Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural, or any of the characters depicted in this story. This is being written for entertainment purposes only, and I am, in no way, making a profit from this work.

A/N: This is just a short story that I came up with this morning, showing how each brother would react differently when celebrating the other's birthday without the other. I figured that, despite having Amelia, Sam would be more likely to act the way he does based on the episodes in which Sam is hunting alone. He's stoic, reckless, and doesn't care about anything other than having his brother. To Amelia fans out there, I'm sorry about my depiction of her. I really can't stand her character, which explains the lack of tolerance at first, but I tried to make her sympathetic at the end. As for Dean, I figured that, even though he grieves for Sam and puts on the motions of having a normal apple pie life, he would be more likely to feel a sense of, well not happiness per se, but at least normalcy, with Lisa and Ben. I tried not to be to OOC with Dean, but figured that being Ben's father would be Dean's way of coping with his grief. Anyway, sorry for the rambling, and hope you enjoy! Happy New Year!

January 24th, 2012

The alarm clock goes off at 7:00AM, as it has done for the past four months, but the man behind the covers does not stir. It continues to buzz incessantly until the young woman in the bed beside him props herself up on her elbows, gives her boyfriend a quizzical look, and leans over him, stretching to turn off the continuously wailing device. Sam can feel Amelia's body pressing against his, feeling the warmth of her flesh against his chest, her dark hair brushing against his face, but ignores it. Instead, he closes his eyes, waiting for Amelia to retreat to her side of the bed, and hides beneath the covers. He tries to forget what day it is, squints, as if squeezing his hazel eyes shut will somehow allow him to forget today, to allow him to wake up and find that he has skipped the day entirely. Because today is Dean's birthday.

He has never experienced the pain of celebrating his older brother's birthday alone before. That horrible Wednesday when the Trickster had finally, permanently killed his brother, the archangel in disguise had brought him back before winter had set; in New Harmony, after being ravaged by Hellhounds and sent below, he had come back to him after only four months. Every time Dean had died, he had been brought back to him. And now, he is gone, having vanished into thin air, leaving Sam alone, truly alone, for the first time.

Wallowing in his self-pity, Sam does not hear Amelia's puzzled questions from her spot on the bed. "Sam? Are you ok?" Sam does not answer, merely buries himself further beneath the covers. After a few minutes, Amelia shrugs, climbs out of bed, and heads to the bathroom for a shower. At the breakfast table a half hour later, she serves him multigrain toast, a fruit salad, juice, coffee, black (just how Dean drinks it) but Sam only picks at his food, occasionally nibbling on a toast point and sipping at the coffee. Amelia arches an eyebrow, but says nothing. After a while, she gets annoyed with Sam's sullen, spoiled attitude and storms to the table, picking up the untouched food and tossing it with a little too much vim into the garbage can.

"What the hell's the matter, Sam?" she asks as she sets the now empty plates in the sink. "You've been ignoring me all morning, and when I take the time to make you breakfast, you pick at it. What's wrong? What did I do?" She stares at him, hands on her hips, waiting for the reply. Her heart sinks when Sam finally looks up, eyes moist, and it hits her like a ton of bricks.

January 24th.

"Jesus, Sam, I forgot." She walks over to him, places a hand on his shoulder, but he pulls it away, the damage already done. "It's Dean's birthday," he mutters, getting up mechanically and heading to the fully stocked liquor cabinet in the dining room of Amelia's Kermit, Texas, home.

"I know Sam, I should have remembered," Amelia responds, the guilt of her brash actions washing over her again. "I'm sorry." Sam ignores her, reaches for a bottle of Jack and downs a quarter of it before capping it, considering putting it back, and instead heading back to the kitchen. Amelia watches as he downs another swallow, sets the bottle down, buries his head in his arms, and cries. Cries for Dean, for whatever torture or pain he must have endured since that day at SucroCorp headquarters; for himself and the loss of a loved one, and for this entire wretched existence. This time, when Amelia reaches over for comfort, he does not push her away.

May 2, 2011

Dean sits on a park bench, watching as Ben plays tackle football with a few of his friends from school. Every now and then the boy will turn to him, smile and wave, and Dean dutifully returns the gesture, his own smile forced. He watches as Ben turns to his best friend, giving him a sideways hug after scoring a touchdown, and suddenly, the two boys are Sam and Dean as children, playing a game of catch behind one of the many sleazy motels their father had made them stay at while he was on a hunt. Dean felt moisture in his green eyes but he quickly wipes the forming tears with the back of his hand. He couldn't let Ben see him cry.

Lisa has planned a big day, a family BBQ with the whole neighbourhood, a trip to the park, maybe a movie at the local drive-in if time permits. Dean had agreed mechanically to her plans, but he has no heart for the day's festivities. It's Sam's birthday today, and to spend the day enjoying himself would be almost sacrilege. He should be spending the day sharing crappy take out in a motel with his brother, cruising along country back roads in the Impala, blaring his favorite classic rock tunes (and maybe some of that douchy shit Sam loved, after all, it is his birthday after all), sitting on the hood of his Baby and watching the stars, enjoying each other's company.

Dean feels another lump forming in his throat but has no time to indulge. Ben runs up to Dean, wraps himself around him in a hug, and looks up at him with a smile. "Dean, did you see that? I tackled Jimmy Peters, and he's huge! And I scored three touchdowns!" Dean looks down at the boy and smiles. "That's great Ben!" he says, tries to be genuine for the boy's sake. But Ben sees through his surrogate father's forced smiles. "Dean?"

"Yeah?"

"Are you OK? You look really bummed."

Dean curses himself inwardly for letting the boy see his overwhelming grief. "Yeah, Ben, I'm fine," he lies and gets up from the bench. "Do you want pizza for McDonald's for lunch? I think your mom still has a few things she needs to buy for her BBQ tonight…"

Ben once again sees through Dean's deflection, and asks, with the matter-of-fact tone synonymous with childhood, asks: "It's Uncle Sam, isn't it?"

Unable to hide it any longer, Dean simply nods.

"Why are you thinking about him today?" Ben asks again, and Dean smiles down at him, green eyes bright with the tears he is trying so hard to hold back in front of the boy. "Well," he says, patting Ben's shoulder, "today is Uncle Sam's birthday. I guess I just really miss him right now."

To Dean's surprise, Ben holds him close, looks up at him with sad eyes. "I know," he says, "I'm sure you miss him a lot." Dean is shocked to find that he enjoys the embrace, that he feels better than he has all day. "Yeah, I do."

The two hold each other, just like any father would hug his son, until finally Dean leads the boy back to his pick-up. Dean starts the engine and, before guiding it to the nearest Pizza Hut, looks down at the young boy beside him, the one who reminds him so much of Sam at his age. He misses his brother so much it hurts but he does have a wonderful woman and an amazing boy, one who loves him as a father, to care for. He smiles at Ben, the first real smile all day, and the two head off to celebrate Sam's birthday.

It was what he would have wanted.