A/N 1: Yes, another WIP. Sorry. I was telling a friend today that in "real life", I am sorely lacking in interpersonal skills, and writing & posting is pretty much the only way I have of connecting to other people. Especially when everything hurts as much as it does right now. My sister has always been my "go to" person when I'm hurting only now I can't exactly expect her to comfort me when I can't even imagine how she's still functional.

A/N 2: The good news is - I have 3 more finished chapters of this story just waiting to be posted as well. I'll post one a day or every other day and see if I can actually finish this story before too long.

Sam woke up in bed.

Next to Dean.

Worse even than waking up next to his brother, Sam's hand had a pretty good grip on the back of Dean's flannel shirt, and he was pulling it across the foot or so of mattress between them, like he'd been trying to pull Dean closer.

This was not good.

Dean at least was facing away from him, so it wasn't like they'd been cuddling or anything. Recently at least. Dean was sleeping on top of the blankets and Sam had the bedspread tucked around him. Why was he holding onto Dean's shirt? Why couldn't he remember? And why couldn't he let go?

This was so not good.

A trial movement of his body and limbs told Sam nothing was broken, stitched up, or missing. Nothing was out of place.

Except of course that he was sleeping with Dean and had a death grip on his shirt.

"Dean?" he tried. His mouth was dry and his voice was soft. There wasn't much energy behind it. "Dean?"

"Still too early." Dean mumbled. He sounded like he'd said it at least once already today.

"For what?"

"For 'wakey wakey'. Go back to sleep. I'll let you know when you can get up."

When I can get up? Sam wondered. Dude, I don't need you to sign me a permission slip. He relaxed his fingers, let go of Dean's shirt, and sat up.

"What are you do-ing?" Dean asked in a sing-song voice.

"Getting u-up." Sam answered in the same sing-song. That made Dean turn over.


"Unless you know something I don't."

Dean sat up, looking confused and suspicious.



"What's the last thing you remember?"

So not good.

"What d'you mean? What is it that I don't remember?"

"Just tell me – what's the last thing you remember?"

"Uhh -." Sam thought about it. "Driving. Dark. Rain."

"Great." Dean groused and got out of bed. "That could be any one of the last seven nights."

"Seven?" Sam looked around; the overly bright, antiseptic-looking motel room was not familiar at all. "How – what – am I missing days? Dean?"

"No. I don't know. What's the last thing you remember before that?"

Sam thought back again. An unpleasant memory bloomed.

"Macaroni and cheese. Bad macaroni and cheese."

"Good – good. That was last night at that diner. Good."

So – Dean was happy Sam remembered something concrete; Sam wished he hadn't. The food had been off color and musty tasting and just the two or three forkfuls he'd braved left a permanent taste in his mouth.

"You don't think I've been possessed by food, do you?" It sounded even stupider saying it than it had thinking it, but hey - they'd seen some pretty weird crap in their day.

"Dude – when have you ever been possessed by food?"

"Well what happened? Why are we -." Sam gestured to the bed. "Was I sick? Food poisoning?" That was too easy to hope for, wasn't it?

"You were – uh – you were -."

"Dean – what?"

"Needy." Dean said it like he was trying to explain away something unpleasant.

Sam had been expecting descriptions of head-spinning, gut-chucking, mind-blowing violence. Needy wasn't even close.


"Um – clingy?"

"Clingy?" Sam seriously did not like any of these answers.

"Yeah. Clingy. Worried-and-didn't-want-me-out-of-your-sight clingy."

"Bu-wha-I-jus-wha-did- WHAT?"

"Let's not panic." Dean said. "We'll figure this out."

"Easy for you to say – you're not the one who woke up hanging onto your big brother's shirt like a safety blanket."

Dean looked hurt.

"Not like it's the first time that's ever happened to you."

"First time since I've been in double digits."

"All right, just take it easy. You're obviously OK, we'll figure this out." Dean paced a couple of steps, rubbing the back of his neck before gesturing to Sam. "Do you remember anything from last night? Something you thought was a dream, maybe? Or anything after the bad mac and cheese?"

"No, nothing." Sam watched him pace the few steps back and forth. "I remember I gave up on the macaroni and was gonna send it back and get a sandwich or something. I drank some soda…" He stared at the memory in his head but felt like he was watching it through a black veil. "You started telling me something about needing to fix the car and then –." He motioned to the bed.

"Yeah, I remember that." Dean said. And he said it with a smile that made Sam cringe, like he was enjoying this way too much.

"Oh God – what?"

"Nothing. Nothing bad. That's just when this all seemed to start is all."

"When WHAT seemed to start?" Sam demanded. If Dean didn't stop being so cryptic, he was going to start being so dead.

To Be Continued