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living breathing talking love

FIC: SPN, untitled. A continuation of 5x10.

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FIC: SPN, untitled. A continuation of 5x10.

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I didn't write this. (I wish I had!) The author prefers that I not divulge their identity, but I have permission to post it.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Dean sat on the edge of his bed, his knees bouncing with nervous energy. He couldn't sleep. He knew he couldn't, wouldn't, might not ever again sleep. He hadn't realized how used to Sam's breathing he'd gotten until they were sleeping in separate rooms, and the steady in-out that lulled his thoughts into as close to peace as they ever got was missing.

He tried to tell himself that he'd lived for four years without him around; he could sure as hell make it through one night down the hall. But that was then, and this is now, and he'd nearly marched his brother into the jaws of death.

Death, that they hadn't been able to stop. Not for Jo, not for Ellen, and now not for the entire world. He'd let them all down. He'd signed their death certificates, and their was was thick and sticky on his hands.

He got up and padded down the hall, leaning against the door frame and peering through into Sam's room. He wondered if Sam had left it cracked open on purpose. He pushed it open a little farther so he could see his face, sleeping, but not peacefully.

He sank down to the floor, his head in his hands. He could feel himself shaking and wondered if he would ever stop. He was losing his nerve. What was an acceptable cost for this? He would sacrifice himself a thousand times over to save Sam, but could their friends be expected to do the same? How many lives had been lost, and for what? They hadn't stopped Lucifer, and now Death was loose, and what hope did they have?

He couldn't hear Sam breathing still. His little brother who he had tried to protect since he was a baby. He'd dragged him back into this, and maybe it was Fate. Maybe Gabriel was right, and they were born to this, and no matter what they had done they would have ended up here. together.

It didn't matter what Dad said. He would not kill Sam. He had promised, but... He'd promised Sam. He couldn't...

He pushed himself up, slid into the room and pushed the door closed, locked it, protecting them both in some insignificant way from everything outside of that door. He took slow steps across the floor, placing each foot carefully, not wanting to wake Sam. He sat gingerly on the edge of the bed, reaching out but not quite making contact.

Sam slept on his stomach, the blankets pushed down, tangled around his legs. His arms were wrapped around the pillow, his face half-buried in it. The t-shirt he wore was so old it was practically see-through. Dean let his hand rest gently between his shoulder blades, feeling the warmth of his skin, the rise and fall of breath and the beating of his heart, physical proof that he was alive.

His brother barely stirred at the touch, so he let himself touch him more firmly, rubbing his back, trying to chase away the nightmares like he had when Sam was so little he couldn't remember. He watched some of the tension in Sam's face ease and sighed. It was something, and here in this room, this moment, it was everything. "I'm sorry, Sammy. I'm so fucking sorry."

If Sam heard him, if it sank through into his sleeping mind, he gave no indication. Dean stayed where he was and time slipped by. He didn't know he was dozing until he jerked awake. Sam shifted, mumbled, and Dean froze until he settled again. He knew he should go back to his room, but he couldn't. He let himself stretch out beside his brother. He always woke up before Sam anyway; he'd never know. He wrapped an arm over him, not remembering the last time he'd done so, and was startled when Sam rolled into the touch, his back to Dean's chest. Dean held him tighter, and then, with his face pressed against his brother's back, did he let himself cry.

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