Challenge Words: bright and cheer

Warnings/Spoilers: Fourth season story

200 words per MS Word Count

Some Things Never Change

By Swellison

Sam lurched into their motel room, half-supporting—way more than half-supporting, now—Dean. His brother limped along, cradling his right arm tightly to his chest. Sam kicked out a chair from the table, depositing Dean there while he spread an extra sheet over the bed by the door. In minutes, he had Dean settled on top of the bed, garments removed, exposing four long, still-oozing gashes on Dean's arm. Sam's lips tightened as he doctored the slashes using bandages from their medkit. "Next time, just yell. I can duck, y'know."

"Tha's my S'mmy…" Dean slurred, influenced by the pills Sam had forced him to swallow. "Allus…tryin' ta cheer…me…"

"Go to sleep," Sam ordered. Deep inside, a bright spark warmed his heart. He called me Sammy, and leapt in between me and that scalpel-wielding ghost because he still thinks I need to be protected, even after the rugaru and Ruby… And demon powers, and the secrets Sam still kept from his big brother. For his own good. Dean's changed since Hell; he wouldn't understand. Or approve.

Sam glanced at Dean, deep in healing sleep, then slipped outside. He had to salt and burn Dr. Wharton's grave. Ruby could damn well wait.

A/N: Believe it or not, this started out as a Christmas story, but then time got away from me and it morphed into something darker.