This is my first Supernatural fanfic, so I'm hoping it's good. Thanks to my beta, BlueSea14. I love you! But purely in the way a writer loves the patient person who reads their work – even if it sucks – and makes it remotely better. This contains spoilers for everything up until the third season, basically.

I don't own Supernatural, as much as I want to own Jensen Ackles. Even Jared would be fine with me. If I owned Supernatural, in one episode – just one! – I would have the two of them working out together in a gym...sigh...

"I couldn't have done it without your pathetic, self-loathing, self-destructive desire to sacrifice yourself for your family." – The Yellow Eyed Demon to Dean Winchester

Patiently, Sam watched his older brother tape up the bleeding gash on his head, his jaw tightened to keep any hisses of pain from slipping out. Sam had offered to patch it up for him, but Dean hadn't accepted his help, stubbornly snapping that he could do it himself.

Sam hadn't seen exactly how Dean had gotten the cut, but he had seen blood on the gravestone later. His hypothesis proved to be correct when Dean's fingers clumsily slipped, poking the gash.

"Freaking gravestone," he cursed. Sam sighed impatiently, standing up and crossing to his brother's bed, and sitting down beside him. Dean looked at him curiously, his face covered with dirt and blood, but holding a vulnerability Sam hadn't seen in a while.

Sam held out his hand, "Just give me the stuff, Dean." His tone was firm, but gentle, an adult speaking to a child. Dean didn't relent, hastily striding to the bathroom and closing the door. Sam groaned half-heartedly, knocking on the door. "Dean, you've probably given yourself concussion, you jerk. Let me help you."

"Bitch." Dean's voice was muffled through the solid door. The tap started running, and the sound of objects sliding on the sink made Sam nervous. He pressed closer to the door in an attempt to hear his brother.

Swallowing, he spoke. "Dean, come on, man. I'm worried you're going to pass out on me. I won't help, just...come out here?" A silence followed before Dean opened the door, glaring without any anger.

"I'm fine, Sammy. I'm not going to pass out on you." He dumped the first aid kit on the bedside table, beginning to open his bag when Sam gripped his arm. He turned Dean so that he could see how well the cut had been taken care of, just double checking.

Dean sent him a clear 'I told you, I'm fine' look before rummaging through his bag, and tossed Sam a knife to put under his pillow. He crawled into his bed, fully clothed, and let out a deep breath. Sam knew that his head would be killing him, though he'd be loath to admit it, and tentatively sat down beside him.

"You know, dude, with those puppy dog eyes you got going on, you look about four years old. Man, you at four: I'm never going back there." Dean murmured. Sam forced a hollow laugh, but it didn't reach his eyes. "Seriously, Sammy, we got the son of a bitch. Let's just rest...regroup before the next big fight. Feel like you could just sleep for a month? I feel like I could just sleep for a month."

Sam shook his head at his brother's meaningless drabble, unconsciously moving his hand against Dean's arm. "You did it, Dean. You killed the thing that killed Mom. You killed something Dad has been after since that night. You killed the yellow-eyed demon."

Opening his eyes, Dean looked at him sharply. "We, Sammy. We killed the demon. You, me...and Dad. Just like...just like old times." He shifted on the bed. "We did it together, just like we always do."

Sam ran a shaking hand through his hair. "It shouldn't have been that way, Dean...it should have been you...I'm not supposed to be here." In a flash, Dean was merely centimetres from his face, sitting up in a movement so fluidly fast that Sam almost missed that.

"Don't you dare. Don't, Sam, do you hear me?" Dean's green eyes were uncharacteristically intense, a foreign emotion blazing in them. He forced himself to calm before he spoke again, this time more quiet. "Besides, I'm the one not meant to be here. The first time I should have died, a healthy innocent went in my place. Then Dad...if I had died...then you wouldn't have."

Sam's eyes widened; he frowned, jaw tightening. "How do you figure that, Dean? How do you know that I wouldn't have died anyway? If not now...some other time?" Dean withdrew back into himself, lying back down. "Dean?"

"Because, Sammy...if I had died...you might have gone back to school. If I died...let's face it, Sam, you wouldn't have stayed." Dean sat up, swinging his legs sideways and standing up. "I know it, you know it...hell, even Dad probably knew it. You stayed because you felt like I needed you to be there. Truth is...I've only ever wanted you to be happy, Sam. I wish I could take back that first day...where I asked you come with me...to leave Jess behind. Maybe if I had, you wouldn't have been pulled into this."

Sam scoffed, "That has to be the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. How many times do I have to tell you? I want to be here, Dean. I want to hunt again. I just...we've lost so much, Dean. And now, to have to lose you too...it's not fair. You brought me back so you had some family left. Didn't you even think of what it would be like for me? I'm going to have to bury you, Dean. I'm going to be there, every day, visiting your grave."

Dean laughed darkly. "Do me a favour, Sammy? Don't bury me. I don't want to end up with a nail through my chest to keep me down. That'd just be humiliating." Sam raised his hand to punch his brother, but thought the better of it, slowly lowering his arm.

"Don't." They both sat in silence, silently considering the other's words, wishing they could go back in time. Dean wanted to take back leaving Sam alone, letting him be taken...Sam longed to take back the moment where he was stabbed. If he hadn't let his guard down, his brother wouldn't be facing an eternity in hell.

A few more minutes passed before Dean finally sat again, close enough to Sam that he could feel his brother's tense body beside his own. A wave of nostalgia washed over the younger Winchester, remembering a time when he was only six.

"We had a Mom?" Sam asked, eyes wide, knowing for all of his six years. A ten-year-old Dean nodded solemnly, wrapping an arm around his younger brother, and rubbing his arm against his back soothingly. "What was she like?"

Dean paused, seeming to consider this. "She was...she was an angel, Sammy. She had this blonde hair...and it curled like the angels in the books...and a soft voice...and she knew whenever I was upset. And sometimes, Sammy, she'd know that you were going to cry before you did it."

"She did? How?" Sam looked up at his brother, his best friend from as far back as he could remember – possibly even further. "How did she know, Dean? Was she special?"

Dean nodded, smiling. "She was special...but not only because of that. She just knew. Like how I know when you're having a nightmare...or when I wake up cause you've got a fever. You just know."

Sam leaned against his brother. "I wish I could of known her, Dean."

"I wish I could have, Sammy. Not could of." Dean corrected him gently. "But I wish you could have known her too. And you do. Dad said so, cause she's always in here." And with that, he touched his brother's chest, right over where his heart should be.

Sam looked at his brother, now so much older, and nudged him gently. "The demon was wrong...wasn't he?" Dean frowned, and looked at him, confused. "When he said you were self-loathing, self-destructive, and wanted to sacrifice yourself for us?"

Dean didn't answer, staring straight ahead, silently burning a hole in his ripped jeans. Sam felt his stomach plummet; his heart lurched as he realized his brother wasn't going to answer. That he actually believed everything the demon had said – that the demon had been telling the truth.

"Dean?" Still no answer. "Wait...you're not serious. After everything you've done, everything we've been through...you don't see how valuable you are? How much you mean to the people you've helped?" Sam added, quietly, "How much you mean to me?"

Dean shrugged. "I do, Sammy, I do. But when it comes to deciding between family and myself, you have to understand; it'll never be me that I choose. When I was four years old, I carried you from a burning building. I practically raised you, Sammy. That Awards Night, after you left us? I was there. I didn't tell you...but I was there. I was prouder than any parent ever could be. You did what Dad and I never could do. You made yourself a better life. You are everything to me, now. So yeah, if there's a bullet going towards you, I'm going to jump in the way."

Sam nodded. "But you have to know, Dean...I'd do it for you. I told you once today, and I'll tell you again. You're my big brother...and there's nothing I wouldn't do for you." He clapped Dean on the shoulder. "I will find a way out of this deal."

The older man shrugged. "Sammy, I couldn't care less about the deal anymore. What's done is done. We'll deal with it." He moved, forcing Sam to stand, and curling up under the blankets. Sam watched him momentarily, before moving to his own bed.

"Night, Dean." He wasn't surprised when his brother gave no answer.

Like it? Hate it? Either way, please review...um...review if you love Jensen Ackles! Or Jared Padalecki, which I cant spell.

Just A Little Bit Dramatic