The Reckoning


The cute blonde waitress brought Sam a soft drink, which he accepted with a smile. She was exactly the type that Dean usually made his primary target. That was if Dean had been at all himself. So many things had changed since his father's death that sometimes Sam had a hard time dealing with the new reality of their lives. He wished for so many things again one of which would be his brother at his side attempting to pick up the cute waitress who had just walked away. 

Sam sat quietly at a table in the back of the bar and watched as Dean continued to hustle pool. The stakes kept getting higher and higher and the guys that he was playing with were almost as scary as some of the things they fought. Dean had sent him home like some twelve-year-old hours ago but he hadn't gone. He had a gut feeling about this game and this bar and while it wasn't a vision he knew that Dean had bitten off more than he could chew.

Every night Dean ended up in some bar facing off against these types of guys and Sam wondered if he actually wanted to end up on the wrong side of someone's fist. Maybe he thought it would ease the pain that he felt but refused to acknowledge about their father's death. But Sam was worried that Dean would wind up getting himself hurt or even killed in his quest to ease his pain and it was to that end that Sam still sat in his seat waiting in case his brother needed his help.
  
And it was a good thing that he had as things turned ugly when Dean went to leave with his earnings and all three guys jumped him. Sam let his older brother go it alone for a moment to see if he could handle it. But finally fearing for Dean he stood and joined in the free for all and managed to disable two of the three. They had been drinking and while Sam wasn't bad with his fists it had been somewhat of an easy thing.

But the last one standing who was the biggest of the three was into fist to cuffs hot and heavy with Dean. Or more appropriately he was one the receiving end of some hot and heavy blows from Dean. Looking at the absolute fury on his brother's face as he pummeled this drunk, Sam became afraid that Dean was going to do real harm to this guy who just happened to be in the wrong place at the right time.

He reached Dean in two steps and yanked his shoulder hard enough to pull him off of the guy he was pounding on. But Dean resisted and attempted to get out of Sam's grasp to return to punishing this guy's face. "Damn it leave me alone Sammy."

Sam refused to do that and Dean turned on him still livid with a fist raised. "Go ahead Dean and hit me again."

Sam felt his eyes fill with tears as his brother gave him a contemptuous glare, left his opponent on the floor and shoved past him for the door of the bar. Sam followed him out of the bar three steps behind and all the way to their room. Dean was already angrily stripping off clothes and getting into bed. "Dean?"

He was disheartened further by his brother's angry reply. "Go to bed Sam. I'm fine, I don't want to talk about it now or ever, just shut up and leave me the fuck alone."

Sam sat down in the chair and watched as a restless sleep finally claimed Dean.  Things had changed between the brothers since the death of their father. Dean had become withdrawn and refused to even talk about their loss. He changed the subject whenever Sam mentioned it and it was as if their dad had never existed in many ways. But Sam knew his older brother well enough to know that the intensity of pain that he was dealing with was agonizing for him and to have to shoulder that burden without even sharing it with Sam was killing Dean.

He felt as if each day his brother was slipping away from him. The pain was palpable and yet Dean refused to acknowledge it. Sam had been shocked when Dean had hit him and while had forgiven his brother's outburst it had left a breach between them. Sam wasn't sure how he was ever going to reach his brother. But he had to try because if not, one of his greatest fears was that Dean would self-destruct. And he had lost his father and he damn well would not stand by while he lost his only brother. There must be some way that he could make Dean understand. And to that end he sat and thought for most of the long and dark night. And finally when he crawled into bed it was with a plan already decided.

***********************************************************

Sam dressed in the clothes that he had bought specifically for this purpose. The shirt was similar to what Dean wore and it was tighter than what he usually liked. But he wanted to avoid the baggy look that he preferred. The last thing that he did was to slick back his hair hoping that made him look even more like a hustler. Looking in the mirror he was satisfied that he looked like the type that usually hung around pool halls. He had a bruise on his face from their last hunt and he thought that helped to make him look even more dangerous. He knew that he didn't have Dean's intensity but he would make up for that hopefully with his size.

He made his mind up that he was going to see this thing through even if it did require some good acting skills on his part. He pulled the bottle of tequila out of his backpack and took a slug to fortify his courage and then poured a little into his cupped hand and used it like aftershave. Looking at himself in the mirror he squared his shoulders realizing that this was as big a battle as any he had ever fought. "Show time."
  
Throwing his stuff back into his backpack he picked it up and then opened the bathroom door and found Dean stretched out on the bed. He noticed that his brother swung his feet around so that he was sitting up and gave him a curious look. "What the hell Sam, did I forget Halloween again? And what exactly are you supposed to be?"

Sam put his pack by his bed and Dean sniffed. "Dude why do you smell like alcohol? Have you been drinking in the bathroom again Sammy?"

Sam ignored the jibe and the snicker and threw on his coat and headed for the door. "Where the hell are you going?"

He turned to his brother and shrugged trying to appear as nonchalant as possible. "Out and who are you suddenly my Mommy?"

He could see that that response didn't sit well with Dean. "Oh no Sammy tell me that we aren't going through our teenage rebellion stage again."

He made a rude gesture towards his brother and went out the door glad that the motel was so close to the dive where Dean had been hanging out. He was on his third game of pool and his third round of tequila when he noticed Dean taking a seat at the bar. It was surprising to Sam that Dean didn't approach the pool tables instead sitting quietly nursing a drink and watching. Sam had been winning and he was sure that it was pure luck as he wasn't as good of a pool player as his older brother. Finally at two a.m. he patted his new buds on the back and picked up his winnings and headed for the door exaggerating his state of drunkenness.

He had just gotten out of the door when he felt Dean step in behind him. He could feel his brother's anger and when Dean put a hand on Sam's shoulder he shrugged it off. But neither brother said a word. They got to the motel room and Sam headed for his bed. He had intended to bypass Dean all together but he was standing over Sam's bed attempting to force him to talk. "What the fuck is the deal here Sammy? I suggest you tell me right now what's going on."

Wondering how bad it would make things, he physically shoved Dean out of the way and climbed into bed. He waited a minute fully expecting Dean to yank him out of bed and maybe even get involved in an out and out brawl. Sam almost hoped it would happen and if it did he was ready. He was full to bursting with Dean's self destructive behavior since their father had died and he was ready to confront it. But much to his surprise Dean just sat down in the chair and left him alone.

The routine remained the same for the next three nights with Dean saying little to Sam about it or anything else during the day. But Sam noticed that Dean always followed him to the bar and hadn't even played pool or drunk since he started this. On the third night Sam was surprised when Dean suggested hunting and he refused. Dean was pissed that Sam was blowing off work to go play pool and again Sam waited for the explosion. Wanted it and even needed it, but it never came.

This night went much the same as the ones before with Sam winning and drinking and drinking and winning. Sam was surprised that while he was doing this to prove a point to Dean he found himself enjoying the charade. It felt good to forget his worries and throw himself into this heart and soul. And he knew that Dean was close to having it all out with him and hopefully that would set things right again. But on this particular night there was a new player who didn't like Sam or the fact that he was winning.

Before he had a chance to defend himself he found his face on the receiving end of a fist. They rolled around on the floor for a while and suddenly Sam wished that he hadn't had so much to drink. It was becoming rapidly apparent that this guy was a good match for him. And he even had a moment where he thought that maybe this whole plan to show Dean what a jerk he was becoming by becoming the same jerk sounded stupid even to him. Luckily he felt someone pull his competition off of him and he saw Dean reach a hand down to help him to his feet.

Apparently the guy didn't like Dean intervening and he launched himself at his older brother and he watched as Dean's fist connected with his jaw with a crack. The guy went down hard and Dean grabbed Sam literally by the back of his shirt and pushed him towards the door. Sam reached back for his winnings and put them in his pocket and was amazed when Dean's hand connected with the back of his head hard. "Owww."

"Zip it Francis. We will talk about this later."

He noticed that his usually verbose brother remained silent all the way back to the motel and even with the alcohol on board he knew that Dean was seething. Opening the door to their room he turned and faced his furious older brother. "So what the fuck is up with you?"

He saw Dean shake his head. "Not now Sam. Go to bed. When you're sober we will talk about it."

Now enraged at being treated like a five-year-old he turned to look at his brother with fire in his eyes.  "I am not going to bed until I say so."

Even to his own ears it sounded like a four-year-olds retort but it was the best that he could come up with at the time due to the alcohol. He was caught by surprise when his brother pushed him hard and he landed across his bed. "Good night."

Sam attempted to right himself but the truth was that he was tired and had had too much to drink and maybe this could just wait. He would show Dean what an absolute ass he had been and Dean could apologize then. With that thought in mind he closed his eyes for just a moment.

****************************************************************
 
Sam felt a hand roughly shaking his shoulder and opened his eyes squinting against the bright sunlight. "For the love of heaven Dude close the drapes. I'm dying here."

He looked up and saw his older brother standing over his bed with arms crossed over his chest, looking for all the world like their father. Sam groaned and placed the pillow over his head. He knew that his plan had come to fruition but he was in no shape to follow through right now. He was angered when Dean ripped the pillow off of his face.

"You have five minutes to get your ass out of that bed and into the shower."

Sam sat up with some difficulty and sneered at his older brother. "Or what Dean?"

The look on his brother's face was dark to say the least. "Or I'll put you in myself."

Hearing that, and looking at his brother's face Sam decided that he needed a shower anyway. "I'm just doing this cause I want to."

He noticed as he walked past Dean that he still seemed furious and Sam wondered what in the hell he thought he had to be mad about.  He showered and it felt so good on his sore muscles. He assumed that he felt so bad because of the fight from the night before. He dressed in his regular clothes and even that felt good. His head was pounding and he swore that after this was all over he didn't want to see tequila again for a long time. He came out of the bathroom and sat down at the table.

Dean handed him two aspirins and glass of juice. "Take these and drink that."

Not taking too kindly to his brother's attitude Sam snatched the pills out of Dean's hands and took them. Much to his surprise Dean then handed him a breakfast sandwich and he just shook his head no. "There is no way I can eat that man it'll come right back up."

The hand with the sandwich just pushed it closer. "Eat it or be fed it doesn't matter to me dude."

He looked up at Dean and saw that he was resolute so not wanting to, he accepted the sandwich and started to pick at it wondering what the hell was up with Dean. The room was silent as Sam choked down the sandwich as best as he could.

When he was finished he looked to Dean. "Okay Mary Freakin Poppins what now?"

Dean ignored the slam and pointed to Sam's bed. "You are going back in there for a few more hours before…"

Sam looked at him as if he had lost his mind. "Before….. oh cryptic one?"

Dean again ignored Sam's attempt to bait him. "Before we talk about what stupid assed things you've been doing lately."

Something in Dean's voice gave Sam's stomach a little twist but he wasn't sure what it was. This was the confrontation that Sam had been pushing for; in fact he had been itching for it. But he was far from optimal shape to hold up his end and going back to bed for a few more hours sleep did sound like a good idea. Without so much as another word he climbed back into bed and closed his eyes.

Sam opened his eyes and guessed it to be late afternoon. Looking up he saw that Dean was using the laptop to do research he guessed. "So sleeping beauty awakens."

Judging from the tone of his brother's voice he guessed that for whatever reason he was still pissed. And truth be told, Sam was working on a pretty good head of steam himself. He got out of bed and walked to where Dean was sitting and crossed his arms over his chest and waited.

Dean looked up and didn't look too impressed. Sam stood there for a moment waiting for Dean to break the staring contest and speak but he didn't. Finally angered that Dean wouldn't give in he started the conversation. "I am sick of you acting like you don't care that Dad died Dean. I am sick of you pretending that you aren't in pain. It's absolute bullshit."

Now he was surprised to hear his brother snort. "Yeah well Sam you wanna know what I'm sick of?"

Again Sam was surprised to hear the anger in his voice and even more surprised when Dean moved the laptop aside and stood up.  "I am damn sick and tired of you acting like some two year old that doesn't get his way. And what the hell have you been trying to prove with your hustler impersonation. You almost got your ass killed last night. Your skills as a fighter need some work. "

For a moment Sam just saw red and couldn't believe that Dean had just said that. "I was doing just fine until you had to stick your damn nose in."

And yet another snort from his brother, "Yeah if you call getting the floor wiped up with your face just fine."

Sam felt rage sing through his veins and stepped closer to his brother and fought the urge to smack that smug look off of his face. "Go ahead Sam you owe me one anyway. But one is all you're gonna get and then I'm gonna need to set you straight."

Sam hated the arrogant way that Dean said it as if he had some power over Sam and without thinking he stepped in and smacked Dean in the jaw. Much to his brother's credit other than taking a hand to his face and rubbing he had little reaction to the punch. But looking closely Sam could see something in Dean's eyes that he couldn't quite place.  "Okay so the score is settled and now its time to deal with your attitude little brother."

Sam sneered at what had just been said. "Oh bite me Dean, and go deal with your own fucking attitude."

He watched as his older sibling shook his head side to side slowly as if in warning. "Don't make this worse Sam. You have been on my ass twenty-four seven about letting my feelings out. Never once did you stop to realize that maybe I needed to do this in my own way. That maybe I was dealing with my feelings."

Sam paused, still furious, and wondered if he had miscalculated things. "Yeah well hanging out in dives sharking pool and hoping that someone would want to fight with you has just been ugly."

He expected a nasty response to that but Dean just shrugged. "I figured that out while I was watching you do it Sammy. And while we are talking about that what the hell was the game plan with that anyway? Did you think I was gonna get so worried about your dumb ass behavior that I was going to break down and admit that losing dad almost killed me? Was that your stupid plan? Let me guess lots of tears and hugs and a happy ending for all?"

Now Sam was just out and out furious again. "Yeah well forgive me for worrying about you. Clearly you aren't worth the trouble."

Dean reached out and put a hand on Sam's shoulder and fearing retaliation he shrugged it off but Dean just smiled a determined smile. "You know Sammy boy I appreciate the fact that you have been concerned about me and maybe you do have a point ass backwards though it may be. I have been pretty deep into the pain of losing Dad and not much with the sharing stuff lately. And I also have neglected to see what I ordinarily would have picked up right away."

Sam felt somewhat pacified by what Dean had said but he didn't understand the last part of the comment. "And what was that Dean?" he asked in a still sullen voice.

"That you really have missed having a father figure in your life and what you need right now more than anything is a good old fashioned trip over my knee. Kinda like when you were sixteen remember?"

Sam flinched and unconsciously took a step backwards and barely restrained a shudder as he remembered exactly what Dean was referring to. It had been the month that he had turned sixteen and dad had been gone for almost two weeks on a hunt. Dean was old enough to handle things but Sam had been pissed that their father would be gone for his birthday. To Sam this had seemed like a special birthday and he was as hurt as he was mad. Dean as always had known that Sam was feeling badly and he had been a real pain in every way to his older brother. Finally even though dad had told them both to keep a low profile Dean had allowed Sam to have several of his friends over for a sleep over combination birthday bash.

Dean hadn't worried about it because Sam's friends were all what Dean himself often referred to "geeks". What Dean didn't know was that Sam had convinced his friends that they could be bad asses for one night to celebrate his birthday and they snuck out in the middle of the night with several cans of spray paint and a plan. Unfortunately two police officers brought Sam home at three in the morning.

Luckily one of the officers had been Sam's best friend's uncle and no charges were pressed. But Dean had been livid and as always Sam hadn't known when it was time to shut his mouth and he had actually argued with his brother. It had all ended with Dean giving Sam a spanking that he would never forget. It wasn't by any means the first time that Dean had stepped in for dad and administered punishment but it was by far the worst. And if that hadn't been bad enough Dean had told dad when he came home and Sam had gotten it again. Just the memory made Sam feel sick to his stomach.

He looked to Dean displeased to see that he was as serious as a heart attack. "Yeah well I'm not sixteen anymore Dean and I happen to be way bigger than you are now too."

Sam threw that in hoping to stop whatever it was that Dean was thinking but he was dismayed to hear his brother snort. "Yeah like you weren't bigger than me then. You were eye to eye with me the summer that you turned fifteen. That was when dad and I figured out that you were gonna be a giant. I still whipped your butt pretty good then and I'm still thinking that's exactly what you need now."

Even though he sneered as his brother said that, his heart rate definitely picked up.  "How the hell would you know what I need have you even been the least bit concerned lately Dean?"

 Now he noted that Dean pushed the sleeves of his shirt up in a familiar gesture, which made Sam's stomach take a slow roll. But the fury was still beneath the surface at his older brother and he couldn't seem to stop the words, which were like a run away train. And the worst thing was that he hadn't even realized that he had felt abandoned by his brother.  "All that suffering in silence thing that you do just gets old. I was in pain too Dean."

He really didn't like the grimace that came across Dean's face. "Yeah Sam well if you weren't you are gonna be here very shortly."

Sam couldn't stop the look of repulsion that crossed his own face at those words. But not wanting his brother to know just how upset he was he decided that the best defense is a good offense.  "You aren't Dad Dean, so get over yourself. Just because you got the best of me once when I was sixteen doesn't mean that it will ever happen again."

Even as he said it Sam realized that it sounded weak but all he had hoped to accomplish was to make his brother mad but even that fell short when Dean laughed. "Which one of us are you trying to convince Sam you or me? And make no mistake it is gonna happen, and whether or not you fight me on it is only gonna affect just how hard I end up swatting your butt."

Sam knew then that his brother was committed to the task at hand, and for his own best interest he should just walk out but he couldn't. "Just fuck off Dean. I don't care about you or your pathetic need to play daddy."

Much to his surprise again his brother chuckled. "Tsk, tsk little brother you are just digging yourself in deeper with that attitude and then lying on top of it? Now before I start let's talk again about the moronic things that you have done lately, shall we?"

Sam realized that Dean was serious and this was so completely not what he had had in mind when he started his little plan. He made a rush for the door and unfortunately Dean had anticipated his action and was a step behind him. As soon as they were by the bed that Sam was sleeping in, Dean did a foot sweep and effectively knocked Sam over. If that wasn't bad enough Dean placed a hand in the middle of his back and pushed him so that when he landed it was on his stomach. He tried to right himself but Dean already had his arm twisted behind his back and a knee firmly planted on his lower back holding him down.

The more he struggled the tighter Dean's hold seemed to get. He finally relaxed and attempted to talk his way out of the situation. "Okay so look I might have been… misguided in my attempt to help. And I kinda think maybe you might sort of have a small point about letting you grieve in your own way so just let me up and let's forget it all."

He was dismayed again to hear a snort from his older brother. "If that was supposed to be an apology it was weak dude. And as far as you're getting up you can just as soon as I am finished making my point on your butt."

Sam felt Dean reach under him and unsnap his jeans and yank them down and that was all he needed to resume his struggles tenfold. Unfortunately it still got him exactly no where, but maybe he could reason with his brother. His heart stopped for a minute as he heard Dean pull off his belt and tighten the grip on his arm. "C'mon dude please don't do this. I'm sorry I swear, and the whole pool shark thing was stupid."

Now he felt Dean relax a bit and he was hopeful that if he just admitted it all he would release his arm and forget this crazy idea of punishing Sam like he used to. But instead Dean just encouraged him to go on. "Continue with your little story Sammy and tell me what else you have done wrong."

Confident that once he recited his sins he would be let up Sam gave him the whole list. "Okay so I thought I could force you to share your feelings with me which was wrong, I should have accepted that you were dealing and tried to help you. And hell yeah I was completely outmatched in that bar fight and if you hadn't stepped in the guy would probably wiped up the floor with me. I have been really angry at you and hurt and that's why I haven't mentioned that I put a dent on the underside of the Impala the other day either. So now you know everything just let me up."

Sam threw the remark about the car into the discussion thinking that as long as Dean was pissed, he might as well come clean. He heard Dean make a low, rumbling noise, which sounded almost like a growl. "You dented the car Sam? The one freakin time I let you drive it and you put a dent on her?"

Still sure he was going to get out of this, Sam tried reasoning again. "Look Dean I really am sorry. Now let me up."

He felt Dean again tighten his grip. "Sure Sam just as soon as I am finished teaching you that the crazy assed crap stops today I'll be happy to let you back up again."

Realizing that Dean intended to go through with things, Sam attempted one last time. "I am not sixteen any more Dean!"

His reply was for his brother to snap the belt down across his behind and it hurt even more than he remembered. "I know Sam that's why I am gonna make sure this is a serious punishment that you are gonna remember for a while."

He struggled against the arm holding his and the words but Dean ignored both protests and began in serious the act of punishment. He began a regular rhythm with the belt. "Oww come on Dean man that hurts."

"Good. Think about it Sam."

He continued to swat Sam and it was going from uncomfortable to miserable at a fast pace. Sam attempted to struggle but the pain from the belt was making it hard for him to concentrate on any thing other than the fire it was delivering. And the thought of struggle left completely as the belt landed across his upper thighs in a few scalding swats. He tried to stop the tears but they came uninvited and the repetitive action of the belt encouraged even more. Dean hadn't even been spanking Sam for more than a few minutes and he was horrified to be sobbing already.

While the belt continued to fall Sam thought that maybe Dean had eased up a bit but it didn't seem to help. It hurt so fiercely and the sobbing worsened and it felt as if all the tears that he hadn't shed over his father were now falling. He stopped fighting the hold that Dean had on him and just stayed still and accepted what his brother was doing. His ass felt like an inferno and his chest ached from crying but for the first time since his father had died he no longer felt alone. He could feel his brother's presence as strongly as he could feel the punishment.

He realized that Dean had stopped and was rubbing gentle circles on his back. For some reason this kindness after the harsh reality of the spanking made his crying worsen.

"Hey buddy it'll be all right now." The soft words, which sounded so much like what Dad had said after every spanking, caused him to cry even harder.

It must have worried Dean because the hand stopped for a moment. "Dude c'mon now, really it's gonna be okay."

Sam was surprised that he wasn't mad at Dean because earlier he had been mad enough to hit him and if Dean hadn't gotten the upper hand they might have even tussled. But he didn't feel any fury, just pain, and he needed the comfort that only Dean could give him. He was afraid that the Dean that had existed since their father had died would be the Dean he would be facing now. And that would be the worst thing that could happen. He needed the old Dean, the older brother who taught him how to be brave when dad was gone on a hunt and how to ride a bike and shave and even drive. The Dean who would have done anything in the world to protect him.

He felt the hand rubbing his back still again and he looked over his shoulder in time to see Dean wiping tears off of his own face. And then he knew. He knew that his brother had come back from whatever tortured place he had been emotionally since their father's death. He pulled up his jeans and groaned at the discomfort that caused. Wiping his own face on the sleeve of his long sleeved tee shirt he carefully sat up trying to keep his weight off of his butt. "I'm sorry Dean really I am."

He felt himself being pulled into a hug and it felt like coming home again. He put his face on Dean's shoulder and cried a bit more but the feeling in his gut told him that it really was going to be all right again. And if that hadn't his brother's next words would have. "Okay Francis, I didn't wear my waterproof shirt today so if you don't mind wrapping up the crying like a girl I would appreciate it."

Sam realized that he was both laughing and crying at the same time. But Dean's next words sobered him quickly. "Now dude we need to talk about dad."

Sam looked to his older brother and saw eyes bright with unshed tears and wondered how he could have ever thought that Dean wasn't grieving. It was as if even saying his name had hurt and Sam knew exactly how it felt. He affectionately nudged Dean's shoulder with his and just nodded unable for a second to even speak. He saw his older brother take a deep breath as if he were about to do something difficult and Sam knew that he was even before he spoke. "I miss him so much that sometimes I don't think I can go on."

Sam simply nodded his head again understanding the feeling completely, as he himself often felt it. He remained quiet waiting for Dean to finish with his thoughts having wanted to be able to know how he felt for so long now that hearing the words was a privilege. "Knowing that he exchanged his life for mine is agony for me. Knowing that he could still be here with you if only he had just let me die. Knowing that he will never again clap me on the shoulder, or yell at me because I didn't follow an order or even just walk into a room and make me feel safe. It just hurts like a knife in the gut Sammy."

As if the words hadn't wounded enough Dean dropped his head and gave free reign to the tears that he had been fighting and Sam wrapped a consoling arm around his shoulders. He had known that Dean was probably suffering but he had had no idea of the depth of his pain. Or more specifically the depth of his guilt about their fathers death. He just let Dean cry for a moment and felt ashamed about his need for Dean to be the same old Dean that he had always been. Clearly he should have tried to help his brother or better yet they should have tried to help each other.

"Look Dean you can't change the decision that dad made and even if he was here you wouldn't be. It isn't exactly a win win situation for any of us. But you didn't make that decision he did. And there is nothing you can do about it other than to honor it by being the kind of man that he would have wanted you to be. The kind of man that you were before all this happened. The truth is that all we have is each other now. And we have to open up and at least try and share the pain about dad. It's the only way either one of us is going to ever get through it."

Dean gave him a squinty eyed stare. "So when did you get so freakin wise?"

Now he was relieved, and gave his older brother a slightly smaller version of his wide grin. "Must have been around the time you were lighting my ass on fire a few minutes ago. And look Dean while we're on that subject I really am sorry."

Sam could see the reservation on his brother's face and something that unsettled him slightly. It was the look of determination that Dean always got when he was about to take on a hard task and Sam hoped that that task wasn't him again. "You're sorry for what exactly Sam?"

Sam had the sinking feeling could result in him getting more attention to his already miserable behind and he searched for the correct answer to the question. "I'm sorry about the pool thing and the bar thing and all of that."

He knew that he was correct when he saw Dean frown. "It was never about the pool thing Sammy and I think even you know that. While that was a stupid little game that you were playing with those thugs and me, and could have ended up being dangerous for you, it still wasn't about that. So wanna tell me what it was about or did you need me to smack you some more?"

Sam swallowed hard and unable to stop himself, felt tears fill his eyes. "No I know what I did that was wrong."

He felt as if his throat closed and he couldn't go any further and to his surprise Dean rolled his eyes and groaned a smart ass comment on his lips. "Do you wanna tell me or should I get out my crystal ball and guess?"

Even with the comment it still took Sam a minute to get it out. "I was mad at you because you were deep in pain that you wouldn't share with me and I did a stupid thing to try and force you to come to terms with it. And you're right I was in way over my head with the pool shark thing. It was just dumb luck that kept me from getting knifed in the parking lot. But I didn't think about that because I've seen you do it before."

He watched as Dean slowly shook his head. "I am a trained professional little brother. First of all you are a lousy shot and second of all you are a girl, a giant girl but still a girl and even the hustler look thing didn't change that."

The two sat in silence for a moment and Sam knew that they weren't done. Sam paused yet again not wanting to have to actually say it and Dean fixed him with a hard stare and raised an eyebrow. "Do I need to start counting Sam?"

Sam just returned his stare open mouthed, not being able to get his mind around the concept. "What the hell Dean, do you think that you're Dad now?"

Again he saw tenacity written on his brother's face. "Isn't that what you need Sam?"

Sam felt the tears again and didn't respond. "Okay then one….."

Now Sam felt his heart pick up at the implied threat. "Two and believe me when I get to five something very unpleasant is gonna happen…again."

Feeling as if he were in some kind of horrible nightmare Sam sat mute. "Three…."

Dean actually stood up again at this point and Sam knew he needed to just say it. "Okay so I needed you to be my big brother again…. all right? I needed you, I couldn't do this alone and I knew that if I pushed hard enough eventually you would stop at least long enough to straighten out my ass. You have been doing it all of my life."

Having made this difficult admission Sam gave in to the tears and Dean sat down putting an arm around him again. "Look Sammy I am sorry but I just didn't know how to do it any differently about dad and all of it. I'm sorry that I have been so distant and so damn mean to you every day. I promise I'll go back to being the older brother that you used to have. It won't be easy but I guess I do owe it to dad I did promise him I would take care of you. Okay?"

Sam nodded and allowed his brother to give him a brief hug before wiping his eyes onto the long sleeve of his shirt. "Now are we done or have you got any other confessions that you would like to make? And by the way the thing with the dent in the car, you just better hope that it's a small dent dude. Otherwise you may be in for some more Sam gets his butt smacked again time."

Sam felt his eyes widen at that pronouncement and then he heard Dean chuckle. "Dude you are way toooo easy."

Dean again stood and walked to the window and pulled the curtain aside. "Okay so it's a beautiful day and I'm thinking since you tried my game I maybe should try yours. It's been a while since we have done any brother stuff other than my just warming up your ass of course. So I saw a miniature golf course about a mile from here let's go and do it. That should be tame enough for you right?"

Sam shook his head and wondered if his brother was possessed. "You want to play putt putt Dean?"

Dean shook his head "No but it's a chicks game and you are probably great at it so lets go. I'll bet you twenty bucks that I can beat you by four strokes at least."

Now Sam couldn't help the smile that crossed his face. "Dean no one bets on miniature golf."

If the smug expression was any indication, apparently Dean did. "What's the matter Francis, afraid that you can't even win at a girl's game?"

Sam grinned and stood up and shook his head. "Oh bring it on and I accept your bet too."

He wasn't surprised when Dean laughed. "Yeah there really is one born every minute. I am gonna go out to the car and check on that dent and you pull yourself together and come on out and then we can let the games begin as they say."

Sam noticed that as he headed for the door Dean reached out and squeezed his shoulder. As the door closed Sam sat back down for a moment before standing and reached back to rub his sore behind. He had wanted to get a reaction out of Dean and that had been the motivating factor behind all that he had done. He had never dreamed that his older brother would resort to what he had. But even with that he felt as if things between them were closer to being the way that they always had. And he again felt tears sting his eyes as he realized that he had acted childishly and had deserved what Dean had done.

But all that aside the loneliness that he had felt and the isolation were gone. Dean stuck his head back in the door. "C'mon Sammy get a move on."

He walked into the bathroom and splashed water on his face and walked out the door where his brother was waiting in the sunshine for him. "Good news the dent isn't so bad so you are only grounded for two weeks from driving her."

Sam looked at his brother with a perplexed expression.

"What? You wanted Dad Sammy so you got him."

Sam followed Dean to the car not sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing but either way at least Dean was back.

Back to Snow White's Stories