Title: That Old Shirt
Word Count:
Around 550
Dean discovers one of his shirts to be missing the day after Sam leaves for Stanford.
Author's Notes:
I got the idea for this while going through my shirts. I hope you enjoy it :)

That Old Shirt

That shirt was a favorite of Dean's. It was a faded black button-up, and about as comfortable as a shower after a long hunt. Sam had never liked it much, his reasoning being that it made Dean look like a hobo. Dean had argued that they sort of were hobos, but Sam had only snorted and shook his head.

The day after Sam left for Stanford, Dean figured he needed that shirt. He'd shared a lot of memories with his brother while wearing that shirt, and maybe, just maybe, it would make him feel better. And so, after his morning shower, Dean opened his bag and sifted through it, looking for his favorite shirt.

It wasn't there.

Surprised - he'd spotted it there just two days ago - Dean went through the bag again, thinking perhaps he'd missed it the first time. But he didn't find it the second time either, and was forced to concede that maybe John had borrowed it.

"Hey, Dad!" he yelled out, hating the way his voice sounded. All that yelling into the pillow at night was finally catching up to him. "Have you seen my black shirt?"

"No!" John called back. "Check behind your bed!"

"It's not there!" answered Dean after a moment.

"Then maybe Sam -" John stopped short. The silence nearly killed Dean. "You'll find it," John finally called back.

Singing loudly to himself so he wouldn't have to think of Sam, Dean searched his bag again. Ten minutes of turning his and Sam's - no, only his - room upside down later, he was forced to admit it wasn't there, and picked a new shirt.

Stanford University - that night

Sam hated the bed the second his back touched it. It was hard, it was lumpy, and it smelled foreign. Okay, so all those motel beds over the years hadn't exactly smelled the same, but at least Sam had been able to hear his brother's breathing in the room.

Here - he was all alone.

The roommate with the bad breath didn't count.

With a sigh the size of Mars, he got out of bed, stumbling a little in the dark, and made his way to his bag. He opened it and pulled out the one thing in it that wasn't his.

He returned to bed, putting the faded black shirt on the pillow, right next to his head. The smell was comforting, the only familiar thing for miles around. It was so Dean, that scent, that Sam couldn't help the muffled little sob that escaped his throat. God, he missed his brother. Hell, even his father.

But it was too late to go back. And besides, Sam wasn't sure if he wanted to.

But he didn't want to be alone either, and so he'd brought a bit of his brother along with him. It wasn't Dean, and could never come close enough to the comfort Dean offered, but it would have to do.