I almost lost you...

Sam watched as the hell hounds rent his brother apart in front of him; tears cascaded down a face twisted by the agony of grief. He locked haunted eyes with Dean as his brother turned to him; an apology shone out of brimming green orbs set in an almost serene face of acceptance.

And all Sam could think was how unfair it was that his big brother, his hero, his only remaining family was finally being taken from him- from the world. He needed more time! Why was he being punished? Hadn't he given enough? Hadn't he lost enough? And what about Dean! Hadn't he given enough?

In the few moments it took for Dean's life to be ripped away an entire lifetime of memories flooded Sam's shocked mind; a hunt gone wrong, Dean lying unresponsive on a dirty floor...later a doctor's sympathetic voice, 'There's nothing we can do...' , a miracle cure...

'I almost lost you...'

A hunt gone wrong, Dean left dying in a hospital bed...later a doctor's sympathetic voice, 'There's nothing we can do...', a father's last loving sacrifice...

'I almost lost you...'

A hunt gone wrong, one brother's willing sacrifice...

'I'm not gonna lose you...'

The surge of memories was closed as the demon Lilith approached Sam, a strange bright light issuing from him to engulf the room in a momentary blinding flash...and then she was gone. The room left devoid of movement and life save that ebbing from his prone sibling and his own aching heart. Confusion wrapped around him, etching itself onto his young face. Large, soulfull eyes mirrored his turmoil as his gaze found itself drawn back to Dean-one horrified realisation piercing the haze of his denial to render him immobile and speechless as he stood in numb agony...

'I lost you...'