Setting: Just after 'No Rest For the Wicked.'

Disclaimer: Buckets of angst ahead, so beware!!!

Additional Disclaimer: The boys, Bobby and John are not mine…Kripke owns all my toys, damn him…

Sam was ruthlessly, numbly shoving his meager possessions into his bag. He wasn't really seeing what he was doing, he wasn't even really present anymore…he knew he should probably be worried at the fact that he felt nothing at all but the absolute, mind-numbing cold that his brother's absence had brought on. He'd felt this way before, when the Trickster had taken his brother from him for almost 8 months, a memory from which he was still trying to recover from. He had told himself then, once he got Dean back, that never again did he ever want to feel that way again. The Trickster had been right…the damn Cross-roads bitch had been right…he hadn't been able to break the deal. He'd broken his promise to Dean, the most important promise he'd ever made to his big brother…his best friend…his only family in this world. If Sam could feel anything other than the hideously cold emptiness right now, he was pretty sure he'd be crushed under the weight of the guilt and anger and sadness and pain that were crouching with ninja-like stealth in his mind, just waiting for their chance to ravage his still-reeling mind anew…

Sam had finished battling his belongings into his duffle. Bobby had wanted him to stay on for a bit but he couldn't bring himself to do that. This place, Bobby's house, was the only real home him and Dean had ever really known besides the Impala. He had to get out of here. Everywhere he turned there was a reminder of Dean. His favorite place on the couch…the chair he always sat in at the kitchen table…everything Dean did or said just humming softly in the walls around him, making Sam's overwhelmed mind swim in pain. His cot was still set up next to the bed in the room they had always shared. Dean had relinquished the bed to his little brother time and again because he would never deny his beloved little brother any comfort and would sacrifice his own to give to his Sammy. Sam stole a glance at the cot now, just as he had for the millionth time since he'd let Bobby bring him back here. His breath hitched in his chest. The numb, distant haze currently blocking him from the feeling and thoughts he was achingly trying to keep away from wouldn't last for ever. Already, he could feel the cracks marring its surface. He couldn't take being here when the walls came tumbling down. At last all packed, he grabbed up his duffle and made to leave the room. He made it two steps before he turned and to grab Dean's bag as well. He had thought he could leave it behind, maybe let Dean's few possessions rest here in the house of the man he'd always considered a father, but Sam couldn't do it. He put his bag down for a moment so he could secure the top of his brother's duffle. As he went to draw the heavy cord tight he saw something sitting on the open top of the bag…something with his name on it, scrawled in his brother's unapologetically messy handwriting.

At first, he could bring himself to move. He just stared at the paper, at his own name. He could feel another crack in the walls inside him, a chip of the protective edifice he had built crumbling and falling away. He reached inside, plucking the paper from the bag's depths with the utmost careful touch, as if he was handling 3,000 year-old scrolls or the like…His fingertip traced the deeply ingrained word for a moment before unfolding the paper to view the contents.


I know you hate when I call you that, but dammit, I'm dying and I'm your big brother to boot, so just deal with it… I know there is no way to break the deal. I know that. I don't want to die…I really don't. I don't want to go to Hell. That being said, I don't regret making the deal. I never have and I never will because I knew I couldn't stick around without you. So, I made the deal. The only regret I have is I won't be able to stick around for you. I always wanted for you to have a normal life…you deserved to have it. I did what I could when you were growing up to give you pieces of normal, to let you be a kid, even if just for a little while. I tried to let you have whatever I could find to let you feel what being a part of a family felt like…Dad could never go back to that. I knew from the moment he put you in my arms and told me to take you out of the house, told me to watch over my little brother, that the father I knew was someone you would never get to know. I don't blame him. I really don't. I understand why he never let himself be "dad" anymore…it hurt too much. And I know why he was hard on me, though I don't know if he realized it or not or if he did but couldn't help it…I reminded him of mom and of everything he lost that night. I know why, too, he was so antagonistic toward you. You reminded him of himself and you reminded him of everything he could never bring himself to give up on because to admit he would give everything to go back to the way it was would have made everything since then too much to bear.

I know you are dead-set on finding a way out of this for me, but Sammy, you gotta let me go. I don't want you letting Ruby get into your head and let her convince you use those freaky powers of yours. I would never want you to risk yourself and wind up right next to me down below, so please, promise me little brother that you won't try to use them to get me back, ok?

Ok, on to the real reason I'm writing this letter…and damned if it isn't so 'chick-flick' already I could puke, but I needed to give you something. When this is all over, ask Bobby for the trunk I keep at his house, he'll know what you are asking for. I've had it there for years, stopping in to add stuff or grab something from it over the years…more often as of late…I wanted you to have it. I'm giving you all my weapons, even my favorite knife. I'm giving you my baby, too. I know you probably knew I would, but I just wanted to officially give it to you. Please don't screw her up, ok? Take care of her, she's been my home, my friend…well…just take care of her, ok? I'm giving you my music, though I know you'll probably never listen to it, but still…do what you like with it, I guess, trash it even. My clothes won't do much good so you can donate 'um or chuck 'um out or whatever…Keep my coat at least…It was dad's and even if you don't keep it for you, maybe someday, when you are a big shot lawyer with a couple little Sammy Jr. 's running around, you can give it to one of them and tell them it once belong to your awesome big brother.

Lastly, Sammy, I just wanted to tell you I'm sorry for leaving you like this. I am. Try and take care of yourself. Go back to school, get yourself a girl, have a white picket fence and some kids…just leave all this behind you. There's nothing to hold you to this life anymore. No stubborn, pain-in-the-ass big brother to hold you back or make you stay in a life you never wanted. Go be normal, ok?

Goodbye, little brother.


Sam's walls nearly blew apart as the last words he read throbbed painfully in his mind. He was on the verge of a breakdown. He could feel it ramping up inside himself to tear him to pieces. He had to go, now, before the walls crumbled all together. He slipped the letter inside his inner pocket, keeping it close to him, as if by doing so he was keeping his big brother their, too, safe and sound and not really gone…Sam closed the duffle tight, shouldering it and his own as he made his way down the narrow hall and down the stairs.

He spied Bobby their, tucked up to the desk in the study, eagerly, bitterly making friends with a bottle of booze that was clutched tightly in his hand. He could see the unshed tears in the older man's eyes, could see the slight traces of the dried tracks already present on his haggard cheeks. Bobby was taking Dean's death pretty hard, too. He'd loved him like he was his own son, Sam knew. He could feel a wave of emotions threatening to flood over him. He knew he should stay, that he should let Bobby help him get through this, that he should help Bobby get through it too, because he knew full well they would never get over it, not in all the time in the world. He must have felt Sam watching him because he looked up and looked straight into Sam's eyes.

"Still set on leaving then, son?" he said, the words rumbling out gruffly.

Sam could hear the hurt in the man's voice. He didn't want to be alone in this and he didn't want Sam to be either. Sam knew he should stay, that Dean would want him to stay, but he knew he couldn't do it, he couldn't stay here any longer.

"Yeah, Bobby…still set on it…but um,…before I go…Dean said he left a trunk or something here…said he wanted me to have it…" Sam said, barely getting the words out with out choking on the lump in his throat.

Bobby grunted a response, rising to his feet, tilting just slightly from the heavy doses of pain-killing booze he was drowning himself in as of late. He trudged heavily to the closet under the stairs, pulling out an old, military-style foot locker. Bobby turned and strode back into the study, giving him some space. Sam watched go for a moment before eyeing the battered metal box. There was a lock on it. He thought he'd probably have to pick it, or smash it off…either way, he'd have to wait to see what was inside. He bent to lift it up, finding it was too heavy to be carried for long. He decided to drag it then, taking it with him. He slid the lumbering beast of a box across the dusty wood floors, which groaned and creaked in protest to the abuse he was laying on them. He stopped just outside the doorway to the study, taking a moment to compose himself before speaking.

"Thanks Bobby…" Sam said softly. He wanted to say more, to thank him for all his help, to thank him for making Dean feel like he had family, for every kindness and help Bobby had ever given them, but he couldn't. He set his jaw, glancing at Bobby, who was glancing back at him forlornly. Sam dropped his head, his gaze shifting to the floor. He pulled open the heavy, scarred wooden door, dragging the case behind him. Once he cleared the threshold, he bent to fix the salt line and then pulled the door closed behind him. He made his way to the Impala, securing the duffles in the trunk and lugging the foot locker into the rear seat, being careful to place a heavy blanket beneath it so as not to mar the leather of his brother's beloved baby. He held the keys for a moment in the palm of his hand, as if weighing them and there by weighing his soul. He tossed them slightly in the air, jostling the familiar slender key of the sleek black muscle car to the top. He noticed now, though how he'd missed it before, he didn't know, but there was a small, worn key there, nestled onto the key ring. It looked correct in proportion…the key to the lock on the trunk maybe? He wasn't sure, but he could try it out as soon as he got where he was going. He wasn't sure where that place was, but as long as it was a way from here, it would do. With that thought in mind, he folded himself wearily into the confines of the most beloved space his brother had had in life. He turned the key, the engine moaning quietly for a moment as if she knew that her master was gone and all that was left was a ineffectual replacement. Finally, she turned over for him, roaring to life and settling into an idle purr. Sam took a deep breath, closing his eyes for a moment then slid her into gear and launched the black behemoth down the narrow track leading away from Bobby's house and into the waiting night.

A/N: So, I have plans to make this a 4-5 parter, but we'll see how it goes…

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Thank you everybody for reading my work!!