A/N: Written for a prompt at the LiveJournal community OhSam, dedicated to all that is hurt!Sam. Just a small piece but hopefully enjoyable nonetheless.
The car's uncomfortable. Sam wonders exactly just how long it's been uncomfortable, this brand of uncomfortable, and how he's never quite noticed until this exact moment. It's digging into his back, keeping him upright and awake when his eyes burn and beg for sleep.
The book in his lap has words that are blurring and dancing, and unless the book's cursed or magical, Sam's pretty certain that's indicative of his not-sleeping, too. It's just hard to sleep these days, that's all. He can sleep when he's dead. Right now, he's got an apocalypse to stop, an apocalypse he started. Sleeping isn't a luxury he should be afforded, and his brother of all people should understand that.
Except, somehow, Dean didn't get the memo.
His brother's yawning for the third time in less than ten minutes, and the sight and sound finally make Sam yawn too. Bastard. "Lookin' pretty tired there, Sammy," Dean says, as if surprised. Yeah right: more like seizing his chance. "You should get some sleep. Nice long drive, won't be stopping for awhile."
"I'm good, thanks," Sam says, shifting once more until he's uncomfortable again. Stupid seat keeps molding to his body perfectly, leather soft and familiar with his shape after all these years.
Dean doesn't say anything for the next three miles, and Sam finally discovers a spot that's perfectly uncomfortable. The small flare of pain that shoots up his spine is enough to wake him right back up, even when his eyes had begun to droop. Good. The last thing he needs is sleep. The last thing he needs to see is Lucifer in his dreams, doing everything he can to make Sam say yes. Breaking Dean open just to pull the one word from his lips. There's always blood, always, and he'd rather stay awake for hours then sleep for a single minute of it. Imagining Dean in Hell was a familiar nightmare enough, thank you very much.
Something soft bumps into his shoulder. Sam frowns and turns towards his brother, only to see his brother's leather jacket. Already folded up in a perfect pillow shape. "Thought it might let you sleep a little better," Dean says. Before Sam can protest Dean's tucking it into the seat and the window, right where Sam's head would go. If he was sleeping.
Which he's not. No sleep here. Nope, nuh-uh, no nightmares this way.
"Not tired," Sam tells him, and it sounds more like a petulant response of a nap-deprived four year old. Fantastic.
Dean, for once, doesn't comment on it. "Here," he says instead, and the next thing Sam knows is that there's a blanket in his lap. A really soft one, one that smells fresh and clean and new. One that suddenly reminds him of the suspicious looking shape in the Wal-Mart bag Dean bought just that morning.
"Tired, I know," Dean says, and he's serious now. "But you didn't sleep well three nights ago, you barely got two hours two days ago, and last night you didn't sleep at all. Your dark circles have circles, and...look, I'm worried about you, okay? You need sleep, Sammy," Dean pleads, turning away from the road to look at him and pin him with the very big-brother-worried face. "You need to talk to me in a girly manner, that's fine, so long as you catch a few z's."
Hell. "It's not that, I..." The blanket feels soft and warm in his lap, and the urge to lean into the leather jacket-pillow is growing with each moment. He is tired, bone tired, and he wants to sleep. The nightmares won't quit, though, and he knows it.
"I won't sleep long," he admits softly. "I'll just wake up because of..." Saying "nightmares" or "bad dreams" out loud just doesn't convey the bad things that'll happen.
Dean's already reaching for the tape player, though, and soon Styx is playing through the speakers. One of Sam's favorite bands, and Sam smiles softly. "I'll wake you up if something happens," Dean says casually. I got you, is the unspoken promise.
His brother had him at "Sammy," and they both know it. Sam lets his head rest on the pillow and closes his burning eyes. The lids are heavy and he lets out a sigh of relief when they close. His body twists back into a comfortable position, and he can feel Dean tugging the blanket up just a little bit higher. Not because it's particularly cold out, but just because he can.
"Thank you," seems silly. They don't do that unless it's earth-shattering, life and death. "Can't believe you bought me a fleece blanket," Sam murmurs, already half asleep.
"You should be grateful it wasn't pink," Dean retorts, but there's a smile in his voice, Sam can hear it.
For the first time in weeks, Sam doesn't dream at all.