Alone

A/N – Yeah, I was right there with you, teared up as Dean threw the amulet away. Does this show know how to break hearts or what? Here's my little contribution to the angst.

Alone.

It was a feeling, a state of being Sam Winchester was all too familiar with, in good ways and bad.

He'd felt alone on so many nights in random dingy motel rooms, Dad off hunting, no word for days. Sure Dean had been there, but he was often off in his own mind, clearly concerned but never letting Sam know I (or so he thought), putting on the infamous big-brother-game face to spare his little brother his worry.

He'd been alone that time in Flagstaff when he was 14 and had enough of Dad's orders and moving around and researching and hunting and had just needed to run away. Though alone, he hadn't been lonely. After all, the best dog in the world was there to keep him company and for the first time, he was his own man making his own decisions and boy, did it feel great!

He'd sat alone on the bus heading off to Stanford, away from his family, his father's fury, disappointment, his old, unwanted life into banishment, or, as Sam saw it, freedom.

He was alone in the library the day he'd met Jessica. It had been a casual encounter, just a striking up of random conversation. He'd never felt alone again after that, at least not until …

He was alone when he'd visited Jess' grave. Dean had wanted to come along but had respected Sam's wishes to let him go on his own. He hadn't been far, though, willing to give Sam whatever space he needed. He'd hung back by the trees while Sam made his way to Jess' headstone. There Sam had cried, alone in his grief.

He was alone when the poltergeist attacked with the lamp cord. Alone in the cellar trying to get to Dean to stop the reaper from taking him. Alone when he got the vision of innocent little Rosie, the doc in the gun store, Max shooting Dean, Dean shooting Duane Tanner in River Grove. Alone waking up in Cold Oak. Alone waking up with that horrible pain in his back after fighting Jake. Alone so, so many nights trying to find a way out of that damn demon deal.

Alone after the hellhounds had eviscerated Dean. Alone after he'd left Bobby to drown in his own grief (and a hell of a lot of scotch) and figure out how to go on without his big brother.

Alone when Ruby was off gathering information about Lilith, desperate for her to return to give him another fix, empower him, quench his ever-growing hunger …

Alone waiting for Dean to come back after his ghost-sickness induced rant about how insane they were to hunt monsters and Sam's gassy tendencies and the apocalypse how he was just done.

He felt alone every time Dean said he was just done. How tired he was. It seemed to be happening more and more.

Alone waiting for Lilith to show so he could trap her, kill her at last, despite Chuck's warnings.

Alone in the panic room, the waning of demon blood ripping through his body, tearing him apart from the inside. Alone with his hallucinations, his visitors' taunts. Alone in his need for revenge. Alone without Dean by his side, trusting him, backing him up.

Alone as he walked away from Dean after sufficiently kicking his ass and nearly throttling him to death. Alone in all his monsterness.

Alone after leaving Dean to take a step back from hunting to sort out his guilt, his hunger, his part in helping to possibly end the world.

Alone when Dean called to meet up and talk, wondering, terrified, if his brother wanted to meet up to tell him goodbye – for good.

Alone after talking with his dad's younger self, telling him how he'd understood why he'd been raised the way he had and that he'd loved his dad, had forgiven him at last.

But never, in all his life, did Sam Winchester feel more alone than right now, in this moment. Watching his big brother, his hero, ever a pillar of strength, fortitude and determination, crumble before his eyes, walk away from him, back turned, shoulders hunched, silent as the beloved amulet dropped into the trash like it was nothing.

In this moment, Sam Winchester was truly, achingly alone.