Title: No Sweeping Exits or Offstage Lines
By: geekwriter143
Pairing: Sam/Dean UST
Rating: R
Warning: incest
Summary: He hates that the years Sam was gone are so hidden from him, hates that he has to get to know his own brother all over again.


They're at a bar in small-town Virginia, taking a break after rolling into town that afternoon. There's a very nasty poltergeist that needs exorcising, and they'll get right to it once they have a few beers and some sleep.

"Sam," the guy says, like he's surprised. Why shouldn't he be? They're in the middle of Podunk, Nowhere. Dean would be surprised if he saw somebody he knew, too. Not that he knows many people, but still. "I...hey."

"Hey," Sam says. He brushes his hair out of his eyes and takes a deep breath. He looks away, then back at the guy. "So, um..." he says.

At the same time, the guy says, "You're...I didn't expect to see you here."

Sam shrugs. "Yeah, me neither. Wow. It's been a long time. What are you doing here?"

"I'm...my parents. They live here and I'm visiting for Mother's Day. I mean, obviously, it's Mother's Day so..." he trails off and Dean wants to laugh. It's like watching the lamest tennis match ever. "Are you visiting? I mean, obviously you're visiting because you don't live here, or, I..."

"Just passing through," Sam says. Dean elbows him to remind Sam he's there. "Oh, um. This is Dean," Sam tells the guy. "Dean, Eddie."

"Hey," Dean says with a tip of his chin.

"Oh," says the guy. Eddie. He looks at Dean for a long moment. "Hi."

They stand in uncomfortable silence for a while and Dean hates himself for it, but he takes pity on the two of them. "So," Dean says. "Nice to meet you, Eddie."

"Yeah," Eddie says.

"See you around."

And Eddie looks like Dean's just fucking blessed his firstborn child or something, just for giving him an out. "Yeah, I. Good to see you again, Sam," he says.

Sam nods and waves as Eddie walks away. Dean waits until he's out of earshot before saying, "Awkward much?"

Sam sighs and nods. "I need a drink."

"That's my Sammy," Dean says. "So, that a Stanford guy?"

Sam nods and is silent as they each order a beer. At the table, Sam still looks a little shook up and Dean can't help but fuck with him.

"He copy off one of your tests or something?" Dean asks.

"Hmmm?" Sam looks up at him.

"Just wondering why the temperature dropped about 15 degrees when you saw him."

"Oh," Sam says. He takes a swig of beer. "We just used to go out is all. Running into an ex is always weird."

"You used to go out where?" Dean asks before Sam's words sink in. "Oh," he says.

Sam nods. "Yeah. Oh."

"I, uh..." Dean doesn't know what to say. He's known Sam almost his entire life, but he'd never known that. He doesn't have a problem with it, doesn't give a shit what other people do in private, he just never knew Sam swung that way, and he was pretty sure there wasn't anything he didn't know about Sam. "So, you go through one of those, uh, experimental phases or something?"

Sam shakes his head. "Not really, no."

And Dean's got nothing. He scratches his head and says, "So, about the poltergeist, I was thinking we should check the town records, see if they built on or around any old cemeteries. You'd think none of the town planners ever watched a fucking horror movie."

Sam seems relieved. He nods and says with a laugh, "They've watched them, they just don't believe them." And like that, the subject's closed, never to be brought up again.

Until they're halfway through Colorado and Dean says, "He the only guy you ever date?"

Sam's been half-dozing and Virginia's over a week behind them, so he has no idea what Dean's talking about. "What?"

"That guy from the bar," Dean says, obviously trying to keep his tone casual. "He the only guy you ever date?"

"Oh," says Sam, his sleepy mind finally catching up. "No."

Dean nods. He doesn't know why the hell he brought it up. It's not like he wants to talk about it. It's not like he wants to have a fucking heart-to-heart. "I just...I never knew you dug guys."

"I know," Sam says, and Dean looks at him. Sam shrugs. "I worked pretty hard to hide it when we were growing up."


Sam scoffs and shakes his head. "Would you want to have to come out to Dad?"

Dean thinks about that for a moment, then shudders. "I get your point."

"I knew he wouldn't hate me for it," Sam says, leaning his head against the window. "I just...I wanted to be normal. I thought he'd throw it in my face, tell me I could never be normal no matter how much I tried."

"He wouldn't--"

"If he'd thought it could have made me stay, he would have. He fights dirty." Sam sighs. "We all do."

Dean can't argue with that. There's no point in fighting fair if you end up dead because of it. "You could have told me," he says.

Sam shakes his head. "I really couldn't have."

"What?" Dean asks. "Why the hell not?" He's truly offended. Sam could always tell him anything. Always.

"Because I was seventeen," Sam says, staring out the window. "Because I was already afraid you hated me for wanting to go to college and I was terrified to add something more to the rift between us." Sam looks down at his hands, then back out the window.

"I could never hate you, Sammy," Dean says. He hates those heartfelt moments, but he feels deep in his gut that Sam needs to hear it.

Sam shrugs and stares out the window and doesn't say anything until long after they've crossed into New Mexico.

They kill three chupacabra in Arizona and a ghul just outside of San Diego. They're ten minutes from Tijuana so Dean says, "You ever see a donkey show?"

"You're a sick bastard," says Sam.

"Yeah," says Dean. "Me, neither. Would it make you feel better if we found a guy doing the donkey show?"

Sam punches Dean in the arm hard enough to leave a bruise. They do go to Tijuana, though, mostly because neither one of them has been before.

"That...doesn't look comfortable," Dean says, tipping his head to the side, then tipping it some more. "Or physically possible."

"I think I'm going to throw up," says Sam.

"You're the genius," Dean says, "tell me if that's physically possible."

"Really, really going to puke."

"Do you think she had to, like, train for that?" Dean asks. "That's got to be something you work your way up to, right? I mean, you just don't go from regular cock to donkey cock in a night...do you?"

"How am I supposed to know? Jesus. I have never felt so dirty in my entire life."

"Dibs on the shower," Dean says.

"Fine," says Sam as they turn to go. "As long as you leave me enough hot water to sear my eyeballs." He pauses and looks at Dean. "Get some tequila," he says. "I am not nearly drunk enough to see what I just saw."

A few hours later and they're both scrubbed clean, a little bit drunk, and finishing off the last of the tamales they'd picked up on the way back to the motel.

"I feel bad for the donkey," Dean says, and Sam chokes a little bit on his cold Tecate. "What?" he asks. "I do. He should be, I don't know, out in a field somewhere making moves on girl donkeys, not in a dirty bar being...you know."

"Fellated by a girl barely out of her teens?"

"Yeah," says Dean. "That. And, you know. The other thing."

Sam nods and looks down at his paper plate of tamales. "I am so not hungry anymore. You want the rest?"

Dean's never been one to turn down perfectly good tamales, so he tugs Sam's plate over and digs in while Sam does another tequila shot.

They crash around two in the morning, and a little after that, Dean hears soft noises coming from Sam's bed. It's not like he hasn't heard it before. They're brothers who've shared the same room--even bed sometimes--since they were kids. He knows exactly what the soft rustle of sheets and Sam's tiny little gasps mean. Usually, he'd just roll over and go back to sleep, but he does like being a jerk sometimes, so he waits until the rustling gets faster, waits until Sam holds his breath, until Sam's almost there, and then asks, "You're not thinking about the donkey, are you?"

"Damnit, Dean!"

"I'm just saying. I'd feel really shitty if you developed some sort of bestiality kink just because I took you to a donkey show."

"You are such a bastard," Sam growls from behind clenched teeth.

"Or, wait, did you already have a bestiality kink I wasn't aware of? Because I'm not the type to judge. You can do whoever you want to do, I'm just saying you should maybe stick to humans."

"Fuck. You." Sam gets out of bed, taking the covers with him. He yanks everything into the bathroom, then kicks the door closed a lot harder than he has to.

Dean chuckles softly and stretches before rolling over and falling almost immediately back to sleep.

He's not laughing when he wakes up the next morning in a puddle of goo. He sits up and swipes at his face and, God, the stuff's all over, even in his hair and he maybe makes some embarrassing noises that sound like, "Gah!" and, "Ack!" but he'll never admit to it later.

Sam's sitting in the chair with his feet propped up on the table, drinking a tamarind-flavored soda and grinning.

"Jesus!" Dean tries to wipe the stuff off his face and just succeeds in smearing it around. "The fuck is..." He pauses for a moment, licks his lips, tastes caramel. "Did you bury me in flan?"

Sam cackles with laughter.

"Where did you even get this much flan?"

"Dude," says Sam, "we're in Tijuana. What can't you find here?"

"Good point." Dean licks a dollop off his thumb. "You do realize I'm going to have to make you suffer for this."

"Well, I was nice. My first thought was to go back to the bar and get donkey cum to dump on your head."

Dean pauses in mid-lick and shudders. "Dude," he says.

Sam laughs again and doesn't stop even as Dean gets up and drips sticky custard all the way to the bathroom.

They cross the border back into the States around noon with no hassles, which Dean thinks is just proof that Border Patrol has no idea who to stop or what to look for. They've got enough firepower in the trunk to supply a small guerilla army, but Sam feigns a hangover and the officers just wave Dean on through, assuming they're simply college boys who've had too much fun.

Dean short-sheets Sam's bed in Barstow and Sam replaces all of Dean's heavy metal cassettes with recordings of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in Salt Lake.

They stalk and kill a werewolf in northern Idaho, then take off before anybody notices that the local boy scout troop leader is missing. In Montana, sitting on the hood of the Impala, drinking beer and staring up at the ink-black sky shining with stars, Dean says, "So, do you think Brad Pitt's hot?"

Sam snorts his beer through his nose, which Dean thinks is definitely a point for him, though he's still going to get Sam back for the damn church music thing.

"What?" Sam asks once he finishes coughing and sputtering.

"Brad Pitt. Is he your type? Or, that guy at the bar was a brunet, you like dark-haired guys better?"

"I don't really," Sam says, "I mean there's not just one type of guy. Why are we talking about this?"

"Because I'm your older brother, and it's my solemn duty to get you laid. How am I supposed to get you laid if I don't even know what you like?"

"I can get myself laid, thank you very much," Sam says, his voice turning pissy.

"Hey," Dean says, "I'm OK with this, Sam. All right? You like guys, so what? You like guys. Big fucking deal. I know you go crazy for women with long hair and long legs, I just wondered what your type was with guys, that's all."

Sam sighs. "It's not...even with women it's not that simple, Dean. And with guys...I don't know. I don't think I really have a type. Not a physical type, anyway."

"What about that guy from the bar? What was his name?"

"Eddie," Sam says softly.

"Yeah, Eddie. Why'd you go for him?"

Sam takes a swig of beer, then another.


"I didn't really. I was flattered, mostly. And lonely."

Dean frowns. "Sammy, if you're not really--"

"I am really," Sam tells him. "Eddie's just a bad example."

"Oh. So you've dated guys you really liked?"

Sam nods. "Yeah."

"You ever fall in love?" Dean's surprised to discover that he actually wants to know. He hates that the years Sam was gone are so hidden from him, hates that he has to get to know his own brother all over again.

"I was in love with you," Sam says softly.

Dean freezes. He forces himself to move, tries to make his muscles work smoothly as he sets down his beer. He says, "What?"

Sam sighs and looks at him. "I thought I was in love with you. Hero-worship, a life with no security, no other close friends or personal relationships, blah, blah, blah. Did you know that the first ten therapy sessions at Stanford are free?"

Dean shakes his head.

"Yeah. Well. I had a lot more than ten sessions, anyway." Sam blows his hair out of his eyes and looks away. "So," he says. "There was that."

Dean nods. "Okay."

"You asked," Sam reminds him. His mouth is a pinched white line.

"I...yeah. I know that. I'm just...I mean, I don't blame you. I am a handsome devil. Damn near irresistible." It's the right thing to say because Sam snorts a laugh and rolls his eyes and calls Dean a cocky shit. The tension is gone, even if Dean's no longer sure which way is up. He wonders if he ever knew anything about Sam at all.

"I didn't know you were unhappy," Dean says as they roll through Nebraska. There's nothing to look at, but the Impala hums as she runs smooth over the straight, flat stretches of Interstate.

Sam pulls one of his iPod earbuds out of his ear and says, "What?"

"Before you left. I didn't know you were unhappy." He flexes his hands on the steering wheel. It's not the whole truth. "I mean, I knew you weren't happy, I just didn't know..." he shrugs. "I didn't know it was killing you."

"I had to leave," Sam says. He doesn't deny that it was killing him, and that hurts a little bit. "I probably had to come back, too, but I needed those years away."

"You could have told me you were miserable."

"I did."

Dean's silent for a while. Sam did tell him, Dean just hadn't believed it. "Was it me?" he asks. "Did you leave because of how you felt about me?"

Sam looks like Dean's just sucker punched him and Dean has to work to keep himself from cringing. He knows he shouldn't bring it up, knows he should just let the fucking topic rot, but he can't. How is he supposed to let something like that go?

"Christ," Sam snaps. "It's ancient history, Dean! I had to leave. I didn't want to, but I had to. I couldn't..." He rakes his fingers through his hair. "What does it matter, anyway? I'm back. I'm here now. What does it matter why I left?"

"Because you fucking left, dude. You just took off one day. You didn't even tell us you were leaving."

"I couldn't stay," Sam whispers. "I couldn't...you don't understand."

"Explain it to me."

"I hated it," Sam tells him. "Not you, not Dad, not even hunting. I just...it was sick. I knew it was sick, I was sick, for wanting you the way that I do." Sam pauses. "The way that I did."

The verbal slip isn't lost on Dean. He may not have graduated high school, but he still knows the difference between the past and present tense. "Sammy?"

"Did," Sam says firmly. "The way that I did."

Dean frowns. He doesn't say anything, just takes the next exit and drives until they hit a campground outside Broken Bow.

"Dean," Sam whispers as Dean opens his door. "Dean, I'm sorry."

Dean nods and takes a deep breath. "Just need to get my bearings," he says. He doesn't look at Sam as he says it. "Just need some air. Don't start hitchhiking or anything while my back's turned, all right?"

"Dean," Sam says again. Dean hasn't heard him sound so miserable since the night Jess died.

"We'll work this out," he says. His voice is much more confident than he feels. "I just need to think."

He walks along the gravel lot until it ends next to a stand of trees and a creek. He leans on one of the trees and watches the water for a long time, looks up to trace the long line of the horizon with his eyes.

Sam's sitting on the grass on the other side of the Impala, his knees pulled to his chest. Dean can see that his cheeks are damp, but he's stopped crying. Instead, he's gazing into the distance with a look of wonder. Dean sits next to him. "What do you see?"

"Horses," Sam whispers. "Wild, I think."

"They must be shades. I can't see anything."

"They're so beautiful."

Dean leans and touches Sam's shoulder with his own. "We'll figure this out, Sammy."

Sam nods but doesn't speak

Dean puts his arm around Sam's shoulder, pulls him close, gazes back out at the empty field. "How many?" he asks softly. "Horses."

"Hundreds," Sam says. They sit in silence as the mustangs gallop by.