AUTHOR'S NOTES: I'm not going to lie—I only wrote this because I've had a less than spectacular week and I needed a little perspective.

Chapter 6


It had just been a shitty week from the beginning.

First, Sam and Dean had been on a case in Kansas where people had been vanishing from a farm area and showing up miles away, beaten and bloody with no memory of the attack.

After a few days of investigating, they'd discovered that it was due to some small, yet very targeted twisters.

Then, getting back to the motel, they found that one of the rooms was being suddenly haunted by a homicidal ghost with a thing for younger siblings.

On the way to the hospital, the Impala suddenly died, forcing Dean to call an ambulance for his brother who had started having trouble breathing and a tow truck for his car.

x

A few hours later, sitting in the waiting room, Dean pulled out his notebook, fully intending to add this to his list of 'Worst Days Ever' but stopped as he saw what he'd already written.

Worst Days of My Life

1. Mom's death—The day that kicked off everything.

2. Sammy's death—They didn't even need to torture me in Hell. They could have just made me relive that day over and over.

3. Dad's death—That, and the stupid promise to kill Sammy if I couldn't save him.

x

It wasn't the first time Dean had noticed the trend. He hated always feeling like he was losing people.

4. Sam jumping into the cage

x

As bad as it had been losing Sam the first time, when Dean had watched his brother fall into the pit, something inside him was ripped apart and nothing had ever been able to fix it.

It was all a cover these days. Every joke Dean cracked, every prank he pulled was just a mask, trying to act like everything was okay.

Dean closed the notebook and—not for the first time—considered throwing it away. He didn't even know why he'd started making the lists in the first place. They were just random thoughts that popped into his head.

Suddenly aware of someone sitting next to him, Dean turned and saw a 16-year-old girl sitting there, looking distressed. "You okay?" he asked her.

The girl shook her head, still staring straight ahead. "No," she replied, half-sobbing. Turning to the man who'd spoken, she sniffled as she said, "My brother, h-he got caught in one of the twisters, and…"

Dean felt a strange connection to this girl and asked, "Younger brother?"

The girl shook her head, crying. "Blake is older than me. He told me to stay in the basement while he ran to get our dog from the back yard." Sniffling again, she said, "It's my fault he was out there."

Dean could sympathize. Putting a hand on the girl's arm, he said, "Look, I know how you feel, okay? I'm an older brother. And I can't count the times I've taken a hit for my little brother. It is not your fault."

"But if something happens to him," the girl said.

Hoping hospital security wouldn't think anything of it, Dean tentatively put his arm around the girl's shoulders and when she hugged him, Dean suddenly wished he was 17 years younger… or this girl was about 10 years older.

xxx

"Family of Blake Shelton?" a doctor called as he stepped into the waiting room.

Corey Shelton woke, a little confused when she felt an arm around her before she remembered sobbing on the shoulder of the older man next to her. The guy nudged her and with a reassuring smile, nodded towards the doctor. "I-I'm Corey Shelton, she said, raising a hand as she stood, surprised that the other guy stood with her.

"Your brother's in recovery now if you want to see him," the doctor said, brightly. "I think he'll be just fine."

Corey let out a sound that was somewhere between a laugh and a relieved sob as he threw her arms around the neck of the guy who had sat with her all night. Giving him one last look before following a nurse to her brother's room, Corey smiled and gave him a nod of thanks.

Dean watched the girl head off and turned to the doctor, looking a bit nervous. "Doc, how's my brother?"

The doctor smiled and replied, "Concussion, couple busted ribs… knee's in bad shape. He'll have to stay off of it for a month or two. But it looks like he should be able to leave in a couple days."

Dean let out a sigh of relief and headed up to Sam's hospital room.

xxxx

When Dean and Sam got ready to check out of the hospital 3 days later, Dean was surprised to find that the insurance had been taken care of.

"There's also this for you," the receptionist said, handing a card to Sam.

Sitting in the hospital-required wheelchair, his knee braced, Sam looked puzzled as he took the card before Dean pushed him outside and to the Impala.

Once in the passenger seat, Sam opened the card and read aloud, "'Sam, you've got a great big brother. Take care of him. Corey.'" Looking at Dean who had an odd smile on his face, he asked, "What's that about?"

"Tell you later, Sammy," Dean promised as he pulled out of the parking lot.

xxx

In his hospital room, Blake Shelton smiled as he looked at the card sitting on the bedside table. Inside, was the message: 'From one big brother to another, take care of your little sister and yourself. Dean.'

He wasn't sure who Dean was, only that he'd stayed with Corey all night when Blake had been admitted. Far as Blake was concerned, that made Dean one of the good guys.