It's sad to see it, and it's sad to say it, but this is the final chapter of Learning to Love a Liar.
Thank you so much to everyone who reviewed or just read this story, and the first one. This has been so much fun to write! I never thought that this would be so popular, and you guys are awesome! Please, tell me what you think of the stories, I'd love to hear it!
Dean opened the door quietly and looked inside. Sam was still asleep, quietly snoring as he lay on his back, his bangs shading his eyes. He smiled as he stepped forward and shook his little brother gently. Sam mumbled under his breath and fluttered his eyes open. When he found himself staring at a grinning older brother, he moaned and rolled over.
"Go away," he said, muffled by the pillow he'd just stuffed his face into.
"Aww, come on Sammy! Rise and shine!" Dean laughed.
Sam peeked out of one eye at the clock on the wall beside his bed.
"It's seven. What's so special that you have to wake me up at seven on a Saturday?" Sam asked, sitting up and glaring at Dean through sleep-heavy eyes and fringe. Dean bit back a smirk.
"It's ya birthday, idiot."
Sam stared blankly for a moment before realisation crossed over his face. He rolled his eyes, but smiled slightly as he slid out of bed and punched Dean on the shoulder lightly.
Dean shot back instantly, "Bitch."
Sam and Dean looked at each other for a moment, then grinned. Sam pulled on one of Dean's old Metallica t-shirts, which hung on his skinny frame, a little too large; but Sam didn't seem to mind too much. Dean left as Sam finished dressing. He waited outside until Sam appeared, now in jeans and a jacket thrown over the t-shirt to ward off the morning's chill.
"Come on," Dean said, steering Sam to the kitchen. Sam went without protest, although he did roll his eyes again and sigh. Dean just smirked, knowing what was waiting for his brother in the next room.
As Sam and Dean entered the kitchen, Sam shuddered to a halt. Dean grinned. Their parents were standing there with massive smiles on their faces. On the table was a small cake with the number fourteen iced onto the top. Sam looked from Mary to John to Dean and back again before finally settling on the cake.
"Happy Birthday," Mary smiled, walking forward and hugging her son.
Dean stepped back as Sam spoke with their parents. He could see the happiness on his little brother's face and he knew that everything he had done to protect and look after him had been worth it. It always had. He would do anything for Sam, and the younger knew it. In the past two months after Jason had been vanquished once and for all, Dean and Sam had had quite a lot of time to work things through. And now, Dean thought as he watched Sam hug his father – the man he'd refused to call by anything other than his name – it's like everything is finally coming together.
Dean was thrown out of his thoughts by Sam as the boy hugged Dean and smiled. Dean hugged him back and responded with a similar grin. The two boys separated and looked at each other with laugh.
Sam moved to take some of the cake whilst Dean looked on with a satisfied smile. There was much more meaning in the birthday than most people would think, Dean thought quietly to himself. It wasn't just another year, another birthday to celebrate. This marked the beginning of a new stage. When Dean had found Sam, the younger had been thirteen. Now he was fourteen. One year older, and he was leaving behind the pain of the last few years. He was pushing away the heartache and suffering in favour of a new life with his real family.
Things were definitely looking up. They'd had their ups and downs, their troubles and their good times. But despite the pains and suffering they'd gone through, they'd finally managed to come through to the other side mostly intact.
Dean couldn't wait to tell Sam what his birthday surprise was.
Sam stared in absolute surprise as Dean revealed his secret. Dean couldn't help but smirk at the look on his little brother's face.
"Seriously? You'll teach me?"
Dean chuckled, "No, I'm going to let you behind the wheel and watch you go."
Sam grinned, and Dean gestured to the driver's side of the Impala, "You going to get in?"
Sam hesitated for barely a second before he ran past his brother to the car. Dean rolled his eyes as he walked around the car and slid into the passenger side. Sam, already knowing the very basics, started up the car. The radio spluttered into life, and Highway to Hell ripped through the speakers. Dean grinned and started singing along, but was stopped mid-lyric as Sam switched it over. He glared at his brother and opened his mouth to complain, but Sam beat him to it with a knowing, sarcastic half-smile.
"You know the rules, Dean," he said, and Dean rolled his eyes, leaning his head against the seat and wishing he'd never come up with the damn rule.
"Driver picks the music..." Sam started, and Dean groaned.
"Yeah, yeah, I know. Just shut up and drive, okay?"
Sam chuckled and pressed his foot down on the accelerator. The Impala jerked forward at the speed of light, and Dean yelped as Sam slammed on the brake. Sam gave his brother a sheepish look.
"Careful with her!" Dean cried, running a hand through his hair and wondering if teaching Sam to drive in his baby was such a good idea after all.
Sam tried again, this time a little more gently. The Impala rolled forward, and Dean smiled.
"You be careful with that car!" the boys heard John yell from the door of their newly rented house, far across the country from the horrors that had befallen them. They laughed.
As Sam continued to carefully navigate the black classic, Dean thought back to those days. The days when the most dangerous thing he could do was hunt down a vampire. When the most blood he'd ever seen had been a gash across his father's chest from a werewolf. When the hardest thing he'd had to do was survive three days in a wendigo's den. And when he was closer to a 1967 Chevy than his own father.
Now everything had changed. Everything was different, but Dean certainly didn't mind. It'd been a change for the better.
A year ago, Dean thought, he wouldn't have wanted anything to change at all. He just wanted to keep on hunting with just has father for company. Driving the Impala, having fun, faking being a journalist or a student or whatever else was needed. He'd never thought he could even have a brother, let alone have to save one. But since finding Sam, his life now had some meaning. He wasn't just killing the next monster of the week, whether werewolf, shapeshifter or spirit. He had a proper, normal job – being a big brother.
When he'd met Sam nearly a year ago as the younger had walked into school with his head down, Dean knew there was something special about him. He always had, even when he had nothing to go on but his gut feeling. Most people would think he was crazy for jumping in between a kid and a madman with a knife, especially as he barely knew the boy then. But Dean would have done anything for Sam despite knowing nothing about him, simply because he knew he had to.
Because that's what big brothers do.