Summary: Dean holds Sam after another seizure, talking of promises and endings.

Author's Notes: Broken Sammy contained herein. Just what I think would happen (may have already been decided upon), when the boys think about their ending and how poorly they each do without the other.

Only Promise That Matters

It had been a good twenty minutes since Sam's most recent seizure ebbed and Dean had yet to let go of him; not that Sam had tried pulling away either. It was ten more minutes until Dean was sure he could speak without his voice breaking.

"Everything's gonna be okay Sammy. I promise. I know I haven't been the best at keeping promises but-"

"No." Sam's mop of hair shook back and forth tiredly, tickling Dean's jaw. "Never broke a promise to me."

Dean smiled bitterly. Of course Sam, his Sam, would try to make him feel better when it was Sam that was hurting, was fading away piece by piece.

"'Long as I'm around, nothing bad is gonna happen to you.'" Sam parroted the words from a lifetime ago and Dean cringed. The most important vow of his life and he'd broken it in the most thorough way.

"Didn't kill me." Sam's voice sounded too sage and too young at once. Dean could hear his smile. "Saved me."

He pushed back against Dean weakly. A variant of the sibling shoving that they'd done all their lives. The emotionally stunted hunter's show of devotion, of love.

Dean squeezed Sam's wrist back gently, afraid to hold his bird-fragile brother too tightly.

"Couldn't protect you-"

"No no no." Sam almost scolded. "Kept your word. Nothing bad happened to me with you around. It was only…after…"

Sam's voice turned somber and distant again.

"You were gone…and it all went wrong…"

Dean scrambled to anchor his brother in the here and now.

"Well I got you now." He tightened his grip on Sam for emphasis. Sam relaxed minutely back against him.

"Nothing could ever get me. Not with you around."

He wasn't asking a question, just stating what was obvious in his mind. Nothing truly bad had ever been able to get to him as long as his brother was there. It may have been a younger brother's childish belief, but it was real and binding to Sam.

Even if Sam thought different, Dean was sure that he'd broken more than a couple important promises to his sibling. It made him reluctant to provide that kind of assurance ever again, but this one he knew.

The bruises under Sam's eyes were getting darker every day, accentuating the hollows of his cheeks. The seizures were growing more violent and the time Sam was…away was growing longer.

Holding Sam's body closer through the residual tremors, Dean made the promise he knew Sam needed the most.

"Nothing's ever gonna keep me away again little brother. Won't let anything happen to you long as I'm around."

Dean felt his own tension melt away with the rest of Sam's. They both knew this vow wouldn't be broken. By heavenly design or the scheming of hell and hunters. Not even by Death.

Because next time something tore them apart, they'd say goodbye together, happily. Their own blood-drenched and painful, blaze of glory fairytale ending. Walking this road and the next side by side with no other between them.