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January 4

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Dean thought that Sam was engrossed in his books, so he nearly jumps out of his skin when his little brother suddenly asks, “Dean? What do girls like?”

Dean keeps a tight grip on the gun he’s cleaning in his lap. “What do you mean?” he shoots back, trying to keep his voice calm. Where is this coming from? Sam has never asked him anything to do with girls, being the late bloomer that he is. Has always scrounged up his baby-soft face in disgust when Dean told him not to wait up because he’d go to a bar –  a hook up with a pretty girl heavily implied.

Sam drops the pen he’s been chewing on onto the rickety motel room table and turns around on the chair, facing Dean, who’s got gun parts and supplies spread out on the bed.

“I mean,” Sam says, chewing his lip now that the pen is gone, “I’ve got no idea what to do when a girl … asks me to kiss her or something.”

Did a girl ask you to kiss her?” Dean inquires neutrally. At least he hopes it comes out neutral.

“No,” Sam admits, “But Linda’s asked me to prom. And I think … you know, that’s what prom’s about.”

Dean’s teeth grate together. “First of all, you don’t know if she even wants that. Maybe she wants to be just friends. You can’t assume she likes you like that and even wants to kiss you.”

He realises he’s come across way too harsh when Sam’s face shutters and hurt blazes in his eyes. “Don’t think you’re the only one who can get girls,” Sam practically snarls at him. “Just forget it, you’re useless.” He turns back to his books and Dean’s stomach drops low.

“Hey,” he says softly, “I didn’t mean it like that. ‘m sorry.”

Sam makes a noise that’s somewhere between a scoff and a growl. “I said, forget it.”

Dean gets up from the mattress, walks over to his brother. “No, I won’t. I didn’t mean to be an asshole. I want you to talk to me about these things.” Liar, liar, pants on fire.

He drops a hand on Sam’s shoulder who immediately tries to shake him off. Dean digs his fingers in harder, refusing to be rebuffed, feeling sinewy tissue and bone.

Out of nowhere, Sam makes a choked-off sounds and shudders all the way down his back, his body vibrating with it. Dean freezes, snatches his hand back as is burned.

The I’m sorry, didn’t mean to hurt you is on the tip of his tongue but not even he can pretend that this was anything else than a pleasure reaction.

For a moment, neither of them speak. Sam seems to have gone rigid in his chair.

Then, Dean clears his throat and makes himself move back to the bed where his gun is still lying disassembled. He busies his hand by putting it back together. He can’t even remember now whether he’s already cleaned it. Doesn’t care.

“You know,” he says in a voice that he hopes sounds steadier than he is, “You and Linda are gonna have a good time either way.” He shoots his brother a smile that only feels a little forced but Sam isn’t looking at him.

Staring resolutely down at his books, he says croakily, “Yeah. Me and Linda.”

Hearing it leaves a stale taste in Dean’s mouth and an angry coil in the pit of his stomach. He scrubs the next gun a lot less gently.