A/N: Finally, something that isn't an angsty Sam one-shot. :proud face: Instead it's an angsty Dean one-shot. :shakes head: With a dying Sammy. I know, I'm cruel.
Set after Season Four. So totally AU, okay?

Title is inspired by Mika's "Life in Cartoon Motion" - I've twisted the name since the fic has death in it…
Again, contains some swearing - don't like, then don't read.

Disclaimer: You know the drill. Obviously, I do not own Supernatural, Sam or Dean. Not even a teeny tiny knife or weeny gun.
Lyrics again belong to the awesome Linkin Park, this time it's "Easier To Run". (So I don't own them either. Sadly.)


~Death in Cartoon Motion~

It's easier to run
Replacing this pain with something more
It's so much easier to go
Than face all this pain here all alone…


He had at first wanted to laugh out of sheer panic and hysteria at what was happening in front of him.

For his baby brother had reacted like a cartoon character - the gun had gone off, the bullet gone in and then he had went forward, eyes wide open and his face a comical picture of surprise and disbelief. He didn't even fall down - he went down on his knees first as he has was kneeling in a church or something. He had then finally slumped over backwards, legs and arms sprawled all over the place.

Having been forced to watch it happen, to Dean it looked funny; so funny… But that was where the cartoon similarity had ended.

For unlike a cartoon character, Sam did not stand up again. He did not begin to plot some sort of attack on his own attacker, like the next little hilarious scene of the cartoon programme. He did not get and look to Dean and laugh before walking over to him. He simply didn't get up at all.

It is really quite amazing at what you do when faced with the very thing you dread most in the world happening, actually doing so before your eyes - even when knowing that you cannot stop it, you still do strange things; orders your brain tells you to do and you pick one out at random and then simply do it.

But which one do you pick out?

Laugh, or cry? Scream, or shout?

Freeze and stay where you are, or race over to your little brother, hold him close and say "everything's gonna be alright, kiddo?"

Dean Winchester was a man of action. He usually acted first and thought later, especially all things concerning the welfare of his family. In his time he had seen it all and in fact done most of it - if you consider his long time spent trapped in Hell -and he loved his little brother with a love so deep and strong that even his tough old dad, the ex-marine had been softened whenever he had thought of it.

So it came to no surprise when Dean opted for the latter as he plan of action and ran over to his little brother, seeing him lying there on the floor with his eyes shut. He ran over and took him in his arms, and held him tighter and closer than he had ever before, and that really is saying something.

Time then freezes. Dean is faintly aware of naught else but the sight of Sam and he has also now forgotten that Bobby is even there.

It was, after all, his house; his idea. Trap the demon that had been following the two brothers for several days, find out from it why it was following them and more about Lucifer and then when they had gotten the information they wanted, simply exorcise the son of a bitch.

Without using Sam's powers, of course. He had claimed he couldn't use them now anymore but Dean didn't really know what to believe, and so had told Sam not to attempt anything, or even to think of attempting something - they would exorcise the demon the good old traditional way.

But they hadn't planned on it bringing several friends, hadn't planned on having a massive confrontation and showdown; hadn't planned for Sam to try and save the day.

So Dean holds Sam close in his arms. His poor broken little brother. He could fix him - he had to.

But could he fix him; patch him up; make him better?

All his life Sam Winchester had looked up to him, the older brother. How long had he looked up to him (in the literal sense - for as a kid Sammy had been such a midget) and acted like Dean was a God in human form? Like nothing he did was wrong? Like everything he did was cool and worth emulating? Like he could fix anything because he was Dean - his awesome big older brother?

"If only I could fix this…" Whispers of words quietly leak from his mouth as he glances at his brother, thoughts containing memories swirling about in his head.

All his life Dean Winchester had looked after his little brother - helped him hunt, practise skills, do his homework (that had only lasted a short time - Sam quickly became extremely smart and capable enough to do his own homework, thank you very much); he had fed him, washed him, looked after him whenever he had been sick or injured and had looked out for him while on hunts or at school. Their father never had to tell him to do so - it was a second nature; as normal and regular as breathing.

Now he had failed them - his father and his brother. And the punishment was having to sit here and watch Sammy die in his arms.

Faint gurgling and a moan issues from Sam's mouth. To Dean's horror he has gone deathly pale and his eyes are shut.

"Come on, Sammy…Come on…Open your eyes - it's not that bad, not that bad at all - it's just a little scratch and I can patch you up and then you'll be fine. So come on, open your eyes! Come on, Sammy…Open your eyes, kiddo…"

Rambling, and doesn't he know it.

He looks down into his brother's face. More horror and a tug at his heartstrings - trickles of blood are running gently down his chin and neck.

His eyes stray to Sam's chest. The huge, gaping bloody hole all too clear. He feels his aching heart stop mid-beat and he can swear that he hears it break and crumble away into nothingness. Just like he wishes to do right now.

Bobby is still lurking around the room, now strewn with books and pages and God knows what else looking unsure what to do. He meets Dean's eyes - yes, he has pulled his gaze away from Sam for the briefest of seconds - and it's enough for Bobby to pass on a single, silent message hidden in his eyes.

I'm sorry.

For the plan? The way things had gone? For allowing one of the demon's to get a hold of a gun?

Fuck knows - but my brother is here bleeding to death and I really don't give a shit right now.

Bitter thoughts, he knows, but under the circumstances he believes that they are justifiable.

A loud crash echoes through the house - Bobby looks again at Dean, but this time Dean doesn't look back - Sam's got his full attention again. And compared to him, anything else is minor and can wait.

"It might be him -"

The sole surviving demon of this fucking mess -

"-Trying to escape. I'm on it." He takes off.

Normally Dean would want to rush off and attack and kill the son of a bitch who dared harm his little brother, but that is usually whenever Sam is only minorly injured and he knows he'll be alright. Today is not one of those days, so Dean will gladly leave the job to Bobby knowing the older hunter will get revenge for both of them.

Yet he doesn't even look up as Bobby exits the room. His attention is on one thing and one thing only - and that's Sam who still hasn't opened his eyes yet.

However he knows that he's being unfair. Bobby thinks of them both as sons and he loves Sam. He must be thinking in a similar fashion to Dean himself - what could he do?

But Bobby knows that what Sam needs is his big brother Dean, and what Dean needs is time with Sam. Time alone. So he had hovered around for the last few minutes before taking off to do something useful and leave the brothers be.

Another moan, and the heavy head of one Samuel Winchester is attempting to lift itself.

"Sam, don't try to move, okay? Relax; take it easy…You know the drill by now!" A grim smile is attempted alongside more pathetic ramblings, but it's offering as a distraction from the words his mind is currently screaming at him. Words he doesn't want to hear. Words he doesn't want to believe.

Sam's dying. Look at the blood - look at all of it - you know he can't survive this!

"Shut up! Shut up…" Frantic murmurs to himself to block out his thoughts.

Those damn relentless thoughts.

You know he's going to die - accept it…

"I won't! He isn't!"

Accept it! He'll die, and you can't do anything; anything to stop it.

"Sam can't die… Sammy can't die…" He doesn't realise he is muttering the same words quietly to himself over and over again; chant-like, until he hears a harsh intake of breath that cuts through everything.

"…Dean…?" Another harsh and ragged breath.

A thought hits him - Sam was shot in the chest, possibly - no, probably - in or near a lung. Every breath is painful - Sam is in agony.

"Hey, kiddo - it's me." The words make him choke. He's on the verge of tears on, yet forcing himself not to cry. Sam doesn't need to see him lose control - he needs to see him in control.

But it is so hard. So god-damn hard, and Dean has to fight to keep his composure.

It's all too eerily reminiscent of two years ago when Sam was stabbed by that guy Jake. He had died bleeding in Dean's arms with Dean crying over him. He had died, Dean had known that he couldn't live without him and had pretty much sold his soul to the Crossroad Demon and then Sam was back.

And now here they were again; this time Dean can't go to a Crossroads Demon - he has a vague suspicion that Sam had killed several sooner after he had gone under, and any left won't want to deal with him; certainly not to give Sam back. They all want him dead -want him in hell.

Where they could do God knows with him; to him. And Dean knows exactly what…

The thought makes him shudder.

Not going there. Not in my thoughts, and neither is Sam. Not going there.

It had been nearly a year since Dean himself had been in the Pit; tortured and then being a torturer himself. He knew what it was like down there - like hell, funnily enough - and what he had seen and done...No way in hell - a grim and bleak smile, loving the joke - was Sam going there.

Since Sam had technically set Lucifer free to roam Earth, maybe he would be treated a bit more nicely than what Dean had been.

Then again, considering what the day job had been for years…

Maybe not.

It had been two weeks since Lucifer had been set free. Two long, fear-filled weeks, though both Dean and Sam would never mention that out loud.

"…Dean…" The eyes are opened, though any brief flicker of relief and even a drop of hope is crushed and short-lived when Dean looks closely at them.

Pain-filled.

He tries to laugh and make light of it. Isn't it what he always does?

"Good afternoon, Samantha. Had some beauty sleep? Man, you did need it." He grins, his face a mask.

Something that may have been categorised as a smile flickers on Sam's blood-stained lips. It's gone all too soon though.

"My…Chest…Hurts…Feels like it's…On fire…" The pain-filled and breathless words tumble out, much like the new flow of blood from his chest and mouth.

"Hey, easy there Sammy. Don't talk, just breath. And hang on, yeah?" He throws in the last line as something of a plea.

"Dean…I'm dying…Aren't I…?"

The question catches him off guard.

"Now Sammy-"

"Dean." Stubborn Sam interrupts, with surprising forcefulness, "I know…I am and….You know…It too…You also know…I'm not…Gonna…Shut up and die….quietly…"

Such a long speech under the circumstances and he's damn proud of his little brother, being such a stubborn ass even in his final moments, ignoring waves of pain that surely must be attacking him.

Just to keep Dean happy.

It makes him want to cry once more.

"Sammy…" Gulping down the urge to break down, "Yeah I know but….God, I don't want to lose you." He again puts his arms around his little broken brother, pretending not to see the blood that soaks the sleeves of his jacket.

"…I'm sorry Dean…Making you…Go through all…This again…"

"Don't be an ass, Sam! I'm the one who should say sorry and you know it!"

Trust Sam to say something like that now.

Damn it, Sam…

Another moan and cough, causing another trickle of blood runs down Sam's mouth and chin.

"Sam…Sammy, please don't go…" He begs, looking at his brother's face; sees his pale skin and hazel eyes that have always been so expressive -

Damn puppy eyes -

- That are now telling him of the suffering he's going through; all the time knowing that it will be his last time gazing on the well-known features he loves.

"Dean…It hurts…" It doesn't escape Dean's notice that Sam is taking longer to talk; there's more harsh and ragged breathing in between each word. "God…Oh god…It hurts…" A gasp of pain. A moan of agony.

A sprinkling of tears that fall down his face.

"I know Sammy, I know…" Holds his brother's limp hand, almost willing his life to go into Sam; willing Sam to hold on.

Dear God… Why Sammy and why now?"

Cas would have normally answered with a "As God wills", in his emotionless way (yet he had become more human after a while, even laughing at a joke Dean had made. Yes, it was faint and only lasted a second, but Dean was confident he was the only man on Earth who had made an angel laugh. And was proud of it, too) but they haven't seen or hear a damn thing from him, not since he held back the Archangels to give them time to go. For all Dean knows, he's dead too.

Another friend gone.

"…Dean…" Sam keeps saying his name and every time he does Dean thinks his heart will break.

"Yeah, kiddo?"

"…I'm sorry…For everything…It's all been…My fault…" Coughs - huge, hacking coughs that make him shudder and more blood flows.

"Sam, nothing is your fault!" But he even as the words leave his lips he knows what Sam is referring to, but they won't talk about that. Not now that he's dying…

Sam seems to know Dean's thoughts for he struggles to raise his head yet again and blearily focuses on him.

The stubborn, stubborn ass…

"I…Used my…Psychic abilities…Even when the angels…And you…Told me not to…I drank demon blood…I listened…To Ruby…Released the bloody devil…And it's all my fault…" Sam's voice is becomingly alarmingly and increasingly faint, punctuated with coughs and moans.

"Dear God Sammy, don't say any of that. Don't say any of it -"

Again his brother manages to interrupt him.

"…I need to…Know that…You forgive me…" Sam's forcing his head to stay upright, and his eyes to remain open - fighting all the way. He's just so desperate for Dean to say that he forgives him and only the will he allow himself to relax.

And die peacefully.

A single tear makes its way down Dean's face. He ignores it like he has done for everything else so far.

"Sam…There is nothing to forgive!" He almost shouts out. There maybe things that Sam has done that is wasn't happy about or proud of, but it's Sam. He doesn't care, because Sam did what he did, believing it to be good because it could help more people.

Drinking demon blood - to boost his psychic crap (and he was deceived about this by Ruby, so not really his fault.)
Using said powers - to save people from death when after an exorcism.
Listening to Ruby - he thought she was being helpful.
Releasing the Devil - Well, he killed Lilith believing it would be helpful and he didn't know she was the final seal. He was also lead on by Ruby, so not his fault.

"Dean…I need to…I need to…Know." Another breathless moan, with those hazel eyes looking at him, begging for an answer.

Swallowing down the lump which rises in his throat, ignoring yet another tear, Dean looks his little brother in the eyes and says clearly:

"I forgive you, Sam. I forgave you, Sammy, so long ago. I forgive you, lil bro." He gulps, and watches as Sam smiles in something like relief, and then he lets his head fall back.

His eyes slowly close.

"Thank…you…Thank you…"

"Don't mention it, bitch." The old jibe - trying to make them both feel better.

A faint smile. "…Jerk…"

But it's all Dean can take.

"Sam! No! I love you, Sammy - please don't go!" The tears are falling freely now and Dean's sobbing uncontrollably, watching his little brother's breathing fade and his life end.

"…Love…You…Too…M'sorry..." It's barely more than a whisper, and yet Dean hears it as clearly as if it were contained in a shout.

"SAM!"

As if shouting his name will help…

He knows he's gone; knows it's no use; yet he clings to his poor broken little brother. He rocks him back and forth in his arms, sobbing and calling his name.

"SAMMY!"

Not like a cartoon now.

For the day Sam Winchester died, Dean Winchester felt he had died too.


Dear God, I am cruel. :shakes head:

Review? They may act as a revive and bring Sammy back to life…