Don't Let Go

Chapter Two

Two Months Later:

Looking up at the diagram for the wiring system, Sam Winchester swore under his breath when the stereo system still refused to work right for him and he was at the frustrated point of tossing in the towel until he glanced at the worn box of cassette tapes sitting next to him.

Dean had loved each of those tapes even though he had the bad habit of only playing three of them over and over until Sam would threaten to throw it out the car window.

Sighing, he studied the paper and then the wires again when his stomach reminded him that he'd skipped breakfast again and would probably skip lunch too if he could manage it.

Ever since Bobby had dragged him back to his place in South Dakota after he'd run from Dean's hospital room, he'd avoided eating or sleeping since both of those things kept him from working on fixing the Impala which had been his brother's baby.

Not as much of a mechanic as Dean had been, it had taken Sam a lot longer to fix the dents and scratches than it would have Dean but now, finally, he was down to the little things but those little things were vital to him.

The car stereo needed to play and the cassette player needed to work perfectly because it would piss Dean off to no end if his beloved AC/DC or Metallica tapes got ate. He'd already fixed the legos in the heater, which left the final thing that Sam would do in a second. He needed to put the little plastic green Army man back in the rear ashtray where it had been since he'd shoved it there as a kid.

Convinced the stereo hated him, Sam chose to fix the ashtray problem. Reaching out on the workbench to grab the toy, he scowled when his hand passed through clear air. "What the hell…?" looking up to see if the toy had fallen off or had been moved his scowl turned to a frown when he noticed the toy casually being tossed in the air. "Put it down."

"Got the stereo fixed yet?"

"No, it's cursed and I'm planning on salting and burning it and buying a new one with a CD player," he shot back, the shadows in the car hiding the small smile that grew when he heard the sputtered choking a moment before a hand stretched inside the car to slap him in the back of the head.

"You want to die now or later, Sammy?" a still tired sounding but strong and only mildly amused voice asked as a slight shove told the younger hunter to slide over. "You even think of touching that stereo and your Mac gets another dose of Busty Asian Beauties."

Refusing to rise to that bait, Sam did move over but kept his gaze watchful as the wiring diagram went out the window with a mutter. "How'd you get past Bobby?"

"He can't keep me inside all the time, Sam and neither can you…especially when I know you're out here with my baby, a set of tools and no clue what the hell you're doing usually."

Sam couldn't argue with that since he'd often had to get advice on something before continuing the fix-up job. Not that he was ready to admit his concern wasn't needed. "You're still hurt…Dean," he argued quietly, picking up the soldier from the dashboard where it had been placed while a set of confident hands went to work rewiring the stereo. "You…I mean…Tessa, she…"

"I was clinically dead for one minute, Sam. Not even long enough for Bobby to flip out," Dean returned, concentrating on the wiring while swearing he'd slap his brother if he ever touched it again when a sound made him look up and sigh.

Two months of being back in South Dakota and of knowing his older brother was alive and healing still didn't replace the eight days of fear that Sam had felt in that hospital. He had run out to get air and be away when that final moment had come.

Sam didn't remember stepping outside on the room and finally passing out. He just remembered coming to in a hospital bed, hearing Bobby grumbling to someone about stubborn hardheaded Winchesters who were driving him to drink and that he was dragging both of them back to South Dakota.

He hadn't understood that since his head was still ringing when he felt a familiar touch on his wrist and voice in his ear. " 'Don't let go, Sammy. I'm right here with you,'"

Blurry eyes snapped open to meet the tired but awake and clear green ones of his still obviously alive older brother who was getting lectured by Bobby. Sam had been halfway certain he was dreaming again until Dean pressed something back into his hand while holding his eyes. " 'You have always been an awesome little brother, Sammy and if I ever hear you say differently again I am so slapping you in the head.'"

Sam made one lunge to grab for his brother when he heard Dean laugh but felt himself be pulled into a hard hug that assured him that he wasn't dreaming, just confused.

It had been Dean later who told him that he recalled hearing Sam's voice at the end then Tessa's right before there was a burst of searing agony then he was staring at Bobby and a lot of confused Doctors who were at a total loss to how he was alive much less not a drooling mess.

"She said that natural selection doesn't like us and that we still had work to do so I had to get off my lazy ass, pull my pain in the ass little brother back from the brink, fix my car and get to work," Dean pulled himself out of the Impala to move to where Sam was standing by the open back door.

While waking up able to think and be reasonably healed had been one thing, Dean still had minor breaks and fractures, bruises and cuts to contend with that two months of staying at Bobby's was helping with but he knew the moment that Sam was getting edgy because that was when his brother started staying outside more.

"Sammy, you made the only choice you could've," he laid a hand on the back of his brother's neck and felt the slight tremors. "I told you no machines to begin with so stop with the guilt already."

"I…was going to let you die," Sam whispered, that thought bothering him a lot. "I told them to…Dean, I didn't want to but…"

His voice breaking off, Sam had started to move away from the car when a strong hand grabbed his arm and pushed him back against the Impala and he found himself meeting firm eyes as Dean had finally had enough.

"Sam, I saw the X-rays, the I saw the tests. I was nothing but broken bones and brain mess. You made the choice that I would've wanted you to and you had no clue that Tessa wouldn't take me," Dean told him firmly, lifting Sam's head up to eye level when he looked away. "That was too much pressure on you, little brother and I'm sorry I put you through it but it's over. I'm fine, you're gonna be fine…unless you screwed up my car then I'm gonna kill you."

A startled laugh came out of Sam as he recalled another time his brother had said that to him and he stared at Dean as if needing to be sure he was still real when he felt the soldier being taken from him. "Dean, how much did you hear of what I said?"

"Oh, enough to know that you still babble like a fool when you're scared," Dean knelt down to make sure the soldier was in place fully before casually lifting his eyes up. "Though I got a couple questions for you, geek boy."

Rolling his eyes at the nickname his brother infrequently used, Sam still smiled more at it while reaching for a socket wrench to check something under the hood before nodding his okay to ask it but then froze as soon as he felt the grip on his neck tighten slightly.

"You were planning on telling me eventually that Dad beat the crap outta you while I was laid up that time, right, Sammy?" Dean felt his brother go rigid at the question so he lightened his grip a little and showed him a better way to twist the wrench. "Get a better hold on the handle and it won't bounce on you that much."

"Uhh, thanks," Sam turned enough to see that Dean had leaned against the car to watch him so he finally shook his head. "I didn't plan to, no. You would've gotten mad, he would've been madder and I was fine."

"Fine, yeah. He was fine," Dean muttered under his breath while wondering if that had been his Father he'd seen upon first waking up. "Sammy, you and I so need to talk about stuff it isn't funny," he decided, waiting until the hood was closed to reach for the keys on the bench. "Start her up."

Surprised that Dean would ask him this, Sam took the keys carefully but gave a surprised yelp when his brother used that leverage to pull him into a brotherly hug that he held for a moment or two longer than normal. "I know you have your memories now, Sam which means you know things that I wish you didn't and I know you're scared to talk about them on top of this mess so here's the deal…I stop bottling all my excess stuff up and give you free rein for chick-flick moments at least once a week and you open up to me about what you remember…anything you want, anytime you want."

"Even the vampire thing?" Sam heard Dean groan but was surprised when he squeezed his neck gently this time.

"Yeah since you are so going to overthink that until I do," he muttered, giving Sam a gentle shove into the driver's seat while he stood outside to listen and grinned when the engine turned over on the first try and it sounded smooth. "Well, you didn't kill her too bad while I was laid up inside with Nurse Bobby."

Not needing that image in his head, Sam laughed as he slipped a cassette tape in to try the newly rewired stereo and wasn't disappointed when it came right on.

"I learned from the best," he remarked, exiting the car as the sounds of 'Carry On Wayward Son' came from inside and he held out the keys. "Thanks, Dean."

Already knowing he was heading for one of Sammy's huge chick flick moments, Dean shrugged it off and decided to give the kid a free one. "For what, Sammy?"

"For not letting go and always being there for me when I need you to be," Sam waited for the shrug or easy comeback but he noticed the was Dean chewed his inner cheek like he did when thinking something over and blinked as the hand that carded through his hair in an easy manner before it messed it up. "Hey!"

"That's what awesome big brothers are for, Sammy," Dean smiled fully for the first time in months as he casually swung an arm around Sam's neck after shutting the Impala off. "Bobby actually sent me out after you since he said if you didn't get your ass inside for lunch that he wouldn't be responsible for what happens next and you are going to eat and sleep, Sam. Now."

Surprised that his brother had that much strength in an arm that had been broken all over two months ago, Sam struggled briefly until he felt Dean's grip tighten enough to warn him to stop. "The nightmares…"

"We'll cope with them, Sam but I need you to have my back out there and you know I'll have yours so now you're gonna go get some sleep and then eat tonight or I will play the same songs over and over again for the next thousand miles," Dean threatened, seeing Bobby shoot him a worried look but he waved it off since he had Sam heading upstairs.

"You already do that, De'n," Sam yawned, not aware when he flopped onto his bed in the room that he and Dean shared or when a battered leather jacket was laid over him or by the presence next to him as Dean sat beside his brother to be sure he slept. "De'n?"

Knowing that Sam was half asleep just by the way he was dropping letters in his name, Dean grinned and leaned his head back to close his own eyes. "Yeah, Sammy?"

"Dad said he was proud of me."

Fingers stilling in the way they were casually messing up Sam's hair, Dean considered that for a moment before nodding. "I know he did, Sammy," he murmured, remembering hearing John's voice toward the end because he'd felt worried for Sam at being alone with their Dad. "Dad was proud if you, kiddo and so am I, Sam. I'm proud of you and I promise that I will never let go of you or anything again."

Hearing Sam murmur a response, Dean fell to sleep after a few minutes and neither saw the silent figure in the room that watched them sleep with a calm expression on his face.

"Be safe, Dean. Sam," the voice whispered before a small gold amulet was laid on the nightstand where it could be returned to its rightful owner…once he woke up. "This will work out soon."

The End

A/N: It's short but it sums things up…I hope. Admit it, you guys thought I might have actually done it this time and killed Dean. LOL. I swear since I'm a self-admitted Deangirl, for as much as I hurt him I'd hate to see what I'd do to him if I didn't like him. As for the last part, I'll leave it up to you guys to guess who that was. It could be Cas or maybe someone else. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this one.