A/N: Sorry in advance for the sap flood; it's where the story ended up going, and it gets the point across. Thanks again to Adolescently for letting me share this!

When Sam came to, his arms felt stuffed full of pins and needles. The skin was taut, painful to moved, and as he tried to roll over, something tugged at the back of his left hand. Scuffling erupted outside his immediate awareness.

"Sammy? Sammy! Listen, try to keep still, okay? Take it easy," Dean's voice reached him. Firm hands pressed his shoulders to the mattress.

Sam pried his eyes open. They were in the motel room. Dean leaned over him, a wad of gauze taped to his elbow. Their dad watched wearily in a chair close to the bed. As Sam took in the scene, he registered all the gauze around his own arms, the tube in his hand.


"Relax. You got a little…overenthusiastic, but we patched you up just fine—"

"I had to get it out…after what I did…"

"I know," his big brother reassured him. "It's okay now."

"How long was I out?"

"A good while. It's almost three in the morning."

Sam scrunched his face. "Last thing I remember was you bustin' in…"

John looked ready to cry; he stared, blinking frequently, at Sam. "I…I can't begin to say how sorry I am, Sammy. It may not sound like much. I suppose none of us really knew how to deal with the supernatural crossing into family. I was desperate to save you, without knowing how." He had to pause to swallow his welling emotions. Sam took the opportunity to try to sit up, with Dean's help.

"Dean's right. This isn't the way to solve things, and I'm sorry if I pushed you to feel like this was the only way to do so. You've been scared, the…blood seemed to alienate you from everyone close. Please know that the truth couldn't be more opposite! You're here, alive, and part of this family. You're still a Winchester, and you have every right to that name."

Maybe it was the overpowering sincerity. Or waking up to such a chick-flick moment. Or simply how physically and emotionally spent Sam was. But he felt himself reverting to the timid, clingy attitude he had when he was little. He held his bandaged arms out for a hug.

"'M sorry, Dad…"

They embraced in a way none of them had in a long time. Warm drips tickled Sam's neck where his shirt gapped, leaking from his dad's eyes. Though Dean didn't exactly share the sappiness, he gave Sam's hair a good brotherly ruffle. After some time, the moment broke awkwardly.

"Ahem—well, I'm pretty sure we're done with this contraption, at least." John indicated the IV line running above Sam's head, which was mostly spent. Sam bit his lip as the needle was removed. One more bit of gauze and a bandaid for his collection. "You should be careful as you start moving around. I don't want to have to re-stitch anything. You really put yourself through the wringer. Once you're rested and gotten some food in you, we'll talk about what you can do on this case."

Sam nodded, knowing he deserved to be sidelined for his rash behavior. A part of him was also curious as to exactly what his arms looked like…

Dean swatted his hand down. "Hey—none 'a that, kid."

"We want you in one piece, Sammy. Me, Dean, and Bobby. We care about what happens to you." John squeezed his shoulder reassuringly. "Now, it's about time we all rested up. Humans may need breaks from time to time, but unfortunately, monsters and spirits don't share the same opinion."

"Yes sir," Sam and Dean chimed together. Sam watched his family crawl gratefully into bed. The motel room went dark except for the street light illuminating the window. This was what kept him from being a monster, what proved the Yellow-Eyed demon wrong. He had his family.

Also, thanks to all of you reading! It means a lot to me as a writer (and I just had to write something else-I mananged to hit 666 words on the nose. Creepy, right? Well, no more...). If you're interested in subjects besides Supernatural, please check out my other stories ^-^