A/N - So this is my first published attempt at a Supernatural fanfic. This bunny popped into my head at work and wouldn't go away. I'm not sure how good this is, but I figured if i didn't get it up now, it would simply hang out on my hard drive. Please, no flames or nasty PMs!
A/N 2 - Set sometime after "All Dogs Go To Heaven" so spoilers for season 6
Disclaimer - I own nothing. All recognizable characters are owned by Kripke, the CW and whoever elses name is on the contract.
"So, why are we headed to Santa Fe?" Dean asked, shooting a sideways glance at his passenger.
Sam sighed. They'd been over this already, but Dean still felt the need to ask again and again. "Crowley said the Alpha shapshifter's been spotted in that area."
"Crowley said there's an Alpha there" Dean mimicked before smacking his hand into the steering wheel. "And just like that we're headed to Santa Fe? Because Crowley thought it was a good idea?"
"Well, he's kind of calling the shots right now, Dean," Sam said, resisting the urge to rub away the rapidly forming headache. Funny how I don't remember getting headaches before I started traveling with Dean again. Must all be part of the souls equal suffering lesson.
"And whose fault is that, Sam? " Dean snapped before muttering, "Stupid friggin demons, stupid friggin Alphas, stupid friggin little brothers who lose their friggin souls."
Emotions or no, something snapped inside Sam. "Dean, pull over," he demanded as calmly as ever.
"Excuse me?" Dean asked, "You're not driving, Sam, if that's what this is about. I'm not going to be responsible for you running over some little old lady who got in your way."
Sam gripped the door handle tightly, "I am getting out of this car in 10 seconds, whether it's stopped or not, Dean." He began to count backwards, "10…9…8…"
"Sam, what the…" Dean looked for a spot to pull over as he saw Sam's grip tighten.
Sam yanked the handle and flung the door open just as the Impala rolled to a stop on the edge of a large meadow. He didn't have to look over to know Dean was climbing out of the car and that he was furious. Ignoring the fuming brother behind him, Sam walked towards the open field, arms outstretched, yelling, "Crowley, it's time to talk!"
He had barely reached the fence when a much-despised British voice answered, "If this isn't about my Alpha, then I suggest you turn around and climb right back in that monstrosity on wheels before I decide to carry out my threat, Sam."
Sam smirked, "That's exactly what I want you to do." Behind him, he heard a rapid intake of air from his brother.
For a brief moment, Crowley was stunned, "Come again, mate?"
"You heard me. He," Sam jerked a thumb in Dean's direction, "Is done working for you. Since we both know you're a man…err, demon of your word, then obviously you're next step is going to be tossing me back in the hot box."
Dean shook himself free of the shock that froze him when he heard his brother's intensions, "Sam, what…"
"Dean, you don't want to be here. You don't want to be hunting; you don't want to be away from Lisa; and you certainly don't want me around. You've made that very clear over the past couple of weeks.
"I might not have the emotional caring half of Sam, but I wasn't lying when I said I still have all the memories. Sam's big brother, the person who sold his soul just to bring Sam back to life – that big brother wouldn't have a second thought about working for a demon if it meant saving his brother from daily torment. But you do. Sam's big brother would have actually had to think twice about capturing the Alpha versus saving the town. He'd have saved the town, but it would have been a struggle. It wasn't for you. I'm not really sure you care too much about Sam – souled or otherwise – anymore. You actually seemed disappointed to find out I was back from hell. Although given how things went down that year and a half before Stull, I can't say I'm really surprised. How upset were you that your brother jumped in the hole, Dean? How long were you waiting for the right time to fix the mistake you made in Cold Oak?"
"I never said Cold Oak was a mistake!" Dean almost shouted.
"You didn't have to. I…Sam…whoever saw it in your eyes as soon as you started remembering. You were so easy to read it was painful. I kept expecting you to ask Cas to time travel you back to that night so you could stop yourself from making the deal.
"I'm here now aren't I?" Dean huffed, "That's gotta count for something."
"Because Lisa kicked you out," Sam said bluntly. "Be honest, Dean. If it wasn't for what happened when you were a vamp, you'd have dumped me and headed back to her a long time ago."
Dean opened his mouth to retort, but couldn't. Truth of the matter was, Sam was right. He'd thought about heading back to Lisa's and begging her to take him back for weeks. The only thing stopping him was concern about Crowley; he didn't want the demon – or one of his minions – dropping by during breakfast or using Lisa and Ben as leverage. They had already been endangered once because he wasn't careful; he wasn't going to put them in harms way again.
There was a brief flash of something in Sam's eyes as Dean's silence confirmed his statement.
Sam held up a hand, cutting his brother short, "No feelings, remember? You can't hurt me. But I didn't ask for this; I didn't expect to come back at all, and I am sorry I ruined your life, again. Go back to Lisa; I'll make sure he," Sam tossed a look over his shoulder at the crossroads king, "promises to leave you alone."
Dean was still shocked and rapidly moving between fury and fear. "Why, Sam?" He spat out angrily, giving it free reign, "Don't pretend this is for me; you'd actually have to feel something to willingly give a rat's ass about anyone other then yourself."
Sam shrugged, "I still have memories. I remember that I would have done anything for you, even this. And maybe I am doing it for me. I'm tired of wondering when you're going to try to say enough and try to kill me; tired of being treated like an errant dog. I know you won't just leave, not when I might be a danger to others, so I'm giving us both an out. You won't have to worry about your obviously evil little brother, and I won't have to worry about getting my soul back. It's a win-win, Dean."
Before his brother could say anything else, Sam turned and walked back towards a still stunned Crowley. "Let's do this thing," he smirked.
Crowley hesitated for a second before shrugging his shoulders, "It's your funeral, mate." He grabbed Sam shoulder and both disappeared in a flash of red light, leaving nothing behind but an echo of a scream.
Dean stood there, shock threatening to overwhelm him. His baby brother – well, half his baby brother – had just willingly gone to hell a second time. And this time it wasn't to save the world, or even to save a life. This time it was because he thought it was what Dean wanted. He'd sometimes wondered, when things were at their worst, exactly how far he could push Sam. Even before Stull, he thrown things at his brother – let him have it with both barrels – just to see if Sam would really stick it out. The only time he'd ever pushed too far was when he'd called Sam a monster. That had led to the mother of all fights, and Sam walking out the door. Even their father's ultimatum "If you walk out that door, don't you ever come back" wasn't enough to stop him. But Sam had come back; firmly chastised and with his tail between his legs, but he'd come back. Dean had never told him, but he'd grudgingly respected Sam's determination to fix things. Anyone else would have probably eaten their gun at the earliest opportunity, but Sam saw that as the cowards wawy out. Even throwing the amulet out – knowing that his brother thought Dean was throwing him out – wasn't enough to make Sam walk away. But this time…this time Sam wasn't going to play second fiddle; wasn't going to listen to his brother's incessant barbs whether they hurt or not; wasn't going to stand by and be Dean's punching bag. So instead, he made his own destiny; chose the option available whether he liked the outcome or not, and willingly walked through the door.
Dean stared at the patch of ground Sam had been standing on before he disappeared and swallowed hard, feeling bile rise in the back of his throat. Once he was convinced his stomach was going to stay put, he turned and ran for the car. He threw it into drive and roared onto the road, headed for a salvage yard in South Dakota. Bobby would know what to do and between the two of them they'd bring Sam back, hopefully with his soul, but Dean would take however much of his brother he could get, and this time he'd be grateful for it.
A/N - Ok, before anyone jumps down my throat, I love Dean, and I do think he cares for his brother. This fic is what I came up with after having issues with how he's treating Sam (and has treated Sam in the past). I know Sam's souless and needs a watchdog, but does that really mean Dean needs to say every mean thing that comes into his head?