This was written as a Happy Birthday Sam, Comment fic meme at 'ohsam' (livejournal community). And it is being written for a prompt by brianshanelvr. I won't give out the prompt until the end because I don't want to give it away.
Warnings: language and adult theme – nothing graphic. This can be set in any season at any time.
The silence in the car was heavy. There was no music pounding and the only sound was the steady thrumming of tire on pavement.
Dean's jaw was locked in hurt and anger.
Sam was quiet, staring out the passenger side window, his body tense, the faint blush of red still coloring his cheeks.
"You are such a jerk," Dean grit out, the quiet grating on his last nerve. "I was just trying to do something nice."
"Dean. Just… drop it," Sam's own voice was low and held a vague hint of threat.
"What the hell happened to you, man, anyway?" Dean refused to quit. "You used to love this kind of crap."
"Yeah, well, not in a long time." Sam snorted bitterly. He was still looking out the side window and it bugged the shit out of Dean that his brother wouldn't even look at him.
Dean scowled. "And whose fault is that? I tried," he defended indignantly. And he had, but this year like each one prior was met with open hostility. Sam refused to go out for a birthday drink. Birthday cake was dropped in the trash. The gift was never opened until the next day –
"Never said it was." Sam did cast a quick glance at him then but turned away again before Dean could get more than a glimpse of something on his brother's face.
His brow furrowed. It didn't make sense. All while they were growing up birthdays were a big deal. Hell, even their father would get them a cake and gift on their 'special' day, and Sam still indulged Dean every January… Last year little brother had even paid a stripper to give his big bro a lap dance. A small smirk briefly stole Dean's features at the memory.
When had it changed?
Conversation stalled as Dean thought back to pre-Stanford Sam. Did something happen at school – no, he shook his head, not at school…
The year Sam left. His graduating year. That was the first time Sam had a hate-on for his birthday. Dean remembered because he thought it was odd that a guy turning nineteen didn't want to celebrate, but then Dad had a hunt and he hadn't given it any thought after that.
"What happened?" he heard himself asking and felt Sam shift on the seat next to him.
"What happened, when?" Sam demanded.
"When you turned nineteen. What? You suddenly decided you were too old for cake?"
"Nineteen?" Sam was looking at him now and his face crinkled up in confusion for a moment and then he shook his head. "Nothing. We didn't do anything."
"I know that, genius," Dean rolled his eyes and concentrated on driving. "But why then? What happened? Most guys don't become birthday-phobic until they're say, I dunno, thirty?"
"Your age?" Sam sniped.
"Shut up," Dean shot back and for a moment things felt normal between them. "I'm serious, Sam, why do you hate your birthday so much? What did a birthday ever do to you?"
A sharp intake of breath had him glancing across at his brother and then looking for a place to pull over. Sam had gone so white he looked like he was going to pass out and Dean felt something tight twist in his gut. "Sam? You okay?" He stopped the car. "Sammy?"
His brother fumbled for the door but Dean reached out and grabbed his arm. "Hey!"
Sam flinched like he'd been struck and Dean immediately let go.
"Okay, that's it!" His voice hardened with worry. "What the hell is going on with you?"
"Dean, look, I don't want to talk about it," Sam's eyes were wide in his way too pale face and it made Dean even more determined to get to the bottom of this. His proud, strong little brother was never supposed to look this spooked.
"So there is something then."
"Dean – please… just let it go."
And his brother was definitely never supposed to sound like that.
"I'm sorry, Sammy," and he was… but it didn't change a thing. "I need to know."
Sam dropped back against the seat. He seemed to deflate right before Dean's eyes.
"Sam?" he pressed, this time his voice was soft. "You know you can tell me anything, right?"
A light hazel look slide his way and Dean sucked in a breath at the depth of torment he saw in the gaze. "Sammy?"
"Sometimes," the kid's tone was hollow, "it's better off not knowing."
If Dean wasn't worried before, this clenched it. "Probably," he agreed, "but it doesn't change things if whatever this is, is still messing you up. Dude," he breathed out softly, "it's your birthday."
Sam shivered and swallowed hard. He stared straight out the windshield, his jaw clenched so tightly Dean expected it to crack. His hands, balled in his lap, trembled, and just when Dean didn't think Sam was going to say anything, his brother spoke.
"I was raped."
All the blood drained from Dean's face as he stared at his brother. No way. Impossible. It couldn't be. "What?" he growled, his heart starting to pound.
"You heard me," Sam's voice was so soft he had to strain to hear the words.
Dean shook his head, then snorted. "Oh nice one, Sam. Try something else."
Sam's eyes snapped towards him, hurt and anger flashing across them. "Excuse me?"
"Is this a joke to you?" Dean was furious. Here he was, trying his damnest to help and his brother throws this at him. "Raped? Puhlease, Sam. You must really think I'm an idiot, if you think I'm going to buy that." There was no way. Just no way. Not his little brother. No fucking way.
"You know what, Dean? Screw you!" Sam wrenched open the car door and started to haul himself out. Dean tried to grab him again but this time Sam shoved him back. "Let me go!"
"Sam." Growling, Dean was out of the car as well, slamming the door and going around to face his brother.
Sam rounded on him and the fist caught him jaw. It staggered him but Dean held his ground.
"You son of a bitch!" his brother enunciated each word. "You wanted to fucking know what was wrong! You wanted to!" He took another swing but Dean was ready for this one, easily blocked it and pushed Sam away. "I was raped, you asshole! On my birthday – on my eighteenth birthday! And you want me to eat cake? To make nice with the presents? To celebrate the day? Well I can't… I just can't…" Sam stood there, hands fisted by his sides, his breathing ragged, tears streaming down his face. "I can't."
Dean, thunderstruck, watched his brother unravel in front of him. "Sammy," the word stuck in his throat as his own emotions threatened to undo him. Someone had hurt his little brother? Raped his Sammy?
"Oh God," Dean lurched away from Sam to lean against the car. He swallowed hard and fast to keep from throwing up. "Oh God…"
Sam didn't move. He just stood there shaking hard and breathing fast.
Anger coursed iron through his spine and Dean straightened. "Who, Sam?" he growled. "Who?" He needed to know but his brother just shook his head, his eyes now downcast, his hair blocking his face from view.
"Sam." Dean started but then stopped and closed his eyes. They weren't having this conversation on the side of the road. They were not. He took a deep breath – he was the big brother here – then approached the kid, not surprised when Sam took a skittish step backwards. "C'mon, bro," he pressed his anger down – it wasn't his brother he was mad at – and evened out his tone. "Let's go."
Sam started to shake his head but Dean persisted. "I saw a sign for a motel a couple of miles back… We'll get a room, call it a night." His brother was watching him now, shiny eyes darting across Dean's face as if appraising him, and it made Dean feel sick. Guilt churned his insides. "I'm sorry," he offered, then gestured vaguely at the car, "for… you know… my reaction."
"It's okay," Sam absolved him immediately.
"I just – well, I really wanted you to be messing around with me, you know?" It was lame and he felt like a heel but it was also the truth. Dean would have preferred anything but that. Oh God.
"Me too," his brother offered sadly then ducked his head back down between his shoulders and moved towards the passenger side door. "I am tired," Sam admitted, his voice only trembling a little when he spoke this time.
Dean nodded but waited until Sam was in the car and the door closed before moving around to his own side. He gingerly touched the forming bruise on his chin before opening the door, positive that by the time he heard what happened, there'd be deeper bruises. On his soul.
Sam was sitting on his bed, his back against the wall, his legs bent up. His arms wrapped protectively around himself. It hurt to see him looking so vulnerable and it scorched Dean's normal protective fire into something much more visceral.
Sam had been hurt – was hurting – someone was going to pay.
Sliding up next to his brother, Dean ignored how Sam tensed as he mirrored his pose, careful to be close enough to offer support without making his brother feel trapped. Letting out a slow breath, he then leaned his head back against the wall and gave Sam his complete attention. Dean already had some idea how the story started because Sam turning eighteen had been one of the few birthdays, Dean had missed…
"You were still in the hospital," Sam started and slid him a quick look. "Just after that second surgery to fix another bleeder… Talk about a wonderful birthday gift. Here, Sam, you're turning eighteen today so let's just rush your brother back into the OR and pray we can fix the problem and save his life again." Sam snorted bitterly at the memory and Dean nudged a knee against Sam's to remind him that everything had turned out fine. That Dean was still here.
Sam gave him a weak smile. It was something.
Dean didn't actually remember a lot from the first few days after waking up in the hospital, but he knew things had been bad. One look at his wrecked little brother lying draped half across his hip, hand held tightly to Dean's had been more than enough to tell him that.
A simple hunt had gone awry when a harpy got the jump on them and sliced Dean up pretty good before John and another hunter killed it.
"Morton was there," Dean remembered the other hunter.
Dean felt a chill race across his skin at his brother's tone
Morton White was a hunter their father had worked with from time to time. The boys didn't know him as well as Bobby Singer (largely in part to John never seemingly to fully trust the guy even if the man was a stellar hunter) so he was never 'Uncle Morty'. But he was good backup and happened to be in the area when John and Dean started hunting the harpy. A chance encounter at the bar two nights before Sam's birthday, hooked him up for the hunt and he was there to help save Dean's life.
"Anyways, like I said. Not exactly a great way to spend any day, let alone my birthday… I was terrified you were going to die, Dad wasn't exactly being fun to hang out with so when – ah – he offered to take me out for a steak, was my birthday after all, I jumped at the chance. God, I was such an idiot."
Dean didn't even need to hear the rest of the story to know who the soon-to-be dead man was.
God-damnit, he mentally raged as Sam went on in a quiet, monotone drone to tell him how Morton had come on as the good guy, even buying Sam a couple of beers to help him 'celebrate' his special day. His 'coming of age' before dragging the tipsy teen into the back alley and raping him…
By the time Sam was done, Dean was shaking just as hard, with fury.
"It was my fault-" Sam started but Dean cut him off.
"Like hell it is, Sam," he barked, shoving himself off the bed and starting to pace angrily. "The only person's fault it is, is that prick Morton's. I swear-" before he could get the rest of his threat out, Sam was also off the bed and grabbing his arm to stop him.
"No, Dean. No. Let it go," he pleaded. "It's okay. It happened a long time ago and it's okay."
"Did Dad know?" Dean demanded, not even bothering with his brother's idiocy. It was anything but okay. "Did you tell Dad?"
Sam hung his head and shifted on his feet. "No," he admitted. "I never told anyone… until now."
"Jesus, Sam, Jesus!" Dean was furious. "You should have been checked by a doctor. You should have told Dad…" he paused, "you should have told me."
"What good would it have done?" Sam demanded, his eyes wide and begging. "Please, Dean, tell me? What good would it have done? You guys – you or Dad – would have gone after Morton and it wasn't worth that. It wasn't worth… murder."
Dean grabbed his brother by his shoulders and forced Sam to look at him. "He hurt you, Sammy. He. Hurt. You…. And you would have been worth it to me and Dad… You are worth it."
"Dean," Sam tried again but then started to shake so hard, Dean thought he was going to break.
Wrapping his arms around his hurting little brother, Dean pulled him in tight. "It's okay, bro," he murmured, his lips tickled by dark brown hair. "I promise you, it's okay now."
Sam held on tightly, his face pressed in against Dean's neck as he shook his head. "Do you understand now? Do you?"
Dean closed his eyes. "Yeah, kiddo," he sighed, "I do. But…" he pulled back enough for Sam to look at him. "It's not right. That bastard took enough from you. Look, I know you don't want to 'celebrate' your birthday and I get it, I really do, but what say I just pick up a couple of pizzas, a six pack… and a cupcake – and, hold on, let me finish," he said when Sam opened his mouth to protest, "and that's it. I won't even put a candle on it. Baby steps, Sammy. Baby steps."
Sam considered what Dean was offering, then took a deep breath and let it out. He gave a small nod. "Okay – that should be okay."
Beaming, as he released his brother and moved to grab his jacket and cell phone he added, "Why don't you grab a shower while I'm gone and see if there's anything decent on the TV?"
"Y-" Sam cleared his voice and tried again. "Yeah, I can do that."
Dean reached across to ruffle his hair, grinning when Sam mock glared at him and pulled his head away. "That's my boy." He beamed, then snagged his phone and headed out of the room. "Back in about forty-five," he promised and left the room.
Pausing to listen as Sam clicked the lock in place, Dean was already dialing before he crossed the short distance to the Impala. He started speaking as soon as the call was answered.
"Hey, Bobby… I need a favor. I'm looking to hook up with a hunter. An old friend of my Dad's. His name? Morton White."
The Prompt: Ever since his rape on his birthday, he hasn't celebrated. Sam finally gives into Dean's questioning why.