Fic Title: Listen To The Heartbeats
Warnings: Vague spoilers for season 8.
Summary: Since his previous gifts of hearts didn't go over so well, Dean tries something even weirder.
Read over on AO3.
Author's Note: Written for a prompt from cordelia_gray over at the samdean_otp Hopes & Resolutions comment!fic-and-art meme. "OK, my other hope is that this year Dean will present Sam with some sort of vaguely horrifying heart-like object on Feb. 14th, and this time Sam will agree to be Dean's valentine." To whic marciaelena posted this hilarious suggestion :II found it all too hard to resist!
It had been a hard couple of months since they’d gotten back together after the whole Benny/Amelia debacle. Dean kept thinking everything was alright between them, but then he’d do something to piss Sam off again and end up getting a few uncomfortable days of the silent treatment. So, not much different than usual really. He wished it was different though. That it could be like it was those few months after Sam’s wall was fixed and before he was sucked away into Purgatory. Dean couldn’t help but smile remembering how the thought of those months had sustained him while he was there fighting for his life every damn day. If Sam only knew.
Sam realized that it was almost Valentine’s Day when he noticed the red foil hearts dangling from the ceiling and hitting him in the head as he ordered their morning coffee at Starbucks. He saw all the pink frosted cookies stacked up and thought about the hearts Dean had given him over the years. His thoughts turned sadder as he realized that he’d probably missed his chance to ever say yes to the question that inevitably accompanied those hearts. Dean would probably never bother asking him again. Not the way things were going with them barely holding onto each other anyways. If Dean only knew.
The night before Valentine’s Day, Dean had a dream about giving one final heart to Sam and him accepting it and tearing out his own heart right out of his chest and handing it back to him, still pumping and bloody. “Here Dean, it’s always been yours, but take it, you need it more than I do...” Sam said as he collapsed in front of Dean’s eyes. Dean woke up with a start, clutching at his own heart which was beating more than a mile a minute, barely muting the yell that was on his lips.
Sam stirred in his bed, rolling over and asking in a sleep muddled voice, “you okay Dean?”
“Yeah, sorry, uh, I’m fine, go back to sleep.” Dean laid back and turned on his side facing towards Sam, tracing the dark profile of his brother’s long body, imagining he could feel him pressed up against him, warming him in all the places that had never been thawed since returning from Purgatory. He fell back asleep wishing that he had the guts to ask one more time, maybe Sam would actually answer him this time since they weren’t in the middle of a case. His last thought was of finding another way to ask, something Sam couldn’t possibly just ignore.
The next day, Sam stayed behind in their motel room, wanting to finish reading the novel he was almost done with. Dean didn’t protest as he knew Sam was no fun when he got interrupted with stuff like that
“I’m just gonna go walk a little downtown, be back in a while.” He said, going out the door into the cold February morning.
A short walk from their motel was the main business area of the little town they were staying in, first he ducked into a bakery where he got some Valentine’s muffins that should really have been called cupcakes, as well as and a cup of coffee. He kept walking and was surprised at the variety of little shops; this was a nice throwback kind of town that hadn’t been decimated by a nearby Wal-Mart or something. They were fewer and harder to find these days. After a short time of walking up and down the main street, Dean found himself stopped in front of a novelty store that had all kinds of crazy things in the window, rubber chickens, wind-up Godzillas, punching nuns, one thing weirder than the next. But then his eyes stopped roaming the variety when it landed on the deep red plush heart.
The door dinged and buzzed when he entered and he caught the eye of the storeowner, just opening up the register for the day. “Welcome sir, Happy Valentine’s Day, anything I can help you with?”
“Yeah, uh, hi, I’m interested in the heart that’s in the window, how’s that work exactly?” Dean asked, setting his coffee down on the glass counter.
The shop owner grinned and turned away on his stool, turning back quickly with a medium size box with the words “Plush Beating Heart- spawn of Teddy Bear Autopsy” emblazoned in a dripping red font. “It’s basically a stuffed animal, but it has batteries so that it moves a little like it’s pumping and makes a heartbeat sound.”
“Awesome. I’ll take it.” Dean said, matching the shop owner’s grin.
“Let me guess, it’s a Valentine’s gift? I can wrap it for you.” he offered.
“Yeah, sure, that’d be great.” Dean answered, pulling out his latest new credit card.
“If she’s any sort of geek, she’s gonna love it.” The shop owner commented as he wrapped the heart up.
“Yeah, he is a geek, and I’m sure he will.” Dean corrected with a little smile to himself.
“You done with your book yet?” Dean asked as he came in the motel door.
Sam stretched out on the bed, extending his arms and legs even further than Dean’d thought possible. “Yeah, a little while ago. Thanks for giving me time.”
“No problem, got you a muffin.” Dean tossed the paper sack over and set the other larger bag down by the table, sitting down to eat his own red and pink frosted cupcake/muffin.
Sam sat up quickly and caught the bag and pulled out his muffin, shaking his head and smiling. “You do know that this is a cupcake Dean, not a muffin.”
“Yeah I know I know, that’s what they said at the bakery though, so I thought I’d humor them. Pretty good for a muffin though, huh?” Dean answered, stuffing the rest of his into his mouth, pink crumbs and frosting stuck on one side of his lips.
Sam shook his head at his brother’s eating style and rationalizing buying cupcakes just because they’re called muffins, “Yeah thanks, and so fancy for Valentine’s, thanks.”
“Hey speaking of, I got you something.” Dean said, leaning over to dig the present out of the bag.
“What for Valentine’s Day?” Sam looked up, surprised and pleased and instantly thinking back to his wish in the Starbuck’s the other day, hoping that this was Dean asking again.
Dean got up and walked over to Sam, holding out the package. “Yeah, kinda. Just open it.”
Sam looked up at him, wide-eyed with a fearful hope that he didn’t screw up, “I didn’t get you anything.”
“I don’t care, it’s okay, just open it wouldja?” Dean asked, sitting down next to Sam on the bed.
Sam quickly unwrapped the red and white polka dotted present and just sat there looking at the box for a while, not saying anything. Finally he looked up smiling. “This what it says on the box?”
“Open it and see.” Dean answered, smiling right back.
Sam opened the box and the second he gripped the heart to pull it out, it started moving and making the heartbeat sound:
He burst into laughter, holding the pulsing, thumping fuzzy beating heart up and turning it around to see all the veins and arteries stitched in. Finally he looked up at Dean with eyes filled with tears of laughter, “Are you asking me to be your Valentine again Dean?”
Dean laughed at his brother’s reaction, and then sobered up to say in a pretty serious voice, “Yeah, I guess I am Sammy.”
Catching the seriousness from Dean, Sam reined himself in and answered without laughter this time, “Yes I will. With one provision.”
Relieved and confused at the same time, Dean asked, “Sure, what?”
Sam finally figured out how to turn off the heart, the room suddenly going blessedly silent, laid it down on the bedside table and turned back to look at Dean head on. “That you’re mine too.”
“No problem there.” Dean’s answer got cut off at the end a little as Sam swooped in with a kiss. Not just a little peck on the lips thanks-for-the-goofy-heart-gift. No this was a real kiss, a yes-I-accept-your-heart kind of kiss; one that they both poured all the regret for the discord of the past few months; and relief that it’s all finally over; and sadness that they hurt each other and wasted time; and joy that they’re back together into. It was really a blow-your-socks-off kind of kiss.
They found themselves a little later, tangled up tightly together, their lips reddened as that ridiculous heart.
“Glad you asked again.” Sam said quietly, lips moving against Dean’s hair.
“Me too.” Dean answered, kissing Sam’s chest right over his heart. Which was still and always in the right place.