Found this in the depths of my computer. Unsure of how it never got posted, but thought some might enjoy. Set season 7 after the Bourne Again Identity. I must have had this sitting on my computer gathering dust for close to four years now. Maybe I thought I'd do more with it. I don't know. Anyway, enjoy.

I woke up as the sun was reddening; and that was the one distinct time in my life, the strangest moment of all, when I didn't know who I was - I was far away from home, haunted and tired with travel, in a cheap hotel room I'd never seen, hearing the hiss of steam outside, and the creak of the old wood of the hotel, and footsteps upstairs, and all the sad sounds, and I looked at the cracked high ceiling and really didn't know who I was for about fifteen strange seconds. I wasn't scared; I was just somebody else, some stranger, and my whole life was a haunted life, the life of a ghost.

-Jack Kerouac, "On The Road"


Opening his eyes, it's almost a shock to see the sun streaming through the window and to hear the faintest of footsteps from the upper floor. He doesn't remember where he is. Only wonders why Dean let him sleep so late. Then it all comes back. He winces. The car hitting him. The psychiatric ward. Cas. His eyes fly open, accompanied with his rush to sit up and look around. No need to untangle himself from sheets. He slept like the dead. They barely have a wrinkle.

He looks around the hotel room, noticing it's empty. "Dean." His voice is scratchy. Throat dry. His stomach growls. He frowns, looking down at his hands. The one is still bandaged. The bracelet from the psychiatric ward is gone. His frown deepens, until he looks over and sees it in the mini trashcan by his bed. Then he smiles softly.

Dean tucked him in. Got him into the hotel room, stripped him down to minimum clothing for comfort, tucked him in, and got rid of the glaring piece of evidence that would remind him of where he had been only hours ago. Maybe he's getting food now. Sam nods to himself. That must be it.

A shower is the first thing on his list. Sure, he got some at the hospital, but they were never the relaxing or comfortable ones. A quick in and out. So he takes his time. He turns the water to the perfect temperature between warm and scorching hot, letting out a content sigh as he stands under the spray for what feels like an eternity. Then he uses the hotel shampoo, unwilling to dig for his before getting in, and barely manages to motivate himself to get out of the shower.

He eventually does though, drying off and pulling on a pair of sweatpants and a t-shirt. Clothes for comfort. In fact… he's pretty sure the sweatpants are one of Dean's old pair that were always long on him, but perfect for Sam when he stole them. He smiles softly, going back to sit on the bed. His hand barely twitches towards the remote for the TV when his breath catches. He looks around.

Silence. He almost forgot it was a real thing. Something that could really happen. Months of Lucifer pestering, torturing, and shouting in his ear. Gone. All gone. And He doesn't really know what to do with that. Doesn't know how to feel about Cas taking it on, even though he was the one to do it in the first place. Doesn't know what to think now that he doesn't have someone keeping a running commentary on his life.

It hits him then. In the silence of the motel room. It's quiet. Completely quiet.

A strangled sound escapes his throat, his fist coming up for him to bite on his knuckles in an attempt to keep himself together. Not fall apart. But the relief is too strong, his fist doesn't do much good in keeping the sound inside. And then, because he just knows God still hates him, the motel room door opens.

The food is dropped to the floor in a second, no care at all to it when confronted with the sight of a hysterical brother. Dean is suddenly in front of Sam, hands on either side of his face to face it towards him. "Sam. Sammy, you alright? Are you still seeing him?"

Sam shakes his head, tears streaming down his face now. It's quiet, and Dean is here, and he's looking up at him from where he's crouched in front of the bed like he's willing to do anything he can to make whatever is making his brother cry, stop. He can only keep crying, sobs forcing themselves from his chest without even a little consent from him.

Dean is running his hands through his hair now, trying to soothe him. "What's wrong, Sam? What is it? Talk to me, Sammy."

Through all of the choked out sobs, Sam can only get out two words. "It's quiet."

Realization sweeps over Dean's face, and suddenly he's up on the bed, pulling Sam into his arms. What he's always done whenever it seems like Sam needs him like glue to keep himself together. He presses Sam's face into his chest, eyes squeezing shut with his own tears as he starts saying the only thing that comes to mind. "Sammy. Sammy. Sammy."

Silence is nothing compared to the sound of Dean murmuring his name into his ear. Silence is like paradise on earth. Dean's voice is like heaven. The constant timber of Dean's voice rolling through Sam's body as it presses as close as it can to Dean's is like aloe. Dean's arms tight around him is like hope. The murmuring of his beloved nickname is like love.

Burying his nose in Dean's neck, he breathes in and feels his chest constrict as he smells the very shampoo he had just used, in Dean's hair. Dean's always used the motel shampoo. Is too cheap to buy his own and only steals Sam's if he ever decides he doesn't like the smell of whatever is available. It's so familiar and comforting that it makes Sam start to calm. "Dean," he chokes out once. Everything said in that single word like so many times before. Dean understands.

"Shhhh, Sammy. It's alright. Sammy, Sammy."

Dean holds him tight, only murmuring his name and a few comforting phrases every once in a while.

Sometimes Sam gets out an answering, "Dean."

No other words are needed.

Only two are needed to heal.

"I forgot what it was like to be alone in my head," Sam finally murmurs in the silence of the room when he's finally able to stop sobbing.

Dean nods gently in response, his cheek rubbing against the still damp hair at the back of Sam's head.

"I didn't even realize he was gone until I went to turn on the TV and decided I didn't want to. I subconsciously wanted to enjoy the silence." He lets out a harsh laugh. "How sad is it that I didn't even realize it was quiet?"

"Very," Dean answers quietly. Then grins. "Of course, you've always been slow on the uptake."

Sam smiles a little. Then settles deeper into his brother's warmth. "I don't feel tired anymore," he breathes in relief.

"Good. I thought you'd never wake up," Dean answers, leaning back against the headboard and relaxing his hold on his brother.

Sam takes pity on his brother, understanding that this is a little too long of a touchy-feely moment and separates himself a little more to be leaning against Dean rather than practically sitting on him. "How long was I asleep?"

"The drive here you were dead to the world. You barely woke up enough for me to drag you in here so that doesn't count as waking up. In all? From the hospital to now I'd say about… thirty-five hours."

Sam blinks in surprise, letting his head fall to Dean's shoulder when he lets out a whistle of surprise. "Wow."

Dean chuckles. "You were severely sleep deprived, Sammy."

"Yeah." He's quiet for a moment. Then, "I'm sorry about the drugs, Dean."

"Shhh. It doesn't matter. I know you were desperate. But you should have come to me. You know you can always come to me, right?"

Sam nods. "Yeah. I'm sorry."

"No more sorry's little brother. Just enjoy the silence."

And they do. For hours. Without saying a word.