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Guys, this is truly the sappiest thing I've ever written. I do not even care.

Physical Therapy
by [profile] luzdeestrellas, Sam and Dean, 1,205 words
Sam puts all his years of pissed-off little brother experience into his scowl. "Listen," he says, "I've had a very hard--5 years or so."

For [personal profile] mollyamory for services to rightness over the years.

***

Physical Therapy

It's not even like it was a particularly dangerous hunt. Just a gloomy, sixty year-old hospital and a severely pissed off ghost surgeon with a penchant for still working on patients. If anything, it turned out better than either of them was expecting; they went in loaded as if an army of ghosts might be waiting for them, because on hospital hunts, there usually is.

For once, though, they got lucky. An hour, tops, from start to finish, nothing of note but a few bruises, and that one, crazy moment with Dean at the bottom of the stairs, a too-still heap that scared the shit out of Sam. In the scheme of things, it was nothing. He started moving even before Sam got to him, started making fun of Sam for fussing not long after that. Sam's seen him hurt worse in the last six months, and none of that comes close to anything that happened pre-hell. But still. He can't get it out of his head, can't stop remembering that moment of terrifying certainty that Dean wasn't getting back up.

"You're being more than usually freakish," Dean says, now, heading into the bathroom with the firstaid kit. He leaves the door open, and its as loud an invitation for Sam to talk as Sam's ever heard.

"Shut up," Sam says, annoyed because--just because. Dean's all casual and relaxed, humming under his breath, like nothing bad in the world has ever happened to him. Sam has the brief but violent urge to punch him in the face.

He doesn't, of course. He gets off the bed, goes to lean against the bathroom door, glaring hard at Dean when he raises his eyebrows in question. He watches Dean as he strips off his t-shirt and lays what he wants out on the tiny counter, his movements economical and familiar and entirely Dean. Sam tries to make it settle him, to let the knowledge of Dean in this shitty motel room be enough, but it doesn't help as much as he wants it to.

"Seriously, man." Dean glares back at him in the mirror, while he pokes at the cut on his forehead. "You're making RoboSam look good."

Sam doesn't even have to work not to laugh in response; he doesn't even have the impulse to reach for a good comeback. "Tired, I guess."

He is. There's a fucking itch right in the back of his brain he's not allowed to scratch, and a new monster in existence that he doesn't understand. All the things he doesn't know are making him crazy, and the only thing in the world he's sure of isn't doing much better.

"You suck," he tells Dean. He puts a lot of feeling behind it, because Dean does. And as if to prove it, Dean continues to give his attention to the bruise on his side instead of to Sam. It makes Sam feel like a kid again, grumpy and unhappy whenever Dean had better things to do than hang out with him, and if Sam were running less of a sleep deficit or freaked out surplus, he'd probably care about that. "You suck so much."

"Living with you took all my awesome away, Sammy," Dean says. He's still not looking at Sam, but Sam feels stupidly better anyway, maybe because of the unthinking, absent way Dean says his name. It's pretty weird to realise Dean still has that power, after everything that's happened, and it's also the most natural thing in the world. It's comforting in a way it really shouldn't be. By the time Dean's got his t-shirt back on, Sam's smiling a little bit. He eases off the doorjam until he's right in the centre of the frame, and he looks at Dean, solid and whole in front of him, and figures he's got nothing to lose. Nothing he's particularly fussed about losing, anyway.

"The laws of science suggest you have to move to let me out," Dean says, looking at him, more bemused than anything else. Sam shakes his head, then ducks it, because no matter what, they're still Winchesters, and there are rules and lines and God knows what else.

"I'd like a hug," he mumbles, very quickly, trying to ignore the heat he can feel spreading over his face.. And then, in panic, "from you," Just in case Dean needs the clarification.

There's a silence, a couple beats for Dean to just stare at Sam in bewilderment, his arms notably still right by his sides, and then he says, "I'd like a brother who isn't a huge girl."

That gets Sam to lift his head again, and he puts all his years of pissed-off little brother experience into his scowl. "Listen," he says, "I've had a very hard--5 years or so. And I put up with your stupid, frequently nearly-dying ass all the time. The least you can do--"

"Jesus Christ, Shut up. I didn't say no." Dean shuffles forward, slow and cautious, scratching the back of his neck with one hand, like maybe he's approaching a nest of rats instead of his brother. When he gets to Sam, he stops, looks up at him very earnestly. "I'm still giving you time to let us off the hook for this," he says, but he tugs Sam in before Sam can answer, wraps both arms around him and squeezes, his hands splaying warm and strong against Sam's back.

He smells of cheap motel soap and antiseptic, and maybe Sam's cologne; he smells of Dean, underneath all of that, like all the comfort Sam needs. Sam buries his face against Dean's shoulder, gets his own arms around him and holds on. He won't ever admit it to Dean, but it's kind of the best thing ever. It does what all his looking couldn't earlier; it takes the fear away, makes the knowledge of Dean a real and true thing.

And for a wonder, Dean doesn't even break the moment. He just stands there and hugs Sam, lets himself be hugged back, quiet and still against Sam. In the end, it's Sam who starts talking, but only because it's important. "I'm gonna make this a regular part of our schedule," he says, right into the side of Dean's neck. He likes the feel of that, too, his words coming out against Dean's skin, Dean shivering in response. "I'm really over it being a coming back from the dead event."

"That's a total misrepresentation," Dean says. "We cover resouling now, too." He sighs, the sigh of the terribly put-upon, but he isn't even trying to pull away. His chin's resting on top of Sam's head, and his voice sounds light, like Sam remembers before hell and the apocalypse and all the dumbass shit Sam did.

Sam wraps his arms a little tighter around him, just for a second, and then he lets go, because it's not like Dean doesn't already have bruises. Not like Dean isn't going to be around for future therapeutic hugging, as and when required.

Like he can read Sam's mind, Dean says, "Try that again, and I'll kill you in your sleep." He quirks Sam a grin as he steps away.

Sam smiles back, hoping it doesn't look as sappy as he suspects it might. "Sure you will," he says.
Mood:: 'amused' amused
There are 5 comments on this entry. (Reply.)
musesfool: Nick/Cassie, Push (love is moving you now)
posted by [personal profile] musesfool at 04:22pm on 11/03/2011
They need ALL the hugs in the WORLD.
Edited Date: 2011-03-11 04:22 pm (UTC)
serendipityxxi: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] serendipityxxi at 05:38pm on 29/03/2011
This made me go "Oh, BOYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!" when I haven't done that in aaaaaaaages! Thank you!!! They do need all the hugs EVER!
arliss: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] arliss at 06:21pm on 29/03/2011
This is awesome. I heartily endorse this form of therapy. They have more than earned it.
counteragent: red shoe (Default)
posted by [personal profile] counteragent at 09:48pm on 29/03/2011
Awwwwwww! If only.

This made me smile schmoopily!
somnolentblue: statue of a woman from the waist up (Default)
posted by [personal profile] somnolentblue at 07:51am on 06/04/2011
This is adorably sweet.

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