Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural; no one, especially me, is making a profit from this fic.

Warnings: This could be considered a SPOILER for All Hell Breaks Loose Part One and Two

Also be warned that this is angsty with a mild bit of fluff. Hurt!Sam

Setting: This could fit anywhere between "All Hell Breaks Loose Part Two" to "The Magnificent Seven"; or anywhere early season three, really, but before "Jus in Bello". So wherever you want to place this fic, have at it.

Thanks to my sister, Wicked Rebel, and my best friend, Twilightrayne, for proofing this.

The pressure weighing down Dean's lungs lifted as a whirlwind of warmth escaped from his lips: Sam had finally begun to stir; his slow return to consciousness signaled by the soft moan that made its way past the blood hugging the contours of his chin, flowing lazily from his slightly parted mouth.

"Sam? You with me?" Dean asked as he threaded a hand through Sam's thick hair, hoping that the repetitive motion would bring Sam around. He stole a quick glance at the fire burning steadily in the open grave to his right; his face glowed in the firelight as the heat lapped at his pores, causing his skin to lightly sweat. Rubbing his free hand down his face, Dean returned his gaze to the unconscious man sprawled over his lap. "C'mon, man; we gotta get the hell outta here." The graveyard was just outside of some suburbs, and it wouldn't be long before someone notified the fire department.

"Sam?" Dean could feel desperation begin to creep into the pit of his stomach: The last thing that he and Sam needed was to get caught at the scene of a grave desecration, especially with that Henricksen guy gunning for them. "Dude, c'mon; wake up!" Curling a hand around the nape of Sam's neck, Dean gave him a few quick shakes. "Dude!"

Sam remained still: his will to awaken had apparently died along with the moan that had passed through his lips. Dean rolled his eyes, frustrated at Sam's lack of responsiveness. He delicately maneuvered Sam towards the light radiating from the fire in order to get at better look at his face.

"Sam, I swear, if you don't wake up and I have to drag you to the friggin car--."

The threat died away just as the light from the fire washed over Sam, chasing away the veil of darkness that the night had draped over his face.

Sam lie there, bruise blooming like a discolored rose just above his right temple: a gift from the corner of an unforgiving grave stone. His left jaw was puffy and bruised; blood trickled from his mouth, a slim stream making its way down Sam's neck.

Dean stared, mouth parting slightly as the sight before him dredged up unwanted memories that he had tried to bury deep within his unconscious, throwing them violently into his awareness:

The cool feel of the mist sprinkling his face as he trudged through the thick mud that blanketed the ground at Cold Oak; the relief of finding his brother cruelly and violently taken away from him as he watched in horror as Sam's body stiffened as Jake plowed the treacherous blade through Sam's lower back, tearing apart his spine; his heart painfully skipping a beat as he caught his brother's plummet to the mud; Sam's eyes glossed over and unfocused, staring straight through him.

Sam dying cradled in his arms.

Dean swallowed at the recollection of his brother's death as another buried image unearthed itself and crawled its way into the forefront of his mind:

Sam's peaceful face colored with a bruised jaw; his body lying on a worn mattress, the darkness of the dilapidated house hugging his unmoving form.


Dean blinked, the fire burning close to him catching his eye, causing him to turn away from his brother's face and stare at the violently climbing mass of orange and red.

Sam had died, and he had sold his soul in return for his little brother's life.

"Got little less than a year…." Dean thought as he stared at the fire. A gentle burst of wind rustled above him, causing the flames to quiver and whirl in Dean's direction; the tips of the flames extended like stretching fingers, moving towards him; the sight caused Dean to close his eyes, "One year…." Taking a breath, he slowly opened his eyes and let his gaze fall to his little brother who was still lying unconscious across his , but alive. Tightening his grip across Sam's shoulder, Dean pulled Sam closer to him, gently plastering him against his chest; he took comfort from the heat that he felt radiating off of his brother's body. "It was so worth it," he thought as he felt the gentle thump of Sam's heart against his chest.

He absently brought his free hand up to Sam's mouth to wipe the blood away, but halted the gesture when he felt the rustle of Sam's hair tickle his chin.

"Sammy?" Dean ducked his head, eyes searching his brother's face. Giving him a gentle shake he added, "You with me?"

Sam groaned; his eyelashes fluttering open revealing two blue-green orbs; "Yea…" he ground out, voice heavy. Sam's jaw ached from the movement of his mouth and his hand instantly shot up to inspect the damage. "The hell…?" Realization struck him in an instant and the thought erupted in his mind, "If I'm hurt, then is Dean…?" Sam tilted his head upwards suddenly, causing the back of his head to gently knock against Dean's shoulder; he instantly locked eyes with the green ones that were looking down at him intently. "Are you alright?" Sam asked, absently probing his jaw; when his hand drifted to the swollen area above his temple, he winced and added, "What the hell happened?"

Dean gaped at Sam for a second, his brows rising to his hairline, "What happened?" he repeated, incredulous. He knew Sam had taken quite a hit to the head, but he also knew that he hadn't gotten a concussion from the fall: he'd checked Sam over himself as soon as he had pulled him onto his lap. "Dude, you seriously don't remember?" He took Sam by the shoulders and gently lifted them both off of the ground; Dean's legs responded gratefully to the absence of Sam's weight, and he let out a quiet, but contented, groan as his muscles straightened and stretched. Leveling himself, Dean caught Sam's eyes and swung an arm half heartedly towards the fire consuming the remains of the grave to his right. "Salt and burn ringin' a bell?"

Sam blinked as Dean's words opened the floodgates to his mind, allowing a memory to slam into his consciousness:

A resounding crack echoed throughout the dark cemetery as Sam plowed the shovel into the coffin, splintering the wood and revealing the worm-eaten corpse that dwelled inside; a powerful smell lofted from the body, assaulting his senses. Turning from the sight before him, he planted his hands on the cool grass outside of the grave and pulled himself to the cemetery's surface. A flash of white dashed in his periphery, and Sam cocked his head slightly to watch Dean salt the corpse. Tossing the shovel onto the ground, he picked up the rusted gasoline can and doused the corpse in the strong-smelling liquid. Dean approached the mouth of the grave as Sam chucked the now empty can to the side and made a move to retrieve the flashlight he had set down earlier that night.

Sam heard Dean strike the match just as the spirit made its violent appearance, stirring up wind and gunning straight for Dean. Both reacted in seconds: Dean had lifted his sawed-off just as Sam charged ahead of the spirit, effectively blocking Dean from its assault. Something collided with Sam's jaw as he shoved Dean aside; the force of the push sent Dean teetering backwards, causing him to lose the grip he had on the match, sending the spark to meet the gasoline pooling in the desecrated grave below. Dean watched the match fall as he stumbled backwards, alarmed at how Sam wavered at the mouth of the grave, losing his balance. He immediately shot out his hand and gripped Sam's shoulder as the match hit the gasoline, causing the grave to burst into an angry inferno; the flames barely licked Sam's form as Dean yanked him away from the fire, sending him violently backwards to meet a grave marker, rendering him unconscious.

A hand waving in his face pulled Sam from his musing.

"Sam? Answer my question."

Sam's brows pulled together as his eyes focused on Dean, "Don't remember him asking anything," he thought. "What?"

Dean shot Sam a frustrated look as he turned to pick up the shovel Sam had discarded after unearthing the spirit's grave. Plowing the mouth of the shovel into the soft earth, he leaned against the tool and glared at Sam. Sam stared back, watching as the flames whirled behind Dean, illuminating his form with splashes of red and orange, causing shadows to settle around him. "I asked, what the hell were you thinking, Sam? I could have shot you with the damn sawed-off." Dean hashed out roughly. Sam cringed at the tone in Dean's voice, not because Dean was annoyed with him, but because he had scared Dean when he had been trying to protect him. Dean's expression softened; sighing, he added "Come on, dude, you know I had a clear shot of that bastard. What you did was reckless."

Sam turned his gaze away from Dean and shook his head, but not to disagree with him: Sam had known Dean had a clear shot of the spirit, known what he had done was reckless. But the spirit wasn't what Sam was trying to protect Dean from: he was trying to protect him from the fire.

Sam closed his eyes at the thought: he had seen the spirit rush at Dean, but when he turned to look at his brother all that had registered was Dean's close proximity to the mouth of the grave, the gasoline at the bottom, and the lit match held loosely in between his brother's fingers. Dean's deal had flashed in Sam's mind, throwing the horrifying image before his eyes: the match igniting in the gasoline, flames reaching for Dean, pulling him into the heat: Dean dying.

Dean in hell, trapped forever in waves of never-ending fire and pain.

That was what Sam wanted to protect Dean from.

Sam opened his eyes as he felt something gently brush across his mouth, sending a light sting coursing through his jaw; he pulled away slightly and looked quizzically at Dean. Dean yanked his hand away, and averted his gaze from Sam instantly, feeling a bit awkward; he held up his hand, "Blood. I don't know what that spirit got you with, but it didn't do too much damage." Shoving the shovel at Sam, he added, "Let's get the hell outta dodge. Fire department won't take long to get here."

Sam nodded as he knelt to pick up his flashlight. A pop and crackle from the grave caught his attention. Straightening, Sam locked eyes on the steadily burning fire, watching as its intensity ate at the darkness encasing the graveyard. Turning his head, he watched as Dean wandered through the cemetery, heading for the Impala. Bringing his eyes back to the blaze, Sam swallowed and felt his jaw clench and his spine straighten, and he squared his shoulders as he watched the flames whirl and stretch towards Dean. Sam's brows knit together; he could feel the pull of his muscles as the frown plastered across his face deepened.

The fire was reaching for Dean.

Turning, Sam fell in step behind his brother, placing himself between Dean and the fire.

Shielding him. Protecting him.

Taking one last look at the mix of orange and red glinting in the dark, Sam challenged, "You can't have my brother."

Author's notes:

Well, the purpose of this was for me to practice writing a fic in which both Sam and Dean are present (even though Sam and Dean were both featured in "I Don't Care that I'm Dying," Dean wasn't technically there; at least, not all the way).

This didn't come out the way I wanted it to, actually. But I guess that happens to everyone. Originally this was only supposed to be 500 words. I guess I got carried away.

About Sam's eyes: I notice that in some fics people mention Sam's eyes to be brown, hazel, or blue, and, honestly, they look blue to me. :/ If you really look at them.

Next fic I write won't be so angsty, and it will be shorter. Hopefully maybe a bit humorous.

Anyway. This is my second fan fiction, so I'd love constructive criticism: I'm new to this writing thing. Review please!