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January 5

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“Okay, now gently press the accelerator,” Dean instructs, tensing all over when the car starts moving forward.

Sam’s hands on the wheel are white-knuckled and his focus is absolute, staring out the windshield. Dean somehow feels like he should remind him to keep breathing.

“Okay, good,” he allows as they are moving smoothly down the straight road, “You can go a little faster but–”

The car jerks forward and Dean instinctively braces himself. “–gently,” he finishes through clenched teeth.

“Sorry,” Sam says and he looks it. He’s eased off the accelerator.

Dean waves the apology away with a flick of his hand. “It’s fine. Just keep her steady. There’s a curve coming up.”

Sam nods, face scrunched up in concentrating and Dean might think he’s cute if he wasn’t so tense. Teaching his little brother – who can barely reach the pedals – to drive is making him nervous. He can imagine that this is exactly how John felt when he thought Dean.

To his surprise, Sam pulls smoothly through the bend, watching the lane markers expertly.

Dean praises, “Okay, this is good,” and he sees Sam smile at the windshield before he schools his baby-soft features into a look of focus again.

“You can go a little faster if you want,” Dean says, steeling himself against another jerk of the car, “Just remember where the brake is.”

Sam nods and, this time, accelerates more evenly.

“Okay, turn up there and stop,” Dean points at a crossroad, reminding his brother, “Brake gently.”

Sam puts his foot on the brake, a little too hard at first but he adjusts. The Impala slows down and Sam makes the turn, only oversteering a little bit. He corrects himself quickly and lets the car roll to a halt.

“Good job, little brother,” Dean says, pointing up the deserted road, “Now accelerate to 60 and do a skidding U-turn.”

Sam shoots him a look of horror, taking his eyes from the road for the first time in half an hour.

Dean puts his hands up. “I’m joking. As if I would let you do that to my baby. Going 30 is as much as I can handle without suffering a heart attack.”

The corner of Sam’s mouth curls downward a little. “I’m not that bad of a driver.”

“You will be an awesome driver, kiddo,” Dean promises and reaches over to squeeze his shoulder. “Gotta be with a teacher like that.”