(( Wasn’t sure if I’d be able to get anything done since work is exhausting this week, but I managed to come up with this drabble. For @chewbaccaaah, I hope you feel better! Placed directly after Music, and directly before Movie Night. Enjoy! ))
Sam leaned against the wall of the small entrance that lead to Dean’s room. The sight of the dust was familiar and didn’t bother him in the way it caked his boots. He was far more focused on what he could hear.
Inside the room, Dean had settled down at the table after moving around some, tossing what sounded like clothing into a pile. It wasn’t surprising, they’d been there for almost a month now. Dean would have to make a trip to the local laundromat if he wanted to wash the reek out of his clothes.
Sam suspected why Dean was putting it off so long, and it all tied into Sam. Just a month ago, he was taken from his brother. Treated like nothing more than a toy, his arm snapped for speaking up against his captors, Sam’s harrowing experience had only ended with Dean’s timely intervention with Kara.
Only a month had passed. Sam’s arm remained broken, but healing, and Dean’s fear of losing his little brother again was foremost in his mind. He’d barely stirred from the room more than the occasional trip to the bar to try and relax. All trips had been unsuccessful so far.
Sam took a deep breath, and stepped out of the walls.
He wasn’t trying to avoid Dean. He knew that his older brother wanted nothing more than to protect him and everyone else that lived under the floorboards of his claimed room (the motel staff would need to pry Dean out of the room if his money ran out before Sam was recovered). They were his family, and it didn’t matter that they all could fit in the palm of his hand. They were his and that was all that was important.
The trip to the end of the bed went quickly. Sam stayed under the edge of the covers all the way until he reached the end, then hesitantly peered out to see where Dean was and what he was doing now. Brother or not, he was still the size of a building and Sam couldn’t risk relaxing his guard if Dean didn’t know where he was.
Dean remained at the table, his bacon cheeseburger next to his relaxed arm. Sam’s brow furrowed at the sight of the huge burger only half-eaten. Normally Dean would inhale a sandwich that size, and if Sam’s food was something he liked, he might be nudging Sam to see if he could get any of the leftovers. It saddened Sam to see for himself the effect his absence was having on his older brother. Dean deserved better after everything he’d done for them.
Not far from the burger, Sam recognized the plastic top of a fast food salad. Nothing fancy, but clearly waiting for someone to claim. Dean never ate a salad on his own, and only finished Sam’s because, as he bitched, “Can’t let food go to waste, Sammy. Rabbit food or not.”
They were raised in almost completely different worlds, yet some things remained the same in both brothers. Lessons learned, hard truths realized.
Sam stepped out into the open, and felt Dean’s eyes lock onto him a second later. Ever the hunter, Dean was in tune with his surroundings enough to spot the small movement on the floor close by.
Sam met Dean’s surprised look with a steady, trusting one of his own. Just Dean, his mind reminded him. His broken arm twinged.
“S-Sammy,” Dean stuttered, sitting up straight and glancing around the tabletop. He clearly hadn’t expected any company, despite the salad he’d brought. “You, ah, I mean…”
“Dean,” Sam cut him off, his voice warm as he saw Dean trying to clean up a pile of messy napkins shoved to the side. Dean paused, blinking slowly. “I heard you got me a salad,” he said as he took another step forward.
“Yes!” Dean winced as he saw Sam flinch at the volume. “Yes,” he said at a much softer level. “I didn’t… I thought I heard you in the vents earlier. I just wanted you to know you’re… always welcome to stop in. Even just for a minute.”
Sam’s lips twisted into a frown at the sound of the loneliness in Dean’s voice. He gestured with a hand for Dean’s help, and saw the small smile that formed on Dean’s face. A huge hand lowered down next to Sam and he stepped on, ruthlessly suppressing any desire to flinch at Dean’s size.
Before Dean could place him on the table next to the salad, Sam waved for him to stop. Dean froze, his hand only a foot from his face.
“Dean,” Sam said, meeting him right in the eye. Those green eyes the size of Sam’s head that he could feel on him just like any other humans. “I’m sorry I haven’t come out much. I didn’t realize how long it’s been. Mostly Walt insists I take it easy and rest, so the days kinda blend together, y’know?” He tapered off, thinking hard about how he wanted to put it. “I don’t think I can come stay in here yet, at least not until my arm’s better, but… you think you’re up for a movie night? Kara’s never seen any movies, and Sean… he probably misses TV.”
The growing smile on Dean’s face let Sam knew he’d picked the best plan. Dean loved kids, and this would give him a chance to see Kara after helping take care of her before rescuing her dad, and it would be the first time he’d seen Sean since rescuing him.
“Sounds like a plan,” Dean agreed happily, some semblance of his regular attitude restored. “Up for some salad first or should we get the others?”
Sam grinned back. “I’ll get some salad if you don’t mind.”
Watching Dean dive back into his burger with his enthusiasm back full force, Sam wondered why he hadn’t visited sooner.