Word Count: 812
Spoilers: Season 10 midseason finale
Beta Credit: sinfulslasher and Embroiderama
Summary: Sam finds Dean’s ring.
Author’s Notes – Written for my new friend, firesign10 for the 5th day of my 12 Days of Christmas Meme. She requested “The Silver Ring – Sam/Dean.”.
Dean was asleep. Sam watched him, the light from the windows illuminating his brother’s face. They’d managed to get him back to the hotel room and cleaned up before Claire totally broke down and refused to stay in the same vicinity as Dean. Cas took her to the front desk to check in and see if he could help her settle down. Sam convinced Dean that he needed to rest, helping him out of his clothes and into the other bed.
Dean twitched, a small moan escaping. A flurry of expressions crossed his face – sadness, anger, fear? It reminded Sam of Bones, the dog he’d adopted when he’d run away from Dean in Flagstaff. Whenever Bones was sleeping, he’d whine and twitch, much like Dean was doing now. Sam had always wondered what was going on in his canine brain when that happened.
He wasn’t sure he wanted to know what Dean was thinking.
Sighing, he reached into his bag and pulled out his laptop. Maybe he could get some research done on the Mark of Cain while Dean rested. Opening the lid, he powered up the laptop, only to see the ‘low battery’ message. Sam grabbed the charger from his backpack, flipping it over in the process.
He heard a ‘clink’ and saw something shiny fall out of the bag. As he bent over to pick it up, his breath hitched.
He remembered when Dean had taken it off. It was after the job with Patrick, the witch who stole people’s years. They’d gone back to Bobby’s for a few days and were about to leave for another job when Sam found Dean’s ring on the edge of the bathroom sink. When he’d asked about it, Dean had just shrugged and said, “Don’t want to wear it anymore.” To this day Sam didn’t know why he’d slipped it in his pocket, but he had.
He’d put it in his backpack and honestly forgotten about it. But now – now he was glad he still had it.
The silver was scratched in places, the patina dull with use. Sam smiled at the slightly bent shape – evidence of the many beer bottles Dean had opened with it.
He rubbed his thumb over the metal and thought about how for the longest time Dean had never been without it. The ring had been a constant – just like Dean. There never was any question about that. Always having Sam’s back. Making him feel safe. Never giving up on him.
Things were simpler then. Well, as simple as they could be with the Apocalypse looming and his future stint in Hell. Still, back then Sam could always be certain about Dean. Even through all the crap with losing his soul, Cas being God, the Leviathans, fallen angels…Dean was always there – as consistent as a pole star.
Now? Now was different. Dean was different. The Mark had made him that way, and it scared Sam.
Dean murmured and shifted on the bed, opening his eyes. “Sammy?”
“I’m here, Dean.”
“Where…?” Dean sat up, wincing.
“Back at the hotel.”
“I’ll get you some water.” Sam filled a glass from the sink and brought it over to Dean. He watched Dean drink, downing the liquid in three gulps. Putting the glass down on the nightstand, Dean rubbed his eyes.
“You okay?” Sam asked, knowing full well he wasn’t, but hoping for something, anything that would tell him otherwise.
“Sam…” Dean raised his eyes to his brother, the realization of what he’d done written all over his face. “Oh God...Sam…I didn’t mean to…I didn’t…”
"I know, Dean, I know.”
Dean began shaking, words tumbling out of his mouth. “Didn’t mean to…”
Sam did the only thing he could think of. He sat down, grabbed Dean and held on, telling him it was okay - Dean was okay – over and over until Dean calmed. It was a lie and he knew Dean knew that, but for now it was what they both needed to hear.
“I’m scared, Sammy.” Dean’s voice was small. “What if we can’t - ?”
“Stop!” Sam interrupted. “We’ll figure this out, just like we always do, okay?” Dean didn’t say anything. “Okay, Dean?”
“Okay.” Dean was quiet, resigned.
“Good. Now, how about we get some sleep?” Sam started to get up, but Dean grabbed his arm.
“Want me to stay?” He looked at his brother. Dean didn’t speak, just let go of Sam’s arm and shifted on the bed. A moment later Sam felt Dean lean slightly up against him, answering the question.
“Okay…” Sam settled next to his brother. “Sleep now. We’ll start again in the morning.” He turned off the light, surrounding them in darkness.
Dean was silent, his breathing evening out. “Sammy?”
“Thanks for not giving up on me.”
Sam looked at the ring in his hand, glinting in the streetlight. “Never, Dean.”