This is a tag to No Rest for the Wicked (meaning there are spoilers here). Yes, I know that a lot of them have been done, but I wanted to add my two cents into it as well. I really hope you enjoy this because it's probably my favorite tag I've written thus far. It takes place a few hours after Dean's death and it's dealing with Sam's emotions.

A slight warning: I've been told you might want to have your tissue ready for this one, but I guess it's how you read it, too. I have to admit, I was sobbing during parts of this as I was writing it since I tried to pack it with as much emotion as I could.

Please, please let me know what you think about it—good or bad.

Many thanks to Sojourner for the awesome beta!

SNSNSNSNSNSNSNSNSN

Numbness.

Sam Winchester wasn't even sure if the word could be classified as a sentiment anymore. It hardly did anything to describe the way he was feeling, yet it seemed to aptly fit. How else was he supposed to describe feeling after witnessing the death of his brother? The cruel murder of the one person who swore he would always be there, no matter what?

Sam couldn't think of anything else, so for now, he would go with numb. At least, that's what the alcohol was helping him feel. It's not that Sam didn't think of Dean when he was sober—God, if only I could stop the memories; it was just that it was easier this way. It didn't seem to hurt as much, as if the warm liquor was dulling away the graphic images that seemed intent on replaying in his head on a steady loop.

Dean pinned to the table. Dean pulled roughly to the ground. Dean being eviscerated by the hellhound as Lillith giggled insanely, watching with glee. Dean dying as Sam screamed—begged—for it to stop.

Right now, the images were fuzzy, at best, and Sam found them a lot easier to handle.

"Sam, don't you think you should get some rest?"

Sam chuckled sardonically at Bobby's suggestion as he looked up from his vigil over Dean. "Why? Is Dean going to magically come back when I open my eyes in a few hours?" He took another hearty swig of the Jack Daniels.

"Son, this is no way for you to carry on," Bobby said as he walked to stand beside the young hunter. He tried to take the bottle away from Sam, but Sam cradled it to his chest as if it were a baby.

"Don't!" He yelled angrily. "Just…don't."

"Sam…"

Sam shook his head stubbornly. He didn't need to listen to Bobby right now. He didn't need the prospect of an empty promise, even though he knew the salvage yard owner was only trying to help. Nothing could help.

"Just leave, Bobby…please?"

It was Bobby's turn to shake his head. "I can't do that, Sam."

Sam let out a hiccup, but it came out more as a sob. "Bobby…I know you want to help. I get that, but there's nothing you can do right now. I just…I need to be alone."

Bobby Singer eyed the door to the motel room, and then turned to look back at Sam. "I'm not going to leave you here alone, Sam, but I can see about getting a room next door for the night. Will that be okay?"

Sam turned his head to look up at the grizzled hunter, eyes brimming with tears. He couldn't let any more fall in front of Bobby. It was a promise he'd made to himself, ever since they left the town limits of New Harmony. But then again, Bobby didn't judge Sam for them. He didn't say anything about them when he found Sam clutching Dean's body to his chest. He didn't say anything after he offered to drive the Impala to the motel so Sam could stay in the backseat with Dean. He didn't say anything when Sam gently laid Dean's body on the bed in the room. And he didn't say anything when Sam carefully cleansed and stitched up Dean's wounds.

"Thanks, Bobby," the young Winchester whispered.

Bobby nodded as he squeezed Sam's shoulder. "This is not something you have to deal with alone, Sam. You remember that." He let out a tired sigh. "You need anything, and I mean anything at all, you just let me know, all right?"

"Yeah…okay, Bobby."

Sam didn't even watch as Bobby let him be. In fact, the only reason he knew Bobby was gone was by the soft click of the door closing. Taking another long pull from the bottle, Sam placed it on the bedside table as he stood up. Walking over to his bed, he pulled out the blanket and placed it over Dean's mutilated body.

"I thought you might be cold, Dean," Sam said softly as the tears began to flow freely once again. "I know it's not much, but it's the best I can do right now."

Sam sniffed and wiped at his face with his jacket sleeve. "I'm sorry, Dean. I know I should have done more…We both know I could have helped you, but…you wouldn't let me, would you?" He let out a choked sob. "Still stubborn until the very end, weren't you? You couldn't just let me give you that one thing, could you?"

Sam stayed there a couple more moments, just looking down at Dean. There was so much more he wanted to say, but for the life of him he couldn't manage to form the words. I can't do this…I can't just sit here and talk to him like this. He'd kick my ass if he knew I was having a chick-flick moment…

Walking over to his messenger bag, Sam plucked it up from the floor and rummaged through it until he found a sheet of paper and a pen. If he couldn't say what he needed, he could write it down at least.

Dean,

I know this probably borders on your rules for no chick-flick moments, but it's something that needs to be done and said. For the longest time, I've kept all these feelings to myself for fear that you would give me an incredibly hard time about it. I feel it's too little, too late, but I have to do this. Now's the time for you to know…

Did you ever know that it was you I looked up to all these years? You were the one person I could always count on. I know our life wasn't perfect, and Dad really did do the best he could, but it was always you that made everything all right for me.

Did you ever know that you were the one who made me not fear the dark? You taught me when I was young that there were things out there we couldn't necessarily explain. But you also showed me there were ways of defeating the monsters. You led me to believe that no matter what may be out there, there was always a light at the end—we could make the dark fear us, not the other way around.

Did you ever know that while you were around, I feared nothing? As long as I had you, I had no reason to worry. Even when Dad didn't come home on his hunts when he was supposed to, it was okay because I knew I still had you around. And it's like you always told me: "As long as I'm around, nothing bad will ever happen to you." As long as I had those words, everything would be okay.

Did you ever know that if it wasn't for you, I'm not sure where I would be today? After Jess was killed, I was in a very dark place—an all-consuming darkness that threatened to pull me under. I couldn't see the forest for the trees, but you were there to pull me out. You showed me what could be accomplished and if I ever fell down again, you would still be there to pick me up, no matter how many pieces I may be in.

Did you ever know that I always appreciated your humor, however inappropriate it may be? Sure, I rolled my eyes at almost every single one of your off-wall comments, but secretly I was laughing inside. You always had a way of finding humor in any situation and I'm grateful for it, especially in our line of work. You need something to take the edge off, and you did it, Dean. You did it every single day.

Did you ever know that even though you never outright said it, I knew you loved me? It was in the little things—sowing up my wounds, comforting me after my nightmares, picking up a cheeseburger for me even when I wanted the chicken sandwich. You never had to say it, Dean, because I read it in your actions. Believe me, brother, it was always loud and clear and I only wish I would have said it to you.

Most importantly, did you ever know that you were my hero, Dean? There was nothing you couldn't beat. Yeah, I know that's probably what every little brother says about his big brother, but for me, it's true. And I'm not talking about the monsters and demons out there—I'm talking about how you gave up everything for me, ever since we were kids. You never took for yourself; you made sure I had everything: protection, warmth, home, and love. I never needed anything else in the world as long as I had you because you personified it all for me.

I had a best friend that I could also call a brother.

Putting down his pen, Sam wiped at his face again, not surprised in the least to see it was saturated with tears. He never even felt them as they poured down, but that was okay. He felt he finally got to tell Dean what he'd been feeling all these years, tears be damned. He wasn't about to look at it as weakness, but as strength.

Getting up from the table, he walked to Dean's bedside and sat down. "I'm not going to let you down, Dean. I made a promise to you that I was going to keep fighting, and that's what I'm going to do. Not for me, but for you."

Sam smiled. "I've got the best tool right here," he said, pointing at his head. "Everything you ever taught me is in there. It's all front and center. I'm going to keep at it and I'm still not giving up on you, Dean. I'm still going to find a way to save you—I know you'd probably say it's a long shot, but I'll take any shot I can get right now."

Sam stood up and pulled the blankets tighter around Dean. "Sleep tight, big brother. And I promise, when you wake up, everything's going to be okay."