A/N: Hi everyone! So this is my second Supernatural fic, though I have written a couple of other things on this wonderful site. So here's the thing: this is a bit of a project that I've started to keep myself writing even when I feel like I have nothing to say.

So here's the deal: I'm going to write one one-shot per episode. Sasha Snape says that I'm driving myself to drink, but so far it's been fairly smooth sailing. If you guys have any ideas about certain episodes, I'd be happy to hear them, but know that I've got a list of prompts for three quarters of the episodes, so I may not write your prompt. But I'd love to hear your ideas. Just, no Wincest or Destiel because I honestly don't ship either of them. Just brotherly love here!

Please let me know what you think! I'm excited for this, and already have a bunch of one-shots written already. I'm aiming to update every Tuesday, so please review so I know that I should continue!

Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural. This is a work of fiction based on characters from The CW's Supernatural, created by Eric Kripke.

To completely plagiarize someone else, "Being his real brother I could feel I lived in his shadows, but I never have and I do not now. I live in his glow." Who said that? Why was his relationship with his brother so important? Doesn't matter. This isn't about him. This is about them, and the moments we don't get to see.

Engineering the Future

Dean had imagined this day since that balmy July evening when a rickety tin door had slammed shut and seemingly separated his family forever.

Depending on his mood, there were several different scenarios that would play out. When he was at the bottom of his third bottle, he would imagine showing up at his front door, having him open the door, stare at him, then shut it again without a word. The second bottle was kinder, allowing them to pass on the streets, perhaps nodding at each other before the one went on with his normal life, leaving the other to thank a God that he didn't believe in that he had at least seen him one last time. The first bottle didn't give him enough hope to even attempt to dream up a reunion with his little brother.

The fourth bottle was Dean's favourite. He would get an excited phone call and drive all the way to Stanford just so that Sam could tell him he was getting married face to face. They would settle into a table at some hoity-toity bar or into a booth at some frou-frou café and would talk as though no time had passed. The natural lighting would fade to black and neither of them would move. Topics of conversation would wax and wane until they found themselves in the same companionable silence that graced the majority of their childhood together.

Sam would eventually sigh sadly and mutter something about having to be in court early the next morning, to which Dean would make a crude joke that would have Sam blushing behind the ears as he laughed. Dean would walk him to his car and deal with the chick-flicky hug bestowed upon him by a drunk and/or over-caffeinated Little Brother. As they pull apart, Sam would get all shy and red again as he stammered through saying that he hoped Dean would be his Best Man (because screw this Brady kid that introduced the happy couple). Dean would laugh, hug his brother, completely deny the tears in his eyes, and say "Who else could fill those shoes, bitch?"

Dean would hang around in California for a couple of months and relish in being stationary for the first time since he was four. He would meet Jessica, automatically start calling her Jessie, and plan a small bachelor party for Sammy and his college pals before taking his kid brother on a kick ass, blow out 'Brochelor' party in Vegas to make up for every birthday, Christmas, and any other calendar holiday that they had missed out on. On the day of the wedding he would straighten out his brother's tie, all the while denying that he had asked the guy at the store how to do so. He would give the kid the picture of Mom that he carried around in his wallet with the explanation that she needed to be there with him on this day. He would stand up next to his little brother during the ceremony, give the most awesome speech ever written during the reception, and dance with his new sister-in-law when the time came.

While he and the other, less important guests waved the happy couple off (he had even given them the Impala to borrow for their honeymoon road trip up the Pacific Coast Highway) he would get a phone call from Dad, saying that he had finally pinned down the son of a bitch who had killed Mom, and that he needed his son there with him. Dean would hotwire a car and go. He'd stand side-by-side with his father as they ganked the sucker, turn, and shake his father's hand before walking away from the life.

He'd stand hat in hand on Sam's doorstep when they returned from their honeymoon, praying that his baby brother still had room for his older, less intelligent but far more handsome brother in his new married life. Sam would laugh and pull him into a hug, ensuring him that of course he would always need his big brother. After all, he and Jessie apparently hadn't come home from their month-long vacation on their own, and this kid was gonna need a really cool uncle to bitch at when his/her parents were giving them a hard time. Any nephew of his was gonna be educated in the ways of the Impala, rock music, and the Dean Winchester Scale of Burger Perfection. Any niece of his would also be educated in these things, but he would need to be there more for Sam when the boys came snooping around, because what was more intimidating than two guys over 6-feet tall who had marksmen's abilities?

Dean would maybe become a cop, or a mechanic, or maybe even a firefighter, but one thing he would do for sure is protect his family. He'd gank any evil bastard that came within a thousand miles of that two story, white picket fenced house on Normal Boulevard.

Maybe he'd settle down, maybe not. All that was important to him was that his Sammy was happy.

That was all that would ever matter to him.

So, when it came down to it, Dean would have traded everything he had for it to have not happened like this. Never like this.

Sam had imagined this day since that first night alone at Stanford.

At first, he'd dreamed that Dean would show up, kick his roommate out, and curl up in the twin bed approximately six feet away from him. Dean would go to the registrar and apply to the school and get in, obviously, because his big brother was a genius. He'd probably take engineering, because Dean could do things with machinery that Sam could never have dreamed about. They'd watch each other's backs on and off campus, and when one of the dorm rooms ended up being haunted, they'd take care of it, as though they had never been off the job. Dean would go on to open his own body shop, while working side projects like helping to rebuild homes for people who lost them in fires or natural (and supernatural) disasters. Sam would become a kick ass lawyer and help the law protect people. He'd help Dean on the weekends at the shop or with the houses, because they were brothers and why wouldn't he? They'd still go out and watch the stars when they could, and they'd make sure to go to the first game of every season for the Jayhawks. They'd make a weekend of it. Just Sam, Dean, and the Impala. Of course, Jess would be fine with it. She'd love Dean as much as he did, because what wasn't there to love? Eventually, he and Jess would get married and Dean would be his Best Man (even though Brady would throw a fit about it, but Dean was right, he was better off without douchebags like Brady in his life), then go on to be the best uncle to the kids they would have. Dean would meet a nice girl and they'd settle down too, and soon it would be Winchester Weekends, filled with barbeques and Little League games and dance recitals and tinkering with the Impala while drinking a cold one together and hiding from their wives and kids.

A few months in, the dream changed. One of the kids in Sam's classes had a brother in the military, who surprised her by showing up during lecture wearing his fatigues and announcing that he had been honorably discharged and was staying home for good. She'd broken down into tears and hugged him until the professor had just wiped his eyes and dismissed the class, claiming that he didn't want to bring the room down by talking about the Battle of Yorktown in 1781.

Sam started imagining that something similar would happen to him. Dean and Dad would kill the thing that had killed Mom, then Dean would stroll right into his Economics class wearing his torn jeans, steel toed boots, band shirt and leather jacket (the uniform of one of the longest living hunters out there, and the youngest to boot), acting as though he owned the joint. Sam would launch himself into his brother's arms, not even minding that that cute girl Jessica sat only a few rows behind him, and bury his face in his brother's shoulder to hide his tears. Dean would clasp him around the back of his neck and whisper that he and Dad had gotten the damned thing, and that he was quitting the life. Dad would keep hunting with Uncle Bobby, Pastor Jim, and Caleb as back up when needed, but he was out.

Dean would help him hook up with Jessica, because he had seen the way they looked at each other, and Dean couldn't stand the lovesick puppy dog eyes anymore, then the rest of the daydream would stay the same. Engineering, lawyering, cars, court cases, house building, Jayhawks, star gazing, the Impala, wives, kids, all culminating in the two of them sitting side by side at some Old Folks Home, the lines between what they knew and what the world knew blurred by old age and one too many hard knocks to the head courtesy of any one of monsters of the week that they used to hunt. They'd sit on the front porch, drinking whatever alcohol they could get their hands on, loudly debating the proper way to kill a wendigo (Sam would say iron because he knows his big brother's mind is fading and he needs him to stick around a while longer because Jess was already gone and he wasn't quite ready to go and he doesn't want to be left alone, not again).

No matter which scenario he dreamt up (defending Dean in court, forcing him into retirement when a werewolf gets the better of him and his left leg is basically useless so Sam brings him home with him, or even something as simple as Sam just picking up the phone and asking him to visit (because it's DEAN, and there's nothing he won't do for his little brother, and Sam knows it), there was one common thread that remained the same, and that was that the time they had spent apart held no consequences. They would just fall back into being brothers, knowing that if they were back to back or side by side they would be fine.

That's why, when Dean bursts through the bedroom door and drags him out of the burning brownstone, Sam couldn't bring himself to fight at full strength. Dean was there. As much as Sam wished it had been any other scenario he had dreamt up (and not the nightmare that had been plaguing him for weeks), he knew that his big brother was there. And since when had there been any problem that Dean couldn't solve? He could've been an engineer, after all.

A/N: So there's the one-shot for Pilot! Oh, and the title of this series of one-shots comes from the quote above the title, which was actually said by Michael Morpurgo, author of War Horse and many other works of literature. Please let me know what you think! See you guys next week!