"This is getting out of hand." Dean thought taking another quick glance at his brother. For days Sam had been sitting quiet, with barely a sign of life coming from him. Dean jokingly put a mirror in front of Sam's face to make sure he was still breathing because he hadn't moved so much as an inch in over an hour. Sam's response was to shoo away the offending mirror, shoot Dean an evil look, and then revert back to staring at the wall.

Backing away and sitting down on his own bed, Dean decided he'd had enough. Something was hurting Sam. Something so raw and painful that Sam just shut down, and Dean was at a loss as to what he could do. He tried to be patient and let Sam start talking but after two weeks of constant silence, Dean knew he had to try something quick or he was going to lose his brother to what ever was bothering him.

The next morning before Sam woke up, Dean snuck out of the motel room, and headed down the road to the grocery store he'd seen when they came into town. Grateful the Mom and Pop store was open that early, Dean roamed around picking up and discarding items until he found what he was looking for. He had to plan this just right. Lives were at stake, or at least his brother's sanity and finally Dean found all the necessary items he needed to carry out his mischievous plan.

Sneaking back into their room, Dean was more than a little concerned that Sam was still asleep and not jumping up at the sound of someone entering their room. Putting the refrigerated items away, Dean opened up his last bag and pulled out his prize. Donning it, he moved over to the side of his bed that faced his brothers and sat there waiting for Sam to wake up.

15 minutes went by, then a half hour, and still Sam slept on. Frustrated Dean went back to his grocery bag and pulled out a can of silly string. Moving back over to Sam's bed he proceeded to spray Sam directly in the face with it. The effect was instantaneous and everything Dean was hoping for. Sam bolted up, swiping the silly string off his face, shouting expletives, until he realized who was sitting in front of him with the can still in his hand. It was all Dean could do to not fall off his bed laughing. Sam tried to be upset, but found it impossible while staring at his brother who was also wearing a fake mustache and glasses.

"You're an ass, you know it." Sam shouted at Dean before reaching over and yanking the can out of his hand. Knowing he was about to get a dose of his own medicine, Dean leaped up and tried to get away, but Sam was just a tad quicker. Soon Dean was pinned against the wall, and Sam was spraying him point blank until the can finally ran out. Silly string clung in clumps from the plastic glasses and all over Dean's hair, bringing out another chuckle from Sam.

"Aw dude now I'm gonna have to take a shower to get this mess out of my hair." Dean lamented, pulling the string off his face and head.

"Serves you right." Sam said looking back at Dean, trying hard not to smile but failing miserably. "What the hell were you thinking?"

"Sammy I had to try something. For weeks now you've been like the living dead and I miss my little brother." Dean answered wiping the remaining string off his face. Tossing the glasses in the trash, Dean moved over to the kitchenette table and sat down. "You're not eating, you're not talking, and what you are doing is scaring the hell out of me. I left a little while ago and came back and you were still asleep. You didn't even move when I sat down on my bed across from you. Damn it Sammy it's not like you to sleep that hard. What if I was some psycho, or who the hell knows, a demon? I could have killed you in your sleep."

"Maybe it would have been better if you did." Sam mumbled, his head hanging down.

"Tell me I didn't just hear you say that." Dean said leaping up and grabbing his brother by the shoulders. "Sam what the hell is wrong with you?"

Sam tried to turn his head but Dean followed with his own, his eyes full of worry and fear.

"Sammy, talk to me."

"I can't…." Sam said pushing Dean away and sitting down on his bed.

"Sam we can't keep going on like this. Something is bothering you and I want you to tell me what the hell it is." Dean said sitting across from Sam on his own bed. "I get that you're worried about not getting me out of the deal. I get that you're still upset at the Trickster for making you watch me die so many times. I get it dude really I do, but this is something else. What the hell is bothering you?"

Dean leaned forward waiting for Sam to answer him but all he got was more silence. Exasperated Dean was about to grab his brother again when Sam started to talk.

"I moved on…," he whispered so quietly Dean wasn't sure what he said.

"You what?" Dean asked sitting back down on his bed.

"I moved on." Sam repeated with a heavy sigh.

"And.…" Dean pressed further.

"When I died, you didn't get all avenging angel and go off killing every thing you could find. You went to the crossroads and made a deal to bring me back to life. After you died that final time, I didn't even try to make a deal… I went back to hunting. Hunting Dean. I became just as anal and obsessive as Dad did, only my version of the Demon was the Trickster."

"Yeah but you were just trying to find him to get him to bring me back." Dean answered. "And you damn well know how I feel about you goin' and makin' a deal. You'd better never try anything like that do you hear me?"

"But what if I never found him? What if you spent all that time in hell, way before you were suppose too, because I couldn't find that little asshole. I mean it's bad enough that you might really end up there because of me, but the thought that I made you go down there early……god Dean……"

"Sammy why are you doing this to yourself? None of this, and I mean, none of this is your fault. I might regret the thought of actually heading to hell but not for one moment do I regret the reason why. I made the deal and I would make it again if it meant you got to stay alive. I swore to protect you….." Dean continued before Sam interrupted him

"But I couldn't protect you!" Sam lamented. "I promised to get you out of the deal somehow and all I manage to do is get you sent down there sooner."

"Well if it helps any, I don't have any memory of actually being in hell."

"Yeah Dean, but I do. I lived with that knowledge every day I was hunting the Trickster down. I imagined you suffering horrible things. Suffering because of me. Suffering because I messed up and got myself killed and you had to go and make a deal to bring me back." Sam's voice shook as he spoke.

"So that's what this is all about? You think if you had done something different about that Jake guy, all of this could have been avoided. Not a chance little brother." Dean asserted quickly.

"I screwed up Dean. Dad would have never made a mess of things the way I did." Sam continued, berating himself. Looking down at the floor he sighed and shook his head.

"Yeah right, like he had all the answers didn't he? Too bad he choose the wrong one making the deal with ol' yellow eyes to bring me back." Dean shook his own head. John was dead because of him pure and simple. That wrong was never going to be righted in Dean's book.

"Dean you can't blame yourself for Dad doing what he did." Sam quickly tried to stop Dean's own recriminations.

"Oh really, so why then do you blame yourself for what I did. It's the exact same thing Sammy. Dad made a deal to bring me back and I made one to bring you back. Why is it okay for Dad but not for me? Quit torturing yourself over something you have no control over." Dean snapped back.

"The Trickster made you die over and over again so I would learn to live without you." Sam started to explain before Dean interrupted him.

"Yeah so, I've been telling you the same thing. We might not be able to get me out of this deal Sammy. I sure as hell don't want to be living in the pit for eternity, but I can't stay here watching you give up your life over something you might not have a chance to change."

"It doesn't mean I gonna stop trying." Sam asserted.

"And I don't expect you to." Dean answered back.

"You really mean that Dean." Sam asked, looking at Dean, faint hope rising in his heart.

"Hell yeah Sammy. We're gonna keep trying to find a way out of this deal right up to the moment the hell hounds drag my sorry ass down to the pit, you got that?" Dean stood up and gave his brother a reassuring pat on the back on the back.

"Got it Dean." Sam gave Dean a faint smile.

"Good now lets go eat some ice cream." Dean announced quickly changing the subject. Turning towards the kitchenette, he headed towards the refrigerator and opened the freezer.

"Ice cream?" Sam turned, giving his brother a bewildered look.

"Yeah ice cream. I got vanilla, and mint chocolate chip, though why the hell you would eat something as nasty as mint chocolate chip is beyond me. I even grabbed some hot fudge and whip cream so we could make sundaes like we used to when we were kids." Dean pulled out the 2 pints of ice cream he had purchased earlier and wiggled them at his brother.

"As I recall you somehow never got the whip cream actually on your sundae. Somehow it always ended up all over me." Sam chuckled at the memory as he got up off the bed.

"And it might still yet if you don't get your sorry ass up and into the kitchen and help me eat this crap." Dean set the ice cream on the counter and fished around for a couple of spoons.

"Thanks Dean."

"Yeah well, what ever dude. You comin' or what?" Dean grabbed the hot fudge and tossed it in the microwave. Turning back, he was about to grab the whip cream when he realized Sam had already gone behind his back and grabbed the can before he had a chance to. Standing back up, he turned to Sam only to find himself face to face with a locked and loaded can of whip cream.

"Sammyyyyyyyyyy….." Dean warned.

"Paybacks are a bitch Dean." Sammy laughed as he coated Dean's face with the whip cream.

"AAAAGGGGGG!" Dean yelled before chasing after his little brother.

The end.


Authors note: I guess I'm no longer capable of writing anything more than one shots since all my WIP's are languishing on my computer, untouched, in various degrees of completion. Apparently my muse has up and died on me, because I haven't written a thing in at least a couple of months. Bad I know. I started this one shortly after Mystery Spot, hence the references, and never finished it. Today I checked out some of my unfinished stories and realized that this one was almost actually complete. I tweaked it a little, maybe too much, and decided to post it. I've been hit and miss on my stories all year, and I'm hoping this one isn't one of the misses. Reviews would be great but if I left you scratching your head with nothing to say, I completely understand. Now if I could only find some nice Winchester boys to give my muse a little mouth to mouth.

Is it the 18th yet?