A/N: Supernatural belongs to Eric Kripke. Title is from (Don't Fear) The Reaper, which belongs to Blue Öyster Cult.

It's a Lamia that does him in.

Sam, that is, all of Sam, hasn't been topside long. Only about eight months, and they're in the middle of bumfuck nowhere, otherwise known as the Oklahoma. Fuck knows what a Lamia is doing in the Ozarks anyhow.

The creature slashes Sam's stomach open and Sam goes down. He doesn't yelp, doesn't scream, just drops.

Dean shoots the thing in the face. It doesn't kill it, of course, but emptying an entire magazine into it's skull does distract it long enough for him to douse it with the can of gasoline they'd mixed with rosemary and salt earlier. The Lamia tries to shake itself off, but it isn't fast enough before Dean throws a lit match at it and it catches.

As the creature shakes and screams, Dean runs to Sam's side and drops down next to his brother. The impact with the hard dirt makes his knees ache, but the pain doesn't even register.

Sam is bleeding from three massive claw wounds that have torn him open from his chest to his hips.

These aren't the kinds of cuts that have Dean muttering 'wuss' when Sam flinches as he stitches them closed. They aren't the kind of cuts that have Dean calling for an ambulance, shaken and panicky while Sam repeats, 'I'm fine. I'm fine.'

Sam is completely limp when Dean picks him up and pulls him close. His heart is still beating, albeit unsteadily, and his lungs are still desperately trying to pull in air. Dean knows this for sure. He can see them through the tears in his little brother's flesh.

Dean holds him close, repeating 'no, no, no, no' in denial. His own breath is shaking, his arms tremble. "You're gonna be okay, Sammy," he says. He is begging, pleading with God and Death and anyone else who could possibly help. "You're gonna be okay. I'm gonna take care of you an' your gonna be okay and oh God oh God please don't… don't… Oh God," he chokes. It's futile. Sam's eyes glaze over as Dean's eyes tear up.

Sam's still, still, still, but Dean can feel the difference as his heart stops thumping. Suddenly his own is too loud. Why should his get to keep going after Sam's? Sam's lungs stop and there's blood. So much blood. Slick and wet and still pouring out from baby brother's insides.

"Sammy," Dean says, and hunches over him even more. He presses his lips into the kid's floppy hair and shuts his eyes as the world starts to get blurry. "Oh God. Sammy. Sammy." His breathe stutters and shakes before it breaks into sobs, miserable and keening and lost.

He's so lost in it that he doesn't even feel the hand on the arm. Doesn't react until a voice calls his name in his ear. Soft and sweet and understanding. If he could think coherently, it might have reminded him of when they first met. When she was just a scared girl in a coma.

"Dean," Tessa says again, and when he sort of tilts his head in her general direction, she uses a thumb to wipe away some of his tears. It's a useless gesture, since they're still falling.

"You take him?" he asks, his voice cracks and shakes around the words.

"Yes," Tessa says.

"And what about me?"

"Only if you want."

He's never wanted anything more in his life.