Any warnings: Spoilers for 6.22
Summary: Dean's POV during a scene in 6.22.
A/N: Written as part of the spnspringfling , coincidentally enough for my best friend tebtosca!
Prompt: Sam/Dean, love at first sight
It was love at first sight. Oh, not romantic love, obviously; that came much later, but from the first moment Dean saw Sam’s sleeping face as he lay in his mother’s arms at the hospital he knew Sam was his. His to protect, his to stand up for, his to love. When Dad shoved baby Sammy into his arms to escape from the burning house Dean accepted it as his due, his right as self-appointed guardian.
The years between then and now have seen a lot happen between them, some good, a lot unspeakably horrific, but the love remains, different but stronger than ever now. All they’ve been through both separately and together has forged a bond so strong that nothing can keep them apart, not even death.
But this. Dean doesn’t know how to deal with this: Sammy lying slack-faced on the panic room cot, God only knows what happening inside that thick skull of his thanks to that betraying sonofabitch, Cas. The same cot he’d lain in when Dean had locked him in the panic room to force him through detox from the demon blood. The same cot he’d lain in when Dean had watched, jaw clenched, as Death himself forced Sam’s tattered soul back into his unwilling body. Dean swears that when (not if, don’t think if) Sammy wakes up, he’s going to haul that godforsaken cot out into the middle of the junkyard and salt and burn it.
Dean reaches down and gently brushes Sammy’s long hair from his face, remembers how he used to wear it in those stupid bangs that Dean always teased him about when he was younger, teased him until Sam would launch himself at Dean and kiss him just to shut him up. Remembers how he teased Sam just for that reason, because no matter how Sam wore his hair Dean was going to love it, love him anyway and Sam knew it.
“Sam, please,” Dean pleads softly. There’s no anger in his voice at this fresh Hell that they’re dealing with, not now. Anger is overwhelmed by Dean’s utter devastation at the thought of losing Sam so soon after finally having him fully back, with all the love and trust that was missing when Sam was wandering around without his soul, an empty shell that looked like his Sam but wasn’t, not really.
Suddenly desperate to see Sam’s hazel eyes, Dean lifts Sam’s eyelid and shines the penlight in, hoping for some reaction. There is none, and seeing Sam’s sightless eye is like a punch to the gut. Sam’s tilted, changeable eyes are always so expressive, growing darker when he’s angry or aroused, light and sparkling when he’s happy. Now they are muddy, expressionless if not lifeless, and Dean feels as alone now as he did when Sam was in the Pit.
That year without Sam was its own brand of Hell. He was proud of Sam for what he did, of course he was. The strength of will it took for Sam to overpower Lucifer and jump in the Pit had left Dean awed and humbled, because he knew Sam had found his strength for Dean. But Dean would have done anything to spare him whatever torments he went through in Hell – and he has a really bad feeling Sam is going to remember them all when he wakes up.
Sam shifts restlessly and Dean leans forward, willing his eyes to open. When long seconds pass and nothing changes, Dean lets out a breath and slumps down in the stool next to the cot. He leans forward and rests his cheek on Sam’s chest, feeling the slow and even breaths going in and out. He’s pathetically grateful for the motion, this vigil far too close in his mind to another: sitting by a still and lifeless Sam in the old abandoned cabin, trying desperately to think of a way to cheat death. And he found one, by God. It cost him – did it ever cost him, but it was worth it. Sam was worth it.
Problem is, this time selling his soul isn’t an option on the table. He just needs to have faith – he almost laughs aloud at that thought. Faith in who, exactly? The God that abandoned His children? The angels, who in His absence are no better than the demons, and in a lot of respects are worse? His friends, when Cas has so thoroughly betrayed them? No, the only thing Dean still has faith in is Sam. He loved Sam from the moment he first saw him, and he loves the man he’s become even more. So he’ll wait, for as long as it takes, and when (not if) Sam wakes, Dean will be there to help pick up the pieces.