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Remind Me

Title: Remind Me
Rating:PG-13 for mild language
Genre : Gen; Hurt/Comfort
Spoilers: None that I am aware of.
Warnings: This is more angst filled than I am used to writing.  This takes place in the future and there is sick!Dean and has themes of illness, aging and death.
Characters: Sam, Dean, Castiel, Gabriel 
Word Count: 2655
Summary:Dean had spent years taken care of Sam when his was little. Sam figured it was his turn now.

A/N: Based on a lyric prompt/exchange from princess_aleera .  We both wrote fics based on Andrew Peterson's song Dancing in the Minefields. This is mine.  Hers can be found here. All mistakes are mine.

A/N: So this song is mainly about marriage, but large chunks of it, including the chorus and the bridge can also be viewed in the light of friendship, brotherly love (not Wincest), or even agape love and that is the part I focused on for this fic.


So when I lose my way, find me
When I lose loves chains, bind me
At the end of all my faith to the end of all my days
when I forget my name, remind me

'Cause we bear the light of the Son of man
So there's nothing left to fear
So I'll walk with you in the shadow lands
Till the shadows disappear
'Cause He promised not to leave us
And his promises are true
So in the face of this chaos baby,
I can dance with you

He supposed turnabout was fair play. After all, Dean had spent years practically raising him, had taken care of him and had even changed his diapers when he was still a little tyke. Sam figured it was his turn now. But, damn! After all they had given to keep people safe, to kill monsters, to save the world, and this was what Dean was reduced to? Someone who didn’t know his own name half the time, someone who couldn’t feed himself or bathe himself? This was how he would live out his days?


“Mr. Winchester?” Sam was startled out of his reverie by the young doctor that approached him. “Are you sure you want to check your brother out of our facility?”


“I am sure,” Sam replied firmly. “I will see to it that he is taken care of.” There was no way he was going to leave Dean in a “facility”. It was bad enough that he had early onset Alzheimer’s. They didn’t need to think he had psychosis too when he started ranting and raving about demons, ghosts, or heaven forbid, any of the angels they personally knew. No, Sam would take care of him at home.


An orderly guided Dean down the hall towards Sam, while the nurse reviewed the doctor’s instructions with him. None of it was new to Sam. He had already been taking care of Dean for awhile. But Dean had ended up here when he had fled their home and had gotten lost. One of the local cops had found him and brought him here thinking he was a patient. Sam had been worried sick until they found him and contacted him.


“You know, Mr. Winchester,” the nurse added with a sympathetic, as she tucked a brochure in with all of the rest of Dean’s prescriptions, “many families do eventually decide that a place like ours often offer much better care than they themselves can provide.”


“No,” Sam insisted. “Dean will be fine at home.”


Home these days was Bobby’s. It would always be Bobby’s place in Sam’s mind, even though Bobby had died almost ten years ago, killed on a hunt by a pack of werewolves. It took five of them to bring the old man down. He lived an incredibly long life for a hunter, but Sam still missed him everyday. These days he missed him more than most, when Dean was there, but he wasn’t.


Sam was fifty years old himself now. He had given up hunting when Dean needed someone to take care of him.  It was rare for someone as young as Dean to have Alzheimer’s. But then again, it was rare for someone to live the harsh life that he and Dean had lived. How many times had Dean died and come back to life? How many blows to the head had he taken? Surely that kind of living must had taken its toll on Dean’s body and mind. The doctors had said early onset Alzheimer’s was often genetic, but so few people in their family had even lived as long as he and Dean had that Sam didn’t even know if there was anyone else who ever had Alzheimer’s. In the end, it didn’t matter how Dean had gotten the disease. All that mattered was the he had it, and that he needed someone to take care of him. Sam always knew there was no other choice. He would gladly take care of the brother who had always been there for him.


Dean had his good days and his bad days. On good days, he wouldn’t necessarily recognize Sam, but he would sit on the front porch or watch Dr. Sexy, M.D. on DVD. Occasionally he would let Sam read to him from Hot Rod Magazine. Those things would usually help keep him calm.  On those days Dean would eat, cooperate with taking his medications and would even let Sam bathe him.


But bad days, they were beyond bad. They would usual start with Dean waking up shrieking in terror from a nightmare, and from there they would go downhill. Dean would spend the day throwing things and screaming about whatever memories he had gotten a hold of even if he couldn’t always verbalize them- mom dying, some demon they had ganked, salting and burning the bones of some ghost, or taking on Lucifer and Michael. In all of it he would fight Sam as if he were the demon, or Lucifer or whatever foe Dean was facing in his mind. The worst of days were when Dean was recalling some memory from his time in hell.  Usually the only clue that Sam had that this might be the case was that Dean would scream less, but fight five times as hard. The weapons they had once used to hunt monsters now had to be locked up to prevent Dean from hurting himself or Sam. Often, Dean would try to escape the house, as if he were running for his life. Sam had to have constant vigilance just to keep Dean at home. On those days, Sam could forget about Dean eating or cleaning up. If he were lucky, he would get close enough to Dean to give him a shot of Haldol to help him calm down so neither one of them got hurt.


Today had started out as an especially bad day. In the process of fighting Sam, Dean had broken a glass and managed to cut Sam on the arm. Sam eventually got the broken shard away from him without hurting Dean or himself, and then got a shot of Haldol into Dean. Dean was now sleeping on the couch and Sam had some respite for the time being.


After dressing his own wound, Sam used this opportunity to get himself something to eat and drink. He was exhausted and on edge. He wanted to throw in the towel, but he couldn’t. His thoughts drifted back to a night a few years ago. Dean almost never asked for help, even when he had his faculties about him. But one night, when Dean still had the ability to occasionally reach out to Sam, he grabbed Sam’s arm, looked up at him and pleaded, “Don’t give up on me.” Sam had never looked back from that moment on. Those words had become a mantra that played over and over in Sam’s head every time he looked at Dean.


As he pulled a beer out of the fridge, Sam heard the flutter of wings behind him. “Leave” he grunted out, not even bothering to turn around.


“Sam, I just came to offer my help…”


“Cas, unless you are here to heal him, then just go away. Hell, I would even settle for you taking him to heaven at this point. After all he has done, and this is how he gets to live out his life?”


“You know, with this disease, only my Fath...”

Sam cut him off, “Then like I said before, leave.”


“What about your injury? Will you at least let me heal that?”


Castiel’s only answer was Sam throwing his beer against the wall as he walked away. Castiel cleaned the mess left by Sam before leaving the hunter’s kitchen and joining his own brother on the roof of the home.


“He won’t let me help. He won’t even listen to me,” Cas sighed in frustration. “He cannot continue do this by himself. If Dean does not seriously injure him at some point, he will eventually succumb to exhaustion. Perhaps, brother, he will listen to you.”


“Yeah, that will work. Because I didn’t kill Dean one hundred times over just to get Sammy to pay attention to his upcoming troubles,” Gabriel snorted. “Bro, that kid is as stubborn as they come when he wants to be. Nothing either one of us does short of healing Dean is going to change his mind right now. And healing isn’t a possibility even for us, not at least until Dean crosses the Jordan.”


“Still, you should try to talk to Sam,” Castiel urged. “Perhaps when Dean is having a better day than he is today.”


“Actually, bro, I have another idea.”



The following Wednesday afternoon, Sam heard a car pull up as he closed Dean’s bedroom door. Today was a good day for Dean, and he had just finished eating lunch, but it still did him good to rest a little while in the afternoon.  Sam found it odd that someone was here. They never had company, unless you counted the visiting nurse that came twice each week to check on Dean and make sure that Sam was able to administer Dean’s medications correctly, or Castiel’s constant attempts to offer help.


As Sam walked to the front door, he saw a man who appeared to be in his early seventies walking up the stairs. “Sam Winchester?” he inquired.


“Depends on who’s asking,” Sam responded, an old habit from his hunting days.


“The name’s Roy Ellis, or I guess I should say Pastor Roy Ellis,” the man said offering his had to Sam. “I just retired this year, though. I used to pastor a small church between here and Harrisburg.”


“What can I do for you Pastor Ellis?” Sam ventured, shaking the man’s hand.


“It’s Roy, or Pastor Roy, if you insist on a title, not that I need one,” the man shrugged. “Actually, it’s what I can do for you.”


Sam raised his eyebrows at this, but allowed the man to continue.


“I heard you were taking care of your brother, and not letting anyone help you.”


“How’d you know about that,” Sam asked, clenching his jaw.


“It’s a small community. Word gets around. You’ve been living here at the Singer residence for a long time now. Some of us even have heard bits and pieces of what you boys used to do. I had a conversation or two with Singer myself when he was still around.”


Sam slowly exhaled. That was one less secret he had to worry about. But he was still slightly wary of the stranger standing before him. It wasn’t everyday that someone showed up offering a Winchester help. And based on his past experience, those that did usually had their own agenda. “Have a seat,” Sam offered, motioning to the chairs on the porch. “I never figured Bobby for the type of man to talk to a pastor.”


“We all need someone to talk to now and then,” Roy said. “Though Bobby and I rarely saw eye to eye.”


“Sounds like Bobby,” Sam chuckled.


“And what about you, Sam?” Roy wondered. “Do you need someone to talk to? It can’t be easy taking care of your brother all alone.”


“It’s not about whether it’s easy or not. It’s what needs to be done. That’s what you do for family,” Sam said with finality.


“Surely you don’t have to do it alone,” the pastor said.  “There must be someone that can help you.”


“No one whose help I want anyway,” Sam countered. “They would be more trouble than they’d be worth. And they would be a reminder that God abandoned Dean instead of choosing to help him.”


“Hmph. How do you know that they aren’t Da…?” Pastor Roy started coughing. “Excuse me, I’ve got a bit of a cold.  I was saying, how do you know that they aren’t God’s way of helping Dean?”


“Seriously? You don’t know these guys. They are not easy to deal with,” Sam moaned.


“Sam, you just said that helping your brother was not about whether it was easy or not, but that it was about what needed to be done. Now from where I sit, you look more worn out than me, and I’ve got some years on you. You can’t keep sacrificing yourself for your brother. It's gonna be the death of you. And if you are gone, then who will take care of him? Sometimes you just gotta let other people help you.”


“Dean and I’ve been doing fine on our own so far,” Sam answered. “We haven’t needed any help.”


“Which is how he ended up at St. Joe’s nursing home last week? And how you got that nasty cut on your arm?” Pastor Roy pried. “And when is the last time you had a decent night’s sleep, Sam? You are walking in the shadow lands with Dean, so why won’t you let someone walk through them with you?”


Sam remained silent as he considered what the man had said.


Pastor Roy stood up to leave. “Think about what I said. Your brother needs you, but he needs you for the long haul. That’s not going to happen if you work yourself to death taking care of him. Let someone help you, okay, kiddo?”



“Did it work?” Castiel asked from his perch on the roof.


“Don’t know, bro. We’ll have to wait and see.”


“You don’t think he suspects it was you, do you? If you let slip that it was you, then he most definitely will not accept our help.”


“I have been doing this for a long time. There is no way...”


Just then, Sam walked outside and looked up at the two angels. “If you two are done bickering like an old married couple, why don’t you come down here and talk.”


“We are not an old…” Cas started before Gabriel nudged him with his elbow and the two appeared at Sam’s side.


“I have decided to let the two of you help me take care of Dean, but it will be on my terms. I will let you use your mojo to help him sleep so I don’t have to use as many drugs, but no snapping up things out of thin air in front of Dean when he is awake. I don’t want to startle him or freak him out. Got that, Gabriel?”


“Who me?” Gabriel feigned innocence.


“Can I go…?” Cas began to ask.


“Yes, go, go,” Sam ushered him in to the house, knowing the angel wanted to see Dean for himself. Sam turned to Gabriel. “Feeling any better? I hope you healed yourself from that cough.”


“I don’t know what you are talking about.” Gabriel shrugged.


“Whatever, Pastor Roy.”


Gabriel stuffed his hands in his pockets and looked down at his shoes while he continued to pretend he didn’t know what Sam was talking about.


“It’s not everybody that reminds me the dangers of sacrificing myself for my brother. And you’re the only person I know that has ever called me ‘kiddo’. But at least this time, you reminded that there a good people willing to help me. So I guess what I’m saying is thanks.” Sam walked up the porch steps, leaving Gabriel in the yard. “Are you going to stand out in the yard all day,” Sam called back, “or are you going to help me take care of my brother?”


Over the next several days, Sam, Gabriel and Cas settled into a new routine in which each of them assisted Dean. While he still had both good days and bad days, Cas and Gabe’s presence not only allowed Sam to use less drugs when Dean became agitated, but Dean had less opportunity to try to flee or harm himself. And while he still didn’t recognize any of them by name, they all saw small glimpses of the Dean they knew and loved. The first sign was when he picked up the Dr. Sexy, M.D. DVD and pressed it Gabriel’s hands, indicating that he wanted to watch it. A few days later, he asked Castiel for pie.


However, this was most evident one Wednesday morning when Sam had brought Dean his medications. “It’s time to take your meds, Dean,” Sam insisted, as usual.


“Bitch” Dean grunted, picking up the medications and swallowing them.


“Jerk,” Sam said with a smile as a tear slid down his cheek.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 13th, 2011 01:43 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I tried very hard to make it realistic, because for most families out there who go through this, there are no easy fixes either, and it does take a toil. Though Sam would try to bear this burden alone and fix it if he could.

And despite the long-term consequences, well, I couldn't see the fic ending any other way.
Jan. 15th, 2011 08:11 pm (UTC)
Five Ways Dean and Castiel Went Dancing in the Minefields 6/6
User princess_aleera referenced to your post from Five Ways Dean and Castiel Went Dancing in the Minefields 6/6 saying: [...] Feedback's muchly appreciated- and check out  's story as well!  It's here: Remind Me [...]
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


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