A/N: Wow! I've been writing Supernatural fanfics for two years now. Would never have dreamed in a million years all the different opportunities being in this fandom would bring and the friends I would make. It's been a truly awesome ride.

I've been wanting to write this little fic for awhile now. I've taken things we know from canon and fleshed out a scene I alluded to in Sound of Madness. I'm also way out of my comfort zone. I rely heavily on dialogue in my fics but not in this one. Also, I've never written one in present tense so I put my beta's English degree to good use.

Speaking of my beta, she's my daughter, Jennifer, and I would like to dedicate this two year anniversary fic to her. She is the Sam to my Dean. She will tell me the things I need to hear even if I don't always want to hear them but she is the one person who believes in me when nobody else does. And like Dean, I have been overprotective, almost to a fault, but I've finally learned I have to let her go.


"SAM!"

Dean wakes; his brother's name still lingering on his lips and he whispers it once more into the dark.

"Sam."

Two months. It has been two long months since he sacrificed everything, given up the one thing he cherished the most, to save a self-absorbed world that would never know. They'd never know about his brother; about Sam. Sam, who had been running from hell since he was six months old and was now spending an eternity there, an eternity that Dean could only begin to fathom.

There is a gentle knock at his door and Dean realizes he has woken Lisa once again. He has yet to spend the night in her bedroom although she's made it clear he is more than welcome. It just doesn't feel right and he wonders if it ever will. He came here because he made a promise, not because it's what he really wants. He contemplates the irony in that since Lisa is the one woman he's always thought might be the one for him if he was ever given that chance. But this chance has come at too high a price and the only thing he really wants is his brother, alive.

Lisa peeks around the edge of the door and Dean motions for her to come in. He is sitting on the edge of the bed and she asks if he is okay. He shakes his head. He's never going to be okay, never again. She seems uncertain as to whether or not she should stay until Dean manages to give her a smile. She's been good to him, taking him in, not knowing exactly what has happened. He can't bring himself to tell her, to say the words out loud. Somehow saying that Sam is gone would make it too final and he's afraid of losing what little hold he has left on his slipping sanity.

She sits quietly beside him, offering comfort with her presence. But comfort is a luxury he doesn't deserve. Who is comforting his brother? He's been to hell. He knows the endless torment, the indescribable pain and suffering. What right does he have to one moment's peace while Sam has none?

A soft hand touches his cheek and he recoils as if burned. Lisa murmurs an apology and rises to leave but Dean reaches for her arm, pulling her back to his side. He knows it isn't fair, not to her or him, but he needs something, anything to dull the ache he feels inside. He touches his lips to hers and she responds, hesitantly at first and then more hungrily as Dean deepens the kiss, trying desperately to drown in her embrace.

Guilt claws its way to the front of his mind and Dean moans against her lips. He can't do this, it's not right and then she is naked, pressing against him and his body is unable to resist what his mind is telling him he should. Falling back onto the bed, Dean moves over her and for awhile he knows nothing but the feel of her lips on his skin and the curve of her breasts beneath his hands.

Afterwards, he lies in her arms, breathing in her scent, lavender mingled with sweat and he realizes he is crying. He rolls away, covering his face with his hands but nothing can hide him. The memories find him, just like always.

He fumbles for his discarded sweats, unable to meet Lisa's gaze. He hears her rise from the bed, bare feet padding across the carpet. Moments later she returns and presses a glass into his trembling hands. He downs the contents, grimacing as it burns all the way to his stomach. He risks a glance at her and sees she has a robe pulled tight around her and there is only pity in her dark eyes.

Once again she sits beside him but this time she asks if he wants to talk about it. And God, no, he doesn't want to talk about it. He doesn't want to talk about how he could see the terror on Sam's face even as he managed to give Dean a reassuring nod before plunging to hell. He doesn't want to talk about how he wishes with every fiber of his body he had joined his brother in that plunge. He doesn't want to talk about how he's never going to see his brother again this side of the grave. He doesn't want to talk about any of it. But he does.

He tells her everything. When he is done, his chest gives one last hitch, he wipes a hand across his face and finds the tears have finally dried or maybe he no longer has any left to shed. He looks at Lisa and sees conflicting emotions playing across her face. And he can't blame her. She has known about part of his job ever since the Changelings had taken Ben but the apocalypse and angels? Lucifer and the whole nine yards? Those truths had even been hard for him to swallow and he's known there are monsters ever since he can remember.

After a long moment she puts her arms around him and whispers comforting words in his ear. He finds that the tears haven't totally left him yet. He weeps against her neck, longing for his brother. She deserves better than him, someone less damaged and without so much baggage but he's made a promise to Sam, a promise he intends to keep.


A/N: Thank you for reading and thanks to all of you who continue to support my writing. *hugs you all*