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Title: Five times Sam has saved Dean in his dreams without knowing it (and one time he doesn't)
Author: [livejournal.com profile] ms_jvh_shuh
Genre: Gen
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: ~1700
Spoilers: for 3.10 and beyond
Summary: Just because Sam doesn't believe he can do something doesn't mean he hasn't already done it - several times.
Notes: A warm thank you to [livejournal.com profile] samidha for venturing into "Five things" land with me.
The dialogue in the fifth section is taken directly from Dream a little Dream of me (3x10), which means I cannot claim any kind of ownership to it.



Five times Sam has saved Dean in his dreams without knowing it...



1988

When he opens his eyes, he's in a boy's room. Awed eyes take in toys of the like he's never seen before, but his tiny fingers stop reaching for them when he catches a faint scent of smoke.

Sammy Winchester went to bed quite oblivious that the knowledge about magical protection John Winchester has acquired during the last few years is still very limited. He is is lying face-down in a run-down motel bed, drooling a little into a smelly pillow, fast asleep.

A scream and a cry from outside the door make Sammy want to hide under the bed, but he wants to find Dad and Dean more.

He dozed off while waiting for Dad to come back from a short walk, one he'd promised he'd be back from soon, real soon. So far, little Sammy hasn't been given a reason to doubt his father's words, and so he fell asleep to the sound of Dean turning the pages of a comic book, feeling safe and protected.

Cautiously, he reaches up for the door handle, and flinches when he hears his father's strangled shout.

Five years old, he has no way of knowing that every night for the last two weeks a child has died from a creature feeding off enhancing its fear, from the stress of a nightmare becoming too much. He slipped into his first dream without a conscious thought to the fact that at eight, Dean can only stay awake for so long.

Flames are roaring in his ears. He can barely make out his big brother's form through the thick smoke.

Dean sometimes has nightmares about the night neither he nor Dad will talk about. Since no-one will talk about it, Sammy doesn't know that Dean sometimes dreams of the monster killing first Mom, then Dad, then Sammy snatched out of Dean's arms, before leaving Dean to die alone in the flames.

All he knows is that there's fire and they need to get out and Dean needs to move, so he screams.





1997

It's been roughly six years since Sammy Winchester was blissfully unaware of the existence of evil things. He's learned a lot about them by now, some things he finds interesting and some (more) things he wishes he could forget but won't (ever). He's fully aware that when Dad and Dean go out for a "short trip", there's no guarantee they'll come back unharmed, and he no longer remembers what it's like to feel completely safe and protected. He's been with them on a lot of hunting trips himself and knows more than enough about the things that could go wrong.

The only reason he's at the motel room now instead of with them is that during the last trip, something did go wrong and the creature broke his arm. He tried to stay awake to wait and see whether or not they got home safe, he really tried. However, the painkillers Dad all but forced him to take have made him woozy and so ultimately, he lost the fight and zonked out.

*

Five miles from the motel room Sam has fallen asleep in, Dean Winchester is valiantly trying to stay awake, squinting at the road while steering the Impala. Dad is dozing in the passenger seat, injured, and he needs to get them back to the motel room fast so that he and Sammy can patch him up. So that he can go to the bathroom and stitch up the gash to his side he didn't tell Dad about, and it's one more sign as to which of them hit their head harder because his father didn't even protest when Dean said he would drive.

Stay awake, stay awake, stay awake... He's staring at the road so intently that he doesn't realize he's not seeing the real road anymore until Sammy is sitting on Dad's lap in the passenger seat and shouting Dean! Dean, wake the fuck up!





2003

Sam Winchester has been skimming through a large pile of notes all afternoon, but he suspects he must've fallen asleep because the main topic of what he's reading most certainly isn't civil law any more. The headline on the slightly crumbled piece of paper he's holding reads 'CHUPACABRA?', and it's not his handwriting forming the shape of the letters.

He needs to wake up and go back to cramming, all the more so because exam time is imminent, but there are irregularities in the notes he sees before him that catch his eye.

Victims and their relations, locations of multiple attacks, patterns, each place's history, a list of possible weapons to use... shape of injuries, length of claws, coloring of scales... It's exactly how Sam would do the research if something had killed his laptop and if he weren't, you know, asleep in the library at Stanford. It looks out of place and unfamiliar in Dean's barely legible scrawl.

Sam frowns and carefully goes through everything once more. Shape of injuries, list of weapons, scales, claws. The exam is tomorrow; he really needs to wake up. But.

"It's not a Chupacabra," he says to the silent presence behind him. "You'll need different weapons for this one." Frowning harder at the information he's got, he tries to come up with suggestions, is still trying to think of something when he's jostled awake by one of the librarians.





2005

Sam sits up in bed with a strangled shout, panting heavily. He's soaked with sweat, and his heart beats fast, fast, fast. Next to him, Jess makes a muffled sound of concern, but her secretive boyfriend is having nightmares far too often for her to really wake up anymore. A delicate hand makes a seeking motion towards his side of the bed, and Sam tries to take calming breaths, laces their fingers together and curls up close to her.

It was an especially vivid dream. Somehow more real than his own terrible memories, and his memories of rare stints to random hospitals are all as horrifying as the circumstances that sent them there. But it can't be real, because Dad would never leave one of them alone in a hospital. Even in the most pronounced phases of his hunting mania, he would either stay and conduct more research by Sam's or Dean's bedside, call someone or, at worst, leave them alone together.

There's no way Dean is lying in a hospital by himself somewhere, slipping in and out of comas with no hope, no expectation that someone will come. There aren't only nurses and doctors keeping him company, doing a very bad job at reaching him.

Dean's fine.

It was just a dream. He and Jess are supposed to visit her parents in a few days; Sam's brain probably did some projecting of abandonment issues or, or something. It was nothing. Just a weird, Winchester nightmare.

Still, he can't quite shake the image of the stark white hospital room, the way Dean's hand clutched at him when his dream-self sat down in the empty chair, and the sound of his own voice, "I'm here, Dean. I'm here."





2008

All the way back, Sam can tell there's something in Bobby's mind, but the older man doesn't strike up a conversation before they're inside the hotel and Dean's walked on ahead to find Bela.

"So you did a little dream-weavin' on your own back there, huh?"

"Yeah, I just sort of concentrated and it happened," Sam says, somehow at a loss for how to explain it better.

"Didn't have anything to do with..." and the way Bobby hesitates causes the faint ringing of alarm bells, "...you know, your psychic stuff?"

It's unexpected enough that it stops Sam short. His whatever what? There's only one answer he can think of, wants to think of, "No," but they can both hear the uncertainty in his voice and it's Bobby, so he has to amend it with "I mean, I don't think so."

Bobby gives him a hard look, as if trying to determine if Sam is telling the truth or just thinking he's telling the truth, but then it's over and he's turning away with a quiet "Okay. Good."

Sam is left frowning, and trails after him with the sinking feeling that his world just got slightly tilted once more.





...and one time he doesn't


2008

When he opens his eyes, he's in a girl's room, but if he looks hard enough he can see traces of things that belong to a teenager, a young mother, a middle-aged wife, an old woman. When he looks at her, she tries to appear as the six-year-old he first met her in, but other images are there as well, flickering.

"You'd think demons wouldn't know how to dream, wouldn't you," he says conversationally and leans against a wardrobe. "By the way, I know many girls like pink, but the shade of pink you're wearing there? Not real."

"What are you doing here?" she hisses, trying for superior but failing. She shakes herself, apparently trying to wake herself up but she can't. Her eyes go white as she attempts to slam him into a wall or possibly cushions, but instead she is the one who is trapped, with no opportunity for movement.

"You shouldn't have gone vacationing inside little humans all the time. It addles your mind; that's what happens with children," he informs her, voice almost kind.

She looks at him with teary, big doe eyes, but it's no hardship to see the millennia-old evil lurking behind them.

"So," Sam Winchester says and claps his hands together. The cute room vanishes. "Enough of this. This is your nightmare, so naturally, I'm gonna kill you. And you'll be dead. Vanquished. Eradicated. But first, you will tell me the quickest way to free my brother. Only him. All of him. Without releasing a single one of your fellow hell-spawn."

At her anguished wail, he smiles.


End.





There's now a companion piece:here

Date: 2008-08-31 02:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tahirire.livejournal.com
... yep. I could totally go for this. *nods*

Is it the 18th yet? :-)

Well done.

Date: 2008-08-31 11:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lilacsigil.livejournal.com
Really creepy and fascinating, the link between Sam and Dean activated by pain and fear; I especially loved the last section, with all the terror and helplessness of the earlier sections turned around as a weapon that Lilith can't fight.

Date: 2008-08-31 02:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] coell.livejournal.com
Good stories!

Date: 2008-08-31 04:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] redrikki.livejournal.com
He's fully aware that when Dad and Dean go out for a "short trip", there's no guarantee they'll come back unharmed, and he no longer remembers what it's like to feel completely safe and protected.

I liked the story over-all, but for some reason I really liked this one sentence. It sort of sets up the progression for the whole story. First he's safe, then he's in danger then he is the danger.

Date: 2009-03-19 06:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hunters-retreat.livejournal.com
OMG! This was amazing! I love the way Sam is slipping in and out of Dean's dreams without being aware of it! Love that he's there for Dean even at Stanford (and the bit about Jess sleeping through because it happened too often was a wonderful piece!)!

Thank you for sharing this!
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