Summary: Tag to 8x23 – "Sacrifice". While the angels continued to fall from the sky above them, two Winchester brothers huddled together on the cold ground in front of the Impala – seeking comfort in each other while Heaven dissolved and the rain kept falling. Warning: Spoilers!

Author's note: I absolutely LOVED the season 8 finale – especially the scene between Sam and Dean at the end which had me sobbing my eyes out for those boys. I originally didn't plan to write a tag to this episode, but my good friend Karen suggested that I wrote a tag and now my hands are writing of their own accord. What to do about it? ;)


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"How it felt to have the world moving beneath me, a hand gripping mine, knowing if I fell, at least I wouldn't do it alone."

- Sarah Dessen, "What happened to Goodbye."

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Angel after angel continued to fall from heaven. They lit up the dark sky in a glorious lightshow that looked like millions of tiny little meteors raining down, while two Winchester brothers huddled together against the side of their black Chevy Impala from '67 – both of their faces illuminated by the lights as they stared at the falling angels above them.

"Why are they falling?" Sam all but whispered – the back of his head lolling against the car while raindrops dripped from his floppy hair.

Dean tore his eyes away from the falling angels to look at his brother; his eyes scanning Sam's pale face and the pain lines that were visible around the younger man's eyes. It was the tears though that got to Dean – had always been his weakness to see Sam upset – and the dread on Sam's face that made his heart ache.

"Sam -" Dean started.

"Did they fall.. because of me?" Sam asked as a fresh tear rolled down his cheek and got mixed with the drops of rain that still fell from the sky, as if Heaven was crying along with him. "Did they fall because I didn't complete the trials?"

"No Sammy." Dean promised and pulled his hurting and shivering brother closer before rubbing a hand up and down Sam's upper arm in hopes of providing him with some warmth. "None of this is your fault, you hear me? This is all Metatron's doing."

"But why?" Sam asked - sounding like a little kid asking his big brother to explain the things he didn't understand. "I know a lot of them are a bunch of dicks.. but this? This is.."

"Yeah." Dean agreed before Sam could finish his sentence and tightened his hold of Sam as the younger brother slumped against him. "I don't know, Sam."

The loud thud of an angel hitting the ground nearby made the younger brother jump in Dean's grasp. Sam clenched his eyes shot as another wave of pain ran through him and he failed to hold back the gasp that came along with it.

"Sammy, you okay? Talk to me." Dean demanded with concern.

"Just.. give me.. a second." Sam wheezed out between clenched teeth, then whimpered as the pain intensified and he fisted Dean's jacket in a hard grip.

"Hey hey." Dean said in a soft voice, untangled Sam's fingers from his jacket and grasped his brother's hand instead. "You're alright, Sam. Just breathe through it."

"Can't." Sam gasped out and buried his face in Dean's jacket as the pain kept washing over him.

"Yes you can. Come on." Dean said, placed his hand on the back of Sam's neck and let his thumb gently rub the damp skin that seemed to be too hot in the cold rainy air. "I'm not leaving you. I'm right here, Sammy. I'm right here."

They stayed like that for a while – Sam grunting and gasping from the pain that consumed his beat-down body while Dean held him close and murmured an endless stream of encouragements to him – all the while angels continued to descend as they were one by one cast out of their home; as they were one by one cast out of Heaven.

"I'm gonna get you home." Dean promised when the pain finally seemed to cease a bit and Sam exhaustedly sagged against him. "Then I'm gonna patch you up and tuck you in, in a warm bed."

"No.. Stay.. bit here.. with you." Sam slurred out and bore his face deeper into Dean's jacket – one hand still clutched in his brother's hand while Dean's other hand remained on the back of Sam's neck.

"I never could get you to bed at a proper time, could I?" Dean asked with a fond smile. Sam didn't answer but Dean hadn't expected him to do so anyway.

The oldest Winchester brother pushed Sam back a little to shrug out of his jacket – briefly wondering where the hell Sam had dumped his own jacket - and wrapped it around his still shivering brother before pulling him close yet again.

"Dean?" Sam asked after a few moments of silence.

"Yeah?" Dean asked, mildly carding a hand through Sam's rain-slick hair while watching the falling angels through the misty rain.

"I need to tell you something." Sam said.

"If it's one of those 'I need to tell you something before I die'-speeches, then I'm not interested." Dean said. "You'll be fine."

"Dean." Sam all but whined. "It's important, okay?"

"What is it?" Dean sighed while working out a plan in his mind of how to get Sam off the cold ground and into the comfort of the Impala as soon as possible.

"I need to tell you the reason why I didn't look for you.. when you were in Purgatory." Sam said.

"I already know that, Sam. You told me remember?" Dean said.

"Not.. not all of it." Sam said, coughed a bit and shifted in Dean's grasp before sagging against his brother once more.

"What do you mean?" Dean frowned.

"I just.. I didn't know you were.. Had I known I wouldn't.." Sam started a bit unintelligibly, clenched his hurting stomach for a moment and then let out a shaky breath before continuing. "I thought you were dead, Dean."

"Yeah, you've said that." Dean nodded and gave Sam's shoulder a mild squeeze. "No more apologies, Sam. You've apologized enough."

"You don't understand, Dean. I thought you were dead." Sam panted out. "I thought you were.. in Heaven."

"Sam -" Dean started but was cut off before he could continue his sentence.

"Had I know that you were anywhere else than there, I would have looked for you. Had I known you were in Purgatory, I would have found a way to get you out." Sam said. "I would Dean, I swear. But I thought you had finally found peace – that you had been reunited with all the people we've lost during the years; Mom, Dad, Bobby, Ellen, Jo.. All of them."

Dean stared at his little brother in silence while Sam continued his confession.

"I thought you were happy.. and I thought I was doing what you would have wanted me to do; to live my life and find happiness as well. I just wanted to make you proud of me." Sam said, then stopped for a moment to cough harshly and suck in some shallow gulps of air.

Dean moved his hand down to rub at Sam's chest, concern filling up his heart more and more by every pained sound that escaped his little brother's lips. Sam would be alright now that he'd stopped the trials, right? Right?

"I can't even begin to explain.. the horror I felt when you.. returned from Purgatory and I realized that instead… of making you proud of me, I'd let you down. Again." Sam wheezed out, his voice breaking on the last part. "I did love Amelia but.. had I known that you'd been anywhere else than in Heaven, I would never have hooked up with her. I would have looked for you, okay? I need you to understand that."

"Sammy." Dean said in a soft voice.

"You got mad at me when I told you that I'd stopped hunting." Sam said and squeezed Dean's hand tight as pain flared once more. "You said that you couldn't do this life without me, so what makes you think I could continue the family business when you weren't here?"

Raindrops still fell from the sky and got mixed with the tears that were yet again making their way down the youngest Winchester brother's cheek – the hurting, physically and emotionally exhausted Sam Winchester that Dean should have known had a deeper explanation to why he hadn't looked for him. Dean's heart swelled with love for his little brother and he gently wiped his thumb across Sam's tear-stained cheek before placing a rare but soft kiss on the top of Sam's head.

"Jesus, kid." Dean whispered. "You should have told me."

"We should have told each other.. a lot of things." Sam said in a tired voice and Dean nodded in agreement.

When another angel smacked into the ground only a few feet away from them, Dean decided it was time to get Sam into the safety of the car and take him home to the Batcave. He didn't know how to stop his brother from hurting, but Dean swore he would find a way to fix his Sammy. They could figure this out – they always did.

"Come on." Dean said, slipped his arms underneath Sam's armpits and braced himself for the upcoming struggle it would be to get Sam into the car without hurting him even more. "Just lean on me, okay?"

Sam nodded and then sucked in a sharp intake of air as Dean started pulling him to his feet. Sam's world tilted immediately and his eyes started rolling into the back of his head while he fell limply into his big brother's arms.

"Sam!" Dean exclaimed and let out a grunt as he struggled to hold up all of his brother's weight. "Geez.. Come on. Come on, Sam. Snap out of it!"

Sam's eyelashes fluttered as he fought to stay conscious and Dean managed to prop him up against the car while he reached for the car door handle.

"D'n." Sam slurred out and weakly fisted Dean's shirt.

"You're okay." Dean promised, opened up the door and began the task of getting Sam inside the car.

Once he had gotten his brother seated, Dean closed the door, rushed around to the other side of the car, opened up the door and slid behind the wheels in one smooth motion. Dean then turned the key in the ignition to roar the car to life, before he turned to check on Sam who was still slumping in the seat next to him.

"Hey." Dean said, reached out a hand and gave Sam's shoulder a quick squeeze.

Sam lifted his head and blinked his eyes open – confusion evident on his too pale face.

"Hey." Dean repeated and watched as Sam slowly turned his head towards him – green eyes blinking drowsily back at him when Dean caught eye contact with the younger man. "You good?"

Drops were still dripping from Sam's wet hair, rolling down his face and allowing Dean to notice the dark furrows underneath his little brother's eyes and the scratches on his cheek. Dean's eyes narrowed by the sight of them, and he grasped Sam's chin with two fingers before turning his head a little to inspect the scratches.

"How did these happen?" Dean wanted to know and gently probed the tender area.

Sam hissed and tried to draw back from Dean's grasp but Dean just placed his other hand at the side of Sam's head to keep him in place.

"How did they happen, Sam?" Dean repeated.

"Abaddon showed up." Sam said. "Threw me through a window."

"She threw you through a window?!" Dean growled in a low and dangerous voice. "I'm gonna kill that bitch!"

Both brothers jumped in their seats as an angel dumped onto the trunk of the car, reminding Dean that they had to get out of there and back to the Batcave.

"I swear, if that angel made a dent in my baby.." Dean mumbled – then shot the old church one last look before turning the car around, and started driving away from it down the muddy road.

Even with the heaters on full blast and Dean's jacket wrapped around him, Sam continued to shiver on the seat next to him – body bent slightly forward and both arms wrapped around his midsection - so Dean reached over and closed his fingers around Sam's arm.

"Come here." He said in a soft voice and pulled Sam towards him.

Sam grunted unhappily as he was forced to move, but he soon settled down as he rested against Dean's side – head coming to a rest against Dean's shoulder.

"That bandage around your arm.." Dean remarked while keeping both eyes on the road to steer out of the falling angels. "You wanna tell me what that's for?"

"You're not gonna like the answer." Sam mumbled. His voice slightly muffled by Dean's shirt.

"Try me." Dean said.

"Crowley bit me." Sam confessed and hadn't his eyes been closed at that point, he would have noticed Dean's knuckles turning white as the older brother clenched the steering wheel hard.

Dean seriously considered turning the car back around to drive back to the church and kill Crowley with his bare hands, but decided to focus on the most important part; getting Sam home safe and sound. And then figure out if the ER was the next neccesary stop for his little brother.

"It's a good thing you've already got your tetanus shot." Dean muttered. "Remind me to give you a shot for rabies too though."

They drove for a while in silence and since Sam was slumping against him with his eyes closed, Dean figured Sam had drifted off to sleep and was therefore quite surprised when Sam suddenly spoke.

"Hey Dean?" Sam asked in a tired voice.

"Yeah Sam?" Dean responded.

"Do you think Cass made it?" Sam wanted to know.

Dean sighed and washed a hand down his mouth and chin.

"I don't know." Dean answered. "But I hope so."

"Me too." Sam said and buried deeper into the comfort of Dean's presence as pain once again hit him. "You know.. I really thought we would win this one."

Dean glanced down at Sam – who, despite everything he'd gone through, was still alive - and gently brushed the younger brother's bangs out of his eyes.

"In a way we did, little brother." Dean said, reached out to turn on the radio and settled on a soft rock station. "In a way we did."

While the angels continued to fall from the sky above them, two Winchester brothers huddled together in the safety of the Impala – seeking comfort in each other while Heaven dissolved and the rain kept falling.

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