Oh boy. I am SO nervous about posting this story. But I like it, and I so needed to write it after watching "On the Head of a Pin". Still, I feel like there's some pieces of it that could be a lot stronger. Ohhh enough worrying! Just post it already, girl! :P

Disclaimer: I don't own these boys. Man, if I did, I wouldn't have to guess how Dean and Sam feel, I'd have them right here to tell me.

The title is from the amazing song by Cinderella of the same name. Listen to it, it's awesome. :)


"I guess I'm not the man either of our dads wanted me to be," Dean says, not looking at Castiel. It hurts so much to say, because its true. "Find someone else. It's not me." He closes his eyes against the tears. He knows Castiel will be gone when he opens them again. He always is. Damn angel. Doesn't even have any words of comfort for him. Not that he deserves them.

He opens his eyes. No Castiel, as predicted.

I guess nobody wants to be around me anymore, he thinks miserably. Not even Sam. He hasn't seen Sam at all, not once since he got into this damn hospital. Gone are the days of the constant vigil by his bedside.

More tears slip down his cheeks, unheeded. He isn't the man that Sam wants him to be, either. He's not strong and brave and powerful. He isn't a demon-killer - or at least not in the way Sam wants him to be, anyway. He's just useless. And he needs Sam.

God, Sam, wherever you are now, with Ruby, whatever - I don't care about the lies, I don't care about the fights - I need you so much right now.

More tears. Dean can't remember the last time he felt this bad. Yes, memories of what happened in Hell are bad. But even they aren't much compared to this. He closes his eyes again. I failed everyone this time. Not just Dad, or Sam. The world, this time. Everyone's going to die because of me.

He needs Sam. Sam does not come. Maybe Sam had left. Realized this was his chance to get away, while Dean was hurt and helpless in the hospital. Realized that he could do whatever he wants now, go hunting demons with Ruby.

He closes his eyes again, lets the misery take over.

"Dean? Dean, are you okay?"

Dean freezes. That isn't Sam. It can't be. Sam doesn't sound like that anymore.

He sounds like SAM now. Strong, independent, exorcises-demons-with-his-mind Sam. Sam, who doesn't need his brother anymore.

This voice, this sounds like Sammy. The old Sam, the one who was young and unsure of himself and loved his brother unconditionally. But that Sam is gone now. Only the exorcises-demons-with-his-mind Sam is here anymore.

"Dean? Man, please talk to me."

It sounds too much like Sammy not to look. Slowly, painfully, Dean opens his eyes and raises his head. Sammy stares back at him, dark eyes full of fear and grief. They well up with tears when Dean meets them.

"Dean - hey. Are you okay?"

Dean watches him for a long moment. "Sammy?"

A tear runs down Sam's cheek. "Yeah. Hey Dean."

Dean doesn't have enough strength to open his hand, or he would, to let Sam know he needs him.

A moment later Sam's big strong hand is holding his anyway, gently but firmly. Only Sammy does that. Knows what Dean needs without him having to say a word.

"Dean... I'm so sorry."

Sam's voice still sounds small and sad, like it used to when he was upset.

Dean manages to open his mouth. It hurts. But then, everything that he does these days hurts, in one way or another.

"Sorry for what?" he whispers. His voice is raw and quiet.

"For not being there." Sam is crying again, squeezing Dean's hand tighter.

"Not your fault," Dean whispers. "Damn angels."

Sam sniffs. "I know. But I couldn't protect you, again. I never can."

Dean wishes he had enough strength to think of a comforting answer, but all he can come up with right now is "Well that makes two of us."

He knows it isn't comforting. But it's true. He can never protect Sam either. And he doesn't have a hopeful bone left in his body anymore. He feels broken, empty. When you've started the end of the world, what else is there left to do? What could be worse? And Sammy doesn't even know. If Sam knew, he'd hate Dean. Even more than he does now, if that's possible.

But Dean wants to be the one who tells him. So that he doesn't find out from some demon like Ruby or some angel looking for trouble.

"Sammy?" he whispers.

"Yeah Dean?" Sam is watching him with sad eyes.

"It was me, Sam."

Sam leans closer. "It was you?" He looks confused.

"I broke the first seal." Dean's voice is hoarse. Talking hurts. He wants to stop, but some part of him - the part that aches for comfort and Sam - needs him to know about this. "When I was in Hell. When I got off the rack..." - more tears now, from his already raw eyes - "...and I started ripping apart souls... that was the first seal." He raises his eyes to Sam, even this sapping all his energy. "And I made it possible for all the other seals to be broken."

He sniffs, trying to gather himself. "Sammy, I started this. The world's going to end because of me."

Sam is silent. Dean doesn't want to look at him, but at the same time, he does. Some small part of his broken soul still believes that Sam won't hate for him this. Sammy will forgive him.

But what if he doesn't?

Dean looks.

Sam is watching him with dark eyes. They aren't sad anymore. They are angry. Furious.

Dean flinches, although Sam has said nothing. "I'm sorry, Sammy."

And then Sam is right in front of him, one hand on Dean's shoulder. The other comes up with utmost gentleness and tips Dean's chin up to meet his eyes. "Don't apologize," Sam says fiercely. "Don't you do that. This is not your fault."

Dean mentally marvels at how Sam can be so furious and terrifying, yet his hands are still touching Dean like he is the most fragile thing they've ever come in contact with.

"It is my fault," Dean rasps. He needs Sam to understand. "Alastair said. 'When a righteous man spills blood in Hell'. I made it possible for Lillith to break the other seals." Tears are starting again, but Dean has no strength to hold them back.

"That makes it Lillith's fault," Sam says angrily. "Dean, don't you see? She broke the seal, not you."

"I broke it," Dean says quietly. "I broke it, because I wasn't as strong as Dad."

"What are you talking about?" Sam looks genuinely confused.

"Dad." Dean's voice is flat. "Alastair tortured Dad too, in Hell. He was supposed to break the seal, but he didn't. He held on and I couldn't. He held on for a hundred years, Sam, and I couldn't hold on for thirty. I was weak and I..."

"Stop." Sam sounds angry again.

Dean is almost afraid to look at him, Sam is so different anymore.

"Dean, I don't care what Dad did. You aren't Dad, and you don't have to compare yourself to him. No one should. It doesn't make you any less of a man, Dean. Dad - he wasn't..." Sam stops and waits for Dean to look at him. "Dad was so obsessed with everything he ever did... Dad was like a rock. He was immovable."

Dean draws in a shaky breath. "I should have been like that too. I should've..."

"No, Dean. It's not your fault. It doesn't make you weaker. It just makes you human."

Dean's eyes burn with unshed tears. "I still started this."

"No! No you didn't." Sam leans closer. "Lillith started it. If she was after Dad before, then obviously she'd been trying to break the seals for years. She'd planned this all along. You making the deal, going to Hell..." Sam stands up, hands in his hair, pacing Dean's room. "She knew everything that was going to happen. She started all this." He turns and looks at Dean, who is watching him bleakly. "And now we're going to end it. We have to find Lillith, Dean. I..."

He stops and his eyes go hard. "I'll kill her, Dean. I'll kill her for what she did to you."

Dean can't help feeling just a little bit better, to hear Sam so defensive on his behalf.

"That doesn't change what I did," Dean whispers anyway. No matter if Lillith had sent him to Hell or not, he had still got off that rack. Still picked up that razor. Nothing could change that.

"No. No it doesn't. But you can, Dean. You can change it. By putting all this behind you and helping me stop Lillith. She did this to you, and it's time she paid for it. Dean, it wasn't your fault. Promise me, promise me that this is the last mile you'll walk this way. It's time to forget about the wrong, Dean, and make it right."

He sits again, and now Dean doesn't hesitate to meet his eyes. "Promise me, Dean. Let's track down that bitch, and put an end to all this. We can do it, I know we can."

"You can do it without me," Dean says softly.

"No I can't. I need you with me, Dean. I can't do this without you. Please." Sam looks away for a moment, then back. "What makes a man a man, Dean? It's the choices you make. Not how you start things, but how you choose to end them."

Dean doesn't know what to say. All he knows is that he doesn't want to live this way anymore. Guilt-ridden and afraid and a shadow of his former self. Maybe Sam's right. He still thinks this is his fault, but he wants to put a stop to this, too. And he wants revenge on Lillith, for everything she's done to him and his family. And with Sam by his side, he feels like maybe he can do it. Stop this apocalypse, put things right. The two Winchester boys, saving the world. The way its supposed to be.

He looks at Sam, who is watching him, hope evident in his eyes. He feels closer to Sam tonight than he has in months. And it feels good.

"Okay," Dean says, and Sam's eyes lighten and he grins at him, a real grin that makes Dean feel about a hundred times better. "Okay," Sam says.

Dean almost smiles too. It's amazing how different he feels when he knows Sam is on his side. It's the best feeling in the world. For the first time, he feels like maybe he can do this. Maybe he can kill Lillith, make up for all he's done, and stop the apocalypse. As long as Sam's by his side. Then he does smile at Sam, green eyes big and soft and trusting. "Thanks, Sammy."

Sam smiles back. He doesn't have to ask Dean what he's thanking him for, he already knows. "Get some rest, Dean. I'll be right here." He settles in the chair next to Dean's bed, looking far too big for it, like always.

Dean sighs, feeling safer than he has for a long time. He glances at Sam, and can't resist. "I can't believe you just quoted that movie, at a time like this."

Sam laughs. "Shut up, Dean. It's a good movie."

A moment later,

"Righteous man, huh Dean?"

Dean's heart feels lighter than it has in months.

"Shut up, Sammy."


What did you think? Please let me know! Press that pretty green button... go on... :D Reviews make me warm and fuzzy inside! xD

I really hope you enjoyed it, and thank you so much for reading.

P.S. Let's see if anyone can tell me what movie that quote is from! ;)

Catch you on the flipside,