"Do you think Dad knew?" Sam asked in a soft tone, the forefinger of his right hand tracing along Dean's bare collarbone.
The two were lying in Dean's bed. Both naked and protected only by the thin sheets atop the older brother's mattress, their collective consciousness hazy due to post-coital exhaustion. They found themselves possessing less and less stamina for the activity as the years progressed. Sam and Dean still had sex just as much, but it wasn't in short, intensive bursts so much anymore -- not unless they'd had an argument or one had almost died on a hunt. Rather, it seemed like slow and steady won the race in these later days. Although the periods between sex were larger, the longevity of it had far increased.
"Knew what?" Dean clasped his hand around his brother's wandering one, causing them to both become still.
"That I was into dudes."
Father's Day had always been a strenuous point in time when John was alive. It was as if it was more tense between the three of them than it was the other 364 days a year. Undoubtedly, the brothers would try their best; Dean would go out hunting for a record John had never owned before - an original, second hand vinyl copy. The one Dean could always remember looking for was Houses of the Holy. He found it in a Salvation Army store in 2006. By the time Father's Day rolled around that year, John was no longer alive to receive the gift. During the years in between, Dean used to settle with the next-best thing... Highway To Hell, Paranoid, or whatever he could find.
(He almost bought Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band one year, knowing how much Mary had adored the Beatles. But Sam told him no, and for once in his life, he listened.)
Meanwhile, Sam's efforts would be no less optimistic. Every year he would home-cook a three-course meal for their father. The one he was most proud of was the lasagne he had whipped up in 1999. He would even bake himself. At the time, Dean would snicker at Sam's eagerness for such a domestic act, but many years down the line he found that Sam's culinary explorations brought him a warm sensation in his stomach like he'd never experienced before. Without fail, Sam would always play it down, saying it was no big deal to get Dean off his back.
In his mind, he was pleased with himself.
But no one needed to know that, did they?
Regardless of year, age or effort, their presents were always received in the same manner: with annoyance, exasperation and a little discomfort. Grumbling that vinyl was useless to them, and that Dean knew they only used cassette tapes for music, they spent too much time in the car for anything else. Scorning Sam for wasting all that money on fresh ingredients when a TV dinner was far cheaper.
"At least we ain't payin' the electricity bills" John regularly commented once he observed that Sam had made use of the stove in the kitchenette of the motel they were currently staying in. "And Dean, you take that record back. Can't have you spending your hard-earned money on useless crap. We've got Paranoid anyway."
The whole affair never failed to leave a lasting air of humiliation around the two brothers' heads. Even if they had long ago stopped attempting to salvage their relationship with their father in daily behaviour and conversation, the tradition remained the same for the sake of familiarity.
However, the Father's Days following John's death were always worse.
The brothers never figured out what to do with the 24 hours they had of the national holiday. Sam simply refused to have anything cooked at home, and it became the one day a year where Dean didn't sing, hum or listen to music.
Finally, in 2017, 9 years after their father's death, one of them finally mustered up the courage to initiate a conversation about the person who made and broken them, all by the time Dean had turned thirteen.
"Yeah, I think he knew."