Notes

Alright, so originally I had this all wrapped up in a oneshot, but realized that I hated the ending I had...so I made a new one.

And yeah, I lied about posting this within a few days. I know, I'm sorry, college, yadda yadda.

If anyone's still reading...enjoy: )

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

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My Brother's Keeper: Epilogue

The fact that that had gone nothing like he had pictured it was the first conscious thought that Dean's fuzzy mind formed. The question of whether or not his father was okay quickly followed and bits and pieces started to return as Dean gradually made his way back to the conscious world.

He remembered going into the forrest with John. He remembered dropping the match on the dead body of the Warg—God, it had been so awesome to actually be able to help his Dad on a hunt—then feeling the worst pain he'd ever felt and hearing his father's alarmed cry. That last thing Dean did not remember was hitting the ground.

After a few failed attempts, Dean finally managed to pry his eyes open and look out from under leaden-feeling lids. A cheshire cat moon grinned brightly through a window to his left, casting enough light to allow Dean to make out that he was in a hospital room. If the starkly colored wall and the curtains half-drawn around his bed weren't a tell-tale sign, then the always peculiar smelling air and the rhythmic beeping near his head were. Dean acknowledged the channeled beating of his heart on the monitor along with two other sounds.

The soft, deep snoring was undoubtedly his father. Dean blinked at the low, rattling sound, wondering suddenly how in the world it had used to lull him to sleep. In the few moments of relative silence riding on John's exhale, Dean was able to make out a sweeter, softer sound. Humming, Dean realized. It took a few moments of pure concentration, but he finally was able to identify the vaguely familiar tune a less than par variation of One. Dean rolled his head to look to the right of his bed where both sounds were coming from.

John was slumped in a reclining hospital chair, the dark circles underneath his closed eyes suggesting that need rather than desire had been the biggest factor to decide his current plane of consciousness. Dean swept his eyes over his father, his worry dropping away when John appeared to be entirely unharmed by the Warg. Dean's eyes finally settled on where the second chorus of Metallica was coming from. Sam sat curled in his father's lap, John's arm draped limply across his knees. His young face was tense, his big sea-green eyes squinting in concentration at John's watch where he held it with both hands, close to his face.

Dean smiled fondly. He'd taught Sam how to tell time on that same watch a year and a half ago. It had been a struggle because Sam had been more fascinated by what was making the hands move than what time they were reading. Dean had bought him one of the big, brass alarm clocks for Christmas and helped him take the face off so Sam could see the gears and mechanisms. It was the only present Sam had gotten that year, but he had spent too much examining it to seem to have noticed.

Dean took in a deep breath, the action hitching when it pulled at the tight feeling of stitches in his left side.

"A'ways knew y'liked m'music, S'mmy." Sam's head snapped up. His features softened and big, blue/green eyes sparkled happily as they focused on Dean.

"Dad!" Sam gave John a rousing shove and dropped the watch in his lap before hopping off the chair. "Dad! Dean's awake!" Sam scuttled across to Dean's bed and wasted no time pulling himself up onto it. Dean's smile spread wider at the sight of his little brother's beaming face.

"Hey, Sparky." He bent his right arm up at the elbow and managed to prop it up so Sam might slap his hand, something the young Winchester had become fond of doing lately. The high five was a gentler version of the ones they would usually exchange—of which Dean was grateful—but the grip was tight and meaningful.

"Hey, dude." Dean looked over at the low, gruff rumble. John had gotten up out of the chair and was standing next to the bed, his tired eyes showing love and relief as they looked down at Dean. "How ya feelin'?"

Dean ignored the tightness in his side as he looked back at Sam. He hitched up one corner of his mouth.

"Super." Dean drawled, pulling a giggle from Sam. Dean turned back to John, only his eyes sobering as he fixed his father with a pointed stare. "Ever'thing taken care'f?"

John closed his eyes momentarily and smiled sadly. He nodded. Dean nodded back.

"Yeah. And I helped!" Dean broke eye contact with his father to fix Sam with a puzzled look.

"Y'did?" Dean asked with a hint of worry. Surely Sam hadn't followed them into the woods...

Sam's head nodded zealously up and down and he thrust out his left arm.

"Look!" Dean blinked at the red, Grover band-aid secured to the inside of Sam's elbow. His brows knitted as he realized he was obviously missing something and he started to reach out. A tug at his right arm stopped him. Dean looked down to see what it was and found a tube feeding deep red liquid into his lower arm. "See?" Came Sam's excited voice again.

And Dean's face softened. He blinked at the transfusion line a few more times before lifting his eyes back to Sam's arm. Surely they couldn't have...Sam was too young, right? Reaching the rest of the way, Dean gently cupped Sam's elbow in his hand, brushing his thumb lightly across the band-aid and staring, transfixed, at it.

Sam leaned in towards Dean and spoke in a low, conspiring-like whisper.

"We both have special blood. Isn't that cool?"

Dean felt his chest tighten as he lifted his eyes to John. Whether from answering emotion or a more private one, the gaze that returned Dean's was suspiciously full. Any questions Dean might have had about what had happened after the last thing he recalled or how badly he had been off were all answered by the red band-aid on Sammy's arm and the haunted look in his father's eyes.

A mixture of irrational guilt, heartache, and pride for his seven year old brother lodged in a tight lump in Dean's throat and, without a word, he pulled Sam gently forward and wrapped him in a tight embrace. Dean felt the little arms circle around his neck as he fixed a blurry stare over Sam's shoulder.

It had always been Dean's job to protect Sam. To keep him safe at all costs and help him however he could. That, Dean was used to; it was second nature. In return, Sam did the same for Dean, though perhaps he may not have always realized it. But this, Sam giving a part of himself to save his big brother's life, Dean was not used to. In fact, he hated the idea. Sam was too young to have that kind of thing asked of him. What was it worth keeping their father's job a secret for the sake of Sam if his innocence was just going to be tried by something else?

Dean circled his arms tighter around Sam.

But, that Sam had been willing—and apparently eager—to help him with something like that did make Dean love the little guy even more than he already did. It had been an extremely brave thing to do for a seven year old and Dean felt immense pride for his brother warm the pit in his stomach.

He didn't know what to say. Thank you seemed the proper thing, but it sounded way too insufficient in Dean's head...plus there was the whole pesky issue of being able to push back the restricting feeling in his throat long enough to talk.

A content-sounding sigh brushed Dean's ear right and he felt Sam's face bury into his shoulder, the arms around his neck hugging a little tighter. Dean smiled softly and closed his eyes. He realized that Sam had not had any thought of a thank you in his mind when he had rushed over to his big brother's side. Just like he himself never expected one at any given time when he took care of Sam.

Dean turned his face to rest against the side of Sam's head, his equally contented sigh parting the chocolate brown curls in a soft rush of air. In that moment, Dean knew that looking out for one another would forever be a mutual, willing, and above all, unassuming responsibility that both he and Sam would forever bear. They would each be their brother's keeper for the rest of their lives.

The End Beginning

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A few closing thoughts

I realized that I needed Dean's reaction to this whole debacle. And yeah, I know this probably turned out uber cheesy, but that's the beauty of Wee!, right?

I know the contrast between little Sam's reactions is pretty extreme, but I wanted to get both sides of his personality: the old soul side, and the still-innocent side. Plus, we all know that little children's moods can turn on a frickin' dime, ha!

Literally this second, I realized the issue of Sam giving Dean some of his blood...since he does, in fact, have demon blood, there would most likely be a whole slew of problems, but fuck that, okay?

Anywho, I hope ya'll enjoyed...I get the feeling no one wants to read my fics anymore after I've been so bad about updating. Rest assured this makes me very sad and I again apologize for being a bad updater.

Reviews are like being extremely cruel to Bobby...and I'm the SN writing staff.

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