Disclaimer: I do not own "Supernatural" or the Winchester boys.
Authors Note: Set after "Long Distance Call." It's just such an old bone of contention between the boys and I couldn't not play with it. :P I hope you enjoy.
Sam took a deep breath. He had to do this, they were running out of tomorrows and yes, maybe, definitely, there were other things he could bring up, get off his chest, apologize for, clarify, but this was the most recent and he had to stop letting it build up somewhere.
His brother looked over at him, attention still focused on the television.
Sam released the words on a rush; hoped Dean would get them anyway, "It's not a bad thing—not always anyway."
Dean blinked at him and Sam could practically feel his brother's focus shift to land on him. "What?"
The one word question was accompanied by Dean's patented eyebrow lift and Sam felt his skin tighten all over, it felt too tight lately; brittle, like it was going to crack and everything inside him that made him who he was would just spill out and seep away.
He swallowed hard and answered Dean's question. "The way you—the blind faith you--"
He stopped when Dean tensed minutely; watched the way his brother's eyes darkened a little, the way his back straightened a bit, watched his jaw harden and his eyes become shuttered.
Sam couldn't blame him, he hadn't exactly praised this particular trait of Dean's— ever. Sam turned back to the TV abruptly, brought the beer up to his lips, hoping he could somehow moisten the words out.
Dean cleared his throat, Sam could feel him preparing to go back to watching TV, thinking it was over— but it wasn't; that wasn't it. Sam reached for the remote control and muted the television.
Dean frowned in surprise. "Okay, uh--"
"It helped me." He cut Dean off, looking over at him again.
His brother had been caught mid-word.
Dean snapped his mouth shut now and offered Sam a wry smirk. There was a joke coming, a brush off, because Dean had already had his Moment today and that should be enough for Sam for at least the next week.
Except that time wasn't on their side, except that one moment a week wasn't nearly enough, there weren't enough weeks for that.
"I'm having a moment now." He said quickly, matching his brother's wry smirk.
Dean shook his head, smirk fading, eyes serious. "Sa--"
"It wasn't just with Dad." Sam continued, "I mean it… that helped 'cause if you could— seeing you--" he shook his head, trying to untangle his words, "You believing, always being so sure in Dad's word, that's what kept me feeling safe for a long time. I mean yeah, later it… bothered me."
Dean's aborted, huff of a laugh wasn't unexpected. It had more than bothered Sam as he'd gotten older, evidenced still by today.
It was a button pusher for him; had him seeing red, before he'd even fully processed what was going on. All he needed to know was that Dad had spoken and Dean had unquestionably obeyed to get into a rage. Sam was sure there was some deep sort of psychological root to the whole thing, but truthfully it had to be buried under a dozen or so other issues his psyche had to deal with, so it didn't have priority.
Sam drew in a breath, words spilling out in a jumble. "But before it... bothered me-- for awhile it's what. For awhile it didn't, okay. And you-- you did it with me too." He pushed forward, eyes fixed on Dean, wishing he could just transport the memories as he saw them into his brother's mind.
Dean frowned, already getting defensive in the way he only did when Sam tried to give him credit for anything regarding Sam.
He opened his mouth to interrupt and Sam scowled at him, "My moment. Shut-up."
Dean's eyes widened and a line appeared between his brows. Sam clearly read, O-kaay, Mr. Sensitive in that line, but he ignored it.
Instead he took another deep gulp of his beer. "You had that faith in me too and it really… helped me, alright."
He let his gaze drop to the carpet, "I never thought that… I couldn't do something, I never doubted... anything, about myself and that was because you just had this steady understanding or just belief in me; in whatever I said or did and I know that sometimes I haven't been... okay when you give that treatment to Dad. I know I've gotten angry or frustrated or--"
"Or shot me in the chest with rock salt?"
Sam's head snapped up in surprise at the dry reminder.
Dean was giving him a small smile though, a real one, amused and even a little affectionate.
"Relax, Sammy. I get it…"
But the very fact that Dean had brought up that day told Sam he didn't get it. Sam tipped his beer back and finished it while Dean went on about getting it.
"… you want me to know that you appreciate all the shit I did for you growing, but that's just brother stu--"
"I want you to know that it's not a bad thing." He repeated firmly, setting the empty beer bottle down next to the bed and lifting his gaze to meet Dean's.
"I want you to know that I bitch about it and its driven me insane for most of my life, but its MY issue, MY problem— its not you. There's nothing wrong with having faith in the people you love. Sometimes it gets you burned or it all goes wrong, but there's still nothing wrong with it. And I know that sometimes… like that day at that Asylum--"
"Jesus Sam, it was joke. I know that crazy-ass doctor mess--"
Sam pressed on, not letting himself be interrupted. "I know that I've made it sound or seem or… told you that it is wrong or that its not smart to have that kind belief in a person, in Dad, and I just wanted you to know that it... yeah, it frustrates me sometimes that you can just believe like that for no other reason than that it's Dad, but that..." Sam stopped and released a short breath, realizing that he was tangling his words again.
He started again, voice calmer, steadier, because he wasn't unsure or hesitant about this; maybe a tad embarrassed, but not uncertain, not about this. "I wanted you to know that I don't think it's a bad thing… and that I... I believe in you that way."
The room was completely silent after those words and Dean's face had taken on a stunned expression as he watched Sam; eyes wide and wary as if expecting this to be some kind of elaborate prank designed to mess with his head.
It wasn't though and all Sam could do was hope Dean could read that in his eyes.
Sam let the silence stretch for a moment longer, before nodding and shifting his gaze back to the muted TV. "Right. Yeah. So uh, hand me another beer, would ya?"
He could feel that Dean hadn't moved, was still watching him intently. He looked at his brother and instantly recognized that expression on Dean's face.
Dean was analyzing Sam's words, trying to figure out how what he'd said was possible, examining the concept as if it were a particularly difficult puzzle or someone had suggested he put the cheap oil in the Impala.
So Sam added the part he hadn't been going to say, the part that Dean wouldn't like, but he felt was true nonetheless. "You've always lived up to that."
The unspoken, Dad didn't, hung in the air.
Dean flinched. "Sam--"
Sam shook his head, held his hand out. "Beer, Dean."
Their eyes met; Dean's argumentative, ready to defend Dad's case; Sam's steadily declaring I believe what I said, always have and always will.
And it was true.
He'd loved his father, had come to understand John Winchester better than he'd ever dreamed he would, come to agree with him more in death, than he ever had in life.
But when it came to blind faith, Sam's money would always be on Dean first.
The moment passed when Dean rolled his eyes, letting the argument fade. "You think a beer's gonna wash the estrogen out'a your system?" He said instead, voice teasing and wry as he reached over and snagged a beer for Sam.
Sam smiled, accepting the bottle. "Sure will."
They drank in silence, pretending to be absorbed in the still muted TV show.
Almost a half an hour later, Dean sighed, long and weary like he had to cop to losing a high stakes bet—which maybe he did and said quietly. "Thanks, Sammy."