TOMORROW IS TODAY

By: Karen B.

Summary: Just a short little snip for fun. It's Sam's sixteenth birthday and Dean has forgotten….oops…poor Sammy. Sam -- 16. Dean -- 20. Little angst, fluff and humor.

Disclaimer: Not the owner. Not now. Not ever. Just not.

Rated: Nothing-plus-nothing, pretty much equals…nothing. Some bad name calling.

Thank you for taking a peek. Just a little somethin', somethin' the stupid muse made me write. Needed a touch of light and fluffy -- thus this.

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It was his birthday. His sixteenth. He didn't expect breakfast in bed when he'd woken up this morning. Sam was no princess, but he surly didn't expect to wake to an empty house, and a soggy note lying on the kitchen table amongst a few toast crumbs, and empty coffee cups.

Sam picked up the note and read:

Gone huntin'. Back soon, Dean.

"Soon," Sam murmured to himself and rolled his eyes.

By Winchester standards, that could mean an hour, a day, or even a week. Letting the note flutter back to the table, Sam choked down a cold strawberry Pop Tart and chugged the last of the milk from the container, before heading off to school.

He wandered the hallways in a daze, his feet dragging like lead from class-to-class, and wearing an upside down smile on his face. He dropped his ass into desk-after-desk, fighting off the self-pitty that was blasting him, like a sandstorm. Dad forgetting, Sam could understand. He'd forgotten before. Of course, Dean had tried to cover for the man, never worked --Sam always knew better. But, Dean -- he'd never forget -- never break a promise. Especially, the promise he'd been promising all that previous year. The promise that when Sam turned sixteen, he could get behind the wheel of the Impala -- and drive. Maybe his brother and father were going to surprise him when he came home from school. Sam imagined the tarnished gold handle of their small apartment. Imagined the key sliding into the keyhole, th lock clicking, him slowly turning the knob, pushing the door open. He pictured Dean standing right there all smug, with a touch of pride as he straightaway tossed Sam the car keys. A promise made and a promise kept.

Sam smiled, imagining the powerful thrust of the Impala jiggling down the dirt road near their current home -- him, behind the wheel, for the first time.

With that thought looping around in his head, Sam hurried home from school feeling a bit excited as he burst into the door.

"Dean." Sam's voice was an empty echo floating through the tiny unoccupied house.

Nothing had changed. The two empty coffee cups, and this morning's note still lay amongst the toast crumbs -- undisturbed. Sam's jaw hung open, his heart tearing to pieces.

He didn't expect marching bands, and flags. He certainly didn't expect to come home from school to find a balloon bouquet, thickly frosted, double-decker chocolate cake, an armload of presents, or a magician. A simple, 'happy birthday, Sam, let's burn up the road', would have been enough.

Crushed, Sam slammed his mouth shut and moved to the refrigerator. He helped himself to a Coke and was about to help himself to the last piece of yesterday's leftover pizza. He hesitated, opting to save that piece for Dean. Instead, Sam microwaved himself a package of mystery flavored Ramen Noodles, knowing Dean hated the stuff, besides that was about all there was left to eat. Sitting down at the table, he brushed the toast crumbs off, and shoved the empty cups to one side.

"Whatever," he mumbled, pulling his homework out of his backpack.

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Several hours later, Dean burst through the door looking haggard, hungry, and pissed. "It's a hell of a happy day, bro." Dean dropped his weapon's bag to the floor.

"Dean." Sam's head snapped up from the book he was reading, a wide smile spreading across his face -- better late than never.

"What a hunt. Dad's still wrapping it up. We were both damn lucky, ghost nearly sent us off into sweet oblivion, before we ganked the fugly." Dean staggered tiredly right on past Sam. "I need a shower."

Sam's smile faded, watching as Dean gathered some clean clothes and headed straight to the bathroom, closing the door without another word. Ten minutes later, Dean came out of the bathroom -- showered and shaved. "Hey, Sammy, I got something for you."

"You did?" Sam pushed away from the table and stood in front of Dean, his smile back.

"Yeah." Dean dug deep in his pant's pocket. "Here." He pulled out a piece of paper, handing the note to Sam. "Need you to research this name. It's all important, man. Dad wants to get on this by the end of the week."

Sam tried not to look disappointed as he stared at the name scrawled across the paper in blue ink. He gave a heavy sigh. He knew how much hunting meant to his father, and his brother. How important their work was. He didn't even feel abandoned -- much -- when he had to be left home alone for days, cooking and caring for himself. But it was his sixteenth birthday -- a milestone. One day out of the miserable year couldn't he just -- have a normal life?

"So…" Dean went to the refrigerator. "You didn't eat all the leftover pizza, did you?" He opened the door and stuck his head inside. "Because the only other thing we got to eat around this dump is Ramen Noodles, and dude, I hate that stuff."

"Is that all you ever think about?" Sam grumbled, shoving the paper with the 'all important' name on it into his pocket.

"Right now, yeah." Dean backed out of the refrigerator cold beer in hand, slice of pizza clamped between his front teeth. "Tha'all you ever do 's..." he bit into the pizza. "Homework, Poindexter?" he asked around a chomping, wet mouthful.

"Yeah, Dean," Sam huffed. "It's all I ever do," he barked, riffling through his papers and angrily shoving his schoolwork into his backpack.

"What's with you?"

"You forgot," Sam blurted, unable to hide his hurt as he zipped his pack closed, and flung it into a corner.

"I didn't forget."

"Really, Dean." Sam stood straighter, arms spread wide. "'Cause it appears to me that you did."

Dean swallowed the last of his pizza and set his beer on the counter. "Sam." He stepped closer. "I didn't forget."

"You forgot. And worse, you promised"

"Dude, I'm not stupid, I didn't forget...I never forget." Dean stepped closer, a look of concern crossing his face.

"Today's Friday, Dean," Sam snorted. "You forgot."

"Soooo…not true. It's Thursday, Sam. It's not tomorrow, yet," Dean laughed.

"Tomorrow is today," Sam exclaimed hurtfully, trying to hide his tear-filled eyes behind his bangs.

Sam was used to always being pushed aside for the sake of the hunt, but not on his birthday. On his birthday, Dean made sure Sam was never alone. Always made things fun, even if they didn't have the money. On his eighth birthday they'd swam all night in the motel pool. On his ninth, Dean had taken him fishing and even made him a homemade birthday cake out of peanut butter and stacked Gram crackers. One year they snuck into a show, the year after that, a horse pasture; grabbing hold of the horse's manes and riding them bareback through the open field -- cowboy style. One time, Dean had even built a couple of go-karts out of scrap metal from Bobby's yard. They'd spent Sam's thirteenth birthday weekend racing each other, lap after lap. Rocketing around an obstacle course, whooping and hollering, barely stopping long enough for lunch or even dinner.

"Sam." Dean's soft tone drew him back to the present. "I didn't forget. Today, is not the tomorrow you think it is."

Sam turned his face away. "Just never mind."

"I'll prove it to you." Dean grabbed his jacket and headed for the front door.

"Where you going?" Sam called after him.

"Just…" Dean glanced over his shoulder. "Be right back." He stormed out.

Sam threw himself down on the couch. Grabbing the remote control, he surfed mindlessly through the channels.

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Not long later, Dean slowly opened the door, and poked his head inside. "Ouch." Dean sheepishly stepped into the room shutting the door behind him, and staring down at his feet. "Hey, Sammy."

Sam sat up on the edge of the couch and shut the television off. "Hey, Dean." He tossed the remote to the scratched coffee table, not bothering to look up.

"So…eh…I went to the manager's office." Dean leaned back against the door dejectedly. "Checked his log-in book. I guess, I, uh, I guess…" Dean ran a hand through his cropped hair "It's Friday." He looked at Sam. "It's the tomorrow… I thought was...tomorrow."

Sam nodded, understanding Dean's double-talk.

"Would you believe…April Fools, I forgot your Birthday. Ha ha," Dean laughed uncomfortably.

Sam flung himself back against the couch cushions, arms crossed over his chest. He had a right to pout -- didn't he.

"Didn't think so," Dean said regrettably. "How about the truth. Your stupid, but handsome and overly adorable big brother... screwed up." Dean walked across the room.

Sam wanted to say something -- throw something -- at his big brother's overly adorable sized head, but didn't. Maybe he was being childish and silly.

"Got you something." Dean handed Sam a crinkled, brown paper bag.

Sam knew what Dean was doing. Handing him a peace offering. Dean's way of taking the edge off the hurt he'd caused.

"Where'd you get..." Sam cocked his head. "You didn't have to…"

"Just open it." Dean sat down.

Sam opened the bag and reached inside pulling out a…"Fortune cookie?"

"Chinese restaurant in Indiana." Dean waved a hand at the bag. "There's more."

Sam dug in pulling out a…"Peppermint?" He scowled.

"Gas station in Illinois," Dean explained.

"You mean the glove compartment of the Impala."

Dean shrugged. "That too."

Sam pulled out the rest of the random objects. A pencil with a giant pink eraser tip, an old Burger King wrapper made into the shape of a dragon's head. Sam peered up at Dean from under his bangs wondering just when had his tough as nails brother learned Origami -- and more importantly -- why. Sam peered back in the bag taking out a gold tire pressure gage, two silver dollars, a black Zippo lighter, and a small pocket wrench.

"Pretty cool, huh?" Dean asked nervously.

"Sure.'Eh…thanks, Dean." Sam picked up the Zippo striking the flame. His birthday was never about presents. It was about remembering those you loved. What Sam would remember about his sixteenth birthday was -- Dean forgot. Sam thought about making a wish as he stared at the dancing flame.

"Look, I know I'm lame and I suck ass." Dean squirmed. "I'm not going to make excuses, Sam. There are none."

"It's okay, Dean," Sam said.

Not bothering to make a wish, Sam flipped the lighter shut bagging the rest of the presents Dean had gone car shopping for.

"I was wrong Sam, but I didn't know I was wrong. Because the only way to know when I'm wrong, is to be wrong. To figure it out and say, 'hey, I was wrong'. So…it was a good thing, me, being wrong, because if I wasn't wrong… I'd go on not knowing and I'd just keep on being wrong. Get it?" Dean sighed as he'd run out of breath.

"Not sure." Sam looked mystified. "I get the 'wrong' parts."

"Hey, man, just call me an ass, an idiot, a selfish bastard. That you can get, right?"

"I'm not going to call you those things, Dean."

"Why not, I deserve it. I forgot what day it was…I'm a rat." Dean lowered his head.

"I'd rather call you something else."

"Like what?" Dean brightened. "Go ahead. Call me anything you like." He bounced excitedly up and down on the couch.

"Stupid," Sam said, barely above a whisper.

He could think of all kinds of names to call Dean, but he was afraid to. It truly wasn't Dean's fault. His big brother had a lot to contend with, dad being the number one contender. Besides, Dean hadn't truly forgotten, just gotten his days crossed.

"Me, forgetting your birthday was stupid, Sam. Go on…shoot, call me a name, any name. I can take it. Give it to me." Dean went tense and rigid as if he were preparing for a bullet to the chest.

Sam shook his head. "No."

"I dare you."

"Dean."

"Sam, I double dare you."

"That won't work."

"Chicken."

Sam's mouth drew tight, muscles rippling along his jaw line. "You're a dimwit," Sam said a little louder, rubbing at his burning eyes.

"That's a start."

Sam sniffled and cleared his throat. "I could call you douchebag," he said tentatively.

"Acceptable," Dean agreed. "What else?"

"A Dip Shit."

"I like that," Dean barked a small laugh. "Go on."

"Mashed potato head or Butter Nuts," Sam spoke up.

"Good. All good. I got a few better ones for you, Sam. How about, Captain Awesome or Dangerous Dean."

"Jelly belly, Deanie the Weenie, Booger Bear," Sam shot back with a giggle.

"Stud muffin, Hot Stuff, Dreamboat," Dean rattled off without pause.

"Ew." Sam winced. "Cheese Pants, Fruit Cake, Chump Change."

"Chump Change?" Dean's eyes went wide. "Man, that's so seventies."

"Penis Breath," Sam deadpanned.

"Okay, Sam, awkward." Dean squirmed

"Marshall Mellow Puff," Sam said with confidence. "Toilet face, pecker head…"

"Sam, it's enough."

"Tas de merde." The word rolled fluently off Sam's tongue.

"Say what?" Dean sat up straighter.

"It's French for, pile of shit." Sam grinned proudly. "Imbecile -- stupid, fils de pute -- son of a bitch," Sam translated.

"Show off," Dean growled.

"Enculer une mouche," Sam continued in French.

"Je tempered, screw you, Sam, I will so not go fuck a fly."

"Dean, how'd you…" Sam shook his head. "Princess Pookie." Sam went back to speaking in plain English, thinking Dean must have learned French the same time he'd learned Origami.

"Sam, I think we can stop at Princess Pookie, okay."

"Mr. Sexy Pants," Sam continued, a wide smirk crossing his face.

"Hey!" Dean pointed a stern finger in Sam's face. "Only Allison Finkelmeyer gets to call me that."

"There is one thing I really want to call you, Dean." Sam boldly stared Dean down.

"One more, Sam, that's all you get. One more name, and we're square… you got me?"

Sam nodded, glancing down at the carpet.

"Well, go on," Dean encouraged, half-heartedly.

Sam looked up. "Brother." Sam's face beamed, his heart no longer torn to pieces. "It's the only thing I want to call you anymore."

"Ah-ha." Dean punched Sam in the shoulder, hard. "I knew you were gay."

"You're a dick," Sam snapped.

"That's my boy." Dean dug into his jacket pocket and pulled out his car keys, jingling them in front of Sam. "Want to sit your butt behind the wheel of this dick's car?"

Sam's eyes went wide. "Really?"

"Tomorrow is today." Dean shrugged one shoulder. "And I did promise."

"Thanks Dean." In the time-honored tradition of moody teens, Sam flipped from sad to happy. "Talk about awesome. This is the best birthday ever." Sam grabbed the keys and darted for the door.

"Kids," Dean muttered following close behind.

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EPILOGUE

The setting sun angled in through the front windshield, casting a golden glow as they drove in silence down the old country road; past grazing animals, old barns and cherry trees shedding their pink blossoms in the wind.

The Impala jiggled, tires rumbling, the occasional ping of gravel hitting the under carriage. All the windows were rolled down and the whoosh of warm wind rushed in. Sam looked nervous, both hands gripped the steering wheel at ten and two o'clock, eyes forward, barely blinking, his back ramrod straight against the leather.

Sitting in the passenger seat was odd for Dean, if not a little tense, but the feeling soon passed. Sam was a good driver -- born natural. Dean reclined back, crossing his arms over his chest, unable to help notice the proud smile frozen on his little brother's face.

Sam shot Dean a look, his wild bangs sweeping back and forth across his eyes. "Am I making you nervous?"

Dean arched a brow. "No." He wondered if the kid was three parts Sheepdog, two parts hippie, one part mop.

"Then why are you staring?" Sam's proud smile dropped.

"Surprised is all."

"By what?" Sam checked his review mirror.

"You."

"Me, what?" Sam fidgeted, gripping the wheel tighter and swerving left smoothly avoiding a large pothole.

"If I didn't know better, I'd say you were born to drive my car."

"You're just saying that because you forgot my birthday."

"No. I mean it, Sam."

Sam's proud smile was back, eyes brimming as he took a curve in the road like a pro.

"Hey," Dean said quietly.

"Hey, what?"

"How about some birthday pie? There's a diner twenty miles down the road."

"Fat Billy's is no diner, Dean."

"So, what is it then?"

"Roach motel."

"The girl of your dreams works at that roach motel, dude, remember?" Dean nudged Sam with an elbow.

"Claudette is not the girl of my dreams, Dean."

"Yeah, well if I remember correctly, the last time we ate there your eyes popped out of their sockets when you saw her," Dean snickered. "You may not realize this Sam… but girls do look at your package."

"My…eh…uh…pack…what?!"

"You're sixteen Sam, you should notice these things. Haven't I taught you anything, man? You shouldn't play your Trombone so much. Sex is good, Sam. Very, very good."

"My Trom...Dean!" Sam gasped.

"Ha, ha," Dean laughed at Sam's horrified look. "Just saying, Sammy."

"Just say nothing," Sam deadpanned.

"Come on let's go to Fat Billy's. It'll be fun."

"We are so not going to Fat Billy's and having fun." Sam made a sharp left hand turn down a paved road.

"Where we going then?" Dean eyed Sam as if he didn't know.

"Miss Molly's is the next closest place."

"Miss Molly's," Dean huffed, feigning frustration as he stared out the window.

"It's my birthday, Dean, I get to choose."

"Fine." Dean coughed into his hand to hid the sly smile on his face.

"Fine."

Dean chuckled, knowing he was in for a good time remembering how the young, and the hot Miss Molly had ogled his ass last week.

"What's so funny?"

"Nothing, birthday boy."

"You know, Dean, rumor has it Fat Billy and Miss Molly were found buck-naked in the backseat of his Ford a month ago, and when Miss Molly's husband, Tommy Hammer, found out...he beat the crap out of Fat Billy."

"You mean that guy who looks like he swallowed Rambo…" Dean sat bolt straight. "Is Miss Molly's husband?" Dean swallowed hard.

"Tommy Hammer," Sam recapped.

"Sammy?"

"Yeah, Dean?" Sam flicked his head to get a piece of hair out of his eyes.

"Miss Molly's is a dive. Where do you really want to go eat for your Birthday?"

"Can I just drive your car?" Sam glanced over.

"That's my boy." Dean reached to the radio and cranked up the tunes as high as the radio would go. "Burn up the road, little brother." Dean slouched back down in the seat jamming to Sammy Haggar's, "I Can't Drive Fifty-Five."

Sam smiled, his shoulders relaxed and he sank deeply against the leather seat.

"She's pretty awesome, huh?" Dean shouted over the radio.

Sam nodded, his left hand slipping off the steering wheel and dangling limply out the open window. "You're pretty awesome, too, Dean." Sam shot Dean a quick look.

Dean tapped a finger against his ear. "Can't hear you, Sammy," he said, having the good grace to blush.

"Jerk-off."

"Birthday-bitch."

The end.