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Warning: humour deficient, angst chapter alert.

Chapter 4

Dean ran down the stairs, leaping two at a time before dashing along the narrow hall into the tiny kitchen at the back of the house from where Sam's cry had emanated. Scream, he screamed. The door was open and as Dean got closer, he could see the old lady sat on the floor. Dean collapsed heavily against the chipped painted doorframe as he saw exactly why the old lady was sat there; Sam's head was nestled between her knees, resting on the wooden floorboards. Sam lay awkwardly in the small space, his gangly legs bent underneath him like a folded deckchair. Dean thought he might vomit or piss himself; both extremely likely because from where he was stood, he could clearly make out that the soft pink hues, life, had been bleached from Sam's face. His skin was already starting to grey. Dean's mind emptied, his reserves puddled on the floor. The old lady's mouth was moving but he could scarcely make out any words; the sound fading in and out like someone had gone crazy with the sound button on Dean's remote control. "...If I can't have him..." She was mumbling, wiping absently at tears which fell freely from her crystal blue eyes. Jesus fucking Christ no, no, no, no, no.

Dean looked at Sam's arm stretched out as if reaching for the door. He slid down to the ground and let his finger brush against Sam's hand. Sam's skin was rapidly becoming chilled, his long slender fingers curled inwards towards the centre of his palm. Dean tried to ignore the fact that Sam's fingernails were tinged pale blue. Sam's eyes were turned up so Dean could only just distinguish the lower rims of the irises below his upper lips and it hurt Dean not being able to see his brother's eyes. Did he know I wasn't there to hold him like last time?

Unadulterated rage blurred Dean's vision and he was moving even before he'd thought it, scrambling to pick up the old lady and pinning her against the wall. He didn't know what she'd done to steal Sam's life so quickly. Didn't know if it could be reversed, just knew that his brother was dead, dead and Dean had nothing left to sell. It was too overwhelming, too soon, too much like last time. Sam's empty shell, cold and gray, laid out but not sleeping on a dirty ripped mattress. Dean's rational side promptly took a long coffee break and he was acting on pure impulse as he clasped his hands around her thin skeletal neck and squeezed, his lips twisting in a wicked snarl as her eyes started to bulge and her fingers clawed feebly at his.

"Margaret?" Stanley's voice surprised Dean but he didn't let go of her neck. He wanted to squeeze until the evil bitch stopped breathing but then...then Sam would still be dead and Dean would be the only Winchester left standing. Wrong, all wrong.

"Margaret?" Stanley said again, his voice breaking as he spoke. "What have you done?"

The old lady, Margaret, fell gasping to the floor as Dean released his hold. Dean stood frozen in place, his hands still held out in front of him.

"Stanley? I've missed you." Margaret said dazedly from where she lay crumpled on the floor.

"You've got to make this right Margaret." Stanley whispered as he crouched down beside his wife. "Please, for me?"

Margaret's eyes flooded with tears. "You'd still have me? Even after all I've done?" she asked desperately.

"Do one last good thing Margaret." Stanley nodded as he reached out a hand, translucent fingers mimicking the action of stroking her hollow cheek.

A flicker of a smile crossed her lips and she began to recite an incantation. Dean moved away from her, lowering himself to the floor by Sam's side. Watching helplessly he placed his warm hand in Sam's cold lax one.

The atmosphere in the room crackled and shifted, something akin to electricity pumping through the air, making the hairs stand up on the top of Dean's head. Wispy smoke filled the room, twirling around Sam and Margaret. As the last few words escaped her lips, Margaret's body went limp and Sam...colour slowly started returning to his face. His stationary chest was suddenly moving, heaving to suck in great lungfuls of air as his eyelids blinked rapidly. Dean pulled Sam up so that his brother's back was lent resting against his chest. Without thinking, Dean planted a brief kiss on the top of Sam's chestnut head and smiled as he felt his brother's heart thumping steadily.

The room went quiet and still. Margaret was dead and Stanley had gone. Dean wondered whether Margaret and Stanley truly were together or separated by heaven and hell. Or were they still here? In some kind of limbo, trapped in this old house but together all the same. All thoughts of them slowly evaporated and Dean let himself focus instead on the wonderful sound of Sam's gentle breathing.

SNSNSNSNSNSN

"You know if you were getting a little sexually frustrated you could have told me Sammy, I'd have hooked you up with a date." Dean smirked as he drove the Impala through the empty moonlit streets.

Dean's remark received an eye roll and loud huff from the passenger seat beside him. The kid had taken the bait quicker than usual; Dean had him like a fish on a hook.

"We passed a retirement home on the way into town. Want to stop by and check it out for a little Granny Moses love action?"

"Dean!"

"Or there's a cemetery over on Smithson Avenue, I hear the chicks there are smokin'...especially the cremated ones."

"DUDE!"

Dean stifled a snigger and threw Sam a fond glance. "I'm glad I got to keep you."

Sam grinned broadly, dimples emerging for the first time in days and for Dean, it was a joy to behold.

They drove in silence for a short time but as Dean stole another glance in Sam's direction, he noticed Sam's smile had faded and Dean's internal emo alarm instantly triggered.

"I'm going to keep you too Dean." Sam said quietly. He's my Dean...Mine.

Dean stared at Sam, taking in the strength of resolve which filled his brother's eyes. Suddenly it didn't seem to matter whether or not it would happen, in that moment Dean believed Sam would save him from the hell hounds one way or another and for now that was enough.

-Finish-

Sorry for the lack of humour in this chapter, guess we couldn't avoid a little emo now that Sam's back. Hope you enjoyed it all the same, please review and let me know.