A/N: This story is partly introspection. It takes place after 4x02. Poor Dean is silently suffering, and Sam seems to be going through the motions.

Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural or its characters. I am simply bending my creativity a bit.

It was 3 a.m. in Rapid City, South Dakota. Dean passed out immediately after they'd returned from their latest hunt. Sam, however, lay in bed, staring at the tiled ceiling in their room. He'd counted them over and over, hoping it would bore him into falling asleep. Two hours and 947 tiles later, Sam's eyes were still wide open. The thought of angels raising his brother from the grave, and the apocalypse looming in the distance made it hard for him to fall asleep.

Throwing the covers from his body, he got up and went over to the table, where a number of books lay open. He'd been pouring through them, taking in any information he could about angels, and the apocalypse. Among them was a Bible, turned to the Book of Revelation. He bought it after Dean died, but it gave him little comfort. With his brother back, and signs of the apocalypse around them, it was time he cracked it open. As he read through the first few chapters of Revelation, Dean stirred. Sam watched his brother toss and turn. Every so often, the older hunter would let out a whimper, followed by a cry of pain. Sam knew he wasn't really in pain, so he continued to read.

Sam quit on Revelation around 5 a.m., and moved on to looking for a case. He had to get his brother out of the motel room. Dean had fallen into a depression of sorts, and for days at a time, he'd hole up in the hotel room, surrounded by whiskey bottles. As he surfed the Internet, Dean cried out in his sleep. Instead of a cry of pain, a name escaped his lips.

"Alastair…please…don't….please stop…" the words came out intermittently, and were followed by more tossing and turning. Sam turned back to his computer screen, but about 30 seconds passed before Dean let out a horrific yell. It sounded like someone was cutting off a limb.

Sam jumped up and went to his brother's bedside.

"Dean," he said, shaking Dean's shoulder to wake him. "Dean, wake up!" Instead of waking up, Dean turned over onto his back, swinging his arm toward Sam's face. Sam took a step back, Dean's flying hand came inches from his face. Sam grabbed his brother's wrist and lowered the flailing arm. "Dean! Come on man! Wake up!" he shook his brother again, this time more violently.

Dean's entire body flinched, and he flew up into a sitting position, sucking in a deep, audible breath. He looked around him slowly. He was in a motel room. With Sam. No hell, and no Alastair.

"Are you all right?" Sam finally asked.

"Yeah—yeah I'm good. What time is it?"

"About 5:15 in the morning."

Dean got out of bed and went into the bathroom, slamming the door behind him. He turned on the hot water and leaned over the sink, splashing water into his face. He wasn't in hell anymore, but the images were seared in his brain. He couldn't go to sleep at night without seeing that bastard with his knife, slicing into Dean like he was a side of beef. He remembered the pain, the blood and tears shed when he got off the rack and started the torture himself.

He could never tell his brother any of that. Sam would never understand what he went through. Hell, he didn't even seem concerned.
He caught a look at himself in the mirror as he straightened his body. He looked ragged. He'd been getting more sleep than his brother, but it didn't show in his face.

A sharp knock at the door brought him out of his thoughts. That kid never left him alone. He gathered himself together and opened the door. Sam was standing with his fist raised, ready to knock again.

"I can pee by myself, Sam." He blew by his brother on his way back to bed, knocking Sam's shoulder on the way. Sam followed his brother across the room.

"I just wanted to see if you wanted some coffee…that's all."
Dean sat down on the end of the bed. There was no way he'd get back to sleep now.

"Yeah, sorry. Grab me a cup. And breakfast."

"You got it. I'll be back soon." Sam took the keys to the Impala and quickly left the room.

When his brother had gone, he got up and wandered over to the table, where Sam's research was spread out in the form of papers and open books. The younger Winchester had been researching the apocalypse, looking for more signs. Dean admired his brother's determination, but the kid hadn't slept in days. The subject of angels and the apocalypse was consuming Sam.

Sam returned with the coffee a half hour later, and found Dean on the computer, looking through an online newspaper. He set one of the coffees next to Dean on the table, along with a fast food bag. Dean took a breakfast sandwich from the bag and hungrily unwrapped it.

"I found us a case," he said, chomping on his food. When he didn't get a response from Sam right away, he looked over at his brother, only to find him chugging his coffee like water.


At the sound of his name, Sam stopped drinking the coffee and looked at his brother.

"Are you okay, Sam?"

"I'm fine." He pulled up a chair next to Dean. "What did you find?"

"There's a string of disappearances two towns over. Little kids snatched from their bed. All girls, all under the age of 10."

"Sounds like a job for the cops," Sam said as he took a sip of his coffee. His voice echoed into the almost-empty cup as he put it to his mouth.

"Get this… all the windows and doors in the house were locked, and according to this, four out of the five kids that were taken have bedrooms on the second floor of the house."

"Nothing human can scale the side of a house," Sam pointed out.

"My thoughts exactly."

"Should we get going? Check this thing out?" Sam asked, bending to pick up the weapons bag next to the table.

"Slow down for just a second, will you? You've been running around here the past few days like you're on speed or something."

Sam wasn't listening. He was too busy putting on his boots – or rather, Dean's boots.

"You do realize you're putting on my boots, right?"

No answer.

"Sam! Look at me damn it!"

Finally, Sam looked up.


"You're putting on my boots, dude. Get your own."

Sam looked down at his feet. He had indeed put on his brother's shoes. He quickly took them off and put on his own shoes.

"Sorry…I guess I'm a little out of it today."

"Try sleeping…I hear it does wonders," Dean snapped back.

"There's no time to sleep. Gotta stop the apocalypse." He started packing their bags.

"Come on, clean that stuff up. We've got a case to check out."
Dean sighed and shook his head. Caffeinated Sam was not going to be fun on this road trip. He gathered the papers and computer. Sam was running in and out of the room, grabbing bags. Dean could feel a headache coming on already. It was going to be a long ride…

A/N: I am going to leave this story incomplete…if anyone has ideas for a chapter two, please let me know! I would love to continue it!