Little Brother No More.
The torrential rain provided tough work for the Impala's elderly windscreen wipers and Dean Winchester roundly cursed the sudden intense storm which had appeared as if by magic in the previously limpid blue sky.
He'd left Sam back at the Motel intent on filtering out the most recent news bulletins that could be considered by any stretch of the imagination supernatural, and he and his Baby had gone to refurbish their depleted stores of batteries, holy water and other paraphernalia inherent to the hunting trade.
"A hunter's life depends on his tools," his father had drilled into them since they were children, along with any other number of pearls of hunting wisdom, but even with the most well thought out plans and best choice of weapons, Dean knew exactly on which side the Winchester luck would usually fall.
Murphy's law had nothing on Winchester's law; Murphy had it good in comparison!
He didn't know if it was the rain that had put him in such a pensive mood but an unbidden thought came into his mind.
What would his life have been like if Sammy had never been born? He promptly tried to put it out of his head but it kept bouncing back, so he rolled it around in his mind
Without Sam and all the evil that had rained down on him, probably his Mom and Dad would still be alive and maybe he himself would have settled down with a wife and family of his own.
Hunting would never have been a part of his existence and though Mary had come from a family of hunters, her wish to get out of that life-style, a desire which had curiously echoed that of his little brother in his younger days, would have brought her and John to live an otherwise normal life.
At least that's what his little trip to the past had shown him.
If Sammy had never been born there would certainly have been advantages to the remaining Winchesters but that one being that Dean loved most in the vastness of creation would never have existed. The life of his annoying, bitchy, danger-magnet, emo little brother placed on a scale, weighed down any counter-weight that could be placed against him.
In the most shadowed little corner of his heart he guiltily accepted that not even the combined mass of his mother and father would ever be enough to tilt the scales away from Sam.
There is nothing that could ever do that, he thought fondly as he manoeuvred the car as near as possible to the overhanging edge of the Motel roof. He gathered his purchases and made a bee-line for the door, managing nonetheless to get completely soaked in the few seconds it took him to take shelter.
As he turned to watch the rain batter down on the Impala's roof, he suddenly felt an overwhelming urge to see his brother. He pushed the scuffed door open with unmitigated haste, his heart in his mouth, an unexplainable, unreasonable terror crawling through his bones.
He burst into the room, not understanding the reason for the raw primal fear that had come over him.
It looked exactly as it had been when he'd left it.
Sam's computer was open on the table. His brother was no longer sitting in front of it but even geeky Sammy had to take a leak sometime.
He set the bags down on the table and peeked at the screen. 'Busty Asian Beauties.'
"Sam, you old hound," he grunted amused. "Always giving me the bitch-face, then when I'm not around you treat yourself."
He moved to the bathroom door and listened.
He physically felt the need to see his brother but he didn't think Sam would be too pleased at him barging in while he was using the head. The kid had always been prissy about his privacy
As the seconds ticked by and no recognisable noise cam from the toilet, he knocked on the door.
"Sammy, you in there?"
To his chagrin the door slid open underneath his knuckles.
The fear that had just calmed itself ,returned ten-fold as he rushed into the bathroom. No Sam.
He made a one hundred and eighty degree turn and noticed there was only one bed situated on the opposite wall of the room.
The icy fingers that had coiled their way around his heart squeezed even tighter, and he knew without a shadow of a doubt that his brother was gone.
He had felt it in the car when the ridiculous thought had come into his mind about his brother non existing that something strange was going on. His instincts were always spot-on where his Sammy was concerned and this time was no different.
He stood there utterly lost.
Part of him didn't want to believe what he was seeing, but the other part of him had already accepted that however hard he looked, he wouldn't find Sam.