Author's Note: So, I had to write this. It only took me about an hour, but it was demanding to be written. I apologize for any mistakes or if it's total rubbish. The idea just came to me and wouldn't leave me alone until I wrote it. I hope you enjoy.
Disclamer: Not mine, as usual
The sunrise broke over the horizon in a spectacular display of colour, turning the sky a brilliant red that faded gradually into pink, then orange, then gold. It was a beautiful sight that Dean would normally appreciate, even stop to admire a second. Maybe he'd even think on how spectacular mother nature could be or snap a picture of it with his phone to think about later. He'd done that a lot since returning from the pit, seeing the beauty in the earth.
But not today.
No, today he was busy crouching on the muddy, bloodstained ground of some national forest while his little brother died in his arms.
It had been stupid, careless. They had been hunting a Wendigo – easy compared to what they had dealt with lately – but they'd both underestimated the creature and now Sammy was paying the price, Dean thought. He'd underestimated it. If he'd only been a second faster, not let the bloody thing throw him into a tree, then Sam would be ok right now.
In Dean's arms Sam gave a horrible, strangled gurgling sound, an attempt to breathe, the effort almost more than his blood soaked and battered body could manage. And blood soaked it was. The Wendigo had left deep gashes in Sam's chest and stomach; Dean was pretty sure he could see bone in the ones on Sam's chest.
"D..n...n." The strangled whisper tore Dean out of his thoughts and he looked down at his brother. Sam's eyes were filled with pain and fear but also a serene sort of peace that terrified Dean even more than he already was.
"Shhh, Sammy, it's ok. Everything is going to be ok. Don' try to talk; just save your strength," he soothed, unable to hide the tremble in his voice or the raw fear he felt.
"No....D...n," Sam whispered, punctuating each syllable with gurgling gasps, the small sound causing a coughing fit that sprayed blood from his already chalk white lips. "M'okay. G...nn..a.. be...kay. Not...y'r....f'lt." He paused to take a few more shallow breaths, each one more of a struggle than the last, his eyes closing briefly as he fought for air. "D...n....hurt....no...more."
Dean shook his head no the entire time, repeating over and over that Sam would be ok, that they would get out of there and he'd be fine but he knew it wasn't true. His panicked mind refused to believe that his little brother was dying, but in his heart he knew it was inevitable. Sam was just too badly slashed up and they were too far away from civilization. Even if he could get a signal on his cell phone or the satellite phone hadn't been smashed to bits, the rescue teams wouldn't get there in time. But he couldn't believe it, because he'd lost Sam once and refused to do it again. He wouldn't survive it a second time.
"L'v....D...n...n." Sam whispered before giving one small, final breath. His head lolled onto Dean's shoulder and his body fell completely still and silent. His eyes closed gently, the lines of pain fading from his face until he looked peaceful.
"No. Sammy, no," Dean choked, gently shaking his brother. When no response was forthcoming he shook harder, memories of Cold Oak replaying in his mind in horrific detail. NO! SAMMY, NO!" he screamed. Sam wasn't dead. He wasn't allowed to be dead, he couldn't be dead.
Glancing up at the sky as if some celestial being would swoop down and fix it all, bring his brother back to him, Dean pulled Sam close to him, holding on tightly, as if letting go would make it all horribly real.
"CASTIEL!!!" he screamed suddenly, a desperate thought striking him. The angel could help, he could fix it all. He didn't need some strange celestial being, he only needed the one he knew. "CASTIEL YOU BASTARD, GET YOUR ASS DOWN HERE!" Looking down to Sam he palmed his brother's cheek, hugging the limp form close to his chest and pressing a tearful kiss to Sam's temple. "Just hold on, baby brother, it's ok. Help is coming. You're not dying on me."
"There is nothing I can do Dean."
The familiar voice made Dean jerk his head up. Castiel stood a few feet away, at the edge of where the trees dropped off into a cliff, silhouetted against the rising sun. Dean had never been so grateful or so dismayed to see the angel since being pulled out of the pit.
"What do you mean, you can't do anything?" He demanded. "You're an angel, you can do anything! You have to heal him."
Castiel just shook his head. "It is not God's will that I save your brother. I'm sorry. I cannot do what I am not ordered to do."
Glancing down at Sam, tears still streaming freely down his face, Dean shook his head. "I don't buy that bullshit, Cas." He didn't know how his brain was managing to work, but another inspiration struck and he lifted his head again to glare at Castiel with a cold, dead look in his eyes. "Your orders are to help me, right? To protect me? Then you heal him, because if you don't, I'm dead. I won't survive without him, I can't. He dies, I die, simple as that." To prove his point Dean freed one of his hands from clutching Sam's body and picked up the handgun Sam had used as a last desperate line of defence against the Wendigo and pointed it at his temple. There would be no doubt in his mind that he'd do it. There wasn't anything else for him to do if he didn't have Sam there with him.
Castiel cocked his head, staring intently at Dean with the look Dean had come to hate. It was the one that said the angel was studying you, almost like he was looking right through you and could see your darkest secrets, your fears and your hopes. "I believe you are speaking the truth, Dean," he said finally, nodding. "And as you put it, my orders are to protect you. I believe protecting you also means protecting Sam." He paused, then continued. "I cannot heal him completely, that is not in my power. But he is not dead yet. I can give him a fighting chance, as you would say."
Stepping over Castel knelt down and reached out, placing a hand on Sam's forehead. Immediately the forest was bathed in a light so bright Dean had to squeeze his eyes shut. When the light faded he opened them, full of hope, and looked down at Sam. He was just thinking the angel hadn't done a damn thing when Sam gave a gasp and started coughing weakly, his face scrunching up in pain.
"Woah, it's ok. Just breathe, Sammy, you're ok now," Dean chanted, lifting Sam up and patting his back gently. When Sam had calmed down and was breathing evenly, albeit shallow and still weak, Dean eased him back down so Sam's head rested on his legs, and began to look him over.
Blood still oozed out of the gashes on his stomach and chest, but they looked shallower, not as bad as they had been, and definitely not mortal if he could get Sam somewhere he could take care of him. For a second he thought he could see bone in what looked to be the deepest cut, but a closer look showed it was just a piece of jagged flesh.
Sam gave a small moan, his eyes flickering briefly before opening to slits. "D...n," he whispered, though without the awful gurgle that had accompanied his attempts to talk just a few minutes earlier.
"Yeah, Sammy, I'm here," Dean replied in a choked voice. "It's gonna be ok, little brother. I'll get you patched up and you'll be good as new."
"Not....dyin. Not....leavin'" Sam stated, his voice a little stronger. He still wheezed painfully between words, but his breathing was easier and he wasn't as white as before. A weak hand reached up to curl into Dean's shirt and Sam stared up at him, trust and love shining in his eyes. "M' ok. You?"
"You're fine, you're ok." Letting out an almost desperate a sob Dean pulled Sam tightly to him, laid his head on his brother's, and wept with joy. "I'm ok too, Sammy," he whispered between sobs.
"Good. Love you....D...n."
The declaration, so similar to a minute before made Dean cry even harder, great sobs that made his body heave and his back ache, but he didn't care. "I love you too, Sammy," he whispered back.