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The Wanting Comes In Waves

All Sam/Dean, All The Time

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Fic: Better Than Nothing

Fic Title:  Better Than Nothing

Author: smalltrolven

Pairing: Sam/Dean, established relationship

Rating: G

Characters:  Sam Winchester, Dean Winchester

Word Count: 1,600

Synopsis:  Set right after 7.14, Sam and Dean drive away from Plucky’s, Sam sleeping, covered in glitter, Dean chuckling, but thinking about why Sam’s still so scared of clowns

Author Disclaimer:  I own nothing but these little ol’ words.

Read it here at AO3


Pulling away from Plucky’s into the rainy night, Dean can’t help but look over again at the glittery mess that sits beside him in the passenger seat.  He can’t help but grin (again) and hope that Sam doesn’t catch him at it.  He doesn’t want to make Sam feel bad (not really) by laughing at him even more, but it was funny as hell, and hey he even got to hear Sammy laugh for just a bit, and how long has that been?  He looks over to see if Sam’s caught him, but he hasn’t, he’s leaned up against his window, glittery jacket folded up under his bruised cheek, eyes closed, hopefully asleep already and not dreaming of clowns. 

Dean shifts a little to get comfortable in his seat for the long drive ahead, and his hip hits something hard, it’s the giant rainbow slinky.  He smiles (again), this time because he’s letting himself be touched by the fact that his brother got him this silly thing.  That he’d remembered after all the years that have gone by since Dean was ten and Sam six, when Dean was obsessed with winning one of these things at an arcade Dad had dumped them at for a day. 

Sam must have remembered his big brother’s disappointment at not getting quite enough tickets in time to get the slinky, even though they’d tried so hard.  There’s something about this remembering thing that Sam always manages that surprises Dean every time.  After everything they’ve been through together, and Sam’s long years in the Cage, his brain so full of all the crap they’ve dealt with, he somehow remembers tiny stuff about Dean that proves again and again that he’s paying attention.  He’s always paying attention to what makes Dean happy and what he wishes he could have done, or been, or gotten.  Maybe more than Dean even does for himself or Sam for that matter. 

What does that say about how things are between them? That Sam notices so much, remembers so much about what’s important, big and little?  It must be that whole soul mate thing, if they are indeed two halves of the same whole, then Dean’s got the actions part covered and Sam’s got the feelings, or something like that.  But really, that isn’t the whole truth at all is it?  Because now that he thinks about it honestly, when it’s just him having a quiet conversation with himself in a dark car driving through the night with his brother at his side, it really isn’t split up like that at all.  He feels just as much and as deeply as Sam does, if not more so, and of course Sam does his share of actions, like tonight, taking on the clowns.  

He starts to think of the last time he noticed something like Sam did with the slinky and followed through.  Just to see if he’s pulling his weight in the remembering-things-about-your-partner department, he wouldn’t want to let Sam down after all, since they’ve been together all these years, he doesn’t want to fall into that trap of taking things for granted.  And with how completely crappy everything has been lately with Bobby killed by the Leviathans, and Cas pulling what he did and the ever-present worry about Sam’s “Denver scramble” of a brain there’s a chance he hasn’t been keeping up with it like he should.  And yeah it might be a surprise to Sam that he even thinks about this stuff.  But he does, because he knows it’s important to Sam.  And if there’s one thing he’s learned, that if Sam thinks something’s important, it usually turns out that it is.  And even more honestly, he likes keeping track of this romantic stuff, because it reminds him how lucky he is to have someone to even think about romantically.  Because there were a whole lotta years where there just wasn’t anyone, or time when he and Sam weren’t together yet but should have been, or were apart when they shouldn’t have been.

 He looks over at Sam again, still sleeping underneath the weight of all that glitter and twitching at the memories of kicking clown ass and feels a warming wave of fondness spread through his whole body.  And it hits him so hard, good god he loves this man.  He wishes Sam were awake so he could just tell him, he doesn’t know what he’d say, but he swears to himself if Sam was awake he’d say something, just so Sam can know what he means to him, how he feels so damned happy and grateful, just looking at him there in the passenger seat where he’s supposed to be.

After thinking about it hard for awhile, he realizes the last time he can remember consciously putting forth an effort to get something or do something for Sam was the night after he’d come back from the 1940’s and gave him the tie that Ezra had matched with his wool suit.  “It’ll go better with your Fed suit than with mine.” He’d told Sam, but really he just wanted to give him something that was so wonderfully made, exquisitely crisp silk, and that happened to be Sam’s favorite color.  Because honestly there wasn’t anything more beautiful to him than his brother glowing with the happiness of being given a surprise present.  Didn’t matter what it was, or that he’d had to go through time to bring it back to him, he liked giving stuff to Sam, and the tailored suit,sharp hat and spiffy shoes sure weren’t going to fit the Sasquatch.

So, yeah, it’d been a while since he’d chipped in and done something nice like that, and here he was tonight giving Sam a clown doll and joking about his getting his first clown sobriety chip.  Dean of course had noticed Sam’s flinch when he threw him the doll, and that he didn’t bring the doll with them when they left.  He guesses that only counted as big brother teasing since it goes so far back, and he was the cause of the whole clown phobia thing any way.  He’s still surprised that all that clown fear came just from him ditching Sam at Plucky’s again and again, and worrying that Dean would just leave him there.  He guesses that the best thing he can do besides the apology he already offered is to make sure Sam knows he’s not ever going to abandon him. 

Dean realizes with a clenching fist forming in the pit of his stomach that the possibility of being abandoned still truly worries Sam, even now.  God, it’s really obvious.  All he has to remember is what Sam asked him to promise after the Amazon fiasco to “just don’t get yourself killed.”  Sam still worries that Dean is going to skip out on him kamikaze style.  As he drives along through the rainy night, he muses on ways to get it through to Sam, that no matter how bad things get, he really truly isn’t ever leaving him, ever.  Not on purpose, not by accident, not ever.  Either they go out together or they stick together until the end.  And that’s all there is to it.  The mere fact that Sam is at all wiggly on this fundamental point really bugs Dean.  With everything else so uncertain in their lives, Sam really ought to have that as his stone number two to build his reality upon.  Right next to Sam’s stone number one being that he believes that Dean is real.

Sam’s moving around a little next to him now, mumbling brokenly as if he’s having a bad dream, so Dean gathers him in so that Sam crashes over into his side, pulling him in close with one arm around Sam’s shoulders.  “Its okay, Sammy, I’m here, not going anywhere.”  Dean promises.  The only thing he can promise at this point.

He rubs his hand gently back and forth up the side of Sam’s neck as it’s stretched bare and open, his head lying heavily on Dean’s shoulder.  “Not ever gonna leave you Sammy.” He whispers, barely hearing himself over the radio and the rainy road noise. 

“I know Dean, I know.” Sam whispers back, still a motionless, solid weight against Dean’s shoulder. 

Dean quickly turns his head and presses a kiss into the top of Sam’s glitter-covered hair, spits out the extra glitter.  “Shit, you better know that by now. You and me Sammy, ‘til the end.”  Dean vows, this is a sacred promise he’s making.   Something he can’t ever say in the light, looking right into his brother’s eyes.  Call him a coward or a wuss if you must, but this is the best he can do, talking to the top of his brother’s head while driving in a dark car.  Better than nothing right? 

As if in answer, Sam reaches his arm around Dean’s stomach, wedging his hand behind Dean’s lower back, holding on so tightly Dean worries about being able to get his next breath but not caring because this is everything right now, having his brother hold him like this.  Talking lowly into Dean’s chest now, his lips moving hotly against the thin t-shirt, Sam agrees, “Yeah, ’til the end Dean, I got it.”


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(Deleted comment)
Thanks very much, I'm so glad to hear that you liked it! I always figured Dean is pretty straightforward and open with himself when he's having an internal conversation like this.

Really lovely. Romantic, with is not in character, but as you so beautifully put it...

Call him a coward or a wuss if you must, but this is the best he can do, talking to the top of his brother’s head while driving in a dark car.

Now that's perfectly in character! :)

Thank you for your great comment. I'm so glad that you got what I was trying to do there. You're absolutely right of course it isn't in character for Dean to say that kind of stuff, there's always got to be something that makes him have to get beyond his usual limitations. And as has happened so many times it comes down to his "prime directive", he figured out that to take care of Sammy, he needs to actually say the words out loud for once.

This. ♥

I'd quote my favorite parts, but you'd wind up with practically all the story in my comment box, and I don't want to do that to you. These are the brothers I know and love so well, and I'm accepting this as my personal canon.


Aww, that's really nice of you to say. Thanks.

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