No More Mr. Nice Guy, the OVERKILL EPILOGUE!

That's right. Epilogue. Blame my betas. I'm a happily heartless type and I would have left y'all at the end of the last chapter, but they wanted closure and they whiiiined. I caved. Here it is. Don't blame me.

Sam Winchester didn't wake up slowly. It was instantaneous. One moment he was wrapped in sleep, warm if not precisely comfortable. The next moment, he was lying in the dark on a couch under a ratty afghan that smelled not-so-faintly of dog fur. Dim light from over the stove in the kitchen kept it from being pitch dark, but it was close.

Sam's heart pounded, ears ringing and gut clenched with fear. He could smell the fear in his own sweat, feel it in the chill of his fingertips as he sat up, trying to take deep breaths to keep from passing out and falling into that black pit in his gut. He looked around anxiously but he was alone in the room. No dogs. No Bobby. He swallowed hard against a lump that felt like broken glass in his throat and made himself stand up; made himself face the terrible fear that he'd been dreaming and Dean was still gone, still dead. Still damned. Or wearing pastel. He smiled at the image, but it seemed so impossible . . .

His steps dragged as he headed towards the stairs. He paused at the foot, not sure he really wanted to go up there and learn one way or the other.

Winchesters weren't chickenshits. He'd heard it all his life and he forced himself to believe it now, as he lifted a foot and slowly took one step up. He placed his feet carefully, against the wall where the steps might not creak so badly. They still squeaked, protested his weight, but more softly. Another step. And another. By the fifth step he was almost moving smoothly, as if he didn't have to force his knee to lift by an act of will each and every time.

The upstairs hall was dim too. A narrow sliver of light fell from the bathroom onto the threadbare carpet. Sam ghosted down the hall, staying close to the wall until he reached the spare bedroom. He paused, took a deep breath, and peered around the jamb. Blinked, trying to accustom his eyes to the darker bedroom and made out a dark head against the white pillow case. Sam sucked in a deep breath, startled to find his lungs aching, and that he had been holding his breath before. The figure in the bed twitched, rolled over. There was a faint gleam of eyes in the shadowed face. "Sam?"

Dean's voice was sleep-soft, confused. Sam blinked hard. Dean was there but he wasn't sure yet if his BROTHER was there, or . . .somebody who wore pastel and paid cash. "Hi. Couldn't sleep."

"Didn't look like you couldn't sleep to me. You had dogs on you and didn't wake up."

"Yeah. Well. I'm awake now."

There was a snort. Sam twitched. Dean groaned. "So you come wake ME up to keep you company?"

"Seemed like a good idea at the time."

A rude noise answered him. Still not a curse. There was a pause and then, "Hold on. Wait just a fuckin' minute." Sam felt something uncoil in his belly. Dean didn't notice. "Goddamnit SAMMY! You thought . . . Ooooh I am gonna make you EAT those ugly shirts tomorrow. One at a time. With ketchup and mustard."

"ME!? I'm not the one who bought them!"

"It's your fault I was ever seen wearing those fugly things to start with, little brother. You so owe me!"

"Says you! From where I stand –"

"GODDAMN HUG OR KISS OR FOOL AROUND OR WHATEVER THE HELL YOU WANNA DO BUT SHUP UP WHILE YOU DO IT! I'M GONNA CHOP YA BOTH INTO DOG FOOD IF YOU DON'T SHUT UP AND GO TO BED! CRAP!" A grubby boot flew out the door of Bobby's room and hit the wall over Sam's head. He could hear Bobby's crabby grumbling, " . . .man can't get any sleep goddamn Winchester brats probably still possessed christo blasted . . ."

Sam turned and could see enough now to spot the whites of Dean's eyes and the way he was biting down on his bottom lip, trying not to laugh. Sam shot him the single finger salute and got a pillow thrown in return and right behind it, the solid bulk of a big brother demonstrating that he'd regained advanced mastery of the atomic wedgie.

It took Bobby marching out and demonstrating that HE had a solid mastery of a few moves too. Sam's crotch and his wrist hurt like hell by the time he was lying in a cozy bed, but he had a big smile on his face just the same. Dean was being a real shit, and Sam was perfectly delighted to know what the hell had gotten into Dean, and that yeah, it was really there to stay.

That's it! Glad you enjoyed it. Presuming if you stuck it out THIS far you had to. Or else you're a major masochist but that's none of my business. GRIN.

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