"Hours One Through Twelve"
RATING: PG for language
A/N #1: Okay, Tag #2 to "Hello, Cruel World" a tiny bit of brotherly schmoop. Because, Sam sleeping on the couching made me do. Going with the prompt from Dean's own mouth that Sam slept for 12 hours…what was Dean doing?
A/N #2: I literally wrote this in an hour, because it wouldn't leave me alone. So I apologize in advance for any typeos. I tried to get them all. And 2 uploads in one day…fanfic dot net here might implode….
"It takes two men to make one brother."
"Dean, this dinner ain't exactly good cold!"
"It's soup in a can Bobby. That's not dinner, that's microwavable."
"Get over here, and eat this boy!"
Dean stopped Bobby, in the process of walking into his study with a pot gripped by the handle in a pot holder, stirring its contents that smelled too much like Campbell's Chicken and Stars for it to be not.
Dean pushed at Bobby's arm, making the older man give him a: "What the hell Dean?"
He pushed Bobby back into his white kitchen, back to the stove, with the eye still burning red from meal preparations.
"Keep your voice down!" Dean glanced over his shoulder, to Sam's sleeping form on the couch. "Sam's asleep, what's wrong with you?"
"Sam's been asleep for almost two hours Dean!" Bobby argued.
"Yeah so what?" Dean said this defensively, like Bobby's words it was insulting his brother's character, when he was too beaten and exhausted to defend himself. "It's not like he's exactly been catching the regular 8 hours a night. He needs it!"
"I'm serious Dean!" Bobby eyed Dean with a heavy look. He was more rough edges and bags than a flesh and blood man. "You haven't eaten since Sam went under. You're going to crash on this floor from malnourishment-"
There was a shifting sound on the couch. All Sam did was roll over, but it brought Dean to him so fast that it would've won him a race.
His brother shifted again, but it was an uneasy shift. "Sammy," Dean laid a hand on his chest, resting it there.
"Dean-" Bobby's argued pronunciation of his name, tore Dean Winchester's face to him, slicing a hand across his throat, in the age old fashion gesture: 'cut it out'
"Sammy. Dude, you're good, okay, you're good!"
Sam actually stilled under his brother's hand. Dean left it there, let it warm, before pulling it away.
He walked with Bobby back to the kitchen.
"Here," Bobby handed him a cup of soup and a cup of whiskey. "I think your newborn stopped fussing, mom."
"Shut up! You know that's not what this is!" Dean took both items in his hand to the wooden dining table.
There was another shift of movement from the living room.
Dean's dishes clattered hard on the table top as he slammed them down.
"Dean he's fine!" Bobby snapped, grabbing Dean's arm to still it from moving. "The damn blanket just fell off is all!"
"So you think Sam catching a freakin' cold on top of all this crap is helpful-"
"He's wearing jeans!" Bobby's snapped. "Sit down and eat your soup Dean!" Bobby barked, forcefully pushing Dean into the chair. Dean fought him, but Bobby just pushed harder. "You go near that kid again-"
"He's my brother Bobby!" Dean argued, because to him, it was a simple as that.
"Yeah, a brother that will kick my bits up the Sioux River if he wakes up and finds out that you didn't eat anything, sit!- stay!" Bobby slammed the food and the liquor down in front of Dean. "Eat!"
A cup full of warm Chicken and Stars, a glass of Wild Turkey and a beer later, Dean was back in front of the couch, watching Sam sleep, carding a finger through Sam's hair, that had damped with sweat in his sleep.
"Dean Winchester, I will beat you if you don't leave your brother alone!" Bobby was drinking his whiskey straight out of the bottle now. It was what their lives had come too, embracing alcoholism.
Dean waved at Bobby angrily, and hissed in an equally angry whisper. "And I will kill you if you wake him up!"
"Oh yeah, you don't sound like a mother with her newborn baby."
"Leave me alone Bobby," something very sad was in such a rough tone.
Bobby laid a heavy hand on Dean's shoulder. "Dean he's gonna be fine, but he needs to rest. And you do too. You look like crap, boy."
Dean sighed a heavy argument away, too tired to even do that. "Fine." he stretched out on the floor.
"Dean what are you doing?"
"There's no room for me on that couch, so I'm doing my resting right here." Dean had settled with his head pillowed right next to Sam's on the back of the couch, legs splayed out in front of him.
"I have a extra bedroom boy!" Bobby snapped, seeing how utterly uncomfortable Dean looked on his hardwood floor that was older than he was.
"And I didn't ask about that Bobby." Dean argued, throwing his hand back and closing his eyes. "If you wake up, and come down here, and it looks like we're cuddling, well then, you can go to hell-"
"This isn't up for debate Bobby," Dean didn't open his eyes when he said this. "Goodnight."
The clock ticking away on the fireplace mantle read only 9:00 pm, but Dean's face read exhaustion, so Bobby didn't argue.
"Guess I'll go read my lore in my room then." He left them there, Sam and Dean Winchester, left them to the night.
At three am when Bobby went downstairs to grab another book from the library, he found Dean kneeling over his brother, palm to his chest.
Bobby stepped closer, suddenly terrified, afraid what that meant. But, in the still quiet, he heard the quietest, rattling thing:
Dean's whiskey tormented voice crooning and cracking out the lyrics to "Hey Jude" A 33-year-old man, singing a lullaby to his 29-year-old brother.
"What are you doing Dean?" Bobby's repeated saying from earlier, whispered now, was now only sad, because, nothing about that seemed wrong at all. It was all so right, it was heartbreaking.
Dean woke up at 8:00 am to a quiet morning with birds barely heard through the window. He had grasped Sam's wrist in the middle of the night. He couldn't help it, he traced a thumb to the pulse point before he pulled away and stumbled into the kitchen, to Bobby offering him a cup of coffee this time.
"He sleep okay?"
Dean sipped his coffee, wishing for his whiskey back, eyes deep, hurting. "Define okay?"
Bobby could hear the torn parts in that answer. "What about you, you sleep okay?"
"Awesome," Dean swallowed more coffee again, swallowing down the bitterness of his words along with it. He reached behind him, to set the cup back down. A hand in Bobby's fridge later, brought Dean back with a bottle of water and a protein bar.
"I'm going to go wake him up," He eyed Bobby up and down, in a dare. "You got a problem with that?"
Bobby didn't answer, which gave Dean his.
He watched Dean walk back out to the living room, to where Sam had thrown himself on his back on the couch too short for his 6'4" frame.
Sam looked so beaten, so tired, that Bobby could only watch with the same sadness as last night. But, one that also bordered on pride when he saw how Dean knelt down next to his brother. Seeing how carefully, how tenderly he shook his shoulder.
God freakin' hell, how could one word whispered from Dean's mouth be so gentle and protective?
Sam started to stir under Dean's nudging.
Sam suddenly shot awake, flaying in terror, eyes wild.
Dean held out his hands, in surrender, watching, checking, and protecting his brother all in one movement.
"That's 12 Hours, we're calling that rested, okay?"
Good or not, it came out the way I saw it.