Disclaimer: I unfortunately don't own Supernatural, or Stanford, or any things like that.
AN: So for those of you reading "An Understanding", I promise the fourth chapter of that is already in the works. I've been really stressed lately, which brings out my homesickness (I'm away at college), and this story sprang out of that and wouldn't leave me alone. Please read and review-reviews make me smile.
On Sam's birthday, during his freshman year at Stanford, Jess and a group of their friends planned a surprise party for him. It was a surprise they kept well, as Sam didn't find out about it until he walked into the house to find balloons, streamers, and twenty-five people waiting for him.
Music blaring, hugs and well-wishes exchanged, Sam grinned, and said thank you, and accepted gifts. But what everyone noticed was he kept checking his phone, compulsively, every five minutes or so. Eventually he just kept the phone clenched tightly in his hand, glancing at it whenever he thought no one was looking.
Whenever anyone asked Sam, he would just shrug, something hidden behind his expressive eyes, and mumble something about someone always wishing him a happy birthday when he was at home. That was all that could be gotten out of him, even by Jess, who finally gave up and just wrapped her arms around him, holding him tightly.
It didn't get by Jess that behind Sam's sweet grin were tears being held back, and she suspected where the truth lay. So, leading him over to a corner of the room and sitting on his lap, she laid her head on his shoulder and said softly, "You miss your brother, don't you?"
For a moment, she could tell Sam was on the verge of shutting down, but something cracked and he kissed her forehead. "Yeah, I do," he admitted softly, and Jess put her finger over the tear trickling its way down his cheek.
"You could call him." Jess gestured at the phone Sam had clutched in his hand like a lifeline.
"No, I can't Jess." Sighing, Sam wrapped his arms even tighter around her. "When I left for here, we had a fight, said some words neither of us meant, but…" Trailing off, Sam buried his head in Jessica's shoulder, attempting to hide his tears from the rest of the partygoers.
Jess shielded him from the others until he got a hold of himself again, and then, holding his free hand tightly, she led him back into the festivities. More guests were entering the party, and one of them came in carrying a large box in her hands.
"Sam, I found this on the porch," she said, looking puzzled. "It has your name on it. Well, I mean I think it's for you. The name on the card is "Sammy". Does that-"
But before she could say anything else, Sam had leapt forward, grabbing the box out of her hands. Shooting a grateful look her way, Sam didn't even make it to a chair before tearing into the box.
Jess watched his features soften as he cradled something out of sight, his eyes glazing up with tears as he brought a small aged book out of the cardboard. "He remembered," Sam whispered, and Jess didn't need to ask who the "he" was. Putting a hand on Sam's shoulder, Jess stared down at the volume of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Suddenly jerking upright, Sam stared out the window. "He might still be here!" Sam exclaimed, his voice verging on pleading as he sprinted for the door. Tearing outside, Sam looked left and right for the familiar Impala, but it was nowhere in sight. Jogging a few blocks in a random direction, Sam saw nothing.
For a moment, Sam dropped to the ground, crouching, his hands clamped onto his face, unable to stop the flow of tears from coming. Then, shaking himself, he slowly headed back into the party, shoulders slumped.
"Sam…" Jess began, but Sam put a hand up, his down- turned face weary.
"I just…I need a minute," Sam said slowly, fighting for control.
"What's the matter, Sammy, still can't handle a party?" spoke a familiar voice, softly, hesitantly, from behind Jess, and Sam's head whipped up to meet the eyes of his big brother, Dean.
"Dean, you-" Sam stared, blinking a few times to make sure he was seeing things properly. "I…I went outside…the Impala…"
"Parked around back," Dean answered, sticking his hands awkwardly in his pockets. "Didn't know if I would be coming in."
"Oh, right," Sam answered, unconsciously matching Dean's stance. "So, why…what changed your mind?"
"Oh, well you know," Dean said, meeting Sam's eyes with a shaky smile. "I…ok, I missed you, you stupid bitch."
"Still a jerk," Sam answered, matching Dean's smile with one of his own. "I…" Letting his words trail off, Sam suddenly strode forward, wrapping his arms around Dean, resting his head in his brother's shoulder. "Dean, it's really good to see you."
"You too, Sammy," Dean replied, his arms wrapped tightly around Sam.
"Sam," Sam replied with a laugh, pulling away to punch Dean in the shoulder.
"Yeah, yeah still on the "I'm a grown-up" kick, I see," Dean answered with a smirk, returning Sam's punch. Seeing the partygoers' stares, Dean raised a hand and waved. "Hi. Sorry to crash your party everyone. My name's Dean. The-"
"The big brother," Jess finished for him, holding out her hand with a smile. "I've heard quite a bit about you, Dean."
"All good I hope," Dean answered, taking Jess's hand, unable to resist a slight flirtatious wink that earned an eye roll from Sam.
"Very," Jess replied with a laugh, sliding her arm around Sam's waist. "This boy can't stop talking about his hero big brother."
"Thanks Jess," Sam said sheepishly, his cheeks turning red. "Cause I totally wanted him to know that." Laughing, Jess kissed Sam's cheek, then turned back to the present Dean had left.
"Well, what I want to know is, what's the significance of this book?" Jess asked, holding the play in her hand. "Sam, you seemed to get it right away."
"When I was six, we were on this…family trip," Sam started, him and Dean following Jess over to a table. "And my dad had to leave for a few hours, and I, I used to be…don't laugh…I used to be terrified of the dark."
"Petrified," Dean interjected, smirking at how Sam's cheeks turned even redder.
"Yeah, thanks Dean, I think she gets it," Sam answered with a glare, that quickly turned into a laugh. "So there we are, Jess, in this crappy motel, in this tiny little town, and its getting darker."
"And I, with my super big brother senses, can tell that little Sammy here is getting more and more freaked out," Dean chimed in. "So I'm looking around for something to distract him with, and the only damn thing in the whole room-because there's not even a TV-is this old beat-up copy of Midsummer Night's Dream that someone must have left behind."
"So Dean starts reading it to me, and I mean reading," Sam jumped in, laughing with the memory. "We're talking voices, accents, the whole bit." Jess laughed, seeing Dean's cheeks turn slightly red.
"I think that's very sweet," Jess said, patting Dean's hand. He flashed her a smile.
"Well thank you," Dean answered. "Hey, it worked, cause Sammy slept like the baby he was that night." Dean was rewarded with another punch to the arm.
"I didn't know you even remembered that," Sam said, his voice growing soft.
"Well, I mean, I thought, with you away from home…I don't know." Dean's voice had dropped to match his brother's, and his eyes had wandered up to the ceiling. "That this way you'd have a little piece of me with you…if you even wanted that…I mean…" Dean trailed off, clearly embarrassed by the sentimentality behind his words. He quickly stood up. "So cake, eh? Where would I find that?"
"Dean…" Sam stood up too, smiling gratefully at Dean. "I do. But I'd rather have the actual Dean here. Can you…will you stay? At least for a little while."
In answer, Dean gestured to the duffel bag in the corner. "I was hoping you'd ask, cause the motel I passed looked like shit." Sam shook his head, a smile spreading across his face.
"Excuses, excuses big brother. You know you just want to spend time with me."
"Oh no, Sammy, I'm serious. We're talking roaches, no cable, no hot water…" Dean smirked, leaning against the table. "No mini bar."
"Dean, I know you're afraid of your feelings, but you can still be a big boy and admit that you're glad to see me." Laughing, Sam walked over to the bar and grabbed drinks, tossing one at Dean, who caught it easily. Jess looked back and forth between the two of them, unable to hold her laughter in.
"What?" Sam came up behind her, wrapping his arms around her.
"You two are such brothers its ridiculous!" Jess leaned back into Sam, wrapping her arms back around his neck. "I can tell this is all I'm going to hear…at least I'll be amused."
"Sammy's just a little sappy bitch, what can I say?" Dean smirked, laughing at the look on Sam's face.
"And Dean's just an arrogant jerk!" Sam protested lovingly, slinging an arm around his brother's shoulders as he led him over to the table with the cake. Sighing, Jess followed them.
The other partygoers gathered around, urging Sam to blow out the candles. Taking a deep breath, Sam blew, all the flames flickering out at once. As the applause died out, Jess leaned her head onto Sam's shoulder.
"Did you make a wish?" she asked, taking his hand in hers.
"Didn't have to." Sam smiled, one hand grasping hers, one hand on Dean's shoulder.