A/N: Spoilers for 6.11. And again a little experimentation in POV. I watched the preview clip on the CW (it's on youtube too) for 6.12 and Dean would not shut up. Would not shut up. So I let him talk. Takes place immediately after the preview clip with Cas.

Waiting

I hate waiting.

That's my brother in there. He hasn't moved since that last scream. The scream that came after he begged me in a voice that sounded like his terrified six-year-old self to "please, Dean, stop the pain." I remember that voice. Once, when he was a kid, he got a stick through his foot. I couldn't get it out. So I took him to the clinic, you know, doctors help people, right? Well, I was a little naive even then, I thought angels, if they existed, helped people too. Anyway, the doctor pulled the stick out of Sammy's foot with no anesthetic, no Novocaine, just yanked it out. Sam begged me to make the pain stop. I couldn't. I did punch the bastard of a doctor.

Should I punch myself?

His accusation that I didn't care about this Sam, this man without a soul was unfair. I'll grant he wasn't really himself when he said it, or rather only part of himself. Sam without that part of him terrifies me. It's not that I've never seen that part of him before. Sammy has always had a little scary streak in him. Long before I ever knew about demon blood, long before that was ever a part of our lives, there was something in Sam. It was there in Dad too. It's hard to describe, quiet men who can suddenly become... something else. We've walked into some dark places, but with Sam at my back, I would walk into hell, I think, because I know that there is nothing there that could take on my brother and win once Hurricane Sammy started blowing.

But see, that's why he needs his soul.

Some god, and I am not really even sure which one—I've gotten to the point where I am a little confused on that whole thing—but one of them had the wisdom to put a soul into my brother. Without that, Sam... I can't even imagine what he could have, or might become. No, I don't think Sam, my Sam, the man I raised, with or without soul, is capable of evil. If he'd been born without a soul—and me—the world would have been in trouble, he might have been one of those scary top secret guys that assassinate fifteen guys then have a cup of coffee and pie without a thought. Or, worse. Who knows. But as I said, some god was wise enough to give him a soul.

And maybe I helped as well.

How can I tell him it wasn't my precious Sammy's soul in hell I was worried about, but the totality of my Sam. My brother. All the parts. Sam. The man that has been with me since he was returned, the man with Sam's memories, and the soul being tortured in hell.

I guess the simple thing is to just tell him. I should have before. Maybe I came on too strong. It's funny, sometimes I forget that Sam is a man. Sometimes I look up at him, way up, and it still feels like I am looking down at the boy I raised, those puppy-dog eyes trusting as they always were, even when he was angry, even when he ran away and I chased halfway across the country to find him. I hope he can forgive me for that someday, especially since I'm not sure I can ever really rid myself of that. I can't help it. And I really doubt I am the only older brother on earth who still sees their kid brother as the child he once was.

I hate waiting.

You know, I have spent a lot of my life waiting. That's the funny thing about hunting. You do a lot of waiting. There are the few moments of fun, utter terror and that urge to shout "yippee ki yay" but most of the time you are waiting. Waiting for a case, waiting to get to someplace, waiting while you research, waiting while whatever you're hunting shows itself.

There have been other waitings as well, the waiting in hospital rooms, outside ORs, in ERs and sometimes waiting in a hotel room. That's the worst kind. The waiting to see if I'll have a brother at all in a few hours. The waiting for life.

Once upon a time in my life, I thought I couldn't make it without Sammy. I traded my soul for him. I went to hell, and came back to a changed world. Angels and demons trying to destroy everything. When I went after Sam, before Lucifer was back, I knew it might be the end of Sam. But you know? If it had been, I had no intention of walking away from there.

Then there was the final showdown, that moment when Sam took that step into hell. I wanted to follow. I, god, I tried. But I promised, and I kept the promise to my brother. No matter how much I wanted to...

Not this time. If I have killed him with this, or if I need to... I won't think that yet, but...

No, Sam will be whole. He has to be. Cas is wrong, they are all wrong.

"You know what, Sam?" I whisper to his motionless body. "You were wrong. You believed them not me. Because I know you're strong enough to make it back. Sammy, you beat Lucifer. Held him in check. You can make it back, you're strong enough. I know you are."

I lean against the door, watching, waiting.

I hate waiting.

The End