AN: Warnings for sibling incest (Wincest), a bit of smut, language, Minor Character Death, POV 2. Person, POV Outsider, OFCs and OMCs

Hey Brother, there's an endless road to rediscover
Hey Sister, know the water's sweet but blood is thicker
Oh! When the sky comes falling down! For you
There's nothing in this world I wouldn't do

Hey Brother, do you still believe in one another?
Hey Sister, do you still believe in love? I wonder
Oh! When the sky comes falling down! For you
There's nothing in this world I wouldn't do

Avicii - Hey Brother

There are two new guys in your apartment block. Moved in last month, on the third floor, right next to old Mrs. Cummings, into the apartment that's been empty since you've been twelve and Kevin Adams was evicted. Yeah, it's not the best neighborhood you live in, but it has to do. It's not like there's much choice, here in New York City, when one's a single parent with a crappy job and has a teenage daughter and a five-year-old son to care for.

"At least it's not the Bronx," you tell Dad whenever he gets gloomy and broody and all those other words with two Os. "And hey, I haven't seen Chace The Drug Dealer around for at least a week. I bet it's getting better." That's what you always tell him, even when you've seen Chace lingering around the corner at the same day, but at least it makes Daddy smile, and then the white lie is alright.

So, the two guys. They're hot. Maybe a bit old—over thirty, you guess—but they are the kind of men people always compare to fine wine, getting better with age and all that crap. And Johnny Depp is still a hot piece of ass, too, and he's practically ancient so, yes. The two new guys are hot. Pretty tall, too, especially the one with the long hair. He's a fucking giant, around 6'4", and you feel like you're getting a crick in your neck whenever you meet him in the elevator and you have a bit of small talk and you look up to look him in the eyes, because your Daddy taught you to be polite. The other one's a bit smaller, but that still means he's fucking tall, so.

They're both built. Broad, with muscles that come from hard work, lifting heavy things and so on. Hot, as you said, and over all they look like they could've climbed from the cover of GQ. Firs time you opened the door and saw them standing there, you weren't even able to say something, only opened and closed your mouth like a fish and stared while they introduced themselves as your new neighbors.

"I'm Sam," the Sasquatch had said with an amused smile and then, "and that's Dean. We just moved into apartment 3B."

Dean had looked a bit irritated when you didn't say anything, and it took Dad to come up behind you and save the situation. He'd introduced you and then invited them in for a beer, letting them stay to watch the game that night when he found out they didn't have a TV yet. Usually, Daddy doesn't do that, but he must've felt some strange army connection to those two or something, because they look like they've seen far too much for their age. Sam even has a bad leg, complete with limping and grimacing when there's bad weather. It's not like they ever said outright that they've been in the army, but Dad never talks about it too, so you guess it's just the way it is with ex-soldiers. And for vets they're still pretty good looking and that's why you spent most of the evening sneaking glances at the two while Ben was complaining that you weren't paying enough attention to the game of memory you were playing while Dean and Dad swore at the players on TV and Sam smiled some kind of secret smile.

That's why the next time you forgot your keys at home, you knock on their door instead of Mrs. Cummings's. You tell yourself it's because Mrs. Cummings has way too many cats and you'd rather not have your schoolbag smelling of crazy old cat lady again, but you know that's only half true.

It's Dean who opens the door after your second knock. He's only wearing a pair of sweats and a washed-out, old AC/DC shirt, his hair standing up every which way and his eyes tired, looking like he just woke up even though it's after four pm. He blinks sleepily a couple times before drowsy eyes settle on you. His brows furrow slightly and he leans against the door frame, arms crossed over his chest as he prompts you to say something first. Suddenly, you aren't so sure anymore if crazy old cat lady wouldn't have been a better idea than pissed off, sleepy, veteran.

"I forgot my keys," you say, and it sounds more like a question, even to you. Dean's lips quirk at the corners as if he's trying to bite back a grin but he takes a step back anyway, making room for you to enter.

"Sorry," he says. "Nightshift at the bar. Sam's gonna come home in a couple minutes. He's far better with the whole playing-host thing."

You only nod and look around, taking in the spartan and mismatched furnishings, the half-unpacked moving boxes and the clothes strewn all over the room, laying on the back of a chair or peeking out from underneath the shabby old couch. There's even a sock hanging from the ceiling fan.

"You want a beer?" Dean calls from the kitchen, and you shake your head.

"I'm only sixteen," you tell him and poke at a hoodie on the couch, trying to decide if it's okay if you'd just move it away and sit down.

"Huh." Dean leans around the door frame to look at you, brows furrowed, and sizes you up. "Aren't you supposed to jump at the chance to have a beer, then, kid?"

You simply shrug and decide to move the hoodie away, squeezing yourself in between the armrest and a fat-stained pizza carton. Dean comes back with a glass of soda for you and a beer for himself, moves the pizza carton to the ground and sits on the other end of the couch, slightly turned towards you. He watches you take a first sip from your glass, and maybe you're only imagining it, but his shoulders seem to relax a bit when you take a second gulp. For a moment, you just sit there and drink your respective drinks, looking each other up and down.

"So," you finally say to break the awkward silence, "Smith and Wesson, huh? Like the guns?"

Dean snorts and grins, nods and smiles to himself in a private way, like he's thinking of something you don't know about. "Yeah, just like that."

You fall silent again, and Dean stares into mid-distance, scratches idly at the label of his bottle. You two stay that way until there's the sound of a key turning in the lock and Sam comes limping in, carrying two plastic bags with groceries.

"Honey, I'm home," he calls playfully as he kicks the door shut, only noticing you when he looks up because Dean protests, "dude!"

You bite your bottom lip to hold back your grin when Sam looks flustered and Dean clears his throat, mumbles, "awkward."

"I—" Sam starts and drags a hand through his hair, smiles helplessly. "Uh, hi."

"Hi," you say and fail to bite back your grin. Seeing those two badass guys so flustered is almost enough to make up the loss for straight women everywhere. Almost.

Meanwhile, Sam seems to have gained back his composure, because now he's changing the topic and limping around the room, complaining about the mess Dean's apparently made and Dean is telling him to stop bitching and sit the fuck down or else he's gonna bitch even more about his leg. Soon they're all-out bickering, having completely forgotten you, Sam puttering about while Dean follows him around, trying to shove him onto the next chair and telling him to sit down and rest. You lean back and watch the show, sipping on your lukewarm soda, your lips trembling with held-back laughter at seeing Dean fuss about his boyfriend.

It's kinda cute. Scratch that, it's freaking adorable.

Sam finally remembers you when Dean manages to wrestle him down onto the couch and you nearly get hit by a wayward elbow in the process, so you get invited to stay for dinner, Sam coaxing Dean into making burgers to make up to you for the mess. When you try to explain that it's your fault for forgetting your keys at home, Sam shushes you with a mischievous glint in his eyes.

"You gonna thank me later," he says and winks as if you're conspirators and it only makes you blush a little bit because, hey, you're still a teenage girl and Sam is hot.

Dean curses from the kitchen and swears he's never going to make burgers again, pointing the spatula threateningly at Sam.

Sam just dismisses him with a lazy wave of his hand and then engages you in conversation, asks you about school and if you're already thinking about college, if you have a plan for your future, a dream job. You talk about college, and when you mention Stanford, Sam says he went there, for a time, but doesn't explain further, so you don't ask. He seems to be happy to listen to you anyway until Dean finally serves the second-best burger you've ever eaten.

Sam tells you to come back whenever you want when you leave around six.

The next time you come by you bring leftover pie from Ben's sixth birthday, and you swear Dean almost has an orgasm eating it. He tells you you're his new favorite person with an awed look in his eyes and you shift your weight a bit awkwardly from one foot to the other. Sam rolls his eyes and invites you in. This time there are no discarded clothes lying around and someone—most likely Sam—tried to make the flat more homely. There are some framed old school rock posters on the walls now, and even a plant of some kind on the window sill, though it looks rather sad with its drooping leafs. And they finally got a TV. On the screen, Dr. Sexy is making out with the love interest of the week against a shelf in one of the store rooms. You quirk an eyebrow questioningly and Dean says, "dude, don't tell me you don't like Dr. Sexy. Everybody likes Dr. Sexy."

When you only shrug, Dean makes you sit down and watch the show with him, and at the end of the day, you can agree with him that what makes Dr. Sexy so irresistible are his cowboy boots and that nurse Andrews never had a chance to begin with.

You visit them several times a week, or Sam and Dean come over to watch a game with your dad. Even Ben has warmed up to the two tall men and makes you bring them a drawing of five stick figures holding hands, two of them taller than the apartment house next to them, one of them with brown, floppy hair, the other with huge lemon-green eyes. Sam pins it to the fridge with a magnet, sacrificing a take-out menu for the sake of art. He stares at it for a bit, his smile small and kinda wistful before he asks you overly-cheery if you'd like to help him make dinner.

You wonder if they ever thought about adopting and that's why you tell Sam later that you think he'd make a good dad. He looks surprised, then a bit embarrassed, and for a moment you think you've said something wrong. But Sam wraps one of his arms around your shoulders and gives you a tight squeeze and a whispered thank you, so you think it can't have been that bad.

Summer turns into fall, and by now Dad knows he's gonna find you at Sam and Dean's if you're not at home. You usually stop by after school to get Dean out of bed and watch reruns of Dr. Sexy with him until Sam comes home, then you help him with dinner while Dean gets ready for his shift at the bar. You always grin when Sam makes him kiss him goodbye in front of you, because Dean still says, "c'mon, Sam, really," and Sam says, "Dean," with meaning and grins like the Cheshire cat when Dean gives him a quick peck on the lips, although the two of them kissing is nothing new to you.

Sometimes, the phone or one of their cells will ring when you're there. Whoever picks up will always leave the room before accepting the call, shutting the door behind him, and the other will turn up the TV's volume or start to distract you by asking questions about school or something else. It's kinda weird, but you never ask. Their past is still a huge blank, because whenever you tried to get them to tell you about those scars you've seen on their arms, or Sam's leg, or the tattoo on their chests, they dodged your questions and changed the topic so skillfully that you don't notice until you are already talking about Chace The Drug Dealer or Mr. Chang from downstairs and his weird habit of sorting his mail, mixing it, and sorting it again. Eventually, you give up and accept that there are things about Sam and Dean you'll never know.

When you come home on Halloween, you regret that decision.

Dad stayed home today since he hasn't been feeling well, and so you have to pick up Ben from kindergarten after school. You're a bit late getting home, because Ben kept making a fuss and taking off his shoes and jacket because he wanted to stay with his friends and play some more, greatly enjoying the pirate costume he'd been wearing for the day. By the time you'd finally managed to wrestle him into his clothes, the beard you'd drawn onto his chin and cheeks with kohl pencil that morning was smeared with snot and tears. Ben hadn't stopped crying until you were sitting in the bus and some old lady had offered him some drops to make it better while staring at you as if you were the devil reincarnated.

So, by the time you got home, it was fair to say that you were more than a bit annoyed, dragging Ben with you into the elevator while he kept on sucking his lemon drops smugly. To add insult to injury, you banged one arm hard against the elevator doors when you stopped it from closing so that Dean could slip in, too. And Ben, that little imp, managed to make even Dean coo about him with his fat crocodile tears and puppy eyes, getting him to carry the midget right to your door, because, apparently, you're a heartless sister and worse than Satan. If you weren't so pissed, you might have been impressed by your brother's persuasiveness, because Dean even brought him inside.

You want to offer Dean a beer for his troubles, but you never get that far, because there's a loud crash from Dad's bedroom and you go to find out what's up because Dad doesn't answer when you called and then everything goes to hell.

There's blood.

So much blood. You've never seen so much blood in your life, not even when Ben fell and hit his head on the coffee table and had to get stitches—

And Dad's on the ground, and there's this thing, and someone is screaming, ear-splitting, bloodcurdling, terrified, and the thing is turning it's head to look at you and why won't the screaming stop? Can't they see that they're only drawing attention, because now the thing is standing up and coming towards you and its eyes are red and its skin looks disgusting and there's blood on its hands and around its mouth and—

You stumble when Dean pulls you to the side, hand like a vice around your arm and then there's pain in your cheek and the screaming stops abruptly. You realize you've been the one screaming all along but now your throat is closing up and doesn't even let in air anymore, and Dean is pulling you away, down the hall and to the front door, dumps a sobbing Ben in your arms and shoves you out into the corridor. He tells you to get Sam, right the fuck now and then produces a knife from somewhere and shuts the door in your face with a last, barked order to, "get Sam!"

You run and nearly slip when you barrel down the stairs to the third floor. Your vision is blurry and Ben's short arms are so tight around your neck it's almost painful. You try soothing him, somehow, but it doesn't quite work with all the crying you're doing and the oh god, oh gods you keep on muttering inbetween.

Sam doesn't even ask what happened when he answers to your frantic knocking, only pulls you inside and asks, "where?" while he bangs around in the cupboards and throws the cushions off the couch, coming up with a sawed-off and a handgun and some knives of different sizes. He takes you by the shoulders and stares intently at you while he tells you to stay put and no matter what happens, stay where you are while he and Dean take care of the thing. Then he's out of the door and you're sinking to the ground, clutching Ben so tightly to your chest he's squirming but you don't care.

There was so much blood.

When the police arrives, there are four long gashes on Sam's left cheek and Dean is nowhere to be seen. He tells you not to worry about Dean and then wraps an arm around your shoulder while he answers the police woman's questions for you. You catch words like break-in and man and got away, but the rest is only sounds without sense and you're being wrapped in a blanket. Someone tried to take Ben away from you, but you started kicking and screaming and Sam jumped in front of you to tell them to leave you alone and he would take care of you for now until you're able to give a statement.

You don't know when the police and paramedics leave, but they're gone when Dean comes back, smelling of smoke and burned meat, and with a large blood stain on the front of his shirt.

Sam pulls him into the bedroom and shuts the door. You can hear them talk through it. Ben is sitting in front of the TV, eyes glued to the screen, pirate make-up a mess and smeared all over his face and neck. He doesn't know they're talking about you.

You stand on shaky legs and walk over to the door, lean in to listen in on them, your ear pressed to the wood.

"—can't tell her, Dean," Sam is saying. "You know what this life does to people! What it did to Dad! To us!"

"And what do you wanna tell her, Sam, huh?" Dean shoots back, heated. "She saw, Sam. She fucking saw. You think you can tell her it was just some psycho who likes playing dress-up with Halloween contacts? She's not dumb, Sam. Or blind, for that matter, and believe me when I say she got a pretty good look at the Rugaru. Nearly got up close and personal with it."

Sam sighs, and then there's the thud of a fist hitting the wall in frustration.

"C'mon, Sam, she's a big girl," Dean says softly. "She deserves to know the truth. She just lost her dad. And she knows that it wasn't some lunatic. Knows it wasn't even human. You want her to go off hunting on her own? Want her to go into the life blind and clueless just to be killed by the first vengeful spirit she runs into?"


Dean interrupts him. "No buts, Sam. We don't even know if she's gonna start hunting. But we can't lie to her, not about this."

Another sigh, and then Sam says something, but it's too muffled, as if he's talking into a pillow or something. Dean's answering chuckle is without humor. You take a step back and then walk over to Ben, sinking down on the ground next to your brother and pulling him into your lap. He protests weakly, but you don't let go until he stills again and you can hide your face in the crook of his neck.

In the end, you never give a statement. They help you pack up your things that same night and then load you, Ben and your bags into their car, vanishing into the night as if you're the ones that committed a crime. You drive for two days, only stopping once in some run-down motel somewhere on the way. Dean gets two rooms next to each other for you and he goes into your and Ben's room first, checks all windows and lays out lines of salt on the sills and the threshold, tells you not to break them. You don't ask because you're not completely sure you want to know.

"We're right next door," he says before he leaves. "If there's anything, anything," he stresses, "you just come over or knock on the wall. We'll hear."

You can only nod before you lock the door, stare at it for a moment before you take one of the chairs and shove it under the door handle, only then satisfied. Ben goes to bed without a fuss for once, and even though you got a room with two queens, you still climb into bed with him and pull him close. It takes you several hours before you finally fall asleep.

Sam wakes you with coffee and pancakes from a styrofoam container the next morning. You leave the pancakes to Ben and down the coffee in one big gulp. Sam hands you a second without prompting and then you climb back into the car. You're silent for the rest of the way. Ben mostly sleeps or stares out of the window, and even Sam and Dean barely speak. Nobody feels like interrupting the sound of AC/DC and Metallica coming from the speakers until you pass a sign welcoming you to Lebanon, Kansas, and Dean mumbles, "home, sweet home," before pulling off the road into the woods. The car rumbles over uneven dirt paths for a while before it comes to a stop in front of a steel door set into the side of a hill like some post-apocalyptic hobbit hole.

"Welcome to the bat cave," Dean says and climbs out of the car. Sam offers you a reassuring smile that doesn't quite reach his eyes before he opens the door to lift a sleeping Ben into his arms and carry him inside. You follow after a couple moments, the bags hanging from your arms feeling heavier than they should.

The batcave, turns out, is actually a bunker left over from some secret organization collecting knowledge of the supernatural. There are old, dusty books everywhere and ancient artifacts in showcases and hanging from the walls. Ben clutches your hand tightly while you explore the rooms and you stroke your thumb back and forth over his knuckles to sooth him.

The first thing you do is telling him not to touch anything without asking first and he nods severely, understanding the insistence in the gaze you direct at him.

Sam shows you two bedrooms, but you dump the bags in only one of them, deciding that the bed's big enough for the two of you, and if you choose the room nearest to Sam and Dean's, nobody comments. You put the framed photo of Dad, Ben and yourself right next to mom's on the nightstand and you and Ben put goodnight kisses on the cool glass each evening at bedtime.

For the next weeks, Ben follows you around the bunker like a miniature shadow, and you even let him stay in the room when Dean and Sam tell you about what's out there. When Sam made to protest the first time, you shot him a glare while you handed Ben a coloring book and told him to sit down on the couch. Sam didn't say anything in the end.

With each day, you learn more about Sam and Dean and all the things that go bump in the night. They hand you tomes and grimoires that look like they've already been old when the catholic church had been hunting for witches, and your eyes keep tearing up whenever you turn a page and disturb another sheen of dust.

John Winchester's journal falls into your hands by accident. Dean is out to shop for groceries and Sam's in the kitchen, trying to put a breakfast together with the meager leftovers from the day before. You're standing in front of one of the numberless bookcases, dragging your finger along the spines to choose what to read next when you settle on the leather-bound diary. When you pull it out and sit down to read, you find out pretty quickly that Sam and Dean are more than only lovers.

John, their father, describes how he was shoved into the hunter life by the murder of his wife, how he dragged his sons onto a seemingly endless road trip in search of a monster he didn't know even the name of, chasing a shadow and stumbling from one encounter with a supernatural creature to the next. He recorded how to find out what he was hunting, how to kill it, found allies in other hunters, gathered clues all over the States until he finally got so close to the demon that took his wife that he could basically smell its sulfuric breath.

His entries end abruptly, and the next is penned down in Dean's quick and sharp scrawl; Dad made a deal with YED to save me. That's it.

After that the entries are either from Sam or Dean, sometimes written by both with comments scribbled onto the sides, newspaper clippings pinned to the worn pages, words and sentences underlined and bracketed by exclamation marks.

When Sam finds you, he nearly drops his cup of coffee.

"You weren't supposed to find out," he says, breathless, the words barely more than a whisper, chocked by the shame and embarrassment visible on his face, his neck and cheeks red with his blush.

Once upon a time, you might've cared. You would've scrunched your nose and felt ill if you found out one of your friends had sex with their sibling. That was then.

But in the face of the revelations that come with each new day, you don't give a flying fuck, and that's what you tell Sam.

"I don't care, Sam," you say and shrug, your face blank, and then you continue with your reading.

Because there are monsters out there. There are Werewolves and Sirens and Demons and fucking Angels of the Lord. There are Rugarus breaking into apartments to eat the single fathers of two children. There are kids coming home to find their parent in a puddle of blood.

So, yes, Dean and Sam are brothers who fuck each other and you don't fucking care anymore. Normal rules don't apply any longer to you, not since your life turned into a crappy Halloween horror movie.

It doesn't matter anymore.

The first and only time Ben asks after Dad, you break down. He does it in the innocent way only children get right, looking up at you with big, brown eyes and asking, "when are we gonna see Dad again?" and your throat closes up. The ground is opening up beneath you and there's a sheen of wetness blurring your view, your body goes first hot and then cold all over, and the pain in your knees when they hit the floor is oddly distant.

There are strong arms around your waist and shoulders, and you are pulled into a tight embrace, your head pressed against a firm chest as long, strong fingers comb through your hair in a soothing manner, a stubbly cheek pressing against your forehead. Your sobs are silent, surprisingly, and you hear Dean's voice asking, "hey champ, you want ice cream?"

And Ben answering, "but it's too cold for ice cream."

And then, "it's never too cold for ice cream. C'mon, we gonna make a trip and bring back ice cream for your sister. Ice cream makes everything better."

Only when the bunker door falls shut above you, the first whimper falls from your lips, and from then it builds up into a wail, a scream. You want to know why, why Dad, why you. It isn't fair. This isn't fair! Your fists pound against Sam's chest as he rocks you back and forth, and he doesn't let go until you go completely limp in his arms. He holds you until there are no more tears. His shirt has wet patches on the front when you finally pull back and you apologize for the mess, want to know how his leg feels from having to crouch down the whole time.

Sam only shakes his head and kisses the crown of your head before he pulls you up and then makes you help him prepare lunch.

You learn how to use a gun. It's not the first time you held or fired one, but you'd rather not think about the time Dad took you to a shooting range, and you didn't hit much back then anyway. Now you do. Dean looks like a proud parent when you disassemble your Heckler & Koch USP and put it back together in less than a minute.

Sam teaches you how to fight with a knife and throw it. Dean shows you how to drive.

They both take turns in teaching you hand-to-hand, and you spent the first few weeks mostly on your back on the training mats, wincing whenever you so much as breathe.

You stand up every time and say, "again," anyway.

When you almost manage to break Sam's nose in one of your sessions, the two brothers exchange a meaningful nod, and then you're getting ushered into the kitchen and they serve you your first beer. It's cold and tastes too bitter, but it still feels like a reward, so you drink all of it and wipe your mouth with the back of your hand afterward. Dean grins from ear to ear, cocky and shit-eating, and Sam allows himself a small smile.

You meet Kevin The Prophet and Charlie The Hacker. Once even Castiel The Angel. Apart from them, nobody comes by. The other hunters only call, and soon enough you're answering the phones instead of Sam or Dean, looking up ways to kill the monster of the week or assigning hunts. The Winchester name opens as many doors in the community as it closes, you find out. Some of the hunters still are all hung up on the Apocalypse, cursing the Winchester name and the Boy with the Demon Blood, others hint at their unhealthy codependency. And then there are those who celebrate them as heroes, mostly those like you, who've been saved by them and then jumped onto the bandwagon because they didn't know what else to do.

Dean starts working at the garage in town and Sam takes a job at the small book store. You and Ben rarely leave the bunker, and when you do, then not without one of them to accompany you. It takes you more than a year to finally think about signing your brother up for school and you drive him there and pick him up every day.

You get a job at the local bar with the help of a fake ID and some make-up, serving drunks their poison on the weekends and slapping their fingers when they, encouraged by alcohol, try to cop a feel.

You never hunt. Once, Dean takes you with him on a Salt 'n' Burn, but even though the job's easy enough, you're nearly going crazy over the thought of something happening to Ben while you're not there.

So you stay in the bunker and man the phones. Over time, your name is mentioned more and more throughout the community, and eventually you're the one that starts opening doors for others. Dean jokingly calls you the walking Supernatural Encyclopedia, and you cuff him over the head for it.

But you smile, because you're eighteen and Ben is sitting at your feet in front of the couch, reenacting a battle of some kind with his green toy soldiers while you tell Sheriff Oaks from Texas over the phone that Agent Mayer is your subordinate and damn well authorized to see the case files.

You're twenty and it feels like the hundredth time that you walk in on Sam and Dean. On the morning of your birthday of all things, after you get back from the graveyard shift at the bar.

Seeing Sam being fucked into the kitchen table by Dean might once have been hot, but by now it's kinda disturbing and you nearly run into the door frame because Dean is telling his brother to take his fat cock up his tight little hole and Sam keeps on moaning, yes Dean, harder, please, 'm your little whore, and dude, no. That's really not okay.

"Guys," you say with feeling and Sam gives an undignified yelp while Dean curses and pulls out quickly, stumbling over the kitchen chair next to him while he tries to hide said fat cock from view.

"You're already back?" Sam asks the obvious and drapes his discarded shirt over his lap. You quirk a brow and gesture towards the clock, pointing out that it's four thirty in the morning and your shift ends at four. Dean scratches the back of his neck and Sam rubs a hand over his face, half trying to hide behind it. You walk towards the fridge and pull out three beers, pop them open on the edge of the counter.

"I'll forget this happened," you say. "As always. I'll go to bed now and when I get up, the kitchen table will be scrubbed clean and disinfected. And no way am I gonna eat my birthday cake at a table that's been covered in Dean's spunk." You make a face and take a sip from the bottle.

"Better yet, just burn the fucking table and get a new one. Night, boys."

"Boys?" Dean repeats disbelievingly as you walk out of the kitchen, and Sam adds a weak, "happy birthday," that makes you grin all the way to your bed.

You slip underneath the covers and hug a grumbling Ben to your chest, giving him a quick peck on the cheek before you get comfortable and fall asleep yourself.

You and Ben move out of the bunker when you're twenty-three. With the money you saved, you buy a small, run-down house at the outskirts of town, not far from the bunker. It takes you, Dean and Sam a couple months to renovate, but by the end, it was worth it. There's salt mixed into the paint on the window sills and thresholds, Devil's traps hidden beneath every rug, Angel banishing sigils behind the pictures on the walls. You have three bedrooms, one being used as a study-cum-library where you answer phone calls and research for hunts. Ben finally gets his own room. He's been sleeping in the other bedroom in the bunker for a couple years now, but it still didn't completely feel like his own, and now he can at least tape all the posters of naked women he's collected to the walls.

You have a barbeque when you've finished moving in, inviting the guys from work and your favorite drunkards next to Sam and Dean and a couple friends of Ben's so the kid isn't bored.

When everyone's gone at three in the morning, you sit with Sam and Dean on the back porch and stare out onto the garden. The three of you are silently sipping beer. Dean has one thumb hooked into the belt loop above Sam's ass and Sam is smiling contentedly, head slightly tilted towards his brother. You glance at them and then turn away again, giving them some privacy.

It's one of those rare moments where you allow yourself to think back to the apartment in NYC and the naïve, innocent girl that died on Halloween nearly seven years ago. You think of Chace The Drug Dealer and Mr. Chang from downstairs with his weird mail-sorting habit, and of Mrs. Cummings the Crazy Old Cat Lady. You think of Dad and the Mac'n'Cheese he used to make when you were sick. You think of opening the door and seeing the two new guys from the third floor standing in front of it, of Dad inviting them in and the three men watching the game on your crappy old TV.

You think of socks hanging from ceiling fans and plants with drooping leaves on the window sill.

You think of the girl you've been, and you find that you don't miss her that much.

When Dean and Sam leave, you give them both kisses on the cheeks and say thank you. Sam draws you into a long, tight bear hug that lifts you off your feet and he doesn't let you down for a few minutes. Dean claps you on the shoulder and then holds you at arm's length, looks you up and down before drawing you into a quick but nonetheless caring squeeze.

He whispers, "you've done good, kid."

When you watch them drive off, the rumble of the Impala dying away, you decide that he's right.

You've done good.