Summary: Dean's hurtful words cut deeper than you think, especially when a hunt is on the horizon. Set late season 3, possibly 'could' happen in season 4, no spoilers though. Triple drabble.

"Sam, take left...meet me up round back, keep guard."

Dean pulled away, circled the right side of the cabin whilst Sammy took the left.

Dean had majorly laid into him earlier for falling behind on hunts, not being fast enough, agile- The whole package. Something their dad had always drilled into them.

This hunt: practice. Some that Sam greatly needed, Dean thought. Some people were found dead. Decapitated. Naturally that meant another Gordo' was on the walkabout, or someone or something really had messed up killings.

Either one, it needed taking care of.

Just as Dean rounded the corner Sam's neck was about to snap.

"HEY!" Dean aimed his .45. "Let him go..." His tone deadly.

Sam grunted as the arm circling his neck tightened, pulling him back onto the heavy chest behind him, his airway bent at a painful angle.

"Sammy. Hold on..." Dean narrowed his eyes at the threat.

"Who're you...? What the hell you doin' round my cabin?" A tug on Sam's neck made Dean shoot up in the air.

"I said, you deaf sonofabicth, let. Him. Go."

The man holding Sam frowned. "Winchester..." He hissed. "I'd know the smell a' you anywhere..."

Dean's mask fell. Shit.

Now the hunt kinda' made sense. Friggin' fangs'.

Sam wheezed. And the vamp pulled him backwards as he took a stride back. "Ain't seen one of your name in a few decades boy..." He glared at Dean as Sam pulled in futile defense at his grip on his throat and reached an arm up onto the vampires shoulder to keep his legs holding under him and stop hanging himself on the spot.

Glazing eyes at the sky Sam tried to wriggle but the grip only tightened and tugged him back harshly.

He was being Fuckin' choked. As if he hadn't been in this same position before with a certain Luther, a cable, a psycho ghost, the list was literally endless.

"I suggest you leave boy, unless you want a trail of blood to this un's body..."

"Give him back or there'll be a trail of blood and your head on a spike...let him go, slowly."

The vampire cocked it's head. "I might just kill you both, get it over with...just like my nest. New blood isn't useful if they get you found...now, say g'bye..."

The vampire, although just an inch taller than Sam tipped Sam's head back, one hand on his forehead and Sam grasped desperately on the fangs' arm, tugging and pulling on the jacket sleeve.

Fisting the material Sam choked back Dean's name.

"Guhhh..."

Dean cocked his weapon. "Let him go, last time pal." Dean sneered.

Sam's eyes were too bright, he kept clenching them and staring at something above Dean.

God, the kid can't even look at me...

Sam was almost stood on his tiptoes. "LET HIM GO!" Dean stepped forward. Heart in his mouth, Sam could be taken away from him...easy as this.

The vampire nodded. "You've got fight...determination. You'll be of use..." Bringing it's own wrist to his mouth, he bit into the vein and drew blood , red teeth gleamed back at Dean.

No...

Sam could see from the corner of his eye what the vampire was doing and he realized with painful clarity what it had in store for him.

"Gahh...ugh...nnnnnooo..." Sam struggled with his last reserves and scuffed his feet trying to pry free. "Guh..."

The blood from his cut wrist oozed down Sam's jacket and soaked into his shirt.

"Shhh shhh shhh Sammy...now don't struggle, it'll only hurt worse..." Sam's heart didn't slow but the arm around his neck did loosen, only enough for the vamp to tip Sam's head to rest on his shoulder so he could bite a chunk out himself.

Well...fuck that.

Sam used his height and bodyweight to tip last second but the vampire didn't aim for his neck and with an audible 'snap' and 'click' a blade was at Sam's chin, slowly inching its way to his collarbone and just next to his shoulder.

"HEY!...hey hey!, I don't think so...you don't get him. Let him go, and I'll let you live..."

The pocket knife was poised just in reach over his right and Sam let go of the vampire's sleeve and his ability to breathe and swung both hands on the handle and pushed back.

The knife went diagonal rather than straight

Sam felt it nick just the side of his neck in a hiss and a grunt as he pushed backwards with a final shove.

The blade hit home, stabbing the vamp in its neck, he gurgled and immediately reached his hands up to clasp the object, he was screeching in breaths, choking but it looked like Sam got him right in the windpipe.

Dean watched the fiery determination in Sam's eyes as he grabbed the knife and as soon as Sam dropped away Dean fired.

The blast reverberated through his body, along his shaking arm and the smoke cleared from the shotgun.

Sam hadn't ducked out of the way, he'd dropped. He fell as soon as the vampire released the death grip.

Shit...

"SAM!"

Dean ran like hell to his brother, scattering back using one elbow and his feet, the other arm clasped on Sam's neck where rivulets ran between his fingers, he kicked away from the sprawled fang, still choking and spluttering.

Dean pulled out his machete from it's sheath on his belt and swung down where the pocket knife was still embedded.

Once the gurgling stopped, Sam's heavy breaths hung in the air.

Dean stood, left his blade on the bloody grass and hurried to Sam's side.

Sam flinched as Dean bent down and scooted back further from his brother.

"NO Dean...get back, stay as far back as you can..." Sam's voice shook, his chest heaved.

Dean only just noticed close up all of the blood covering Sam's shirt.

"Sam? what?...what the hell-"

"He bled on me..." Sam stuttered. "Just-just don't touch me..."

Dean reached out and grasped Sam's free arm. "Hey, Sam...hey! I need you to stay calm okay, it's alright. Now did any of his blood get on you, any cuts?"

Sam frowned. "I don't know...Dean I don't remember-"

"Sam think!...you're okay. Just think back..."

"I don't think so...I cut myself but his wrist..." Sam glanced down at his jacket, and the large patch of blood on the side.

"Okay, take it off, C'mon Sam" Dean helped Sam shrug out of his jacket and tossed it aside. "Let me check your neck Sam."

Sam looked fearful. "What if he-"

"He didn't Sammy, it never happened." Dean pried Sam's shaking hand away and looked at the cut, it wasn't deep but it was bleeding a lot, not bursting like oops-I've-severed-an-artery, but not just a trickle either.

It was already staining Sam's t-shirt collar and spread across half his neck.

Dean pressed his own hand against it and felt Sam inhale a sharp breath.

"Stings..." He gasped. Turning his head away, Dean could see the already forming dark smudges that would turn into vivid blue's and purple's from where the vamp almost strangled Sam to death.

"C'mon Sammy...get up."

Dean hefted Sam on his feet, Sam's hand once again covered his neck, his whole arm dripping red from the elbow as Dean wrapped an arm around his waist and helped him back to the car.

The motel wasn't that far.

Thank God...well okay not God. Thank fuck Vampires have to stay at least near human populous.

The whole drive was tense, silent apart from Sam's ragged breathing and dark stains on Dean's leather.

Then the neon signs came into view and Sam's gut clenched.

The lights hurt his eyes. His heart was too loud in his ears.

Worry assaulted his system, what if it wasn't his heart he was hearing?...

Oh God...

What if that was Dean's...

Sam was pulled out of the Chevy, tossed on the nearest bed and Sam saw a towel, the first aid kit and a bottle of Whiskey fling on the bed with him.

The towel was shoved under him, above his shoulder, the whiskey was poured over Dean's hands first, then he took a swig and pried Sam's hand free. It flopped to his side.

"Dean-"

"Shh Sam, just rest this might hurt..." Dean checked Sam for anymore blood but it all looked like it came from his neck. Dean poured a fair amount over Sam's neck using the corner of the towel to soak some of the alcohol up and pressed it against Sam's neck.

"Gah...ahhh..." Sam tensed as the blood was wiped away and then some freshly ripped open gauze pads shoved under his neck and around the towel and taped in place.

Sam's neck lolled and his vision grayed. If this was what it was like...

Suddenly he felt sick and light headed and Dean's mumbled words faded out.

Dean watched Sam stutter a breath and then still, he hoped to god he'd just passed out.

Truth was he didn't see if that scummy fang had even touched Sam's neck- or if somehow the wound on his wrist got into Sam's bloodstream or an open cut, in his mouth at all.

He couldn't tell what was Sam's blood and the vampires.

Guess he'd have to wait.

XOXO

Surprisingly Sam didn't stir the entire night, waking albeit groggily in the exact same position he'd slept in.

Dean didn't know if he should be terrified or pleased.

Dean edged closer. "Sammy? hey, you feelin' okay..." He'd lose Sam's trust and freak him out if he felt for a pulse so he asked. "You're not feelin' dead to the world are you Sammy?"

"I feel dead." Sam groaned.

"Still got your own heartbeat buddy."

"I think it's mine...or is that a headache?" He sighed.

Leaning slowly against the headboard Sam waited for the dizziness to pass, but that could be from loss of blood, and from last night too, maybe that's why the signs were too bright.

"I don't feel different...apart from...my neck kills." Sam croakily muttered, stiffly turning his head.

Dean had seen the purple streaks seem to blossom overnight, it looked like Sam was wearing a big black collar. "Ow..." He croaked when he rubbed the edge of the gauze.

"I don't think he got you Sammy...something would've happened by now right? I mean...you should be tearing into me, right?"

Sam frowned. "I don't know..." He blinked, touching his neck and pulled his hand back. "Dean? could you re-patch me..."

Sam sounded so weak and husky, Dean grabbed a bigger pad of gauze and a bandage and walked up to Sam's bed.

Sam craned his neck as far as the bruises would allow and Dean hesitantly pulled the tape and pad back, looked at the angry wound.

Around the slit skin it was still stained red and deep red in the middle, the skin raised and swollen.

Dean doused another towel in whiskey and dabbed as Sam hissed. "Sorry, we're out of peroxide..."

Wrapping the gauze on securely and bandaging around Sam's neck Dean sighed in relief. Let his hand linger.

"What?"

"Your pulse is like a friggin' drum Sammy."

Sam sighed at that, sagged into Dean.

"Thank you..." He whispered above.

Thanks for reading, that one got away from me.