Rating: PG - wee!chesters- Gen
Disclaimers: SPN & characters are owned by their various creators.
Summary: Dean wakes up early on a dark rainy morning.
He liked it when the weather shifted as he slept.
Like those mornings when you woke up and you wondered why it was all still so dark. The sky that had turned powder gray sometime in the night and the gentle thrum of water against your window glass lulled you to open your eyes. Listening to the wind gusting and blowing in sheets over your roof. Waiting for it to rise to a howl and hear the window pane rattle. There was something about it, the subtle cool humidity in your bedroom, and the murky washed out light that filled it, that excused you from behaving as if it were a day.
There was no school, but Dean woke up at the same time every morning anyway. Repetition had caused him to develop his own internal alarm that woke him at the same pre dawn hour like clock work. Being in the same house for so long had helped. Same bed. Same blankets. Two pillows tucked in real pillow cases.
He pushed back his thick blue fleece blanket down off his chest, the cool air chilling him, his skin stark white in the rain’s dull shine. Sam was still sleeping in the bed across the room. No part of him was visible as he liked to sleep ‘completely uncompromised’ as he put it. Dean thought it had to do more with the unwritten laws of the Boogeyman and things that waited under your bed. Your blankets could always protect you from anything. Sammy was still just young enough to believe it would work. Or at least young enough to take comfort in the possibility.
Sighing, and taking no stock in blanket protection, Dean kicked the rest of his blankets off to the foot of the bed and sat up. What little kid used the word ‘uncompromised’ anyway? He turned his head, listening to the house and the water rushing through the gutter just above his window.
Something had long ago told him that sleeping in was wasting what he had left of his time. At least for now. After confiding this idea to his parent, he was promptly called morbid and that’d he’d grow out of that nonsense soon enough. In fact, his father liked to say as soon as Dean had his first fill of what it was to work a solid week he’d be wishing he could get those hours back. Dean never said so to his father, but he already felt like his weeks were long and heavy. And sleeping through the hours hidden under the rain clouds, silent and still tucked away in a dark room seemed almost too close to the rest that lasted forever. It was all like some smothering description of heaven he'd never thought of.
No harps. No wings. Just uninterrupted peace. The undisturbed warmth of your body under warmer blankets and the silence of an entire house around you. It allowed you to rise and go walking through the quiet of the sleeping, your footfall as insubstantial as the light that fell through the windows.
No. Not heaven, Dean decided as he slipped out of bed. It was more like that fairy story of the princess who fell to sleep and so did all her court and family. They all just lay there, not growing older and not dying. But the plants grew up around them and their castle until it was all hidden away. There was always something a little creepy about being the only one awake in a sleeping house. Late at night or early morning, Dean always felt like he’d stepped off into somewhere else like those black and white twilight zone shows he pretended didn’t scare him just a little bit.
He moved down the hallway, leaving Sam in his fortress of uncompromised-a-tude and passing his father’s door quickly so he wouldn’t disturb him.
Dean stopped at the bottom of the stairs when he realized he wasn't the only one awake.
"You know, your mother liked mornings like this."
Dean felt a small half smile come to his face. He was glad it couldn't be seen in the early morning dark. This small piece of knowledge, almost like a secret he and his mother shared that he didn't know about. Sammy and Dad always complained about the rain. But never him.
"She said it was like being in between."
Dean sat down at the bottom stair, his bare feet cold on the wooden floor.
He thought about it for a moment, his chin resting in his hand, while the other rubbed through the mess sleep had made of his short hair. His dad was either up early or had never gone to bed at all, still clad in his jeans and a disheveled flannel that had seen better days.
"Why?" Dean asked carefully.
It wasn't often his father brought up such tantalizing details and small snapshots of his mother. Whenever if happened he was always afraid to ask anything further about it. Like walking into some mine field, he knew he'd hit something bad and it’d all go sky high if he ventured or pushed too far.
His father took another gulp of coffee from where he stood in the window.
"Something about… about nowhere being a place.” John looked down and laughed to himself. “Your mom was a real trip let me tell ya.”
Watching his father standing there in the dull wash of light that glowed through the low clouds, Dean thought he might have understood what his mother had meant.
“Wherever you go,” Dean tried tentatively. “There you are?”
His father laughed again, louder this time, too loud in the rainy quiet.
Dean smiled back. He had brought Dad back this time, in this small moment, he’d managed to pull him back from his own edges. Dean normally lost him there, the far off looks, the cooled cup of coffee, the half answers. The plain feeling that he was not privy to these times. And there were many of those moments which he was not. But not this morning. He stood, thinking maybe he should get back into his bed and leave his father alone.
His father went to take another sip of coffee but paused, the mug half way to his mouth.
“Hey…” He shifted in place. ”Do… do you want some coffee?”
He rubbed his eyes as he went to sit at the small table by the window. Watching the white mug filled with steaming black liquid, Dean didn’t even consider improving it with the blasphemy of milk or sugar.
“Drink it slow.” His father told him as he gulped down his own.
Dean took a scalding sip, wondering if his Dad even suspected that he’d been drinking coffee for almost a year now. He warmed his hands on the hot ceramic.
“Should I wake up Sammy?”
His father was gazing out the window again, the front overgrown lawn of the farmhouse wavering as the rain sprayed down in a mist.
“Give him another hour.”
His father ran a hand through a three day beard with a soft yawn.
“One of us could use the sleep.”