Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural, or the characters, and chances are that I never will.

Since I wrote "By the time you read this, I will be gone", I've wanted to do a story about how Dean might react to a failed suicide attempt, and after everyone's reactions to my idea of killing Sam in my other fic "To the bone", I figured I should take out my desire to try to kill Sam somewhere else ...here!

Please let me know what you think!


It had been three weeks since their last gig, a particularly nasty spirit, and since then Dean and Sam had been staying in a crappy old motel in nowheresville. And it had been two months, four days, and five hours since Sam and Dean left Stanford, and in that time, there hadn't been a night that Sam had actually slept and not been violently awoken by a nightmare.

They were exhausted in every since of the word, and just generally, they were both being worn very thin.

The thought had crossed Dean's mind more than once that Sam was floundering, and he was in desperate need of help. But what happened next, he never saw coming.

In the early hours of the morning, Dean was jolted awake by the distant sound of a gunshot. His gut clenched as he looked over to Sam's bed only to find it empty, made up neatly, no signs it had been slept in. "Sam!" Dean called out loudly as fear crept in.

He was met by utter and complete silence; there was no sound, not the wind in the trees, not the sounds of nocturnal creatures scurrying about, and most importantly, no response from Sam.

"Sammy!?!" Dean called out louder, his voice edging towards a scream, still with no response.

He climbed out of bed, and pulled on his jeans as he grabbed his knife from under the motel pillow. His first thought was that something or someone had taken Sam, but it didn't add up, why had was Sam's bed neatly made, especially since when Dean had gone to bed, Sam had been sleeping there.

What the hell is going on here?! And where the hell is Sam?

In any case, whatever had happened to Sam, and an unshakable feeling told Dean that something had happened; he knew he had to find him, fast.

It only took Dean a matter of minutes of locate his younger sibling, as soon as Dean stepped out of the motel room, into the car park, the stench of blood was thick in the air.

It compelled Dean to move faster, and as he rounded the corner of the building, to the parklands that the motel backed on to, the smell became stronger. Dean looked around, and lying over at the edge of a small clearing, several feet away was Sam.

"Sam?!" Dean called out to his brother as he ran towards him, not caring about the possible danger the dark bush area could hold.

As Dean reached Sam's side, realisation struck him like a sledge hammer. There was a handgun, one that Dean recognised as being from their arsenal, laying beside Sam. And Sam was bleeding profusely from a head wound.

"Sam! Shit! Sammy!!!" Dean exclaimed in horror at the sight before him, his first thought was that Sam was dead, that he'd screwed up so badly, not seen what was happening to his brother, and now his baby brother had shot himself in the head. But then Sam's chest rose, he was still alive.

Oh thank god. Dean thought as he scrambled down onto his hands and knees beside Sam, trying to assess his condition, ignoring the emotions and pain that threatened to drown him.

As Dean mopped up as much of the blood as he could, it became evident that while Sam was bleeding heavily from a deep gunshot wound to the right side of his head, so deep that parts of his skull were visible, muscle and tissue had been torn away, the bullet hadn't gone through his skull, it had just grazed it. He must have hesitated, tried to pull away at the last second.

Just minutes earlier

Sam crept out of the motel room, cautious to avoid waking his brother as he stole away into the woodlands with a gun that he'd "left" on the table after cleaning it the day before.

He had thought long and hard about what he was about to do, mostly in the long sleepless nights he'd endured in the months since his beloved girlfriend's violent death. The memories haunted him, the picture left imprinted in his mind of Jess' stomach ripped open, her mouth contorted into a silent scream as she was being burnt alive, it consumed him, and he couldn't take it any more.

Sam sat down against a massive oak tree, embracing the feeling of the bark digging into his back, and deliberately lifted the gun to his head.

And he caressed the trigger slowly, pulling it.

But as he did, another thought that he'd avoided until that exact moment forced it's way in; his brother, his big brother, his protector, his world. As much as Sam wanted to die, to end his pain, he knew deep down that he couldn't do this to Dean, he knew that it would destroy his big brother. With that thought in his mind, he pulled the gun away at the last second.

But it was a moment too late, and in an instant pain shot through his temple, unimaginable pain as the bullet tore through his flesh.

Dean knew that they couldn't go to the hospital, especially not for a self inflicted gunshot wound, from an unregistered gun, he and Sam would be in jail and an asylum, respectively, before sunrise.

Dean had no other choice than to heave Sam into his arms, and carry his brother's lifeless form back into the motel, being careful to avoid detection by other motel patrons or the manager.

He lay his brother down on his bed, and checked that he was still breathing steadily, before he went into the bathroom, and fished out the first aid kit stashed away under the vanity. And he then returned to Sam's side with the kit and several towels in hand, and proceeded to clean out the wound as best he could, all the while praying that he was making the right choice, they'd all gotten an array of injuries over the years, and Dean was quite skilled in patching them up, but it didn't take a genius to see that this was worse than anything he'd handled before.

But as much as Dean wanted his brother to get the best care, in a hospital, he also knew that it wasn't an option, so he just kept going, cleaning, suturing everything together as best he could, and hoping that Sam wouldn't regain consciousness until he was done. As hard as it was to stitch his baby brother up, it was harder when he had to listen to and see the pain he was causing.

For once, luck was on their side, and Sam remained blissfully unaware until Dean was bandaging up the long jagged wound that adorned the side of his head.

It's going to leave a bad scar, that's for sure. I'm surprised there's even enough skin left that I could close it. Dean thought as he worked.

Sam's return to consciousness was quick, Dean first noticed that Sam was coming around just as he was putting a thick pad of gauze against the wound, and by the time he was securing the bandage in place, Sam was for the most part aware of his surroundings. But it wasn't until Dean had finished tending to his brother's physical injuries, and settling him into bed, that he acknowledged him. "Sammy." His single word spoke volumes when combined with the tears that were silently running down his face.


There was a long silence before Sam responded by simply saying. "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry, Dean. I'm sorry I hurt you."

"Oh god, Sammy. You didn't hurt me, you scared the hell outta me, but… I'm the one who should be sorry, I should've helped you." Dean said as he pulled his brother into a tight embrace, as he held his brother, he worriedly asked. "What am I meant to do with you?"

"I don't know, Dean."

Eventually they fell asleep where they were, on Sam's bed, and it wasn't until well into the next day that either of them was ready for the conversation they both knew they needed to have.

The pair were sitting at the tiny motel table, picking at the diner food Dean had brought back for them, when Sam tentatively said. "Maybe it'd be better if I went somewhere for a while. I'm just a burden to you now, you should put me somewhere, and then get back on the road, find Dad."

The result was instantaneous. "No freakin way, Sam!" Dean exclaimed as soon as the words left his brother's mouth, he couldn't even believe that Sam could suggest such a thing. "I'm not sending you off to some psych hospital, no way, it's not happening. Just forget about it now."

"Dean…" Sam said softly, looking up at his big brother with emotion loaded eyes.

Dean loved his brother, but at that moment, it was all he could do not to lean forward and strangle him, did Sam really know him that little that he'd think he'd just send him away. "I've been taking care of you damn near our whole lives, Sammy. I'd go to the end of the goddamn world for you. I know you're messed up about everything that's happened, but I'm going to get you through this. I'll get you better."

The End.

Really this is just a little dose of brotherly love!

Thanks for reading! Please review!

And as always, suggestions and CONSTRUCTIVE criticism are welcome, feel free to put them in a review or PM.