AN: Two fold inspiration. 1) Dean's birthday 2) the end of "Sam Interrupted" when Sam stated at the end that he was always angry, and at first it was at Dean and Dad, and then it was other things, but that he'd learned to hide it. Hope you enjoy.
Dean was always easy to be mad at. He was the one that was always there, was the one who stood in front of me while I ranted and raved and even stood there and let me punch him in the gut if that made me feel better. He was the one that would let me stay silent and grouchy and moody and just plain evil to him. He always allowed that, said that if I needed to be angry then I might as well be angry with him.
And I was, I was so angry with him after Christmas for telling me the truth, and for not telling me the truth sooner, for allowing Dad to just go and leave us on Christmas, and for not having enough food, and for not being happy, and for not getting my normal, and for getting stolen Christmas presents, for not having money for real Christmas presents. And then there was the irrational anger towards Dean for things like our family being the ones who had to sacrifice so others could have normal, for our dad being the one out there fighting the monsters, for our dad risking his life, for our dad maybe or maybe not coming home after every hunt. I blamed all of it on Dean, I stayed angry with Dean for the rest of the Christmas break
Then Dad swooped in before New Years and didn't even think to say Merry Christmas, or 'sorry boys I was out of range I thought about you' or some other nonsense that dad's are supposed to say when they missed a holiday. And instead of Dean getting mad, or staying mad, he smiled and welcomed Dad back with open arms. And that made me furious with him. How could he just simply let Dad back in without even a comment? He left us alone to fend for ourselves at Christmas time! But there was Dean, happy as ever, and I wanted to deck him.
And of course, Dad can't come back without us having to switch schools again and all it did was boil the already simmering pot in the pit of my stomach and once again Dean seemed to be unphased, and the urge to hit him got stronger. There was just so much to be angry about and Dean just let all of it fall on his shoulders, and even THAT made me mad.
This time we did end up at Bobby's and that took away a little bit of my anger. Bobby's was always a safe place and I loved going there and losing myself in the books that he had everywhere. However, now, those books weren't just all fun and games but a chance to learn more about what was really out there and what it took to protect myself from it.
The thing about Bobby's was that it was always a better place for Dean. Dean and Bobby had a bond that I didn't seem to share, and I always felt slightly jealous when we were there, and this time was no different, but it wasn't a jealousy that made me more angry, it was a jealousy that fluffed in my stomach and then went away, but it didn't matter that it didn't add fuel to the fire, I was so angry with Dean, because Dean was easy to be mad at, I wasn't speaking to my brother who really and truly had done nothing to deserve my anger.
Dad gave the basics of the hunt to Bobby, let him and Dean both know where he was going to be and then took off. Just like that, no attention paid to either of us, and no notice taken that I wasn't happy about being carted around the country like a piece of luggage that just needed to be tagged, and the attendant given instructions on where to keep it until his return.
I was all set to be super royally no going back pissed at Dean when I noticed that he didn't look happy and as 'oh well Dad'll be back' as he normally did when Dad disappeared. And it wasn't until that evening that I understood. I was headed into the kitchen to get a glass of water when I heard Dean and Bobby talking.
"Where is Dad going to be again Bobby?"
"He said he's going to be out in the mountains."
Dean was silent for a moment and then returned with "He won't be close to a phone will he?"
"No son. He won't. There aren't exactly pay phones in the middle of the mountains."
"How long did he say he was going to be gone?"
"He said he'd call by the 26th. Dean. Weren't you listening boy? This isn't like you."
"I heard." Dean said quickly. "I was just making sure."
"Everything okay boy?"
"Yeah. Everything's fine."
"You sure? I've noticed you and Sam…"
"Everything's fine." Dean said quickly and hurried out of the room, past me and clomped up the stairs. Dean's birthday was the 24th and Dad wouldn't even be able to call him on his birthday. These stupid hunts were…stupid! Me and Dean needed him more than any stupid person on the planet! We were his kids! We needed him!
I threw open the front door and ran, ran as fast as my legs would take me, tried to pound the anger out of me, tried to keep the unfairness of all of it at bay. And by the time my body wouldn't run anymore I had made up my mind, I would stop being mad at Dean for things he couldn't help, I would be the one to do something for Dean's birthday, I would be the one to make it up to him.
As soon as I got back to Bobby's I marched straight into his library and stood in front of his desk. The old capped hunter looked up from his book, crossed his arms on the desk in front of him and starred at me.
"What can I do for you?" he asked gruffly.
"Dean's birthday is the 24th." I announced and Bobby looked taken aback for a second. I guess he didn't know.
"Yes. He'll be fourteen. I want certain things for him." I was being very demanding, I knew it, but at the same time I didn't' care. I wanted this for my brother, and this gruff old man was going to give it to me.
"Really? And what exactly do you want for him?' Bobby leaned back in his chair, the wheels squeaked a bit with the strain and I shifted my weight on my sneaker clad feet, my anger which had fueled this particular bout of courage slowly draining.
"I want him to have chocolate chip pancakes and bacon for breakfast. I want him to have bacon cheeseburgers the way you make them with your homemade French fries, the thick ones with lots of salt the way he likes them, and I want you to take me to the book store so I can buy him a couple of comic books."
"You have money for them comic books?"
"Yes. I've been saving the change I find at the motels."
Bobby nodded, leaned forward and met me eye to eye. Bobby made me nervous sometimes, I couldn't always read what he was thinking and this was one of those times. He drew out the pause, continued to stare me in the eye, and I held my ground, and when he seemed satisfied I'd proved myself, he said, "Fine. One condition."
"What?" I asked quickly.
"You start talking to your brother. I catch the hint you've been giving him the silent treatment for something for a while. I think he would like that better than any comic book you could buy him."
"That's a good plan there kid."
"You'll hold up your end?" I asked.
"Yeah. I will." We shook on it and I turned and clomped off back up the stairs into the room that Dean and I share. He looked up from the magazine he was looking at, started to say something to me, remembered that I wasn't speaking to him and he went back to flipping through the magazine.
"Hey." I said and flopped down on my bed.
Dean looked up and over at me, eyebrows drawn together in confusion, and said "Hey."
"When does Dad get back?" I asked trying to make conversation.
"Are we going to stay here for a while?"
Dean shrugged. "I don't know, probably. Dad said something about you finishing out the year here. So I think we'll stay for a while." Dean flipped a page or two and then finally said, "You talking to me again Sammy?"
"Okay. Next time I do something to piss you off…lemme know, okay?"
"Okay." Dean just went back to looking through the magazine. The tension between us gone.
Dean looked at Bobby funny when he came down for breakfast on the morning of his birthday, was surprised to see his favorite pancakes and even more surprised when he realized that it was for his birthday, he was even more surprised to see the supper that Bobby prepared for him, and he positively lit up when he got his comic books, and he spent most of the rest of the evening looking through them. He read each of them three times, I counted. Each time he did he touched the pages gently and reverently. He thanked us both more times than I could count.
Then the night was through, a bad movie and bad popcorn consumed, and the two of us were laying in bed with a full belly, and sleep in our eyes. Dean turned away from me and said, "Sammy, thanks for everything."
"It was just comic books."
"You know what I mean, for telling Bobby, getting him to fix my foods, and thanks for not being mad at me anymore."
The last took me by surprise. Dean never appeared like anything bothered him. He always shrugged off my anger, shrugged off my silence, always just smiled and continued through. I felt shamed that he was thankful for that. That was the day I learned that I had to stuff and hide my anger.