He asks Dean to pick a direction and drive, and counts one-thousand-Mississippis in his head until an hour and twenty minutes have passed, and then he asks to be dropped off there.
Dean cranes his head to look out the window as he pulls over into the gravel, to pick out a street sign against the low grey sky. “Here?” he says. “At the corner of Bumfuck and Nowhere?”
“There’s something I need to do,” Sam says.
sam being constantly interrupted by cas in the batcave library like sam will be reading and cas will appear at his shoulder like “what are you reading sam” and he’d just hover and wouldn’t get the hints to go read his own book so eventually sam places cas on his lap and reads to him and cas nuzzles against his chest and just listens ;u;
if cas fell sam would teach him EVERYTHING he’d be so patient with him pls and it would start as really brotherly or st like sam’s always wanted to try being a big brother but eventually they’d sit closer together and brush their hands together until one day they kiss and then they get together and it’s perf *u*
The first note slips out of Sam’s locker on a damp morning in October. He bends to pick it up, expecting a flyer about a club, or a snide comment from Dean.
He has to reread what it actually says three times before it sinks in.
She’s been with guys before, obviously – she’s eighteen, she’s a cheerleader, she’s pretty. She knows boys want her, and she knows she wants them right back, so why should she deny herself anything that feels that good? She’s never understood the idea of waiting until it’s right, or waiting until it’s special; sex is sex, sex is fun, and that’s all there is to it.
It’s never been this good before, though.
From the get go, the very beginning. From the moment his feet stepped onto the dewy grass and his small legs pumped with the fierce determination of a hundred relay runners to get away from that house, Dean has been emotionally stinted. Don’t trust anybody, John had told him. Don’t even trust me. Love nobody more than you love your brother, not even yourself. Your brother is your responsibility. Your brother is your world, now. Sammy takes precedence over me, Dean, he had said.
If I’m lost but Sam is hungry, don’t come looking. Feed him.
If I’m injured but Sam needs a bath, don’t fix me up. Bathe him.
If I disappear for a few days on a hunting trip, don’t worry. Don’t even think about me; just take care of your brother. Take care of Sammy.
And so it went, his life mapped out for him by an alcoholic father and a too young little brother. Years and ages spent making sure Sam had his supper, making sure Sam did his homework. Teaching him the birds and the bees, the proper ways to kiss a girl. Showing him the ropes when it comes to shaving, giving him butchered and uneven haircuts until Sam started running away and pleading for him to put the scissors away. John would comment on how long Sam’s hair is getting whenever he popped in, but Dean would ignore him and usher Sam to bed, sliding in beside him to cradle and protect him from the brewery brute of their father.
Some days Dean grew to resent his father and his brother and would spend entire weeks in bed, moping and feeling sorry for himself. He would neglect Sam’s homework, Sam’s dinner. It would be a blessing of sorts, to Sam at least, if he managed to shuffle to the bathroom and shower. That rarely happened.
Instead he thought about how different his life could’ve been. He thought about how before the fire, he had the world at his fingertips. He could’ve been anything, done anything. He thinks about the acceptance letter to Stanford that he found crumpled underneath the bed, shoved there hastily by Sam. Knows that if he had the opportunity, he could have gone to college. He could currently be in college, living his own life, learning his own things. Depending on himself, getting the opportunity to care and worry about himself and his own future.
But just like before, just like always, Dean breaks from the slump and starts making dinner for Sam. He starts scolding his brother again when he tries to watch television instead of doing his homework, starts chasing after his hair with scissors again. He cleans up the motel room, washes the counters and table and drags Sam along to the Laundromat down the road to wash the bed sheets. Under the harsh lighting you can see heavy bags beneath his eyes but Dean brushes away Sam’s light touches, shoves a smile on his face.
He devotes 18 years of his life to taking care of his baby brother and two nights after high school graduation, Sam approaches Dean and John cautiously. Their father is on the brink of passing out, his third beer half empty in his fist, and Dean is using his foot to keep him propped up. There’s a nervousness to his little brother and Dean goes on high alert, stands quickly from the couch and pesters him with what’s wrong’s and are you okay’s until Sam shoves him away, stands a little taller.
He asks if he can go to Stanford.
No, John snaps, and their father stands to his feet. There’s a sway in his stance but the anger is unremarkably fierce in his eyes. Don’t be ridiculous, Sam. That’s not your life, this, this is your life.
Three days later, Sam runs away and Dean can’t find the acceptance letter shoved under the bed anymore. Four days later, John drags him from the motel room and they head three states south and two states east. They don’t speak except for when John uses him as bait, and when Dean tries to refuse John quietly and angrily reminds him that Sam ran away on Dean’s watch.
18 years of his life devoted to his brother, and he gets left behind with their father and without a purpose.