Title: Holding Onto This
Rating: PG-13 (for one B-word from Dean)
Word Count: 1,500. On the dot.
Genre: Fluff; brotherly love/teasing.
Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural or its characters. If I did, do you really think I'd be using the boys to write fic with?
Summary: Two months after Jessica's death, Sam finds himself grateful for having his big brother. This, of course, is discovered while they discuss their childhood, Peanut M&Ms, and facial hair in typical Winchester style.


"Dude," Sam says, tersely. "I think we've got a new case."

"Yeah? What's that?" Dean asks, pausing briefly from hollering incorrect lyrics to Thunderstruck.

"That right there." Sam motions toward Dean's face, using his chin only.

"Huh?" Dean grunts in perplexity.

"That." Sam has resorted to pointing now.

"Dude! It is freaking ten past one in the morning and we're still about four miles away from a motel. You mind telling me straight out what the hell you're trying to say beforfe I have to pull over, pummel you into unconsciousness, stick you in the trunk, and sleep, quite comfortably, might I add, in the back seat?"

Sam loves that Dean brought that up. He may never get to the drive the Impala, but whenever the two are unable to get to a motel, Sam gets to sleep in the back seat of the car, while Dean needs to settle for the front, legs bent up at the knees to keep from breaking through the glass window, and arms curled snugly around his chest to keep from floundering and hitting against the rigid steering wheel.

Sam chuckles. "Hey, 's not my fault you were always a hungry kid."

"Man, you totally stole those Peanut M&Ms to spite me. You never even looked at a peanut without pulling some silly face. Hell, we thought you might've been allergic to them for the first twelve years of your life, until you started eating a pack, one bright sunny day, when I was on the verge of starvation."

"And I got you to make a certain deal that entitled you to one half-eaten bag of Peanut M&Ms and me to unlimited back seat usage. Yep, sounds about right." Sam leers, slyly.

"Hey, it's totally okay, Sammy, because I made better use of that back seat than you ever could." Dean smirks and swats Sam's arm with the back of his hand, and continues. "I'll tell ya though, it was a bitch and a half sleeping in the passenger seat next to dad while you were sprawled out in the back. Remember how loud Dad snored? Not to mention that the guy had the habit of keeping his head down low."

Sam looks at Dean strangely for a few seconds. "So?"

"So it'd just start to sway after a while. Left to right; left to right. 'Til, eventually, he'd sway all the way to the right and decide my shoulder made a good pillow."

"He did not!"

"You callin' me a liar?"

Sam lets out a short breath and shrugs him off. "Whatever, man."

"Guess we'll just have to ask 'im when we find 'im, then. Y'know, if we ever make it back from this mysterious case that you've so suddenly forgotten all about."

"What?"

Dean turns to face his brother and gives him a look. "Dude, you said you found us a new case. Care to share?"

"Right. I almost forgot. Well, it's, um, we gotta figure out what's up with, uhhh…"

"Ain't getting any younger, Sam," Dean says, tapping his fingers to the beat of new song thundering throughout the car.

"Dude, I'm just saying that we gotta do something about your facial hair!" Sam laughs out loud, a flimsy, but cheerful and real laugh, something that Dean hadn't heard since Jessica's death a couple of months ago. "Seriously," Sam continues, "what is up with that!?"

Dean slowly turns toward Sam, his left eyebrow nearly reaching his hairline in complete bewilderment, and looks at his brother as if he grew a few extra heads. "Um, what?!"

"What, man?" Sam snorts. "It's weird."

"How the hell so?"

"Well, it's kind of like… I wanna say it's stubble, but it's not! It's not as thick as stubble. It's like you have facial hair, but you don't."

"Sam, have you been going through the medicine in the first-aid kit? Knew I should've gotten a safety lock for it!"

"Look, I'm just saying it how it is," Sam says, putting his hands up in defense.

"Yeah, still not clear on what it is you're actually sayin'!"

Sam picks at his nails, casually. "Just that we're gonna have to salt and burn your face."

"The hell, Sam!?"

"What? C'mon, Dean. It's obvious what's going on here. Your facial hair is a spirit. The way it fades in and out of this realm; sometimes visible, sometimes not."

"Just a trick of the light!" Dean claims loudly, slightly panicked.

"Dean." He gives him a sideways look. "Dad taught us better than that. You of all people should know that!"

"Sooo," Dean scratches behind his ear. "The fact that I intentionally shave this way with an electric razor wouldn't be enough proof to deny this ghost theory of yours?"

"Oh, no. It would." Sam sends out a sly grin. "But then I'd hafta believe you have really bad taste and make pretty awful grooming decisions."

"I'll have you know chicks dig my facial hair. They do love that stubble. I've taught ya that, Sammy; just that you never listen to me."

"But, Dean, it's not stubble. It's like 'barely there' hair. It's like something a kid hitting puberty would have. That's my whole point."

Dean glares at Sam, a cold and lengthy glare that lasted longer than it should have, considering he was still driving. Sam bends his own gaze downward and scratches his head, a smile playing on pink lips.

"I've told you once, I've told you a million times. It's a good attention-getter from the ladies. Adds mystery, y'know. A sense of danger. Just like scars. Gets 'em all excited, Sammy."

"Yeah, okay. Whatever you say, Dean," Sam jests, biting his bottom lip to keep from grinning widely.

Dean shrugs Sam off, defensively. "What do you know, anyway, huh? You honestly gonna sit here and educate me on women? C'mon, Sammy, you know you're not a girl; you just look like one."

He grins and reaches over quickly to ruffle Sam's shaggy hair, causing his bangs to fall over his eyes. Sam whacks his brother's arm away and flattens his disheveled hair with both hands.

"Jerk," Sam says, letting the word slide off his tongue as naturally as air flows through his mouth.

Dean looks over. And he smiles, a big and bright smile dimmed only by the darkness of night that falls through the windshield.

"We've gotta make a pit stop here," Dean says, pulling over into a run-down gas station. "Need to fill up on some gas for my baby. Now would be the time to powder your nose, princess, 'cause I sure as hell ain't making any other stops before reaching that motel."

Sam shakes his head. "Nah, I think I'm good."

"Just warnin' ya."

Dean gets out of the car, closing the door behind him gently.

Sam waits a minute before Dean is out of sight. He exhales deeply, flicks on the car light, and digs through the glove compartment until he finds a pen and a piece of paper. The closest he finds is an old napkin with grease stains on one side. Sam figures that it's close enough.

He flips the napkin over to the semi-clean side and straightens it against his thigh. He uncaps the pen and starts:

November '05

Dean,

I'd never say this to your face and you'd never hear it either, but I just wanted to say "thanks." Thanks for being the annoying big brother and for letting me be the pesky little brother. Thanks for helping me forget and hurt less these past couple of months.

-Sam

P.S. I would totally sleep with one eye open. Because that so-called "stubble" of yours? It really irritates me – has been ever since I saw you at Stanford two months ago – and I am not above pulling a little Nair trick of my own, ok?

Sam blinks, reading his words over with care. He hears Dean's footsteps nearby and quickly throws the pen back into the glove department and carefully folds the napkin, sticking it in his jacket pocket with the intention of putting it in Dean's duffel as soon as his big brother makes a break for the bathroom at the motel.

"Hey."

"Hey," Sam responds, slightly flustered.

"Why's the light on?"

"Um, I just wanted to take a peek at the map again. Make sure we're going in the right direction."

"Oh," Dean says, barely acknowledging Sam's words. Instead, he takes a package out of his pocket and tosses it to Sam. "I got you something."

A flash of yellow catches Sam's eye, but he only realizes what the package is after he turns it right side up.

"Peanut M&Ms?" Sam asks, his nose scrunches up in confusion.

"Your favorite, Sammy!" Dean grins, sarcasm full in his tone.

"Yeah. My favorite." Sam sniggers, fingers playing loosely with the edge of the bag.

"Just save some for me this time, all right?" Dean says, key already in the ignition, before facing his right and adding, "Bitch."

And he beams.


A/N:

-Title shamelessly stolen from Moby's Love Should. Felt it was a nice representation of both Dean's and Sam's feelings.

-Feedback would be appreciated, whether it's complimentary or constructively critical. :)

-Enjoy!