That's Who We Are
K Hanna Korossy

Sam stood in front of the group of hunters, two of whom had killed him in the past, and drew his shoulders back. "Um, so, my-my brother and I, we-we, um…" Sam sighed. "No, you know what? I called you here because people…um, our people, are being slaughtered."

Dean listened to his brother stepping up, but a part of his mind flitted back to earlier times. Sam passionately captaining a debate team. Sam deciding on a college and going, come Hell or John Winchester. Sam taking the lead when Dean was lost in grief, floundering in Hell memories, trying to make a life with Lisa, pessimistic about the Trials, a freakin' demon.

Sam was the scholar, the diplomat, the sacrificial lamb. The little brother. That's usually all people saw. They didn't get that, at heart, Sam was the go-getter of the two of them, the true leader in their team.

Smiling quietly with pride, Dean sat back to watch his brother come into his own.

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Dean gave him one last silent look, then hobbled out the door. Sam stood in the doorway and watched his brother ease into Jody's police SUV while Jody loaded a handcuffed Mary and an equally restrained Toni Bevell into the partitioned-off back seat. Dean drove away with a bum leg, two prisoners, and a steel resolve to save their mom.

Sam couldn't help but think back to the cock-of-the-walk Dean had been as a kid. Good at sports and girls, he'd shine at every school they went to, even if he was indifferent to studies. Yet he chose his geeky little brother every time over parties, dates, all the cool stuff other kids aspired to. And he kept choosing Sam, over his own needs, his own life, his angelic and vampire friends, sealing off Hell, the world.

People looked at him and saw a lover, a warrior, a strategist and leader, the life of the party. They never seemed to see the family guy he was at heart, content to let his brother take the lead while he stayed home and helped his mother.

"You've got this," Sam quietly echoed his brother's words to him from moments before. Then he turned away to prepare for battle.

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Mary hugged both her boys—her adult, tall, strong boys—and closed her eyes to soak them in.

Retreat had been so much easier. Heaven. Then the little world she'd fashioned in her mind where she was safe from that English bitch's brainwashing. A place where she was with her babies again, in a world she understood and belonged in.

But she'd just witnessed what incredible men her sons had become, again. Leading and loving, sacrificing everything for what they believed in.

Dean buckled a little, bad leg giving way, but Sam just tightened his grip around both of them. Dean whispered something to him that had Sam swallowing and nodding. Dean's fingers flexed against Mary, like he was fighting to keep his emotions reined in.

And she clung back. Because if her sons, who'd lost so much more than she, could still offer up themselves for family and others, well.

She could, too.

The End