12:01 on a Thursday Morning

By Silver Kitten

Author's Note: Well, um…talk about a speechless start to an author's note…I know I've been…well, disappeared-like for pretty much a year. It wasn't so much by choice as it was lack of options and otherwise…..I hope to get back into writing more again, and should anyone still care enough to read my work, and are curious about the long length of absence, I can talk more then. For now, I think, I'll just post this ridiculously fast-written, un-grammar checked story speak for itself (And for that, I am sorry). It's been ages, quite literally, since I let the flow of inspiration from an episode catch me enough to sit and write out a tag. I came close this season a few times, but tonight's episode, Mystery Spot, completely did me in. This is not, I think, my best work…but having not written anything in forever, and not even visiting the site like I wanted to, I figured…what the heck. I'm sleep-deprived enough to post this without caring too much that it's kind of…well….I won't criticize myself too much when I can hardly form words, lol. I do hope it provides some kind of entertainment, brief as it may be. And if you'd like to let me know your thoughts on it, I certainly wouldn't stop you.

Another Author's Note: I do want to add, that should any "old fans", dare I suggest I had any (haha), be reading this…I want you to know that I missed you and wish I hadn't taken leave for so long. There are many favorite authors of mine out there as well that I want to get back into reading. And after so long, now is as good a time as any.

Disclaimer: I claim nothing. I just want my bed! Preferably with a Winchester brother or two in it, but I'll do without this night if I have to….


Sam was exhausted, his body nearing its breaking point before passing out, yet he couldn't fall into slumber anymore than he could take his eyes off Dean's sleeping form. This was the first Wednesday night in an unforgettable period of awful time-looped months that his brother was alive in the next bed over. Those nights and days without Dean there were like one, long nightmare he couldn't fall asleep from and the worst of it plagued him when he was awake. If he was honest with himself, a good night's rest was something he not only wanted, but needed. His thoughts, however, preoccupied him from getting one.

Anytime Dean made the slightest of movements, a cough, or a strenuous sigh, Sam was just about upright and ready to jump to his brother's aid should he be suffocating. Perhaps the sheets somehow caught around his neck, or maybe he had food poisoning somehow from the little amount of food Sam allowed Dean to eat, because, you know, certain foods are easier to choke on.

But Dean would settle, his sighs would lighten as he got more comfortable in bed, and Sam would just listen to the steady inhales and exhales not realizing he was holding his own breath. He knew this wouldn't—couldn't—go on forever. The constant worry, the persistent babysitting of his brother's every move would one day decrease back to the way it was. Sam knew his brother was capable, if not always adequate, in taking care of himself. He also knew what life could be like without Dean, and he wasn't taking any chances.

Sam adjusted his pillow as he lay on his side facing Dean. His eyes only wandered away from his brother when he heard a suspicious noise like wind knocking branches against the thin walls of the motel, or the furnace kicking on with an annoying cackle, and Sam would scan the room for any threats. Through the shabby, cheap curtains there was a thin veil of moonlight seeping in. Other than that, the only light that broke the darkness was the mild green glow of the alarm clock. Sam quickly glanced at the clock as the glowing numerals flicked over to 11:38 p.m.

Wednesday was almost officially over, but it wasn't over yet. There was a part of Sam that still feared the Trickster somehow had the time/space continuum bent to his disadvantage and he could lose Dean all over again.

"Dude," Sam was surprisingly startled by Dean's sluggish voice. "All day you've been watching me. I'm here, okay? You have to watch me while I sleep, too?"

Sam bit his lip through a small, slightly annoying grin and flipped himself over so he stared at the ceiling. He cleared his voice.

"You keep making weird noises, that's all," Sam said.

"Right…well," Dean rustled in his sheets as he turned to face his brother. "Anytime you want to tell me what's on your mind…"

"I already told you everything this morning. It's fine."

"You're not fine. You haven't been fine all day, and for as much as you keep looking on me, checking to see I'm still alive, you sure as hell have a hard time keeping eye contact."

Sam could hear Dean's voice strengthen as he seemed so suddenly awake.

"Let's not have this discussion right now, alright? I'm tired."

"Bullshit you're tired! You've been pondering something in that thick skull of yours for what must have been a while and it's got you so wired you don't know what to do with yourself."

When Sam didn't respond, Dean raised his voice sternly.

"Look, Sam. If you have something you wanna say, you better tell me because I'm not gonna be around forever to play twenty questions just to figure you out."

"Don't talk like that!" Sam shouted, throwing the covers off of him and sitting himself halfway over the bed. He reached forward and slammed the wall where the light switch was. The light flashed on unsteadily with an orange hue lazily illuminating the small room. Sam waited to finish talking until Dean looked him in the eye. "Don't you ever say something like that again. Not after the hell I've been through."

"Now we're getting somewhere," Dean muttered, mimicking Sam and pulling himself upright. He wasn't as on edge as his brother, taking quick notice that Sam's hands formed fists that gripped the bed sheets. Dean licked his lips and tilted his head. "Talk, or I'll beat it out of you."

Sam rolled his eyes. "It doesn't matter. What happened to me are my issues, I'm not gonna drag you into them."

"Come on, Sam. Can't we skip the whole Montel scene where we say things like 'my issues are your issues and what matters to you matters to me' and just get straight to the point?"

"You are the whole point, damn it!" Sam's voice crackled and split, angered tears gleamed in his eyes. "The Trickster...he has this idea that so many people seem to share. That I should just let you go. Even you tell me that."

Dean scoffed. "I hate to admit it, I really do, Sam. But he had a point."

Sam's bottom lip trembled, and Dean couldn't tell if it was because he was on the verge of crying or because he was so extremely frustrated, maybe both.

"I saw you die—I'm trying to forget how many times. And the worst was today."

"What are you talking about?"

"Wednesday…today…the same Wednesday I haven't been able to get over since…months, felt like a lifetime. He took you again, Dean. Tuesday was done and over but at least then I could wake up. It happened right in my arms, you were two heartbeats away and I didn't get there fast enough. The gunshot, the blood…your last breath. I kept expecting to wake up…I never did."

Dean was left rather speechless. He wanted Sam to talk, and now that he was, Dean almost wished he wasn't hearing it.

"How long?"

A single tear fell from Sam's eyes, darkly swollen. "Long enough to know that who I am without you is someone I'll never let myself be."

Dean didn't want to reminisce with his brother and relate about experiencing their other half deceased. Less than twenty-four hours was enough for Dean to know life without Sam wasn't life at all, and he couldn't bear to imagine Sam dying multiple times, reliving it day after day after day, and then one day life going on without him there at all.

"I wish you didn't have to go through any of this…all things considered…"

"Just…stop. If you talk about how this really was a good test for when the real time without you comes, then forget even finishing that sentence. Because for as much as I hurt, I learned something in all this. The Trickster did have a solid point. This back and forth, you die for me or I die for you, isn't going to cut it. It's you die for meand I will die for you. Because when you're gone, the world and everything worth fighting for, everything I fight for goes away. So you can shove that reckless, you're less valuable than me attitude right up your ass."

Dean remained quiet, eyes at first averting his brothers but finally he gave in and looked. He saw the painful admittance of brutal honesty and earnestness, saw the tears that weren't of sadness but of happy relief. It was as if Sam finally got out what he'd wanted to say, what never really needed to be said but Dean needed to hear. If one of them goes, then so does the other. Regardless. Remorseless. This was something they didn't need to go into detail about, that would be left to fate. For now, they had this, just being two brothers for the first time in a long while, and glad to be alive.

Dean's lips curved into a broken smile and he laughed on the end of a breath.

"Talk about the wonderful life of being a Winchester, huh?"

Sam borrowed a tip from Dean and smiled through the pinch of tears in his eyes.

"Yeah, really," he sniffled.

A few moments passed and Sam wiped his eyes.

"Hey, Sam?"

"Yeah?"

"It's 12:01 a.m. It's Thursday, and I'm not dead."

At that, Sam truly smiled. It was a real turning point. A brand new, not Tuesday, not Wednesday day. And Dean was alive. And Sam was never happier to see 12:01 on a Thursday morning before. His smile only grew. "It's a good day, then."

"Yeah, it is. And say, since I'm alive and well…think maybe you can stop grabbing for my hand when we cross a street?"

"I guess," Sam gave a lighthearted sigh.

"And maybe, you can acknowledge that I know how to chew my own food. So you don't have to mash it up like Big Bird would for her babies."

"Uh, actually, Big Bird isn't a 'her', Dean."

Dean made a face.

"Yeah, well, if you want to be technical, smartass, Big Bird is a giant yellow muppet on Sesame Street that usually sits inanimate in a closet somewhere."

Sam outright laughed now and shook his head, "Touché."

"So…maybe we can try and get some sleep, now?"

"Yeah…"

"Unless…"

"What?"

"Unless you have something else you want to say."

Sam thought to himself, shutting the light off and swinging back over into bed. He threw the covers around him and closed his eyes. "I just wanna say that…I missed you, Dean."

"Even though you haven't really gone anywhere to me, right back 'atcha."

"See you when I wake up?"

Sam saying that like a hopeful question struck Dean like tiny pins pricking all over. He got situated back into bed and blew out a hefty sigh.

"You bet, Sammy. Now get some sleep."

And it couldn't have been long before Dean was the one lying awake, facing his sleeping brother with countless things running through his mind.

He peered through the shadows between them, locking his eyes on Sam. He believed his brother's vow, that if they go they go together. But he also liked to believe that worst case scenario Sam would find a way to live on. And one final thought streamed through his consciousness before he fell asleep himself.

As long as I can help it, there won't be a nightmare I won't do everything in my power to wake you up from. I'll wake you up, Sammy. I'll wake you up.

Fin


Wow, even I found this kind of absurd and corny, and I like absurd and corny sometimes…but, wow. Ha, well I do hope you liked it anyways. Reviews are lovely. Thanks so much for reading…

Silver Kitten