A/N: So, Blue Peanut and I were talking and we both came up with wanting to do an AU tag for What Is and What Should Never Be. She said I could have it so I'm dedicating this story to her. It's all yours, Gill. I hope it doesn't disappoint. Just a brief warning. There's a little naughty language. sorry if it doesn't make any sense either. I put it together in like, four hours.

This is just what came to my mind as I thought about it and talked to her about what she envisioned happening. Picks up where the Djinn pulls Sam's feet out from under him and goes to the end of the show, with some differences. That's what makes it AU. Hope you all enjoy the different ending.

One more little side note here. Thanks to Sarah () for the review for "There is no Forgetting." I couldn't reply in "person" but your words put a smile on my face. And(yes, there's another note) Carocali, "Almost a Whisper, Barely a Cry" is shaping up nicely and should be posted in the next couple weeks if my muse decides to skip the cruise and stay home.

It's Just a Bad Dream, Sam.

"SAM!" Dean cried, seeing the glowing blue eyes of the Djinn closing in on his brother from over Sam's shoulder. Sam stopped trying to cut through the rope and turned, swinging the knife at the Djinn. The knife was knocked away and Sam was shoved up against the wall briefly before he broke away and stepped up the flight of rickety stairs that the Djinn had used. The djinn grabbed Sam's ankle and pulled him off his feet. Sam grunted at the impact of his chest and chin against the stairs. The Djinn rolled him over and pulled him down the stairs, raising a hand to his face. Sam clamped his own hand around the Djinn's wrist and fought to keep the beast from touching him.

Dean pulled down on the half cut rope that bound his wrist, desperate to free himself to get to Sam. "Grraaahh!" Dean growled as the rope finally snapped. He felt his feet touching the rough concrete beneath them and begged they would hold him up until he could get Sam away from that thing. Dean took a step on shaky legs, grabbed the lost knife and straightened. He cried out as the Djinn's glowing hand came down closer to Sam's temple. Adrenaline surged through Dean's system, giving his flagging energy a boost. He slammed the knife into the Djinn's side just as it's hand came down on Sam's temple. Dean cried out.

Sam's hand went lax on the Djinn's wrist as his eyes fluttered closed.

"Sammy, no!" Dean said hoarsely, shoving the monster's limp body aside. Sam slumped, sliding the rest of the way down the stairs. Dean, breathing heavily, quickly caught Sam, barely managing to keep them both out of a heap on the floor. "Sam, wake up kiddo. Gotta wake up." Dean's breathing was ragged as he pulled Sam's limp form close, tucking Sam's head under his chin. "Come on Sammy." Dean said, shaking his little brother slightly. "I can't carry you outta here. I can barely stand up." Dean lifted his head when he heard a whimper in the darkness behind them. He eased Sam to the floor, placing his hands on his chest. Sam looked like he was sleeping peacefully. Dean now knew that was anything but true. Dean stood on shaky legs and turned away from Sam. He walked over to where he saw another shape in the darkness.

"It's her." Dean near whispered as he saw the woman that broke through to him in his dream world. Dean stepped close, seeing a tear filter it's way through the grime and blood on her face. "She's alive." Dean raised his arm to cut her ropes, his muscles protesting the treatment. He sawed through her ropes, fighting to keep his feet under her added weight as he caught her. She moaned again.

"It's okay. I gotcha. I gotcha." Dean stumbled slightly as he pulled her against his chest, pulling in a deep breath as he fought to build his strength back up. He lifted her, his legs begging to give out. Dean grunted and began the walk, that felt a lot longer than the last time, out of the warehouse. His baby gleamed in the moonlight as he drew strength from her beautiful curves. He opened the back door, feeling lethargy shake him to the core again as he fought to hang on to the girl. Dean laid her across the back seat and brushed the matted hair out of her eyes. They blinked sluggishly and finally focused on him.

"Dad?" She whispered.

"I'm sorry. He's not here." Dean said in a low voice. "You're safe though. I promise, you're safe." Dean stood from his crouch and took a step back. She looked up at him and whimpered, a lone tear coursing down her grimy face.

"Don't leave."

"I'm sorry. I have to go back for m'brother." Dean walked away from the girl and to the trunk. He opened the trunk with the key that was, thankfully, still in his pocket. He opened the trunk and lifted the divider. "Guess we're not civilians anymore, huh baby?"

Dean pulled a canister of salt and a quart of lighter fluid from the trunk, stashing it in a small duffle bag, which he slung over his shoulder. He pulled the key as he shut the lid of the trunk and tucked it securely into his pocket. Dean took a deep breath and turned away from the car, heading back into the warehouse.

As Dean dragged the corpse out behind the abandoned building and watched it burn, he begged for a second wind, or better yet, seeing Sam sitting wide eyed and confused on the warehouse floor. Please tell me he didn't get the bastard's full dose. Dean thought as he saw Sam in the same position he'd put his little brother in. No such luck."Oh Sammy." Dean said, crouching beside his brother, his body still trembling. "Where are you?" Dean asked as he brushed back Sam's long hair. Dean pulled Sam up against his chest, holding Sam close as his head came to rest on his shoulder. He stood with a grunt and pulled Sam up with him, situating his brother's long arm over his shoulders. Dean began another long walk to the car. He pulled Sam up tighter against his side as Sam's feet dragged along the rough concrete.

At the Impala Dean turned Sam to face him and rested his brother against the car, pinning him upright with a hip while he opened the door. "Sorry Sammy. You're just too damn heavy to lift again." Dean said, pulling in and releasing a deep breath, trying to keep the beckoning darkness at bay. He settled his brother into the passenger seat and swung his long legs inside the car, shutting the door when he knew Sam was safely tucked inside. Dean circled the car and got behind the wheel. He leaned briefly against the wheel, his hand caressing the contoured wheel as his forehead rested against the familiar surface. He breathed deeply and a voice from the back seat shook him from his revelry.

"Are you okay?" The girl asked from the back seat. Dean sat up and fired the engine, clearing his throat.

"Uh, yeah." Dean glanced in the rear view mirror to see her push herself up on the seat with a wince. "I'm gonna get you to a hospital. Getcha checked out. Then I gotta take care of my brother."

"Don't expect you to stick around. I get it. I remember what happened now. I don't know what that thing was, I don't wanna know. Just thank you…thanks for getting me away from him. It. Whatever." She hiccuped a sob and glanced at Sam. "Is he going to be alright?"

"Yeah. I'll make sure he is."

Dean dropped her off at the ER doors, helping her to them before he disappeared just as an orderly came out, pulling a pack of cigarettes from his jacket pocket. The need for nicotine was quickly dismissed as the orderly caught sight of the girl and helped her inside. Dean watched her go inside with him as he rounded the curve in the road, before glancing at his too still brother. Dean pulled the car into the motel lot several moments later, breathing a sigh of pure exhaustion, his blood loss and captivity wearing him down quickly.

He stopped the car with a screech of rubber and grabbed Sam as he slumped slightly in the seat. "Sorry Sammy. Just wanna get you inside." Dean said as he settled his brother safely once more before pushing himself wearily from the leather bench and circling the car. He opened the door and braced Sam before hauling his legs out of the foot well. Dean pulled Sam against his chest and lifted him, working himself under Sam's armpit, holding his brother's arm slung tightly over his shoulder. Dean dragged Sam the few feet to the door of the room and cursed. Dean dug into Sam's pocket where he knew Sam always kept motel keycards or keys and soon gripped the key, adjusting his tired grip on his slipping brother. Dean slid the key into the lock and his legs nearly gave out as he hefted the weight of his brother and turned the knob.

He pulled Sam into the room and got him on the furthest bed, arranging him as if asleep, on his back, one hand at his side, the other high on his chest. Dean slumped to his knees on the floor by the bed before finally giving in to his exhaustion. Dean's head hit the floor with a soft thud.

***

Sam picked up his cell phone as it rang, the musical chime loud in the quiet of his apartment. Jess was off shopping with her best friend Michelle for the trip to Kansas. Sam smiled as he recognized the number.

"Hey mom." He paused as Mary Winchester spoke on the other end of the phone. "Yeah, Jess and I are leaving here first thing tomorrow. Flight out is at six a.m. We should land about eleven and…" Sam paused again. "Nah, mom, it's okay. We'll rent a car." Sam laughed. "Yeah, we're sure. My old room is great for us. No mom, we don't want you to put us up at a hotel. We want to spend as much time with you as we can. Besides, I have a surprise for you for your birthday." He heard his mom's laugh of joy and smiled. "Love ya mom. Jess and I will see you tomorrow. Hey, happy birthday." Sam hung up the phone and glanced at his law book before looking at the clock. He heard the door close downstairs.

"Sam? Baby, you home?"

"Up here Jess." Sam called before he closed the book and walked out of the room, going down the stairs to pull her into his arms.

"I got your mom's present." Jess said, a smile lighting up her face. She pulled out of Sam's arms and opened a small ivory gift bag, pulling out a long box and showing Sam a blown glass rose with a cluster of diamonds in the center of it.

"It's beautiful Jess. What would I ever do without you?"

"Crash and burn when it comes to buying presents."

"Come on, flight's early. Lets go to bed. Besides, it might be the last time I get to spend any quality time with you. Mom's room is next to my old one." Jessica giggled as Sam took her bags from her and swung her up into his arms, practically sprinting up the stairs.

***

Sam pulled the rental car to a stop outside his childhood home. A smile lit his face as he saw the petite figure of his mom open the door and step onto the porch. Her blonde hair glowed as she stepped into the sun. Sam emerged from the car and pulled her into his arms, swinging her off her feet as she laughed, a musical tone. Jess smiled at the sight and then heard the rumble of a loud engine coming down the road. A sleek black car pulled up to the curb and Dean Winchester stepped out.

"Hey Sammy!" Dean said, pulling a six pack of beer out of the front seat. He pulled one out of the cardboard carrier and popped the cap with his ring, taking a deep pull. Sam sat his mother back on her feet, turning to face his brother.

"See you started off mom's birthday with a bang." Sam said, his eyes narrowing slightly.

"Yeah, went to the cemetery too."

"Nice Dean." Sam said as he saw his mother walk quietly into the house, followed closely by a concerned Jess, who shot Dean a glare and glanced at Sam.

"How can you still hold dad's death against mom?"

"He died because of her. He wouldn't have been working on that car if she hadn't wanted it so damn bad to give to your ass. It wouldn't have crushed him."

"You're unbelievable." Sam said. "Why can't you grow up?"

"You have it all Sammyboy. The hot girl, the fancy college… I'm the one who stayed in Lawrence to look after the family business. I'm the one running the garage. Like dad wanted."

"You should have told dad you wanted to go into the Marines. He would have been proud of you too Dean!"

"Someone had to be the good son Sam!"

"Yeah well, look how that turned out!" Sam snarled.

"Guys!" Jess snapped from just outside the door. "it's your mother's birthday. She's in her room, crying."

"I can't believe you're m'brother." Sam said, leaving Dean on the lawn with his beer as he slammed the door.

***

Dean stirred on the floor, a shaft of sunlight hitting him in the face. A face that felt like it was ground into the carpet. "Sammy?!" Dean said as he pushed himself upright, grimacing at the stiffness of his limbs. He stood and turned, seeing Sam still unmoving on the bed. Dean sat down on the edge and carded his hand back through Sam's hair. "Guess the freaky bastard hit you harder than I thought." Dean sat on the edge of the bed and checked Sam's pulse. It was steady and normal. "Ya can wake up anytime now Sammy." Dean said, watching his brother closely for that first response that meant Sam was waking up. There was nothing.

"Ah, man, I hate this Sammy, but dude, I need a shower. Please just wake up man." Still nothing. Dean finally shook his head and reached for his duffel bag, rummaging through until he came up with clean boxers, a shirt and jeans. Dean headed for the shower, desperately wanting to get the grime off his body and wake up. Dean left the door ajar and soon had the water running.

***

"Dean?" Mary said from the door of the house. Dean turned to look at his mother, feeling his heart wrench at her red rimmed eyes. "Come inside sweetie. Please."

Dean walked into the house, seeing Sam turn from where he was talking quietly with Jessica. Sam stood from the kitchen stool he leaned against and advanced just slightly on Dean. Mary moved to stand between her boys, putting a hand on each of their chests. "Stop it, right now." Mary said. "You two used to be so close. It's my birthday today and that's what I want for a present. I can't have your father here so I want my boys back. Just twelve hours. Please. Sammy? Dean?"

"I'm sorry mom." Sam said, hugging Mary.

"Me too." Dean said, brushing a lock of his mother's hair back behind her ear.

"Let's go out for dinner." Jess said, smiling at the three of them.

***

Sam looked at Jess after the waitress had sat down their meals. "You wanna tell them or should I?" he asked softly.

Mary looked at Sam "Tell me what?" Sam pulled Jess's hand out from under the table. Her engagement ring caught the light and Mary laughed in delight. Jess, Mary and Sam all stood, exchanging hugs and endearments. Sam rubbed his temple with two fingers as they sat back down, the smile fading from his lips. Jess glanced at him, her own smile fading.

"Baby, are you okay?"

"Huh? Yeah, Jess. 'm fine. Let's finish eating."

***

Dean emerged from the bathroom as he pulled on a shirt and looked at the bed that held Sam to see his brows drawn together. "Sammy?" Dean said, walking quickly to the bed and perching on the edge. He brushed Sam's hair back and ran a thumb across his brow. Sam relaxed. "Where you at kiddo?" Dean asked softly.

***

The group walked into the house, Sam, Jess and Dean saying goodnight to Mary. Sam walked to the kitchen table and sat down, pinching the bridge of his nose with two fingers. Jess walked over and put a hand on his broad shoulder. "Baby, let's go to bed. Your head's hurting and you're tired."

"Yeah. Alright, Jess." Sam stood and wavered just a bit on his feet, Jessica holding his elbow until he steadied.

Dean watched Sam for a minute, his eyes narrowed. The oldest Winchester walked over to where Sam stood. "Ya alright man?"

"Just tired Dean."

"Too much college life'll do that to a dude."

"Dean." Sam said, his tone annoyed. Then Sam sighed and looked at his brother. "Look man, I enjoyed myself tonight. Mom's right, we used to be close. I…" Sam broke off when Dean crossed his arms over his chest.

"What?" Dean asked, defensive.

"I miss it."

Dean's hands dropped to his sides. "Yeah. I do too."

"'Night man." Sam said, a smile on his face.

"Night." Dean said, walking towards the front door. Dean turned back with his hand on the knob. Sam was two steps up the stairs. "Hey Sammy?"

"Yeah?" Sam asked, stopping on the stairs.

"Lets try for twenty four hours tomorrow."

"Yeah." Sam said, waving at Dean as he walked out the door.

***

Sam sat on the bed, watching as Jess slept just a foot away. His lips tipped up in a smile when she rolled over and sighed. Sam leaned over and brushed her lips with his. She smiled softly as her blue eyes opened.

"You going to meet Dean for breakfast?"

"Yeah." Sam said, sliding his left foot into his sneaker as he sat up at the edge of the bed again. "I really hope we can… get past things. I miss my brother. Like we used to be." Sam paused, a look crossing his features. "This isn't right."

"What's not, baby?"

"I don't know. It's just not." Sam stood. "Tell mom I'll be back in a couple hours. I'll bring Dean."

"Okay. I love you, you know that right?"

"Yeah, Jess. Love you too." Sam stood and walked from the bathroom, down the stairs.

Sam hesitated at the front door for just a second as he heard the familiar rumble of the Impala. Please let me be able to fix things with Dean. Sam went outside to see Dean sitting in the car, the engine running, and a scowl on his face.

"Morning Dean."

"Ungh." was Dean's noncommittal response.

"Uh, so where do you want to go for breakfast?"

"Don't care." Dean muttered. He pulled away from the curb and drove down the road. Sam looked at his brother.

"What's wrong Dean?"

"Why do you care? You're goin' back to college life tomorrow."

"You're still m' brother. Distance doesn't change that."

"Look, let's just agree on one thing in the last three years. Let's agree that this isn't gonna work and we'll get somethin' at the mini-mart and I'll drop you back off. Go to the garage."

"Dean…"

"Sam." Dean warned. He swung the car into the tight curve of the parking lot entrance and pulled into a space. Dean got out and shut the door with more force than necessary, walking away from Sam and into the store. Sam followed closely, intent on talking to Dean. Sam ran smack into his brother's back as Dean froze just inside the door.

"Dean?" Sam questioned.

"Easy Sammy."

A man wearing a black ski mask nudged Dean with a .45. "Get the fuck in here now!" The man growled, brandishing the weapon in the direction of the back of the store, where the register was. Dean raised his hands in surrender and moved slowly in the direction the gunman pointed. Dean gingerly lowered a hand and gripped Sam, pulling him slowly forward. The gunman saw the action and swung the gun in Dean's direction again, gesturing with it agitatedly. "Let go of him and get your hands in the fuckin' air!"

"Whoa, whoa. Hey man, It's alright." Sam said, raising his hands as Dean let him go. "You're callin' the shots here bud."

"I'm not…your bud!"

"Easy hoss. He didn't mean anything by it. Just take it easy. Get what you came for and don't hurt anyone and no one here'll stop ya." Dean said.

"Damn right no one'll stop me." The gunman turned to the register and brandished the gun. "Gimme the fuckin' money!"

The terrified clerk raised her shaking hands. "Okay!" She said, reaching down to open the drawer.

Sam gripped Dean's arm and hissed, "He's jumpy, he's gonna hurt someone."

"Don't ya think I don't know that?" Dean hissed in return.

"Shut up!" The gunman said, swinging around with the gun raised and a bag of money in his hand. He moved past Dean and Sam, swinging around to punch Sam in the mouth. The force of the blow knocked Sam to his knees. Suddenly the clerk punched the alarm button under the counter and the gunman jumped at the loud cacophony. His gun was pointed at Sam's head when Dean saw his finger tighten spasmodically on the trigger. Dean jumped in front of Sam just as the gun went off. Pain crossed Dean's features as the gunman fled. Sam raised his head to see Dean's pale face.

"Oh god! Oh god! DEAN!" Sam caught Dean as he slid to his knees, hot, sticky blood coating his abdomen from the gut wound. Sam turned Dean in his arms, gently laying Dean against his chest. "It's okay. I've gotcha, I've gotcha. You're gonna be okay." Sam looked at the ashen faced clerk. "CALL 911!!" Sam placed a large hand over the wound, applying pressure.

Dean coughed, grimacing. "Sammy."

"Shh, shh. I'm here."

"Sammy…s-sorry."

"For-for what?" Sam stammered, flinching as Dean winced.

"Not b-bein' y-your brother."

"Oh, Dean. You are. You're the best brother I could have asked for. The best, you hear me?"

Dean smiled and squeezed Sam's arm briefly before his eyes fluttered closed. His hand went lax and slid away from Sam's arm as sirens sounded out in the distance. "No! Dean! This isn't right!" Sam shook Dean gently. "This isn't right!" Sam tipped his head back and pulled in a ragged breath. "THIS ISN'T RIGHT!!!"

***

Sam sat upright on the bed with a choked gasp, flinching away until his back banged the headboard off of the motel room wall with a thump. "Sammy, Sammy, it's alright man. It's okay." Sam's eyes darted over the room as his lips moved, but no sound emerged. Dean quickly perched on the edge of the bed and reached for Sam. "Sammy, it's alright kid. I'm right here. You're okay."

"Not right. Not right." Sam whispered. Dean crawled onto the bed and pulled Sam into his arms. Sam was shaking badly. "Dean."

Dean tucked Sam's head under his chin. "Hey, I'm here. Wake up kid. Sammy, it's alright."

Dean finally felt Sam's hand come up and clench in the folds of his shirt. "Dean," Sam whispered.

"Shh, just a bad dream Sammy. It's just a bad dream."

"It wasn't right. We weren't brothers. Not close like we are. It wasn't right."

"Hey, it's okay. I'm right here. We're brothers. We're as close as we've ever been. Closer."

Sam's eyes finally cleared and he pulled out of Dean's arms, leaning against the headboard. He pulled his knees up to his chest and propped his arms on them. "The djinn?"

"Yeah. I'm sorry Sammy."

Terror flashed through Sam's eyes for a second before he shook himself as he realized Dean was speaking again. "…gotcha good, before I ganked it."

" God, Dean. Are you okay?"

"Yeah. Worried as hell about you, but yeah."

"Dean…"

"Y'know, it was a trippy experience. When I was under- that supernatural acid trip…or whatever. Mom was alive, you were engaged. But we… we weren't close. That's what gave it away for me, I mean besides the fact that dad played softball and all the people we saved were dead."

"Same here. Jess, mom, us… You died for me." Sam said.

"What?"

"Stepped in front of a bullet."

"Oh."

"Dad played softball?"

"Dude, mom had pictures."

"She was beautiful."

"Yeah, she was."

"Dean, promise me something?"

"What?"

"We're brothers, no matter what."

"Promise. Brothers… no matter what." Dean looked at Sam and grinned, his eyes crinkling at the corners.

"What?"

"Dude, that was so chick-flick." Dean punched Sam in the arm. "Did Jess wear the pants in your family?"

"Jerk."

"Bitch." Dean pulled Sam off the bed and to his feet. "Dude, I need coffee."

"No mini-marts for a while okay?"

"Dude, I kicked off in a mini-mart? What, death by twinkie?"

"Not funny."

"Oh come on, it's a little funny."

"Moron." Sam grinned, rolling his eyes.

"Jess still wore the pants. Girl."

Thanks for reading folks. I know there's been a ton of tags for this one. Let me know if you liked it anyway. Please? THANKS!