by Jane Davitt

Once Dean died, nothing mattered. Or maybe everything did; Sam switched opinions on that one. He went to sleep hoping he'd wake up dead; woke up breathing and hoped he'd stay that way long enough to kill someone. Something.

Then night rolled around again, as it had a habit of doing, and he was crawling back into a bed that always felt too big, with hands still damp from being scrubbed clean of blood or worse.

Dean's blood had been warm and sticky, just like all blood was, but he hadn't washed that off, not that he remembered. It had dried, sunk in, stained his palms.

He'd have quoted Macbeth on the subject if he hadn't known that a pithy, scornful gibe from Dean would surface in his mind as clearly as if it'd been spoken.

He talked a lot to Dean in his head. Played the songs Dean liked as he drove Dean's car, used up Dean's toothpaste to the last squeeze, killed things with Dean's favorite knife, even though it didn't balance right for him.

He missed him, though he didn't need to. Sometimes, he felt as if he'd been the one to die -- again -- not Dean.

But it didn't matter. He was about to fall asleep, Dean's amulet warm in the clutch of his hand. Nothing mattered then.

His other hand was close to Dean's knife. If he died -- and he was hurting tonight, his breath rattling in his throat, blood loss making his head spin -- and an angel came to take him when he was sleeping, he wanted to be ready for it.

Dean was in hell. No fucking way Sam was getting hauled off to heaven.

Of course, given the fact that the sticky-tacky red on his hands had been human the last few nights, that might not be a problem. They'd gotten in his way, so they'd deserved it, but --

"You'd have killed them, too," he told his pillow and waited for Dean to grunt a grudging approval.

He fell asleep still waiting, but then it was morning again, and nothing mattered but the hunt in the morning, so he didn't mind that Dean had stayed quiet. Too busy raising a stink in the restaurant next door to the motel about the way they'd done his eggs scrambled when Dean liked them sunny side up on Tuesdays.

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