Missing scene to Faith, season 1. Takes place right between the scene where Sam's talking to Dean in the hospital room and the scene in which Sam is calling John.

Disclaimer: Don't own.


Burial or cremation.

Options.

Jessica's death dealt her no options. The fire consumed her, flowing through her hair and over her nightgown like violent orange waves stirring the ocean, her final minutes a metaphorical storm. Cremated by the monster who murdered their mother and a headstone raised in her memory, options had escaped Jessica. Jessica's end had haunted Sam's sleeping conscious weeks before the nightmare met reality and pinned her to the ceiling. Fear and denial had kept Sam from acting then.

But not this time.

Now death haunted another loved one, a person he had been attached to since infanthood and beyond. Not Jessica, not his mother. His big brother. Dean.

But instead of the creature who had killed his mother, a Rawhead had originated the risk to Dean's life. In place of a fire, a heart attack birthed by the ruthless mix of electricity and water threatened to snuff out Dean's life. Body not plastered to a ceiling, Dean's form lie prone atop a hospital bed.

But Dean had options. Despite what he might think, his older brother possessed more than just choosing whether or not to be cremated or buried. Sam had John's journal at his disposal, not to mention a powerful intellect and a strong will that bordered on unrelenting stubbornness. Dean's damaged heart would be cured. Sam would find a way. No other option held acceptability.

"You're not going to die. I'm not going to let you." Sam's brow creased and he closed his eyes at the raw tone scratching its way through his throat. "I'm not going to cremate you," like Jessica, "and I'm not gonna put you down six feet," like Jessica's empty coffin.

"What? You gonna have me stuffed and mount me on a wall?"

"Dean, don't. Seriously."

"What? C'mon, man. That'd be pretty friggan creepy. Borderline insane. Well, not borderline. Completely, full on insane. And sort of awesome."

Sam's fits clenched the privacy curtain hung around Dean's bed. "Dean. That is not funny. Quit trying to turn everything you say into a joke."

"Sammy, c'mon, dude. It is what it is. I'm dyin.'"

Sam swallowed and shook his head, unwilling to accept the air of finality bleeding from his brother. Sam's hands twitched, the appendages wanting to cover his ears to block out Dean's voice, the timber of his vocal cords once strong and low but now uncharacteristically graveled and tired.

Sam's hand dropped from the curtain and landed at his side, fists balled and knuckles bleached white. "I told you, Dean. I'm not gonna let you die."

A sigh drifted from the head of Dean's bed and hit Sam's ears. Sam turned his head to the side, already denying his brother's words even before they left his mouth.

"Sammy."

The hospital bed sheets lightly rustled, the sound followed by a few taps to Sam's thigh. Sam opened his eyes and looked down at his brother's sheet-covered feet.

"Sam. Hey." Dean gave Sam another impatient nudge with his foot. "Look at me, would ya?"

Sam felt his lower arms quiver as he tighten his fists further, his gaze moving reluctantly from Dean's feet to stare at the face of the man who had carried him out of two fires, the man who had bottle-fed him through infancy and helped him learn the alphabet. Sam shifted on his heels, knowing his ability to tie his sneakers came from Dean's guidance and instruction many years ago when he still watched ThunderCats. The man who shielded him and protected him with strong arms and who regularly teased him with an often hidden, deep endearing nature lay before him, hooked up to an IV and heart monitor, his skin pale and eyes rimmed with discolored, brown circles.

Sam blinked, his eyes going dry at the sight of his brother. Many times in his life he had witnessed Dean teeter dangerously on the brink, but never before had a doctor slapped a timetable of mere weeks on his brother's life. Sam, unable to handle the prospect of living without the one universal aspect of his life, felt the hairs on his neck and arms rising, his nerves prickling. Hand carding through his hair nervously, Sam flickered his line of sight from Dean to the window and the landscape beyond.

"Sammy, man. Don't do this to yourself."

"Do what, Dean?" Sam asked, looking back at Dean.

"This," Dean said, lifting a hand up and toward Sam. "You're so wound up ya look like you're gonna fray at the edges. And then some." Dean suddenly jerked and roughly pushed at Sam with his foot. "And would ya get that hand outta your damn hair! You're gonna be yanking it out in clumps, dude. Just—stop, Sam. Stop."

Sam's hand stilled, but remained in his hair. "Stop what, Dean? Screwing around with my hair or stop looking for a way to fix this even before I start?"

"I got a great idea. Both."

Sam swung around to the side of Dean's bed, towering over his brother. "You know what, Dean? You're a damned hypocrite."

"Oh, is that so?"

"It is. If I was in this hospital bed, you wouldn't stop until you found something to make me better, and you wouldn't have listened to a damn thing I'd say if I was telling you to stop—"

Sam broke off, startled by the sudden presence of Dean's fist bunched in his shirt. Surprised at the strength still coiled in Dean's muscles, Sam said nothing.

"You're damned right I wouldn't have stopped. But you're not the one lyin' on this bed."

Sam felt his brows move under his bangs and his mouth fall in a gape. The sheer blatant nature of Dean's words hit hard, causing his knees to wobble slightly. In the next instant, he found himself tossed onto the edge of Dean's bed, his brother's fist still latched to his shirt.

A few minutes passed before Sam located his voice, only able to manage a mumbled, "Dean, quit it." Sam tugged off Dean's hand and placed it carefully on the mattress. "You can't be moving around like that, not like you are now." "Not when you're dying and keep telling me not to save you." Placing both elbows on his knees, Sam cradled his head in one hand, the other moving to his mouth, giving in to the nervous habit of biting his nails. "You're a stubborn dick, Dean," Sam whispered hoarsely between his nails and the teeth biting them.

"Yeah, well, at least I'll be a stubborn dick who still has his fingers." The pads of Dean's index and middle finger pressed against the inside of Sam's wrist, pushing his little brother's fingers free from the snares of his mouth. "C'mon, dude. You keep this up? You'll be bald and won't be able'ta flip someone the finger."

"I don't give a damn about that crap, Dean. I give a damn about you dying," Sam said as he let his brother gently pull his hand down, resting it on his thigh.

Dean loosened his hold on Sam's wrist, but kept his fingers resting on Sam's skin. The contact sucked the moisture out of Sam's eyes further, and Sam felt his tear ducts dew over, preparing to sooth his eyes. Sam immediately ducked his head further into his other hand, blocking Dean's view of his face.

Then he felt it. The gentle tap tap of Dean's fingers moving softly and rhythmically against the inside of his wrist. Sam did not need to pause to recognize the beat.

From his fingertips, Dean slowly and lightly tapped the piano riff to Hey Jude.

Sam coughed, choking on his breath. Dean didn't want him to be afraid, didn't want him to carry the world on his shoulders.

Heat flushed Sam's face as hot saltwater leaked from his eyes and pooled into his palm. The sudden urge to flop over on Dean's chest hounded him, but he remained still, ashamed of the child-like impulse. The taps broke off briefly, Dean squeezing his forearm before resuming the rhythm. The unspoken message had been unmistakable: If Sam needed to hide from the world, Dean would provide a safe place.

Sam shook his head to himself, biting his lip as more water collected into his palm. He didn't want to hide, had no intention of hiding. He didn't want to carry the world on his shoulders, but his world: Dean.

God knew that Dean's shoulders had willingly welcomed him since his birth.

Wiping the water from his face, Sam looked up and turned toward Dean. Letting out a shaky breath, he nodded slightly. After a second, Dean returned the nod, and after giving his brother's forearm another squeeze, broke physical contact.

Rising from the bed and stopping at the doorway, Sam looked over his shoulder at his brother. "I'm gonna make it better, Dean."

Dean stared back at him, not needing to say a word.

Sam slipped out of the door. He had research to do, calls to make.

He had Dean's life to save.

End


I noticed Sam biting his nails a lot in Faith so I figured I'd use it in a fic.

Constructive reviews are welcome :)