Heart's Desire III: I Wanna Drive It All Night Long

Life is a highway
I wanna drive it all night long

Life is a highway, Tom Cochrane


"Don't tell her I said this, but this cheap ass punk of a car--" Dean stopped suddenly.

"I don't think it has ears, Dean," Sam replied, not even bothering to hide his smile. In truth, he didn't think he'd be able to hide it, even if he did try; he was in just too good a mood.

"If we break down again because I piss her off, you're walking into town for a tow truck." Dean shot him a brief glare, but Sam could see that his usual belligerence wasn't there.

They were heading back to town from Alex's family's cabin and Sam was feeling pretty good about life in general -- despite a few rocky moments early on, including a brief argument about whether Dean's shoulder was in any shape for him to drive. No matter how closely Sam watched, he never caught Dean acting like he was in pain, so finally he'd had to concede he was going to lose the argument unless he wanted to piss his brother off for real. Sam had decided that a happy Dean was, at least for today, better than a pain-free one.

Then, of course, the Geo had refused to start this morning when they were ready to leave. Dean had had to spend half an hour under the hood, threatening to make Sam walk into town for parts. Finally, though, he'd cackled in triumph and slammed the hood down and proceeded to explain that Sam wasn't the only one who'd been born with brains.

Other than engine trouble, the weekend had been good for both of them. Dean seemed more relaxed, happy and accepting of this thing that had started between them, and that made Sam more relaxed and happy as well. "We're not going to break down," he told Dean with as much authority as he could muster in his voice. Not that he'd had a flash and knew that for sure, but Dean didn't need to know that.

"You just keep telling yourself that, Sammy," Dean replied, with an almost lazy tone in his voice. "I'll try to get us as close to town as I can so you don't get blisters from walking."

"Or, if we did break down, I could always just call for help on my cell phone," Sam pointed out reasonably.

Dean gave a sort of sniff, and didn't answer right away. When he did, all he said was, "If you can get a signal." It wasn't anything like his brother's usual wit, but Sam suspected that Dean might just be feeling too good to think of a clever retort. Dean reached over and patted the dashboard absently, then said, "I still wish I'd gotten the Mercury."

There was a growing familiar second of disorientation and Sam saw flashes of his brother patting another car's dashboard with real affection, saw his brother sitting behind its steering wheel like it was where he was born to be, heard the purring roar of a powerful engine and the creak of door hinges that sounded to Sam like home. He was getting used to these strange glimpses of memories or visions or whatever they were, but they still made him tense up when they happened. He might even be forced to admit that they kind of scared him if he thought about it too much. He had no control over what triggered them or what he would see -- sometimes it was things that were very good, but just as likely it would be something painful and hard to endure. Those were the ones that made him tense up. But luckily, this time it was all good things and when the flashes faded, Sam turned to his brother with a smile on his face and said, "You'll get something better."

"Better than a 1969 Mercury?" Dean looked at him, an expression of delight starting to appear. It dimmed, though, when he asked, "Or better than the Geo? Hey, you mean... did you see something?" The delighted expression was back in full-force.

"Maybe," Sam drawled, basking in his brother's delight. All right, he could put up with the bad bits if he meant he could give Dean moments like this.

"Dude, what'd you see?" He could practically see Dean restraining himself from bouncing. Bouncing. Dear god, his older brother really was five.

"It was bigger than this car," -- 'which wasn't hard,' Sam thought -- "and had an engine that sounded... good. Powerful." He tried shifting in his seat a little, trying to stretch his long legs out in the tiny space. As an afterthought he added, "And it had more legroom."

"You're not yanking my chain, are you?" Dean asked, suspiciously. "You really saw a different car? What make was it?"

"Didn't see enough to tell," Sam said with a shrug. "It was black though."

"Black, huh? Black's a good color." Dean nodded, apparently satisfied.

"You're so easy," Sam teased. Though in a way it was true -- there were only a few things that Dean needed to be happy.

Dean shrugged. "Any color is a good color," he said quietly. "Except neon pink. Or orange."

Very little to be happy, Sam thought. Just a half decent car, regular hunts and... Sam himself. "It's black," he assured him.

Dean glanced over again, eyebrow raised. "You're making this up." From his tone it was obvious he wasn't doubting Sam, but just needling him. Because it had been how many minutes since he'd done so last?

"Yes, Dean, I'm making it up," Sam told him patiently. "What I really saw was you on a lime green scooter."

The shocked look Dean turned on him looked so real. "I was possessed, wasn't I?" he said. "Or heavily brain damaged?"

Sam grinned. "No more than you already are."

He expected to be flipped off when Dean raised his hand -- but instead his hand flashed over, jabbing his fingers into Sam's side and pinching hard enough to leave a bruise.

"Ow!" Sam rubbed the spot and glared at Dean, noticing the faint smirk his brother was now wearing. Without even thinking about it, he reached over and returned the pinch with equal force.

"Fuck!" Dean snapped, and the car swerved -- though it was pretty obvious Dean had pulled on the steering wheel on purpose. "Watch it! Or did you also have a vision of us crashing?" He tried to pinch Sam again.

Bright lights, the sound of metal crashing, glass breaking, the sight of his brother, bleeding and crumpled in the backseat, the sick realisation of what was happening before the fear and pain and impact overwhelmed him taking everything away in blackness...

"Sam? Sammy?" Dean's voice was insistent, but weirdly calm. A hand touched Sam's face and he saw his brother looking at him. It took him a moment to realise the car was stopped, and Dean was half-leaning over him.

A Dean that was whole and well, not broken and bleeding. Sam reached out and grabbed onto his brother's arms, holding on to the solidity of his presence as his heart raced in panic, the crash still more real to him than reality.

"Easy, easy, it's all right," Dean said quietly, soothing him with his voice and pulling Sam into a tight embrace.

Sam clung to him, soaking up his undamaged presence, trying to slow his breathing down, letting Dean's warmth and voice slowly loosen the vision flash's hold on his senses. Luckily, Dean didn't seem to be in any hurry to let him go.

Finally, stubbornly, the panic receded. Sam rested his head on his brother's shoulder and let out a shaky sigh. "Sorry," he whispered.

"Shh. Don't be sorry." Dean brushed his hand against Sam's head, then held him tight. The motion seemed so familiar -- not just from the visions, but as much or more from years of waking up from nightmares to his brother's arms, or being held while he was sick or injured or just frustrated with their lives.

In a world full of monsters and grief and revenge, Dean was and always had been everything Sam knew of comfort and safety. Sam sighed again, a little easier that time. Was it any wonder his feelings for Dean had developed far past what brothers should feel for each other?

The kiss that Dean pressed against his temple could have been either -- but it hardly mattered, because it gave Sam what he needed. The reminder that Dean was alive, and loved him.

Sam stayed where he was for a moment longer just because it felt so right to be there. But he knew that Dean was probably going crazy wanting to know what was going on, so he finally lifted his head and pulled back a little. Enough that they could talk, but not enough to pull himself completely out of Dean's arms. "I'm okay," he managed with an attempt at a smile. From Dean's expression, not a very successful attempt.

"I can see that," Dean said, sarcastically. He shifted a little, and Sam suddenly realised how cramped Dean had to be -- bending over him in the car's tiny interior. But he wasn't complaining, and didn't look like he wanted to move away any time soon.

Dean watched him, his gaze sharp and measuring. But he didn't ask, just brushed Sam's cheek with his thumb. Sam couldn't stop himself from leaning into that touch.

"It was another vision flash," he blurted.

"Yeah," was all Dean said. It might have been more reassuring had Dean said something snide about how that much was obvious. But he just kept holding onto Sam and talking calmly, like Sam hadn't quite come out of it yet.

Sam wasn't sure he liked being treated like he was that... fragile, but then again he wasn't ready to protest it either which might be a sign that he did need this. "Aren't you going to ask me what it was about?"

"Figure you'll either tell me when you're ready, or you'll act like it's nothing and then I can nag you 'til you tell me." Dean grinned, though it didn't quite reach his eyes.

Sam smiled back, though he was sure his didn't reach his eyes either. He let it fade again before he finally managed to say softly, "It was a car crash."

Dean nodded, and didn't ask. From his expression Sam figured he had guessed at the rest -- Sam's reaction would have made it pretty clear how bad the crash had been.

"I'm not liking these visions any more," Sam said, moving to rest his head back on Dean's shoulder again. Seeing Dean get shot -- and at his hand -- had been bad enough. This had been a hundred times worse.

"It...wasn't in my black car, was it?" Dean asked, trepidly. "Tell me I wasn't driving my new black car."

Dean in the back seat, eyes glazed with pain, blood staining his lips and soaking his shirt... Sam shuddered. "You weren't driving."

"You were driving?" Dean paled, then he narrowed his eyes. "You wrecked my car? You shoot me, you wreck my car...." In a voice that was shaking only slightly, he said, "You owe me another steak dinner, and this time I want my apple pie. None of that pecan shit."

It was such a Dean thing to say that it pulled a surprised laugh out of Sam, and if it was a little closer to a sob than Sam would have wanted, it was still a laugh.

"I'm serious, dude. You can't be telling me I get a great car then tell me you wreck it." Dean was still holding him close, rubbing his fingers through Sam's hair. He wasn't asking what happened to himself, or to Sam. But perhaps he knew enough, because he tilted his head and pressed a kiss to Sam's lips.

Sam was surprised by the intensity of his reaction. He moaned into Dean's mouth, hands grasping at him, pulling him closer, feeling like he could crawl inside his brother if he just tried hard enough.

He heard Dean groan softly, pressing Sam back into the seat. Hands grabbed at Sam's shirt, hanging on like he was just hoping to survive the ride.

Images of that horrific crash faded under new flashes, of him and Dean all over each other in the black car -- front seat, back seat, bent over the hood -- doing all sorts of things, each of them hotter than the last. Sam moaned again, his desperation taking on a different -- better -- tint as he tried to climb into his brother's lap.

"Erk, Sam," Dean breathed in his ear. Dean didn't seem to be trying to stop him, but he wasn't kissing him back anymore, either.

Sam tried to move closer and banged his knee painfully on the dash. "Ow," he said, pulling back enough to rub at it.

"Yeah." Dean nodded, and Sam could see just how close the roof of the car was. "Can you hold that thought until we get home?" His expression was serious -- Sam knew if he said 'no' then Dean would find a way to have sex in the close quarters, and probably wouldn't even complain about the muscle cramps.

Well, no, he'd just complain afterwards.

"I can wait," Sam finally said, moving away from Dean to settle less uncomfortably into the passenger seat. "But if the car breaks down, all bets are off."

Dean turned to sit in the driver's seat and slowly reached for the ignition. He turned it -- but only partway, and the engine only made a coughing sound. "Huh," Dean said, then Dean's hand was in Sam's lap, working its way inside Sam's pants. "Sorry, don't know what's wrong with it."

Sam's head fell back against the seat's headrest as Dean's hand closed around his cock. "Oh god..."

He half-expected a smartass comment from Dean, but his brother didn't say anything. Dean just kept pulling at Sam's cock, his grip hard and the motions fast.

Sam closed his eyes and lost himself in the sensations. It wasn't going to take long for it to be over, not with the way his entire body was thrumming in time to the motion of Dean's hand. Then Dean leaned over and pressed his mouth on Sam's neck, and bit. Combined with the way his fingers squeezed the tip of Sam's cock, well, it was no great surprise to Sam that he came.

It took several moments for Sam to get his breath back. "I'd say you were getting too good at that, but I'm pretty sure I don't mind." He reached out for Dean and pulled him close again to kiss him. "Thanks."

"Hey, you know me, always looking out for the care and feeding of my little brother." Dean gave him a cocky wink.

Sam smiled. "You do a good job," he said softly.

"I'm the best," Dean returned, cocky expression not wavering. There was something in his eyes, though, that made Sam glad he'd said it.

"You want me to...?" he offered, making a half gesture towards Dean's jeans.

"I'm good," Dean replied, easily. "I kinda wanna get off the side of the road before someone stops and asks what we're doing." Not that there was much traffic, but there was enough that Dean's concern wasn't entirely unreasonable.

"Okay," Sam agreed easily. "I'll owe you one."

"And pie," Dean reminded him.

Sam laughed. "And pie," he said, loving his brother fiercely for... everything.

Dean nodded, sharply. "Damn straight," he said, and for someone who hadn't just gotten a handjob, he sounded amazingly content. Almost as content as Sam himself was feeling.


When they pulled into their parking spot at the apartment complex, the lingering memories and emotions from Sam's vision had faded. He heard Dean start to say, "Hey, Sam, you want--" Then he stopped.

Sam turned to see what Dean was staring at, and saw their dad's truck parked in one of the visitor's spots, halfway down the row. Dean shut off the Geo's engine, and didn't say a word. Normally, Dean was thrilled when dad was home; it didn't take a genius to realise why he might be anxious about it now.

He wasn't the only one. Sam felt his own stomach knot up with apprehension when he thought about going inside. Just because he knew with an absolute, soul-deep certainty that he and Dean were meant to be together like this didn't mean he wanted to explain it to his Dad. "Dad's home," he said in as calm a voice as he could manage.

"No shit," Dean replied. He yanked the car door open and started to get out. Then he stopped and turned to face Sam. His face was already settling into a mask, one that Sam suddenly realised he'd seen on his brother a lot the last couple of years. "Sam," he began, warningly -- but Sam could also hear the regret.

"Don't worry, I'm not going to jump you in front of Dad," Sam told him, but he reached out and grabbed Dean's hand, squeezing it tightly. "It doesn't change anything between us," he said fiercely, holding Dean's gaze, willing him to believe. "Nothing can do that. It's just... private. No one else needs to know about it. Not even-" especially "-Dad."

"Especially dad," Dean repeated. "If he even suspects.... Hell, he's probably wondering what the fuck we're doing sitting out here in the car." Dean leapt out, and hurried around to the trunk to grab their bags.

A little too frantically for Sam's tastes. "Dean," he called, getting out of the car and moving to block his brother's headlong dash into the apartment. "We have to play this cool, okay? If we're all freaking out and trying too hard to look normal -- or as normal as we've ever been -- Dad's going to figure out something's up in a heartbeat. We have to stay calm."

Dean laughed, and he sounded like he was half a second away from laughing hysterically. But he nodded, and Sam watched as he pulled himself together. The mask on his face thickened, until Sam could barely see the brother -- the lover -- he'd been with for the last two days.

It made something inside Sam ache, but he knew it was necessary. "Better," he said, giving Dean an encouraging smile before trying to school his face into his own version of his brother's mask. He'd never been as good at hiding his emotions as Dean had, but when things were really important... Sam would do what he had to.

As he turned away from the car, he felt Dean's hand smack him in the back of the head. "Ow!" Sam complained, rubbing his head as they started up the stairs. "What was that for?"

Dean threw one of the duffels at him. "Carry your own fucking bag." Dean gave him a slight grin, and his eyes were dancing with very familiar mischief.

Sam fumbled with the duffel for a few seconds before he got a firm grip on it. "Nice. You could've just asked."

"Or you could have got it yourself and not assumed I'd be fetching and carrying for you." Dean's words held no heat, and he gave Sam a look that was quickly shuttered as they approached their apartment.

"Dude, the car's not that big. One person in front of the trunk is about all it can handle." Sam swallowed down the twitch of apprehension he had as he opened the apartment door and stepped inside.

"I'm warning you, stop bitching about that car," Dean retorted, then he stopped and said casually, "Hey, dad. Just got back from cleaning out a rock spirit...." The way he trailed off warned Sam, even if the look on their father's face didn't.

John Winchester was standing in the doorway to the kitchen, his face a thundercloud. Sam could practically feel the waves of tightly reined in anger rolling off the man from where he was. His first thought was an irrational, panicked, 'He knows!' but logic kicked in a heartbeat later to insist that there was no way Dad could possibly know. None whatsoever. But still the fear remained, and it took a huge amount of courage for Sam to step forward with a, "Hi Dad," waiting for the axe to fall.

"Would you care, Sam, to explain this?" His father held out a stack of papers, thick letterhead and a brightly colored brochure.

It was his letter of acceptance from Stanford. Dad hadn't found out about him and Dean being lovers, he was pissed because he'd found out about Sam wanting to go to college. It said something about how radically his priorities had changed in the last few days that his first reaction to figuring this out was a heartfelt, 'Oh thank god.' That going away to school, which had been his ultimate goal for so long, the be all and end all of his ambition, had shrunk to insignificance in the face of what he and Dean had discovered with each other. That knowledge made it so much easier for Sam to straighten his shoulders and face his father calmly as he acknowledged, "It's a letter from Stanford, sir."

"He was just--" Dean began, but their dad didn't even look at him, focusing instead on Sam.

"A letter of acceptance from Stanford," his dad clarified. The rage in his expression was clear, and it made Sam wonder why the hell he could be so angry. "You're going to college? And when were you going to ask me?"

"I wasn't," Sam said honestly.

His dad looked at him in shock. "So what, you were just going--"

Dean stepped forward, trying to get their dad's attention. "It wasn't like that, dad. He just applied -- all high school seniors apply to college. It's expected of them."

Dad barely glanced at Dean, but he said, "I don't recall you applying to Stanford."

Dean shrugged, batting away Sam's hand as he tried to get his brother out from the middle of their fight. "Yeah, well, I didn't graduate either."

Another thing that this life had taken away from Dean, even if it wasn't something Dean thought was important. It made Sam sad and put a real anger in his voice when he spoke. "And if you had your way, Dad, I wouldn't graduate either. It's all about the hunt, that's what everything boils down to, doesn't it? Doesn't matter what Dean wanted or what I want -- we don't get a say in deciding what we want for ourselves, do we? Well, guess what? You don't get to dictate what I hope or dream or want. You don't control me."

"You don't speak to me in that tone of voice," his dad said in a hard, commanding tone. "And I do decide what this family does. Do you hear me?"

Dean tried again to get between them, to no avail. Standing in front of Sam, facing their dad, both Sam and their dad just glared at each other over Dean's shoulder.

"And what are you planning to do -- chain me up if I don't tow the family line?" Sam growled. "We're not just extensions of you, Dad -- toy soldiers you can play with." This all had the sick sense of deja vu, not only from the bits of vision flashes he was getting, but also from his own, real memories.

"Sammy, stop, this isn't helping," Dean snapped, looking back at him.

"Is that what you think this is? A game?" Dad stepped forward, growling in anger.

"That's how you treat it -- and us!" Sam shot back, stepping forward as well. "It's our lives you're playing with! We deserve the right to decide for ourselves what we want to do with them!"

Dad stormed closer, and Sam was reminded that he might be taller than his father, but his father knew how to command. Threaten, as well, with his very presence. "You think I treat this like some kind of game? Hunting down the demon that killed your mother?" His voice was low and almost inflectionless -- so angry that all the emotion was gone from his tone, but oh so clear in his eyes.

Sam felt the beginnings of another flash, but with a huge mental effort he pushed it away. Now wasn't the time. He lifted his head and met his father's eyes, not giving an inch of ground. If he did, if he showed any weakness.... "Yeah, I do," he said. "It's a war game. But Dean and I -- we're not just the pieces you can move where you want, Dad, we're your kids! You're supposed to be encouraging us to make our own decisions, choose our own lives. Not slap us down if we so much as even think of something that's not part of your vendetta!"

His dad stepped forward, pushing Dean aside. One last step and he was right there, in Sam's face. "So your solution is to sneak around behind my back? Were you even going to tell us that you were going, or were you just going to disappear?"

"What would have happened if I had said anything, Dad?" Sam asked, his father so close he could feel his breath on his face. "What would you have done if I had come to you and said I wanted to go to college?"

"I would have said no!" his dad shouted, not surprisingly Sam in the slightest. He'd had this fight before, and he knew which way it had gone.

"Look, does it even matter?" Dean shouted, finally getting their dad's attention. "He said he wasn't going!"

A sudden silence fell in the wake of Dean's shout and all Sam could think was Way to cut my legs out from under me, at his brother.

Their dad looked from Dean to Sam, his anger giving only slightly to confusion. As Sam glanced at Dean, he saw the worried look appear on his brother's face, and he could see him starting to doubt what Sam had told him.

"You said you weren't," Dean said, uncertainly. Sam wondered if he was stupid enough to say why Sam had told him he wasn't going, when Dean stammered, "Since... you know, we can't afford it, anyway?" There was a fear in his brother's eyes that made Sam fervently wish their father wasn't there.

"What are you talking about?" their dad asked. He sounded genuinely confused as he looked from Sam to Dean. "He got a full scholarship."

Sam's swung his head back around to stare at his Dad. "I did?"

He heard the question echoed by Dean, and his dad just blinked at him, anger apparently dying in the face of his confusion. "Didn't you even read the letter they sent you? Four year scholarship, two years' based on need and two years' based on 'academic qualifications'."

"I..." Sam heard how small his voice had gotten, but he was too shocked to do anything about it. "I never got that far."

Still looking confused, his dad just nodded. Sam could see the conflict on his dad's face, though, and knew the fight wasn't over. But his dad just sounded tired when he said, "Sam... I can't..." He looked down at the paperwork, still in his hands. He stared at them for several long moments, while Sam and Dean watched. Sam could feel his heart pounding, tensing when his dad said, "They don't give out that many four-year scholarships. You must have done...." He swallowed, and shook his head. "You did real well. But no matter how proud I am of you, it doesn't mean it's safe." He looked up, facing Sam squarely, eyes glinting with unshed tears.

This, too, was familiar. Sam knew this argument, but he didn't speak.

"Don't you see?" his dad continued, and the anger was completely gone, replaced by an anguish Sam could barely hear, but felt stab him nonetheless. "Why I didn't want to leave you here, why I made Dean stay with you as much as I could spare him, to make sure you boys were safe? If that...thing that killed your mother comes after you...."

Another flash, the feel of flames all around him and the sight of the blonde girl he'd glimpsed before pinned to the ceiling in the fire's midst. Sam swallowed hard. "I know. Dean's right; I'd already decided not to go." He felt horribly like he was about to cry. He'd already willingly given up the dream in the face of a better one, but knowing that he couldn't have had it even if he'd wanted to.... "Excuse me," he muttered and pushed past his father, making a beeline down the hallway to his room.

"Sam?" He heard Dean and his father calling after him, heard someone following him.

"Sam?" Dean said again, right behind him. A moment later a hand tugged at his arm.

That stopped him when nothing else would have; Sam wasn't going to pull away from Dean, ever. Hell, Dean was all he really had, all he was allowed to have. He wanted to bury himself in Dean's arms, not pull away. He did neither, just stopped where he was, and didn't look at anyone.

"Sammy...." Dean stopped, and Sam could see their father standing behind Dean. So much they couldn't say to each other that would have made this easier. He could hear it in his brother's voice, and hoped Dean could read his silence, as well. Then he heard Dean ask quietly, "What if I went with him?"

"What?" Sam turned so fast to look at his brother that he almost knocked himself off balance.

"Look, if the idea is to keep you safe, and me being here during high school is good enough, I don't see why I couldn't do the same while you go to college." Dean frowned at him, stubbornly.

"There's still work to be done," their dad said, but he was looking at Dean thoughtfully.

"Dean--" Sam protested, his head spinning at what his brother was offering, at the suddenly resurrected possibilities he'd thought cold and dead.

His brother shrugged. "What? You want this, I know you do. Don't try to tell me you don't." He looked hard at Sam, like he could see into Sam's heart -- or into the future Sam had witnessed. "Besides, it isn't like we can't go on hunts during the summer and breaks." He glanced back at their dad, and Sam was surprised to see his dad actually considering it.

"Dean, are you sure about this?" their dad finally asked. "All you've talked about the last few months is getting back on the road once Sam was done with school."

Sam couldn't stop staring at his brother, couldn't believe what Dean was offering. He was sure his heart was in his eyes, but he didn't care. Dean met his gaze, and something in his eyes softened, peeking through the mask he'd slapped on. He shrugged again casually and said, "It's what Sam wants."

"You don't have to do this," Sam told him, needing to give him the chance to take back the offer, even though he was pretty sure of what Dean's answer was going to be.

When Dean didn't answer right away, their dad asked him, "Are you sure?"

Dean nodded. "I just want him to be happy." He glanced back at his dad; Sam couldn't read Dean's expression.

"Sam's full ride won't cover your bills," Dad warned, but Sam could tell -- he'd agreed.

"I don't need much," Dean replied, and he gave Sam a hint of a smile. Sam could feel his own face breaking into a smile so wide he was sure he couldn't have controlled it if he'd had to.

"I could get a part time job," Sam offered, finally letting himself believe that Dean was really going to do this. That he could have both Dean and college without having to give up either dream. He felt... light headed, almost giddy. He'd be willing to do almost anything to actually be able to have this. Even -- "Or... it's a college town. Plenty of marks to hustle at pool or cards." He could even act like a Winchester.

Dean thumped him in the arm. "You're going to be busy with homework and frat parties." He paused, giving Sam a glare. "To which you will be inviting your older brother."

There was a chuckle from their dad, then he said, "Well, let's see." Sam looked over to see him checking the paperwork he was still holding onto. "Looks like a few forms you need to fill out, and they recommend visiting, beforehand." He looked up at Sam, and his dad grinned as he asked, "Unless you've already snuck out and done that?"

Sam could feel himself quivering with barely restrained excitement. "No sir," he said quickly.

There was a mischievous look in his dad's eye that Sam couldn't recall ever seeing before, as he asked, "Don't you think you ought to?"

It made his father look years younger.

"You mean it?"

His dad scowled, though his eyes were still smiling. "Didn't I teach you boys anything about scouting out the area first?"

"Yes, sir," Sam replied and he knew he was practically beaming, but he couldn't rein it in. This wasn't what he'd been expecting, not in a million years -- or a hundred visions.

His dad stared at him for a moment, something undefined moving across his face. But then he smiled, and stepped forward past Dean, and clapped Sam on the cheek. "Proud of you," he said in a gruff tone.

From over dad's shoulder, Sam could see Dean looking at him with an identically proud expression. Sam swallowed around the sudden lump in his throat. "Thanks," he managed, emotion making his voice almost as gruff as his father's.

Dean grinned. "Well, you did say you were gonna give me apple pie. It's the least I can do in return."

Sam grinned back. "For this, I'll owe you the whole apple orchard!"

"I'd be satisfied with an actual pie," Dean replied, with a straight face.


After about an hour of staring at the ceiling, Sam gave up on trying to sleep and got out of bed. Funny how just a few nights of sleeping with Dean could make it so difficult now to sleep alone. He briefly considered trying to sneak into Dean's bedroom, but discarded the idea as way too risky. With everything going right for once in their family, he didn't want to risk screwing it up. Deciding instead on a warm drink to try and lull himself to sleep, Sam headed out to the kitchen.

There was a light on, and as he drew near he saw his father sitting at the table, reading a newspaper. His dad looked up as Sam approached.

"Hi," Sam said, coming to an awkward stop, not knowing what to say or do. It always seemed to be like this when he and Dad weren't fighting, like Sam didn't know how else to relate to him. But he wanted to try, especially after that afternoon. "Anything interesting?" he asked, nodding towards the paper.

"Not really," his dad said. He showed Sam the page he'd been looking at -- the weather page. His dad smiled. "Turns out the weather is pretty nice in Palo Alto." He sat back, and took a sip from his coffee mug. "Talked to a couple people; there hasn't been anything significant happening in the immediate area for a few decades. San Francisco's another story."

"I know." Sam smiled and sat down. "I checked out the area before I applied. That's why I didn't apply to Harvard."

His dad looked pleased. "Good." The pleased look suddenly exploded into a brief but vivid expression of pride. His dad shook his head, and said, "Damn. Look at you. All grown up, going to college." He swallowed once and in a choked voice he said, "I'd meant to...." He looked away and laughed, a bit. "When you were born I started putting money away. Savings account, for your college."

"Yeah?" Sam asked, even though he realised he'd known that, had a flash of him and Dad having this exact conversation, just years later and more bittersweet.

"Yeah. A hundred dollars when you were born and every month after. I figured by the time you graduated... I could send you anywhere you wanted to go." He looked down at the paper, regret on his face. "I wish...."

"Me, too," Sam said quietly. He'd wished it pretty much every day of his life.

His dad took a deep breath, and just said, "I don't have it anymore, yours or Dean's. I'd give anything to be able to--" He shook his head, then wiped at his eyes briefly.

Sam wanted to reach out to his father, but couldn't quite bring himself to do so. He did the best he could with words instead. "We'll manage. You taught us how to do that. And you're letting us -- me -- go. That counts for a lot, Dad. Don't think it doesn't."

His dad sighed. "I have to say I'd rather keep you here. With me," he amended, glancing around the kitchen they both knew had only ever been temporary. "I just...have to know you're safe. And before you say it, I realise our hunts aren't exactly safe. But... at least it's something I've taught you how to handle." His dad grinned. "I know you can banish a ghost, kill any number of monsters. I don't know what to tell you about college."

"Study hard, get good grades?" Sam suggested.

"Seems to me you already know that part."

Sam shrugged and allowed himself a shy smile. "The studying hard I did learn from you. Even if what you were talking about was exorcism rituals and Latin."

"You always did take to that part of it," his dad said, more of that proud smile in his eyes. "You...know what you're going to study at Stanford?"

This was such a strange conversation to be having with his father. It was almost normal. Sam found himself rather liking it. "I was thinking maybe... pre-law?"

His dad looked surprised. "Really?" Then his browed furled in confusion. "A lawyer?"

"Yeah." He hesitated. "That's... all right, isn't it?"

His dad chuckled. "I'm just wondering how the hell you picked it. I don't know that we've ever had anything to do with...." He stopped, and gave Sam a short, piercing look. "Oh." Something to get as far away from what he'd grown up with, Sam knew his dad was thinking.

It had been part of his initial interest, but now.... He still didn't know what he would end up doing, but he knew he would be keeping all of his options open. "It might be a good idea to have a lawyer in the family," Sam ventured carefully. "Y'know, just in case."

At that, his dad laughed again and gave him a nod. "God knows I've been arrested once or twice. Dean spent a whole week in jail down in Alabama before I could get back to get him out." He smiled, good humor returned. "So, pre-law at Stanford." The look he was giving Sam made him think that his dad was still getting over the shock.

Sam smiled back, knowing exactly how that felt. "Pretty wild, isn't it?"

"Your mom would be so proud." His dad's voice almost broke, but his proud look didn't waver.

Sam had a brief flash of a face, familiar from old photographs, smiling at him and saying his name. "You think?" he asked, his own voice wavering a little, feeling tears in his eyes.

"I know she would. She loved you so much." His dad reached his hand out, across the table.

Sam took it, then chuckled as he looked down at their joined fingers. "I think the last time I held your hand I was six."

"I'm sorry." His dad squeezed his hand. "God, Sam. I--" He stopped, and stood up, pulling Sam to his feet -- and into a hug.

It felt good -- damn good -- to have his father hug him like that. Sam was still pretty bewildered about what had brought it on, but he wasn't going to argue. Closing his eyes, he hugged his dad back as tightly as he could.

They stood still for a moment, then his dad let him go, moving away and shuffling his feet in what Sam recognised as the classic "let's not have emotions" maneuver. But it was all right, because he knew, now, how his dad really felt.

"So, have you... thought about whether you're going to fly out, or drive?" his dad asked, obviously trying to regroup and change the subject to something less emotional and more practical.

Sam shook his head. "I'm still getting used to the idea that I'm actually going," he said with a laugh. "I haven't even begun to think about how to get there."

"Yes, well." His dad ducked his head, smiling shyly. "You think about it, let me know. I can get us some plane tickets, or we can drive out."

"Dean doesn't like to fly," Sam blurted, not sure where the knowledge came from but certain it was true.

His dad looked surprised. "He what?"

The flash came then of Dean sitting beside him in an airplane, freaking out and humming Metallica under his breath. "He doesn't like to fly," Sam repeated. "It... he told me once that he hates the idea of flying."

"Oh. Well, we can drive." His dad frowned. "I'll have to take a look at your car. Not sure it's up to that long a drive." He shook his head. "Don't know what Dean was thinking when he got it."

"It was the best he could afford," Sam said defensively. "And he had to do some pretty dodgy things to get even it."

With a laugh, his dad said, "Yeah, that's Dean. He's always been good at hustling people." He looked proud of his son's ability to hustle others.

Quietly, Sam said, "It wasn't that kind of hustling."

His dad just shrugged. "He's good at it all: pool, cards, the cons. Sometimes I think it's the part he enjoys the most."

"It wasn't that kind of hustling," Sam repeated, holding his father's gaze.

His dad looked back, clearly trying to figure out what Sam was talking about. After a minute, he ventured, "So, he charmed the saleslady?"

"More than that." Sam didn't bother to correct his father on the gender of the salesperson; that really wasn't the point and would just confuse the issue.

His dad stared at him for a long moment, not saying a word. Sam could see the realisation hit him, followed immediately by disbelief. "Are you telling me that Dean...slept with someone in order to get that car?"

Sam couldn't quite bring himself to nod in acknowledgement. "He didn't think he had a choice. He was just doing what he thought he had to do."

At that, his dad looked like he'd just been slapped. He shoved himself away, and practically ran out of the kitchen.

"Shit," Sam muttered, running after him. He thought -- knew -- Dad needed to know just how much Dean was willing to sacrifice to get what was needed, but the last thing he wanted was for it to blow up in Dean's face. Catching up to his Dad, Sam grabbed his arm. "Wait!"

"For what, Sam? You tell me my boy has been... prostituting himself to provide for you and I'm supposed to just nod and say nothing?"

"No, but I don't want you going in and yelling at him about it. Making him think you're disappointed in him." Sam kept his voice low but as persuasive as he could manage. "That... would hurt him more than what he's had to do has."

"Yell at him?" His dad shook his head. He looked broken, suddenly. "I'm not--" He stepped away from Sam and continued more slowly down the hallway towards Dean's room.

Sam let him go uneasily, but followed on his heels, fully prepared to step in if it was needed. He followed his dad into Dean's room and watched as his dad went to sit on Dean's bed. Dean stirred, rolling onto his back and blinking, blearily. As soon as he focused on the figure beside him, he came wide awake.

"What's wrong?"

Sam watched as their dad just pulled Dean forward. And held him.

Dean shot Sam a bewildered look, over his dad's shoulder. "Dad?" Dean asked, voice trembling.

"Oh god, Dean," their dad whispered. "I'm so sorry."

Sam could see Dean growing alarmed. "What's wrong? Dad, what happened?" But their dad didn't answer; he just sat there and held onto Dean.

"It's okay," Sam told him, wondering how much he needed to tell Dean and just how to go about it. "We were just... talking."

Dean's eyes went wide, and Sam knew what he was thinking. Only how he could think Sam had told their dad about them sleeping together, and end up here, with their dad hugging him, Sam had no idea.

Dad wasn't letting go of Dean, and Dean shifted, clearly unsure if he should just go with the flow, or try to wriggle out of it.

Dean, Sam knew, was going to rip him a new one for this, but he was looking so confused that Sam just had to tell him exactly what was happening. "We were talking about... how you got the car."

He saw Dean's eyes go wide. In a forced-light tone, he said, "Here I thought I was dying."

Their dad pulled back from Dean, enough to look at him, but he didn't let go. He put his hand on Dean's head, brushing back hair that was sticking out in every direction. "You told me you took care of it," he said. "I thought you used one of the cards."

"We only had one that still worked at the time. Had to save it in case of emergencies," Sam put in, getting a sharp look from Dean. He never had admitted that he was keeping as close an eye on their finances as Dean himself did, so his knowing that was probably something of a surprise.

"You should have called me," his dad said, voice trembling but stern and still holding onto Dean. He looked from Dean to Sam. "You should have let me handle it."

"You said...we were already spending too much for Sam to stay here," Dean answered, voice soft. He wasn't looking at either of them now and Sam could see him withdrawing into himself. "I was afraid if I asked you, you'd say not to bother. But without a car...the walk to school is almost an hour."

"I would've done it," Sam said immediately, going over and sitting on the other side of the bed from where Dad was. That Dean would... for him, to make sure he could still go to school... Sam loved him even more if that was possible. "I would've walked if I had to," he said quietly, reaching for Dean's hand.

"Not through that neighborhood," Dean said, immediately. "Not without packing a gun." Dean tried to pull away from his dad's embrace, and Sam saw dad let him go -- not completely away, but out of the hug that was clearly making Dean's head spin.

"I suppose getting expelled from school for carrying a gun would have defeated the purpose," their dad said, trying for a smile and failing.

"Yeah," Sam agreed, trying for a smile of his own. "That's why I carried a knife instead."

"You what?" Dean looked shocked, then angry. "Dammit, you still could have been expelled for--"

"But I wasn't," Sam interrupted before Dean could really get going, but very willing to let the focus shift to him and illegal, concealed weapons if it made things on Dean easier. "I was careful. No one ever knew I had it." He grinned a little. "Even you, apparently."

"Yeah, because I wasn't giving you a strip search on your way to school." Dean scowled, and Sam was impressed at how he'd managed to say that without it sounding like innuendo. Which was a damn good thing with their dad sitting right there.

"I'd like to have seen you try," he shot back, equally satisfied with the lack of suggestiveness in his own voice.

"Boys," their dad interrupted, sounding vaguely amused. "I don't want to have to replace more furniture."

There was a flash of guilt on Dean's face -- not that it had always been his fault his and Sam's rough-housing had so often led to broken furniture and, occasionally, broken bones.

"It's late," their dad said then with a final note that -- usually -- brooked no argument. "We should all get some sleep." He gave Dean one last look, pulled him tight in a one-armed hug, then let him go. He stood up, and looked at Sam expectantly.

"Yes, sir," Sam said, suppressing a sigh as he stood as well. He'd been hoping to be able to linger, have a few minutes to talk to Dean alone, maybe even sneak in a few kisses, but it wasn't look like that was going to happen. "Night, Dean."

"Night, pizza-face."



Sam grinned as he left the room and headed back to his own bed. He thought that just maybe he'd be able to sleep now.


Sam was sound asleep when the world bounced and his brother's voice yelled, "Dude, are you going to sleep all fucking day?"

Adrenaline and trained reflexes combined to send Sam from a dead sleep to fully awake in a split second. He sat up, staring wildly around, looking for a nonexistent threat.

Dean was perched on the edge of Sam's bed, looking at him like he was insane. "What the hell are you doing?" he asked, like he hadn't been the one responsible for Sam's reflexes.

Heart still racing, Sam gave his brother a dirty look and flopped back down onto his pillows. "What time is it?"

Dean bounced on the mattress again, making Sam's head bounce on his pillow. "It's morning," he said. "That time when some people get out of bed and eat breakfast. Or, for those who slept through breakfast, it's that time when they get out of bed and have cold cereal." He looked thoughtful. "If anyone left them some milk."

"How many cups of coffee have you had?" Sam asked, wondering just how much caffeine Dean had ingested him to make him this energetic this early. Dean's ability to be this annoying, on the other hand, was just a god given talent and not dependent on caffeine.

Smiling in a way that frightened Sam, Dean leaned close. "None." Then he laughed. He looked like a little kid. Dean bounced on Sam's bed again, and said, "I did eat the rest of the Captain Crunch, though. Took me three bowls and almost all the milk."

Dean on a sugar high -- now there was a truly terrifying thought. "And Dad let you?"

"Dad's gone." He added quickly, "He left a note -- had some errands to do but he said he'd be back around lunch. He was gone before I got up." Dean held out his hands, indicating a vaguely circular shape. "I used one of the big bowls."

"Oh god," Sam groaned, covering his face with his hands.

After a moment, he felt Dean leaning over him. Afraid of what he'd see, Sam peeked. Dean had his face about half an inch from Sam's, and he was grinning maniacally. "Hey." He darted in quickly, leaving a kiss on Sam's lips before he could react.

That easily pulled a smile out of Sam. "Hey," he replied, reaching up and pulling Dean down for another kiss.

Dean kissed him eagerly, for a moment, and Sam could taste the cereal. Then Dean pulled away, glancing towards the door. "Careful," he said. "He could come back early."

Sam sighed and reluctantly let his brother sit back up. "Yeah, guess we do have to be careful."

"Unless you want to have a whole new fight with dad, and one that won't end nearly so well." Dean looked down at him, the sugar-buzz fading into seriousness.

"Yeah," Sam repeated solemnly, but couldn't hold onto the mood when thinking of everything that had happened yesterday. He smiled slightly. "Actually, I think we might have already broken Dad," he said.

Dean shook his head. "Man, when he came in last night I seriously thought I was dying." He looked at Sam, and seemed to be trying to decide what, if anything, to say.

"I'm sorry," Sam said, not sure if he owed the apology but offering it nonetheless just in case. "I... the conversation just went that way and it... it felt like something he needed to know."

"Why?" His voice was serious, like he truly didn't understand. He didn't sound upset, though, which Sam was grateful for.

He didn't answer right away, choosing his words carefully. "You'll do anything, give anything when you think it's what you have to do. I wanted Dad to know that, to take that into account when he asks you to do stuff. It's something I know I need to remember, too."

The laugh Dean gave wasn't anything like his delighted, sugar-spun one earlier. "Sammy, it's no big deal. It isn't as if I don't like sex."

"It is a big deal," Sam insisted. "At least to me. You're worth more than that." It hurt, seeing how cheaply Dean rated himself, how he didn't even have an inkling of how priceless he really was.

Dean started to shake his head, then he stopped and his expression cleared with understanding. "Sam, are you... jealous?"

Sam shook his head, then gave it some thought and reconsidered. "Maybe a little," he admitted. More than a little. "But it's not just jealousy. It's.... I don't like that they think of you like that. You deserve more, better."

"But it wasn't for me," Dean replied, as though not realising what he was saying -- what it did to Sam to hear it. "The car, the couch, the motel rooms, the-- none of it was for me."

Sam smiled sadly. "That's kind of my point."

"Um. Okay." Dean frowned, clearly not getting it. "Look, Sam, if you're jealous, I won't do it anymore." He started to lean forward then stopped, but his implication was clear. Sam had the right, now, to demand they be exclusive.

It wasn't the reason he wanted to Dean to stop, but that, he supposed, would only come with time. "I... would appreciate it," he said softly.

Dean nodded, quickly. "Of course, Sam. All you had to do was ask." He grinned, almost shyly. "I kinda like the idea, myself."

"Good." Sam grinned and leaned forward for another kiss. He promised himself that one day he'd somehow make Dean realise just how much he really was worth. No matter how long that took.

Dean wrapped his hand around the back of Sam's head and held them there. The kiss began to deepen, and Sam knew that one of them had to remember that dad was going to be home -- possibly not for hours, but possibly any minute.

Regretfully Sam pulled back. "We can't," he said, hating being responsible right then.

"I know. But I can want to." Dean nuzzled Sam's cheek, kissing his jaw -- then he pulled away completely.

And all Sam wanted was to pull him close again and give him... everything. "Later," he promised. "We'll go... somewhere and... Later."

"Yeah. Hey -- we can have all the later we want, when we go to California." Dean grinned.

The reminder made Sam smile goofily. But it also brought up the chance he needed to make sure this wasn't another case like getting the car; Dean doing something because he thought he had to. "Are you sure you really want to do this? Go to California with me instead of hunting?"

"Of course." Dean actually looked offended. He hesitated, then asked, "Don't you want me to?"

"God, you don't know how much," Sam said heartfelt. "Having you and school... I never thought I could have both."

"Sam, why didn't you just say something? You said you didn't want to go to school. I thought--" Dean shrugged.

"I thought I had to choose. I could either go to school or have you." Sam shook his head. "Easy choice."

Dean shifted, uncomfortable. He ran a hand through his hair, and didn't say anything.

"You," Sam supplied, just in case that hadn't been clear.

Still not looking at him, Dean said, "Yeah, I got that. I'm just not used to anyone doing that sort of thing."

"I know." Sam reached out and squeezed Dean's arm. "Better get used to it because it's always going to be the decision I make."

Dean rolled his eyes, but he was grinning widely. "Romantic mush."

"Isn't that exactly what you're doing though?" Sam asked. "You've got a choice between the hunt and me and you're giving up the hunt."

"I'm not giving it up," Dean protested. "I'm still gonna go, just... not all the time. And, you know, base camp in Palo Alto." The way he leaned in towards Sam made Sam wonder if Dean even realised how rarely he would end up going on hunts, after all.

"And you're really sure about this." Sam wanted this more than he would have thought possible, but he had to make sure that Dean wasn't just sacrificing himself before he could let himself believe in it.

"I'd rather go with you," Dean said.

That simple declaration all but took Sam's breath away and quieted his doubts. "Okay," he said, letting himself smile.

It was probably a good thing, Sam reflected, that he hadn't indulged in the desire to give Dean another kiss, when they heard the front door open and their dad called out, "Boys?"

Dean practically leapt off the bed. Still grinning, Sam got out of bed and followed his brother out to meet Dad.

They found their dad in the living room, as soon as he saw them he smiled. "Come on, then," he said, waving them towards the door. He paused and looked at Sam. "You might want to put some pants on."

"Right." Wondering what was up, Sam headed back to his bedroom and pulled on a pair of jeans before rejoining the others.

Dad led them out, and downstairs. When they got to the parking lot, their dad walked over -- to a car Sam recognised instantly.

"Oh," he said softly, turning immediately to see Dean's reaction.

Dean was walking towards their dad, glancing towards the car, a mix of guarded interest and open confusion on his face. "Nice," Dean said, seeing the way his dad was standing beside it. "You finally decide to replace your old truck?" He glanced towards the old, beat-up Ford their dad drove, and Sam realised that Dean was expecting they'd inherit that.

"Dean," Sam said, bringing his brother's eyes to him. All he told him was "That's the car," but he hoped it would be enough for Dean to figure out what Sam already realised.

Dean's eyes went wide, and he whirled back to face the car.

"I took the Geo in, traded it back," their dad said, his expression darkening, briefly. Then he smiled at them. "I thought you might prefer this one. If you're going to be moving to California, you'll need something big enough to haul your gear in."

"It's gorgeous," Sam said, his eyes not leaving Dean as his brother, took a step towards the new car.

"It's ours?" Dean asked, incredulously.

Their dad walked over to Dean, and held out a set of keys. "It's yours, Dean."

It took a moment, but Dean's mouth slowly fell open. He took the keys like he thought they might vanish, then turned towards the car. "It's a '67," he said, numbly. "It's even a '67."

Their dad laughed. "I remember."

"What's so important about it being a '67?" Sam asked, moving over to Dean's side to take a closer look at the car.

Dean placed his hands on the car, palms flat, with an expression of sheer joy. Dad laughed, and said, "Dean was eleven, and we stopped at a friend's -- I don't know if you remember him. Drake Wilson, owned a farm up in Wisconsin. He had two Impalas, a green '67 and a white '71. Dean took one look at the '67 and fell in love. He even slept in the back seat a few nights. When it was time for us to go, I thought I'd have to leave him behind." He winked at Dean, who just shook his head.

"Can you blame me?" Dean asked, running his hand along the hood.

"Yeah, just like that," his dad said to Sam.

"Do you and the car want to be alone, dude?" Sam teased as his brother continued... fondling the hood, there was no other way of describing it.

Dean flipped him off, then hurried around to the driver's side door. He pulled it open and paused, staring at Sam. "Well, are you coming?"

"Try and stop me," he said with a grin, then turned back to their father. "We'll be back... later. Sometime. When he gets tired of driving."

"Come home for dinner," their dad corrected. "Otherwise I might not see you for months." He gave Dean a wink.

"Sam, get in the car!" Dean said in an exasperated tone.

"I'm coming already, keep your pants on," Sam told him, moving over to open the passenger door. The creak it made when it opened was warmly familiar. Yeah, this was the car all right.

Before Sam even had got the door closed, Dean was slipping the key into the ignition and turning it on. The roar of the engine made the whole car vibrate; Sam was still watching Dean, so he saw the huge, orgasmic smile that nearly split his brother's face.

Dean gave a short wave to their dad, then slipped the car into gear and pulled out.

And this, riding shotgun while Dean drove this car, felt right in the same way that touching Dean felt right; it was something that was supposed to happen, it was where Sam was meant to be and what he was meant to be doing. Sam let out a huge contented sigh and grinned at his brother.

Shaking his head with an expression of wonder, Dean didn't stop grinning. He drove away from the complex and, taking a turn, Sam could see they were headed right for the highway.

"We going anywhere in particular?" Sam asked, sliding down a little in the seat, enjoying the extra room he had in comparison to riding in the Geo. He still couldn't straighten his legs but at least he didn't feel like he was riding with his knees up around his ears.

"Nope," Dean said, delightedly.

Sam grinned. "All right. Just try not to go more than a state away. Dad will kill us if we're not back for dinner."

Dean shot him a grin. It looked like he was about to explode. But he turned his attention back to driving, and Sam left him to it for awhile. The only thing missing, really, was the music, and a glance showed him that the tape deck was there -- they just didn't have any tapes. Sam wondered briefly if he could sneak a CD player into the car before Dean got used to cassette tapes.

Probably not. There was still the radio though, and he leaned forward to turn it on, fiddling with the tuning, looking for the right kind of music.

"If you make me listen to that boyband crap, I'm kicking you out of the car," Dean warned.

Sam snorted. "Sure you will." Finally, he found the kind of station he was looking for, turned up the volume and sat back in his seat as Burnin' for You by Blue Oyster Cult blared from the speakers.

There was a pause, then Dean said, "Dude, I love you so much right now."

"You better." Sam grinned.

Dean flipped him off, then put his hand back on the wheel. A moment later they merged onto the two-lane state highway, and Dean headed for...nowhere in particular.

They drove past the city limits and on, with the music blaring and the car rumbling and Dean just staring ahead, his smile never dying. Then Sam noticed his brother reach down and adjust himself.

"Are you getting hard from driving the car?" Sam asked in disbelief.

"I'm getting a hard-on from thinking about pulling over and sucking you off," Dean snapped, sounding almost irritated.

Or embarrassed.

"Is that all that's getting you hard?" Sam asked, wondering if he could get Dean to admit it. "Not that I'm complaining if it is; you pulling over and sucking me off sounds good to me too."

"Shibbal nom," Dean retorted. "Now I'm not gonna." He stared ahead at the road, as though he were really ignoring Sam.

"You can do that too, if you want," Sam pointed out, like he always did when Dean used that particular insult. "Although... maybe not in the car for the first time..." He saw Dean twitch a little. "It is the car, isn't it? The car is turning you on."

Dean stared straight ahead and didn't answer. His jaw worked a little, like maybe he was trying to think of something to say...and failing.

Sam laughed. "Dude, I can't believe you're getting turned on by a car. I mean it's a really cool car, but still..."

"Fuck off, Sam," Dean growled, and this time he sounded like he meant it.

Sam hadn't reached the age of 18 as a Winchester without learning when it was best to back off. He swallowed his laughter as best he could though it still bubbled out along the edges and kept his thoughts firmly behind his lips.

They drove in relative silence -- the music made a reasonable excuse not to talk, even if the way Dean was focusing on the road made it seem unlikely he was interested in conversation. A highway sign warned them of an upcoming town, and Dean took a turn onto another two-lane highway, avoiding the town.

"Dean?" Sam ventured after a while, watching his brother and trying to judge his mood.

"Yeah?" It was hard to judge from a single word, but at least Dean's tones weren't clipped and hard, which would have meant he'd take Sam's head off if he tried saying another word. But he wasn't easy and open, either, in that relaxed mode that meant Sam could do or say anything at all.

Right. Which meant no more teasing Dean about his fetish for the car. Least for a while. But maybe... "What would happen if I sucked you while you were driving?"

Dean's jaw dropped open, and it was a moment before he said, "I'd drive us into a cornfield."

Sam looked out the windows at rocks and greenery they were passing. "What cornfield?"

"First I'd drive through to Nebraska," Dean explained. Which was only a few hundred miles away, really.

How many blowjobs did Dean think he was getting?

Sam waited a moment and asked, "So you want me to wait until we're in Nebraska?"

"Sure," Dean said, deceptively easily. As though Sam didn't know his brother well enough to know when he was up to something. "You can wait," he added -- then he reached down and unzipped his jeans, and slipped his fingers inside.

Sam felt his eyes widen. Dean wasn't seriously....

Dean scooted back in the seat, shifting his grip on the wheel, and spread his legs a little. Foot still on the accelerator and eyes still on the road, Dean began to...stroke himself.

He was. Dean was actually masturbating while driving. And while Sam watched.

Damn, that was hot.

Dean had already been half-hard when he'd started -- whether it was the car or not, Sam didn't think he really cared at the moment. But as Dean touched himself, his cock grew fully hard... which Sam could see clearly, as Dean pulled his jeans open more and slipped his cock out.

Sam caught his breath and licked his lips. His own jeans were getting noticeably tighter but he didn't move to do anything about it. He didn't move at all. Just continued to stare at his brother.

Who kept stroking himself, slow and sure, like he wasn't driving at god knew how fast down a -- hopefully deserted -- highway. Dean rubbed his palm over the head of his cock, then ran his hand down the shaft and squeezed. The low moan that escaped Dean's lips could be clearly heard over the radio.

"Dean..." Sam murmured, but didn't know what else to say. Keep going? Let me help?

"Yeah?" Dean sounded like he had before -- casual, sort of interested, sort of not.

"Don't crash the car, okay?" Sam heard himself say.

Dean took his hand off his cock and placed it on the wheel -- and pulled off the highway, onto the grass and coming to a stop a few yards away from the asphalt. Not private, but perhaps slightly less obvious than the shoulder, Sam thought. Dean shifted the car into park but left the engine running, then leaned his head on the headrest and closed his eyes as he put his hand back on his cock.

"Oh god," Sam groaned, eyes darting back and forth between Dean's face and the hand on his cock.

Dean was beginning to breathe hard, eyes screwed shut and his mouth half-open. He looked like he needed to be kissed -- among other things. His hand was still moving slowly, despite the fact his moans made it sound like he was growing desperate for more.

Sam couldn't stand it anymore. Leaning over, he put his hand on top of Dean's as he leaned in and kissed him.

Dean reacted instantly -- kissing him back, groaning loudly, and his hips jerked forward, tightening his grip on his cock. His moans grew more urgent as they both jerked him off.

Listening to Dean, Sam kept kissing him until he judged his brother was on the edge. Then he slid his mouth back to Dean's ear and murmured, "Do it. I wanna see. I wanna see you come."

There was a sort of strangled noise, then Dean's face twisted, and he gasped. Sam felt his brother's hand tighten, then his entire body tensed and he came hard, nearly shouting as his head thumped on the headrest. Sam went back to kissing him, trying to help him come back down, although his own cock was making demands that were making it very difficult to be soothing.

He felt Dean collapsing into the seat, and when he opened his eyes he looked droopy and bone-dead relaxed. Then Dean grinned, cocky and smug.

"Have fun?" Sam asked dryly.

"Yeah," Dean said, and he stretched his arms in front of him, moving around a bit as he stretched his back and neck. Then he turned forward and reached for the gear shift.

Sam watched him for a moment, open mouthed then cleared his throat meaningfully. Dean just gave him a raised eyebrow.

"Don't suppose you could give me a hand here?" Sam finally caved enough to ask.

"You want a hand?" Dean asked, with a slight emphasis on the word hand.

"Do I get a choice?" Sam asked, squirming in his seat at the possibilities.

"Sure. I could go back to driving," Dean said. "Or I can flag down a passing truck and--"


Another raised eyebrow, and a really convincing look of innocence -- for someone who wasn't Sam, and wasn't about to strangle his brother. "Oh!" Dean's expression changed into comprehension just quickly enough to save Sam from cleaning blood out of the upholstery. "You mean the...." He gestured towards Sam's crotch.

"Yes," Sam said in slow clipped tones. "I mean the..." He repeated Dean's gesture.

Dean laughed. "Well what am I supposed to do with," he repeated the gesture. "While you're still dressed?"

Sam stared at Dean in exasperated disbelief for a moment then undid his jeans, twitching as his fingers accidentally brushed against his cock.

"A little more," Dean said, and the control of his voice slipped a bit. He gestured with his hand, indicating Sam needed to pull his jeans down.

If it hadn't been for that little break in Dean's voice, Sam probably would have refused. But it had been there and any time Sam could do that to his brother... Swallowing hard, he did as Dean had asked.

As soon as his jeans were down to his hips, Dean moved. His head was in Sam's lap before Sam could process what he was doing -- then there was no processing required at all, as his brother's mouth was on his cock.

One hand grabbed the door handle, the other went to Dean's head, as his hips bucked up involuntarily. The sound that came out of Sam's mouth wasn't even remotely similar to words. Words had fled his brain entirely. There was only sensations left -- hot and wet and good. And Dean. Always Dean.

Dean moved his mouth down, taking in Sam's cock, then back up in one smooth motion. He let Sam's cock slip out of his mouth, and he glanced up at Sam with a devilish grin.

"Dean?" It was the only word in his head still.

"Just lemme know if you want me to stop anything," Dean said, and his words made no fucking sense because he followed them with putting his mouth back on Sam's cock.

Yeah, no, Sam would not be wanting Dean to stop. He was pretty rock solid on that fact. No stopping. Stopping would be bad.

Dean continued to suck his cock, then he felt Dean's hand touching his balls. Lightly, then he cupped one and rolled it in his fingers. Sam sucked in his breath and tried to spread his legs wider -- not easy to do with his jeans down around his thighs.

Dean seemed willing to help with that, though. Sam found his jeans being tugged down to his knees, then Dean slipped a hand underneath Sam's knee, and pushed it up. Before he could summon enough working brain cells to figure out what Dean was doing, he felt Dean work his hand underneath his ass, grabbing one buttcheek and squeezing -- then there was a finger at his asshole.

Sam went very very still, not even breathing.

Dean pulled up, and he felt Dean's tongue press against the tip of his cock. Then Dean said, "If you pass out I'm not gonna fuck you."

Dean's words made Sam gasp, which at least got him breathing again.

"Better," Dean said, and he sounded so annoyingly in control. But then he was back to using his mouth on Sam's cock, and nothing else really mattered.

Except for the finger that was tracing a circle around Sam's entrance. Teasing him, pressing just enough to make him think about being fucked, but not actually penetrating.

It was maddening. Sam's grip on the door handle tightened and he tried to push his hips up in an unconscious effort to get more, but Dean held him down. "Please..." he panted. "I need..."

He felt Dean's hand -- the one that had been playing with his balls, not the one still tracing circles and teasing him -- brush his hip. The gesture was soothing, or would have been had Sam not needed more right now. Then Dean removed his hand from Sam's ass and his mouth from Sam's cock, and before Sam could do more than glare at him to protest, he saw his brother slip his finger into his mouth and suck on it.

Slicking it up. Dean waggled his eyebrows at Sam when he saw that Sam was watching. Sam stared, heart beating fast when he figured out why Dean would be doing that. Other than to put on a show that was just another way to drive Sam mad with lust, of course.

When Dean pulled his finger out of his mouth, he put his hand back underneath Sam's ass. As soon as Dean's finger touched him, Dean put his mouth back on Sam's cock. He went down on Sam, hard, at the same time the tip of his finger breached Sam's asshole.

Sam made a sound that would have been a whimper if it had been any louder, and came down Dean's throat. Dean stayed where he was, swallowing fast. Sam could feel the working of his throat against his thigh, and could still feel Dean's finger inside him, just up to the first knuckle.

Dean seemed perfectly content to swallow him, continue sucking on his cock even after he came. Then as his cock softened too much, Dean let it slip from his mouth -- and he continued licking. He moved his hands to hold Sam's hips, then gave Sam one last kiss right below his hipbone and lifted his head.

The look Dean gave him hit Sam right in the core of his being. Mutely, Sam reached for him, pulling him into a kiss that he tried to pour all of the feelings that Dean would never let him say in words. Dean wrapped his arm around Sam's back and held himself close, opening his mouth and letting Sam do as he wanted.

When they finally pulled back, Sam rested his forehead against his brother's and just breathed. "Dean...." he said, and just that because there was too much to add to it to say anything.

"Yeah?" Dean sounded out of breath, and vaguely unfocused.

Sam just shook his head and smiled and said it again. "Dean."

Dean lifted his head and looked at him, a bit incredulously. Then he chuckled. "First, and last, huh?"

"First, last and always," Sam said meaning it. He didn't need any visions to tell him that.

"No, I meant..." Dean grinned, but there was something deeper than amusement in his eyes. "Your first word. Was 'Dean'."

Sam looked at his brother in surprise. "It was?"

"It took you awhile to get all the syllables down," Dean said, with a serious look. "'Nnnn' can be pretty difficult."

Sam took in this information, then nodded. "Guess I always knew what I wanted."

"You also wanted to be mutant ninja turtle," Dean said. "Don't think I've forgotten about that." He sat back, settling into the driver's seat, but half-turned towards Sam.

"Yeah, well, you wanted to be Batman," Sam shot back, but with no real heat. It was hard to be snarky when you couldn't stop grinning and your jeans were down around your knees. He lifted his hips and pulled them back up.

"Batman is cool," Dean retorted. "You wanted to be a turtle. Dude, you wanted turtle underwear."

"I just didn't want to keep wearing your old hand-me-down underwear." Sam wrinkled his nose as if that was the most disgusting thing he could think of.

Dean reached over and thumped him. "You stood in the middle of the store and insisted you wanted them and refused to take another step until you got them. Dad had to pry them out of your hand and carry you out of the store, and left me holding the shopping cart."

"In the end I got them though, didn't I?" Sam pointed out, remembering the underwear in question vividly. They'd been his favourite pair when he was four.

Dean shrugged. "With dad outside with you, I just put them back into the cart."

Sam blinked. "You did?"

"Dad shoved the money into my hand as he carried you out. I figured...well, I was gonna just put something else back, but the lady at the register gave me her employee discount, so I could afford it." He smiled, puffing out his chest. "She said I was adorable."

He couldn't help it, Sam grinned. "You are." He paused. "Which is good because you also can be a pain in the ass."

Dean just looked at him. "Your ass hurting, Sammy?" he asked, in a challenging tone.

To his dismay Sam felt his heat with embarrassment. "I-"

Smirking, Dean just said, "Thought so." He turned back around, and actually did get the car into gear. As he began to pull the car out of the grass and back towards the road, he slammed on the brake, staring down at himself. "Goddamn!"

"What is it? What's wrong?" Sam asked, looking for some sort of threat.

"I've got spunk all over my shirt."

Sam stared at Dean and Dean's dismayed expression for a long moment, then collapsed in laughter.

He kept laughing when Dean leaned over and hit him in the arm. Then Dean said, "What am I supposed to say when we get home? Hey, dad, we stopped for a handjob?"

"Buy a drink somewhere and spill it on your shirt and take it off," Sam suggested.

Dean stared at him long enough for it to be insulting, before nodding. "That's a good idea." He got the Impala going, finally, back onto the road and driving -- still away from home.

Sam waited for a few minutes and then said, "Hey Dean?" When his brother glanced over at him, he nodded and said, "Thanks."

The look Dean sent him was perplexed. "You're welcome? The fuck did I do?"

There were so many things that Sam could answer that with, but went with the one that was probably going to least embarrass Dean. "You got me the turtle underwear."

The look he got for that told him Dean wasn't completely buying it, but he shrugged, dismissively. "Anything to stop you from going on about it."


They got home in time for dinner -- with ten minutes to spare. Dean had his shirt wadded up, smelling of soda; he'd even splashed some onto his jeans. Their dad barely glanced at him, waving at them to hurry up and get washed up for dinner.

When they sat down at the table, with meatloaf and vegetables and mashed potatoes, Sam caught Dean glancing around. In a casual tone he asked, "Is there dessert?"

"Not until you've eaten your dinner," their dad said, sounding exactly like they were still ten and six.

Dean even pouted like he was ten.

It was weird, Sam thought, as he started eating, to have them all sitting down to a home cooked dinner together. It was just... something entirely too normal for the Winchester clan.

"I found something that might be interesting," his dad said, right on the heels of Sam's thought. He picked up a folded newspaper and set it on the table between Sam and Dean. "Looks like it could be a werecat."

"Which kind?" Dean asked, even as he leaned over to skim the story.

All right, not so normal. Strangely, that made Sam feel better.

"Could be a bobcat," his dad answered, gesturing at the paper as if to say Dean would figure it out himself if he'd shut up and read. Dean did just that, pulling the paper away from Sam.

Sam rolled his eyes and let his brother have the paper. "Where?" he asked their Dad.

"Not far. Place called Manor's Canyon. We could get down there by tomorrow noon if we leave early enough. Take a look around, see what's going on."

"Looks like it's only killing household pets so far," Dean said. But he tapped the paper and handed it to Sam. "Couple kids got mauled, but they're saying it isn't serious. Yet."

"Should check on those kids too," Sam put in. "Make sure they haven't got infected."

Their dad nodded, giving Sam a slight smile that said he'd been waiting to see if they'd picked up on that potential problem. Always testing them, making sure they were prepared.

"Doesn't sound like anything too difficult," Dean said, and he began plowing into his dinner like he was starving. Or hoping there was pie for dessert. "I got that semi-automatic back from David," he added, referring to a gunsmith friend of their dad's.

Dad nodded. "Good. We'll take it along. That's a good caliber for a small cat."

"So when do we leave?" Sam asked.

"We can set out first thing in the morning," their dad said. "The truck's all gassed and ready, should have everything we need for one werecat."

"Or we take both vehicles," Sam put in. "I can ride with Dean."

Their dad gave Dean a knowing smile. "That sounds reasonable," he said, though Sam thought that maybe reasonable had nothing to do with it. Not with Dean's face lighting up at the prospect, and their dad watching him...like maybe he was finally, for once, happy with his life.

Maybe Dean wasn't the only one getting his heart's desire, Sam thought.

the end