Know No Fear

Summary: 1-shot. Dean POV-Worried about his brother and with no way of knowing what's happening to Sam or if he'll ever see his brother again, Dean waits in the Maine woods to learn one way or another and as he does he ponders his own buried fears. Angsty/Worried!Dean /Exhausted!Sam *Spoilers for 08x19 Taxi Driver*

Warnings/Spoilers: Warning for minor language. It does contain spoilers for 08x19-Taxi Driver so if you haven't seen the episode beware.

Tags: This is tagged to 08x19 Taxi Driver.

Disclaimer: I don't own the show or the boys. Kripke and the CW own those. This is written for fun and enjoyment.

Author Note: This is the first of what may be three more tags for this episode and since Dean's voice came through it's in his POV. Enjoy.


Woodlands in Maine:

'Know no fear, show no fear.'

That's what I grew up hearing and is mainly the mantra that I've lived by ever since I was old enough to understand that my Dad wasn't like your normal everyday nine-to-five Walt Cleaver like Dad.

I grew up with an ex-Marine turned obsessive hunter of the supernatural for a father and one of his biggest beliefs was that you never show fear and you sure as hell shouldn't feel it and that's worked out well for me, for the most part.

Anyone who looks at me would never see the fears I may have, the ones I learned to bury. Hell, there are times when even I have a hard time recalling the fears. I mean sure there are the vital ones that no amount of forgetting will work but to the everyday people it would take a lot to see even those on my face.

A fear of fire is probably normal for most people but when you know your Mom died burning on the ceiling of your little brother's nursery when you were four and you've spent forty years or months in Hell then a fear of fire brings new meaning.

I still manage to hide it from most people. My Dad never knew about it. Only Sam's figured it out but hey, he knows better then to bring it up since I know one of his biggest fears and will clown his ass if he bugs me.

Of course Sam is also the only person living to be able to make me show those fears when normally I'd bury them under the usual mountain of sarcasm and quips.

When we're fighting it's easier to hide them but these days the fights are few and far between and Sam's more open to reacting to my moods…like he used to be when one wrong word or a wrong tone would bring out my little brother's puppy dog eyes and I then feel like a heel. I seriously regret ever teaching him that move.

I'm the older brother. I'm supposed to know what's best for not only Sammy but also for myself. I'm supposed to protect him since no matter how old that kid gets or how tall he is (I still hate it that my baby brother is four inches taller than me) I will always be his big brother and I'll fight to keep that one damn promise.

"'So long as I'm around nothing bad'll happen to you.'"

I made that promise to him before realizing just how screwed up our lives were and despite a lot of problems I have tried to keep it, especially in these last weeks when I've also come to understand how much these damn trials are hurting him.

Know no fear? Right. Whoever made that line up clearing doesn't have a kid brother who has taken on completing three trials that will slam the gates of hell shut on Crowley's ugly face forever.

They must not have a brother that I'm watching get weaker with every trial and they sure as hell have never had to see Sam's eyes go haunted in a way that I haven't seen since before I went to Hell.

Sure, I won't know fear the moment I know my brother's safe…which brings me to where I am now. Standing in the middle of the godforsaken woods in Maine where I know the door from Purgatory should be since this is where I popped up from after a year in that damn place.

I'd hoped to never come near this place or Purgatory again after I got out but again this is my life and when does it ever do something I want. I've been kicking myself ever since Kevin told us he'd translated the second trial and we figured out that it required going into Hell to spring an innocent soul.

Okay, Hell+Winchesters never equal good things, especially when the King of Hell wants us both dead or screaming on a damn rack so actually going into Hell brought me close to facing another fear…until Sam reminded me that he needed to do it solo.

So that math is Hell + my little brother going into Hell solo equals all sorts of bad news but what I didn't count on is that the damn rouge reaper that we found to help sneak Sammy in would drop him off in Purgatory.

I spent forty years Hell time in the pits of Hell after making a deal to save Sam. I spent a year trying to survive in Hell's backyard of Purgatory and if I was given a choice of which I'd repeat…I'd rather be back on the racks of Hell than deal with what I did there for a year.

Knowing Sammy's saw even a small part of that scared him but then once I learned that his ride out had been killed and both he and the innocent he was sent to save were stuck in Purgatory the fear I wasn't supposed to know or feel turned into downright blind terror and I had to make a call and ask for a favor.

Asking Benny to go back there to find my little brother hadn't been easy and I was surprised that after I'd broken off all contact with him that he was so willing to help me but he was my last hope to get Sam out. I'd been there, I knew what Purgatory was like and what it did to me so I was damned if I'd leave my brother there any longer than he needed to be.

Sam only asked a few questions about my time down there but that was when we were bickering pretty bad and I know he only stopped asking because it usually brought up some bad crap. Like my time in Hell I never told him the truth of Purgatory because those were my nightmares and I refuse to ever let that touch him.

Now I have to hope Benny can get him and Bobby's soul out before Sam can be hurt since no matter what he says about taking care of himself, I'm still his big brother and I know him. I can see the pain he's hiding, I can see the fear and I also know he's losing strength which scares me.

Ever since I got back from Hell my geeky little brother has always been a strong person. He built up not only the physical strength but also the mental strength to survive on his own…or kind of and has kept that despite all the crap he's gone through.

These days I see a lot of that isn't there and I've caught him resorting to things, habits he used to have when we were kids. The biggest tell for me was when I caught on that I was hovering way too much and Sam wasn't telling me to back off.

He's stopped lying to both me and himself that something's wrong with him and I'm scared for him. Now I'm just plain scared since I've been here for over an hour and was actually expecting to find Sam waiting for me.

The hunter in me knows just about everything that could've gone wrong with sending Benny back to Purgatory after Sam.

Benny might not have gone back, he might not be able to find Sammy since it is a big place, he got jumped before he could find Sam since by helping me Benny made a lot of enemies or…and this is my biggest worry, Sam reacted before Benny could explain I'd sent him.

Being that Benny is…was a vampire and that would normally make him prey to hunters he was one of the issues between Sam and me when I got back.

I understood Sam's issues since I've had similar ones myself over the years but Benny got me out of Purgatory and now I was hoping he could do the same for Sam without my little brother reacting first and killing him but the longer I wait now, the more on edge I'm getting and I'm starting to wonder what it would take to find my own way in even if it was a one way trip.

I regretted letting Sam go into Hell alone since I was afraid of what he'd see since even his time in the Cage wouldn't have prepared him for what he'd see now.

The thought of my little brother being stuck in Purgatory alone and without anyone to have his back? No, that just wasn't happening so long as I was alive. I'd sacrifice my life and go back in there if it meant standing by him. I always said we'd go down fighting and if we went we'd go down together. That hasn't changed.

I've watched over that kid since he was still a chubby baby in his crib and I'll keep watching over him until one of us is dead for real…which won't be for many years if I have a say in it.

The air changes and I feel the charge in the air even before I see the bright blue light that seems to make the woods light up and I'm moving toward it before even bothering to consider that it might be something other than what I'm hoping it is.


I would know my little brother's shadow anywhere. I would also know just by the way he seems to off balance that he's either hurt or exhausted and since I know where he's been it's hard to guess which one without seeing him.

Sam's just clearing the trees when I get close enough to see him and one quick look is enough to tell me that he's dragging and is ready to drop but it's the moment he sees me that I know. He saw too much and wasn't sure if he'd get back home.

The sight of fear, doubt, and relief all flash in those big hazel eyes but even as he starts toward me I'm already halfway to him and tossing my 'no chick-flick moments rule' out the window by reaching out to grab him and hold onto him like I did after making the deal to save his life in Cold Oak.

Dad didn't raise his sons to openly show emotion or affection often so Sam didn't grow up hearing how much he actually meant to either me or dad. While Sam has always been more open and usually wore his heart on his sleeve it takes a lot to make me drop those shields to freely show my brother emotion.

Usually Sam hitting me with puppy eyes or realizing he was alive again or the night I saw him again after getting out of Hell. At this time I don't care about Dad's rules or my own rules. I wasn't sure if I'd ever see the kid again and to see that open emotion shining in his eyes overruled everything else and I gave in.

Sam's holding on to me as tight as he would after Jessica died and he'd wake up reliving her death or…the day he woke up after having his soul put back in and had latched onto me.

Under normal circumstances I'd hold the hug a few seconds then let him go with an easy comment but it was feeling the way his hands were gripping my jacket and I heard the way he gasped that I held on a little longer and waited until he was ready to let go.

I still keep a hand on him when he does ease back since I can feel him shaking and I can't be sure if he's hurt where I can't see or if he'd just been through too much. I'll figure that out much later when we can get the hell out of these woods.

The fear I've felt since he first walked off with that Reaper isn't as strong but a part of me knows that I'll always feel it until these trials are over and I can only hope Sam survives it. Every damn one of these hurts him but this is the first time I've actually seen it and I can honestly say I don't have good feelings about it.

Between freeing Bobby's soul, being tossed by Crowley and now finding out that Kevin's taken off or something happened to him, Sam's finally fallen to sleep in the Impala on the way back to the Men of Letters base that we've been using.

I've kept the music turned down low so it won't disturb him but the low sound will let Sam sleep since he could always sleep in the car so long as I had the radio turned on.

He hasn't said much about what happened yet and I haven't pushed but I can tell by the haunted look in his eyes that what he did see scared him and when those emotions and memories come out I'll be tossing that rule for an entire week just to get him back on solid ground again.

When Sammy broods about things he's gone through or seen and it might mesh with something I know he won't be happy until he gets me to talk about it. The past few years I've been able to avoid those talks but since Sam's opened himself up to those deeper more Sammy-like emotions again it's the only way to help him and no matter how bad I hate it I'll do what it takes to help him.

I see that he's gripping that arm in his sleep and I know that arm is the one that reacted to the completion of the trial. It's also the one that he's been favoring which means it's getting weaker so I'll have to watch that and him.

Having a moment to myself allows me to think of Bobby. I'm glad that he and Sam did have that final moment together and that Sam knows that finally the man who was as much a father to us as Dad was is finally at peace and that he helped with that.

I also think of Benny. After Naomi had left and I'd gotten Sam settled in the Impala, I buried Benny's bones rather than burn them…just in case I ever get the chance to repay him for saving my little brother and bring him out of Purgatory.

Sam seemed worried when he told me that Benny hadn't made it out, about him using himself as bait for other vampires and allowing Sam to escape. I think he was worried I wouldn't believe him but I didn't need my brother's big eyes and the pain in them to tell me that he wasn't lying. I'd heard Benny's voice before I sent him back and wasn't surprised by this.

As a vampire it had to be hard on Benny to be an outsider even among his own people. He was a prime target for vampires and for hunters. He was tired of it and as someone who knew what it felt like to be an outsider and more often than not a target I couldn't blame him for not coming back.

Not that I won't ever lose the hope of seeing him again. I owe him bigtime and I always try to pay my debts, no matter how long it takes.

Reaching over to pull his jacket up more around him, I can't help but remember when he was younger and didn't have all the crap in his life that he does now.

I know he has to do these trials by himself…though without Kevin or the tablet I'm not sure how we'll figure out what the third one is, but I told him the other night that while he might have to carry the load I sure as hell can carry him.

Crowley, Naomi, Castiel…angels, demons, whatever the hell else wants to pop up can but if they plan on coming after my pain in the ass little brother then they'll have to go through my cold dead body because I'll face Heaven, Hell, fire and fears if it means keeping Sammy safe.

He'll sleep until I shut the car off or he has a nightmare. I hope it's the first choice since I know he's too tired for nightmares and I'd rather deal with those indoors and not in my car.

Keeping my hand on his shoulder, I feel it shake once and hear him mumble something that makes me aware that my choices are handle a bad dream in the Impala or give up and find a room for the night cause he's not gonna make it back home without waking up.

Knowing and facing my fears are one thing. I'll face those and know that I probably always will be hiding the ones that I can when I can since Sam doesn't need to worry about me when he needs to focus on what's facing him.

Knowing about Sam's fears and facing them have never been a popular thing in my book but now that we're nearly back to a position in our lives that doesn't have us fighting every minute of the day I'll face his fears with him and make sure that he never has to know the ones that could hurt him more cause that's what big brothers do.

That and ignore the crazy things that little brothers do to drive me nuts.

The End