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Title: 6 Times Sam Asked Dean To Come To Stanford With Him
Word Count: 2,356
Disclaimer: I don’t own Sam and Dean, but they own my heart, and the rest of my anatomy for that matter.
Summary/ Challenge #1 or #2: 1
East Hope, Idaho
May 8, 2003
“Dean,” Sam says, “turn the volume down.” He’s sitting in his favorite spot- that is, between Dean’s legs- and looks up from his book to glare at his brother. Dean shrugs and flips to another channel.
“It’s going to be cold and rainy here in Nevada, folks,” the weatherman announces, indicating the affected area on the map. Sam looks up from his book to the television. “We’ve got a low pressure current coming from the northwest, so be prepared for a drastic drop in temperature. Meanwhile, the western coast is going to have sunny skies high temperature of 85 and a low of…”
“Dean,” Sam comments, rubbing Dean’s calf gently, “wouldn’t it be nice to live there? Don’t you wish that we could be in a warm, sunny climate for once?”
Dean shakes his head. “No, Sam. I like cold weather, remember? I don’t do shorts.”
“Oh, right,” Sam replies quietly and his wandering hand starts to massage Dean’s knees absently.
Dean changes the channel impatiently.
“-her mutilated corpse found in her New York apartment. Officers are puzzled by what seem to be bite marks from a carnivorous animal and the FBI has been-”
“Hey Sam, think that’s our kind of gig?” Dean asks, watching the news program attentively. Sam almost expects Dean to get a notebook and pen to take notes.
“Eye-witnesses claim that they heard growling and saw a hairy beast, but there are no large predatory animals indigenous to the area-”
“Maybe,” Sam says, taking his hands off of Dean’s leg and picking up the book again.
“We better give Dad a heads up once he gets back from the morgue, he’ll probably want to do some more research first. And hey, maybe now that you’re 18, Dad’ll let the two of us handle a case on our own!” Dean looks absolutely ecstatic and Sam suddenly feels sick.
“Maybe,” he echoes, turning his head to look longingly out the salt-lined window at the setting sun.
June 21, 2003
“Dean,” Sam says, “I hear there’s an International Auto Show in California this September.” He tries to keep his voice light and casual.
“Is there now?” Dean says absentmindedly as he affectionately cleans the arsenal of guns.
“Yeah,” Sam says. “I was wondering if you wanted to go.”
“Eh,” Dean says indifferently. “None of those cars can hold a candle to my baby.”
“But wouldn’t you like to see all the new car models?” Sam presses.
Dean laughs. “No, Sam. The kind of models I want to see are the topless kind.”
Okay. Sam can work with that.
July 15, 2003
“Dean,” Sam says as soon as his brother walks in the door from his date with lipstick on his cheek and his fly still undone.
“Hi Sammy,” Dean says with the I-just-got-laid smirk. Which really looks like all of the rest of Dean’s smirks, except to Sam who knows the difference.
“Who was it this time?” Sam asks. He tries not to sound jealous, but it still comes out somewhat wearily.
“Emily Fields,” Dean smirks. “And boy, did I plow her fields, if you know what I mean.”
Sam scrunches up his nose and snorts in disgust. “Ew, too much information…”
“Don’t you want any details? I’ll give you a play-by-play. C’mon, she’s sexy as hell, a Tiffani Thiessen look-alike with tits to die for and a pussy that-”
“Yeah, yeah,” Sam interrupts. “I get it, you’re a ladies man-”
Dean gives a low chuckle and says, “I wouldn’t call them ladies…” but Sam continues as though his brother hadn’t spoken.
“-and yeah, you can get lucky with hot girls, but why settle for a look-alike, Dean?”
Dean frowns. “What do you mean?”
Sam tries to put the right combination of challenge and admiration in his voice. “I bet if we went out to Hollywood you could get into the real Tiffani Thiessen’s skirt.”
Dean considers this for a moment. “Yeah, I bet I could,” he agrees. “But it’s not worth the chase when there’s perfectly willing pussy right here. I’m more of a ‘wam, bam, thank you ma’am’ kinda guy anyway. I don’t introduce myself before ‘getting to know’ her,” he says, complete with a smirk and air quotes
“Do you ever wish for more than a one night stand? Don’t you want someone that you genuinely like, someone that you can talk to?”
“No, Sam,” Dean says, looking vaguely horrified at the prospect.
“Why?” Sam asks, bewildered and trying not to sound disappointed.
The look in Dean’s eyes seem regretful for a moment, but then Sam blinks and when his eyes open the look is gone and replaced by a cocky grin. “Because then they can use their mouths for more important purposes.”
Rolling his eyes, Sam huffs a sigh and tells himself that if he can’t use cars or chicks to lure Dean, then he’ll just have to find something else that Dean cares about.
August 7, 2003
“Dean,” Sam says. “I think I found a case.”
“Really?” Dean asks, intrigued and sitting up straighter to pay attention. “Where?”
Sam clears his throat. “California.”
“What’s the deal there? Poltergeist? Werewolf? Possessions?” Dean looks excited with childish glee in that way he never does unless he’s talking about chicks, cars, or hunts, and Sam wishes with all his heart that he could put that look on his brother’s face for once.
“Um, no…” Sam shifts uncomfortably. “There was a fire.”
Dean’s eyes widen and he leans forward slightly. “Like… a fire?”
“Uh, yeah, that’s what I said.”
“No, no,” Dean shakes his head. “I mean, was it our type of fire?”
Sam takes a deep breath. He has to sell this. “It was a huge fire. A forest fire. They don’t know where it started. I thought maybe…”
Dean’s eyes lose their interest and he sits back again and rests his hands behind his head. “Sammy, it’s August, it’s thunderstorm season. These things happen naturally. Demons wouldn’t target a bunch of trees.”
“Yeah, maybe not, but-” Sam says in a rush, but Dean cuts him off.
“No, Sam. Let’s go see if Dad’s found anything,” he says, making it sound more like an order than a suggestion. Dean doesn’t wait for Sam to reply, he just turns his back and goes to ask his father what their next hunt will be. And then, when that hunt is done, they’ll find another one to do. And another one. It never ends.
So Sam is going to end it, before it ends him.
September 2, 2003
“Dean,” Sam says, “Stop asking me if I’m sure, I’m not changing my mind.”
“Sammy, you can’t just-”
“If you walk out that door, Samuel Winchester,” his father growls menacingly, “don’t bother coming back”.
“Dad, let’s think about this before-” Dean pleads meekly.
“Oh, please,” Sam shouts loudly at his father over Dean’s voice of reason. “Like I’d ever come back to this fucked up family after finally getting free.”
“Sam,” Dean begs breathlessly, turning to his brother looking like he just got the wind knocked out of him. “Sammy, you don’t mean that, tell me you don’t mean that-”
“I do mean it!” he yells, waving his arms around angrily. “Look at us- it’s so fucked up- our source of income is pool hustles and credit card scams, the Impala is our only permanent address, and we spend more money on ammo than food. How can you stand to live like this for one more second, Dean?” He feels like he’ll die if he has to stay here one more day, and while he wants freedom and normality he wants Dean to want that too. “Don’t you want to just get out of it, to leave this behind and start over?” Sam asks.
Dean hesitates for a moment.
In another universe, another time and place, it might have continued like this:
“It doesn’t matter what I want, family sticks together, no matter what,” Dean says firmly, asking for Sam to stay with desperate eyes. That’s the one thing Dean’s known his whole life, that they’re a family, that they’ll always be a family, but now it feels like maybe that wasn’t as true as he had thought.
“Apparently Sam doesn’t care about that,” John says with an accusatory glare at Sam.
“We can still be a family in California,” Sam says stubbornly. “Hunting doesn’t make us a family; it makes us a three-soldier army.”
“Then why don’t you ever follow orders?” John booms.
“Because I didn’t sign up for this,” Sam yells back, matching John’s volume. “I never wanted this!” Somehow the two of them have gotten to be a foot away from each other- close enough to see the anger etched in the other’s face but far enough for Dean to come between them and say, “Stop it, Sammy. None of us asked for this. But we don’t have anything else-”
“We do, Dean,” Sam says lowly. “We could have so much more than this. There’s a whole world out there,” Sam gestures widely, “and you don’t even see it! We could have that, Dean.”
“You could have a lot of things too, Sam,” Dean shoots back. “At least you would if you didn’t throw it all away like this.”
“Throw what away? There’s nothing else here, except you- you, only you Dean. That’s it,” Sam explains.
“So, what, am I not enough?” Dean asks bitterly. “I’m not enough to make you stay, is that it?”
“No, no,” Sam shakes his head in frustration, trying to pour every ounce of affection and want and need in his words. “You’re all from this life that’s worth taking with me.”
“Dean’s staying here,” John barks. “You can go chase this dream of yours, but you will not drag your brother down with you.”
Sam ignores John pointedly. “Dean-” he begins, ready to beg Dean to come with him, but his brother interjects.
“Dad, I’ll talk with Sammy, you can go interview those witnesses at the hospital,” Dean says. John looks taken aback at Dean’s forward suggestion for a moment, but steps back and nods his head. After all, there’s still a hunt to finish.
“Talk some sense into him,” he tells Dean gruffly, clapping him once on the shoulder before brushing by Sam on his way out.
Even once John is gone, the tension is still just as stiff as ever. Dean is hanging his head in resignation and Sam bites his lip and tells himself not to feel guilty for the pained look on Dean’s face.
“Dean,” Sam sighs.
“Sam, you know I can’t go with you,” Dean says lowly. He doesn’t look happy about it, but his tone is firm and final.
Not like that’s ever stopped Sam from talking back.
“Why the hell not, Dean? Because Dad said so?”
“Yes, because Dad said so, dammit!”
“What about what I say? What you say? We don’t even get a say, but now we can take control of our lives be normal for a change. And Dean,” Sam admits, reaching forward to loosely grip Dean’s forearm, “I want you to come with me. I need you to. I need you to help me.”
“Yeah,” Dean says, his voice choked with suppressed emotion. “What else is new?” He weakly smiles at Sam.
“I can’t do this without you, Dean,” Sam confesses. “I don’t want to do this without you.”
Dean pulls Sam in to stand between his legs and reaches up to brush Sam’s long bangs out of his face with a smile. “Then it’s a good thing you don’t have to.”
But in this universe, it goes like this:
“Don’t you want to just get out of it, to leave this behind and start over?” Sam asks.
Dean hesitates for a moment.
“No, Sam,” Dean says. “I don’t.”
Palo Alto, California
October 30, 2005
“Dean,” Sam says in surprise, recognizing his brother’s face as it looms over him. Now that he’s so close to his brother again, he can see the dotted freckles on Dean’s nose and count his eyelashes. Dean doesn’t smell like Stanford, like books and progress. He doesn’t smell like Jess, flowery and soft. He smells like oil and gunpowder and sex and the fact that Sam even recognizes those smells should be disturbing but somehow on Dean it seems so right. Jess is only a room away, but that doesn’t matter because Dean’s here, Dean came, Dean cameto Stanford for him and it feels so damn good to see his brother again that Sam finds himself wondering how he’s lived without this for so long. It feels so good to see Dean again.
It feels even better to be underneath him again.
“Well, this is a compromising position. Is my virtue in danger?”
Dean just leers at him and Sam’s returning grin spreads almost as far as his legs do.
“Well, if you’re concerned about my virtue, Dean,” Sam murmurs lowly, shifting his legs slightly and adjusting his arms underneath his brother, “then you should know that I lost it a long time ago.” Sam leaps into action and rolls them over, straddles Dean’s hips and pins his brother’s arms down against the floor.
Dean’s chest is rising and falling quickly against Sam’s and they’re breathing the same hot air. Sam mouths along Dean’s jawline, bites his bottom lip possessively. Brushing his lips against Dean’s intimately, he whispers hotly against his brother’s mouth. “I’m glad you’re here now.”
Dean’s body suddenly tenses beneath him at those words and Sam immediately pulls back a few inches to look into Dean’s eyes questioningly.
“That’s why you came, isn’t it? You changed your mind?” Sam asks hesitantly.
Dean looks away guiltily.
“Dean,” Sam repeats urgently, releasing his brother’s arms and wrapping his fists tightly in his brother’s thin shirt and tugging on the fabric. “You came to stay at Stanford with me, didn’t you?”
Turning his face to the side and staring blankly at the wall, Dean takes a deep breath.
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Sam opens his mouth to protest, but their dad’s gruff “Leave it alone, Sam” stops him in his steps. They don’t bring it up again.
Over the next few years, Sam makes it a point to suggest that Dean goes to college any chance that he can. It’s never as direct as it was that first time, but he still does it. Sometimes, Dean wonders if he even realizes that he’s doing it. It’s the little comments he makes: “You should be in college,” “you wouldn’t be in this kind of danger if you were in college,” and his favorite “you could be doing so much with your life.” Like he wasn’t doing something much more important than he’ll ever do after graduating from college, right now. He was saving lives, and that was more important than getting some stupid piece of paper that said he’d gone through college.
Dean always knew Sam was going to college, that wasn’t really what stung so much. It was the fact that he was going to leave them that left him hurting. It was late one spring evening, as they lay on the motel bed, side by side, in close quarters, looking at one another while they were trying to go to sleep with their dad snoring on the other bed, that Sam finally said something.
“Dean, are you awake?” Sam questioned, shaking his arm. He felt like telling him that if he hadn’t been, he would have been now, but he just moaned a soft ‘yes, Sammy.’
“I got accepted to Stanford. It’s a full ride. We wouldn’t have to pay anything.” Sam said, still in a whisper, half afraid to wake their father.
Dean’s eyes shot open in shock, and he lay there, looking at Sam, horrified, for a few minutes. “Sam... I don’t know what to say. I don’t think Dad will let you.”
“It’s not his choice, Dean.” Sam voice was just as quiet, but it held a conviction he hadn’t had just a few moments ago. “You could come with me, Dean. We could go together.”
“No, Sam. I’m not leaving Dad alone. You could probably go, and I would make sure that he’s not too sore about it, but I have to stay here. He’s going to be all alone without me.” Dean tried to be reasonable, even though it broke his heart that Sam was leaving them.
“I’m going to be all alone, too, Dean.” Sam said, softer, with less conviction, and for a moment, Dean felt like he was looking at Sammy, his baby brother who he’d taken care of and shielded from the things in the dark.
He swallowed past the lump in his throat, hating himself for doing this. “That’s your choice, Sam. No one’s making you go.”
Sam turned away from him, tucking himself into the blanket in the opposite direction, and Dean fought to not put his arm around him. He knew he was losing his brother.
They both knew that their father wasn’t just going to let Sam go to college, but neither of them realized that he was going to completely cut ties with him if he decided to rebel (which, when wasn’t Sammy rebelling against him for something). When he looked at Sam and said “If you’re leaving, go, but don’t ever come back,” the color drained from Dean’s face and he felt his heart clench. This wasn’t happening.
“Fine,” Sam said, resolve firm. He wasn’t giving, not even an inch, and Dean fought hard not to reach out and shake him, make him see some sense. When their dad turned, grabbed his keys off of the table and stormed out of the motel room, Sam shut his eyes closed tight, and looked around to face Dean.
He took a shaky breath, and started packing his bags. “Sam, he didn’t know what he was saying. Please, Sammy, just stay for a little while. Let this cool down. Don’t leave like this.” Dean wasn’t below begging to get him to stay. He’d spent the last eighteen years taking care of him, and he wasn’t about to lose him now.
“You could come with me, Dean. I told you, we could both go to college. It’ll be good for you to experience some kind of life outside of hunting. Come with me, because I’m still going.” Sam said, the same pleading tone to his voice, not wanting to lose his big brother’s guidance.
Dean shook his head sadly and said, “No, I’m not leaving Dad alone.” Sam shook his head and kept packing his bags, tears coming down his face now, unable to keep them in check anymore.
He picked up his three bags when he was done packing, and shifted them in his arms. There was an unspoken ‘it’s going to be a long walk to the bus station’ between them, and in an act of self-sacrifice, Dean said “Let me at least make sure you get to the bus okay.”
During his first year at college, Dean called from time to time to make sure that he was adjusting okay, that he wasn’t getting in any trouble, and that he had enough money to make it by with. They would have long conversations about everything from the weather to Stanford’s football team, to the way that Jessica Alba looked in a bikini. But, never about the thing that really mattered. ‘I miss you and wish you could be here.’
They always ended with the same conversation. “Dean, you could come and go to school with me still.”
“No, Sammy. I have to stay here with Dad.” Dean argued.
“You could always tell him to go screw himself.”
“Because that would go over really well,” Dean chuckled, shaking his head on the other side of the line. “Good night, Sammy.” He said, and the matter was dropped. He would never go join him at college.
On the way back to Stanford after the gig in Jericho, Sam and Dean were talking and joking around just like old times. When they saw the sign that told them they were back in the Palo Alto city limits, though, Dean got quiet again, not wanting to let his brother out of his sight again. “You know,” Sam said quietly, in that tone he always got when he was going to suggest something that he knew had a good chance to being shot down, “You could stay. I mean, Dad obviously took off on you. You could do this whole college thing the right way now.”
Dean sighed in frustration. It was always a joke, but right now, it hit a sore spot, especially with Sam sounded so earnest. “No, Sam. I have to find him.”
Sam knew to drop it, and so he just stared out the window and the subject was dropped.