"Okay, men!" Dean sharply saluted the neat rows of army men lined up by rank on the carpet. He reached out and wiggled the General so it looked like he was saluting back. "We have a new mission, soldiers. Today we are saving…Sammy!"
"'ammy," Sam mumbled.
Dean threw him a thumbs up for recognizing his name. "Good job, Sammy!" he praised. Normally he'd give Sammy a big smile, too, but it was hard to smile at Sam when Sam looked so sad. Dean's brother was curled up on the farther bed next to Dad, one of Dad's hands resting on his back in case he decided to roll toward the edge while Dad was looking at his book instead of at Sammy. Sam's nose was red like a Rudolph cartoon and his face was sticky from crying all day.
Dean didn't like it when Sam cried.
"Listen up, soldiers," he said severely to his troops. "Sammy lost his special blanket and we have to find it. It's this big-" Dean waved his hands around to show the army men the size of the fleecy blanket, a little thing about as big as Sam that was more for snuggling with than getting warm under- "and nobody's seen it since last night. Sammy and me went to bed, and Dad tucked us in and put the guard rail up on Sam's side so he can't roll out, and he gave Sammy his blanket and Sammy hugged it and then he hugged me and I had to push him over to his side because it got fleece up my nose. And then this morning- it was gone!" Dean threw his arms out in amazement. The army men looked amazed, too.
"I keep telling you, Dean," Dad said. "It'll turn up on its own by bedtime. It can't've gone anywhere, so it's in here somewhere. You don't need to worry about it."
"I'm not worrying," Dean said, confused. He pointed at his army men. "We're gonna find it!"
"Bankie," Sammy said unhappily.
"You heard him," Dean told the waiting soldiers. "Operation Blanket! First we have to find clues. And…find out where everybody was. The last time I saw the blanket was when I went to bed. Dad, what was the last time you saw it?"
"Sammy still had it when I woke you up from that nightmare a few hours after you went to sleep," Dad said.
"Bankie?" Sam asked.
"No, Sam." Dad patted Sammy's back but it didn't look like it made him any happier.
"Huh," Dean said. He'd forgotten he'd had a nightmare. He couldn't remember what it was about, but he remembered it scared him. Bad. Dad woke him up and gave him a hug and tucked him back in, and Sammy woke up and gave him a hug too and spit on him accidentally when he kissed his cheek and-
Dean jumped up and ran to the bed that he and Sam shared. He shoved the covers back and felt around under the pillows.
"What are you doing, Dean?"
"Sammy gave me his blanket last night! After I had a bad dream!"
"He did? That was nice of you, Sammy."
Sam mumbled something but Dean couldn't hear it because he shoved his head under the covers and burrowed down towards the end of the bed, wriggling along on his stomach and sweeping his arms around. Finally, he felt fleece.
Dean scooted backwards towards the pillows. He popped up at the head of the bed, holding Sammy's blanket tightly in his hand.
"I found it! Look, Sammy, I must'a kicked it down when I was sleeping." He scrambled off the bed and ran to Sammy, who was staring at the blanket and trying to climb over Dad's hands. "Sorry, Sammy. I forgot you gave it to me."
"Bankie!" Sammy shrieked. Dean handed the blanket over and Sam gave him a huge smile, grabbing the blanket to his lap.
"Good job, Dean," Dad said. He gave Dean a salute with the other hand from the one Dean had used earlier. "Mission accomplished."