deawrites: (serious business)
[personal profile] deawrites
Title: Interlude in Faith
Author: [ profile] dea_liberty
Pairing: None - GEN.
Rating: G
Summary: The drive to Nebraska is a long one. Faith-coda.
A/N: I've owed this to [ profile] gray_light for a long time and finally managed to finish it just in time for her birthday! Also inspired by[ profile] spn_nostalgia! Happy birthday, Gray! you are made of awesome and I adore you! Betaed by the wonderful [ profile] unperfectwolf!

Sometimes, he has to struggle to hear it.

Sometimes, he has to struggle to hear it. That’s what scares him the most, he thinks—the moments that he feels as though the whole world’s stopped moving and all he can hear is his own heartbeat, his blood rushing to his ears, and not that sound he’s so desperately listening for.

And then Dean shifts in his sleep—turns over, or moves a leg, or something—and the air rushes into his lungs and he can breathe again. He can breathe if he can hear Dean’s breathing.

Sometimes, he has to struggle just to see him. Other times, he just turns over to face the wall, tries to act like everything’s normal. He tries not to see the way the bed seems smaller than before, the way Dean only takes up part of it, the way he’s frail under the flimsy motel covers. The material does nothing to hide the state Dean’s in.

He tries to ignore it, tries to pretend—but he almost always ends up turning over, straining his eyes in the darkness, trying to make out the shape of his brother across the space between them. He focuses hard and takes one breath every time Dean’s chest moves.

Half way to Nebraska, in another motel room, Sam squints a little in the light that floods through the window and illuminates the patch of bed Dean sleeps in. Under the cover, Sam fidgets with his phone, wishes Dad was here. At least then, he’d have an excuse to be closer to Dean.

Then Dean stills—his breathing hitching, Sam’s stopping with it—and coughs as he takes in air again. Sam breathes out a shaky sigh and tries not to tell himself to close his eyes. Dean coughs again.

“Sam,” Dean says, and when Sam looks up from Dean’s chest, he finds Dean’s eyes on him. The bags are more pronounced than ever, the green slightly dulled by pain and effort. Sam’s breathing stutters. “Sam,” Dean says again.

“Yeah,” Sam finally answers, voice almost-but-not-quite breaking. “What is it?”

“I’m cold.” But it’s not that cold in the motel room. The windows are all shut, and Dean’s wrapped up in far more layers than he’s used to sleeping in. Sam fights the urge to bite the pillow. Instead, he just swallows hard.

“Want me to get you another shirt?”

“No.” Dean rolls his eyes before he shifts over in the bed, presses right back against the wall.

Sam takes that for what it is. He all but scrambles off his own bed, tries not to make it too obvious that he’s been wanting—needing—this since the accident, and climbs in beside Dean. He curls in close, ignores how they really shouldn’t fit on a bed together anymore. Somehow, they’ve always managed to fit.

And somehow, instead of wrapping himself around Dean, sharing his warmth with him, Sam finds himself pulled against Dean’s chest as Dean curls protectively around him. He finds himself with his ear against Dean’s chest, listening to the thud-thud-th-thud of Dean’s heart. It’s not quite steady – but it’s there.

“Go to sleep, Sammy,” Dean says, face pressed into Sam’s hair. His breathing starts to even out, and Sam focuses on that, takes one steady breath in with each of Dean’s.

It’s not until much later that Sam realizes Dean’s wearing less layers than he went to sleep in, the spare shirt and hoody bunched up, kicked away to the bottom of the bed. By then, Sam’s too grateful to care.
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January 2015


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