NOTES: I'm new to Supernatural as well as destiel, and much, much thanks to thelettermanv!

Five Times Sam Doesn't Say Anything

(and One Time He Does)

Sam sits at the bedside table, writing his very own valentines. Last year everyone bought some from the store with cartoon characters on them, but because Dad moves around so much they never have money for silly things like stupid cards. That's what Dean says. So while his classmates had all bought some, Sam had written and coloured his own and everyone liked them the best, so he's doing the same thing this year too, even if it's a different school with different people.

Dean tells him it's dumb, but Sam knows that he has one too. Just one, though. They share a room and Dean hides it under his pillow, but Sam knows it's there and he can read it (even if Dean thinks he can't). It's a homemade card that opens and it has a big white heart on the inside.

To Joey

Love Dean

That's what it says, and there is lace glued around it. Sam thinks it looks lame because it doesn't have as many colours as the ones Sam draws, but he says nothing because Dean doesn't know he knew it was there. He had checked this morning in case Dean forgot it because Dean forgets things sometimes, but he hadn't forgotten that.

It's Valentine's Day today and Sam wants to finish the last few before school. He has afternoon class so he woke up early to finish what he hadn't the night before. He worries he might have to walk again because Dad had to go to school to pick up Dean. It's not the first time. Dean gets into fights sometimes. Now that he's in third grade, though, he's supposed to be a big kid but he still gets into trouble anyway. Sam hates walking to school but if he has to, he will. Today it's especially important he goes. He knows that Dean only wants to give it to Joey, but Sam doesn't like anybody like that so he has to make sure everyone gets one.

The motel door opens just as Sam signs his name on the final card. "-not like the other kids, you could seriously hurt them, don't you understand that?" Dad shouts, stomping in with his lips pursed.

Dean follows and shuts the door with his head bowed. He turns around when it closes. His eye is black and his bottom lip is sort of purple. He's not screaming or waving his hands around like he usually does when he argues though; he's staring ahead of himself and his eyes are wet and red. "Joey punched me first," he explains quietly, staring at the ground.

"He's your friend, Dean. He didn't punch you for no reason. What did you do?"

Dean keeps insisting he didn't do anything but Dad doesn't believe it. It's not long before they are screaming at each other.

Sam doesn't believe him either, because he knows Dean gave him his card. Why would he be so angry over a card?

He knows the truth and he should probably tell Dad so they will stop yelling at each other, but he also knows Dean wouldn't lie or hide things in his pillowcase for no reason, so he stays quiet.

Sam is twelve years old, not five.

And yet, Dean still takes his stupid babysitting roles seriously. Then again, he understands why because Dad can be a real asshole about Dean's apparent "duties" even though Sam knows how to fight; he's been training for years. Just because he's small doesn't mean he can't fight, or God forbid, be alone in a motel for a few hours. It's ridiculous. He has homework he needs to get done by the morning and Dean won't let Sam go back to the motel alone.

"You can do it here, Sam. Don't be such a nerd."

Dean shuts the car door and saunters across the parking lot. Sam rolls his eyes and gets out, slinging his backpack over his shoulders. "That's easy for you to say; you don't care if your grades suck." His legs are too short to keep up with Dean without half-jogging so he hurries as fast as he can so they can walk beside each other.

"Dude they have tables here. It's a diner."

"And about twenty other people are there too. It's noisy and the food here sucks."

"You know how Dad is. If he wasn't on a hunt I wouldn't have to bring you, so don't be such a bitch about it."

Dean stops at the glass door and checks out his reflection. He bares his teeth and tilts his head. Sam rolls his eyes. "You look fine," he promises exasperatedly, then realises a second later that he actually does. Although he won't ever admit it, Dean puts a lot of effort into his appearance (he takes longer than Sam does getting ready, not that anybody would ever guess that), but today he looks as if he's put even more.

"Of course I do. I'm awesome." He grabs his wallet from his back pocket and starts sifting through it.

Sam frowns. "You hate this place."

"Well Kevin and I are studying and he picked here for some crap reason." He pulls out a twenty and slaps it into Sam's hand. "I can't study if you're sitting with us being a little twerp like always. Don't bother me and I won't bother you." He leaves Sam sitting there with a twenty in his hand and he slips into the diner.

Rolling his eyes, Sam walks in. Sam doesn't know much about Kevin except they share math class, and Dean is barely passing. Dean doesn't give a crap about his grades and yet he's studying with Kevin? It doesn't make sense, especially since Dad doesn't care about grades either. All Dad cares about is guns and demons and fighting. In fact, he pretty much disapproves of Sam caring so much about school and sometimes gives him a look of disappointment when he pulls out his homework instead of sparring with his brother. He doubts he's actually studying but Dean still thinks Sam is naïve enough to believe his every word; he's probably meeting up with some girl and doesn't want her to know he had to drag along his kid brother.

Sighing, he goes over and sits in the first empty table he can. He pulls out his homework and orders nothing but a coffee; he's not especially hungry. He's halfway through the second paragraph of his essay when the waitress finally returns, clinking his mug on the table. He looks up to smile at her and sees Dean in his peripheral.

Dean is sitting in a booth, across from a guy Sam assumes must be Kevin. He has blonde, shaggy hair and he's wearing a Megadeath tee so he seems like the kind of person Dean would hang out with so maybe they really were studying. There's a textbook on the table, anyway.

Dean reaches forward and holds Kevin's hand on the table; he's grinning and Kevin laughs. Sam is too far away to hear what they're saying but he assumes it's about math. He doesn't know why they'd need to hold hands for that so maybe not. They're bent over the table, fingers entwined, and Sam strangely feels the same way he did when he curiously thumbed through a girl's diary he found at school, so he looks back down at his essay.

He never mentions what he saw to anyone, not even when Dean spends hours at Kevin's house when Dad is back. When report cards come three weeks later Dean does have a B instead of the usual D, so there's that.

Sam hates how damn early Dean wakes up to get ready for the day. First of all, Dean's hair is much shorter so there's no reason for all that grooming, and it wasn't as if he has a huge selection of clothes. Second, Dean had his GED so there was no reason for him to be up at the crack of dawn. Sam was sixteen and could drive himself. Third, Dean had been out all night and must've come home sometime in the middle of the night, so there was no reason for him not to sleep in.

Yet, he can hear him noisily getting ready in the bathroom. Sam's alarm hasn't even gone off and he's staring blearily at the dark ceiling, the grey-blue skies of early morning making shadows on the ceiling with the curtains. Dad is gone on a hunt, so he knows it's not him.

It's too much when Dean starts using a hair dryer.

Muttering insults under his breath, he throws his blankets off and rolls his eyes at the bunched up comforter on Dean's bed as he walks by. He can get up early in the morning to preen himself but he won't make his bed? He rubs his eyes tiredly as he pads to the bathroom door and raps his knuckles against it.

Dean doesn't stop. Then again, he probably can't hear it over the dryer.

He knocks harder. "Dean," he calls throatily. "Dean, come on. I have a test first period, could you not be so noisy?"

The hair dryer persists.

Shaking his head, he pushes open the door and walks in. "Dammit Dean-"

He freezes.

There's a man in his bathroom with green hair, but the sides of his head are shaved. He can only see the back of him, but he's completely naked, with a pool of water at his feet. There are tattoos up both arms and across both shoulder blades. There's one on the back of his neck too, but the green hair is just long enough to obscure it. They meet eyes in the mirror and that's when Sam backs out of the bathroom.

Even though he's shut the door, his hand stays on the knob and he blinks. He's never seen the man before which worries him, but he doubts that any demon hunting them down would take a shower and blow dry his hair.

His heart's pounding in his ears and his cheeks burn, because this isn't the first time he's walked in on someone Dean's brought back to the motel while Dad's away. It is, however, the first time that it's been a guy.

"He just needed a place to crash. He slept on the floor."

Sam turns around to see Dean, making his bed with his back turned so Sam can't see his expression. Dean never makes his bed. He must've been under the comforter that Sam mistook for a messy pile. Sam shifts away from the door, the blow dryer being drowned out by his heart pounding and blood whooshing past his ears.

Dean's always had an eye for women; he's not shy about finding them hot and he's gone on several dates. Maybe Dean isn't lying, but Sam isn't so sure of that.

He wants to ask; wants to tell him that he doesn't mind, except for how obnoxiously loud he'd been getting ready. He wants to say that he saw him holding his study partner's hand once (he couldn't remember his name) and that he'd found the homemade card for another boy when they were little. He knew that those two instances (three now, possibly) didn't mean anything. It could be a misunderstanding.

But Dean did turn his head to look at passing men sometimes, even if not as much as he did the women.

"Dean . . ."

Dean stops making the bed but doesn't turn. He stands very still and Sam's heart is in his throat. What if Dean gets angry? What if Sam is wrong? There's no harm in asking.

And yet . . .

The silence swells.

"Tell me you didn't drive drunk."

Dean glances over his shoulder, face scrunched up in a snarl. "I'm not an idiot Sam. The bar's barely a block away, dude, I walked."

Sam nods and then crawls back into bed; he still has a half hour but even though he closes his eyes, he doesn't sleep. He hears Dean tell his friend to leave in a harsh whisper, and five minutes later the door closes.

Dean offers to drive him to school and Sam accepts; the ride is completely quiet save for the cassette Dean pushes in halfway there.

"His girlfriend kicked him out," Dean explains unnecessarily with huge, wide eyes and a pinched mouth when he slows to a stop in front of the school.

Sam doesn't believe him, but he smiles reassuringly. "That was nice of you."

Dean nods and claps Sam on the back. Sam opens his mouth to tell him that it's okay if that's not the truth, but realises he has no idea how to even begin that conversation and he has five minutes until the bell rings, so he leaves and shuts the door behind him.

"I don't understand. Vomiting blood is not a symptom of mononucleosis, and if he were certain that she was suffering from it, why would he be kissing her in a closet? It's contagious."

"Dude, Cas, haven't you been watching? She has to get a heart transplant tomorrow and she could die."

"A heart transplant isn't a treatment."

"It's a TV show. Nobody cares about that crap."

Sam looks up from his laptop, holding back a chuckle. If nothing else, the commentary they provide is amusing.

Dean is perched on the edge of his bed, completely engrossed with the newest episode of Dr Sexy MD. Ever since they'd been transported into the actual show, he gave up hiding his love for it. It's annoying because Sam doesn't like it in the slightest, but he keeps his mouth shut because Dean doesn't enjoy himself as much as he should.

Dr Sexy is currently making out with some blonde woman (Sam's never bothered to remember their names; he just smiles and nods and makes non-committal noises when Dean goes on his rants about the characters and what he thinks should happen) against the wall of a spacious broom closet (with ridiculously good lighting considering it was supposed to be pitch dark).

"I love you," Dr Sexy says, even though Sam is sure the woman he's saying it to has only been in three episodes leading up to this one.

"But if he loves her, why would he kiss his other patient?" Cas' head tilts and eyes narrow to the point of being slits. He's sitting beside Dean, elbows on his knees and leaning forward, as if the television were a new specimen of bacteria he'd found beneath a microscope.

Dean, eyes still glued to the screen, scoffs. "If you don't shut up-"

The blonde woman tears Dr Sexy's shirt in half, exposing his hairy, broad chest. This in and of itself isn't fascinating. What is, however, is Dean's reaction; slight gasp and widening eyes. Sam is sitting at the perfect angle to see the both of them perfectly, so he's not mistaken.

"Is this meant to be arousing?"

"What?" Dean snaps his head to Cas and shifts. "Dude, you gettin' a boner?" He scoffs exaggeratedly.

"I do not know what that is, however she seems to be aroused. I think we should inform the writers that arousal and love are not to be confused. It would eradicate his confusion and hers as well."

Dean snorts and looks back at the television, licking his bottom lip. Dr Sexy is completely shirtless now. "Just watch the show."

Sam isn't stupid. He knows why Dean watches the show; everyone on it is incredibly attractive and also very sexually expressive. Most especially, Dr Sexy. He knows Dean likes him in a way he would never admit; he couldn't not know after the way he reacted to seeing him walking down the hallway towards them in real life.

Sam's known for years about Dean. He supposes he can't say it's conclusive, but he's pretty sure. However, sure isn't enough to confront Dean-not that it's a confrontational subject. It's nothing to be ashamed of, but he wants Dean to come to him on his own terms. Pressuring him into admitting something he isn't ready to admit won't solve any problems, and he knows that that conversation is bound to be difficult so he consistently puts it off.

Sam notices things. He notices the way Dean flirts with men sometimes to get information or for no reason at all. He sees Dean duck his head to watch a man go by with a smirk on his face, even if not as much as he does with women. The way he is with Cas isn't exactly subtle, either. One of the upsides of being the little brother people underestimate is that Dean forgets just how observant and smart he is; because Dean assumes Sam doesn't notice, he slips up more often. The less Sam admits he sees, the more evidence he's given.

"Love is sacred, Dean."

Cas sounds serious. Then again, he always does, but especially now; he's staring at Dean with fire in his eyes that he wouldn't want aimed at him.

Sam looks back at the screen of his laptop to hide his pinched smile. He's also researching their latest case, and at the rate people were dying, he probably shouldn't waste time. Bobby is supposed to call him if he finds anything relevant, but that's no excuse to be lazy.

"You don't break that bond of intimacy and trust by having intercourse with someone you don't love."

Sam has to force a cough to stop himself from laughing; he sounds so serious.

"It's kinda more complicated than that, Cas."

"I believe your infatuation with Dr Sexy has blinded you to his flaws."

Sam snaps his attention back to them at the same time Dean splutters awkwardly. It catches him off guard because he never suspected that anyone other than him would notice and yet Cas doesn't ask him if he does; he simply states it, as if it's a known fact.

Cas stands from the bed and stares the television. He nods once, and then disappears with a fluttering sound.

They're left alone and the show cuts to a commercial; Dean spins to stare at him, eyes huge while he shakes his head, still spluttering. "He doesn't get it, man. Poor guy." He laughs and rubs the back of his neck, his smile stretched awkwardly.

Sam figures this is as good a time as any. "Actually, Dean-"

His phone rings. Frustrated, he pulls it out of his pocket; it's Bobby. He glances at Dean then back at the caller ID, then winces apologetically and answers it.

By the time Bobby explains what he's learned and Sam tells it to Dean, he's completely forgotten what he wanted to say.

"I'll take the devil strippers, but forget the angels," Sam says, shutting the hotel door behind them.

"Dude, the bachelor party has to be believable. The siren isn't gonna attack if she knows it's fake."

"Well she won't know it's fake. I'm pretty sure I know how to enjoy myself at a bachelor party, Dean." He rolls his eyes and heads over to the fridge. Even if everything in it is ridiculously expensive, they don't have minibars often so he's going to take advantage of it. "All she has to think is that I'm about to get married. It fits her quota and that's all that matters. She's not going to care about what kind of strippers I have there."

"I've already paid for the devils, though, and they don't take refunds."

He unwraps the candy bar that better taste glorious for how much they are charging for it. "I'm fine with that. Devils are sexy, they're red and they're naughty, I get that. Believe me, you've done enough for a fake bachelor party-you and Cas are doing great, so there's no need to go overboard." He smiles at Dean happily.

"Dude, what's going on? Why are you being difficult?"

Sam sighs and shakes his head. "It's nothing, Dean. Really." He takes a bite of his candy bar; it's mediocre.

"It's something, Sam. Either you tell me what's going on or I pay for the angels anyway."

"I'm just not attracted to angels like you are."

It slips out for no reason; he's not angry with Dean, he's not trying to get back at him for embarrassing him (honestly, Dean hasn't pranked him for over two years) and he's certainly not trying to have this discussion. However, Dean's closeness with Cas has gotten even stronger since they rescued him from purgatory; they share glances, they have quiet discussions while standing close; private discussions that aren't about demons or cases, just talking. They gaze at each other when the other isn't looking and Dean smiles when Cas stands too close. It's there, it's undeniable, and it's daily.

Dean freezes and stares at him; mouth half-open for a second, then it closes. He tightens his jaw and cocks his head back. "What's that supposed to mean?"

He can talk his way out of this. He can act as if he doesn't understand that this is obviously about Cas and complain that Dean is trying to make this into his fake bachelor instead of Sam's. He can even tell the truth and admit he's just never really thought the whole sexy angel thing was all that sexy and that he's always rather preferred the sexy devils.

He's been quiet long enough.

"Dean, I know."

Dean looks around the room as if he's searching for hidden cameras. He scoffs and then turns away, rubbing the back of his head and moving a piece of paper on the bedside table as if he's disappointed with the décor. "I dunno what you're talking about."

"Dude, come on. It's not a big deal."

"Cas and I aren't-we've never-I seriously don't know what you're saying here, Sam." He switches on the lamp and then switches it off.

Sam breathes in deeply, and then lets out a long, slow breath. "Dean, listen. I'm not upset. I don't even care. But I've known since I was little, okay?"

Dean jerks away from the bedside table and starts heading for the door. He's muttering to himself, but Sam honestly can't hear what he's saying. Sam has longer legs than Dean so he hurries and cuts him off before he can leave. Dean tries to go around him but Sam steps in front again.

Dean pulls himself up to his full height (not that it matters, Sam's a good three inches taller) and clenches his jaw. "Sam, I'm not kiddin', you get outta my way before I make you get outta my way."

"I know you're bisexual, Dean. And it's okay."

Dean's fist clenches and Sam braces himself for a punch; hell, he probably deserves it. It isn't exactly the most graceful of ways to open this discussion.

However, the punch never comes.

Dean's lip wobbles and his eyes shine, his adam's apple bobbing. His whole body relaxes and he sucks in a broken breath. Everything changes; the upright position, the clenched jaw; he's the little boy with a swollen lip and black eye again.

"You really don't care?" His voice is smaller than it has any right to be.

Sam's sternum burns and eyes sting. He knows that Cas isn't really a guy, but this isn't about Cas-not entirely, anyway. This is about sneaking green-haired men into their room and lying about why he was there; hiding valentines in his pillow and holding hands at diners. This is about it being so obvious that Cas even calls him out on it and everybody-even Sam; especially Sam-never telling him it's okay.

He should've said something sooner.

They curl up on the bed together, backs pressed against the headboard while Sam researches demons on his laptop; Cas lays his head on Dean's shoulder and complains about how horrible Dr Sexy MD is and Dean irritably defends it with blushed cheeks. Sam pretends he can't hear them just as he pretends that he doesn't absolutely hate this show.

They hold hands under the table when they eat; they don't think Sam notices but he does. He always notices. Dean trails his fingers along the small of Cas' back when he walks by sometimes; Cas and Dean stay up all night whispering in bed when they think Sam is asleep, just talking.

Sam wants to tell them he sees it; that he notices it. He wants to tell Dean he's never been prouder of his brother for finally taking the plunge to allow himself to be happy, with either a man or woman (or angel without a gender). He wants to say that he's never seen Dean happier in his life, but he and Dean don't really talk about those kinds of things.

He never says anything.

But in the end, he doesn't have to.