Tangible Schizophrenia


The Kindest Cut V: The Long Run

Author: Guede Mazaka
Rating: NC-17. Violence, incest.
Pairing: Sam/Dean.
Feedback: Good lines, bad ones, etc.
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the WB, not me.
Notes: Folklore cited is mainly drawn from Balkan-region traditions. Consider this AU, starting after ‘Shadows.’
Summary: Sometimes long-term planning sucks.


It wasn’t long before it became clear that the trail was leading them—was leading Dean, actually, with Sam just trying to keep up—far away from the center of town. Neither of them had been carrying anything more dangerous than a small knife, so somebody had to go back for weapons as well. That somebody ended up being Sam since Dean didn’t want to risk losing the trail.

By the time Sam got back to the car and got it on the streets, it was well into the afternoon. The morass of one-ways, cutbacks and loops into which the streets turned after he got off campus set him back another forty-five minutes. At one point he actually found himself sitting at an intersection where both roads had the exact same name; he was starting to wonder if the current shortness of his temper was really that unreasonable.

“I just passed a sign saying that,” he said into his cell. “I’m probably less than a mile away.”

Dean impatiently grunted. The background noise mostly seemed to be rustling greenery, with the occasional snapping twig. *Finally. I was starting to think I’d end up watching the sunset all by my lonesome.*

“That’s still a couple hours away. So what’s it look like?” Sam started to take a turn, then slowed to let a woman and her dogs cross in front of him. He could see a thick green fringe of tree-tops down the next road, so he was almost there. Thank God. Maybe he knew intellectually that Dean had eaten and wasn’t going to attack anyone, but it was still hard to convince his fear.

And yeah, his mind was drawing parallels to the last time he’d let Dean go off on his own. He didn’t need Dean bitching at him about not being a mom to know that that was always going to be part of the job, but that didn’t mean Sam wasn’t biting his nails over it anyway.

*Well, there are bushes…nice swing set over there…oh, can you hear the birds?* Dean chirruped in a fake happy voice. Then his tone dropped back to sarcastic. *It’s a neighborhood park. It’s maybe two acres of grass with a border of trees, and nobody’s really around now because it’s dinnertime. I think she was just yanking our chains.*

“Or diverting our attention. Okay, I’m at the curb now.” Sam slightly overshot the curb and had to back up. He winced as the car bounced back down, hoping to God Dean hadn’t heard that. “You coming back?”

Dean didn’t answer right away, apparently because he was doing something that involved a lot of cursing and moving around. *Gross. Well, looks like I found the local dating hot spot. No, I’m going to follow this a little further. It should go out the other side soon, and if all I see is…hang on.*

“What? What’s going on?” Sam started to say. A loud beep cut him off and he reflexively jerked the phone from his ear, then put it back. “Dean? Damn it, Dean!”

No answer, and no background noise either. In less than a minute, Sam was out of the car and walking as quickly as he could without breaking into a run, both his and Dean’s guns stuck in his waistband. He glanced down at his phone, then looked again. Then he was torn between the desire to pitch the thing into the nearest tree and relief so sharp and sudden that it was almost painful. His cell was just low on batteries and had cut out.

Sam redialed and was greeted by a nerve-fueled snarl. *What was that?* Dean demanded. *Is she there?*

“No, it’s just…my phone’s dying on me. What’d you see—actually, where are you?” Sam said. He scanned the park. It was mostly clear viewing, but near the far end, the trees congregated into an uneven, opaque stand. That seemed the most likely choice, so Sam headed that way.

*In the back. Pass that merry-go-round thing so it’s on your left, then take the trail—you’ll see a sign. Right now I’m looking at a bunch of iron crosses strung up on some tree branches. Think the neighborhood’s got a tortured artistic type floating around?* Dean sounded on the verge of a serious temper-snap.

It took a second for Sam to spot the trail marker Dean had mentioned, and when he finally did begin to answer, his damn phone beeped at him again. He pulled it away, then put it back when he saw that it hadn’t turned itself off this time. “Stay where you are, all right? I’m almost there.”

*You know, at this point I think I’m okay with the idea of draining all her blood. There any kind of bad reaction or something like that that I should know—hey! You—oh—*

Sam heard a strange whistling sound, followed by a loud, wet thunk. Then a series of crackles and crunches as the phone got jostled around. Someone gasped, which was followed up by a series of growled curses from Dean.

The wind blew up behind Sam so hard that he was shoved forward by it and had to start moving again to keep his balance. Then he was running with gun in hand. “Dean?”

More crunching. Then a voice bubbling over with suppressed amusement purred into his ear. *He’s a little busy right now, Sam.*

Meg. As much as Sam wanted to just keep running down the path, he knew that would be a stupid idea and probably get Dean killed even faster. He made himself stop and concentrate, straining his ears. The wind was still gusting around and after a moment, he made out a thready clinking in its moaning—Dean was that way. If Meg had been able to catch him off-guard, then she had to have been upwind. “Touch him and you’re dead.”

The sound of the wind passing through the trees hid the noise Sam made in getting off the trail and shoving through the underbrush, but only for his first few steps. Then it abruptly died down. At the same time, a sudden hot buzzing went through Sam’s head, briefly making his vision blurry, and he had to grab for a tree for support. He gritted his teeth and pushed on as soon as he could.

*Boy, does that sound familiar,* Meg said. She made something clink—she had some kind of weapon and had just cocked it. *You really know how to make a girl feel welcome.*

Dean spat out some comment and Meg laughed. Then she did something that had Dean cursing through what sounded like gritted teeth. Something near her suddenly made a sickening wet pop; Sam flinched, then sped up. He could hear their voices in the air as well as through the cell phone now. “Well, it’s hard to be nice to someone who keeps coming after my family.”

*Oh, Sam. It’s only for your own good, you know…but you don’t. That’s all right—you’ll see soon enough. I think you’ll even thank me.*

*Bullshit—* Dean started. The racket of a struggle cut him off and he ended with a pained hiss.

Just then, a break in the leaves finally gave Sam a view of them. Meg’s back was to him; she’d cornered Dean against a trunk and he was leaning hard on it, holding onto one bloodstained thigh. His eyes were fixed on something she was holding…she moved and Sam saw it was a crossbow. A loaded crossbow.

Close enough to a stake, and it might go off if he shot her now. A familiar pain surged up in Sam’s head, but this time he welcomed it. He still held it back, but only so it’d build up a little more before it went out and did whatever it was that it did. “Meg, back off.”

*I don’t think so.* Then she turned, and he saw a coy smile flash over her face just as the agony in his head slammed outwards—

--slammed back in, sending Sam backwards. He grabbed for his temples and fought it, but it washed right over him. The last thing he heard was Meg laughing her goddamn head off.

* * *

“Sam! Sam, damn it, wake up! This is not the time to be napping!”

Dean could just go to hell. What the…why was Sam’s head hurting so much? What had they been doing—

--no, not clubbing. At least, not the kind that involved dancing, disco balls and beer. Sam rolled over, hissed as the throbbing pain in his head briefly crested, then pushed himself up on his hands and knees. Something felt wrong about the way his body moved; he realized after a second that the weight was off. The guns he should’ve had were gone. “Where is she? Where are you?”

He blindly reached out. His knuckles hit concrete and metal and a jagged space through which cool air was flowing. He pulled back his hand, then turned it sideways and squeezed it through the hole. The edges scraped hard and he could feel blood starting to run.

On the other side of the wall, Dean made a funny choked noise. “Fuck.”

A quick look around told Sam they were in some abandoned building—probably one of the many college buildings slated for major reconstruction. The changes to this one must have been more a matter of cosmetics or technological updating, since the walls and floor all still looked solid. The windows were covered in thick plastic sheeting, but Sam was still able to tell it was nighttime. At least Dean wouldn’t have to worry about any narcoleptic fits now. “How’s your leg?”

“Fucked,” was Dean’s succinct answer. Sam could hear him dragging himself over, and then warm breath blew over Sam’s hand. “You should probably get that hand back. I’ve lost a lot of blood.”

“Then I’d better keep it where it is. It’s bleeding anyway—go ahead. I’ll yank it out if you get too attached.” Most of the building’s interior had been ripped out so Sam could see clear across the whole floor, but one section had been left behind. After pushing and poking at the wall, Sam decided that breaking in wasn’t an option. He started to ask Dean if there was a door, but happened to glance up and so found out he was at the door. It’d been bricked up and his hand was jammed through a small hole where a careless worker hadn’t set the brick right up against the metal doorframe. “That bitch. Dean—is there—”

The breath wafting over Sam’s hand was getting warmer as Dean leaned closer. It was coming in short, raspy bursts of uneven length. “I don’t know where she went. And there’s nothing else besides this door—no windows, no anything. Unless you want to try breaking in from the top or bottom.”

Sam thumped his knee on the ground: that wasn’t an option unless he managed to round up some heavy-duty construction equipment in the next few minutes. It was really strange…he had plenty of exits. It was like Meg didn’t give a damn whether he left or not…or maybe she’d gotten a lot smarter than last time. “Dean. Drink the goddamn blood. You’re a lot stronger now, so you’d have a better chance of breaking through.”

After a sharp inhale, Dean abruptly slid his tongue over the side of Sam’s index finger. Then he jerked back and coughed. “If I wanted to get my leg healed in one go, I’d have to take so much blood you’d deflate like a popped tire. Nothing doing.”

“Well, at least take something so when I do get you out of there, I don’t have to worry about beating you off till we get out of here,” Sam hissed. Since he’d woken up, he hadn’t seen a trace of Meg and that seriously worried him. He glanced around again.

Something made a noise on the floor above them, but then Dean’s tongue was on Sam’s hand again, curling tightly around his finger. A sharp point snagged the side of a cut, then dug down deeper. Sam grabbed at the wall with his other hand and tried not to suck in his breath too loudly at how much it hurt. Dean slid his tongue further down so his lips touched Sam’s hand, hesitated, then latched onto Sam’s scraped knuckles and sucked hard.

A clatter at the far end of the room made Sam jerk his head around. He didn’t see anything except a shadow flapping past one of the windows: a bird. He sighed and slumped back against the wall, trying not to wince when Dean’s teeth caught him again.

“How very noble of you,” Meg suddenly said.

Sam whipped around and glimpsed the brassy shine of her platinum hair just before something slammed him halfway across the room. His hand ripped out of the hole and his ribs came within a hair of caving in. At least, that was what it felt like, and trying to get back up set his entire chest on fire. He fell back on his arms and looked up just in time to see Meg kicking something through the hole. She plugged up the hole afterward with a piece of broken brick, then stepped back. “Yell all you want, Dean. He can yell louder.”

Her comment was illustrated by a noise that started as a low grumble and quickly rose to a thunderous roar that made the whole building shake. “What did you just put in there with him?” Sam snarled.

Meg paused, then turned to face him as if she’d forgotten he was even there. A smile slowly cut its way across her face as she started to walk towards him. “You know what Dean’s problem is? He’s too stuck in his own ways. Always thinks the way he sees the world is how it really is. So I just thought I’d give him a taste of reality.”

“He doesn’t need it.” Sam painfully rolled over, then sat up to face her. Every time she took a step, he pushed himself back an equal amount. He kept his hands moving behind himself, but they didn’t run into anything, let alone anything useful.

Dean suddenly shouted—incoherent, but enraged. Then a ferocious clamor started up inside that room; several times something hit the door hard enough to make the bricks shiver. Dust and even some chips of mortar fell from them.

“Well, I’m only going by what you told me,” Meg said in a silky voice. Then she laughed and cocked her head; the pressure that had been building up behind Sam’s eyes suddenly vanished.

That didn’t happen without a fight that left Sam reeling and struggling to keep focused on Meg while his vision crazily spun for second seconds. He backed up more and his elbow bumped something hard—the wall. Damn it. He needed to think of something, and now. “What the hell do you want with us?”

“It’s not me.” Meg cooed it while bending forward. Her arms were crossed over her chest so they pushed up her breasts. She glanced down at herself, then smiled at Sam. “I think we were interrupted last time. And you know, I really would like to get to know you under better circumstances.”

“I don’t think we have the same idea of better circumstances,” Sam muttered. A series of loud thuds from the room made him wince, but he resisted the urge to look away from her. He pushed his other hand, which was still bleeding, behind himself. The floor was nice and smooth, and the blood hadn’t clotted up yet. He squeezed the cuts till more ran down his fingers, then extended his index finger till it touched the concrete. “Did you sic that vampire on Dean?”

A tiny shadow of annoyance passed over Meg’s face. She straightened up and gazed down at Sam with a mixture of contempt and disappointment. After a few moments, she pulled out Sam and Dean’s guns and set them on the floor. Shoved them over with her foot so derisively that Sam didn’t bother picking them up. “Then again, you’re not really living up to all this potential you’re supposed to have. You take so long to understand things that I’m not sure what all this effort is about.”

“Did you or did you not have a hand in that?” For nearly two weeks now, Sam had been living and breathing research in magical rituals, liturgies, and symbols. He’d looked in a lot of places to in order to find a way to help Dean. Some of them Dad wouldn’t even have approved of, but Sam had been willing to do anything, try anything.

From the room came a hoarse, desperate cry that was suddenly, shockingly cut off. Something heavy fell to the floor. Silence followed, and followed, and followed.

This time, it wasn’t hot fury that coiled about inside of Sam. Actually, he felt strangely cold and calm, and when the pressure built up in his head this time, he just…accepted it. Absorbed it.

Meg didn’t seem to catch on this time, because she just glanced casually over her shoulder. Then she turned back to look at Sam. Her eyes flicked down and she demurely moved the toes of one foot in small circles against the floor. “If you really must know…that wasn’t me. I’m not the only one, you know. But I’m actually surprised—I thought the idea was to get you in a position where you’d have to kill Dean. Nothing like permanently cutting family ties for starting a new life.”

“That’s a little too drastic for me,” Sam said. He added the last curl to the sigil he’d drawn on the floor, then threw himself sideways.

He let himself keep rolling and came up on his feet again just as a brilliant flash of light exploded outwards from the wall where he’d been. It engulfed Meg just as she threw up her arms to block it, looking shocked. Sam didn’t really feel too guilty about how pleased he was over that.

Then he remembered about Dean, and enjoying Meg’s comeuppance completely slid out of Sam’s mind. He scrambled for the room and slammed into the bricked-up door, beating on it with his fists. “Dean! Dean! Are you—”

Some warning bell went off in Sam’s mind and he ducked, then threw himself sideways a fraction of a second before a dark, shadowy thing would have gutted him. He crawled frantically away, then flipped around just as a handful of black claws swiped at him. A quick twist let him slip out the side, but not without getting his arm ripped open.

He stumbled and his foot hit something—a crowbar. Sam scooped it up, then barely avoided having his skull opened up. He leaped back and his outstretched hand hit the wall. Then he spun and frantically smeared blood. He finished just as claws slammed down on his shoulder; he went down in agony, but no follow-up blows came and he was able to get back on his feet almost immediately.

The thing, whatever it’d been, was gone. In its place was a screaming, patchy-grey thing that was running straight for Sam. He lifted the crowbar, but recognized it as Meg at the last minute and yanked the rod back down so it’d spear her in the chest.

She tried to stop, he thought, but her momentum carried her too far forward. The impact shoved Sam back against the wall, flinching as her ragged nails flailed inches from his face. Huge grey flakes fell off her and he realized that those were pieces of skin, but he didn’t have the time to be nauseated.

He heaved forward and she went down on her back. Her head hit the concrete with an odd clunk, like she had steel plates in her skull. Blood was welling up around the crowbar, but it wasn’t all the way through. Sam shoved down his disgust, got himself braced, and then pushed till he felt the end of the crowbar hit the floor.

Warm stuff splattered up on his face. He flinched and fell back, rubbing hard at his cheeks and eyes and mouth till most of it was off. Then he looked at her with her wide, lifeless eyes.

It still might not be enough. One legend had connected witches to vampires, saying a dead witch might rise again as a bloodsucker and so a stake through the heart was necessary, but others said only cutting off the head or burning the body—or both—would do it. Sam slumped against the wall and put his hands on his knees, let his head hang down. “God, Dean…”

He lifted his head again. He was beginning to feel a little lightheaded and loose. When he raised his hand, he saw that the dusty air around it was flowing, flickering like fire. That seemed about right.

Sudden heat and a thick, sickly-sweet smell directed Sam’s attention to Meg’s burning body. He watched the flames dance and twine with each other. One in particular caught his attention: it was almost blue and at first it seemed to be issuing from her mouth and nose, but then it moved off her and towards him. He stretched his palm over the leaping tip and didn’t feel any heat at all. Then he reached down—

--a loud clatter startled him and he missed. Then he looked up, and his mouth dropped open.

“Sam…Jesus…” Dean hung onto the doorway with such force that when he slid a little, his nails left tracks that Sam could see from across the room. He was covered in dust and blood, and beneath that he was so pale he was almost transparent, but he was definitely still kicking. “Don’t—get the hell away from her.”

It took a good ten seconds for Sam to remember who ‘her’ was. He glanced at Meg, but flames had gone out and she’d been reduced to ashes so fine that they looked like ordinary dust. The blue flame had disappeared, too. Then he went back to gaping at Dean. When he pushed himself off the wall, he teetered for a while before he could balance enough to actually walk over to Dean. “How did you—”

“Went up. That goddamn thing started banging me against the ceiling and—never mind.” As soon as Sam was close enough, Dean grabbed him by the shoulder and yanked him forward. Then he slid his hand up to grab Sam’s chin and drag it down, staring hard into Sam’s eyes. Terror flashed through his own before it slowly dissipated, only to be replaced by worry.

Sam belatedly thought about the fact that Dean couldn’t really stand and grabbed Dean under the arms, helping him to stay up. “I thought you were dead.”

“Yeah, I could tell. You—were you about to—never mind, never mind.” Dean jerked Sam’s head down another inch and stared even harder at him. Then he gave Sam’s shoulder a squeeze and leaned back. His eyes flicked up to the blood smeared over Sam’s neck before he irritably shook Sam off. “Come on, let’s go.”

* * *

“We’re going to have to find out where she was staying, since the book might be there,” Sam said. He tied off the bandage around his wrist, then awkwardly pulled on his shirt. It was a hot night and sweat beneath bandages was hellish, so for the moment, he left the shirt unbuttoned.

Dean didn’t answer. When Sam turned around, he found Dean lying on his back with his eyes closed. He came very, very close to having a panic attack before Dean’s eyes opened and tracked over to him.

“I don’t think that’s a good idea. I think we should put as much mileage between us and here as possible,” Dean replied. His expression didn’t give a single clue as to his sudden insanity. On the contrary, he looked about as genuinely serious as Sam had ever seen him.

Sam took the time to compose himself and still ended up with his voice cracking. “What? But without that book, we’ve got to drive a thousand miles before we can finish—”

“I don’t think you should finish it anyway. Actually, I’d really appreciate it if you never, ever did a spell again.” After giving Sam a meaningful look that completely failed in its purpose, Dean struggled up into a sitting position. He grimaced and pressed his hand on his injured thigh. “Man. I can’t believe these black pants are the loosest ones I’ve got. I’m going to look like some private-school priss for the next few days.”

Sam had made him take some more blood—when it came down to it, Dean hadn’t been all that keen on the smears of Meg’s blood after all—but he’d taken maybe a cup and a half before he’d stopped, saying he wasn’t going to risk more right now. And as much as Dean obviously needed it, Sam had to agree. The more time that passed, the more he felt how utterly trashed the fight had left him. In fact, maybe he’d gotten his head hit a couple times more than he remembered, because there was no way he was hearing Dean right. “What?”

At first it looked as if Dean was going to blow the whole thing off, but then he sighed. He absently started picking at the hem of his shirt. “Sam, that vampire didn’t just get me. Maybe he didn’t bite you, but he still got you to the edge of a long fall. And it gets worse when you’re doing whatever it is you do with the telekinesis and fire-throwing and…and I think that the demon we’re chasing, the one that got Mom and Jessica? It’s counting on that.”

“What are you talking about? I know we chase some weird stuff, but this kind of conspiracy theory’s out there even for us,” Sam incredulously said.

Except Meg had made that one comment, and…and Sam wondered about that blue flame.

“Am I?” Dean glanced up at Sam, then down at his hands. He stopped making his shirt fray and moved on to picking at some of the scabs on his knuckles.

“But…but that means you have to stay like this. And you’ll have to keep feeding. Look, it’s just one more time…” Sam stopped because the stubborn line of Dean’s jaw said going on was a waste of air. “Goddamn it, I’m not going to kill you, or stand by while you go with the heroic stupid suicide. Look, Dean, these powers have come up before, and those weren’t things I could control or predict.”

The muscle in Dean’s jaw clenched. He finally looked Sam straight on. “I’m going to try really hard to stay…mobile, so you can stop worrying about that. It’s pretty obvious now that if I kick it, then you’re on the next train to Monster-land.”

“Well, thank you for your vote of confidence in my moral fortitude, Dean,” Sam sarcastically said. “It’s so nice to know that—”

“No, it’s not, and if you just pulled your head out of your ass and looked at yourself, at what you’ve been doing lately, you’d see I’m right,” Dean snapped. He jerked himself back as if to get off the bed, then resettled himself and stared steadily at Sam. “Look, maybe you couldn’t control it. But—”

But Sam had been getting better; he just hadn’t mentioned it to Dean. He’d been throwing up magical symbols and…and getting comfortable with it. And he’d killed Meg, and he still didn’t feel any guilt over that. He maybe felt some pangs over his lack of guilt, but even then he wasn’t sure if that was real. The thing was, he’d been so frustrated and resentful over failing in the situations that really counted, and over shifting back into a lifestyle that he knew didn’t fit him after four years of living in fear of revealing how much he didn’t fit there either…it’d been surprisingly good to feel something come naturally.

“—you do a spell that isn’t one of those laymen deals, that’s something meant for real witches and warlocks, and you get closer to doing it. And I have a real strong feeling that that’s not a good thing. It’s like watching you tease a caged animal, and knowing the bars could break,” Dean finished in a sober tone. He tipped his head, then took a stab at making a more lighthearted face. It and his jeer came out slightly strained. “If it makes you feel better, it’s not like I don’t have a problem like that.”

“The feeding. But you hate that. You hate it and it’s eating you up inside. It’s not any easier for me to watch that.” If all of that was true, then Sam just didn’t see a way out of this.

Dean lifted and dropped one shoulder, glancing to the side. He moved his eyes back to Sam, swallowed hard, and slowly pulled each word out of his mouth as if they were chunks of himself. “I can put up with it till we find some way to reverse the vampirism that doesn’t involve you doing it. But it’s not really me so much as you, when it comes to that.”

He pressed his lips together so the last word came out a little flattened and watched Sam open his mouth, close it, nervously twist his hands around. He was tired and weak, and giving up on this one. Even if it was just temporary, it still was a terrible thing to see. It was like watching Dean watching Dad drive off again.

The long pause on Sam’s part wasn’t so much thinking about what he’d choose—he’d already done that and wasn’t going back on it—as about damning everything about this situation. But that was how it was, and he couldn’t do anything about it now.

“You need to feed again?” he asked.

Dean hesitated, then nodded. “Not blood this time. I think I can get by with the other way. That’ll put less of a drain on you.”

“Right. Well…” Sam swung his legs onto the bed, then reached for Dean’s arm. By the time his fingers wrapped around it, Dean was already sliding between his knees and pushing against his throat. Apparently the idea was to do it as fast as possible.

It was a good idea in theory, but in practice their injuries forced it to be slower. And this time there wasn’t shock or magic or anything else keeping Sam from knowing exactly what was going on and what they were doing. It was Dean’s mouth moving over his throat, and then over his mouth because in the end, Dean had to take a little nip, and it was Sam’s hands uneasily riding on Dean’s waist, passing up to bump against Dean’s ribs and then down over his hips as he started to grind against Sam.

And that was Dean’s cock making that hot bulge beneath the rough cloth, then sliding into Sam’s hand, and those were Dean’s fingers hooked into Sam’s waistband. Some twisted sense of fair-play on Dean’s part, maybe. But Sam was getting an erection off this, and he was kissing his brother while he stroked Dean’s cock. When Dean jerked and twisted against him, part of the reason why was him, and when he splattered himself out over Dean’s hand and stomach, he couldn’t honestly say it wasn’t not about Dean. It wasn’t right and it wasn’t how it was supposed to be, but it was how they would have to be.

“You can wash up first,” Dean muttered.

Sam bit back a pained laugh as he got off the bed. “Just come in with me and we’ll share the stupid sink. The bathroom’s not that small.”

After a moment, Dean got up. They took care of what they had to in silence; Sam got done first and went back out while Dean was still splashing his face. He got in bed and rolled onto his side so he could stretch out his injured arm.

A few minutes later, the mattress on Sam’s left side sank down under Dean’s weight. He turned off the light just as Sam looked up, but the laptop screen glow came on almost immediately afterward. Dean absently waved his hand at Sam. “Go to sleep. I’m just going to start looking for the next job.”

“Try and find an easy one,” Sam muttered. He glanced up at Dean, then laid his head on the pillow. He closed his eyes. Sleep wasn’t going to be coming any time soon, but he’d pretend. He’d had enough of cold hard reality for a while and he needed a break.