Author's Note: Hi there! I'm alive! Sorry for the abrupt two days without posting, but real life got insane and by the time I had time to write, I was exhausted. So, I'm back now and you all can enjoy three prompts for today! Please look forward to it. Okay, so the first prompt for today comes from 3DBABE1999, who asked for a season 8 story with Sam dealing with suicidal thoughts and PTSD and featuring Garth. Thank you for this prompt! I've actually wanted to write something along these lines for a while, but you finally gave me the opportunity to do so! Thanks! Warning: this story does deal heavily with suicide. If this bothers you in anyway, please just skip this chapter! Thank you! This is set after "Southern Comfort". Please enjoy!

"I made it through the year and I did not even collapse

Gotta say, "Thank God, for that"

I'm torn between what keeps me whole and what tears me in half

I'll fall apart or stay intact."

Reliant K, "Merry Christmas, Here's to Many More

It's not exactly how he pictured spending Christmas Eve.

The motel room is silent save the whir of the old heater. The old black and white TV plays some old Christmas movie that everyone's seen, but no one can ever remember. The twinkle of Christmas lights pours in through the empty window, illuminating an otherwise dark room. He's alone, sitting on the bed. Dean's out doing God knows what. He's been avoiding spending time with Sam ever since the spectre possessed him, not like Sam can blame him. Having your older brother point a gun at you, call you a failure as a brother and then try to kill you kind of does a number on your psyche.

The feel of pain as his fist connects with Sam's face. The sheer fury radiating from his brother's frame. The harsh words spilling out from his mouth. Garth trying in vain to knock some sense into Dean only for his older brother to remain undeterred.

"Goodbye Sam."

Waiting for the gun to go off, for the pain to hit, for him to die—

Sam snaps out of the flashback and tries to control his rapid breathing. It's over, he reminds himself, and Garth stopped Dean from killing him. Still, the pain from the flashback refuses to recede. If Garth hadn't had been there, Dean would've killed him. Dean hated him that much. How much of his older brother's actions had been the work of the spectre?

The gun is heavy in his hands and as if noticing it for the first time, Sam runs his hand over the top of it. The cold metal is smooth under his skin and he wonders if maybe this is the best way. Ending it all . . . it's a selfish way out, he knows that. It would be better go down in a hunt. At least Dean could've been proud of him that way, could have a story to tell other hunters.

But . . . the hatred in Dean's eyes, the clear feeling of betrayal—Sam can't wait for a hunt to go wrong. He has to end this here and now, on his own terms. It's the least that the universe owes him. He's never had a choice when it came to his own destiny; he's never been able to make his own decisions! If only he had died back in Cold Oak all those years ago, none of this would've happened. Dean could've been happy. Bobby, Ellen, and Jo—everyone who had ever died for them could've lived.

He's tired of letting some unknown force call the shots. For once, he's going to make his own choice. And doing this . . . it's what he wants to do. It's not like Dean would care anyway. He clearly made his feelings known when he had called Benny a better brother than Sam had ever been. Sam rises from the bed and places the gun down before heading to his duffel. Digging through the folded stacks of shirts and pants, his fingers brush the cold, metallic object he had been seeking.

Had it really been so many years ago that he had given Dean the amulet? The amulet that his brother had never stopped wearing until he had thrown it out and in a sense, thrown Sam out. The youngest Winchester had kept it, of course, and had held onto it, hoping there would come a day when Dean would want it back.

Because watching Dean throw out the only physical object of their bond had been devastating.

Still, Sam had understood why his older brother had done it even if it had broken his heart. Heaven had played them, of course. They had wanted to manipulate the two brothers until they would feel so isolated and trapped that their only way to escape was to say yes to Michael and Lucifer. In some way, Sam felt like he deserved the pain of seeing the amulet tossed aside. He had started the apocalypse, after all. He had deserved the pain and the suffering. Yet, they had overcome the end of the world. They had survived the Cage and Dick Roman together. The two of them had come so far from that horrible moment when Dean had tossed out the amulet and Sam had dared to hope that they might finally be able to be as they once were.

How foolish of him. His hopes got dashed every time.

He thinks about leaving a note, but realizes that nothing he can say will change or fix anything. So, he simply places the amulet on the table and heads back to the bed. Picking up the gun once more, he can't help but feel relieved. At last, he can make his own choice. At last, he can free Dean from his burden of being forced to be with Sam. Now, he can go hunt with Benny without feeling obligated to stay for anyone. Sam wishes it didn't have to end like this, but he can't stand to see the hatred in his brother's eyes any longer.

He places the gun to his temple and shuts his eyes.

Dean isn't sure where he's going.

He's been walking ever since he dropped Sam at the motel room and that was over a half an hour ago. Yet, the eldest Winchester can't turn back. He had said some horrible things to his little brother and he had been ready to kill him. If not for Garth, Dean would've pulled the trigger. The part that truly bothered him; however, was that deep down, he meant most of what he said. He was bitter over how Sam abandoned him to be with Amelia. Even when Dean had been with Lisa—per Sam's wishes—he had never, not even for a moment, stopped thinking of his little brother burning in Hell. How could Sam have been so content to live an apple pie life? Why hadn't he looked for Dean? It just didn't make any sense to Dean. You didn't go through all the crap that they had been through and then just give up on each other. It didn't work that way.

His cellphone rings. He ignores it and keeps walking. It's probably Sam, wondering where he was. Well, good. Let him worry for a change!

It rings again. Dean picks up his pace.

Three times and finally, Dean stops and answers.

"What?" He growls.

"Dean?" The eldest Winchester freezes in his tracks.

"Garth?" He mutters, wondering why the hell he was calling just days after their last hunt. "What are you—?"

"It's Sam." Garth answers shakily, sounding anything but the usually relaxed, come-what-may hunter he was. "Dean, I think something awful has happened to Sam."

"What do you mean?" Dean questions, spinning around back in the direction that the motel room was, fear filling him with adrenaline. "Did you talk to him—?"

"No, no," The relaxed hunter replies quickly. "I'm with a psychic, working on another hunt, you know? And she just froze up and started telling me that she saw Sam with a gun pointed at him in a motel room." Dean's walk turns into a sprint. "Dean . . ."

Please don't say it, Dean pleads.

"She says Sam will die tonight."

Before he can even acknowledge what Garth has told him, Dean hangs up and quickly steals a motorcycle from the parking lot of a bar that he passed. He knows that this probably knowing—the psychic could be crazy or repeating a vision that might've happened in the past—but that doesn't stop the worry from shifting into overdrive.

Yes, he and Sam have had a lot of problems recently.

Yes, he's still pissed at Sam for leaving him in Purgatory.

But, that doesn't mean he'll ever be okay with his brother dying and leaving him alone. And crazy psychic or not, he's not going to risk his brother's life. Maybe he's forgotten how to be a good big brother recently, but he damn well knows that if Sam's in trouble or hurt, then it's his job to make it better.

Hang in there, Sam.

He's about the pull the trigger when Dean storms into the room, out of breath and disheveled. Sam's eyes meet his brother's clearly frightened gaze and the youngest Winchester grimaces.

"Sam—" Dean begins, but Sam tightens his grip on the gun.

"Don't." He pleads. He can't bear to hear anymore about how he screwed everything up, how he left Dean to rot even though he was sure that Dean had died and left him all alone. He can't deal with one more disapproving glance from his older brother.

He can't do it.

"So, what?" Dean questions, closing the door slowly behind him. "I'd come back and find you dead? That was the plan?" There's anger in his older brother's tone and Sam understands why. It takes a real idiot to screw this up too.

"You weren't supposed to come back—" He mumbles.

"Until you were already dead?" He flinches at just how sharp his brother's tone is. Then, suddenly Dean's hardened expression softens and his green eyes seem to mist over with grief. "Sam, don't do this."

"Why not?" He challenges, tears stinging his eyes. He won't cry though, not in front of Dean. "It's not like you care!" Dean flinches back in surprise.

"What do you—?"

"Don't!" Sam snaps, the gun still wrapped tightly in his hand. Then softly, "Don't play dumb Dean. I know you meant what you said."

"That's what this is about?" Dean questions carefully, stepping in closer to Sam, but not too close. He doesn't want Sam to feel pressured and pull the trigger. "What I said?"

"You think I let you rot while I was with Amelia?" Sam challenges, biting back sobs as the sheer grief overwhelms him. Dammit, he's stronger than this. Suspiciously though, Dean seems to be near tears as well. "I thought you were dead! I searched for you but there were no leads and dammit, Dean if I had known, I would've done anything to have gotten you out!"

And in that moment, Dean knows it's true.

God, how could he have believed that Sam had just given up on him? Had Purgatory changed him that much that he no longer believed his little brother—his little brother, who was now ready to remove himself from Dean's life permanently and that was just unacceptable.

"Sam, put the gun down." The famous Dean Winchester is begging now, something he would never do for anyone other than Sam.

"No." Sam grits out.

"Please, man," Dean continues to plead, a lone tear snaking down his cheek. He's lost Sam once before—he won't do it again. "Don't do this."

"Dean—" The finger on the trigger trembles and the eldest Winchester knows he needs to get the gun away from his brother now.

"Sam, I need you, okay?" He admits finally. "Please, Sam. If you do this . . . hell, I'll just follow you." His youngest brother's eyes widen at that.

"No, Dean—"

"Put the gun down then, Sam." Dean orders, summoning of the authority that John Winchester used to use in his tone. "Please, Sammy. Don't do this." Slowly, ever so slowly, Sam lowers the gun down from his temple and puts it back on the bed. With a speed faster than he even knew he was capable of, Dean pulls his younger brother into his arms—much like had done when they were younger—holds him until he's sure that he's not going to vanish before his eyes.

If he had ignored that phone call—

He wasn't too late though.

Dean wasn't going to lose his brother again.

He holds onto him even together than before, silent tears rolling down his cheeks.

The next morning, Sam wakes up to find Dean snoring next to him, the amulet once again around his neck. Sam grins and whispers,

"Merry Christmas, Dean."

Author's Note: I hope you all enjoyed! Two more chapters will be coming your way sometime later today. Please review! Please note that I will be closing requests on Christmas Eve so if you have a prompt, submit soon! Thanks!