Disclaimer: The characters of Supernatural were created by Eric Kripke and are owned by the CW Network. No profit is being made.

NOTE TO READERS: This story takes place after Dream a Little Dream of Me and before Mystery Spot. This is going to be either 3 or 4 chapters long, but I figure a quick story is better than nothings at all. I'm working 6 days a week, so it doesn't allow for a lot of writing but I wanted to do something. This chapter is around 5 pages long.

Happy Reading, I hope!

Walking Alone

Chapter One

By Dawn Nyberg

"Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road. Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go. So make the best of this test, and don't ask why. It's not a question, but a lesson learned in time …" Lyric excerpt by Green Day, Good Riddance

Local Bar near Bobby's House, 10:00 PM

"Dollar for your thoughts," Bobby's gruff voice broke into Dean's thoughts as he took a swig of cold beer.

"Huh?" Dean asked absently. Bobby grunted in response and cleared his throat.

"I said a dollar for your thoughts … where's your head boy? On Bella and finding the Colt?"

"Just a dollar," Dean began with a bemused glint in his eye. He didn't want to think about Bella right now. "I'd think my thoughts are at least worth two bucks or another beer," he attempted to smile but it didn't meet his eyes and Bobby knew what was plaguing Dean's mind.

"You and Sam have a fight or somethin'" Bobby asked bluntly. The younger Winchester hadn't joined them but had opted to stay behind at Bobby's while Dean and the older hunter had gone out to the local bar for a couple cold ones. Of course Bobby had plenty of beer and whiskey at home but he wanted to get out for a bit. Bobby had persuaded the boys to come back to his place for a couple days before running blind after Bella. Bobby thought they could field a few questions around trying to locate her and the Colt through the hunter network.

"Nah," Dean answered as his eyes met the older man's. "It's just…"

There was a long silence and Bobby finally broke it. "It's just what?"

"I'm worried about Sammy," Dean answered honestly.

"Dean," Bobby leaned back in his seat. "He's sure that whole dream root thing was just the root and not his psychic stuff, so…" he stopped mid-sentence when he saw the slight shake of Dean's head.

"It's not that Bobby," Dean began. "It's … you know where we were when I got the call from the hospital about you bein' in a coma … a bar." Bobby didn't react, so Dean continued. "In the afternoon," Dean pushed. "I had to track Sammy down and found him saddled up to a bar in the middle of the day drinkin' a whiskey and he was drunk."

Bobby frowned. He knew the kid wasn't a big drinker and certainly not for the hard stuff. That was one thing Sam had never acquired … the Winchester alcohol tolerance level that Dean or even John had had when he was alive.

"Well, I'm sure he's got a lot on his mind," Bobby tried to ease Dean's big brother worry.

"No, he was going on about how I don't care about myself or wanna help get myself out of the deal…"

"It's a legitimate concern," Bobby added bluntly. Dean's eyes narrowed for a second and then softened just a quickly. He knew Bobby cared for him and Sam, like family, they were family.

"Dammit, Bobby it's not like I don't care, but you know the terms, I screw with this deal and Sam dies … I won't go through that again, I can't."

"So, you're making him go through it in less than six months instead?"

"It's not like that," Dean's voice edged up and his eyes blazed."

"It's not? Last time I checked you're expecting him to do what you couldn't … let go and go on." Dean was silent. "Dean, you know how you felt after your Daddy did what he did for you. You remember, right?" Dean offered only a small nod but did not make eye contact with the older hunter. "So, why can't you understand how Sam is taking this?"

"I get it okay, but he's stronger, he's always been stronger…"

"Why? Because you say so?" Bobby leveled a hard gaze on Dean. "I hate to be the fly in your ointment boy, but that little brother of yours has been lookin' up to you his whole life. You're his big brother and all he sees, all he knows is that his big brother is on a one way trip to Hell cause of him and that you're dyin' for him because you made that damn deal. He's gotta live with that Dean and whether you want to see it, you put that burden on him." Dean sat silent for a long moment.

"I know I'm puttin' him through hell okay, I know. Dammit, if it could be different it would be, but it is what it is, okay? When he …" Dean's voice choked for a second and he took a breath. "When he died in Cold Oak I tried to let him go, alright? I did, but I just couldn't fail him. I wasn't there for him, I didn't protect him. I couldn't save him." Dean's words ran together. The bar may have been full of people and Boston played on the juke box in the far corner but Bobby only heard Dean.

"Sam dyin' wasn't your fault Dean no matter how you want to slice that piece of crap cake. There was nothin' you could have done for him when he was stabbed and you know it." Dean turned accusing eyes toward Bobby.

"You think I was wrong making the deal, right? You think I should have just buried Sammy and gone on, right?"

"Dammit, Dean," Bobby barked under his breath. "Do I think you made a cluster fuck of a deal? Yeah. Do I wish you hadn't? Sometimes. But, I have never, and I mean never wished that Sam was dead. You boys are the closest thing I got to family. Once he was alive again and back with us, I would have sold my own soul to keep him with us if someone had tried to come and take him away." Dean's eyes softened once again. He looked at his watch and was surprised to see that they had been gone a little over three hours.

"We should get back," Dean spoke evenly. The topic wasn't closed off but merely shifted and Bobby took it for what it was a truce, an understanding.

"Yeah, Sam's probably been holed up in that library of mine readin' some ancient book or somethin'." Dean smiled, his little brother was a true geek, but he wouldn't have it any other way. He'd fix things with Sam before time ran out, he just wasn't sure how, but he still had some time, he thought to himself.

Bobby's House, Fifteen Minutes Later

Dean made it to the door before Bobby and walked in and quickly stepped on something and Bobby grabbed him by the elbow as Dean lost his balance for just a moment. "What the hell?" Dean complained as he looked down beneath his foot that had just rolled from under him suddenly. It was an amber glass, long-necked beer bottle, an empty one. Dean frowned and shared a glance with Bobby.

"I think that brother of yours has been busy while we were out," Bobby motioned his head toward the rest of the floor leading back to the library. Dean let out a frustrated sigh. He was visually counting the empty bottles on the floor and tables. He saw at least ten.

"Dumb ass is going to have the hangover from hell," Dean flinched at that and offered a bemused smile toward Bobby. "No pun intended." He offered. "Sammy's a light weight, I bet ya ten bucks he's already passed out cold from these." Bobby had wondered toward the dining room as he listened to Dean.

"Ya think," he said with a serious tone as he held up a nearly empty bottle of Jack Daniels.

"Sonofabitch," Dean hissed. "You'd think he learned his lesson after praying to the porcelain god during that one hunt I told you about where he got drunk at the Bed and Breakfast." Bobby nodded. "I better go find him and make sure he didn't face plant somewhere or pass out in the bathroom."

"I'd check the library first, it looks like the trail leads that way," Bobby offered. "Yell if you need help gettin' him to bed." Dean nodded.

Dean walked into the library with a purpose and stopped short. He clearly saw Sam across the room stretched out on the couch his head lulled to the side and his left arm dangling off the low sofa. His left hand rested on the wood floor. The room was littered with more empty, long-necked beer bottles. Dean frowned and let out a frustrated and worried sigh as he picked up a half empty bottle of scotch sitting on the corner of the library desk. "Man, Sammy, what am I gonna do with you," he muttered. "I can't leave you alone for ten minutes." Dean looked at his brother once again a few feet away and he studied him.

Sam was pale, a little too pale. There was something in his stillness that made Dean's stomach clench and for a moment his mind flashed back to Cold Oak and he closed his eyes briefly as the memory assaulted him. He stepped forward and closed the distance between them quickly, "Sammy?" he reached out to touch his brother. "Come on ya lush," he kidded as he gently shook his brother's shoulder. Sam didn't respond. "Sam?" he said a little louder. "Come on man, I can't carry your ass across the house. Sam!" his voice louder, firmer, the kind of firm John Winchester used to use and it always worked, only this time it didn't. Dean reached out and cupped his brother's cheek. "Sammy?" he tapped gently but firmly. There was no response except for Sam's head to jostle with the movement and fall still again. He was out cold. Sam felt cool and clammy to Dean and then he found his fingers firmly pressing against the pulse point on his brother's neck searching for a reassuring throb. He felt it but it was weak and uneven. "Sammy?" Dean's tone was thick with concern. "Come on Sleeping Beauty time to rise and shine." Dean leaned down close to his brother's slightly parted lips and waited. He felt an infrequent and shallow exhale and when he waited a few seconds longer as his brother exhaled shallowly he stared at his chest waiting for it to rise again but it didn't. Dean felt his heart leap into his throat. "Sammy!" he yelled in desperation.

"Bobby!" Dean yelled from deep in his belly as he pulled Sam off the couch and placed him on the wooden floor. He arched his brother's neck back opening his airway hoping that made him take a breath, but he didn't … his brother wasn't breathing.

"Dean?" Bobby came into the room quickly and saw the situation. "Sweet Jesus," he breathed out.

"Bobby call 911!" Dean shouted. "He just stopped breathing!" Dean returned his attention to his brother as Bobby ran from the room to call an ambulance.

Dean pinched off his brother's nose and breathed hard into his mouth twice and watched his brother's chest rise and fall with each breath but it didn't start to rise of its own accord, so Dean kept going. His fingers fumbling between every two breaths to make sure his brother's heart was still beating.

"Please," he voice choked. "Sammy don't you do this to me," he leaned in to breathe for his little brother again. "Breathe!" he yelled, but Sam didn't obey.

To Be Continued

I hope you enjoyed chapter one. Thanks for reading!