Hello again guys, I've been really banging these stories out haven't I? Well, I hope you are enjoying reading them as much as I'm enjoying writing them. As always, I don't own any of this…if I did I wouldn't be broke college student. Also, this is unbeated all mistakes are mine.

Gravestone Blues

Dean enters the bunker with a groan. The last poltergeist hunt turned out to be two, not one, vengeful spirits. He pushes the door closed, guiding the metal with his hand to ensure it doesn't thunk and wake Sam.

With the trials taking their toll on his brother, Dean has been taking on cases closer to the bunker. Since, he found out Sam is coughing up blood he placed his brother on research duty only. Although Sam argued that Dean needed back up, Dean had none of his younger brother's counter points. Eventually, Sam gave up and grumbled through research.

Dean stiffly makes his way down the stairs, his muscles protesting with the movement. He drops his weapons duffel by the end of the table in the library and stands there, debating on his next move. He knows he should choke down a couple painkillers and shower, but his gaze lands on the couch.

The sofa is much closer than his room, so Dean slowly makes his way over and all but collapses face down on to it, not even bothering with his jacket or boots. The last thought that floats through his brain before he fell into an exhausted slumber is waking is gonna be a bitch.

Sam blinks awake and immediately grabs his phone off the nightstand. He groans when his brain registers the numbers. Then thirty. He slept for over nine hours and he still feel whipped out.

He sighs; the trails are really doing a number on him. He knows this is for the greater good, but he despises feeling so utterly run down and useless. His conditioned forces Dean into doing all of the heavy lifting and Sam hated that. His brother already does enough for him without having to pick up the extra slack.

Speaking of his brother…Sam wonders if he returned from his latest escapade. With that thought driving him forward, Sam shoves the blankets back and heads to the shower.

The warm water cascading over his body jolts the last bit of fuzziness from his brain. He steps out in a cloud of steam and quickly towels off. Now that Sam is showered, shaved, and dressed he feels slightly more human. After a quick comb through his hair, he heads out to the library.

As he passes by Dean's room he contemplates entering, but decides against it. If Dean is here he is probably on his computer and downing coffee cup number three. Sam couldn't have been more wrong.

When he walks into the main part of the bunker Dean is there, but not where Sam expecting him to be. He is passed out on the couch. Sam checks his watch to make sure it really is approaching eleven….

"Sam," Dean barks. "Stop staring and get me some coffee."

Sam smirks, it's good to know Hell hasn't frozen over yet. By the time Sam returns with two steaming mugs, Dean is sitting up with his head in his hands. Sam sits down next to him and passes Dean one of the mugs.

"How was your ghost friend last night?" Sam asks.

"Ghosts," Dean mumbles after a couple sips of coffee.

Sam gives his brother a puzzled look. Dean sighs and elaborates

"It was a brother-sister duo. And let me tell you, her brother didn't take too kindly too me lighting her up."

"You okay?" Sam questions.

"I'm fine Sam, just a little sore."

For some reason Sam didn't buy that. Just because Sam's health is compromised doesn't mean his observational skills are too. He takes in Dean's rigid posture. The arm that's wrapped around his chest indicting bruised ribs, the way he is hunched over, and how he keeps squinting.

'Yeah,' Sam thinks. 'Just a little sore my ass.'

Dean catches Sam's scowl and shrugs causing a wince to spread across his features. Sam huffs and rolls his eyes before standing up to get a refill. As Sam passes by his brother he gives him a skeptical glare.

Dean has one hand wrapped tightly around his mug and the other one is absent-mindedly rubbing the back of his neck. Sam pauses and follows Dean's far away gaze to a random patch of wall on the other side of the room.

"Dean!" Sam quips and he snaps his fingers for good measure.

Dean's head swings towards Sam and he cringes as the movement pulls at various sore muscles.

"Come on man," Sam says. "You're running on fumes. If you're not gonna take anything at least go shower and lay in an actual bed."

Dean waves a dismissive hand towards his brother and Sam throws his hands up in defeat. He heads over to the table to continue cataloging the Men of Letter's vast collection. He's just finishing up a book on shifters when he hears Dean grunt.

Sam glances over and watches Dean struggle out of his jacket. He raises his eyebrows as Dean balls up the piece of clothing and places it on the cushion. He then proceeds to flop down face first into his jacket. A low moan passes Dean's lips before he drops into blissful unconsciousness.

After his brother enters dreamland, Sam becomes completely absorbed in research. The amount of information stored here is astounding and Sam yearns to learn as much as he can from the pervious residents. He only emerges from his research stupor after he feels his neck go stiff.

Sam rolls his head from side to side in-order to work the kinks out. As he stretches his shoulders out he glimpses down at his watch. His eyes widen when he process that it's mid-afternoon.

It isn't unusual for Sam to lose himself for hours within the pages of books. What is out of the ordinary is for Dean to reaming silent for so long. Sam rises from the table and peers over the back of the couch at his brother.

Dean is laying in almost the exact some position. The only difference is the arm dangling off the side of the sofa and the leg he's hitched up towards his chest. Dean is and always will be a restless sleeper; the fact that he remained utterly motionless spoke volumes to Sam.

As Sam creeps around to the front of the couch he notices that Dean's minuscule movements caused his shirt to rise up. Sam could care less about this if it isn't for what the missing fabric reveals. There is a nasty, blue-purple bruise splotched across Dean's lower back.

Sam hisses in sympathy as he gently lifts Dean shirt to see the expanse of the damage. The deep bruising continues halfway up his brother's back and is in the distinct shape of a headstone.

"Jesus Dean," Sam whispers as he lowers his brother's shirt.

Dean stirs at the touch and tries to jump into a defensive position, but the bone deep aches all over prevent him.

"Whoa Dean, easy. It's just me."

"The hell you doin' Sam," Dean grumbles as he struggles to sit up.

"A little sore, huh?" Sam jibes as he helps Dean up.

Dean shrugs and looks down at his boots. "It's nothing."

Sam scowls but lets it go. There is no point in battling with a brick wall.

"Go take a hot shower man," Sam gently suggests. "You know it'll help." He adds after he see's Dean's grimace.

His brother mutters something under his breath and slowly rises to his feet. "There better be coffee waiting when I get back," he calls over his shoulder.

While Dean is in the shower, Sam set about brewing a fresh pot of coffee. He briefly thought about making it decaf, but he knew somehow his brother would taste the difference and call Sam out. So, Sam does the next best thing. He digs through the first aid kit until he locates the pain pills they snaked from their visit months ago.

Along with the pills he found a half-used tube of muscle relaxant. He assumes Dean purchased it the last time Sam had taken a beating against a gravestone. He figured now is a good time to repay the favor.

He takes the tube and places it in his pocket for later. He shakes out the proper dosage and crushes the pills up. Sam knew his brother wouldn't willingly take them so he mixed them into the coffee. He places the mug on the side table and went back to reading.

When Dean returns he is dressed in a pair of well-worn grey sweats and a black t-shirt. Sam follows Dean with his eyes as his brother trudges tiredly across the room. He plops down on the couch and grips the mug. Sam makes his move after Dean takes a couple of gulps. So, with the tube in hand he approaches his brother.

"Dean shirt off," Sam orders.

Dean looks up at Sam with slightly glassy eyes, the drugs in his coffee already working their magic.

"Whoa Sam," Dean says after a couple seconds. "Not even gonna buy me dinner first?"

Sam rolls his eyes and holds the rub up as his explanation. Dean eyes the tube wearily before he begins to battle with his shirt. Once the garment is on the ground, he holds his hand out for the tube.

"Dude," Sam says. "You can barely move, lay down and let me help you for once."

Dean takes another swing of coffee and glares at his brother. Sam can see the wheels sluggishly turning in Dean's head as he contemplates dropping the role of protector. Finally, the drugs pumping through Dean's body win and he sprawls out on his stomach.

Sam inwardly cheers and sits on the edge of the cushion. He can see the tension radiating from his brother. He knows how far outside of Dean's comfort zone this is. Hell, Sam is uncomfortable too but he also knows this will help.

So, Sam squeezes a decent amount of the gel onto his hands and smooths it over Dean's shoulder blades. He feels Dean tense up under his fingers but he doesn't stop.

With the combined efforts of the drugs and Sam's ministrations the tension slowly ebbed out of Dean's muscles. Sam pauses for a moment to glance down at his brother. Dean's expression is dopey. His eyes are half-closed, green pools of exhaustion.

"It's okay Dean, you can sleep," Sam whispers. "I'll take watch."

Dean takes a deep breath and fully succumbs to the tug of sleep. Sam smiles softly and continues rubbing the medicine in, being mindful of the tender areas along Dean's back.

Even after Sam finishes he continues to run his hand up and down Dean's spine until his brother goes completely lax. After that, he retrieves Dean's blanket from his room and drapes it over him. His brother lets out a deep sigh as he slips further into unconsciousness.

Well, what did you guys think? Drop me a review to let me know how I'm doing, I love hearing from you guys. Till next time :)