Disclaimer: The characters of "Supernatural" were created by Eric Kripke and are owned by the CW Network. No profit is being made.

Note to Readers: Okay, apologies for not posting last weekend but my free-time is so lean and will be for a while. At any rate, this is the final chapter to the story and I hope you enjoy it. Hey, at least this story almost lasted until the season premiere, and September 24 can't get here quick enough. This chapter is around 6 pages long. I wanted to again thank everyone that has taken the time to review, comment or PM me, it is all very appreciated! Happy Reading, I hope!

Our Solemn Hour

By Dawn Nyberg

Chapter 17: The Blood that Binds

"… Don't hang on, nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky it slips away, all your money won't another minute buy … all we are is dust in the wind …" lyrics excerpt from Kansas, Dust in the Wind

Dean watched Sam work the bar periodically in between pool games. His brother was healed and back on the job. He'd been back at the bar for over three weeks now. They'd even done a small spook job a week ago in the county over. It went smooth and no trouble, the kind of hunt Dean loved: spook gone and no blood shed, especially Sam's. His touching base with Lisa had lessened and he'd only spoken to her twice in the last month and half. Ben emailed once or twice a week but Dean guessed that may lessen in time as Ben became more ready to let go. Dean had promised to be at a big game in a couple months, and he would be.

The bar was packed full of regulars on this Friday night but when a new group walked in, five men in jeans and all wore black t-shirts, but it was the matching tattoos on their biceps that indicated they were some biker gang that Dean wasn't familiar with but he couldn't miss Greg Watson, a pool playmate tense along with a couple other guys playing with him. "What?" he said under his breath at the men playing that had also noticed the new patrons.

"It's the Son's of Lucifer gang, well, some of them at least," Greg answered under his breath. Dean tensed at the name, old habits, ya know.

"What, they're not original enough that they gotta have some name that sounds like a TV show," Dean said under his breath when the name of the gang sounded too much like the Son's of Anarchy.

"Why they here?" Patrick Monahan whispered. "They're a good fifty miles away from their compound."

"They're nothin' but trouble." Greg countered. "Good thing Logan and the guys haven't shown up tonight talk about the shit hitting the fan."

"What Logan and his guys don't mix with them?" Dean questioned while watching the men get beer from the busy bar and find a corner to sit and drink. They sat with their backs to the wall, like they didn't trust the room and from what Dean was hearing he suspected that was right. Logan Debois, was a local biker boss, of sorts and had a rather big group himself, they were intense but a good group of guys and Dean didn't have a problem with them and had even played quarters with Logan a time or two. He was the only player that had ever out done Dean in whiskey shots. Plus, Dean learned that Logan had watched Sam's back a few times when he first arrived in Tonganoxie and almost got in a few fights while he adjusted to the semi-civilian life. Logan wasn't a hunter but he recognized something in Sam that was kindred, both had seen war and death, horrible things. Logan was a vet from Nam and never asked Sam if he was former military or not but had only ever said to Dean about Sam, "I recognize the look, you got it too." Dean never said much and had only nodded at the man when that conversation happened. After all, he and Sam had seen war, just on a different front: Heaven and Hell.

"Nah, man, Logan says they're just thugs, give a bad name to biker gangs. They're into bad shit: drugs, extortion and nobody talks about it but murders, too. A few of their guys are doing 20 to life but it's just a drop in the bucket because their compound probably has a good hundred or so dudes, all doing whatever their leader Mace wants," Patrick answered.

Dean continued to play pool and watch the unwanted bikers and Sam on and off. It looked like the entry of the unwanted element hadn't escaped Sam or the other staff members but they were being cautious as they went about their jobs. Sam met eyes with Dean only once and gave the slightest of shakes indicating to him to not worry about it and offered a small smile and returned to work.

"Oh, shit," Patrick hissed as he started looking for an exit when one was needed.

"What?" Dean tensed and looked around. Logan and a few of his boys walked into the bar and looked right at the rival gang. "Crap."

"Someone must have called Logan, ah, hell, some more of the Son's just rolled up outside. This is gonna be bad man, real bad," Greg spoke evenly but his eyes betrayed his anxiety.

"Better call the cops," Patrick said. "Sheriff Murray and the guys will clear them out …" Patrick's voice was interrupted by a loud yell followed by multiple popping noises and then pandemonium broke out. Patrons were trying to get out in the midst of all out fighting. The Son's of Lucifer had come with guns but only one had pulled his weapon on Logan and his boys and started firing. Dean ducked when more gun fire erupted from the Son's he had seen Sam once through the crowd behind the bar but lost sight of him and just hoped he was keeping low.

Dean caught a glimpse of one of Logan's men, he could see they were carrying guns but none of them had drawn them. He suspected Logan didn't want to put innocent people at risk. Instead it looked liked Logan's men were doing their best to get the fight and the immediate danger outside the bar. Tables were turning over, grunting and the sounds of fists hitting flesh. People were still scurrying to get out. Part of Dean wanted to help but this wasn't his fight and with bullets flying around ever now and again his best bet was to keep his head low.

There was a bullhorn order given outside and just as quickly a swarm of police entered the establishment to address those still inside while others took care of the gang members outside. "Logan!" Sheriff Murray shouted as some of his police officers used tasers and pepper spray on Son's members while Logan's men helped to subdue as well. Dean stood up quickly and Logan cast a look at him and both men nodded. "

"Hey Jer," Logan said easily and it became clear that the men knew each other and were even friends. Dean relaxed and started to head toward where he last saw Sam. There was still activity going on and Dean just stayed away from the pepper spray, although he'd be glad to get outside from the smell but was glad it wasn't mace, he hated mace. His eyes stung a bit from the pepper spray remnants in the air.

"Dammit to hell Logan," the sheriff barked. "I got at least three people with flesh wounds from gunshot wounds, innocent people just out to enjoy their night not counting those hurt when they were trying to get the hell out of here. Hell, I got a regular ER episode happening out there. I had to call in three counties to use their paramedics. It's a damn mess. Pretty sure one or two of the Son's are goners, it's not lookin' good."

"Jerry man, I didn't start this, you know I'd never do that shit and if I did it wouldn't be around innocent people. They came here lookin' for trouble and we got word they were here but we already knew they were planning on robbing the place. I couldn't let Missie and Jack get screwed like that, they're good people." Just as Logan was about to say something else Missie's shrieks from behind the bar had everyone spinning. Dean's heart pounded as he ran knowing what he'd see and hoping he wouldn't. He rounded the bar following Missie's look of devastation and horror. Dean's life stopped in that moment. Sam was on the floor his legs crumbled and one leg was slightly bent beneath the other. His little brother was lying on his side partially propped against the back stock bar that kept him from turning completely onto his back. His head was canted to the side and was surrounded by a halo of blood. The dim lighting of the bar didn't help to illuminate Sam's condition further for Dean.

"Sammy!" Dean dropped to his brother's side his mind understanding fully what he was seeing andwhat had happened but his heart wouldn't accept it. "Sam?" he choked as shaky fingers felt for a pulse. He found one, it was fast, too fast, and maybe shock, but at least it was there. "Help! I need some help!"

Logan was there instantly while the sheriff ran to the door ordering paramedics to come assist Sam. Logan looked at Sam, "Jesus, is it a head shot?"

"He's alive," Dean barked. "I need something for the bleeding, now!" Missie handed him a clean bar towel from the drawer beside her. Dean leaned down and felt shallow exhale from his little brother. "That's it Sammy, stay with me, okay? You're doin' great kiddo," he urged as he was ordered aside by the paramedics.

Dean sat in the small waiting room at the local hospital. It wasn't a huge hospital but they seemed to have what was needed. Dean looked expectantly at the trauma room swinging doors. He'd only seen staff coming and going but no word on Sam. He looked at his watch and blew out a shaky breath, it'd been an hour and still no word, he was too scared think what that meant, good news or bad news, he was simply numb. He saw someone sit down beside him and glanced over, it was Logan.

"I would have been here sooner but Jerry, I mean, the sheriff had some questions." Logan continued when he saw Dean's look of confusion on how he was walking around and not in jail. "Jerry's calling it self-defense and we weren't carrying weapons, so…" he left it unfinished and Dean nodded. "So, any word?"

Dean just looked at the man a moment and shook his head remaining silent.

"Dean," Logan's voice was hesitant as he motioned toward the doors that swung open and a doctor approached them. Dean stood immediately.

Dean let out a shaky breath as he entered the ICU and was shown to Sam's room. His mind repeating words … he was lucky, no skull penetration or fracture just a graze … he has a mild concussion and I'm keeping him in ICU over the night but I don't foresee any complications. There was some blood loss but fluids brought his pressure up and I don't see a need for any transfusion …Dean remembered the thick pool of blood around his brother's head and shuddered at the thought this could have been so much worse but Sam was going to be okay and a couple nights in the hospital he'd be taking him home.

He looked Sam over as his little brother slept, his brow furrowed slightly in sleep and Dean reached down gently and thumb away the disquiet, "Shh, it's all good little brother," he soothed and the frown lines disappeared and Sam settled into sleep. Dean pulled a sleeper chair closer and did as he had since Sam was born he watched over his little brother. "Glad you got such a thick head Sammy," Dean said quietly more to himself than his younger sibling.

Dean walked into the house from his shift at the garage in town, Luke's Pro Auto. It had been four months of living in Tonganoxie and he'd kept his promise a couple months prior to see Ben play but he hadn't stayed with Lisa. It was safer for her and Ben and he knew it. He'd never risk bring the supernatural to their doorstep. He hadn't separated completely but it was happening slowly in inches even Ben's emails had tapered off and he knew they stop all together eventually. He and Sam had taken a few hunts over the last couple months, all close by or within a days drive. They were partners and brothers again and even though apart of him longed for a hunting free life it was in his blood and it felt good being out there and helping people. There was a clang of a pan in the kitchen, "Sammy?"

"Yeah," he called out. Sam looked at Dean as he walked into the kitchen.

"What are you doing?"

"Makin' some soup." Dean eyed the orange colored soup and frowned. "What?"

"Yeah, what," Dean grimaced. "What is that crap?" Sam rolled his eyes.

"Butternut squash soup," Sam paused and smiled. "Organic," he finished with dimples and all. Dean just stared at his brother. Sam laughed.

"So, there's no hunt this weekend and you took off from the bar," Dean said casually over dinner and still shivered whenever his brother spooned a heaping serving of soup into is mouth. "So, what's up?"

Sam was silent a moment and then put his spoon down. "You deserve to be happy Dean after everything … I just want you to be happy. Go back to Lisa," he blurted in a rush of words. Dean sat stupefied. Sam just stared into his bowl of soup.

Dean took a breath, "Sammy," he started. "Look, do I miss them, yes, does part of me wish that was my life, yes … do I regret being here, no, am I happy you're here and alive, more than I can put into words without risking a Lifetime movie moment," he smiled at his brother ever so slightly and Sam offered up a single dimple in return. "I'm here and it's because I want to be, okay? We're brothers and nothing is changing that and I ain't going anywhere. There's different kinds of happy, Sam and I am happy, okay? This is right, I believe that." His voice held a conviction that his sibling needed to here and Sam looked up and met his big brother's gaze, and his eyes stung from welling tears that didn't fall. "Ah, Sammy, man, come on dude … you're killing me man," he chuckled and reached up and cuffed the side of his brother's head conveying silent affection.

"I want to hit the road Dean like old times," Sam said suddenly. "You know go back to doing what we do best, saving people, hunting things …"

"The family business," Dean finished with a smile as he remembered that conversation that took place a lifetime ago or so it felt. "What about things here … your job, and all this?" he motioned toward the general area around them and out the window to Sam's jeep.

"I'll give notice at the bar and Logan will take the Jeep and the house will rent easy, no ties here Dean. They're good people but it's time ya know, I'm ready," Sam replied with a strong voice. Dean believed him, Sam was ready to move on … he wasn't healed from what still remained unsaid about Hell and Lucifer and maybe one day he'd open up about what Dean knew he was still not voicing and Dean planned to be there when he was ready. Maybe, one day Dean would tell Sam what it felt like to live the life he had for a year and that he missed Lisa and Ben in a way he couldn't quite word, maybe someday but for now it was enough they were brothers once again in everyway that counted … they were family, friends and any fractured trust had been rebuilt. It was time for them both and the open road was waiting for the Winchester Brothers again.

"Okay, if you're sure," he conceded with a smile

"I'm sure," Sam confirmed. Dean nodded. "Anyway," Sam's voice was sure and strong, "out there, we've got work to do." Warmth crept into Dean's chest and he offered a quick nod because he didn't trust his voice and took a calming breath.

"Yeah, Sammy, yeah we do." Sam smiled and went back to his soup. Dean watched him for a moment and then dug back into his corned beef sandwich. "Now, eat some real food bitch," he eyed the offending soup.

"I am, jerk," Sam retorted. Dean laughed around his sandwich and Sam smiled. They both had their inner demons and things left unsaid, but in the end, they chose family, they chose each other.

The End