One-shot number 5 in my attempt to add limp Sam to each episode this season. This one's pretty short. My version of last two scenes in Monster Movie. I don't know why, but I really didn't like this episode. So this one was hard to write / Anyways, here tis. Ta for reading x

warning: spoilers for 4x05

disclaimer: not mine

Dean flinched with every shot that was fired.

The shape-shifter stumbled. Its bony fingers released Dean's throat, and shock lit its eyes.

Dean fell backwards, desperately pulling air into his lungs.

The shifter had been beating him, strangling him. It had put up a fair fight. He struggled to get his bearings. He threw his gaze at Jamie.

The girl held Sam's smoking gun. Her hands trembled. Her expression was darkened, fearful.

"Silver?" The shape-shifter backed away. Crimson bloomed upon its chest. It tripped over its feet.

Dean looked between the creature he'd been hunting, and the girl he'd been hoping to spend the night with.

"Was… beauty that killed the beast..." The shifter's eyes lost their shock, and filled with sadness.

Dean watched it stagger.

It looked almost comical, in its Dracula guise. It crumpled to the floor, its cape spreading about its shoulders.

Jamie dropped the gun. She let out a strange noise; almost a whimper.

Job taken care of.

Easy as pie.

So why couldn't Dean breathe?

He glanced briefly at Jamie, and then across the room. His heart threatened to shatter his chest. His hands trembled.


His little brother lay in a pile of rubble.


Sam wasn't moving. The shifter had thrown him through a wall, and Dean hadn't been able to get to him.

Jamie's eyes followed Dean's. She opened her mouth.

Dean didn't wait to hear what she had to say. He pushed past her, hauling his thoughts into gear. The force at which Sam had been thrown through the wall was sickening. He dropped beside his unmoving brother. "Sam-?" He reached unsteady fingers to check Sam's pulse.

Sam's cheeks were pale. There were beads of sweat upon his brow.

Jamie appeared suddenly. She mumbled incoherently, something about hospitals, calling nine-one-one.

Dean shook his head sharply. No hospitals. Sam was still breathing. His pulse was steady. Dean gently sat him upright.

Jamie gasped and said something about Sam's back.

Dean wanted her to step away. He wanted her to stop trying to interfere. He pulled his brother closer, protectively snaking an arm around Sam's back, unsure why he was so reluctant to accept her help. He'd try to coax Sam awake, and then they'd get the hell out of here and he'd take care of Sam back at the motel room.

His fingers hit warmth. There was a wet patch on the back of Sam's shirt. His heart froze.

Jamie was fumbling with her phone, announcing she would definitely call an ambulance.

Dean's stomach plummeted.

He was kneeling in the mud with his brother in his arms, clumsily pulling Sam closer and feeling the horrendous wound in Sam's back from where Jake had stabbed him; the blood over his fingers, the life leaving Sam's body…

Dean's hand shot out.

Jamie's eyes flew wide as the phone was knocked from her grip.

Dean pierced her with a look.

She didn't understand. She couldn't possibly understand.

No hospitals. Dean wrestled his brother away from the bed of rubble and manoeuvred himself so that he could take a better look at Sam's back. He carefully peeled the shirt away from the wound.

It wasn't deep. It looked frightening, but that was only because of the knotted skin around it. It bled, but the bleeding wasn't life-threatening.

Jamie's eyes swam. "Oh, God…" Her gaze was fixed upon Sam's scar. She looked like she was about to vomit. Her eyes burned with questions that Dean didn't want to answer.

Dean refused to look at her. He shook his brother gently. "Sam. Sammy. C'mon dude, wake up-"

Sam stirred.

Jamie opened her mouth, a sentence perched upon her tongue.

Suddenly Sam's eyes snapped open, and he stiffened abruptly.

A large ornate mirror exploded behind them, showering the room with shards of glass.

Jamie cried out.

Dean clutched his brother, willing Sam to calm.

Sam's eyes were wild.

Jamie had covered her face protectively when the mirror had shattered. Now she looked around fearfully; first at the debris, and then at the brothers. Her eyes were wider then saucers. She regarded Sam like she'd regarded the shape-shifter; with more than a hint of uncertainty and trepidation.

Dean ignored the mirror. He ignored the girl.

Sam was shaking and coughing, trying to hold himself upright on his own.

Dean held his brother tighter. They had to get out of here. He hauled Sam to his feet.

"Dean…" Jamie staggered up with them. Her face was white.

Dean steadied his brother, turning so that Sam was closest to the door.

Jamie's eyes darted towards the younger man, but Dean moved so that she couldn't see Sam.

This was where they parted company. No questions, no strings attached. It had been fun, but Dean's first responsibility was to his family, not to a girl. He couldn't answer all the questions she would ask; he wouldn't answer them. Ungracefully, he shuffled his brother towards the door.

Sam groaned. He bent against Dean's shoulder.

The shifter lay in a pool of blood upon the floor. Splinters of broken mirror glistened upon its back.

Dean didn't want to think about whether Sam had caused the mirror to break. It was irrelevant. The only thing that mattered was getting Sam back to the motel, and patching up the cut on his back; even though it was shallow and wouldn't need sutures, and it would just be a scar upon another scar, like all the others…

Dean swallowed roughly.

"Dean-" Jamie's voice was strained, desperate.

Dean didn't look at her. He kept walking towards the door. "You'll be alright." He wished he could be more compassionate. "Go home." He had nothing more to offer her.

She was alive. That was all that mattered.

Sam's feet weren't working properly. His legs barely held him up. He tripped, staggering.

Dean caught him, and steeled his shoulders. This case was supposed to have been fun. It was supposed to have been simple. He'd really enjoyed Jamie's company, but he didn't want her sympathy and he hated the way she was looking at Sam; like he was some sort of freak. Or perhaps she was just curious. Or shell-shocked by the whole situation she'd wound up in. Either way, Dean didn't want find out.

Each family had their secrets, and his and Sam's were definitely worth keeping. This was where Dean drew the line with strangers. He hadn't even told her that Sam was his brother…

Clumsily, he steered Sam's feet towards the hallway.

Jamie's shoulders shook. She watched the brother's go, but didn't follow them.

Dean was glad she didn't follow. He paused briefly, feeling a weight in his stomach. He'd feel guilty later.

Sam's face was pinched in pain. "God…" He reached for a wall. "I gotta sit down-"

But Dean held him firm, and dragged him onwards. "You can sit in the car." His tone was merciless. But he wasn't angry with his brother; he was concerned. His words came out harsher than he'd intended.

Sam began to argue.

Dean wouldn't back down. There was blood on the back of Sam's shirt, and no matter how hard Dean tried he couldn't tear his eyes from it.

He shook his brother, trying desperately to wake him. But Sam had gone. The light had vanished from his eyes, and his empty body sagged heavily in Dean's arms…

Dean shook his head against memories that threatened to devour him. He needed to get Sam cleaned up. He couldn't handle seeing the blood on Sam's back. It reminded him too much of that night.

Sam was dead. He wasn't going to wake up. He was gone, and he wasn't coming back. No matter how many times Dean called his name, Sam wasn't coming back…

Dean's stomach curled.

Recently, he and Sam had had a conversation about scars. When Dean was brought back from Hell, he thought he'd lost all the scars he'd acquired from his previous life. But he'd been wrong.

Sam's scars were also his to bear. Each of them represented a time when Dean had failed his brother.

And, as Dean was reminded now, none broke his heart more horribly and completely than the scar on Sam's back.

Sam watched his brother.

Dean was shoving their belongings into bags, hastily grabbing everything they had in their motel room.

Sam lay upon one of the beds on his stomach. His back throbbed, but Dean had done a good job patching up the wound; as always.

Dean was very quiet. His features were hard, determined.

Sam wondered what had happened to Jamie. He couldn't recall her leaving the shifter's house with them, and Dean hadn't said anything. Surely Dean would have said something if she hadn't been alright…

Sam didn't want to ask. He couldn't remember everything that had taken place after he'd been thrown through the wall.

Dean moved with an air of anger, frustration.

Sam wondered why, but figured that Dean would tell him, if he felt like it. He just hoped he hadn't done anything to piss his older brother off.

This had been a harder job than they'd planned. Sam suspected that Dean had hoped they'd have some fun; come to this town, have a few beers, investigate a possible case, and pick up a pretty girl.

Sam sighed. If only life was that black-and-white.

Dean's eyes flicked towards him, concerned. "You okay?"

Sam regarded the grotty carpet. He was fine. He wished Dean would ease off with the worry. His lip twitched, and he forced a hesitant smile.

Dean's brow crinkled.

"I was just thinking," Sam said, stifling a wince as he shifted his back. "Life would be nice, if it was movie-simple."

Dean paused in his frantic packing. His eyes sat heavily upon Sam. His expression wavered, as if he was thinking.

Sam worried for a moment that he'd said something wrong.

But then Dean tilted his head. "Yeah," he replied. "Although, if I was turning life into a movie, I wouldn't do this Abbott-and-Costello-meet-the-monster crap." He bit the ends off his words. His tone was sharp.

Sam snorted. That was true. He gazed at his brother.

Dean's shadowed features hadn't lightened. He looked older, somehow. More like their father.

"I know what you'd pick," Sam told him, refusing to dwell on thoughts of their dad.

Dean frowned. "No you don't."

Sam tried to sit up, but the tension was too much on his back. He settled for keeping his chin upon the mattress. "Yeah I do." His words were muffled against the sheets.

Dean's frown deepened. "No you don't." He wasn't angry. The lines across his brow weren't deep enough to be caused by anger. He stared hard at Sam and shook his head. "You don't."

Sam risked a grin. Yes he did. The words spilled over his lips before he could stop them. "Porky's Two."

Dean's expression was like a multi car pile-up. He gaped, his jaw dropping. "What?"

Sam wished he could take a photo of his brother's face. It was priceless. "You heard me."

Dean stared harder. Finally he shook his head. "You know what I think about your psychic crap, Sammy…"

But Sam hadn't pulled any tricks on this one.

"Lucky guess," Dean stated. His words were firm, and he returned to his packing.

Sam shook his head. Luck had nothing to do with it. After all this time, even with Dean absent for so long, Sam could still read his brother like an open book. He flashed his dimples, ignoring the ache in his back.

"Porky's Two," he said again, resting his forehead against the sheets. He closed his eyes. "I guessed right."

Dean didn't comment. He just shot Sam an unimpressed look.

Sam bent his elbow and fingered the gauze upon his back. It stretched over the rough skin of an old and painful scar. Dean had patched him up then, just like he'd patched him up now. Dean was always trying to fix things. The older brother would go to Hell and back, if it meant helping someone. He was driven by a need to protect, even if he acted like a jerk sometimes.

Sam watched his brother.

Dean had come back clean. He'd been dragged from the pit, and his body had been made new.

Sam's fingers were still upon the gauze. When he'd been brought back from the dead, he'd come back with all his old scars, and more.

He thought about his scars. Each represented a time he'd been taken care of by his brother. He was glad he still had them.

"I can see why Heaven chose you," he whispered, a little too quiet for Dean to hear.

Dean just kept on packing, oblivious to Sam's words. "I can't wait to get out of this fucking town," he growled. He didn't look at Sam. "This case has done my head in."

Sam didn't reply. He was glad they'd taken this job. Somehow, tonight, he'd been reminded of something important.

Dean was still here for him.

Despite everything, his older brother was still here.