Prompt: bad luck (I hope the events in this story fit the prompt!)
Summary: Dean really wants to confess his big love, but Sam is not having it. Also, part of RoboSam's shenanigans are unearthed.
a/n: Written for riyku's prompt in silverbullets. Crediting britomart_is is becoming redundant. The truth is, she's an enabler and is the reason for Dean wearing the shirt. I urge you to read the reviews of shirt in question, they really made my day.
Dean is going to tell Sam about his big, unwieldy love for him. Tonight. He's arranged for cherry pie to be dropped off at the table and for a song Sam sometimes mentions, "Heat of the Moment," to play on repeat. The situation is perfect.
They're at Sammy's favorite kind of restaurant: checkered tables, old ketchup in vintage bottles, some sort of salad on hand. It's nostalgic, it's them. It's years of shared history and those quiet building blocks of their relationship, and it's a quarter past nine at night, the perfect time for dinner. Dean's got on the shirt Sam always comments on, the one with three wolves on it and a moon. He also brushed his teeth this morning and bought a handle of whiskey to pop like champagne back at the motel.
So yeah, Dean is going to tell him within the next fifteen, and then Sam will kiss him across the table, and it is going to be fucking awesome.
Except Sam's not in the best mood, despite the dinner Dean's taken him out to and how Dean's dressed up for him. To be honest, Sam's in a pissy mood, his expression set to bitch. He still has a burn on his forearm from three days ago, when Dean had tried to declare his love by surprising him with a cupcake and ten candles in the shape of a heart. It almost seems like he's pissed about something else, too, but Dean cannot for the life of him figure out what.
When the waitress drops off Dean's burger, Sam rolls his eyes and says, chew with your mouth closed, but that's about it for conversation.
Dean's usually man enough to say anything to anyone. Honesty is his policy, especially as he's been on the receiving end of Sam keeping things from him, so he knows how that hurts. Thing is, though, he isn't used to having good news to tell. He's used to bearing the bad, but this...He thinks it's good news. It sounds like good news. Unless Sam takes it as bad news, in which case, it'll be the worst.
The meal's ending and Dean doesn't get up the nerve to say the words. He scrapes the last of the cherry from the plate and sucks off the tines. The mood's not right. The waitress exchanges a look with him that's worried, glancing to Sam's salad which is half picked over. Sam didn't even touch the pie. Dean shrugs and looks worried back. There is a number on the receipt when he grabs it before Sam can, and the note take your boy to my therapist, he can help. Xoxoxo.
Sam frowns even further when Dean reads it. "A number? Really, Dean?"
Dean doesn't answer. He folds the receipt and puts it in his pocket because it's looking like he might need it.
They step out into the street, and Dean is at a loss. "I'm trying, Sam," he wants to say. Would say, if he were a little girl about this. But that's not in any way romantic.
He didn't plan this far. Usually about now they go back to the motel and have beers in front of some entertaining show. They really could call it a night. There's that Highlander marathon on TV Sam had mentioned and Dean had almost canceled this date for...but no. No matter how good that sounds, he is going to do this for Sam. Every night this week he's told himself to stick with it, and tonight he is going to do it.
Head in the game, he thinks, and slows on the sidewalk. Sam turns, shoulders hunched and his face miserable. It's true that Dean dragged him out of the motel when it was snowing, but he's going to make this good.
"Baby, you look like you could use a drink," he says, going for fifties, maybe hitting seventies. He's trying.
"Really?" Sam says, like it's the worst thing he's heard all night. He rubs his hands together and blows into them. Dean wants to blow him.
Head in the game he repeats in his game voice, in his head. This plan is perfect. Bars have moodlighting and a buzz that means future hookups, and it's Dean's natural hunting ground. And Sam isn't ever on the offense when it comes to these things. Dean knows; he has extensive notes from the elaborate, longitudinal study he has accidentally taken of Sam's entire dating life (bar Stanford and Dean's hell and Sam's soulless phase). People hit on Sam, not the other way around. Sam is so hot, he can take his pick. Sam expects to be impressed and given good reasons for why they should do it. He is never down for just a pretty face, and also probably has a hefty case built against he and Dean getting together, due to the fact of their being related.
So, all that taken into account, and if all things run smoothly, a bar setting will be perfect, and Sam, hopefully wooed and won over.
Sam is standing on the broken sidewalk, shivering under the crappy pink light of a sex shop sign. Dean's got goosebumps too, because he's wearing the damn T-Shirt and no jacket, to best show off his arms. Maybe this wasn't the most strategic block to stop and ponder on.
"A bar?" Sam says again, incredulous.
"Look, I'll buy you whatever," Dean replies, in placating and benevolent tones. "Mango martini. Girly as you want."
Sam just rubs a finger over the bridge of his nose and says, "Fine. We'll go to a bar."
He strides off, snow water creeping up the back of his pants and Dean lets out his tense breath. Never too late, that's what some talk show host had said once. Dean vows to himself that he will make this as romantic as possible for Sam because he deserves it. As romantic as this crappy little town has to offer.
The bar that they step into isn't so much a dive as it is a club. Dean can work with that. There's blue lighting and a fair amount of people, and low dubstep happening. It's early, so it's not hard to follow Sam up to the bar, where he's already ordering.
"Hey." The bartender is smiling in a way that is far too familiar for Dean's taste.
Dean leans in, shoving his shoulder against Sam's. "And I'll have a whiskey, on the rocks."
"Two whiskeys," the bartender repeats back.
Dean angles himself toward Sam. "What, no sex on the beach?"
Sam huffs out and doesn't crack a smile. But at least his eyes flick to Dean's arms. Sam is totally an arms man, Chuck's books were right.
"Really, Sammy. I know you like that kind of froofy shit. Let yourself go, I'm not gonna judge. I just want you to be happy, man."
"Dean, just stop, okay?"
"Fucking annoying," Sam might mutter under his breath. He looks around the club then, and gets an odd look on his face.
Just then, the drinks slide across the bartop. Dean beats Sam to paying again, on principle, and Sam just hits back his drink and immediately orders another.
"Open tab," he says, voice hoarse with drink.
Dean is nonplussed. "Was going to toast, but if you just wanna get wasted, I can do that."
"Toast to what?"
"I don't know." He wets his lips. And gets up the nerve to say, loud enough to be heard over the music, "Us, maybe?"
Sam says, "us?" like it's a foreign concept.
Dean glares at him and fists his hand in the front of Sam's shirt, which is pink and stripey and Dean loves it. "Yeah, 'us.' You got a problem with that?"
Sam looks sullen. "No."
"You sure? Because you seem like you've had a problem all night." Dean tips his head back and takes his drink in one, slams the glass back on the bar and licks the excess of his bottom lip. There's a burn. "All week, actually."
Sam stares at him. "What are you even talking about? All week you've been bullying me."
"What?" Dean is entirely thrown. "Bullying? Since when do I bully you?"
Sam and Dean both turn, and say, "What?"
"It is you!" Some jolly man in a gold chain is standing there, twirling a gold pocket watch hanging off his vest, which catches the beat of the strobe lights. As if that wasn't enough, the next thing out of his mouth is somewhat shocking. "Well, well, well. If it isn't DJ Sam."
"Excuse me?" Dean says.
"Not you, dollface." He's looking at Sam like Dean imagines he himself might look at Sam sometimes if he didn't school his features into something less wanting. But Sam is his, while this dude is some douchebag who's wearing sunglasses pushed back on his head, at night and indoors.
"Hey," Dean says, straightening from where he was dipping toward his brother and moving forward a half step. That catches the guy's attention. Sam leans back against the bar, behind Dean where Dean wants him.
The man looks him over once. "You his new manager, then?"
The guy rolls his eyes. "You the dick who took away half the revenue of this bar in one night? Sam said it was family business when he left."
Dean turns to Sam, whose expression is somewhat shifty. Dean's getting a bad feeling about this. "What's this guy talking about?" he asks.
"Dean, we should go."
"Hey, no way!" someone yells. "Sam!"
Sam leans over and tries to flag down the bartender, who, despite being mid-pour at the opposite end of the bar, drops everything to hustle over. The people waiting on their drinks wave shyly in their direction.
The bartender wipes his hands with a towel and says, "Yes, Sam?"
"Closing the tab."
He smiles, obviously charmed. "You know what? It's on the house."
"Sam," Dean says, which communicates enough. Sam gives him a look that is guilty as all get out, but explanation can come later. Because Dean looks around, and notes there are people advancing, some looking overjoyed, some apprehensive. The man in the gold chain is ignoring Dean now, asking Sam how he's been, and Sam looks like he wants to leave, which Dean can do.
"All right," he says. "Show's over. Let's get out of here."
"There's gonna be a show?" some chick says. "Sweet! There wasn't even a cover."
"Yes, Sam," the man says. "We'd love to have you back. Just one night, come on. For old time's sake."
There's quite a crowd that's drawn, club zombies. Dean goes into full protect-mode, and points at all of them and says, "This is DJ Sam's twin brother and he only listens to country. Back off."
He grabs Sam by whatever he can, which happens to be his wrist, and he drags him through the throng, stepping on some, elbowing others. By the time they're to the door, he's let his hand slip down to Sam's and he would congratulate himself on reaching the handholding stage, but he's not a pre-teen anymore, and besides, if there is a ledger of such things being kept, he and Sam reached the hand holding stage months ago, and it was heavy.
When they get outside, he doesn't let go.
"Uh, Dean?" Sam hedges, as Dean is dragging him down the street in the direction of the puke-green Cadillac he'd hotwired a town over for Sam, because Sam goes in for ugly ass cars. But had Sam noticed? No, he had not.
"You know what?" Dean says, taking Sam's hand more firmly in his. "I've earned this."
"Okay, chill," Sam tells him. He falls more into step with him, and that's better. His jacket cuff is the only thing pressed between their palms, and their fingers are slotted together like they're made for this shit.
Dean says, breath puffing out when they're under enough light to see, "You may not have noticed, but I am trying, man." There. At least he's said something. And even if it isn't what he'd set out to say, it's still a step in the right direction.
Sam's quiet for a long time. Dean wants to know what he's thinking. He is intrigued, weirdly impressed, but jealous that there's something about Sam he doesn't know. It's corrosive and making him really pissed, even though Sam's letting him hold his hand and isn't pushing for a reason why.
The occasional car zips past, but other than that there are just the sad piles of snow which crunch under boot and the roads are slick and dark when they cross them.
"Car's kinda far," Sam says.
Dean goes for a frown but realizes he is already frowning, deeply. He'd parked a ways away from everything because he knows Sam likes long moonlit strolls. But apparently Sam is dead set on misunderstanding everything, taking everything the wrong way. It's a sign. It's probably time to call it a night.
This decided, he takes a deep breath. Accepting temporary defeat, he finally feels settled enough to ask, "So, soulless you was a DJ, huh?"
Sam doesn't elaborate, so Dean asks, tone casual, "Any good?"
It's almost a full minute before Sam says, "I had a pretty decent following."
"Yeah? What kind of music? Anything I'd have heard of? I can't imagine soulless you listening to that emo crap."
Dean can feel the tension run all the way down to Sam's hand. "Don't laugh at me, Dean. I hate it when you laugh at me."
"Woah, okay. Don't worry. Why would I laugh at you?"
"You've been making fun of my music for years." And Sam sounds honestly hurt. "You wouldn't let me use an ipod dock in the car."
"Baby is accustomed to certain standards," Dean says, gruff. It's true, but he is also feeling kind of bad.
Sam says, "Yes, I still played my music, okay? I wasn't a different person."
"But you would have liked it, I think. Or like, thought it was funny."
"Yeah." Sam rubs the hand that's not swinging with Dean's over his face. Dean glances over and then away, but long enough to see that Sam's smiling something slightly rueful. "I was really hardcore about it. Making people listen to it. I wore leather pants and I threw someone off the stage once for dissent."
Dean feels like his brain is going to explode.
"Dean? Still with me?"
They avoid a pole, splitting hands only to come back together. It is a quiet moment and they both pretend it's not happening and join back up with the conversation like normal. As normal as this particular conversation can be.
"So uh, why're you being so nice all of the sudden?" Sam sounds actually confused.
"When was I not being nice?"
Sam gives him a look like Dean is the crazy one. "For a week now, I've been trying to—"
"Trying to what?"
"Okay, for one I keep telling you I want to stay in and hang out—" He says this like it means something, but if it does, he's going to have to be a little clearer. Dean is not a mind reader. Sam sighs and continues, "But all you want to do is pick up girls. I get it. You've made your point, and it's fine. But just don't tell me you think that's my thing."
"I've been taking you out, Sam! Have you seen any girls? I thought we talked about that, weeks ago. I said, clearly, 'no more girls.'"
"After you had a child with an Amazon."
"Still said no chicks, man. How clear was that?" Man, Dean should not be saying what he's saying, because that was pretty much a declaration right there.
Sam is in full lawyer mode, sticking to his guns, and doesn't seem to notice what Dean just all but admitted. "Okay, well." He frowns. "You haven't wanted to follow any of the leads I've found us!"
"It was a vacation!"
"And you keep acting crazy, wearing weird things and trying to like, make fun of stuff I said bothered me. You keep calling me pet names and princess...."
"You pretty much are, man."
"You even used my toothbrush this morning! And left it on the shelf in the shower, bristles down! What was I supposed to get from that?"
"I brushed my teeth for you! I thought it was mine!"
"You always buy me purple. It's like your joke, how can you not remember?"
They've slowed now. Dean's head is reeling, and his palm is sweating, and Sam's not pulling away. He doesn't know what they're arguing about. He takes a deep breath, and Sam still looks somewhat annoyed, so he heads back to the fact that his brother was a ruthless DJ in a past life, because that seems like a safer subject.
"So, like. This DJ gig was a real job. Like, you got a resume floating around somewhere? Anything else you wanna share?"
Sam mumbles something, but it's caught by the wind and dragged away.
"What was that?"
Dean drags him to a stop and Sam rolls his eyes and says, "I finished undergrad through Stanford extension."
"You finished school?"
Sam nods. "I didn't have to sleep, and you kind of run out of things to do at four in the morning."
He doesn't make eye contact, looks embarrassed. Dean's a little embarrassed too, mainly because his first reaction is to squeeze Sam's hand. Not to remind him of the real world, or whatever, but because he's really, really proud.
"I'm not going to leave," Sam says. "If that's what you're—"
"You see me saying that?"
"I know you're a sure thing."
"You wish." Sam laughs. He pulls his hand away so he can wrap his arms around his chest. It's freezing out and Dean's stomach drops. Sam says, looking at his shoes, "I've been trying all week, but you're just not getting it. Like, maybe it's bad luck, circumstantial evidence I should just disregard and keep trying, but maybe I should just give up."
Dean is still stinging from the lack of hand holding. He crosses his arms, too, and says, "I have no clue what you're saying to me."
"I know, that's the problem." Sam rubs his temple like he has a headache. "You know, you make this really hard."
"Fuck you," Dean says, but it's perfunctory. "Wait, what do I make—"
Sam reaches out and tugs on the hem of Dean's shirtsleeve. Dean watches \as Sam traces a finger an inch down his arm. It's a quiet moment in the middle of the sidewalk in the middle of the country. People don't have moments like this, unless....He looks up and Sam looks back, before they both laugh a little. Sam palms Dean's arm completely and uses it to tug Dean in closer.
He finally says, kind of offhanded so Dean knows something's up, "You saved me in there."
Dean shrugs. They both know Sam could have saved himself, but if Sam's offering, then. "Oh yeah?"
Sam tightens his grip on Dean's arm. "Yeah, it was kinda, hot or something."
Dean feels his chest actually puff out. He says, "Man, if that's what floats your boat. I was like, buying you fries and shit, but that kind of hero thing gets you hot, I'll take note. I was like, planning on telling you that I'm in love with you but—"
Sam presses their mouths together, hard, maybe to make Dean shut up or to say 'I love you back.' All Dean knows is, perseverance is key, and this is Sammy, who kisses like a house on fire.
Proof of DJ Sam in 6x01.