I'm all angsty after watching S7, so I had to write something. As far as I know, it's just Dean's POV on brotherhood. Or something. We'll see when I write it. XD

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My dad gave me one job, well, one to do with Sam at least. The job that had been officially mine since the moment he put that sniffling little bundle in my scrawny, four-year old arms. He'd told me to take Sammy and run, but what he meant was 'watch your brother'. The same message he'd drilled into my head along with every bit of hunter he could squeeze in. Sam was Dean's to protect and watch out for, he was the big brother. End of story.

John Winchester stepped up the door to leave and gave his son one more order. "You watch out for Sam."

"Yes, sir."

Four in the morning, a rain-clouded sky loomed over the panting, bloody, but determined Dean during a bit of not-uncommon morning fight training. "Keep it up, Dean. Sam needs you strong. I'm counting on you."

"Yes, sir."

John Winchester leaned forward as he whispered his last order into Dean's ear.

That time, there was no 'yes, sir'.

I'd be lying if I said there were times I didn't hate the old man for it. That I didn't get pissed the Hell off everytime he ran off and left me to take care of a kid when I was just a kid myself. Sam was so demanding sometimes, but I wasn't allowed to get mad and jerk around with him the way I'd seen other big brothers do. It was different with us. Sam needed me. At the end of the day though, when I'd tuck him into bed and he'd look up at me with those puppy eyes and smile at me. Well who can stay mad at that?

I fed the kid, and made sure he went to school. If he needed something, I got it. When he'd come home beaming cause of some lame ass test he got an A plus plus on, I was the one who patted him on the back and treated him to a milkshake. And whenever he had nightmares, and he did, I was the one rubbing his back and holding him tight till he could sleep again. We fought sometimes, didn't have all that much in common. I liked girls, and Sam liked Bill Nye the Science guy. I liked to drink, and Sam liked weird ass nutritional shakes with shit I couldn't even pronounce. I liked Metallica, and Sam liked that deaf composer dude. Plus, I was four years older. Hanging with a kid all the time wasn't exactly fun.

But still. It was my job. Because Sammy was my little brother, and mine to protect.

I still remember the time he ran away for two weeks under my watch. That was Hell for me, and turns out the little bastard was having the time of his life in Flagstaff. I was a wreck those two weeks, and Dad didn't make it any easier on me. I'd failed. Again, just like with that damned shtriga, just like I promised I wouldn't ever do again.

And the night he left home, and I vented my frustrations into hitting everything in sight until my hands were choppy and bleeding, and then I kept on punching. Sam hadn't just gotten away from Dad, he'd gotten away from me. After everything I'd given up for him, and done for him, and for the family...he'd just walked out like it was nothing. That was a betrayal of the worst kind. And no one even expected it to be different. Dad and Sam both would have probably laughed if I said something like I wanted to go to school. Dean and a life didn't enter the same sentence. Dean and hunting, sure. Dean and watching Sam, sure. Dean and staying up for two days straight to hunt a fang, sure. But the possiiblity of Dean existing outside of that, of being smart enough, or 'normal' enough, Hell no.

And that just made it hurt worse. They completely underestimated him and didn't give a damn.

Then Dad was gone and Sam was back again, not that he wanted to be. Even after everything, he only came because of her, only wanted to gank the demon because of her, and when he didn't leave it was only because he had nothing to go back to. Dean wasn't his first option, he was the only option. But it didn't matter, because Sammy was his brother.

So he'd gone to Hell for him. And the things he did there didn't give him much right to call himself a man anymore. Didn't lead to him wanting to draw another breath but he did. Sammy needed him. Even when he ran off with that black-eyed skank, and betrayed him again, Dean hadn't been able to follow through on his ultimatum. He'd tried to take Sam back and then the whole damn world went to waste. Until he'd saved it, again, this time at the cost of Sam.

I watched Sam jump into that hole in the ground. I could barely see through all the blood and the blur in my broken vision. But he was there, watching me, apologetic, and trying to be strong. My Sammy. My baby brother. Gone just like that. I'd failed again. I couldn't save him from the monsters, or from the angels, or even from himself. So the only thing I could do for him was to keep that promise, and try out the apple-pie thing.

Don't get me wrong. Lisa and Ben...that was family too. My little self-carved family. And maybe she was right, maybe they were all right and Sam I got the screwiest relationship possible. But it doesn't matter. Because he's Sam. He's not just my brother, he's half of me. Everything I am is part-built with him, or for him, or because of him. It was how I was raised. No going back.

And now Sammy's all screwed up too. Hell broke him and bent him, but the asshole still had the...assholery to try and keep me in the dark on his pain to protect me. Like protecting me is his job instead of the other way around. He said somethin' like that once and it sounds nice, sure, but it's not true. I protect Sam. If he's protecting me, I ain't doing my job right and that's not acceptable.

I wanted to give up sometimes. But that kid just wouldn't let me do it. Not even when the king dick-with-wings wanted to wear me to the prom. I almost did but one look into those puppy eyes and it was the same as it always was, even when we were kids. He'd just look at me and smile, just look at me in a way that no one else did. Like I was worth something. Like I mattered. Like he needed me. Like he...loved me, his big brother. That was a look that only he could give me and the only one that mattered. So when I saw those eyes, when I saw my baby brother looking at me. I knew I'd keep on fighting. Even if it hurt so bad I couldn't breathe, even if I really was 'dead inside' as Famine claimed, even if I was just a drop out with six bucks to his name...

I was also Dean Winchester. Sam's big brother. John and Mary's son. And one Hell of a hunter.

So even though it was my job to save him, time and again, he saved me too. We saved each other. Keep each other 'human'.

Brotherhood. It's kind of just a word for most people. And it means different things. Even if they love their family, or whatever the Hell you wanna call it, it's like Lisa said. She loved her sister but she wouldn't bring her back. Samuel Winchester the first, he loved Mary so 'much' he was gonna let his own grandsons get snacked on. And Cas, he chose family for himself and killed his brothers for it.

But to me? Brotherhood isn't just a word. Isn't just some blood-thing. It's life. It's part of me. I'm not Dean, Sam's big brother. I'm Sammy's big brother Dean. It's not what I am, it's who I am, a good part of it, anyway.

Sam, sick-as-a-dog, looking up at me with a grateful smile as I fed him soup and told him one of Dad's stories. Sam with his face flushed from excitement after he won his soccer game and I swung him around like when he was little, and we laughed together. Sammy in the passenger seat, singing along with me even like the world wasn't all topsy-turvy, like it was supposed to be, me and him against the world. Sam promising to save me, to protect me, 'cuz that's his job too. And Sam believing in me, because I was 'still his big brother'. Those puppy-eyes, and those hero-worshipping, amused, annoyed, glaring, bitch-facing eyes. My little brother's eyes. My Sammy's eyes.

Even if everything goes to Hell, even if I don't matter to anyone else, even if I make mistakes and fall on my ass, even if he betrays me or lies, even if sometimes he's a sonuvabitch and I want to kick his ass...he's Sammy. My Sammy.

You know what's funny? I'd sacrifice myself for him again in a heartbeat, I'd even go to Hell again if I had to. But it's not that hard to die for someone, you just gotta do it. Living for someone? That's a whole 'nother story. Getting your tired, broken, aching ass up everyday to be strong for someone, to be someone they can count on, to be there...that ain't easy. But for him? It's what I do, and he does it for me, even after everything, when anyone else would have been a crying mess...there he is, that damned giant behind me, pushing me forward while I'm pulling his stubborn ass along.

And that's what gets me, what saves me every damned time. Because we're brothers. Winchesters. Dean and Sam, Sam and Dean.

It's me and him against the world, and that's more than just a word. That's stronger than any damned fate or destiny, or even Death in all of his crap-food loving glory.

That's brotherhood.

Sammy and me.

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So this was supposed to be Dean looking at brotherhood based on Sam and Cas, but he just kept going on about Sam and it would have taken away from it to delve into Cas, I think. So there. XD Please enjoy and leave me verbal hugs because...I'm so huggable? XD Love, Witchy~XD