The door had barely finished closing behind Eileen when Sam heard Dean’s voice over his shoulder. He hadn’t thought Dean would want to be anywhere near that particular goodbye.
“So she’s gone, huh? You doin’ okay?” Dean asked, sitting down at the library table across from where Sam was slumped in his usual chair.
“Yeah, yeah, I’m good. But it wasn’t like that, like I told you,” Sam said, slightly irritated that Dean was bringing up his imagined romantic pairing off with Eileen yet again. It was like he was trying to marry him off in a hurry or something.
“Dunno, brother, that kiss sure looked like the real deal to me,” Dean teased.
“You’re such a perv, Dean. Not that it’s any of your business, but that was the first time I’d kissed her. And I did it because I…I felt sorry for her, and for me. It didn’t seem right how Chuck had tricked us like that. It wasn’t fair to either of us, but especially to her.”
“Sam, c’mon, she was into you before all this Chuck stuff, you know that right?” Dean asked.
“Yeah, I did, of course I did, that’s why it was even more unfair for her. But for what feels like the zillionth time, it wasn’t like that for me, I only liked her, as a friend or a sister. Kind of how it was with Charlie, you know?”
“Explain yourself, dude. She’s hot, she really really likes you, she’s a hell of a fighter, oh and she’s a hunter, so what’s not to like?” Dean asked, ticking off Eileen’s qualities one by one on his fingers.
“I agree, she’s all that and more, but she’s not what I want, or who I need,” Sam said, letting the certainty he felt color his words, especially since he was still being vague in his answer. He was pretty sure that Dean didn’t want to know the specifics on this one.
“And who might this perfect mystery lady be and should I call her to come rescue your broken heart?” Dean asked in that irritating teasing voice.
“Cut it out, you know you’re a total asshole sometimes,” Sam complained, even though he knew it made him sound like an eight year old all over again.
Approaching footsteps interrupted them, they both turned to see Cas holding his duffel bag which looked packed full. He stood at the head of the table between them and looked at both of them in turn. Sam always wondered what Cas saw when he examined them like this. It always felt a little warm, like that full-body scan he’d had once in the hospital.
“Dean, you can be very dense sometimes, Sam means you. Yes, that’s what I said, and I’m not sorry. I’m only sorry that it took me so long to say this necessary truth to you. You and I worked out our differences in Purgatory, now you need to do the same with Sam here,” Cas said to Dean. He looked over at Sam and gave him an almost-smile. “I will be gone for the next two weeks. Take the time alone to work this out gentlemen, the world needs you—what’s the expression—to be on the same page.”
“Cas, what the hell? You can’t just say something like that and then just leave,” Dean spluttered sounding truly angry. Cas was already at the top of the stairs though, and he didn’t say anything more on the subject.
Slam! The bunker’s thick metal door to the outside reverberated a few times, the only answer in the heavy silence that had instantly fallen between them.
Sam got up and started to make a quick exit himself, hoping against hope that Dean would let him disappear. Now wasn’t the time for this, especially after all the shit with Chuck. But then it never was the right time, he scolded himself.
“Sammy, could you just—“ Dean cut himself off and slumped in his chair.
Sam stopped making his exit and u-turned to sit back down in his chair across the table from where Dean was still slumping. His brother’s chin was down on his chest, hands clenched white-knuckled on the arms of the chair, shoulders down in a defeated posture that never looked right on him. Even in Chuck’s stupid future-view, that Dean hadn’t looked like as bereft and hopeless as this.
Dean looked up sharply, he seemed sort of surprised to see Sam sitting there. Sam thought he’d probably been expecting more resistance or to have to chase after him. Not tonight, Sam was too tired for that.
“Just one question, okay? Was he right? What Cas just said, is that true?” Dean asked, his face wavering between serious-as-a-heart-attack and that almost-too-soft look he sometimes gave Sam that still always managed to melt his heart. His brother’s version of the puppy dog eyes that Sam was always accused of using to get his way. He couldn’t help himself, couldn’t stop himself from answering Dean’s question. That soft look was as deadly as any puppy eyes from him could ever be.
“Do you really want to know?” Sam asked in a quiet voice, he took a deep breath to steady himself for hearing Dean’s answer.
Dean’s eyes searched all over Sam’s face, like they were trying to figure out a secret code. It didn’t feel anything like the Cas-scan, it was more familiar, maybe just a lot more human. His brother had really been thrown for a loop here, he really was out at sea, all those cliches.
“I…yeah, I do. Seems kinda important, don’t you think?” Dean asked, his hands were on the table now, fingers splayed wide and pointing towards Sam. At least the body language was right.
Sam adjusted himself in his chair, sitting up straighter and consciously copying Dean’s hand position with his own on the table’s polished surface. Their initials were on this one, he thought of it as “their” table which was stupid he knew, but still, he was glad they were sitting at this particular one.
“It is, yeah, very important. So…uh, if I answer you, if I’m honest with you right here and now, can you promise me one thing?” Sam asked, unsure if he really had the right to demand an unspecified promise like this.
“Yeah, anything, sure,” Dean said without a moment of hesitation. That answered Sam’s unasked question. Because usually there’d be some big brother haggling going on, but there wasn’t a bit, not this time.
“You can’t leave, not right away at least. Because I can’t be alone right now, not after all that with Chuck and we need to make sure he’s not coming back. Just promise me that,” Sam said all in a rush. He felt like he’d just run the fifty yard dash his heart was pounding so hard in his chest.
“I’m not going anywhere, promise,” Dean said, no hesitating again. That reinforced it for Sam.
He stood up and stepped over to the bar cart, poured two slugs apiece in their nicest glasses and brought them back to their table. He slid one across the smooth surface landing it perfectly between Dean’s hands. Dean caught it easily and smiled, a bit uncertain.
Sam raised his glass and waited for Dean to also. He leaned across the table and clinked his glass to Dean’s. “To being honest,” Sam said.
“Yeah, honest, sounds real good to me,” Dean said, clinking his glass back against Sam’s.
They both took large gulps of whisky and looked at one another across the top of their glasses.
Dean raised his eyebrows as if to say, go on.
Sam took a final breath in and held it, it was finally time. “Yes, what Cas said was true. When you were asking me who the perfect mystery lady I wanted and needed was, he’s right, I was thinking of you.”
“Sam, you do know I’m not a lady,” Dean said with one of the infuriating one-sided grins Sam both loved and hated.
Sam flipped him the bird and finished off the rest of his whisky. He set his glass down and took a deep breath, he had to keep it together long enough to say the rest of it. Now that he’d started he needed to get the most important part out. “Yes, I know that of course, you are the manliest of men. But when I said it wasn’t romantic with Eileen I meant it. She’s not who or what I need. You are, Dean.”
Dean looked stunned, Sam wasn’t sure if his brother was even still breathing.
“In a romantic way?” Dean finally asked, eyes still wide with shock or surprise and possibly something like happiness.
“Uh…yeah, I mean, only if you’re up for it of course. But it doesn’t have to be like that, we can keep things how they are now. But you should know that it could be,” Sam finished and tried to smile, unsure of what his face was really doing at the moment.
“Hold on, hold on, you’re saying you would be up for being in what, a romantic relationship with me? Since when, I mean I must have missed something big somewhere,” Dean said.
“Since pretty much forever, I just haven’t ever come out and said anything about it, didn’t want to mess things up between us.”
“So why the honesty now?” Dean asked after an uncomfortably long pause.
This was a question Sam was ready to answer, because this was the why of it all for him. He sat up straighter and stretched his hand out to feel their carved initials. He traced the S.W. and then the D.W. and looked back at his brother who was watching him so intently.
“Because of what you said, in that fucking casino, to fucking Chuck, it blew it all away, all the walls I’ve put up to keep you safe from me wanting you like this. He cut me down to nothing, Dean. He made me actually give up hope on everything! The worst thing was that he made me not believe in you, just for a single moment and that was all it took for him to win. And I can’t…I won’t let him win again. Because I don’t ever want to feel like that again.”
“And us being together would help that not happen?” Dean asked.
“Yeah, and it would make me happy, and maybe you too, unless I’m completely wrong here,” Sam said, almost breathless with all the confessing and trying to hold onto his racing, surging emotions.
Dean threw back the rest of his whisky, stood up abruptly, and Sam’s battered heart sank like the proverbial stone. It made him nauseous what he’d just done. He tightly closed his eyes to steady himself and was shocked when Dean’s hands were suddenly resting on his shoulders. He looked up in surprise to see his brother staring down at him with an open, beautiful smile. Out of all the Dean smiles he’s seen and catalogued over the years, he’d never seen this one.
“What?” Sam croaked out, his throat closed up with a rush of sudden sickening hope.
“You, Sammy, I’d pick you too. Any day of the fucking week and twice on Sundays,” Dean said with that enigmatic perfect smile. God it was so beautiful, Sam wanted to taste it. He spun in his seat and pulled Dean down to him, pressing their lips together gently, so gently, just in case he’d misheard.
Dean’s arms went around him, pulling him up out of his chair, he stumbled into Dean’s solidity and felt himself bend and adjust to where Dean was arranging him so he could kiss him just so. Just so perfectly, hard and insistent, the noises he held back the sweetest thing Sam had ever heard. Dean’s tongue swept back and forth across his lips and he opened them up, stretching his own tongue into Dean’s mouth. The perfect taste of him burst onto his tastebuds, he’d long-imagined this taste, and he was wrong. It was so much more than some sweet stolen kiss he’d pined for as a teenager, so much more than a brutal kiss during a fight as a young man, or a goodbye kiss brushed against cold dead lips. This was the real deal, Dean alive and warm on his tongue, soft against his lips but still so demanding. Like he wanted everything Sam had ever wanted. Dean sighed up into Sam’s mouth, his hands sunk in Sam’s hair, fingers scratching against his scalp, Sam moaned, and somehow that noise was completing the circuit. The one that had always been left just barely open between them, now it was closed and locked into position forever.
Sam pulled back from their kiss, breathing hard, marveling at the smile he saw on Dean’s face. This was a new one too.
“What?” Sam asked, lips burning with the heat still left from their kisses.
One of Dean’s fingers smoothed across his lower lip, “You’re…I never thought I’d get to do that.”
“This is real, right? This isn’t something that Chuck cooked up to mess with me, or us?” Sam asked, suddenly desperate to know the truth. No matter how perfect this moment felt, he knew he’d be absolutely crushed if it wasn’t the real deal. A thing that they were both choosing to do—all on their own.
Dean pushed him to lay down on the table, Sam briefly worried about the whisky glasses until he had no more worries. Dean was pressing his whole body down into his, grinding them together, kissing him harder than he’d ever been kissed in his whole life. Sam could feel it then, winding up between them, this was the first time, their first time and it was happening here in the public room of this place they’d claimed as their own. Legacies and hunters and all that shit meant nothing now. Dean’s hand guided his to feel their initials carved in the table again.
“You feel that, Sammy?” Dean asked, his lips moving against Sam’s. “Remember when we carved those, just like in the Impala? It doesn’t get any more real than that.”
“It’s just you, you’re the one choosing this, right?” Sam asked.
“You really think Chuck has the kind of imagination that could ever come up with this twist of a storyline?” Dean asked with a low chuckle and a devastating grind of his hips.
Sam couldn’t ask anymore questions, couldn’t even think of a question at that point, all he’d ever wanted was right there in his arms, pinning him to their table, kissing him within an inch of his life. He gave back as good as he could in that position, planting his feet on the edge of the table and grinding back up into Dean. His hands roamed over Dean’s wide, strong back and down the curve of his ass. His hands fit perfectly there, just as he’d always imagined. Dean groaned into his mouth, encouraging him.
“C’mon, Sammy,” Dean said, “come with me.”
Sam, used to obeying Dean’s commands in battle situations did just that. They flew off the edge, holding tightly to each other, still kissing breathless and deep. Then there was that floaty feeling that Sam had always loved, that immediately post-coital moment where you’d have that full body relaxed bliss while the desire still thrummed through every part of you. It was even more than that somehow, because it was Dean he was holding, and who was holding him. It’d been a very long time coming, for both of them.
“Was that a good enough answer for you?” Dean asked.
“Huh?” Sam grunted, not caring how inarticulate he sounded, still shocked that Dean was turning out to be a legit cuddler, who would have ever guessed?
“The answer to your question, this is the real deal, Sammy. We are the real deal,” Dean said, smiling that beautiful new smile that Sam was looking forward to getting used to seeing often. He combed one hand through Sam’s mess of hair splayed out on the library table.
Sam pulled him down to kiss that smile again. It tasted more real than anything ever had.