TITLE: Passages
AUTHOR: mad_server
CHARACTERS: Sam, Dean
PAIRING: None
RATING: PG13
SPOILERS: Nada
WORDS: 700
A/N: For birthday-girl sidjack, a lovely human being, on her prompt. Also rock on, super-beta i_speak_tongue. You've got the touch. Enkidu07 and NewspaperTaxis might also be posting stuff for her today. Yay!
SUMMARY: Dean has suffered from some slight claustrophobia since he woke up in the coffin and the really bad cold he has now isn't helping.

:::

"It's me," you tell Sam, watching his face twitch to blankness. You track him as he draws the silver blade, drags it down your forearm. Holy water rinses away the blood.

He stares at you open-mouthed, sucks in a shivery breath. His cheek is hot against yours, his arms thicker than you remember, hard bands across your back that lock you to him. You open your lips wide and pull in air over his shoulder.

:::

He gives you little presents, like a cat offering up bloodied birds.

"Oh," he belts out, backing out of the bathroom with a towel in his hands. You don't close the door anymore. You know he'll get used to it.

You zip up and flush and put on a sheepish grin. He's on the end of his bed, the fabric folded in his lap.

"Got you a towel," he says, his smile bent down on one side. He's blushing like a toaster oven and you take the cloth from him, surprised at how soft it is in your hands. "Your own," he adds. "To take with you."

"It's awesome." You dip your head and smell it. It smells like a store. Mock-drying Sam's hair, you're rewarded with dimples. "I love it."

:::

"The pie here's supposed to be amazing."

You blow your nose into the diner napkin and you can't think about pie, all you can think about is your boots under the table, your boots too tight on your feet and you have to get them off. The leather's gone tight like a vacuum, like a snake, squeezing you python-tight, swallowing you from the bottom up.

"Dean."

"Yeah." You lean sideways to pick at your laces, sneeze up at the ceiling light. Your pulse pounds in your temples. "I'll take the pie."

"Bless you. That doesn't sound good."

You rip at the laces. Your fingers are shaking. "I'm okay." Your tongue's swollen, the words are thin. Your feet can't breathe, they can't breathe.

Sam's squeezing the back of your neck. "Hey. Hey."

:::

There's crap in your lungs and it's hard to get air now, harder every minute. There just isn't space for it next to all the snot. You make Sam leave the door to the room open even though it's hot outside, it's Indian summer and his hairline is damp with sweat. You sneeze your way through two rolls of toilet paper and watch Sam swat mosquitoes as the sun drops below the horizon. You want to tell him he can close the door now but you can't let him close it.

"Forgot my tooth brush," you tell Sam, and pad outside. It's barely nine o'clock but your face is hot and your hands are cold and you can't do it anymore, you need oxygen. You stretch out in your baby, nuzzled up to the steering wheel. You cough something loose and blow your nose and sigh long and deep.

:::

Sam's passed out in the crappy plastic chair on the sidewalk in front of the room, his head tipped forward onto his chest. You blink at him through the windshield, rub your itchy nose and watch his hair wave around his face in a breeze.

:::

"I'm okay."

His fingers are slow gentle on your forehead. "Feel better?"

You study his open, sleepy face, his squinted eyes. The pavement's chilly under your bare feet. You drink in a full, deep breath of early-morning air and let it out. "How 'bout a picnic breakfast?"

He frowns up at you, clumsily fishing the key card out of his pocket. "Dean..."

You think of the motel room, think of the beds and the chairs and the lamps and the tables. There's not enough space, you'll never fit back in. "I know." On the highway across the parking lot a semi rolls by and you drink up its rumbling vibrations like milk. You pat Sam's shoulder, sigh expansively. For the moment, you're just happy you can breathe. "But we gotta eat, right?"

:::

end