Season 9: Sam didn't have a problem sharing the bunker but sharing his big brother was another matter entirely. Tag to 9:02 and definitely Pre-9:03. Spoilers up to 9:02.
Author's Notes: Here's my first Season 9 fic and I have to stress, this was written before episode 9:03. In fact, it started buzzing in my head the minute I finished watching 9:02 because I simply can't resist writing jealous little brother stories.
Special thanks to Casy Dee for the beta; the editing and feedback is well appreciated.
Sam recognized it for what it was instantly. The placating tone contrasting with the firm admonitions. The sympathetic words followed by the warning to shape up. Then finally, the heartfelt reassurances of unquestionable loyalty and undying support.
It was a classic Dean Winchester big brother pep talk; but he wasn't the recipient.
They'd come back from Abbadon's ambush to find Kevin past the end of his rope with his bags packed and a one way ticket to anywhere but here. Instinctively Sam had known this was Dean's territory. Talking down from the ledge was his big brother's specialty; lord knows he'd had enough practice pulling Sam back from the brink.
Deciding to leave it to the expert, Sam stepped out of the room and let Dean get to work. He was confident Dean could get through to Kevin but what took him by surprise was his own reaction to his brother's outpouring. When Dean told Kevin that he was family, Sam felt a creeping sensation he couldn't quite identify. But when Dean said, that all there was him, Sam, Cas and Kevin, Sam instantly recognized the feeling; it was envy.
In Sam's mind it should never be him, Dean and anybody, it should always be just him and Dean.
Sure, they'd been through hell and high water with Kevin but he and Dean had been to hell and back for each other. In Sam's mind, that put their relationship in a category that it would literally defy logic to define. "Siblings" didn't even begin to describe it, and in spite of how much meaning as he and Dean put into the word "brother" that term fell short as well.
Considering all of that, the knowledge that someone else was on the receiving end of Dean's fraternal attentions didn't sit all that well with Sam. It's not that Kevin wasn't a good kid. He'd become a trusted ally and was probably one of the few people Sam could call a friend. However, as kind as Sam was in nature, he'd never been generous when it came to Dean.
To make matters worse, in the last few years they had been so many times when he thought he had lost his brother and the pain had been unbearable on each occasion. The truth be told, losing Dean to death had been easier than having his brother drift from him in life.
Dean's return from hell had been complicated by the advent of Castiel, which had shifted the dynamics of the Winchester family. In the run-up to the apocalypse Sam had often felt relegated to a backseat while he watched Dean and his new partner take on the world.
When Cas went off the rails, Sam thought it had hit home to Dean that not even a guardian angel could replace a brother, but then came Benny. Dean's pact with his comrade from Purgatory presented an entirely different set of problems for Sam. This time, Sam didn't even have to wonder, Dean came right out and said Benny was more of a brother to him than Sam. They had moved past all of it, but it still made Sam wince when he recalled how deeply the words had cut him when he first heard them.
With so much murky water under the bridge, Sam had been relieved to move into the bunker and get some time and space alone with his brother. Sharing a home, discovering the secrets of their bloodline and working in unity to close hell's gates had brought them closer than they had been in years.
Then, when he was on the verge of finishing the trials and Sam had broken down and confessed his insecurity, his brother's reassurances had helped to erase years of doubt about his place and purpose in Dean's life.
So when he heard Dean addressing Kevin in the tones usually reserved for him, Sam took himself out of earshot. Call him an immature kid or even a selfish jerk, but he had no desire to hear Dean playing big brother to Kevin.
The lecture apparently wasn't a lengthy one because moments after Sam settled down at the dining table with his laptop, Dean appeared.
"How's Kevin?" Sam asked automatically.
"He crashed, he's sleeping in one of the back rooms."
Sam could tell from the mild tone of Dean's voice that his brother was feeling some level of attachment. The surge of jealously was both swift and severe. Sam could have kicked himself but there was no denying his instinctive reaction.
Oblivious to his brother's inner conflict, Dean dropped down in a chair across the table from Sam.
"So, now that we've gotten our prophet's panties out of a bunch, we gotta deal with the other wayward member of our gang."
"The newly human angel."
"Do you have any idea where Cas might be?" Sam asked.
"Not a clue," Dean shrugged, "But wherever he is we gotta get him and bring him here."
"Yeah, it's the safest place for him to be."
Sam contemplated longer that he should have if he didn't want to rouse his brother's suspicion.
"OK, fine," he said eventually. "Where do we start looking?"
He realized his response came too late when he saw the appraising look on Dean's face.
"You OK?" Dean asked, and Sam knew it wasn't so much a question as an indirect order to talk.
Once again, Sam found himself regretting the very existence of what Dean had arrogantly termed big brother radar. Sam always dismissed it as hubris when Dean acted like it was some kind of super power. But, he had to admit his brother hardly failed to miss a signal when something was off with him.
"I'm good," Sam fibbed, shifting his gaze to his laptop screen.
"I'm serious Sammy," Dean snapped the computer closed to force eye contact. "What's up?"
"Why do you always think something's wrong?" Sam asked, still hoping to throw his sibling off his trail.
"Because I have a sixth sense about you and it's never steered me wide, so spill it."
"Dean, it's really nothing."
"If you don't mind, I'll be the judge of that."
The last thing Sam should have done was to look away defensively. Now Dean would be like a dog on a bone.
"OK, listen," he began, and Sam recognized the 'I mean business', tone. "Usually I'm all for giving you your space and letting you wallow around when you're PMSing but not only have we just been to the point of no return – yet again – this time we damn near passed it."
"You're over reacting," Sam interjected, still hoping to head off the inquisition.
"Well you try hearing your brother say he doesn't believe that you'd die for him and see how you react."
Sam swallowed hard against the punch his brother's words had sent to his gut.
"Dean," he said on a sigh, "I thought we were past that."
"I thought we were past a lot of things Sammy; but they all came back to bite me when you were well hell-bent on finishing that third trial."
Memories of the near-death scene were still raw in Sam's mind. It would be a long time before he could forget the abject despair he had felt when his brother recited his list of sins before sending him off to confession.
Yet there was no point in dragging all of that up now. They had both had their say and the matter was settled.
"We dealt with that; didn't we?"
"Damn right we did, and I don't want any more stuff coming up five years down the road. So from now on, if something's bothering you – and I mean even if you're having angst over memories of little Suzie-May Parker from back in eighth grade who broke up with you as soon as she saw you paled in awesomeness compared to your big brother – I wanna know now rather than later."
"Sure Dean, but it was Sandy-May Parker and her taste sucked."
"Good, so if it's not that what it is?"
"Let me be the judge of that."
"Fine. I was just being an idiot."
"You're an idiot ninety percent of the time, but today you're being a broody idiot, why?"
"I'm not being broody, I was just thinking."
"About this place," Sam glanced around the bunker. "And what it's been like since we've moved in."
"And it's become our home," feeling the heat rising in his face, Sam looked down at the table. "I feel like it's where we became brothers again."
"That's true," Dean sat back in his chair, easing the intensity of the interrogation. "So what's wrong?"
"We've never really had a home, at least not that I can remember. But I've come to think of this place as ours and I kinda liked it being just us."
Dean considered before speaking, which he generally only did if he thought Sam was in a fragile state.
"So are you ticked off at me for bringing Kevin here and now saying we gotta make room for Cas?"
"No," Sam countered quickly, feeling like a supreme idiot when Dean put it that way. "You're absolutely right, this is the best place for both of them to be right now."
"Yeah it is," Dean agreed, and although his tone was gentle like he didn't want to push Sam, it was still emphatic. "Kevin's a stand-up guy who's more than held up his end when crap came down and Cas had made some major mistakes but when the stuff hits the fan he's got our backs, there aren't that many people we can say that about."
"You think I don't know that Dean? I would do anything to help Cas or Kevin and I think it's great that you care so much about them and you want them to be safe but - "
"But what? You don't wanna share your space with them."
"I don't have a problem sharing my space, I just don't wanna share-"
Sam managed to stop just before his inner ten-year-old asserted itself completely. Three freaking decades on the planet and he'd never completely conquered his jealous streak when it came to Dean.
But so what, Sam decided, meeting his brother's questioning gaze head on this time. He wasn't going to apologize for being protective of the one relationship that had been the only thing constant in his life. And after everything he had been through to make the messed up world safer, if all he wanted was a place he could share with his brother, then he sure as hell wasn't gonna feel bad about that.
Prepared for Dean's lecture, Sam fixed his brother with a defiant stare that silently screamed: bring it on!
Shrugging coolly, Dean reclined in his chair and put both feet up on the table.
"You know what's the best thing about having a home Sammy?"
"Slumbers parties?" Sam raised both eyebrows, totally caught off guard.
"Yeah," Dean put his hands behind his head. "And you can invite your friends over and have a blast. But then they go home and it's just you and your family. 'Cause, friends are great, you know, but there's nothing like family."
Sam recognized it for what it was instantly. The indirect pacification, the understated reassurances and the unspoken declaration of unrivalled affection.
It was a classic Dean Winchester big brother affirmation.
"How would you know Dean?" Sam said fondly, "We never had slumber parties."
"So we better start making up for lost time."
"Well in that case," Sam opened his laptop, "We can start by finding our newly-human angel."
"I'll get the beers," Dean volunteered, getting to his feet and turning towards the kitchen.
He took a few strides then turned back to his brother.
"Sammy, I need you to know I meant what I said. No one before you, past, present or future."
Sam met his brother's gaze and held it.