It's Sam, Leave Me a Message

Summary: 1-shot. Dean's confused at what's upset Sam until he happens to hear a long saved message on Sam's cell phone. Now he must convince his confused brother of the lies involved while also facing emotions they've both ignored and hoping the Wall won't fall as Sam breaks from remembering the message. Angsty/Upset!Big Brother Dean / Upset/emotionally confused!Sam

Warnings: Minor language since this is Dean when he's angry but nothing seriously bad.

Spoilers/Tags: There are mentions of past episode from several seasons but it's up Season 6's The French Mistake.

Disclaimer: I don't own the boys or anything to do with the show. Just a form of entertainment.

Author Note: This started out as a cell-phone fix-it fic & I'm not certain what it turned into. I think I handled that message pretty well since it's always bugged me that no one ever mentioned the darn thing again. Thanks to everyone who reads this and I hope you enjoy it.


"No, Bobby. Everything's fine. The storm didn't do the house any damage. Trust me."

Rolling his eyes as he talked on the phone, Dean Winchester threw a gaze to the boarded up window that he didn't plan on telling the home's owner about anytime soon since he wasn't sure how to explain to Bobby Singer that an Angel had tossed them out of the window into an alternate reality.

"No, we're fine. Stay in town until the storm blows over and…Bobby?" leaning back in the desk chair, Dean's green eyes shined with amusement as he decided to toss in a final comment. "Tell Sheriff Mills that Sammy and I said 'hi'."

Hanging up on the bellow that had just started, the elder Winchester checked the boarded up window again to be sure it would hold until he and Sam could fix it the next day when another thought hit him. His younger brother hadn't been seen since he'd checked his phone earlier and then had vanished upstairs.

Considering a drink before going to find Sam, something in Dean's gut made him forget the drink in favor of making sure the house was secure for the night and going upstairs. It felt odd being in Bobby's house without him but considering that they'd endured that night Dean guessed it might be better if it was just the two of them…since there were still issues to be worked out.

Stepping into the room they normally shared whenever they'd visit Bobby, Dean frowned when he saw that Sam was still in the bathroom. Listening, he could hear the shower running which wouldn't have bothered him too much if he knew that his brother normally didn't take 2 hour long showers…except when he was trying to avoid Dean. Which was something that Sam hadn't done since having his soul put back into place.

"Sammy? You turn into a dolphin while I was on the phone or what?" Dean shouted through the closed and obviously locked bathroom door, which caused him more concern. "Sam!"

"Uhhh, I'll be out in a minute, Dean," Sam's voice was muffled by the closed door and the running water but Dean knew his little brother too well and could still tell by his voice that something was very wrong.

Beginning to ask what the hell was wrong, Dean recalled how pale Sam had gone while listening to something on his phone and how quickly he'd made an excuse to go upstairs.

Since getting his soul back, Sam had tried to stay close to his brother so this sudden change had warned Dean that something was bothering his brother. This new action of hiding in the bathroom again took Dean back to another time when Sam would hide in the bathroom with the water running. The year before Dean went to Hell, he knew his brother wasn't handling the strain as well as he let on because he'd figured out early on that whenever Sam would stay in the bathroom for a long time with the shower on what was happening but Dean had let him do it mainly because he hadn't been sure how else to help Sam.

Now though he didn't know what had brought this back on since Sam appeared to have been fine since they returned to their own reality. Glancing toward his brother's bed, Dean noticed that the phone that Sam had listened to just before this happened was laying on the bed as if he'd tossed it there on the way into the bathroom.

"You okay, little brother?" Dean asked, raising his voice to be heard over the water but still caught the hesitation from Sam as if he was trying to level his voice, or swallow tears, before he gave a short reply that just had Dean snorting. 'Yeah, sure you are, Sammy,' he thought sourly, grabbing the phone before sitting on his bed.

Normally Dean gave Sam his privacy. Even when they'd been kids, he'd always tried to give his little brother as much privacy as he could while still keeping him safe. Only once had he listened to Sam's voicemail and that was during the time that they were being driven apart by both Angels and Demons.

Dean knew this was a new phone so he wasn't certain what Sam could've heard that would've upset him this bad and debated checking the phone until he heard something that made up his mind for him. Only twice had Dean heard his little brother cry hard enough and long enough to make himself sick. The first had been right after Jessica had died and the second, to Dean's knowledge, had been the night before Dean died.

Swallowing his urge to go to Sam, he offered a silent apology to his brother and opened the voicemail on the cell phone while hoping his brother hadn't changed the password and noticed that there was only one saved message but the date threw Dean off since it was at least two years old. 'What the hell, Sam?' he wondered to himself, not understanding why Sam would still be saving a message that old since he knew on most phones that messages this old would be required to be manually saved every week or month so that meant even during the year or so that Sam was without a soul that he was saving this message.

Tossing another look at the locked bathroom door, Dean scowled as he hit the play button to listen to whatever it was that had upset his brother this badly. Hearing the phone's message of 1 saved message, it wasn't until he heard the message that he felt his blood run cold but as he listened he soon felt that same blood begin to boil and finally Dean felt his fist clench around the phone until he heard the plastic start to crack.

"Sonuvabitch," he whispered tightly, going back to listen to the most offending message he'd ever heard in his life again and wondering who the hell he could kill even as he heard his own voice begin to speak again…

" 'Listen to me you blood sucking freak. Dad always said I'd either have to save you or kill you. Well, I'm giving you fair warning, I'm done trying to save you. You're a monster, Sam. A vampire. You're not you anymore and there's no going back.'"

Scowling down at the phone in his hand, Dean considered his next move while still brooding over the fact that his little brother had been listening to that message since…with a groan he suddenly placed the date of the message. Sam had been listening to that message ever since the night of the events in the convent in Maryland…the night Lucifer was freed.

Zachariah had said that Sam would get a push but Dean hadn't known just what that had been or that it had been his message that had been altered that had pushed his brother to do what he had that night. Of course it now made sense to him why Sam would jerk back when Dean would go to touch him after they escaped the convent.

Sam had believed every word that altered message had said…he had believed that Dean thought that he was… "Sonuvabitch!" this time the anger was there and as the same quietly muted retching sound came from the bathroom that anger boiled over and long buried reactions and instincts kicked in…a second before he barely stopped from kicking in the bathroom door.

"Sam!" pounding a closed fist on the door, Dean was struggling to rein in all the anger, the hurt, and vicious feelings that were threatening to explode as his mind replayed hearing those words coupled with knowing what they were doing to his brother. "Sam, open this damn door in three seconds or I'm kickin' the goddamn thing in!"

The shower could still be heard and behind the door Sam was heard trying to bring himself under control. "Dean…I'm fine. I'll be…"

"Open. This. Damn. Door."

It was the quiet rage that Sam recognized in his brother's voice that made him finally reach up to flip the lock on the door before stepping back to brace himself on instinct since he'd forgotten how his brother felt until he listened to that one damn message that he wished he'd never saved.

Shoving the door open so it banged against the sink, Dean stalked past his brother to jerk the faucets off to shut the shower off before whirling to face Sam; green eyes narrowed as he took him in.

Sam had been tired before he listened to his phone and the past couple hours took him past exhaustion. Pale, he tried to rub his eyes to clear them fully in order to see any fists or strikes that might come his way since he fully could read the fury coming off his older brother right then…he just wasn't certain what had set it off since Dean had seemed fine earlier…then Sam caught sight of what was clenched in Dean's fist and felt his heart freeze.

"Dean…" he began to speak but stopped the moment he noticed how much Dean was shaking. "Dean, listen…"

Taking a second to examine his brother, Dean hesitated a second before reaching out and only barely stopped the harsh oath that he felt like shouting the second Sam jerked back from him as if expecting a slap…something that Dean knew he'd given his brother reason enough before to think.

"Did you…have you honestly believed that this…this crap is what I thought of you?" he demanded tightly, looking from the phone still clenched in his fist to his pale faced brother, noticing the red rimmed hazel still wet puppy dog eyes but was more interested in the way Sam was holding himself. "You think I'm going to hurt you, Sammy?"

"You…heard that…" Sam stared at the phone and in doing so missed his brother's sudden move. "Wha…Dean?"

Grabbing Sam by the shoulders, Dean shoved him back against the bathroom wall but was careful to keep his grip to tight enough to hold but not hurt as he held the phone up so his nearly panicked brother could see it a moment before he dropped it on the floor to slam the heel of his boot down, hearing the smash of the phone echo in the now silent bathroom.

"First, yeah I'll buy you a new phone in the morning but the second I do you are deleting that damn message because I do not ever want you to have to hear it again," Dean began firmly, seeing the way Sam's eyes had widened at the sound of his phone being crushed but was relieved when they then lifted to hesitantly meet his; wary shadows still showing. "Why the hell didn't you ever bring that message up, Sam?" he demanded. "If you believed that…you did believe it, didn't you? You believed that I'd say those things to you, Sammy?"

Getting past his shock at having Dean smash his phone for no reason that Sam could see, he was still reeling and the simple question was asked in such a shocked tone that he was forced to blink because it had been a long time since he'd heard Dean sound so shocked and almost…hurt.

"I'd…I'd betrayed you over and over for months. I'd lied to you about Ruby and using my powers, I'd kept the whole demon blood thing from you and finally I…tried to…no, I did hurt you both by what I did and what I said in that hotel room so I guess I was expecting you to finally say what you'd been feeling," Sam murmured, swallowing hard and going to look away only to have a firm hand lift his chin back up to hold his brother's green eyes. "I…wasn't expecting it to hurt so much but I never mentioned it because I deserved it and…"

"You deserved it?" Dean stared, wishing he could rekill that bald Angel or that damn demon bitch for causing his real message to be altered and wishing he could take that lost broken look from Sam now. Mentally flipping a coin between shouting at Sam for believing that crap and pounding his own head in, he finally stepped back to release Sam. "No. No, you didn't deserve it, Sam. You should've confronted me about that message because I didn't…I did call you that night and I did leave a message…but it wasn't that damn one."

Needing to put some space between the dark rage brewing in his heart that his brother had been listening to his own voice saying that vile message over and over, Dean walked out into the bedroom to look back at Sam who was leaning in the bathroom door in confusion. "Sammy, I know you probably won't believe this though I'd hope you would but the message I left you that night…I told you that despite still owing you a serious beatdown…that we were brothers, that you were my little brother and that I was wrong to doubt you and that I'd always believe in you and…" he stopped to close his eyes, reaching up to pinch the bridge of his nose but couldn't stop the burning in his eyes.

"You are not now nor have you ever been a freak…well I've always called you that but not in that way. You were tricked into drinking the blood but it wasn't your fault…it was mine and it's just another mistake I made with you that I can't change," he went on slowly, fighting the urge to walk out and drink Bobby's liquor cabinet dry and the only reason he didn't was because Sam had finally taken a step toward him.

"Dean…that wasn't…" Sam felt his stomach flip after recent events and very little food but just as things began to go white behind his eyes he felt strong hands grip his arms to grab him before he fell and quickly sat him on the opposite bed. "Sorry…just got dizzy…"

Keeping a hand briefly on Sam's shoulder, Dean gazed at the pale face, the way his little brother's lips looked almost as pale as his face and didn't like the pulse he felt. Knowing how weak that mental wall protecting Sam's mind was, he didn't want to add to the pressure but knew it was too late and all he could do was hope to get through to Sam. "Stay put," he ordered sternly, leaving the bedroom before Sam could object.

Going into Bobby's kitchen, Dean was quick to grab things he figured he'd need for the rest of the night before pausing to remove a single sealed letter in a hidden section of a drawer. Pocketing the letter, he headed back upstairs to find Sam half off the bed as if he'd tried to follow his brother and fell.

"Sammy!" setting the stuff he'd brought up on his bed, Dean dropped down to lift his now struggling brother back on the bed. "What part of 'stay put' did we not understand?" he chided in order to try to relieve the stress he felt at seeing how weak his little brother seemed right then. "C'mon, back in bed and then we need to talk."

"No, didn't…mean for you to hear…that…De'n," Sam mumbled, tensing as hands practically lifted him back onto the bed like they once had when he'd been small. "Dad…was right when he told you…"

Memories flashed back into Dean's mind of times he'd often tried to forget and times he'd pushed back completely as of late. He recalled vividly the last thing his father had said to him. He could recall his anger and hurt at Sam's actions with Ruby. He could also recall his own actions that he understood had pushed his brother further into the literal abyss but more importantly Dean could recall his absolute loss and desperation at thinking he'd lost his brother forever.

"Dad was a selfish bastard who didn't understand a damn thing about you. Hell, he didn't even know you, Sammy," he finally found his voice when he felt Sam begin to curl up at the pains he was feeling in his stomach. "Sit up and eat these."

Pushing an opened package of saltines into his brother's trembling hands, Dean jerked the cap off a bottle of water in restless frustration before running his hands through his short hair in a way that he hadn't in years and it was that simple move that drew Sam's attention.

"You've said it before…too," Sam murmured, feeling more then seeing his brother go rigid again as he was coming out of the bathroom with a wet cloth. "In…in the panic room…the first time, you said…"

Blinking as he struggled to remember his exact actions that time it took Dean only a couple seconds to understand and he felt like being sick himself, dropping down to sit on the edge of his brother's bed he went to lay a hand on Sam but stopped the moment he saw him tense.

"Sammy, I…I wasn't in there with you like I should've been," he sighed, hating even the fact that Sam had memories of that time much less that he'd thought that. "I wanted to be. I wouldn't budge from you except Bobby had a shotgun and thought it best if we left you alone…another mistake because I would caught my tongue out before I ever called you that."

Moving to pace the room now that Dean saw his brother was at least settled on the bed and taking small bites of cracker, he looked at the window to watch the storm still blowing outside but knew it was nothing compared to the storm that had brewed up in the house.

"When you stop feeling like passing out or puking all over Bobby's floor, you can read the letter," he spoke quietly over his shoulder while watching Sam's reflection in the window, coughing as he added. "I wrote it about a month after going to Lisa and sent it to Bobby for safekeeping since I knew he'd know what to do with it if…when the time came."

Not wanting this conversation, Dean debated with himself on leaving Sam alone to read the letter but shoved that idea aside. It had been his unwillingness to open up to Sam, to share the emotions that he'd always buried that had caused the rift between them. It had caused his little brother, the only person he still would die for, to believe that Dean not only hated him but thought he was a freak of the worst kind.

"From the moment Mom brought you home you were always more than just my chubby baby brother," Dean began slowly, letting his shoulder lean against the window so he could still watch both the storm and Sam but it also gave him what he needed, which was a physical distance from his brother because it was too hard not to do something that he knew would scare Sam right then.

"Sure, Dad had given me the patented big brother speech the day you were born. How Mom might show you more attention since you were smaller but she'd always love us both. I guess at four years old, people thought I'd be jealous of you but I wasn't…from the first moment you looked up at me and gave me that silly baby gurgle, locking onto my finger and deciding it would make a good lunch you…you were Sammy," he went on, looking down to twist the silver ring that he'd only recently started wearing again.

Hearing the sound of the envelope opening, Dean forced himself to ignore the nerves building in his gut because he'd never planned for Sam to read that…at least not while he was alive. "Bobby, Jefferson, Caleb, and Pastor Jim all bitched at Dad for not settling us in one place while he hunted and for making me assume near total responsibility for you when he was gone. They never got it, Sam. Yeah, I wished Dad would've left us in one place sometime because I hated having to jerk you from school to school and I wished you would've had a more stable place and life but I never bitched, okay not too much, about taking care of you because even when Dad was around…I made sure to be the one to do what you needed.

"Things happened that I wish you had never found out about. I wish I could've protected you more but I hope I did the best I could in deflecting Dad from you because while I didn't give a crap about me I did refuse to let him hurt you…at least when I could stop it," those memories were bitter for Dean because he suspected that he hadn't always been able to shield his little brother from their Father's swift temper but right then he had other things to worry about.

"I never hated you or regretted my choices…except one," without looking in the glass, Dean could feel his little brother's eyes briefly look up before they probably dropped back to the letter again. "I regret ruining your chances for that normal, apple pie life when I took you from Stanford that night. I was selfish, Sam but I was so damn tired of being alone because pretty much from the day after you left for school I was alone because Dad preferred hunting solo and I was still pretty pissed at him for how he handled you but after four damn years…I was tired of it and took Dad's disappearance as an excuse to bring you back. I never planned on what happened happening though, Sammy. So I owe you an apology for that.

"I owe you an apology for most of this crap but that's in the letter. This voicemail thing though…if I could've gotten to you sooner that night I would've Sam but I was trapped until Cas decided to help me and by the time I got to you it was too late," he still remembered the terror he'd felt at losing Sam right then and wished he could take back the words he'd spoken later in a hospital parking lot. "I never stopped trusting you, Sammy. I know I said I did and I know it hurt you but I hurt back when I'm hurt, Sam and I guess striking out at you was the only way I knew to stop the pain I was in because I was still so raw from Hell and so afraid of letting you in because I…I didn't want to tell you how far I'd fell or why."

The room fell silent for a long time until Dean heard the sound of paper falling right before the bed creaked, looking over he saw the letter he'd written to Sam one night after Stull crumpled on the floor by the bed but it was Sam who locked his attention.

The younger Winchester had rolled on his side with his back to the window and Dean but it was the movement of his broad shoulders that told Dean the truth. His brother wasn't sleeping or trying to sleep. The shaking in those shoulders were the same tell-tale sign that he'd seen when Sam had been a child, when he'd cry and not want his big brother or their expressing-emotions-is-a-sin father to know.

"I was your big brother, Sammy and I was always supposed to have the right answers for you. I'd always been able to pick up the pieces for you and make it right but after four months apart I'd believed that I'd lost that part of myself because I couldn't protect you anymore and I let you be hurt so bad because you thought I didn't…" wiping a hand over his face, Dean slowly moved back to the bed to sit on the side next to Sam's back. "I've done a lot of stupid, selfish crap in my life and a lot of it hurt you but when I made the deal, when I went to Hell, when I almost said yes to Michael and more importantly when I didn't that night I did those things and more because…I loved you, little brother. I would die for you now, Sammy if I thought it would protect you."

A not so silent sob was heard as Sam's body shook with emotions that he'd locked down, memories that had nothing to do with the flashes he'd get now occasionally. Reading the letter from Dean, a letter that he fully understood from the start what it had been, picking up on the emotions that his big brother hadn't been able to express before but had put on paper had made him even more raw than he had been but listening to Dean talk, hearing the unshed tears in his emotionally locked-down brother's gruffer than normal voice and understanding what he was saying caused other walls to crack.

Sam had grown up hiding his emotions. John Winchester had frowned on expressing those so he'd learned to bury them or find ways to express them when he was alone. Only Dean hadn't made too much fun of him when it got to the point and he couldn't bury them anymore and he'd either hide in the bathroom or crawl into bed to try to pretend to sleep.

He'd been twelve years old when he'd figured out that his big brother hadn't been clueless to what he'd been doing because one night, after a grueling and brutal workout session with John while Dean had been out with Caleb and Bobby for a weekend hunt, it had been Dean who had sat up with him. It had been his already tired and injured big brother who had cleaned the welts and bruises and had let him cry without saying a word.

Sam also recalled it had been Dean who had stopped the session and had taken a backhand to the face while doing it but hadn't backed down from John's wrath until finally Bobby had gotten between father and son to break them up and then all of Sam's memories were of pain, exhaustion, tears that he'd tried to hide until finally he'd crashed and woke up sometime late that night in Dean's arms.

This night, he felt those same exhausted emotions as he had when he'd been twelve but was determined that his brother wouldn't know about them until he felt the bed dip as Dean sat down and those final words finished wrecking him and he couldn't bury the sobs anymore.

Learning that Dean hadn't left him that message the night he killed Lillith and released Lucifer, that he'd never thought him a bloodsucking freak erased so much pain but not all the guilt that he still felt at the things he'd done when a warm, strong hand touched his shoulder in silent comfort a burning question couldn't be stopped.

"Did…did you love me when they forced you in Hell, Dean? Or when Dad would beat you or when I let you be turned into a vampire?"

The questions were asked in a soft halting voice filled with tears that if Dean hadn't known Sam when he was upset that he might've missed but he still tensed at them and silently offered several threats to the correct people before letting his hand rest against the headboard but didn't move his hand.

"I'd've done anything to protect you from Dad when I could, Sam. I went to Hell to protect you and while I hated myself for what I did done there when I finally gave in I would not have let Alastair touch you and that other thing…damn I'm frying Cas in Holy Oil, it wasn't you," Dean replied as easily as he could despite never wanting to talk to Sam about Hell and wishing to God he hadn't included that in the letter. "Nothing was ever your fault, Sam."

Not certain if it was the raw emotions pouring free or memories that he hadn't thought of in years or what he'd read in Dean's letter, Sam shoved up on the bed to twist around in order to face his brother with something clenched in his fist.

"I got Mom killed!" he shouted, unaware of his tone or the tears that were still shining in his too large eyes as shock set in after tonight. "I was a useless son, a useless hunter and a…"

"Finish that and I will knock you into next week," Dean growled, forcing himself to stay still but felt his temper spike at what his brother was saying. "You weren't useless at anything, Sam and you didn't get Mom killed. The demon that she made the deal with did that. Mom was a hunter and she died protecting you."

"Dad beat you how many times for standing up for me, Dean? How much did you give up for me? Your whole damn life sucked because of me! I shot you, I've hurt you, I got you attacked by vampires, demons and what else. Gordon tried to kill you because of me!" Sam didn't know why his brother was just sitting there watching him instead of saying anything or more like he expected striking out. "The Trickster killed you how many times to prove a point to me? You went to Hell for me and to protect me from them you gave in after thirty years only to find out I betrayed you by using those damn powers, drinking demon blood because Ruby said I had to be stronger to help you and…this time…I…"

The moment Sam broke off to cough he found a bottle of water put in his hand just as he felt firm fingers grip his neck in a familiar childhood move and he blinked up to see calm, too calm, green eyes gazing at him.

"You done so I can get a word in, Sasquatch?" Dean had listened to about all he was planning to. "We are not going through the last six years, Sam because I can shoot down anything you come up with because that's what awesome big brothers do but…Ruby used you from the start. She knew by playing up my deal that she had you because you tried to hard to fix that but Sammy I never regretted making that deal. I didn't then, I don't now and I couldn't because I knew that I couldn't lose you. I regretted leaving you alone without knowing all that I could've taught you and I wish I would've been a better brother to you so maybe you wouldn't have had to listen to her or you wouldn't have thought I hated you."

Sniffling, Sam automatically rubbed a hand over his face but didn't tense this time as Dean sat up to ease closer, his fingers still gripping the back of Sam's neck.

"I told you that I didn't say 'yes' to Michael because I didn't want to let you down and that was true but there was another reason, Sammy," he admitted slowly, shaking his head as a wary look began to shadow Sam's eyes. "I remember looking over at you and you were looking at me with the same damn big eyes that you'd give me during a fight with Dad. You were so scared and looking at me to make the right choice for both of us…I tried to do that because you were my little brother and I couldn't let you down again."

"You…you never let me down, Dean," Sam murmured, fingers moving what he'd been holding around in his hand. "You didn't send that…"

Fingers gripped his neck tighter, just enough to make tried eyes lift up as Dean's eyes narrowed in warning. "The message I sent was no where near what you've been listening to for two years, Sam and you are so deleting that thing the second I buy you a new phone. I'm sorry that you thought I did…is that why you thought I agreed to let you hunt by yourself too?"

Sam swallowed tightly before nodding. "When you refused to let me come back after that mess with Lucifer and those hunters…I just assumed it was," he admitted, muscles tightening as memories that he could do without came back…memories that he'd never shared with Dean and he was too aware that when he was this open that his brother could often see right through him and the moment he felt those fingers move to the side of his neck and saw the muscle twitch in Dean's jaw that he went to pull back only to be held still.

"If I ask you what else those sons of bitches did while you were flying solo I wouldn't like it, would I Sam?" Dean asked tightly, reading his brother like he'd always done and seeing the same signs as he had when Sam had been younger and hurt by someone their Dad trusted and a short shake of a shaggy head made him grunt but let it go for the moment.

"Sammy, you're my brother and even when you were running around as Robo-Sam I loved you…I didn't always like you but I loved you and nothing that you ever do will make that stop. Hell, kid, I'd love you when I was dead," Dean hoped to make his little brother smile a little but realized too late that he'd opened a can of worms that he'd been wanting to avoid. "Sam…"

Tired eyes slid to gaze at the letter on the floor before lifting to lock on the warning green ones of his brother but Sam took a shaky breath. "How many times, Dean?"

Not bothering to ask what he meant, Dean blew out a breath and leaned back against the headboard again but still made sure to keep a hand on Sam to keep the connection he knew his brother needed before replying. "Twice. It was after the second time that I decided to write that so you'd know what I felt and that I loved you because I knew that sometime you'd come back but I just didn't know if I could make it that long."

Understanding that since Sam could remember the feeling of absolute loss right after Dean had gone to Hell for him he could also recall the night he'd attempted a similar action and only the thought of what Dean would've said to him made him fight to live. "I wanted you to be happy with Lisa, Dean. You were always stronger so I never thought you try to…"

"It was either get you outta that damn Cage, put myself in with you, or just end it, Sam because living 9-to-5 wasn't my thing," Dean shrugged, drawing on knee up in a relaxed posture even though Sam could see how tense he was. "Lisa and Ben coped with me and…Ben was a great kid. I think I stuck it out because of him…because he reminded me of you but when I parked the Impala that was it and I knew that eventually I'd snap. I was probably a week away from just driving off until the Impala was out of gas and…you saved my life, little brother. Even without meaning to."

Yawning, Sam felt his eyes getting heavy but didn't want to give in to the sleep that he felt coming until he was certain of one thing. "Are we good, Dean?"

"You erasing that message?" Dean countered, lifting one eyebrow until Sam finally nodded before smiling a little. "Yeah, little brother, we're good," he stated, watching Sam closely and seeing the signs of exhaustion in him.

He'd started to move off the bed when a hand shot out to grab his wrist in a way he recognized from when Sam had been small and not wanting to be alone until he was sleeping fully so Dean sat back down and swallowed the burst of emotion that came as he met huge puppy dog eyes that he hadn't seen in so long and gave in finally. "C'mere, Sammy."

Sam tensed slightly at the sudden move but relaxed into the full hug that his brother rarely initiated and returned it tightly, surprised when Dean held it longer than normal. "Dean…if this wall falls…" his voice broke suddenly and he went to pull away only to be held, feeling Dean's fingers on his neck again in the same soothing motion he'd always used when needing to calm Sam down.

"It ain't falling, Sammy," he promised, voice gruff as he buried those fears until later and he slowly eased Sam back to meet his eyes with a grin. "Big brother isn't gonna let that wall fall and I'll always be with you now. Okay?"

"Yeah, thanks, Dean," Sam mumbled, laying down on the edge of his bed but kept his eyes on his brother for a moment before holding his hand out. "I…I…this is…yours…I hope."

Looking down to see what Sam had been holding in his hand all night, Dean felt his eyes burn a second before his heart jerked to a stop upon seeing the gold amulet on a black cord. He brutally recalled the day he dropped the amulet that Sam had given him one Christmas in a trashcan after a stunt by Zachariah finally forced him to lose faith in everything.

Dean had regretted the act the day after he'd done it but it was too late when a call back to the motel had confirmed his greatest fear, that he'd lost the one thing that had been so important to them both because of his temper.

Seeing it now was like the first time he'd seen it and he felt the first tear on his face but didn't bother wiping it away before Sam could see it in favor of reaching out to gently take the amulet from Sam's shaking hand. "You…you've had this all along?" he asked, coughing to try to level his voice but still heard the emotion break it. "Even after what I said you took it out of the trash and have kept it?"

"I knew…I hoped that you'd change your mind about it…about us so I figured I'd keep it…for you," Sam struggled to find the right words, wanting to give Dean a way out of another huge chick-flick moment as his brother liked to call them he'd started to roll over when his brother's hand shot out to keep him still. "It was in my duffel and I've been holding it…since I woke up. Tonight I just decided to see if you'd want it back."

Taking his time to gaze between the amulet and Sam, Dean slowly placed it back over his head and felt another huge weight lift as soon as it fell back into place against his chest and he met Sam's wary gaze with a full smile while letting his fingers card through his little brother's hair. "Thanks, Sammy," he murmured softly. "Aside from being a pain in the ass you can be an awesome little brother too."

"I learned from the best," Sam gave a tired but happy smile before moving closer to his brother and slowly letting himself relax and fall asleep. "De'n?" he yawned, hearing a soft assent from Dean. "You are buying me a new phone."

Laughing, Dean nodded. "Yeah, right after you wake up and I let Bobby bitch about that hole in his wall that I didn't bother telling him about tonight," he promised, letting his hand stay on Sam's shoulder as he fell asleep. "Whatever phone you want or whatever piece of tech that will make your geekboy heart happy…even if I'll be the one listening to you babble about it."

Dean heard a soft laugh from next to him which was something that he hadn't heard in quite some time, his little brother's pure laugh and he settled back to sit next to him until he was certain that Sam was asleep but after a half an hour he was also sleeping.

That was how a disgruntled Bobby Singer found his favorite idjits the next morning when he came looking for explanations on the boarded up hole in his wall and why his desk had been tossed.

A quick look at the boys took the older grizzled hunter back to when the Winchester boys had been small and Dean would often stay with his brother to ensure that he'd sleep through the night. He knew when he noticed Dean's hand on Sam that something must have happened last night after he'd hung up to cause this and he figured he'd get it out of Dean later…while he was bitching about what the hell happened to his house since he knew right off that no damn storm had caused this damage.

"Damn fool idjit Winchesters will be the death of me yet," he grumbled, carefully laying a blanket over both boys before heading downstairs to start breakfast while making notes on things to hit the oldest Winchester with since he sure was curious about how Dean had gotten that amulet back.

Sam stirred under the blanket and mumbled under his breath but stopped as soon as he felt his brother's hand move over his shoulder.

"Go back to sleep, Sammy," Dean blinked his eyes clear of sleep since he'd been awake the second he heard the truck door slam outside. "I've gotta go let Bobby bitch at us."

Easing off the bed, he kept an eye on Sam to be sure he'd stay asleep longer since he knew normally that his brother always slept longer after being upset or sick which Dean figured would give him the time to both settle Bobby down and go into town to buy that new phone for Sam.

"Stay put…bitch," he murmured with a typical grin as he closed the bedroom door and missed the softly mumbled reply as Sam flipped to his stomach.


The End

A/N: This one turned a little longer than I planned but I hope you guys enjoy it. I love brother moments.