Sam 9 Dean 13

Sam was sitting on the floor of the dusty Singer living room scribbling furiously on a pad of paper in front of his banged up knobby knees. Just as Bobby walked into the room Sam threw the pencil on the floor with such a force that the number 2 bounced twice and rolled to the stack of parchment tomes on the other side of the room.

"What did that pencil do to you young man?" Bobby asked startling Sam.

"Nothing." He said with his trade mark sulk. Bobby remembered Dean at this age and he hadn't been nearly this sullen, the difference in personalities was staggering, and at times Bobby wondered just how exactly the two of them got along so well. Most brothers fought like cats and dogs, and didn't want to be anywhere near each other's orbits, but these two, despite their polar opposite personalities, were two piece of a whole and needed each other as much as they needed their arms or legs. Their relationship, their bond, always amazed and inspired awe in Bobby Singer the old gruff seasoned hunter.

"That ain't true and you know it boy." Sam looked back at Bobby who was leaning against the door jam and shrugged. "That ain't an answer either."

"I'm just trying to figure out what to give Dad for Christmas."

"I'm sure he'd love a card."

"Dad doesn't care about that stuff and you know it." Sam said in his older than his years manner. Sometimes Bobby wondered if a two hundred year old man had been stuffed into 9 year old's body. The boy had a wiseness about him that no child should ever have behind their eyes. "I only have 9 dollars. And there isn't anything that Dad would like for 9 dollars. Plus, I still have to get Dean something."

"Dean is happy with a pie."

"I know. But even a good pie is almost 4 dollars." Sam sighed and stood up, picked up his pad of paper, and went after his pencil.

"I think I might have something you can give your daddy." Bobby pushed off of the door jam and headed towards the stairs. Curious, Sam hurried behind the elder man. Bobby opened the door at the end of the hallway that Sam and Dean had been told many many times never ever to go inside, of course that didn't mean that Sam and Dean hadn't been in the room and hadn't been awe struck by the stacks and stacks of stuff that lined the room. This was just the first time an adult had been present when the door had been opened, and Sam knew enough to look as if he was hesitant to enter the room despite Bobby's encouragement.

Bobby shuffled boxes and stacks until he finally found the appropriate box and dug around in it for a moment and came back with an amulet on the end of a leather strap. "This. Your daddy would like this." Sam stepped forward and took the amulet out of Bobby's hand. He looked at the face of the amulet and something about it felt right, it felt as if it should be in his family, felt as if it should be around the neck of the man who had raised him. But he couldn't take it.

"I can't Bobby." He said and extended his hand back towards Bobby.

"Yes you can."

"No. It wouldn't be a gift from me; it would be a gift from you because I don't have enough money to pay you for it."

"How about you work for it."

"What?"

"How about I put you to work around here and that way you can earn it." Sam weighed that option.

"Okay. How much do you think it is worth?" Sam asked, hazel eyes piercing into Bobby's.

"Oh I don't know…50 dollars?"

"I think you are underestimating."

Bobby, caught off guard and trying not to laugh, said, "Okay then fine 75."

"That sounds more accurate." Sam closed his eyes and started to think. "Okay. Minimum wage is 4.25 and that means I need to work about 18 hours for you to earn the money for it."

"That's a lot of hours."

"It's fair. It's what you would pay one of your employees in the yard."

"True." Sam held out his hand and Bobby took it and shook it.

"Deal."

"Deal." Sam repeated. "Now, tomorrow I'm going to need a list of things for me to do, and I'll fill out a time card to keep track of my hours." Bobby nodded because he didn't trust his voice enough to speak. "Thank you Bobby."

"You're welcome." He said after he cleared his throat. When Sam was out of ear shot Bobby laughed so hard tears streamed down his face.

"What are you laughing at old man?" Dean asked from the door way.

"Nothing." Bobby said as he got a grip on himself.

Dean scrunched up his face and shook his head, "Yeah right whatever."

SNSNSNSNSNSNSN

That amulet hung from his brother's neck ever since. Dean never took it off, and that meant a lot to Sam. Dean never valued material goods, well except for the Impala, but even Sam understood that the car meant more to Dean than a simple vehicle, Sam knew that Dean viewed it as part of the family, as their home, as the thing that kept his family safe. But Dean never valued anything else. He didn't care if a shirt or a cassette tape got left behind, he always said it could be replaced. But the amulet didn't fall under the same category as clothes, toys, or music tapes. Dean kept the amulet close to him all of the time, he never took it off, and the one time that the knot on the leather strap had come loose and in turn the amulet had fallen from his neck, they had had to scour the motel room, the car, the diner, the gas station, the skeevy service station bathroom until they found it. They had been late rendezvousing with their father, and Dean had taken a tongue lashing that rivaled all tongue lashing, but he took it in stride. His father's anger meant nothing compared to the little piece of metal that his brother had given him all of those years ago.

The amulet had become a symbol of love and brotherhood. It had gone unspoken for as long as Dean had owned it. Truth be told Sam had expected Dean to not be wearing it when Dean picked him up from Stanford, but there it was, proudly glinting in the sun in the center of his brother's chest, where it had always been. It was proof for Sam that his brother valued him.

So, when Castiel announced that the amulet was God EMF and that he wanted it to find the big guy himself it had sent Sam into shock. Sam had never really been shocked before, too many weird things had happened in their lives, too many oddities were a way of life for the Winchesters, but this time, this time, Sam had actually understood what it felt like to be shocked.

Dean hadn't wanted to give it up, and it had eased something in Sam's stomach. He and Dean weren't on the best terms but the fact that Dean wasn't prepared to give up the amulet to their winged friend, told Sam that even though they had some bad blood between them it didn't mean that he no longer loved or valued him.

However, all of that changed when Dean threw that symbol into the trash after their trip to weirdo heaven. Dean had lost all faith in Sam, if Sam hadn't been sure about it the angel Joshua had said it outright, no if ands or buts about it. Sam's stomach had sunk into his toes and he hadn't been able to look Dean in the eye after that. Then Cass showed up, Dean told him that God wasn't going to come and help them, and Cass returned the amulet, and Sam's stomach lifted from his feet when Dean took the amulet in his hand, and Sam anticipated that it would be put back in its rightful place around his brother's neck and he would be reassured that no matter how disillusioned his brother had become that he still valued and loved him. But instead, that amulet was dropped in the trash can without a look back at Sam.

The pain in his heart was crippling. In essence his brother had thrown out their relationship, their love, their bond, their brotherhood—everything that made them an indestructible force. It suddenly felt like they were two men who shared DNA and a car, nothing more.

Sam retrieved it from the trash. He wasn't ready to give up.

Sam kept that amulet close for the rest of that year. He kept it in his pocket, around his neck, around his ankle at one point, anywhere that Dean would be least likely to look. But he kept it close, he had to hold on to that idea that his brother didn't hate him, that he did still trust him, and did still love him—that Dean still wanted him around.

Then the day came where he was going to allow the devil into his skin, and he couldn't let that symbol of brotherhood fall into the pit with him, so sacrificing the strength it provided, he pulled up some of the carpet in the back of the Impala, the same carpet he and Dean had pulled up a life time ago to carve their initials into the floor boards, and placed the amulet there, laid the carpet back down with a pat and a prayer. Then he went and saved the world, with the help of a car and his brother.

When he was resouled, and he needed that strength he went back into the car and pulled up the carpet rescued the amulet and kept it close to him.

SNSNSNSNSNSN

Sam awoke from the seizure that had ensued after putting all of his soul back together. His head hurt, his heart felt as if it had been shredded by a hell hound and his body hurt from the stress of everything. But he had to move, he had to keep going, he had to go and help his brother, he had to, that was the whole reason he was here and whole again..his brother.

He rolled over and saw the note and the gun on the floor beside the bed, and shakily he reached for it. He knew what he had to do. He sat up slowly and allowed the room to stop spinning, and then he stood, pulled on his shoes, and pulled the amulet out of his jeans pocket and wrapped the cord around his wrist, he would need all of the strength that it could give him, and headed out to save his family.

SNSNSNSN

"Bow down to me and pledge your love and loyalty to your new God." Castiel, drunk with power, said to the three of them. Sam's mind flooded with a memory of hell and he fell to his hands and knees, the amulet tied to his wrist coming out of hiding and clinking against the concrete floor.

Ignoring the power hungry wanna be God, Dean rushed to his brother's side. "Sammy…Sammy are you okay?"

"Gonna be fine Dean." Sam took a deep breath and when he opened his eyes again he saw the amulet resting against the concrete…inert. Sam almost laughed, but all that came out was a dry wheeze. "Not God." Sam said towards Castiel. "Nothing but a dick angel."

"Sammy…" Dean warned, he had been unable to diffuse the nuclear reactor that at one time had been their friend, and he didn't think poking at said nuclear reactor with a stick would produce healthy results.

Sam forced himself up onto his knees. He would not be on the floor in a supplicating position in front of this wanna be God. "You aren't God." Castiel stepped forward intent on hurting the humans on the floor.

Sam snapped the leather from around his wrist and held it up in front of the angel. "This is God EMF remember? It is supposed to glow in God's presence. It isn't glowing, it isn't even warm. You are nothing but a fraud." Sam said after some heavy panting, the memories took it out of him, just like the visions did.

"Sammy?" Dean asked looking at the amulet that had once held the prized position around his neck, that he had thrown away, and regretted more times than he cared to think about. It was here, in Sammy's huge paw, proving that their brotherhood was valued and respected.

"That means nothing." Castiel said quickly.

"It meant everything before. Why doesn't it mean anything now?" Sam asked tiredly. Castiel, who had never been very witty, stood there still and stoic. "That's what I thought. If it's good for one it's good for another. Leave us the hell alone. Go destroy your brothers and sisters in heaven. We're tired of destroying our family down here." Sam said and looked to his brother with a small smile. "Help me up. Would you?"

"Course." Dean looked at Bobby, and he came over in two strides and helped Dean with Sam.

Castiel, dumbstruck by the insubordination of the men allowed them to walk past him and out of the warehouse. He would destroy them painfully and individually later, now he had siblings to force into submission.

SNSNSNSNSN

Sam fell asleep on the ride back to the salvage yard, and he slept more than he was awake for the next week. But when he was finally up and around, he came down to the yard and found Dean working diligently on the Impala, making sure that every nut and bolt was back in the right places.

"Sammy, you're up!" Dean said wiping the grease off of his hands.

"Yeah."

"How's the head?"

"Hurts." Dean nodded in understanding.

"Will for a while. It will feel like your soul has been through the shredder."

"Twice." Sam gave a mild smile. Dean nodded.

"It was some trick you pulled back there with Castiel." Dean said and turned away and went back to working on the car.

"Wasn't a trick. I didn't plan it."

"You had God EMF on you. You must have known something might happen."

"No." Sam said as he sat down on a lawn chair that Bobby had set out there a day or so ago. "I always keep it close to me."

Dean nodded, unable, despite all that he had been through, to show the emotions that he was feeling. "You kept it?" Dean asked.

"Yeah. Couldn't let it go." Sam said leaning forward arms resting on his knees, watching the ground in front of him.

"Huh." Dean said and went back under the hood of the car.

"I worked long hours for this thing." Sam said rolling the metal in his hands. "You want it back?" Sam tried to ask casually, but knew that emotions laced each word. The question hung heavily between the two of them, and Sam was scared that his brother would say no, that he didn't really feel that bond that had been surging between the two of them strong and undamaged since his soul had been returned to him.

"Yeah, I guess, kinda felt naked without it." He said nonchalantly. Sam stood up, untangled the cord from his wrist and handed it to his brother. Dean put it around his neck without ceremony. "Get me a beer out of the cooler will you little brother?" Sam smiled, despite the hell memories raging in his head, despite the looming threat of a wanna be God, despite the damaged car, the brothers would be alright and both of them knew, knew as surly as the sun glinting off of the metal hanging around Dean's neck that as long as the two of them were together and the evil of the world didn't stand a chance.