A/N: Just a short story about Sam's thoughts at the end of "Sympathy for the Devil."

All the usual disclaimers: Not mine, just for fun and not for profit, etc, etc.

Hope you enjoy...

Mending Fences

Sam watched his brother walk away. As he reached the back of the Impala, Dean hesitated, turned and looked back. Sam hoped he would say something. Anything.

It wasn't as if Dean hadn't said enough already but Sam still wanted him to say something more. Something to take away the sting of the words he'd already spoken. Something that might make him feel better. Even just a tiny bit. Just like he used to do when they were younger.

But he didn't. Dean just looked regretfully back at Sam and then turned back around and got into the car. He didn't even bother to turn the Impala on; he just sat there, in the car, staring straight ahead. Or so Sam thought; it wasn't as if he could see if his brother was actually watching him in the rear-view mirror.

But one thing Dean didn't do was leave. Despite everything that he had said, he was still waiting for Sam.

Meaning there was still hope.

Hope that his brother would forgive him. Would eventually understand why he had done what he did. And, then Dean could finally begin to trust him again.

Because that's all Sam really wanted. Without it he might not survive. Dean was all he had. He had fooled himself for a year that he had had Ruby too. That he could depend on her as much as he had once depended on Dean. Because, unlike Dean she had appeared to understand him. And believe in him. But it had all been a lie. A lie that in hindsight was so blatantly easy to see.

Sam wondered why he hadn't seen it before. Why he had let himself fall prey to a demon. And how he had ever lost sight of the fact that Ruby was a demon.

He figured that it had everything to do with losing his brother when Dean had died. Dead and gone for 4 months, leaving Sam all alone to carry on and fend for himself. And all the while, all Sam wanted to do was to die too, end his pain and loneliness once and for all. But try as he might, Sam hadn't succeeded in ending his life. Heaven certainly didn't want him, the demons wouldn't take him and no matter how reckless he had been, he just couldn't seem to die. Not physically anyway.

Bobby was caught up in his own self-pity; devastated over Dean's lost and, although he had tried to maintain contact, he hadn't exactly been a shining example of how to survive either. It had been just too depressing hanging around with him.

But Ruby was different. She had offered him hope. A way to survive. A reason to live. And most of all – she had offered him unconditional acceptance. She accepted him for who and what he was. She wasn't afraid of his abilities and even encouraged him to use them and develop them. It was not something that he was used to.

Being accepted for who he was, that is.

His entire life he had been different. Rejected by almost everyone he knew. His classmates shunned him because he was always the new kid, always a little different. They never lived in a real house or had a real home and his differences set him apart everywhere they lived. His father snubbed him for wanting out of a hunter's life; for wanting only to be normal and lead a quiet, ordinary life. And Dean rebuffed him for his psychic abilities; afraid of their origin and therefore afraid of Sam.

If only Dean had understood in the first place. If he had been more willing to accept his powers as part of who he was than Sam could have safely developed them without Ruby's help. They had proven to be extremely useful in killing demons, but Dean never allowed himself to see that. He just couldn't get past how Sam had received them – from Yellow-Eyes.

Sam supposed that should have bothered him more than it did too. But he had so desperately wanted to forget that unpleasant aspect, and derive some good from having them. Make his powers useful and, in the process, find some value in them.

And, in turn, find some value in himself.

And that was exactly what Ruby had done for him. She had made him believe in his abilities. In himself. And, for the first time in his life since college - since Jessica - he had actually felt good about himself.

But he couldn't possibly explain his reasoning to Dean. For starters, Dean would never listen. He'd shut him down before he even got a chance to fully explain, reminding Sam that he had been right. That using his powers had led to nothing good and that all they had achieved was doing evil's biding.

Of course, Dean was right. Sam knew that now.

But hindsight was always 20/20.

Ever since he had discovered them, Sam had simply refused to believe that something that had originated in Hell would only prove to be corrupt and diabolical. He wanted to make something good of it. Turn it from being a curse into a blessing. An advantage he could use while he proved his worth to Dean.

And killing Lilith had seemed like such a good idea at the time.

Everyone had agreed to that. And that's why it hurt so much now. No one – not Dean or Bobby – had been against killing her. Everyone thought it was a good idea; it even seemed to be the plan sometimes. They just didn't want him using his powers to do it. But Sam was sure that, if he hadn't used his powers to kill her, they would simply have found anotherway to do it. The final seal would have fallen just as it did.

And the Apocalypse would have started anyway

But, because of the he had killed Lilith with his mind, he had become the scapegoat.

It was just all so convenient. turning it all into his fault.

But was it really? Was he entirely to blame?

Sam doubted it.

But then, he realized that this was just his ego talking. Or maybe it was demon that raced through in his blood. Either way, Sam knew it was simply a way for him to excuse his actions. To justify them to himself. The fact was that he had ignored all the warning signs for the past year and, in the process, he had pushed aside all the people that had cared for him most in favour of siding with a demon. He had dismissed Dean's concerns, intent on proving to his brother that he knew what he was doing.

All so he could earn his brother's respect and admiration.

Only it hadn't played out that way.

Regardless of how good his intentions had been. And Sam felt ashamed. Both of himself and his abilities. And once again things were just like they had always been. He was still a misfit and a bother. Why anyone put up with him, he wasn't sure.

The loud roar of the Impala's engine springing to life interrupted his thoughts and Sam turned to stare at the tail lights of the car that now lit up the darkened pavement between him and the Impala. And, although he had been standing motionless for the past five minutes, Sam stood for a minute more as he waited anxiously for the brake lights to come, fearful that Dean would put the car into gear and leave without him.

Both of them disappearing from his life for good.

Only the brake lights never came on and the Impala didn't move. It just remained parked in its spot, humming steadily away. The familiar, reliable noise beckoned to Sam, calling him home.

And Sam inherently knew what he had to do.

He had to join his brother.

And start mending fences.

The End.