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Winter Coffee

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Sam blinks. He blinks again.

His eyelashes flutter down against his cheek one more time, as he gives his brain a second to comprehend what he just heard.

"I…" He stutters, bumbling for words; wide-eyed and confused.

"What…" He tries again but is struck speechless. His mouth opens and closes - once, twice, three times - before settling on a slack-jawed gape. The fact that Dean doesn't laugh at his face, tells Sam that Dean's serious.

Oh. Oh.

He's serious.

Sam stares dumbly at Dean.

Dean stares straight ahead through the Impala's windscreen. If he were to listen hard enough, he would've been able to hear the slowly turning cogs of Sam's brain in the silence of the car. His eyes glance, for a moment, to Sam. An emotion flickers across Dean's face (anger? frustration? pain?), but his head swings away before Sam can catch a glimpse.

Sam can see that Dean's shoulders are tense - obvious even under the thick winter coat – and Sam reaches out to his brother without even thinking. His hand is heavy on Dean's shoulder; he feels the muscles bunch up further.

They're both still for a moment.

Then Dean's pulling away and the driver's door is open and shut before Sam can mumble a startled 'hey!'.

Sam blinks. He blinks again.

He stares out the window.

Slumping forward he watches the retreating form of his brother's back; he can hear the crunch of Dean's boots against the frost-covered ground. The sound slowly whittles out and only Dean's shrinking figure remains, but then Dean crosses the road and into a thick crowd, and Sam loses him in the bumbling throng of people, and then he's gone too. The answering silence rings loudly in Sam's ears.

He smushes his face up against the dashboard with a dull thud; his screwed up features rub uncomfortably against the car. His groan of frustration is only slightly muffled.

"Fuck." He whispers, finally finding his words.

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Gazing through the window of the passenger seat, Sam watched, trailing the meandering crowds, searching for a familiar swaggering gait. He sighed and squished his cheek to the palm of his hand; casting his attention to the rain clinging against the outside of the window.

He and Dean had been…

He squirmed in his seat.

Thousands of droplets scaled down the window glass, running in crazy patterns, back-and-forth, up-and-down… kind of like Dean and Sam last night… Sam narrowed his eyes – squinting – and tried to concentrate solely on the rainwater. A flush rose up over his cheeks.

That is to say they'd…

Well…

Sam bit his lip, chewing it harshly; face still pinched. He gazed intensely at the window. Little droplets sped across the glass in intricate patterns, collecting fellow water. They grew into large drops which, upon becoming too heavy, slowly slid down the window.

Sam's breath blew out against the glass, fogging the window with his frustration.

They'd been engaging in some activities.

He scratched irately at his cheek.

Meaning, they'd been fucking. Like bunnies. Incestual bunnies.

He scratched harder, digging his nails in further.

Unfortunately for them, incest wasn't nearly as serious an issue for a bunny compared to the repercussions it held for humans.

Sam groaned aloud and let his face fall up against the freezing window. His cheeks burning red, and not from just the cold. Why was he thinking about bunnies at a time like this?

No. Forget that.

What the hell was Dean thinking?

Pulling that out from nowhere? Honestly, give a guy some warning right?

That's all he asks for. A little bit of warning before hearing the words, I love you, being suddenly, randomly, inexplicably exclaimed to his face.

Sam feels his face burn more brightly at the memory of himself rambling on about a possible case in Montana when Dean suddenly turned to him, all flittering eyes and jittery nerves, and had confessed. So unexpected and out-of-nowhere and incredibly un-Dean in it's delivery (what with his hands playing nervously at the steering wheel and his eyes almost shy). In retrospect, he's surprised he hadn't muttered Christo, just to be sure.

Granted, Dean had never been eloquent with speech or emotions, and Sam had always prided himself on his ability to read Dean, but really, some kind of warning would've been appreciated, instead of just blurting it out and then running away (Sam chooses to ignore that his dopey gaping was probably less then encouraging).

Smooth Dean, very smooth, he thinks huffily.

Coming to a decision, he shrugs his jacket on and stumbles from the car to the wintry world outside.

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Dean scrunches his face as he gazes around the market place. It's filled with people and stalls all lined up down the cobblestone street, bumbling into one another and so tightly packed, the crowds have become like an impenetrable wall. Rugged up children run amuck much to their parents' dismay, couples use the weather as an excuse to cuddle closer and merchants holler deals and obvious lies about their product from the stalls. The easy domesticity of it all makes him sick.

Dean decides to chance being squished to death in the crowds and strides forward into the mix. The crowd is slow moving and he finds himself growing increasingly frustrated with just how lazy and zen everyone seems to be; they're much too content to stroll aimlessly. Dean then spends a couple of minutes caught between a large, loud woman and a merchant who tries to convince him to buy a leather jacket which he is convinced is better than Dean's own. A chilly wind sweeps through the street and Dean shivers with it's movement.

Suddenly he wishes he was back with Sam in the car, despite the awkwardness it would present, at least he'd be warm and away from these annoying people. Obviously the people here are crazy too, since they choose to stay out in the cold.

He grimaces at the thought of his brother; embarrassment and shock shooting through him. Idiot, idiot, idiot circles around his mind on repeat as he braces against the cold and tries to move through the crowd. He had no idea what he was thinking saying that, hadn't even really been aware it was true until it had slipped from his lips and caught him unaware. But then he'd thought about for a second, stopping the words of denial that were readying to flow out straight afterwards, and realised that, yeah it was true, he did love Sam like that. It had hit him like a slap in face; he was completely dumbfounded and surprised by the revelation.

Apparently Sam had been too, if his shocked (and admittedly funny) expression was to go by. Dean thinks he would've laughed under different circumstances but now he just cringes at the memory of it. It was also apparent that Sam didn't feel the same way. Dean tries to ignore the sudden aching in his chest and queasy feeling in his gut.

An airy voice suddenly drifts by Dean's ear, stirring him from his mind. He cocks his head, listening for the voice; wondering idly if he's going insane.

"-ean." It's light whispery, and at first Dean thinks he must be imagining it.

"-ean!"

Dean squints. Was that…? It's still barely discernable but closer somehow.

"Dean!"

Dean wearily casts his gaze out across the street and tries to see where it had come from (his face is somewhat squished against someone's back and some arsehole seems to be trying to jab their elbow through his kidneys) and a head of hair catches his eye. It's a brown mop of hair, all floppy and stupid looking, and since it stands a good head above the rest of the crowd, there's only one person it could belong to. How many tall guys at the markets could have droopy, ridiculous emo-hair?

Sighing, he tries to wriggle his way out from between the mass of bodies and towards Sam. Honestly, these people were packed more tightly then grinding couples on a dance floor. He elbows a couple of people in the face (mostly by accident) and knees one guy in the crotch (definitely on purpose) and eventually gets close enough to see his brother, except with the movement of the crowd, ends up face planting into his back instead.

"Ow! The hell…?" Dean hears Sam grumble, and he feels his brother swivel to look behind him.

"Dean."

"Fancy meeting you here." Dean mutters against Sam's shoulder blades – except it comes out as more of a, "Ancy eetin joo er."

"…What?" Sam says as he fully turns, and helps Dean gain his balance after two attempts – the first almost ending with Dean falling forward and being trampled by people. Sam stares down at him then, eyes wide and shiny. His gaze is penetrating and searching in that concerned-angry-confused-frustrated-sad way that only Sam can manage, and Dean suddenly remembers what he's doing out here in the first place.

Averting his eyes, and ignoring the angry glares from people trying to move around them, Dean shoves his brother's shoulder and says, "Let's go somewhere less crowded, yeah?"

Without waiting for an answer, Dean pushes past people with Sam trailing behind.

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The rain has calmed slightly, pattering gently against the park bench like a thousand tiny, cold fingertips tapping. The fingers clung to the ends of hair and trailed down the cheeks and necks of people wandering the park, leaving paths of wet, frozen skin and tickled pink noses. Sam shivers as the cool raindrops shower his face and sneak their way under the hood of his jacket, and down his neck.

Shifting uncomfortably on the wet, wooden bench they'd escaped to, Sam glances down at his brother. Dean is hunched, swinging his legs like a little boy and staring intently at the ground, obviously lost in thought. Rain clings to his eye lashes and rolls down his cheek every time he blinks, unsettling Sam with it's resemblance to tears. Sam frowns for a moment, then takes a breath

"I think we should talk." He says. Sam watches as Dean grimaces as though repulsed, and waits for the inevitable No. He hears Dean sigh and sees the exaggerated heave of his chest.

"Well then, go ahead and talk." Comes the muttered and unexpected reply.

"Why'd you leave?" Sam blurts in shock.

Dean cocks an eyebrow, a look of what the hell are you on about? obvious on face. Taking a moment to resort his thoughts, Sam tries again.

"Why did you…" He hesitates on the word run, "suddenly leave before, in the car."

Sam can feel it as Dean shifts on the bench and tenses beside him; watches as a crease forms between his brothers brow.

"I think that should be obvious Sam." Dean's voice is rough and low, thick with emotion that he refuses to show.

Sam frowns, and diverts his gaze to his lap where his hands lay freezing and slightly blue. Picking absently at his sleeve, he glances back to his brother and then around the park as though words might be hiding somewhere near for him to use. Clucking his tongue against the inside of his cheek he sighs with frustration. Dean's words, I love you, I love you, I love you swirl through his thoughts, sparking a heat in his chest and echoing so loudly for a moment's he's stupidly afraid Dean can hear it too. His eyes skitter to and from Dean – his hands, to Dean, the bench, to Dean, the grass, to Dean, the sky, to Dean – before Sam gains control of his tongue once more, and nervousness slides heavy and thick into the pit of his stomach.

"I want you to say it again." He mutters, looking up to meet Dean's eyes. His pulse beats wildly under his skin.

Sam can sense the rush of anger and righteousness that floods through Dean.

"And why should I, Sam?" He whispers, voice sharp but so obviously dripping with pain, his breathing heavy with rage and nerves. Sam glances away, a frightened yet hopeful smile tugging at the corner of his mouth.

For a moment Sam is quiet, he can barely hear Dean or the rain or his own laboured breath over the sound of his thrumming heart and he can't help but think how silly and cliché and disgustingly romantic (and wholly wonderful) this instant is. He stutters around a breath, almost choking.

"So I can say it back." He whispers finally, feeling slightly embarrassed by his own low, breathy voice.

Dean jolts, eyes flying up to Sam, surprise evident on his face. Sam tries not to roll his eyes at his brother's apparent thoughts that this was all one-sided. And Dean thought Sam was the emo one. He does grin then. When he stares down at Dean to see bafflement and happiness staring back up from a face with a nose and cheeks tinged rose with cold, his grin only widens.

Reaching down with frozen fingers, Sam finds his brother's own freezing hand resting between them on the wooden bench. He squeezes his brother's hand before wriggling it around to twine their pinkies. They fall into silence with Dean still looking slightly baffled and Sam grinning like the biggest idiot and both of them together looking like a doe-eyed teenage couple. They both ignore the curious looks passers-by give them.

Sam can still feel his heart thrumming heavily but he can't bring himself to care. He doesn't even care that they're both getting increasingly drenched and cold or that weird looks in their direction are plentiful.

"Why are you such a girl?"

The sudden words from his brother surprise Sam and jolt him from his musings. He turns to stare at Dean who sits frowning down at their linked hands.

"What?" Sam says, confused.

Dean's eyes swivel upwards, annoyance plain on his face, "Why are you. such. a. girl?" He articulates slowly, irritation and sarcasm leaking through into his voice.

Sam harrumphs, scowling at Dean (who squints in annoyance at Sam), feeling irate that Dean has to be completely Dean at this moment and say something so typically him. He just couldn't drop his stupid butch act, even though he'd already admitted to being gay for his brother (though he'd probably vehemently deny the gay part if asked); it was both annoying and exhilarating in it's Dean-ness.

"You're the one who told me you loved me then ran away." He grumbled back, bitchface in full force.

He watches with a detached sort of interest as an odd shade of red rushes up Dean's neck. Dean splutters slightly, his ears burning from Sam's bluntness.

"Bitch." He shouts, shoving Sam's shoulder roughly with his own, his face still flushed.

"Jerk." Sam grins back.

Dean scrubs his free hand across his face, muttering quietly to himself. Sam smiles, content to listen to the sound of the rain and his brother's grumbling for the time being. It doesn't last long before Dean stands up.

"C'mon Sammy. I need caffeine."

Sam jumps up too and they wonder off in search of coffee. Sam silently notes that Dean doesn't disjoin their pinkies and can't help the dopey grin from returning.

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Dean's hands are curled around a hot cup of coffee; his lips pursed and blowing on the scalding liquid. They're sitting in a small café with very little customers; probably due to the heater shitting itself just the other day – or so the cashier girl said – and maybe also because the chairs are bloody uncomfortable – or so Dean whines. Sam isn't really paying attention, he can't help but stare at the odd spectacle of Dean, rosy-cheeked and red nosed, scowling and huddling in around the porcelain cup as though it alone could keep his body warm. He somehow looks much younger and -Sam tries not to grin – cute.

"Oh," Sam says, eyes lighting up, "I almost forgot".

Dean eyes him wearily from under his coat; eyebrow cocked. Sam does grin then, before scooting his chair closer to Dean and leaning in. He places a quick peck to Dean's frozen cheek.

"Love you too Dean." He whispers, chapped lips brushing Dean's ear, before pulling back and taking a gulp of his own coffee, which burns pleasantly on the way down.

"Shut up Samantha." Dean mumbles, eyes averted and head ducking down to sip his coffee, but Sam's pretty sure his brother's face is pinker than it was before.

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Hope you liked it, and that you don't get diabetes from this :)

Oh, and I apologise for the use of x's for page breaks, the fact that won't let me double space the lines really annoys me because it makes everything look so crammed.