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A Thousand Touches

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My name is Sam Winchester.  Samuel, after my Grandfather, Sammy to my brother.  Just Sam.  Dean said I should write in my notebook because writing is how I express myself.  He also mumbled something about how it might help him understand me better which made me smile.  Dean knows me better than anyone.

I don't speak.  Dean tells me that I made noises when I was a baby and he's fairly certain he remembers me babbling when I was a toddler.  No one remembers when I stopped talking.  I think it just became easier to be silent.  Dad and Dean were always so focused on hunting, researching, arguing and challenging one another.  It was like there wasn't enough space, not enough air for a third Winchester's voice.  So - I stopped talking at some point.  I'm not insane, or living with some sort of mental disability and I haven't been hit in the head too many times.  (No matter what Dean might tell everyone).  I just don't speak.

Dean is the only person who knows me.  I can get his attention with a flick of my finger, make him pull over to the side of the road with the lightest touch to his arm, during a fight I can tell what direction he will need me to go simply by watching the movements of his body.  He speaks to me like I'm a normal person, even though he says he wonders sometimes what my voice sounds like.  I write Dean notes, we have some signs we use but mostly I communicate with him by touching him.  It's easy.  He knows me well and Dean is a good man.  (When he's had enough coffee and he's not bitchy)

There you have it, I know Dean wants me to write in here all the time, I'm just not sure what else there is to say.  I research, I hunt with my brother, I wish, sometimes, that things were different for Dean.  Sometimes, I wish things were different for me.


It was Dean who noticed that Sam had stopped speaking.  After dinner when Sam way lying on the floor in front of the TV watching cartoons, Dean went over to stand beside him.  It was his job as older brother to annoy Sammy whenever possible so his nudged Sam's hip with his foot until Sam looked up at him from under his bangs with a frown on his tiny face.  It wasn't that the frown was unusual, what was unusual was that it wasn't accompanied by Sammy's tiny voice whining out "Deeeean."  Dean plunked himself down on the floor beside his little brother.   

Leaning against Sam's side, Dean peppered his little brother with questions.  "Is it a good cartoon?"  Nod. 

"Are you tired?" Small frown.

"Do you want to go outside and try climbing the tree again?" Shaggy mess of hair shaken back and forth.  

"How old are you Sammy?" Small hand held up, palm out with five fingers up

"Am I the best brother in the world?"  Crooked grin, small brow furrowed, nod.

Shrugging.  Dean lay down on the floor beside Sam and watched TV.

It didn't occur to Dean at nine years old that there was something odd about Sam not speaking.  Sam was just Sam to him.  It took their father longer to notice but then Dean was speaking for both of them most of the time.  It wasn't really their father's fault.  From the very moment Dean first set eyes on his little brother he'd made it his mission in life to take care of Sammy.  If Dean had to speak for his brother, he would.  No questions asked.


There are some things Dean would always know and some things he would be forced to learn with time. Sam seemed to fit into both those categories. By the time he reached nine, it was pretty clear Sam had no intention of speaking again. Dean adjusted to this though, just like he adjusted to all the other things that changed in his life. He learned to read the little signs and touches just like he was learning another language. The Sam language. Dean could tell how Sam's day at school went just by the way he held his body, if he came home with his head dipped down, shoulders hunched, Dean knew it hadn't been a good day. And if he gave Dean a small smile he knew that things had been alright that day. Dean didn't really care how his day was; he was there for him either way.

There were times when it was annoying, but mostly because Dean was thirteen years old and it was hard to spend half your time trying to determine what was going on inside your little brother's head. With the passing years Dean had learned to decipher what some touches meant compared to others. Like when Sam would lay his fingers against Dean's forearm, generally it meant he wanted to know what was on Dean's mind. The first year or so Dean wouldn't answer, would just say, "You tell me and I'll tell you," but that game got old after awhile because it never worked. So now when Dean got that touch, he simply shrugged and told Sam whatever he was thinking.

And sometimes, after their dad left and Dean would stare out the window at the dirt path, Sam would come over and slip his hand in Dean's. The first few times it happened Dean simply squeezed the tiny fingers and let go until he learned that this was Sam's way of saying Don't worry, he'll be back. And though Dean could never be one hundred percent positive on the subject, he felt reassured.

Generally, Dean was more than protective regarding his brother. Which was why, on more than one occasion, he found himself waiting outside the principal's office, listening to the distant sounds of the kid he'd just beaten up on the playground - crying for their parents like a little baby. It was what they deserved. Sam never did anything to harm anyone, he didn't deserve being teased. And whenever the Principal - whoever it was this time around - said things about mentally challenged and slow, it took all of Dean's self control to not beat up the man as well. Dean was fairly certain he could too. Though he was pretty sure his dad wouldn't be too happy about it.

Whenever those days happened, Dean would come out of the school building kicking and swearing, but Sam would always be there, waiting to walk home with him. And Dean would fume for awhile until Sam would bump their shoulders together and give him a small smile that said thank you. Dean knew during those times that he'd always be there for Sam. No matter the circumstances. 


By the time Sam was twelve no one expected him to speak anymore.  He was no longer sent to speech therapists so they could sit and stare at one another for a silent hour.  There were no more special classes for Sam – it was just assumed that he would do all his assignments on paper.  Sam had a few friends, other kids like himself who didn't fit in with the norm but if he had his way, Sam would spend all his time with Dean. 

Sam was like Dean's shadow.  The Winchester's were like a wagon train when they left the house, John would leave first with his duffel, Dean would follow behind him with his backpack then Sam would trail out, lock the door and they would all pile in the car.  If Dean was flipping through a magazine on the couch, Sam would sit on the floor beside his brother's feet and read.  When Dean was outside doing chores around the yard, Sam would help when he could and watch when he couldn't.

Things went smoothly until Dean got his first girlfriend.  Dean had to tell Sam no less than five times that he couldn't come with him on his first Friday night date.  Sam tugged on Dean's sleeve, hooked his fingers through his brother's belt loops, slipped in between him and the door then resorted to writing in his notepad; but I always go with you.  Dean had simply replied "not always, Sammy," and left.  Sam spent the entire evening sitting on the front porch watching down the road.  No matter what John tried to get Sam to come inside, it didn't work so eventually he just brought his son a blanket and a hot chocolate and left him there.  When Dean finally came home, Sam slipped inside before Dean saw him and managed to get into bed before his brother ever knew he'd been waiting.

The night of that first date, the first time Sam realized that he was truly alone in the world was the night he had his first nightmare.  He could never remember what terrorized him in his sleep, just the vaguest notion of voices and fear, running and then he would be awake staring at his brother's pale, startled face.  It was the nightmares that startled Dean it was the fact that Sam cried out in his sleep.  It was the only time Dean heard his brother's voice; no words but heart-wrenching cries that made Dean shoot across the room to gather his brother in his arms and smooth back his sleep tousled hair.  At sixteen Dean wasn't much in the way of a nurturer, hell, he wasn't sure he knew what to do with his brother sometimes, but at night when Sam's face was damp with sweat and he smelled of fear and Sam, Dean would crawl into bed behind his brother and hold him until he stopped trembling and fell back into an exhausted sleep.

Sam was independent enough.  He took care of his share of the chores around the house, got great grades in school and filled up any time he had away from Dean with trips to the Library.  He was the first person in the family to learn the basics of using a computer and had the best handwriting.  Dean was proud of his little brother and Sam smiled more than he frowned.  All things considered, their lives moved forward much like other people, one day at a time.


Dean left school before he graduated to work full time in between helping his father with hunts. It was hard to work all the time, but mostly because Sam gave him this look that said something like you're always gone now and Dean felt bad about that. More often than not he tried to arrange his schedule around the time Sam was in school but inevitably the time came when he just couldn't be home. Like when Dad needed him on a weeklong hunt and Sam had to stay behind or risk missing important school work. That practically killed Dean, though he preferred to think Sam was big enough to handle himself. He just didn't understand what Sam would do if something should happen. If there were a fire in the house, how would he call 911? He knew Sam could handle any one at the door but that didn't make Dean's worry lessen in the slightest.

Whenever their dad said things about Sam's silence it made Dean bristle. He knew the man couldn't see things the way that Dean did, though that really wasn't his fault. Most of the time. Sam was pretty complicated and if you didn't see things on his level, then you couldn't comprehend how his world worked. Dean had tried to explain it to him, what this touch or that touch meant. And then Dean realized that Sam didn't do those things with their dad. Whenever there were brief touches or something along those lines it was only for necessity. Like if he was in front of the fridge when Sam needed to put the milk back, or if Sam wanted the remote and it happened to be on the other side of the couch.

Dean hadn't given it much thought before but soon after he realized it he became aware of the frequency. Sam was always there by Dean's side, his eyes lit up when they came home but only when they landed on Dean. He figured it probably had a lot to do with his level of patience for his younger brother. Their dad got frustrated with Sam's silence, snapping on more than one occasion and demanding Sam say something, but Dean never did. Maybe it had to do with Dean seeing Sam in ways their dad never could. Like at night, when the nightmares came and Dean had to be the one there to comfort him. Which he really didn't mind.

In the end Dean just settled on the fact that there were some things their dad just wasn't prepared to understand, this amused Dean really because of all the things their Dad accepted without hesitation, Sam just wasn't one of them. And maybe Dean had always known that things were heading for an inevitable breaking point, and maybe that was why those years when he started working full time, he never admitted to how much money he really made, always tucking some away, just in case.


Usually it took sixteen year old Sam's coltish legs about half an hour to carry him home but this day he strode home with a crumpled letter grasped in his fist it took him a little over fifteen minutes.  Storming up the front steps and shoving the door open Sam looked around the living room and finally noticed his brother sitting at the dining room table with a beer and a sandwich.  Throwing his backpack at the wall Sam walked straight to Dean's side and shoved the letter in front of his face.  Sam's hand was shaking and he kept thinking that any second he was going to have to punch something, or just start running and running and never stop.  When Dean didn't drop his sandwich immediately Sam shook the letter and hit his fingers against the table.

"Jesus Sammy," Dean glanced sharply up at him. "What the hell is the matter?" He snatched at the shaking piece of paper, setting his sandwich aside and smoothing out the crumbled paper to read. "Dear Mr. Winchester..." he mumbled aloud as he read, "We're pleased to inform you... your son Samuel Winchester... accepted to Wilson's school for the..." Dean's eyes widened and he shoved up, heat flaring through him. "Developmentally Challenged?!" He hissed the words, hand slamming the letter down on the table. He pulled in a deep breath to try and calm the anger rising in him before turning to his brother and laying a hand across the young man's arm. "Sammy, I had no idea he did this. I'll talk to him the minute he gets home. It's not happening. You won't be going anywhere."

Sam's mind was spinning.  He couldn't be sent away to school.  Not only would it mean leaving home, sure they hadn't been there a great deal of time but it was still home.  And Dean, Sam didn't want to be away from Dean.  He had adapted to Dean needing friends, needing time with girlfriends, his car and everything but the thing was, living here - he could spend time with his brother when his brother had time for him.  The idea of living so far away, sleeping somewhere else made the panic start to well up in Sam's chest all over again.   He pulled his notebook from his pocket and slumped down into the chair beside Dean scribbling away.  He tossed the book so it slid across and clinked against Dean's plate.  Why?  I've been getting great marks.  Leave you alone when you need time.  Stay out of Dad's way. Can't. It's a residence school.  Nightmares!!!!!  Sam watched his brother read the note then touched two fingers to the back of Dean's hand, please.

"You're not going Sammy, I promise you that," Dean turned his hand, capturing Sam's fingers in his grasp and squeezing them comfortingly. "We'll leave here before I allow that to happen, so don't worry. I'm here to make sure it doesn't happen," Dean was still fuming at the whole possibility and he already knew the upcoming conversation between him and their dad wasn't going to be pleasant. A long, suffering sigh fell from his lips and he lifted the paper once more, scanning the rest so he'd be fully aware and prepared for the discussion. He kept Sam's hand in his, drawing comfort from him. "I want you to go get your duffel bag ready, full of everything you want to bring with us, just in case this gets ugly okay?"

Sam nodded and squeezed Dean's fingers, thanks.  Sighing, Sam pushed up from the table and moved down the hallway to their bedroom.  His duffel back was stuffed under his bed, he didn't travel much, and Sam was always the one staying at home.  After tugging and wrestling with the bag for a while Sam managed to get it out and shook it open.  It was easy to pack; Sam didn't have a lot, he didn't need a lot of things - most of his world was inside his head.  He packed his clothes, two drawers full then put his small collection of books into the end of the duffel.  His laptop was still packed up from school and it had extra blank notebooks and pens in it.  Kicking the duffel over to the corner of the room Sam went back to his bed and kneeled down.  He reached under the mattress and pulled out a small envelope.  When he flipped the envelope open he pulled out the first of a pile of old photographs; the first one was a picture of Sam as a baby, being held by his brother, Mom and Dad behind them.  Pressing his lips together Sam tucked the photo back in the envelope and stood.  Just before he left the room he tucked the photos in the outside pocket of his duffel. 

The sound of their father's truck pulling into the driveway had Sam racing back down the hallway to the kitchen and tugging on Dean's arm.  He wasn't sure if he wanted Dean to be the one to confront his father or he just wanted them to go right away.  Either way, he didn't want Dean sitting down when their father came in the door.  Sam paused long enough to bump his fist gently against his brother's chest, be careful.

"Don't worry, I will be," Dean said, automatically wrapping his fingers around Sam's wrist and squeezing comfortingly. He braced himself for what was to come, rising up and tensing his shoulders. Dean reached out and grabbed the paper, holding it tightly as the screen door banged open, their dad entering in the wake, duffel bag slung over his shoulder. Dean momentarily wished he'd thought to get his own duffel bag ready, he was fairly confident that there was no logical way out of this. It was going to come down to Dean taking Sam from this place, away from all these people who just didn't seem to understand him. Their father didn't get much more of a greeting besides a nod of his head and Dean laid his hand across Sam's hip, pushing him slightly behind him and folding his arms across his chest. "Dad. What the fuck is this?" He held up the paper. Might as well get it over with.

John looked up briefly at his sons they shrugged out of his jacket and hauled his duffel up on to the couch. "You'd better have a damn good reason for speaking to me like that, son." He unzipped his duffel and started pulling out some weapons.

Sam stiffened, stepping closer to Dean and hooking his fingers through his brother's belt loops. The tension between the two older Winchesters was thick and made Sam's fingers twitch restlessly against his jeans.

"You'd better have a damn good reason for thinkin' you could just ship Sam off to some school," Dean snapped back, leaning his shoulders back into Sam for a moment to reassure him. "What sort of person are you? Even entertaining the idea of getting rid of your son just because you don't understand him!" Dean practically hissed the words, though he was fairly certain they weren't the best ones to sprout out, his dad was going to kill him if he kept up this attitude.

John stood up slowly and shifted his weight to his back foot. "Sam is my son, Dean. I don't have to discuss his well-being with you." John's eyes were blazing; this wasn't the first time he and his oldest had gone toe to toe over Sam.

Writing furiously in his notebook for a few moments Sam held it over Dean's shoulder; Don't let him talk like I'm not here. Sam slapped his hand hard against his thigh and raised his eyebrows at his father.

"Sam is standing right here, and if anything I think you owe him an explanation as to why you thought sending him to some school without even asking him if he wanted to go was a good idea," Dean tightened his hands across his arms, eyebrows narrowing in on his father. "He's not developmentally challenged! I know this, you should know this too."

"Sam has issues that need to be dealt with by professionals. What happens to you Sam if something happens to Dean?" John didn't wait for Sam or his brother to answer."You rely on your brother for almost everything. It's not fair to either of you." John stepped back so he could see Sam more clearly, "Dean needs to have his own life. This isn't an open discussion. I've made up my mind."

Sam was writing furiously, pen tearing into the paper until he handed the notebook to Dean. I can take care of myself. Can get job working on computers. Get good marks at school. Can give Dean more space.

Dean's eyes flickered back to Sam for a moment before he glared at their dad, "You may think you can speak for Sam but you don't get to speak for me. I have my own life, and that includes Sam. You don't get to take that away from me." Dean stepped away from Sam and laid his hand on his arm. "Go throw my clothes in my duffel, I'll be there in a few," when Sam didn't move, Dean repeated. "Go Sam." Dean waited until Sam had stormed off before he spun back to John, taking several quick steps until he was standing in the space a few feet before him. "I'm taking Sam with me and there's nothing you can do to stop that. You don't want him as part of your life? Fine. But he sure as hell is gonna remain part of mine."

John's hands clenched to fists at his sides.  "Dean, you are twenty years old and if you don't wanna live under my roof that's just fine.  You are not taking my son with you.  Sam is sixteen years old and you might think you know everything, Dean but you don't.  You don't.  You hear me?  Sam is NOT leaving this house."  John returned to his duffel back and pulled some dirty clothes out heaving them into a pile on the floor.

Folding his arms across his chest, Dean widened his stance, preparing himself for the worse. "I don't know everything. But I know Sam and that's far more then you can say. If you send him to that place you might as well be killing him. I won't allow it. I don't care what you do to me but you don't get to hurt him."

John's answer was a yell, "do NOT speak to me like that Dean!"  He hurled the handful of clothes he was holding onto the floor.  "This is about making sure that you and Sam get to have real lives.  You want to hunt, fine, Dean - I get that.  Sam's smarter than both of us but he can't talk, Dean.  He can't function like a regular kid now and he's only sixteen.  What's going to happen when he's your age?  What are you gonna do if you meet a woman, Dean?  Tell her you're single father?  You gonna drag Sam around with you while you hunt and make sure he doesn't have any choice about what he does?"  John dragged a hand down his face, "now you need to back the hell off and sleep on this son -before you do something stupid."

Sam appeared in the doorway, both duffels were packed and sitting in the corner of their bedroom.  He walked over and stood behind Dean holding out his notepad to his father.

Swearing under his breath, John took the notepad and read it out loud.  I can get a job part-time, Will make sure I don't rely on Dean.  Get good marks Dad.  Don't need special school.  Please - don't send me away. Sam's fingers slipped back through Dean's belt loop and his eyes pleaded with his father. 

John shook his head and handed the notebook back to his son.  "Sam, this isn't about you it's about me and Dean not being able to take care of you.  You don't even know how to sign.  There are schools that can teach you that - and then you can get a job and work and maybe have your own place one day.  You don't need to live in Dean's shadow."

Sam shook his head furiously and scratched out another note he handed to Dean.  Don't NEED you... WANT to be with you." Sam's eyes were wide and from where he was standing he could feel the anger rolling off his brother in waves.

"Ditto Sam," Dean said softly. "Get the bags, we're out of here." He turned his eyes back to their father and scowled. "It's never been a chore to look after Sam dad, no matter how you feel on the subject. And Sam is not an idiot. He can make it in the world." He rounded on his heels and crossed the room to the far part of the living room dropping down and shoving the arm chair out of the way. There was a loose floorboard there that he used as a secret hiding place. Pulling it up hard, he snatched at the tin there, clutching it between his fingers and tugging out his favorite handgun. He didn't raise the weapon but he kept it in his hands, daring his father silently to push the limits. When Sam appeared in the room with the bags he fixed his eyes on their dad once more. "Don't you dare follow us."

John eyes moved over the gun and back up to his oldest son's face.  "Dean, you're making a big mistake.  What's going to happen to Sam if you get hurt, or... worse."  John's brow furrowed.  "You know he can't call the police, even if he could talk to them he can't tell anyone our real names ... what happens to my son then?"  John turned from Dean and took a step toward Sam holding out his hand.  "C'mon Sam, you don't need to do this.  Just come with me to the school and check it out - you might really like it.  They have a computer lab and... each student gets their own room."  He tilted his head and looked at his son.

Sam's gaze held his father's for a few moments, and then he shook his head and hiked the duffels up onto his shoulders.

"There you have it, he's made up his mind," Dean said and lifted his chin to gesture to the door with a quick look at Sam. He kept his eyes on their dad as Sam headed forward, adding quietly to the man, "And give us a break John. We both know you don't care what happens to Sam. Otherwise you never would have thought of the school in the first place." Dean headed for the door, pulling the keys from his pocket. His body shook with anger and he sucked in deep breaths, focusing on getting calm and ignoring the fear and panic that was crawling up in him.

Sam barely stopped moving once he was through the front door.  He tossed the duffels in the back seat of the car and then slid into the passenger seat.  Looking out the passenger window he watched his father move to stand on the porch and watch his sons leaving.  Sam pressed his hand to the window and leaned his face against it.  He didn't hate his father, he loved him; it was just an impossible circumstance.    Sam couldn't go away to school; he didn't know how but he knew it wouldn't work, that it would crush whatever spirit he had.  He didn't have anything against people who lived with disabilities but he didn't put himself in that category.  Finally turning away from the window when he couldn't stand the look on his father's face a moment longer, Sam pulled out his notebook and started writing.  He handed it to Dean as soon as he was behind the wheel.

You don't have to do this.  I can be okay at the school.  What about your job? Hunting?  It's not fair.

"You won't be okay at the school and I won't be okay without you," Dean shook his head, jamming his key into the ignition and turning quickly. He didn't look up at his father as he backed out of the driveway, speeding off down the road. "I've been saving up some money. We'll keep hunting. We'll see the country. And we'll figure out a way for you to finish school online or something," Dean handed the tin over to Sam, along with the gun. "Put the gun in the dash. Divide up the money and stash it."

Reaching out Sam grabbed the tin and opened it.  He pulled the gun out and put it in the glove box then picked up the bundle of money.  He separated the money into piles and put it in the different compartments he knew of around Dean's car.  His fingers dipped in Dean's pocket and he pulled his brother's wallet out and slipped a few hundred dollar bills in there. 

Sam tapped lightly on his brother's arm, made a fist and circled it on the front of his own chest signing sorry.  Contrary to what his father thought, Sam actually had learned some American Sign Language over the years.  The only person he used it with was Dean; there wasn't really anyone else he needed to talk to.

"Don't be sorry Sammy, it's not your fault, you didn't do anything wrong," Dean smiled at him for a moment, adjusting his sunglasses before looking back at the road. "I've always known I'd go someday, kind of always thought you'd come with me. Just wish it wasn't under those circumstances," he shrugged softly and reached out to squeeze Sam's arm comfortingly. "We'll be okay."

Reaching out to squeeze Dean's arm Sam sank back onto the seat and let out a long sigh.  He was exhausted.  Being around his brother and his Dad when they were fighting always sent bursts of adrenaline running through Sam's system.  Then when it was over he always felt like he'd been run over by something.  Turning his head to the side he stared over at Dean's profile.  Dean would put up a brave front for Sam's sake but Sam knew his brother.  Sam knew that their father's opinion meant a great deal to his older brother. He knew that leaving and defying his father couldn't have been easy for Dean.  Leaning forward Sam put his finger on the dial of the stereo and glanced over at Dean to see if he wanted it on.

"Sure Sam, whatever you want," Dean nodded and adjusted back in the seat. Things were kind of a fuzzy blur right now. He knew it would take some time to really sink in, to understand the full weight of what had just happened. There was a very real possibility that Dean had just completely severed all communications with his father and that... was pretty major.

That first night Dean drove until he couldn't keep his eyes opened. He knew it wasn't like that their dad was going to be calling cops on them but that didn't mean he wouldn't call up some of his hunter buddies and have them search for both him and Sam. So Dean spent a good deal of the time randomly making turns, heading north for awhile before turning west, then south, south east, blindly heading nowhere. Finally, when Sam was completely passed out against his side, snoring softly, Dean pulled into a motel in the middle of nowhere that offered back lot parking. He left the Impala across the lot from their actual room and hooked both duffel bags over his shoulders before shaking his brother awake.

Sam followed him sleepily to their room and collapsed on the closest bed the moment they were inside. Dean didn't turn on any lights, didn't really think it mattered. He simply toed off his boots - pulled off Sam's - before ridding them both of their jeans and sliding his brother under the blanket before climbing in his own bed. Halfway through the night he woke to cries falling from his brother's lips. It was almost second nature to crawl into bed beside Sam and pull him close. On some nights, Dean drifted right back to sleep and he didn't hear it - if it was spoken - this night though, he forced himself to stay awake until it came.


Just the softest whisper tonight. Sometimes it was more but Dean's heart clenched regardless. He pulled Sam tightly into his side and whispered into his ear, "It's okay Sammy. I got you. Ain't going anywhere," he rocked him gently back and forth until Sam's noises quieted down and then Dean allowed himself to drift back to sleep. It didn't matter what his dad thought, Sam didn't ruin his life, Sam was his life.

Chapter Text

For the first few moments after Sam woke up he had no idea where he was. He shifted, feeling Dean's warmth against his back, his brother's arm slung heavily over Sam's hip. Pressing his lips together, Sam slid carefully out from under his brother's arm and padded over to grab the in-room coffee pot. He filled it with water and started the coffee brewing then grabbed his jeans off the back of the chair and tugged them on. Yawning he moved over to the table and pulled his laptop out of its case then turned it on. There were things that he and Dean needed to talk about as soon as his brother was up and functioning. Sam smiled softly; there was no point in trying to speak to Dean before he'd had his morning coffee, especially on a morning like this.

Sam knew the moment he woke up that things were going to be tough for a while. Dean had obviously been saving his money but they wouldn't have to figure out how to make an income. And, there was hunting. Dean loved hunting, he was good at it. Sam, on the other hand, hadn't been taught much about it at all. If he was going to support his brother he was going to need to learn a few things. Hell, Sam didn't even know how to drive.

The coffee pot started hissing and spitting as it finished brewing and Sam slid off his chair to make his brother a mug. A few minutes later he was sitting on the side of the bed and rubbing Dean's shoulder lightly.

"Nrrhhmm," Dean grumbled and rubbed his face into the pillow. "Goaway," his throat was scratchy and snatched the blanket to tug it over his head. The longer Dean could remain in the nice oblivion of sleep, the better he'd feel.

Grinning, Sam pulled the blanket back down and waved the coffee past Dean's nose.

"Hmm..." The bitter scent caught his attention and Dean rolled slightly, propping himself on his elbow and leaning against Sam slightly to take the mug and bring it to his lips. It certainly wasn't the best coffee he'd ever had but it would do. Dean made a mental note to buy a bag of the double roasted ground coffee that he liked next time they were near a store. "Mornin," he mumbled after a few more sips, handing the mug back to Sam and rubbing at his eyes as he sat up. Once he'd kicked his legs over the edge of the bed and stretched his arms high up into the air, Dean took the mug back and glanced at Sam. "Sleep okay?"

Sam nodded and raised his eyebrows at Dean wondering how he slept.

"I slept okay," Dean nodded and drained the rest of his coffee and holding it out to Sam with a grin. "More?" He watched Sam stand then pushed up to head to his duffel bag, pulling out a fresh pair of jeans. The worries and concerns from the night before were starting to creep back in and he headed to the table, dropping down and taking up the cup Sam had refilled for him, glancing at the laptop. "So... guess we need to talk about what to do next huh?"

Nodding, Sam held up four fingers and tapped the index finger to his lip twice, talk. Pulling the laptop over so they could both see it Sam's fingers worked the keyboard. As he typed, his face was lit by the faint blue colour of the background on his desktop, Will you teach me how to hunt now so that I can help you, have your back?

"Yeah, we can do that," Dean wasn't necessarily keen on the idea of Sam hunting but he was willing to accept that there was that protective part of him that would always be more then concerned to see his brother out in the field. But it was what Dean would be doing, and he could make sure the hunts they went on would be easy enough for him to keep an eye for Sam. At least until he was sure Sam could hold his own. "Are you sure it's what you want to do? Hunt I mean."

The keys started clicking away again under Sam's fingers.'s what you love to do, you've given up too much already for me - we'll hunt. Sam looked up and nodded firmly, the only sign that he was worried was the fact that he was chewing on his bottom lip. He typed some more: What about money? Should we stop somewhere for a while so we can get jobs? I can get a job. Sam looked over at his brother with his eyebrows raised.

Dean chuckled slightly and shook his head, "Last I counted, I'd saved up over two thousand dollars, we should be alright for awhile. When the time comes we'll..." Dean rubbed at the back of his neck. He hadn't told his brother about some of the less than moral ways he made his money but this was the life Sam said he wanted to life and Dean didn't want him thinking he was holding back. "I guess I gotta teach you how to play pool. You could blow some people out of the water. They'd never see you coming."

Sam frowned then pressed his lips into a thin line. I'll do whatever you think I should. I found you a hunt. Sam smiled shyly up at his brother, clicked on his browser window and showed Dean a news report about a string of missing kids in a small town just west of where they were. If there was anything Sam was good at it was research and he wanted to prove to Dean that he could be useful and not just some tag-along little brother. Once Dean had a chance to read some of it - Sam tapped his arm and clicked another file open. The title at the top was "Things Dean needs to Teach Sam." Sam had been working on the list for a while at home, hoping that one day he'd be brave enough to give it to Dean. It was full of things like:How to shoot, fixing car, where to get fake ID's, how to fight better. Sam stood and waved at the bathroom door, he really need a shower; leaning down over his brother's shoulders, Sam typed at the bottom of the list, I'm sure there's a lot more.

Waiting until Dean turned to look at him Sam leaned down and gave his brother a quick hug, then pulled away and headed to the bathroom for a shower.

With a soft smile Dean stood and drained the rest of his coffee. Sometimes Sam still managed to surprise him. Actually, Sam still managed to surprise him a lot of the time. His brother was a lot smarter than anyone gave him credit for but Dean had watched him grow up, he knew. While Sam was in the shower Dean mapped out the route that would be best for the journey to the hunt. It wasn't like what his dad seemed to think. Dean didn't feel like he had to babysit Sam. Sure, he felt responsible for him, but Dean would feel that way whether Sam was sixteen or twenty five.

Sometimes Dean wondered why Sam didn't speak. After all, he knew Sam could speak, he just chose not to. Dean didn't ask, probably never would, but it didn't stop him from wondering. "K, I'm gonna shower then we'll go," Dean said once Sam had emerged from the bathroom. "I've got my stuff ready, if you wanna put things in the car. We'll get some breakfast after." He smiled at Sam for a moment before heading to the bathroom.

By the time Dean was out of the shower, Sam had everything packed and stowed in the car. He had left Dean a clean shirt, socks and boxers on the bed laid out next to his jacket. Sam was outside sitting on the hood of the car grinning when Dean finally made it out of the room. As Dean raised an eyebrow Sam hopped of the hood and made a big deal of breathing on the paint and rubbing it clean with the sleeve of his hoodie.

They were on the road quickly and made good time. They only stopped for a quick meal about eleven in the morning and Sam insisted they get it to go. Sam preferred being in the car to anywhere else, it was like their own little world. There were notebooks strewn about the car, a good supply of Sam snacks in the glove box, a cooler in the trunk that always had beer for Dean (and sometimes one for Sam if he was sneaky enough), they had Dean's weapons in the hidden compartment in the trunk and pretty much everything else they owned in their duffels.

Sam liked to kick off his boots and stretch along the front seat. If Dean was in a good mood Sam would try to get his feet up on his brother's lap so he could lie on his back and watch the sky. If Dean was in a bad mood, Sam would put his head on his brother's thigh, Dean would never push him away then. Sam would jot down questions and notes then hold the notebook up into Dean's field of vision so he could answer. It was their world.

When they arrived at their destination Sam had already found them a motel online and handed Dean his notebook with directions and all the information he needed including a reservation number. The reservation was overkill but Sam was still stuck in the stage when he was feeling like he wanted prove he could be useful. While Dean was checking them in Sam unloaded the car and was waiting beside the car when Dean came back with the room key.

"Okay here," Dean tossed the key at Sam. "You get settled in, I'm gonna go scope things out, see what I can find. I won't be long and I'll bring home some dinner," he smiled at Sam and tugged open the driver's side.

Sam opened the passenger door and leaned in, brows furrowed. He held his hand out palm down and motioned for Dean to wait for him.

Dean shook his head, "No dude, you're sittin' this one out. I don't even know what I'm gonna find and I can't take that risk. You don't even know how to work a gun yet. So you wait here, do some more research okay?" He jammed his key in the ignition, raising his eyebrows at Sam when he didn't move. "No. Sam."

Sam pulled his notebook out and wrote in it then handed it to Dean. I can stay in the car, wait here I'll put the stuff in the room and be right back. Sam closed the door and grabbed the bags and struggled over to the room with everything in tow. He managed to get the key in the door and pulled the bags inside. Sam was halfway through throwing the duffels onto each of their beds when he heard the Impala's engine roar to life. By the time he made it to the door Dean was already on the road and heading to the first of the locations Sam had given him.

Staring down the road for a while Sam eventually bent down, picked up a rock and threw it as hard as he could. He knew there was next to no chance of Dean letting him anywhere near a hunt for quite some time but still, Sam didn't feel like this one was particularly dangerous. He also thought it was pretty shitty of Dean to leave without even talking to Sam about what to do if something happened to him. If Sam didn't manage to get a cell phone out of this it would be a miracle. He was pissed enough to still be pissed when Dean got home. Moving back into the room. Sam put all his things away and deliberately left everything of Dean's in the middle of his bed.

Dean knew Sam was going to be pissed off at him but he couldn't take the risk right now. Plus he was just going to be doing some research and it was the kind Sam couldn't help with. So he decided to worry about it later and went to the first of the kid's houses that was listed on Sam's notebook. Several houses and three hours later, Dean had gathered that all the children had disappeared under more than unusual circumstances and it was definitely a hunt for him to look into. Dean had gathered a strange white powdery substance outside the bedroom of all the kids' rooms, tucking it in his pocket to show Sam later.

He stopped by the store before heading back to the motel, heading in to get one of those salad packets that came with all the fixing and the dressing Sam liked the best. He picked up some chicken for himself from the deli and a chocolate cake. Dean was fairly certain Sam was still going to be pissed, after all, what else did he have to do but hold a grudge? Dean could make it up to him though and soon enough he'd be trained well enough to join Dean on his hunts.

"Sammy?" He called when he pushed the door open, balancing the bags in one hand and closing the door with the other. "Alright, I know you're mad, but you would have been bored just sitting in the car. Here I got you a salad and..." he dropped the bags on the table and riffled through them until he could pull out a book. "The new John Grisham novel."

Sam had started a brand new notebook just for the sole purpose of letting Dean know how mad he was. He threw it on the table in front of Dean and walked back to flop down on his bed. He waited for Dean to open the notebook.

You had no right to leave me here without talking about what to do if something happened to you. I know that you've made a big sacrifice bringing me with you but I want to be treated like your partner. What if something had gone wrong? We didn't talk about who I should contact or anything? I want a cell phone so I can text you.

"Okay, I understand why you're upset," Dean said slowly and pulled the food from the bag, setting the book on top of Sam's notebook. "We'll get your a cell phone. And I'll put a call into Bobby so he knows you'll text him if anything should happen to me okay?" Dean walked over to the bed and sat down, turning to stare down at his brother. "Look Sam, you have to stay back until I feel that you're ready to hunt okay? It's not a sacrifice having you with me, I just need to know you're safe alright?" He reached out and squeezed Sam's arm.

Sam stared into Dean's eyes for a few moments then picked up an older notebook off the bedside table. He chewed on the pen for a moment while he thought. He didn't want Dean to be angry with him, but he couldn't just sit in Motel rooms waiting for his brother to go out and do the hard stuff. Sam had genuinely been worried. Sorry - I was scared. I hadn't realized before - that if something happened to you that I would be alone and not know what to do. Sam handed his notebook to Dean and signed sorry.

Dean sighed and nodded, "It's alright, I'm just as much to blame. We'll have to figure a lot of this out as we go." He smiled and reached out to ruffle Sam's hair then pulled the package out of his pocket, holding it out. "Found this outside the kid's windows, at every house. Not sure if you can make anything out of it but it's mostly likely connected," Dean pushed up off the bed and pulled out his package of chicken, unrolling it and pulling out a piece. "Come eat."

Sam was still fussing with the bag of powder when he finally sat at the table. When he finally put it down Sam opened up his salad and poured dressing on it, smiling at Dean. He picked up his new book, grinning and read the back of it; it looked good. Dropping the book back on the table Sam jotted a line in his notebook and slid it across the table, it's gonna be hard.. getting used to this. Are you gonna call dad?" Sam put a forkful of salad in his mouth and chewed as he watched his brother's face.

Dean didn't answer until after a few more pieces of chicken. "Not for awhile. Gotta give him some time to calm down. In a week or two I'll call just so he knows we're okay," Dean reclined back in his seat, kicking out his legs and crossing them at the ankle. "Besides, if I call him now I'll probably just say something I'll regret. Think we've done enough fighting for awhile," he gave Sam a small smile before glancing back down at his chicken.

Sam's licked his fingers after picking some tomatoes out of his salad and the pulled the notebook back. thank you for sticking up for me. I know what Dad's opinion has always meant to you. Maybe... when I'm older and Dad understands I can fix things. Sam thought, even though Dean would never admit it, that his brother looked like he was carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. Sam looked down at his salad and ate another bite.

"You mean more to me than dad's opinion," Dean said softly and shifted in the chair. "Things were always tense with dad, it was bound to happen, this was just a little sooner than I thought," he shrugged and munched on some more chicken. "Really, I thought you'd be at least eighteen before we left and well... I thought it would be for a different reason all together."

Sam looked into Dean's eyes for a while. His brother's eyes were a green that was unique as far as Sam knew. Tilting his head slightly Sam leaned over and wrote again without pulling the book away from Dean, What reason did you think it would be? Sam crunched more salad and smirked at Dean when he looked annoyed by the sound.

"For someone so quiet you're awful loud," Dean rolled his eyes and leaned forward to pull the chocolate cake out, dipping his fork into it. "I guess I thought you'd go off to college after graduating or I don't know... get some cool computer job or something," Dean shrugged, eyes fixed on the cake. "It's what all the money was for. So I could give it to you when you left."

Sam blinked over at his brother. He knew Dean was taking care of him. It wasn't Dad all these years who made sure that Sam had what he needed for school or trips or anything else. Dean got Sam his first bike, the only two pairs of winter boots and jackets he'd ever owned, Dean took Sam to get his learner's permit even though he wouldn't let him touch the wheel of the impala. Sam reached over and grabbed Dean's hand and squeezed it tightly. Thank you There were times when Sam wished he did have words he could use. Squeezing Dean's hand seemed pretty small in comparison to what Dean had done for him. Sam moved his hand to the back of Dean's neck and rubbed it gently then pulled his arm back.

Dean simply nodded and finished up a good chunk of the cake before standing and stretching, pulling his keys from his pocket. "Well, alright. Get your shoes on. Time to take you for a drive. You need to know how to do it enough to get your license, just in case," he grinned over at Sam, pulling on his coat.

Face breaking into a grin Sam just about knocked the table over he stood up so fast. He picked up the forks off the floor then jammed his feet into his boots quickly and was half way to the door before he realized he had forgotten his jacket. Turning back into the room, he almost collided with Dean, then grabbed his jacket and waited by the door, waving at Dean to come on.

"Jeez Sam, freakin' spaz," Dean chuckled and headed out the door, locking up behind him.


It was much more fun to teach Sam to drive then Dean had been expecting. It wasn't as if Sam didn't know the basics, Dean had been explaining them since the day he first learned how to drive, but actually doing it was something different. Sam was a natural behind the wheel, which didn't surprise Dean too much since Sam was a quick learner. Within a week Dean was confident enough to allow Sam to drive on the highway as they moved from one location to the next. By the end of their first month out on the road together Dean felt comfortable enough to even take half naps with Sam behind the wheel. They fell into an easy sort of routine together, only fighting over silly things like when Sam continued to insist upon riding along on hunts even if Dean made him wait in the car. Or the one time Dean had decided to call their dad and had spent barely a minute on the line before they were yelling at each other and Dean had slammed the phone shut. Sam had pushed him to call back and at least reassure the man they were okay, Dean was not interested in the idea. In the end they settled for a text message from Dean's line, Dean didn't want the man finding out about Sam's personal line, not yet anyway. Afterward Dean decided he'd allow quite a few more months to pass before he called again.

All things considered - Sam and Dean's time together was good. Sam was still quite frustrated when so much time passed and Dean still wouldn't allow Sam to accompany him on hunts. Dean had taken him along a few times but he always made Sam wait in the car. As far as Sam was concerned it was getting ridiculous. Dean had taught Sam how to shoot a shotgun and his hand gun. Granted, Sam had accidently pointed the gun at his brother twice, but he was distracted and nervous. It wasn't like he would point a gun in the wrong direction when they were on a hunt. So, Sam waited. He knew that sooner or later Dean would let him do something other than research and car watching.

Sam's nightmares came less frequently as they settled into their new routine. More often than not when Sam woke up he was alone, Dean snoring peacefully in the other bed. It bothered him that he couldn't remember anything about the nightmares. It was as though something inside his brain came alive at night, something that was dormant during the day. Sam started to take his own notes about his nightmares; he kept track of the fleeting images that stayed with him after he awoke. Voices, darkness, someone chasing me. There was nothing that made any sense but over the weeks Sam kept track.

By the time they had been away from for almost two months, things were going smoothly. Sam was enjoying driving although he sometimes thought that Dean let him drive to get a break from Sam's endless note writing. He had also learned how to clean Dean's shotgun; Sam was pretty sure that was just another thing he was taught to keep him busy and quiet. And pool. They went to pool halls and Dean showed Sam some more tricks, said he was a natural and insisted that soon Sam would be a real "money maker." Sam hadn't quite put all the pieces together yet to figure out how he would be making money. The miles went on the car, Sam blew through a lot of notebooks and Dean's patience seemed to be unending. That was their life.

Halfway through their third month together, Dean was a lot more confident in Sam's ability to handle a weapon and he probably would have let him go on a hunt if the one he was currently working on wasn't so dangerous. Sam needed something basic for his first hunt, like a simple haunting or something, certainly not some swamp creature thing living in an abandoned warehouse and snatching up unsuspecting co-eds. So once more he left Sam in the Impala with the windows rolled down and headed into the large empty warehouse with his gun at the ready.

The creature was a lot smarter than Dean anticipated though. And he barely had a chance to scream out his brother's name before large slimy hands were clenching hard around his neck and dragging him off into the darkness.

If Sam did one thing well, it was listening. He was perfectly tuned to the sound and tone of his brother's voice and the instant he heard his name Sam had the gun out of the glove box and was running toward his brother. Sam was fast, he had long legs and had grown more used to his body and he could run fast. The creature - and no Sam wasn't prepared to see something like that - wasn't even all the way into the culvert near the back door of the warehouse by the time Sam skidded to a halt. His hands were shaking when he raised the handgun and Dean's words ran through his mind. Sam took a deep breath, closed his eyes for one moment, breathed out then aimed and fired. Sam's first shot hit the creature in the temple and dropped it - the next three shots Sam emptied into it were the result of sheer nerves.

When the sharp crack of the gun shots finally stopped reverberating through his brain he ran over to yank Dean away from the creature. Sam's hands moved over his brother, checking him, and then settled behind Dean's neck as he pulled Dean into his arms. Sam's heart was thumping hard, his blood pounding through his veins and he'd never been more relieved than when Dean opened his eyes.

Dean sputtered slightly, working to pull in deep gulps of air. "W-way..." his eyes fluttered as he looked up at his brother and smiled softly, "to go..." he finished and let his fingers dance across Sam's cheek. The swell of pride that rose in him was well worth the pain that was fluttering along his sides. His eyes connected with Sam's as his breath returned to normal, as the ache dimmed slightly. Something shifted oddly in him but Dean shook it off, pushing up a little. "Let's get out of here."

Sam puffed out his cheeks as he let go of the breath he didn't even know he was holding. Sliding his arm under Dean's shoulders he pushed up to one knee and waited until Dean had his feet under him before standing. He watched Dean's face carefully, he could tell his brother was winded and maybe a bit bruised but it didn't seem like there was anything major wrong with him. Sam tucked his brother tight into his side and got him out to the car, letting him lean against the passenger door while he searched Dean's jacket for the keys. Once he had them out he settled Dean on the passenger seat and got behind the wheel to fire the car up. Paying careful attention so that he didn't speed, Sam got them back to the Motel quickly and in no time was getting Dean into the Motel room and settled on his bed.

"Thanks Sammy," Dean murmured, shifting on the bed to get comfortable. His head hurt a little, as did his chest, but it wasn't anything he couldn't handle. He was more focused on how close he'd come to seriously being injured, or killed, and if it hadn't been for Sam that very thing would have happened. Clearly Dean had underestimated his brother and he felt a little bad about that. Rolling his head to the side, Dean considered the young man with heavy eyes, watching him move around the room. "Well... at least the thing is taken care of. Why don't you see what you can find as far as a new hunt goes? Pick one you think you might want to check out." He smiled softly.

Sam shook his head and brought Dean a bottle of water and some pain medication then moved quietly to the end of the bed and pulled his brother's boots and socks off. He moved around the side of the bed and motioned for Dean to come forward and lean against him, and once he did Sam pulled his jacket off and tossed it on the bed. Next, his long fingers curled under Dean's t-shirt and pulled it up and off over his head. Sitting back a little Sam held his brother's arms and moved him so that he could see Dean's chest. There were already some bruises but nothing more than scratches. Sam nodded and helped Dean to lie back down.

Dean had to swallow down that sensations tingling through him at Sam's gentle touches. He certainly wasn't used to being the one getting comforted by his brother. "Sammy... I'm okay, really," Dean insisted quietly, wetting his lips slightly and shifting under the touch. "See I can stretch and everything," Dean lifted his arms above his head, flinching slightly then dropping them again with a sheepish look. "Okay maybe no stretching but I'm okay."

Lips in a thin line, Sam finally nodded and pushed up off the bed and strode back into the bathroom. It was easy for Sam to take care of his brother. Sam had been patching up his father and brother since he was old enough to reach them. Sam held up a finger and went out the motel room door then reappeared a few moments later with a bucket full of ice and a couple of plastic bags. Pouring some of the ice into the bag he wrapped it in a t-shirt that was on the chair and walked over and put it on the bruises that were appearing and nodded at Dean to hold it. Sam sat down again and picked up his notebook. What do you want for dinner, I'll go get it.

A small chuckle fell from Dean's lips and he looked up at Sam fondly. "Yeah? And how are you gonna order it?" He grinned and shifted to get more comfortable on the bed, "I'm fine with burger and fries from wherever." He knew Sam was going to have to do things on his own, including getting food, and Dean had to give him the chance to figure out how best to do that.

Sam rolled his eyes and shook his head as he stood up. Dean's diet was probably ninety per cent burgers and Sam figured that couldn't be good for anyone. He looked at the time on his phone and pressed his hand to Dean's chest, looking into his brother's eyes for a few moments, then pushed up off the bed. No one was more important to Sam than his brother and he was only just beginning to realize what that meant. Smiling, Sam headed over to the table and picked up Dean's keys and left, locking the door behind him.

Sometime after the door closed Dean drifted off to sleep. He dreamed of his brother, who was running from something and screaming for help. It was all very disconcerting so when he woke with a start, he was already a little panicky. His eyes shot around the room but Sam was obviously still gone. Dean forced himself up, flinching slightly at the ache in his chest as he looked at the clock and tried to remember what time it had been with Sam left. It was long enough for him to sleep and dream so that meant probably awhile. Worry gnawed at him and Dean climbed out of bed to stumble to his jacket, pulling out his cell phone.

Dean: Dude, where are you?

Dean watched the time on his phone shift, minute after minute. When ten had passed he frowned deeply and the worry intensified ten fold. He was use to almost instant texts in return. Flipping open his phone again, he tried again.

Dean: Sam? You ok?

Still no answer. Dean pushed out of the chair and walked toward the window. He peered out the blinds for a moment before walking back to his bed and dropping down. The phone moved between his fingers and he sighed heavily, eyes flickering toward the door and back to his phone. Finally he heard the lock turn and pushed up as the door was being pushed open. "Jesus Sammy, I was getting worried," he walked toward him, taking the carton of food from his hand and frowning. "Took you forever."

Sam shook his head and grinned crookedly and slid the other bag onto the table. Picking up a notebook Sam scratched quickly, There were no burgers in town, got pasta and salad for both of us and fruit for dessert. Sam smiled sweetly as he handed Dean the notebook.

"Oh," Dean dropped down into the chair and pulled the nearest carton to him. It was salad. Dean scrunched up his face and pushed it aside in favor of finding the pasta. "Still took you forever. And what kind of dessert if fruit anyway? Is it chocolate covered?" Dean pulled out a fork and tucked into the pasta, reaching out to push the salad toward Sam's seat.

Still smiling, Sam opened up the salad and put some in the container beside Dean's pasta. His eyes widened and he popped up from his seat and held up a finger; he grabbed the car keys and disappeared outside returning quickly. Proudly, Sam plunked a bottle of cool beer in front of his brother and put the rest in the fridge and then dropped back down in his seat and tucked in to the salad.

Dean's eyes widened at the beer bottle and his glance shot to Sam so fast it hurt. "How the hell did you get this?"

Shoving a big mouthful of salad past his lips Sam grabbed his notebook and wrote. I stopped at the liquor store and this guy said he would buy beer for me if I gave him my phone number. He slid the notebook across to Dean and leaned over to get a forkful of pasta.

"What?" Dean screeched, shoving the notebook away from him and looking at Sam with wide eyes. "Are you insane?? You don't know anything about that guy! God Sam! That was not smart!" Dean shook his head rapidly, staring at Sam in disbelief. He couldn't tell whether he was more shocked or jealous. Though why he would be jealous he had no idea so he settled for just being completely thrown for a loop.

Sam huffed out a breath and wrote, I didn't give him my real number and I was parked right in front of the store, if you don't want it - I'll drink it. Sam shoved the notebook over to Dean and held out his hand for the beer.

Dean blinked at him for a few minutes before scoffing and pulling up the beer, uncapping it. "No. I think I'll be drinking this beer. You can go get your own." He was a little impressed so he caved. Sam could do everything else anyway. And it wasn't like Dean was going to let him get smashed or something. And lord knows Dean had his first beer long before sixteen. Plus he knew Sam had snuck one or two before so it didn't really matter. Dean was still shaking his head as he turned back to his pasta and gathered up a forkful.

Slipping off his chair before Dean changed his mind Sam went and got himself a beer. He tousled Dean's hair as he sat down the way that Dean usually did to his and leaned back on his chair doing his best imitation of his big brother. It was hard for Sam to hide his grin for long though.

"Yeah, you're so suave," Dean rolled his eyes but couldn't help chuckling. He ate from his pasta silently for awhile before saying around a mouthful of food, "Next hunt you'll join me okay?" He kept his eyes down save for the quick glance up to take in Sam's pleased grin.

Nodding, Sam leaned back over his food and ate about half of his salad in silence. It was nice to have some fun with Dean, and, it was very nice to be able to do some things. But, Sam could absolutely live without ever seeing his brother hurt by anything again. It was a horrible feeling, hearing Dean cry out for him and not knowing what he was going to find when he went into the warehouse. Sam stretched his long legs out under the table and settled them over Dean's feet as he ate. He was going to do everything he could to watch out for Dean from now on.

When he glanced up at Dean, Sam could see that he was already tired. Sam gestured at the TV and started cleaning up the table. He waved Dean away when he tried to help Sam.

Shaking his head softly, Dean climbed into bed with a soft smile. He tried to focus in on the movie on TV but he was fairly certain he couldn't care less about the plot. So it didn't take long for his eyes to start drifting closed. He glanced over at Sam, watching him settle down in front of the laptop and smiling softly. Turning back to the TV, Dean let his eyes slip closed and he drifted off to sleep.

By the time Sam had found a haunting for them to check out Dean was fast asleep. Sam turned the laptop off and closed it putting it away so they'd be ready to head out in the morning. He'd written down everything they needed to know in his notebook so that Dean could read it with his coffee in the morning. Exhaustion was finally catching up with Sam, the whole firing the gun thing was pretty emotional. Sam stood there for a while at the foot of his brother's bed watching the light from the TV flicker over his brother's face. Dean's face was softer while he was asleep, peaceful and it made the corners of Sam's mouth tug up into a smile. Getting undressed Sam folded his clothes and padded over to the TV in his boxers and turned the TV off then went back around to the free side of Dean's bed and climbed in carefully. If he woke up in the night and wanted anything, Sam wanted to be there. That's what he would tell Dean if he asked. Really? Sam wanted to be near his brother. Nearly losing Dean was a horrible feeling. Worse than horrible. Sam shifted over closer to Dean and nestled in by his side, eyes drifting closed.

It was somewhere around two when Dean woke and stumbled to the bathroom. He didn't realize Sam was in his bed until he stepped out of the room and let his eyes drift over the unoccupied bed before settling on his own. Dean considered him quietly for a moment before climbing back into bed and tugging him close to curl around his back, arm flopping over his waist easily as his eyes slid closed. It didn't even seem weird which was probably why he didn't give a second thought to how comforting it was to have Sam tucked against him.

Chapter Text

Dean didn't change much that second year - although he did finally realize that I could take care of myself in a lot of situations.  I was becoming more like Dean's hunting partner than his assistant and it felt good.  I guess my confidence started to grow slightly.  We didn't ever meet a lot of people, I got a few kisses on the cheek when we helped people out, there was a girl in Washington who gave me her phone number.  Really? What was I going to do with a phone number when I was rarely in the same state for more than a few weeks.  I guess I was seventeen when my feelings changed for my brother.  Maybe the word changed is the wrong word to use.  I guess, I've always wanted to be near Dean - more so than a brother should.  He had been the only person my whole life who understood me.  But – at seventeen - I was growing into my own body.  There's nothing more disconcerting that being over six feet tall, thin and clumsy.  Living with a brother like Dean... just gave me something to compare myself to.  I didn't come out too well in the comparison. 

I was always drawn to my brother.  Dean's eyes were always one of his best features; a remarkable colour, kind, sparkling.  And, here I illustrate my own point.  I was shy, young, and had no voice.  There was one person in my world who was everything to me.  Maybe that's why things started to get a little strange.


"Well..." Dean flipped his phone closed and shifted in the chair, sighing softly. "Dad wants to meet up, get some dinner or something. He wanted to know when we'd be able to," Dean glanced over at Sam with a slight frown. It had been almost a year since they'd last seen their dad and the conversations between then could be counted on one hand. And practically all of them ended with a fight and someone hanging up, excluding the last. "I'd really rather not but it's up to you."

Sam looked over at his brother's face.  He didn't really understand why there was still such a divide between Dean and their father.  He knew that Dean could never understand why Dad had wanted to send him away to school but Sam felt confident they had won that battle.  He didn't think that their Father was sitting at home cooking up some plan to kidnap Sam.  Why would he even want him?  Sam just thought that the whole mess was eating away at Dean.  Sam pulled out his notebook and wrote I think that we should see Dad.  Put this to rest.  Show him that we're doing fine.  Show him how good we are together.  Sam slid the notebook across the table so Dean could see it and curled his fingers over his brother's wrist.  His thumb moved back and forth across the newest scar on Dean's forearm.

Dean was distracted by the touch for a moment, wondering at it's newness. It was something Sam had started doing over the past few weeks and Dean hadn't quite figured out what the thumb rubbing part meant. After a moment he glanced down at the notebook, reading silently then sighing and nodding, "Alright. I'll set it up. Guess we don't have anything to do next week yet huh? We'll see what if he's free." Dean didn't particular care for seeing the man, but then Dean could hold a grudge when it really counted and this was one of those things he just couldn't get passed.

Nodding, Sam pushed up from his chair and moved around to stand behind Dean and rub his shoulders.  There was nothing that Sam could say about their Father that he hadn't said a million times before.  The two oldest  Winchesters butted heads like no one else alive.  It would be an interesting meeting to say the least.  Sam leaned down over his brother's shoulder to write, it will be fine, relax.  He rubbed the tight muscles on his brother's back.  Sam leaned down once more and pressed his hand, palm down, flat against Dean's chest right over his heart. I love you.  They'd made that sign up when they were kids.  It was before Sam knew anything about sign language and Dean had explained to him that you loved people with your heart.  Sam had pressed his hand to Dean's heart and they'd both just known what it meant.  He hadn't done it for a long time, probably because he was seventeen, it just seemed like a good time to give Dean a little support.

With a small smile Dean laid his hand over Sam's, the other hand reaching out for his phone. "Yeah Sammy, I love you too," he said softly before flipping the phone open and dialing their father's number again. The conversation was brief and stilted but Dean managed to make arrangements for them all to meet in Kansas in a few days. After his dad hung up he flipped his phone closed and tossed it on the table, standing up and turning. His plan was to head to the bed but Sam was still standing right there so he found himself inches from the young man's body. Chuckling, Dean shook his head, "The creepy ninja thing is occasionally freaky Sammy."

Sam winked and nodded knowingly with a big grin on his face.  He stepped back and nodded at the bed with his eyebrows raised wondering if Dean was calling it a night.  Sometimes, Sam could get away with climbing into bed with his brother, if Dean fell asleep first.  He liked it because he didn't have nightmares, and it didn't hurt that Dean was warm.  Sam was nearly always cold - Dean said it was because he didn't eat enough meat.

"Gonna watch some TV, then sleep," Dean nodded and headed for his bed, shimmying out of his jeans and kicking them toward his duffel bag. He pulled his shirt of next, tossing it to join his jeans and climbed in under the sheets. When Sam continued to stand by the table Dean held up the edge of the blanket, a small smirk lifting up the corner of his lip. "You might as well get in. I know you're going to anyway."

Smiling shyly Sam moved around behind his brother and tugged off his shirt and jeans and climbed in.  He scooted over so he could lean his notebook against Dean's back as he wrote.  Why are you still so mad at Dad.  Sam reached over Dean's chest and let him read the note.

Dean shifted slightly back and shrugged, dropping his head down into the pillow. "I don't know. Well, no, I do. It's just hard to explain. I don't like the things he said that day and it's more than that. He never understood either of us but he pretended like he did," Dean sighed softly and curled his fingers around Sam's arm for a moment before he shifted onto his back, shoulder resting against Sam's chest as he stared up into his brother's eyes. "Sometimes people say things and you just can't ever forget that you know?"

Resting his notebook on Dean's chest Sam wrote, Maybe Dad was scared.  Maybe he thought he should have all the answers and it scared him when he didn't.  I know someone else like that. Sam propped the notebook up so that Dean could read it and pointed to his brother's chest with a frown on his face.

"I'd really rather you not compare us," Dean said softly and shook his head. "You don't need to defend him you know. It wasn't like he was much of a father to you. To either of us."

Sam shook his head quickly, no, and put the notebook down so he could write.  I wasn't comparing you, and I'm not defending him, I just don't want you to keeping letting it eat away at you.  I know what you're like... I know you. Sam underlined the last you a few times.  He held the notebook up once more, eyes focused on his brother's.

With a soft smile Dean lifted his eyes from the notebook and reached out to pat Sam's cheek a few times with his fingers. "I know. I really don't think about it much anymore, it's been awhile..." Dean dropped his hand and shifted back slightly, arm brushing against Sam's chest. His brother's muscles had certainly started to take more shape with their active lifestyle. It made Dean grin because he knew Sam was shifting from those awkward gangly years into adulthood. Then it made him scrunch his face in confusion because he was practically laying on his brother and it felt like the most normal thing in the world. And they were in their boxers... which was just... weird. Or not as weird as it should be.

Brow furrowed, Sam dropped his notebook to Dean's chest again and wrote.  Don't pat me I'm not 12 anymore. He held the book up and peered up at Dean's face.  Sometimes, it drove Sam crazy when Dean still treated him like he was still a kid.  They'd come so far in some ways, and in others, Sam still felt like Dean's kid brother.  Huffing out a breath Sam clutched the side of his notebook and let his hand fall to his brother's chest.

Unable to hold back his slight smirk, Dean reached out and ruffled his hair, "Aw, poor little Sammy." He chuckled and let his fist bump into Sam's shoulder. "Don't be such a priss Sam, it's not attractive," he laughed even harder at Sam's face as it scrunched with annoyance and a wicked grin spread across his lips. "Aw did I hurt your feelings?" His hand slid down and curled against Sam, moving along his most ticklish spot rapidly.

Sam's notebook went flying in one direction, his pen in another as he tried to leap back from his brother's hand.  Tangled up in the sheet, Sam resorted to grabbing Dean's wrists and trying to wrestle his brother away from him.  He blew out a hard breath trying to clear his hair off his face and tugged hard on Dean's wrists.

At the tug Dean found himself falling hard down into Sam's chest. They wrestled for awhile, Sam pinning him down before Dean managed to curl his hand in his brother's hair and tug him sharply back, flipping him round to hold him down. He smirked in victory and continued his tickling quest once more.

Flinging an arm over Dean's neck Sam pulled him down trying to roll them again, but Dean was still stronger than him.  It was right in the middle of holding his brother's head right into his own neck, their chests pressed together that some sort of sensation ran through Sam's body that just shouldn't have been there.  Shifting his hips, Sam froze and let his arm slip off his brother's neck.  Sam knew that at seventeen it was perfectly  normal, feeling turned on all the time, but really... not now.  Sam fought harder to wiggle out from under Dean's body, trying desperately to hide the growing hardness in the front of his boxers.

"C'mon dude, I know you're stronger than that, don't give up so quick," Dean chuckled and pushed up, hand falling to the side of Sam's head. "I'm fairly certain I taught you better than that."

Sam twisted as hard as he could and only ended up face down on the mattress with his brother stretching out over him.  Frustrated, nervous and turned on, Sam did something that actually happened pretty rarely, he moaned softly.  Pushing up against Dean, trying to throw his brother off his back only made things worse.  Sam threw his weight into his last attempt and managed to knock Dean sideways.  He wondered if the sound of his voice had actually caught his brother off guard.

Dean was just about as shocked by the noise as he was by the jolt of pleasure it sent soaring through him, which was a whole freaking lot of shock to deal with in one moment. He shifted as he fell back onto the mattress, rubbing against his shoulder for a moment before rolling sideways and staring down at the creamy skin stretched across his brother's back. "Sam?" He said softly, unsure if he had hurt his brother or if the moan was for something else entirely. After another moment he reached out and rubbed his back softly, fingers sliding down the curve of his spine much more tenderly then necessary.

Sam took a deep shuddering breath and closed his eyes savoring each inch of the journey that his brother's fingers made along his back.  Then Sam did what he should have done earlier and held up his hand, fingers splayed, stop.  He shuddered, couldn't help it, then flipped the covers back and walked quickly across the dark room to the bathroom slamming the door behind him.  Sam leaned against the door and let his head fall back against the door a few times.  Stupid.

Dean slid up in the bed, staring at the door as it slammed shut. He was completely unprepared for the sudden tangle of emotions running through him that felt all too much like rejection and discomfort. Clearly he'd done something to upset Sam, which wasn't cool in his book. Sighing softly he climbed out of the bed, shifting his boxers and freezing when he realized he had to shift his boxers because he was hard. Dean's eyes widened slightly, wondering why he hadn't noticed that before and why he was turned on at all. Shrugging it off to the excertion - and absolutely nothing to do with Sam being mostly naked against him - Dean headed to the bathroom door and leaned against the frame. "Sam? I'm sorry, I shouldn't have fucked around like that. You okay?" It wasn't like he was expecting an answer but he didn't mind waiting until Sam opened up the door and reassured him with a look or a touch.

Sam started when he heard Dean's voice and took a deep breath.  He didn't have to worry anymore about having a hard-on because he was too messed up by what was going on in his head.  He'd sooner stay in the bathroom all night than go back out there and try and lie to Dean.  His entire life Sam had never been able to keep anything from his brother.  One more deep breath and Sam opened the door, brushed past Dean and went straight to his own bed and tore frantically at the tightly made bed trying to get under the covers as quickly as possible.

"Jesus Sam, what did I do?" Dean trailed over to him, dropping in the opposite bed and staring hopelessly at his brother. His gut was twisted with worry and concern then he flashed with the thought that maybe Sam had felt his... and well... that would have been awkward. And surely enough to have Sam freaked out. A faint blush crossed his cheeks and he sighed, shifting back on the bed until he could pull his legs up on the mattress. "Sam... you gotta give me something to go on here."

Rolling over to face his brother Sam forced a smile and pulled the blanket up over him then reached out for the notebook and pen that were on the night table.  He was glad he had a habit of leaving them everywhere.  I'm sorry, I'm just tired I guess.  You didn't do anything. He tossed the notebook over to Dean.

Dean knew it was a lie without even reading the full thing but he didn't say anything. He simply nodded and set the notebook back on the nightstand before sliding under the blankets and rolling to face the other way. Oddly enough, his bed felt lonely without Sam in it, and his skin still tingled plesantly, and things were really getting weird. That was a lot more than he was anticipating, though he was fairly certain he wasn't anticipating anything. In the end Dean decided just to not think about it right now. They'd be better tomorrow he was sure and they could go back to ignoring whatever this was, not that he really thought it was anything. Maybe Dean just needed to get out, relieve some tension in a way he hadn't since Sam and he had left home a year ago. With a soft sigh Dean forced his thoughts to stop and willed his body to sleep.

Sam's willpower lasted exactly as long as it took Dean to roll away from him.  He blew out a breath and flipped the covers back and moved quickly before he could change his mind.  Sliding in behind his brother Sam slid his arm over Dean's waist and scooted up as close as he could get - very careful to keep his other hand in front of his crotch.  Just in case.  Pressing his lips against the warm skin at the base of his brother's neck Sam pressed his hand over his brother's heart and closed his eyes.

That little touch of Sam's lips on his skin sent renewed sparks of pleasure through him and, even as his hand came to rest over the one on his chest, Dean knew that this thing wasn't just going to vanish in the morning. Clearly... something was happening. Dean just hoped he was ready for it, that they both were.


After the night of weird - as Dean called in his mind - things did seem to go back to normal. But there was something else, something underlying Sam's touches that Dean could feel was different, even if for the life of him he couldn't put it together. Sometimes Dean would catch him looking his way with something that made his eyes spark but it was always gone before Dean could put in any real effort to try and dechipher it. Presently though, Dean wasn't trying to think over any of those things. No, his mind was far too caught up on the diner they sat parked in front of.

They had chosen a safe and neutral place to meet up with their dad, knowing it would stop them from raising their voices too much or coming to blows. Dean had done it mainly for Sam, not wanting the visit to upset him any more than he figured it would. "Do we have to do this?" He asked quietly, staring at the diner as if it were the entrance to hell and his only fate was to get out of the car and go inside.

Sam's hand moved to the small of Dean's back for a few moments, rubbing gently and he smiled and nodded.  Moving toward the door of the diner, he glanced back to make sure Dean was following knowing that by the time they got to the door - Dean would manage to be the one who headed into the diner first.

Sighing softly Dean allowed himself a moment of self pity before he trudged forward and tugged open the door, stepping in to the cool dinner and waiting until he could feel Sam behind him before scanning the booths. Their dad was near the back, eyes lifted and fixed on them. "If I say we're leaving, we're leaving, okay?" He glanced over his shoulder at Sam even as they moved forward.

Sam nodded quickly and fell into step with his brother.  Sam's eyes moved over the room, just like Dean had taught him; nearest exit, number of people, potential concerns and when he looked at his father - Sam's chest clenched a little tighter.  Their father looked so much older than the last time they'd seen him.  Sam's fingers slipped into Dean's belt loop unconsciously, his grip tightening the closer they got to their father.  He hadn't expected that the sight of his father would stir so many feelings in him.  His tension was growing and he could almost feel the fear he'd experienced the afternoon that he got the letter saying he would be sent away.

"Dad," Dean nodded once and stepped to the side, letting Sam slide into the booth first before sliding in beside him. Dean's fingers were curled together in a tight ball and he shifted so his body was practically flush against Sam's side, gaining comfort from the place their hips touched all the way down to their ankles.

John nodded at both his boys, eyes lingering on Sam for a few moments longer.  "How are you both?"  John cleared his throat and fiddled with his coffee cup.

Sam smiled although it was a little forced.  He slipped his hand over Dean's thigh under the table, taking comfort in his brother's warmth.  With his free hand Sam pulled out his notebook and pen and wrote.  It's good to see you, Dad. then slid it across the table toward their father.

John leaned down to read it, then smiled at Sam.  "You too, Sam." 

Dean settled back against the booth, glancing around for the waitress. He wasn't going to lie to his dad, it really wasn't good to see him. Dean would rather have waited a few more years, let the dust settle completely. "So did you need something?" Dean finally turned his gaze back to the man, drumming his fingers on the table top impatiently.

Brows furrowed slightly, Sam squeezed Dean's thigh hard.

Clearing his throat, John leaned his forearms on the table.  "Just wanted to see you boys, see how you're doing.  You've ... grown, Sam.  Look like a man now."  He smiled slightly then dropped his eyes back to his coffee.  "Dean? How are you doing?"

"Fine," Dean answered, voice clipped. When the waitress finally made her way over he ordered a coffee for himself and a coke for Sam. They'd eaten not too long ago, Dean had insisted on it since he didn't think he could handle a meal with the man across from them. Sam was giving him this narrowed look and Dean sighed, rolling his eyes even as he asked. "And you?"

"Gettin' older, not as fast on my feet.  You in school, Sammy?"  John's eyes lingered on Dean then moved to the face of his youngest.

Sucking his bottom lip into his mouth, Sam reached out for the notebook and wrote, Hunting with Dean.  Think I'm a natural. He glanced over at Dean, fingers curling into his brother's thigh.

"He got his GED a few months ago," Dean added, smiling at the waitress gratefully when she returned with their drinks. "Just in case," he stirred cream into his coffee and slid Sam's coke across the table surface to him.

Taking a sip of his coke Sam reached out for the notebook again so he could write.  We're doing great Dad.  Dean's been great, puts up with a lot.  Cars running great.  I've been working really hard - learning lots, can shoot better than Dean.  Sliding the notebook forward Sam smiled.

After he read, John chuckled.  "I don't know about that, Sam.  No one's a better shot than your brother.  I'm glad you boys are doing well.  I just ... I really just wanted to know that you two were good.  Do you need anything, Dean? Money?"  John ran a hand over the dark stubble on his chin.

"We're fine," Dean sipped from his coffee. And that was the truth, they were fine on the money bit. Dean and Sam had the art of hustling people at pool down to a science. They'd come in separately, Dean would play Sam and totally kick his ass then egg other people into playing him by telling them he didn't say anything and suggesting he might be a little slow. Sam would lose a few games, let the guys get greedy, then bet them a final double or nothing. It worked every time. More often then not they'd leave the bar with somewhere close to a thousand dollars. It certainly wasn't a bad way to make a living. Glancing over at his brother, Dean squeezed his arm under the table, asking him through a look if he was still okay.

Sam smiled at his brother and shrugged, he'd pretty much run out of things to ask his father.  Sam hadn't know his father that well when they lived under the same roof and now, with two years between them Sam had no idea who the man was.  Glancing at Dean again, Sam pressed his lips together and reached out for the notepad.  You sure you're okay Dad?  Got anything you need to tell us? Sam's brow furrowed as he slid the notebook across the table.

John's fingers tapped against the notebook for a few moments then he looked up at Dean.  "Son? I'm sorry for... " he took a deep breath and blew it out as he slumped back in the booth, "for the way I acted that  night. I should have - we should have talked about Sam's future as a family."  John's eyes flitted up to Dean's briefly then settled on Sam's face.  "That's all... I should get goin'."  John slid to the edge of the booth and pulled out his wallet, leaving a ten dollar bill on the table.  "Good to see you both."  He stopped beside Dean and his hand moved to touch his son's shoulder, then fell and he walked out of the diner.

Mouth open, Sam turned to his brother and raised his eyebrows.  It was the strangest meeting they'd ever had with their father. Sam grabbed the notebook, is he okay?

Dean wet his lips and sighed, "Come on," he tugged at Sam's arm, knowing his brother would follow even as he headed out the door after their dad at a slight jog. "Dad?" He called, catching him as he was pulling open the truck door. Dean hesitated for just a moment, glancing over his shoulder at Sam before he crossed the distance between them and pulled his father in for a tight hug. He couldn't even remember the last time he hugged the man but well... there was something in the way his voice sounded and his apology had sparked up guilt in Dean so it felt needed. After a moment he stepped back and he sighed, rubbing at the back of his neck. "I'm sorry too. For some of the things I said." That was all he'd apologize for because he was definitely not sorry for taking Sam with him, he'd never regret that decision.

John nodded and reached out to squeeze his son's shoulder.  He nodded at Sam and pulled the door of his truck open and  climbed in. 

Sighing, Sam stood behind his brother as they watched their father drive away.  It wasn't what he expected but it was better than nothing.  Sam's fingers settled on the small of Dean's back, slipping under his brother's jacket. 

Leaning back into the touch slightly, Dean shook his head. "Man... what was that all about?" He glanced up at Sam and sighed, turning and pulling Sam in for an impulsive hug, emotions too haywire and fried from the whole interaction. Sam was comfort and Dean relied on that more then he knew.

Burying his face in Dean's neck, Sam's lips brushed against his brother's skin.  He shivered and tightened  his hold on his brother for a few moments before letting go, a blush growing on  his cheeks.  Looking down, Sam jammed his hands in his pockets and shifted his weight.

Dean's flesh tingled from Sam's touch and he considered the man silently for a moment before tugging him toward the car. "C'mon, let's go do something fun for awhile. Get our minds off this insanity," he smiled over at Sam as he rounded the car and tugged open the driver's side. "My votes for roller coasters."

Grinning, Sam pulled his door open and slid into the car.  He tossed his notebook on the dashboard.  He wouldn't be able to write in it while he was upside down or speeding along on a ride.


There was something about spending every minute of every day with a person, sometimes things shift and you don't even know it. This is how it worked for Dean. Only he was aware in just the vaguest sense. Like when Sam's fingers would linger for a moment too long on his collar bone after what should have been a casual shoulder massage. Or the fact that the nights when Sam slept in his own bed were so few and far between, Dean started to lose track of them, and, honestly, he didn't care as much as he should have. Then it reached the day when Dean checked them into the motel room and asked for just one bed because... well why bother with two if one would remain unused? Of course the logic had seemed to make sense until he was standing in the motel room, duffel bag on his shoulder, staring at the just one bed and wondering why he wasn't as freaked out as he should have been. After all, when you're twenty one years old, it wasn't exactly normal to share a bed with your seventeen year old brother. But then, Dean and Sam had never fallen into the category of normal.

Still, he looked over his shoulder at Sam as his brother entered the room, eyes drifting back to the bed for a moment before he turned and tossed his duffel along the wall. Dean wondered if he was saying anything without words, telling Sam something through action alone. Allowing his subconcious to speak for him. "Tomorrow we'll go talk to the kids who say they saw that creature in the woods, see if we can't get some actual facts out of them before we go investigate for ourselves," Dean glanced over his shoulder at Sam as he toed off his boots. He tried to read his brother's mind but the angle was all wrong and he'd never quite mastered that act.

Sam looked at the bed then his brother then moved about the room putting things away like he normally would.  It made sense, Dean wouldn't have to get up if Sam had a nightmare; lately that hadn't been as much of a problem but....Sam shrugged.  He pulled out a notebook and wrote.  Same bed from now on, then handed it to Dean.  Sam stared at his brother's face, watching for an indication of how he felt.

Dean swallowed around the strange clenching in his throat, curling his fingers around the notebook. He read the sentence a few times, trying to determine what it meant, if this was a statement or a question without the question mark. Dean settled on the knowledge that his brother rarely made mistakes when writing something out, after all, it was his only means of communication. "Yeah," he nodded and handed the notebook back, tugging off his coat and laying it across the nearest chair. "Same bed."

Nodding, Sam took the notebook back and kicked his boots off as he moved around the room. He wrote, almost tripped over his brother's boots, stopped and wrote some more.  I want to know why we're sleeping in the same bed now.  Why you think we should do that.  Sam tossed the notebook at his brother and pulled his jacket off, grimacing as he stretched out his muscles.  The front seat of the car really wasn't  comfortable for someone as tall as he was.

"Because we do anyway," Dean shrugged and pulled off his socks, balling them up and tossing them at his shoes. "If you'd... rather we not. Well then I'll go switch our rooms. I just figured... we might as well," he rubbed at the back of his neck, trying to convince himself of this logic as well. It was easier to accept then the idea that Dean just couldn't sleep without his brother along his side. Whatever that meant.

Tilting his head to the side Sam watched his brother for a few moments then walked over to him.  He took the notebook out of his brother's hand, resting it against his chest and started to write.  I don't have nightmares when I sleep with you. Sam looked down into his brother's eyes, smiling, it wasn't so long ago that he had to look up at Dean.  He leaned into his brother a little, putting pen to paper again writing a few words and then crossing them out.  and I like.  Handing the notebook to Dean, Sam turned and went to the table to root around in the bags they brought with them.  He wasn't really hungry but it gave him something to do with his hands; something to make him stop writing things he might regret later.

Dean stared down at the notebook, tracing his fingers along the crossed out words. With a soft sigh, he set the notebook to the side and undid the fastens on his jeans, slipping out of them and walking over to the large bed. He snatched the remote from the night stand as he dropped down on the mattress, glancing over at Sam and considering the strong line of his brother's shoulders. Dean found himself admiring the shape of his brother's muscles more and more recently and that wasn't as weird as he thought it should be. Dean didn't like when things got to a level he couldn't reason out and he sensed that approaching, or laying behind them, a line they'd possibly crossed a long time ago without even knowing it. "Sam?" He said his brother's name softly, shifting on the mattress until he was sitting up, legs stretched out in front of him.

Sam fussed with the snacks until it was about to get obvious that he was just buying time then pulled out a chocolate bar.  He took a deep breath and turned back to face his brother, shrugged a shoulder and held up the chocolate bar.  Rolling his bottom lip under his teeth Sam's watched Dean.  His eyes moving over his brother's face; he had the look that he got when he was trying to figure out a case.  Blinking his thoughts away Sam moved over to the bed, tucked one leg up under him and sat facing Dean.  He held his hand out for the notebook, fingers brushing over Dean's when he took it.  I wanted chocolate. Putting the notebook on Dean's thigh Sam turned it to face his brother.

Smiling softly, Dean nodded and reached out to break off a piece of the chocolate. "Me too," he shifted forward until his knees rested against Sam's and they sat face to face, only a few feet from each other if that. "Sam, can I ask you a question?" He waited until Sam nodded before clearing his throat and scrubbing at his hair, eyes fixed on the bed as he spoke once more, "Have you ever... kissed anyone?"

Sam tilted his head to the side and looked away.  He wasn't sure why Dean suddenly wanted to know that - other than maybe to tease him.  He shook his head and turned his gaze back to the chocolate bar he was still holding, waited a moment and then picked up the pen.  Wanted to though. He broke off a piece of chocolate and offered it to Dean.

Taking the chocolate, Dean let his fingers curl and linger around Sam's for a moment before he brought the food to his mouth. He chewed quietly for awhile, churning thoughts through his mind in what felt like slow motion. "Never knew what to say?" He asked softly, smiling when he caught his brother's eyes, "Anyone... in paritcular? That you wanted to."

Sam shifted, nervous, fiddling with the paper on the candy bar wrapper.  Of course, there was someone.  Ever since the night Sam had nearly embarrassed himself to death by getting a hard-on because of his brother he'd been catching himself stealing glances at Dean's mouth, watching  him in different ways, watching him in a way ... that, as far as Sam knew,  a brother shouldn't watch a brother.  Eyes flitting up to Dean's then away, Sam shrugged a shoulder.  Picking up the pen he wrote.  What do you do when you want to kiss someone? He pushed the notebook back up Dean's thigh, leaving his hand there when his brother slipped the notebook out from under his fingers.

Dean dragged his tongue across his lips, eyes lingering on the notebook before he stared at the hand on his thigh, then up to his brother's eyes. "Well... if you think they might want to kiss you back, then... well I generally start with some sort of touch. Like... a hand on the neck, or the jaw." Dean wet his lips and shifted slightly on the bed, lips pursing together slightly. He could feel heat stirring up in him and Dean was rapidly giving up on the idea of his sanity still being intact.

Sam's fingers curled tighter into the muscle of his brother's thigh for a few moments.  His heart was racing, making him feel almost light-headed.  Swallowing, Sam moved his hand from Dean's thigh, hesitated a few moments and curled his fingers over his brother's shoulder.  His eyes darted to Dean's as his fingers moved along his brother's shoulder to settle against the base of his neck.  Sam's thumb moved slowly along the well-defined line of  his brother's jaw. He gave a barely-there nod and raised his eye-brows wondering what was next.

Dean was having a surprisingly difficult time seeing straight. "Yeah, like that," he nodded and once more wet his lips. "Then... you want to start... slow. Bring them to you, taste their bottom lip first..." Dean could feel his heart pounding in his chest as his eyes stayed fixed on Sam's. "Then you do what feels natural."

Sam could feel his eyes widening and heat was crawling up his body like he was being dipped into hot water.  He let his fingers curl around the back of Dean's neck, pulling him closer.  Licking his lips nervously, Sam vaguely registered the sound of his notebook hitting the floor as his lips parted and pressed against Dean's full bottom lip.  The muscles in Sam's stomach tightened, his breath hitched and he moaned softly.  The sound startled Sam and his body jolted, pushing him forward into his brother's body.

Hearing that noise, however quiet, was enough to make Dean's mind spin. The feel of Sam's lips on his was more intense then he ever could have imagined. Maybe it was simply knowing this was Sam's first kiss, or just the fact that it was Sam, his painfully quiet kid brother. Dean's mouth opened with a moan of his own as his lips slanted across Sam's and his hand slipped into shaggy brown locks. He shifted back slightly on the bed, pulling Sam close against him.

Sam's hand tightened instantly on his brother's neck.  The feel of Dean's lips was rushing into Sam's brain and sending waves of sensation through his body.  All at once Sam felt a million miles away from his body and firmly embedded in himself.  A shudder ran down his spine as he melted against his brother's chest, lips moving slowly and softly against Dean's.  The way Dean's hand moved in his hair was making Sam's skin tingle as he slid his own free hand around to slide under his brother's shirt and move across the warm skin of his lower back.

The muscles low in Dean's abs were clenching and unclenching rapidly as he took in the feel of Sam's hand along his back. Once more he moaned as his tongue pressed forward against Sam's lips, tentatively snaking through to his brother's mouth to slide along Sam's tongue. His free hand curved around Sam's side, sliding down to the hem of his shirt. Everything felt so intensely better than anything he'd ever experienced and Dean could no longer resist the urge to fall back on the bed, dragging Sam over him and keeping their lips connected, sucking Sam's tongue into his mouth.

Sam's body was vibrating.  His mouh opened in a silent gasp and his body moved against Dean's and his tongue slid into the heat of his brother's mouth.  His hand pushed roughly up Dean's chest, bunching the material of his t-shirt under his palm.  Slowly, almost shyly Sam let his tongue move across the slick surfaces of his brother's mouth, searching, absorbing the taste of Dean.

There was a pretty good chance Dean's mind was going to explode. He was distinctly aware of the thin layer of cotton seperating his rapidly hardening length from Sam's body. Another long moan tore through him when Sam's tongue shifted around inside his mouth and Dean's hands slid up under his brother's shirt, curling along the skin. His hips rolled almost automatically up to gain some friction and he tightened his hands to press Sam hard down on him.

It felt like Sam's heart was going to burst, everywhere his body was pressed against Dean's it was as though his skin was burning right off his body and all of this through Sam's clothes.  Pulling his hands back, Sam pressed against Dean's chest as he tried to get some space, figure out why he was feeling so much.  His fingers  were splayed against Dean's chest, curving over his muscles and Sam tried to push himself up.

Dean may have registered the hands in the vaguest sense but he didn't want this to end. His tongue slid forward into Sam's mouth as his fingers curled along the skin on his back. He'd never been so completely turned on by kissing anyone and even the part of his brain that told him this was dirty and wrong made pleasure curl through him. His hands shifted to Sam's side, dancing along the skin in slow up and down motions.

Struggling to break the kiss Sam pushed harder against his brother's chest.  It was so overwhelming, more than Sam had ever felt - like he was drowning in the sensation of his brother's touch, kiss, his body.  Tearing his lips from Dean's Sam let his weight fall onto his brother's body and buried his face in Dean's neck.  "Dean," he murmured, "Dean."

"Oh my god," Dean's eyes shot open and he pushed Sam up, moving them so Sam was sitting and Dean could curl his fingers around his arms, eyes wide. His heart was thudding so hard in his chest it hurt and his lips tingled. "Sammy..." he breathed, hand cupping Sam's jaw. He could hardly allow himself to believe that he had really heard the words, his name, falling from his brother's lips. Not as a dream, or a cry in his sleep, but spoken with purpose. The smile that split his lips was so big it almost hurt and he leaned forward, brushing their lips together before resting his forehead against Sam's. "That... wow."

Sam's hands were shaking so bad he could barely pick up his notebook and pen. Slow ok? I don't know what to do. don't be mad. Sam turned the book so that his brother could see the shaky words he'd written and lifted his eyes to his brother's face.

With a slow shake of his head, Dean smiled and brushed his thumb along Sam's lip. "I'm not mad. I... never really expected this," Dean whispered and slid his hand into Sam's hair. "It's... good. Better than it should be," he chuckled softly, shaking his head again and dropping his hand. "I should be the one who doesn't speak. Get my brain to think about things before they come out." His eyes lifted to Sam's and swallowed. "You said my name."

Nodding Sam reached over and smoothed Dean's hair back from his face then wrinkled his nose.  He hated the stuff that Dean put in his hair.  Sam let his fingers trail down Dean's forehead, his cheeks and rested the pads of two fingers against his brothers bottom lip.  Smiling, staring into his brother's eyes Sam's lips twitched into a smile.  "Dean."  It was easy to say his brother's name like it was a full sentence, like there was nothing else that needed to be said after it or before it. 

Dean sucked in a deep breath, shuddering at the way the name seemed to wash over him like a wave of pleasure. His eyes flickered closed for a moment before lifting to Sam's. "Pretty sure I could listen to you say that for the rest of the night," he breathed softly and shifted to lay down, patting the mattress beside him. "C'mere." When Sam got settled in beside him, tossing the notebook to the side, Dean leaned in and brushed their lips together. They kissed softly, slow and languid, until their bodies slowly started to succumb to exhaustion. And Dean was treated to the sound of his name one last time from Sam's lips before they drifted off to sleep in each other's arms.

Chapter Text

You might be inclined to think my world was small. Quite the opposite. Dean taught me so many things; hunting, fighting, caring, having a family, passion. We had fun, we had some tough times. Sure, we had arguments. And let me tell you, it's difficult to win an argument when you have to write everything down.

As for the other thing, the natural progression of things. Dean took me at my word. When I wanted slow I got slow. We shared the same bed every night, when I had nightmares Dean was already right there under my fingertips, warm and comforting. We developed a new language: pads of fingers brushing thin strips of bare flesh below t-shirts, lips grazing over sensitive skin behind an ear, gripping jeans then tugging someone, fingers hooking through belt loops. It was how we spoke to each other, mostly late at night when we were tired. Just the two of us.

I said no more words beyond Dean. That one name was the center of my universe. It made sense that it would be the first name I spoke. Sometimes, though, Dean would look at me as though he could never hear it enough and I never felt more like I'd been communicating with him. Dean.

So - we kept hunting. Any by the time I turned eighteen, I figure I could have handled most things by myself. I'm guessing Dean didn't agree with me, but that was a fight we would probably have our whole lives. It's hard to break out of the mould of little brother.

We didn't see Dad again that year, in fact, it wasn't until my birthday in the Spring that we heard about him at all. A random meeting with two other hunters that were familiar with him passed on the news that he may he stopped hunting. I wanted to call Bobby and find out more, Dean wanted to let it go. Dean won.


It was the kind of case Dean never really expected to find himself on. Then again, he didn't exactly consider if relationships between brothers were something that happened a lot in this day and age. Dean had always sort of thought Sam and he were a special circumstance. As it turned out, there were others out there that it had happened too. He came across Katie's information on a paranormal site he occasionally browsed through when hunts were scarce. Most of the reports were bull shit, I saw a white light in the far corner of the room out of the edge of my eye. But hers was different. She sounded so... upset and when she mentioned she was fairly certain it was the ghost of her brother haunting her, Dean was curious enough to check it out.

His intentions had been to inform Sam of the case as usual, once he knew it was something worth checking out, but that shifted quickly the first time they spoke. She had offered him coffee, had been polite and sweet, then explained that her brother had killed himself less than a year ago. His body had been cremated but she was positive his ghost was haunting their house. Things were constantly shifting and any time her other brother tried to come inside his body was sent flying off the porch and into the street. She finished off the story with something that had Dean straightening in his seat, "I don't think he wants Jacob in the house because they were together. Jacob ended it, which is why David killed himself."

"Together?" Dean had repeated slowly and tried to make sipping from his coffee a casual thing. "As in...?"

"As in, together," she sighed softly and shook her head. "I know that might disturb you but it doesn't change the fact that I need help."

Dean had told her he could take the case and left Sam out of it.

That was harder to do then it sounded. Dean had to come up with a lot of excuses and spent a great deal of time timing his exits just right. Sam was starting to get annoyed, Dean could tell from the first day. Dean switched up between claiming he needed some air to waiting until Sam was in the bathroom and leaving a note saying he'd be back in a few. Luckily, Dean already knew the body of David was gone so it was just a matter of finding what thing kept him tethered to the world.

By the end of the week things were incredible tense between Sam and him but Dean had found out that Jacob had saved his brother's hair brush and never removed it from the guest room they'd occasionally stayed in. Dean knew that - with the ghost taken care of - he could explain to Sam what was going on. Not that he was looking forward to telling his brother he'd left him out of a case because of this deep rooted fear that Sam would get some idea in his mind how wrong it was for them to be together. But maybe he could understand why Dean was being so paranoid. Sam was a fantastic listener after all.

Once Dean was certain the ghost was gone, he was ready to head home and be done with this place, be done with making his brother so pissed off. His mind was reeling with the best way to apologize as he stepped out of the front door, turning to smile at Katie as she thanked him. He nodded and stepped forward to give her a hug, grinning when she pressed a kiss to his cheek and wished him luck. He turned on his heel and headed down the steps, tossing the keys in his fingers as he made his way to the Impala. Dean was pretty eager to see Sam, this week had sucked, especially since Sam had spent most of it facing the other way in bed and yesterday he'd even refused to kiss him which had made Dean's heart clench.

Only when he got to the motel room, Sam was nowhere to be seen. Dean had entertained the notion that he'd possibly just gone for a walk or something, but all his stuff was gone. Pulling out his phone, Dean sent him a quick text and dropped down on the bed, knowing in his gut he wasn't likely to get a response.


At first Sam had thought that Dean was planning some sort of surprise for him but it quickly became apparent that wasn't what was going on. There had never been secrets between them, certainly not on Sam's part so to find out that Dean was doing something he had no knowledge of was a little disconcerting. Sam tried to ignore it, after all, Dean had never given him a reason for there to be any mistrust between them. The problem was, Sam had no one else to focus on. For years, he had watched Dean's every move, every expression. Something was going on.

Finally it became too much for Sam, he had asked Dean once if someone was bothering him, if there was something Dean wanted to tell him. There was no answer, so Sam shut down. He withdrew a little, trying to understand what had gone wrong. He ran back over the last few hunts wondering if he had given Dean a reason to lose confidence in him but he couldn't come up with anything. Then he started to get mad. Then, he started to feel hurt. Sam had never had to deal with Dean withholding anything from him and he had no idea how to deal with it. His whole life Sam had asked and Dean had answered and that had been the way they learned about one another.

Sam had followed Dean a few times, it wasn't easy to do with no car. It took a combination of an old bicycle he found, hitchhiking and cabs. It didn't take long to discover that Dean was going to the same place almost every day. The last day of the week Sam slipped out ahead of Dean, handing him a piece of paper with Library on it. He walked toward the Library for a few blocks and then doubled back to the house Dean had been visiting. He waited outside watching his brother arrive and slip in the front door without even knocking and then he settled in. Nearly two hours later Dean emerged onto the porch with a young woman. Sam's stomach flopped a little and then he watched as they embraced and she leaned in to kiss Dean. Sam's eyes slipped closed and he backed away slipping quietly through the bushes. Maybe their Dad has been right all along. Maybe Dean just wanted a normal life - and had finally realized it. Maybe... he just didn't know how to tell Sam.

Sam got back to the Motel as quickly as possible, letting out a sigh of relief when he realized that Dean wasn't back. He moved through the room quickly packing a few things then left, duffel on one shoulder, laptop case on the other. Sam stopped for a moment and looked back at the room, at the one bed then closed the door quietly.

There was a really nice lady at the bus terminal who agreed to make a phone call to Sam's Dad for him and leave a message asking him to text Sam with his address. He said to tell John that Sam needed to come home. Sam was in the middle of a very bad sandwich from the terminal cafe when his phone vibrated and he got a message from his father. It simply said Lawrence, where else. come home Sammy.

Sam had more than enough money to get his ticket and he was standing in front of the bus door holding his laptop and flipping his phone around in his hand when it vibrated. When he saw Dean's name he turned off his phone and climbed up onto the bus, folding his tall frame into a seat at the back and clutching his laptop case to his chest. It was a long ride to Lawrence.


Dean texted Sam's phone four times a minute for the first half hour then he called. And it went straight to voicemail. And Dean's heart was suddenly racing so hard it hurt. He paced the room, trying to clear his mind and fight back the consuming swell of panic. Even though his brain was hardly functioning, it didn't take much to figure out what had happened. Sam had finally gotten fed up. Dean fucked up. Big time. There was no way out of it now. So he called Sam's phone - it was still off - and left a voice mail.

"Sammy, please, I don't know where you are and I'm freaking out. Please let me know you're okay. I don't know what you think was going on but I was just on a case. It's complicated. I need to explain. Please. Please Sammy I love you and I'm freaking out here and I don't know what to do. So please just-"

The phone cut him off, a lady's voice filling the air and letting him know the time was up. Dean flipped the phone shut, staring at it for a long minute before he called his dad. No answer there either, which was less than a surprise. He left a message for him, begging him to get in touch if he heard from Sam in anyway.

Then Dean walked in circles around the room for what could have been hours, what could have been days, either way by the time he collapsed onto the bed still fully clothed he was emotionally drained. Dean didn't have the foggiest idea how to go on without Sam. Didn't know how to keep function. Frankly, Dean didn't think he could go on without Sam. He'd never been more pissed off at himself then he was at that moment and if Sam never spoke to him again, Dean... well Dean just wasn't sure he could handle that.


It took Sam over twenty hours on the bus to get to Lawrence. John had texted him an address hours earlier and Sam was trudging along the streets occasionally gazing up at the signs on the corners. When he arrived at the address he tucked his phone inside his pocket and dragged himself up onto the porch. It was a small house, with a run-down yard but there were chairs on the front porch and it did look as though someone might actually be living there. Sam took a deep breath and knocked on the door.

John looked nervous when he pulled the door open but he reached for Sam's duffel quickly and ushered him inside the house. "Hi Sam, you look tired son." He threw Sam's duffel on the floor by the wall and held out his hand.

Smiling Sam took his father's hand, shook it, then was surprised by John tugging him forward into a brief hug. "You okay Sam?"

Tears prickled at the back of Sam's eyes and he blinked a few times as he pulled his notebook out. Think Dean needs a break from me. Don't tell him I'm here. I'll be ok. He handed the notebook to his Father.

They stood at the door for a few moments, neither of them knowing what to do. John read the notebook and frowned then rubbed his hand down his face. He'd already had a text from Dean so he knew something had gone wrong between them but he had no idea what. He waved his hand at the couch, "sit Sam, I'll get us a couple of beers."

Nodding, Sam slipped out of his boots and left them by the front door them padded over to the couch to flop down. It was nice to stretch out; he'd been knotted up like a pretzel on the bus. The place was a little bit like a home. Sam noticed his father had even put up some of the old family photos. Brow furrowed, Sam pulled out his notebook and was still writing when his father came back with two beers. You not hunting now? Why? What happened? Are you okay? Did Dean phone you? Can I stay just for maybe a week or so and get myself together?

John traded Sam a beer bottle for his notebook and read it then set it down on the couch between them. "I just started to feel too old, Sam. I wasn't as sharp as I used to be - and I started to realize that I could just hunt my whole life. I guess, after your mom... I sank myself into it because it was there and it was all - consuming." He took a sip of his beer. "There are other things in life though. Got a job, Sam." He grinned at the surprised look on his son's face. "Yeah - in a gun shop. S'good - like the guy who owns it. I just got tired Sam - that's all." He took a long pull on the beer bottle and leaned back, kicking his feet up onto the coffee table. "And Sam? Dean left me a message - asked me to call if you came here."

Sam shook his head and reached out for his father's arm pulling back at the last minute. He wasn't ready to see Dean yet. Sam wanted to get himself together. Maybe get a job - find somewhere to live so he could show Dean that he didn't need to be looked after - that he would be okay now - and Dean could have the normal life he wanted. The problem was, it would be a very long time before Sam could stand in a room with Dean and not want to press himself up against his brother's body. It already felt like half of Sam's heart was missing; it even ached a little when he breathed in.

John reached out and patted his son's knee. "Don't worry Sam, I haven't told him you're here. But son? This seems like something pretty bad - you and Dean - well, you've been inseparable since you were so little. Shouldn't be much could drive a wedge between you two, yeah?" John looked down at the coffee table sensing how agitated his son was.

Flipping the pen a few times in his fingers, Sam leaned down and wrote. Should have let Dean have a normal life. I'll be okay. Dean is ok. Think he met someone. Tired... can I sleep? The truth was Sam felt like he was either going to throw up or pass out - and he wasn't entirely sure which was the better alternative.

"Sure Sam, c'mon," John pushed up off the couch leaving his beer on the table and grabbed Sam's duffel.

As soon as Sam was settled in the spare room he stripped and climbed into the bed. He was lonely, and it was too quiet. Every night for years he'd fallen asleep to the soft murmurs, snores and breathing of his brother. When tears started to sting his eyes again, Sam squeezed them shut and tried desperately to go to sleep.

John waited until his son was settled and walked back to the living room. He sat back down and drank some more of his beer, eyes moving over to his cell phone a few times. After about ten minutes he slammed the bottle down on the table, swore under his breath and picked up the phone. With fingers too large for the keypad he typed in a text message for Dean. Got a guest u need to make good with. Lawrence. Staint Rd. white house. look for my truck.


When Dean woke his hand flew to the cell phone and he snatched at it, flipping it open to check for any messages. When the screen flashed the notification for one his head nearly exploded. Only it wasn't from Sam like he hoped. It was from their dad. Reading the words several times over, Dean leaped out of the bed and gathered his things at breakneck speed. And he'd never driven as fast he did that day. Regardless, it still took him nearly a day to get there and it was around three am when he finally arrived.

Clearly Dean couldn't wake them - no matter how frantic he felt - so Dean settled for parking down the street and stretching out across the seat. He could handle sleeping in the car, even if his eyes flickered over the windows and he tried to guess which one Sam might be behind. Jesus Christ he missed his brother like he'd miss a limb. More so. It felt like his soul and heart were imploding in, consuming him in nothing but hurt and pain.

Dean woke with the sun beating down on him and he nearly jumped out of his skin when his eyes flickered open and landed on his dad standing outside the door, peering in at him. Heart still slamming into his chest, Dean climbed out of the car rubbed at his hair, wondering what he must look like to the man. "Uh... hey dad. I got in late last night. Didn't want to wake you up."

"Jesus, Dean, did you stop at all on the way here?" John reached out and grabbed his shoulder, squeezing it gently. "There is a very miserable young man in my kitchen right now murdering some pancakes he's tryin' to make. Could you please go in and take over the cookin'? I'm... well, I've got some things to do over in the next town, might have to stay overnight." His fingers squeezed once more and his hand dropped, "I'll call..." He nodded toward the house, "g'on."

"Thanks," Dean said softly, giving his dad a brief flicker of a smile before jogging toward the house. He'd spent the last twentyish hours plotting out how to explain his actions to Sam, he still didn't have all the words but he was going to figure it out as he went. Dean pulled in a deep breath as he headed up the steps and pulled the door open. Dean could feel his heart racing in his ears as he walked quietly through the house, stopping just inside the kitchen and clearing his throat. "Hey Sam."

Sam was scraping batter into the garbage can. He sucked at cooking. When he heard his brother's voice he stood slowly and put the frying pan in the sink then leaned against the counter. "Dean." He didn't need to turn around to know it was his brother - there was no other voice that traveled through Sam's body quite the way his brother's did. Finally, Sam turned and leaned back against the counter, fingers darting quickly to his notebook. Saw you with woman - it's ok - you don't have to explain. I know it was too hard for us. Sam wanted Dean to be happy, no matter what. He stepped forward and reached out his hand offering the notebook to Dean.

Dean curled his fingers around the notebook and read quickly, head already shaking to the side as he tossed the paper on the counter and stepped forward. His hands cupped either side of Sam's face and he smiled softly, "Oh Sammy, you have it all wrong. That girl... it was a hunt. I was taking care of a haunting in her house," he wet his lips and dropped his hands to Sam's shoulders, keeping him in the spot. "The only reason... I didn't tell you... it was..." Dean blew out a small breath, eyes darting up as he continued on, "The man who was haunting the house was her brother. Her brother who had killed himself... after..." Shaking his head slowly, Dean once more met Sam's eyes. "He'd had a relationship with his brother. One brother broke it off, the other killed himself. It was too... I was scared it would get you thinking... and I didn't... I'm sorry. I shouldn't have hidden it from you. So, that's what it was," Dean finally released his hold on Sam and stepped back, giving his brother space and time.

Sam blinked a few times, standing there swaying a little. He reached out and placed his hand over Dean's heart, pressing lightly. His eyes darted around looking for the notebook. He should have trusted Dean. Sam knew he had a tendency to over-react to things, make quick decisions but his heart had just gone crazy when he had seen Dean in someone else's arms. It kind of hit everything home. "I..I'm sorry." Sam stepped closer.

Dean sucked in a quick breath and he pulled Sam into him, arms circling around his body and hold him tight. For years he'd wondered what his brother's voice sounded like and Dean knew, no matter how little or much he used it, he would never get tired of it. "I love you Sam. More then everything," Dean slid back, cupping Sam's jaw with his palm. "Never doubt that okay? No matter what might happen."

Sam was still nodding as he tugged on Dean's hand, leading him out of the kitchen and down the hallway to his room. He pushed his brother into the room and closed the door quietly behind him, leaning back against the door. His throat felt tight, sore, even speaking just a few words had made it ache. Licking his lips he stepped closer to Dean and shoved his hands into the front of his brother's jacket and pushing it back over Dean's shoulders. "Touch," he whispered.

"Jesus Sam," Dean gasped, knees dipping slightly as his coat fell to the floor. "Dad said he's gonna be gone till tomorrow," he chuckled slightly, toeing out of his boots. "Never thought I'd say that..." Heat pulsed through him and he curled his fingers around the hem of Sam's shirt, tugging up. "God I've missed you," he breathed, tossing his brother's shirt to the side and stepping in to brush their lips together.

Fingers slipping under the hem of Dean's t-shirt, Sam pushed it up, hands traveling over Dean's skin, over his muscles, his palm rested against his brother's heart for a few moments then he pulled the shirt all the way up and over Dean's head catching his brother's lips with his. Sam kept Dean's hands tangled in the t-shirt, holding them above his head and worked his mouth over Dean's. He sucked Dean's bottom lip, biting it, then thrusting his tongue hard into Dean's mouth, taking back the taste and feel of his brother. He tugged the t-shirt the rest of the way off and deepened the kiss.

Dean curled his fingers low on Sam's waist, hooking around the denim as his mouth fell open for his brother's. Heat was already flaring through him so he stepped closer into his brother's body, enjoying the flush of their chest together as Sam's tongue slid along his. Dean pulled them backward to the bed, knowing his knees were likely to give out sooner rather than later, especially since he'd slept for possibly less than six hours in the past three days.

Sam pushed his brother down on the bed and crawled up his body until he was straddling Dean's thighs. His hands moved over Dean's flesh, warm and smooth, his eyes following. It wasn't like they'd been apart for weeks or even days but it felt like forever. Sam locked his eyes with Deans and settled his fingers on the button of his brother's jeans. Tugging softly, he pulled the button open and slid the zipper down eyes focused on his brother's.

"Shit," Dean sucked in a sharp breath, hips arching off the bed in surprise. After over a year of kissing and rubbing and a whole lot of touching but not near enough of real touching, Dean could hardly believe this was happening. And here of all places. In their dad's house. Dean shoved that thought aside and lifted his head to stare down at his brother, once more lifting his hips to allow Sam to drag the material down.

Crawling backwards down his brother's legs, Sam pulled his jeans off and stopped briefly to pull of Dean's socks. He kissed his way back up dean's legs, crawling slowly and sliding as much of his body against Dean's as he could. Licking a path up Dean's stomach and over his chest Sam lowered himself, pressing their bodies together, lips latching on to Dean's collar bone. Sam sucked and nipped at Dean's flesh, tasting the days' sweat and then biting down hard as he rocked his hips down against the hard line in Dean's boxers that he could feel through his jeans.

Dean slipped his hands into Sam's hair, tightening slightly and pulling his brother up to crash their lips together in hard rocks. Once he had his tongue thrust into Sam's mouth, Dean's hands dropped to Sam's pants, working at the button and zipper in between them and shoving on the waistband. "Off," he gasped as his head fell back onto the pillow. His eyes connected with Sam's, communicating silently like only they could, your pace. Dean smiled slightly, leaning up to brush their lips together once more.

Sam rolled off his brother and pushed his jeans and boxers down, then leaned over Dean and tugged on his boxers, motioning for him to lift his hips so he could tug them all the way off. He stood there at the side of the bed, staring down at Dean's body, his eyes roaming over the skin and muscle laid out in front of him. His heart was thumping hard and slow, thundering in his ears and he licked his lips. He'd never seen Dean completely naked, well, in passing maybe but not like this. Feeling a flush of heat creeping up his body Sam swayed forward then kneeled on the bed to crawl back over his brother's hips. He moaned when their cocks brushed together and fell to Dean's side, leg thrown over his brother's thighs, cheek pressed against Dean's chest.

Everything in Dean felt like it was on overload and he turned his head to the side, staring at Sam with wide, lust blown eyes. "Sammy..." he reached out and touched the side of Sam's face, flicking a piece of hair out of his eyes. He caught his lower lip between his teeth for a moment before shifting them over, rolling to fall in between Sam's legs. A faint gasp fell from his mouth as his hips rocked forward into Sam's, cocks sliding together. "Okay?" He pulled himself up to stare down into Sam's eyes in question.

Hands grabbing at his brother's shoulders, Sam panted a few breaths, "always okay," he murmured. He pulled Dean closer sliding one hand behind his brother's neck and bringing their lips closer. Sam's lips barely touched Dean's as he brushed them back and forth, then his tongue slipped out, shy, tentative and he ran the tip of it along his brother's bottom lip. He couldn't stop the trembling that began somewhere in the center of his body; he slid his hand down his brother's chest, stopping only when the back of his hand grazed the hot flesh of Dean's cock. As the touch sent waves of pleasure across his chest Sam leaned up and caught Dean's lip between his teeth.

Dean was fairly certain he was going to come just from hearing the few words falling from Sam's mouth. That alone was enough to send his brain on overload, add the touch in and Dean had a pretty good feeling this was going to be over not long after it started. Once more he rolled them to the side, this time leaning forward to seal their lips together the rest of the way as his hand fell down into the space between their hips. With a little negotiating around Sam's hand and arm already there, he curled his fingers along the base of his brother's cock, moaning into the kiss, tongue thrusting forward as his palm dragged up the heated flesh.

Sam's hips snapped forward into his brother's grasp and he sucked hard on Dean's tongue, sliding his own against it as it slipped deep into his mouth. His rough palm slid against the warmth of his brother's shaft, so hard and smooth, alive. Breaking the kiss, Sam sucked in a huge breath and buried his face in Dean's neck, biting and sucking the glistening flesh. "Dean," he moaned, lips moving against his brother's neck as his hand moved against Dean's cock. "Love you," Sam's voice was thick, his throat aching and he bit down hard on Dean's neck, rolling the skin slightly then licking away the pain.

A quick gasp left his mouth at the words and he jerked forward into Sam's touch, eager for more. "Love you," he echoed, mind dizzy, skin tingling. His hand worked along Sam's flesh as his head tilted more to the side to give Sam as much access as possible. He could already feel his orgasm building, pushing at him and he slid his thumb over the slit, rubbing firmly and smearing the gathered precome. "I'm gonna... soon..." he panted, thrusting up urgently, gasping when his cock brushed against Sam's. Dean rolled his hips again, repeating the action and he groaned, eyes snapping shut as pleasure consumed him and he tipped over the edge. Everything in him tightened as white hot ropes of his release fell along Sam's hand over their skin.

Sam's hand moved over Dean's cock, working him through the pulsing and throbbing as he came. Shuddering, Sam felt his own orgasm build within him, bursting through his body like a wave of fire. The feel of his brother's come, slick and warm, the taste of Dean's neck, their hands, everything was swirling around Sam at a dizzying speed. He came, thrusting up against his brother, skin rasping against Dean's rough palm, keening against his brother's neck. His body shuddered in time with the throbbing and pulsing of his cock and Sam moved back slowly, searching clumsily for his brother's mouth with his and finally crushing their lips together.

Dean kissed him fervently for a few minutes, releasing his grip around his brother. Gradually their lips fell to a more slow, languid pace. It was the most intense thing he'd ever felt, coupled together with the words he'd been so privileged to hear, Dean knew no matter what happened in the future he would always remember this time. "Sammy..." he whispered the name against his brother's lips, falling back onto the pillow a moment later, chest slowly evening out.

Behind his closed eyes Sam was completely lost in the way his body felt. He'd never experienced anything like what he had with Dean before, and this, this was worth the wait. Shifting so he could nuzzle into his brother hair, God he loved the smell of Dean, Sam's lips moved against the shell of Dean's ear, "missed you."

"Yeah, missed you too," Dean murmured and stroked a hand through Sam's hair. "I could listen to you talk all day," he said softly and grinned. "But I understand... if it takes time to build up to that. Does it hurt?" His face turned down slightly to peer at the top of Sam's head, dropping a kiss to his hair. He couldn't even imagine talking after so many years of silence, even if he'd been saying Dean's name for awhile, the change had to be extreme.

Sam nodded against his brother's shoulder, "does," he whispered. Sam's arm slid across Dean's chest, fingers curling into his side and pulling them closer together. He liked the way he fit under Dean's arm, against his side; Sam never felt like the gangly tall guy anymore - not around Dean. He swallowed and grimaced nuzzling closer. "Sleep?" He was trying; he knew how much Dean loved to hear his voice.

"Sleep," Dean agreed and reached down to pull the blanket up around them. He could spend forever tangled together with his brother, riding the post orgasmic wave of bliss into sleep. And if Dean had his way about it, he would.


The sun was beaming down into Dean's face, which was probably why when he woke he felt like he was burning up, that along with the weight of Sam half sprawled over him and it was no surprise his skin felt damp with sweat. A slow grin worked its way up his lips as he shifted and stretched beneath his brother. Instantly his mind provided a very vivid memory of the hours before and Dean's grin morphed into a full fledge smile. "Mm wakey wakey Sam, don't want to spend the whole day sleeping," he said softly, hand snaking under the blanket to trace along the curve of Sam's back, settling on his ass and squeezing firmly.

Groaning softly Sam's hand came up to cover Dean's mouth in an attempt to keep him quiet. He had barely slept while he was away from Dean, it just wasn't the same, no warmth, no Dean. Sam snuggled closer, completely undeterred by the heat in the room and the heat coming off his brother's body. He cleared his throat and pointed at Dean's chest "pancakes."

"Shower," Dean corrected, grinning even as he wiggled free from underneath Sam. "Then pancakes." He grimaced at the dried come on his abs and pushed to the edge of the bed, dropping his feet to the ground and stretching his arms high above his head. With a glance over his shoulder, he said, "You're welcome to join me if you'd like." Dean smirked as he pushed up and padded off out of the room, finding the bathroom a few doors down and turning on the faucet.

Sam eyes popped open at the suggestion and he scrambled out of the bed and darted down the hall to the bathroom almost colliding with Dean. Some things were absolutely worth getting out of bed for.

Grinning at him, Dean pulled Sam into the shower, wrapping his arms low around his waist and bringing their lips together as they stepped under the spray. After a moment he turned them, pushing Sam under the water and smiling as water dripped over him. "You look good wet. Well, you look good always but I like you wet a lot."

Tipping his head back, Sam let the water run down his chest and moved his hands over his own body. When he looked back down at Dean he smiled and reached behind him for the soap. It was a tight fit in the shower, neither of them were small men but Sam was willing to make it work. He rubbed the soap between his hands and started to move his slick hands over his brother's body. His hands slid around Dean's neck, down over his shoulders, across his chest and he ran his thumbs over his brother's nipples a few times. It was like re-learning an entirely new Dean. Years of kissing and clothed bodies moving together were so different from this. Sam wasn't sure why he'd been the one who was so insistent on them being slow. Sliding his soapy hands around Dean's waist and over the curve of his ass Sam slid his body back and forth across his brother's. Touch, it was always the way that he had spoken to Dean and he was pretty sure that would never change.

Dean moaned softly at the touch, taking the soap from Sam's hand and using it to lather Sam in the same way. His soapy hand slid along Sam's chest, down to his hipbones, rubbing into the curve and dipping lower to slide along muscled thighs. There really was no way to describe what Sam did to him, how crazy he made him, but he was fairly certain there were things Sam understood without words. After all, he was the expert on the matter. Sam's skin was like silk under his fingers and he continued to touch every section he could, setting the soap in the tray and letting the side of his hand brush along the semi hard flesh of his brother's cock.

Taking in a deep breath, Sam leaned into his brother's touch as the blood flooded to his shaft and it throbbed between them. Sam's hands slid, slippery and quick back from Dean's ass and curled over the slight jut of his hip bones, fingers curling into the muscle. "More," Sam whispered, sliding his cock against Dean's and dipping his head slightly so he could slant his mouth over Dean's and kiss him, hard.

Another moan into the kiss and Dean pushed Sam up against the wall, shifting between him and rolling forward. Though he was a few inches shorter, it actually made for the perfect angle when Sam legs slid out slightly and Dean could grind his hips down into his brother's. Their cocks slid together for a moment before Dean worked a hand between them, massaging Sam's balls against his palm as he moved forward once more. His free hand fell to the wall beside Sam's head, pressing hard into the cool tile as he rocked forward over and over, tongue thrusting into Sam's mouth and fighting for dominance.

Sam moaned and his hands clawed at Dean's back, nails scratching his brother's skin. Everything was slick and hot, Dean's skin moved against Sam's so easily. He was clinging to his brother, loving every slide of flesh against his and struggling to keep himself on his feet. He gave up on trying to control the kiss, letting Dean move his body, his mouth, everything.

It was the best sort of power rush, claiming his brother's mouth with his own, rocking them together, touching him in every way that he could. Dean almost continually moaned into the kiss, already feel his second orgasm for the day crawling up on him. He broke the kiss with a gasp, forehead falling against Sam's as he moved. "Jesus Sammy," he panted, little burst of air falling between them, hips in constant motion.

Sliding one hand up into his brother's wet hair, Sam grabbed what he could as he matched the movement of Dean's hips. His breath quickened, his heart was racing and he was starting to feel that wonderful heat building to overflowing deep in his belly. He murmured his brother's name again and shuddered under the heat of the water as the thrust of Dean's hips sent his orgasm spinning through his body. Gasping and throwing his head back he came, fingers gripping Dean's hair and shoulder, hips rocking erratically.

The feel of Sam hitting was enough to send Dean tumbling after. Too many years of pent up frustrations, Dean was going to have to work at bringing his stamina back up but he figured it would be fine by the time it really counted. "Love you," he breathed in his post orgasm bliss, leaning heavily against Sam's body, shaking slightly as his head rested along his brother's neck and he sucked in quick breaths.

Grinning, Sam leaned forward and whispered, "more," in Dean's ear - knowing full well that even if Dean did have the stamina there wouldn't be much Sam could do about it. He couldn't resist though.

"Mm, pancakes," Dean pulled back a little and smirked, rubbing his stomach. "Gotta feed the growing boy," he brushed his lips along Sam's and stepped back into the spray, washing the off the fresh come and remaining soap. "We'll get to the more bit, I'm fairly sure of that," he shifted them after a moment, nudging Sam under the spray.

Sam made quick work of rinsing himself off and slipped out of the shower first so he could grab the biggest towel. Nothing was much worse than trying to dry his six foot plus tall frame with a hand towel. Tossing his wet towel at his brother, Sam padded back across the hall and started rooting through his duffel for some clean clothes.

Still chuckling softly, Dean wrapped the damp towel around his waist and headed back to the room, leaning against the wall and admiring his brother. "I'm gonna need you to run out to the car and get my duffel, once you're dressed," he smiled softly, catching his lip between his teeth as he watched Sam's flesh disappear under his boxers.

Looking up at Dean, Sam nodded quickly. He stood battling with his jeans to get them on over his slightly damp legs. He swatted at the hair that was falling in damps wisps across his eyes and grinned at Dean. After finally managing to get his jeans on Sam grabbed a t-shirt and pulled it down over his head. Padding over to Dean he put both hands on his brother's chest and pinned him against the wall for a few moments so he could kiss him, nip at his bottom lip, then he was gone. He tossed a grin over his shoulder as he grabbed Dean's jacket and pulled out his keys then headed downstairs.

Dean cleared his throat and slowly smiled as he headed to the bed, dropping down and waiting. A few minutes later Sam returned with his bag and he stood back up, "Thanks," he breathed and grabbed the duffel, fingers brushing purposefully along Sam's. "So... this is dad's place huh? Is a permanent home?" He looked up at Sam curiously, pulling a clean pair of boxers and jeans from the bag.

Sam nodded and flopped down on the bed on his stomach staring up at the lines of his brother's back. He reached out to the night stand and grabbed a notebook and wrote gave up hunting, just got tired...says he's old. think he might have girlfriend in next town. Sam tugged himself up to the edge of the bed and handed Dean the notebook as he rolled onto his back so he could see his brother's face.

"Girlfriend huh?" Dean couldn't help the small smirk at that. "Weird thought... dad having a girlfriend. But then again, it's weird just to think about him not hunting," Dean shrugged and pulled on a shirt, stuffing loose clothes back in the bag. "Good for him though. That he reached a point in his life where he could just give it up," Dean smiled at Sam and headed for the door. "Food time."

Rolling off the bed, Sam trailed out of the room behind Dean.

Watching Dean cook was always amusing. Sam started the coffee brewing and then hopped up onto the kitchen counter to watch Dean stir up the batter. As far back as Sam could remember, Dean had made the best pancakes. It was why Sam had been trying and failing to make them when his brother had arrived. He'd wanted something that would remind him of his brother. Sam pressed his lips together as he waited, clutching a notebook in one hand and pen in the other.

Once the batter was all mixed and the frying pan was suitable heated, Dean poured two healthy dollops onto the surface and turned slightly to glance at Sam, smile on his face. "Yes my oh so patient brother? Something you need to say?" He grinned at the notebook, sliding over to brush his lips against the corner of Sam's, hand resting on his thigh and squeezing softly.

Sighing out a breath Sam smiled. "Love that," he said quietly then wrote. Glad you're here, really glad. He held the notebook up so Dean could see it.

With a small smile Dean reached up and trailed his fingers down Sam's jaw line. "No where else I'd rather be," he chuckled softly and moved back to the frying pan to check the pancakes progress. "I know, that was pathetically sappy. What can I say? You bring out the chick flick in me," he tossed a grin at Sam before scooting the spatula under one pancake and flipping it over.

Smiling Sam swung his legs a little, fidgeting and eyeballing the pancakes. When he could see they were just about ready Sam hopped down off the counter and got some syrup and butter out of the fridge and put them on the table. He ran his hand over Dean's ass as he walked past him to grab plates and cutlery then went to sit at the table waiting patiently.

"Well this brings back odd memories," Dean mused and carried the frying pan over by the handle, sliding the two pancakes on his brother's plate before heading back to stove to make his own. "Remember how I used to make these every Saturday morning when you were seven? It was the only way I could get you up," Dean chuckled softly, glancing over at Sam in time to see him smother the pancake in syrup. "And then I'd always complain about how you were going to be so hyper from the syrup." He poured more batter onto the frying pan, leaning against the counter to watch his brother with fond eyes.

Sam was nodding and smiling, "love syrup." He dove into the pancakes and chewed happily. Nothing was better than Dean's cooking, in particular his pancakes. When he'd cleaned off his plate Sam reached for his notebook. Can we stay with dad for a few days? Just keep him company. Maybe get to know him a little? He pushed up from the table and walked over to Dean sliding the notebook on to the counter. Leaning against Dean's back, Sam slid his arms around his brother's waist.

Quietly finishing up his pancakes, Dean nodded after awhile, "Alright. But you know we'll have to sleep in separate rooms." He glanced over his shoulder and poured the rest of the batter into the frying pan to make one giant pancake.

Sam let go of his brother long enough to write. Only one spare room, will tell Dad I'll sleep on the floor. He went to step back then leaned back to add who is that pancake for?

"The ghost of Christmas past," Dean shrugged and watched the batter start to bubble in the middle. "Couldn't waste the batter, it's all yours, what you want of it." His smile was warm again as he crossed to the table and brought the syrup over to squeeze over his pancakes. "So... you know I'm gonna ask about the talking..." he said softly and cut into the fluffy pancake, bringing it to his lips. "You don't have to answer now if you don't want to but... I'd like to know, if you can tell me, why you stopped in the first place. Or why you're starting up again now," Dean lifted his gaze to Sam's, reaching out to trail his fingers along Sam's collar bone.

Sam looked down at his notebook then back up at his brother. After a few moments he wrote. You spoke for me when I was little. Then you and Dad were. Sam tapped the pen against the notebook for a few moments. fighting a lot - the older you got the more you two fought. It felt like there were too many voices. Then, I liked that I had you to myself. No one understood me the way that you did. I wanted it to just be you and me. Frustrated at how hard it was to explain, Sam tossed the pen down and tore the page out.

"Hey," Dean said softly, stepping forward and curling his hand around Sam's wrist, gently prying the paper from him. Dean kept his hand on Sam's wrist as he smoothed out the paper and read over the words. He'd never really ever known what to make of Sam's silence, always thought that something major had to trigger it. What Sam had written wasn't exactly major but, in the eyes of someone so young, he could see how it would have felt that way. "I wish I would have known," Dean said softly, releasing Sam's wrist and bring his fingers up to cup Sam's jaw. "But then... if you hadn't been silent... who knows how things would have turned out. Thank you... for being honest." He brushed their lips together softly before pulling back to slid the bigger pancake out of the pan. "So what about now? Do you think... you're going to keep this talking thing up?"

Sam's eyes fell to the table and he fiddled with the edge of the notebook. "you want me to talk?" His voice was raspy and it still surprised him to hear it; it sounded strange in his own head.

Dean was actually a little stunned to hear so many words strung together like that. His heart fluttered strangely in his chest and he turned off the burner on the stove before sliding over to him. "I want you to do what you want to do. You know we work with you not talking. Though... I do enjoy hearing you say my name," Dean smiled and stepped close to Sam, curling his arms up over his shoulders, hands loosely tangling in the hair along the back of his neck. "Just take it at your pace. No hurry. If there are days you can't say anything at all, that's okay."

Sam nodded and pressed his hand over Dean's heart then dipped his head down to kiss his brother's soft lips. "Okay, Dean." He grinned, "more."

Chapter Text

"Sam..." Dean whispered softly into the kiss, falling back into the wall as Sam stepped flush against him. They had been cleaning the house, or at least straightening it up so in preparation for their dad's return, but really, it was almost impossible to keep their hands off each other at this point. Already Dean had come more in the last twenty four hours then he had in the past month. Sam was insatiable and Dean was right there along with him. A small gasp left his lips as Sam's mouth connected with his neck and Dean's head fell back against the wall. Then a rough clearing of a throat had his head shooting up, body sliding out from under Sam's at break neck speed as his eyes locked and fixed on their dad. "Uh... Dad. Hi," his face had to be bright red and Dean instinctively slid a little in front of Sam, even though it was impossible to fully hide his taller brother, at least he could work as a barrier if things got ugly. "What's up?" That sounded pretty lame even to him. There was definitely no way of denying what the man had just seen, he only hoped Sam and he would have a chance to get away before things could escalate to blows.

Sam's fingers slipped through Dean's belt loop and he leaned forward to peer over his brother's shoulder. "Hi, Dad."

John's face ran through the full gamut of emotions.  "Dean..."  He scrubbed his hand down his face and leaned to the side slightly to look at Sam.  "Your brother just spoke."  John stumbled back a few steps and sat down hard on the couch.

"Yeah, he's uh... been doing that," Dean smiled shakily; reaching behind him to curl a hand around Sam's hip and squeeze. "It's a recent thing," he added softly and wet his lips nervously.

"Boys," John leaned forward, resting his arms across his thighs, "you better come sit, we need to talk."  He looked up at Dean, his eyes almost impossible to read.

Sam stiffened behind his brother leaning closer.

"Okay..." Dean said softly and dragged Sam over to the two chairs across from the couch, dropping down and tugging the other closer to him before Sam sat. At this point there was no use hiding things so he snatched at Sam's hand, lacing their fingers together and squeezing with a quick look of reassurance. "So. Is this where you tell us it's wrong? Because I don't think either Sam or I really want to hear that."

John let out a long sigh and sat back.  "Dean, you think maybe we could start off not fighting?  We might get further than way."  He scratched his head and his eyes moved down to his son's hands then back up to Sam's face.  "Sammy?  You okay with Dean being here?" 

Sam shifted, about to launch up from his chair when he noticed that his father's eyes were slightly wrinkled at the edges, like they used to do when he was amused by something they had done when they were kids.  "Yes."  Sam leaned forward a little, curious, fingers tightening on his brother's.

Dean settled back in his chair and considered his father. "We just had a... miscommunication. It's better. Obviously," he added and squeezed Sam's hand. His shoulders were tense and he wished his father would just get on with it because Dean didn't have a very good level of patience and he was fairly certain everyone in his family already knew that.

"Dean, you think I didn't know this might happen?  Do you think that I didn't watch you two grow up and know that - you were..." he huffed out a breath and shifted uncomfortably, "damnit, you were too close.  From the time Sam stopped talking - it was like there was this bond between you."

Wetting his lips, Dean glanced at Sam for a long moment before meeting his dad's eyes. His instinct was to snap back with something sarcastic but he could tell the man was trying and it didn't seem like he was about to kick them out or threaten to beat them so, that was something. "That's because I understood Sam. I... I don't know how you saw it then, I mean, we didn't even figure out... everything... until..." he broke off, thinking it might be best to not mention how long they'd been kissing and such. "Well, not that long ago. So... is that... is that why you wanted Sam to go away? Because you thought this might happen between us?" He could feel Sam tense beside him and he slid his other hand out to rest along his forearm, rubbing softly.

"I didn't know what I saw."  John's eyes were tired.  "What I knew was that the two of you were different, not like brothers, I'm not accusing you of doing anything when Sammy was young.  Dean, I know you hate me - but you're still my son.  I know you and I know you would never hurt Sam."  John's eyes moved back to Sam.  "Sam, I didn't know how to help you and I didn't want Dean to feel like he had to be the one who took care of you."

Sam nodded and looked at Dean, "was me." He nudged Dean wanting him to tell his father that it was Sam who started the more physical side of their relationship.

Dean rolled his eyes, a slight smile on his face as he shook his head. After a moment he glanced up at his dad and noticed a slightly confused look in his tired eyes and he couldn't help the faint blush. "He wants you to know he was the first too... you know... cross that line," Dean gestured vaguely and carried on before the room could get swallowed in uncomfortable silence. "Look Dad, I don't hate you. I... I was mad at you, still am in a lot of ways, because you were trying to take away the one good thing I had in my life. I don't think... you ever really understood." Dean turned his gaze back to Sam when he spoke, "Lookin' after Sam... it was never a chore. It was never something I had to do. It was always something I wanted too. Always. Even when we were kids. And now... well he's got my back just as much as I have his. You should see him, he's a great hunter. Nothin' compared to me but he's getting there," Dean smirked and dropped his gaze back to his dad's.

John shook his head, "don't you get it, Dean?  That's what I saw, that's why I tried to send Sam away.  I'm your father.  There's only so much a parent... I couldn't just..." John let his head fall forward into his hands. 

Sam shifted and reached into his pocket for a small notebook and pen.  When he'd finished writing he handed the book to Dean.  Dad was trying to protect you.  He looked across at Dean and reached up to smooth his brother's hair back from his forehead. 

Sighing softly, Dean leaned into the touch, eyes dropping to Sam's lap before he lifted his gaze to his father once more. "I'm never gonna see it through your eyes dad, but... I get it at least. I'm over holding that grudge anyway. I... my life is too good for grudges like that any more," Dean smiled over at Sam.

John looked up at his sons, "I didn't want to lose both of you.  Maybe I was trying too hard to keep both of you."  John cleared his throat and wiped the back of his hand across his mouth.  "I... uh... I was never as important to anyone as you were to each other." 

Pressing his lips together, Sam glanced up at Dean.  Feeling tears prickling behind his eyes, Sam shifted and stood.  "Beer?"  He moved quietly out of the living room into the kitchen.

Watching Sam go, Dean stood and walked slowly to the couch, dropping down beside his dad with a feet or so between them. He could handle comforting Sam, that he was familiar with, this? Completely foreign territory. "You were. To mom," Dean said quietly and reached out to pat his father's arm. "It's just been awhile. You've forgotten. But... you're important to us. Sam and I." For the first time since everything happened, Dean felt guilty for the way he'd left with Sam. He wouldn't stay if he had a second go around, but maybe he'd work harder to mend things. "You know, we were thinking we'd hang around a few days. You could show us where you work. Invite over any uh... friends you might have," Dean arched his eyebrows slightly, a smirk tugging at his lips.

Sam strode back into the room with three bottles and put them on the coffee table in front of the two older men.  He hesitated, a bit unsure of how to act.  His heart was tugging at him to go and sit by Dean's feet but he didn't want to make his father uncomfortable.  Threading his fingers through his hair Sam turned and grabbed his notebook and wrote furiously.  Dad - need to know if it's okay to be ourselves in front of you - can't stay otherwise. He held out the notebook to his father.

John grabbed the notebook from Sam and a beer with his other hand.  He passed the notebook to Dean and looked up at his youngest son.  "Within reason Sam," he cleared his throat and shifted then pulled his shirt away from his throat.  "I'm still your father."

Blushing slightly, Sam nodded and flashed a quick smile at Dean then moved around the table to sit down on the floor by Dean's feet.  Grabbing his beer Sam flung an arm over Dean's legs.  When he raised the beer bottle to his lips his hand was shaking a little.

Dean dropped his hand to Sam's hair, reaching out for his own beer and stroking his fingers through silky hair. After twisting off the top he took a long drink before shifting his eyes to their dad. "Thanks," he said softly, a slight smile on his face.

Looking down at the beer bottle in his hand for a few moments John spoke softly. "I'm glad you boys are happy.  When I phoned.  When I wanted you to come and meet me - I guess I wanted to know if you were happy.  Wanted to know that I hadn't screwed things up a lot more by... pushing you away."  He looked across at Sam where he sat and glanced at Dean's fingers moving through his brother's hair.  "The way you were with each other, the way you seemed to know what each other were thinking - checked with each other.  It was good."  He nodded to himself and looked back down at his beer.

Shifting slightly Sam smiled up at Dean and pushed back into his brother's hand.  "Very happy," he said quietly then took a drink of beer. 

This made Dean smile in return and his hand dropped for just a moment to graze along Sam's jaw line. Dean shifted forward slightly and pressed his hand against Sam's heart, holding it for a beat before he dropped back onto the couch and resumed stroke Sam's hair. "So... we're okay then?" He glanced over at his dad, wishing it was as easy to tell him he still loved him. Cause the man would always be his father, no matter what, and he hoped he knew that.

"We're good," John looked over at Sam, "good?"  He tilted his head and smiled slightly.

Sam nodded, hair flopping down into his eyes, "good."

"Jesus Christ, Sam."  John's voice was loud in the room, "I can't get over you talkin'."

"I know, I'm still trying to get used to it," Dean chuckled and instinctively leaned forward to drop a kiss on Sam's temple. When he pulled back he flushed slightly, eyes darting toward John. "Sorry. It's the talking thing. It... it's good. That he is. But he knows there's no pressure too," Dean smiled, thumb smoothing over the spot his lips had been moments before.

"I got some news," John blurted out.  He almost looked like he regretted his words as he took a long pull on the beer bottle.

Sam struggled to hide his grin as he smacked Dean's leg.  Blinking up innocently at John he waited.

"I've been seein' someone.  She lives over in the next town - came in to the shop to buy a shotgun."  He looked over his son's faces and his lips twitched into a grin.  "Gotta like a woman with a good appreciation for weapons."

Sam laughed softly and curled his fingers over Dean's thigh.

Dean couldn't help his soft chuckle and he pulled from his beer quietly for a minute before fixing his gaze on his dad, "So... is it pretty serious? You and her?" He wanted to meet Sam's eyes but chances where they'd both break into laughter, or well, Dean would laugh and Sam would bury his face in his hands and it wasn't because their dad dating someone was funny. It was more the expression on his face.

John shrugged.  "I'm too old for serious, I'm lookin' for fun."  Even John had to laugh when he said that.

Sam choked on a mouthful of beer and dribbled half of it down onto his shirt as he tried not to laugh.

"Jesus," Dean scrunched up his face and shook his head. "I didn't need to know that dad," Dean chuckled and slid his fingers to the low part of Sam's neck, dipping slightly under the collar and sliding along the skin before coming around his neck and resting just over the collarbone. Dean stifled a yawn around his hand, glancing down at Sam with possibly more longing eyes then he should.

Wiping his mouth on his sleeve Sam grinned over at his Dad.  "Happy?"  He took another swallow of beer, his throat was feeling raw and sandpapery.

John smiled, "I am now, Sammy."  He emptied his bottle and put it on the table.  "Listen, I... I'm tired.  This was kind of... unexpected. I'm gonna turn in. You boys... do whatever it is you... anyway."  John stood and stretched his back out.  "Breakfast tomorrow?"

"Definitely," Dean agreed, and pushed up off the couch, holding out a hand for Sam to help pull him up. "See you in the morning," he smiled and turned slightly, still too amused by his dad's most recent comment.

Sam turned to look up at his brother before looking back down and writing in his notebook.  sorry throat hurts, was good.  I'm glad we came.  He held it up so Dean could see it and then grabbed his hand and pulled himself up.

"Yeah Sam, me too," Dean nodded slowly and pulled Sam into him, brushing their lips together. "I'm dying to meet the girlfriend," Dean admitted with a smirk and tugged Sam down the hall to the guest room. The nerves in him were finally beginning to settle and for the first time in a long time, Dean felt like all the pieces of his life were sorting themselves out.

Closing the door quietly behind them Sam whipped his t-shirt off over his head and threw it at his brother.  Grinning, he popped the button open on his jeans then slid the zipper down.  As he pushed his jeans and boxers down over his hips he smiled over at his brother, noting the fact that Dean's eyes were locked on his body. 

"Mm always so eager Sammy," Dean said softly, voice deep. He curled his fingers around his own shirt, tugging it off and tossing it to the floor. He couldn't seem to raise his eyes from their spotted fixed in on Sam's crotch and he shoved out of his own jeans and boxers a moment later. "C'mere," he held out a hand, finally looking up into Sam's eyes and stepping back to the bed.

Grabbing Dean's hand, Sam let himself be tugged forward.  He moved around Dean and flopped down on to the bed kicking his way under the covers and turning to yank Dean down.  "Long day," he whispered.

"Very," Dean agreed and brushed their lips together. "Not every day you have a conversation like that with your dad," he smiled softly and ran his hand through Sam's hair. "Love you Sammy."

Sam pressed his hand against his brother's chest, right above his heart.  He shifted closer, maneuvering his brother around until he could press himself up against Dean's side and bury his nose in his hair.

Dean snaked his arms around Sam's body and held high tight. It was actually relaxing to know he didn't have to worry about their dad finding them like this. Chances were the man wasn't going to be peeking in at all. With a small smile he brushed his lips to the top of Sam's head. "Sleep tight."

 Sam's eyes drifted closed and he smiled.


My name is Sam Winchester. Samuel, after my Grandfather, Sammy to my brother.  Sammy to the man who loves me more than anyone else ever has.  I suppose people might judge us for the way we are but there's nothing that's not right about it.  I understand my father better now, I get what he was trying to do even if I think he got it a little wrong.  Dean ... he is better now, calmer, it's like somehow the pieces of his puzzle have all started to fall into place.  I like that.  But then, I'm biased.

I have never really managed to explain to Dean why I stopped talking.  Maybe it just had to happen, like Dad had to try and send me away, like I had to run; if none of those things had happened then Dean and I would never have become what we are.  Hunting, I've seen enough to know that I believe in things outside our control;  I just don't know what to call it.  Fate? Magic? It's as though there's a place we're supposed to be, somewhere we have to travel to and as messed up as we get, as far as we stray from the direct path - the universe will get us there somehow.

I had to get to Dean.