Title: Boredom

Author: angeltrap / cassidy304

Series: Supernatural

Genre: shameless fluff and humor with a touch of angst and hurt/comfort

Pairing: no actual pairings, but a implied possibility of future SamxDean if you want to see it that way

Warnings: language, incestuous undertones, very slightly implied torture in the past

Summary: Sam's more interested in watching the Lucifer Show than keeping a very bored, very crippled Dean entertained, so our hero decides to tackle the secrets of Rufus's basement – with unexpected consequences. SPOILERS up to 7.03.

Comments: Here goes my prompt-writing virginity. 8D I'm also blowing my Supernatural fandom virginity, because even though I've been writing on it for a while, this is the first time I'm publishing anything. So be kind ;_;

Prompted by dollarformyname for ratherastory's 7.03 comment-fic meme (on Livejournal).

"Move your ass, bitch."

Sam didn't react or in any way show he'd heard him, and Dean scowled at him from his precarious position hovering over him and the armrest of the couch, leaning heavily on the wooden crutch Bobby had magicked up for him in about five minutes like the Superman he is. Figures, he thought moodily, that he lifts his invalid ass for three minutes in the bathroom (or what normally would have been three minutes, but with the long, painful trek to said facility had been more like fifteen minutes), and immediately there's a little brother hogging his place, probably thinking Dean had just kept it warm for him.

"Hey, Goliath! Talkin' to you here." He reached out and snapped his fingers right in front of Sam's nose, failing to gain even a blink in response. "Dude. Rock of Love will be on in like five minutes, and I'm freaking dying to see if Tasha'll try to rip out Kelly's eyes again. So go be comatose somewhere else, okay, or at least move over so I can fit my buddy here," he slapped the cast on his leg, "on the couch."

That, finally, got a reaction. The hazel eyes turned slowly towards him, blinked as if he was only now realizing that he was standing there, and, after spending a moment digging through his subconscious memory to see if Dean had said anything important, Sam chose to open with, "... Rock of Love, Dean? You want me to move so you can watch busty bimbos grapple for some shabby old rock star?"

Dean grinned. "Keyword being busty. 'Sides, have you watched the show? Underdressed chicks getting into massive catfights, drinking their brains out and making out with each other more often than with the Prince Charming, I freaking love it. Looking at them makes me feel like we're almost sane."

Sam chuckled at his gentle jibe at his current mental state, and Dean's grin widened. "Fair enough," he admitted, "but dude, you've been the self-appointed dictator of the Remoteland for two weeks, I think it's my turn now, and I don't wanna watch some angry skanks beating the crap out of each other."

And just like that, Dean was scowling again. "More interested in the days of the lives of... termites?" he countered, waving his free hand towards the TV, where a nasal voice was explaining in excruciating detail (and an accent that sounded a hell lot like Crowley) the mating rituals of termites. "Come on, man, you're not even watching the TV, you're watching the Lucifer Show in front of it." Sam shot him a sharp, slightly alarmed glare, and he heaved a sigh. "No, I can't see him, but I saw you staring that way and your eye movements didn't match the movements of the Terminators on the screen, so I guessed. I don't know what he's doing that's so fascinating, but tell him he can juggle and do cartwheels somewhere else."

"Handstands, actually," Sam muttered.


The younger man shot him a slightly embarrassed look. "He's doing handstands. And complaining that he's bored."

For a moment, Dean could only gape. "Is he now," he finally managed, noticing that his brother's eyes had once more drifted to where the Great Lucifer Show, in town today, tomorrow, and ever after, apparently took place. Then he turned around and limped away, Tasha and Kelly completely forgotten, because his little brother was having hallucinations of the Devil doing handstands in his boredom and Dean was kind of not ready to deal with that right now.

He needed distraction, right the fuck now and preferably yesterday.

After a moment's contemplation had yielded results that told him he was on meds that would react badly with alcohol, there was nothing even remotely like comfort food in the house at the moment (Bobby had promised to bring something, though), and pretty, interested ladies were a little scarce as well, he was left with exploring the house. But God, he'd explored the ground floor a thousand and twenty-three times already, and there was no way he could navigate the rickety ladder to the upper level... which left him with the basement. This was a hunter's house; considering the Louvre of magical, occult and ancient items that Bobby's house had been, it seemed only logical to perform a thorough autopsy on Rufus's house as well to see if it held anything of use.

Bobby had locked the door to keep curious and bored hunters from tripping down the stairs, but John Winchester had taught his kids to pick locks before they were ten, and Dean was nothing if not a child at heart, attracted by anything and everything that was off-limits.

Glancing over his shoulder to make sure that Sam was still transfixed by either the fascinating life of termites or whatever number Lucy was throwing at the moment, Dean snagged the ring of lockpicks from the kitchen counter where it was nestled innocently among the rest of what usually littered his pockets, and proceeded to sneak to the basement door directly behind Sam's back, silent and stealthy like only a man with a clumsy, wooden extra leg and a heavy cast extending from his toes to his nuts can be.

The Gates of Anti-Boredom opened easily enough, but here Dean faced another trial: the Stairs of Doom. The narrow, chipped stone stairs mocked him and his faithful companions, the Cast and the Crutch, the cracks in the stone practically sneering at him mockingly; the handrail attached to the wall chose a different approach and tried to beguile him with promises of support and reliability, only managing to taunt him further.

Pressing his lips together in a firm line and stealing one last glance over his shoulder, Dean the Brave checked his plaster armor, hindering as it was, and, leaning heavily on the crutch, began his descent to the underworld.

The way to the bottom of the dark pit was long and heavy, and every inch of it at fight against the stairs. The battle was long, cruel and bloody, but eventually Dean emerged victorious and having suffered only one significant loss – namely that of his pride, thrown away halfway down in favor of clutching the handrail after all.

Of course, it was simply natural that Dean only realized his profound lack of any source of light when his feet – or foot and cast – touched the chilly stone floor. The light of the living room had been sufficient until the bottom of the stairs, but stopped right there, as if afraid to step further.

Well, he'd never been stopped by darkness before, and he sure as hell wasn't going to start now. Feeling around with his free hand in one way and the crutch in another, he navigated around the room until his hands found a table, or perhaps a drawer, covered in dust and various objects.

"Dude, this is like some fucked up version of that kids' game where you have identify toys that are hidden under a blanket," he muttered as he started pawing through the items on the drawer. His hands identified a knife, a vase with extremely dry flowers that crumbled at his touch, a candle stand with a melted stub of a candle, a glass ball that sounded and felt suspiciously like it had water and a cute little house and some glittery powder snow inside it (what the heck had Rufus had that for?), some objects he hurriedly dropped before his brains could fully catch up with what he was holding, and a small, ornate box that seemed to be a music box.

Dean really should have known better than to wind it.

The lid of the box sprang open, flooding the basement with soft, blueish light and revealing a tiny, slowly revolving ballerina with her arms raised; the melody that greeted his ears was a familiar lullaby that brought a nostalgic lump to his throat. He could almost hear his mother's gentle voice singing quietly along, 'Hush-a-bye baby, up in the sky...'

But just when the first marks of moisture had started to gather in his eyes, the melody slowed down, hitching and becoming distorted until the sound that emerged would have sent chills running down the spine of the most experienced hunters.

"What the -" was all Dean got out through his suddenly chattering teeth before the ballerina figure turned around again in twitchy, jerky movements, and revealed a little porcelain face twisted in agony and covered in red paint. With a jolt Dean let the music box fall from his hands precisely at the same moment he felt something slither around his ankles and pull.

The hunter went down with a yell and a mighty crash (that apparently failed to alert Sam, which was cool because Dean didn't want to be found on his face on the floor with a freaking pearl necklace wrapped around his ankles, and really uncool because the kid was going to get himself killed if he didn't notice things that happened right next to him), blinked stars from his eyes for a short moment, and managed to lift his head just in time to see every damn inanimate object in the basement stir, stretch and become markedly more animate in the eerie glare of the open music box lying on the floor.

"Holy fuck," he groaned, twisting around to try and rip the necklace from his legs, only to have it slither up his arm and around his neck like a freaking snake, and oh God Dean really did not like snakes, even if this one wasn't slimy and slippery and scaly.

He was just about to start trying to come up with a way to get up from the floor, when the carpet under him suddenly bucked, effectively throwing him onto his feet – and face first into the waiting arms, uh, doors of a large wardrobe that attempted to close around him and was only prevented from doing so by Dean's cast sticking out. Slamming the doors back open with his hands, the hunter managed to dive out, though not without several old coats, musty-smelling shirts and a metal hanger draped all over him.

"Jesus," he muttered to himself as he snatched the knife from the drawer he'd spotted earlier and backed against the wall in a painful limp; his leg was screaming in agony, and on the other side of the basement, his crutch was twitching and looking dangerously like it was attempting to get up on its own. "It's like that Disney version of Beauty and the Beast, except I really don't think they're former humans, just murderous pieces of furniture... Fuc-gghh!"

The last exclamation was prompted by the wardrobe lurching forward like a particularly stiff giant, and cut short by the necklace around his throat reminding him of its existence.

Sam gave Lucifer a hard stare. "Really, dude. Walking chairs? Running out of ideas much?"

The Devil – or his echo, or whatever – shrugged, all innocent eyes and charming smiles, following the trek of the three kitchen chairs towards the basement door with great interest. "Hey, whatever works, Sammy-boy. And it's not like there have been too many chances to torment you with freaky shit lately, with Dean-o being such an ever-present cockblock."

"Urgh." Sam pinched his eyes closed, really adverse to thinking about anything that had the words 'Dean', 'Lucifer' and 'cock' in one sentence. "Okay, you just did what one hundred plus years in Hell didn't and left me mentally scarred."

Lucifer beamed. "Aaaand he scoooores!"

The hunter opened his eyes to send a scorching glare at the King of Hell and frowned at the sight of several papers, ancient magazines and a couple of heavy old books – a copy of the Bible among them, apparently – flutter past him to the basement like a flock of misshapen birds. "Seriously, you can quit it now. I've seen some strange shit in my life, but printed word is not supposed to take flight like that."

A resounding crash came from the open door of the basement; Sam jumped and chucked the remote control at the smirking Lucifer. "Stop it already!" he bellowed, frustrated when the remote simply whistled right through the mirage – and then promptly hit the brakes and swerved towards the basement door, mid-air.

"Didn't do anything!" Dean's answering cry came in a strange little squeak. It seemed to come from downstairs. "Innocent like an unborn – ungh, you fucking little...! – kitten until proven guilty!"

"Not you!" Sam called back, by now used to confusions with discussions between him and Lucifer and him and Dean, still glaring daggers at his tormentor.

Dean was silent for a moment. The rest of the house wasn't; Sam could hear creaks, grunts and thumps from downstairs, the books and the logs from next to the fireplace made an awful lot of noise rolling down the stairs, what appeared to be most of their clothes were currently sliding down the handrail, and much to his horror, Sam could see the wireless mouse of his laptop speeding across the floor to follow them.

"Have you considered," Lucifer said conversationally as he jumped up and rushed after his mouse, unable to resist the reflex, "that maybe I'm not doing anything – that maybe you just really are a few spoonfuls short of a full bowl of cereal? Hmm?" He flashed Sam a lovable smile. "You know it's only a matter of time before you spill the rest of your marbles and they go rolling down the stairs like everything else."

Sam wasn't sure why, but something about the way he said it suddenly reminded him that the basement door was supposed to be closed and locked and not vacuuming everything that wasn't nailed down into the dark depths of it. The realization was followed by another – Dean's voice really shouldn't have come from down there.

That, however, was exactly where it came from. "Shit! Hands – paws – doors – whatever off, right now! And don't you freaking dare – aughh!" A crash, followed by wild clattering like a lot of something had just collapsed.

Sam blinked. "Dean?"

"Yeah, Sam?" Dean howled back in an awfully cheerful voice. "Something wrong? If Lucy's being a bitch, slap him!"

Lucifer pouted. Sam figured that the mere fact that he was witnessing the Devil pout was enough to prove how much his life sucked.

The younger hunter hesitated. "You okay there?"

"Peachy!" came the strained reply. It sounded like Dean was reaching for something that he couldn't quite get in his hold. "Came down to – to get some jam! Bobby said Rufus had some stored down here..."

There was an audible snap, and a deathly silence fell over the house. Sam looked down at the suddenly very still papers, books, logs and other things lying on the floor and scattered over the stairs, and not a single page stirred. His mouse was sitting next to the wall, looking much like a wireless mouse should.

He was alone. Lucifer had deserted him for the moment.

Heaving a long-suffering sigh and forcing the bitter taste in his mouth down, Sam crouched to clean up the mess he'd made in his Lucifer-induced temper tantrum. It wasn't as if this was the first time he woke up from his trance to find out he'd thrown things around while he'd been absolutely convinced it was Lucifer flinging plates into the wall and cell phones out of windows, but it still made him unhappy.

And he knew it wouldn't make Dean any happier, so he hoped to get it all cleaned before his brother managed to limp back upstairs.

… Come to think of it, how was he going to do that with the cast and the crutch, while holding a jar of jam? Navigating any more stairs than the two to the porch had been difficult enough even without the jar.

Sam frowned again, once more reminded that Dean had been locked out of the basement just for this very reason, dammit, and abandoned his task to peer into the darkness of the basement. How was his brother going to find anything there, anyway, without any lights?

"Dean?" he called hesitantly and, as he received no answer, took the flashlight hanging on the wall next to the door and headed down, gingerly sidestepping the variety of inanimate objects littering the stairs. "Hey, Dean, you here?"

Jesus, had he imagined even Dean's voice coming from here? He shook his head to dismiss the idea; where else could he be, then? He certainly hadn't been in the ground floor.


The voice was so weak and unfamiliar that for a moment Sam thought he was hearing things again, but then the flashlight reached a cast-covered leg poking out from under a huge pile of junk – everything from kettles to alarm clocks, hangers to clothes, books to old VHS tapes, and suddenly his heart was racing and attempting to crawl up his throat and out of his mouth.

"Dean!" he gasped, rushing to his brother's side; the man was buried under the pile up to his shoulder blades, one cheek pressed against the rough stone floor and a hand covering most of his face. The other arm was stretched out, fingertips barely touching the end of his crutch. At the other end of the wooden stick there lay a beautiful music box on its side, lid closed as if snapped shut by the crutch.

Since he couldn't see anything threatening at the moment, Sam dismissed the box and the rest of the basement and turned his full attention to his brother's face. His eyes were wide and pupils dilated, staring sightlessly through his fingers, and his skin was pale and clammy in a way that had nothing to do with his probably ragingly painful leg or possible other injuries.

"Hey," Sam whispered, reaching down to brush the fingers of his free hand against Dean's forehead, "hey, Dean, what is it?"

Dean blinked, and slowly the green eyes focused on Sam's. "Sammy?" He blinked again, slower this time, some of the wide-eyed, naked fear on his face ebbing away. "We're... at Rufus's house. Right. Fuck, Sammy, I think I broke my other leg too."

Sam felt a sting in his heart at the lost look on his big brother's face. It wasn't hard to imagine where his mind had just been; there were very few things that could bring that look on his face. "Hope not," he said, trying to sound optimistic. "I'll take a look at it in just a minute," he added and started to throw things away from the pile holding Dean down. "What the heck happened, anyway?"

Dean frowned, taking a moment to recall. "I, uh... I opened that music box, and suddenly things came alive. Freaking hangers and plastic cups and flower vases tried to kill me, man..."

Sam froze and turned to gape at his brother. "I... wasn't imagining that?"

Dean's eyebrows hiked closer to his hairline and he shot a look at the stairs, where a considerable amount of things that had been upstairs just a while ago were present. "Huh. Guess not. Had no idea it reached upstairs, too."

Lucifer, you son of a bitch, Sam growled in his mind and attacked the mountain of useless things with renewed fervor and a vicious scowl. His anger melted away when he looked down at Dean again and saw his eyes wandering around the basement, as if he was still trying to convince himself that he was indeed in Rufus's house and nowhere else.

"Dean?" Sam asked softly.

The green eyes glanced at him and then suddenly found his shoes much more interesting. He cleared his throat and explained in a scratchy, hesitant voice, "There were things attacking and stabbing and tearing at me, and this distorted nursery rhyme twisting my memories to Hell, and then I managed to shut the damn thing and suddenly I was -"

... alone in the dark and unable to move and something was pinning me down, Sam's mind supplied when Dean ended his sentence abruptly.

"I know," he simply replied, brushing the last few books and clocks off his back and, after making sure Dean had only received minor scratches and bruises excluding his legs and nothing would be made worse by moving him, circled his arms around his brother and very gently lifted him into a half-sitting position. "Brace yourself," he warned, "I'm about to deal some pretty extensive damage to your manly pride."

Dean had only managed a confused look before Sam had already hoisted him up, bridal style (the cast made every other option impossible and this one difficult, leaving the broken leg sticking out to the side and the other one dangling limply over his arm), and started towards the stairs. Then the protesting began.

"Dude! No freaking way, man, put me down! You're like two weeks late, anyway, asked you to carry me back at Bobby's, but noooo, you were too busy being concussed to help your brother, and now you just have to when I can freaking walk on my own, dammit – watch out a little! Hurts enough even without you banging the damn thing against every available wall!"

"Sorry, sorry," Sam murmured and edged up the stairs sideways to avoid knocking Dean's leg into the walls, all the while sending Lucifer murderous thoughts for dropping his mind to the gutter, because a sentence featuring 'Dean' and 'banging against the wall' sounded alarmingly much better than the previous one.

That was probably only because any sentence sounded better with Lucifer omitted from it, he figured.

And Dean hadn't actually been mentioned in the sentence, just implied.

Satisfied with his logic, Sam blocked the rest of his brother's griping with practiced ease, and was pleasantly surprised to find that by the time he set Dean down on the couch, arranging his limbs into as comfortable positions as possible, the older brother had actually fallen into sulky silence and accepted his fate.

"Okay, then," he said, switching into what Dean called his doctor mode, piling a few clean towels, bandages and antiseptics on the coffee table and kneeling on the floor next to the coach. "How's the armored leg?"

Dean jutted his lower lip out in what Sam thought was a rather childish, if adorable, pout, but what Dean probably thought was a mature, manly frown. "On fire, baby. Probably just jarred, though. Not much room for bones to move there, huh? I guess we can just let it be and go have it x-rayed if it's still bothering me in a few days."

"If it's still bothering you tomorrow," Sam corrected his miserably misguided assumption that Sam was going to watch Dean suffer any longer than necessary. "The other leg, then? Does this hurt?" He took a hold of the foot – Dean hadn't been wearing shoes for two weeks because he hadn't stepped out of the house and the cast repelled the idea anyway – and turned it gingerly, searching his brother's face for any signs of discomfort. Dean grimaced but didn't flinch.

"Aww, ain't that sweet," a familiar voice cooed. "Though I gotta say... I admit I'm not familiar with human customs, but I rather thought it was more common to hold a loved one by hand than by, hmm, foot."

Sam didn't deem him worth a glance, but lifted his hand long enough to flip Lucifer a finger over his shoulder. Dean, to his credit, looked confused for a blessedly short time, before scowling in the general direction of Sam's universal signing.

"Zip it, Lucy, and fuck off," he snapped, and Sam felt ridiculously lightened by his attempt to show that he didn't think that Sam was a total nut-job. Suddenly he didn't feel like he was facing Lucifer alone, even if Dean couldn't see him. "And yeah, I can move my ankle pretty fine, but I think my knee's a little swollen. Hurts like a bitch."

Sam nodded and fetched the scissors, steadfastly ignoring Lucifer doing a frighteningly good impression of Becky, gushing over how Dean had 'rushed to defend Sam even when he couldn't see the enemy'. Dean glowered at the scissors. "Dude, when this is over, I need to go shopping, or I won't have any pants to wear."

"And that's a bad thing?" Lucifer chirped. "He wants to go shopping, Samantha. Soon you'll be painting each others' toenails and swapping tales about boys!"

Sam rolled his eyes at both of them, though he was secretly relieved to see that Dean was beginning to relax and fall back into his normal attitude. "Well, this pair's ruined in any case," he replied, pointing at the other pant-leg that had already been butchered to accommodate the cast. He grinned. "You can wear these as shorts next summer."

Dean snorted. "Yeah, maybe I'll wear them and offer to wash cars when we're short on cash."

Sam fell silent for a moment, and so did Lucifer. Sam had a sneaky feeling that Lucifer was entertaining the very same mental image as he was. "Don't," he denied after a while, ignoring Lucifer's snide whisper that sounded a lot like 'jealous much?', and no further explanation was needed because right then his eyes spotted something else to talk about. "... Dude, are you wearing a pearl necklace?"

His big brother grinned a little bashfully, as if he'd only now remembered it. "Uh, yeah. It's the pearly equivalent of wearing the skin of a bear after slaying it with your bare hands."

Sam stared. "You slayed a a bunch of pearl oysters and now you're wearing their pearls as a trophy?"

Dean did that manly-childish pout thing again. "No, I slayed a pearl necklace that tried to strangle me. Brought the pearls home from the battlefield to give them to my sweet little sister."

"Wow, Dean," Sam deadpanned. "You're, like, totally my idol. You can't imagine what it's like growing up in the shadow of a great necklace-slayer like you."

"Can it, bitch."

Sam chuckled and got back to his task of cutting Dean's jeans to shreds, acutely aware of the King of Hell leaning over his shoulder to ogle at the process with curious eyes. "Oh my gosh, Sammy, what if he managed to bust his good leg, too?" the fallen angel fretted, wringing his hands as if in great agony. "Gasp! What if he's handicapped for good? Bound to a wheelchair for the rest of his life!" He slapped his hands to his cheeks in a stunning imitation of Edvard Munch's Scream. "Oh, and he's so young and handsome, too! Such a tragedy!"

"Sammy?" Dean asked with a ached brow. "You okay?"

Sam realized that he had been pinching the bridge of his nose. "Yeah. Just, you know... got this annoying little fly wailing in my ear... Stop that," he suddenly barked at Lucifer, finally giving in and talking to him again when the Devil leaned forward, looming right over Dean, reaching out to touch.

Dean looked surprised again, but pretty soon he realized that he wasn't supposed to stop anything, and was left worrying about what it was that Lucifer was doing; Lucifer, on the other hand, blinked innocently at Sam and leaned even closer, so close that Dean would have felt his breath on his face had he actually been there to breathe.

"Aww, but look at him, Sammy," the fallen angel murmured with a wicked little grin. "He's all bruised and scratched! I'm just trying to help, here, you know. You take care of his leg while I kiss his other wounds better -"

Hardly even realizing what he was doing and how delightfully ridiculous it had to look to Dean, Sam let out a small, growl-ish sound and removed Lucifer from his brother's immediate vicinity with one mighty wave of a thick arm, hissing, "Keep your filthy lips off him, asshole!"

Dean blanched, and Sam realized a little too late what he had said. On the other hand, Lucifer was a stunned, not necessarily very demonic (or heavenly) heap on the floor, and the look on his face kind of made up for it.

"Really now, Sam," the older brother said a little shakily, a hesitant, forced little grin on his lips, "I had no idea that your prom date had a crush on me."

Sam kept scowling at the literally fallen angel, deeming it safer than looking back at Dean. "He totally does, he's always talking about you, Dean this and Dean that – or maybe," he blinked as a thought entered his head and did an obnoxious little notice-me dance in front of his mind's eye, "or maybe it's not you Lucy has the hots for."

Dean looked half-terrified and half-gleeful, Lucifer was clearly intrigued as well as slightly wary, and Sam was grinning like a jack-'o-lantern.

"He did so look forward to meeting Michael at the end of the world," he sighed, almost dreamily, "and was so very distressed when you bailed on Mikey and he was late to the date because he had to find a new suit..."

The King of Hell was suddenly a whole lot less kingly and hellish. Much to Sam's delight, he was actually glowering at him, so either his guesses had been spot on or mentioning Michael got the poor thing all riled up for some other reason.

"I guess that explains why my stay in Hell wasn't exactly a Caribbean cruise," he continued, ignoring the stab of pain and horror caused by the mere thought of his time in Hell and pressing on. "Poor Lucy was expecting to finally get some alone time with Michael, and gets me as an unwanted room-mate." He heaved a dramatic sigh, secretly basking in Dean's awed stare and Lucifer's heated glare. "And worse still – when he finally manages to kick me out, he somehow finds himself here, too, stuck with me instead of dear Mike! Gotta say, Dean, I'd be pretty fucking irritated, too. I bet he's latching onto you because you were Michael's intended vessel..."

He trailed off. Lucifer had left the building.

"Huh," Sam huffed quietly, amazed at his own success. "He's gone."

Dean was gaping at him with wide eyes. "Dude. Did you just seriously bully Satan, the King of fucking Hell, into skulking off with his tail between his legs? By poking fun at his love life?"

Sam stared at Dean. Dean stared back.

That... was the most hilarious thing Sam had ever heard.

"Sammy, you're freaking awesome," Dean blurted out.

It started from a soft snort of Sam's, a proud grin on Dean's lips, and it evolved into small chuckles, which eventually started to shake their shoulders, and there was a tickling feeling in the bottom of Sam's stomach, and then he had to take a deep breath, and suddenly laughter was bubbling and sparkling in his mouth and lungs and heart and eyes, and Dean was laughing with him, leaning against his shoulder for support and howling in laughter like he hadn't for years, years, years.

Then Dean gasped mid-laughter and doubled over into Sam's shoulder. "Oww, shiiiit," he breathed, still chuckling but sounding slightly pained. "I'm probably gonna have a bruise size of freaking Kansas on my back tomorrow... but man, feels so good to laugh."

Sam couldn't help smiling at that, but now that he was reminded of what Lucifer had interrupted, he decided that it was time to get back to business. "I know," he replied softly, taking his brother by shoulders and easing him back on the couch again. "Let's wrap you up so we can watch something stupid together without anyone but you providing running commentary."

Dean agreed, and Sam wasn't sure if it was because he felt too sore to move anyway, or if he was happy to spend some quality time with his brother, or if he was expecting to watch one of the many soap operas and reality TV shows he'd gotten hooked on during the last two weeks, but he was quite happy to interpret it as the second one.

"Where's the jam, by the way?" he asked absently as he bent to bandage Dean's knee.

Dean looked up at him with an owlish expression. "The jam...?"

Sam finished taking care of the leg and reached for the cotton and antiseptics. "You went down to get some jam, didn't you?"

After a long silence (during which he cleaned and patched the scratches on Dean's jaw and arm) Sam started to feel somewhat cheated.

"There's no jam," he accused.

Dean shook his head. "You seriously thought Rufus was the kind of guy to store jam in his basement?"

Okay, so that sounded a little stupid now, but hey, he'd been lucified, hadn't known what to believe about anything! Dean could have probably claimed he'd gone downstairs looking for Rufus's tutu, and Sam would have swallowed it, hook and all.

"Fine, whatever," he muttered, getting back to tending to Dean's face. "What were you doing down there, then?"

Again with the adorable pout to demonstrate how mature Dean was. "I was freaking bored, and you were all focused on Lucifer, so I decided to explore strange new basements, to seek out new life in inanimate objects, and to boldly go where no cripple has gone before."

Sam snorted, storing that comment in the back of his mind to be whipped out the next time Dean called him a nerd. "Dean," he smiled fondly at his brother, reaching out to place his large hand against the back of Dean's neck, drawing him closer and pressing their foreheads together in a totally manly and purely platonic show of affection, "you're such an attention whore."

Sam's heart was light and his soul was his and maybe it was a little cracked, but at least it was in one piece – or if it wasn't, it was because the missing piece was sitting right next to him.

Whoa. I meant to write like ~2000 words, but ended up tripling it. Also, wrote it all in one go (when I was supposed to study for the exam tomorrow, but hush, no one needs to know that!) and only re-read it once because I was tripping over myself in my eagerness to stick my spoon into the SPN soup, so I apologize if there are any typos, grammar mistakes or general awkwardness.

Please please please tell me what you think, because I love this fandom and want to write more about it, but I'm really shy and need to be encouraged! :3