A/N: I do not own Supernatural or any of its characters. For entertainment purposes only.

As I Lay Dying

As I lay dying I can see him running to me, fear and hurt in his eyes. My vision is hazy, but I can hear the crunch of mud caked boots on gravel, can hear my name being called from trembling lips. I try to focus, to look up at my older brother, my hero, but I don't have the strength to keep my head up, or to hold my gaze to him. And even though the pain is excruciating, like white hot coals, I feel a greater hurt in my chest, knowing that I am about to die in his arms. That I am causing my brother a pain far worse than what I am enduring. For mine will eventually fade and I will slip away, hopefully to a better place. A place where Mom and Dad are alive and well, where Jessica will be forever by my side. But Dean, the older brother who loves me more than anything, will feel that emptiness; that hurt that will never fade with time, slow and painful, like a stab wound from a rusty blade.

As I lay dying I can feel shaking hands pull me close, clutch at the back of my coat and momentarily pull back at the feel of the warm blood seeping from the stab wound, the aftermath of a haunted man's desperate attempts at survival of the fittest. He looks into my eyes; I can see him, but my own eyes are out of focus. I need to stay awake, for Dean, but I can feel the life slowly drain from my body. My heartbeat slows, my breathing irregular. I can hear Dean's voice, but can't understand what he is saying; his voice muffled. I hear not a word except one: Sammy.

As I lay dying, I see my life flash before my eyes. As cliché as it sounds, I saw everything, every memory since I was four years old. And I relish in those memories, take comfort in the slide show that plays before me:

Sitting in one of many shady motels, watching as Dean begrudgingly hands me the last bowl of Lucky Charms: reaching out one chubby hand to my big brother, a cheap toy wrapped in plastic in my hand. "Do you want the prize?"

Patting me on the shoulder the night I left for Stanford, eyes bright with the tears he is trying so hard not to shed. "Be careful out there, Sammy."

Sitting shotgun in the Impala, rummaging through Dean's geriatric tape collection: "House rules, Sammy. Driver picks the music, shotgun shuts his cakehole."

As I lay dying, I can feel the pain my brother is enduring, and I want so much to make it stop, to make everything all right. But I can't. But I can't help but feel a sense of relief, knowing that he's with me, until the very end; holding me, comforting me. Being my big brother, the protector, always there. I let my body relax, feel the life slowly slipping away, lingering memories fading like summer as the warm days linger to fall.

And as I slip away, my soul leaving my body, no longer Sam but an empty shell, I can feel my brother's heart break, shattering in thousands of little pieces, each one piercing his very soul. I want him to take comfort, know that I am at peace, no longer suffering but free, soaring. But there will be no comfort for him, only the bitter agony of life without me. A life of drunkenness and reckless hunting. I can't bear to think of it.

And as I lay dying, my body trembling in my brother's arms, I realize that I am thankful that I have not witnessed the same thing happen to Dean. Because I know that if our roles were reversed, I would be a broken man, a desperate man, living my life in a tailspin of anger, pain, and revenge. I cannot watch my brother die before my very eyes, watch that spark of life fade from his eyes. I can't be the one to bury him, to say goodbye for ever, and walk away with only a leather jacket, a collection of classic rock tapes, a Chevy Impala, and years' worth of memories. I just can't.

I would rather die.