A/N: I'm sorry. I have no excuse for this. Except that I promised someone I would do a sequel, so here it finally is.
Note: For any person I may confuse with my changeability, this used to be called "Rain Check", but I never liked the title. This title here is a title I had as a working title.
- - -
"Another Rainy Day"
Sam almost hated to see Dean as the surrogate paternal figure.
Not because he didn't need that support, sometimes, but because his older brother had been robbed of a childhood. Maybe Sam had partially gotten one because Dean had given up what was left of his own, but he still understood. And he didn't want Dean forgetting about pranks and sibling rivalry and all the other good stuff.
So he was planning a little something, a little something based loosely on a joking promise he'd made a year or so ago. "Don't worry. I'll take a rain check."
He'd never realized how much power he had to mess with his big brother's mind up until that moment, but he hadn't been tripping off of it. And that wasn't his intention now. No. He had other plans.
- - -
It was about the third time he'd cleaned his gun that day, and Dean was starting to think he was obsessive compulsive. He was that bored.
"Sammy... what are you doing?"
"Same thing I was doing a minute ago, Dean," Sam said, without turning away from his laptop, in a way that reminded him of that old cartoon, Pinky and the Brain, "Checking for jobs in this state." He guessed that made him Pinky.
"I would've told you," Sam snapped, and Dean mouthed "okay" to himself.
"Seriously, Dean," Sam said, suddenly, turning around to glare at him. "Could you be a little more annoying?"
"What?" Dean answered, a little confused, "I didn't say anything."
Sam pursed his lips. "Maybe I should take that rain check now."
"What?" he retorted. "Did you just threaten me?"
"You know, I still owe you one," Sam said, turning back to his computer.
Dean narrowed his eyes at the younger man. Was his brother messing with him again, or was he actually serious? "What are you talking about? You already got me back." He put his gun to the side and sat there, eyeing Sam's back.
"Sure," Sam answered. He didn't sound like he was paying attention anymore.
Dean licked his lips and thought for a moment, then got up, put his gun away, grabbed his jacket and shrugged into it. "I'm goin' out for a bit. Don't wait up."
"Don't get too drunk."
"I will," he answered, with a grin.
- - -
He'd gone, gotten smashed, hit on a few women before he was too drunk to be attractive. Nothing panned out, so he walked back to the motel. He stumbled into the room, saw the bathroom light on and went to take another leak. When he came out, Sam was sitting up in bed, looking at him, squinting because of the change in lighting--he'd turned the lamp on.
"Go to bed, Sammy. I'm not drunk."
"Yeah," Sam answered, slowly, then got up. He came and tried to help Dean to his bed, and Dean tried to push him away. Clumsiness interfered, and he somehow ended up face-first on the floor. Sam picked him up and helped him to the bed.
"You could've called me to pick you up."
"I'm not a baby."
"I could clock you one now, and we'd end this argument right away."
"Sam, what the heck? Are you gonna hit me or not? I'm gettin' freakin' tired of you holding that over my head. I hit you; it was stupid. I was ticked. Can you just let it go, already?"
Sam punched him.
"What the--! Ow! Freakin'!" He held his face, for a moment, hand to his star-lit eye. "The heck?"
"You know you hit me more than once, right?" Sam retorted. "And just because it was Meg that hit you when she was in my body doesn't mean you have a right to hit me after she'd been exorcised."
"God, you're like a woman! Bringing up crap from God knows how long ago! Give it a freakin' rest!"
Sam glared at him and said, "I still owe you two more."
- - -
Technically, it was payback. Except, what were the two other punches supposed to be for? And he didn't remember hitting Sam a third time. So why the heck had he promised two more? And he looked like he'd gotten beat up. Well...
He was through brushing his teeth, and he examined the black eye in the bathroom mirror, with a half-wince. Sam was sleeping, so that meant he was expecting them to go out and eat, so it was probably going to be... heck with people staring at him. Dang that gigantor--
"What are you doing?"
"Sheesh," Sam said, giving him a look as he came into the bathroom all the way, "Chill out. And get out. I need to pee."
"Girl," Dean said, and headed out, maybe a little quicker than he usually would've, but if Sam wasn't noticing, than neither was he.
- - -
The people in the pancake place were staring at him.
Sam looked happy, and Dean wasn't talking... well, his eye kinda hurt, but besides that, he was ticked off. What was with the promise of a third punch? And he kinda had a hangover.
"Why do they keep lookin' at me?"
"I don't know," Sam said, calmly, "Maybe they think I beat you... you know, regularly."
Dean blushed and faked a laugh, which came out sounding uncomfortable and nervous. "Whatever," he mumbled, and tried to focus on his pancakes.
When the waitress came back for a third time, and asked him, sympathetically, if she could get him anything else, he answered with a gruff "no," and she went off in a huff. So he took it out on Sam:
"This is your fault."
"What?" Sam wondered, innocently.
"And what's with the 'I owe you two more'?"
"Huh?" Sam questioned, so Dean glared and then tossed a piece of pancake at him. It stuck to his forehead for a moment, and then dangled and dropped down onto his plate. He stared for a moment, then burst out laughing.
Sam glared him down, and he finally got ahold of himself. He bit his lip, then wondered, "You, uh... need a napkin?" He burst into laughter again, and a second later, wished he'd been that much more mature.
Sam smiled at him, suddenly, way too mischievously, and reached across the table and caught his hand, saying loudly, now with a serious expression, "It's okay, hon, I deserved that. I'm sorry I hit you last night. It's just..."
"Sam," he interjected, furiously, under his breath, trying to yank his hand away, but Sam held on with a death-grip. "What are you doing?"
"You make me so angry when you go out without me! I get so jealous--"
"Sam!" He rebuked, then told the room, in general, "I'm not gay--I swear! He's my brother!"
Sam feigned a hurt look, "He just came out, you know... But you don't have to be like that, Dean." He touched Dean's cheek, lovingly, and Dean knocked his hand away and got up. "Aw, hon, don't be like that! I'm trying to apologize!"
"I'm gonna freaking kill you," Dean retorted, just low enough for Sam to hear and snicker about. He left as quickly as he possibly could, trying to ignore the wide eyes and whispers as he passed.
Sam could pay the freakin' bill, that little punk...
And he was totally getting his butt whooped later.
- - -
The next day, Dean got up in time to beat the alarm clock, and set it beside Sam's head. He had trouble keeping the snickers in, but he managed to hold out the ten minutes it took for the alarm to go off and Sam to fall out of bed, all the way to the other side with a loud "bang" and "oof."
He laughed loudly, and waited for Sam to sit up and glare at him from the other side of the bed.
"You shoulda seen your face!"
"Shuddup," Sam retorted, "You're forgetting I still owe you."
"What?" Dean narrowed his eyes. "You keep saying that. What are you payin' me back for, anyway?"
Sam got up, started messing with the bed covers, yanking them in place, angrily. "If I have to remind you, you probably deserve it."
Dean wanted to splutter for a moment, but instead growled, "Whatever," grabbed his duffel bag and went to get the Impala started.
- - -
"We're getting rusty," Sam said out of nowhere, after they were already on the road and had been driving for about two hours.
"Huh?" Dean stopped singing at the top of his lungs to ask.
"We need to practice our self-defense," Sam said, and Dean frowned.
"Are you serious?" He glanced back and forth between Sam and the road, wondering if this was just an opportunity for Sam to deck him. "I mean, we're hunting at least twelve hours out of the twenty-four. I don't think we're as out of shape as you think."
"We haven't had a hunt for at least half-a-week now," Sam answered, logically, staring sullenly out the windshield. "We need to spar or we're going to slow down."
Dean rolled his eyes. "You're the only slow one, Godzilla," he said under his breath to his window.
"I heard that." He jumped a little but retorted, "Yeah, 'cause your ears are so danged huge, that's why."
- - -
But when they got to their next motel, they found a spot in the grassy, empty lot behind the building. They stripped down to their t-shirts and bare feet, and stretched out a little bit. Dean started it off with a grin and a kick, which Sam easily blocked.
They were going at it for about five minutes, when someone's horn blared, and Dean glanced around wondering what yahoo was driving around behind the building anyway. Only, it wasn't coming from the back of the building, it was coming from the street--an idiot had tried to cross the intersection without looking first, and the driver who'd had to stop short or hit him, had honked their horn in anger.
He was about to make a comment to Sam about it, but the next thing he knew, he was looking up at him from a ridiculously far off distance. "What the--?"
"Oh, crap, sorry, Dean!" Dean winced and touched his nose. He examined his fingers and saw blood.
"Dude!" he yelled, "I wasn't looking!"
"It was an accident!" Sam answered, and offered to help him up. He refused the hand and struggled to his feet on his own, wiping at his nose with the back of his hand.
"Aw ban! You suck! You did this od purpose, didded you?"
"No," Sam vowed. He looked as innocently blank as he usually did when he was far from it.
"I don' eben doh why you owe be three! What the heg, Sabby!?"
Sam held in a snicker, and Dean glared. "Come on," Sam said, after a moment, "Let's get you cleaned up." He tried to help Dean, and Dean pushed him away.
"Ged the shoes, dubby!"
He heard Sam start laughing as he stormed back to their motel room in his bare feet, getting stickers in them all the way.
- - -
Day three, and he was about sick of this whole revenge crap. He wanted a little revenge of his own. So he did the unthinkable. He got his electric razor, which he used to cut his own hair when it started to get wild, and shaved off all Sam's lovely locks while he slept soundly.
The desired result was a little anticlimactic. And he felt a little bad, actually. So, before Sam could wake up, he got the heck out of the room and into the Impala, where he decided to take a little nap while he waited...
About a half-hour later a loud sound from the motel room greeted him, and he sat up grinning. "What the--? Dean! I'm gonna--" And some other choice words and phrases that would make a sailor blush.
He couldn't help it, he laughed a little. A little while later, Sam came out with his stuff, hair shaved like a new recruit's, looking like he wanted someone dead. Dean put on his sunglasses and pretended he'd had nothing to do with it. Otherwise, Sam wasn't just going to hit him, he was going to start boiling body parts in oil.
Sam got in the car, and Dean started it up. He cleared his throat. "Feel cold?" He managed to keep from laughing.
There was a long moment of silence. "Dean..."
"Don't go to sleep tonight."
- - -
He shouldn't have shaved off Sam's hair. Now he couldn't shut his eyes for fear Sam was going to tape them shut or something. Also, it'd been pretty rotten of him, considering how much Sam was attached to his hair. The thought made him snicker, and he covered his mouth to keep from laughing out loud.
Sam was probably asleep, but he didn't want to chance him hearing him laughing, and think Dean was laughing at him, even though he was.
He was starting to drift off to sleep--he could tell because he kept catching himself snoring--when he felt something on his face. He brushed at it, and suddenly felt something prickling his mouth.
He coughed and spit out the disgustingly bitter thing and turned on the lamp, after shooting out of the bed like he'd been electrocuted. Sam was asleep, apparently, in his own bed. There were pieces of a roach lying on his pillow, one of them a bristly leg--probably the thing that had prickled his tongue.
He gagged violently and made a bee-line for the john.
After throwing up and brushing and gargling about half a dozen times, he came storming back out, yelling, "I know you did it Sam," to the devilish brother, who was pretending to just wake up.
"You tried to make me eat that freakin' roach!" He gestured to the remains on his pillow.
Sam eyed him blearily. "What are you talking about?" Ohh, he was a dang good actor.
"You know what? Screw you. You watch your back, Roach-boy."
He grabbed the pillow, yanked off its case, and tossed it into the bathroom, came back out, flipped off the light and tried to settle down to sleep, squirming every time the scratchy motel comforter brushed him the wrong way.
- - -
Day four, they were silent and watchful, like two soldiers in the trenches.
Dean thought he'd probably reached the point of no return, and Sam would be giving him a permanent brain injury next. So he decided his only option was to figure out why this little war had started, and if he could somehow end it with peace negotiations.
Over breakfast, he asked, gruffly, "What's going on, Sam? You have something against me? You know, besides the two times I smacked you one?"
"Three, Dean, three," Sam answered, and he frowned.
"I don't have a clue what the third time was, so you're gonna have to give me a hint or something, Sammy," he said, impatiently.
"You didn't actually hit me."
When had he attacked Sam without actually hitting... oh...
"I swear," he snapped, "Just like a chick. And you seriously think you didn't deserve that?" He was talking about the bridge, right before that witch Constance had decided to take a joy ride in his baby to force them into the drink.
Well, him into the drink... the dirty, "toilet" smelling drink.
"I didn't say that," Sam retorted, and he wondered if maybe he had it wrong.
"Are you saying there's some other time?" Dean demanded, and Sam gave him the pursed-lip annoyed look. "Come on, Sam! Give me something more to go on, will you?"
"Never mind," his little brother shot back, and pushed his plate away, got up and started for the counter.
Dean glared after him, dug out a few bucks for a tip and scooted out of the booth.
He met Sam by the counter, where he watched him finish paying, and the girl giving him his receipt, cute girl that she was, and out they went into the parking lot.
"Look, I'm about tired of this crap, Sam. Tell me what's up with you."
Sam, already a few paces ahead of him, stopped and turned around, jaw clenched, looking like he was far from wanting to talk about anything. He started to turn away again, and Dean caught his arm.
Next thing he knew, he saw a fist coming at him, and he reacted. He blocked and struck back, and Sammy ended up on his butt. Dean's mouth dropped open, but he was too stunned to start apologizing, yet. And then someone came running out of the restaurant.
"Are you okay? Do you want me to call the police?" the woman asked Sam, and Sam got up, and told her, kindly, "No, it's okay, really. We were just horsing around." He offered her a wobbly smile, and she departed, uncertainly.
"Well, if you're sure...?"
"Yeah, thanks," Sam said, rather abruptly, and she went back inside.
"Sam... I didn't mean..." Dean began, finally, and tried to touch his brother's arm.
"Dean, let's go... come on."
- - -
They were back at the motel, and Sam was sitting on his bed, ice to his fat lip, and Dean was sitting on the other bed, watching him guiltily, when Sam pulled the ice, wrapped in towel, away from his bloody lip.
"Dean, you realize we don't get in fight fights? Ever? We spar, you hit me. You slam me up against something, I slam you up against something. And then we simmer down and that's that."
"We'd kill each other, Sammy, come on, what are you talking about? This is crazy."
"It's not crazy. We don't fight, Dean. We pull pranks on each other sometimes, some pretty danged nasty pranks... but that's not the same thing. Brothers fight, Dean. It's normal. You don't act like my brother. You act like you're my dad."
He could've choked the boy right then, but he managed to keep his cool, and suddenly, he realized what Sam was getting at. He took a deep breath, shrugged, tried to think of a how to explain it away, and couldn't for once.
Heck, ever since Sam had changed his mind and given him the charm instead of giving it to their father, they'd both secretly known what it meant, but they'd never talked about it. It had to be near sacrilegious, or something.
A moment passed, and he noticed Sam looking at his chest. He looked down and could've cussed himself out. He'd been messing with the thing, without realizing it. He cleared his throat and dropped his hand to his lap. "Sam..." he began, but Sam shook his head.
"Dean, I'm not trying to change our relationship. It is what it is, but you can't go so long without blowing up, if you don't let it out sometimes."
"I want it to be okay for us to kick each others' butts every now and then." He grinned, and Dean licked his lips.
"Shut up you snooty little know it all from Stanford..."
"Is that the best you can do?" Sam retorted, giving a couple derisive laughs.
"Oh yeah? You eat too much, you're a man-whore, and you're occasionally reckless with your own life," Sam said, with a wry twist in his tone.
"And you're a sissy wannabe big foot caveman." He was beginning to grin.
"Huh..." Sam murmured, but he was grinning too.
"And you look like Demi Moore."
"Shut up," Sam retorted, but he laughed a little.
They sat there, for a moment, watching each other.
"How's your lip? You want another rain check?"
Sam shook his head. "Don't even go there, man," he said, with a wincing smile.
Dean shrugged. "I'm gonna remind you you said that next time you get all twitchy and irritable."
Sam nodded, got up, motioned at him with the makeshift icepack, and went into the bathroom. Dean lay back on the bed, closed his eyes, and listened to the running water.
- end -