A/N: due to 's recent difficulties, obithekid and I have decided to host a Supernatural Yahoo group for fanfiction. The name of the list is "SupernaturalStories" on Yahoogroups. We've just started it up, but really - can there be too many places dedicated to the Winchesters? Of course not! Give us a look!
I'd been hanging around outside the upstairs bathroom, waiting for Sam to finish his shower. He'd woken up from his coma-nap, eaten enough for an army, been clued into pretty much nothing - which was as it should be - and then had a shower. When that was done, he was going to be hungry again.
So, I was hanging around the upstairs bathroom, waiting for him to be ready to head back to the kitchen. When the door opened, and he appeared out of the bathroom, he didn't even ask what I was doing there, he just followed me down the hallway, towards the stairs, dressed in his sweats and a t-shirt, barefoot, and drying his hair with a towel.
"Yeah?" I gave a half turn to look at him, but I didn't stop walking.
"What day is it?"
"What day is it?"
"Yeah." He said it with that same open, clueless, trusting expression he'd always had as a kid when he'd ask me a question he was sure only I had the answer to.
"It's - uh - it's -Thursday?" Maybe?
Sam's expression brightened like I'd just offered him a lump of gold or - even better - a shiny, new, unabridged, Oxford Dictionary.
"You don't know what day it is?" He asked, like he was excited to know it, but wanted to be sure.
"I've been a little distracted you know, what with your giant ass falling off the beanstalk and all."
"You don't know what day it is!"
He hadn't been that smugly happy since third grade and he knew what 'fission' was and I didn't.
I rolled my eyes and kept walking towards the stairs and the kitchen. Mr. Smug followed me, still drying his hair.
"I'm not talking to you."
"Is there peanut butter left?"
I knew it - he was hungry.
"Yeah. Half a jar in the fridge and another full one in the cupboard."
He followed me down the stairs and into the kitchen.
It was like those were the only two words he knew.
"Yeah?" I stopped in the middle of the floor to answer him.
"Is there bread left?"
"Yeah, of course there is."
I stood back while he rummaged the peanut butter and butter and bread out of the fridge, trying to gather them all up in one hand because he still had that towel in the other.
He wasn't even looking at me, he was half buried in the fridge, trying, from what I could see, to snag the edge of the plastic bread wrapper in fingers that were already full.
"Yes?" I asked, even though I knew where his thoughts were headed.
"Y'give me a hand? I just - I can't - this is - ."
I reached over and yanked the towel out of his hand. He gave me a bare glance backwards.
"Oh, yeah. Thanks. That's - yeah - thanks."
And in half a minute he had his bounty spread out on the table, looking at it like he wasn't sure where to start. He opened the bread, he opened the peanut butter, he opened the tub of butter, he looked around like he lost something, but wasn't sure what.
I rolled my eyes but he wasn't looking at me, so he didn't see it. I rolled my eyes and got a butter knife out of the drawer for him.
"Oh, yeah. Thanks. Yeah."
He got to work, managing to actually put a few sandwiches together without needing any more help. I sat down at the table to watch him. To watch Sam. Even if I hadn't known he had his soul back, I'd know just by looking at him that he wasn't RoboSam.
He was Sammy.
Whenever RoboSam did something, he did it. It. If he was going to make sandwiches, he'd get them made, 1-2-3. Sam on the other hand, while he made his PBB's, he whistled a little bit, he flicked his hair out of his eyes, he yawned, he smiled at nothing, or at his sandwiches, or at nothing. He lifted the jar of peanut butter to have a look at the back of the label, like he was comparing it to the last jar of peanut butter he'd eaten, or - since this is Sammy - comparing it to the first jar of peanut butter he'd ever eaten.
That brought me back to the here and now, and Sam setting a plateful of sandwich in front of me. I looked from the plate up to him. RoboSam had never done - would never do - anything for me unasked.
"You wanted one, right?" He asked, sounding like he'd be crushed if I said 'no'.
"Yeah. Yeah, thanks."
Sam smiled and flicked the hair out his eyes and sat down across from me with his plate of sandwiches. The last time Sammy and I were both sitting at the same table, nothing going on, just having some lunch was - when? I couldn't even remember.
"What? Why are you looking at me like that?" He asked.
"It's been awhile since we sat down together."
"It was just before I took a shower."
Yep, that was Sammy. I gave him a 'duh' look and he got it. He ducked his head and didn't flick his hair out of his eyes and ate a sandwich.
"So - what're we doing now?"
"Eating PBB's." I answered, knowing I'd be getting my own 'duh' look in return.
Yep, I got the 'bitch face'. I grinned. I had to.
"After this?" He clarified.
"Whatever you want, Sammy. Name it."
He thought about it. He ate his sandwich and rubbed the side of his nose with the side of his hand and flicked the hair out of his eyes and thought about it.
"Hey, we could - could we? - we could go to that place, that bar, near the on-ramp? Nash's? Was that it?"
"Uh - that burned down. About a year ago. They never rebuilt."
"Oh. Oh, okay."
He ate some more sandwich and thought some more.
"What about the bookstore? Ullrich's bookstore? They had that copy of Cicero's Orations that I really wanted to get."
"Um - well - that's closed down. The owner went to Florida."
So, he finished his two sandwiches and I finished my one and when we were both done, he didn't make a move to put his dishes in the sink, so I did it.
He sounded just as wary as he could be, wondering no doubt if everything he asked was going to be extinct.
I tried to sound as upbeat and positive as I could and hoped I wasn't going to have to deliver any more bad news to him.
"Could we watch some TV? Maybe?" Then after a second, he added, "Bobby still gets TV, doesn't he?"
"He's even getting Starz channel free for a year." I was grateful to be able to tell him. "C'mon, let's see what's on."
Less than a minute later, we were on the couch, one at each end. I let Sam have the remote. Just this once. He flicked his hair out of his eyes, and flicked the TV on, and trolled through the channels.
"What d'you want to watch?"
Like it mattered what I watched on TV ever again.
"Whatever you want, Sammy. Surprise me."
He looked puzzled and worried and bemused, all at the same time, and he trolled some more through the channels, back and forth, history-this, discover-that, learn-about-something-else.
Whatever. I barely paid attention.
I kept my eyes on the TV, but my attention was on Sam. I had him back. A year and a half of hope and despair, prayers and curses, giving up and trying over and over and over again, and there he was. Sam, the ginormo pain-in-my-ass, the world's biggest little brother, Sammy wasback. All of him, every last bit, whole and sound and sitting next to me on the couch.
I had him back. I had Sammy back.
After half an hour of watching what prehistoric bachelor mummies shouldn't wear, the world started to blur around the edges and I rested my head back, for a minute.
Just for a minute.
That was sure more than a minute later.
"What?" I lifted my head, which suddenly felt ten times heavier than usual.
"C'mon. Stretch out. You need to get some rest. C'mon."
Sam had stood up from the couch and was tugging me around to get me laid out like a stiff.
"You could at least buy me dinner first." I grumbled.
"I gave you a peanut butter sandwich."
He laughed but kept tugging and then I was stretched out, with a lumpy pillow under my head and a really soft blanket over me.
"Hey, what're you gonna do?" I asked, as those edges started getting blurry again.
"I'm gonna watch some more TV."
He levered himself down to the floor and sat with his back against the couch - and a bowl of cereal in his hands. Guess I was 'blurred' even longer than I thought.
I settled into my pillow and breathed in a yawn and scrunched around enough that I was comfy and could feel Sam resting against the cushions, safe and content and finally, finally within reach.