US Army Cadence call

My honey heard me comin' on my left right on left

I saw Jody runnin' on his left right on left

I chased after Jody and I ran him down

Poor ol' boy doesn't feel good now

M.P.s came a runnin on their left right on left

The medics came a runnin on their left right on left

He felt a little better with a few I.V.s

Son I told you not to mess with them ELEVEN Bs (That's code for infantryman.)

. . . . . . .

Dean had had it. He'd been to Hell, Heaven, and Purgatory. He'd been a hunter and tried to be a typical suburban guy. He'd died more times than he could remember. Most of all, he had tried since he was four years old to look after his little brother, only to have Sam resent him time and again. Thirty years now, and he was damned tired of all of it – of people screwing him over, of never being good enough, of never being enough.

Of saving the world just to have it kick him in the gut.

If Sam wants out, so be it. He wants to go back to college - he should go. He wants to be Jody of military fame, stealing away a soldier's wife – well, that wasn't fine with Dean but he also can't stop it; Sam can be with Amelia – have his dog – and he can do it without me, Dean decides. I've lost everyone who meant something to me, except Sam, and Sam doesn't want me here.

What's a guy whose best skill is killing going to do? Join the military.

"Son-of-a-bitch," Dean swears at the computer when he finds out he is too old to join the Marine Corps. He always kind of thought if he went in, he'd do what his dad did. "Well, fuck all – you gotta pass security clearance tests to be Special Forces. And Rangers gotta jump out of planes. Bad enough to have to get in one." Boats are too confining. Air Force says planes to him. He chews on his lower lip when he reads that the Army, where this is the almost the last year he's eligible to enlist as far as his age is concerned, might not take him with a G.E.D.

First step is buying a good background packet. Obviously, he needs it to be a good enough job that fingerprints would come up clean. Background – well, hell, with life experience, he thinks he can buy a high school diploma and a college degree. He'll get diplomas, and have faked transcripts from a community college in something suitably vague from a big place with fairly low standards. Plenty of them around. If he stays out of the military fields that require security clearances that should be okay.

Then Dean Winchester disappears, and Dean Mossberg walks into an Army recruiting station in Dallas, Texas. He has a birth certificate that puts his age at 34, a Texas driver's license, a ten-year-old associate's degree in general studies from Richland College, an unimpressive work experience, a clean police record, and says he'd like to go infantry. The recruiter, Staff Sgt. Gary Jones, thinks if this guy can read, write, and pass a physical – he's a win in the quota column. As a matter of fact, he looks good enough on paper that the recruiter drives him to the MEP station and sets him up on the ASVAB – which he aces the whole way through. He passes the physical with no waivers too.

"Man, scores like that, you could fill one of the more technical specialties or maybe one of the elite fighting groups," the Staff Sgt. Jones says. But Mossberg gives a crooked grin and asks if he could maybe get a little rank instead. Paperwork comes next, and Dean is surprised to find out that he is enlisting in a career field that'll give him bonus money for signing up. PFC Dean Mossberg gets sworn in and is told to report to Fort Banning, Georgia, in five days to begin training.

Less than one week. He'd start with the hardest first and go take the five-hour drive over to Kermit, Texas, to say goodbye to Sammy. They may not be on the best of terms right now, but he's family, and Dean's not some punk kid running away. Dean has some identification for him too. Sam Mossberg was created as a just in case – for soldier's life insurance benefits.

"You did what? Dean?" Sammy's a little pissed off at the news. "You know you're going end up in a combat zone? You could die fighting in some sandbox for nothing. What the fuck, Dean?"

Okay, maybe more than a little.

"What about Cas? What if he comes back? What about the family business?"

No, that one's too low. Dean can't let it ride. He lifts his green eyes and glares at his brother. "You don't get to talk to me about the family business, Sam. You didn't even answer the phone, or the voice mails, or look for me." He's building a full-steam burst of anger and trying to choke it back at the same time. This is his Sammy - the last of his family. Without Sam by his side there's no such thing as a family business any more.

"Forget it, Sam, just forget it. I've got one thing I do need from you, though. Can you look after baby until I'm done training? The recruiter said I'm not supposed to have a car."

Sam shakes his head in disbelief, but agrees to that. He asks Dean if he wants to stay for dinner with him and Amelia, but the thought turns Dean's stomach. He asks if Sam would instead just him a lift over to Big Springs where he's catching a Greyhound bus tomorrow for a two-day journey.

Their parting is anticlimactic - these two brothers who once would have done anything for each other. Have done the impossible for each other. "Keep in touch," Sam chokes out. He doesn't know why this feels so wrong. His brother is just going to do something normal, let him be normal.

Dean pulls his brother in for a hug. Claps him on the back, locks the last remnants of Dean Winchester in the trunk, and says, sure, he'll stay in touch. Neither one of them foresees weekly phone calls or letters home.

Dean slips his duffel over his shoulder and walks away.