Forgiveness

Summary: Shortly after they return to Bobby's, Dean and Sam must confront more than just Sam's guilt over what he doesn't remember. Dean must handle the fallout as Sam learns what happened between them and struggles to earn his brother's forgiveness.

Tags: Tags to Like A Virgin, Season 6, Episode 12…may contain mild spoilers.

Warnings: May have mild spoiler so if you haven't seen the episode, you may not want to read it yet. No violence, minor language. Just brotherly fluff.

Disclaimer: I don't own the boys. Eric Kripke and the CW have that honor. I'm just a writer making nothing but personal enjoyment.

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Dean's POV:

"Sam?" I'm awake the second a move and don't hear my brother breathing in the bed next to mine anymore.

Snapping my eyes open, I look around the room we've always shared while at Bobby's and while I see his jacket I don't see my brother and that freaks me out.

Sam's been awake a few days and we just got back from the weird dragon case. Sam and Bobby finally sat down to talk while I went to grab dinner and also to give a certain trench-coat wearing Angel a piece of my mind since I didn't appreciate Castiel telling Sam about his time without a goddamn soul.

Of course it was mainly me yelling at Cas since he never showed his face but I swear that I'm gonna Holy Oil his ass the first time he shows up since I've learned my lesson in hitting an Angel. By the time I got back, Sammy was looking exhausted and weepy and Bobby was a little more relaxed which makes me assume they talked and cleared the air somewhat.

I'm not stupid…yeah, ignoring what Bobby normally calls me, I know that Bobby ain't gonna trust Sam fully for a long time to time but in my eyes, it wasn't my brother who tried to kill him. Now, I just have to convince Sam of that since he's taken it into his head that he has to make up for the past year. I just know that this is going to be bad for us in the long run but the one thing about my brother having his soul back? It also means he's got full control and power to those damn huge puppy dog eyes and I have yet to come up against a way to defend myself against those.

Now though I have to find Sam. I'm afraid I know where he is even before I grab his jacket and head downstairs to see a low light burning in the kitchen.

"He's been outside for a couple hours," Bobby called from the kitchen. "Damn idjit's asking for a cold since he's out there with no coat and I was wondering when you were gonna wake up to go get him."

Okay, Bobby's calling Sam an 'idjit'. All is right with the world since he only does that with people he cares about so there's one worry over but as I step out onto the porch I once again vow to burn Cas as I approach the Impala.

Somehow, I knew Sam would find his way to the car eventually and I know what brought him out to it even before I hear the sounds that I haven't heard from my brother in more years than I like to think about.

Dad raised his sons as fighters so only when Dad was out on a hunt could Sam show his true emotions and then he only showed his deepest ones when he thought he was alone or I couldn't hear him. I haven't heard him cry like this since right before my deal was coming due.

Sam would lock himself in the bathroom of our hotel rooms in the last month before my deal and cry. He thought I was either passed out or asleep and I let him because I knew that there wasn't anything I could do to stop his pain then. Now is another matter.

Accepting this was going to be a chick-flick moment to beat 'em all, I decide to ignore that since it's been awhile since I came close to one of those. Taking my time to approach the rear door, I decide to pop the trunk of the Impala to grab something out of it that I haven't had much use for the past year.

Slamming the trunk with more noise than I normally would to give Sam time to calm down and by the time I open the back door to peer in at him, he's turned so that his back is to me but I see where his hand is.

"Bobby says you're bucking for a cold by being out here without this," I remark while tossing his jacket into the back seat before sitting down on the opposite side, keeping the door open. "Bad dream, Sam?"

A sharp shake of his head says 'no' but I know this kid. Something's bothering him and it's big. I would've heard a normal nightmare since I'm trained to hear my little brother cry out at night so that means either I'm slipping or Sam didn't sleep.

"Want to talk or should I just go fry Cas for opening his mouth?" I ask and see the way his shoulders tense that I'm close. "Sam, talk to me. I know you want to make amends for what Robo-Sam did the past year but that'll take time and I thought you weren't mad at me for not telling you?"

"I'm not mad at you, Dean," he finally responds but he's still not looking at me and I know that's never good. "It's just…"

I'd forgotten how small the back seat of the Impala could be. We used to both fit back here just fine…when I was four and Sam was a baby. Now having a 6'4" baby brother didn't leave much room to stretch my legs out as I go to touch his shoulder and feel the tension. "Just what, Sam?"

"I know that I tried to kill Bobby and between Bobby and Cas they filled me in on some of the other stuff I did the past year but…" he stops again. I realize he's doing the same thing he did as a kid when he was closing in on a subject he knew I wouldn't want to talk about and I guess by the way he keeps playing with that little Army man that's stuck in the ashtray he's brooding about what happened in Stull.

"Sam, you had less control over what happened in the cemetery than you have the past year. I don't blame you for that," I tell him, rolling my eyes but I'm not expecting Sam to suddenly turn to face me and I see the honest pain and shame in his eyes along with tears that still make me hurt.

I remember seeing Sam in the door to Bobby's library when he first woke up. The open emotion, the loss, and every other feeling my little brother had was there on his face and in those big eyes like an open book. It was that way right now, only now I see his pain and fear as he looks at me curiously.

"Do you blame me for the vampires?"

That damn Angel will burn when I next see him, of that I'm certain since only Castiel would possibly tell Sam about that. I'd agreed with Bobby that since Sam knew he'd been without a soul for a year that he did need to know some thing that he's done…some things. But, I had made Bobby swear on every trucker's cap that he owned that he would never tell my little brother that as Robo-Sam he let me be turned into a damn vampire.

"Sam…" what can I tell him? I know that wall is thin and I don't want him brooding on the mistakes he's made. I've agreed to help him the best I can with making things right, only Sam would want to go down that road, but I don't want him knowing how bad being back with that soulless version of him hurt me.

"You got it back out of duty and big brother obligation, right?" he shifts away from me to move back more into the corner of the car and I'm getting more and more confused, refusing to get angry even though that last line pissed me off. "You want Bobby to forgive me for nearly killing him but you can't forgive the things I've said and done to you, can you Dean?"

Temper surged but not at my brother. "Cas!" I let out one shout as I push out of the Impala to stare into the night sky. "Get your ass down here so I can toast you or…"

"Dean, Cas just did what I asked him to," Sam followed me out of the car which I'm not sure is a good thing or not since I don't want the confrontation he's building up to. "He didn't understand what he was answering or…"

"He should've kept his damn mouth shut since I have forgiven you for what happened between us," I shoot back, giving up on the Angel since I know he's smart enough not to show up when I'm pissed and carrying Holy Oil in the trunk. "Ignoring the whole soulless little brother crap, I forgive the not telling me you were alive, for hunting alone or with them, for the vampire thing, for being with that hippie chick while I was being probed by damn fairies and for saying you wanted your soul back because without it you just didn't care about anyone and…"

Something about the way Sam's face paled told me that I'd literally shoved my foot into my mouth this time and may need Bobby's wrecker to get it out. "Sam…what part of that didn't Cas tell you?" I'm praying I'm misreading the way my little brother's face has fallen into a look like I haven't seen since that whole damn rabbit's foot deal and he lost his favorite shoe down a drain.

"I told you I didn't care?" his voice drops to a near whisper and I'm trying to think of a way to get out of that before he figures out what he didn't care about when he turns away to stare at the car again and the object I'd lain on the roof. "I guess that's why you haven't used it."

"Come again?" it's late, I've fought dragons and played King Author with a damn sword so figuring out what my overly emotional little brother is babbling about ain't easy right now as I try to think about what I haven't used since he woke up and am coming up blank until I see his fingers reach for his wrist absently. I know he hasn't worn the black rubber band bracelets we both had in a while and it begins to gel. The band and his nickname…sonuvabitch. "Sam…"

Moving away and now on edge, I can see what Sam's next move will be if I don't head him off so I make quick work to cut off his escape back to the house by stepping in front of him but I also don't go to touch him…yet.

"I told you that I didn't care…about you," Sam's shaking now as he looks back over at me, the wetness shining on his face reflected by the lights in Bobby's yard. "After every damn thing you've done for me I told you that I…damn it!" his closed fist slams into a nearby car until finally I grab for him. Instead of fighting back against me like I honestly expected, Sam whirls to latch on in the same way he did a few days ago when he first saw me after waking up. "I'm so sorry, Dean," he chokes out and the tears are back in full force and all I can do is calm him down enough that I can make him understand. "You know that I'd never…"

"I know that, Sam," I feel him go rigid at the use of his name and finally understand. Closing my eyes, I let out a breath while easing him back against the side of the Impala in order to both give Sam something to lean against and I know the car will keep him grounded as I try to get through to him. "Sammy."

One simple word had more effect than any of the dozen that I could've used as I feel Sam stop straining against the hold I have on his shoulders. I hear his breath catch as his eyes shoot to mine with a hope so bright that it breaks my heart that I could've allowed so much distance to come between us.

"Me not using your nickname has nothing to do with being angry, Sammy," I tell him while reaching into the car for his jacket on instinct. "I couldn't use it with that other version of you. It didn't feel right so I just got used to using Sam. I wasn't sure if you'd want me to call you Sammy since and I quote 'Sammy is a chubby twelve year old'," I can feel him relaxing and know that my brother's calm enough to try to get him back into the house when he sits back in the rear of the Impala.

"What do you see when you look at me, Dean?" this one takes me totally off guard and I have to think a minute before I understand what he's asking and I chuckle.

What do I see when I look at him? Oh, this could unleash a moment to beat all moments if I let it but I'm not that ready to let Sammy see me break yet. "I see that same geeky little brother who used to follow me around everywhere," and I do but I also still see something else that I haven't been able to admit since coming back so now that Sam and I have a shot at a fresh start I decide to be honest with him. "I also see the little brother that I'd still give my life for, Sammy."

I know when Sam's paying attention fully because I feel his hand on my arm so I kneel down to be more at eye level with him while reaching into my pocket. "It hurt to hear that soulless you say that you just didn't care but that was one of the biggest tips that something was really wrong so I don't hold that or anything against you, little brother," I tell him while pressing something into his hand. "We're brothers, Sammy. We're family and nothing will ever change that. I may be a bit more overprotective than you'll like for the next…fifteen, twenty years but hey, that's what awesome big brothers are for."

Sam laughs fully for the first time since waking up, I don't mean a half-laugh but a full laugh that eases some of my tension until he sees what I put in his hand, and I hold me breath. "I…thought I'd lost this," he murmurs but I know he remembers exactly where he put his rubber band.

"It was the first thing I pulled out of my shirt pocket after I crawled out of that grave…Sammy," he hates any mention of the day I came back because it bothers him to know that I woke up in my own grave and crawled out of it alone. "I hung onto it along with mine until you asked for it but you never did."

Sam stares at the black rubbery bracelet for so long I'm beginning to worry until I feel something wet drop on my hand and I don't let on that the tears are falling again but I have to strain to hear what he says next. "You gave it to me. I failed you and I…wanted you to have something to maybe remember me with in Hell or something and when you came back I wondered if you had it but since I'd failed you again by not saving you that I just let it go and…"

Yeah, I guess it was stupid to think I'd get out of this night without a full blown emotional meltdown as I reach up to grip the back of his neck with one hand while keeping my other hand firmly on his arm. "You never failed me, Sammy," I cut him off seriously, using the one tone I hardly ever use on Sam these days but knowing the sterner words would get through his emotions. "I accepted the terms of the deal and I have never regretted them or what happened to me because I knew you were alive and…Geek-boy, I couldn't forget you on my worst day. I…I…" damn, there's no way around saying this especially since he's watching me with the same look his had at five and I killed a spider her was convinced would eat him. "Iloveyou," I rush those out, seeing him start and then smile that full Sam smile that I've missed these past months.

"I'll make it up to you, Dean," he says and I know he's still obsessing over what he's been doing for the last year and I don't know if I want to bang my head in or his…or Cas's.

"Sammy, there's nothing to make up. I'm fine and we're gonna make sure you're fine too…now that Angel, that could be another matter," I remark easily, seeing him grin as he slips the band back on and I feel some tension leave him. "I'll be with you and we'll get through this path of redemption you're so bent to do…though we may have to go find another dragon killing sword since I doubt if we've seen the last of those guys."

Nodding, Sam stands up and weaves in a way that tells me he's been up too long but before I can aim him toward the house his hand snatches what I placed on the car. "How come you aren't wearing this?" he asks and I honestly wonder why he didn't notice before as I reach to take my leather jacket from him.

"I put the jacket away when I stopped driving the car," I admit, feeling the leather in my hands and remembering the first time I ever put this jacket on and how many times I've worn it since when the last time I wore it flashed in my mind.

Dad's leather jacket has been one of the three constants in mine and Sam's lives. The Impala and the amulet I so stupidly threw away being the other two. I tossed the amulet when I lost so much faith in my brother. I stopped driving the Impala when I went to Lisa because I couldn't bear to be in it without my brother and the jacket…the last time I wore it was when I lost Sam. I haven't been able to wear it for the same reason I couldn't call that soulless version of my baby brother 'Sammy'.

Now as I look into Sam's eyes and see that my little brother is as back as I can expect him to be and more than a little weight has lifted from my shoulders I wonder if I can wear my jacket again. It isn't until I see Sam's concern and doubt for the reasons I'm not wearing it that I get it. The last time he saw this jacket was in Stull when Lucifer was beating the crap outta me. For Sammy, this jacket brings back a bad memory but for me…

"I remember when Dad would leave us in the car while he hunted," I begin slowly, sliding the jacket on and feeling another weight leave me while being careful to keep a hand on Sam in case he would go to fall since Bobby would break my legs if that happened. "You'd curl in the back seat with me and I'd read my comic books to you."

"Dad would always leave his jacket with us in case it got too cold," Sam's memory was still sharp since he got where I was going. "You'd always put it around me even though the car was cold for you too."

Taking another look back I see the little Army man in the ashtray and I nod, nudging Sammy back inside Bobby's house and feeling the welcome warmth which meant our friend had turned the heat up for our sakes since Bobby almost never turned his heat up when he was alone.

"Awesome big brothers never get cold…bitch," I reply, hearing something crash in the kitchen and guessing I'll get slapped in the morning but I wait.

"No, they just come down with pneumonia and get us shipped to Pastor Jim's, jerk," Sam comes back at me with a smirk that I will never complain about again. "Dean…what happens if this wall fails or…"

Refusing to even go there, I just shake my head while getting him back upstairs to the bedroom. "It won't fail, Sammy," I tell him firmly, needing to believe that because I don't plan on losing my brother again. "I won't let it fail and I won't let anything bad happen to you. Now, are we good or should I plan on staying up all night?"

Sam lays down on the bed farthest from the door without question since that's the way it's always been for us and after a couple minutes he nods with a yawn. "Yeah, we're good, Dean."

If I bought that I could sell Bobby a bridge in Brooklyn. Sam will dwell on this and his mistakes until I'm an old man but I'll take it. I've seen him laugh, joke, smile and cry more in the past forty-eight hours than I have in six months. Whatever it takes to help him and keep that damn wall up then I'll do it because I am sure of one thing…I will not risk losing him for a third time.

"Stay, Dean?" he's tired because normally he doesn't want me this close or at least he hasn't since Jessica died but I just ease up against the headboard to sit beside him until I'm sure he's asleep. Carding my fingers through Sam's hair reminds me that I need to bug him about a haircut but I'll wait on that when I notice a box laying on the nightstand between the beds.

It hadn't been there earlier and I doubt if Bobby put it there since he's still in the kitchen and I can now hear him bitching at Rufus on the phone. I open the box with a frown after reading the card that merely says 'From a friend,' and feel my heart do the same flip flop that it did when I turned to see Sammy in the library door the other day.

Taking the familiar gold amulet out to stare at it, I know by touch and emotion that it's mine…the same one I tossed in a motel trashcan just to hurt my already emotionally hurt little brother. After a quick mental inventory of anyone who could've found it I'm at a loss but as Sam flips to his stomach in the same way he used to as a kid I don't care who put the amulet here. I have everything back the way it should be with just two minor little details to finish since I guess we should find out who 'Mother ' is and I owe Samuel Campbell for selling us out to Crowley then it'll be me and Sammy again against all the evil sons of bitches out there.

Putting the amulet back on, I feel its weight settle and I take off my jacket to lay it over Sam and have to grin when he still does the same thing he did with it as a kid when he pulls it closer to him. Sam's muttering something only I can hear because I know my little brother and swallow. "Yeah, Sammy, I love you too," I swear only my geeky kid brother will make me say those words as I decide to just crash on his bed for a few hours until Bobby makes his way up to check on us. While I think I see a shimmer in the corner of a short silhouette in white I shrug it off as the stress of recent months and fall asleep fully for the first time since I woke up after that damn Djinn attack.

Sam stirs enough to move closer like he used to when we were kids but doesn't wake up even when Bobby drops something heavy downstairs or Cas dropped in and he shot at him… "G'night, Sammy," I'm half asleep and miss the reply mumbled through a pillow and my jacket and I'm just glad I have my brother back fully…and right after I toast my Angel buddy for having too big of a damn mouth I'll be happy.

The End