Sam and Dean.

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Sam's eyes flipped open.

It took him a moment to orient himself but then his gaze locked to on that one person that he had sought out uninterruptedly for six months, finally tracking down the cause of his disappearance; the Trickster.

He had humiliated himself before him, begging and imploring, all his self-esteem thrown to the wind until the demi-god had become exasperated and Sam had found himself back in this bed where he had passed one hundred nights of pain and anguish watching Dean die every day without ever being able to save him.

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His big brother was looking back at him, calmly brushing his teeth as if this was an ordinary day in their life.

Sam trembled with emotion at the sight.

He hadn't seen Dean in six months and here he was standing alive and tall in front of him. All that he had gone through in the past weeks disappeared as he pushed back the sheets and rushed to his brother.

He crushed the smaller man in his arms, holding on tight, wishing that he could stop time right here right now, and that he and Dean could remain like this for ever, living statues standing together strong and unmoving as the tides of life ebbed and flowed around and past them, never having to put their lives in danger, never having to fear the very real possibility of losing each other again.

He could feel his brother's beating heart thudding in synch with his own and he could sense Dean's surprise at the unexpected embrace that Sam had thrust on him but to his satisfaction Dean didn't push him away, he stood still, letting Sam hug him to his heart's content.

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Although he didn't understand why Sam was hanging on to him for dear life, Dean knew that his little brother had a valid reason for doing it.

Dean would never admit to it even under torture but he missed the days when a Sam was little and burrowed into him any time he needed comfort, had a nightmare or was ill. His brother's touch had always comforted him and he knew it was the same for Sam.

At this moment, Sam needed to physically touch Dean, to feel the blood coursing through his veins and Dean would always be there for his little brother, so he stood stoically until Sam had hugged his fill and released him.

There was no humour Sam's eyes nor in Dean's as they held each other's gaze.

The embrace between them meant more than a simple hug; it was their essence; Sam and Dean, Dean and Sam; separate bodies but one soul, one soul that would accompany them forever whether their final destination was Heaven or Hell.

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