He really had thought he could make it.

It couldn't have been more than twenty steps from his bed to the bathroom. He hadn't wanted to wake his brother again because this was the first sleep Sam'd had in days.

He'd been wrong and the floor was hard as his legs gave way beneath him.

He clung wearily on as Sam gently hauled him back to his feet, nausea roiling his empty stomach as the room pitched and bucked.

"Why didn't you call me?"

Sam propped his brother carefully against the shabby headboard, his dark eyes wide with renewed concern as Dean flinched at the touch of the bedding against his wounds.

"Thought ... could...manage..."

Dean hiccuped breathlessly as the younger Winchester carefully eased his T-shirt up to expose the angry tram track wounds criss-crossing his torso. His fingers clutched at the sheets as Sam gently probed the torn sutures.

The deep, bloody rents scarred his taut abdomen, gouging their way down his trembling body to terminate just above his prominent hip bone. The heat of fever burned from them and Dean gasped involuntarily.

"I'm sorry you got in the way of this, Dean."

Contrition clouded Sam's long face.

"Don't be. It's...my...job...Sammy..."

Dean whispered weakly as unconsciousness claimed him.