Perchance to Dream
by Fraidy Cat
Disclaimer: All things Supernatural owned and operated by CW and/or Eric Kripke.
Now that Sam could sleep, Dean couldn't.
Or wouldn't, more accurately. It wasn't like Bobby wasn't there, hovering around the edges and offering to keep an eye on Sam for him. But Dean just couldn't trudge upstairs and take a peaceful nap, as if none of this was his fault.
Hell, this was all his fault. He had started them all down this road when he made the deal, after Cold Oak; the first time he decided he couldn't live without Sam. He had known there would be consequences to pay, but had wrongfully assumed that he would be getting the bill himself. He hadn't considered what would happen to Sam, when the deal came due. He should have known that Sam would be as unwilling to live without his brother as he himself had been.
He sighed and let his head drop, rubbing the back of his neck with one hand. He was such a tool; he hadn't learned anything from that experience. Being with Not-Quite-Sam these last few months had just made him miss his little brother even more, and that made him desperate to put all the parts back together. Angels and demons - even Death - had warned him, had told him what shape Sam's soul would be in after all this time, but he hadn't listened. To Dean, it had seemed simple: Sam was broken. You fixed what was broken. You didn't just learn to deal with the broken state; you fixed it - even if it begged you not to.
His eyes watered as he remembered the fear in Sam's voice, the pleading expression in his eyes. Fear was an emotion, wasn't it? If Dean was so desperate to have Emo Sam back, why hadn't that been enough, to finally see a normal reaction from the kid? Maybe Sam could have been fixed in some other way.
Dean had never even asked.
A throat cleared behind him, and Dean wiped at his eyes as he lifted his head. He hadn't even heard Bobby come down the stairs. "He's still sleeping," he announced needlessly.
Bobby advanced as far as Dean's chair. Considering how close Sam had come to killing him, Dean couldn't really blame the guy for keeping a little distance between them. "He ain't slept in over a year, idgit," the old man said gruffly. "Got some catching up to do." He continued to contemplate Sam's peaceful face. "Least he don't seem to be havin' no nightmares."
Dean stretched the muscles in his back and shoulders. "Tell me I'm wrong to worry about that."
Bobby looked at him in surprise. "Come again?"
Dean shrugged and returned Bobby's gaze. "It's not normal. Sam's had nightmares most of his life, especially after Jess, after the hellhounds...he should be having nightmares. Instead he's been lying there, not moving, for almost five days."
Bobby looked back at Sam. "Maybe it's that...'wall' thingy," he mused."Anyway, I brought more sheets. We should change him again, clean him up a little, turn him on his side for awhile." His voice took on authority. "Then you need to get some food, a shower, maybe some rest. When this boy wakes up, you'll scare the soul right back out of him."
"Not funny," groused Dean. "Where the hell is Cas? I don't know if this is normal, for Sammy to sleep this long."
"I doubt Cas knows either," replied Bobby. "Didn't he say this...particular scenario...has never happened before?"
Dean stood, knees creaking and back protesting the sudden movement. "Where are the damn sheets? he growled.
Bobby rolled his eyes and started to turn around, but a movement on the bed distracted him. Sam hadn't moved voluntarily since he had stopped screaming, and lapsed into sleep. "Sam?"
Dean heard the wonder in his friend's voice and plopped down hurriedly on the edge of the cot. He brushed greasy hair from Sam's forehead, then trailed his fingers along San's jawline, stubbled with the beard that had grown since Dean had last shaved him two days ago. "Sammy?" he questioned anxiously. "Sam?"
Sam answered with a sleepy sigh, and Dean smiled up at Bobby, gesturing toward the half-empty water bottle that sat on the floor near the chair he had been sitting on. Bobby moved to fetch the water, and Dean turned his attention back to his brother. "Come on, Sammy; open those eyes for me. Are you ready for some water?"
Sam's eyes remained closed, but his mouth parted slightly, and his tongue darted out to lick at dry lips. Dean laughed and accepted the bottle of water from Bobby, who crossed to the other side of the cot and prepared to hoist Sam into a sitting position. "Thanks," Dean murmured with an appreciative nod. Bobby grunted as he kneeled next to the cot. He slid an arm under Sam's shoulders and started lifting. Dean used his free hand to latch onto Sam's bicep. He tilted the water bottle and began to slowly trickle water into Sam's mouth.
Sam swallowed without encouragement; after a few seconds, Dean nodded again, and he and Bobby carefully lowered Sammy back onto the cot. As his head hit the pillow, Sam's eyes popped open. He looked at Dean for a long moment, green eyes clouded with confusion. "More?" he finally croaked.
"In a minute," Dean answered softly, barely noticing as Bobby lumbered to his feet and backed away from the cot. He kept his eyes locked on his brother. "How you feeling, Sam?"
Sam blinked, seeming to take an internal inventory. "Tired?" he asked.
Dean smiled. "Yeah, we've pretty much established that already. Anything else?"
The confusion in Sam's eyes suddenly gave way to embarrassment, and his face flushed red. "Am I all wet?" he whispered.
Dean patted him gently on the chest. "Don't worry about it," he said. "I...spilled some water."
Sam's eyes seemed to clear a little. "Have I been sick?" he asked.
Dean's own eyes threatened to give his heart away. "Yeah," he answered after a few seconds. "Yeah, you have. But you feel better now, right?"
Sam considered the question. "I feel okay," he said eventually.
Bobby decided it was time to interrupt the brothers. "Do you feel like you could get up the stairs, if Dean and I helped you? Maybe take a shower, have some soup..."
Sam turned his head to look at Bobby and observed the room around him at the same time. "Is this your panic room? In the basement?"
Bobby exchanged a look with Dean, who was shaking his head. He looked back and Sam and attempted a smile. "You were down here when you...got sick," he said. "You'll rest better upstairs."
Sam's eyes clouded again as he looked at Bobby. "I think I had a dream," he mumbled. "It must have been a dream."
"Probably was," Bobby agreed.
"I feel like I should apologize to you," Sam continued. "I don't know how something like that could get into my subconscious...I'm sorry..."
Dean reached out to turn Sam's head so that he was looking at him, again. "Fever dreams," he said.
Sam didn't look convinced. "I love Bobby. I would never..."
Bobby was suddenly beside the cot again. "Hush, boy, it was only a dream. "
Sam yawned and blinked a few times, looking from Dean to Bobby and back to his brother again. "I dreamed a lot," he shared. "Some of it was nice." He smiled. "Dean...you had a family!"
Dean flinched, but managed to keep the smile on his face. "That's not a dream, Sam, that's reality." He could feel Bobby looking at him as he winked at his brother. "You're my family, idjit." He glanced up at Bobby. "Both of you." He looked at Sam again; his eyes were drooping and he was in danger of drifting under again. Dean tapped Sam on the chest. "Hey, let's get you upstairs before you check out again, all right?"
Sam's eyes were mere slits, now. "Okay," he agreed amicably. "Whatever you want, Dean."
You, Dean thought to himself as he and Bobby began to help Sam disentangle himself from the sheets. All I ever wanted was you.