By: Karen B.

Summary: Season five spoiler warning to: A short tag to episode 5-16 -- Dark Side Of The Moon.

Rated: Oh, no…gotta fix that right now. Dean does not get to throw his Sam's beloved gift to him away. No, no, no, no -- oh, hell no! I call bullshit! (With all due respect. Flipping the table over and ducking down behind it. Hey, don't shoot! I'm unarmed and I'm holding a basket full of helpless day-old kittens.)

Disclaimer: Certainly not the awesome owner.

Thank you most sincerely for reading.




The amulet hit the bottom of the empty trashcan. At first I was dumbfounded, stunned as I watched Dean's retreating back. He was wounded, sunk to the very bottom of bottoms -- heart and soul -- defeated.

I couldn't blame him. Gawd…stuff had started to make a little sense to me now. I didn't realize the burdens Dean had carried over the years. How my actions effected him so deeply. I never thought of things that way when I was a kid. Maybe I was still that kid. I didn't realize, how, even as a child Dean was always fixing dad's crap, my crap. My memories that had sprung up in heaven had hurt Dean. Everything I'd valued seemed to be wrong. How could wanting a normal life be wrong? It wasn't. Had I really runaway? The only thing I remembered was another wayward cabin with nothing more than Funyuns and cold pizza to eat. And then I'd found a friend, where friends were hard to find. Sure he was a dog -- a golden retriever -- Bones. But he was there for me. Like no other. Someone I could talk to, take care of, someone who seemed to understand and accept me for me. I had a blast those few weeks with my undemanding, unconditionally loving friend, Bones.

I loved that dog, but I loved Dean more. I shivered hard. I never fully understood what Dean had gone through until after seeing his memories in heaven. His sense of family was powerful and profound, but even so, family things weren't so picture perfect. I didn't remember mom's love, and I was jealous of Dean for that, but obviously getting the crust cut off your PBJ -- didn't make the world right either.

We were both so screwed, mentally and physically, screwed. Worse, was the pain I saw in Dean's eyes.

The hits just kept coming. From heaven, and earth, and hell -- from every direction -- bombarding us over and over again with pain and frustration. Dean finally couldn't do it anymore. He couldn't take it. He was at the end of his wits. Just done. That turned my stomach. I'd heard the words before. But this time, this day, he didn't have to say the words for me to hear -- Dean was well and truly finished with everyone and everything. Actions spoke louder than any words ever could when he pitched the amulet. Even Cas had given up hope -- something I thought I'd never see.

What could I do?

How could I fix this?

Where could we go now?

Who could we turn to?

Was there ever a way out?

God only knew and he wasn't talking to anyone --except Joshua -- and even then he wasn't saying much.

I fidgeted from foot-to-foot, frantically searching for an solution.

The questions were hard and I had no real answers, yet, I came up with a few.

'What could I do?' I could keep my faith. There was a heaven and apparently Dean and I had visitors passes on more than one occasion. There was a God, and he wanted us to remember that this time, for a reason.

'How could I fix this?' Maybe I couldn't, but I could take my stand.

'Where could we go now?' We'd keep following the road and we'd stay away from the light, until we were truly called to it.

'Who could we turn to?' Each other.

'Was there a way out?' Maybe yes. Maybe no. But no matter how bad things got we had to trust in each other and give the rest to God. After all, everything belonged to him. Heaven, hell, earth, angels, demons -- Dean and I -- everything.

"Sam! Move your ass!" Dean called from just outside the door.

On my way out, I dipped down and plucked the amulet from the trashcan. I fisted the charm, rushed out the room and slammed the motel door behind me.

Dean was leaning against the Impala, his back to me, arms resting on the hood. I could tell by his stance how whipped he really was.

I took ten paces, coming to stand right behind him; being sure to get real up close and in his personal space. "You're not that kind of guy," I said right in his ear.

"What kind of guy is that?" Dean asked, not moving an inch to get away from me.

"The kind of guy that gives up."

"Watch me." Dean dropped his arms dejectedly to his sides, and let them dangle limply, his shoulders sagging.

"What the hell's that?" I spat angrily.

"Me, being that kind of guy."

It burned my ass to see my big brother this way. I understood it. We'd gone around, over, and through this whole apocalyptic crap, and gotten nowhere. Damn hamster wheel. I wanted to give up, too. Scream into my pillow, cry like a girl, give up. I tried, several times, but some diehard shit -- probably born from dad-- wouldn't let me do it. And I wasn't going to let Dean do it either.

"I call bullshit!" I grabbed Dean by the arm and whirled him around so that we were standing toe-to toe.

"What'd you say?" Dean's eyebrows shot up, his usual look of total shock.

"I said…I call bullshit!" I waved my clenched fist in front of his face.

"Yeah, well I call four aces, and that beats bullshit any day of the week." Dean cracked a wry smile.

"Damnit, Dean!" I exploded in rage, my over-adrenalined body trembling hard. "It's when we give up that we're really going to be in trouble!" I unfolded my fist and held the amulet by the cord, letting the charm drop and dangle in front of Dean's face. "You're not throwing this away!" I growled. "You're not giving up! I won't let you!" I stepped closer, pressing the amulet against his chest, and holding the necklace in place under my sweating palm. "Not on us!" I roughly grabbed his arm with my other hand.

"Uh-huh," Dean muttered disinterestedly, shuffling backward.

"Dude! I mean it!" I had him trapped between me and the Impala.

"Whatever you say, Sam," Dean said in a pacifying sort of tone that one would use with a crazy person.

So, I was crazy. So what! This was are finale dash. I struggled to keep the tears from coming, unbottling my anger. "You're my big brother…the coolest person in the world to me. I've always thought so, even if you can't see that, but right now -- right now you're a real douche!"

"There's no fixing this, Sam. We've been through every plan in the alphabet," Dean sighed tierdly. "They'll keep coming. You know they will. All of them. Round the clock. One after another. We're done. God's done. He had no answers for us. Do you have any answers for us, Sam? 'Cause I got nothing. There's no future. No God." Dean shook his head. "There's nothingness."

"You son of a bitch!" I pushed my full weight into Dean. "Listen to me, man!" I had to talk fast, Dean wasn't going to put up with my abuse for long. Shoving him harder against the Impala, I took a breath and said, "I wish I had the answers… but I don't. I wish I could say something to make you understand me. And me you. To take all the pain away, but I can't. I wish this amulet could make everything all right! Right here! Right now!" I stared at the amulet under my hand as if the thing might magically do so -- nothingness. Like Dean had just said.

I looked back at Dean. The smug bastard was smiling. "God doesn't care, Sam. It's the end of the line."

I grit my teeth so tight I thought I heard them crack. "Don't say that! Don't you say that, Dean!" My jaw tightened. "God is out there. Maybe he's testing us, the angles, the whole fucked up planet. Maybe we'll flunk. Maybe we'll get an A for effort. I don't know. What I do know is we're both hurting… have been hurting all these years and…and maybe I haven't always stood with you, and maybe you haven't always stood with me…but I'm here. Now. With you. We're linked together. By mom and dad. By family. By soul. We're brothers and somehow that's all we need. That's all that matters." I swallowed the fierce nausea stewing in my gut. "The suffering may never end, Dean. We may never win…probably get shredded to pieces. " I hardened my stare. "But we don't give up hope…we don't stop trying! It's the only option we have left." I shook my head. "Dean, we're out numbered and out maneuvered and probably going down. I know that. All I'm asking you is…" I took in a long and shaky breath. "The only thing that matters is…" I choked back a sob. "That we go down together."

We stared at each other.

A v-shape flock of Canadian geese flew over head, honking loudly, then faded and disappeared into the distance.

An eternity seemed to pass by.

One lone goose, straggling behind called to the others -- its lost and lonely cry -- haunting. I couldn't let that same lost-loneliness happen to Dean and I.

"Are you with me?" I asked, chucking Dean's 'not so long ago' words to me -- back at him.

Dean looked so vulnerable. So hurt, like a skinned animal hanging helpless on a wall, all his protective armor -- gone. "Sam, I…" His lips trembled and he swayed a little off his feet.

"Are you?" I whispered.

Dean sniffed, pushing me back a step. "Give me that fugly thing!" He swiped the amulet forcefully from my hand, closed his eyes, and with blind skill placed the amulet back around his neck. He circled his hand around the charm and held tight, seeming to gain back some strength.

Dean's eyes suddenly snapped open. "Dude!" He jabbed an index finger painfully into my sternum. "You ever get in my personal space like that again and…"

"Yeah?" I took two tentative steps backward, not liking the menacing, hungry-lion look in my brother's eyes.

Dean reached out with both hands, fisted my jacket, and yanked me hard toward him.

"This, Sammy," Dean said, snaking an arm around me and pulling me into a tight bear hug.

After a few moments, Dean stepped away and glanced around. "Cas!" He yelled loudly.

"I am here." Castiel suddenly appeared out of nowhere, nearly nose- to-nose with Dean.

Dean instinctively jerked back. "What is it with you people and personal space!" Dean snarled.

"I request your forgiveness." Castiel took a few steps back. "You required my presence?"

"I call bullshit." Dean looked past Cas and smiled over at me.

"I thought it was I, that you'd called." Castiel dipped his head in confusion

I snickered.

Dean gave me 'the look.'

I shut up.

"Let's go, clueless." Dean nabbed Cas by the arm and opened the Impala's back door. "Get in!" He gave Cas a helping shove inside, shut the door, and turned to face me. "Ready?" he asked.

"Where to?"

"Bolivia." Dean nodded. "Want to rob a few banks, Sundance?"

"Love to, Butch." I nodded in return.

"Good." Dean opened the driver side door. "For a moment there, I thought we were in trouble." He climbed in behind the wheel and started the car.

"For a moment there, bro, we were."

The end