It's been so long since I've done this, I'd almost forgotten how. The last thing I published was not long after my Mom passed away in May. I've had the most awful writer's block ever since. I know it's because of various stressful situations that have been happening in my life the past six months but I was really beginning to worry I'd never write again. But yesterday afternoon, on the way home from work, this popped into my head and wouldn't let go. It's not much but it's more than I've been able to do in a long time! As Dean says: baby steps.

This fic is for Tree66, Twinchester Angel and Ziggy...thanks for always cheering me on.

And thanks, as always, to my daughter, Jennifer, for her beta skills.

My Brother's,

May these scars remind us?

My Brother's,

Trouble seeks and trouble finds

Together, together we are strong

My Brother's keeper whether right or wrong

Across the sea you ride with me, with me

We face these trials together

I shall always be – My brother's keeper

I don't need you anymore…

Sam's words are ringing in my head, refusing to let me rest. I glance over at the bed next to me where Sam is sprawled on his stomach, feet almost hanging off the end. For all purposes he appears to be resting easy but I know him. I see the twitch of his scarred hand, hear the hitch in his breathing and I know Lucifer is parading through his dreams, reminding him of the time he spent in Hell.

A low moan escapes his lips and I know that this is a bad one. Not that there is ever a good one when you're reliving the time you spent as someone else's Hell bitch. I know what it's like to have those dreams. There are times when they still haunt me but more often than not, the dreams that haunt me these days are of me…alone.

I don't need you anymore…

I often find myself dreaming of Cas. He turns to tell me he's sorry and then he snatches Sam from my grasp and plunges into the pit. Lucifer's pit. And I'm left alone. Kneeling, defeated, at the edge of the cemetery but this time there's no Cas to heal me, no Sam to comfort me, no Bobby to encourage me. There's no one but me and the despair I feel is overwhelming.

When I wake from these dreams, alcohol is my only solace. I can't confide in Sam. He wants me to open up to him, tell him the things I've been hiding but how can I? I can't dump my issues on him with everything he's going through. I'm the one he has to depend on. I have to take care of him. It's what I do. It's who I am.

And that's the real kicker, isn't it? Who am I? Who am I really if I'm not my brother's keeper?

Now you finally get to take care of yourself…..

What the hell does that mean? All my life, ever since Dad placed my wailing baby brother in my hands and I carried him from our burning home, I've never known how to do anything else but take care of him. Maybe I've not always been as good at it as I should, but I've tried. God, I tried so hard.

I don't need you anymore….

So, what do I do? Who is Dean Winchester without a brother to take care of? I'm 32 friggin' years old. How the hell am I supposed to start doing things differently now? I know Sam didn't mean what he said. I know he was jacked up on Love Potion Number 9 but even I can't deny that it's true. He doesn't need me, hasn't needed me for a long time. Hell, probably never did.

I'm the one who needs him. I have defined myself by the man he's become. That's not such a bad thing, is it? Sammy's a good man, if I could ever see past the snot nosed kid brother. He's the part of me that I could never be. One of us had to be the hard ass and I didn't want it to be him. Besides, he could never have pulled it off with those damn puppy dog eyes.

Sam's moans are louder and he's becoming restless. His head thrashes from side to side and for one fearful moment, I think he's seizing again. I'm at his side in an instance, reaching for the scarred hand, pressing it hard with my fingers. Sam's eyes fly open, his face a mask of terror but when he sees me, his body visibly relaxes even though his hand grips mine tight.

"Just a dream, bro."

Sam takes his free hand and runs it shakily across his face. "A bad one."

Night terrors are always worse than anything we face in the day. These are the things we can't kill, we can't make them go away, no matter how hard we try. We can only learn to deal with them and Sammy's way of dealing has always been through words.

"You wanna talk about it?"

He peers out from behind his hand, eyeing me warily. "Are you feeling okay?"

"That bartender last night said I felt pretty good."

Sam covers his face again. "Shut up."

I nudge at his shoulder. "Seriously, dude."

Sam shakes his head and turns on his side toward me, pressing his face against the pillow, hand never leaving mine. "Just….." He swallows so hard I can hear it. "Just stay here until I fall asleep again?"

I hear the question mark, as if he doubted I would stay, because of what he's said. He knows me. Same as I know him. He knows I've been chewing those words of his around in my head, knows that still waters run deep.

"Don't worry, Sammy. I'm here."

It's who I am. It's what I do. I am my brother's keeper.

Song Lyrics: My Brother's Keeper by Jamie Holt

Thank you for reading!