“So,” Dean says, sliding into the Impala, which bows slightly under the added weight, “I know where Mr. Only Witness is gonna be tonight.”
Sam perks up, looking over at Dean and tilting his head. “Where?”
Dean grins in that cocky asshole way that Sam has learned the hard way can only mean trouble. He tosses Sam a flier. “‘The Bachelor’s Gala’,” he reads aloud for him in a dramatic, Newscaster-reminiscent voice, “it’s a singles meetup for gay guys in town. He’ll be there all night.”
Sam carefully neutralizes his face. “You have a plan,” he states.
Dean nods so vigorously Sam’s afraid his head might fall off. “You’re my plan,” he practically sings, poking Sam in the chest, “You’re gonna go in there and flirt with the guy and also skillfully manage to weasel out some info on the grisly murders he’s seen these past few nights. Easy peasy.”
Sam’s lip twitches. “You think this is funny?” he asks cooly.
“Not for the reasons you think,” Dean holds his hands up, palms facing out. “I just think you need some action, Sammy.”
There’s a pause.
“I’ll do it.”
Dean can’t help but raise an eyebrow. “Really? ‘Cause I was just about to tease and verbally insult you into doing it. I was gonna bring out the big guns.” He stops. “Really, just like that?”
Sam rolls his eyes. “We don’t have time to wait for him to leave the gala. Tomorrow’s the last full moon. They’re only letting ‘bachelors’ in, and you’ve already said you don’t swing that way.”
Dean meets his eyes. “And… you do?”
Sam doesn’t flinch or look away from Dean’s gaze. He rolls his shoulders. “I’ve never really had a preference,” he tells Dean, waiting for a reaction or a fist to the face or a joke.
Dean just nods, tries not to act like this is Big Sammy News and stores the information away. He sticks the key into the ignition and pulls the car away from the county police station. He knows Sam is nervous, waiting for some fallout because he’s basically just come out as bisexual, and he wants to be supportive. Dean mentally cringes at how cheesy that sounds, but he can read Sam like a children’s book, his feelings broadcasted to Dean in big letters that come with helpful pictures. Sam wants his assurance, his assent.
“Still, I know you suck at flirting and if you say one dumb pickup line, I’m never, ever going to let it go,” he tries. Sam smiles at him, and he knows he’s said the right thing, gotten the right message across.
In a pea-sized town like this, the hall where the gala thing is located is just around the corner, and within five minutes, they’re parked in front of it, watching people come and go and listening to the distant thrum of music.
They hop out of the car and loiter outside for a moment, leaves crunching underfoot.
Outside of the cramped car, Sam stretches out and relaxes, trying not to freak out about the moment that he’d tried to plan his entire life that had just slipped easily past. He crams his hands into his jacket pockets and looks around, his brow pinched just a little as a chilly breeze blows down the street and rustles his hair.
“Well,” Dean coughs, patting Sam on the back hard enough for him to stumble once, “you might be a little underdressed, but go get ‘em, tiger.”
“Whoa!” Sam protests and turns to face his brother. “No, you’re coming in there with me.”
“Do you really need a wingman that badly, Sammy?” Dean teases.
Sam glares at him shifting from foot to foot restlessly. “Just think about it for two seconds, Dean!” he chides. “He could be the killer for all we know. I’m requesting backup, is all.”
“I heard you the first time, kiddo,” Dean beams, pushing past a fuming Sam and into the building.
He hears Sam follow him quietly and lets a smidgen of stress out by exhaling. A woman by the door asks for his name and stamps a little star-logo onto the back of his hand and gives him a nametag. She does likewise for Sam and ushers them through into the main room, where it’s dark but strobing with lights and music and bodies. A bar lines the back wall and servers are rushing back and forth, filling drinks and taking glasses. A constant din of chatter and laughter makes them immediately anonymous and ubiquitous, two of hundreds here for the same reason.
“Found him,” Dean murmurs, his breath ghosting against Sam’s ear. He points to the bar and a man seated alone at the far end, nursing a beer and jiggling his leg up and down.
Sam shrugs and nods, straightening the collar of his jacket as he pushes through the throngs of people and over to Mr. Carraway. Dean waits half a beat before following, taking a seat just within earshot to watch Sam and Jack out of the corner of his eye.
“Hey,” Sam greets Jack, sliding onto the stool next to him. “You looked kinda lonely, so I thought I’d join you.”
Jack turns to him, surprised, but quickly recovers, trades names, and shakes hands with Sam. “Thanks,” he starts, “but honestly, I don’t even know why I’m here. I came here to take my mind off things but it’s only stressing me out more.”
“I know how that goes,” Sam tells him sympathetically, easily. He waves down a waitress and orders another beer for Jack and one for him. “Maybe I can help calm you down. What happened?”
In his head, Dean whistles lowly. I underestimated you, Sammy, he thinks, watching how Jack automatically leans his body toward Sam. Jack looks serious, his lips curling downward, but the conversation progresses and Sam says something that immediately obliterates the dark cloud. Jack throws his head back and laughs, smiling at Sam with bright eyes that were also filled with something else.
It takes Dean a moment to realize that it’s lust. This guy that they don’t even fucking know is looking up and down Sam, picking out his best features like a damn catalogue, and Sam is basking in it, laughing and drinking and being more buddy-buddy with Jack Fucking Carraway than he’s cared to be with Dean ever since they got back on the road together.
Something undiagnosed but definitely negative stirs in Dean’s stomach and he chugs down his drink to numb it. Jack isn’t going to hurt Sam. He’s overreacting. If he steps in now, he’ll ruin everything. Grumbling to no one in particular, Dean keeps himself planted where he is, fiddling around with his phone to look less like a crazed, possessive stalker.
Just concerned, Dean firmly reminds himself when Sam chuckles, blinking slowly and smiling in a way that Dean’s never seen on his little brother’s face.
Dean has half a mind to storm over there when he notices the conversation has done a one-eighty from unfortunate murders to other things. Sam needs to stay on track— they don’t have enough information yet. Dean asks for whiskey from the bartender and texts Sam: you gotta get more info outta him. We don’t have time for this.
Sam apologizes to Jack and pulls out his phone, typing out a quick response before blatantly powering off the device.
Dean’s temper flares and his fingers curl around his glass. His phone chimes. He takes it out and reads Sam’s text with growing frustration.
Calm down. I’ve got all night :)
Dean knows he’s reading too far into it, knows Sam is only egging him on, it’s what brothers do, but the smiley (off all things ever, he thinks despairingly) is pissing him the fuck off. Sam’s going too far. Is he gonna bang the guy? Sam’s never used a smiley before. What does it mean?
“Jealous?” the bartender asks lightly, refilling his glass and smirking.
Dean pries his eyes away from Sam and Jack. “Just… waiting for someone,” he lies, his smile pained, and she sees right through him, nodding once before sauntering away to serve some other people.
The fact that it’s so obvious sours his mood even further and he hunkers down into his seat, taking a pull from his whiskey and watching Sammy with his lips turning further and further downward.
Jack swings an arm around Sam and says something too low for Dean to hear and Sam laughs- no, more than that, he guffaws, what the fuck?- and gasps “seriously?!” his tone lilting up with laughter and happiness and Dean is going to wrap his mitts around Jack and strangle him, screw the goddamn werewolf.
Dean hates himself for this plan. It was stupid, stupid, stupid. Sam’s gonna go home with this guy and climb on top of him and then he’s gonna leave Dean behind, go back to college with Jack the Debaucheur, and forget all about his insecure stupid older brother.
Dean shakes his head, slams a fist on the table. Stay on track, he chides himself, his cheeks flushing a dark pink. You’re being ridiculous. Sam’s just really good at his job, like he’s always been. And who’s Dean to take Sam away from a fun night, after everything? Only lonely jackasses do that.
Then Jack leans forward and closes the gap between him and Sam, nuzzling and nibbling at his neck before craning his neck upward and kissing Sam on the lips, a hand going easily around the back of Sam’s head and staying there, possessive.
The moment Dean’s brain comprehends what his eyes are seeing he’s gone, he’s fucking gone, screw this and screw that and screw Jack most of all, but God not literally, Sammy, and he’s off the stool before he can think. He saunters over and yanks Jack away from his brother, their lips separating with an audible pop. Dean spins the stool around so Jack is facing him and clocks him across the nose, letting up only slightly at Sam’s two-parts furious, one-part concerned face. Still, Jack yowls something indiscernible and paws at his nose, which is bleeding. Only slightly, Dean tells himself, rubbing a hand across the back of his head and casually scoping for witnesses. There aren’t any— this far off the dance floor they could practically be on another planet.
“What the fuck, are you batshit?” Jack demands, but he hasn’t moved his hands and Dean is starting to admit to himself that he might’ve broken something with his swing by the nasally, flu-sounding way Jack’s voice squeaks.
“Get your fucking hands off him,” Dean growls, low and urgent. His eyes are dark and his hands find Jack’s lapels without his brain’s permission. “He’s mine. Don’t you fucking touch him.”
Sam, off to the side, is in Dean’s periphery and Dean can’t really bear to look at him. He hasn’t said anything, hasn’t moved, and Dean can’t see his expression. He doesn’t want to. He’s screwed everything up even after promising not to. Just don’t leave, Dean mentally begs, Don’t go back.
During this little episode, Jack was flicking his eyes between the two of them, his lips quirking with unconcealed disgust. He stands up, letting Dean’s hands fall away like cinderblocks, and dusts himself off. It doesn’t do anything for the blood on his shirt. “Calm down,” Jack spits, stepping between them, “he was the one who flirted with me in the first place. He your boyfriend or something?”
“Damn straight,” Dean hums his assent, not even thinking about it, squaring his jaw and straightening to meet Jack’s height, to challenge him.
Jack rolls his eyes. “Pricks,” he bites before stepping off and away to the dance floor, disappearing from sight as easily as a ghost trying to find a new vantage point to pummel Dean from.
Which reminds him.
Dean slowly turns on his heels back to Sam, his adam’s apple bobbing. His eyes go to Sam’s lips, shiny with Jack’s fucking spit, before finally roving up to meet Sam’s eyes. To his surprise, he’s met with an indiscernible, odd look on Sam’s face. They stand in silent wariness for the whole chorus of some pop song playing in the background that neither of them really hears.
“Why’d you say I was your boyfriend?” Sam asks, of all things.
“I…” Dean flounders. Sam’s face hasn’t changed and it’s starting to weird him out. That bit about reading Sam like a book? It feels false now, outdated, because Sam’s face is no longer in publication, no longer an easy indicator. “I just wanted him away from you.”
“I initiated the kiss, you know,” Sam says casually, watching Dean for a reaction. “Not him.”
A muscle twitches in Dean’s jaw, but he’s afraid if he says anything that something cosmically “them”will change, will tiltshift, and he doesn’t want that. The balance they’ve created in the past year is fragile enough.
“You’re jealous,” Sam finally realizes, his eyes going wide and his face getting a “struck gold” sort of look on it. “You were jealous of him and me. Why?”
“Because… you’re mine,” Dean says, even as he falls off some unseen precipice into the canyon of You’ve Really Fucked Up This Time.
Sam makes a second realization and his face goes slack. He watches Dean, and Dean lets him, lets Sam read him for the truth. He might as well. It’s too late to back out now— he’s freefalling.
Sam kisses him.
Dean’s mind acts like a Windows 98 computer booting up, slowly powering through a loading screen for several minutes before struggling to life with ones and zeroes. His lips take a little longer— Sam’s starting to pull back, uncertain, when Dean wraps his arms around Sam’s waist and tethers him back, puts them back together, lips slotting together perfectly and why the fuck haven’t we done this before?
Sam’s really good at kissing. Sam tilts his head back, lets Dean press onward, pulling Sam’s bottom lip into his mouth and sucking. Dean finally processes that they’re making out, that Sam wants this too, and he starts to make out with Sam in earnest (he really likes the sound of that), pushing Sam up against the bar and letting his hands wander, exploring places he already knew in a different light.
Sam pulls them apart after an indeterminate amount of time, gasping, his face red and pupils blown. “Say I’m your boyfriend,” he says, his voice faint and whispy.
“You’re my boyfriend,” Dean tells him, even though he’s not really sure if it’s true, if it can be true for them, if it’s what they are. He knows Sam is something to him, something planetary or universal, and boyfriend doesn’t begin to encapsulate it, but maybe it’s good enough for now.
“You’re more than that,” he adds, taking Sam’s hand in his own.
Sam blushes and ducks his head, but when he looks back up at Dean, it’s just love. Adoration, love, and worship mixed together on his face, and Dean is made breathless. He feels like a complete moron for ever thinking Sam would leave. He feels safe in this, feels like he wants to keep this going with Sam, but mostly thinks he wants to kiss him more.
He comes back to the present to realize Sam is tugging him away, through the crowd. They end up back outside, and then he’s pressed against the impala, his shirt riding up so the cool metal presses into the base of his spine. And Sam’s all over him, happy and excited and sloppy, pressing greetings and assurances into Dean’s skin by way of his lips. They kiss, and kiss and kiss and kiss. Sam holds him. Dean lets his fingers comb through Sam’s hair and enjoys the way Sam shudders at that. His tongue ends up in Sam’s mouth, and Sam moans, sucking on it eagerly and letting Dean lap into his mouth.
They break apart. Sam’s hair is sticking up like a disgruntled bird nest. “It’s kinda cold,” Sam tells him innocently.
“Back to the motel?” Dean asks. “And I’m sorry about earlier, really, I just-”
Sam silences him with another quick kiss. “It’s okay,” he says, his lips still brushing against Dean’s, “I got all I needed to out of Jack. I was just trying to make you jealous.”
And then Sam’s gone, and Dean’s left standing frozen in the cold, his mind once again stalled by his little brother, listening as Sam laughs and climbs into the passenger seat. The door creaks shut and Dean climbs in after Sam, grumbling about scheming hot little brothers. Sam laughs again, and it’s way better than what Jack ever got, it’s honest, 100% genuine Sam, smiling at Dean with an almost manic happiness in his eyes. Dean kisses him because he wants to. Dean kisses him because he can.
It takes a moment of reminding before they begin the drive back the motel, pressed up against each other and leaving a good foot of seat on the passenger side.
Dean squeezes Sam’s hand and mentally reminds himself to plan a few more things, if it’ll end up with him and Sam together in any way.