Sam spent much of the day in their new bunker full of knowledge reading and researching. There was so much information at his fingertips and he ached to know all of what was in the depths of this intellectual smorgasbord. It had been a long time, probably since college, that he had been in his element so completely and thoroughly. It finally made sense to him, why the whole hunting thing hadn't felt right to him, hadn't made him happy, hadn't given him a fraction of the satisfaction that it gave his brother or even their father. He was a man of letters, he was a man of intellect, he was a man that used his brain rather than his brawn to get things accomplished. He came from a long line of men just like him. It was like he finally fit into his crazy family.
He had been so enraptured by the books that he hadn't really paid much attention to his brother's comings and goings. Dean would tell him he was leaving, for this that or the other, and Sam would grunt an acknowledgement, and flip the page in the volume he was currently reading.
So he had been somewhat oblivious when Dean had left again, except this time Dean forced him to look up from his work, and made a point to make his brother understand that he was making a trip to New York state and he would be back inside of a week. His days blurred together, and he fell asleep at the table, ate at the table, and only got up to pee, get food, or to get a new volume.
Dean did come back a couple of days later, with a car and trunk full of books. Sam looked up when Dean put the first box on the table.
"Why pay for storage containers when we have our own private bunker to store all of this stuff?" Dean headed back out the way he came and Sam put his hand in the box and came out with a book, it had been Bobby's. He held the book tightly in his large hands. He forced himself to put the volume down, and he reached in and pulled out another, and this time it somehow made its way to his nose and Sam inhaled deeply, and as the smell flooded his brain he could hear Bobby's gruff voice calling him an idjit, could feel Bobby patting him on the back after a job well done, and could see the old man in his mind's eye shaking his head and secretly smiling behind his beard.
He opened his eyes again when Dean slammed another box down on the table. Dean did this for inside of ten minutes. Sam stood and started to empty the ponderous volumes, holding each for a moment reverently and beginning to put them into categories, because they must all be catalogued and put away amongst the men of letter's already vast collection.
Dean came in the last time, shutting the bunker door behind him, but instead of putting the box he carried on the table in front of his brother, he started to carry it towards the bedrooms, more specifically, Dean's bedroom.
"Hey! Those need catalogued!" Sam called out.
Dean didn't even break his stride, he simply called back. "No they don't." Sam chased after his brother.
"Dean! We talked about this, all books we collect need to be catalogued and put away. It make sense. WE agreed!"
"These aren't books for the men of letters. These are books for grunts like me."
"What in the hell are you talking about?" Sam asked as he followed his brother into his bedroom. Dean put the box down on the desk and began emptying it. It contained Bobby's vast hunting journals, Rufus'."
"Dean. Don't be stupid."
"I'm not being stupid." He said and put the books neatly on his desk. He also pulled a trucker hat out of the box and hung it up on a nail that had been protruding from the wall that Sam hadn't noticed before.
"Bobby's notes are just as important as the books."
"Actually Sam," Dean said with a sigh. "They are more important."
"Then they should be catalogued and put away."
"Move your anal retentive self away from me and Bobby's journals. They are mine, and you are not taking them and assigning a number and a space to them and putting them somewhere and acting like they are just one more piece of a collection. No. These are mine."
"Dean…" Sam said in exasperation.
"Look, you just go on back in there and be one of those men of letters, and be all of that intellectual stuff. I'm not that. Never have and never will. I'm one of those savage hunters, and I'm going to keep my fellow savage hunter's journals. Because they are important to me, because they were people I cared about, and they aren't just books to me. So, go. Go salivate at the idea of all of those books that need cataloging, that need a place, that need to be read, that need to be touched reverently with white gloves, pretend that they aren't books that have saved our asses a hundred and fifty times, just go." Sam had been backing up as his brother moved forward and talked. He didn't realize he was out of the door until Dean slammed it. It was an odd sensation, standing there, on the other side of a door, a door that his brother had closed in his face. It was even stranger to note that he wasn't allowed back inside. That it was his brother's space, and he had no right to violate it. It was the first time he had been kicked out of Dean's space. It was strange, it was discomforting, and he didn't like it.
Sam, confused and somewhat anxious went back to his table and looked at the books that were strewn all over the table, in piles, and he suddenly didn't feel like he should catalogue them. He suddenly didn't want to touch them. He looked back towards the hallway in which his brother resided. He wanted to go back to him and plead to be allowed back into his space, wanted that blanket invitation back. He checked several times, walking back and forth from library to Dean's closed door, each time looking and secretly hoping that the door would be open and that Sam was allowed access to his brother.
Sam sat back down at the table overlooking the plethora of books that Dean had retrieved from only one of the storage facilities that held the books and memorabilia from Bobby, Dad, and Rufus, and even Pastor Jim. He wanted to work, he wanted to think about putting these things away, but he couldn't get the closed door out of his mind.
There had only been brief moments in time where Dean was living and had shut out his younger brother or vice versa. But those times they had been mad at each other, and Sam knew that all it would take was a well placed phone call and all would be moderately forgiven and they would be back together, shoulder to shoulder, doing what they did best. But this time, they weren't mad, they weren't in separate cars going separate directions, they were in the same place, and all that kept Sam from his brother was a door, and it made him itch to go there and demand admittance. Never in his life had a closed door meant so much, or made him so anxious.
Sam forced himself to continue his work, and it was slow going with glancing up and looking down the hall every couple of minutes. But Sam's keen attuned hearing alerted him when his brother's bedroom door opened, and suddenly an overwhelming sense of relief flooded over him.
Dean strode into the library. "Hungry?"
"I can eat."
"Okay." And Dean went off into the kitchen. Sam stayed at the table, flipping through pages, but the now open room called to him, demanding he enter and see what his brother had forbidden to him. He resisted the impulse for a while, but then he gave into it, saying that he wasn't going into the room, he was simply going to go past and into his own.
However, just because his brain said one thing it didn't mean his feet agreed. He ended up stopping right in front of Dean's door. He stood in the doorway and looked. He saw the journals put up nice and neatly on the desk, and Dean's own hunting journal in the center, open to a page that was half covered with his brother's dark block handwriting.
He knew he shouldn't enter, but something forced him, as if he were being pulled by invisible wires. He felt the need to touch, to look, to riffle around in his brother's things. It was an urge that had never struck him in all of his life. Never had he felt like he should be messing around in Dean's duffel, but standing here in this room, he felt the need, like a child. He shook his head and turned around and found Dean standing in the doorway.
"I called you for supper and you didn't come." Dean said with a hardness to his tone that wasn't often there unless life or death was in the mix.
"You going through my stuff?"
"No!" Sam admitted honestly.
"Then what are you doing in here?" Sam continued to stammer. "You can't have the journals Sam. I don't care what you say or do. You can't have the journals."
"I didn't come in here for that." Sam managed.
"Then what exactly DID you come in here for?"
Sam crumpled like a balloon with a slow leak. "I've never not been allowed somewhere you are."
Dean's eyebrows drew together in confusion. "What the hell are you talking about?"
"You closed your door."
"Yeah? That's what someone does when they want to be alone."
"But you've never done that to me before."
"I've never been able to."
"But you never have."
"What in the hell is this about Sam?"
"I'm just not used to being treated…"
"How Sam? How am I treating you now?"
Sam thought for a moment and before he fully realized what he was saying it came out, "Like a little brother."
"For the love of God Sam." Dean threw his hands up and they slapped back down on his thighs. "You are 30 years old. You don't need to be in my pocket."
"I've just never been shut out like that before."
Dean rolled his eyes. "Come on Sam, it's time for supper. I promise I won't shut the door all of the time. But sometimes Sammy, I need me time. I am going to shut the door sometimes." Sam, nodded, feeling somewhat satisfied with the solution but uneasy about how something as simple as a shut door made him feel. Meanwhile it took all Dean had not to smile. Sometimes something as simple as a shut door could show just how much you mean to a person. Actions always spoke louder than words for Dean Winchester, and finally, for Dean at least, Sam's words matched his actions, and it made a little part of Dean happy….he meant something to the little brother that meant more than the world to him. Maybe this men of letters thing wasn't such a downer after all.