This story is for Mizpah, who's a Dean girl who writes Sam so beautifully I wanted to try and return the favour...not that I'm saying I write Dean beautifully or anything...erm,okay I'll shut up now.

This short one-shot is a companion piece to 'Stanford & Sam' and focuses on Dean and Dean's relationship with Sam and his father. You don't really need to read the other story to follow this but it'd help. No beta so please excuse my terrible grammar.

Sense Of Duty

Driving to Stanford had been a bittersweet affair. Dean knew the route off by heart, knew every twist and turn in the road. The sight of the recognizable redbrick university buildings had caused him to grin broadly and he was as familiar with the street where Sam lived as if it had been his own street. He was there to kill a werewolf, not to see Sam. His dad had made that part clear but if Dean just happened to bump into little brother...well...what daddy didn't know wouldn't hurt him.

It had already gone dark by the time Dean arrived in Pala Alto and as he pulled the Impala to a halt outside Sam's apartment, he felt butterflies in his stomach. If asked, Dean would have put it down to a bad hamburger or an undigested serving of meatloaf. But facts are facts and it was butterflies making Dean Winchester's stomach do flips like he was some cherry ripe virgin planning to get lucky on prom night.

He'd sat for a good two hours just watching the apartment. The Impala's radio played endless Christmas songs. Some Dean recognised fondly, some not so much but he hummed along as best he could. His steady breathing halted as he caught a glimpse of Sam through a third floor window. Little brother was laughing, that much Dean could see. There was a girl with him too, a pretty face framed by tumbling blonde curls. Jessica Moore. Dean had done his research and big brother more than approved. Sam had done him proud but Dean was always proud where Sam was concerned. Somewhat reluctantly Dean started the Impala's engine and headed off into a night bathed in the luminosity of a creamy full moon, there was a werewolf to kill after all.

Dean had been patrolling the area surrounding the University campus when he'd spotted a figure racing into the cover of the trees of a nearby park. It was too dark to see the figure clearly but the way Dean's heart stuttered and missed a beat told him it was Sam. When Dean saw a second figure, this one a little hunched over and abnormally fast, follow his brother into the trees he opened the Impala's door and ran.


So the beast was dead, little brother had killed his first werewolf. If dad had been there he'd have been proud no doubt. How screwed up was that? Dean thought. To be proud of your son who had killed a werewolf in the shadows of the grand Stanford University campus buildings. Not for the fact your son was a student there, a student with a free ride scholarship no less.

As Dean drove Sam back to his apartment, sat side by side once more, the desperate desire for Sam to leave with him was suffocating. So much so that Dean had seriously considered binding, gagging and shoving his little brother in the Impala's trunk. Of course he'd never do that, never deprive Sam of his slice of the apple pie life but with Sam sitting in the passenger seat beside him, Dean felt invincible. He wanted his dad in the picture too naturally, wanted the family triangle complete but he needed Sam back and the distinction was unmistakable.

Despite a good year of student living, Sam had clearly maintained his training. Training had been enforced upon the brothers for as long as Dean could remember. Even before Sam had known the truth about the horrors in the dark, training had still existed but in the guise of childhood games. By the time Dean was eight he could run track faster than most kids twice his age. He had proven himself to be astonishingly skilled and deadly accurate during target practice and could recite Latin almost flawlessly. Dean trained hard and almost always just to see that rare sparkle of pride in his father's eyes and so he could enjoy the chance to whip his brother's ass. Heck, being cursed with a freakishly tall big little brother, Dean would take whatever one-up-man-ship he could damn well get.

Dean preferred to keep things simple in his life. He drank his coffee black, not with all the added crap Sam insisted on. As though coffee could speak volumes about their lives, Dean liked his coffee strong and unfussy. Whereas Sam added so much cream and sugar it was as if he was trying to hide the bitter taste, perhaps trying to convince himself he was drinking something sweeter.

Dean had always been about no strings or attachments, no messy relationships (though he'd nearly weakened and fell foul of that rule with Cassie), no time-consuming friends just family and the hunt. That was more than enough for Dean. Family mattered above all else and he held on to his belief in the importance of family with desperate clutching fingers.

Dad meant a myriad of different things to Dean and they all seemed to conflict with each other. Dad was his protector but he was also the one who had chosen this life for his sons. Dean couldn't help but wonder sometimes that if it hadn't been for his dad, he might never have needed protecting in the first place. Dean refused to allow such thoughts to reside in his brain for very long. Any hate, bitterness or gut-wrenching outright rage was reserved for the one who had truly stolen his childhood and above all had deprived him of his mother as well. That thing didn't have brown eyes like his dad did, that thing had yellow eyes.

Dean resented Sam sometimes, would be lying if he said otherwise. Growing up, Sam had always been adamant about what a freaky fucked up family they were but Sam could at least have 'normal'. Sam could pull the wool over people's unsuspecting eyes and could fit in, in a way Dean knew he never could. Perhaps it was Sam's gentle nature and soft hazel eyes that let him wiggle his way into people's hearts before they'd even realised they'd let their shields down. Dean didn't even try. His cocky brash exterior protected him. Made people feel like he was the type of guy they'd like for a drinking buddy perhaps but nothing more.

"Call me." Dean had said as he'd waved goodbye to Sam. 'Come with me', his heart had said but that request had died unspoken on Dean's lips. He'd die to protect Sam. That urge to protect was a responsibility his dad had given him but one Dean had taken on himself the moment he'd been told he was getting a baby brother. Driving away, watching Sam slowly becoming a distant speck in the rear-view mirror, Dean took his sense of duty with him. Separation couldn't break it. Demons couldn't destroy it. Dean's sense of duty was his sense of self and it defined him.


After writing "The Lies My Brother Told" I felt the need to make peace with Dean, I feel like I have a little now. Thanks for reading.