So after an interminable amount of writer's block, a friend gave me some prompts. This is the result! Run for cover now!
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Summary: Dean and Sam talk and Sam admits some things in confidence (pre-series).
"Dean!" The whisper was harsh, cutting through the dark and silence of the room. "Dean! Are you awake?"
Dean sighed and rolled over, sitting up, hand reaching for the switch on the lamp beside his bed. "Yeah, Sam. I'm awake," he sighed. He'd been feeling rough for the last week, barely able to get enough sleep to function at all during the day, doing his utmost to lie still and quiet and not disturb his brother's sleep at night, stifling the cough that was tormenting him between the pillow and his arm, hoping Sam would sleep through and not catch the miserable cold he was suffering from.
"I need to talk to you."
"Talk away smart ass, we're both awake now anyway."
"Dean," Sam's whined.
"Sam, it's fine, just tell me already. I can't help unless you tell me."
"You'll help? I wasn't sure . . ."
Dean sighed and rubbed his hands across his face wondering what he was in the process of getting himself into. "I didn't actually say I would help." He paused before resuming, "Who knows if I'll help until I even know what it is we're talking about." Sometimes he wondered where his geek brother stored his common sense. "Sam, until you actually tell me something . . ."
Sam interrupted before Dean could continue any further, "Oh yeah, right. Sorry. It's just . . . Dean . . ." Sam stood up and crossed the room to the door, checking it was closed and that there was not a sound from beyond it.
"It's just you and me, dude, just you and me," Dean reassured as he watched his brother move round the room.
"Yeah." Sam swallowed nervously. "When I've told you, you'll keep it like that, you know, just you and me, you won't tell . . . anyone . . ."
"Sam, you know I'm not just gonna go and tell Dad without telling you first, but you know, dude, you've got to let me know what I'm agreeing to. Maybe it's something you should be talking to Dad about. You know he might be able to help you with whatever it is . . . Is it girl trouble or something? Sam! You haven't got a girl preg. . ."
"NO!" Sam's interjection was emphatic and would easily have woken their father had he been in the house, but he wasn't and he wasn't due back for at least another hour. "Dean, no! Nothing like that. It's - it's something good or at least I think so." Dean waved a hand at his brother, deciding that it was pointless straining against his sore throat to perpetuate this part of the conversation any further and that maybe if he didn't say anything then maybe Sam would get round to actually enlightening him as to what they were discussing. "Dean," Sam sighed again, "I've been thinking." Dean rolled his eyes, but in the dim light of the room, he was safe from Sam noticing. "They were talking in school about - about when we finish, when we leave and I was thinking . . ."
The two boys sat quietly waiting. Dean knew he wasn't going to like the direction the conversation was going to go in, but he also knew that whatever Sam was going to say, he was going to be right . . .well right for him anyway. Sam waited, half thinking that Dean was going to interrupt, cut him off, ask him what there was to think about after school, the future was clear, the future was hunting, but the words never spilled from his brother's lips.
Sam tried again to get the words out, "I was thinking I'd like to carry on studying, go to College or something." He paused waiting for the expected outburst, but there was still nothing. "Dean, are you still awake? Are you listening to what I'm telling you." Sam almost growled with irritation.
"I'm listening," Dean reassured. "I'm just waiting for you to tell me the rest?"
"So you're thinking you'd like to go to College and carry on studying. Sounds great. How do you think you're going to do it?" God, Dean wished he could say what he really thought, that it was a great idea, that Sam should go for it, that he'd be great. He wished more than anything that he could be enthusiastic, but he couldn't. He couldn't because there was no way they could round up the money for Sam to go, Dad wasn't going to say yes, Dean knew that and the fact that made him really sick to his stomach was that he didn't want Sam to go, he didn't want to be left behind alone. Dean also knew that if it was what Sam really wanted, he would do everything in his power to make sure his brother got it if it was in anyway possible.
"There are scholarships and stuff . . . I've been talking to some of the teachers at school, they said they'd help me apply and get the references and stuff and my grades are good enough, so . . ."
"Sounds good," Dean could hear the sadness in his own voice, even as he tried to hide it from his brother, relieved to see Sam smile across the room at himself. "So what happens now?"
"I have to do some extra work and pass some extra exams . . . Dean, we are staying here for the rest of this year, aren't we? If we move, I won't stand a chance."
"We won't move, Sammy, don't worry." Dean turned his face to the door to hide the torment in his eyes. He'd already been arguing with Dad about the need to stay put for the rest of the year so that Sam could finish up school, but Sam didn't need to know that. Sam wasn't the only one with things he wanted to keep secret. "Sammy, you know . . . I won't tell Dad but . . ." Dean tried to hide a gut-wrenching sigh. "You should tell him what you're thinking . . . before too long . . . I know it'll be hard, but you should still tell him."
"Like he'd listen! Like he'd let me go! You know I'm surprised he hasn't had us moving halfway across the country yet this year. I mean when you were finishing up school, we didn't stick around in one place – you didn't even get a whole semester in the same school, did you? I guess I've just been lucky so far."
Dean swallowed painfully, his voice hoarse, "Yeah, he's trying to keep us here for you. See that's why you should tell him."
"Dean, we argue all the time as it is; he's not going to like this."
"Yeah, but tell him now and he has time to come round."
"I'll think about it. Just please, don't you say anything until I'm ready."
The months passed, Dean continued his battles with John to make sure they stayed in town long enough for Sam to finish out the school year without telling Sam and when John was out or away, he continued helping Sam with his application for colleges and scholarships without telling his father.
He felt trapped in the middle, torn apart, desperate for the two to understand each other, caught between the warring factions. But Dean knew how to keep things secret, how not to share when sharing would only make things worse. Dean knew that some things needed to be held in confidence.