I have found that most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be,
~ Abraham Lincoln
Slinging his duffle onto the end of the second bed into their newest motel room, Sam sits down gingerly onto it, resting his hands in his head, “Thanks for stopping early today. God I wish this room had a hot tub like that last one, sure would feel good right now.”
“You not over your hangover yet? And yeah a hot tub would be nice right about now, how come we never luck out with motel rooms?” Dean sits on his bed, pulling out the new bottle of whisky out of the crinkly paper bag, setting it on the small bedside table, crowding it in with the ugly orange lamp and the 70’s era phone. He gets up in search of glasses and comes back from the bathroom with two small ones, not plastic for once thank god for small favors and pours out a measure into each.
Sam winces at the noise of his brother’s voice, “Can you talk a little quieter please?”
“That answers my question. Lightweight! Here, have some hair of the dog.” Dean reaches out towards the other bed with one of the half-full glasses.
“Thanks. Just because I’m not practically pickled all the time.” Sam takes the glass from Dean and drinks half of the whisky down immediately, hoping it will help even out the pain from the hangover. He doesn’t mean to bitch about Dean’s near-constant drinking, he’s really not bitching, just mentioning it, making sure Dean knows he’s noticed even though Lucifer has been his constant companion all these months. He hasn’t missed that his brother is drinking more now than even right after he came back from Hell. And yeah he’s worried about it, not sure what he can do or say to get Dean back on track. Or at least back down to normal-for-him drinking levels.
Dean protests, waving his glass for emphasis, “Hey, I wasn’t even drunk last night, you had to help me fight that thing, because you were the one who was drunk, remember?”
Sam looks up at him and smiles in surrender, and then in concern remembering he still wants to follow up with Dean about the possibility of Bobby being a ghost, “Yeah, yeah, I remember, of course, I do, I was there. And I heard you talking to him. Are you really okay Dean?”
Dean drains his glass and his stomach clenches as it accepts the whisky and the knowledge that Sam wants to have A Talk. Man this is the last thing he wants to do right now, he wanted to just drink a little after a day of driving, shoot the shit with Sam, relax for a while, not get into all the angst about Bobby. “Aww, shit Sam, I know you don’t believe it, but that was Bobby helping back there, and all this time. And you know what? I’m okay with it. It was his choice to stay.” (He loved us, he really loved us that much.) Doesn’t Sam know that? Bobby loved them like his own, he’d have done anything for them.
“What do you mean his choice to stay?” Sam drains his glass, he’s confused, he’s not sure if Dean is making this up out of wishful thinking or if he’s being drunkenly creative. He holds his glass out for a refill, and Dean pours out for both of them.
Dean answers with conviction, pointing at him with the same hand holding the glass of whisky, “If there’s one thing I remember from Tessa, it’s that she leaves it up to the person who died whether to move on or not. Maybe at some point we’ll have to get rid of him if he turns angry, but until then, he had a reason for sticking around and helping us. Unfinished business and all that.”
“What unfinished business could Bobby possibly have?”
“Oh I don’t know, the Leviathans maybe?”
“Huh, maybe you’re right. I just don’t know if I believe it yet myself. Doesn’t say I don’t believe you do though. It’s just hard to imagine him making that choice knowing what he could become. I know he really loved us, and I know how much you’re missing him, ‘cause I am too. It’s really hard some days to realize we can’t just call him or go visit whenever we want.”
“Yeah we’ve got a lot of people to miss now. List is getting too damned long.”
“Someone told me a long time ago, that the best thing to do when you’re missing people who’ve died is to talk about good memories of them, like it’s a way to honor them and what they meant to you.”
“What you want to sit here and get sappy while we’re drinking and reminisce about the good ol’ days?”
Sam raises his glass in salute and drains it, “Why not? Better than dwelling on the crap that is the present.”
Dean does the same with his glass and retorts, “Hey! Yeah, it’s a whole lot of crap, but some of it’s not all that bad.”
“Like what for instance?”
“Well, if you wanna count your blessings, how about, your head is fixed, and your soul is back, and you’re here.” (With me.) He can’t say it out loud, but he hopes Sam hears him anyways.
Sam kind of stops for a second, going still, as if he’s checked out again like he would when he was hallucinating Lucifer, just when Dean’s about to get worried and say something, Sam says brightly, “You know Dean, you’re right, it’s not all bad, definitely not. At least we’re together right?”
“Oh god Sam, talk about sappy.” Dean’s beyond relieved that he didn’t have to say it himself, he can always count on Sam to actually say the obviously gushy stuff. He pours them both another half glass of whisky and they clink them together, each downing about half.
“Shut up. So go on, start back at the beginning, how about you tell me a mom memory.” Sam feels a little bad making Dean dredge up a mom memory, he knows it’s hard for him, but he needs some good stuff to pile up around him right now, to seal in the good feelings of trying to look on the bright side of where they are right now.
Dean really doesn’t want to go there riffling through his small stash of memories of his mother, but he knows that Sam doesn’t have his own to draw on, so he feels the pressure to give him one. Plus that little brother demanding a story thing still has this inexorable power over him that he’s never been able to shrug off. Duty of being a big brother and all.
“Alright, I remember some afternoons she’d make us popcorn for a snack, me and her not you since you were a baby. She’d pop it in oil on the stove in a pot. She’d shake the pot back and forth over the burner and I could hear all the explosions and I’d jump around like a maniac on the kitchen floor at the sound of each kernel popping. And then she’d make up a pitcher of that frozen pink lemonade stuff to drink with the popcorn. I remember helping her stir it up in this big plastic pitcher with a long wooden spoon. She showed me how to add a little hot water to help the frozen stuff melt faster, and then add the rest of the cold water. She was always showing me tricks like that, Mom really was smart.” Dean smiles remembering his mother and all she meant to him.
Sam’s eyes twinkle in delight at hearing this story, imagining his brother as a little boy jumping around the kitchen floor with their beautiful mother smiling and looking on, “You ever wonder what she’d think of us?”
“What, like what she’d think of us being hunters?”
“Yeah, and all the other stuff too.”
“Oh, uh, well no I don’t wonder about whether she’d like it that we were hunters, because she was really set on not being in the life anymore. She wouldn’t have wanted this for us at all. But as far as the other stuff, who knows, I suppose she’d not be real happy about it, but she’d listen and understand after knowing everything. Don’t know that she’d ever accept it or anything. That’d be a lot to ask.”
Sam thinks about it for a second, with what he knows about his mother, he disagrees with Dean, “I think she’d be okay with us being together, especially since she’d have our whole story down to the whole soul mate thing, being in Heaven and all. She’d understand why. I just wish we could talk to her and dad again, tell them what we’ve learned, about them, about us.”
“You wish we could somehow commune with dead people? What you wish you had your powers back or something?”
“No, nothing like that, not really, I just think the exercise of thinking through hypothetical conversations is useful to me. I know it’s just me basically having a conversation with myself.”
“Well, I wish we could really talk to them too sometimes. Thank Mom for saving us from that poltergeist back in Lawrence. I’d love to find out if Dad knows we killed Yellow Eyes.”
“I wonder if they’re together.” Sam asks wistfully, hoping that Dean shares the same vision as he does of their parents together somehow happy together after everything.
“I hope so, that cupid said they were put together for a reason, hopefully Heaven would follow through in the afterlife. Soul mates and all that.”
“Think we will be Dean? You know, together when we die?”
Dean drains his drink, puts his glass down on the bedside table, gets up from his bed, and sits right next to Sam, putting his arm around Sam’s shoulders, giving him a half-hug, “I’m counting on it Sammy.”
Sam sags into his brother’s side, finishes his drink, puts his glass next to Dean’s, drops his head and asks quietly, “Even after everything I did, you think I’ll get to go to Heaven with you?”
“Yeah, yeah I do. Sam you’ve believed your whole life and you saved the whole goddamned world, and if that doesn’t zero out everything else then I don’t know what would. And if you’re not there, I swear I’ll tear everything apart until I get you there with me or leave or something.” Dean pulls Sam into a full hug and leans back until they’re lying on the bed, Sam covering him, weighing him down completely just like he needs, just like he wants.
Sam rises up a little so that he can see Dean’s face, “You’d really do that Dean?”
Dean reaches his hand up to caress the side of Sam’s face gently, seeing the wonder and surprise in his brother’s eyes, how does Sam not know this already, what he’d do for him? Best to just say it, straight out so he’ll hopefully get it finally, “Sammy, it’s not gonna be Heaven for me, unless you’re there.”
Dean sees the shock when Sam hears the words, and then he sees the moment when Sam’s brain catches up with his heart and his brother’s face opens up into that unbridled look of love and adoration he hasn’t seen much lately, and smiles when he hears Sam answer him, “Same here. Guess they better keep us together so we don’t keep upsetting the “natural order.””
“Hey, if we have to spend eternity living out our greatest hits, you damned well better be there with me.”
“Maybe I can try some of Mom’s pink lemonade and eat some popcorn with you?”
“Sounds like a plan to me, but not any time soon, okay? We still have time left here, things to do, Leviathans to kill, all that.”
“Yeah, more greatest-hit memories to make.”
Dean rolls his eyes in mock exasperation, “Could you be more of a girl Sam? Don’t answer that.”
Sam leans down and kisses him on the eyelids softly, “You say that like it’s a bad thing. I know you love it.”
Dean answers him by pulling him down the rest of the way for an earnest wet, sloppy kiss that mostly tastes of whisky and holds the memory of pink lemonade, the weight of Bobby’s choice, and the promise of the rest of their lives and an eternity together. Hard to put all that into a kiss, but somehow Dean manages it like he always does. Letting his body do his talking for him. Sam pulls back with a sigh, lays his head down next to Dean’s, satisfied and sated after one kiss, looking into Dean’s beautiful, unguarded green eyes and realizes he feels the happiest he’s felt in years and can’t help breaking into a huge grin, barely holding back a joyful laugh.
Dean can’t help but grin back at Sam, but he’s got to ask, “What in the hell are you grinning at?”
“ ’m just happy. Haven’t been this happy in a really really long time.”
“You must be hung over or drunk again already.” Dean scoffs.
Sam reaches out and holds the side of Dean’s head, so he can’t look away and says earnestly, “No Dean, don’t you get it? This is the first time in years that I haven’t had Lucifer on board, been soul-less, without you, stuck in the Cage, about to jump in the Cage, apart from you after the whole Ruby thing, trying to survive without you when you were in Hell, spending a year worrying about you going to Hell. Just, it’s been one thing after another you know, all these years? And yeah, it’s down to just us, and we have to figure out the Leviathans, and what to do about Cas, and maybe Bobby’s a ghost, but Dean, we’re here together, you and me, and it’s good just being with you, and I’m just happy that’s all.”
Dean rolls them over so he’s on top of Sam now, pinning him down with his body weight, and with the weight of his unending love shining out of his smiling green eyes, “Well when you put it out there like that Sammy, I guess I can be happy right along with you.” He leans down and kisses Sam’s dimples, which he’s never been able to resist so he figures why even bother trying at this point?
Sam holds Dean close and breathes in Dean’s hair as Dean nuzzles his way into the side of Sam’s neck. “Would you mind sleeping on me tonight Dean? Keep me here, just like this?”
Dean pulls his head up and looks into Sam’s eyes, worrying that he’s cracking up again, some remnant of Lucifer screwing with his mind again, “Keep you here? Where you planning on going Sammy?”
Sam’s not sure how to get this across to Dean, he sees that he’s worrying about him going crazy again, but that’s not what’s happening, he’s coming back from being crazy, but it doesn’t happen all at once, it’s still getting sorted out, “Not going anywhere, not like physically anyways, I just like the feeling of you on me like this, it’s kind of hard to explain, but it’s helping my body and my mind get synced up again. You always put me back together.”
Dean gets up without saying a word, takes his boots and jeans off, does the same for an unresisting but slightly confused Sam, gets Sam off the top of the bedspread and under the sheets, lays back down on top of him, pulls the blankets over them both, reaches over to turn out the light on the bedside table, settles down onto Sam as comfortably as he can and says “Just doing my job little brother.”