(Dean's POV)

I lower his head to the ground…gently... and push his eyes closed just as gently.

I wipe away my tears so I can see as my shaking hands fumble in my pocket for the ritual written in Latin on a small slip of paper to make sure it is there. It is. I quickly pull off my button down shirt that I have over my t-shirt. Gagging and willing myself not to throw up, I dip it in Sam's blood and draw the symbols around his body that Castiel showed me, hoping that I remembered them right. Sammy always had the better memory…and the better Latin. Really the best hunter I know...

When I'm done, I pull out a small velvet drawstring bag containing a special powder that Castiel put together for the ritual. I sprinkle it over Sammy, wondering what in it makes it glitter when the light of a nearby street lamp hits it.

Finally, I am ready for the reading of the ritual. Hoping I am saying all of the words correctly, I chant it like Castiel showed me. Fifteen minutes later, with a flash of light as the powder goes up in smoke, I am done.

I look down at Sammy, who still looks very much dead.

I sit down next to him and wait.


Chapter 7


"Did it work?" Sam croaked, his mouth dry and eyes still closed, just assuming Dean was somewhere nearby.

"You feeling okay now?" Dean asked from somewhere close.

Sam was confused by the trepidation in Dean's voice.

"I...I guess so," Sam answered raspily, wondering what had happened after he died and then obviously came back.

"Because you really scared me, Sammy. That's twice in one week. And you damn well know that I don't scare easily," Dean reminded him.


His eyes still closed, Sam took a deep breath while he acclimated himself to his surroundings and identify the strange sound. He felt something soft beneath him and a blanket over him, pulled up to his shoulders. Sam could also feel a pillow under his head and the palms of his hands resting against cool sheets.


A moment later, Sam slowly opened his eyes and looked up. A fan in the ceiling was turning at a slow pace, making the whomp sound that had first woken him. Ah, Sam thought. He recognized this place. It was Bobby's panic room.

"What happened?" Sam whispered after he turned his head to look at Dean.

"You came around about an hour later, but have been in and out of it for three days now. Don't you remember any of that?" Dean asked in surprise.

Sam shook his head no, and again tried to swallow away the dry feeling in his throat.

"You want to tell me about that?" Sam asked in a raspy voice.

"Not really," Dean said as he headed over to a table on which was a pitcher of water and a glass and began to pour.

"What, did I confess embarrasing secrets or bark like a dog while I was delirious?" Sam joked, hoping to break the obvious tension.

"No," Dean answered stoically as he walked the glass over to Sam. "You were...uh...screaming alot. It was pretty bad and no matter what I didn't...nothing helped."

"Oh, I don't remember that at all," Sam reaffirmed quietly, sorry that he put his brother through that.

"Well I do," Dean said seriously. "And let's just leave it at that. Can you sit up?"

"I think so," Sam said and did, although not very gracefully, and then took the glass.

After gulping down the water, Sam again turned to his brother.

"Why am I here in this room?" Sam asked, hoping Dean would at least tell him if he had done anything more out of the ordinary while he was out of it.

"Strictly a precaution," Dean answered honestly. "Until we know for sure that-."

"That I'm still me?" Sam said to finish his brother's sentence as felt his chest where the bullet had hit him.

Sam was not surprised to find that there was no wound.

"Are you?" Dean asked.

Sam looked up at his brother and almost laughed. Dean was standing across the room again, next to where a shot gun was propped up against the wall...almost as if…

"Are you…are you actually afraid of me now?" Sam asked with a smile at the preposterous thought.

Dean didn't answer right away, and appeared to be studying Sam. And Sam didn't like it one bit.

"Do what you need to do, then! Whatever test I need to pass to convince you that I'm okay!" Sam implored as he swung his legs over the side of the bed.

"Already did while you were out of it," Dean replied. "Nothing."

"That's great!" Sam exclaimed until he noticed his brother still looked wary. "That's not enough…is it?"

"I don't know. Bobby and I…we just don't know," Dean answered as he began to pace the room and still to Sam's dismay, staying his distance.

"Dean," Sam said as he tentatively stood up and found his legs to feel strong beneath him. "I've always been…different. You and Bobby both know that."

"This is…this is beyond anything that I've ever seen you do before and you know it! And Ruby? All buddy, buddy with that demon bitch behind my back, even after I told you to stay away from her?" Dean answered.

"I told you I was done with her AND you said you trusted me!" Sam yelled. "I would never have done it if I had known that it would change how you thought of me this much!"

"I didn't think it would!" Dean yelled back as he ran a hand over his face. "But now-."

"What?" Sam exclaimed, his heart racing. "Say it."

Dean sighed.

"I'm…I'm going to let Bobby know that you're alright," Dean said instead as he hurried for the door.

"No!" Sam yelled as he grabbed his brother's arm and swung him around. "We finish this now! It's about time we talked about the elephant in the room."

Dean shrugged Sam off and backed away, but did not again move for the door.

"My biggest fear, Sammy," Dean explained before he gave a big sigh. "Is not that you will be killed by a demon or something else that we hunt because that's a risk for any of us hunters. But I am scared…terrified…that I will lose you to yourself…to the evil that's in your blood."

Dean paused, and Sam sat back down on the bed.

"Dean-," Sam said gently.

"Let me finish," Dean insisted before continuing. "That the more you do that is NOT human…the farther you will get from me and one day I won't be able to pull you back. I realize that I should have been there for you that maybe Ruby wouldn't have taken advantage of you in the first place. That maybe you wouldn't have...hurt yourself to feel better. AND I know that we had to stop the seal from breaking. That it was our job. I know that. But…God…how far will it have to go? How far will you have to go? The price for me is just too high. I don't...I don't want to be faced with what dad told me I might have to do."

"You mean kill me. You think this is what he meant," Sam said softly. "If I do things using my abilities?"

"Maybe. I don't know. Just…please…I need you to promise me. Really promise me that this is it. NO more. From this point on…if you can't do it as a human…I don't want you doing it at all. NO matter what. We'll just have to find another way," Dean answered.

"So you promise to not keep me in the dark anymore about seals or anything else, even if Castiel asks you to?" Sam asked in clarification.

"Yes. I shouldn't have tried to protect you by keeping you out of it. It sure as hell backfired on me, didn't it? But you still have to promise me. Right now," Dean insisted.

Sam looked at his brother, and for the first time in awhile, maybe not since Dean came back from hell, he could see it.

Dean was at his breaking point.

"Okay, Dean," Sam finally agreed. "I promise."

"Good," Dean said with a nod of his head. "Good. I'm going to get Bobby now."

"Sure, okay," Sam said as he continued to wait on the bed.

After Dean left the room, Sam sighed, wondering if Dean too could tell that that promise was one that Sam might not be able to keep.

"Hey, Bobby?" Dean said as he entered the living room a moment later. "Sam's okay now, so if you want to go down and-,"

"Sam's 'okay' now?" Bobby repeated in disbelief. "Is that what he thinks too? Even after you told him what he did down there when he was out of it?"

"I...I told him he was screaming alot and it was bad," Dean said before pausing a moment as he got temporarily lost in the horrible memory.

"It hurts, Dean! My blood! It's burning me inside! Stop it! Please! Dean! DEAN!"

"And he didn't seem to mind not hearing more," Dean continued, avoiding the older man's gaze, knowing exactly what Bobby was getting at.

"He didn't want to hear more or you didn't want to tell him more?" Bobby accused as he charged over to Dean. "He deserves to know! To know that he was flinging things around the room...that his eyes kept going black..and...and yelling at us in a dialect that I've never even heard of!"

"No! He's passed all of our tests, his eyes look normal, and he's talking and moving around just fine! None of that matters now!" Dean insisted.

Bobby sighed and put a hand on the younger man's shoulder.

"Jamming your head in the sand isn't going to make it any less true, son. I'm glad Sam's fine. Hell, more than glad. But...I hope you realize that your denying it, isn't going to change what's inside of him...what he may become someday no matter what you do to try and stop it," Bobby said.

"I know. But for now, he's still Sammy and that's good enough for me," Dean answered.

"Some day he might ask again about exactly what happened and when he does? Tell him," Bobby said. "Once you start keeping secrets from each other again, well then, won't you be right back where you started?"

It was Dean's turn to sigh now, knowing the older man was right.

The End

Thanks for reading this story! Hope you enjoyed it! Don't forget to review and check back soon as I will soon resume working on my last remaining Supernatural story.