The Cat adds her own tag to 5.16, "Dark Side of the Moon." All things Supernatural owned and operated by CW and Eric Kripke.

The Amulet

by Fraidy Cat

It broke his heart, more than anything had ever broken his heart before. In comparison, all that had happened prior, in this pathetic existence known as his life, had only resulted in bruises. Growing up without a mother, controlled by a father who didn't prioritize him…didn't understand him…didn't even seem to like him very much. Discovering the family business, becoming embroiled in the family curse. The loss of his beloved, innocent Jessica; a loss which had nearly killed him, too, but still did not compare to what he was losing now. Finding out exactly who he was...exactly what he was...exactly how far he could fall...

Just hours ago, he had believed that things couldn't get any worse. He had died (three times that he knew of). He had watched his brother die (hundreds of times, thanks to the Trickster). He had buried his girlfriend, his father, his Dean (once was too much). He had given up his soul to a demon and filled the emptiness with blood.

But nothing -- nothing -- had prepared him for this.

Dean's heaven had been Sam. Now Sam was his hell.

The drop had been slow, deliberate. The amulet had dangled from Dean's fingers for a few seconds, and then he had released it into the trash. He had been reluctant to give it to Castiel several months ago. The amulet represented so much. Sam had given it to him. Now, he willingly let it go, for the same reason -- Sam had given it to him.

Sam watched the amulet drop and almost dropped with it. He didn't blame Dean, he couldn't blame Dean...his brother's entire life had been full of heavy burdens. Save your brother, Dean. And Dean had tried. God, he had tried all his life, beginning as a four-year-old clutching a baby and running from a fire. He had stood between Sam and their father; sometimes as a surrogate, sometimes as a bridge, sometimes as a fortress. He had dragged an adult Sam from another fire, and then had spent months helping Sam sift through the ashes of his life. He had hunted beside Sam, with Sam, because of Sam, in spite of Sam. He had refused to kill Sam, defying their father for the only time in his life. He had literally gone to hell and back, for Sam. He had watched Sam become a monster; and eventually, he had forgiven him. He had forgiven Sam for picking Ruby over him, for embracing his powers, for encircling Dean's neck with his evil hands and nearly squeezing the life out of him, for awakening Lucifer, for landing the entire world in the mess it was in now.

But the amulet dropped, and Sam knew there was no more forgiveness. Dean was as broken as Sam's own heart. Dean had lost his faith -- in himself, in God, in the future, in Sam -- and he was letting them all go.

The amulet dropped, Dean walked away, and Sam grieved. He grieved for his brother as he had never grieved for himself. In that instant, his mission changed. He didn't care about the world; let the world take care of itself. He didn't care about some ancient disagreement between brothers; let Lucifer and Michael find their own peace. All he cared about was his own brother. He would do whatever he had to do, to help Dean find his hunger again. Find his soul, again. Find himself, again. Sam had destroyed everything -- and Sam would restore everything. Somehow; for Dean.

Resolve straightened his spine as he grabbed his duffle and moved toward the door. He paused when he reached the trash can, then bent and plucked the amulet from its grave, shoving it into the pocket of his jeans. Someday, he would again give this to his brother. Someday, Dean would again want to receive the gift.

Sam would fix it. He would fix Dean.

Or he would die trying.