Hey y'all :):):)

This is yet another apology fic (thank God for boring German lessons :P)

It's only a short soppy kinda one-shot with lots of brotherly love - despite the fact that they don't actually meet again face-to-face.

Summary: A Stanford era one-shot. They'd been told to watch each other's backs. It came to them as naturally as breathing. You think that'd just stop 'cos they've gone their separate ways? Seems like you don't know the Winchester boys that well at all...

Yep, the result of utter and total boredom... oh! And an obvious Supernatural obsession :D. Where would we be without it?

Hope you like it!!! :)

The Impala rumbled loudly as she pulled over to the side of the road, her driver peering out of the side window as he set her into park. The window was rolled down, the California sun roasting pleasantly on the man's exposed arm where it rested.

Piercing green eyes studied the buildings across the way, searching for something of obvious importance. The fingers that gripped on the steering wheel began to tap impatiently: a random drum beat used only to distract, never to entertain.

"Where is he?" came the low mumble, as he spoke to the classic car, her only reply the constant undercurrent of her powerful engine. He craned his neck forwards, squinting against the brightness of the sun. "Maybe he's got the day off today or somethin'."

It was his form of comfort. It was a way to still fears that might not even be warranted: to quell that overprotective streak that would, and most definitely, could never be erased.

Truth was he didn't know squat about University, or courses, or any of that kinda stuff. He had no reason to. His life was hunting: end of story. He wasn't sad about it though. After all, it wasn't like he was missing out or anything.

He scoffed gently, shaking his head to himself. When did I ever seem like the school-loving geeky type?

Sighing, the seats creaked as he leant back into them. A hand scraped messily though his sandy hair, ruffling the 'styled to perfection' spikes that had once been there.

"Maybe Sammy hasn't got time for us today, baby."

The look of sadness that passed over Dean Winchester's face was unmistakable. Heartache, so apparent that it actually hurt to see it, marred his handsome expression, and his shoulders seemed to bow further where he sat as the recent realisation struck home.

It had hurt like hell to see Sam up and leave. He knew that his brother had been in agony over the decision and it had obviously been killing him to have to leave behind his family on such terms. Dean hadn't been that self-absorbed that he hadn't seen the tear tracks staining Sam's cheeks moments before he left.

But Dean was proud of him. Missed his little bitch more than anything in the world and wished more than once that he would come back to them, but he was still damn proud. The kid had always been different in their abnormal family. They had hunting, he wanted school. They had ghosts, he wanted friends.

Always wanted what it was impossible to get in our line of work, Dean thought softly, smiling a little. That's my Sammy all over.

In the end, Sam had been the one to chase his dreams, to rise up and cast down their old life. Out of all of the Winchesters, he was definitely the most courageous when it came to standing up for themselves. He wasn't afraid to follow his heart or to separate himself from the pack and do his own thing.

So, in that respect, Sam would always be the stronger one of the two.

A melodious laugh brought him out of his reverie, and Dean froze for a moment. He'd recognise that laugh anywhere…

Turning, he leant closer to the open window, gaze already locked on one of the two most important people in his life. A grin found its way onto his face as he saw his little brother strolling forwards, adorable dimples out in full force as he laughed boisterously, two friends flanking him while they laughed along with him.

Dean took in the still long and unruly mop of hair and he quirked an eyebrow in amusement. Will he ever get a damn haircut? He studied how Sam had seemed to sprout even taller, literally head and shoulders above his friends. He still seemed lanky and slim beyond reason, but then again, that was yet another Sammy trademark.

The Impala purred loudly and the elder brother chuckled deeply, patting her door with affection. "I know, I know. There's our Sammy…"

Watching him as his freakishly long legs ate up the pavement, Dean felt no jealousy towards his brother's happiness. It had been his entire life's responsibility to keep Sam safe, to ensure his well-being in any and all situations. Whenever Sam was happy, Dean was happy. That was all there was to it.

About to round the street corner and disappear from his hidden brother's view, Sam paused, frowning slightly. Hesitantly, he turned glancing over to the row of cars on the opposite side of the road, his stare instantly pinpointing a familiar looking black car.

He shook his head. It couldn't be…

"Sam?" He lowered his eyes to his friend, Zach, forcing a smile so as to avoid any worrisome questions. His past and his family weren't particularly frequently discussed topics. "You ok?"

"Yeah, I'm good," he brushed it off with a gentle shrug, proceeding to walk. "Just thought I saw somethin' is all…"

Thoughts of his past life were once again submerged as his friends continued telling him about their famous one-nighters and unfortunate mishaps. Sam chuckled again, eyes twinkling in uncontained joy as he turned the corner, hanging on the two other students' every word.

Slowly, Dean pushed himself upright from being laid flat out against the Impala's seats, breathing out long and loud. "Shit, that was a close one." He rubbed the back of his neck, eyes lingering longingly on the spot where his brother had been mere seconds before. "Don't think he saw us, baby."

Shaking his head, he placed both hands on the steering wheel, pausing in thought. He said nothing as his gaze became downcast, his brow lowering to touch against the Impala's wheel for a brief moment.

Silence enveloped him, but it always did whenever he went there.

He would experience the pure joy of seeing Sammy safe, happy and free. Yet, straight after, devastation would come crashing down on him: the raging storm that followed the eye.

Patting the steering wheel with both hands, he straightened. A disheartened sigh broke the quiet immediately. "Ok, break time's over."

He put the Impala into gear, his foot hovering over the accelerator. "We got work to do."

Replying with a low growl, the Impala raced forwards, tearing away from her hiding place and taking her and her charge away. She slowed as they passed the corner, allowing Dean one last protective glance at a place where Sam would no longer be, before she sped away, tearing up gravel in her hungered haste.

Dean hit the tree hard, crying out as he slumped to the floor, keeping a death grip on the gun. He blinked away the white spots, pushing himself up on shaking limbs, poised and alert. The barrel of the gun was raised again, trying to aim at an invisible assailant in the night.

"Come on, you hairy son of a bitch!" he taunted, holding one arm out wide, practically begging to be mauled, "That all you got?!"

A roar to Dean's left made him turn and he fired on instinct, the bullet missing the creature by a finger's breadth before it was gone again. He hissed in frustration, his body aching in protest. He never let it show.

"Aw, you frightened?" Dean turned, taking in the whole scope of the clearing he was in, trees looming over him threateningly. More than once, he thought he saw a flash of yellow eyes glaring at him, but all too soon, they were gone again.

"Lassie wanna go home, huh?"

This time, the elder brother reacted fast, spinning and aiming as the werewolf came into view. He squinted, trying to make out the area where the heart would be, but the thing was hunched over, preparing to pounce and take him down in one blow.

For a moment, neither fighter moved. They both waited, wanting the other to make the first move.

Dean's expression darkened as an almost knowing smirk passed onto the werewolf's fugly face. It knew that he couldn't kill it, not with the bastard in the position it was now. And, it had probably guessed, that he couldn't keep on firing forever.

With three shots left in the chamber, Dean shifted the gun in his grip, sweat making the handle more difficult to hold. He was a damned good shot, he knew that, but this bastard was also a pretty nifty evader. He couldn't afford to waste too many bullets. There was more ammunition in his duffel, but that was unfortunately lying strewn across the forest floor, too far away for him to reach.

Gotta make every shot count, he quoted, remembering his father's gruff words on the day he first fired a .45. And he had. He'd bull's eyed every one of the bottles he'd been aiming at, and even now, he could still picture John's look of absolute pride afterwards.

A rumbling growl, so close to a laugh, made Dean scoff. "What you laughing at, Fluffy?"

The werewolf's cocky grin seemed to widen as it slunk closer, still protecting its heart from the hunter's accurate aim. Dean cursed and took a step back, taking aim with precision. He hated it when the supernatural suddenly decided they were smartasses. That was his role in the hunt.

Sneaking closer, the beast stretched its claws in preparation. The human would not take the shot, and by the time he finally had the chance, it would be too late. It snickered again, although the noise sounded grating and malevolent.

The laughter stopped instantly as Dean fired, the bullet slamming into one of its pointed ears and swiftly separating it from the rest of its head. Agonised howling followed and the creature writhed, spitting and snarling as it stumbled back a few steps.

"Not so cocky now, are ya?!" Smirking, Dean waited for the opportunity, barrel of the gun following the movement of the werewolf's still hidden chest. Damn it! Let me shoot you!

He got his opportunity.

Blinded by rage, and half-deafened by a silver bullet, the werewolf darted forwards, large muscles sending it barrelling ahead towards its opponent. Dean fired as soon as the fatal area of its chest became visible, but the movement of the creature had the bullet cutting through its collarbone instead of the vital organ.


The thing screeched before lunging, forcing Dean to dive aside on reflex. The elder brother rolled, back on his feet within seconds, gun poised ahead. One shot left. One shot left, he kept on reminding himself, alert green eyes flicking all around.

It rushed him before he could fire again. 400 pounds of solid brawn hit him from the side, slamming him into a tree. He collapsed down dazed, already taking aim again. Dean shook his head, blinking away the dizziness. He gulped as he saw a blur of fur ahead of him before it had vanished again. Yep, it was pissed.

"Clearly not a Van Gogh fan," he murmured weakly, breathing deeply.

The disconcerting thing was that he could hear it. Hear it snarling, hear its fur rustling, and most definitely hear it moving towards him. He just, unfortunately, couldn't see it – an obvious disadvantage on his part.

He jumped as it roared to his right and he turned, firing with an accurate eye. The silver smashed through its chest plate and the werewolf screamed, jerking at the horrific burning pain. Dean rose unsteadily to his feet, smiling all the same as the creature struggled.

"Well, Fido, look's like I win."

The werewolf was doubled over, bulk heaving as it drew in shaking breaths. Then, it began to straighten, yellow eyes glinting furiously. Dean's expression fell as it rose to its full more-than-intimidating height, fangs glistening dangerously in the moonlight.

The young hunter shook his head in disbelief: "No… fucking… way!"

Claws swung, catching Dean across the chest and knocking him away like a ragdoll. He bounced hard, air whooshing from his lungs as he rolled over. Coughing, he struggled to his knees, gun now forgotten as he reached to his waistband.

Again, it struck, smashing him over and onto his back. He gasped, the pain grating in his side, before the werewolf loomed over him, snarling venomously. Grim determination on his face, Dean pulled out the silver knife from his waistband, trying not to blanch as the deadly jaws snapped before his face in torment.

As the fangs descended towards his throat, ready for the kill, Dean struck upwards, the weapon burying itself in the muscled, fur-covered chest. It grunted and grimaced above him, its jaws wide: making no move to attack, but also, no move to keel over in defeat either.

"Why won't you die?!"

Its answer was another growl, and ignoring the silver embedded in its chest, it attacked again. Defenceless, Dean closed his eyes, not wanting to see the piercing yellow eyes mocking his failure as it devoured him.

A gunshot shattered the night.

Dean twitched as blood splattered across his face and he opened his eyes in surprise. The yellow eyes were still there, glaring at him, but the light was already beginning to fade from within them. Blood dripped from the werewolf's wide mouth and Dean clamped his own tightly closed, revulsion spreading through him.

The thing was a teetering statue above him, and uncertainly, Dean nudged one of its legs. The effect was instantaneous. Immediately, the werewolf began to crumple and acting fast so as to save himself from being crushed, Dean rolled aside, knocking a muscled limb out of the way as he went.

He felt the ground shake as it finally face planted and he turned onto a side, staring at the lifeless bulk beside him. Out of precaution, or just plain spite, he kicked it hard in the ribs, hardly expecting a response. Luckily he didn't get one.

A sigh of relief burst from him and he fell back against the earth, his body thrumming achingly. "That was not fun," he groaned weakly, giving 'Lassie' a brief glare of annoyance, before pushing himself upright.

He frowned as he saw no-one stood before him, gun in hand: hero of the day this time. Pausing, he glanced from side to side, the clearing completely empty save for him and the overgrown mutt now lying dead and steadily rotting beside him.

"Hello? Anyone there?"

His voice carried off through the trees, but nobody chose to reply. Dean raised an eyebrow and scoffed, rubbing the back of his head. Frigging hunters… He knew that most of them preferred not to go around assisting every other hunter that passed their way. It wasn't their style.

"Sorry for putting a black mark on your record," he called out bitterly, a hand resting over his ribs, trying to soothe the hurt residing there. "But thanks anyway."

Leaning forwards, he grabbed his discarded gun, tucking it back in his waistband for safe keeping. His brow scrunched in confusion as he twisted, searching for his silver knife, given to him on his 16th birthday. "Where did it…?" He broke off as his eyes fell on the collapsed body of the werewolf.

"Oh y…" he closed his eyes, distressed, teeth bared in a feral snarl, "Son of a bitch!"

Slamming an open palm against the ground, he continued shaking his head, mumbling profanities under his breath. With an unsteady gait, he clambered to his feet, scowling at the supernatural bastard's corpse for a moment too long.

As he turned, shuffling away in obvious annoyance, he shouted back over his shoulder: "And you owe me a new knife!" to whoever had decided to free him from his predicament. Dean grumbled as he returned to his lost duffel to get whatever he needed for a salt and burn. More than once, he stopped, kicking the ground in frustration before continuing on his way.

From the shelter of the tall trees, Sam watched his elder brother go, an amused grin on his face. "Trust you to get so worked up over a damn knife after nearly being frigging eaten, Dean."

In truth, his heart was still racing upon seeing Dean pinned down beneath the werewolf, so close to death that it was surreal, and yet terrifyingly true at the same time. He let out a shaky breath, looking down at the gun in his hands and for once, immensely grateful for their father's intensive training.

Tucking the gun in his jeans, imitating Dean's earlier action, Sam crept out of his hiding place and headed down into the clearing. He began digging his hands in his pockets for what he needed as he raced down the hillside. Just one last thing to do…

When Dean finally returned to the site of his tiresome battle, still grumbling softly, he froze in surprise, dropping the matches and salt. The werewolf's body was already alight: the once sparkling salt now blackened and burning across its grotesque form.

"What the hell…?" he asked to no-one in particular. His gaze fell from the burning creature and he drew a hand across his jaw. Suspiciously, he glanced around the forest before crouching, retrieving his dropped items and turning to leave.

This has gotta be one of the freakiest hunts I've…

A thud to his left made him jump and his eyes snapped aside to search for the source of the disruption. He paled as he saw the knife buried in the trunk of a tree, just above his shoulder. Gulping, he swivelled, seeing the same empty space he'd been in before.

"Shit, what is this: freak-out-Dean day?"

Turning his attention back to the knife, his eyes narrowed as he noticed a piece of paper strapped to the hilt of the knife. He quirked an eyebrow questioningly, but proceeded in wrenching the knife from its embedded position in the tree. Ripping the note from it, he unfolded it to reveal slanted handwriting. It read:

'Lose the knife, but keep your life. Fair trade, right? Keep it that way.'

Dean scrunched the note slightly in his hand and looked around, the cool blade of the new knife pressing against his skin. Huh? What kinda hunter carries a pen and paper with them anyway? He snorted. Sounds like a geek to me…

Green eyes widened and he took a step back, squinting through the blackness at the trees on the hillside, searching for some kind of sign. He opened the note again and re-read it, a wide smile spreading on his dirt-encrusted face. "Look's like I'm not the only one who watches their brother's back in secret."

Head lifting, Dean nodded in acknowledgement, clutching the knife close to his chest. The flames flickered in the dark of the forest, lighting up his face, giving glow to the unhidden love that blanketed his entire expression.

The truth was that no matter what, they would always provide the protection they always held for each other. But they would still provide it: even if, to the world and one another, they had to keep that brotherly bond and caring protection hidden.

"Thanks, Sammy."

Is that an ok apology for you all??? :D

Please review and let me know if you enjoyed it!!! Thanks! :P

Hugs, Ami x x x x x ;)