This time was different.
Dean was dying. Again. But dying was nothing new. The pain, the awareness that the next struggle for some air in his lungs might be his last, the feeling of cold metal lodged inside his chest. It was all very, familiar. He stared up at the deteriorating ceiling of the abandon warehouse he was laying in. Thick smoke filled the air and layers of wood and rubble were crashing down around him. He watched as the fire slowly disintegrated the scene surrounding him. He wasn’t scared. He never was. Not for himself, anyways. The only thought that ever crossed Dean’s mind every time his life was about to end, was Sam. What was Sam going to do without him, who will protect him, how will he do on his own?
But this time was different.
He knew where Sam was and where he was going. And he knew that he wouldn’t be alone. Dean winced at the sharp pain that shot down his spine as he tried to turn onto his side. He looked at his baby brother, laying limp just a few feet out of his reach, similar chunks of building pinning him down.
“Sam!” he choked.
“Sammy!” no response.
As he lied there in an awkward twisted mess, he remained focused on his brother. Through the smoke and sparks from the fire, Dean watched as blood pooled underneath Sam, the result of an angel who happened to use guns. He had to get to him.
With all the strength he had left, Dean lifted some of the wood and wall that held him and began to crawl. Bolts of heat shot through his body with every movement. He didn’t care. He had one last mission.
“It’s okay Sammy, I’m here. I’m c-comin’.” It was harder to speak now.
More electric shocks of pain lined Dean’s entire body as he reached out to Sam. He was so close. He stopped and stared as he had a closer view of his brother’s injuries. He was shot twice, once in the chest and once in the stomach. Dean’s eyes moved up to the gash in Sam’s head from one of the pieces of wood that fell on him.
With one last attempt at a crawl, Dean managed to grab onto his brothers jacket, pulling himself toward him. He let out a loud, pained grunt.
“Sam. Sammy please wake up. I’m here wake up.” he shook his baby brother a little too hard.
“Sammy!!” Dean buried his head into his brother’s blood soaked chest. He lied there, listening to Sam’s heart beat slow for what seemed like hours, but were only seconds, when he felt his brother struggle to wake up. Dean shot his head up, ignoring the boiling heat it shot down his spine.
“Dean?” he barely whispered it.
Waves of relief and pain washed over Dean’s body.
“Heya, Sammy.” he moved off his brother to give him some air, but still remained close.
“Where are the angels? Where’s Cas- Are you okay?! Dean your chest!” Sam tried to hoist himself up and face Dean when he noticed the blood pouring out of his older brother’s mouth. He struggled to grab onto his Dean’s clothes and cover his wound.
“Sam stop, don’t move it’s o- it’s okay. I’m fine. The angels are gone. Cas zapped em away, including him- ahh.” It hurt to talk. “Sam, you’re hurt, too.”
Sam looked at Dean, confused. Then his eyes moved down to his own chest, then below it, he touched the second wound on his stomach.
“You got knocked out right after one of the angels shot you. I ran after you, and that’s when one of ‘em got me with an angel blade.” Dean felt his eyes growing heavy.
“Dammit, Dean! We-we gotta get you out of h-” Sam’s sentence was interrupted by a series of coughs followed by thick blood he almost choked on.
“Sammy it’s okay. I don’t think either of us are gonna make it outta here anytime s-soon.” Both brothers looked around at their surroundings. There were walls of fallen rubble enclosing them, and around it were flames that weren’t getting any smaller since the whole thing had began.
“I guess this is really-” More coughs. More blood. “I guess this is really it. Our last job.” Sam tried to let out a pained smile at his big brother.
“Yeah, I wouldn’t really call it guns blazin’” Dean grinned “but we didn’t do too bad.”
It was really hitting him now. His ability to move his limbs was slowly decreasing.
“Sammy.” The brothers were facing each other now. Dean moved his hand up from Sam’s chest to cup his cheek. “Sammy, I don’t think I can hold on much longer.” he tried to smile at his little brother. Sam just stared into his eyes, making that face that always let Dean know he was holding back his tears.
“Yeah.” he tried to smile. “I don’t think I can either.” Sam patted his brother on the chest before gripping the side of Dean’s head, using his other hand to hold onto his own wounds. He felt Dean’s thumb slowly rub his upper cheek. Sam closed his eyes for a moment.
This is okay, he thought to himself. We’re together.
“Sammy, you remember Fourth of July? Bac-Back in ‘96?” Sam’s eyes were closing now, his grip on Dean’s head loosening. But he nodded.
“Dad didn’t let you shoot fireworks, you remember that?” His eyes were opening up again, only slightly. He let out a faint smile.
“You let me, Dean. Thank you.” His grip on Dean tightened a little. “It was the best night of my life.” He wasn’t lying.
“Sammy I know I’ve always needed to- needed to protect you, keep you safe. Always gotta keep you safe. But Sam I’ve always wanted you to be happy, too.” Tears were streaming down his face now.
“Dean I know.” Sam moved his hand to hold onto his brothers neck, the other still cupping his head. “I know Dean.” Sam let his own tears fall.
“It’s all I’ve ever wanted Sam.” Dean continued between sobs. “I just need to know th-that you’re happy. That I di-did my job.”
“You’re the best-the best big brother in the world, Dean.” He meant it. Sam patted the side of his brothers face. He couldn’t feel anything any more. But he knew Dean had done his job. Sam was happy. Especially now. They had done it. The Winchesters had left their legacy, and they were finally finished. No more pain. Just each other. That’s all they needed, and it’s all they had. Sam let himself relax in his brothers hands, Dean still soothing his face. He pulled Dean’s forehead tight against his own and looked him in the eyes, one last time.
“I love you, big brother.”
Dean winced in pain as he smiled, as big as he could. He gripped both sides of Sammy’s face now, keeping their foreheads held tight together as Sam’s hold weakened.
“I love you Sammy.” Dean sobbed. He looked into his brother’s eyes to find them closed.
“Sammy?” He was gone.
With tears streaming down his bloody face, Dean pulled his little brother tight into his arms.
“I’m comin’ Sammy.” Dean closed his eyes and kissed Sam’s forehead, hard. He finally let his body relax, still holding Sam’s close.
“See you on the other side, baby brother.”