Summary: Season 8 – Hurt Sam / Guilty Big Brother Dean – "I just don't want to fight about this anymore." It was the last thing Dean would remember Sam saying before it happened; before a truck ignored a stop sign and raced through the intersection, slamming into the passenger side of the Impala.

Disclaimer: Not mine.

Warnings: Spoilers for season eight and usual language.

A/N: Inspired by what Dean says in the promo clip for 8x06. And since today (November 5th) is my birthday, I'm allowed to start yet another new story...right? Right! :)

You're the only thing that I can't lose...please forgive me if I'm hard on you. 'Cause I didn't mean to be mean when I said all the things I said to you. ~ Rob Thomas

The accusation was perhaps a bit unfair.

But Dean couldn't be bothered to give a shit as he hurled it across the bench seat of the Impala, hoping the words hurt Sam as much as Sam's actions had hurt him.

"You left me to die for a girl!" Dean yelled, stomping on the Chevy's gas pedal a little too hard.

The Impala's engine irritably revved at the unaccustomed rough treatment, but Dean didn't seem to notice; the increased speed perfectly matching his increasing anger.

Because the more he thought about it, the more pissed he got...and the more determined he became that they were talking about this – now.

Beside him in the passenger seat, Sam shifted uncomfortably and shook his head in nonverbal denial of Dean's claim; his pinched expression conveying how much Dean's words had cut into his already raw conscience.

Dean clenched his jaw; Sam's silence only enraging him further. "Answer me!" he demanded, checking his rearview and seeing Garth still following behind as they traveled to their next hunt.

Sam said nothing.

Dean gripped the steering wheel with both hands to prevent himself from reaching over and smacking the shit out of his brother. "I deserve a fucking answer, Sam!"

"I know," Sam patiently responded and then sighed. "And no," he defended quietly, though he knew Dean was convinced otherwise; convinced he had left the lab covered in Leviathan goo and had merrily skipped off without a care to hook up with a chick and settle into the good life. "It wasn't like that."

Not at all.

"Really?" Dean challenged, sharp sarcasm in his tone as he glanced at his brother across the bench seat. "Then tell me, Sam, how was it? Because I'd really like to know..."

Sam sighed again as his brother's words and tone sliced a little deeper; reminding himself that Dean always lashed out mercilessly when he had been hurt.

And Sam knew he had hurt his brother; knew how betrayed Dean felt by his actions during the past year.

But he also knew that Dean hadn't heard the entire story.

Sam hadn't told him because he didn't want to talk about it.

Not when Dean had first asked him...and not now.

His relationship with Amelia had been complicated and regrettable.

But more importantly, it was over – his earlier explanation to Dean's question about there being a girl in his life summed up his feelings about her and the entire situation.

There was...and then there wasn't.

Amelia was out of his life.

Dean was back in it.

And Sam wouldn't have it any other way.

For the first time in over a year, Sam was beginning to feel like himself again now that he and his brother were together.

But Dean didn't seem to feel the same.

His big brother choosing to constantly harp on the subject of a girl that had meant nothing to Sam and on a decision Sam had regretted every day since he had made it.

Sam wished his brother would instead focus on allowing him to help Dean heal from what he had experienced in Purgatory; wished Dean would share his own secrets; wished Dean would let go of the resentment and instead work with him to rebuild their brotherly bond, which had clearly suffered during their year apart.

Because that's what Sam missed the most – feeling like Dean gave a damn about him anymore.

That was what hurt even worse than Dean being gone.

Sam sighed and shifted again in the passenger seat, squirming beneath Dean's hard stare.

"Sam..." Dean growled, genuinely feeling like he would explode if his brother didn't say something; vaguely wondering if this was how John had felt whenever the kid had stalled in answering his questions.

Sam glanced at his brother, recognizing the warning tone and wondering if Dean realized he sounded just like their dad sometimes. "Dean..." he began evenly, knowing he should say something before the argument escalated any further...but then sighed because he didn't know what to say.

Explaining what had happened between him and Amelia would take more time than they currently had.

And besides, they probably shouldn't be talking about this now anyway.

Experience had taught it was never a good idea to start conversations about touchy topics before a hunt. It would only lead to distractions they couldn't afford and hard feelings they didn't need.

Dean sighed harshly as he stared out the windshield and squinted in the glare of the setting sun. "I'm waiting."

Sam twitched a smile; because John used to say that, too.

Dean arched an eyebrow, pissed that this seemed to be a joke to Sam. "Something funny?'

"No," Sam responded sincerely and shook his head, not wanting to further upset his brother. "I just..." He sighed and turned to look at Dean; his eyes pleading for understanding, for a truce in their constant arguing. "I just don't want to fight about this anymore."

It was the last thing Dean would remember Sam saying before it happened; before a truck ignored a stop sign and raced through the intersection, slamming into the passenger side of the Impala.

Dean's reaction had been instant but had been too late; his anger replaced by fear and panic as he had simultaneously stomped on the brakes and had reached for Sam.

As if he could somehow stop the Impala in time to avoid the collision.

As if he could somehow prevent his brother from being crushed as the truck plowed into the kid's side of the car.

But Dean had known his efforts were useless; that the wreck was unavoidable and that Sam's injuries would be life-threatening.

The realization of that horror had been the last thing to cross Dean's mind before everything went silent and black; the screeching tires, crunching metal, and smashing glass swept away as unconsciousness descended.

But Dean was awake now.

And everything was loud and bright as sirens blared nearby and strangers crouched beside the overturned Impala.

Flashlights shone into the front seat through the busted driver's window while the classic Chevy rested on its roof in the middle of the intersection; the impact of the speeding truck having effortlessly flipped the muscle car before the truck had continued its path to strike a nearby telephone pole and instantly kill its driver.

The medic shook his head, hoping the old Impala he was currently peering into didn't have casualties as well. "Sir..." he called to the guy sitting in the driver's seat, thankful that at least the guy was moving.

That was a good sign.

The medic waited for a response.

But Dean didn't give him one.

"Sir..." the medic called again.

And again, Dean didn't respond; his thoughts hazy as he quickly triaged himself; tasting blood when he swallowed and biting back a groan of pain as he shifted slightly behind the steering wheel; thankful that he could feel and move all of his extremities, that nothing seemed to be broken or paralyzed.

"Sir..." the medic called once more, shining his flashlight into the driver's face.

Dean didn't answer but squinted in the harsh light, his gaze lazily tracking the various cuts covering his arms and hands; knowing a piece of glass must have also sliced the side of his forehead because he could feel blood oozing down his left temple.

But Dean was pretty sure he hadn't hit his head, that the dull ache behind his eyes was only his body's reaction to the adrenaline that had flooded his system in response to the collision.

"Sir, can you hear me?" the medic persisted.

Dean ignored him, instead turning to check on his little brother who was concerningly quiet; the kid having not made a sound since his initial gasp of surprise when the truck had slammed into them.

Dean swallowed as the image of that moment replayed in his mind – his brother's body taking the brunt of impact.

"Sammy..." Dean called; afraid of what he would see when he turned his head.

The medic blinked at the sound of the driver's voice, pleased that the guy was not only moving but speaking.

That was definitely a good sign.

But who was Sammy?

The medic shifted, angling to see around the driver and frowning as his flashlight beam fell onto another guy in the passenger seat; a guy that wasn't moving and whose eyes were clearly closed.

The medic swallowed, silently offering a brief prayer that the guy – Sammy? – was only unconscious and not dead.

But the passenger side had taken the impact of the truck, so...

The medic shook his head, refusing to allow himself to pursue that train of thought. "Sir..." he called instead, refocusing on the driver and reminding himself to handle one patient at a time.

Besides, from the way the passenger side was crushed, they would have to remove the driver before they could reach this Sammy kid anyway.

The medic sighed. "Sir..."

"Shut up..." Dean finally growled back, annoyed by the medic's constant badgering and not interested in talking to anyone except Sam.

The medic arched an eyebrow, not sure if that response was a good sign or not. "But sir..." he replied, watching as Dean turned away from him to focus instead on the kid in the passenger seat.

Dean clenched his jaw to stop another groan of pain as he shifted to look at Sam; his entire body sore as he lay in a contorted heap on the interior of the Impala's roof.

Sam was slumped beside him, bloody and unconscious; his fingers within inches of Dean as if the kid had been reaching for his big brother.

Dean swallowed, unexpectedly touched by the implication; that even after everything, Sam would reach out to him when the kid was hurt and scared. "I'm here, Sammy..." he told his brother, grasping Sam's blood-stained fingers and squeezing them...but receiving no returned response.

Dean frowned, lacing his fingers more securely with Sam's and squeezing again – harder – but still receiving nothing in return; nothing but a cold hand limply held in his grasp.

Dean shook his head as he stared at his brother. "Sammy..."

But Sam remained motionless.

Dean's heart hammered in his chest, feeling the slow creep of fear and panic at the possibility that Sam wasn't moving and wasn't responding because Sam was dead.

"No," Dean insisted, refusing to believe that, and wrapped his fingers around Sam's wrist; closing his eyes as he waited to feel the thrum of his brother's pulse.

But there was nothing.

Dean shook his head in further denial. "No," he said again, his shoulder aching as he awkwardly reached for Sam's neck. "You don't get to do this," he sharply told his brother, pressing two fingers underneath the kid's jaw. "You hear me?"

Because Dean had just gotten back from Purgatory; and although his and Sam's relationship had been strained, although he resented his brother for not looking for him and for carrying on with life like nothing had happened, Dean still loved the kid and refused to accept that Sam was dead.

Especially since their bond hadn't been restored; especially since the last conversation Dean had had with Sam had been filled with bitterness; had been marked by words spoken with the intention of hurting.

And Dean had succeeded.

He had seen it all over Sam's face.

Dean swallowed. "C'mon, Sammy..." he encouraged, pressing his fingers harder against his brother's neck; desperate to feel proof that while the kid was obviously injured, he was still alive.

Several seconds passed; the emergency vehicles continuing to blare their sirens while the medics and firemen and police officers continued to secure the accident scene and attempt to rescue the victims trapped inside the overturned Impala.

"Sam..." Dean growled and then paused as he finally felt it – the slow, thready beat of his brother's pulse thrumming beneath his fingers.

Dean smiled, sighing harshly with relief as he briefly closed his eyes; incredibly thankful for that small sign of life.

"Atta boy, Sammy..." Dean praised, opening his eyes and sliding his hand up his brother's face to brush back the kid's bangs. "New rule," he announced to an unconscious Sam, though the rule had been made before but had been forgotten over the years. "We go together, or we don't fucking go. You hear me?"

Because Dean had no intention of living without his brother again and he knew Sam felt the same way.

So they either died together...or they didn't die.

Dean nodded at the simple logic, his gaze sweeping over Sam's face as he continued to hold back the kid's bangs; taking in his brother's pale skin beneath the blood that streaked across Sam's forehead and cheeks along with the small cuts scattered over the kid's exposed extremities...but somehow knowing the injuries he could see were not Sam's problem.

Because those injuries were remarkably minor.

It was instead the injuries Dean couldn't see.

It was the internal damage that Sam had sustained in the accident that was slowing pulling Sam deeper; precious seconds ticking by as his brother slipped into the kind of unconsciousness that people never woke from.

Dean swallowed at the sudden urgency that flared in his chest. "Hang on, Sammy..." he encouraged, once again grasping the kid's hand as he turned back to the medic who had been calling to him earlier. "Hey..."

A familiar creak echoed through the front seat of the Impala as the driver's side door was pried open by two firemen, revealing an upside down world that had gotten darker since the wreck had happened; more time having passed than Dean realized.

Dean blinked at the harsh glare of the flashing emergency lights that surrounded the scene and then focused on the medic as the man reached for him.

"No," Dean refused; wincing as he snatched his arm away from the medic's grasp. "Take my brother first."

The medic shook his head. "We have to take you first, so then we can reach him," he patiently explained.

Which would make sense, since the passenger side door had been completely crushed upon impact with the truck...

Dean sighed at the news. "Fine," he reluctantly agreed. "But hurry the hell up. My brother's hurt worse."

"We know," the medic responded, his expression conveying his concern about just how badly Dean's brother was hurt.

Dean arched an eyebrow at the vaguely ominous comment and turned his attention back to Sam. "It's okay," he told his brother, aware of two other medics approaching the driver's side in preparation to move him out of the overturned Impala. "I'll see you in a minute," he promised, hating having to leave Sam alone when the kid was unconscious and injured.

But Sam didn't seem to care, making no movement or sound.

Dean sighed and squeezed his brother's hand; his fingers sliding away from Sam as the medics carefully but quickly eased him out of the Impala and onto a stretcher; several hands reaching for him as they secured him in place and began attaching various types of monitoring equipment before rolling him in the direction of a waiting ambulance.

"Stop!" Dean yelled, panicked and pissed that they were taking him away from Sam. "Stop!" he repeated, only louder, and grabbed the arm of the person closest to him. "My brother..."

"They're getting him out now," the female medic assured. "Don't worry. We'll take care of him. Just relax..."

Yeah, right.

"No," Dean growled, releasing the woman's arm and reaching instead for the straps that secured him to the stretcher.

The female medic frowned. "Don't," she admonished, attempting to prevent Dean from unstrapping himself and sitting up.

But it was useless; Dean's strength easily overpowering hers.

The stretcher stopped rolling as other medics intervened.

"Sir..." another medic called, the same guy who had initially called to Dean beside the Impala. "We need you to relax and let us do our job," he reasonably explained, motioning for a syringe.

Dean glared, knowing exactly what that syringe would contain. "I don't need sedation," he sharply informed. "I need to see my brother."

"We understand that," the medic responded patiently. "But your brother is being tended to. There's nothing you can do for him right now. So why don't you just calm down – "

" – and why don't you fuck off?" Dean interrupted harshly and shoved the medic back.

Three other medics instantly surged forward.

Dean arched an eyebrow, wondering if they had any idea what kind of trouble they were about to start.

"Dean!" a familiar voice called half-a-second before Garth came into view.

Dean blinked up at the scrawny hunter as the medics turned to look at him as well.

"Holy shit, man..." Garth uncharacteristically swore and shook his head. "I just gave my statement to the police, but I still can't believe what I saw. I mean that truck just came outta nowhere and bam!"

Dean narrowed his eyes at the description of the wreck. "I was there," he dryly reminded and resumed his attempt to unstrap himself from the stretcher.

"Are you okay?" Garth asked, his gaze sweeping over Dean before flickering to the Impala still resting on its roof. "How's Sam?"

"Not good," Dean answered, cutting his eyes at the two medics that halted his movements. "Which is why I need to get to him."

Garth didn't respond; his focus distracted and his expression darkening as he watched the emergency workers carefully ease an obviously unconscious Sam out of the driver's side of the Impala. "Oh, man..."

Dean felt his stomach twist at Garth's tone and expression. "What?" he asked, trying to turn from where he was still strapped to the stretcher; desperate to see his brother.

Garth shook his head, not sure what to say as he watched at least half a dozen medics swarm around Sam. "He's hurt pretty bad."

"No shit," Dean growled, no longer fucking around; snatching the straps from his chest in one motion along with the other medical equipment they had attached to him and sitting up before anyone could stop him.

"Sir!" the medic yelled, attempting to push Dean back.

Dean didn't move, narrowing his eyes as he realized Sam was being loaded into an ambulance that was different than the one he was headed toward. "Where are they taking him?" he demanded, standing up and blinking against the momentary dizziness that caused the world to tilt.

"St. Francis Trauma Center," the medic answered, even though Dean could read that for himself on the side of the other ambulance. "Your brother's injuries are more severe than yours, which is why he's going there and you're going to – "

" – whatever," Dean dismissed, having no intention of going anywhere unless he was beside Sam. "I'm going with my brother. He needs me."

"I'm sure he does," the medic agreed, glancing at Garth for help.

Garth shrugged, unwilling to tangle with Dean when he was like this; having heard about Dean's fierce protectiveness of Sam but having never actually seen it in action until now.

It was both awesome and scary...and long overdue, in Garth's opinion.

It was just too bad it had taken something like this to get Dean's head out of his ass and remind him about his priorities.

Idjit, Garth thought but didn't dare say it aloud; not after being snapped at by Dean earlier when he had made the same comment.

"...but you'll be no good to your brother unless we check you out first," the medic was saying when Garth blinked his attention back to the conversation. "After we make sure you're okay...after you're released from the other hospital, then you can go to St. Francis and be with your brother."

Dean snorted his opinion of the offered compromise. "Fuck that," he replied as if his expression hadn't already made that clear. "I'm going now," he informed bluntly and took a step forward, not getting far before he felt the prick of a needle sliding into the crook of his arm.

Dean cut his eyes accusingly at the medic who held the syringe. "What the fu – "

" – sorry," the medic apologized, though his expression didn't match the word. "But we have to check you over. I'm just doing my job."

"What about my job?" Dean countered angrily, leaning against the stretcher as he felt the sedative course through his system; his gaze drifting to the other ambulance as Sam was wheeled inside; desperate to be with his brother.

Because what if Sam didn't make it? What if the kid died on the way to the hospital and Dean wasn't there with him?

The possibility was too real.

"I've got it covered," Garth finally spoke up and nodded when Dean drowsily glanced at him. "I'll stay with Sam," he promised, knowing what kind of responsibility he was volunteering himself for and hoping he didn't fuck it up.

Dean glared at the suggestion of the scrawny hunter taking over his role in being there for Sam. "Garth..." he began warningly.

Garth swallowed at the implication of bodily harm if something happened to Sam on his watch but didn't allow his fear to show. "I'll take care of everything," he assured and offered a shaky smile. "Don't worry."

Dean scowled as Garth patted him on the shoulder and then jogged in the direction of the other ambulance.

There was a beat of silence.

"You see?" the medic asked pleasantly, pushing Dean back onto the stretcher and feeling no resistance as the sedative continued to do its job. "Everything's gonna be fine."

Dean snorted at the statement offered in an attempt to comfort and encourage, recognizing it as the well-meaning bullshit it was.

Because things rarely turned out fine in his and Sam's lives...especially lately.

But it was the last thing Dean remembered hearing before he reluctantly closed his eyes and unwillingly sank back into the silent darkness.

Everything's gonna be fine.