A/N: This one's sappy as hell, guys. What? Can't be all angst all the time. It wears a girl out.
"This," Dean slurs, hoisting the half-empty bottle of five-hundred dollar whiskey. "This is why we saved the fuckin' world."
Sam grins sloppily, tosses back the shot his brother pours him. "An' here I thought it was for the good of mankind."
"Nope," Dean says, shaking his head emphatically. "Fuck mankind!"
"And womenkind," Sam says, waggles a finger, trying to be fair and non gender-specific. "Fuck womenkind, too."
Dean cuffs him on the back of the head. "What, I teach you nothin', Sam? You can fuck mankind – but you gotta make love to womenkind. Show the ladies some respec', huh?"
"Ladies?" Sam says. "You mean those ladies?"
Dean looks over his shoulder to where Ellen and Jo are passed out on Bobby's couch, Jo curled up by her mother's side with her blonde head tucked under Ellen's chin. Sam can see where she's drooled a little onto Ellen's flannel shirt.
"Yeah," Dean says, his voice suddenly soft, awed. "Those ladies."
Sam swallows hard, throat too tight and chest too full, but he's saved when Bobby lets out a particularly loud snore from where he's slumped against the kitchen table. Sam laughs wetly and shakes his head, reaches over to remove the spoon leaving an imprint on Bobby's cheek.
"We outdrank 'em all," Dean says, in a tone of complete wonder. "Jesus, Sam, can you fucking believe it?"
"You drink better than anyone," Sam says fiercely. "Better than anyone I ever met in the whole goddamn world, Dean."
"You're not so bad y'rself," Dean says, tries to clink their glasses together, but Sam shakes his head.
"No," he says, "no, I – I get messy, sometimes, an' sometimes I puke, an' sometimes I get more drunk than I wanna be – an' sometimes I do things I wish I didn't do, I mean, I really really fucking wish I didn't do 'em, but it's always too late to take anything back 'an –"
"Dude," Dean says, and suddenly his hand is curved around the back of Sam's head, shaking him a little. "We all puke sometimes. 'S a fact of life."
"You don't," Sam accuses, "you never fuckin' puke, and – and you always know – when – when I'm drinking too much, you always know when I'm gonna hurl, but I never fucking listen to you, and now, and now, now –"
"Now what?" Dean demands. "You're sure as hell not puking now, Sam."
"Shuddup, huh? C'mon. Shuddup."
Dean stands abruptly, pushing back from the table, and Sam looks up, startled.
"We're goin' outside," Dean says, jerks a thumb towards the door. "Outside, bitch, now."
Sam dutifully follows his brother out onto Bobby's front porch and across the lawn, trying not to sway too much or trip over the rusted car parts.
"Look," Dean says, waves an arm. "Jus' look, Sam."
Sam looks. The sky is enormous and deep, thousands of stars burning bright and fierce over the South Dakota land, and in the benevolent light of the full moon the decimated cars in the junkyard glitter like jewels embedded in rich earth.
"Look," Dean says, points, out over the sweep of prairie, the tall grass sighing in the sweet summer breeze, points to where there's a thin strip of light hovering on the horizon: the sun, not yet beginning to rise. There's the sound of a thousand crickets playing all at once, joyful and incessant and alive.
"Yeah," Sam says, doesn't trust himself to say anything else. "Yeah."
"I don't care anymore, all right?" Dean says, and he sounds tired and elated and completely wasted. "I don't care."
Sam doesn't know if that's true. Doesn't know if he can believe it – doesn't know if he wants to try. But he thinks, in that moment, that Dean believes it. That Dean really, truly believes it.
And what Dean believes is good enough for Sam.
They go back inside, and Dean pours them each another shot.
"Lechaim!" Dean cries. "Mazel Tov! Bon appetite!"
They clink their glasses, and to Sam it sounds a little bit like bells, ringing clear and truthful and sweet.
Ringing in the new day.