DISCLAIMER: If watching Supernatural as much as possible made it mine, then believe me, it would be mine. Unfortunately, it doesn't and it isn't. So don't sue me.
NOTE: This is a little one-shot and is a short follow-up to my story, Poltergeist at the Bridge. If you haven't read that, this probably won't make much sense to you.
Also, I'm doing it because of a suggestion by one of my fantastic reviewers (thanks, Ice Cube1!).
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The drive to Las Vegas was long, and the Winchester brothers hadn't spoken much to each other since they left the hospital – and their long-lost father – in Karstown, Utah. It wasn't that they were angry or even that it was a mere comfortable silence between brothers. They didn't know what to say to each other. Actually, Dean didn't know what to say to Sam, and that was the problem. Sam was tired and sore, and he was trying to get some real sleep for the first time in who knew how long.
But Dean was upset.
Sam had promised to put his normal life on hold until they found their father. He had left a beautiful girlfriend – who had, unfortunately, been murdered by something supernatural – who had been planning to marry him, an interview through which he would have gotten a scholarship to law school, a job, friends, and basically his entire life. All this, just to help Dean look for their father.
But at the hospital, they had found him. And they hadn't been as happy to see him as they thought. They'd turned him away because he had been cruelly following them around, sending them on crazy missions all over the country but never helping them. It was, shockingly enough, not Sam, but Dean who had told John Winchester to go crawl back in his hole. The brothers were doing fine on their own.
And now he realized his mistake. Sam had fulfilled his promise. He probably wanted to go back to his life of normalcy, a life where he didn't have to perform exorcisms or get choked by a lamp cord or run from crazed insects on an ancient Indian burial ground. Those things weren't what Sam wanted. And since he had done what he said he would, he could leave.
But would he?
This was practically plaguing Dean. He honestly didn't want to continue hunting on his own, and now that he had abandoned his father . . . No, his father had abandoned HIM back when he first ignored Dean's uncharacteristically emotional phone calls for help . . . he needed Sam. However, he refused to force his little brother to stay with him. That would be horrible.
He had to ask. He couldn't resist it any more.
"Sam?" he said finally, in a quiet voice, glancing over and noticing that the younger Winchester's eyes were closed. He closed his mouth quickly, regretting having awakened his brother when Sam already didn't sleep enough.
"Hmm?" Sam answered in a sleepy tone.
"Never mind; go back to sleep."
"I'm not asleep, Dean. I just wish I was."
Dean swallowed nervously. "Oh."
There was a short silence, and one of Sam's eyes popped open. "Did you want something?"
Dean forced himself to laugh in his sarcastic way. "I just wanted to see if you were okay."
Sam raised an eyebrow. "Why wouldn't I be okay?"
"Oh, no reason. Just checking up on you."
Not buying a word of his brother's explanation, Sam sat up and stared out the window.
"You really CAN go back to sleep, you know," Dean insisted, taking his eyes off the road to throw glances at Sam.
Sam smiled tolerantly and continued to stare. What was bothering Dean so much? Clearly there was something really upsetting his brother.
"What's on your mind?" Sam asked finally, still wondering what was going on.
"Hmm? Me? Oh, nothing at all. Why?"
"You're acting a little different."
Sam stared at Dean for a few tense seconds before turning to the road in front of him. "Never mind. How far to Vegas?"
"A couple of hours still. Do you need a break?"
"Like you would stop even if I did."
"Of course I would, Sam! I still want to make sure you're okay."
Sam opened his mouth to correct Dean on using Sammy instead of Sam, when he realized his brother had actually called him by his real name. He shut his mouth again, mulling over Dean's last statement.
Realization dawned on him, hitting him like a brick wall. Dean was apparently worried that they were going to split up, and now he was trying to do everything he could to make sure Sam was happy and comfortable. He burst out laughing.
"What?" Dean said, concerned. "Are you all right?"
"Yeah," Sam said through chuckles. "I just had a funny thought."
Dean now raised an eyebrow. "How do you figure and why is that funny?"
"Well, first, you really don't get nervous much. Second, it's completely unfounded."
"We're about to have a chick flick moment, Dean."
"What?" Dean repeated, more confused now.
"Aren't you worried about what I'll do now that we've found Dad?"
"Oh," the older Winchester said, as he realized where Sam was going with this. "Yeah, I guess so."
"And I was just curious as to what your plans were."
Sam grinned. "Why didn't you just ask me?"
Dean furrowed his brows. "Are you trying to make me uncomfortable, or is that just an added bonus to what you're doing now?"
"Come on, Dean. You'll feel better once you get this off your chest."
"Fine. Are you going back to college now?"
Dean turned his head in surprise. "You're not? Why not?"
"I don't really have anything to go back to now. I missed my interview and Jess . . ." he trailed off, but his meaning was completely clear.
"So what will you do?"
"Well, I was hoping you'd be in the market for a partner on a more permanent basis."
Dean's mouth dropped open. "Really?" he asked hopefully.
Sam was smiling openly. "Yeah. I kind of like working with you. I'd prefer a job that didn't include chasing down and killing insane demons and spirits, but I'll take what I can get. We make a great team, remember?"
Dean felt himself becoming emotional. A tear almost threatened to escape. "Sure, Sam."
Sam leaned his head back on the seat. "Well, I'm glad we have THAT out of the way. Now maybe we can actually enjoy Vegas."
Dean bit his lip. "Yeah. We can."
"You realize we just had a major moment, don't you?" Sam asked.
The older Winchester licked his lips, nodding. He didn't trust himself with answering quite yet.
Sam grinned again and looked at the passing scenery. "Don't worry; I know how to braid hair and if yours grows a little longer, I can do it for you."
Dean laughed at this in spite of himself. "You're a real jerk, you know that, Sammy?"
There it was – Sammy. They were back on track again. Sam let his smile disappear from his face as he let his eyes close and realized that he was actually falling asleep.
Dean smiled, letting that lone tear escape now that he knew Sam wouldn't see it. "I love you, man," he whispered almost silently as he drove on.
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FINAL NOTE: No, there will be no sequel, at least not yet. I'm actually leaving the country for a long time for a trip to New Zealand, and I probably won't do much posting or writing until I get back. But I really appreciate you guys! Thanks for reading my junk.