This is my first fanific, and I'm excited to say that I attempted my first in one of my fandoms: Supernatural. I dabble in my own creative writing, but I'd thought I'd try out some fan fiction. This contains some brotherly love, and caring of Sam. :)

Hope you enjoy, and please review! I'd love to know how this settles with my fellow SPN fans.

~Phoenix


Commemorative Antecedents

Written By: Fire Nova Phoenix

Taking place after Season 8's "Taxi Driver" & "Pac Man Fever"

Features some aftermath of Sam's completion of the second Demon Tablet Trial.

Dean could see the withering and wilting of his baby brother, and it weakened him just that little bit more each day. It was bad enough they were put into this crap situation (like that's never happened before), but seeing Sam taking hits that keep getter harder and harder to recover from was unsettling to say the least, and he had already been through so much. They both had. He could see Sam weakening by the day, after each trial, and even Sam's hard-headed resolve and tough pleading words of "I can do this, Dean", were starting to slip. Sam is strong, and Dean knows this; hell, wonders never cease with that kid. Being killed by yellow-eye's psychic, drinking demon blood, freeing Lucy, single-handedly defeated Famine, winning a death match to take back his own body from the damn devil, then successfully shoving said devil back into his own cage in Hell along with himself and Michael. And damn, those were just the first things that popped to mind and didn't even include the last two years when Sam had lost his soul, got it back, and was driven insane and forced into a mental institution without sleeping for seven days. Now he was completing tablet trials and suffering through it for the greater good. Dean knew Sam was strong, and had been through things that could have been considered much, much worse, but he'd said it once and he'd say it probably a hundred more times over. Sam's never been through this.

And so here Dean sits, in his comfortable little room, his first real room, settled on his bed with his back to the bedpost, staring unseeingly at the slightly brown tinged ceiling. His thoughts lingered on his and his brother's past: their accomplishments, their failures, the bad days, and the good days. He went through them all like a movie in his head, and after he'd done so, he'd feel proud of them both. Sad, and slightly surprised at all they really had done, but still ever so proud of his brother, of himself, and their will to get through and stick together through everything, even if they faltered in not such finer moments.

After reviewing, reminiscing, Dean faced himself with him and his brother's new challenge: the trials, and keeping Sam alive through them. He went back in his mind to just earlier this morning, to that scene of his little brother, his Sammy, coughing up thick scarlet onto a now brown and red stained little cloth, his face paling, showing vivid purple circles under his once vibrant hazel eyes, and the harsh sounds of breath and thumping wood as Sam fought to stay upright holding onto the table when he continued to wheeze. Dean had walked into this horrific sight just after cleaning up his plate after a homemade egg breakfast, coming back for Sam's dish. Upon seeing Sam struggle to regain control of his breathing, he had rushed over, placing a firm but gentle hand on Sam's back, both steadying him and helping to calm him down. After a few minutes, Sam was able to slow his breath into deep intakes of air, and slid his own hand on Dean's to release his brother's hold. "I'm fine…I'm okay…" Sam breathed out, waddling with one hand still on the table and distancing himself from Dean to a farther side. Dean watched, stayed back, but eyed Sam very carefully. Sam's skin was a sheen white-peachy color rather than the usual golden tan, his blue plaid shirt now looked huge and out of place on his lanky, light-weight body. Dean spotted a small white porcelain plate toward the edge of the table on the opposite side with large leftover scraps of egg left scattered uniquely across the glass. Sammy…you need to eat.

Sam had caught Dean's gaze on him, and quickly turned his slightly winded features to stone, even if the effect wasn't as devastating as it once was. He looked into Dean's eyes, his dull hazels showing a spark of agitation. "Stop staring Dean!" Sam slightly snapped, but just as the remark was made, Sam turned an even paler shade of white and wavered his stance, then began coughing once more, leaning and retching over the edge of the table. Before he could stop it, Sam was doubling over in the other direction in a rapid motion, enough to lose his support of the table and began to fall to the ground. Dean jumped, big brother instincts going haywire, and grasped Sam under arms, leaning him onto his chest and wrapping his own arms around Sam's torso in a tight embrace and guided Sam's now exhausted, lax (lethargic) body to a nearby chair settled before a pile of books the kid had been searching through. After settling Sam down, he ran into the kitchen, and returned less than a blink later with a glass of water. He held it out in front of the man, thrusting it forward when Sam hesitated to take it. Finally, a bony hand grasped the glass, raised it to pursed cracked lips, and proceeded to sip at the clear liquid. Dean waited a moment, watching Sam slowly drink, before opening his mouth to recommend Sam retreat to his room for some rest, but before he even finished taking in the breath, Sam's dry and crackly voice struck out first. "No, I'm not going to go lay down, and I'm not going to rest. I just…I just need to finish my research, okay?" Sam didn't even look up, and spoke with a firm tone, but the last word was almost more of a plea. Dean sighed, "Fine." and turned, defeated, to sit down and help. That was, until Sam quickly caught him by surprise before his butt even hit the cushion. "No, Dean, I just want to research on my own for a bit. I can't concentrate when you're constantly eyeing me." He sighed, rubbing a hand over his disheveled maple brown mane and turning a glance up to his brother's stoic features. "Can you just, go to your room for a few hours or something? Read or…" His voice drifted, as did his gaze, and Sam just seemed a little too overwhelmed with thoughts and emotions drifting over that buzzing brain of his to say much else. Dean glanced down at Sam once more, then turned his back and began to step away, off to his room to think. "You call if you need anything, Sam." Dean called out; his voice steady, almost void of emotion, even though he was far from emotionless. Dean was worried, angered, and bewildered all at the same time. He didn't like that Sam didn't look out for himself, or at least let Dean look out for him, and he needed more rest and care then he's been allowing himself access to. But, he guessed he needed a little thinking time just as much as Sam did, and swiftly retreated into his room. Which is where he is now, and where he has been for five hours since Sam had ushered him away, and left him to contemplate their lives and completed missions. While Dean hadn't realized truly how much time had slipped, he still knew it had to be late and decided to go check on Sammy.

Pressing one hand on each side of himself on the bed, he swung his legs over the soft sheets and groaned as he pulled himself up, glancing at the small clock to his left sitting on the dresser next to a picture of mom and dad. 2:30am. Dean raised his long arms above his head and bent back until he heard his back crack, then headed for the main room. Poor kid's probably working himself senseless. Tomorrow, there's no research or nothing, just rest, with Sam's complete compliance or not. Dean rounded the corner, yawning as he came to the doorway. Before stepping in, he rubbed his eyes, pulled down his shirt, and got his "big-brother said so" look plastered across his shadowed features, drained by excessive thought and lack of sleep. Finally, he stepped into the room, and glanced about looking for his scruffy little brother. As he scanned the table, he came across a dark blue plaid lump, huddled into a small ball half on the table and half in the chair. Dean padded closer, quiet as to not quite wake his brother from a much-needed deep sleep. As he peered down at the little creature, and that's truly how Sam's curled figure looked, he saw that Sam's face was buried deep into his folded arms lying amiss on multiple dusty, crumbled book pages, dark hair strewn about his head and comforting his slight peaceful features. Features that Dean hadn't seen in quite a while. Dean placed a hand ever so discreetly upon Sam's still head, and gently ruffled his hair. "Hey there kiddo…" Dean cooed and Sam twitched, then huddled further into the touch, something he hadn't done in a very, very long time. Dean smiled, Still that little boy deep down, huh Sammy? Suddenly Sam's body shuddered under Dean's touch with a slight whine and huff of air, his breathing tighter and less easy. Slipping his hand to Sam's forehead, Dean sighed. A slight fever, great. "Oh Sammy…let's get you to bed. Come on sasquatch!" Dean mumbled as he delicately lifted his brother against his chest, wrapping his arms around Sam's torso and having Sam's head rest on his shoulder.

He half dragged, half carried Sam to his room and laid him down on the sheets. After taking off Sam's jeans and applying his pajama pants, then replacing his shirt with a soft T-shirt, Dean repositioned Sam under the covers, and pulled them around the lanky body, tucking him in. Sam shuttered in the sheets for a moment, and his little spouts of seething soon became murmuring as his eyes dashed every which way under his closed lids. Dreaming. Sam continued to stir, his legs moving beneath the covers, breathing picking up, and a think sheen of sweat beginning to show on his forehead. "Come on, Sammy, shhhh. It's okay, it's all right. Go back to sleep little brother." Dean spoke, and gently combed his fingers through Sammy's long hair. After a couple minutes, Sam had snuggled deeper in his sheets to his brother's soothing mantra and once sleeping slightly peacefully once more, Dean disappeared for nearly a few seconds, returning with a wet wash cloth, a bucket of dipping water, and a glass of drinking water for when Sam woke up.

Deciding he should look after Sam for the night and monitor him, Dean scooted Sam over on the bed, joining next to him, and began wiping down his face to cool him off. Sam, still sleeping, turned closer to his big brother and curled into the touch. Dean smiled. Even though Sam was sick, tortured, and withering, stubborn, grumpy, and majorly independent, Sam was still a kid inside. He still needed his big brother; no matter what horrors he lived through, or didn't live through a couple times. He'd been through a lot in his life, and they both had experienced the worst that the world could possibly offer, but they made it through it all because they stuck together, looked after each other. And underneath all that torture, all the pain, the bottom line was that Sam was still just a kid, no matter how much he claimed not to be. Of course, deep down, in places that rarely sees the light, but nonetheless, that's what Sam was. That's who they both were: a kid who needed his big brother to look after him, and a big brother who needed to look after his little brother, and as long as that was the case, they could get through everything. And they would get through this.