So, yeah, I wrote another post 4.22 story and yeah, it's heavy on the angst. Can't seem to help myself. :)

If you haven't read my other post 4.22 story it's called Saving Sammy. I just finished it a couple of weeks ago.

Season 5 is only about a month away. I can't wait! But in the meantime spoilers and fanfics will keep me company.

Dean leaned against the door frame; a silent sentry over his brother's sleeping form. Sam moaned in his sleep and Dean took a step closer to the bed.

They had driven straight through the night to reach Bobby's house, the only place Dean thought they might be safe. That had been two days ago.

Dean, you have to save Sammy but if you can't do that, you'll have to kill him.

Dean shivered in spite of the summer heat. How he wished to God none of this had ever happened to Sam. All Sam had ever wanted was to be normal and Dean had tried so hard to let him be as long as he could. Now Sam was anything but normal.

Since pulling Sam from the convent, Dean had been effectively avoiding his brother. Sam's moans became louder and Dean backed out of the bedroom. He felt sick inside. He wanted to comfort his brother but he was too afraid of what he might see when Sam opened his eyes.

Dean was still standing in the hall when Bobby came rushing from his room. He gave Dean an exasperated look and pushed past him into the bedroom where Sam's moans had become strangled cries.

Dean peered around the edge of the door. Bobby was sitting on the bed whispering words of comfort to Sam, who was curled into a ball, sobbing into his pillow. Dean stumbled to the bottom of the stairs and collapsed in a trembling heap.

As long as I'm around, nothing bad is going to happen to you.

Dean buried his head in his hands. He had promised Sam he'd take care of him and he had failed. He had spent the last year feeling sorry for himself and continually pushing his brother away. He should have gotten his head out of his ass and paid more attention to what was going on with his little brother.

You don't know me. You never did and you never will.

That wasn't true. He knew his little brother better than anybody in the world. If not, he'd never been able to find him after he'd escaped the panic room. But what if he really didn't know who he was inside? How much had Sam changed in his heart? Dean remembered a time, not so long ago, when Sam had been determined to save his older brother from Hell. Now, just a few nights ago, Dean had been sure that Sam was going to kill him.

Dean heard footsteps on the stairs but he didn't raise his head. He was too tired to argue with Bobby. Too tired to think about the apocalypse. Too tired to talk about Sammy. Just too damn tired.

Dean had no idea he was going to cry until he felt Bobby's comforting hand on his back and then the tears came in a torrent. He couldn't stop them, although he tried. He didn't want to cry in front of Bobby. He hadn't done that since he was a kid.

"Dean, you have to talk to your brother. You know that, right?"

Dean nodded his head against his hands.

"I've watched you two avoid each other for the last couple of days and I can't watch it anymore."

Dean wiped his hands across his face, sniffing back the tears. "We can leave, Bobby. I'm sorry. We shouldn't have come."

"That's not what I mean, you idjit." Bobby's hand squeezed gently at the back of Dean's neck. "You're both scared, Dean. I get that but this ain't gonna resolve itself. It's not one of those things you can sweep under the rug and expect to go away. You both have to deal with it."

"I know, Bobby." Dean sighed. Seems being too tired to talk about something didn't matter with Bobby. "I'll talk to him tomorrow, okay? I can't do it tonight. I just can't."

Bobby nodded. "Why don't you try and get some rest then? You haven't done much of that in the last couple of days either."

"Yeah, okay, in a little bit. I'm just going to sit here for a few minutes."

Bobby gave his neck one more squeeze before heading back up the stairs. After a few minutes Dean moved to Bobby's couch, kicked his boots off and stretched out. He had no idea what he was going to say to Sam in the morning.

Consuming the amount of blood it would take to kill Lilith would change your brother forever. Most likely he would become the next creature that you would feel compelled to hunt.

Dean pinched the bridge of his nose between his fingers. What if Cas had been right? What if Sam really was that kind of creature now? That thought was what scared Dean more than the apocalypse, Lucifer, or anything else they were facing right now. What if his Sammy had become a monster?

Dean struggled to open his eyes. He could hear Bobby puttering around in the kitchen. He squinted at his watch and saw he'd only gotten a couple hours of sleep. It would have to do.

In the kitchen he found Bobby standing watch over a skillet of eggs. Dean stumbled wearily to the coffee pot.

"You hungry?"

Dean shook his head. "Just need some caffeine, then I'm going up to talk to Sammy."

Bobby nodded. "Be easy on him, Dean."

"I've spent the last year pushing him away, Bobby. I won't make that mistake again."

Dean drained his cup and headed up the stairs. He took a deep breath before entering Sam's bedroom but it was for nothing. The room was empty. Dean turned to leave and noticed an envelope on the bed. With shaking hands Dean removed the letter from within. It was written in Sam's neat but girly handwriting.

Dear Dean,

Ever since we were little you told me you would take care of me and you always did. For that I am thankful. You were the best brother anybody could ever ask for. I'm just sorry that I couldn't be the same for you. I wanted to, Dean. I wanted to be a brother you could be proud of. Even when you were in Hell, I kept hunting because I knew that's what you would do. I knew if things were reversed you would hunt down whatever killed me and get revenge. I wanted to be like you.

But I let it go too far. When you came back, instead of just being glad that my brother was back, I kept looking for Lilith. I listened to the lies that Ruby told me. I started to believe I was special, that the curse the yellow eyed demon had placed on me could turn into a blessing. I could kill demons! Wouldn't that make my brother proud of me? But that was an excuse.

I liked the feeling it gave me. I was powerful. I could kill with my mind. And then the addiction became too much and it was out of my control. I'm so sorry, Dean, for everything I've put you through, for everything I've did to you and said to you.

I should have paid more attention to you when you came back from Hell. I should have made you talk to me but I was too wrapped up in my plans to kill Lilith. God, how could I have been so stupid?

I once made you promise to kill me if I ever turned into something that wasn't me. You told me then not to ask that of you. I'm sorry that I ever did. I knew then it was the only promise you ever made me that you would break. I should have never asked you to do that. Dad should have never asked you to do that.

Other hunters will be coming for me, Dean. When they find out what I've done, well, they'll do what you could never do to me. So I'm taking care of it for them. I'm doing what I should have done the day the hell hounds came for you.

I hope you know, Dean, that I've always been proud to be your brother.

I love you,


The finality of Sam's words was like a punch to Dean's stomach. He fled from the room, pounding down the stairs in his bare feet. Bobby met him in the hallway.

"Dean, son, what is it? You look like you've seen a ghost."

Dean shoved the letter into Bobby's hands and fumbled for his boots. "We have to find him, Bobby. Was he still in bed when you got up?"

"Yeah, I looked in on him before I came downstairs."

"How long?"

Bobby gave him a bewildered look.

"How long since you came downstairs?"

"An hour or so, maybe."

Dean nodded. "Okay, it took him a little while to write that so he can't be far. But which way did he go?"

"He probably headed to the woods." Bobby glanced out his window. "That would make the most sense. Just far enough away from us but not too far."

"Okay, let's go." Dean jerked open the door and begun to run with Bobby on his heels.

At the edge of the woods they found a couple of places where Sam could have entered. Dean thought his brother might have made a false trail but he wasn't sure if Sam's head was even in that kind of place right now. Dean took the trail he thought Sam would take, leaving Bobby to take the other.

Please, God, please. If you were ever going to do anything for me, please do it now.

Dean moved quietly through the woods, attune to every noise. He had been searching for about fifteen minutes when he heard a low muffled sound. He followed it to a small clearing and almost cried in relief when he saw his brother. Sam was sitting with his back against a tree, knees pulled up to his chest. His face was hidden against his knees and his gun was clasped loosely in his right hand.

"Sammy?" His voice was a coarse whisper.

Sam didn't lift his head but Dean saw his grip instinctively tighten on the gun. Dean shuffled a few steps closer to his brother.

"Sammy, give me the gun."

"Go away, Dean. I have to do this and I don't want you to watch."

"Sammy, you can't do this."

Dean knelt on the ground before his brother. Sam hadn't looked up yet and even though Dean was afraid of what he would see when he did, he knew no matter what Sam was still his brother.

"Sammy, please, give me the gun." He reached out his hand and touched Sam's arm. Sam flinched away from him. "Sam, please, we've been in tight spots before. We'll get through this."

"No, we can't, Dean." Sam raised his head and Dean focused his attention on the gun in Sam's hand. Sam began to sob.

"I tried, Dean. But I can't keep going on like this."



Sam dropped the gun and covered his face with both hands. Dean shoved the gun as far away as he could and grasped Sam's hands in his own. He tried to pull them away but Sam refused to cooperate.

"Sam, I'm sorry. It's just…I'm scared, okay? I'm scared of what I might see when I look at you."

At his words, Sam began to sob harder but he finally gave in to Dean's persistence and lowered his hands. It was time to face the truth, whatever it may be. Dean cupped Sam's face in his own hands and for the first time since that awful night, he looked into his brother's dark….notblack..eyes that were brimming with tears.

"Dean, I'm sorry, i'm so sorry, i'm so sorry….oh God, so sorry."

Dean gathered his weeping brother into his arms, pressing his face into Sam's hair, breathing in the familiar smell. Tears began to fall from his own eyes.

"I'm the one who's sorry, Sam. I should have never thought you were anything other than my little brother. And just so you know, I've always been proud to be your brother, too."

And just for a little while, the world was still, the apocalypse forgotten, as Dean clung to his baby brother, knowing he would never let him go again.