I had a hard time finishing this but I feel like if I spend any longer on it, I will go insane.

Dean can feel someone patting his cheek. It's gentle but it's definitely persistent. He wonders what they want but he doesn't care enough to try and open his eyes.

"Dean?"

Dean registers that voice immediately. It's Sam. Sam's here.

"Wake up, Dean."

Dean attempts to open his eyes but his eyelashes feel as if they are glued together with cement. He slowly can feel his mind connecting to his body and it's almost a surreal experience.

Someone is wiping his face down with something damp. It feels good, especially because they take time to go over his sticky eyelashes. Now it might be easier to....

Dean opens his eyes.

He's in a hospital bed, which isn't very surprising considering the last thing he remembers is not being able to breathe and his chest feeling as if someone had stuck a knife in it and twisted.

Sam is standing above him, grinning like a loon and Dean wants to know what the hell Sam is so happy about, because right now, Dean feels like shit and he just wants to go back to sleep.

"Dean!" Sam practically shouts and Dean is just about to tell the kid to watch his volume control but the doctor, a middle-aged woman enters the room, stethoscope around her neck as a pretty brunette nurse follows.

"Dean." She smiles warmly. "I'm Dr. Strouts. It's good to finally see your eyes open. The nurses were all taking bets on your eye color. Green huh?"

The nurse blushes as Dean grins at her and Dean can't help but feel smug that even though he must look like shit warmed over, the Winchester charm still holds true.

"What happened?"

Dean finds out he's been in the ICU for 9 days. His lung collapsed and they inserted a chest tube, which is why, Dean realizes, his side is hurts like a bitch. The problem was that every time they clamped the tube off, his lung would start to deflate. They had to book him into emergency surgery to repair his lung and he's been recovering from the operation ever since.

When Dr. Strouts and the nurse leave to make other rounds, Dean can see that Sam is watching him like some kind of vulture and he's the road kill, which isn't too far off from how he's feeling.

"Sammy, stop looking at me like I'm one of those Precious Moment's statues that you broke that one time in Hallmark."

Dean chuckled at the memory of Sam's monkey arm catching on the corner of Precious Moment's display, sending them all crashing to the ground, one after another. Glass had shattered everywhere and Sam had tried to flee the scene in embarrassment but the owner had come out and demanded that it be paid for. A small crowd of shoppers had congregated, watching Sam judgmentally. Sam had thrown down a hundred dollar bill and practically ran out of the store, face beet red while Dean laughed and laughed.

"You almost died Dean."

"Yeah well, that sucks, but I'm okay." Dean knows Sam hates when he downplays his injuries, but frankly, Dean just wants to move on from all of his.

"You finished the salt and burn, right?"

Sam nods but doesn't make an attempt to further the conversation. Dean knows what's on his mind so Dean throws out another,

"Really Sam, I'm fine."

Sam shakes his head, bangs falling in his eyes and making him look like a little kid but he doesn't speak.

Dean tries another tactic.

"You heard the Doc. I can leave tomorrow." Dean says and that part is true. Dr. Strouts was preparing for Dean's discharge early tomorrow morning and even though he had just woken up, Dean was ready to leave.

"Dean, you've been out of it for the last couple of days. You even called for Dad. Twice." Sam says.

"They've got me on some pretty good meds, Sammy." Seriously, Dean can't complain. He sure isn't getting skimped out on the pain control factor that's for sure. He also doesn't want to talk about his father's death and Sam thankfully takes the hint.

"Just take it easy, okay?" Sam squeezes his shoulder and Dean rolls his eyes. It hurts if he breathes in too deeply and right now, he thinks he might be sick if he looks at where they inserted the chest tube, and so he closes his eyes.

"Stupid lung."

- - - -

The next day, Dean is discharged from the hospital and Sam couldn't be happier as he loads his brother into the Impala with prescriptions for three different types of painkillers.

Sam checks them into a dingy motel in the middle of Arkansas and lays down payment for a week with the doctor's orders of "plenty of rest" for Dean. Sam snorts. Yeah. Right.

Fortunately, the pain medications that Dean is prescribed knock him completely on his ass so Dean doesn't really have much of a choice to lay low.

Dean's uncomfortable laying down, so Sam wordlessly gives Dean his extra pillow in every motel room. Dean accepts it, using it to prop himself into a seated position every night.

After waking many mornings to find Dean slouched over in what had to be the most uncomfortable position ever, Sam takes pity and goes and buys Dean a neck pillow. His efforts were rewarded by being nailed in the head as he turned to walk away.

"It's pink Sam!" Dean's been extremely cranky ever since leaving the hospital, but the jerk just had surgery so Sam decides to cut him a break. Kind of.

"Don't be such a baby Dean."

"Screw you."

"They didn't have any other color. Besides, your not going to know what color it is when your eyes are closed."

"Pink." Dean scoffs. "I always knew you were a girl."

Sam huffs. "If you want to wake up every morning with a stiff neck, knock yourself out." Sam bit back a smirk. "Not literally Dean. You've lost enough brain cells as it is."

It feels good to be able to joke around with Dean again. It meant Dean was getting better.

"You're just full of jokes today, aren't you Sammy boy?" Dean slurs, the medicine beginning to take effect. Sam drapes a blanket over Dean whose eyes are already glazing over with sleep. Only a few seconds later and Dean is completely out, stubbornly sleeping in a sitting position that really can't be comfortable.

But the next morning when Sam wakes up, Dean is wearing the pink neck pillow, dead to the world, looking more content then he has during this entire ordeal. Sam can't help but pull out his cell phone and take a picture.

What'd you think? :)