A Night Out
Summary: 1-shot. Dean's plans for a night out change when he realizes what day it is so he takes a weakening Sam out for a night out that the younger man won't forget. *Plotting/big brother!Dean & Limp/confused!Sam* Some spoilers from previous episodes but mostly some brotherly fluff.
Warnings/Spoilers: Minor language. It may also contain spoilers from recent episodes so be warned.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything. This is written for enjoyment and entertainment.
Author Note: This is written since it's Sam's birthday and I figured it be nice to show a possible birthday moment from this season. Enjoy!
SPN SPN SPN SPN
May 2, 2013, Men of Letters Base, Kansas:
"Okay, so you're sure you don't want to come?" reaching for his denim jacket, Dean Winchester stuck his head into the main room of the huge former Men of Letters place he and Sam had taken over. "Get some fresh air, maybe a beer or two…let me whip your ass at pool?"
Pushing hair that was just slightly beginning to get on his own nerves out of his tired, shadowed hazel eyes, Sam blinked a few times to bring his brother into focus before shaking his head. "If I'm benched from hunting right now then I don't think I feel like watching you drool over waitresses or beat some poor guys at pool," he replied, voice sounding as tired as he felt that night. "Go on. I'll be…fine."
The doubt over the last word made Dean frown. He knew his little brother was in bad shape and despite his arguments to the contrary he agreed that Sam probably wouldn't be getting better until after this third trial. He just had to bury his own fears that nothing else happened to Sam that would keep him from recovering.
The weakness, oncoming fever, bloody cough and more notwithstanding it hadn't taken Dean long to see that something else was bothering his brother today.
Sam was prone to being quiet or moody when not feeling well but on this day he was bouncing between moody and quiet and chatty and as close to clingy as Dean could recall his brother being since he was eleven.
Debating on going to the bar like he'd planned even though he knew he should stick to the computer to look for their missing prophet or sticking close in case Sam would need him, Dean's eyes dropped to what his brother had been clutching all day and suddenly felt a little trickle of unease fill his belly.
Taking out his phone as if he was just checking it, Dean called up the date and immediately felt like finding another piano to fall on him.
Somehow between the trials, worry over Kevin, dealing with the energetic whirlwind that was Charlie to never knowing how condition Sam would wake up in, the date got away from Dean.
He thought he had another day or so before Sam's birthday hit and he'd had plans on doing something special for him.
Growing up, Dean had always tried to do something for Sam on his birthday even if more often than not their Dad hadn't been around for it.
Even during the four years his little brother had been at Stanford he'd still tried to do at least drop something off for him. More often than not it was silly cards or stupid stuff to make Sam roll his eyes but Dean would also know his brother would know he hadn't been forgotten regardless of what their Dad said about never coming back.
Several years ago though Sam's birthday seemed to become a not so good time for them. Sam was killed in Cold Oak on his birthday which resulted in Dean making the deal that would send him to Hell in a year so on Sam's twenty-fifth birthday he had watched his older brother be torn to shreds by Hellhounds.
Since then Dean had picked up on the uneasiness his brother got around this time of year and this year seemed to be worse since Sam's concerns over the third trial was making him wonder if he'd live to see thirty-one.
Swallowing thickly as he once again let his eyes move casually over to the battered and worn card that his brother seemed to have been holding all day or at least since he woke up this afternoon and it didn't take a lot to tell Dean what it was. He just hadn't known that Sam still had the damn thing.
The week before his deal had come due; Dean had done everything possible to try to prepare Sam for being without him. It hadn't worked since more often than not that week Sam was a raging, emotional, and occasionally drunk mess.
Two nights before Dean had written his final message to his brother in the last birthday card he figured he'd ever give him and stuck it where Sam would find it.
Since coming back and dealing with all the crap that he had, it had never even dawned on Dean that Sam may still be carrying that card around, being reminded every time he looked at it what it had meant.
Also as Dean thought about it, he realized with an inner groan that he hadn't given Sam another card or even a decent gift since he'd come back.
He had a card and Sam's gift in the Impala's trunk because this year he had made actual plans only he'd allowed too much stuff to distract him and had forgotten that today was Sammy's birthday and as far as it looked to Sam, he'd forgotten it.
The plan to go shoot pool as a distraction was immediately put aside for another night. Now Dean's brain whirled with a new plan and he suddenly knew exactly what he wanted to do.
Sam was oblivious to what his brother was doing as he tried to focus on doing research or whatever he was doing since right then he felt like something a Wendigo dragged home.
It didn't surprise him that his brother hadn't remembered what day it was since Sam had barely thought about it until he'd been digging for a warmer shirt to wear and came across the battered and worn birthday card he'd kept from the year Dean died.
His memories of that night were still close though they'd gotten a little better since he felt he'd achieved a little payback when he'd killed that damn hellhound.
The trials were really starting to bother him and Sam was fighting not to show how scared he was getting but now as he thought about it, about what he seemed to feel happening inside of him he couldn't help worry if this would be his last birthday and if it was he'd really would rather spend it with his brother than sitting here.
He'd considered mentioning it but then changed his mind with Dean's announcement of going to play pool for a few hours.
Normally they'd go together but Sam had meant it when he said he really didn't feel like watching his brother drool over women and scam people at pool.
So, he figured he'd wait for Dean to leave…had he left? Suddenly Sam wasn't sure since he hadn't heard the door slam and he was positive Dean would've told him that he was going…unless he did and Sam hadn't heard him which was something else he seemed to be doing a lot of lately.
Sam was starting to stand up when his jacket was tossed on the table. "Huh?"
"Let's go, Sammy," Dean shook his head at the blank look and proceeded to bundle his brother into the jacket himself. "The night's fading and we've got places to be."
"Huh?" again, Sam had to stare and it wasn't until he realized he'd been hustled out of the base and into the Impala that his tired brain began to function again. "Dean, I don't want to go to a bar or play pool," he argued after his brother had started the 1967 Chevy Impala that still felt like home to him. "You go on. I'll be…"
"Not going to the bar," Dean cut in smoothly, sliding a look next to him to see the confusion on Sam's face and it never ceased to amaze him how young that look made his brother seem. "Got another place in mind."
Chewing his bottom lip, Sam considered this and his brother's style while unknowingly tapping his fingers on his knee before a box of tapes was shoved his way which was an unspoken message to choose a tape.
"Greatest hits of mullet rock," he mumbled under his breath but knew Dean had still caught the words by the way his brother tensed than smirked and knew what would be coming. "I know, I know. Driver picks the music. So why am I?"
"Because the driver is busy so mouthy little brother gets to pick but it better not be something stupid," Dean shot back, debating the time it would take for him to drive where he wanted and how hard it would be to distract Sam.
Fingers running through the box of old cassette tapes, Sam picked one up with a small smile. "Hey, remember the time I was probably three or four and Dad left us in the car while he went to hunt one night?"
"There were a lot of nights that Dad left us in the Impala while he went out to kill something nasty, pick one," Dean had noticed that Sam was talking a lot about his childhood and their Dad lately and he didn't know to be glad or worried until the tape went in and the next look he gave his brother was pure dead serious incredulity. "Really?"
"I was sick or something and the only way he could calm me down was to keep playing this over and over until Dad got back," Sam knew his brother would only leave the old time children's tape in for a few seconds since Dean had gotten to the point where he'd growl at even the sight of the tiny blue creatures on TV.
"Five hours of Smurfs singing, Sammy. Either you or that tape would've been out the window if he hadn't gotten back," Dean hated that tape but hadn't had the heart to toss it out either, at least he hadn't until now and made the mental not to salt and burn the damn thing the next day.
His finger had been poised to hit the eject button until a quick look showed him that Sam actually seemed relaxed for the moment and rolled his eyes at the things he was willing to do for his brother and left the silly singing blue annoyances play.
The drive was peaceful and silent except for the tape playing. A glance over showed that sometime Sam had fallen to sleep with his shoulder rolled in toward the door much like he always would when sleeping in the front seat.
Sam's memories were coming back of events and times that even Dean had a hard time recalling. It worried him when Sam took these trips down memory lane because in some way it was like Sam was reliving his childhood and there were times back then that Dean did not want his little brother reliving in any way shape or form.
Finally getting to where he was going, Dean pulled the Impala off the main road to drive down an old, rarely used dirt road until he went off a little more to stop the Impala in the middle of appeared to be an old field.
Leaving Sam to sleep a little while longer, he took the time to take a deep breath of the cool, crisp night air before going to get some stuff out of the trunk then moved to the passenger side to give the roof a couple hard raps to wake his brother up.
"Huh…what?" rubbing his eyes, Sam looked around before realizing they'd stopped then he reached for the handle only to nearly fall the moment he tried to stand until hands he instinctively knew were Dean's caught him. "Where…are we?" he asked, surprised to find that they seemed to be in an empty field in the middle of nowhere. "Dean? Where are we? This isn't a bar."
"Duh, you think?" Dean made sure Sam was steady before letting go to move back to toward the front of the car where he continued to set things up. "You recognize this place, Sammy?"
Something in the back of his mind told Sam that he should so he tried to focus when some hissing noise coming from the front caught his attention and he noticed his brother fiddling with an old radio that Sam hadn't seen since…
"What's going on, Dean?" he asked, clearly confused by the sudden change in his brother's agenda tonight. "This is the field we stopped at one of the last nights before…Detroit," he recognized the line of trees nearby, as well as the way the light of moon since it was shining bright that night reflected off of the car's roof. "Why…"
"Figured it's been awhile since we just drove out someplace, sat under the stars, listened to whatever ballgame this old thing'll pick up and drink a few beers," Dean shrugged casually, happy when the radio finally picked up a distant baseball game that seemed to have just started which would give them at least eight innings of peace.
It had been exactly five years since they had just drove out to a field to watch the stars, drink a few beers and maybe talk though more often than not this was one of the few times when not talking hadn't seemed awkward or anything.
Or it had been the time when they could talk more openly with the radio playing and just watching the stars overhead without worrying about what monster was waiting around the next bend.
Waiting to see if Sam would agree or not, Dean held his breath until his brother took the open bottle out of his hand then slid easily up onto the hood on the Impala to rest his back on the windshield. "Still cold?" he knew his brother was either fevered or freezing and so didn't need the chill in the air giving him an actual cold.
"Nah, I feel good for once," Sam admitted, sipping the beer but soon forgot it as he looked up at the stars and thought back to all the other times they'd done this, feeling his chest suddenly tighten. "I'm not going to get better, am I?"
The sudden out of the blue soft question made Dean freeze in taking a drink of the beer he'd just tipped back and he slowly lowered the bottle to look next to him since he'd moved to copy his brother's position on the hood.
"You're going to be fine, Sammy," he returned after a moment, refusing to even go there right then. "We'll figure out this last trial and you'll be fine. Now shut up and drink your beer."
Hating the gruff tone his voice had taken on, Dean sighed while letting his eyes close for just a moment and in that moment he heard the soft baby laughter that had once filled his world with joy and he kept his eyes shut tight until he hoped the tears had left. "Sam?"
"Yeah?" relieved that his question hadn't put his brother off talking to him, Sam relaxed again while figuring that this was a good way to spend what could possibly be his last birthday. "Dean?"
Reaching down to grab what he'd sat on the ground next to the car where he could grab it when he needed to and sat the hastily wrapped in newspaper bundle on the hood between them while holding out a card to his once again confused brother.
"You thought I'd forgotten it, didn't you?" he waited until surprised hazel eyes shot back up to his to offer the smile that he rarely gave except to his brother. "Happy Birthday, Sammy."
Blinking in surprise at the card, the package and the fact that his brother had remembered his birthday after all, Sam took the card first but didn't read it at first since he could still see the last card his brother had given him, the card that was still shoved in his back pocket.
After a few seconds, Sam looked at the card then held it under the light of the moon so he could look better and decided not to scowl at the image of a huge shaggy puppy wearing a birthday hat while opening it to read the writing that could only belong to his big brother.
"'Don't be a girl over this, Sammy. It's takes more than a few trials to make me forget your birthday so take the gift, drink the beer and next year, cause you will be here next year, we'll do it big. Don't shoot me the puppy eyes either when I say this but…I love you, little brother. Happy Birthday. Dean.'"
Fighting back the tears for the moment, Sam's hands shake when he goes to open the package but there's no stopping the look of shock mixing with wet huge puppy eyes the second his fingers touch the feel of soft, well-worn leather and knew what this was even before he ripped into the newspaper like a child at Christmas.
Pulling the battered leather jacket that had once belonged to their Dad and then to Dean out of the wrapping, Sam was sure his breathing had all but stopped as he let his fingers run over the material that he knew would still smell of gun oil and aftershave even though he hadn't seen his brother wear this since the day in Stull, right before Sam took both Lucifer and Michael into the Cage.
"Why?" he asked in a voice barely above a whisper as he reached up to absently rub his blurring eyes. "This is…"
Finishing the beer in order to be able to get this moment, Dean touched the familiar feel of leather then lifted his eyes up to meet Sam's with a smile. "It's meant to be passed down and since I have a feeling I won't be having kids to give it to, this feels more right," he replied then shrugged. "Besides, you usually ended up with it anyway.
"It needs to be worn, Sam. Not hid away in the trunk because it hurt me to wear it because it reminded me too much of the day I failed to save you," Dean took the jacket to motion Sam to remove his other one then waited until his brother slowly slid the leather one on and he nodded. "Not too bad but that hair has got to be cut," he added.
The sudden warmth and familiar feel of the jacket gave Sam the same sense of security that it always had either when Dean or their Dad had wrapped it around him. Then his brother's words hit him and it all clicked for him why Dean hadn't been wearing the jacket.
"You did save me, Dean," he murmured, images still clear of the day that Lucifer while in control of his body nearly beat his older brother to death and only Sam's love for Dean and the memories of his childhood with Dean allowed him to break that control enough to stop and to finally lock both Archangels up for what he still hopes is forever.
"Sammy, if I'd saved you none of the rest of that crap would've happened," Dean was sure of that but he knew this wasn't the time to get into that especially when he could tell by the expression on Sam's face that he'd just found what was in the jacket's pocket. "He'd want you to have that too."
Taking the older looking pocket watch with a Marine logo etched on the top out of the pocket, Sam's breath caught again as his memories knew this watch as the one his Dad used to lay beside his infant son to help Sam fall to sleep.
"I thought…I didn't know…" he finally looked up and this time there was no denying the tears in his eyes. "I thought we'd lost this when he died."
Flipping open the lid to show Sam the photo that was in the lid, Dean grabbed a couple more beers. "It was in his truck when Bobby cleared it out and I've held onto it until I thought you were ready to have it," he nodded at the photo. "That was shot of us before that mess happened at the Asylum so that means that Dad was watching us from somewhere."
Listening to the watch click softly like it had when he'd been a baby, Sam slowly closed it before slipping the watch back into a pocket then kept his gaze lowered until he'd blinked most of the tears away since he knew how his brother felt about chick flick moments. "Thanks, Dean," he whispered. "This means…I mean…not only the jacket cause it will always be yours but…just for this. Tonight, I mean. I know it might be my last…"
Strong fingers suddenly reached over to grip Sam's jaw to lift it up until his eyes could lock onto the very firm green ones of his older brother. "You are not dying," he stressed this, refusing to even voice the thought that he might lose his brother again. "We will get through this and you will have many more birthdays cause I am not losing my pain in the ass little brother again. Now c'mere before I change my mind."
Moving his hand to the back of Sam's neck, Dean gave a quick tug to pull his surprised brother into a full hug that he held longer than he intended to when he felt the slight shudder go through Sam. "It's all gonna be good, Sammy," he reassured though he wasn't certain who he was reassuring more: himself or Sam at this point.
Nodding, Sam returned the gesture while thinking suddenly that his brother had broken the no chick flick rule more this month alone than he had in all of Sam's thirty years.
Deciding that it wouldn't be wise to mention that, Sam did suddenly think of something else as he didn't want to be out in the field any longer. "You know, what you said earlier about kicking my ass in pool?" he bit his lower lip while feeling the grip on the back of his neck tighten just a little as he chose to add. "I can beat you at pool, Dean."
"Like hell you can, Sam," Dean shot back, easing back and felt some of the weight ease off his chest when he noticed the dry grin on his brother's face. "You can't beat the master at his own game…bitch."
"Want to find a bar and see…jerk?" Sam returned, wondering if his brother would fall for it and hid his smile when the bottle in his hand was taken and a hand shoved his shoulder.
"Get your cocky ass in the car and we'll see who beats who," Dean heard the still shaky laugh but was pleased that Sam seemed to be doing better now and if it meant intentionally losing at pool to make his little brother happy then that's what he'd do. "Hey, birthday or not, if you win…that means you're buying the beer."
Sam paused as he shut the door and knew his brother was probably setting him up but shrugged, going along with it since he felt relaxed and since he didn't know what the next few months or days would bring he'd take what he could get. "Fine, but don't bitch when your little brother beats your ass at your own game," he replied, then laughed at the hand that ran through his hair to pull it into his face. "Dean!"
"Get it cut then, Geek," Dean laughed, knowing the closest bar and glad he'd thought of this since it not only allowed Sam to know he hadn't been forgotten but at least he'll still get to see what Sam remembered about hustling pool and eye a few waitresses too.
Hearing the familiar rock beat suddenly come out of the cassette player made Dean look over to meet Sam's eyes and read the silent message of thanks. "Happy birthday, little brother," he murmured, vowing to make certain that next year he would take Sam something relaxing for his birthday or at least someplace safe and fun. "Sam, do you think if we hit Vegas that you could stay out of trouble?"