“So you said you found the owner of the house?” Sam asks, picking up the conversation.
“Yeah, Meredith Trelawny. She still has an address in town, just not at the actual house.”
“These sandwiches look like they’re going to be really good, want to get them to go and eat across the street?” Sam points out the deli window at the town square park.
“Sure why not, picnic style it is.” Dean says as he picks up their lunch and heads out the door.
“So not a picnic Dean.” Sam says, trailing Dean out the door.
“We’re eating outside, so it totally counts as a picnic.” Dean shrugs.
“Where’s the blanket, and the basket and the wine?” Sam asks, sounding so petulant even to his own ears that he almost winces.
“What the hell kind of picnics you been on Sammy? Wine?”
“Sorry, just thinking too much.” Sam says softly, hit with memories he’s really tried not to dwell on. He chooses a semi-shady spot under a tree at the edge of the park, sitting down on the grass, folding his long legs under him gracefully.
Sitting down next to Sam and digging through the bag for their sandwiches, Dean passes Sam his, “What, this an Amelia thing?” Dean asks as gently as he can, even after all this time, it’s still a touchy subject for both of them.
“Yeah. We had picnics sometimes, with our dog, she even bought me a birthday cake one time. But yeah, we always had wine.” Sam answers, looking off into the middle distance at his memories.
Dean sees a chance to connect their fleeting domestic experiences, and offers, “Lisa did that too, a few times. Especially when Ben was at baseball. No wine though, just beer.”
Sam smiles at hearing Dean’s admission, it’s nice knowing that they both have a happy memory in common like that. About something so mundane and normal, even though it’s with someone else it’s a good thing, “We’ve got sandwiches and root beer, does that count?”
“Guess we’ll have to make do for now.” Dean says, smiling back at his brother, clinking the top of his root beer bottle to Sam’s.
They eat in companionable silence for a while. Comfortable with their makeshift picnic, just enough time to enjoy the early afternoon sun. “It’s nice here, um . . . this town I mean.” Sam says after a while.
“Yeah, the forest and stuff are pretty great. Smells good. Bet it’s a bitch in winter though.”
“So you said you found where the owner of the house lives, what was her name?” Sam asks through a mouthful of chicken salad sandwich.
Dean grins at him through his own mouthful, happy to see Sam enjoying his food so much that he’s not fussing about table manners for once, “Trelawny, Meredith Trelawny. Here’s the address where she lives, can you look it up on your phone so we don’t have to ask anyone for directions?”
Sam puts his drink down on the ground and pulls out his smartphone. “See these things are pretty handy.”
“I know, I know, I’ll get one next time I get a new phone, okay?” Dean shoves his shoulder into Sam’s and growls a little at being nagged.
“Sure you will, I’ll believe it when I see it. Looks like the place is a few miles out of town, guess we’ll have to drive.” Sam says, sounding a little down about the idea of having to drive.
Dean doesn’t miss it, that Sam seems to not want to drive to their next destination, “What, you like walking around this little town making friends with the baker and stuff?”
“Sure, why not? The people are nice here so far. The librarian even gave me a recipe for zucchini bread.”
“When the heck are you gonna ever make zucchini bread?” Dean asks, laughing a little at the idea of Sam baking anything.
“I don’t know, but it was nice of her, a neighborly kind of thing, makes me want to help this town even more you know?”
Dean just shakes his head at the idea of his brother cooking zucchini bread, or being anyone’s neighbor, “Yeah I get it. You done?”
Sam pops the last big bite of sandwich in his mouth and swigs down the remainder of his root beer. Dean can’t take his eyes off Sam’s throat stretched out and working, the Adam’s apple bobbing up and down is hypnotizing for some reason. He’s caught in remembering what Sam looks like when he’s swallowing him down so perfectly.
“Dean? Dean?” Dean snaps out of it as Sam’s repeating his name. He tries to recover though by finishing his own drink. Sam looks at him curiously and then with a strange, interested, intense look. They both pack up and leave without another word spoken.
As they walk past the bakery, Susan waves again, but doesn’t come out to talk, just goes back to dusting sugar over the tray of cookies.
“Want a cookie for dessert Sammy?” Dean asks teasingly, “I think your girlfriend just made some.”
“Shut up Dean, my husband’s on a diet and I need to be supportive.” Sam says with a smirk.
Dean’s left spluttering and response-less, the idea of him being on a diet, much less Sam’s husband, overloads his mental processes. Sam just grins seeing how thoroughly he’s flummoxed his brother.
The drive to Cambridge Manor, the multi-care level retirement home medical facility that Meredith Trelawny lives in now takes about fifteen minutes. The brothers don’t talk, just listen to the radio. Dean sees that Sam’s off in his own mind, probably imagining living in a nice town just like this one. He wonders for the thousandth time if a place like this will be the place where Sam finally puts his foot down and gets out for good. He could see Sam living here, maybe running a business in the town, something like that. Getting together with Susan the baker, she seemed pretty into Sam, once they clear up the gay marriage issue. That should be easy to play off as a joke, tell her they were just looking for the “gay discounts” they’d read about as poor travelers. Sam would probably be happy here, that would be good. She could help him with the zucchini bread issue.
“You sure are quiet.” Sam says when he’s done thinking and he’s wondering if Dean’s thinking about the same stuff. Finally his curiosity gets the best of him.
“Just thinking about this town, you seem to fit in pretty well.”
Sam nods, “Yeah, I guess so. Just nice to be in a good place for once. There’s something about these little towns. Sometimes they just have a good feeling about them.”
“Well, I wish you could stay somewhere like this. I mean if you wanted to.” Dean says.
“What about hunting?” Sam asks, looking over at Dean and trying to figure out what he’s really talking about.
“Seems like that’s slowing down a lot lately.” Dean observes.
“True. It’s just hard to think about doing anything else. We’ve been doing this for so long. Family business and all that.” Sam says.
“I know, but maybe quitting while you’re ahead would be the smart move.” Dean responds a little more emphatically this time.
“Wait a minute. Quitting while I’m ahead? What about you? Thought we were in this all the way together. Isn’t that what we decided not too long ago?” Sam asks a little heatedly, because the frustration with Dean pulling this jazz over and over is starting to get to him. He’s been thinking this was a done deal between them, but Dean’s always trying to push him away, like a mother bird pushing her fledgling out of the nest.
“Yeah I know Sammy, just want you to be happy if you can, safe.” Dean says quietly, sounding a little defeated.
“Well, I want that for you too Dean. Kinda goes together you know? Besides, wasn’t that the end game we were hoping for with closing the Gates?” Sam asks, a little desperate for closure on this subject, because he can’t take it if Dean just wants to leave him behind again.
Dean just nods, kind of wishing he hadn’t even started this conversation, because there’s so much more to it than just wanting Sam to be out of the hunting life and safe somewhere, there’s that whole bit that he can’t talk about. Where he’s there with Sam, together, and safe. But that’s a bigger conversation, and not one he’s ready for, and definitely not in the middle of a case like this. But bringing it up like this, even a little bit is maybe a good thing, to get Sam thinking about it. He hears Sam’s frustrated huff as they silently get out of the car and cringes a little.
“We’d like to see Meredith Trelawny.” Sam says at the front reception desk.
The young, blonde, very pretty receptionist looks them both up and down, “Oh, well, let me see if you’re on the list. Name please?”
“Sam and Dean Winchester. We probably won’t be on any list. We’re hoping to be able to interview Mrs. Trelawny for an article we’re writing, about historic homes.”
“First of all, it is not Mrs. Trelawny, as she never married. And if you are unknown to her, then you’ll have to go through Mrs. Callahan first to be cleared. She keeps track of Meredith’s condition. She’s in and out these days quite a lot.”
As the receptionist calls Mrs. Callahan, Sam whispers to Dean, “Hope we can convince Mrs. Callahan to give us a chance. What do you think she meant about being in and out, like Alzheimer’s or something?”
“With our luck yeah, and she won’t remember a thing about the house but we’ll get to hear all about playing shuffleboard on the Titanic or something.”
”I don’t think she’s quite that old Dean.” Sam chides.
“Never married, but she has the name of the house, she must have been the daughter and inherited it?”’ Dean guesses.
“Can you imagine inheriting a house that not everyone can see? I wonder if it’s comfortable to live in, I mean it sure looked awesome inside from what I saw. Well kept up too. Someone’s been taking care of it while she’s in this place.” Sam says quietly.
“Yeah, the resident caretaker or gardener might be our next step if Meredith doesn’t remember anything. There must be at least someone that’s taking care of the place for it to look so perfect.”
They hear a bell ringing sound, like a series of them sounding at once. A compact white-haired woman approaches them, “You must be the gentlemen that were asking after Meredith. I’m afraid she is not in any state to talk to strangers. I’m sure you will understand.” Mrs. Callahan says, bowing slightly and expecting Sam and Dean to just give up and leave.
“Oh, we’re so sorry to hear she isn’t well today, are you sure a conversation about her house wouldn’t be a good diversion?” Sam asks, hoping it doesn’t come off as too much like begging. Dean raises his eyebrows in silent praise that he’s turned the phrase well, hopefully Mrs. Callahan will take the bait.
Mrs. Callahan turns her head slightly to the side in a considering gesture that’s all too reminiscent of Castiel, “Yes, well, I suppose it is worth checking. I can go speak with her, just hold on one moment.” Mrs. Callahan disappears though one of the doors and the bell sound rings again. Like she has to pass through a bead curtain made of bells instead of beads.
The bell ringing sound makes everything go away for Sam and Dean. Just for a little while it’s like they’re muffled from the world, in some sort of slow-time, they can see everyone moving around them in the busy lobby, the receptionist is making calls, an orderly pushes an old man gesturing wildly with his cane out the front doors, the mailman drops by and lays a pile of mail on the counter. They turn to each other with widening eyes in what feels like slow-motion. Sam feels something boiling up in him, deep inside, his guts churning with all the things he needs to say to Dean, all the things he’s been holding back, he feels like he’s going to explode if he doesn’t say them all right now.
Dean sees the distress on Sam’s face and slowly takes his hand, hoping to comfort him, not sure why they’re stuck like this, not a clue how to get them out of it. He can tell that Sam’s trying to communicate something to him without words and Dean tries valiantly to tune in, but the interference static from their stuck state is too much to get past. Sam looks so frustrated, so Dean squeezes his hand again, smiling from deep inside himself where he’s been keeping all the feelings for Sam stored up. And smiling that smile from that place makes him want to be able to spill it all, right here in this old folk’s home lobby, right into Sam’s lap, all the want and desire and love and fear and pain and loss, all of it. He just wants to get it out.
Sam sees the matching distress on Dean’s face and tries to smile back at him, squeezes his hand gently, and they both relax. Some kind of volcanic eruption has been postponed between them. The bell ringing sounds again and everything clears. They release each other’s hands a little reluctantly and shake their heads to clear them. Feeling so flushed and kind of happy inside, like they had a big emotional talk that went well without any words being exchanged.
Mrs. Callahan comes back soon after, looking just as flushed and happy as they do, and she says to no one in particular, “I needed that. Thanks.”
Dean shrugs at Sam, because there’s no way they can ask her what the hell just happened without compromising their attempt to get the rest of the story and meet Ms. Trelawny. “Hey we know how that goes. So, what’s the scoop with Ms. Trelawny?” Dean asks, still touching Sam a whole lot more than he should, hand lingering on his shoulder.
“Well you are in luck gentlemen, she is having one of her good afternoons but I will warn you now, she is not likely to last long so do get right to the point when you are talking to her. Come along with me, I will take you to her.”
Sam and Dean get up and follow Mrs. Callahan’s bobbing white curly hair as she leads them through twisting corridors, finally stopping at room 118. “Here we are gentlemen. So, to review, speak clearly, a little loudly and get to the point, I will stay in the room just in case she happens to get upset.”
The door swings open slowly and they see her sitting in an easy chair by the window, staring out at the flower garden. She’s got long, flowing red hair with streaks of gray at the temples, and she’s dressed all in white. Some kind of floaty gauzy thing with a lot of layers. Hanging low on her neck is a silver charm holder necklace with a bristle of charms hanging off of it. Her face is lined lightly with wrinkles but her hands have only a few. It’s hard to tell how old she really is. There’s a light in her green eyes though, a deep-set twinkle of recognition when she sees them, “Oh it’s you two. I have been waiting for so long. Come in, come in, and please do sit down. Thank you Maggie my dear, you may leave us.”
Mrs. Callahan motions to them to sit on the small couch opposite Ms. Trelawny’s chair, “I will be just outside if you need me.” She says to all three of them and leaves, quietly closing the door.
Sam and Dean arrange themselves on the grey upholstered couch, which is small enough that they’re pressed up against one another from their knees to their shoulders. It’s okay though, they lean a little into each other in silent communication that this is going to be okay, just a conversation with a nice old lady. Both still a little unbalanced from what happened out in the lobby a few minutes ago.
“So the brothers Sam and Dean Winchester, it is very nice to finally get to meet you in person. As I said I’ve been expecting you. Meredith Trelawny, please do call me Meredith.” She extends one long-fingered hand out to shake both of their hands, smiling at their surprise.
“Nice to meet you ma’am, uh Meredith. Exactly how long you been expecting us?” Dean asks.
“Well let me think a moment, I suppose that I have been expecting you since the time I first asked the question about what would happen to my house. It was well before I came to live in this place. I did not understand the answer all those many years ago, yet here you are, as promised.” Meredith answers.
“Who did you ask the question of?” Sam asks, remembering Mrs. Callahan’s advice to get right to the point.
“Well Sam, the answer to that question is at the end of a very long story. I am not sure that you would want to hear the whole thing today. Suffice it to say for now, that I was told that you two would be the ones to determine what would happen to my house. Whether it would stay in its current in-between state or become fully part of the human realm once again.”
“That’s why we’re here, we’re investigating the disappearances of many couples over the years. Mostly teenagers. Do you know anything about that Meredith?” asks Dean.
“Yes, I do. I’m told that I tend to ramble on, so if I seem to get off track, please just speak up and say something to me. When I was a young girl, my father built Trelawny, and I grew up there. It was a wonderful place to be a child, the gardens alone were the most special place I’d ever known. But the beauty and specialness of the place came at a cost, one that was much too high. My father was a theosophist. He believed that faeries were something evolving along with but separate from humans.”
“Did your father study anything else besides theosophy, magic, dark arts, that sort of thing?” Sam interrupts.
“Yes Sam, he studied many subjects such as those. Fairly soon after we moved in to our house, he discovered that there was a faery inhabiting the hill that he’d built our house on, there are many caves and such in these hills, that’s why the smugglers liked this place.”
“Oh right, Smuggler’s Notch. But your dad wasn’t a smuggler though?” Dean asks.
“Oh no, he was from a wealthy mining family, that’s why he was dabbling in this theosophy business, he had a lot of idle time. After a few years of study, he finally worked out how to summon the faery to reveal himself. I was about thirteen at the time he first appeared to us. But from the moment I first saw him, it felt like I’d known him my whole life.” Meredith’s voice drifts off, getting quieter and she stares dreamily out the window.
Sam and Dean elbow each other and then Sam asks, “Meredith, what did he look like when you first met him, the faery?”
“Oh, well, he was lovely of course, all faeries are as you know. At least that is how they appear to humans. And well, he said he thought I was lovely too, and he kept returning to me, secretly. He did not want to deal with my father at all, he felt that my father was too intrusive, he did not trust him. I would meet him at the edge of the property everyday as I came home from school. Sometimes he would take me to his cave, other times he’d show me secret places in the gardens. It did not take much time for us to fall in love, hard and for good. I could not stand the times that I was not with him, and my father eventually realized something was going on. He was not very pleased to say the least. Even though he was a theosophist who valued the faeries as another life form here on Earth with us, ‘no daughter of mine will be involved with one of them.’” Meredith finishes with an unhappy sigh.
“That must have been really hard Meredith, loving someone your father doesn’t approve of is hard at any age, much less a fairy.” Sam offers, with true sympathy in his voice.
“If my mother had still been alive, perhaps she would have managed to talk him around. But on my own, I could not get through to him. My father used his researches into the dark arts to find and cast a spell to keep us apart forever. In response, as his last act before leaving, my lord faerie cast a curse upon my father’s house in response. The curse is all wrapped up in love denied. I have accepted that I would never get to be with the one I loved, but I have always wanted to fix the house somehow, to get rid of the Fae curse, stop the disappearances and let some couple who would appreciate it have it.”
“Do you remember anything about either the spell or the curse Meredith? Any details at all might be helpful for us to figure this out.” Dean asks.
“Yes, yes of course. I wrote it all down, what my father did, and what I saw my faery do. It is hidden back at the house though along with everything else.” Meredith says a little wistfully, as if she’s remembering all that she’s left behind.
“Is it someplace we can find it easily?” Dean asks, knowing already that the answer will be no.
“Of course not, it’s hidden so well even my faerie lord could never find it.”
“Could you give us some clues so we have a chance?” Sam prods, hoping that she’ll remember something that will help.
“You will only be able to spy it under a clear new moon, the best way is to circle the house nine times widdershins, then go in through the front door, if you’re able to See then the path will be apparent to you. Oh, that reminds me. Please give me your hand.” Meredith extends a hand towards Sam.
Sam leans forward and enfolds her small hand in his large paw, looking over at her with a little trepidation. But the stronger feeling is that deep sympathy that comes from knowing her kind of heartache for what seems like his whole life.
“Mohit told me that I could pass on the ability to see Faerie things by touching someone with that intention. So, Sam, I now declare you able to see all things Faerie. I do hope that works dear.” Meredith lets go of Sam’s hand and pats him softly on the cheek.
“Is Mohit the name of your Faerie lord?” asks Sam gently.
“Yes, he is what the Cherokee called Nunnehi, very similar to the English idea of elves. They were known as ‘The People Who Live Anywhere and Forever.’ They were honored and revered for helping the Cherokee in times of trouble and transporting them to safer realms. Mohit said he moved up here from Cherokee country in the Appalachians back in the late 1700’s and lived in the caves in the hill my father built Trelawny on.” Meredith pauses and coughs lightly, holds up her hand as if stopping any questions, and sips from a glass of water on the table next to her. She replaces the glass, lowers her hand and begins speaking again, “Mohit was all on his own here, not part of any court or group. There was some reason for his separateness but he never told me. His name meant ‘ensnarled by beauty.’ He said that was why we were meant to be.”
“I can see what he meant.” Dean says smiling with the smile he uses to tell any woman he appreciates her beauty.
“He did warn me about you Dean. When Mohit answered my question about the house and told me of you and Sam, he said that you were a lover as well as a warrior.”
“Sounds about right.” Dean laughs, the idea of some faery lord pegging him so accurately years ago is pretty funny.
“Thank you for your help Meredith. We’ll let you know what we find out, okay?” Sam says with real honesty.
“You do that Sam.” She leans forward and pats Sam’s knee gently. She turns to Dean, “And you make sure you take care of him Dean, hold on tightly.” Meredith says, patting Dean’s hand lightly as they get up to leave.
Dean looks down into her twinkling green eyes, “I always do Meredith, thanks.”
As they walk out Dean has his hand on the small of Sam’s lower back, guiding him back to the car as Sam still seems a little out of it. Hopefully he’s just thinking about all the stuff Meredith just laid on them and it doesn’t have to do with any Faerie interference. Dean thinks, always jumping into big brother protective mode.
That slight look at the volcano was a little bit much, if I’m that volatile underneath, who knows what I might actually do at some point. Sam thinks to himself, relieved that Dean’s still touching him so much. You can only be driven crazy so many times without it sticking around more and more each time. This crazy isn’t sloughing off though, it’s making a home in Sam, and that’s what he sees in this town, a place to stop for a rest and see if he can gather himself back together, to make it worthwhile for Dean to take care of him. If he falls apart now, then it will mean all the sacrifice of closing the Gates was for nothing. There’s not a thing stopping him from that at this point.
“So . . . uh, what do you think that was back there? When we were waiting for Mrs. Callahan. I heard this bell thing and then everything went weird. You felt it too right?” Dean asks as he starts the Impala, looking at Sam’s face closely to see if he’ll admit to the experience or try to deny it.
“Yeah, I did, and it’s making me think the Fae are even more involved you know? It seemed like Mrs. Callahan was affected too though, when she came back. Maybe this Mohit guy never left Meredith alone once they had contact with her?” Sam answers, skirting the whole issue that he knows Dean was really referring to, that volcano of feelings that’s sitting there simmering between them.
Dean persists though, because he’s remembering how good he felt after that strange spell, like they’d had a good talk and figured things out. It was somehow really important, to both of them and his gut is telling him they shouldn’t just disregard it, “It seemed like you had something to say to me, when we were in that state, do you remember what it was?”
Sam looks at him closely for a long uncomfortable moment, “Yeah I do, but this isn’t the time for it, after we’re done with the case, okay? I promise. And you looked like you had something to say to me.” Sam says, feeling relieved to be admitting this to his brother.
“Yeah, pretty much same here, but like you said after the case. Both of us spill. Alright little brother? I’m holding you to that.” Dean jabs a pointy finger at him, and Sam swats at it. “Now what did she say about a new moon, can you look up the phase on that phone of yours?”
Sam pulls out his smartphone and has the answer in just a few seconds, “Yeah, we’re in luck, tonight’s the last night it’s considered new moon. What do you want to do until the moon’s up?”
“How about a nap? Since we’re going to be prowling around at midnight and all. We can get some dinner, and then head back out to Meredith’s house.”
“Sounds good to me, I’m beat. Didn’t sleep very well last night.” Sam says.
“Bed too soft?” Dean asks, sounding a little concerned.
“Something like that.” Sam answers, not wanting to fess up to the real reason, which was that he’d lain awake most of the night wishing that things were like they used to be and that he could just hold Dean without worrying about his reaction.
“Welcome back, you two feel like a little wine and cheese?” Celeste greets them from the porch of Smuggler’s Rest, putting down her quilting.
“Sure, why not. Our nap can wait a little bit right Sam?”
“Haven’t had wine in a while, but okay.” Sam answers.
“Make yourselves comfortable, I’ll be right back with everything.” Celeste says over her shoulder as she strides back into the kitchen. Sam and Dean seat themselves on the small loveseat again.
Sam thinks to himself what is it about Vermont and all the teeny couches anyways?
Dean doesn’t seem to notice or care, being snugged up next to Sam is fine by him.
“So are you two having fun looking around our fair city?” Celeste asks as she bustles back towards them with a tray from the kitchen.
‘Yes, so far Sam’s found the bakery and we enjoyed our dinner last night very much.”
“Oh good, I’m so glad to hear it. So tell me, how did your trip out to Trelawny go?” Celeste asks, obviously curious to see what sort of experience these out-of-towners had.
“It was beautiful, but hard to photograph, we’ll have to go back and catch it at a different time of day.” Dean answers.
“Sometimes people say they can’t see it at all. I have to admit, it gives me the creeps.” Celeste offers.
“Yeah, I thought that for a second myself. But then Dean described something and I was able to see it, like it came into focus. Very strange. We might have to turn this story into haunted houses or something.” Sam jokes.
“There’s a big tourism business for that sort of thing I’ve heard. Maybe we’d get more visitors to Smuggler’s Notch during the summertime.” Celeste muses, pouring them both a glass of wine.
“You’re mostly full up during the winter I bet.” Dean says, leaning forward to take the wineglasses and handing one to Sam.
“Yes, the skiers definitely keep us in the black, otherwise there wouldn’t be much of a business up here this far. We’re pretty much well off the beaten path and all that.” Celeste answers, then takes a sip of her own wine.
“How much snow do you get in town as opposed to up on the slopes?” Sam asks.
“Oh in the deepest part of winter, maybe twenty inches or so. Not that bad compared to some places I suppose. The summers are warm but not hot, so I like it for that.” Celeste says, nibbling on a cracker topped with a small slice of cheese.
“Sounds good to me, got enough of the warm humidity when we were in the south.” Sam comments, and finishes his wine, thinking of their time in Georgia sweltering in the summer heat as teenagers.
“Yeah or the dry heat when we were in the southwest. This was good wine, thanks Celeste. Think we’ll head up, you ready Sammy?” Asks Dean, standing up and offering Sam a hand.
Sam thrills a little to hear his nickname come rolling out of Dean’s mouth, he’s missed it although he’d never admit it willingly to anyone in a million years. It always means that Dean’s thinking of him fondly instead of being resigned to carting him around everywhere out of obligation. Sam guesses he’s doing something right for once, or it’s just a part of Dean play-acting at being a couple. But maybe it’s just the effect of the wine. “Yeah, thanks Celeste, for the cheese too, really is something to that Vermont cheddar name after all.”
“Cave-aged and don’t you forget it!” Celeste laughs as they head up the stairs.
Dean flops down onto his side of the bed after toeing off his boots, “I could get real used to this life Sammy. Wine and cheese and afternoon naps.”
“Pretty decadent for us, I like it though, once in a while it’s good to do things a little differently.” Sam carefully hangs up his jacket and stows his boots under it. He stands at the bay window for a while looking out at the tree line and the marks on the mountain that show where the ski paths are in winter.
Dean watches him for a long time, marveling at the unconscious grace he holds his height with, all that power contained, and so beautiful, finally he asks, “Whatcha thinking about Sammy?”
Sam shrugs, his first response is to not answer at all, but then he remembers the barely contained volcano of feelings that he just experienced, “Just all the stuff Meredith told us. I mean think how hard it must have been to be in love with someone that you couldn’t be with. To be so young, as well. And to know your father disapproved. I . . . can sympathize, I guess.”
“That how it was for you?” Dean asks with a directness that truly surprises Sam.
Sam looks at him carefully from across the room, trying to see if he really wants an answer or not, and decides to give him an unmistakably clear one, “Yeah, of course it was. You know that.”
Dean nods at him, acknowledging the response, knowing that it was probably as hard for Sam to admit, as it was for him to ask, “Yeah I do, also ripped from the headlines of my personal experience dude. Remember we’re still having that talk after this case.” He stretches both arms up wide and yawns hugely, then arranges himself on the bed. “Wake me up in no more than two hours.”
Sam walks across the room and grabs his phone out of his coat pocket, “I’ll set an alarm on my phone.”
“You love that thing more than your laptop.” Dean mumbles at him with his eyes closed and a small smile on his face.
“Shut up Dean.” Sam says, staring at those beautiful lips smiling that beautiful smile.
Sam lies down on his third of the bed, facing away from Dean, remembering back to last night. He tells himself as he drifts off into a kind of why am I so happy to be taking a nap state that he’s staying there, on his third, not winding up tangled around Dean again.
Dean doesn’t fall asleep for a while, he lies still, just watching Sam’s back expand and contract with his slowing breathing. Wishing more than anything that he could touch him, just once, but he can’t. He keeps arguing with himself, it would make it all better somehow if I could just touch him. So he does, slowly and whisper soft, just the barest hint of contact between his outstretched hand and the middle of Sam’s back. Sam doesn’t wake up but seems to settle into his hand with a little happy sigh. Like he wanted it and didn’t know it.
Dean smiles to himself that he’s still got the soothing Sam touch he’s always had, ever since they were little kids scared out of their minds in a ratty hotel room. If Dad could only see them now he thinks to himself. In a bed and breakfast, taking a nap in the afternoon together. Aww, what the old man doesn’t know can’t hurt him. He never would have understood that the way their lives went, this is all they were left with. And if Dean could go back and do things differently, he’d make all the same choices. Being with Sam in whatever fashion, is worth everything to him. Always has been, always will be.
Sure they’re disconnected right now. But maybe it’s working itself out, if this little spell at the nursing home earlier this afternoon is any indication. If there’s one thing Dean knows, it’s that when Sam says he needs to talk to him about something, it’s 100% guaranteed to be about their “relationship”. Dean falls into a deep dreamless sleep with the thought that hopefully it’s something good, that Sammy’s made some decision or had some insight about them thanks to the old woman with the teenage fairy romance.
Masterpost ~ Chapter 3