Summary: Part of my 'Not My Sammy' series. Dean considers Father's Day while also dealing with other memories as he's reminded that for Sam a Father's Day might not be what others think. Calm/big brother!Dean / Sleepy!Sam
Tags/Spoilers/Warnings: Might be a couple bad words but nothing serious.
Disclaimer: I don't own the boys or anything to do with the show. This is written purely for fun.
Author Note: Been awhile since I did one for my 'Not My Sammy' series and this one just popped up tonight since for some reason I seem to be in a Father's Day sort of mind. Hope you guys enjoy it.
When I was younger (God I make it seem like I'm so old now) I loved being on the coast of California. The sun, the girls, the beaches…hell, even the monsters Dad or I'd hunt seemed cool. These days I find myself paying more attention to things other than the bikini clad girls who were working overtime to get our attention. Though if my annoying little brother accidentally on purpose hits me with holy water one more time I swear the kid will hit the waves.
Sam and I've been on the California coast since early May when he hit his birthday. Originally I brought him out here as a way to make some distance between us and the Campbells, our Mom's family, since I know what's left will be pissed since both Samuel and Christian died…though after what they've done to my brother I still wish those deaths had been a bit more drawn out.
I also brought Sam out so he could visit Palo Alto again, maybe see some people he hadn't since he left Stanford after the fire that claimed his girlfriend. We're still here in mid-June because I didn't see the reason to push him.
Sometimes it's almost easy to forget that pretty soon it'll be a year since I found my little brother chained in a warehouse, where he'd been held prisoner of what I'd originally assumed was just shapeshifters for over a year on top of the time he was in the Cage with Lucifer and Michael. It was only during Christmas that I learned just how much more our Mom's family had to do with Sam's injuries…and things I still don't know about.
Sammy's nearly recovered from the first ordeal but sometimes I'll catch him favoring his leg or shifting as if his back was bothering him or rubbing a hand over the back of his neck. All were things, warning signs, that I'd learned to watch for because those things along with his uneasiness or quiet need to know where I am at all times told me that he'd been dreaming again. Those damn dreams always meant trouble and I'd learned a hard lesson to listen to Sam's dreams.
I thought visiting Jessica's grave would be the hardest on him so I'd made certain to watch him like a hawk that afternoon then let my damn guard down when he asked to go past the building where the apartment had been. He got real quiet then and it was that night that the first dream hit and Sammy broke in a way that I hadn't been expecting since I thought he'd told me everything he'd remembered from both his time as the 'shifter's prisoner to things with the Campbells. I hate being wrong and I hate to see my little brother sob like he had that night.
The next few weeks we moved pretty steady though I kept us to the coast and Sam slowly began relaxing to the point where I could begin increasing the training to get him back into shape though I never pushed him like our Dad would've. Dad…
I've been thinking more of Dad since seeing him in that dreamscape then seeing him at the warehouse where he faced off with Samuel. Today was Father's Day which normally I don't pay any attention over since it was never a big thing for the Winchesters.
Dad was hardly ever around and when he was, it was always talk of hunting, of weapons, of training. What Sam learned of Father's Day he learned in his first years of school…then it got a little complicated because when my little brother was six years old his little brain didn't quite grasp that when asked to draw a picture of the person who did stuff with him he shouldn't have drawn me. Man, I was thrilled that Pastor Jim was close by to handle that one or Dad would've hit the ceiling.
I only remembered what day it was because when we were checking out a little shop today for something Sam wanted I noticed him looking at cards and finally caught on. Sam does holidays when I barely remember anything but his birthday, Bobby's…though that's a slap to the head or the major three but Sam didn't mention it…which also has me concerned.
Sam and Dad were like oil and water once Sam hit his teenage years. I think I spent more time breaking them up than I did killing ghosts…though I had my own issues with Dad but I kept them to myself except for the year Sam turned sixteen.
I had known something had happened to my brother but I didn't know the full story until I saw it in that damn dreamscape Sam and I had been trapped in by Samuel where I learned what that bastard friend of Dad's did to my little brother.
Growing up I learned early on how to protect Sam from the things we hunted and from Dad's rages. I'd forgotten that I also had to shield him from other crap but mostly I shielded him from Dad because if John Winchester was one thing it was intense and he brooked no disrespect or disobedience from his sons.
Sam had been blissfully unaware of exactly what I took from Dad to keep him safe…until that asshole Michael blabbed to Sam in the Cage about things and then what he saw in that dreamscape so Sammy's been more than a little quiet around me which means he's brooding about what he feels is his fault that I was hurt protecting him. Kid will never understand the one thing that I also could never get Dad to understand and that was protecting Sam will always be my number one goal in life.
Tonight though I'm actually allowing myself to think about Dad more than I have in years. Sam finally fell asleep with that e-reader thing I got him for his birthday and I can hear the sound of the TV that I left on so he'd have noise to sleep with and not know that I'd slipped outside to sit on the patio of the beachfront condo that I'd rented for a week in the San Diego area.
"Dad…" holding a bottle of beer by the neck I let the patio lights wash over a few old photos I pulled from the chest in the trunk of the Impala. It's always weird to think of my parents before Sam and I came along but as I look at a photo of my Mom and Dad I can't help but wonder how different things would've been if the so-called powers that be upstairs hadn't ordered Cupid to make my folks fall in love.
Knowing what I do now, knowing that the Angels needed Mary Campbell and John Winchester to meet, fall in love and have two sons a part of me wishes that they never met…if only to screw up the Master Plan not that I'd ever change having my little brother…no matter what some people think.
Looking a picture of my Dad when he was younger makes me wonder how it could've been if Mom had lived, if old Yellow Eyes wouldn't have infected Sam with Demon blood (which reminds me that I need to find out how that got purged from him), and if we would've stayed a happy family then I remember the world the Djinn showed me before my deal came due and I think I like things as they are.
Drinking the beer, I keep one ear tuned for Sam in case he wakes up while I'm also listening for other sounds that might mean we aren't alone since I'd already dealt with a sneak attack in Louisiana before we came out here that warned me that Sam wouldn't be safe until every last Campbell was dealt with along with whoever is pulling their strings.
Touching a photo of me, Sam, and Dad I think it's the only photo of the three of us together and it's when Sam was still young enough that he didn't know what Dad did…when my little brother could still believe that the only monsters that existed lived in his storybooks or in the closet that his awesome big brother would deal with every night.
Father's Day when I was small, before Sam was born, was different. My Mom loved any and every holiday and prepared accordingly. I was too small really to understand but I can recall a couple times Mom helping me make a card for my Dad. She'd take me shopping for something silly like a ridiculously loud tie that she knew Dad would die before ever wearing but I guess that was the point of it because I would laugh when my Dad would wear that damn ugly thing all day.
The last Father's Day, or the last normal one, I can recall is the year Sam was born because I made sure to do the big brother duty of solemnly explaining to my gurgling baby brother what Father's Day was. How we had to make Dad a card and how Sammy would get to sign it that year…though my Mom was not very happy to learn that I painted Sam's hand with green paint to make the handprint that was his very first signature. Dad laughed for an hour while trying to explain to me that painting my brother was so not a good way to win cookies from Mom. No duh.
It's those little things that I think of when remembering either of my folks, like my Mom's perfume or the way she'd sing 'Hey Jude' and Dad's laugh…yes, my Dad actually laughed though these days I can barely recall that. It seemed like everything good in my Dad died or changed the night Mom died and it just went down hill from there…especially for Sam who only got to know Dad when he was intense, driven, cold and most of the time hateful. Sammy didn't have the memories of playing catch with Dad or being tucked in by him.
For Sam…I was the one who did those things for him and with him. I raised Sam which was something he made certain Dad knew the night he left for college.
Running a hand over the photo once more, I pocketed them before touching the small card I bought while Sam's interest had turned to some new gadget.
I'd been doing this for Mother's Day since I was old enough to understand what Pastor Jim had said to be about spirits and Heaven and so even though I have serious issues with Heaven right now, it only seemed right to do the same for Dad. I signed my name then Sam's before lighting the card and watching it burn in the fire pit on the patio.
"Dad, I don't know where your spirit is and maybe I'm just drunk enough to wonder if you'll hear me but I just wanted to say…thanks for helping Sam out before Christmas with that whole mess and…I'm sorry for wanting to kick your ass but I was beyond pissed that time, though I think you know why or at least you should.
"I can't say how Sam feels because he knows too much now about our fights but no matter what you were still our Father…I just wish you would've been more of a one to Sam. I had four years with a man who I looked up to…a man who stopped being that way after Mom died but Sammy never had that. He had me and while I tried to be an awesome big brother…I sucked at being a Dad and that why he needed you.
"Sammy needed you to protect him, to be proud of him, to raise him and to kill any son of a bitch who put their hands on him…which you seriously had better have done to Stanton for what he did to Sam the night he turned sixteen but that's water under the bridge now.
"I wish for a lot of things, Dad and I know one day whatever run of luck is keeping me alive will end and Sam will be on his own and I hope you and Mom will over Sammy because no matter how old he gets, or anything else he will always be my little brother and I will kill the next son of a bitch who touches him.
"Happy Father's Day, Dad…wherever you are. I'll watch out for Sam because that's what I do. I watch out for my pain in the ass little brother and after the hell he's been through lately I'll never make the mistakes I did before."
Taking a final drink of a new beer, I tip it toward the sky as if saluting the stars then pour the rest out to soak into the sand surrounding the patio while noting a shooting star with a smirk. "G'night, Dad," I head inside to switch off the TV before noticing the thin box and the card sitting on the table next to my car keys.
Shooting a wary look toward the couch I see that Sam's still sleeping in the same position he had been when I stepped outside so with more caution than a simple card and box should get I open the card to see a generic style everyday card with a silly looking puppy on the front with huge eyes that instantly make me think of Sam when he's using full on puppy dog eye power to get what he wants then I open it and my heart stops the moment I see the writing that I recognize as Sam's.
"'I used to make you a card on Father's Day the same as I would Dad only I never put Father's Day on yours since I knew it would freak you out and make Dad mad but I still knew you deserved the card, Dean.
"'I told Dad the night I left for school that while he was my Father by blood he'd never be my Dad because he didn't raise me. You did. You did all the stuff a Dad should've done and only bitched about it a little. I know you rolled your eyes at the cards and probably pitched 'em the moment I was out of the room which is probably what you'll do with this one but I…I wanted to say that even though you weren't my Father and you will always be the best big brother any guy could ask for whenever anyone ever asked me about my Dad, I thought of you and I still do.
"'Breaking the chick flick rule, Dean…you did more for me than any sane person would've. Hell, this year alone since finding me, you've done more than you needed to. I never gave up in that year and a half I was held in that place because I knew that sometime you'd find me and it would all be alright again. That's how I get through now because I know so long as I'm with you it's all good so while I won't say Happy Father's Day I will say…Happy Big Brother's day, Dean. Thanks for all you do for me, for being with me when we both know you could've had normal and happy and the gift was your idea since you're the one who told me what to buy for a day like this. Love, Sammy.'"
Swallowing the lump and shifting so I could run a hand over my eyes while keeping my back to the couch, I eye the thin box like a snake while considering what the hell I'd set myself up for since my little brother could be devious when he set his wicked little mind to it.
Opening the box, I hear myself begin to snarl even as I fight the laugh that wants to come because I remember some of the horrid ties Mom bought for Dad and I know that somehow when my back was turned Sammy beat her taste in ties because this thing I'm staring at now has got to be the ugliest thing I've ever seen with little flashing lights, bikini girls and…I swear that's an Impala with the words 'World's Greatest' on the bottom in neon.
"Sammy, I love you but the word Nair is in your future," I mutter while glancing at the couch again and I swear my sound asleep brother is smirking but I choose to ignore that while I go into the large bedroom with two double beds to sit on mine and pull out my duffel.
Deep in the bottom where only I and God knows what else grows choose to dwell is a tiny little satchel that I've had for years. Digging it out only every once and a while, I open it to unerringly pull out a worn, tattered card made of flimsy construction paper with the writing of a barely five year old Sam. It was the first card my little brother ever made for me. I kept it along with every other card or drawing Sam's ever done and I store it in here which is where this new card will go while I choose when and where to intentionally wear this tie just to annoy and amuse him.
I don't do ties willingly but for Sammy I'll do it because I know it'll make him laugh and these days just to hear Sam laugh makes all the crap and hell I go through worth it.
Folding the ugly thing up carefully, I hear a thump then a muttered curse and pretend not to pay attention to him when he stumbles into the room still more than half asleep with his e-reader clutched in his fingers like he used to do his favorite toy as a kid.
Knowing this kid as well as I do I can count to five in my head before hearing him flop onto his stomach like he's been doing more and more which reminds me of so many things my little brother had stopped doing before.
Taking the e-reader to lay it on his duffel, I sit still to watch Sam for a long moment before easing a thin blanket over him to handle the cool ocean air coming through the windows then I card my fingers through his hair that he's taking to wearing longer and more in his face again.
"G'night, Sammy," I know the kid can hear me and that he's just giving me a way out of any chick flick moments and for the moment I let him because I know we have a lot of miles to cover soon and a lot of nightmares to cope with but first I'll make certain that no one, hunter, shapeshifter or anyone else, never hurts my little brother again.
Laying the photo of Sam, me and Dad on the nightstand, I make certain this place is secure before crashing and dismiss the hint of familiar aftershave as just my imagination when I fall to sleep knowing Sam was safe and I'd keep him safe…at least until Bobby got that gift we shipped him overnight. Then we both might be dying but what else do you get the junkman who has everything but keeps finding demonic food to cook that destroys his kitchen?
I won't ask Sam where online he found that pink food processor with a devil's trap painted on it and I pray we're out of cell range when Bobby gets it.
"G'night, Dean," I hear the soft whisper then nothing as Sam falls to sleep fully and I drift off soon after with thoughts of ghosts and normal monsters and try to avoid thinking about the last warning Bobby gave me a few days ago and know that sooner or later it'll be time to face the people who tortured my brother for a year and a half and tried to do it again over Christmas.
This time when I face the Campbells and whatever else they have, I'll make sure they no that no one touches my Sammy, no hurts my brother, and lives.TBC