Sam's keeping a secret which will tear the brothers apart in a way Dean never expected. Set pre-Season One, Sam's eighteen and Dean's twenty-two. Huge thanks to Daisymay and Mc2. Without their help, I wouldn't have been able to write this in the first place.
Warning: For angst and bad language. No beta, the mistakes are all mine. I don't own Supernatural or the Winchester brothers – darn it!
The Lies My Brother Told
It's a Saturday night, there's no hunt planned and Dean thinks he's died and gone to heaven. They've been holed up in Buckteethburg for four months dealing with a couple of malevolent spirit cases in the surrounding area and Dean's enthusiastically making the most of staying put in one place for awhile. The town's reasonably big and has its fair share of restaurants and bars. There's even a huge shopping complex on the edge of town which houses a massive ten screen cinema.
A whole night off to himself and Dean doesn't know where to start. It's not like it happens very often. Usually when there's no hunt, there are the weapons to maintain or the Impala to clean but tonight is different. Tonight, Dad's got plans to do some research for a suspected demon possession which is taking place in Coopersville, Wyoming and Pastor Jim is in the area so he's coming over to offer his help. Dean wonders if the six pack Dad's got hidden at the back of the refrigerator is part of the research but then hell, Dad deserves some time off sometimes too and for a religious dude, Pastor Jim really ain't half bad.
Dean shoves the door to the bedroom he shares with Sam wide open so that it bangs against the wall and sniggers loudly when Sam startles at the noise. Sam's on his bed, reading on a Saturday night. The geek totally should be out getting himself laid. All 6'4 of him is stretched out, with his feet dangling off the end of the bed and his arms folded under his head. Dean plonks himself down on Sam's bed and makes short work of shoving Sam's feet over so he has more room. "Movie then a bar?" Dean asks as casually as he can manage considering his face is plastered with a big goofy grin.
"Thought I might spend the night with my little brother. So, movie then a bar sound good to you?"
"Look Dean, I'm thrilled you want to spend tonight hanging out with me and not Jenny." Dean raises his eyebrows, "-or Holly, or whichever other woman you last found yourself exchanging STDs with but I've got plans."
"Isn't the library closed on a Saturday night Sammy?" Dean tries to sound blasé about the snub but he's surprisingly disappointed.
"No. I'm going over to Jake's. I've not seen him since graduation."
"Okay, your loss." Dean snaps, realizing he's actually pretty pissed. Sam's been quiet lately, withdrawn. More so than usual and Dean's no fussy mother hen but it still hasn't escaped his notice. He had kinda been hoping to get a few beers down Sam's neck and maybe get the kid to open up about exactly what's crawled up his ass. He's not certain, Sam's getting harder to read these days, but Dean reckons little brother more than likely just needs some action in the bedroom department.
"Um, I'll not be at Jake's all night Dean. Maybe I can meet you-"
"Save it. It doesn't matter; I'm probably going to be enjoying the company of the yummy Candi tonight anyway." Dean knows he's being unreasonably sore about the whole thing but hey, Sam's the one who's dropped him in favor of his old school nerd study buddy.
Later that night and Dean's already forgotten all about his earlier run in with Sam. Having Candi jiggling her perky self in front of his face has shoved any thoughts of his pain in the ass little brother right out the window. By nine pm he's in the Impala heading over to Lance's Bar on Drakes Avenue, his sights set on a game of pool, when he spots a 1974 Ford Mustang in the parking lot of Big Al's Diner. It's the car which gets Dean's attention first. It's a real beauty and he gives it an appraising quick once over as he drives by but then his eye catches something else and he has to stop himself from screeching the Impala to a halt. Sam is sitting in the Mustang's passenger seat.
The traffic lights are on red and Dean takes the opportunity to swivel in his seat and get another look at the Mustang parked a little way behind him. Yes, it's Sam alright and the person sat next to him isn't some acne ridden eighteen-year-old. It's some oldish guy, dressed in a creased brown suit. His hair is short, greying at the sides and he's smiling at Sam. Dean's stomach does a flip when suit guy puts a hand on Sam's shoulder and squeezes it. There's a loud honk from the car behind the Impala and Dean realises the traffic lights have turned to green. He puts his foot down and drives away. Huh. Sammy's not exactly ever seemed as exceedingly interested in girls in the way Dean is but Dean wasn't expecting his brother to be seeing some guy. Dean does a bit of internal grappling before deciding to leave the ball in Sam's court. Give the kid time to speak to his big brother when he's good and ready.
Dean sees the car again on Sunday. It's the same light blue 1974 Ford Mustang with a slight dent in the bonnet. Parked in the exact same spot as before and, as before, Sam's sitting in the passenger seat with suit guy seated next to him. Dean parks the Impala across the street and just watches the car, his tongue clicking against the roof of his mouth rhythmically. "I'm going for groceries," Sam had said when he'd left the apartment earlier. It's not that Sam's hooked up with some random dude. I mean, shit, that's still once heck of a big shock and Dean's been rolling that fact around in his head a hell of a lot since last night but he's pretty sure by now that he's okay with it. It's that Sam lied. Sam's lied right to Dean's face about where he was going twice now and Dean's not a sentimental type but it still stings. When you'd sacrifice anything for someone, would lay down your life to protect them and trust them above anyone else, for them to go and shove that trust right back in your face. Yes, Dean reckons that's why it stings a little. Dean starts the Impala's engine ready to head back to the apartment. Knowing full well he can slap the crap out of his lying little brother later but when Dean gives the Mustang a last quick glance he notices then that Sam's crying. Son of a bitch.
Sam's a tough kid. He's emotional as hell, in a way which is completely foreign to Dean and his Dad but Sam would be damned if he'd ever let Dean or John see him cry. Sometimes Sam will lock himself away in the bathroom, taking a long shower, and every now and then when he comes out his eyes will be red and his cheeks blotchy but crying isn't something the Winchester men do easily and not without one heck of a good reason. Sam's sat right there and he's unmistakably crying. His hand keeps rising to rub at his eyes and Dean can feel a fire starting to burn in his chest. Next minute, Sam's pushing the passenger side door open, trying to get out the car but suit guy's got a hand on Sam's arm holding him back and Jesus fucking Christ, that's when Dean explodes.
The next moments hurtle by in a blur but Dean remembers jumping out of the Impala and running across the street. He's pulling the Mustang's door open and yanking Sam out of the passenger seat seconds later. Once Sam's out of the car, Dean turns around and leans right in at the passenger side. Suit guy has wedged himself as far against the driver's side door as he can possibly manage. His mouth clenched so tight his lips are barely distinguishable pale thin lines. Dean doesn't hesitate. He starts pounding suit guy's face with a firmly clenched fist. He can dimly hear Sam screaming at him to stop. Trying to protect the fucker, the guy who's made my little brother cry, but Dean blocks out Sam's screams. Then Sam's grabbing at his arm to force him to stop and Dean's so blind with unfocused fury that as he yanks his arm away his elbow shoots back and slams into Sam's face. The red haze lifts in time for Dean to see Sam sprawled in the mud, blood streaming from his nose. Suit guy's eyes are wide, panic stricken, one hand on the door handle to get out of the car and the other on the key in the ignition.
"Jesus, Sam. Did-did he hurt you?" Dean's breathless, panting hard and he knows it's a ridiculous thing to ask because Sam's bleeding but it's all Dean's own handiwork. Good job big brother, you totally saved the day. Dean feels bile rise up the back of his throat as he reaches out a hand to Sam wanting to pull his brother out of the deep sludge he's sitting in. Sam just glares furiously at Dean and climbs to his feet, shrugging off Dean's hand as it reaches out to touch his shoulder. Dean whips his hand away like he's been burned. Sam's never looked at him like that before, with such anger and hurt that it kills Dean to see it. Sam gets back into the passenger seat and Dean can hear him apologising again and again to suit guy. Sam sounds desperately afraid and Dean knows he's going to be sick when he hears Sam say, "Please, just take me home." The engine starts and the car moves away. Dean's left stood alone; hands trembling with lingering adrenalin. He watches the Mustang disappear before he leans over and pukes up his dinner right there at the road side.
When Dean gets back to the apartment it's late, more like early morning but as he pushes the bedroom door open he knows Sam's still awake. Sam's laid on his side, facing the wall, facing away from Dean but there's a noticeable twitch of his body when Dean enters. Dean's had a beer, six to be precise but didn't play any pool and turned down an ear nibble from Candi. The beers have loosened him up, numbed his pounding head a touch and instead of getting into his bed he sits on it, fully clothed, staring over at Sam who's still laying quiet as a church mouse in the darkness. Fifteen minutes pass before Sam finally turns over to stare back at Dean. Dean can just make out a small cut and mottled bruising across the bridge of Sam's nose and Dean's unsure then whether or not it's just the booze making him feel nauseous. "Your nose okay?" Dean manages to say, though the words feel heavy and awkward as they leave his mouth.
"It's still on my face if that's what you mean." Sam shoots back. Glancing down at the carpet, after a beat, he adds quietly. "It's fine, it's not broken."
"Good." Dean replies lamely, wishing he knew words which would make things alright again.
"Shame I can't say the same for Mr Jenning's nose." Sam says lifting his eyes to stare at Dean once more.
Something about the formality Sam uses registers inside Dean's brain but he hastily pushes it away. "Sorry I broke your boyfriend's nose." Dean tests the water.
Sam's brow creases in confusion and Dean can practically see the light bulb materialize above Sam's head. "Christ Dean, is that really what you...Christ, how could you be so stupid?"
"You've been lying about where you've been going Sam. Lying to me, so you can go and sit in some old dude's car whilst he sticks his hands on you. What do you expect me to think?" Dean yells back, angered by his brother's apparent naivety.
"Is that what you saw or what you think you saw? Fuck Dean, Mr Jennings is a good man and he was worried because I was upset..." Sam pauses, his anger losing steam and leaving him running on empty.
"So he's not your-"
"No." Sam says simply. His eyes are hidden by his hair and considering Dean's made one huge fucking mistake, Sam's being surprisingly agreeable. Dean's seen Sam lose his rag in a teenage temper tantrum plenty of times over much smaller things and so the quietness which pervades in the room is a tad disturbing.
Then, it clicks. "Why were you upset?"
Sam doesn't reply, just keeps hanging his head. Dean almost ready to ask again when Sam gets out of bed and lifts up his mattress. He pulls out a crumpled envelope and hands it over to Dean. A hundred disturbing explanations rush though Dean's head. Sam's in trouble with the cops, Sam's sick and these are his test results, Sam's...Jesus Dean, just open the goddamn envelope already.
"Stanford?" Of all the things Dean was expecting, Christ, this wasn't one of them.
"I've got a scholarship, full ride." Sam's eyes are brimming now. "Mr Jennings' is my old English tutor, he helped with my application. I'm leaving Dean."
Leaving? Dean doesn't know what to say to that. Please don't leave. He holds the letter reading it and re-reading it. Please, God, don't leave. He wants to beg, weep, scream at his brother. Anything to make Sam change his mind. Instead he just says "fine," and stalks out of the room. He doesn't give Sam a second glance but he can hear the kid crying as he slams the door behind him.
Dean knows then that he'd take 'Sam's gay and dating an old dude' over 'Sam's leaving', any day of the week. When did things get so fucked up?
This is a one-shot but as it ends on such a sour note I was slightly tempted to continue. However I've already touched on Sam telling John about Stanford and leaving in my other short story, 'Stanford and Sam' and a story about Sam leaving isn't ever really going to be a happy one, however many lollipops and candy canes I want to stick in it. Sorry guys!