Author's Note: I know, I know, you're probably thinking, "Center of the Galaxy, shame on you! You should be updating your other stories!" and yes, you're right, I should, but this plot bunny has been hopping around in my brain for the past two weeks and ignoring it has only made it worse. So, I figured I would just write this and then get back to work on my other stories. This is a bit AU, but not by too much. This was inspired by one of my friends and I discussing tragic flaws of characters on the Supernatural universe. Set season 1. Please enjoy!

"You've saved my life over and over. I mean, you sacrifice everything for me. Don't you think I'd do the same for you? You're my big brother. There's nothing I wouldn't do for you."

Sam, "All Hell Breaks Loose Part 2"

It feels like a nightmare—that's how far removed from it Sam is.

He keeps staring at his older brother's broken form, waiting for Dean to suddenly sit up and joke about what a close call it was. He'd tell Sam not to be such a "girl" and then tease him about how wimpy he is. In the end, he'd let Sam mother hen him, for more Sam's sake than his own and call Sam a bitch.

Dean won't do that this time though.

The youngest Winchester's eyes are locked on the space where Dean's lungs should be pulling in air, only they aren't and Sam knows that's the reason why Dean won't wake up.

Why Dean won't wake up ever again.

Pain so sharp cuts through him that he's doubling over, gasping for breath that won't come and it shouldn't come. Why should he be able to breathe when Dean can't—won't—ever again? Why hasn't the world just stopped turning and swallowed him up yet? God, how can he move on with his life after this? First, he lost Jess and now Dean—

Black spots fill his vision, as the oxygen seems to vanish from the room. Deep down, he secretly hopes his heart has finally decided to stop beating and put him out of his misery because life without Dean is no life at all. Life without Dean means nothing to fight for. Sure, Sam could go find John but the eldest Winchester would simply blame this on Sam's decision to leave all those years ago.

If you had never left for Stanford, you'd have never gotten rusty and Dean would've never—

"No." He moaned as his body shook. Dimly, he realized he was going into shock, but he didn't care. He felt so far removed from this—like he was standing on the outside, looking in. He had studied this once, in his psychology class. Some people to deal with grief had to distance themselves from the deceased. Otherwise, the pain could lead to both physical and mental breakdowns—

Dean would've laughed at the fact that he had managed to retain that useless piece of information, yet he couldn't remember to follow a simplified command to dodge. If Sam had just remembered that "Roll Left" meant get out of the way a second sooner, Dean would've never had to push him out of the way. Dean would've never been stabbed by the creature's poison spike.

Dean wouldn't have died.

But, Sam had hesitated and Dean had pushed him out of the way and now the man that had been so larger than life had been reduced to a frail, ashen body. He wasn't sure how long he'd been here in this little clearing. The creature was long gone, not that Sam cared. The sky was growing darker and logically, Sam knew that he should grab Dean's body and prepare to give his brother a hunter's farewell.

"Dean," Sam whispered, the image of his brother's body in flames too much to handle. "God, Dean." He wept openly, unashamed. Who was going to call him on it? He reached out and touched Dean's wrist and flinched at how much colder Dean had grown.

"Sorry about your brother."

With a feral growl, Sam spun around, gun aimed at the heart of a young woman who stood before him. She was young, in her 20's with amber hair that kissed her exposed ebony shoulders. She was the kind of girl that Dean would flirt with and that thought in itself made the rage dissipate. Sam knew she wasn't human—no way could a normal person get out here all by themselves—and the youngest Winchester secretly wished that she would finish him off now too.

"Demon?" He inquired tiredly, not even bothering to check. He let his eyes drift back to his brother's face—such a peaceful expression, it was almost as if he was sleeping and God, Dean, wake up and say something!

"Not quite," She answered and took another step towards him. "I'm not here to kill you, if that's what you want to know."

"Oh." Sam deflated.

"What are you going to do now?" She inquired quietly.

"What do you care?" He spat, fury coursing within him once more. If she tried to take him away from Dean, Sam would kill her, no matter what she was.

"Your pain . . ." She shifted uncomfortably. "It's quite loud." He spared a glance for her then, confusion marking his expression. "Listen, for some reason, I've been told to offer you a choice."

"A demon deal?" Sam questioned carefully, because he had heard of those. You gave up your soul and got 10 years of your life and whatever deep desire you wished. Demon deals were death sentences, but no one usually figured that out until the Hellhounds were at their door. A flash of hope surged within Sam. A demon deal could bring Dean back. So what if Sam was killed in the process? It wasn't like he had much to live for right now.

"No." She replied.

"Then, what?"

"It's more of a promise," The woman explained. "You give me your word that you won't do something and I'll bring Dean back."

"What do you want me to promise?" Sam asked, because this seemed too good to be true.

"In two years, you'll be in a fight with a man named Jake," The woman told him, coming to stand at his side. "You'll have a choice to kill him. Promise me you won't do that and instead, you'll walk away." Sam tilted his head to the side in confusion. It wasn't in his nature to kill things anyway, but to have some creature want him to spare someone was odd. Usually, it was the other way round.

"Why?" He asked.

"Sorry," She replied with a sheepish smile and a shrug. "That's top secret. Now, do we have a deal or not?"

It only took one more glance at Dean's body to approve of the decision that had been forming in his mind the moment the mysterious woman had shown up. She held out her hand and she he quickly shook it, an odd light emanating from her hand.

When it cleared, she was gone and Dean was once more beside him. They were in the Impala, where they had been three hours before when they had been driving to the forest.

"Hey," Dean began, shooting him a concerned look. "Bad dream?"

"Yeah." Sam managed to say, eyes pricking with tears because he was just so relieved. He had another chance and he wasn't going to lose Dean.

"You wanna talk about it?" His older brother pressed and Sam chuckled dryly, a few tears escaping. "Sammy?"

The youngest Winchester began to sob, relief washing through him because dammit, it had been too close and he couldn't lose Dean again. It would kill him. The Impala's tires crunched as Dean pulled over onto the side of the dirt road. He held Sam, bewildered and concerned, and let his little brother get rid of whatever was bothering him.

"I've got you, Sammy." Dean whispered, his grip tightening on Sam's shoulder. "It's going to be okay."

Sam knew it would be.

Author's Note: I'm so glad I finally wrote this! I hope you enjoyed it. Please leave a review if you have a moment! Thanks!