I Wish I Was Your Brother
Summary: The intensity of the close bond between the Winchester brothers inspires envy, awe, admiration, longing and even suspicion in outsiders. A series of stories told by individuals after unforgettable encounters with Sam and Dean.
A/N: Since as Supernatural fans we're always talking about the bond between the brothers I thought it would be interesting to do some fics about how outsiders see the relationship between Sam and Dean. These stories will all be AU for the most part and they won't follow any kind of chronological order.
- ONE -
Sometimes I feel like the best thing about my time at Stanford was being able to feast my eyes on Sam Winchester.
My best friend Deena always said I'd make a great stalker and with Sam I mastered the art of observing without being detected. Initially he seemed to have kept pretty much to himself and even when it seemed he started to make friends it appeared that he generally preferred his own company.
One thing's for sure, he didn't come to college for the social life and very early in our freshman year he established a disciplined schedule with everything revolving around academics. He liked a small quiet study hall at the south end of campus and like clockwork he was there every Monday, Wednesday and Friday; in by 5pm and out by 10.
His spot became my spot where I pretended to be busy with my own studies but mostly I just lurked and satisfied my insatiable desire to just look at him. I spent hours watching, wondering what exactly was beyond the smooth exterior. The soft voice, the impossibly innocent eyes, often hidden behind dark silky bangs, and the seemingly unflappable calm.
I found out soon enough.
The first thing that struck me, the day I saw him seated at his usual table, scribbling on a legal pad, was that whatever he was writing seemed to present a more emotional than academic challenge. He wrote a few lines stopped, sighed and then tore the paper from the pad and crumpled it.
He paused, took a deep breath like he was trying to steel himself, and then he started again. He wrote more slowly this time like he was choosing his words carefully, considering every syllable before committing it to paper.
He seemed to be making steady progress when he stopped writing, dropped the pen and closed his eyes for several seconds and almost seemed to be experiencing physical pain. Then, the second sheet of paper went the way of the first.
For a while it seemed like the third attempt was too much to contemplate. He sat still for several moments and although he was staring out the window near his table, I was pretty sure he wasn't seeing anything. His mind obviously wondered off for an extended period and when it came back to him, he reached into his pocket, pulled out a battered leather wallet and took out what I am sure was a picture.
No doubt the photo was of some girl he left behind and the separation was obviously driving him crazy. The envy that stabbed me was sharp enough to cause physical pain in my stomach and the disappointment that followed made my eyes sting with jealous tears. I bet she was gorgeous. Only an impossibly beautiful woman could cause such a well composed man such obvious discomfort.
The picture seemed to calm him and after a few moments of looking at it the wallet was put away in favour of the pen.
I thought attempt number three would at least make it into an envelope. He finished an entire page and then flipped the sheet over the pad and continued writing.
I figured Cruella – I was incapable of assigning anything but a derogatory moniker to my unknown rival – was in for some good reading when the letter landed in her mailbox.
But I spoke too quickly, and soon there was an almost wrenching sound as the sheets were ripped from the pad, balled and dropped on the table beside their ill-fated predecessors.
This was it. He stood and began tossing his books in his bag. He zipped up his knapsack, flung it over his shoulder and gathered his discarded papers. I watched hopefully and inwardly danced in silent celebration when the crumpled balls were tossed into a trash can right beside the huge industrial printer and photo copier that were set up in one corner of the study room.
I was insanely grateful that Sam liked this low traffic study area which was all but desserted by the time he left. Once he was gone, I waited a few moments and then retrieved the papers from the trash with little fear of being observed. I left the building quickly feeling the same anxiety that used to fill me when my friends and I stole candy from small shops for kicks. Part of me almost expected to be apprehended by a heavy hand dropping on my shoulder but I was free and clear in a matter of minutes and headed straight for my dorm.
In the privacy of my room, which was thankfully devoid of my roommate, I smoothed out the papers with trembling hands. I arranged them in what I figured was the order in which they were written and then plunged greedily into the private inner thoughts of Sam Winchester.
I owe you an apology for walking out on you the way I did. I never should have left without saying anything to you. But the truth is, I don't think I would ever have had the courage to leave if I'd had to actually look you in the face and say goodbye. You have to know that _
That was the end of that attempt but the few lines had my heart pounding so hard I was sure it was sending up my blood pressure.
Cruella was a man?
Sam was gay?
My hands were shaking as I grabbed the second short letter hoping to find some answers.
It would be an understatement to say that you've been on my mind. The truth is I think about you constantly and if I'm not remembering something that you said or did, I'm wishing I could talk to you about something or wondering if you're alright.
I know you probably feel more betrayed by me than anything and trust me, the last thing I wanted to do was leave but _
But what, I wondered quickly reaching for the final letter. If Sam obviously felt so strongly about this Dean person what could have driven him away?
I've been meaning to call you since the day I left. In fact, I've dialled your number at least a hundred times but I keep chickening out because I don't know how I would even begin the conversation. I guess my biggest fear really is that you won't want to talk to me at all.
So, I'm doing this the old fashion way because I'm afraid if I try to talk none of this will come out right. And I think I trust myself to write what I can probably never bring myself to say.
Since you're not going to be able to kick my butt or roll your eyes at me when I say this, let me start by telling you how much I miss you and Dad. You might not believe this but sometimes it feels like there's not a minute that goes by without me thinking about the two of you, you especially to be honest.
There are so many times when I find myself in situations or I'll see or overhear something and I keep meaning to share it with you then it dawns on me that I don't really know when I'll get the chance to share anything with you again. Every time that happens it just crushes me inside.
Dean, I know I owe you an apology for leaving the way I did. After Dad and I had the grandmother of all fights I just didn't have the energy – physically or emotionally – to face you. My biggest fear was that if I actually had to say goodbye to your face I would never have the courage to walk away after that.
I was so hurt and angry when I spoke to Dad that I said things that I'll probably go to my grave regretting but most of them were true. The truth is, I don't want the life that he's mapped out for me, I want to make my own life. For the longest while I hoped and dreamed that somehow I would be able to literally escape from the destiny that he seemed to feel was set in stone and when the chance to go to Stanford came up I knew I had to take it because it was probably my only way out.
The only thing that made me think long and hard about passing up the chance to go to college was the fact that I knew if I decided to go that meant I would have to leave you.
Dean, that was like asking myself which arm, which leg or which eye I would rather do without. And separating from you has been the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life. Not having my big brother beside me makes me feel so incomplete that sometimes I actually wonder if I made the best decision.
But deep down, I know I did because I followed my gut. I trusted myself and did what everything inside of me told me was right which is what you always taught me to do.
Dean, you raised me and you taught me to stand up for myself, to not be afraid and to not let fear control me. You taught me how to be a man. And now, if I'm ever truly going to be one then I actually have to learn to how to survive without having you to run to you.
Although you've been my physical and emotional bodyguard for my entire life I think the most important thing you've tried to teach me is how to stand on my own two feet. I really need your support and your understanding now because I have to prove to myself that I've truly learnt that lesson. I have to try to become the man you've spent my entire life teaching me to be.
Please give my love to Bobby. I'm mailing this to his place, since that's the only way I can be sure that you'll get it. Tell Dad that I wish him well. And please, please, please be careful.
When I finished reading the letter I curled up on my bed, hugging my pillow as waves of emotions seemed to rock me. That night, I re-read Sam words several times revelling in the fluid expression of emotion, wishing that the man who was capable of such deep affection would direct even a fragment of it towards me.
I thought about my relationship with my only sibling, my big sister who had reached adulthood ahead of me and seemed to have become a stranger. We had always liked each other well enough I suppose, but somehow it never occurred to me to fight for our relationship when we started to drift. It had just seemed like the natural order of things.
Obviously separation, be it gradual or sudden, was not natural for the Winchesters judging from the way Sam was so obviously desperate to preserve the bond between him and Dean. Compared to the deep affection Sam obviously felt for his brother my sister and I seemed decidedly and disappointingly ordinary.
I lay in bed that night knowing I would never have the courage to actually approach Sam Winchester and I'd have to be content to just watch him from the shadows. I thought about inviting him out for a drink or asking him to help me with algebra but I knew each little scheme would be abandoned the moment I had to actually carry it out.
But I woke up the next morning resolved to do one thing, return his letter. After observing his anguish as he wrote I felt I owed him that much. I used an iron to try to take out the creases, stuck it in an envelope and waited near his dorm until both he and his roommate left out and then went inside and slipped it under his door.
I had written Sam's name on the front of the envelope and on the back I had scribbled a short note which read: Please send this letter. If you feel this way about someone, then they deserve to know.
More to come soon...