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Not like this. Anything but this.

He'd had it all planned out, in his head. There would be gunshots, flashing lights – the smell of rubber burning on tarmac, the squeal of the Impala. And noise. There'd be noise.

Not this silence. Anything but the broken silence.

Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.

It was rhythmic and unnerving.


Someone was standing in the door way, he could almost smell them; the clinical stench that hung around them. Whoever it was, and at this point he didn't care, gently cleared their throat.

Big whoop. I know you're here.


"There's nothing more we can do."

"I know."

"It's been two weeks, the chance of him waking –"

"I know." The admission was raw, painful to his tight throat. He thought he'd accepted this, he really did. They'd told him days ago. But it was too damn hard to believe it.

Where were the flashing lights?

Somewhere down the hall a neon light flickered, the soft sound of humming was driving him crazy. It reminded him of one of those cheap, blue fly zappers. A trolley wheeled by somewhere, a woman coughed. The lights above the bed were too bright, they made his eyes water.

It wasn't that he was crying. Dean Winchester didn't cry.

Some time passed. Without gunshots, without the Impala.

"Good evening." This one he didn't smell, Dean's head snapped around quickly, his reddening eyes landed on the nervous looking figure standing just within the open door, hands clutching a leather bound book. A priest. A young one at that, with sandy blond hair laying flat on his head and a pair of what was meant to be sincere, brown eyes.

"There's nothing good about it." He answered gruffly, turning his head to look upon the sleeping figure. He was convinced he was only sleeping. He'll wake up if I wait long enough.

"I was visiting a few patients, and the Doctors expressed to me that your brother was a religious man."

Dean snorted. Religious. Sure. "He is."

"Would you like me to perform the Last Rites for your brother?"

What restraint Dean had been holding onto, almost withered away at the words.

"Fucking Christ!" He spat, although it sounded more like a wail, "He isn't dead!"

Taking it as his cue to leave, the Priest high tailed it out of the room – a passing nurse stood frozen outside the room, mouth wide open in shock.

"He's not dead! Fuck it! Damn the lot of you to hell! He isn't dead!" Now there were real tears. Energy spent, Dean flopped down into the chair besides his brother's bed. It was hard and unrelenting, but it allowed him to sit with Sam's hand clutched between his own.

In some dark, recess of Dean Winchester's mind, he could hear his brother laughing. It wasn't a recent laugh – with the death of their father laughter from the Winchesters was few and far between – but one Dean could place from years ago. Years ago.

It was the laugh Sammy, for he had cheerfully accepted the endearing nickname then, had sported when he was around ten and all the evils of the world were limited to what he snagged on TV. It was Sammy being pushed on the old, rusted bicycle Dean had pinched from the garden down the block, the Sammy who laughed when his brother mercilessly tickled his sides until he screamed.

All dimples and smiles and that brown adorable floppy hair that had persisted well through his teens.

"Bobby said you're to wake up – damn it Sam."

The answer was only the insistent beep of the monitors, the only indication that Dean wasn't talking to a corpse.

He could still feel the panic he'd felt those long weeks ago. He'd been sitting in a bar, of all things, when his cellphone had rung. Hell, he'd been sweet-talking a lovely number when he'd literally growled, growled, that his brother was interrupting him now; just as the pretty little blonde was gazing at his chest with utter adulation.

"What is it Sam?" He'd barked, wondering what on earth he'd done to deserve a little brother who couldn't entertain himself for a single afternoon.

"Mr Winchester? It's St Mary's Hospital. There's been an accident involving a relation of yours, Sam Winchester? You're listed as his emergency......"

Whatever had been said was lost to the wind. Dean had flown from the bar without paying his tab and had sprinted across the car park. The trip to the hospital was a blur – actions and words melded into one, desperate thought: "Look after Sam."

His hands were shaking by the time he'd made it to the room they'd placed his brother in.

It had taken two nurses to help him off of the floor.

It was going to take more than two nurses to help him out of the hole.

They'd done the best they could, they had said. He's lucky to be alive, the doctor had sympathised. Freak accident. Sure. "Neck broken on impact. If he wakes up he'll probably never be able to move." One doctor had said. Four flights of stairs would do that to you.

"Damn Sammy. I can't live without you little bro'." Dean whispered, banishing those awful memories from his mind. "First Dad, now you. You can't leave me. We have to hunt that yellow eyed bitch. He killed Mom, and Jess – remember?"

Beep. Beep. Beep.

"You need to wake up. We'll get you back on your feet. Then we'll go get pie. Damn Sam. I need us to have pie one last time. Grant me that – brother. Wake up so we can do what we always do."

Beep. Beep.

"I was thinking we could take a break from hunting for a while; you'd like that wouldn't you? We'd go see the Canyon, maybe go round some of those old museums you love. Rock Concerts. Just you, me and the Impala. I promise. But you need to wake up, Sammy, why the fuck won't you wake up?"

The conversation had barely changed over the weeks, and by the end of it Dean's voice had risen to almost hysterics.

"Sam." He moaned, lifting the hand that wasn't clutching his brother's fingers to run them through the droopy bangs. They were feather soft, just like they had been when Sam had been a baby.

Mary watched with amusement as her four year old son attempted to help her dress Sam for bed. He'd been determined, withholding the soft-bristled brush until Mary relented, and let him comb his brother's hair.

"Like this, see mom?" He proclaimed, gently running the brush through the newborn's hair with a dexterity that amazed his mother. He grinned as he worked, so much love for his sibling shone in his young eyes that it took Mary's breath away.

"Oh I see. I'd been doing it all wrong, hadn't I?"

"Mmhmm. Sam likes it when I do his hair. Look mama – he's asleep."

And so he was. Dean had ran his fingers through the fine strands afterwards, accidently messing up the hair he'd just brushed. "He's like a puppy. Soft. Can we get a puppy, mom?"

Mary laughed.

Now that he'd allowed himself start with the memories, they refused to stop.

Sam on his first day at school, clutching at Dean's old school bag that was much too big for him. Dean had made him his first packed lunch and had promised to walk with him the two blocks to the front gate. Sam was all dimples and sweet smiles, eagerly placing his tiny hand into his brothers.

The day Dad gave Sam his first shooting lesson, Sam was all concentration, frowning as he missed each can on the wall. He looked over to his left where Dean stood doing the same – shooting every can in quick succession. Dean had grinned at his younger brother, all cocky and confident. Biting his lip, Sam raised the gun. The next bullet hit its mark. "Freakin' awesome Sammy! Did you see that Dad?"

Dean moaned in exasperation, he'd scooted the chair over half a foot, close enough so that he could rest his head on the same pillow as his brother.

Inhale. Exhale. The familiar, distinct smell of Sam flooded his nostrils. It was musky, the smell of gun powder, cheap deodorant, that stupid fruity body wash he used when he went for a long shower.

There wasn't enough space for the both of them, but Dean managed to fit on the bed – one hand still methodically running its fingers through hair and the other lay to rest over Sam's chest. There was something soothing about how his hand rose up and down as the machines breathed for his brother.

He was so close, he could see the stubble on his baby brother's cheek, could feel the warmth radiating from his skin, Dean could almost taste the salt. Clenching his eyes closed, he burrowed in further, pressing his nose into the berry flavoured hair. His lips hovered over Sam's ear.

"I'll miss you." He whispered. His hand reached for the overhanging call button, to his surprise they were steady, and before he could change his mind Dean pressed the red button as hard as his fingers would allow. "My baby brother." On a whim, Dean shuffled out of the leather jacket he wore, awkwardly as he refused to move from the bed – and placed it over the two of them. "You always asked to wear my jacket when we were kids – I'm sorry I always said no."

The sounds of footsteps made it into the room – and the all too familiar face of Sam's doctor came into view on the other side of the bed.

No words were exchanged; Dean only nodded his head with sad admittance. The Doctor, Dean had never remembered his name, nodded back.

"Shh Sammy. We're going to sleep. You remember when we were kids? We use to lie like this – was the only way to get your scrawny ass to sleep. You use to like to use me as a pillow," Dean continued to whisper the hoarse words into Sam's ear, ignoring the fact his brother's hair was becoming damp, "and I remember when you were about five – you use to beg me to tell you lame stories. Remember them Sammy? If you want, I'll tell you one now – before you go to sleep."

He held his breath, waiting for answer that didn't come.

"Erm... Shh, slumber kiss your eyes,
Joy awaits you, when you rise.
Sleep, Baby Brother,
Don't you cry,
Cos Brother'll sing you a lullaby."

The words came from somewhere. Dean imagined his mother had sung them to him, and the thought filled him with a small comfort. They were not so much sung, as spoken in his broken baritone voice.

"Don't you worry,
While you sleep,
Good watch o're you, I will keep.
Sleep, little Sammy,
Don't you cry,
Dean will sing a lullaby."

Dean didn't feel idiotic, singing to his brother. He felt many things, but not stupid. There was something stuck in his chest – painfully intrusive. As if someone had their hand around his heart and were squeezing the life out of him.

"Just do it." He hissed, aware that the Doctor was hovering behind him like a bad smell.

The gentle whirring of machines ground to a halt, the once annoying beep beep beep was subjected to an unbearable rallentando until it was replaced by a monotonous, empty drone. Sam's chest rose a final time before it fell with an almighty sigh that seemed to breath 'thank you.'

Dean clutched onto the prone form of his brother, breathing deeply between sobs in a herculean effort to remember every detail. His hand pulled at the soft hair hard enough to yank out a few strands. The other was lost, roaming over every inch it could reach to remember the shape, the feel of the still warm body beneath his fingers.

In an instant, Dean felt alone. He'd never felt so isolated before – had always lived with his family. Had always known that they were just a phone call away. Had never contemplated the idea that one day they might not be there. And now, the person that he had cared for – no, Love, -most in the entire world, in Dean's entire universe – had gone.

Some part of him was waiting for the finale – for when Sam opened his eyes, and smiled that dazzling, dimpled, beautiful smile and they could go on living the way they had been. Some part of him waited to wake up in a seedy motel room to realise the last few weeks had been a dreadful, terrifying dream instead of this silent nightmare.

Some part of Dean Winchester wondered if the pain a father felt watching his child die could compare to a fraction of the agony he felt in his heart.




So there you have it. I haven't written anything for a while.