Though it was his brother's voice that kept echoing inside his head, he was sure they were his father's words.

"If I didn't know you... I would want to hunt you."

Sam lay awake on his hard motel bed, staring up at the dirty ceiling above him as his brother's haunting voice circled in his head. Hearing it from John wouldn't have cut quite as deep, but hearing it from Dean? Even if they were his father's words; which he's sure they were, hearing it from the brother who had practically raised him cut him right to the core.

The room was silent, silent with the exception of the wind howling outside his window, Dean's rhythmic breathing in a bed nearby and the clock on the wall ticking away. Silent with the exception of his brother's voice and his father's words continuously repeating inside his head like a skipping record.

He brought a hand up to his jaw and swore under his breath as he passed his fingers lightly over the lump of his busted lip. He and his brother no longer saw eye to eye; Dean's fist had made that painfully clear. They'd always had their differences but he couldn't remember the last time it had bothered him so much. They were siblings, they were supposed to fight, argue and disagree. They were supposed to give each other the cold shoulder over the simplest of things and then just get over it with nothing gained from either side... but he and his brother were far from just being siblings, and their arguments were almost always fought with a father - son undertone.

Sam sat up in his bed and passed a hand through his hair as he looked up to the clock on the wall. It was just past three in the morning, dead time, and the demons weren't the only ones restless. He glanced at his brother in the bed nearby and studied him carefully; Dean was lying on his stomach, an arm tucked under his pillow, his hand surely clutching a silver blade or gun. The bed sheets were tangled around him, just another sign that he had tossed and turned for hours before finally falling asleep. He pushed the covers aside and quietly got dressed, careful not to wake his older brother as he reached over to grab Dean's well worn Jeans from the pile of clothes on the floor. He fished the keys to the Impala out of a pocket and dropped the pants on the foot of the bed as he made his way to the door. Without another look, he slipped out of the room and slowly shut the door behind him.

**************

He let out a sigh as he slid in behind the wheel. The second he turned the key in the ignition, the engine came to life with a soothing rumble. He pulled out of the parking lot and turned onto the road, no direction or specific destination, just needing to feel the engine roar under his control. When Dean was in Hell, he had spent hours and miles trying to hold onto hope, hold onto the illusion that in the end, everything would be fine. Just knowing that his hands were gripping the same steering wheel his determined father and fearless brother had touched use to be enough to ease his troubled mind... but not tonight.

"If I didn't know you... I would want to hunt you."

The engine revved and the needle climbed as that sharp voice and those piercing words echoed in his head. His grip on the wheel tightened as his eyes focused on the dark road ahead, he could have driven for miles but knew it would do him no good. He couldn't change who he was and he didn't see a problem in using what he had been given to his advantage. What he was doing was what he had been taught; removing demons from the innocent people they possessed. The only difference was, that while he had found a better way of accomplishing that task, his brother saw his supernatural gift as a double edged knife.

Dean only had faith in what he knew and what he had been taught. If it wasn't natural and if it wasn't human, then it was fair game. Period. His theories were as black and white and as night and day as that, there truly wasn't room for compromise. The more Sam thought about it, the more he questioned his older brother's brash approach. Dean had given up his life, had sacrificed everything for him. But why? Because their father had done the same for him? Because it would have been expected of him? Or because he couldn't live with the thought of what was to come, of what their father had warned him about. Sam could barely think about Dean without hearing John's voice somewhere in the background.

"Look out for your brother, boy... I'll be back in a few days."

Being far too young for the role he had been expected to fill, Dean had done everything he could just to make sure Sam wouldn't grow up without a childhood; even if it would ultimately cost him the best years of his life. The truth was, his older brother had raised him the best he could while always trying to live up to their father's expectations. It was no wonder he could here John's words in Dean's voice, Dean was just a product of his raising. He couldn't blame his brother for actions that weren't his or for thoughts and views that had been forced onto him long ago. He also couldn't blame their father for the innocence they had lost and the childhood Dean never had; he too had lost something special. John knew what was really out there, he knew what danger they were in and he had done all he could to prepare his boys for the inevitable war they would have to face, together.

Sam let out a sigh, he could have driven until he ran out of road and he still wouldn't have been able to change the outcome of his life... or his brother's for that matter. He glanced down at his watch, he had been driving around for nearly two hours. The dark sky ahead was now starting to lighten with the first colors of dawn. He let out a yawn as he pulled to the side of the road and then turned around, heading back towards the dingy motel room he and his brother were calling home; for a day or two.

By the time he pulled into the motel parking lot and put the Impala in park, the sun was just starting to rise over the distant tree line. Quietly, he made his way back to their room and slipped in without a sound. Carefully, he tucked the keys back into his brother's Jean pocket and added the pants to the pile of clothes on the floor. With his thoughts now settled, he undressed and climbed back into his bed, resting his head on the pillow as he closed his eyes.

"Did you drive it out of your head?"

"What?" Sam asked, looking over at the second bed nearby. With his back turned to the rest of the room, still tangled in his mess of sheets, Dean still looked like he was asleep.

"Whatever that was keeping you up, did you drive it out of your head?" Dean repeated, turning slightly to face his younger brother.

Sam caught his eyes for a moment before finally giving him a nod. "Yeah..." He whispered. "How did you know I was gone for a drive?"

"Because that's what I used to do... and that's what dad used to do." Dean replied, letting out a yawn as he turned over in his bed. "You're not that different from the two of us you know."

Sam watched as his brother made himself comfortable, straightening out the bed sheets before pulling them up to his chin. He was expecting Dean to ask what had been on his mind but couldn't prepare himself to give an answer.

"Doesn't matter how far you drive, you'll never be able to put enough miles between you and your problems Sammy..." Dean continued. "... And if you ever slip those keys out of my pocket again, I'll give ya one more thing to worry about."

Sam couldn't help but crack a smile as he lay back down in his bed. "It's not the first time Dean." He said with a chuckle.

"No but it'll be your last." Dean replied with a slight smile.

Thanks for reading!
-Shugs