Author's Note: This drabble takes place sometime between the start of season 1 and the end of season 3, but there are no spoilers for anything. It was inspired by the song "Hospital Beds" by Cold War Kids. :)
Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural.
When Sam wakes up in a hospital bed his first coherent thought is always the same… Dean. It is a word that accurately describes the feeling he experiences at knowing his brother is there with him, because he does know that. Never before has Sam awoken alone and he has no reason to believe he ever will.
The familiar figure of his worried older sibling is always within arm's reach when he opens his eyes, as though moments before he had held his little brother's hand in the hope of providing a link to pull Sam back to the waking world. To show him he is safe. To show him he is there, right there, and he isn't leaving Sam any time soon.
Dean is the first thing Sam's eyes find when they open and the last thing they see before he allows himself to close them once more. Sam is reassured by that presence. By the knowledge that he can rest safely under the watchfulness of his determined life-long guardian.
When Dean opens his eyes in a hospital room his mind has one immediate setting. Sammy. Yet he always waits before he looks to the chair near the bed. He waits and forces himself not to hope. In those confused moments between unconsciousness and wakefulness Dean can never recall if Sam will be there or not. He only ever allows himself to think he won't be. It hurts too much when he is wrong in believing Sam will be there.
Too many hospital visits while Sam was at Stanford did he awaken to find the chair empty. No one sitting vigil so as to be there when Dean came to. No little brother there to look relieved that his older sibling had survived whatever event had landed him in the medical establishment. No Sammy.
But there are times when Dean is wrong in choosing to believe he is alone…Glorious moments during which Dean awakens to find the chair near the bed occupied by a familiar worry-worn face. He sees a watery pair of puppy-dog eyes staring at him through a mop of tussled hair, like a hand had been combed through it too many times out of nerves.
And no matter his injury and no matter anything else that might be going on... Because his little brother is there and that means things can't be too bad. Sammy is with him, and only then does Dean allow himself to relax.
Secondary Author's Note: Thank you for reading! :D So this drabble is the first in what will be a series of them. They won't go in any particular order. I just decided I didn't want to keep posting drabbles as individual stories, so I've decided to post them all here when I write them. There will be a multitude of characters, seasons, etc... Warnings for any spoilers will be included in the Author's Notes for each chapter. Finally, I am open to requests. Like, if you want to give me a word I should incorporate into a drabble, that could be really fun. :) And please take a moment to leave your feedback! I appreciate reviews immensely. ;)