When Dean woke at 8:00 am to his ringing alarm, a wave of peace fell over him. He felt refreshed and calm, happy even, he noted, as he groaned and stretched out the remainder of his sleep from his mind. Miracle bounced his way up onto Dean's bed and he focused on the softness of the dog's fur, he breathed it in, keeping his mind on nothing but the sensation, pulling Miracle close to his chest. “Hey, Buddy,” he said, feeling a warmth spread through him. “Good morning”. He swayed his body side to side, rhythmically, and planted his head against his dogs, feeling the subtle wetness of Miracle's nose near his ear. He tried to hold onto the feeling of peace but could feel it fade as he remembered the visit he had in his dream last night. As his mind wandered out of the present, his grip around Miracle loosened, the dog took that as his queue to jump from Dean's arms onto the concrete floor. Dean faltered. He stared at the dog. The dog stared back up at him, panting, waiting. “11:59 am” Jack had said. “at 11:59 am you’ll believe me”.
Dean had a sense of foreboding as he made his way to the kitchen. His stomach felt like it had very quickly tied itself into a noose. He turned the corridor and was hit by the clanking sounds of Sam making breakfast in the kitchen. Eggs, by the smell of it. Dean took a moment to steady himself. He knew he couldn’t cause a scene, he couldn’t let on to what he and Jack had discussed in his dream just moments ago. He inhaled deeply and pushed down the guilt and pain that had found its way up to this throat and clenched his fist as if his hand could hold all of the tension and pressure he had started to feel. He turned and walked into the kitchen. Sam was indeed cooking eggs. Healthy eggs, not the way Dean liked them; not sunny side up and doused in oil. He noticed the toaster had the familiar stream of smoke rising and instinctively walked over to the appliance.
“It's hot,” Sam said, sparing a glance up from the fluffy scramble that he was pushing around the pan. Too late Dean registered what he had said, catching the toast as it popped out of the toaster in his bare hands. He huffed cartoonishly and dropped them as delicately as he could onto a plate in front of him. “You want one or two pieces?” Sam asked, this time keeping his eyes on the eggs. Dean blindly reached into the breadbasket and placed two more pieces into the toaster, his mind elsewhere. Dean couldn’t help but drop his resolve. His eyes trained on his brother's back. He desperately tried to swallow down the pain. That was Sam for you; Sam had already been for a run, was cooking breakfast for them both, and even when Dean had only been awake for five minutes, Sam still made sure Dean got the warm toast. He knew Sam was worried about him, worried about how he was going to handle the loss they had both been through now that Chuck had been dealt with and things were settled. Dean silently stood behind his brother as Sam added bacon to a second pan. Dean knew that if Jack was right… If his dream was real… He couldn’t bring himself to finish the thought.
The boys sat in silence as they ate. Dean, intent on staring at his food, felt sick from forcing himself to eat, but he knew it was the only way to not freak Sam out. He had to carry on as if nothing was wrong. He had to keep it together. At one point he looked up and Sam's eyes caught his. Dean smiled a little at him from across the table. which evidently had been unconvincing. Sam's mouth formed his signature worried line and his brows furrowed. “You cooked, I’ll clean. I just gotta wash the taste of these eggs out of my mouth first”, Dean stated as he rose and collected their plates. Sam had polished off every bit of food, but Dean had only eaten all he could manage without barfing, leaving just enough food to not arouse any suspicion. Sam seemed to agree with this sentiment.
“I gotta shower anyway, I smell like… well, I smell like I just got back from running five miles.”
Dean walked in a daze back to his room. He looked at himself in the mirror, unseeing. 11:59, he recalled. What was the time now? He knew it was probably 8:30ish, 9:00 at a stretch. He was too scared to look at his watch, too terrified to pull out his phone from his pocket. Dean, as if on autopilot, took his toothbrush and toothpaste out of the mirror cabinet and squeezed the tube onto the brush. There's no way that his dream could have been real. He tried to tell himself. There’s no way! Hadn’t Jack promised the last time that He saw them that He would be a hands-off God? Visiting people in their dreams didn’t exactly count as being hands-off. Dean relaxed a little, bringing the brush up to his mouth. He decided he would try to put his dream out of his mind for now. It was probably just a nightmare. A really lucid nightmare. A really lucid, really specific nightmare but hey, he’d been through some weird shit... so why wouldn’t that transfer over into his dreams? It was probably PTSD. That's what Sam was always saying, anyway. Like the times when Dean randomly found himself unable to breathe sometimes, or when he woke up sweating, Sam standing over him, having evidently just woken him up, or even like that one time when he felt his heart beating irregularly while he was out buying groceries and called the ambulance only to find out that all those years of eating crappy diner food hadn’t actually caught up with him. PTSD had probably leaked into his dream to promise him another reason not to rest.
Dean felt restless. He could feel the seconds ticking by and tried in vain to ignore them. He felt itchy, fidgety. He looked around at his room before deciding to make his bed to keep his hands busy. As he threw his nightgown from his bed to his chair, he tried to further convince himself that he had nothing to stress about. What, he wondered, could possibly happen at 11:59 am that would convince him that Jack had truly visited him in his sleep? Maybe a burning bush will appear before him. One of the OG Gods classic signs. That’d have to be it, he decided. Although he recalled a time when Lucifer had tricked Sam with a burning bush, nothing less would assure him of the doom Jack promised in his dream… If that even was truly Jack... He hastily plopped his pillow back at the head of the bed and pulled his covers up. Dean had made his decision, a dream was all it was, PTSD, maybe, but there was no way in hell Jack had truly visited him last night. He ran his hand over his hair, trying to tame it, and pulled his door behind him as he left his room.
As promised, Dean made his way back to the kitchen where he washed up from breakfast, feeding Miracle the scraps he couldn’t bring himself to stomach earlier. He was starting to relax a little. At this rate, he wouldn’t even notice when the doomed hour rolled by. He figured he just had to keep busy, and he had the perfect job for it. It had been months since all of the crap in the back of the impala got a deep clean, and with Chuck out of the way and nobody's life being in any imminent danger, now was the perfect time to drag out some elbow grease and give all of their guns and knives a nice spit-shine. And so, Dean got to work, bringing all of the weapons from the boot of the impala, into the weapons room.
Hours passed, while Dean focused on nothing but his task at hand, his dream long forgotten. He surveyed the weapons on the counter in front of him. A shotgun, that was all that he had left to clean. He dismembered the gun wiping it down with a rag before reassembling it. He noticed that it was relatively clean already. The chambers even seemed to have no real build-up in them. He finished putting the shotgun back together and placed it down, before absentmindedly checking his watch. It had only taken him two hours to clean every single item from the car, he noted. He got up to get himself a beer and froze, dead in his tracks. Ice ran down his spine as he slowly lifted his watch again. 11:59 am exactly. Dean's stomach jolted. His mouth was suddenly dry. He tried to swallow down the panic rising inside him but he knew, he knew that that was it; that was the sign. How, without even thinking, could he have looked at the time for the first time all day and it be exactly 11:59 am? The dread was too much for him, he had to steady himself. He planted his hand on the table to stop himself from falling over. “Sam will die in three days.”