Dear Dean,-

Sam examined these two words that sat on top of a blank sheet of paper. Dear sounded so formal. Not at all like the little brother Dean had known just months before. Besides, since when had they ever used formality with eachother? Hell, Dean had written him one letter the whole time they had been apart, and he hadn't even bothered to sign it, much less greet him.

He tore out the sheet from his notebook, crumpled up the paper, and threw it into the trash can on the other side of the room, then posed his ballpoint pen to the fresh sheet of paper.

Hey, Dean,-

Perfect. Casual. Not screaming "college has corrupted my soul into being polite to you, jerk" or "save me, I miss you like hell". It was just a greeting. The perfect greeting for an overly-protective bull-headed big brother who would probably torment him if he sounded too hippy-like; or too anything-like, really...

His pen hovered over the next line. Damn. Now what was he supposed to say? Should he rush into a rant about what idiots his professors were? Should he ask about hunting? Or should he ask if they were okay first? Should he even mention Dad?

I hope you're both okay-

He stared at these words. They weren't lies, but they just weren't right. He crumpled this sheet of paper, pitching it to the garbage can. He didn't want to sound like Dad used to when he used to call back after leaving him and Dean alone. You two okay? or the infamous Hope you boys are okay if he had to leave a message. Like they were one and the same...he marvelled at how easily he had made this same mistake as he disposed of this paper.

Sam copied out his greeting again, then paused. How exactly should he put this delicate matter? He screwed up his face, thinking. What would Dean say? He allowed his mind to dwell on the infinite possibilities (after all, the best part about Dean was that Sam could never quite put his finger on what his big brother would say next), then decided on a first sentence.

Hope you've been keeping your dumbass safe and alive-

Nah. Sam crumpled it, and sent it sailing to join the other two. Dean certainly was a dumbass. But Sam, however, was anything but a dumbass- he knew it was about as safe to call Dean anything too derragotary (less he be demonically possessed when he read it) as it was to scream after a Wendigo.

Sam bit his lip, then pressed the pen to paper.

There's this girl in a couple of my classes. Her name's Jessica Moore, and-

No way. He regretted writing it the second he had pressed the pen into the page. Like Dean could get his hopeless brain out of the gutter long enough to even think past if Sam had asked her out, drank with her, and the things that usually followed those kinds of dates- things Sam would be ashamed to do on a first date that Dean probably fantasized about doing five minutes in- hell, possibly before that.

He ripped out the paper, savoring the tearing sound. He had to wonder if Dean's little bread-and-butter note had been this painful.

I hate writing this letter to you, especially that I have to write it-

Too honest. Way too honest. Out of the notebook and straight into the trash.

He chewed the inside of his cheek, finally ressolving to just write whatever the hell he wanted, figuring that's what Dean probably did.

Hope you're doing okay, and that the hunting's going well. College is pretty good- some of my professors are idiots. You'd hate it here, but I kind of like it.

Hmm...there it was. The perfect opener. Sam relaxed, allowing himself to write out some of his deepest feelings (stuff inside he didn't even know was there). It was like writing a note to himself-


As he read back over it, he realized that's exactly what it was- a diary entry. Dean would never let him live it down if he sent him a friggin' soap-opera themed letter. Best start again...

Finally, he stiffly wrote out a note that was perfectly neutral. Okay, so it sounded like some Stepford freak had written it, but better that than a diary. Sam had finally decided not to write anything until he was possitive that it wasn't too dorky. He'd written the whole letter- no way was he going through this again any time soon. Perhaps never again. So now, he had to decide what to put at the end.

Sincerely, Sam?

Yours truly, Sam?

Love, Sam?

From: Sam?

Your brother, Sam?

Finally, he just signed his name, neat and simple, underneath his closing remarks.

He had sealed the letter into an envelope and addressed the envelope with "Dean Winchester" before his pen paused. Dammit. After all of this, after finally composing this waste of paper and words, he had forgotten that Dean had no address- unless, of course, you considered the Impala a good enough address. And his brother checking his e-mail? He had to chuckle at the mere idea. He had sent nine e-mails to Dean, and none of them had ever been replied to.

He crumpled it and threw it in a graceful arc to the trash can, where it settled in with all of the other rejected letters to his brother.