At the end of February, Sam walked into the kitchen where Dean was cooking dinner and announced, “I’m pregnant.”
Dean looked up from the pan of frying steak and blinked at his brother. “Come again?”
“I’m pregnant,” Sam repeated.
“Yeah, that’s what I thought you said." Dean pushed the spitting pan off of the heat and turned to face his brother. He could feel the heat from the lit burners against his skin, making sweat pool in the small of his back. He watched Sam cross his arms and take the few steps into the kitchen. Sam paused by the big wooden table and pulled out a chair. He sank into it, and tipped his head back to meet Dean's gaze.
“It’s yours, by the way. In case you were wondering."
“I. Yeah. I know. I mean, you haven’t… With anyone else. Have you?”
“No,” Sam said flatly.
“Right.” Dean raised his hand and passed it over his face, feeling the bristles scrape against his fingers. “So, what’re we gonna do about it?”
Sam wasn’t diagnosed as a sexual chimera until he was fifteen.
Most boys were discovered much earlier, as they turned ten and went through the mandated routine screening that all American males were supposed to attend. Unfortunately, moving state to state and changing school so often meant that Sam had missed his screening, along with so many other routine doctors’ appointments over the years. Instead Sam's big reveal happened in the most dramatic way possible, which Dean guessed was pretty fitting for the Winchesters.
Dad had been gone for three weeks that looked like turning into four or five. They were living in a rented apartment in Oklahoma and Dean had a job on a road crew building a new highway a few miles outside of town while Sam attended the local high school. He got the message from the foreman who ambled over during lunch to tell him the high school had called to say his little brother had been rushed to the ER during first period. Dean swore at the guy, which got him an on-the-spot firing. Not that Dean particularly cared at that moment.
He got to the hospital in ten minutes to find that Sam was already in surgery with suspected appendicitis. He paced the waiting room with his face covered in dust and dirt from laying tar, the smell clinging to his ratty jeans and flannel. After three hours of surgery, Sam’s surgeon appeared and did a double-take when Dean presented himself, looking around the waiting room like he was expecting someone else. Dean explained that their dad was away, thinking angrily that none of this mattered, that he just wanted to know why the fuck Sam had been taken to the freaking hospital and how the stomach ache he’d been complaining about last night had turned into three hours of emergency surgery.
“So did you take it out?” he asked.
The doctor frowned at him and repeated, “Take it out?”
“His appendix,” Dean said. “They said he had appendicitis. That’s what happens, isn’t it?”
The doctor gave him a long look then removed his glasses to rub the creases on his nose. “It wasn’t appendicitis, Mr Winchester. The pain was due to some small developmental abnormalities of his uterus. On occasions, that kind of abdominal pain can be incorrectly diagnosed as appendicitis. But I can assure you that his appendix is intact and doing just fine.”
“Developmental abnormalities of his what?”
“Uterus,” said the doctor, replacing his glasses. “Luckily, we were able to fix it. We’ll run more tests and another scan tomorrow of course to check that everything’s looking good. But at the moment, his uterus and ovaries look as healthy as those of any other fifteen year old sexual chimera.”
Dean’s head spun. He stared at the doctor, watching his mouth move and really not taking in a word he was saying. The doctor paused and gave him a pitying look.
“You didn’t know. Did you?”
Dean blinked at him. “You’re saying that my brother’s a chimera?”
"I can show you the scans if you like," said the doctor.
Dean lifted his hand to the back of his head and ran it through his hair. "Uh, yeah. If it's not too much trouble?"
The doctor made a poor attempt at hiding his exasperation, because clearly it was some trouble, but he beckoned Dean to follow him anyway.
Dean looked between the black and white images and the doctor's face and shook his head. "Yeah, so I have no idea what I'm looking at here."
"The uterus," the doctor pointed to a funnel shaped white blob between the two pelvic bones. “The malformation was just here,” he moved his finger to stroke one side of the funnel.
“This is definitely Sam, right? This..." Dean gestured at the image. "This."
The doctor raised his head to blink at him. “Yes.”
“So, he’s definitely a chimera?”
Dean blew out a breath. “Well, shit. You didn’t tell him, did you?”
“No. He's been sedated. He should be waking up," he made a show of looking at his watch, "in about fifteen minutes. You're welcome to make your way to the recovery room."
"Yeah, thanks," Dean said.
"I'll ask the nurse to give you some literature," the doctor said, and this time his tone was getting perilously close to almost being sympathetic. "It can be a lot to take in."
Sam came around slowly, blinking and smiling dopily when his glazed eyes finally focused on Dean.
“Hey, Sammy,” Dean said.
“Dean. You’re here. How long have you been here?”
“Course I’m here,” Dean said, ignoring the question. “How do you feel?”
Sam made a face, nose wrinkling in a way that made him look even younger. “I want to go home. When can I go?”
Dean glanced around him and leaned in. “Soon, man, soon. So, uh, hey. There’s something we gotta talk about.”
Sam took the news with the kind of stoicism Dean was beginning to notice and admire in his little brother. He was silent at first, not saying anything when the hospital finally let him go home. He had a big pile of information leaflets in his backpack alongside the homework he’d begged Dean to bring him. He’d gone through a check-up and a scan and a comforting chat with the hospital’s chimerism counselor and he hadn't said a word to Dean about it.
Dean helped him into the apartment and got him settled on the couch with a blanket and more reading while he fixed lunch. When he came back into the living room, Sam was still sitting on the couch, unmoving, matching tear tracks staining his cheeks. Dean hesitated, standing in the middle of the room holding his plate of sandwiches and feeling completely useless.
Wordlessly, Sam lifted his head and looked at him. They stared at each other for what felt like a long time, and then Dean swallowed and forced himself to move toward Sam. He placed the sandwiches on the coffee table, sank to his knees by the couch and scooped up his brother into a hug. He only began to pull away when he felt Sam squirming. He raised his head to look directly into Sam’s face and rested his hand on his neck.
“You know it doesn’t matter,” he said.
“That’s crap, Dean,” Sam said.
“No, not for me,” he insisted, because it was true. It didn’t matter. Sam was still Sam, he was still Dean’s bratty little brother. So what if he was also a chimera? The condition wasn’t that rare. There were always a handful of chimeras in every school. According to the literature the hospital had given them, about 5% of the male population were chimeras; it was more common than twins. Dean had even been with two chimeras before. There was nothing weird or unusual about it and it was nothing to feel ashamed of.
Admittedly, this had come as something of a shock, and he was dreading the moment when they had to tell Dad, knowing that Dad could be weird and old-fashioned about these sorts of things. Dean hadn't dared mention anything to Dad about his own sex life, and definitely not about his experiences with guys. But all things considered, it could be so much worse; Sam could have had stomach cancer or something equally horrific. It could’ve been a hell of a lot worse.
“I thought I was bisexual,” Sam said at last.
Dean blinked at him, surprised by the abrupt change of subject. Sam had his head turned away from Dean, wiping his eyes with the back of his hand.
“I mean, I still like girls. But guys… I like them too. I thought I was bisexual.” He broke off and shrugged bitterly. “I guess it doesn’t matter now. Girls never go for chimeras.”
“That’s not true,” Dean said.
Sam gave him an unimpressed look.
“Dude, c’mon. You can date or fuck who you like; you don’t have to be constrained by bullshit labels. You know that kinda shit doesn’t matter to me. And you know that I've, yeah, I've been with dudes before, and some of them were chimeras,” he added in a rush. “And it was good, you know, it was hot and we had a damn good time and..." He broke off when he saw Sam looking at him, eyebrows raised pointedly. He blushed and cleared his throat. “Yeah. So, whatever, you know. Plenty of chimeras end up with women.”
“No they don’t,” Sam said.
“Okay, fine, they don’t,” Dean said, rolling his eyes. “Have it your way, but seriously, man, why’re you worrying about that shit now? You’re fifteen for fuck’s sake and you got us. You’re a freakin’ hunter! That’s gotta be more important than anything.”
Sam didn’t say anything to that, so Dean nudged the plate of sandwiches toward him.
“Eat these. Your skinny ass needs to eat.”
With an enormous sigh, Sam reached for the plate of sandwiches, lifting one to his mouth and tearing into it. Dean watched him eat; the sight of Sam eating the food he’d prepared made him immediately feel better. He needed to make Sam understand that there was nothing wrong with what he was, and there was nothing wrong with being a chimera. The only people who gave a shit about chimeras’ sexuality and who they ended up with were the same religious assholes that had issues with gay people and anyone who dared to have sex at all. In Dean's opinion, those douchebags didn't want anyone to be happy, and they were way too over-invested in what happened in other people’s bedrooms than was healthy.
He got up, thinking that Sam would probably like a cool glass of ice tea with his sandwiches.
“Dean?” Sam called out.
Dean turned, hand resting on the edge of the doorframe. “Yeah, Sammy?”
Sam swallowed his mouthful of sandwich and kept looking at him. The tears from earlier had dried, but his face still looked blotchy, his eyes red-rimmed, and there were crumbs at the edges of his mouth. Despite his tall, gangly body, he looked closer to five years old than fifteen.
“When Dad gets back, will you tell him?” Sam said in a rush.
Dean kept looking at him, feeling a knot in his stomach tighten. “Yeah, we gotta,” he said at last, though it was a conversation he was dreading.
Sam’s mouth twisted. “Right.”
“Listen.” He took a step into the room. “I can handle it if you want?”
“Yeah, course, man. If that’s what you want.”
Tight-lipped, Sam nodded. “Yeah. If I do it…” he made a face. “We’ll just end up fighting about it.”
Dean snorted. “Yeah.”
“Thanks, Dean,” Sam said, sounding relieved.
“Anytime, Sammy.” He watched Sam pick up the last sandwich and tear a hunk out of it. “Just gonna get you some ice tea, okay?”
Sam nodded with his mouth full. “Thanks.”
“And, you know, what I said, I meant every word: this doesn’t change anything for me.”
Sam swallowed his mouthful and smiled faintly. “Yeah, I know, Dean.”
Dean put it off until Dad came home from the hunt, until Dad had slept off the hunt and the road and the bottle of whiskey he’d drunk his first night back. He put it off until Sam had gone to school and it was just him and Dad eating pancakes from a mix and drinking coffee.
Dean cleared his throat, and Dad looked up sharply from the pile of mail he was working through.
“Dad, there’s something I need to tell you,” he said. He kept his voice as steady as possible, meeting his father’s gaze as if he had nothing to hide.
Dad replaced the newspaper cutting carefully on the table and narrowed his gaze. “What?”
“It’s about Sam.”
“Spit it out, Dean.”
“Yeah, so.” He hesitated, licked his lips, felt his Dad’s gaze narrow even further. “He was in the hospital. I didn’t tell you ‘cause everything was okay and there’s nothing wrong with him. Except…” He hesitated again, searching for the words. Dad was giving him no break, eyes scrutinizing Dean’s face like he knew Dean was about to say something he wouldn’t like. “He’s a sexual chimera, Dad. Sir.”
Dad’s eyebrows flew up and Dean thought briefly about how he’d never really seen his father genuinely surprised before. “What did you say?”
“He’s a chimera,” Dean repeated. “He um, he has a uterus and ovaries and—“ he waved a hand in front of his stomach as if to encompass all of Sam’s newly discovered sexual organs—“all of that. It’s definite, Dad. I saw the scans. Everything’s fine and Sammy’s okay, but he’s… yeah. A chimera.”
Dad didn’t say anything at first, picking up his coffee and taking a long, silent sip.
“This doesn’t change anything,” Dean said quietly.
Dad snorted. “That’s what you think.”
“No, no, really. It doesn’t. There was a counselor who talked to us and the doctors and they say that it’s completely normal. I mean there was a problem, some developmental abnormalities, but it’s all fixed, and Sam’s just fine. And they told us: there’s nothing he can’t do that he couldn’t do before. They said that to us, so yeah, he can still hunt.”
Dad got to his feet and walked into the kitchen. Dean listened to the sound of him lighting a burner, filing up the pan of hot water they used to make coffee, and placing it on top of the stove. He passed a hand over his face and sighed. Slowly he pushed himself to his feet and walked into the kitchen. His father was standing over the stove, shoulders hunched as he stared down at the pan of boiling water.
“You mom would’ve known what to do,” he said.
Dean’s breath hitched. “Yeah. But, Dad, what they said to us—“
“I don’t care what they said to you,” Dad interrupted. He turned around and stared at Dean. “You handle this, okay? You look after him.”
Dean felt his own shoulders stiffen, drawing himself up as he heard and accepted the order. Of course he would look after Sammy, it was his job. And even if it wasn’t his job, he would still do it. “Yeah, of course, Sir. You know I will.”
Dad nodded slowly to himself, as if satisfied. “Good. Now tell me what else I’ve missed.”
The subject was obviously closed.
“He hates me,” Sam said.
“No he doesn’t.”
Sam looked up from his sundae and gave Dean a withering look. “Yeah, Dean, he does.”
“Well, if you would be more—“
“More what?” Sam snapped. “More like you? Like a good little soldier, like a real man and not a fucking chimera!” He dropped his spoon to the table with a clatter.
“Sam. You know it’s not that.”
Sam glanced up at him from under his furrowed eyebrows. “Isn’t it?”
“No, no it isn’t,” Dean insisted, though he wasn’t sure himself. Ever since he’d told Dad the news about Sam’s diagnosis, Dad had been different with Sam. He was less inclined to ride him or yell at him, which was good of course, but he was more distant, his gaze resting on Sam with a look on his face that Dean didn’t like thinking about too deeply. He didn’t seem disappointed; Dean knew what disappointment looked like on his father’s face and it wasn’t that. Instead he looked more puzzled, or perhaps, troubled. Yeah, that was probably the best way to describe it. Sam troubled Dad now, like he didn't know what to do about him. Before, they’d clashed and gotten on each other’s last nerve – which was just Sammy acting out, too freaking smart for his own good, being the emotional and otherwise normal teenager he was supposed to be. But now, with Sam’s official diagnosis, with the chimera literature sitting on the kitchen table alongside the usual newspaper cuttings and pages of research, Dad couldn't get away from it. Dean had seen it in his father's face and his attitude toward Sam, he couldn't fool himself that he hadn't. Dad was much more reluctant to confront or even to talk to Sam, relaying orders through Dean. And of course Sammy had noticed it too.
Sam shook his head pityingly at Dean. “You’re so full of shit. And the thing is you know that you’re full of shit. I can tell, Dean.” He picked up his spoon again and stirred the melting ice cream. “He hates me and he’s scared of me. He’s scared that I’m gonna get knocked up and ruin his happy hunter family.”
“That’s not going to happen,” Dean said.
“It could,” Sam said.
“Yeah, but then so could me banging Carmen Elektra. Anything could happen.”
“Now you’re just being obtuse.”
“Ooh, big fancy word.”
Dean stuck his tongue out at his brother and was rewarded with an eye-roll. “You know, man, I gave you the talk about the birds and the bees, you know that shit. You ain’t gonna get knocked up. Unless you want to of course.” He narrowed his eyes. “You don’t want to, do you?”
“Dude, I’m fifteen,” Sam said, giving him another of those superior and incredulous teenager looks. “I don’t want a baby.”
“Right. But in the future.”
Sam shrugged. “I don’t know.” He dropped his spoon into the sundae glass again and rested his chin on his hand. “It’s so weird. Just to think that I could… you know.”
“It’s not that weird. Other chimeras do it all the time.”
“Yeah, but.” Sam hesitated and wet his lips. He shrugged his bony shoulders up and down, pressed one finger into the formica table to chase around the specks of sugar. “I didn’t expect this.”
“I know,” Dean said softly. “But it’s okay. We’re gonna be okay.”
Sam didn’t say anything to that, so Dean signaled the waitress for the check.
Sam had his first big date when he was sixteen. They were in Maine and it was cold. Dean hated the cold and thought wistfully of the previous winter in Georgia. But Sam seemed to enjoy the high school, so that was something. Dean could deal with the shitty weather, Dad’s long absence, and working crappy part-time jobs to cover the rent so long as Sam was happy. Dad was up north, hunting ghosts along the Canadian coast, and Dean had picked up some shifts at a local gas station, smiling and flirting with the locals as he pumped gas. He earned enough in tips after a week to pay for Sam’s tux rental so he was pretty pleased with himself. His little brother was going to the Homecoming Dance with one of the stars of the football team and Dean was going to make sure Sam went in style.
He wolf-whistled as Sam stepped out of their shared bedroom, fiddling with the cuffs of his tux that still managed to be short on his ridiculously long arms.
“Shut up!” he hissed at Dean, but Dean just laughed and moved to straighten his brother’s bowtie.
Sam tipped his head back to look up at him, his bangs falling across his forehead and that pink tinge in his cheeks that was part embarrassment and part excitement. Dean paused when he was done and flicked imaginary specks of dust off Sam’s shoulders, wanting to keep his hands on his brother and feeling an uneasy churning sensation in his belly at the thought of letting him go off into the night with some other boy. He cradled Sam’s neck and slid his thumbs around to span his brother’s jaw. They were practically the same height now and Sam was still growing. He was going to be taller than him in a few months.
Sam blinked at him and smiled in a way that was almost shy. “I’ll be okay, Dean. I can look after myself.”
“I know. I know you can.” He didn’t want to let go of Sam, he didn’t want to pull his hands away. He wanted to pull Sam closer, to hug him and tell him to go back into that room to take off the damn tux. He wanted him right here where he could keep an eye on him.
Sam put his hands on Dean’s wrists and gently pried his hands away. “You’re gonna blub, aren’t you?”
“What? No! Don’t be stupid.”
Sam smiled evilly. “It’s okay, Dean. I won’t tell anyone.”
Sam chuckled and pulled away. “Yeah, right. You’ll do it when I’m gone. You’ll blub, just like a proud mommy.”
“Shut up, Sam.”
Outside, headlights hit the window, momentarily flooding the room in bright light. Sam glanced up, licking his lips in an unconscious and nervous tell.
"Expecting someone?" Dean asked, raising his eyebrows.
Sam blushed again and fiddled with his cuffs. "I asked him to pick me up."
"Why'd you do that? I can drop you," Dean said.
Sam gave him a look that managed to be both ironic and exasperated.
"Dude, what? Why not?" Dean protested.
"No, Dean," Sam said firmly. "Anyway, he's here now."
"Yeah, why don't you invite him in? Just say hi," Dean said.
Sam scoffed. "No freaking way. You'd just go all parental on him. So damn embarrassing."
"Hey," Dean protested. He was not embarrassing, he was cool. He was the cool older brother, that was who he was.
"I'll see you later, okay?" Sam said. He slid his hands into his pockets, looking suddenly nervous again. "I guess I should…” he jerked his head towards the door.
“Oh hey wait!” Dean called. He jammed his hand into his pocket and took out the fresh packet of condoms he’d bought that morning. He held it out to Sam. Sam glanced down at the pack and his face flushed red.
“Dude, no, take it,” Dean interrupted, moving forward into Sam’s space and sliding the pack into the pocket of his tux. He patted the pocket, hand lingering. “I’ll feel better if I knew you had them with you. You can’t trust a guy to do it.” He slid his hand up to cup Sam’s wrist. “Well, not a guy, but you know what I mean. And this is Homecoming, man, you gotta be prepared.”
Sam sighed but didn’t resist. “Fine.”
“Good, good.” Dean nodded his head and stepped away, reluctantly letting go of his brother’s arm. “So, yeah. He’s bringing you back, right?”
“Yeah,” Sam nodded.
“Okay. If there’s a problem then…”
“I’ll call you. Now quit worrying. It’s all fine.” The emphasis on fine was so typically bratty Sammy that Dean bit his tongue to keep from laughing. He stepped back and sat down in the chair, taking up the paper he’d been in the middle of pretending to read.
“Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do!” he called as Sam closed the front door behind him.
Dean lowered the paper and tossed it to the floor as soon as he heard the porch steps creak, Sam crunching across the driveway to the road. He got quickly to his feet and hurried to the window. He pushed aside the curtains and watched Sam’s date get out of the car and hold the passenger side door open for Sam. Sam looked about two inches taller than him which made Dean smile. The kid said something to Sam as Sam slid inside, before he shut the door behind him. He wasn't sure how the opening the door routine would land with Sam, especially when Sam was the one who’d done the asking out, but at least it showed that the kid had some idea of good manners.
Dean drew away reluctantly when the car disappeared down the road, and let the curtains fall back into place. He stared at the empty living room and at the clock ticking over the TV. It was 6:44pm, the dance was supposed to finish at midnight, which meant he had just over five hours to kill. Only five hours. How much could Sam get up to in five hours?
By two am, Sam still hadn't returned. Dean told himself that he shouldn't worry yet. So Sammy was out past curfew, so freaking what? It wasn't like he was anyone to throne stones. If it got to four am and Sam still wasn't back, then yeah, he'd start worrying, but not yet. Whatever Sam said, he wasn't that damn parental.
The pizza he'd had for dinner seemed like hours ago, and he wasn't heading off to bed anytime soon, so he decided make a grilled cheese sandwich. He had the sandwich toasting nicely in the pan when he heard the door. He dropped the spatula to the worktop and walked into the living room.
“Dean! Hey, there you are,” Sam greeted him. He was weaving, leaning against the closed door which seemed to be the only thing keeping him upright. He was flushed and rumpled and he had an enormous grin on his face.
“It’s two am,” Dean said.
Sam blew out a breath, waving his arm dismissively. “You go out huntin’ all night.” His speech was slurred, his gaze unfocussed as it finally landed on Dean. “You and Dad go huntin’ and you could get killed and I don’t say anything.”
“You could come with us.”
“Don’t wanna.” Sam pouted at him. “Hunting’s dumb.”
Dean rolled his eyes. “Yeah, you’re totally wasted.”
“It’s Homecoming! Supposed to be wasted!”
Dean looked at him for a long moment then shook his head, half-smiling to himself. “Yeah, okay, point taken. So, you have fun?”
“Uh-huh. It was kinda dumb, like, cheesy, you know? But it was good.”
Dean peered at him and raised his eyebrows. “Oh my God, you got laid, didn’t you?”
“Dude, don’t be gross!” Sam spluttered.
“Oh you did! You so did! Little Sammy finally got some!”
“Don’t call me that!” Sam protested. He pushed himself away from the door and stumbled towards the kitchen, brushing past Dean. “Hey, you’re makin' grilled cheese!”
“Whoa there,” Dean said, putting a hand on his elbow to steady him. “Don’t pitch over.”
Sam shook him off with a hilariously sulky little look and weaved his way into the kitchen. “You are! You are making grilled cheese. Why you holding out on me, Dean?” His expression slid into a classic Sammy pout as he toppled onto a stool. He crossed his arms on the table and gave Dean a pleading look. “I’m starving.”
Dean rolled his eyes. “Okay, but quid pro quo, kiddo. You gotta tell me what went down tonight. Or no food.”
Sam kept pouting and Dean raised his eyebrows again. Eventually Sam sighed and wrinkled his nose. “You're really gross.”
“Yeah, keep saying that, I ain’t listening.” He moved back to the stove where the sandwiches were sizzling nicely, just beginning to turn that perfect shade of toasty brown. He flipped them over and took a long sniff of the delicious aroma of melting cheese. “Hmm, smell that, man. Fan-freaking-tastic!” He smacked his lips together and gave Sam an obnoxious look.
“Fine,” Sam sighed, dropping his chin to his hand. “What d'you wanna know?”
“So did you do it? Did he pop your cherry?”
Sam blushed furiously and glared at him.
“I’m taking that as a yes,” Dean said. He prodded the sandwich with the spatula, ignoring the little flip in his own belly and the clutching of his heart at what his brother wasn’t saying. He had been expecting this, and it was good. It was about time Sam let himself go for long enough to really have fun. He was always so serious. “You were safe, right? I don’t need to go around there and beat his ass?”
“God, you’re so lame,” Sam groaned. “Give me some freakin' credit. And anyway, I didn’t need them. He brought his own.”
Dean whistled. “Go on Jock-boy. So was it good?”
“Not talkin' about this with you. Normal brothers don’t talk about this shit.”
“Well, I ain’t a normal brother,” Dean said, pointing the spatula at Sam.
Sam snorted. “Yeah, lucky me.”
Dean scooped the sandwich onto a plate and deposited it on the table in front of Sam. “Lucky you that I’m awesome enough to make your drunk ass a grilled cheese sandwich at two fucking am.”
Sam tipped his head back and grinned at him, the dimples popping in his cheeks. “Thanks, Dean.”
“I know, I’m an awesome brother. It’s my cross to bear,” Dean said.
He slipped the other sandwich onto his plate and took the seat opposite Sam. He was about to raise the sandwich to his lips when Sam grabbed his wrist. Dean lifted his gaze to his brother’s face. Sam’s eyes were shining, hazy with alcohol as he focused on Dean’s face.
“Thanks, you know. For everything.”
Dean frowned. “What?”
“For the tux and – and being okay with it, and not telling Dad.”
“Dad ain't here.”
“Yeah I know, but you didn’t tell him, and I appreciate it. He would just be…” he made a face, “weird about it. About it being a guy.”
“You’re a chimera,” Dean said.
“Well, duh, yeah. But he’s weird enough about that. This just makes it worse.”
Dean held his gaze for a moment, then lowered his sandwich to his plate. He gently tugged Sam’s hand off his wrist, laying it down onto the table. “Well, okay, you’re welcome. I just hope you didn’t get any jizz on that tux. I gotta return it tomorrow.”
Sam sighed. “I was right first time, you’re an asshole.”
Dean just laughed.
“Are you sure?”
Dean adjusted his grip on the wheel, casting a hesitant glance his brother’s way. Sam was screwed up in the corner of the passenger seat, or about as squashed up as someone of Sam’s proportions could be.
It was four days since Sam dropped the bombshell. They hadn’t had chance to talk about it. Not that either of them had been prepared to talk about it. But Garth called with a hunt that he wasn’t able to get to (wrong time of the month and all that) and so they’d been in Arkansas for the past few days, chasing down and eventually vanquishing a vengeful spirit taking out soccer moms. They saved a mother who’d been the next name on the spirit’s shitlist. Remembering the look on the husband’s and little boy’s faces after they saved the woman, Dean was reminded just why it was they did this job and why what they did mattered.
So he was feeling good, feeling better about things than he had been for a while. Until a minute ago when Sam turned to him and said, “I’ve decided to get rid of it.”
Dean didn’t need to ask what Sam was talking about. They hadn’t talked about it over the last four days, but that didn’t mean anything. They were always not talking about one thing or another; it was just how they rolled. But this was different. Dean found himself aware of Sam in a way he wasn’t usually during a hunt. When the spirit slammed Sam into a nearby headstone, he’d been momentarily terrified, the thought spinning unchecked through his mind: What about the baby? He's carrying our baby. But it had been immediately replaced with something worse, the cold rip through his heart of, maybe that would be it, that could take care of the problem, take the decision out of our hands... Slam Sammy up against a couple of walls and another headstone and then it could all be over… He swallowed over the roll of nausea in his gut, remembering how his stomach had churned in horror and disgust as he'd ruthlessly pushed away the terrifying insidious thought. He'd dropped the lit match into the grave and run to Sam, so fucking relieved to see his brother get unsteadily to his feet and return his nod. However quick or convenient it could be, that wasn't the answer to their problems. There was no way he could stand by and let Sam get hurt like that.
He flicked another look at his brother. This time Sam caught him out, their eyes meeting for a fraction of a second, before Dean turned his attention back to the road.
“I don’t think we got a choice, Dean.”
“There’s always a choice,” Dean said automatically.
Sam said nothing to that.
“I mean it. If you want to…” He hesitated, searching for the words and not finding them, feeling his voice fade away as the silence took over.
The car engine hummed, and Dean reached instinctively to turn the dial on the radio, pausing when snatches of a familiar tune came through the speakers. Drowning in a sea of love where everyone would love to drown. Now it's gone, it doesn't matter anymore… He listened to the lyrics for a moment, recognizing Fleetwood Mac’s "Sara". He’d always had a soft spot for Stevie Nicks. If Sam hadn’t said what he’d just said, he’d turn the volume up to enjoy it properly. He hated these long, awkward road trips. There’d been too many of them over the past few years. Better to enjoy the radio than endure more painful, bitter silences.
Sam sighed, and changed position, and Dean risked a glance at him. He was still staring out of the window, his expression impassive and shut down.
Sam swung his gaze Dean’s way and Dean glanced at him again, seeing the knitted eyebrows, the dead look in his eyes. Sam looked so much older than his 32 years. Then again, Sam had always seemed older than his actual age.
He had thought about it over the past few days when his mind wasn’t actively engaged on the hunt. He’d let it wonder, let the images flow through his head untouched: what would Sam look like actually carrying their baby, letting it grow inside him? Would he go to pieces at the birth or would he be calm like Sam? Would the kid be freaking enormous like Sam? Would it have his ridiculous hair and changeable eyes? Or maybe it would have Dad’s eyes, or Mom’s? How would he feel actually holding a kid that was his and Sam’s? The only person in the world that he could maybe love as much as his brother.
“I’ll do whatever you want,” he said at last, his voice low.
Sam bowed his head, nodding slowly. “I want to get rid of it. That’s my decision.”
Dean felt his heart sink but he nodded. “Okay, then that’s what we’ll do.”
He reached to turn the volume up. There were two hundred miles left to the Bunker and he wasn’t planning on sitting in silence.