Age of Heroes.

Dean sometimes wishes Sam's heart wasn't so damn big.

Set Season 1, just after Hell House.

No real plot, just a trip down memory lane for the brothers.

Treat all medical facts with a pinch of rock salt, and ignore any holes in the story, 'cos this is just a very poor excuse for some Hurt Sam with Protective Big Brother Dean.

Sorry I've been off the scene for a bit. I've had loads of plot bunnies hopping round my head but I'm struggling to keep up with them all. Gotta love depression and generalised anxiety, eh? Nothing like a scatty brain to keep you from the keyboard.


Title blatantly half-inched from the film of the same name, starring Danny Dyer and Sean Bean.

Warnings: bad language, violence, schmoop, not necessarily in that order.

Chapter One.

Dean yawned wider than the Grand Canyon and strolled casually from the bathroom. The towel round his waist slipped a little, and he made a half-hearted attempted at saving his dignity before shrugging and letting it fall.

After all, dignity was no fun. No fun at all.

Angelica, Angelina, or whatever her name was, had left sometime during the early hours, leaving behind the faint, sickly, sweet odour of her cheap perfume.

Dean wrinkled his nose and grimaced. Lucky he'd been too drunk to notice or he might've hurled all over her sumptuous breasts.

Or choked on his own vomit.

'Cos man! Could that girl ride!

Flipping the TV remote into the air in one smooth move, he turned on the TV and made his way over to the window. It was still fairly early, no one was likely to be walking by, so he shamelessly yanked aside the curtains and threw open one pane.

The perfume began to fade almost immediately and so Dean, eyes closed in bliss as his naked body worshipped the early morning sun, breathed in a deep lungful of fresh air.

Then he opened his eyes.

Sam had been clambering out of the rear seat of the Impala, his bedroom for the night in wake of Dean's 'visitor', but he stopped dead and stared in horror at the sight of his brother-au-naturelle gazing out of the motel room window.

'Dude!' Sam mouthed in disgust and waved frantically. 'Cover yourself up!'

Dean's grin was slow and wide like a Cheshire cat on some high class weed.

Oh boy. Sammy was so easy.

'What?' he mouthed back and shrugged, with all the innocence of a vestal virgin.

Sam looked round and about, flushing red with embarrassment, then stormed over and slammed open the motel room door. Once inside, he slammed it shut again.

"Dean, are you trying to draw attention to us?" demanded Sam, bitch-face firmly planted and likely to put down roots at this rate.

Dean's grin widened further, if at all possible.

"Just letting the air circulate, Sammy," then he mock pouted. "I'm sorry." The eyebrows dipped in feigned sympathy. "Am I making you jealous little bro?"

Sam snorted at that. "You're forgetting what they say about guys with big feet."

He pointed downwards and tapped his humongous toes on the carpet.

"Yeah," Dean replied with a nod. "Yeah, they wear big shoes to match. And you're forgetting something!"

"I doubt that…" began Sam, but Dean interrupted.

"I used to bathe you when you were a baby," said Dean. "I know exactly what's down there!"

He was determined his little brother wasn't going to win this round of 'snark'. So far it was a draw, and Dean was prepared to fight dirty to gain the upper hand.

"Low blow, Dean," retorted Sam, catching on instantly. "And that wasn't an invitation, by the way." His Cheshire cat had apparently scored some weed from Dean's. "Just in case that's what your little display is all about."

He indicated Dean's state of undress, folded his arms, and added smugly "'Cos I should warn you. S'been a few years since you caught a glimpse of the good stuff. Not sure you could handle me, if you get my meaning."

His eyebrows waggled suggestively.

Dean's mouth dropped open for the merest nanosecond, then snapped shut again.

"Now that's just sick, Sammy," his older brother spluttered indignantly, and hurriedly began pulling on his jeans.

Sam laughed. "Brought that one on yourself, dude."

Dean grumbled something along the lines of "Go get some friggin' coffee," while hunting for a clean tee-shirt.

He heard Sam's laughter cut off by the motel room door swinging shut behind him, and grinned.

Since he and Sam took up hunting again, things had been slowly getting back to the old routine. If the last hunt was anything to go by their brotherly bond and sense of teamwork was reforming stronger than ever, and Dean couldn't have been happier. Even better, the old camaraderie and humour was still there.

Sure, they called a truce on the prank wars since that business with that stupid Hell House, but there hadn't been any deals made about good old fashioned snarking. The competition had been running fast and furious for the last two hundred miles, and the Winchester brothers were only just getting started.

And sure, maybe he'd let Sam win a few rounds here and there, but that was only so the kid didn't get despondent. Sam was still grieving over Jess, and the loss of his 'safe', normal life, not to mention their absent father so if this was what he needed to lighten up? Then Dean could sacrifice his highest scores for his little brother.

Finally, he found a clean tee-shirt and, blessed be! a clean pair of socks. A quick rummage in his toiletry bag found his toothbrush, paste and nearly empty bottle of aftershave.

"Perfect!" he muttered, happily, and sauntered back into the bathroom.

The TV was playing to itself in the background the whole time and Dean had mostly ignored it, until something caught his attention on the local news around fifteen minutes later.

It was a grainy picture of a nearby shopping mall, and judging by the sudden jerky movements that made the eyes strain and the gut churn, it was being filmed from a news chopper.

"…the gunmen have been captured and arrested, though a desperate search continues for the hero of the hour. Once again, the police are extremely worried about a possibly injured young man, who may have been shot during a robbery at the main store. He is described as 6ft 4, around 175 lbs, late teens – early twenties, with hazel eyes and longish brown hair. He disappeared leaving a trail of blood behind him, after saving a teenage boy who had been taken hostage at gunpoint…"

Dean's eyes widened, fearfully. "Ah shit, Sammy! What the hell you got yourself into this time?"

Dean tuned out the annoying, nasal voice of the newscaster, having heard enough, and watched the footage with his nose almost pressed to the TV screen in hopes of figuring out where his kid brother went.

It was fuzzy, and taken right over head of the shopping mall in an almost bird's eye perspective, but Dean could still recognize the tall sasquatch standing outside one of the stores as Sam.

Some guy in a ski mask was holding a small figure against his chest, and Sam was obviously talking to him. No doubt he was using those puppy dog eyes to get the kid free, but in the next instant it quickly became clear that it hadn't worked.

Sam suddenly lunged forward, grabbed the kid, and shoved him behind and away, using his own body as a shield.

At the same time, Dean saw the muzzle flash as the gun went off and Sam dropped like a stone. An instant later he was up again, moving and stumbling away, while the gunman appeared to panic, turned tail and ran straight into the arms of the cops.

Dean grabbed his jacket and ran out of the motel room. He had his idiot brother to find.

Sam wasn't going to stick around, injured or not. He'd been paranoid about running into the cops after the shape shifter in St Louis, and he knew that the minute Dean realised he was hurt, he'd come after him.

Since coming here a few days ago, Sam worried incessantly that Dean was gonna be recognised by the wrong person one of these days, and then the shit would hit the windmill. After all, they were back in the neighbourhood and only around fifty miles away from Rebecca and Zack's home town. No way would Sam risk going to a hospital if it meant Dean's arrest, not even to save his own life.

"Stupid kid," Dean muttered softly, teeth worrying his lower lip, and locking the motel door with a shaky hand.

He jumped behind the wheel of the Impala, fired her up and just as he peeled out of the parking lot, his cell phone rang.

"That better be you Sam!" he barked out, the moment he answered the call.

"Y-yeah, it's me," Sam answered in a low, pained voice.

"Where are you? How bad are you hurt?" Dean didn't waste time and energy tearing into the kid. He prayed there was plenty of time for that later.

He heard Sam breathing in short, sharp breaths and a vice seemed to wrap around his heart, squeezing tightly.

"Sammy? Answer me!"

"Inna… alley… behind… b-bakery," Sam coughed and groaned softly. "H-hurts… bl-bleeding…"

Now that he had the basics, Dean could afford to spend a little time on comforting the poor kid until he got there.

"Alright, Sam," Dean softened his tone, trying to keep his little brother calm. "It's all gonna be ok. I'm on my way, kiddo, so just sit tight and stay out of sight for now, right? I'll find you. You hearin' me Sammy?"


When the kid's voice trailed off Dean's worry and frustration made him harsh and snappy.

"Sam! You still there? Stay awake now, ok? No going to sleep, no closing those peepers!"

He heard what sounded suspiciously like a muffled sob, and the vice squeezed tighter, making his chest hurt.

"H-hurry Dean, please?" Sam responded, weakly.

There came a sliding noise and a slight thud, then nothing more.

"Sam? Sam!" Dean was yelling into the phone by now, thumping furiously on the steering wheel and desperately watching the road ahead. "Answer me, dammit!"

Nothing, just the low buzz of some outside air conditioning unit near where his little brother was probably lying unconscious.

Oh God!

Dean put his foot down harder, recklessly exceeding the speed limit. Salty tears trickled down his face, dripped off his chin and dampened his tee-shirt.

"Hang on, Sammy," he growled into his cell phone. "I swear to God, you die on me? I'll kill you!"

The Impala slid sideways into the parking lot and came to an abrupt halt, perfectly parked with little effort, dead centre of the white lines. Dean didn't notice. He also failed to notice that he had taken up a disabled parking slot, and ignored the sound of an elderly guy in a white Buick Le Sabre, banging repeatedly on the horn and bringing Dean's parentage into disrepute rather loudly out the driver's window.

But the tears and look of absolute fear on Dean's face soon silenced the old guy's protests.

Dean was already out the car, clutching his cell phone, and at a full on sprint by this time, too distraught to notice a thing.

The Buick driver sat in silence for a moment, wondering what the emergency was and who was dying for the young guy in the black Chevy to look so desolate and desperate. Then, with a shrug, he charitably gave up and moved on to the next available parking space.

But when the parking control douchebag, hovering at the other end of the lot, pounced at an opportunity to relieve his boredom and called a tow-truck, the Buick owner decided to intervene.

Pulling up beside the officer, he called out authoritatively, "Not so fast there, sonny…"

"Dammit Sam!" he muttered, angrily. "Coulda said which damn bakery!"

When he came to the alley running behind the shopping mall, Dean's first stop at Robinson's Bread House revealed no Sam, but the baker taking a smoke break outside the back entrance did reveal that there were at least two other bakeries nearby.

It was a long, dingy alley, filled with garbage bins, cats, boxes, beer kegs and various other crap often found out back of general stores and bars.

Dean hoped he'd also find a certain little brother alive and well.

But when he spotted the pale figure sitting slumped against a dumpster, he figured merely alive would have to do for now.

"Sammy?" he called out and dashed over to him. Reaching out, he gently cupped the kid's jaw with one hand, and supported his lolling head with the other. "Sam?"

Sam's eyes were closed, hands wrapped protectively over his gut, blood seeping through his fingers. His breathing was more like panting; shallow and rasping. Sweat beaded on his brow and his skin felt clammy to the touch.

"Sammy, can you hear me?" Dean asked, softly, worried eyes sweeping over Sam's face. "I'm here, kiddo. You're safe now. Open your eyes for me, huh?"

A faint groan answered his question.

"C'mon, open your eyes," Dean demanded a little more harshly when the kid didn't respond. "Sam, look at me!"

Sam's eyelids fluttered for a second, remained closed, then slowly opened to reveal watery, red-rimmed eyes, glassy with pain. His mouth fell open on a small gasp and made a soft noise that sounded like a question.

Dean smiled shakily. "Yeah, it's really me. I need to take a look at that wound, ok?"

Sam blinked just once the once, slow and weary, then gave a slight nod.

"B-bossy... big brothers," he muttered, with a half-hearted smile.

"Someone has to be," said Dean, and patted his little brother's chest.

Gently moving Sam's huge bear-like paw to one side, Dean tried his best not to grimace. The kid had lost a lot of blood, and any hope Dean might have held that the bullet had passed straight through went right down the crapper. Glancing up into Sam's tired face, he rubbed a hand over his mouth and sighed.


"D-don't say it," Sam whispered, his body beginning to tremble with delayed shock. "P-please, don't say it. Y-you can f-fix this, r-right?"

Dean wished like hell he could, but one look at Sam's bullet wound told him that this was way beyond his field skills. He shrugged out of his jacket, buying himself a little time before he had to tell his little brother the bad news.

"Here," he said, quietly. "We need to keep you warm, kiddo."

Sam offered no protest when Dean gently grabbed a hold of his shirt front.

"Easy now," he told him. "Let's take this nice and slow, huh, Sammy?"

He carefully pulled the kid's upper body towards him, letting the younger boy's face rest against Dean's neck, and then wrapped the jacket round Sam's shoulders.

"Dean?" Sam's muffled voice was full of pleading, sounding like a sick five year old. "P-please don't make me go to the hospital?"

Dean blinked several times. His eyes had developed another sudden leak, blurring his vision, and that was no good at all. He couldn't take care of his brother if he couldn't see properly.

"Got no choice, Sam," he whispered back, taking off his outer button-down shirt as well. "I'm sorry, kid, but you're too badly hurt. I can't deal with this on my own and I ain't gonna risk your life by trying."

"Dean, please," Sam begged, softly. "You know I hate hospitals."

Dean snorted. "Shoulda thought about that before you went all hostage negotiator," but he softened his words with a light, weary chuckle.

"S-someone h-had to," Sam answered, breathlessly, then grabbed at Dean's hand and gave it a weak squeeze. "L-listen to me! You can't take me in… if you get c-caught…"

He bit down hard on his lip to stifle a groan when Dean pressed his button-down shirt to the wound, but he couldn't stop his face from scrunching up in pain.

Dean tilted Sam back in his arms a little so he could gaze into his brother's face.

"I won't get caught," he said with a faint smile, eyes glinting with steely determination. "I promise you, everything's gonna be ok, and I'll be right there with you."


"I'm not gonna leave you," Dean told him, firmly, with the confidence that only comes from being a know-it-all big brother. "Ok?"

Sam nodded, too exhausted to carry on the argument.

"Ok then," said Dean, gathering Sam closer and wrapping his arms around the kid's chest, both for support and to hold the blood soaked shirt to his wound. "Are you ready? On three…"

The two boys stumbled to their feet, the older holding on tightly to the younger. Sam's stifled cry of pain nevertheless echoed round the alley, scaring a couple of stray cats away from their meal of left-over lasagne.

"Oh God!" Sam rasped out, his gut throbbing from the unwanted movement, knees buckling under the strain.

Dean struggled to keep him upright.

"Oh no you don't," he ordered, grabbing the kid's arm and pulling it around his own shoulders. "No resting, not yet. You can rest when we get to the car."

But he kept still, holding on tight to his brother, allowing Sam a little time to adjust to the new position.

"You ready to move now?" he asked around thirty seconds later.

"R-ready as… I'll ever b-be," Sam answered, head hanging down, sweat-dampened hair falling into his eyes.

They took a slow shuffle along the alley, carefully avoiding anything that might trip them up. Sam's legs were shaky, uncoordinated and clumsy, trying so hard to assist Dean and keep himself upright, but in the end he had to concede defeat.

"So-sorry Dean," he murmured, sadly, nearly going down again.

"S'ok Sammy," Dean stopped for a second, readjusted his hold, and continued with their journey.

Dean was virtually bearing his brother's full weight by the time they reached the end of the alley, and Sam's feet were practically dragging along the ground behind him. A trail of blood followed the boys out to the parking lot and Sam grew weaker with each step.

But when they saw the Impala, Dean's jaw dropped in dismay. It was blocked in by a white Buick and its elderly owner appeared to be holding a three-way argument with a parking control officer, and the driver of a tow-truck.

Dean managed to catch some of the conversation as he dragged Sam closer.

"… I keep telling you! That's my grandson's car!"

"Your grandson's car isn't bearing a disabled badge," the parking officer stated tonelessly.

"He just came to drop off my wallet," the elderly guy peered up at him with watery blue eyes filled with indignation. "I left it on the kitchen table this morning, and I need it to pick up my prescription meds. He's probably walking round the shopping mall trying to find me as we speak! You can't tow his car for doing a good deed for his poor old grandpa!"

Just then the old guy spotted Dean, his eyes widening when he saw who he was carrying.

"Son? Is that…?" he raised an eyebrow and stared pointedly at Dean.

Dean got with the program quickly and joined in with the deception.

"Grandpa!" he called out, then deliberately with slight emphasis on his brother's name: "Sammy's hurt. He was…"

But the parking officer jumped right in before he could finish.

"That's the kid from the robbery!" he stared at the two young men in disbelief. "I saw him myself, when he got shot. He's a goddamned, real life hero! The police have been looking everywhere for him!"

"Indeed!" said 'grandpa' with a proud snort. "I might've known my boys were involved in saving that child's life. Now don't just stand there gawking at 'em. Call an ambulance for goodness sake! Can't you see Sammy's bleeding out?"

Dean wasn't quite sure what was going on here. Maybe he was going into shock or something 'cos he couldn't grasp who knew what, how, or why, and he was rapidly developing a headache. But the word 'ambulance', and 'bleeding out' sure made a hell of a lot of sense to him, especially when Sam let out another pained groan and finally lost consciousness, his body slumping towards the concrete and taking Dean with him.


Let me know what ya think.

This story in complete in four chapters, and will be posted every other day.

This might also be the last story I post on this site, and will mostly post to my live journal account in future. I'm afraid I've had enough of this site, with the last straw being a few weeks back when someone complained to the mods and had two of my older stories outright deleted due to 'wrong ratings'. They weren't my best stories since they were some of my very first, but I was quite fond of them. It really pissed me off that the reader didn't have the decency to just send me a message, advising me on the ratings. I might have been able to go in and change them. I find the ratings system on this site way too confusing so I always try to put warnings at the top of my stories instead. But there really was no call to go 'running to teacher and telling tales'.

Hope you're happy, whoever you are, with having ruined it for everyone else on here and, also, may the fleas of a thousand camels infest your arsehole, you pathetic mindless little moron.

Cheers to everyone else.

Love ST