The clock ticks life away ( short Dean/Sam fic ) Things were finally starting to shape up. For one, they'd gotten to work a case. It'd felt good to finally get back in the saddle. Now they were checking out another potential gig here in town. In other words, business was booming. Two, their injuries had all healed up, and three, they'd stopped running around in circles with the 'poor suffering Dean' routine. Yeah, getting a decent night's sleep wasn't happening anytime soon, but hey, he'd found ways to cope - and no, despite what Sam claimed, he didn't always go out and snag himself some loose girl in a bar. Although Dean had to admit that occasionally that's just how it worked out. Come on! Couldn't a guy have any fun? He couldn't help that he was irresistible to the ladies. Oh yeah, and Sammy seemed to be doing better too ... you know, with the whole 'woe is me, what have I done to you?' bit. The guy could get really dramatic - scarily so. We're talking way crazier than any chick Dean had ever known.
So what were they doing now? Why stopping for lunch, of course! Dean was starving. Besides, it was lunch time. Dipping in for a bite to eat was what you were supposed to do - not that Sam would know much about the whole three meals a day thing. Dude barely ate unless he was forced to. He was always too busy pecking away at that computer or out carousing about doing whatever it is he did when he was attempting to be social. Ha, right. Sam, social: now that was funny. Seriously though, sometimes it was like he was still taking care of Sammy: the chubby cheeked little kid who had to have a reason for everything before doing it. Obviously 'because you should be hungry' wasn't good enough, because Dean was almost always the one to say whoa, hang on a sec, let's eat first, then dive into whatever crazy thing they were about to do.
And why was that? Because Sam had other things on his mind that he considered to be more important than stuffing his face. For instance, Dean was pretending that all was well just because they'd done one exorcism and weren't bleeding out of any open wounds. But everything hadn't changed. They still never slept all the way through the night, either of them. And that 'hunger pain' Dean had so quickly brushed aside before had come back several times since then. It never lingered for very long, so it was easily dismissed, but that didn't keep Sam from worrying. What was happening? Why was it happening? And was ignoring it really the best idea? So they forgot about it until the next time, and the time after that, and so on. But it had to be leading up to something: something big and bad. At least one of them needed to concentrate on figuring out what it meant. The last thing they needed was any more surprises. Sam had designated himself the one to carry out that responsibility, so Dean could enjoy being 'better.'
"Sammy, hey, you still with me?" Dean waved his hand in front of Sam's face when he didn't get a response. When his brother eventually looked his way and gave him his undivided attention, he'd give a light snort as he rolled his shoulders back, striking a nonchalant pose with his arm draped over the back of the booth. "For someone who's supposedly such a good listener, you've been doing some serious zoning out on me lately. What's wrong with you? You feeling alright?" 'Cause Sam quiet was never a good thing. Either he was keeping something from him, or he was just thinking too hard about stuff. Possibly both.
"Yeah, sorry. I just uh ... I don't know. I don't feel so good, I guess." Vague, but at least it was an answer.
"You guess?" One suspicious brow lifted. If he was feeling bad, shouldn't he know? "Do you want to go back to the hotel?" Maybe if he took a nap. It was no secret that Sam hadn't been getting much sleep either. Once he got a little food in his stomach and a couple hours of shut eye, he'd be as good as new. That's all Dean was hoping it was, anyway. They certainly didn't have time to get sick. They'd just gotten back into the swing of things. Then there was also the nagging feeling in the pit of his stomach telling him that something was way off about this: the feeling that he was trying to ignore. But he could read his brother fairly well, and so far, he just seemed worn out. That, and the guy constantly kept his brain on overload. It could be hazardous to one's health.
Sam shook his head. "I'll be fine. It's just a headache." He could tell Dean was already starting to get worried, so he found a way to temporarily excuse himself. "I think I'm gonna go outside for a minute. Maybe some fresh air will help." He gave a crooked smile before standing and making his way towards the door.
Dean lifted a hand to rub roughly across his chin as he watched the other's retreating figure. Oh yeah, 'cause that that was so unobvious. Was he worried? Absolutely. Sam was wigging out about something, no doubt about that. The question was what was it this time? Surely he still didn't think that he was some freakishly juiced up half-breed scum of the earth destined to slaughter the innocent, starting with the ones closest to him. 'Cause yeah, pretty sure they'd already covered that territory ( multiple times ), and he'd shot holes all in that theory. There was no way even Sam could salvage it once Dean had gotten through refuting everything that'd been said. So it was something new, something-
Hey look! Burger and fries. It was just wrong to let good food sit there untouched, unappreciated, so any brainstorming that'd been going on in his head got postponed till after he was done eating. That was the plan, anyhow. Almost instantly after the plate was set down, he started chomping down on his meal, stuffing his mouth until it was completely full, then chewing heartily and repeating the process. Every now and then he'd wash it all down with a sip of his drink before returning to the double meaty cheesy goodness ( aka his cheeseburger ) sided with a pile of steamy, salty potato strips. Talk about delicious. He'd gotten about halfway through when he started thinking about Sam again. That must be some breath of fresh air. But the guy's food was getting cold. He needed to quit screwing around and get back in here, pronto.
There was some sort of commotion going on outside that had grabbed everyone's attention. As soon as he became aware of it, Dean's eyes shifted out the window to sneak a curious peek and get a good look himself. Shortly after searching for the cause of the fuss, he spotted Sam on the ground. His protective big brother instincts kicked in as he briskly stood and rushed out to where his brother was, hands shooting out to help steady him. "Sam? Sammy? What's going on, man? Talk to me." Once he was able. Dean didn't want to jump the gun here, but what this looked like was a vision.
By this time, a small crowd had gathered, many of them concerned about Sam's well-being. So as his brother struggled to recompose, he tried to do damage control and assured everyone that Sam was fine. What he really wanted to say was that having people hovering over him, staring, wasn't going to help, so they should all go back inside and mind their own business. But that would've been a little harsh. Besides, he was more focused on making sure Sammy was okay.
It was a vision. It'd hit him slowly, so in a way, Sam had felt it coming. He just hadn't been able to predict when it would strike. But when it did, the pain in his head had become so intense that he'd buckled at the knees and sank to the ground. When he got like this, he had no control over his actions. Not until the images stopped coming. So he'd actually been completely unaware of how many people were watching him, although he was slowly but surely snapping back from what he'd seen. It was over, and yet his expression was one of pure panic. For one thing, he hadn't had a vision since Yellow-Eyes died. For this to all be starting back up now ... it shouldn't be happening - not unless there was someone or something else powerful out there ready to start round two.
But that's not the part that troubled him the most. One thing they could be sure of was that if Sam had seen it, it would happen. So what made this vision any different than the ones he used to get all the time? The person it involved.
Sam remained disoriented for a few more minutes, even after Dean helped him to his feet. Although once he was able to form coherent sentences again, he started talking at a rapid pace. "I thought they were just dreams. You think I would've learned, right? I mean, that's how it happened with Jessica. I ignored what I saw because I thought they were just nightmares, and she ended up dead. How could I be so stupid?!" He'd started to pace now, throwing his hands up in exasperation to add emphasis to what he was saying. Clearly, he was upset. Way beyond upset was more like it. He was furious at himself, because what if it was too late now?
Concern turned to confusion when Sam started ranting and raving about who the heck knows what. "Whoa, whoa, whoa. Just calm down, and tell me what you saw, alright? We'll figure it out together." A heavy crease had worked its way across his brow as he studied his brother carefully and patiently waited for a decent explanation.
He let out a heavy sigh before turning to face Dean, although eye contact was avoided for the time being. Instead of looking directly at his brother, Sam shook his head out of frustration and let his gaze drift off to the side. "I thought what I was seeing was what had already happened, but I didn't understand why we were both there. We were never there at the same time, so it didn't make any sense. But every time, I was always trying to find you - to save you. It'd always happen differently, but I kept getting closer and closer to getting you out. Then I'd wake up. It's because I couldn't do it. I couldn't stop it in a dream." His ramblings came to an abrupt halt as he finally locked his gaze with the person's he was speaking to. "Dean, you're in danger."
The worst part about it was that all he'd seen in his dreams and his vision were glimpses of Hell. Did that mean they couldn't stop it from getting to that point? Only time would tell.