Author: Oldach's Dream

Rating: K

Summary: "I'm tired, Dean." He whispered again, as if none of his previous words were hanging in the air around them. As if the foundation of their entire lives hadn't just shifted.

Setting: Early Season One.

Disclaimer: If I had one wish, it wouldn't be related to this TV show at all...if I had three, however, owning Supernatural would be right there. But unless a Genie in a bottle makes an appearance today, I somehow don't see that happening. And I doubt you'll see it, but just incase you do...No, that's NOT wincest. Smarm only.

Feedback would be greatly appreciated.


Don't Drive Into The Fog

"I'm tired." Sam mumbled.

"Then go to sleep." Dean mumbled back from the motel bed next to his, flopping around slightly to try to get comfortable. His little brother had been lying in the exact same postion for over an hour, which, in its own right, was harder for the elder brother to sleep through than the tossing and turning of his ever-present nightmares.

"I'm so tired," he said again, and Dean wondered briefly if he was even talking to him, and worry gripped his chest - in tune with understanding and perhaps a little expectancy. "I just wanna rest, ya know?" He continued.

"Yeah," Dean agreed, if only to quell the hopelessness in his tone - the feeling that something was starting. "Just go to sleep, it'll be better in the morning."

"You always say that." Assuring his brother that he was, at least, hearing him.

"I'm always right." He didn't say it cockily - no big brother attitude - just reassurance, hope.

"Yeah," Sam paused for a while, but Dean knew. It's wasn't over. And sure enough, it began again. "The sun...it makes everything...I don't know, lighter?"

"Less scary." Dean receded and offered up his own opinion.

"Yeah," the younger man sighed. "I'm tired, Dean. I don't wanna be this tired anymore. I want it to be over."

"Want what to be over?" His brother's near meditative state provided a wealth of honest answers. Late at night - when there's nothing but truth. And it was truthfully frightening.

"I feel empty." He half-whispered, as if scared of the truth. Of admitting it or experiencing it... that wasn't clear. "Like something's missing."

"Jessica." It wasn't a question.

Quite shockingly, Sam shook his head. "Not...I mean, yes. But that's not it."

"What else is missing, Sammy?" Dean didin't want to know the answer. Not really. He has to hear it, though. Will hate himself for not gathering the knowledge while there's still time.

"I don't know." He admited sounding baffled himself. "I want this feeling to be over. I want it back."

"Want what back?" Dean could do nothing but ask the questions. And trust that Sam was speaking with honesty. It wasn't even a doubt, though. Not now.

"When we were kids." His mind, Dean could practically see, had been working this entire time. This seemed to be the end result of its discoveries. "When everything was easier."

"We never really had an easy childhood," Dean hated to point out, but felt the need.

"No...But it was there. It was safe. We didn't know."

"Didn't know what?" The elder hadn't looked at his brother throughout this exchange. Couldn't find it in himself to. He kept his eyes firmly fixed to the ceiling.

Sam was on his side.

"Pain."

Dean saw the truth, realized it with a suddenness and accepted it like an old friend, retuning again. "No," he said in a steady, layered tone. "We didn't really know, did we?"

"I thought..." Dean figured, had this been a normal conversation, his little brother might have chuckled then. "I thought that growing up would be better. Make everything easier."

"I think every little kid thinks that."

"Dad never told us to stay young." There was no resentment in his voice, and because of that, Dean had no choice but to accept the truth of the statement.

"We wouldn't have listened if he had."

"I wish..." Sam stopped then, but Dean didn't push him, felt the air around him as a temporary need to gather his thoughts. Not the end. "God, I'm so tired. I'm tired of wishing and wanting and needing... Is it that wrong to want a normal life?"

Sam had started asking the questions, Dean had no reply.

"Is it really wrong to just want to have kids? A family? Don't you want kids, Dean?"

The elder man nodded without actual consent from his brain. He couldn't deny it, and Sam hadn't really needed the answer anyway.

"I want to have a family. I want us to have families - to be a family."

Dean could picture it - living a normal life, so near to his brother that their children could play together. Their wives could be the best of friends. They could have weekly barbeques, arguing over which one made the better steaks, and who got to wear the 'Kiss the Cook' apron. Because they couldn't just go out and buy a second one.

"I'm tired of wanting that." Sam's voice cut through his visions.

"Why?" It seemed to Dean like a pretty perfect thing to want. Even the hunter in him would recede for a life like that.

"'Cause we're never gonna get it." He was sad. Defeated. "I wanna go back to being a little kid. When all I needed was you to make everything all better. When hunting was still a game."

"You hate games, Sammy." Dean spoke the truth, ignoring the deep cut of the other words.

"Yeah," he admitted. "I do now. I did back then too, sorta. I think I hated dad for making me play them."

"Dad didn't-"

"I know," Sam rushed in, still steady, still controlled. Dean listened. "He didn't mean to. He was protecting us...but you don't get it."

"Help me get it, Sammy." He pleaded, not liking it when his brother had secrets. When there was something hurting him that Dean couldn't fight, couldn't control, didn't even know about. It was his greatest fear.

"Dad teaching us to hunt...it was all one big game to me. Even when I told myself it wasn't, it's what I felt. It was safe...but I wanted something real." This obviously hadn't been a realization back then. "You didn't play the games."

"Yes I did." Dean couldn't believe his brother was that delusional. He was the biggest player of them all.

"No, you didn't."

"Sammy..."

"You were always real." His words took his breath away, and allowed his little brother time to explain. "You didn't go away when the game was over. Dad always did. Dad was just the game. You were real."

Silence filled the space between them. It lasted only seconds, but it spanned decades.

"That's what I miss. That's what I'm tired of missing." Sam spoke, Dean listened. The silence was still ringing. "That's what I want back. That's what I never want to feel again."

"Sam," he stated firmly, but he had no follow up.

"I'm tired of playing, Dean." The factualness of the saddened tone was beyond poetic. It was pure Sammy. "Everything, ever since we were kids, it's been a game to me. Has it been a game to you?"

"No." Dean felt too much, needed too much, hated too much - to ever consider their life a game.

"I knew that. I know you. You...you're stronger than I am. I act normal so I can win, you know that? I just wanna win. I thought I'd won with Jessica. But you weren't there, so it was really just pretend. Then she died, just like I knew she would, and it was over."

"I'm tired, Dean." He whispered again, as if none of the previous words were hanging in the air around them. As if the foundation of their entire lives hadn't just shifted.

Dean had been frozen in place, struck down by his little brother's nighttime confession. He saw its truth, but hated its implication. Hated that he didn't understand how Sam was feeling. Hated that he couldn't see the game that his little brother was playing.

Finally, he shifted to look completely at the taller man. Sam was strewn out on his side, eyes shut, face thoughtful. How could he just be playing?

"I'm sorry, little brother."

"You were real." He didn't pretend for a second not to hear the mumbled words that Dean himself didn't even know if he'd meant to articulate. "You are real. I need you to keep being real." Timeless silence. "I'm so tired."

Dean's movements were muffled in the revelations of the night; the secrets this motel room now knew blocked the sound of his shifting body. He padded his way silently around the two mattresses, sliding into place behind his little brother in one swift motion.

Sam didn't comment, barely moved at all - but when Dean was settled under the covers, flush up against his back, he relaxed into him. In this, the elder brother felt partial victory, and total relief. All was not lost.

"I'm here, Sammy. I'm real." Sam seemed to take a moment to digest that. Believe it completely.

Dean reached an arm around, and before he could let it settle around the younger man's chest reassuringly, Sam grasped at the hand with a fierceness that explained why the rest of his body was so lax. The elder conceded, moments later, that he wouldn't be regaining feeling in the appendage anytime soon, and used their interlocking hands to provide the physical comfort that his brother so desperately needed.

"No more games." Dean said it as a myriad of different things.

A promise, a threat, a hope, a belief, an understanding, a request, a plea, a bargain... Each as easy to pluck out as the next.

Sam's tone wasn't as complex. "I'm tired."

"Sleep now," this one was simpler. Just comfort.

They molded into each other like little children dreaming of grownup things. Sam closed his eyes, taking comfort in Dean's mumbled words, the breath on his neck, his last recollection.

"I'm here, little brother." A long pause, a slight shift - comfort dawned, and a promise was uttered.

"No more games."

End.