Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural or any of its characters. Life isn't fair.

An Honest Mistake

I.

The trees were rustling like there was something hiding him, so Sam rolled up the windows of his car, and sat still for a few more minutes, watching, waiting. He could leave at any time, but…he couldn't.

You can still go back inside. He told himself. You can still apologize to Dean, you can still stay. Then he thought about how Dean had turned away from him in anger, and how his father had looked away in defeat. He thought about what life would be like without ghosts or demons or Dean, and he knew that if he never tried he'd always wonder what he was missing. He'd end up resenting them even more then he did now. So it was for all of their own good, really.

It took too long to find the college. He'd never stop for directions. Sam thought that since his mind was on other things the trip would go faster, but the opposite proved true when he made too many wrong turns and found himself lost over and over again. When he finally found Stanford and his dorm, the sky was changing colors; the clouds were stained with pink. Change was thick in the air, he could smell it.

This was for the best, really.

II.

Dean never quite understood why Sam wasn't content doing what they did like he was. He didn't understand why Sam didn't get off on the thrill of destroying something evil, knowing things that other people don't, being a hero.

"We're not fucking heroes, Dean!" Sam had shouted one night in their room when Dean asked him why he was being such a little shit these days. "The sooner you learn that the better."

"Saving people's lives makes you a hero, Sammy." He said calmly. "Being a real hero doesn't mean the whole world knows your name. It means that you made a huge difference to someone. The people we saved know, and that's what counts."

Sam had bit his lip and turned away, Dean had reached a hand out, only to let it fall back to his side. He understood why Sam didn't think they were heroes. How could they be real heroes when they couldn't find what had killed the most important woman in their world?

"We're only heroes because she died. We wouldn't care about these people if we didn't happen on them along the way." Sam spoke quietly.

"It doesn't matter why you save them, just that you do." Dean stepped forward and brushed a hand against Sam's back.

"Heroes don't touch—"

Dean pulled the offending hand back sharply. "Fuck off."

Sam's back stiffened, and they didn't speak for the rest of the night.

III.

It wasn't like he was always discontent. Dean had thought Sam was happy until the end of high school when suddenly everything they did was bad or stupid. Sam was angry a lot more then he used to be.

"He's just going through a phase. All teenagers do." Their father had said to Dean one night. The thing was, though, that Dean hadn't gone through that phase. That was left unsaid, but it was in the air around them. In their eyes and the looks that passed between them every time Sam scowled or made a remark about wanting out and wanting out soon.

He applied to colleges without telling them. He did everything in secret and that's probably what angered Dean the most. What, he hates to admit, hurt him the most is probably the way Sam wouldn't touch him anymore, even the most casual of touches like their fingers brushing when Dean handed him a pencil. Before they'd crave the casual touches the most because they were the most dangerous, the most unplanned.

"Just go away, Dean." Sam would say, trying to cover up things he was writing—college essays—looking up only to glare at Dean.

"You're being such a little bitch lately."

Sam looked away, biting his lip. If only Dean knew that this was going to benefit both of them, then he might be more supportive. Why didn't he understand that Sam couldn't do this anymore? That it was hurting them both to keep doing this to each other?

Sam stayed up late into the night writing essays about places he'd been, leaving out the details about why he'd really been there.

IV.

College was Sam's heaven on earth. Beautiful girls who didn't see the darkness in his eyes, the dirt on his skin. Handsome boys who didn't share his blood. He knew his decision had been a good one. The right one. Dean was probably with some girl now, happier than he was before.

Two years went by and Sam almost stopped checking under his bed every night before he went to sleep. He smiled more, and when he looked in the mirrors he didn't see shadows. It took two years to build that up and one moment to destroy it.

"You're such a little fucker, you know that?" Was the first thing Dean said when Sam opened the door. "Such a little stupid mother fucker."

"Don't you mean brother fucker?" Sam's mouth twisted into something bitter, and it was hard for him to look up and meet Dean's eyes but he did.

Dean's way of telling him to shut up was to shove his tongue in his mouth and grip Sam's hips so hard against him that if there was any less space between them they'd be one person.

And Sam remembered that he used to think they were. That he used to think Dean was his completion.

V.

Sam sees water and he feels like he's drowning. He thinks the vengeful dead are hiding in the water now. He can see the black that stained the usually clear liquid, the head of a dead child, and the feel of her naked skin in his arms.

The last women he'd held like that, naked, had been Jessica, and it jolted him to be reminded of her so crudely. It was startling, unsettling. Too sudden and soon. He had just wanted to save the women's life, nothing more.

"Shame you got in there first," Dean jokes, "Or else I would have been the one to get the freebie."

Sam gives him a disgusted look. "It wasn't like that. I didn't want that."

"I know, Sammy. Jesus, I was just joking around, trying to lighten up the mood." He's laughing, but his eyes aren't, and Sam really hates when Dean's eyes aren't laughing but he is.

Their motel room is dark and even though he isn't alone, Sam feels like he is. He doesn't seem like Dean's there with him, or maybe it's the other way around. They've broken, he can feel it. He can't help but think that if their father hadn't gone off alone this never would have happened. Sam would still be going to college, he'd have gone to the interview, and he'd never have to acknowledge this thing between them that he'd worked so hard to move past.

He wonders if their father misses them, if he's thinking about them. He didn't know about what they did, he doesn't know how much being with Dean again is killing Sam.

"Think Dad's worried about us?" Sam asks finally.

"I don't know. Probably not. He has faith in us."

Sam thinks about Bill Carlton and how his children were both killed and wonders what their father would do if something happened to them. "It must be painful to lose your children. Worse than dying." Sam says, remember Bill Carlton's words.

"People lose their children every day. In more ways than one." Dean says, sitting down on the bed, turning his face away from Sam.

"I left for our own good, Dean. Why can't you see that?" Sam shouts, so sick of Dean giving him grief for wanting a decent life. A normal life. "I did this for you—I did this for US!"

"You couldn't have done this for me because I didn't want it. I wanted you, Sammy." Dean says quietly, staring hard at the wall on the other side of the room. He doesn't say I still do because it's hard enough as it is to admit that he wanted something, that he wanted Sam. They don't say things like that to each other, they never have. They've always spoken with their hands and their bodies, so when Sam took that away from him he forgot how to communicate with him.

"Shit, Dean." Sam mutters, letting his hand run through his hair. He steps forward and puts his finger under Dean's chin, tilting it up towards, and he kisses him roughly. His hands come up to hold Dean's face in his hands.

His kiss screams something along the lines of I love you because sometime between childhood and adulthood they stopped saying that to each other, and Sam wishes he knew how to say it without sounding like a fucking girl.

He tugs Dean's jacket off and even though he left so this would stop, he loves the way Dean smells, the way he tastes. You shouldn't love someone this much, but God, Sam does and he doesn't care if it's right or wrong because he needs this. Needs Dean.

They tear off each other's clothes and Sam ravages Dean's body the way a starving man ravages food, the way darkness eats the light.

They don't have lube—Sam thought they weren't going to do this, and Dean was too scared to hope—so Sam settles on sucking Dean off slowly, torturously, so that he can watch the way Dean's mouth opens and gasps for air. So that he can enjoy the sounds Dean makes when he can't just come.

Sam jerks himself off while he looks up at Dean. When he comes he closes his eyes tightly because sometimes things just get to be too much and he forgets how to see. He gets deja vu because this is how he always used to feel with Dean. So overwhelmed and out of control.

They fall asleep together tonight, Dean holding Sam protectively, because even though Sam's taller now, bigger, Dean still protects him and that'll probably never change.

"When I left I really was doing it for us." Sam says.

Dean lifts his head up to look at him, and his eyes soften when he sees that Sam's genuine. "Ah that's okay, Sammy. It was an honest mistake."