating, and tangled in his sheets. Before Dean could get a word in, Sam was jumping out of his bed, stumbling towards the bathroom, and slamming the door behind him.

Dean sat back on his bed and sighed. He could clearly hear the retching from behind the bathroom door. It wasn't an every night occurrence, but when Sam had a nightmare these days, they took their toll. Dean wearily scrubbed a hand across his face and through his short hair, wondering what he was going to do with his brother. Something was clearly troubling the younger Winchester, but every time he had a nightmare he would avoid the topic, and brush off all attempts of discussion his brother made.

Dean knew they needed to talk. As much as he would prefer not to, he knew it was what his younger brother needed. He may not know exactly what it was Sam was dreaming about, but if his name softly muttered under his brother's breath amidst his tossing and turning was anything to go by, Dean was sure he had a pretty good idea.

In the bathroom, Sam stood up on shaky legs and flushed the toilet. He made his way unsteadily to the sink and turned on the cold water, all the while trying futilely to shake away the final vestiges of his nightmare. He splashed some of the cold water onto his face and turned off the water. He could still hear, smell, and practically feel everything from his nightmare, and it was taking a while longer this time to shake the memories. It had been clearer this time, more real, as if he was standing right there in the fiery abyss watching his brother burn. He had to open the eyes he didn't even remember closing, for the simple fact that he couldn't stand to see the images any longer.

He hated what his nightmares did to him, what they showed him, the images that his subconscious created to torment him. It seemed that the more he researched a way to get Dean out of his deal with the crossroads demon, the worse the nightmares were. It was as if the more he thought about it, the more real their situation became. Like there was a clock only he could here ticking away in his mind, a constant reminder that time was running out, that he was going to lose his brother. His big brother. Dean. The only person he truly had left in the world. He couldn't entertain the thought for much longer, or he would be on the floor before the toilet once more that night.

He sat heavily on the toilet seat, bracing himself before he went back into the other room. He knew Dean was still awake, waiting for him to come out of the bathroom so they could talk about his latest nightmare. He just wasn't ready for that, wasn't ready to place that burden on his brother. Open up the possibilities and create the images in his mind as well. One of them thinking and seeing these things was more than enough.

But the overall truth of the matter was that he wanted to tell his brother. He wanted to tell Dean how scared he was, how scared he was that he wouldn't find the answers in time, wouldn't be able to break the deal, wouldn't be able to finally save his brother for a change. Sam wanted to tell his brother how terrified he was that he might let him down, that he may be the reason that Dean would burn, just like everyone else Sam had ever loved. First his mother, then Jessica and his father, and now dean. He suddenly found himself back in his nightmare, surrounded by flames and darkness, and he had to force himself to breath slowly and evenly before he lost himself for a second time that night.

He needed to break this deal. He needed to find a way to save his brother, and keep his soul out of hell. Sam didn't understand how Dean thought he could just move on after he died. Didn't he realize, didn't he understand, that there was no Sam without Dean. That if he died, it wouldn't be like the time he was at Stanford. They wouldn't be a phone call away, there would be no breaking into his apartment in the middle of the night. Sam wouldn't have a brother anymore, he wouldn't be a little brother, he wouldn't be Sammy anymore if Dean wasn't around to call him that.

Sam had to take another deep breath to orient himself. He couldn't think this way. He had told Dean he would find a way to save him, and he would. He didn't care what it took, he wasn't going to lose his brother too. He wouldn't let him burn. He simply wouldn't allow it.

He took one last steadying breath and levered himself off of the toilet seat. He opened the door, shut the bathroom light off, and made his way over to his bed. His brother must have given up waiting for him to come out, and took his time in the bathroom as the avoidance that it was. He couldn't talk to his brother about it, not now, not yet. He laid down on his bed and listened to the sound of his big brother breathing. Reassured that he was still there, still with him, still alive, and that there was still time. Dean wasn't sleeping, he knew that, he could tell just by the way he was breathing. After all the years of sharing rooms, sharing beds, it was second nature to them both. No, he knew Dean was listening, waiting. As he rolled over on to his side facing his brother's bed, he looked on into the darkness and whispered out a quiet "goodnight" to his brother. And he waited for the response he knew would come.

"'Night Sammy." Came across from the other bed, and as he drifted off into a hopefully peaceful sleep, Sam had one thought in mind.

He was going to save his big brother this time.