Title: I'll Catch You
Author: black_dahlia63
Pairings: Sam/Dean
Rating: PG
Note: This was the first Sam/Dean piece I ever wrote...short and sweet and no overt smut, so I hope you guys will enjoy. No episode spoilers except the pilot.
Summary: I like to think this could happen to 'em anywhere - it's a brief few moments of downtime following a hunt.


I'm always the first one to wake up - it's been that way ever since we were kids. I'd stand by his crib watching him sleep, and he'd wake up and grin at me - and I was too little to lift him out, but I could climb in if I pushed a chair next to the crib, and Dad told me there was more than one time he'd come in and found both of us asleep in there.

I'm not sure I've slept much tonight, though, because I've spent most of it watching him.

It's a double bed, it was the only room this cheap-ass motel had left, and usually when there's a double bed we only really need half of it. He'll lie right behind me with his legs tangled between mine, he'll always reach for my hand just as he's falling asleep - and I know it sounds funny when I think of what he and I have become, but that's what I miss when I go to sleep without him there, the feel of his hand around mine.

He's taking up most of the bed by himself now, though, he's sprawled in the middle of it and I've laid on my side worried I'll fall off the edge and I've watched him all night. There's a gauze pad taped to his forehead, and I can see the tiniest spot of blood in the middle of it; his right arm's resting on his chest, bound up in the sling I made when we finally got back here, and as I look at him now I remember how it was when we were kids - how he'd fall over when I wasn't watching him as close as I should have been, and I'd cry just as much as he did because I felt so bad that he was hurt.

That's exactly how I feel now, because I let him down last night, damn it.

I should have been watching him.

That demon got him before I could shoot it - only a split second, but it was enough for him to be thrown against the wall and hit it hard - and I can't shut my eyes without remembering how still he looked lying there with that cut on his forehead when I ran across to him after I'd killed that thing. He was so still, even his eyelashes weren't moving, and all of a sudden I was praying harder than I've prayed in a long time - then he opened his eyes and looked at me, and I felt like I was going to pass out. I asked him what his name was, and he knew that; I asked him if he knew where he was, and he knew that too, but when he tried to stand up he couldn't manage it. I went to help him, and when I took his arm he screamed - that's when I realised he'd dislocated his shoulder, and all I remember is saying sorry over and over as I got it back into place and he was crying even through gritted teeth because it hurt so much.

He was saying no, no hospital, even before I finished what I was trying to say, and I couldn't make him change his mind, so we came back here and I bandaged him up. He was asleep again before I'd taped the pad to his forehead, and I've been watching him ever since; I've woken him up every few hours, even though he knew his name and he knew where we were, because I can't shift that image of how still he looked and how afraid I was that I'd lost him.


He's awake, looking right at me, and I feel like my heart's going to stop.

"Dean, what are you doing, you pussy? I told you I was all right," he says, groggy with sleep, and that's when I realise I'm crying. "Didn't need to keep waking me up like that," he continues, and I rub my eyes with the back of my hand and sit up; he tries to move, but he grits his teeth again and sinks back down against the bed. I ask him if he wants something for his shoulder and he nods, looking embarrassed, like he feels he's let me down somehow; so I get up and go to the bag I brought in from the car, rummaging in it until I find the almost-empty bottle of Vicodin - I can't remember where it came from, I'm just glad we still have it - and I shake one out into my palm. I get one of the plastic cups from the bathroom and fill it with water before I walk back to the bed; I sit at his left side and place the cup on the nightstand before I slip a hand behind his head to lift it, and when he opens his mouth I place the pill on his tongue. I hold the water to his lips and he swallows, closing his eyes as though it hurts him to do even a small thing like this; I put the cup down again and start to get up, but he says my name so quietly I can hardly hear him, and so I sit down again.

I get one arm round him and manoeuvre him carefully, making quiet noises in his ear as he moans softly in pain, and eventually he's lying back against my chest with his head pressed into my shoulder. I ask him if that's better and he mm's faintly, halfway towards sleep again, and when I plant a kiss on top of his head I close my eyes at the familiar scent of him; I hear a gentle sigh, and his left hand reaches to clasp my right.

We'll stay here for as long as it takes, and I'll make him better and I'll watch over him, because that's what this all comes down to; it's not the kissing, the touching, the feel of him inside me that takes all the breath out of me, because I know we'll have that again when he's healed up - but even when that's stripped away, we still have what we had from the moment he was born.

I let my eyes close, and the last thing in my mind before I sleep is a memory of being impossibly small, lying on a rigid mattress with my back pressed against the wooden bars of his crib; and I'm almost afraid to touch him, because mom and dad always tell me to be gentle with him, but he opens his eyes and looks at me and puts his hand out - and it's so tiny he can't hold more than two of my fingers, but he hangs onto them tightly all the same.

And no matter what happens, we're always going to have that.