Yep, I'm back with yet another Supernatural one-shot. They're already the majority of my published fics – pretty soon they'll outstrip even my random unfinished ideas. This is a tag to Jump the Shark, and it popped into my head as soon as the credits rolled, since we didn't get to see the hurt/comfort directly on screen except for a very tiny part at the end. I'm pretty sure I'm not Kripke, so I don't own Supernatural. As for the graphicness of the scene, well… Sam was tortured after all. This is first person, Dean's POV.

-Reality vs. Nightmare-

The sight that greeted me as I rushed into the house was one from one of my worst nightmares: Sam strapped to a table like a sacrificial victim, bleeding heavily from both wrists and a gaping hole in his side, with each of those things leaning over him threateningly. I wasn't too late to save him. Rage filled me; a foreign feeling since my trip into hell had buried pretty much all of my emotions except grief and regret. 'No one touched Sam and lived to get away with it!' my rage growled in my mind, taking over rational thought.

I lifted the shotgun and fired, knocking the Adam thing away and hopefully out for the count as it slumped against the wall. Sam's cry of, "Dean, they're ghouls!" made me lift my pistol instead as I fired at the other, blood splattering the walls as her head came off, a cruel mockery of the blood flowing from my little brother's wrists. My big brother instincts had kicked into overdrive as I floored the Impala back to Adam's house, every possible worst scenario flashing behind my eyelids, and they even overpowered my hunter instincts as the female ghoul's body crumpled to the floor. I rushed to Sam's side, intent on untying the ropes and stopping the alarming amount of blood coming from his wrists before he bled out. Before he died.

But I had forgotten one thing – the other ghoul, as it dragged me through the glass door and back into the living room. As we traded blows, I got the upper hand and threw it down before trying to smash its face with a lamp. It dodged and tried to get back up, but this time the butt end of my shotgun knocked its head back onto the floor with a crack. Still blind with rage that these things had hurt Sam, I smashed its head to an unrecognizable pulp before the red haze in my vision subsided. Panting, I looked down at the thing that had worn Adam's face. "Take that, bastard," I snarled.

There was dead silence coming from the other room. "Sammy!" I shouted, waiting for an answer. But I got none. Frantically I rushed back to where my brother was secured to the table. His face was gray and ashen, eyes closed and a pained look on his face. Blood was no longer dripping into the china, and my heart stopped for the second time in five minutes. Dead people didn't bleed. If he had died while I was occupied with the other ghoul, I would never forgive myself. I closed my eyes and reached for his neck, placing my shaking fingers against his neck to feel for a pulse. There was none. Grabbing one of the knives they had used on Sam, I sliced through one of the ropes to reach the pulse point on the wrist – it was more accurate than the carotid artery, and there was still a small chance he was alive. My fingers slipped in the bloody mess they had made of his wrist before finding the point. I stopped my fingers from shaking to get an accurate reading, but there was nothing. I had failed after all, failed in the worst way possible, because I wasn't fast enough, wasn't strong enough. I was just a failure.

His mangled wrists and slick blood gripped my mind and drew me back into my memories of hell, memories of my own wrists feeling like that as well as what I had inflicted on others. But not even those memories could override the horror that was before my eyes this instant.

I finished slicing the ropes and duct tape from Sam's form, 'it's too still, his DEAD form', my mind whispered as the tears ran unchecked down my face. He couldn't be dead, it was too soon. He probably died thinking I didn't love him anymore, that I hated him because of what he had become. It wasn't true, I did still love him. I had just been scared, so scared that he didn't need me anymore, and now… he was gone.

'NOOOOOOOO!!!' my mind and voice screamed as I awoke with a gasp. Please have let it just be a nightmare, not true, not true, couldn't be, Sam wasn't dead, he wasn't! My eyes shot over to the next bed, where Sam lay. Panting, I watched the rise and fall of his chest almost greedily, taking in the sign that he was still alive and with me. I just needed to be sure, so I got up and went over to him, placing my hand on his forehead with a feather light touch.

Sam's eyes shot open at the touch, his body flinching away from it. His eyes focused on me, still hovering above him. "Dean? You okay, man?" his voice rasped, still hoarse from the screaming he had done while being tortured.

I didn't answer, just gripped his arms as I turned his wrists over to check the bandages and stitches underneath, to assure myself that it had all been a dream, that this wasn't the dream, but the reality. Sam was alive, and while his wounds would take time to heal, I was fairly certain there wouldn't be any complications.

Sam let me fuss over him, sensing that something had freaked me out and letting me take my reassurance. Looking at the jagged stitches and wishing they were the neat ones of a professional doctor, I thought about the argument we had about the stitches.

I wanted to take Sam to a doctor, not trusting my own skills to sew up such bad wounds, but Sam had insisted it be me, saying, "If I go to the hospital with my wrists slit, Dean, they'll assume I tried suicide and put me on suicide watch, no matter what you say. It'll be ridiculously hard to bust me out, and who knows how many seals Lilith could break while we're stuck there. No, Dean, I trust that you can do it well enough. I don't need a doctor."

His voice broke me out of my reverie. "Dean? Are you sure you're ok?" he asked again, this time with more concern and less hoarseness.

I gave him a little smile. "Sure, Sammy, I'm fine. Just wanted to make sure you didn't bust any stitches in the middle of a dream or something." In an attempt to lighten the mood, I added, "Seriously though, dude, if you ever let yourself get kidnapped again…"

He interrupted me with a grin of his own. "What? You'll kill me?" he asked sardonically.

"That wasn't what I was going to say!" I retorted. "It's just… that was too close Sam. Way too close. If I had been just a little later, you could've…" I shuddered with the memory of the nightmare, of Sam's face gray and eyes closed, like Cold Oak all over again.

He sat up awkwardly, wincing as the motion pulled at the stitches in his side, another wound that had me worried. I would have to check and make sure the ghouls didn't leave any nasty creature germs that could lead to infection later. His arms slowly came up and around me in a hug. I stiffened a little, then recognized the gesture of comfort for what it was and hesitantly leaned into his touch, overwriting the memory of the nightmare with this real one, imprinting it in my brain for the next time it occurred. I knew it would come back, probably for many nights to come, but for now I relished this glimpse of the old Sammy, my Sammy, the one who needed me to rescue him and who knew me better than I knew myself sometimes. Maybe, just maybe we could get back a little of what we had lost over the last year after all.

And that's the end of this fic. What did everyone think? Please review and let me know. Also, if anyone would like to write a spin-off of this where Sam does go to the hospital, let me know, since I also toyed with doing that but chose this instead. I'll let you do it if you ask my permission first, but I definitely want to see the finished product!