Title: Awakening of dreams
Author: Starrylizard
Rating: Mature, Gen, Angst, no sex or bad language.
Notes: This is a tag to episode 2x20 – What is and what should never be. Thanks to Rinne for the beta.


Fifty square miles of real estate. Fifty square miles and Dean still wasn't answering his phone. Sam cursed himself for not being more insistent, cursed his brother for going into… Well, that was the million dollar question. Where the hell had Dean gone?

Sam pulled up and parked in front of the next lot of possible Djinn-infested ruins – some sort of abandoned warehouse. The patter of rain on the roof and the tick of the cooling engine were the only sounds for a few moments as Sam allowed his eyes to close. Allowed himself time to breathe and regather himself.

He stretched, trying to rub the ache out of the tired muscles at the back of his neck and slap some sense back into his face, anything to wake himself up, before he picked up the silver knife that rested on the seat next to him. He refreshed the thick coating of lamb's blood, the act now almost a ritual.

Stepping out into the rain once again, the cool drops helped clear some of the tiredness, but did nothing for the clamp of anxiety in his stomach. Dean wouldn't go this long without answering his phone, or finding some other way to contact him.

"Where the hell are you, Dean?" he gritted out, allowed anger to fuel him instead of fear.

Inside, the warehouse was damp and had the same musty sour odour of half the other places he'd already searched. Ahead rain dripped from the ceiling, landing with a persistent tink tink on an old type writer, highlighted by the little light that came through the glass petitions. Old desks and filing cabinets, fans, lamps and chairs - old junk from what was probably once a thriving business, now just a dumping ground.

Sam gripped the knife, hand sticky with sweat as he resettled his grip. The flashlight's eerie glow bounced before him, highlighting more junk as he carefully moved down the corridor.

It was the smell that warned him first: the metallic tang in the humid night air that years of hunting had taught him to associate with blood. He edged quietly toward the end of the corridor and into the next room. Once inside the smell became close to overwhelming, making him breathe shallow breaths in order to keep moving. And then, there in the middle, near some stairs were the bodies. And Dean.

Sam moved quickly, skidding to a stop in front of his brother. "Dean! Dean?" he yelled, bringing his hands up to clutch at Dean's collar, shaking him. Dean's head lolled forward, his skin pasty, bluish.

"Dean?" Sam's voice cracked. He shuddered out a deep breath, before he worked up the courage to touch Dean's face.

Cold.

No comforting pulse at his neck. No warm breath.

Cold, too cold. His skin was cold.

"No, nononononono." One arm snaked around Dean's body, his free hand working at the ropes that held him, sawing with the bloody silver knife. "No no no no no. Dean! You look after me. You're my big brother. You can't be dead."

He didn't see the Djinn, barely noticed it at all until he was spun around to face it, a glowing blue hand descending toward his face…

"Dean!" Sam's voice was a hoarse cry as he sat up in bed, twisted himself up in the sheets, and fell to the floor with a thud.

He landed on rough carpet, breathing in the stale scent of cigarettes, room deodorizer and cleaning agents before a light snapped on and warm hands touched his shoulders.

"Sammy?" Dean's voice.

Sam turned his head, seeing bare feet, leading to legs and up to the rest of his brother. Dean was seated on his own bed, a sleepy look of worry creasing his face as he reached down toward him.

"Sam? You okay? Was it another vision?"

"You're alive." Sam breathed deeply, breathed in the crappy motel smell and soaked in the warmth of Dean's hands where they rested on his shoulders.

"Yeah, man. What's up with you? I thought you ditched the nightmares." Dean straightened up, scrubbing a tired hand through his hair as he watched Sam pull himself onto his own bed and sit facing Dean.

"The Djinn. It, I mean… It didn't… You're okay?"

"Sam?"

"The Djinn?"

"It whammied me, Sam. Sent me off to some dreamland where Mom was alive, Dad played baseball and I was dating a hot nurse… but, you found me, remember? Nothing some iron-rich food and a good sleep couldn't fix. Seriously what's up with you?"

"Just a nightmare, Dean. It's fine." Sam breathed deeply, letting his body calm back down from the adrenaline rush and soaked in the all too familiar sight of the motel room. "Just a nightmare," he repeated.

Dean frowned. "If you say so. Get some sleep, Sam."

Sam nodded and lay back down. Dean was there, warm and alive.

"Just a dream," he mumbled, not sure who he was trying to convince. "Just a dream," and he drifted back to sleep.

I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man. Chuang Tzu