A/N: Another tearjerker, so I hope you have the Kleenexes ready! Many thanks to all those who follow, favorite, or read my work, it means so much to me! And as always, I don't own Supernatural or any of its characters. All rights reserved.

Triibute

You don't know him, and if you've even just heard his name mentioned once or twice, you'd probably shrug it off as someone you met at the local bar or some dingy roadside diner. To the many young women who were lucky enough to spend the night with my brother, you probably only remember those piercing green eyes and teasing smile (well, more than likely you remember something else…). A young woman by the name of Lisa and her son would remember him initially as the best weekend of her life" but then, as something more. As the man who saved her son, who eventually helped to raise him, who loved him as his own. A man with this tough guy, hard as nails exterior, who played his music a little too loud, ate far too many cheeseburgers, sometimes drank a little too much; a man who despite his love of junk food, Metallica, and evenings picking up ladies, loved with all he had, would fight to the death for those he cared about.

My brother, Dean Winchester, would do anything for me. I remember the nights he would go hungry so that I wouldn't have to. The bullies he so eloquently scared off so that I could actually feel somewhat safe at the latest school our father had enrolled us in; the cuts and scrapes he soothed with all the tenderness of a mother and the late night pep talks on how to pick up girls or how to hustle pool without getting caught (if you were lucky, that was, beaten to a bloody pulp by a pissed off drunk if you were less fortunate).

Those in our secluded community knew Dean Winchester as a master of his craft. He had been taught by one of the best, and poured those skills and knowledge into every hunt. He lived by the Winchester family motto that he had coined himself years ago: saving people, hunting things. Passed on from one generation to the next, and my brother fulfilled that role with a grace and finesse rarely seen in the hunting community. His eyes would brighten with excitement at the mention of tracking down a werewolf, a creature that is rare even in the supernatural community. But as much as he loved the hunt, he loved his kid brother more. That same werewolf job, the one he had been as excited as a kid on Christmas morning to head on, I had been forced to make one of the hardest decisions of my life; and Dean was there, still willing to kill the creature, not out of enjoyment, but from love. Because Madison had begged me to pull that trigger, an act which repulsed me to my very core, and my brother wanted to spare me that agony. And I love him for that. Because even though I had ultimately granted Madison's final request, I knew that my brother had been willing to protect me.

It had been his one job since the fire which claimed our mother's life all those years ago: drilled into his head by my father, to protect Sammy at all costs. And he did. With every fibre in his being, my big brother did. He carried me out of our home when I was only six months old; he'd taken the brunt of so many fights, supernatural or otherwise, to keep me safe, putting his own life on the line on far too many occasions. God, I can't even remember how many times Dean has saved my ass in my lifetime. But the one that sticks with me, the one that I loved him for, and yet absolutely hated him, was when I had died the first time. It was my twenty-fourth birthday, a day which will stick with me to my deathbed, and I had been mortally wounded. I died in my brother's arms. And Dean sacrificed his life, his very soul, to bring me back. Suffered forty Hell years for me. And when he came back to me only four months later, saw the miserable and broken man I had become, he stood by me. Man, it was tough. If there was ever a time my brother would just forget it, it would have been then. I had stolen his innocence in a way; his trust in me. I was no longer the little brother he had known since childhood; the pudgy kid who would always run to him for protection. I had gone along a dark and very dangerous road, and instead of following his hunter's instincts, he chose to ignore all red flags about me. He forgave me, he stood by me; and eventually, I regained his trust. It was one of the happiest days of my life.

Dean Winchester was more than a brother. He was my co-pilot, my partner in crime, my mother, my best friend. I know if he were here, he'd be rolling his eyes right now, because this whole speech is pretty well breaking his "no chick flick moments" rule. You know, as a kid, I had absolutely hated being called "Sammy". I remember telling him when we met up in Stanford that "Sammy" was what one would call a chubby twelve-year-old. Dean, of course, didn't see the logic in that. Sammy it was, and Sammy it would be until he drew his final breath. And though I never admitted it to him, I actually kind of liked it. Because when he called me Sammy, I knew everything was all right. When he teased me over my hair or my taste in food, it was "Sammy"; when he was afraid for my wellbeing, and relieved to find me still kicking after our latest hunt, it was "Sammy"; when all was well in the world, he'd call me by that dreaded nickname.

And those months I had teamed with Ruby, had become a demon blood junkie, had placed my trust in a demon over my own flesh and blood, I had not heard it. Not once had my brother called me Sammy. It hurt worse than any physical wound I had suffered ; and he doesn't know it, but the day he finally called me Sammy, I made some excuse to leave the dump we'd been staying at. And I cried.

I'd give anything to hear it. To have him call me Sammy just one more time. It's sad, but my voicemail is backed up with messages from Dean that I can't just bring myself to delete. Because it's his voice, him, my Dean. It's the last connection I have with him, other than his car, tape collection, and an old, leather jacket. The messages are pretty run-in-the mill, "getting supper, be back soon" or "don't wait up for me" but I just can't delete it. Because cars eventually break beyond repair, and already the jacket is losing some of its scent, but that voice, his voice… you know, if I close my eyes, it's like he's still here, ready with a stupid joke and one of those cocky grins. There to clean out wounds or just provide a bottle of Aleve and a glass of water. He's not dead, just not here at the moment. I would go to bed believing that lie; sometimes, I would even sleep relatively well, free from nightmares.

And then I wake up.

Dean Winchester was a good man, one of the best hunters in the business, and yeah, he was a smart-ass. But he was also my brother. And yeah, Dean, I know this is going to be the mother of all chick flick moments, but I love you, bro. Wherever you are man, spill some for me.