"Sleep Standing Up."

Summary: Tag to 7x17. You never realize how much you need something until it eludes you, until it becomes like trying to grab at smoke. This was Sam and sleep.

A/N: There are already so many tags for "Born Again Identity" dealing with Sam getting some much needed sleep – but I just couldn't help myself.

Rating: T for language and imagery.


"You know they say that, uh, sleep deprivation is an "enhanced interrogation technique"?


"Trust me, it's torture."

-Sam and Dean "Supernatural"

Episode: "Out With the Old."

"Carry on my wayward son. There'll be peace when you are done,

Lay your weary head to rest, Don't you cry no more."

-Kansas "Carry On My Wayward Son"


The motel was called "Traffic Stop." It even had a huge yellow mounted traffic light on the roof that worked, blinking at random intervals of red, yellow and green. The inside was probably covered in pictures of Jeff Gordon, and the rooms probably had race car beds.

The thought made Dean shudder. But he had driven 150 miles in two hours, he was exhausted. He was beyond exhausted. And he was pretty sure that the hotel wasn't as big as his double vision was making it out to be.

And, if he felt this way –

Dean glanced back in the open door of the maroon Crown Victoria, to the passenger seat. Where his brother was slumping his 6'4" frame in a 5 foot nothing space. He was awake, but unnaturally so, blinking, body fighting to reject 4 days worth of anti psychotic meds and barbiturates. Fingers drumming against his knee, fingers encrusted with dried blood in the nails, that probably had something to do with the equally crusted red pattern on his face. A face with too many day old stubble.

Sam looked like crap. Worse – he looked like what crap wanted to be when crap grew up.

They were stopping.

Dean needed to stretch, to take a shower, to drink too much of something that ended in Jim Bean.

And Sam-

Sam just needed to be unconscious.

Dean pulled a room key – the old kind, a skeleton key on a bright yellow key fob from his jacket pocket. They were in room 7. Dean didn't even care if that meant it was lucky, all he cared about was that it had a bed and a fully stocked mini bar.

His next move was already planned out: leave the duffels in the car in favor of manhandling his too big of a little brother to their room so he could face plant on the nearest horizontal surface. But the sound of a squeaking door eradicated his plan.

Sam was out of the car, standing under his own power, but Dean didn't miss the slight tremors the hand that was still gripping the door. Or Sam's startled animal look at any source of light his pupils came across in the nearly deserted parking lot. Being sleep deprived was akin to being a crack addict – you had the shakes and everything made you nervous as hell.

Sam was halfway to the trunk of the car in this state before Dean's voice caught him.

"Leave it man; I'll grab the stuff in a sec."

Sam's body took almost a full 5 seconds to stop what it was doing, like it had been functioning on Auto Pilot for too long that it didn't know how to shut it off.

"I got it," Sam said in that oh so defiant way he had. That low rumbled voice that had scared many a witness and monster alike.

But it wasn't scaring Dean. Especially after he witnessed Sam trip over nothing and have to brace himself on the side of the car to keep from falling completely.

"Hey," Dean rounded the back of the car, and closed the trunk that Sam had already popped open. "I said I leave it Sam – alright?" There was a hard inflection in the 'alright' as Dean stared at his kid brother critically before grabbing him by the bend in his left elbow.

Sam's over dilated pupils blinked at him sluggishly. "So what now?" He stares at the arm Dean was holding like it was detached from his body. His short term memory is shot, he can't remember what they were just talking about. "Dean?"

"Now you sleep Sam, c'mon," Dean guides him away from the car with these words. Sam walks like he's both drunk and stoned. Dean uses the skeleton key to open the door to their room, pushing Sam inside, having to upright him a second later when he tripped over the threshold.

"We're not married Sammy; I ain't carrying you over this." Dean physically walked his brother over the raised wood this time.

"You're stupid," Sam said is a voice that's so far beyond tired it makes Dean tired to hear it.

"Yeah, and you're trashed," Dean counters, getting Sam to sit down on the first bed he reaches after switching on the light.

The walls are covered in clippings of Nascar and Daytona 500 races. The beds are grown up sized queen ones, but with Corverre's and black Coup de Ville's decorating the scratchy surfaces of their comforters. The bedside lamps have shades with red race cars atop the fennels that screw them to the lamps' bases. The cups stacked beside the mini bar are plastic with green Mitsubishi Spiders racing around the edges of them.

The bathroom door, standing open, revealed a shower with little car decals running up and down the frosted glass door.

They were inside Mario Andretti's wet dream.

But, Dean's two requirements were met.

And Sam was already sinking into the mattress like it was made of quicksand and he could care less about going under.

"Tired?" Dean asks a stupid rhetorical question, but watches as Sam nods, but then answers with an:

"I'm okay."

Dean resists the urge to punch him, because it totally wouldn't help his already masticated face. "Yeah and I'm Dolly Freakin' Yoda." He unzips Sam's jacket and pulls it off, hearing Sam hiss at the action jars his cracked rib.

Dean lifts up the hem of Sam's white t shirt without asking for permission. Doctors have long since rejected the idea of 'taping' broken ribs, since binding them can restrict the ability to take a deep breath and lead to pneumonia. So Sam's unbound chest gives Dean a full view of the myriad of grays, purples and blues painting Sam's left upper chest from the impact of the car that had struck him.

Dean would give a low whistle to seeing wounds this spectacular on anyone else but Sam. Instead he swore. "Shit." He reaches out to brush his fingertips against the bruises.

Sam's chest retracts in a spasm at the contact. He hisses in a whisper, a hand shooting out to grip Dean's shoulder. Both as a method of grounding himself from the sudden rush of pain, and to get Dean to stop. touching. them.

The fingers that are trying to rip Dean's shoulder apart are lined in blood like nail polish. Dean swallows that, like he's swallowing the last entire fucking week of shit that had been thrown at him and his brother. He forced his mind to think in increments; shuffling what was needed to be done now to the forefront, and pushing the rest of it back until it started to take precedence.

It was the only way he was still able to stand there without punching a hole right through the walls and send the racing cars there towards a black void.

What needed to be done now – that was Sam. That was always Sam. It had been drilled into him to take care of his brother since before Sam could sit up on his own. Dean resented it as a kid, because he was a kid too. He never had a life of his own. It was only later that he realized that Sam was an extension of his life. It was why he couldn't sit here with his brother frayed beyond breaking, drunk on insomnia, forced to witness Lucifer not shutting up for 60 hours straight, and not do anything about it.

It wasn't a burden, it was him and Sam. It was what Sam would do for him if the situation was reversed.

"Better lie back Sammy," Dean says, finger hovering over the bruises on his brother's chest, but this time not touching them. "Those need to be iced."

"Yeah," Sam bites back the 'no shit Sherlock' that wants to come out, which seemed funnier than it should've been. But that was probably the lack of sleep and the Ativan talking. Instead he groaned as he swung his legs up over the bed. They felt as heavy as giant redwoods – or at least he thinks so. He's never actually lifted redwoods tied to his legs before. Again, it shouldn't be funny. But, his brain was a mess of sleep deprivation; so it made stupid shit seem hilarious.

Sam laughed something that sounded like an airy giggle before he could help himself. "God, I can't remember the last time I felt this fucked."

"Don't think Sam, you too tired," Dean says, it starts out as teasing, but his eyes are serious, and it soon bleeds into his voice. He sets a bag of ice wrapped in a towel on Sam's chest, hearing him hiss.

Sam lies flat on equally flat motel pillows, and stares up at Dean in the same profound silence that he shared with his brother in the psych unit at the hospital. The look of total weary exhaustion. He doesn't even take the icepack from Dean until he closes Sam's hand around it.

Only this time their look wasn't interrupted by sidebar snark from a hallucinated created Devil. It reached Dean at total intensity – the pain of staying up past your breaking point replacing the color in Sam's eyes.

He watched Sam shut his eyes wearily.

Something warm and wet pressing on Sam's closed eyes, opens them. He blinks at the rough feeling of a rag wiping at the grit that has accumulated from keeping his eyes open for too long. He feels Dean propping him up against the pillows. so the water won't run into his eyes. The rag moves, stinging the cuts on the side of his face. The ones he doesn't remember getting.

"How's it look?" Sam asks, trying to pretend that Dean wasn't cleaning at wounds that he created by ripping into his own flesh with his fingers.

Dean pauses to swipe at a particularly torn piece of flesh near Sam's right eye, a thin flap of skin still hanging at the bottom. "I don't know, bro. You may need to rock one of those Phantom of the Opera Masks."

Sam doesn't giggle, he laughs, dry and painful, but he can't help it. This entire thing is so shitty. "What about Cas?" he feels Dean lift his right hand up to start cleaning out the bits of skin stuck under the nails.

Dean focuses on his uncomfortable task, and doesn't answer for the longest moment. "He'll be okay." He moves to Sam's other hand, letting the icepack slide off for now, to deal with later. Someone had cut these nails down to almost nothing, the nail bed on his third finger is oozing blood from the frail partly exposed skin underneath. Dean flairs with a rage as hot and short as a struck match. He doesn't allow it to consume him, instead he cleans Sam's fingers. Because that's what was needed now.

"Dean-" Sam's voice is already on disbelief at that one word. "That's shit. You know he won't."

The blood on Sam's exposed nail bed is still faintly bleeding, but it's congealed enough so that it's no longer freely flowing. Dean unscrews the lid off a bottle of peroxide.

You're weren't supposed to pour peroxide directly over open wounds. Something about the bubbles affecting the damaged tissue. But you weren't supposed to have your brothers fingernails cut down to nubs by dicks who thought they were 'helping' either. So Dean does what he can to stave off infection with what he has.

"We're not talking about this now," Dean says.

"Why?" Sam meets his eyes in defiance.

Defiance which ends in a hissing that ends in a four letter word when the splash of peroxide hits his damaged nail bed.

"That's why Sammy," Dean says feeling the anger he had been repressing for the last four hours start to heat back up. Anger at having to be here at all, at having Sam hurt like this. He has a square of gauze pressed to Sam's damaged nail, and reaches for the first aid tape beside him to seal it. "Cas knew what he was doing."

"That didn't mean he deserved it," Sam returns around the wince from Dean pressing into injured flesh. It was a tiny thing of a wound, but it burned like hell.

"And you did?" Dean returns, words a snapped thing of anger. His hand abandons the gauze, and raise in this anger. "Look at you! You looking like something freakin' hunted you, and you wanna argue this out?" Dean has blinked the entire time he said this, eyes on Sam, pale tired, bleeding Sam who was wearing exhaustion like a tailor made suit. "No Sam, I'm sorry okay? He got you out, that's what matters."

"Dean he was your friend," Sam says. He knows Dean's protective anger is real. Hell he would say the same thing if Dean were laying here instead of him. But he also knew that it wasn't as cut and dry with Cas as Dean made it out to be. The angel had been his friend, had gone to war with him.

"Yeah, and you're my brother Sam," Dean countered, hand back to Sam's nail bed, grabbing for the first aid tape. He pulled out a length of it and wrapped it, perhaps a little harder than he meant too around Sam's finger. Sam grit his teeth into a sound.

Dean feels a hit of guilt come over him for being rough. "Sorry."

"Don't worry about it," Sam says pulling his hand away once Dean has released it back to him.

The cuts on Sam's face are too superficial to butterfly, and too much in awkward place for him to bandage. So aside from a quick splash of peroxide on the red areas, Dean leaves them alone.

It does get Sam to swear a "Fuck!" though. Something that makes Dean shrug a dry smile because he almost as trashed as his brother, and he'll take whatever bursts of laughter he can find in this mess of shit.

"Sorry man," Dean apologizes. He sets the bag of ice back against Sam's chest and pats his brother's knee, rubbing the kneecap under his jeans for a moment."You about ready for naptime?"

Sam doesn't answer right away, blinking into space. With 4 days worth of downers pumped into his body, Dean is surprised that he's even still remotely vertical. But he also knew that a person could stave off a drug's effects indefinably if they had the willpower. And Sam was a shit load of willpower.

Sam dry laughs again. "Dude I've been ready for two weeks. Lucifer just didn't get the memo." He'd been hearing the Devil's mantra in his head constantly for almost a month. And now the absence of it left him feeling disjointed.

Dean took in those words, staring at his brother. Seeing him mirror almost the exact same position he was when he found him in the psych ward at the hospital. Propped up on pillows, looking so bone weary he probably would've fallen off the bed without the support. At the end of his reserves.

"He gone?" Dean asks like he's holding his breath. It wasn't like a magical elixir. Not hearing Satan in his head won't erase the fact that Sam suffered from his torture for over a century. But if it gave him a damn minute of rest –

"Yeah," Sam says in a way that tells Dean that it wasn't a complete sentence.

"Don't get so over excited Sammy. Remember your ribs are still bruised," Dean said flippantly.

"It just feels weird Dean," Sam counters to his brother's sarcastic disbelief. "Don't get me wrong, I'm glad can't hear him sing 'Highway to Hell' anymore – it's just –" he breathes out a sound, trying to find the right words. "I don't know, I've heard it for so long, the silence - it's just weird."

He looks up to Dean, hoping that he gets it, because he doesn't know how else to put it into words. It's like how a wound that pulsated with pain for days, suddenly eases up, but you still hold your breath anyway, the absence like a wound in itself, because it had been there for so long.

"Yeah well I'll take weird, if it means you get to sleep Sam," Dean returns. His hand is back on Sam's knee, a thumb lightly gripping under the joint. "I'm serious dude, lay down, or I'll lay you down."

Sam snorts, as tired as he is it sounds only like a huff of air. "You're bedside manner sucks ass, Dean."

"My bedside manner's awesome Sam, you're just a non compliant patient." Dean counters.

Sam rolls his eyes, feeling them finally not wanting to stay open. All the shock of the last few days was starting to swirl with the drugs still in his body. A body finally wresting back control over his mind, because 7 days without sleep wasn't working for it anymore. He eases himself down onto his pillows.

Dean's hand is back on his elbow, gripping it as he descends on to the mattress more.

"I got it," Sam tells his brother.

"I know you do," Dean says back, but he doesn't let go until Sam is lying completely flat. He's still in his jeans, but neither one of them is going to wrestle those off of him right now.

The mattress feels like a drug in itself. It's lumpy in places, a bit too hard in others. But after a week of constant mind ripping alertness, Sam could finally feel himself crashing. And he was beyond caring about the condition of the bed.

He stares blearily Dean. "Thanks."

Dean stares back at him. He pats Sam's collarbone, but leaves his hand there once the action is complete "Just get some sleep Sammy okay?"

Sam blinks once, twice, eyes remaining closed the second time. He drops in less than a minute, a combination of sleep and total unconsciousness, body completely flagging into the bed.

Dean briefly checks Sam's heartbeat at the pulse point on his wrist, lays a hand to his chest to make sure his breathing's even.

Satisfied, Dean tugs off his brother's shoes, leaves his socks on, and drapes a blanket over him.


Something is pressed against his lips.

Sam flinches, but hears a reassuring voice.

"Water Sam. Drink. It's been over 9 hours," Dean helps him sit up, and the familiar feel of his brother's arm across his back, calloused hands on his shoulders allow him to not wake up completely. Only enough to swallow the water in the cup pressed to his mouth.

Sam swallows until Dean is satisfied and pulls the cup away. Gravity and Dean pull him back to lie down flat. Sam is already fading, but he can feel the hand lying briefly on his head.


This time the water is on his face and neck, then it is gone, down his arms. Sam's eyes start to unroll, his breath huffs out.

"Take it easy man," Dean's voice is there again, the cloth comes back up his arm, water warmer than before, having been refreshed. "I'm not trained in this, you just stink. Not bathing for 20 hours isn't your best brand of cologne." the words are clipped, but the rag is gentle. Sam is briefly aware that he isn't wearing his jeans anymore when the warm rag is slid down his bare legs. Or when he can foggily feel what clothing is left there being removed and replaced.

"Take it easy," Dean repeats. Even though Sam hasn't done anything to suggest that he wasn't 'taking it easy.' "I got you," Dean says this to distract any feeling of what he's doing. So if Sam can feel it, it won't embarrass him.

A fresh rag is rung, the sound barely bleeding into Sam's unconsciousness. It goes briefly into his hair. It feels more of a comfort measure than a true cleaning.

Sam's eyes roll back up in his head, he feels a sigh escape him involuntarily. The rag is replaced by wet fingers, rough, warm, in his damp hair.

"I got you Sammy."

Sam sleeps fully again.


Sam blinks to the face of a clock that says '7:45 am' He is on his side, long arm hanging off the bed, wrist limp, drooping fingers like wilted flowers. He blinks again, feeling grit in his eyes as big as boulders. He rolls onto his back, then sits up slowly, bracing his arms on the mattress.

The first thing he sees is the god-awful wallpaper. Jeff Gordan's overly bright smile is enough to instantly make him hate NASCAR for the rest of his life.

The second thing he sees is Dean. Sitting in one of the wooden kitchenette chairs, in his army green shirt and jeans, face speckled with stubble, an enormous cup of coffee in his hand, watching him.

"Good morning," Dean says.

Sam scrubs at his eyes with the heels of his hands. His fingers scratch against the stubble on his face, now almost a fully sprouted small beard. He rubs his thumb over the unfamiliar scratchiness. The pysch ward didn't let crazy people shave, and being unconscious didn't let him do it either.

"I'm a lousy barber Sam," Dean says. "You wouldn't want me touching that rug. Not unless you wanted a Sweeny Todd look."

Sam lets his thumb drop and looks up towards his brother. "How long was I out?" His voice croaks like a frog from lack of use.

"Thirty nine hours," Dean answers, he takes a gulp of his coffee. It was in reality equal amounts coffee and Southern Comfort, but coffee is still coffee.

Sam takes this in with a brief head nod, he clears his throat. "How long have you been sitting there?"

"Thirty nine hours, on and off." Dean's answer is honest and short, and his eyes find Sam's look.

"Did you sleep at all?" Sam asks, already sensing what the answer would be.

"I'll catch some real Z's' tonight," Dean responds. He lets the remark drop before Sam can come back with anything, he can tell when Sam's about to give him hell. Even one week of insomnia and almost 40 straight hours of sleep hadn't muddled "The Look" from his brother's face. "What about you? How you feeling?" Dean holds up his hand before Sam can answer back. "Honest answer Sammy."

"Like a squirrel died in my mouth-" Sam answered first. His whole body felt a bit soft from lack of use, but he felt a lot more coherent. "But I'm not tripping balls anymore, so okay I guess."

Dean seems to contemplate this while taking another swig of coffee.

"Thanks for letting me crash." Sam says after a bit of silence.

This time they both shared a Look. The same one they shared in the hospital, at least the same intensity, the same fierceness. But, this one was different, it was them realizing that they had made it out again, that they were alive.

"You were pretty much a pile of Useless, Sam, so it's not like I had a choice." Dean didn't do girly moments, not when Sam was coherent enough to remember them. This was him telling his brother 'you're welcome' – in his own way.

Sam shrugged a closed mouth bit of a laugh. He swiped some more grit out of his eyes, then his fingers were back in his newly acquired beard. "Think I need to shave. This thing's as itchy as shit."

"Shower too Sammy," Dean adds. "You look and smell like Grizzly Adams."

"Dude, do you even know who Grizzly Adams is?"

"Do you know who's about to kick your ass into that bathroom? Cause you're about too." Dean counters.

Sam huffs a dry laugh, a real one. The first one he's been able to have for almost two weeks. He climbs off the bed, and there is a moment of disorientation from being horizontal for almost 4 days.

Dean doesn't touch him, but he's right behind him. "You good?"

" Yeah," Sam rolls his shoulders to get his joints to pop, and stretch the muscles there. "Just toss me my clothes."

Dean pulls out a pair of clean jeans, boxers and Sam's green and blue flannel shirt, and physically hands them off to his brother, placing a new disposable razor atop the pile. "Don't forget that part. Birds are starting to nest in your face."

Sam shoves at Dean roughly on the way to the bathroom and Dean just huffs a quiet laugh as he does it.

In the bathroom Sam surveys himself in the mirror. Despite three days of solid sleep, his eyes look like a Raccoons', dark smudges competing for attention of what's above it. His cheeks are hollow from lack of any real food. Lucifer kept doing his "Maggot Sandwich" routine the entire time he was in the hospital, so all Sam had actually eaten in the last week was three piece of bread and drugs. He wonders what Cas his eating. Cas doesn't need to eat, but Sam wonders it anyway. He can't help it.

He strips of his shirt, and boxers. There is no Lucifer this time, no taunts, or wolf whistles. Just him in front of the mirror. He surveys himself, the bruises are now mustard yellow and green and they hurt like a bitch. Bits of his ribs are poking out above his abdomen. The muscle on his abs themselves are still taught. They had been built up hard before all this crap started, so the definition is still there. But, he can tell he's thinner, his hip bones stick out more.

He turns on the water, and pulls off the tape on his damaged fingers. The bandages look freshly applied, he vaguely remembers Dean's hands on his, redressing his wounds, each of the three days he was out. But they need to be scrubbed, he'll dress them later.

Again, there is no Lucifer mocking his 'boo boos' no licking his wounds with a forked tongue. Sam doesn't miss it. His hallucination was a fucking prick who liked to fuck over his sanity. But, he had been at it for so long, Sam was waiting for it, like a flinch, waiting to be bitch slapped again.

He climbs into the shower. The water is barely hot, but it feels amazing on muscles lying down for so long. He lets the spray hit his back, bracing his uninjured side against the shower wall with one long arm. He soaps himself down, washes his hair with the hotel shampoo, ripping off the little picture of a Lamborghini on the label of what was called 'High Octane Hair', letting it fall into a soggy puddle down the drain.

Dean called him girly for as many times as Sam washed his hair during the week. But, after being sweat soaked and filthy for this long, it felt therapeutic.

His legs start to shake. He hasn't been vertical in days, his muscles are still weak. He dunks his head back under the water to rinse his hair, letting the soap on the rest of him be rinsed off as well with the sliding water.

He pulls open the shower door, and snags the towel from the bar. It's thankfully only a cornflower blue. No stupid race cars or other shit. He tucks the towel around his waist and flips the stringy mass of wet hair from his eyes. He digs out his shaving cream from his kit and sets to work. It take a full 5 minutes, and he is sporting a few nicks from where the hair was thicker, but his face finally remerges.

Boxers go on, then jeans, then shirt. He runs the towel over his head, making his hair stick up like a halo for a moment before he brushes it down with the cheap plastic black comb from his shaving kit.

He feels exhausted from just doing that, but he also feels more human. He drops the towel for the maid and finally comes out of the bathroom.

Dean is sitting at the small cheap wooden with his laptop open, but his eyes go up to Sam when he hears the door open. "You done preening?" his voice is sarcastic and joking, but his eyes roam over Sam, checking, calculating.

Less than 24 hours ago Dean was caring for his brother completely, because he had been exhausted like a disease. He had to make sure that Sam was up and really okay.

"Yeah." Sam says, his voice sincere, answering what Dean really wanted to know right before: "It takes time to look this good." He plunks down in the empty chair beside Dean.

Dean rolls his eyes "Idiot," he snaps, but without any anger.

He closes his laptop and stands up, grabs the gauze and the tape and redresses Sam's hand without him asking, alternating between his ministrations and drinking from his 'coffee', not offering Sam a cup, because he had enough coffee for, forever. When he's done he slaps Sam's shoulder "C'mon," snagging his wool jacket off the back of his chair, as well as Sam's gray one that was lying on the bed. He tosses the latter item of clothing to his brother, who catches it expertly. "I saw a diner about five miles down the road boasting all you can eat short stacks. And no prissy salads for you-" he points a finger accusingly at Sam. "Rabbit food ain't gonna build you up after nothing but coffee and barbiturates for two weeks."

"God Dean," Sam dips a hand into his palm, rubbing at them.

Dean's senses snap to full attention. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing," Sam says, face still in his hands. He huffs a sniffle. "My eyes are just burning from your caring sincerity."

There is a beat, Sam cocks his head up to Dean, slight smile there.

"Shut up," Dean retorts back, but waits for his brother to walk over to the door, holding it out for him, and when he passes by Dean slaps him on the shoulder again, roughly but affectionately.

Their trip to "Mama Mary's Kitchen" ends with two plates of eaten short stacks, two cups of coffee for Dean, three cups of water for Sam, who eats and drinks in blurring motions.

The waitress only laughs. "Damn son, when's the last time anybody fed you?"

Sam looks at her in a bit of embarrassment for a moment, swallowing another bite of his pancakes. "Sorry," it's sheepish, and polite, it's what makes women of any age melt over him.

"It's just been a long week, Sandy," Dean says using the first name of the waitress that he reads off of the name badge clipped to her uniform.

"Hey, so long as it's not drugs, knock yourselves out." Sandy laughs pours Dean another cup of coffee.

"Thanks," Sam says when she tops of his water glass, leaning back into the red vinyl booth to give her some room.

Dean watches the woman melt over Sam and his damn docile eyes. "No problem hun," she sets the check in the middle of the table. She was about 20 years older than his brother, but she was a good looking woman, red head too.

Dean gives Sam a smirk after Sandy leaves. "What'd I tell ya? Pancakes trump parsley sprigs every time."

Sam rolls his eyes in his 'you're an idiot Dean' way. He takes one last sip of his water glass. "We should probably hit the road."

They'd been in this town for two weeks, after their last case, after Sam's accident, Castiel's healing, Sam's convalescence. They were both tired of this place – there were too many things here that had happened that they didn't want to be around the memories of anymore.

"Yeah you're right. We'll swing by the motel and grab our stuff." He stated a rhetorical fact, because it was what they always did. But, Dean hadn't had a full conversation with Sam in days, he was willing to talk about freakin' anything.

Dean paid the check with cash. "You good?" he stopped Sam from sliding out of the booth with this question. He hated this town, what it did to Cas, what it did to his brother. But he focused on what was needed now, if Sam wasn't up for it, they'd stay. He owed him that.

"I'm good," Sam said. He was never good. He still looked worn out. He looked malnourished even with all that food he had just shoveled down his throat, But he wasn't lying.

They left the diner, this time Sam's hand slapping Dean's shoulder on the way out, saying a silent: 'thanks.'



I ended it the best way I knew how, may be kinda cheesy to some. But, it wasn't going to end gory or completely without any bromance moments. Because, it's Sam and Dean.

Sam probably slept for days after he got out of the hospital, but I tried to write a more realistic account of it, one doesn't just sleep for four days without needing water and other things taken care of. And, Dean would be there handle that.

About Cas, I feel badly about what happened to him – but this wasn't about him. It was about Sam. Because, yeah, Cas is suffering too. But, hello did anyone remember Sam? The guy who was going bat shit over Lucifer keeping him up for weeks? The guy who admitted was going to die? Who Dean tore after Cas to save? This is that fic, the Sam and Dean one.

I'm also a bit self indulgent – that scene with Sam taking a shower - totally did it for my benefit, why else would I be so descriptive?…lol.

And finally, I dedicate this little sleep deprivation moment to new dad Jared Padalecki, who unlike Sam has a lovely reason to not be sleeping.

bye, and review if you so care to.