Tag to 5.22- All must succumb to Death eventually but he has no claim on love.

Don't own 'em, just love 'em. Wished ta hell I worked for Kripeke


The days were closing in on them. They could feel it. The apocalypse would end or begin in just a matter of a seventy two hours. And neither Dean nor Sam had spoken a word to one another about their fears/thoughts on what might be.

As usual once they had a plan they just focused on that. It was not their style to dwell on things so out of their control.

Well, it wasn't Dean's style. But he knew it was just a matter of time before Sam broke the silence. They were getting ready to go, about to leave from Bobby's and head out to Chicago when Dean noticed that his brother had stopped packing by the sudden silence behind him and he felt the stare, like a silent shout hit him between his shoulder blades.

"SAM!" He growled as he jammed the shirt he was holding into his duffle with force. "Stop it. You're burning a hole in my last best shirt."

"Dean,..." Sam said quietly.

"We've been over this," Dean said exasperatedly as he turned to face his bother.

"we don't need to over think this. We are gonna both survive this or both die, I don't really see a lot of in-between here."

Sam stood there biting his lower lip and looked at his older brother with guilt and fear in his eyes. "I...uh...see that there might be."

"Might be what?" Dean said, concern creeping into his voice as he became aware of the look on Sam's face, a look that Dean had lately come to know as 'Sam's hiding something' expression. He'd never seen that look before he'd gone to hell but since he'd come back it was one he'd learned to recognize all too well.

Sam took a breath and slowly let it out. Then looked into Dean's eyes and said, "I never told you this..."

Dean sighed loudly suddenly angered by another bout of 'What now did I not know that he shoulda told me?' and started to ramp himself up for a fight.

Sam put up his palms up in a calming gesture and said quietly, "It''s not what you think." And the way he said it stopped Dean's racing mind, which had been building up about demons and lies and his lack of trust in this 'new form' of brother, to a dead stop. Because Sam's tone was almost a whisper and even in that soft phrase he heard the beginning of a break start in the kids voice.

Dean's eyes went soft and earnest and filled with forgiveness in that instant. "" he asked.

Sam coughed and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. "When you...went away" (euphemism for went to hell) "I knew...I mean I didn't know know all that you went through," and he shuddered for a moment before continuing, then he stared Dean straight in the eyes and spoke each of the next words slowly for emphasis, "but I was aware when you thought of me."

Dean stood frozen on the spot, mouth agape as he let that thought seep in. 'It couldn't be'.

"Every day," Sam blurted, the tears in his eyes threatening to break free, he gestured suddenly and angrily to his own head, "I heard you call my name here! I felt a sudden moment of your fear...and there wasn't a damn thing I could do about it. Except convince myself I was crazy. And DRINK. Heavily. That made the voices...your voice...go away...go distant for awhile."

And he looked down at the floor ashamed. "I was blocking you out man, you were dead. DIED FOR ME. And I was blocking you out."

Dean just stood there stunned. How could that be? I was dead. And in hell. How could Sam...hear me?' Because he knew dam well he did call out Sam's name, called his name out till his voice was raw. Picturing Sam so clearly he could have reached out and touched him. Hearing his own voice say his brother's name kept the pain at bay ...slightly. And he did anything he could to fight the pain for as long as he could. Then Dean hung his own head in shame for remembering how he'd failed.

It was at that moment that the horror struck him of what Sam said and he looked up at his gi-normous little brother who hadn't been able to face him yet. Damn demons! Damn himself! Even as he'd tried to ease his own suffering he'd reached up to the land of the living and caused the one person that meant everything to him to get dragged into the pit himself!

"Dean touched his brother on the shoulder, "Sammy, I'm sorry, if Ida known it woulda caused you pain I woulda never had let you cross my mind, not once. You know I'd do anything to spare you that, thought I was sparing you that by making the Deal." And he felt his own eyes begin to blur the worried look Sam gave back to him.

Sam lunged forward and grabbed him by his arms, "No Dean, no that's not what this is about. I don't blame you, I'm not blaming you!"

The larger man sighed, and pressed his lips together in a straight line, "This is about me being connected to you. Seriously connected. Like the doc said at the looney bin 'dangerously co-dependant connected.'"

Dean blinked back his own tears and asked, "You mean like beyond 'death do us part' connected?"

Sam's mouth quirked in a weak smile, "Yeah, like... that."


Then Sam's face crumpled again. "Dean, I don't...I don't think I'm gonna be strong enough not to think of you."

Dean looked back at him puzzled. "Wha...why ya worried about that?"

Sam shoulders shook. He dropped Dean's arms and he stepped back, his whole gigantic body trembled as he fought the sobs that wracked through him. He clenched his fists and looked up to the ceiling as if he were asking for strength to get this part out. He blinked back the tears and fought to keep his lips from quivering. He tried to say it out loud, sobbed once then bit out. "Ima 'fraid th...that you'll hear me too." And he bent his head to wipe his eyes. "I'm worried that if this goes south, worst case scenario and I wind up following Lucifer into the trap..." he braced himself and told Dean, "You'll hear me. And for as long as I'm down there... you'll know ...when ever I..." he bit his lip again and watched as Dean's face grimaced in painful sympathy for him. Sam sighed. "I just ... I just wanted you to know if it happens it's ok if you block me out. I want you to do what ever you have to ...coz... I'll know and it's ok" Then Sam hung his head again as all the strength suddenly went out of him.

Dean stepped fore ward to wrap him in his arms. And held him, like he'd held Sam all his life when he was scared or sick or tired of it all. He held him still, tight and sure saying softly to him, "S'Okay Sammy, s'okay. They won't know what hit'em, they never do when a Winchester comes callin'. And I won't mind so much if I hear you...naw... I won't mind at all.

The end