Disclaimer: Don't own 'em, just love 'em. Wish ta hell I worked for Kripke

Ever since Dean returned from Hell the dynamic between the brothers has been off and I think the root cause could be guilt.


Sam sighs as he drives the Impala out of the motel parking lot to pick up the take out. Dean had tossed him the keys a couple of minutes ago and said" Mexican" just before he headed into the shower, it was Sam's turn to get the food.

Sliding behind the wheel Sam drifts into the inner dialogue he goes into these days when he finds a rare moment of being alone. I can't help but feel guilty still, like drivin his car. My car. It was mine when he went.... it's ours now but still... don't get me wrong, I love my brother more than anyone else in the world and it's not about the car...anyway.. Havin him around means more to me now... since.... he went away. Sam sighs again deeply with a sad smile on his face. "Went away" Dean's euphemism for died and went to hell. He thinks bitterly.

It's just that I can't reach...there's this damn gulf between us now. It's my fault. All of it and none of it. Not my fault the yellow-eyed demon chose me along with the hundreds of other kids. But still I'm packing demon blood nonetheless. Not my fault Dean made that Deal.....yet I can't, don't ever wanna see hell the way Dean does. DID. Dean saw hell, was in hell for ME! He went and got him self tortured, cut up every day for my demon ass blood. How can I ever make that up to him? Sam's stomach turns sour at the too familiar thought of Dean screaming and his own chicken shit drunk that lasted three months right after.

I'll never drink like that again, each day blended into another. The pain was always there but like it was across the room, not directly in me bit never far away either. Man, I did just about everything you asked me not to do Dean.... in spades. OK, I took psychology classes at Stanford I know it was classic self destructive behavior but knowing it intellectually and having the chaones to stop it are two different things. I failed you there too bro. "But I wasn't...didn't know what it'd be like with out you.... really gone" Sam says softly out loud. It was like, like when I was eight at that lake, the one where the bottom suddenly drops off. I was walking waist deep forever until I was pretty far out, then all of a sudden couldn't feel the sand under my feet anymore, I couldn't touch bottom and I panicked. I was over my head for the first time and I panicked.... I couldn't find solid ground. When you were gone it felt just like I was drowning again. Sam turns at the next set of lights and sighs again.

"And you came back!" Sam says aloud to no one in the car. "YOU FREAKIN come back." And I can barely look you in the eye cuz of what I did. And you don't look me in the eye much either and I think (crazy) he knows. You didn't then..... You know now. But you don't meet my eyes cuz YOU'RE ashamed of what they made you do in Hell? What the fuck dude? You didn't have a choice, I had choices and look at the ones I made!

Sam picks up the order and gets back in the car. The familiar odor of the leather seats and aroma of the take out blend to make the car smell like a hundred other nights in a hundred other towns. It smells like home.

"You should never feel ashamed," Sam mutters low. As he gets ready to leave he spies a convenience store across the street and does a "U" turn to pull in. A six pack and a large package of peanut M&M's complete his errand and he heads back to the motel where he knows before he fully gets through the door Dean will say "What took ya I'm starvin!"

Sam barely gets the key in the door when Dean pulls it roughly open and starts in his mock anger voice, "What took.. But Sam cuts him off by pushing the takeout bags and the six-pack into Dean's arms. And as Dean juggles the bundles Sam reaches into the convenience store bag pulls out the M&M's and holds them up to Dean's frowning face.

At once the rant is preempted and suddenly that radiant smile, so rarely seen these days, shines back at Sam. That smile was always infectious and Sam finds himself grinning back at Dean. God, it's good to see that. Ahhh, m'cheeks hurt can dimples atrophy?

As Dean brings the bags over to the small table and starts pulling out the food Sam has one more thought.

"I'm startin to feel the ground beneath my feet again Dean and from now on I'm going to

try and be the man you wanted me to be before..."

The end-please review.