I'm Not Clean

Summary: 1-shot. Dean's POV. A single statement from Sam leaves Dean speechless and wondering how to help Sam over this sudden dark period of self-doubt when he finally comes up with a way that only Dean Winchester would think of. *Angsty/worried/big brother!Dean and a little of limp/doubting!Sam* Spoilers for 08x21 The Great Escapist.

Warnings/Spoilers: I'll warn for language as always since there is a few swear words. It will also contain mild spoilers, not many but a few, from 08x21 The Great Escapist so be aware.

Tags: 08x21 The Great Escapist

Disclaimer: I don't own anything so this is written for entertainment and enjoyment.

Author Notes: While this is mainly in Dean's POV (which I don't do too often unless it calls for it) Sam is included toward the end. I hope you enjoy it. Thanks!


"'I'm not clean. I was just a little kid. You think maybe I knew deep down that I had demon blood in me and about the evil of it and that I wasn't pure? It doesn't matter because these trials…they're purifying me.'"

My little brother has a said a lot of stuff to me in his nearly thirty years of life that have managed to shock me, floor me, piss me off and nearly make me break my own no chick flick moments rule but nothing that he's said to me has been said in that heart breaking, voice shaking, tears in those damn puppy dog eyes way that has actually knocked me speechless.

"'I'm not clean.'"

It's been a long time, at least two years, since the demon blood mess has been brought back up and I'd hoped that Sam had let it fall to the way side even though in my gut I knew that we couldn't be lucky enough that with all he'd been through that that crap had been wiped clean for my brother.

Even though Sam's never brought it up I know it's bothered him a lot since he learned that the deal our Mom made to save out Dad ended up allowing that damn yellow eyed bastard access to our house in Lawrence and gave him access to Sam.

A few damn drops of demon blood not only altered out entire lives because Mom died that night but it also altered Sam in ways that no one, not even his awesome big brother, can possibly understand but Sam hasn't brought it up since getting his soul back so I, stupidly, had thought that nightmare was gone.

Now though as Sam's memories seem to be coming back from way back, hell the kid's bringing up stuff that I can barely remember, it seems like the demon blood stuff is also coming back and that worries me nearly as much as what seems to be happening to him.

These damn trials are hurting Sammy or as he said they're changing him and I'm left with no damn clue as to how in the hell I can help him.

The shakes, the bloody coughing fits, the weakness, the fever and chills and everything else that has been going on were all things I felt that I could handle so long as Sam let me.

Even his argument that what was wrong with him weren't things we could treat like a common cold, I still believed I could do something to make him feel better even if it was just to try to keep forcing food or liquid down him or keep him from face planting when his fever spikes.

No matter what he's said or the arguments he's given I've always had a comeback to them. I've never been made speechless by my baby brother…until just a moment ago when he turned to me and dropped that line on me.

I'd been shrugging off his off the wall comments as just his fever. I mean, I had just rushed back to the motel to find Sammy laying on the floor looking like death warmed over and burning with fever but I did actually remember reading him that story of King Arthur from that Classic comic and the longer I thought about it I could recall that every time I read that story to him Sammy would get real quiet for the next few hours until he'd cling to me as if something had scared him.

Sam was little and in some way as I'm looking at him now his eyes still look like they had back when he was four, all innocence and too much hurt and that look never fails to break my heart but aside from a useless 'It wasn't your fault' what the hell can I say to counter this?

"'I'm not clean.'"

We never knew when we were kids how screwed up our lives really were or would be. All I knew was that I had a baby brother I loved…yeah, now if I could just say that to him, and I took care of him. I still try to take care of him even if he is too stubborn for both our sakes but now he's looking at me with those same huge eyes that he always has when he expects me to have all the right answers for him and…I don't have it this time.

I've gone the 'it's not your fault' route ever since we realized about the demon blood, Mom's deal, what both Heaven and Hell wanted from us and the dangerous routes we each took to try to fight against what everyone said was our 'destiny'.

I've forgiven Sam and he's forgiven me for crap that neither of us had any really control over but this time, this time listening to the tears in his voice as he tries to rationalize whether or not his child-self had somehow known he had demon blood in him and that he was evil I know that my weak excuse wasn't going to work this time but I can't get my brain to think past those damn three words.

Sam thinks he's not clean and that these trials are somehow purifying him. When we started these and Sam took them on it never even occurred to me that perhaps he wouldn't be able to do them due to that damn blood.

Now that he's mentioned it I wonder if the effects are so bad for him because of it or if they'd still be hitting him this hard if he'd been cleansed when pulled from the Cage but it'd too late to question that. He's two trials in and falling hard so as the big brother I need to do two things to help Sammy now.

I need to find out what this damn third trial is so we can get it done and slam Crowley's ass in Hell for good and I have to take the look of loss and self-hate out of my little brother's eyes before we both break.

"'I'm not clean.'"

Sammy's not clean? I can't argue with the fact that he has some demon blood in him, I can't argue that he let himself get used by Ruby and tricked into releasing Lucifer but I can argue back that he fought against the damn Devil from the first moment and only gave in as a way to try to beat him.

My little brother who feels that he has never been good enough to go on a mythical quest like King Arthur's knights because he didn't feel clean fought back against Lucifer when he was in control of Sam's body in order to save my life.

Sam fought in the Cage against two warring Archangels who were pissed off that their Apocalypse got stopped by two mere mortals who didn't go along with the age old plan and even though he did some stuff while soulless that I still need to forget he fought back to do good, to help people.

Sammy hasn't always done the right things but then neither have I. Hell, I can't name one single person who has done the right things all the time and I know no one else has the crap luck to have been dosed with demon blood at six months old but in my book Sam's still done more good than he has harm so that should wipe his slate clean.

Not that I think just saying that to him will work because if I know anything about my big hearted brother is that when he'd down on himself he goes all the way down and it takes more than a reminder of all the good he's done to lift him back up.

So knowing that and seeing the way he's dropped his head like a puppy who'd just been kicked my brain is slowly starting to kick back in along with every big brother instinct I've ever had and just like that I know what I need to say even as I realize what he's been silently mouthing for the last several seconds.

"Who are you?" I ask him after a couple swallows because I hate it when my little brother hears my voice shake.

"Huh?" Sam's fighting fever, pain, loss and guilt along with things only he can hear it seems so at first the question goes right over his head so I ask it again, this time in a little stronger voice.

"Who are you?"

Sam's now very close to giving me his patented bitch face as he thinks that his fever has rubbed off on me all of a sudden. "You know who I am," he replies quietly, scuffing the toe of his boot against the worn motel hallway carpet while still looking down so I try again.

"Sam. Who are you?" I asked him again but I make certain to carefully grip his chin in my hand to lift it up so his still wet eyes meet mine when I ask it with more stress on the last word and slowly I see a light clicking on in those eyes as what I'm asking slowly starts to sink in.

"I'm…Sam Winchester," the voice shook a little but Sam doesn't fight me when I keep holding his chin to make certain he stays looking at me as a nod and give a smile that I usually only give Sam, the real one that very few people ever see on me.

"That's right. You're Sam Winchester. Now, whose blood do you have running in those veins?" this time I see the confusion on his face but I don't give him a chance to think about the demon blood because that wasn't what he was born with and it was that blood that I want him to focus on.

Since Sam is focused on the whole 'evil' aspect of this I decide on another tact when I let go of his face since I know I've got his attention and what I plan to do when I pull the silver switchblade from my pocket is sure to keep it.

I feel Sam's eyes on me as I make a shallow cut on my left wrist. Not deep but deep enough to make a thin well of blood pool to the surface then before he can react I reach for his right arm and make the same shallow cut on his wrist before closing the knife and gripping his arm so that our wrists touch.

"Dean! No, don't! You…I'm…" Sam's eyes go huge when it sinks in what I'm doing but I hold tight when he tries to pull away then I push him so that his back is against the wall when I lock eyes with him again, seeing the building fear.

"You were six the first time you saw this on a TV show and wanted to do it. I told you that it wouldn't matter because we were already brothers but you kept harping for a week until I gave in and one time while Dad was away I cut us both a little over a campfire out back of Bobby's one night," I squeeze his arm where I'm holding one more time before letting go while letting my eyes give a quick look to be sure Sam still wasn't bleeding before returning my attention to my brother.

"You're freaking out now because you know about the demon blood but you had it then too so if it was going to hurt me, it would've back then, Sammy," I tell him, waiting for his breathing to settle as that dawns on him before going back to my last question. "Now, tell me whose blood is running in both of our veins, little brother."

Blinking as if thinking hard, which if I go by the way Sam's chewing on his bottom lip, he is I feel him relax slightly but have to strain to catch what he whispers. "Mom and Dad's."

"Right again, geek boy. You have the blood of John and Mary Winchester flowing in you. It was their blood that you were born with and it's their blood that will always overrule anything else in you now," I mean that and I hope that Sam can understand that when I drop my final weapon in the arsenal of big brother wisdom on him.

"You're not evil, Sammy. You're not unclean. You…you are the son of two parents who loved you despite what it may look like at times. You were the last thing that Mom and Dad brought into this world and they did that because they loved each other and loved you and…"

Damn, no matter how hard I try my pain in the ass little brother can still make me break that one rule I've always tried to keep but since Sam's finally looking at me like he's getting the point I decide to break it and call do over once these trials are over.

"You are also my little brother. I watched you the first time you actually smiled, I was there with you from the second they brought you home and I will be with you regardless of how this ends for us," reaching up, I lay a hand on the side of his neck but don't miss the tear tracks on his face as I lightly squeeze in reassurance.

"As far as anything else goes, you were never evil or unclean, Sammy. You were just used. We were both used but you never knew about the blood when you were little and it doesn't matter what you've done it doesn't make you evil because you have more good blood in you than those few drops of demon blood will hurt.

"These trials may be taking it away and I hope, for your sake, it is, but even if they don't it doesn't make a difference to me because you will always be my baby brother and…" deep breath for this one. "…I love you and I'll always be there to take care of you."

I feel the hard shake that goes through him a second before the walls he's put up to shield both himself and me from whatever the hell he's going through now cracks and it only takes a little pull to have him reaching out shakily to latch on in a hug that I know he's surprised I'm allowing since Sam knows his big brother only does hugs as a last resort…except for the last month it seems.

I hold the hug for a little longer than normal until I feel some of the little shivers fade away. I also choose not to mention the wetness I felt on my neck since there are times to tease my overly emotional brother and then there are times to keep it to myself. This is one of those times were I hold my tongue and wait until I think he's calm again to ease him back to arm length. "So, you good now, Sammy?"

Sam won't be 'good' until this last trial is over with but I'm hoping I've gotten him over this 'I'm not clean' stage so we can get back to hunting for this messenger of God or whatever the Hell it is Sam insists we're tracking.

It takes a couple more seconds before Sam finally nods and I know he might not be fully convinced but he has taken my words to heart and will at least think on them more when I feel his hand drop to my shoulder to give a slight squeeze before letting go.

"Thanks, Dean," Sam's tired and barely on his feet but determined as always to show me what he's found so I let this go now but I'm not too preoccupied that I don't hear him as he adds in the soft voice he uses when he wants to share his emotions but doesn't want me to hear. "For believing in me still…for still loving me no matter what I've done."

I let him move shakily down the hall toward the room he insists is where this Metatron is while keeping my eyes locked on Sam for a long moment before I smile again with a chuckle at his look back to see if I'm following.

"That's what awesome big brother do, Sammy," I speak more to myself than Sam while once again making the promise to look after him…no matter who I have to kill.

We've both been to Heaven and Hell in one way or another but I will not lose my baby brother to these trials and I'll find some way to protect him…assuming I can keep him from face planting in this hallway right now which isn't looking very promising. "Hey, Sammy, wait for me."

The End