Hello guys and gals :)

I've been in a mood for writing lately! And I just watched the end of the fourth season, about to start on the fifth, and I MISS the days when it was Sam and Dean and no angels or Apocalypse and dumb old Ruby!!! So this is going to be the first multi chapter I've done in a while, and it is going to skip around a bit timewise...I recently lost someone and I know there is no timeline for these stages of grief. But you can be sure of one thing...there will be plenty of angst ahead! And, of course, BigBrotherDean because THAT is my favourite and THAT is what I miss most about the show! If Kripke won't give it to me, well I'll write it my darn self!

(Obviously I don't own Supernatural, if I did, there would have been a chick flick moment at the end of Season 4 because DAMN they needed it!!! And reviews are fantastic but mostly I would just like to hear from you all again :)

You will probably react to learning of the loss with numbed disbelief. You may deny the reality of the loss at some level, in order to avoid the pain. Shock provides emotional protection from being overwhelmed all at once. This may last for weeks.

Dean isn't one for self help books or touchy feely crap, but this situation is way, way outside the realm of what he knows how to deal with.

He is a good big brother, or at least, he was in the years before Sam went to Stanford. He knows about coughs and colds, about bullies and scraped knees, about first crushes and love letters and asking a girl to the school prom.

He knows that band aids do more than just cover scrapes and cuts to protect them from germs; knows that they can help in the healing of the not so visible wounds too, and has taken his time affixing many to his little brother's war wounds. He knows that flat lemonade is good for a sick stomach, has learnt how to tickle the bottom of the can until all the bubbles are gone before passing the drink on to a sick Sam.

He knows that nerves can make even the deftest of fingers clumsy, and has taken over for Sam when loading a weapon, completing the task with sure, smooth movements, and has done the same when teaching the younger Winchester how to tie a tie.

He knows these things and a multitude more; tricks of the trade picked up in the business of being a big brother.

But he doesn't know how to handle Sam in the hours and days and weeks after Jessica Moore's death.

He picked up hints and advice and habits from watching others while he was growing up; it was Bobby who told him to crush some painkillers and mix them with a spoon of honey for Sam when he was a toddler, a mother waiting outside the school gates for her own son who told him what nits were and how to get rid of them. He vaguely remembers his mother patching his own scraped knees, and he models his own reactions to Sam's needs and wants on this patchwork of advice and memories of strangers and family.

He knows how to handle hurt Sam, sad Sam, tired Sam, moody Sam, pissy Sam and a rainbow of other versions of his brother…but grieving Sam is a stranger even to Dean.

He has no model for this scenario. The only person he knows who has lost someone too is Dad, and Dean is pretty sure that John Winchester's way of dealing with his grief was/is anything but healthy. And Sam has never wanted to be like Dad, anyway.

Dean is only at the end of Sam's street when he glances over at the empty passenger's side and catches sight of an unfamiliar wallet. He can't say the sight displeases him; his parting with Sam could have been smoother, easier. He has turned the car around almost instantly, is heading back down the road he came down when he feels the first stirrings of unexplained dread in his gut, and by the time he brings the Impala to a jerky halt in front of the block of unit, he is scared enough to run, and that is before he even smells the smoke.

Sam is all limbs and grief and panic and fight while Dean is trying to get him out, crying out for his girlfriend, telling Dean no. Dean doesn't listen, though, just grimly holds on and drags his brother out of a burning building for the second time in their short lives. From what he vaguely remembers, it was easier the first time around; Sam was smaller and quieter and didn't struggle nearly so much.

Still, desperation lends Dean strength, and moments later they have half-ran, half-tumbled down the stairs and out the door that is marked, FIRE ESCAPE. Sam is fighting less now, and hardly resists at all when Dean throws an arm over his head and pulls him close as an explosion from upstairs stirs the very ground beneath them.

The door slams shut behind them as they tumble out, and Dean feels Sam wince against him. A few more steps and they are on the lawn below the apartment, looking up at the flames that are spilling out of windows and licking the sides of the building above them.

Sam is coughing, Dean realises, choking and swaying on his feet; he has inhaled a lot more smoke than his older brother, dragged into his lungs while he screamed and fought for his dying lover.

He sways and trembles against Dean and then sags, and the older Winchester follows him down, hands clasped tight around his biceps. He knows all the signs, knows that his brother is going into shock, and he can deal with that because he has seen it a thousand times in a thousand victims, just has to forget that this isn't a nameless face in front of him, this is Sam.

Sam sinks into a sitting position, all fight gone now, his eyes lost and red and hopeless as he gazes up at the burning building.

"Head down," Dean orders roughly, but his hand is very gentle as he guides Sam's head down to rest on his knees.

Sam coughs and trembles and obeys.

Dean stands above his brother, keeping watch over him as the apartment that was his home burns to nothing but memories along with the girl that he loved. People gather around them, some concerned, some curious, and neighbours bring with them blankets, water, and questions.

The fire brigade arrives too late and the police too early, before Dean has sorted through the jumble of emotions and stories to find one that fits. In the end he tells the truth, still standing over Sam, telling it in a loud, firm voice so that Sam can hear too, can hear the way it's going to be. Dean came over to drop off Sam's wallet. He found the house burning, and dragged his brother out. They couldn't save his girlfriend.

The police are gentle with Sam, and Dean is grateful for that. They ask him gently, is that what happened, is there anything else you can tell us, and Sam answers numbly. Yes, that's the way it went. No, there's nothing else. It hurts Dean to hear the lies as much as it hurts Sam to tell them.

The police thank him, tell him to look after his brother, take his number and Sam's in case they have any more questions. He is accepting cards and shaking hands when he glances down and notices that Sam is missing, and though his heart tightens painfully for a second, it is only a second before his eyes find the dark haired figure of his brother by the Impala.

He says goodbyes and thank yous for both of them and approaches Sam warily, unsure what he will find. He is prepared for anything, he thinks, for pain and tears and blame, even.

He draws near enough to see that Sam is checking weapons, his movements tight and precise and controlled and shielded from prying eyes by the open boot of the Impala. Dean watches him with a furrowed brow, concerned and confused, because Sam's face is set, stoic, a stranger.

Sam has always been emotional, and Dean figures he's just earned himself the mother of all meltdowns, a chick flick moment to rival any movie scene ever made. The life that Sam fought so hard to leave behind, the past that he struggled and strived to bury, has caught up with him and claimed him in one foul, sweeping move.

Dean expected tears, rage, grief, anger. He didn't expect this silent, strong composure.

Sam doesn't meet his eyes, only throws the shotgun into the boot, even this movement controlled.

"We've got work to do." He says, and slams the boot shut.

Dean watches him as Sam stalks around to the passenger side door, and clears his throat as he follows, trying to decide what to do. This denial can't be healthy, can't be good for Sam.

"Sammy…" He says, finally, and the grief that isn't there in Sam's voice is there in Dean's, how weird and fucked up is that? He can feel wetness eyelashes where there is none on Sam's; his little brother's eyes are dry and eerily lit with red and blue from the police lights.

"Sammy," he says again hoarsely, his voice desperate and devastated and inviting, grieving for the life his brother has just lost, inviting him to grieve too.

Sam meets his eyes, and his gaze is calm and composed. "Let's go, Dean." Tight with the effort, and stiff with denial.

He won't grieve, not now, not here. He has work to do.