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cyndrarae

Rebelling against Reality since 2003

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cyndrarae

SPN gen fic: Lucifer Sam (3/3)

Title: Lucifer Sam
Characters:
Sam, Dean, John, OCs 
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Rating: PG-13 for language
Summary: Life and times of Sam Winchester, with a little help from Pink Floyd.
Author Notes: Thanks to everyone who reviewed. This is the last part - not wee!Winchesters anymore. I wrote it because I wanted to read it, I guess. Do let me know what you think?

1/3: Broken Bow, Nebraska. Sammy is four years old.
2/3: Blue Earth, Minnesota. Sammy is ten years old. 

Latest chapter 3/3 here:


**
 
Sam (Clarkesville, Georgia)
 
**
 
Sam is seventeen. He doesn’t like cheeseburgers any more, make him nauseous. He tries to eat healthy even when they end up eating at the greasiest of diners more often than not. He doesn’t have much time for books or puzzles and such anymore.
 
He gave his SATs this year and scored a perfect 1600. Applied to a total of three universities only because that’s about all his savings allowed him to. Of course if he’d just asked Dean he’d have given him the money to apply to more. But that would have involved actually telling Dean that he was planning to go to college. He knows Dean wouldn’t approve. Okay maybe he would eventually, hell might even be proud (maybe).

But he sure as hell won't like it.
 
Today’s the most exhilarating day of his life. He got accepted to Stanford! And on a full ride no less. Sam is bursting with excitement and wishes he could share his happiness with someone but there is no one. He has no friends and his family isn’t going to be throwing him a Going away party anytime soon.
Maybe day after, he thinks, when dad leaves for Roswell. Yes, Sunday, he’s going to tell Dean. He can't wait for Sunday.
 
Friday night should be a fun night for teenagers like Sam. But in this family the idea of ‘fun’ is so twisted, he’d rather just stay home and read or sleep or watch crappy tv. Not that he actually has a home. They haven’t stayed in one place for more than a year, and just this once in Montana for a couple. It hurt, so much, to leave his friends (and Lizzie) behind that he just stopped bothering to socialize after that. Unlike his brother of course, who seems to get hitched to a new girl every week, and actually has a hyperactive social life.
 
Sam narrows his eyes as Dean stumbles in, happily high on life and other liquid intoxicants sometime after one am. He sighs, stubbornly squashing the pang of resentment that rips through him. Not because he wants to be like Dean, hell no.

Sam stopped wanting to be like his big brother years ago.
 
He resents because there was a time when… when Sam was the sole center of attention in Dean’s eyes. And he knows it's childish and totally immature and downright selfish.
But once upon a time, it was Sam and Dean together against the world, against everything and everyone else. Then somewhere down the line, it became Dean and John against Sam, Dean and John against everything Sam ever wanted, dreamed of, and hoped for from life.
 
What changed Dean? Sam wants to ask. But he has a feeling he already knows the answer to that one. Sam started questioning their dad and this fucked up life, that’s what happened. Dean on the other hand continues to be the good son, following orders on blind faith like a perfect little soldier. To raise a voice against dad is sacrilege in his brother’s book, didn’t matter none that Sam might actually have a valid point now and then.

All Sam wants is normal… what is so fucking wrong with that?
 
Dean flops down on the bed next to him, sleeping on his stomach like he always does. He has his head turned away from Sam. The younger brother sighs, wondering if maybe he should wake him up. Now’s as good a time as any to break it to Dean. But their dad may be back any time now, he’s off investigating the manticore lore in this town.
 
“Something you wanna say to me Sammy?”

Sam almost jumps. Dean’s face is still turned away, his voice slurry and sleepy. Sam wonders how is it that his brother always seems to know when he has something on his mind. He bites his lip.

“Go to sleep Dean, we’ll talk in the morning.”

Dean turns his way then. “So there is something.”

It's never been easy keeping secrets from Dean. Sam opens his mouth, but just then Dean’s cellphone rings. Dean sees the number and is sober in an instant.
“Dad?”
 
It’s a hunt. The brothers prep fast as they can and rush out to the Impala.

“Manticore on the loose. It has lured the detectives on the Burton murder case into the woods.”

“How did it do that?”

Dean looks at Sam briefly, blankly, before turning back to the road.

“He didn’t say.”

Sam is pissed. “Why don’t you ever ask him this stuff? It could be important you know.”

“There’s no time Sammy, we gotta get there NOW.”

Sam scowls but keeps his mouth shut as they speed toward the forest.
 
John is farther away apparently, so it's upto Sam and Dean to protect the two detectives. The manticore attacked and killed Professor Burton of the local university, and going after the detectives on the case only implies someone human is controlling the supernatural beast. The boys have a way of stopping it - silver bullets to the heart. But they only have till sunrise to finish this thing because in daylight the manticore will disappear and who knows where it resurfaces next.
 
Sam and Dean find the detectives fending the beast off with lead bullets and immediately jump in to cover them. John arrives minutes later and it’s a tough fight, as always, but eventually the manticore comes in range and Dean takes the shot. Right before five pairs of eyes, the beast morphs into a lifeless human form. Now nobody was expecting that.

Nobody that is, except dad.
 
“Sam hold on.”

It's Dean, concerned as always but Sam isn’t listening. Slowly he gets closer then crouches next to the figure, turns it over. It's one of the college students they had interviewed earlier in the day. Sam is stunned.

“It's Nathan Hefner.”

The guy he spoke to not eight hours ago. The living, breathing, cheerful guy who, Sam thought was, actually really cool. He turns to his dad frowning, disturbed.

“You knew it was him? All this time?”

John doesn’t bother to respond. Turns to talk to the detectives to initiate damage control but doesn’t get very far.
 
“When were you planning on telling us? If at all?”

John is pissed now. “What is your problem son?”

Dean mediates, or tries to. “C’mon guys it's no big deal.”

Sam carries on like he didn’t hear his brother at all.

“My problem is your attitude dad! You keeping secrets from us. Leaving us hangin’ on a need to know basis. What the hell’s your problem with us?!?”

Dean tries again, as quietly as possible to keep his family feud from the ‘civilians’.

“There was no time Sammy and you know that. Stop being a bitch about this.”

Sammy feels no such compunction. “Sure Dean, right after YOU stop being HIS bitch!”
 
Silence.

John charges like he’s about to sucker punch his youngest son but his older son's firm hand right in the center of his chest stops him. He turns away, disappointed or not… Sam really doesn’t care. He’s too furious and frustrated and at the end of his tether himself to think straight. But takes one look at his brother’s face and it slowly dawns on him.
Dean doesn’t say a word, just looks at him with a dullness Sam has never seen in his eyes before. He has a sinking feeling he’s taken things way too far this time.
 
His chest tightens, a frantic urge to fall to his knees threatens to overcome him but it doesn’t. Sam turns on his heels to get as far away from the others as possible… far away from his fucked up family… from that broken look in his brother’s eyes.
 

**
 
Dean (Oconee forests, Georgia)
 
**
 
Sammy is waiting in the car when Dean gets to it minutes later. He wasn’t expecting to see him still around, but maybe Sam decided it was too much of a hassle to hitchhike back to town at this hour.
 
Dean doesn’t look at him. Whoever came up with that saying about sticks and stones obviously didn’t have a family like his. Hah, Dean reminds himself, nobody has a family like his.
Gets into the driver’s seat and guns the engine. He sees the detectives and John heading over to their respective vehicles and knows dad won't be coming back tonight.

“I’ll see you in Richardson.”

And that’s all he’d said. Dean knows even his father needs to get away now and then, and he is allowed to. But not Dean. The twenty one year old wonders when and where he turned his own life into a fucking prison.
 
Fifteen minutes or so pass before Sam reaches out and turns down the music.

“Hey Dean…”

“…”
“Man, I’m sorry. I…”

Dean can hear the sincerity in Sam’s voice but he isn’t stupid. Saying sorry will not make it go away this time. This time, it is here to stay.
 
“I just… man how can you do it? How can you just sit there and take orders from the guy like we were stupid little kids?”

“…”

Dean has a freakishly good memory, probably ‘cause they’ve had a freakishly… freaky life? He remembers the day Sammy spoke his very first word. How he’d squealed himself in excitement and how happy his folks had been.

After mom, every new word that came out of Sammy’s little mouth made John smile one moment and sad the next. Every new word, every baby step that Mary missed…
Dean is pulled back from his thoughts by a growling six foot three who, sadly, isn’t that baby brother of his anymore. Right now, Dean thinks he isn’t so kicked Sammy learnt to talk at all.
 
“Why couldn’t he just tell us?”

Dean knows Sam needs answers.

“He figured it out only an hour ago himself. The Hefner family has had one male in each generation with the ability to transform into a manticore. That’s why these unsolved murders date back to the 1800s when their ancestors migrated to the States.”

Sam is skeptical, but their dad has never been wrong so far.

“They weren’t all killers though right? There’s only been like six cases in nearly two hundred years.”
           
Dean had had a conversation with John and the detectives just before heading to the car.

“Yeah, they could control it. Manticores are not like werewolves, they’re maneaters but not compulsive killers.
The Hefners probably killed only when they wanted to. Opportunistic killers Sam. That’s worse.”

Sam still doesn’t want to believe, but he has no argument left. Looks out the window and shakes his head.

“There might have been another way…”

“He killed his professor over a grade Sammy. That’s about as cold blooded as anyone can get.”
 
Dean knows what’s bothering his brother. He had waited in the sidelines while Sam spoke to Nathan for a long time. Had caught bits and pieces from the small talk they were making, something Sam was pretty damn good at (and Dean sucked at). And it was all about how fantastic Palo Alto is. And how Sam is making the right choice, that he won't regret it.

Sammy had seemed somehow… taken by the geeky college boy. That’s the sort of role model Dean couldn’t possibly be for his little brother. Ironically enough, that’s exactly the kind Sam’s needed all this time.

Dean makes a sharp right, nearly missing the exit.
 
After another five minutes, Sam turns back toward him, still hellbent on getting his brother on his side against dad.

“Okay so Hefner was evil and he deserved it. But it still doesn’t explain why dad is such a jerk to us. He keeps things from us like we wouldn’t know what to do with…”

“You’ve been keeping things from us too Sam.”
 
Dean hadn’t planned for it to come out like that. But now it has, and Sam doesn’t know what to say. He swallows, Dean catches his bobbing Adam’s apple in his peripheral vision.

“I don’t know what you’re…”

“At least dad doesn’t lie to me.”

Sam shuts up, looks straight ahead, clearly on edge. Dean never could stand his baby brother’s discomfort for too long, unless of course he was intending to cause it.

“I saw your acceptance letter.”

More silence follows. Thickens until Dean is forced to turn the volume up again. A minute later Sam turns it back down.
 
“How?”

“Was stickin’ out of your physics book.”

“I was going to tell you…”

“Sure.”

“Believe me I…”

“Save it.”

You obviously don’t need to know what I think, Dean wants to say, but he doesn’t wanna be called a bitch (to his face) again. Once a night is plenty enough.

“Just let me know when, so I can stop making breakfast for three.”
 
Sam huffs.

“What do you care man? You love this life! You got your dream car, your dream job. A new chick to fuck and dump every week. What difference will it make to you if I stay or leave huh?”

“…”

Dean doesn’t look at his brother, doesn’t even frown. Instead he smiles. That lopsided grin of his that never reaches his eyes and he’s glad it's too dark for Sam to see it.
 
What do I care, he asks. All Dean’s ever cared for more than anything or anyone else in all his life… sits there and asks him what does he care.

The drinking and the pool-hustling and the girls… this stuff wasn’t something Dean aspired to when they started out. This stuff became more and more significant through the years because they allowed him to let go… of the one person who’d required his constant 24-by-7 attention not so long ago. Funny how quickly people change, Sam did. Dad did. Dean wonders what’s wrong with him… because at heart, he knows he never did. He never did let go.
 
“Dean?”

“…”

He swallows, doesn’t look at Sam. He isn’t blind to his little brother’s desperation to escape this life. Hell might even understand it to an extent. He wishes with all his heart he could give his baby brother the ordinariness he seeks, so long as it didn’t mean Sam had to leave… go so far away where Dean couldn’t see him or keep him safe?

Ack, Dean rolls his limpid green eyes. Maybe he is turning into a teary eyed menstruating bitch.
 
“Arent you going to say something?”

“…”

Dean cannot deny he didn’t see this coming either. Fact, it's been coming for seven years.
I don’t know if I can do this, Sammy had said then. 

I don’t know if I can live like this… wondering if today’s the last day I’m ever gonna see you and dad alive.
 
Now it is seven years later, and Sammy has at last found a way to live in peace. And happiness. One that does not include anyone by the name of Dean Winchester.
Dean sighs. That’s just fine Sammy. It's Sam, a ten year old’s sulking voice inside his head rebukes. Dean turns up the volume to drown it out.
 
“Anything?”

“…”

You see… it's not about Dean leaving Sammy behind anymore. It's about Sam leaving Dean, and unlike Sam, he is in no position to demand anything of his brother. He never was.
 
“You do what you gotta do Sam. I won't stand in your way.”

And that’s about all Dean can manage to say through the terrible tightening in his chest, the painful lump lodged in his throat.
 
 
**

Sam (Oconee forests, Georgia)
 
**
 
“You do what you gotta do Sam. I won't stand in your way.”

And that’s all he says. Sam wants to grab Dean and shake him… clock him one if he thought that could make his brother talk. But Dean learnt from the very best. Sam won't get another word out of him if Dean didn’t want him to.
 
Sam hunkers down into his seat, as far away from Dean and as close to the door of the Impala without falling out as possible. This wasn’t why he decided to wait and ride with Dean. He needed to talk, hell he always needs to talk like normal people and in this family that makes him a fucking freak.

Great now his chest hurts. Bites his lower lip painfully to make it stop trembling damnit!
 
Sam feels like he’s nine years old again. That first time his family was leaving him behind to go on a hunting trip and there was absolutely nothing he could say or do to change his father’s mind. Sam remembers the time he was twelve and Dean didn’t come back home from the hunt. Instead he lay comatose in the ER for three days. Three fucking days and once again there was nothing Sammy could do or say to be allowed to stay with Dean. 
 
So here he is again, replaying his helplessness, his repressed rage like a horrible recurring nightmare. What could he possibly say to make this okay? Nothing.
But Sam knows there is so much Dean could say. So much Dean could do to make it okay, make all the hurt go away in a second like he always does. If he would just…
Sam gulps down the plaintive pleas thrashing to escape. That wasn’t the Winchester way after all.
 
Provoking him didn’t work. Of course it makes a difference to Dean if he leaves, Sammy knows that! But he really, really needs to hear it right now. He needs to hear his big brother say it's okay (It's alright Sammy, it's okay.) He needs to know Dean understands why he needs to get out before he loses his mind or kills their father or both.
 
Damn you John Winchester, he thinks.

Damn you for making me choose between my brother and my sanity. 
 
Sam looks out his window just in time to see the body come flying towards their car.

“Look out!”

Dean swerves, partly from shock and partly to avoid the body from landing on his windshield but it does. Dean hits the brakes and the Impala comes to a screeching halt just as the body tumbles off the car and onto the road where it is illuminated by their headlights.
It's one of the detectives. And he’s been mauled ferociously by some wild… oh shit.
 
“Didn’t we…?”

“We did!”

“Then what the…?”

Sam gets his answer when a gigantic weight lands on the trunk of the car, then heads up to the roof over their heads before leaving dents on the hood and finally jumping off and turning around to face the brothers.
The manticore has the face of Nathan Hefner. And it's coming towards them.
 
Dean gets out of the car same time that Sam does. With guns still loaded with silver bullets they open fire and keep shooting until the manticore wails in pain and runs back into the woods. They’re in the middle of a deserted highway with the forest on both sides, civilization is at least an hour away. So is sunrise. Dean is pissed.
“Sonofabitch! Silver’s barely slowing it down.”

Dean runs to check the pulse on the detective, he’s long dead.

“We gotta get out of here Dean, come back later with a plan.”

Dean agrees. They start to get back into the car when they hear the scream.

“Help me!! Somebody!”

It’s the second detective. Sam looks at Dean. “It’s a trap.”

“What?”

“He’s luring us into the forest.”

“What if he’s not? What if Milton’s out there?”

Sam knows his brother has a point, they need to check this out.

“Okay, but we’re taking more weapons.”

They grab a machete, crossbow, a couple of flare guns, a rifle and more silver ammo then head after the beast.
 
Sam’s heart is racing as it always does. The adrenaline rush during a hunt always makes him forget everything but his father’s training and the stubborn Winchester streak to not give in. It's when the high becomes low that his fears and regrets return to mess with his mind, but that’s for later.

The boys follow the sounds of the repeated screams until they reach a clearing on top of a cliff with a steep drop to the dry ravine below. It’s a crescent moon night with barely enough light to make out shapes and outlines.
 
Sam sniffs the air. “Do you smell that?”

Dean nods. “Fresh blood.”

Sam moves toward the source of the acrid scent.

“Sammy stay next to me.”

Sam is distracted, if only for a moment, inexplicably pleased that Dean called him ‘Sammy’. And that is enough. The manticore jumps him.

“Sam get down!”

Dean fires, and Sam swings a machete at the beast. He barely touches it before the machete is knocked out of his hands. Four sharp claws scratch Sam in the face and neck and his shoulder feels sprained where the manticore crashed into him. Dean discards the gun (silver completely ineffective by now) and grabs it from behind. The manticore turns to attack Dean.
 
“Get the flare gun!”

Sam picks himself up and runs to where Dean dropped their stuff. Gropes around in the dark to find the flare gun as his brother fights the beast.

“Anytime now Sammy, this thing’s… arghh… getting pissed!!”

When he finally finds the gun he turns to shoot but it's too late. The manticore has vanished.
And so has his brother.
 
No. No. No.
“Dean!!”

Sam runs to the edge of the cliff to look down, doesn’t see anything. Turns back around and scours the bushes.

Don’t do this, please don’t do this, Sam quietly murmurs under his breath. He stands still for a couple of seconds, holds his breath because he thinks his heart is beating too fast for him to pick on other sounds.
Gun ready in his hand, Sam turns to go back to the source of smell he’d caught. Looks for drag marks in the ground but finds none. Which means, either Dean’s alive and hiding… or he went over the edge.

Oh God. Please God.

“Dean! Answer me man!”

He doesn’t care if the manticore hears him and comes after him so long as it leaves his brother alone.

“Dean!!”

Walks to the other end of the clearing right next to the edge. There are giant boulders shadowed ominously by the moon and it's still as death. He can feel every single hair standing at the back of his neck.
 
“Dean?”

He softly whispers. Suddenly a figure slides out from behind the boulders. Unfortunately the manticore also notices at the exact same time as Sam.

“Dean watch out!”

But it's too late once again. The manticore roars with the elation of its eminent victory as it leaps up and Sam shoots.

The flare hits bull’s eye and immediately catches on to the furry beast. But the momentum of its pounce and the shock of the fire sends it and his prey careening off the edge.
 
“NO!!!”

Sam runs towards the edge, drops to his hands and knees and helplessly watches the two ignited bodies fall into the ravine hundred feet below. And there is nothing, absolutely nothing he can do.
 
“Dean?? DEAN!!”

Tears fill his eyes just as all breath catches in his throat and Sam starts to hyperventilate.
This can't be happening. Desperate screams try to rent through his lungs but all he manages are hysterically hoarse sibilations.

“Dean come back! Come back please come back!”

His chest heaves with the effort it's taking him to breathe.

“I’m so…so sorry! I know I’ve been a selfish bastard and I keep fucking up but… please… this is too much

Dean! You can't punish me this way, Dean please!!”

This can't be happening. Oh God. This can't be happening. The sobs get hysterical like they haven’t in seven years.

“I’ll do anything you want. I won't go Dean. I’ll never leave you! Please just please… I’m sorry, come back. Come back! Please…”

Please.
Please.
 
“Sammy…”

Sam’s heart skips a beat. He jerks around, toward the boulders. A dark figure silhouetted in moonlight slowly limps out and walks toward him. Sam is too shocked to react for a few seconds. When he does, his voice is barely a whisper allowed through his painfully contracting lungs.

“You came back…”
 
Dean grins at him in the moonlight. Comes closer and stands looking down at Sam. Panting, shaking his head. “I never left.”

Sammy exhales in incomprehensible relief. Then a frantic burst of energy and he pulls his hands off the ground where they’d clawed themselves in to wrap himself around the older man’s legs.

“Dude…”

Some rational corner of his brain recognizes his brother’s expression of utter indignation at the whole… touchy-feely-ness but he doesn’t care. Doesn’t let go and can't stop trembling for what seems like ages until he hears Dean sigh, and lower himself to his knees. And then he does something Sammy had long forgotten to expect or hope for.

Dean engulfs him into a comfortingly tight embrace.
 
Dean was alive! Dean was okay. Dean was all around him, holding him, arranging him so he was practically sitting on his brother’s lap.

“That was Milton’s body, I set it up as a decoy.”

Sam still can't breathe. He rests his head on the broad chest and grips the biceps hard… as if to make damn sure Dean didn’t go anywhere ever again.

“I thought I killed you…”

“You saved me you big dufus. Gawd you’re heavy.”

Sam looks up into his brother’s tired eyes, and his face crumples again.

“Don’t ever do that again.”

“Oh Sammy.”

Dean holds Sam tight against his chest, kissing the top of his head for a long time. He wonders if Dean realizes that he is gently rocking him like he used to when they were kids. Rubs his back to aid in Sam’s struggled breathing.

“Breathe dude, come on… easy. Breathe. Breathe.”

Gradually Sam stops hyperventilating. His sobs reduce to silent snivels before Dean’s grip ceases to be borderline painful.
 
“Sammy, about what you said…”

Sam tenses up. Looks into Dean’s eyes. Dean smiles as he wipes the tear tracks off his little brother’s cheeks.

“I want you to go Sammy.”

“No…”

“Listen to me. I am so… SO proud of you.”

And the tears start again. Sam whimpers wishing he could hide in his brother’s shirt again but Dean won't let him.

“A full ride to Stanford, that’s big shit kiddo. You’d be one major dumbass if you let this chance of a lifetime pass you by.”

Sam shakes his head fervently, unable to form any words. Dean takes his chin in his one good hand and forces Sam to look up into his eyes.

“All my life, all I’ve ever wanted is for you to be happy. And safe. And if college makes you happy, then so be it. And hell Stanford couldn't possibly be any more dangerous than this.”

And who’s gonna save your ass when I’m gone? Sam knows better than to say that aloud.

“Screw Stanford. I’m not goin’.”
 
Dean laughs, his short, abrupt laugh. Then speaks with a damn serious expression.

“Oh you’re goin’. And that’s an order.”

Dean looks like he’s daring Sam to challenge him. To snap back in his best whining voice, who died and made you drill sergeant?

Sam sighs, wipes the tears off his face and looks up. “Come with me.”

“What?”

“Lets leave together Dean! Ditch this freak show of a life and start over.”

Dean smiles sadly, ruffles his hair. “You know I can't do that.”
 
Yeah, Sam knows. There was no way Dean would ever betray their dad. Not even… Sam pulls himself together, bites his lip hard… not even for him.

“Don’t worry. You’ll be fine.”

Sam’s voice is barely a whisper. “It's not me I’m worried about.”

The rest remains unspoken but mutually understood.
 
Dean purses his lips, looks away. “Come on, lets get out of here.”

And just like that, Dean lets him go.

Pulls away, ending the warm, rare embrace abruptly and stands up limping. Sam makes a valiant effort of hiding his disappointment and gets up as well.

This wasn’t how he’d imagined his conversation about college with Dean to go. Sammy never realized he’d be willing to give up all his dreams for his brother. But now he knows he would, absolutely would… in a heartbeat. Only now, the tables have turned.
Dean was not going to let him.
 
 
**
 
Dean (Oconee district, Georgia)
 
**
 
Sammy sits curled up in his seat but this time he doesn’t look like he’s trying to get as far away from Dean as possible. He trailed behind him all the way from the woods to the car like a frightened overgrown puppy, but Dean knows what he was doing. Checking him out for life threatening injuries, subconsciously reaching out to touch him whenever he thought he could get away with it.
 
A hand surreptitiously reaches up now and again to wipe at his face. His fingers keep gripping each other tight like he’s afraid what they’d do if he let them loose. Sudden tremors jolt his form once in a while. Dean sees it all and turns up the heating, what else is he supposed to do?
 
I cannot make it better this time Sammy, he thinks. Thought giving Sam his approval to go to college would do it, but in hindsight Dean guesses the timing was all wrong. He shouldn’t have waited until after Sam saw him having a near-death experience because now he’s having doubts. Turns up the radio this time.
 
Sam looks at him once in a while then quickly turns away. This one time, he swallows hard.

“I don’t…”

“You will.”

“But I…”

“Don’t wanna hear it.”

A soft whimper escapes before Sam clamps down and turns away. Dean wishes he could do more to comfort his miserable little brother but what?
 
His hand makes it halfway to the slightly shivering shoulder then drops. Dean wonders when exactly did it become so hard (read: unacceptable) for him to… gawd… he used to do it all the time. Maybe it was after being told off by dad a hundred thousand times (Stop babying him Dean, he’s got to learn.) Or maybe it was after Sam started withdrawing into himself as he grew older.

Maybe the habit of hiding his pain from his family eventually bled out and expanded till Dean was left incapable of ever showing any emotion whatsoever.
 
Dean rolls his eyes, this family is fucking driving him out of his mind damnit! The next time Sammy’s hand comes up, Dean reaches out for the stereo and switches to tape mode. Sam notices, doesn’t say a word.

“Shotgun night.”

Dean offers gallantly, expects a snide remark in response. But gets nothing. Dean sighs, then takes out one of the older cassette tapes he’s been religiously preserving for seventeen years. Mary’s collection of greatest hits starts off with a rare Janis Joplin, unplugged. It makes Sammy smile (though sadly), and Dean feels like a weight’s been lifted off his chest.
 
By the time they reach the motel, Sammy is fast asleep and Dean is cautious not to wake him up. Leaves the heater and music on as he goes in to gather their stuff. When he returns, Sam is still peacefully out. Dean presses rewind on the last number like he’s been doing for the last forty miles or so and drives on.
 
Lucifer Sam go to sea.
Be a hip cat, be a ship's cat.
Somewhere, anywhere.
That cat's something I can't explain.

Go to sea… huh. No wonder Sammy’s always liked this weirdass number so much.

Someday, Dean thinks, maybe Sammy would return to him and say, hey, turns out normal isn’t all it's cracked up to be after all. Ah hell. Rewinds again. 
 
He looks at his sleeping brother, so skinny and lanky, all sharp angles and gangly limbs and muses not for the first time that Sam sure could use more meat on his bones. Maybe Stanford would give him a better life, the life he deserves.
While Dean may not have chosen this mercenary life for himself, it's what he’s now fully committed to with all his heart, body and soul. But he’s not gonna let anyone, not even dad, force it down his little brother’s throat.
 
He can imagine it already – Sammy lugging out his stuff from the Chevy, giving Dean his classic apologetic shrug and equally apologetic smile before turning his back to Dean and walking away (not forever, not forever damnit!)
Yes. Dean dreads the day he would have to take his little brother to Palo Alto. Dean sighs, looks out at the early, placid sunrise. He thinks to himself maybe he’ll let Sammy drive his baby just that once after all.
 
Lucifer Sam, siam cat.
Always sitting by your side
Always by your side.
That cat's something I can't explain!

 

Smiles, his shit-eating lopsided grin, steps on it. Then again, maybe not.
 
 
**END**

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Great finishing. You wrote Sam leaving for college so well, and I love how you incorporated the song.

Thanks hon :) It got longer than I planned. I'm glad you liked it.

oooh i loved this story , so sad and poignant and so full of love for the brothers from each other.... lovely honey

Thank you! :) Thanks for reading.

Very nice!

But just a quick note, Sammy would have taken the SATs in what, 2000? 1999? He would have scored a perfect 1600, not 2400. They added the writing section only within the past year or so, before that the highest score one could get was a 1600.

hey you're right! They lengthened the SAT exam in 2005 so this should be 1600. Thanks for the correction hon :) changing now.

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Right. Thanks for the constructive feedback. I will fix it, soon :)

Love,angst,heartbreaking,plot!You created a wonderful story and you ende it brilliant!

Thanks! :) Means a lot to me that you liked it hon :)

Gonna read this later but I can't freaking believe it! Cyndra on SPN fandom!
You probably won't remember me from Charmed, or better saying Chris-fandom, I'm stony-angel from fanfiction.net, someone who still holds the hope that someday somehow you'll finish your Chris fic and loved the ones you posted about Leo giving Chris a bit of discipline.
Anyway, can I add you to my flist?
Love!

Heyyyyy :) Of course I remember you! Which author doesnt go back to read the lovely reviews they're fortunate enough to get hon:)
Uhh yeah, Charmed... *winces* I do hope to finish them WIPs someday hon, I promise!

Anyway, can I add you to my flist?
Of course! I'm adding you right back! :)

So, let me know what you think of this one if you read ok? :)

Ohhh wow!! What an ending - what a STORY!!

This one kept me riveted and hungry for more with each chapter - and its conclusion did not disappoint!

A wonderous tale, and told masterfully! Thank you so much for sharing this with us!

*Squeals*

*Hugs you*

Awwww! Thank YOU so very much for reading :) Your kind words have made my day! *hugs you back* cheers hon.

I really liked this series

Thanks very much hon :)

You're KILLING me with this. Now I need to go somewhere and cry. God, you're ::good::

Aww, don't cry sweetheart! Especially now when you've made ME so happy and grinning like crazy :D Thank you so much *hugs* :)

Lovely fic - seemed just right.

If you don't mind I think I'm going to friend you. I looked at your fic page and thought, oh, I liked that, ooh, and that, oh, yes, that too... ;-)

:D Thank you for the lovely feedback sweetie. And I friended you back! Welcome to my madhouse hehe ;-P

Hey, there! Okay, wow, I don't know how I missed this, because it was so wonderful. (Okay, well, maybe I do know...it isn't kink or smut, so it doesn't catch my eye immediately. :) But still.)

It was so sweet and so wonderful and omg, a while ago you asked about angst and this was measured so perfecly and beautifull and...oh, yes. It was so wonderful ad perfect for Sam and Dean!

Totally made my day, hun. And I love your new layout!

:D Thank you for reading sweetheart! I kinda surprised myself with this.. guess I can write stuff without smut or kink after all eh? *giggles*
Angst as always.. yeah. You know I promised Sarah (nocturnal) that I'd try writing a piece with NO ANGST and it's just not happening *headdesk* But anyway.. I'm so happy you liked it :)
And thanks also for the layout! :)

*sobs*
Oh this is beautiful
*sobs more*
Really well written. Fantastic.
Thank you for wwriting and sharing this :)

Thank YOU once again for reading and reviewing sweetie :) I'm so glad you liked it.. wrote this one such a long time ago, thanks to your comment I ended up reading it myself hehe. cheers hon *hugs* :)

oh my gawd, i'm practically bawling here! Just...I don't even know what to say to you...it was wonderful, yea, heartwrenching, yea...but so, so much more... And Dean realizing (accepting) that there's a widening gap between him and Sammy...just guh...I love the contrasts you set up; they're amazing. It was a really good idea to have a linear time pattern so that we could compare Dean and Sammy interaction from the past to "now." Drat, I forgot what else I wanted to say...Well, the last line was a sucker punch. And your description of Dean being silently broken was really sad!!! OH! I remember now! The part that really got me was where Dean realizes that it's all about Sammy leaving, and not about him...That was...guh...The whole fic was uber guh...LOVED IT!

Hey hon.. thank you so so much for reading and reviewing and leaving me such a lovely comment :) You picked up on all the things I guess I wanted readers to see and.. well.. yeah, my heart totally goes out to Dean because all his life he's done nothing but sacrifice himself for his little brother. Dean has really been broken from the get go *sighs*

Thanks again hon, your comment has totally made my day!! :)

Hi there Rachel :)

Just to let you know that this has been rec's at sawedoff_recs here.

excellent story. I really think you captured them well.

Awww this was one of my earliest attempts at writing SPN heh. Thanks tho, you're very kind :)

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