This story came about by the trauma I suffered at watching Dark Side of the Moon. I love those boys so much and it hurts me to see them at odds. Now, I wrote this story before the subsequent two epi's but was too nervous to post it. A friend read it and talked me into posting it. So, lets just try to forget what we now know. Okay, on with the story.

Cindy

Disclaimer: I don't own them (shucks). I'm just borrowing them for a bit.

My Own Private Heaven

Sam followed forlornly after Dean as the older man pushed into yet another crappy motel room after another long, crappy day of driving. They hadn't said two words to each other the whole day, not many more than that the several days since leaving Heaven. Their conversations consisted of Sam trying to get Dean to listen to him and of Dean literally growling back for Sam to just shut the hell up already. It was killing Sam inside to know that Dean had basically thrown everything between them away when he'd dropped the amulet into the trash. The same amulet that Dean, in the past had refused to ever take off and had begrudgingly given to Castiel was now nothing more than garbage to the elder brother. It was more than just a piece of jewelry Dean had thrown away that day. It was the symbol of everything the brothers meant to each other. It was a simple gift given with complete and utter love and adoration, worn with that same reverence, but Dean had tossed it away like it had never meant anything at all. Well, it did mean something to Sam. It meant everything.

"Dean," Sam whispered as he dropped his duffel onto the floor just inside the door. "Please…"

"Save it, Sam. Don't want to hear it," Dean snarled before making his way to the bathroom and angrily slamming the door behind him.

Sam watched the door for a moment before dropping down onto the edge of the nearest bed, hi s head instantly lowering to rest in his shaking hands. If Dean would just listen to him, just for a minute, but Dean was just as stubborn and pigheaded as he continually accused Sam of being so Sam knew it would never happen. The sound of the bathroom door opening made Sam raise his head and gaze sadly at the emerging figure of his brother. Dean gave Sam one quick glance then turned his attention to the duffel he had set on the small table under the window. He unzipped the bag and began to pull his sleep clothes out, completely ignoring the miserable little brother who sat and watched his every move.

"That's my bed so I'd appreciate it if you'd get your ass off of it. I'm tired," Dean said, his back still turned to his brother.

Sam sighed and rose from the bed then moved toward the door. "Uh…do you want me to get us something to eat? It's been awhile…"

"'m not hungry. You can go. Give you a chance to get away from me seeings as how that's what makes you happy," Dean said in reply.

"Dean…that's not true and you know it! God…why won't you just listen to me for one second!?" Sam cried, his fist slamming into the door, the sound making Dean flinch.

Dean turned his head toward his brother, his angry, green eyes flashing dangerously. He straightened and turned his entire body then stepped toward Sam. "I heard everything I needed to hear up there, Sam. Saw everything I needed to see," he hissed venomously.

"Where was I in your memories, Dean? You and Mom…" Sam started.

"You didn't see the first one so just shut the f*** up!" Dean screamed, his face turning a deep shade of red.

"Yeah? Well, neither did you," Sam said softly before turning away from the door and heading for the bathroom.

"What's that supposed to mean?" Dean asked as he reached out and grabbed Sam by the arm, stopping his brother from moving further away.

Sam pulled his arm free and turned to his brother. "I died before you did, Dean. I was in Heaven longer," he said before grabbing his duffel from the floor and disappearing into the bathroom.

Dean stared after his brother, his eyes wide with surprise. Huh, didn't think of that.

Dean pulled a chair from the table and sat down, his eyes never leaving the closed bathroom door. How could he have been so blind? If he had had a memory before finding Sam then of course it only made sense that Sam had too. He'd been so hurt by the memories he'd seen of Sam's that he hadn't even stopped to think that Sam had been in Heaven longer and therefore would have had memories before Dean found him. Dean let his mind wander back to the memories he did see and really allowed himself to think about what they would have meant to his brother. Sam had always yearned for normal. How many times had he begged their father for a nice sit down Thanksgiving dinner? Or a dog? How many hours had he sat at the table, or on the bed with his nose buried in a book chattering away about all of the things he could be when he grew up? The thing is, he had wanted all of that stuff not just for himself, but for Dean too. Was it so wrong that he'd been happy when he'd gotten a taste of those things? Did it really mean he didn't love Dean nor want him in his life that the memories Dean had seen of Sam's didn't include him? Now that Dean actually took the time to really think about it, the reality of the situation made itself perfectly clear.

"Son of a bitch!" Dean hissed under his breath as he turned his head away from the bathroom door and stared at the wall.

He'd screwed up royally. He'd intentionally hurt Sam because his brother had dared to be happy when Dean wasn't there. And wasn't that just a kick in the crotch? All he'd ever wanted for Sam was for him to be happy and when he found out that Sam had been, he'd punished him for it. Dean shook his head then turned it back toward the bathroom when the door swung slowly open and Sam stepped out into the room, his wet hair sticking to his face and dripping down to dampen his sleep shirt. Sam kept his eyes down as he passed Dean then deposited his duffel at the end of his bed. He stopped, his hands in midair on their way to turning down the blankets and sheet on the bed, when Dean suddenly spoke.

"Sam…look, you want to talk, we'll talk."

Sam sighed then went back to preparing the bed for the night. "No, it's okay. I understand," he whispered tiredly before climbing into bed and pulling the covers up around him. He turned onto his side, his back to Dean and closed his eyes. A soft touch to his shoulder made him flinch, but he didn't turn around. He heard the other bed squeak slightly as his brother sat down again then he heard Dean sigh.

"Sam, what did you see…before I found you?" Dean asked softly, his voice filled with weariness.

Sam rolled onto his back and stared up at the ceiling, his eyes blinking as they filled with tears. "Doesn't matter. Nothing matters anymore," he finally said as his eyes rolled toward his brother.

Dean brushed his hand over his face before dropping his elbows to his knees, his hands clasping together nervously. "It does matter, Sammy. It really does," he said, his eyes watching his brother intently.

Sam's eyes widened at the use of his nickname, the young man having not heard it for quite some time. "Dean, I'm sorry. I'm sorry that all of my Heaven memories you saw didn't include you, at least not how you would think. You were always there though. You were always with me, in my mind…and my heart. You were the one who gave me the strength to leave for Stanford. I was thinking how much you'd love the mashed potatoes at that Thanksgiving dinner and…"

"Yeah, I thought about that…finally. I want to know though, Sam. What was your memory before I found you? Please," Dean said, his tone teetering on begging.

Sam looked at his brother and pushed himself up to lean against the headboard of his bed. He clasped his hands together and rested them in his lap. He licked his lips nervously as he watched Dean's face. He was finally getting a chance to be heard, but wasn't sure Dean would believe him now. His brother had it in his head that Sam didn't have any happy memories that included him and he was sure Dean would think he was making this new memory up. Finally, he took a deep breath and began to speak.

"It was the fireworks," Sam said softly, his soft hazels watching as Dean's eyes grew wider.

"What?" Dean asked as his heart beating furiously in his chest.

"You remember right? That night we let off all of the fireworks? Dad was…not there. That was one of the best nights of my life. Just you and me laughing and having so much fun. Almost started that field on fire," Sam said, his voice taking on a faraway tone as he thought back to that night so long ago.

Dean swallowed the lump in his throat and smiled lightly. "Y-yeah…I remember. God, that was a great night," he said as he gazed at his brother with wet eyes. "That was mine too," he whispered softly.

"What?" Sam asked, his head cocked to one side as he watched his brother.

"That was my first memory too…up there. Just you and me…being brothers. No monsters or ghosts…no hunting. I didn't want it to end," Dean said.

"Yeah…me neither," Sam replied as a single tear trailed down his reddened cheek.

"Sam…I…" Dean started, his voice trailing off as his emotions threatened to overwhelm him.

"Do you remember the gardens?" Sam suddenly asked in his need to fill the uncomfortable silence in the room.

Dean glanced at him curiously and shook his head. "What gardens?" he asked.

"Up there… with Joshua…at the end. The botanical gardens. Don't you remember taking me there when I was like, thirteen?" Sam replied.

"Uh…I don't…"

"I begged you and you finally gave in, even though you thought it was the lamest thing you'd ever heard of. Kept muttering about how gay it was to be so enthralled by plants," Sam said with a slight chuckle.

Dean cocked his head then his eyes lit up with recollection. "Yeah…I remember that now. That was another of your memories? Really? Those gardens made you that happy?" Dean asked with a bit of disbelief.

"Not the gardens, Dean. The fact that you took me…that we saw them together. You wanted to go follow that girl around. What was her name? Uh…"

"Mindy. She was so hot," Dean said, his voice taking on a whimsical tone.

Sam shook his head and smiled. "Yeah. Anyway…you wanted to hook up with her, but you took me to the botanical gardens instead. You took me for pizza afterwards and we played video games and all I could think of that night was that you gave up something you really wanted…for me. I've never forgotten that, Dean. Never."

Dean dropped his head and brushed self consciously at the tears that threatened to fall from his eyes. Finally, he looked up and gazed at his brother. "I'm sorry, Sammy. I just thought…I thought all of your happy memories didn't include me. And I know that my memories hurt you too…"

"No, Dean…I was glad you got to see Mom. I was glad you got that memory."

"But it still hurt you 'cause you never had the chance to have that memory. I'm so sorry for how I've acted and for…" Dean's eyes suddenly widened and he jumped to his feet, his hand immediately pushing into his coat pocket.

Sam sat up and watched his brother as the older man pulled out his cell phone then stared at it in an almost panic. "Dean…what's wrong?" he asked nervously, Dean's panic unnerving him considerably.

Dean looked at him and shook his head. "The motel…I don't remember the name of the motel. How can I call them? How can I get it back?" he cried as he rushed to his duffel and began to tear through it.

Sam swung his feet over the edge of the bed and stood. "Dean…what motel? Get what back?" he asked as he moved to stand next to his brother.

Dean glanced at him, his eyes filled with what Sam could only surmise as guilt. "The amulet, Sam. I need to get the amulet back. God…I'm so sorry," he answered remorsefully.

Sam sucked in a hitched breath at that. He reached out and grabbed Dean's arm, halting his brother's frantic search of his duffel. "Wait," he said before letting go of Dean and moving quickly to his own bag.

Dean turned and watched as Sam dug into his bag. "Sam?" he asked as he walked up behind his brother and attempted to peer over his shoulder.

Sam pulled his hands from his bag and turned around, narrowly missing bumping into Dean as the older brother took a quick step back. Sam held out his closed hand to Dean and smiled lightly when Dean reached out with his own shaky one. Sam lowered his hand into Dean's then opened it, placing the item he held into the open palm before pulling his hand away. Dean looked down and swallowed deeply as his gaze fell upon the amulet he had thrown away. Sam had retrieved it from the trash and kept it. Even with as badly as Dean had treated him he'd kept it. Dean shook his head and bit nervously at his lower lip.

"Sam…I…"

"I'm sorry. I just couldn't leave it there. I thought maybe…maybe someday you'd want it back," Sam said softly…nervously.

Dean nodded then held the amulet up before slipping it over his head, the familiar weight once again where it belonged. "You have nothing to apologize for, Sammy. I…I…thank you," he said before suddenly reaching out and pulling Sam into his arms.

Sam tensed, unsure of what to do then finally lifted his own arms and wrapped them around his brother's back, hugging Dean back with as much fervor as he was being hugged with. Finally, the brothers pulled apart and glanced at each other before Sam went to his bed and Dean went to where his sleep clothes lay waiting. He reached up and fingered the amulet around his neck before picking up his clothes and heading for the bathroom. He stopped when Sam's soft voice sounded from across the room.

"Dean, I just want you to know that…uh…Heaven…well, it wouldn't be my idea ofHeaven if you weren't there."

Dean smiled and in a very chick-flicky way, softly said in reply, "Mine neither, Sammy. Mine neither."

The End


Well, that's it. I hope you enjoyed it and I hope you'll let me know what you thought. Thanks all...love you.

Cindy