A/N 1: My 16 year old nephew Dennis drowned Sunday afternoon, July 8th.
His mother, my sister, is understandably a wreck, and I'm not much better.

Any and all prayers will be very very very much appreciated.

A/N2: Thanks to everyone who offered their prayers and condolences and thoughts after "Please Pray". The "story" has been deleted by the website already, so I don't know if I can answer everyone personally. But I am very very grateful.

A/N 3: since I needed a story to post this note, I wrote this story.


Sam would never, ever, forget what Dean looked like dead. Skin yellow, eyes slitted, mouth slack, face splattered with slaps of blood. Stone cold and stone dead.

Dead.

WakeUpWakeUpWakeUp Sam wanted to shout. Please wake up. Please wake up. Please wake up.

But Dean didn't wake up. His skin got colder and his limbs got stiffer and Sam couldn't remember how many days, days, and more days it was before he even considered eating anything at all. He didn't even taste the whiskey that was the only thing he put into his mouth. He barely slept and when he did, all he could see was Dean.

Yellow. Stiff. Dead.

Dead.

Every night, he'd scream awake, scrambling off the bed, desperate to get to Dean. To save Dean from a brutal, lingering, horrifying death.

To save himself, from a brutal, lingering, horrifying life.

The nightmares tapered off but they never, ever disappeared.

Tonight was one of those nights, exhausted sleep disrupted with disjointed memories and unending agonies, and Sam was barely awake before he was off the bed, fumbling through a dark motel room, desperate to get somewhere, anywhere, as long as it was away from the overwhelming, unrelenting, unimaginable pain.

The pain that took him to his knees barely three long steps across the floor. The pain that had him falling forward onto his hands on the cracked linoleum. The pain that made him want to bash his brains out just to not have to bear it anymore.

But he couldn't bash his brains out. He had to keep fighting. He had to do what Dean told him to do, and Dean told him to keep fighting. So he had to fight. So he couldn't bash his brains out.

So he cried.

In a dark motel room, on a stained floor, lost and in agony, Sam cried.

And then – and then –

"Sammy? Sam – what is it? What happened?"

And then Dean wasn't dead anymore. He was there, in the dark motel room, on the floor next to Sam, pulling him up, pulling him back, pulling him into arms that were strong and not stiffened, into a body that was warm and not cold.

"Hey, hey – what? Sammy? What? C'mon, c'mon. What?"

Sam shook his head. Dean would be thinking shattered walls and hallucinations. Even though Dean was alive, and hell was past for both of them, and the psych hospital was two weeks and seven states behind them, Dean would be thinking Sam was reliving some more immediate horror and not – not –

"Sammy?" Dean's voice breathed past his ear. "Tell me, cmon, you can tell me."

But Sam shook his head again. He pulled his legs up, he wasn't sure if it was to give himself the leverage to stand up, or to just pull more of himself against Dean. He couldn't - he shouldn't – stay there, on the floor, with Dean's arms strained to keep him close in an awkward hold, crying for something that was long over and done and shouldn't be bothering him anymore.

But – but –

cold, yellow and dead

But it would always bother him.

"Dead – you were – you were dead." Sam managed to whisper. He realized that he was shaking and his nose was running and he was glad Dean hadn't turned a light on. "I dreamed you were dead. I forgot – I forgot – that you aren't."

Dean rocked Sam, or maybe he was just readjusting his position. His arms stayed around Sam and he laughed, a quiet laugh.

"Sammy, you remember what happened your first day of Kindergarten, you remember the name of the waitress who served us your thirteenth birthday dinner, you have seventeen different exorcisms committed irrevocably to memory - but me being alive slips your mind? I think I'm insulted."

Sam laughed too, and sniffed in a wet sniff, and let his body sag just a little bit against Dean.

"Einstein said never bother memorizing what you can look up."

"Oh, he did, did he?" Dean asked. "I think I'm still insulted."

Sam laughed and let out a huge breath and let his head rest against Dean's shoulder.

"Y'okay?" Dean asked.

"No." Sam answered. He wanted to ask – beg – Dean, 'please don't ever die again', but he knew that was an impossibility. "I don't think I'll ever really be okay again."

"Yeah. I know the feeling." Against Sam's shoulder, Dean sighed. "But – we'll get through this. We have to."

"Yeah."

Another minute or three slipped by and Dean made no move to move, so Sam pulled himself away.

"We should probably get back to sleep. We might be able to pull another hour out of this night." He pushed to his feet and took the few steps back to his bed, and Dean did the same.

"I'm here, all right?" Dean said. "You remember that."

"Yeah. I will." Sam tugged his blankets back into something resembling order and got back into bed. He tried to get comfortable, as comfortable as he could anyway, but wasn't sure he'd get back to sleep.

Until Dean said,

"You're here, too, y'know."

And it was like the missing piece to a puzzle.

They both fell asleep.

The End.