Summary: S3 finale AU. The night before Dean's deal comes due, he slips sleeping pills into Sam's coffee so he wouldn't have to see him die. Too bad Sam has the same idea so Dean won't stop him from breaking the deal. Dark humor, angst, brotherly schmoop.

AN: Yeah, let me just say this up front. If you're a regular reader of my stories, you know by now that I'm just a little bit…weird. A lot weird, maybe. Whatever. In any case, this idea stemmed during Season 3 when there were a lot of fics coming out in which one of the boys drugged the other for some reason on the night before the deal comes due—Dean trying to save Sam from seeing him die, trying to keep him from following him, or Sam trying to do some spell to save Dean but needs him unconscious to do it, or something like that. And then my weird and twisty brain thought, "What if they both had the bright idea to drug the other?" This is what came of it. *shameface*

For those of you who have me on "Author Alert," I'm sorry about the double posting thing. There was something wrong with my account today and it didn't take the first time.

Warning: Language, and weirdness in general from my strange, strange mind.

Disclaimer: Not mine. Title parody of Frost poem.

And Miles to Go Before I Zzzz

Dean could hear them. The baying of the hellhounds, their terrible barks filling the night. Three hours to his deal coming due. He wasn't going down a coward, though. He was going to go out and face them; he wasn't going to run away. No, he'd made that deal of his own free will and now it was time for him to pay up.

But damn him (oh come on, that's a little funny) if he was letting his little brother see him die. Dean knew what it was like to have the only family he had left die in his arms and Sammy wasn't going to go through that. Dead body was better than dying body, better than having to see the light leave his eyes, knowing there was nothing he could do to save him…

Dean shuddered. Maybe what he was doing—Sammy might never forgive him for it, but it had to be done. To protect him from going through that. It was the right thing to do, the big brother thing to do.

He slipped the crushed sleeping pills into Sam's coffee. His brother was in the bathroom taking a piss. The only problem with the heavenly caffeinated ambrosia that was coffee—it made you want to pee every half hour.

Dean glanced at the closed bathroom door. Little brother was taking a hell (again, that was a little funny) of a long time in there. He hoped he wasn't being all emo and crying over what's going to happen in…two hours and fifty-three minutes. Dean sighed. Probably what he was doing in there. Either that or jerking off—and "yeah, right" to the latter choice. Dammit.

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Sam took a deep breath and stared at his teary reflection in the bathroom mirror. Dean wasn't going to hell. He wasn't. He couldn't. Dumbass thing to do, selling his soul. He sniffed. Dean wasn't dying. Not tonight, not ever. Well, maybe when he's all old and wrinkly with thirty grandkids and great-grandkids, but not anytime soon. Not if he could help it.

He just hoped the spell would work.

He'd found it in one of the old tomes at the library in New Orleans. Real voodoo magic. It was a simple enough spell, but he needed to prepare some things for it to work, and to do that, he needed Dean to be temporarily (not permanently) disabled because hey, big brother was never going to just let him try to wiggle him out of the deal.

Damn Dean. Figuratively, not literally. He didn't want…Sam swallowed hard. Damn deal. That could go to hell—literally and figuratively—for all he cared.

Taking another deep breath to compose himself, he turned the bathroom door knob and walked out into the motel room where his brother was trying not to look worried about him. As if Dean could ever hide that from him.

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"Hey Dean," Sam said, voice rough from the tears he'd shed in the privacy of the bathroom.

Dean's eyes showed that he knew what had happened in there, that Sam was that close to losing it. "Hey Sammy. You okay?" No sarcasm, no joking. Just love and concern.

Sam felt the tears start up again. "Dean," he whispered and crumbled into a four-year-old boy who just wanted his big brother.

Dean caught him in a hug. "Hey," he said, his own voice husky with emotion, "It's okay. Alright? It'll be okay." A warm hand rubbed circles on his back. "Okay?"

Sam bit his lip and dug his chin into Dean's shoulder. "Yeah, Dean. It will be okay."

Before Dean could register any confusion at his brother's reply, Sam raised his arm and plunged the syringe he'd hidden in his hand into his brother's back. Dean let out a strangled gasp. "Sammy?"

Big green eyes looked up at him in bewilderment—and god, was that betrayal?—as Sam gently maneuvered his collapsing brother onto the bed. "Dean," he said, gripping the muscled shoulder tight, "It really is okay. I've got your back. I found something." Bleary, half-open eyes just looked at him filled with so much of what Dean wanted to say before he died, that Sam had to look away. It hurt too much to look. He patted Dean's chest. "It's okay."

As his brother slipped into unconsciousness, fighting it all the way, Sam stood up and strode purposefully to his duffel, where he'd put the research and spell. He took a sip of his cooling coffee as he passed by the table. Man, he was tired. He emptied the Styrofoam cup.

He swept the pile of books and papers neatly off of the table and onto the other bed so he could put his own sheaf of papers there in their place. He shuffled and reorganized them for easy reference as he prepared the spell. He glanced that the motel's radio/alarm clock. 9:23. Dammit.

As he worked, however, he felt the fatigue pulling at him, and he blinked hard to clear his head. The words swam before his eyes like a school of fish. Hey look, was that Nemo? His head tipped forward. 'This isn't normal,' he thought as he tried to drag his head up. Unfortunately, 'up' really meant 'down,' as his head came to rest on the table. 'I'm so sorry, Dean,' was his last conscious thought.

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12:00. Midnight. The hellhounds howled in frustration. They couldn't find their prey. They had tracked their quarry using the scent of fear, but the trail had ended here. Then, no more fear, no nightmares, no screams to track. Nothing. Dead silence.

They rounded the motel, searching for any traces of the soul they had been sent to fetch. The pack had never lost a soul like this before. They'd been called off the hunt by their mistress a couple times, but never in their millions of years had they totally lost the game. It was inconceivable.

Twenty minutes past the hour, a rusty blue truck clanked to a halt in front of the motel. The hounds sensed the fear reeking from the man who stumbled out before the vehicle had come to a complete stop, but this was not their soul to take. They allowed him to pass unscathed.

The man ran to the main office, and emerged soon after, racing to the room where the damned soul's trail of dread had ended. The hounds perked their ears in curiosity, but again, they did nothing. The old man was not their target.

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Bobby entered the room, feeling a sense of foreboding, fearful of what he would find. It was still in the brightly-lit room. Papers lay strewn on the floor and chairs and on one of the beds, but that was not what interested him. The two bodies in the room, one lying unmoving on the bed and the other slouched over the table, stilled his heart.

Closing the door and stepping over the double lines of salt and goofer dust, careful not to disturb either, Bobby strode over to the table, which was closer than the bed. There he found that Sam was not as still as he had initially thought. He was breathing. He was…asleep? How on earth…? He saw the powdery film congealed at the bottom of the empty coffee cup near Sam's hand. Damn it, Dean. Sleeping pills.

And the idjit on the bed, who was now emitting the most beautiful sound Bobby had heard in recent years (alright, alright, the boy was snoring—still, it meant he was alive), he was okay, too. The syringe on the nightstand between the two beds explained the elder Winchester's state.

Drugged each other. Idjits. Even more stupid than holing themselves up where they thought an old friend couldn't find them on the last night of Dean's life. Twats.

Well, they weren't dead, and he had no idea why. Not that he wasn't grateful, but he thought maybe he oughta take a look at what Sam was working on before Dean's drugged coffee took effect.

He pulled the drool-covered papers from out underneath the unresponsive kid and sat down to read. The drool didn't bother him—he was used to Sammy-drool, having been the boys' primary babysitter when they were young enough to need one.

Huh, voodoo, eh? This could very well work. Bobby reread the spell. Yeah, this probably would work. Good job, Sam. Cutting it a bit close here, but good job.

He prepared the ritual, using the herbs and other ingredients Sam had already gathered (black cat tail and horned owl lung were some of the more disgusting items), and drew the necessary sigils. Then he lit the match and said the incantation.

The candles blew out in a sudden gust of wind. Bobby had learned in his long career as a hunter that this was a sign that something had occurred. Whether it was a good thing or a bad one, he didn't know and there was no way of being sure until Dean woke up and told him if he could still hear those hounds.

Bobby's knees creaked as he stood and went into the bathroom. When he emerged, he had the ice bucket full of cold water, which he promptly threw on Dean's face.

The older Winchester gurgled awake mid-snore. "Gunhm," he groaned, and turned over to find a drier place on his pillow. Hm, boy was a cuddler. Shoulda known from how he'd held on to baby Sammy like a teddy bear when they were kids.

Bobby sat down on the edge of the bed and grabbed Dean's shoulders. "Dean? Wake up, boy. Come on. I dunno what in tarnation Sam pumped into ya, but I needa know somethin'." Dean mumbled something into the pillow. "Dean? Ya hear any dogs? Come on, kid. Just answer me straight and I'll let ya go back to sleep."

"Smmy?"

Bobby sighed. Well, at least he was getting somewhere. "No, idjit. It's Bobby. Now tell me if you can hear the hounds."

Dean hummed like a drunk, eyes still closed and mostly asleep. It took a moment for Bobby to realize that it was an Elvis tune. "Ain't nothin' but a hound dog," hummed Dean. Well crap.

Bobby huffed and did the only thing left that he could think of to try to get the boy to wake up for just a moment. "Dean, wake up," he ordered, in a passing imitation of the late and sometimes-dearly-missed John Winchester.

Dean's brows came together in the middle of his head and his lids parted slightly to reveal blown-up pupils. Well whaddayaknow? Still works, the sonofabitch.

"Dean?" Bobby said slowly and clearly. "Do you hear any dogs?"

Hazy green eyes blinked in slow-motion. "Dgs?" Another blink. "Nuh. Sleeep?"

Bobby sighed in relief. He patted Dean's shoulder. "Yeah, sure. That's what I said, ain't it?" He allowed himself a congratulatory smile as he lifted Dean's head so he could turn the wet pillow onto its drier side. Then he threw the covers over the once-again sleeping form and moved on to Dean's living contradiction of a ginormous little brother.

"Alright, Sammy," he grunted as he hoisted the 6 foot 4 frame up against him (or more like draped his upper body over his shoulder) and half-carried, half-walked him to the other bed. "Come on." After tucking this big baby in as well, he took a seat in the chair at the table to keep watch and wait for morning to come, and bring along with it two groggy and be-drugged—but alive—boys.

He chuckled into his beard. Oh man, he couldn't wait to hear the "You drugged me!" "Well you drugged me first! What the hell were you thinking?" accusations to start flying once they woke up.

All was right in the screwed up Winchester world.

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AN: Ahem. Umm, my excuse for this is…it's late? Erm, yeah. Okay. So reviews? Heh.

By the way, today is my first-post anniversary! 28 fics in 1 year!! (Okay, some of them are WIPs, but still…whoa)