Sam wakes up, warm and naked under the covers of the small bed in Rufus’ cabin, which has unexpectedly become their unofficial home base. He wakes up alone, and kind of cold on one side now that he notices Dean’s absence, so he calls out. “Come back to bed Dean.”
“In a minute, ‘m almost done.” Comes Dean’s answer from across the room.
“Dick will still be there in the morning, c’mon dude you need your sleep.” Sam says, a little louder so that Dean knows he’s not just going back to sleep without him in the bed.
“So do you. Start without me.” Dean says, hoping that Sam will fall back to sleep so he can keep researching what a soul of a righteous bone might be.
But Sam doesn’t (or can’t) fall asleep lately unless he’s either wrapped up in Dean’s arms, or at least touching him somehow, and now he’s way across the room, bent over the lit-up screen of the lap top, glowing blue around him in a nimbus of unearthly light. “Can’t sleep, need you.” Sam mumbles as loudly as he can, cringing at how whiny and young he sounds even to his own ears.
Dean rolls his eyes and shuts the laptop with almost too much force and walks the few steps back across the room to the bed. He looks down at his brother, hair sleep and sex-mussed, bare shoulders just showing above the covers and all he wants is to be back in that warm cocoon wrapped up with Sam. But he’d woken up to follow a thought he’d had in a dream about finding this righteous bone. Sam smiles up at him, eyes full of sleepy warmth, and his resolve to keep digging evaporates. Dean starts to get back into bed fully clothed in jeans and several layers of shirts so that he can pop back out as soon as Sam’s back asleep.
Sam shakes his head. “No way dude. Take it off. No clothes allowed in here.”
Dean sighs. “Alright, alright, you just want a free strip show.”
“So what if I do?” Sam asks, looking up at his big brother standing there, hesitating to get naked again.
“So demanding Sammy.” Dean tut-tuts with a small smile that shows he loves it.
Sam sees the smile and asks. “You keep me happy, then you’re happy, right?”
Giving up on arguing for more research in the middle of the night time, Dean pulls off his clothes as quickly as possible, diving back into the warmth of the covers on their bed and snuggling his cold body up to Sam’s heat.
“Gah! So cold. How long were you up anyways?” Sam says, surprised at how cold Dean is all over, even in the places he’s normally never cold..
“Couple hours, woke up thinking about the righteous bone thing and wanted to pursue it before I forgot.” Dean answers as he pulls his brother into his arms, arranging him the way he knows will work best to get Sam to go back to sleep.
Sam snuggles into Dean’s arms, even though they’re still kind of too cold and closes his eyes, breathing in Dean deeply. So many months of having another person in the bed with them, and now it’s just Dean&Sam like it’s supposed to be. “’s nice having just you in here with me.” Sam murmurs into Dean’s chest.
“You mean no Lucifer?” Dean asks.
Sam wakes up a little when Dean says the angel’s name. “Yeah, he was a mouthy bastard. You know Cas told me the other day that he was just a projection of my own mind.”
“So all the shit talkin’ was you talking bad to yourself?” Dean asks, wondering when Cas was lucid enough for a coherent conversation.
“Uh huh.” Sam agrees.
“Wow, that’s good, I guess.” Dean says, although it’s pretty awful to think that his brother could have meant all those things he said about himself. The self-esteem issues they both have is one of those topics that they never bring up though, because after a lifetime living with it, they know there’s nothing to be done at this point except survive the shit they dish out to themselves.
“Well, yeah that it wasn’t actually somehow Lucifer with some hold on me left over from the Cage, definitely. But that’s how he knew how to hurt me the most, because it was all me.” Sam observes.
“Sammy, I’m sorry it took so long. But I’m glad that it worked, that you’re okay.” Dean hugs him closer and kisses the side of his head.
“Me too Dean, I’m really sorry I wasn’t really present after Bobby and all that. That you had to deal with me going crazy on top of losing him. Feel like I let you down.” Sam says, leaning up to kiss Dean’s neck. He knows that apologizing to Dean never really sticks, Dean is Teflon when apologies or compliments come his way, he lets them all slide off instead of keeping them to build himself up like he should.
“Hey I got us through it, we’re here aren’t we?” Dean asks.
“Yeah, we are thanks to you. Remember that whole thing after Becky, where I was talking about how you could have a life and look after yourself instead of me? I’m sorry that’s not happening.”
“Didn’t really want it anyways.” Dean says.
“This the whole I’m-your-job-thing?” Sam asks.
“Yeah if you wanna call it that. It’s how I operate, you know that by now.” Dean says with a tone that implies that the conversation is over now on that subject.
Sam pushes up on one elbow so he can look at Dean’s face in the moonlight coming in through the small window above the bed. “I know, but it’s how I operate too, you know? I need to take care of you too.”
“Really?” Dean asks.
Sam rolls his eyes and flops back down beside Dean. “Yeah, thanks for noticing. Guess I haven’t been doing a bang-up job of it lately.”
“Dude, you’ve been a little occupied with Lucifer and all.” Dean says looking over at Sam who’s lying there with his eyes closed, even though he knows Sam won’t accept that excuse, no matter how legitimate it really is.
Sam turns his head because he feels Dean looking at him. “I know, but I miss it. Doing things for you.”
Dean searches his face because he can hear the urgency in Sam’s voice. “But you do. All the time, even when you were out of it, you never really stopped.”
“Like what?” Sam asks, because so little of the last few months made sense to him.
“All the little things that you do, making me eat stuff I should but wouldn’t on my own, buying the kind of beer I like, shaving off your beard when I asked, not cutting your hair, all that stuff.” Dean lists off all the things he can think of off the top of his head.
“Dean.” Sam says in a voice choked-off from too much emotion.
“Oh c’mon Sammy, no more cryin’.” Dean pulls him back into a hug, hoping that’ll stop this emotion-fest from getting to be too much.
“No, ‘m not cryin’, just happy.” Sam manages to say.
“Why?” Dean asks.
“Because you let me love you like this.” Sam whispers into Dean’s hair.
“Oh god, here we go, ‘s not like I have a choice.” Dean grumbles even though Sam’s whisper against his skin and the meaning of the words make him shiver.
Sam bites him on the shoulder, hard. “Shut up, it is a choice and you know it. And I’m glad we’ve finally figured it out after all this time. We both need it. Takin’ care of each other.”
Dean turns Sam around in his arms and looks at him closely, Dean’s silence acknowledgement and acceptance. Finally Dean adds something that he’s wanted to say for a while now. “That’s what Bobby wanted you know, he wanted to see that we’d keep doing that. It’s part of why he stayed around.”
“I think you’re right. And you know, I’m glad he saw us together, even if it was after he passed.” Sam says, not letting go of Dean’s gaze.
“Harder to get embarrassed about a ghost seeing us.” Dean agrees, smiling at the memory of Bobby’s ghost appearing in the bathroom that had that enormous shower they’d been taking full advantage of.
“The things we’ve gotten used to, angels, demons and ghosts spying on us.” Sam says in a whisper against Dean’s lips.
“We could have our own Pay-Per-View channel, make some money out of it at least.” Dean says, laughing into their kiss.
“Shut up and go back to sleep Dean.” Sam says, kisses him deeply once more, then snuggles in next to Dean, pulling the covers up tight around them both.
Dean blows at the hair around Sam’s ear because he knows he hates it, sees Sam grimace and then smile when he stops blowing. “Night Sammy.”
Sam peeks one eye open to see that Dean’s got his closed, “Night Dean.”