Another tag to episode 5.2 just because I love angst and all that good stuff. This is from Dean' POV. Chapter 2 is Sam's. And yes, I know some of their thinking is messed up. These boys are messed up. *offers hug to Sam and Dean*

Remember: Reviews rock my world! :)

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Letting Go

Dean turned, watching the truck that was carrying away his baby brother until it vanished from sight. He had to fight every instinct in his body not to run after it, tell Sammy to stay.

Dean had known it was coming to this when he'd found Sam standing over the dead bodies in the store, blood-stained knife gripped tight in his hand and the look of longing on his face. He just hadn't known it would be so hard. For the first time in his entire life, Dean had let his brother go without a fight.

Instinctively he reached for the amulet around his neck then cursed beneath his breath. Castiel had taken the one thing that had always made him feel close to his brother even when he wasn't. He'd cherished that necklace when Sam had left for Stanford but now he couldn't even find comfort in that.

"Sammy, I'm sorry," he whispered.

He'd tried so hard to take care of Sam. He'd made it his life's work. More important than killing demons, saving people, anything. Sam had always come first. Ever since the night he had carried a small, screaming Sammy from their burning house he'd known he'd take care of his brother no matter what. Even when his father had told him he'd have to save Sam or kill him, he knew he would save him. He could never kill the most important thing in his life.

But he had failed his brother. He'd made the deal, went to Hell and left his brother alone. If he'd been here Sam would never have gotten in so deep with Ruby. He would never have felt the fervent desire to exact revenge on Lilith. If he'd paid attention to Sam when he came back from Hell instead of spending all his time feeling sorry for himself, this could have ended so differently.

Who are you kidding? It was always going to end badly. Somewhere deep inside you knew that.

Now the only way for him to ever trust Sam again or for Sam to even trust himself was if Sam figured out how to take care of this on his own. The demon blood was in him. There was no getting rid of it, no way to exorcise part of a demon. Dean could spend the next twenty years watching his little brother, keeping him in check but if Sam didn't want to do this on his own, it was all for nothing.

And as much as he hated to admit it, this was about more than him and Sam. He couldn't worry about Sam and battle the apocalypse at the same time. This was about making sacrifices, tough decisions and Dean had just made the hardest one of his life.

Dean sighed, rose from the table and made his way toward the Impala. He wished Sammy had taken it. At least part of him would have still been with his brother. He paused at the rear of the car. It was almost dark outside but Dean could see where Sam had run his hand along the Impala as he walked away. Dean pressed his own hand against the last place his brother had touched. A sob rose in his chest but he forced it down.

Dean got behind the wheel but found he couldn't look at the empty seat next to him. That would make it too final. Maybe he could just pretend his brother was still there, sleeping silently. He started to put the key in the ignition but found his hands were shaking so badly he couldn't. He dropped the keys and gripped the steering wheel with both hands.

"Sammy……"

This time the sobs came, wracking his body, his heart twisting inside. Dean leaned his head against the steering wheel, letting the grief overcome him. Sometime later when the tears subsided, he started the car, keeping his eyes averted from the passenger seat.

"We've got work to do."

The Impala roared into the night.