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Fic: Holding On (1/1) (PG)

Title: Holding On
Author: zuben_eschamali
Rating: PG
Word count: 1,109
Summary: Written for the comment!fic meme for National Hugging Day for the prompt: Sam can't sleep because it's like he can feel Lucifer there, wrapped around him. Dean finally decides that Halucifer can't spoon Sam if Dean is already there, doing the job.

A/N: I forgot to repost this! Thanks to whatjuliewrites for the prompt and juice817 for running the show.



It's the fifth time the sheets rustle in the other bed that Dean finally raises his head. "Everything all right over there?"

"Yeah. Sorry." Sam sounds vaguely distracted, but Dean figures he's having a hard time getting comfortable. The poltergeist they took out tonight had pinned Sam between a sideboard and the wall, and the bruises were flowering before they even got back to the cleverly-named Rock Motel. The cold air outside the blankets probably doesn't help. Mountainair, NM, is living up to its name, and it always surprises Dean how cold the Southwest can get, no matter how many winter nights he's spent here. The heater under the window is clanking away as it tries to combat the chill, even if most of the warm air it's producing gets sucked right out the single-paned window. Dean's even got a blanket on top of him, the restriction on his movement worth it for the warmth.

Dean manages to think warm thoughts long enough to slide below the first layer of consciousness when there's another sound. If blankets could be said to rustle violently, Sam's doing it.

Grumbling to himself, Dean rolls over to see Sam curled on his side, facing towards him, eyes glinting in the orange streetlight slanting in around the turquoise-and-brown curtains. He's not even trying to sleep, and it takes a moment for Dean's eyes to adjust enough to see Sam's thumb pressed into his palm, and damn it, the kid needs to sleep, can't he catch a break?

"Figured you'd conk right out after the day we had," Dean says quietly. "Getting beat on by a spirit and all."

"You'd think." There's bitterness in Sam's voice that's become all too familiar. He rolls onto his back, then lets out a quiet grunt, shifting against the bed. "Damn it."

"What's wrong with your side?" Dean raises up onto one elbow. "Did it smack you there, too?"

"No, it's—it's not the bruises."

Aha, Dean thinks. So there is something. "Then what is it?"

"Never mind. Go to sleep," Sam grumbles.

Now that's like shaking a red cloth in front of a bull, and Sam's got to know it. "Dude, you always sleep better on your side." But the last few weeks, every time Dean's seen him sleeping, he's been on his back.

"Not anymore, okay?"

Dean draws in a slow breath and lets it out. No matter how long their lives turn out to be, they're always going to keep finding new ways in which one or the other of them is fucked up. "You by yourself over there?"

He hears a soft snort. "Depends on what you mean by that."

Great. Dean rubs his hand over his mouth. "You seein' him?"

"No." There's a pause, and then Sam says more quietly, "Maybe feeling him, though."

"Shit." Dean's throwing aside the blanket and reaching for the light in an instant. Whatever the fuck Sam is hallucinating Lucifer doing to him, he's going to show Sam that there's no fire, no knives, no torture of any kind.

"No, wait. It's not—not like that." How Sam knows what Dean's thinking, he doesn't know, but it's only a small reassurance. "Honest. It's just—it was cold there most of the time. And sometimes, to mess with my head, he'd…" Sam trails off and then huffs out a breath. "He was always there, Dean. Just—always there. Right behind me, arm around my waist so I couldn't get away, and I'd always be waiting for something worse to happen."

It takes a moment for it to sink in, and Dean frowns. "He'd spoon you?"

There's no sound but the rattle of the heater as it kicks in again. Then Sam says tiredly, "Go to sleep, Dean."


He stares at the Sam-shaped lump under the blankets, broad shoulders hunched forward under the faded motel comforter, legs curled up not like he's trying to keep warm, but like he's trying to get away from something. "Shit, Sam," Dean sighs.

"Dean, you can't—"

Dean's already moving, crossing the narrow space between the beds. "We are not speaking about this in the morning," he says as he pulls back the covers and slides beneath them. "Except for the part where you explain to me why you haven't been telling me about not being able to sleep."

Sam squawks and starts to turn over, but Dean backs up right behind him and keeps him in place. "You feel this?" he asks, curling up against Sam's solid bulk.

"Yeah," Sam replies, the duh clear in his tone. "What the hell are you doing?"

"Trying to sleep. It's fucking cold in here, and you're a more reliable heat source than that thing." He waves a hand in the direction of the heater, which makes a clunking sound like it agrees with him. "And I'm only doing this because you decided on the fajitas and not the burrito for dinner."

"Dean, you don't have to cuddle me." Sam's voice is a mixture of amusement and desperation, stubbornness and hope. He stops trying to turn around, though.

To line his legs up with Sam's, knees tucked inside the bend of the curled-up giraffe stilts, Dean has to slide down far enough that he's facing the middle of Sam's broad back. He grabs the second pillow and stuffs it under his head. "Stone number one, remember?"

"Yeah, I remember," Sam says softly. He relaxes ever so slightly, body sinking back against Dean's.

If he pulls the blanket up enough to cover Sam, he's going to be smothered, so he settles for halfway up Sam's torso. Mindful of Sam's words earlier, when Dean puts his arm over Sam's side, he makes sure it's up over his chest and not around his waist. When his hand comes to rest on Sam's heart, he figures that's pretty much perfect.

"Dean, what are you doing?" Sam mumbles. It sounds sleepier than before, and the corner of Dean's mouth curves up in response.

"Makin' sure there's no room for anyone else in here," he replies, dropping his head forward so his forehead is resting against Sam's back. Under his arm, Sam's chest rises and falls, a steady rhythm that Dean's heard plenty of times before but not usually from this close a range.

"'S just you and me," Sam replies, and the wonder and relief in his voice would break Dean's heart if it wasn't already in shreds.

Dean closes his eyes. Sam really is like a furnace. "That's 'cause I'm an awesome big brother," he murmurs.

The last thing he remembers hearing before he falls asleep is Sam's fond, "Yeah, you are."


Comments

ash48
Feb. 16th, 2012 12:27 pm (UTC)
Oh yes indeed! Awesome big brother he is. Adore what dean is prepared to do for Sam.

I love the notion that Sam was waiting for the worse to happen.. The threat of something more. The spooning line was so totally creepy in the show and I love your take on it. I've always imaged that the worse did happen, but for Sam to live in the constant threat that it couldhappen is somehow even more unsettling.

Dean is absolutely going to have to cuddle Sam every time he needs to sleep.

Xx
zubeneschamali
Mar. 4th, 2012 05:18 pm (UTC)
I've always imaged that the worse did happen, but for Sam to live in the constant threat that it could happen is somehow even more unsettling.

Exactly. Or that it could happen again at any time. *shiver* Dean definitely needs to administer more cuddles.
(Deleted comment)
ash48
May. 21st, 2012 06:35 am (UTC)
It's lovely isn't it. It's from a picture by Joosetta (no longer on LJ I think). I put the "Sam and Dean" on it (which she approved).

Feel free to use it! :)

It was my very first avatar and I still adore it. ;)

Edited at 2012-05-21 10:36 am (UTC)