A/N: Okay, so this is a quick little one shot that came into my head 'cause I watched 50/50 and thought 'Hey, I haven't given Sam cancer in a while.' Teenchesters 'cause I've become obsessed with writing teenchester apparently. I hope you enjoy.
Dean shakes the clinging strands of hair free from the clippers, thumbing them off and setting them on the counter without taking his eyes off Sam's face. "One more thing, 'kay? You doing alright?"
Sam shakes his head a little, but not in denial, just to see what it feels like without his hair swishing around. "Go on."
He watches in the mirror as Dean scoops up a handful of his product and starts working it through the remaining stripe of hair down the centre of Sam's head. Dean's so gentle, fingers soft and sure, but still Sam sees dark brown strands stick to the gel and come loose from his scalp with little prompting. Dean sees it too and frowns, trying to be more careful. It's impossible though, and Sam almost tells him not to bother. They wouldn't be doing this if his hair wasn't all going to fall out anyway. It won't make much difference, except that Dean has this plan, this 'look' in mind and Sam knows he's just being stupid to make Sam feel better so he's going to go along with it. It's kind of working, after all.
"Okay, done," Dean says, smoothing his hands up the spike of hair he's created one last time. "What d'you think?"
Sam wrinkles his nose at himself in the mirror but he can't stop his lips from quirking up in a slight smile. He looks like a deformed hedgehog. "It's weird."
"Well, you're weird so it suits you." Dean wipes the remaining gel and sticky strands of hair from his hands onto a towel, then looks over Sam's shoulder, studying him seriously in the glass. "Totally punk, Sammy," he concludes finally, nodding to himself.
"The nurses aren't going to recognise me," Sam says. He reaches up to feel the smooth sides of his head, soft fuzz the razor couldn't reach and some parts that are completely bare, where the hair has already gone, clogging the drain in the shower or spread out all over his pillow when he wakes up in the morning with the taste of chemicals and vomit on his tongue.
"Dad's gonna have a heart attack," Dean says with obvious glee. Figures Dean would be looking forward to Dad's reaction to the Mohawk.
Sam snorts a small laugh. "Shame it won't last."
Dean's smile fades. "Yeah, well, it'll all grow back eventually," he says quietly.
Sam feels his own smile drop as his fingers trace over the stubble left behind, so dark against his pale skin. Dean can tell him it looks punk all he wants but Sam can see the way it deepens the circles under his eyes, the result of too many sleepless nights in front of the porcelain god with his stomach revolting and Dean's hands rubbing up and down his spine that becomes more visible each day.
"Do you think I'm going to die?" he asks suddenly, surprising himself. Why would he ask that? It's not fair to ask Dean that.
Dean's eyes widen in the mirror, his mouth dropping open in reflex. Dean's going to say, 'Of course not, don't be stupid', or 'shut up, don't think like that' because no one really wants to admit that Sam has cancer and it might kill him. All Dean and Dad do is tell him that he's going to be okay, like they know that for sure somehow.
But then Dean stops. He snaps his mouth shut and looks at Sam for a long moment without saying anything and Sam feels his breath catch. Maybe Dean's going to tell the truth this time, and suddenly he's not sure he wants to know.
Then Dean's arms wrap around him from behind, pulling him back against his brother's chest, and Dean ducks his head down so he can rest his chin on Sam's shoulder. "You better fucking not," he says roughly. "Got that, squirt?"
Sam lets his hand find Dean's and grips it tight for a moment, and Dean squeezes him firmly but gently, in a way that makes Sam feel like it should be impossible for his fucked up cells not to listen to Dean, if Dean says he's not allowed to die then he shouldn't be allowed to fucking die, but it also makes him feel like maybe Dean's holding him now because he doesn't know how much longer Sam's going to be here.
"Yeah," Sam whispers. "I'll try not to."
Dean nods, his chin bumping against Sam's bony shoulder, and gives him one more squeeze that makes him squeak as his lungs get squashed, which makes Dean laugh and let him go.
"Okay, my turn now," Dean says, and Sam blinks and frowns because he has no idea what Dean's talking about, until Dean presses the electric clippers into Sam's hand and sits himself down on the edge of the bathtub.
Sam turns away from mirror-Dean and stares wide-eyed at his actual brother. "You're not serious?"
Dean raises his eyebrows. "Why the hell would I let you hog the awesome hair style?"
Sam can feel his eyes misting up, his throat constricting. "No. Dean, you don't have to."
Dean rolls his eyes, like Sam's being stupid. "Oh, don't do that. I know I don't have to, bitch, I want to. So are you gonna handle this or do I have to do it myself? Personally, I think you should do it 'cause let me tell you, I bet I'd do a real crap job on myself."
Sam huffs out a breath that might actually be a small sob but Dean lets it slide, and Sam inhales deeply, centering himself. "Okay."
By the time Dad gets home, the bathroom is covered in hair, both dark brown and blond, prickling down the back of their shirts and carpeting the tiles and filling the plug hole in the bath.
"This is a warriors hairstyle!" Dean exclaims in explanation, waving his half-empty beer in Dad's shocked face, and Sam chokes a little on his sip of soda. "Ain't that right, Sammy?"
Dean nudges him with his elbow and sets his beer down on the coffee table, throwing an arm over the back of the couch that just happens to almost be around Sam's shoulders and Sam can't help but smile.