Winchester Single Shots; Hands.

Summary. . . . . . . . . Hands can hold, hands can comfort, hands can hurt, hands can kill. After a hunt gone bad both brother's contemplate all these thoughts.

Disclaimer. . . . . . . . Still Kripkies, I'm only playing with his creation.

Sender. . . . . . . . . Emerald Waters.

Responder. . . . . . Blue Peanut M and M.A.N. . . . . . . . . Some of you may have already read this along with all the other brilliant chapters over on darksupernaturals page, but as I'm so proud of this I have asked if I can repost it under my own name. So here it is, Hands; also look out for I Have These Dreams, another one of my best writing ever I think. Oh and if you have time, please check out the other chapters in the series, there's some amazing reads there. I hope you enjoy, Peanut x

The sounds had become so familiar now, his mind has taken to shutting them out; the soft squeak of leather across polished linoleum; the crackling of the paging system, as calls for doctors, or for aid were shouted out; the ping and then the almost inaudible swish of the elevator opening and closing, gurney wheels adding their own squeak to those of the shoes that scurried endlessly by; the cries of loved ones as they waited patiently for news, eyes raising in hope, only to fall in despair as hassled doctors rushed on by; and the most dreaded sound of all, the continuous whine of heart monitors that signaled another life had ended. Only the harsh turning of the clocks numbers seemed to break through the barriers his mind had thrown up, drawing his eyes and his attention their way, as though if he looked at it, time would stop, or even reverse, and this nightmare would end, or would never have started.

He shifted his tall frame awkwardly on the rigid, durable furniture, trying his hardest to avoid drawing attention to himself as he struggled to gain a position that was less numbing and more comfortable; instantly berating himself for seeking comfort at a time like this, knowing he deserved to be as uncomfortable as possible after what he had done. He contemplated rising again, anything to break the monotony of sitting and waiting, changing his mind almost immediately as his thoughts drifted back to when they had first arrived, his continued pacing back and forth, and bloody, disheveled looks irritating other patients family members to the point where complaints had been voiced, a short mild mannered male nurse reluctantly, nervously, being the one who had walked over and asked politely for him to remain seated, or to risk being thrown out. Fear had struck then, fear at not being there if the worst should happen, so he had sat, and had stayed seated, his body and mind numbing as the numbers continued to tick over, and the minutes turned into hours, and eventually into a day.

Maneuvering his body again on the hard plastic chair, he looked down at his shaking hands; hands that still carried blood in the grooves of his skin, and embedded deep within his fingernails; hands that had tried desperately to stop the blood from flowing; hands that no matter how hard he tried to clean them, refused to give up the traces of crimson; hands that were crusted with the blood of his brother. He contemplated his hands; hands that caressed, yet could hurt; hands that held, yet could push; hands that were so strong, yet at the same time so soft and gentle; hands that held secrets. He flinched at the crashing sound in one of the adjoining trauma-rooms, almost jumping to his feet, but then he sat again, and continued to look down on his hands; hands that stroked, yet at the same time hit; hands that offered comfort, yet at times withheld it; hands that would clap with joy, or would hide his sadness; hands that were able to do so many things, yet could not stop the bleeding. How he wished now, that they could heal.

"Family of Kyle Winter?" The austere voice of the surgeon ground out.

He jumped to his feet, racing forward. "How is he Doc?" He asked, hands forgotten for now, as they wiped themselves off to shake the doctors hands. They started to tremble again when he was led to the small, windowless room, as they found their way to his face in grief, hiding the sadness and pain before they gently and softly reached down to push away and spike once more the few strands of hair from his brother's forehead, as they settled to gently take the lax, cool hand of his sibling, and started to rub soothing and comforting circles on its back.

"If there's no further complications he should make a full recovery, it was touch and go for a while, the bleeding just refused to be staunched, meaning a transfer was in order. We'll be keeping an eye out for any signs of rejection, and should that happen. . . . . . . ."

He drowned out the man as soon as he said Dean was going to be okay, his focus returning to his hand in his brothers, comforting and being comforted by the repetitive motion of his fingers, his mind drifting again to yesterday and to how they had both arrived here. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

A hand drummed nervously against a leg that tapped the upholstered floor of the Impala, as it's twin gripped tightly papers that held the clues to their next hunt, papers that were gradually becoming worn and crinkled as he perused them again and again in an attempt to glean just that one gem of information that would make sense of all this. Dropping the papers into his lap he pinched the bridge of his nose as the first signs of a headache began to let themselves be known; his thumb and finger turning circles in an effort to ease the growing tension. Slouching further into the seat that was beginning to mold to his form, he grasped his still moving hand stilling it's rhythmic motion, but unable to stop the nervous wringing that replaced it. He looked down at them lying in his lap, his hands that held such lethal power, yet at the same time, that could gently love. A killers hands, a saviors hands. Hands that with each passing day, he felt grow heavier and heavier as the burden that was placed upon them intensified.

He looked away and to his left, willing his brother to see the doubt and fear that was coursing through his veins, but Dean's attention was blinkered and totally engrossed on the dark road before him; it had been ever since he had found out about Sam using his powers. Dragging a hand through his hair, he leaned a weary head against the cool glass of the car's window, his mind returning to a time when Dean could instantly tell if something was wrong, if something was bothering him; those days were long gone now though, as broken as the promises he had given to Dean, the drift between them extensive, and in his darker moments Sam thought, unfixable. Unconsciously he began again to tap his foot, his hand's dropping back to his lap their own motion soon following close behind. So use to being ignored, he started when Dean spoke, his brother's voice unemotional, cold, and to the point.

"Sam! It's the middle of the night, I'm tired, and I just want to get this hunt over with. Are you trying to piss me off?" He barely glanced Sam's way before adding. "Will you stop tapping your damn foot! And quit the brooding too! Just read through the papers and get us some damn good clues as to what is going on here."

Sam's eyes stung as the words struck deep, widening the chasm that had started to fester in his heart. Gulping down a steadying breath he swallowed back a sob, licking dry lips and coughing before replying, hoping his voice sounded firm, yet knowing it didn't. "Erm, right, I checked the papers and everything looks okay." He lied. "There's a couple of things that don't make sense, but it seems doable." A part of him had hoped Dean would sense his discomfort, but all he garnered in response was an angry grunt before a deafening silence descended again, suffocating Sam all the more, wrapping itself around his heart and squeezing tightly. He stilled his movements and moved his eyes back to the darkness outside his window, the coldness externally rivaled by the atmosphere within.

He must have dozed off, his body shutting down of it's own accord in an attempt to gather the necessary rest it had been missing and required, because one moment he was staring at the gloomy shadows as they drifted past the fast moving vehicle, the next he was being bustled about his seat as the car's wheels objected to the rough treatment it was receiving from the bumpy, uneven terrain. Opening heavy, lethargic eyes he blinked slowly, clearing his vision before taking in the new sights outside the glass, realizing immediately just how long he had slept as his vision took in the dawning of a new day, knowing that he would pay for sleeping so long as he looked to his left and the stiff, rigid posture of his brother.

Attempting to make peace before war broke out, he coughed before inquiring. "Why didn't you wake me?" The words though had little effect, Dean seemingly oblivious to him even speaking as his eyes stayed staring forward. "Dean, please, don't be like this." He begged,. Yet again though he received nothing but a steely, cold gaze in response. "Fine! I'm sick of trying to appease you. I wont apologizes for doing what I did, I saved those people Dean, does that count for nothing?"

"Stop talking Sam, or I swear to god. . . . . . . ."

"You swear to god what Dean? You'll make me? Well come on then, bring it! At least it would be some sort of emotion from you. You've changed Dean, and not for the good."

"You want to talk about change? You of all people should know about changing Sam, you've certainly done a lot of it. I thought I knew you! I thought we were on the same side! I thought you would always have my back! Well I guess I thought wrong. I'm not sure who you are anymore Sam, I'm not even sure I want to call you brother anymore. So yeah, you might have saved those people, but at what cost Sam? What cost?" Struck dumb by the viciousness of Dean's words, Sam turned his head away, unwilling to let Dean see just how hurt he was, allowing the uncomfortable silence to fall once again. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

A twitch, a small movement coming from the bed brought his lamenting to an abrupt end, his eyes traveling down his arm back to his hand wrapped securely around his brothers, his vision trained to pick up the movement again, but it never came and Sam began to doubt if he had even felt it in the first place; if his mind so exhausted and remorseful, had allowed him to feel that what he wanted to most, to imagine his brother awakening, but like a cruel twist of fate it was not to be, Dean still lay, silent and unmoving. He rubbed at weary eyes; eyes that had not slept since those fateful few hours in the car before all this began, moving to cover his mouth as though stopping the sobs that were building from escaping. His hand's, one grasped around the cool skin of his brother's, the other still holding back the sobs, couldn't though hold back the tears that flowed unceasingly from his eyes, stinging the tired rims, leaving them raw and reddened.

He turned his face away from Dean's, still consciously unwilling to let his sleeping brother see him cry. Gaining moderate control of his emotions, his hand left his mouth to wipe away the moisture that saturated his cheeks, and the mucus that dribbled from his nose, wiping the damp mess on his already filthy jeans before resting his arm on the edge of Dean's bed, bending the joint at his elbow before resting his heavy head in the crook, his eyelids battling to stay open as weariness struck once more. As he lost his battle to stay awake, Sam's thoughts were taken back to the hunt. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Traveling up the uneven, bracken strewn forest floor towards the last known coordinates of their prey, Sam's concerns for this hunt grew. He knew he should convey to Dean what was bothering him, but the relative calm that had descended between them was a nice change, Dean even at times talking to him politely, and Sam was loathe to jeopardize the fragile truce. As they climbed further and further up the slightly inclining trail Sam considered the clues that he had found, his mind trying to make sense of the jumbled mess, yet ever avenue he tried always seemed to lead back to the same conclusion, and if that were the case, things were about to get bad. Really bad.

A stumble ahead of him brought his mind back to the present, stopping himself before crashing into Dean's back he waited for his older brother to regain his balance, his eyes and ears now alert as a sudden blast of cold stroked it's way down his spine, causing him to involuntarily shiver in response, an action that didn't go unnoticed by Dean, his brother's own senses opening further, his breath steadying as his eyes and ears scoured the densely packed terrain. At seeing, or hearing nothing out of the ordinary he turned to Sam and inquired. "Did you hear something?"

"No, I just had a feeling." Sam replied, not missing the fleeting look of reproach that Dean shot his way. Trying to make amends he added. "I thought I felt a cold spot, that's all. But it's gone now."

Still alert and secretly observing his surroundings, Dean suggested. "Maybe we should rest a while, we're close now, best we gather our strength whilst we can." Taking off his pack he turned away and walked over to sit upon a downed tree branch. Grabbing a bottle of water and his ever present trusty M and M's, he settled and proceeded to replenish his tired, starved body.

Divesting his own pack, Sam rummaged around for a bottle of water, his eating habits having reverted back to how they were after Jess died, he forwent the granola bars he had packed, choosing instead to just quench his thirst. Leaning back against a large maple, he contemplated the evidence he had collected, trying once again to make sense of the confusing chaos it made. The attacks had all the hallmarks of a wendigo attack, vicious gashes ripped into the victims flesh, yet the bodies were left behind to rot and decay until discovered. There was also reports of tracks leading away from the scene, tracks from feet; feet that wore shoes. Again he thought about telling Dean his worries, but one look at his brother's face had him backing down yet again. It would be a wendigo, he told himself, forcing his worries aside he concentrated on making himself believe it.

Twenty minutes later and they were on their way again, Dean leading as always, Sam bringing up the rear, his mind not completely on the job as he strived to convince himself. They reached a blind bend in the trail, Dean already turning the corner when the attack came from out of nowhere. His mind distracted Sam missed the snapping of twigs to his left, his peripheral vision catching at the last moment something moving at speed towards him. He shouted out a warning as he was tackled from the side, sharp claws slashing at his face and arms as he struggled to remove the heavy weight from his body. Finally managing to place a foot beneath the beast, he pushed with all his strength, forcing the beast away from him. Quickly regaining his footing, he readied himself for round two, but the beasts knowledge of the area worked to his advantage, Sam losing sight of the creature in the dense woodland.

"Sam? Sammy? Are you okay? What the hell was that?"

"I'm not sure but I can tell you something, that was no damn wendigo!"

"Did you see where it went?"

"No! It was too quick. . . . . . . ." Sam's voice trailed off as a inhuman screech tore through the air. Hairs rose on both boys necks as the feeling of being watched returned. Standing back to back, guns poised and raised, both alert, both scouring the greenery for any signs of movement, the brotherly bond so broken, so bruised, mended and whole for the time being as both worried about the safety of the other. Turning slowly they were both pointing the wrong way when the beast resumed it's attack, barging into them both, the shock making both boys drop the weapons, the guns skimming across the fallen leaves before dropping beneath the surface to be lost, for now, in a sea of green.

Dean recovered first, quickly getting back on his feet, he stood protectively between Sam and where the beast had retreated. Calling out Sam's name he waited for a response, panic setting in when all he garnered in response was the snapping of twigs signaling the beast was still present. Slyly glancing Sam's way he was dismayed to see crimson coating on his brother's face, a tear slicing it's way from his cheek to dangerously close to his temple, his eyes closed, his head laying uncomfortably against the rock it had cruelly struck. He started to bend, desperate to make sure Sam was okay, but the beast had other ideas, striking whilst he was distracted. Man and beast collided, Dean's breath taken away from the force, rolling and rolling across the vegetation, until they stopped, the beasts heavy form landing on top. He could feel claws digging into the soft flesh of his torso, the talons renting tears in his skin, causing him to cry out in agony as they dug deeper and deeper. As his strength waned the beasts features came into view, Dean's gradually decreasing vision seeing it's true form for the first time. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Sam gasped as a hand was softly placed on his shoulder, chills running through him as he remembered his tour down memory lane, how he had woken groggily to see Dean in trouble, to see Dean in pain, to see the beast about to take it's killer blow. He looked up into the saddened, tired eyes of Bobby. Seeing sympathy there, Sam couldn't hold back his anger. "Don't!" He shouted.

"Don't what?" Bobby inquired.

"Don't stand there and look at me as though to say this wasn't my fault." Sam spat back. "I don't need your sympathy. I knew something was wrong with this hunt. I felt it was all wrong, but I didn't say crap to Dean about how I was feeling. I stayed quiet because I was sick of fighting and he got hurt. I deserve to feel this way. I should be in that bed, not Dean. I should be the one fighting for my life, not him. I just want him back, Bobby."

Tears fell then as his anger diminished to be replaced by fear, Bobby pulling the younger man into his chest, he held him close allowing the tears to fall knowing from past experience that if Sam was permitted to wallow in his despair he would relapse into a world where his own health would take a backseat, to the point where eating and sleeping didn't exist. The moment was stopped as quick as it started, Sam regaining his composure, his mood turning back to the self loathing anger it had been moments earlier, as he pushed Bobby away. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have done that, as I said I deserve to feel this way. I'm just gonna use the bathroom, will you stay with him?" Not waiting for Bobby's answer, knowing that the older hunter would stay with Dean, Sam stood up and turned to leave, brushing off Bobby's arm in his haste to get out of the room before the tears, that were threatening once more, fell.

He stood under the harsh florescent light in the small adjoining room and stared at his own reflection with disgust. He pressed a shaking hand against the gash and bruises that stood out against the stark whiteness of his face, taking sadistic pleasure in the sudden pain it brought, as it reminded him of why they were there, as it reminded him of the agony he should be feeling. Bringing his hand back down, he looked at the knuckles that were cracked and dry, the knuckles that had saved so many, the knuckles that had taken a life. Dry blood slowly turning rusty brown with age caught between the cracks and lines of his skin. He suddenly felt ashamed, dirty. Pushing on the dispenser he allowed the pink liquid soap to coat his hands before turning on the tap and waiting for the water to turn from cold to warm. He placed his hands under the faucet and started scrubbing, trying desperately to wash away his guilt, not feeling the tap water gradually increase in temperature as his thoughts drifted back. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Sam came round as Dean's cries of pain assaulted his ears. Moving stiffly, unsteadily, he rose using his hands to find purchase in the wet, musty foliage. Turning his head his breath caught in his throat at the sight of Dean straddled by. . . . . . .was that a man? His thoughts about the beasts true nature were stopped though as it's claw ending hands descended towards Dean's throat. All aches forgotten, Sam rose, racing across the distance he roared out in anger and frustration, anything to take the man's attention from Dean and onto him. He dove into the man's side, pushing him away from Dean as the claws broke skin. Rolling once Sam stood having achieved what he had set out to do, the man's attention now firmly locked on him.

If it wasn't for the eyes; eyes that raged with anger, Sam would have sworn his assessment was wrong about the species of the man. Thick, matted, dirty hair cascaded down the man's back, tangling with a beard in places, a beard that looked as dry and coarse as the leaves and twigs that grew out of it. Clothes made from furs, and left over litter, covered a body that was at the same time, both sinewy yet muscular. His feet were bare, hardened over the years to the point were they could withstand any weather, any terrain. It was his hands that frightened Sam the most though, hands that still dripped with his brothers blood, hands that ended with talon like fingernails, hands that were now focused on him.

Slowly Sam began to edge the hermit away from Dean and closer to himself, determined to keep it from harming his brother any more. Taking a chance he tried to communicate with it, hoping against hope he could find some way to get through to him. "Who are you? Why are you killing all these people? Why are you hurting me and my brother?" Having not really expected an answer, he was shocked when a voice answered, raspy from under use, yet still clear in the otherwise hushed silence of the forest.

"I guard this place from people like you, people who want to destroy it, who want to build on it. I can't allow that to happen, this is my home."

"What happened to you? Why have you become like you are?" Sam asked, still maneuvering the hermit away from Dean as he spoke.

"People made me this way. People like you!"

"But I. . . .we haven't done anything to harm you. You attacked us."

"You're just the same as all the others. You come here to harm her, to destroy her."

"What do you mean, her?"

"The forest. It was here first. It deserves to be allowed to stay here."

"So you killed all those people to save a forest?"

"I couldn't allow them to tear her down, not only would my home be destroyed, but this magical beauty would too. So I got rid of the them, just like I will get rid of you, and him. I have to preserve that which God created."

With no concern for his own health, only worrying about Dean's, Sam struck. He couldn't allow Dean to die, he deserved to live, to have the life that was meant for him. He ignored the claws that dug deep within him, as he battled to gain an advantage, to gain the upper hand, but years of living off the land, of hunting prey for food, of avoiding human contact by running, hiding, had made the hermit strong and fast; his strength soon overwhelming Sam until he found himself weakening. Knowing he didn't have long, knowing that once he had been taken care of Dean would be next, forced Sam into action; action he was reluctant to take.

Concentrating on the powers that scared Dean most, the powers that had caused so much trouble between them in the first place, Sam turned all his pent up rage in to one blast of his telekinesis, throwing the hermit away from his body and into the shrubs and bushes that littered the forest. Standing he looked towards where the man had landed, hoping that he would withdraw now that Sam had gained the upper hand, but it wasn't to be, the hermit attacking again once he had regained his balance. Sam stood his ground, his legs slightly apart, steady and secure, his arm rising and stretching out from his body, his features frowning as he concentrated all the more. Focusing he pushed the hermit away again and again, hoping each time that the man would get the message, yet each time the hermit would try again to finish what he had started.

Closing his eyes briefly, Sam sighed, knowing now what he needed to do. All his own aches and pains forgotten, Sam opened his eyes, and pushed harder than he ever had, using powers he had only ever used on demons before, not knowing what the results would be, not caring as he thought Dean was in danger. His eyes found his brother's prone figure, blood seeping from his numerous wounds to sink into the foliage, angering Sam all the more, until his own blood was pouring from his nose as he increased the pressure on the hermit. He didn't hear the choked cries, didn't see the hermits eyes become bulbous, didn't see his face beneath the beard gradually change from red, to purple, to blue; he only saw in his mind Dean dying in the rotting leaves on the forest floor. He didn't even see his brother struggle to rise, his heavy eyes dragging open, his hand raised as though to stop him. . . . . . . . . . . .

For the second time that day, Sam jumped as Bobby's hand landed on his shoulder. "Jesus boy, what the hell ya playing at? Look at what you've done, ya stupid idjit." Bobby shouted as he pulled Sam away from the scalding water

Pain registered in Sam then, his hands throbbing as the burnt skin began to redden and blister, his fingers tightening as the flesh swelled. He turned scared, confused eyes Bobby's way before speaking. "I don't know. . . . . . . . I didn't mean to. . . . . . . . . I just wanted to get rid of the blood, I just wanted to get rid of the guilt, I just wanted to get rid of the death, I just wanted things to return to how they used to be, maybe I just wanted to wash all the troubles, all the reminders, away."

"Awww Sam. From what you've said happened, you had no choice but to kill him, it was you and Dean, or him. I wont say using your powers was the way to go, I wont say it doesn't scare me to think that you've used them. But I'm glad that you did boy, you two boys are like sons to me, and I'd hate to lose either of you. Things will be alright son, you'll see. Now come on, lets get you fixed up."

Sam followed numbly along as Bobby guided him back into Dean's room, sitting him in a chair before leaving to gain some assistance for Sam's fresh wounds. As the door swung quietly behind him, Sam looked from his burnt hands back to his brother's face. Out of tears, having cried so many already, he could only turn tired, red, stinging eyes Dean's way as he spoke. "I'm so sorry I used them again Dean, I just couldn't lose you again. I can only hope that you can forgive me, that you'll understand" He felt elation and then distraught as, whilst he spoke, he watched Dean's head move, thinking for a minute that his brother could be waking up; but Winchester luck struck again, and as Sam encouraged Dean to open his eyes, Dean turned away from the voice, an indication to Sam's already fragile mind that his brother didn't want him, didn't forgive him, didn't understand, didn't love him. His mouth dropping open, his eyes deadened, his heart broken, Sam just sat staring at nothing, his mind closed.

Returning to the room, with a nurse closely following, Bobby was amazed to see Dean's head moving about. Turning his happy eyes Sam's way he expected to see the same reaction, worried when all he got was a blank, dead stare. Looking at the nurse he asked, "What's happened? What could have gone wrong? He was okay, well apart from his hands, five minutes ago?"

Taking a penlight out of her pocket, the nurse shone it in Sam's eyes before snapping her fingers to gain a response, but that blank stare just kept itself in place. I think he's in shock, I've noticed he's not been sleeping, that he's not been eating, I think everything has just caught up with him. I'll be back soon, I'll go and find a doctor."

She left a stunned Bobby in her wake as she once again left the room. "Sam?" He tried. "Sammy, come on son, don't do this, your brother needs ya. Sammy?" But it was no use Sam's mind was completely shut down. Pulling his head into his torso, Bobby ran his fingers through Sam's hair hoping to bring some comfort to the obviously distraught Winchester, carrying on even when the nurse returned, a doctor following in her wake. He relinquished hold as the doctor examined Sam, standing off to the side, a nervous hand rubbing his coarse beard. So concerned with Sam, he never noticed Dean's eyes open, never saw his hand start to move, only just hearing him as he rasped words out.

"What's wrong with Sam?"

"Dean! Are you okay? Do you need anything?" Bobby rushed out, his excitement at seeing Dean awake overwhelming him.

"Water, please." Dean asked, drinking hastily when the glass was pressed to his lips before asking again. "What's wrong with Sam?"

Bobby shook his head, he really should have known better, should have known that, once awake, Dean's first concern would have been Sam, forgetting all his own injuries and focusing on Sam's. He shook his head at the Winchester stubbornness that showed itself when ever one of them was hurt, and at the bond, that to his eyes, still showed strongly. "I think the days and events have finally caught up with him Dean." He replied eventually, not going into too much detail whilst others were still in the room, receiving a small nod in return. Both men turned expectant eyes the doctors way as he coughed to draw their attention.

"I think you're right, his body wants to shut down to rest, but something is stopping him, so he's gone into shock, the injuries to his hands triggering it. We're going to sedate him for his own good, to allow him to get the rest he needs. His hands will be okay given time, and I don't believe there will be any permanent damage to them, the rest of his injuries from the bear attack are okay, I just believe he's tired, physically and emotionally. I'll have another bed brought in here, something tells me if I don't I'll have another tired patient on my hands. I'll also have the nurse administer the sedative, once that's done and Sam's settled I'll check you over, Dean."

An hour later after a very thorough and, what for Dean at time, very embarrassing examination, the two Winchester's and Bobby were finally left alone. Although tired himself after his ordeal, Dean was reluctant to sleep, something telling him he needed to push Bobby more, that he needed to fill in the blanks about the hunt that were missing in his mind. "What did Sam tell you about the hunt Bobby? Why has he reacted this way? He's seen me worse than this before."

"What do you remember?" Bobby inquired.

"Most of it, some things are vague, I remember arguing with Sam, I think I remember him saying something was off about the hunt but I think I ignored him, I remember stopping and thinking we were being watched, I remember the pain, I remember that the beast wasn't a beast but a man." Dean's eyes took on a faraway look as his voice trailed off and memories resurfaced. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Excruciating pain erupted from every part of his body as consciousness returned to Dean. Fighting against eyelids that fervently wished to stay closed, Dean momentarily forgot where he was when he finally succeeded in raising them and everything around him was coated with a misty haze. Blinking rapidly to work the fog away elicited the results he needed, but left him fighting the nausea that rose, his brain sending signals for his stomach to protest the violent movement. He breathed deeply to steady his quelling guts, his mind already realizing how agonizing heaving now would be to his already damaged body. A sound to his left took his mind off his own discomfort, and he swung his head slowly around, his mouth dropping open, his eyes aghast as his sight showed him Sam; Sam who was at that moment using his powers; using his powers to kill the beast; the beast that was human.

He raised his hand unsteadily, trying desperately to get his brother's attention, to stop him from succeeding, but Sam's mind was focused and blinkered, only seeing that which he believed would hurt Dean all the more. Running his tongue over dry lips, Dean tried to muster the strength to shout out, anything to get Sam to stop, the older brother already knowing how guilty Sam would feel later if he succeeded in creating the hermits demise, but his limited strength was waning, his voice coming out as nothing more than a mere whisper. He could only watch as Sam mentally squeezed harder, could only watch as the hermit began to choke, until with one final push the beast that had once been a man was no longer. Dean watched as his brother's eyes changed back from the blank, cold, angry stare, to the soft, expressive eyes that could manipulate even the hardest of mothers. He could only stare as Sam dropped his hand before raising it once again, his brothers eyes staring at the limb with hate, before they finally turned Dean's way; a look of pure horror appearing in the brown orbs. He watched as Sam tried to talk, tried to explain, but for once words failed him, his mouth opening and closing but nothing coming out. As darkness threatened to take Dean again, his last image was of Sam walking his way, his last feeling was of his own body protesting a branch poking sorely into his back and his attempts at trying to push away. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

"Crap Bobby! I think I may have hurt Sam." Dean held up his hand to stop Bobby's rant at his words, and added. "Not in that way! I was hurting and trying to get comfortable and I moved away from Sam. I think he thinks I was scared of him or something."

"And was you? Scared of him I mean."

"No! Hell no! I'm scared of these powers, but never of him. Never of him. I was more scared of how he would react when he realized what he had done. You know as well as I do how he is, he over thinks things, mulls over every little thing he does, stores it and frets over it. To know that he killed. . . . . . ." Dean looked at the door before continuing, his voice lowering slightly. "That he killed a man, this will haunt Sam day and night. Did he say anything to you about why he did it?" When Bobby shook his head, Dean added. "He must have thought he had no other choice, he must have thought that using his powers was the only way. And I have to say from what I remember, with the way that hermit attacked, I'd have to agree with him." Dean looked over at his, for now, peacefully sleeping brother. "I just hope he'll give me a chance to tell him."

Seeing Dean's eyes become heavier the more they spoke Bobby advised. "Well that talk will have to wait son, you need to rest, and before you start arguing with me, Sam will be asleep for a while yet, and I suggest you do the same. I'll watch over you both until you wake."

"Promise me you'll wake me if Sam wakes? Or if he starts having nightmares?"

"I will." Bobby watched as his words sunk in and Dean's eyes lost their battle to stay open. Pulling a chair over between the two beds, he settled in for the wait, hoping that when both boys awoke they would be able to settle their differences. That hope was dashed though as night turned into day.

Dean woke early feeling his whole body throbbing, pulsating with agony, and nausea churning his stomach. He struggled to sit, needing desperately to expel the vile liquid that was bubbling up his throat, yet weakened as he was he could barely lift his heavy body mere inches from the bed before his strength gave out. Falling back to the bed, he gasped as pain exploded all the more from his jarred frame. He gagged, trying to hold the vile liquid in unable to take, in his fragile state, the humiliation of being sick upon himself. He started slightly when firm hands gently gripped his shoulders, pulling him carefully from the bed. He groaned as he was pulled against a strong chest, and the comforting hands left his shoulders, groaned again as a bowl was placed below his chin and he was finally allowed to rid himself of the bile that was building up.

He cried out in agony as the first heaves ripped through his body, aggravating all his aches and pains, tears pooling in his eyes before streaming unceasingly down his stubble covered cheeks. He calmed slightly as one of the strong hands began rubbing his back, bringing comfort and grounding him from the pain. He looked up as the heaves diminished, expecting to see Bobby's grizzled features, surprised when it was Sam's guilt riddled face that stared back down at him, his brother's soulful eyes barely meeting his before they averted away. Dean wanted to protest, but his raw throat wouldn't allow it, as the hand comforting his back was taken away, and he was once again gently lowered to the bed, Sam covering him with the sheet, his hands lingering and fixing the sheet a tad too long, his mouth opening and closing as though he wanted to say something, but the sound of the door opening broke the moment and as Bobby reentered the room, a coffee and sandwich balanced in one hand, Sam scooted back to his own bed, taking with him the only chance the two of them had of talking and fixing things between them, Dean knowing that Sam would close him down every chance he got from now on.

Bobby cursed himself as he watched the scene in front of him, knowing deep down that he had interrupted something, looking at both boys he spoke, "Dean? Sam? Is everything okay?"

A brief glance was shared by both men. A sad, twitch of the lips exchanged before both reluctantly answered. "Everything's fine." An answer Bobby accepted, yet knew to be a lie. He sat heavily in his chair watching the two men, wondering if things would ever be fine again.

The End.

A.N. . . . . . . . . Thanks for reading, will catch you soon, Peanut x