Adam Milligan, on this day, is turning sixteen years old. His former servant who is now his best friend, Samandriel, has come home in the wee hours of morning after a long night of work in hopes to clean up and get some sleep. The time is three years after the Aryan Civil War. Adam and Samandriel found themselves moving in with the young couple Sam and Jess upon the day they moved out of the Winchester house, those three years ago.
Samandriel has entered their shared room quietly, his face and arms dirtied from a long night of factory work. He used the wash basin in the corner of the room as quietly as he could, cleaning the grime off his arms and chest. Then, quickly changing and getting into his bed on the opposite side of the room from Adam, he would sleep until a few hours before he had to work again. An endless cycle. Adam got up to leave for work only a few hours later.
Samandriel took up the job shortly after the war, finding the need to busy himself after finding himself out of the job he had been more or less raised for. Occasionally, he took care of Sam and Jess's infant daughter during the afternoon, before he left for his night shift at work.
That night, after he had eaten and changed into his work uniform, had been such a night.
Samandriel had been rocking the innocent baby in his arms, trying to lull her to sleep. Meanwhile Sam and Jess slept gratefully in their bed, thankful that Samandriel was able to give them the extra sleeping break they so desperately needed. Adam had claimed to himself he had come downstairs for a drink, though he, honestly, had really gone to visit Samandriel before he went to work. However, seeing his niece in Samandriel's arms brought a smile to his face and stopped him in his tracks.
He watched from afar, watching Samandriel humming a lullaby he had undoubtedly heard Adam singing at some point (thanks to Dean singing constantly before... everything happened). His smile turned to a frown upon remembering Dean. He took this moment to cross the threshold, making his presence known. Samandriel turned, his smile brightening despite the frown on Adam's face.
"Happy birthday, Adam." he smiled, carefully setting the snoozing baby in her crib.
"Yeah, happy birthday to me." he muttered sardonically, moving to sit on the small couch nearby him.
"You're up late, did you want a glass of water? I can get it for you," he offers, pointing vaguely in the direction of the kitchen sink.
"Came to see you," he mumbles, then raising his voice to a normal level. "Since I hardly see you anymore."
"I'm sorry," Samandriel replies half-heartedly, "Everyone must do their part in Arya, and this is mine."
"Well, it sucks. I miss you." Adam sulks, eyes watching Samandriel closely as he sits beside him.
"I miss you too, Adam. You're my best friend, but I work the late shift, and you work an early shift at the Hall. It can't be avoided, you were given Council-worthy education and I just got the bare minimum. I can't do a job like yours, and you can't do a job like mine, they need you."
"Don't you need me too?" Adam asks, a little hurt.
"Yes," he says, and it comes out as a breath, as though he hadn't planned on saying it aloud. "Of course I do, and I hope you need me too... but, Adam, that is a conversation for another time. I have a birthday present for you."
"Really?" Adam's hopeful smile immediately returns, "Can I have it now?"
"Well," he looks at the ground a moment, then at the door where Sam and Jess are asleep, then at the baby in the crib. "I suppose you could. Put on your coat," Samandriel orders, plucking his jacket from the couch and putting it on.
Adam, confused but excited at the prospect of a gift from Samandriel, got his coat from the closet and put it on. The Winchesters, ever since the civil war, had no longer celebrated birthdays as happily as they used to and no longer with gifts. However, this year Samandriel had a gift and it excited Adam. He wasn't a materialist, but the idea that Samandriel had saved ration cards for a gift made his heart swell.
The weather was not cold, but the lack of light made the street very dark and made it seem cold. Out of natural habit, they walked close together, their shoulders brushing as they walked. The two sixteen year-olds strode together, their pace matched evenly with every other step they took.
"Hey, Andy?" Adam asked, the underused nickname surprising Samandriel.
"Yeah?" he replied, eyes scouring the blackness of the street.
"You've been coming home even later than usual..." Adam started, swallowing away the dryness in his throat. "Have you met someone?"
"No, not really." Samandriel answers readily, not missing a beat, "Just taking extra hours. One of my factory mates is sick so I'm taking a couple of his hours until he fully recovers."
"You're letting people take advantage of you." Adam sighs, scuffing his boot against the ground.
"I'm not, I volunteered. Anyhow, I get extra ration cards in exchange, so I can better contribute to the family funds." Samandriel admits, walking a fraction further away from Adam than he had been before.
"Hey, did you move away from me?"
"I didn't," Samandriel lied, his throat closing up.
"You did, why did you move away?"
"I am trying my best to be useful to this family and I am being condemned for it, for one thing." Samandriel retorted.
"You are a part of this family. You are my family Samandriel, even if you don't consider Sam and Jess to be, you are my family. You don't have to worry about being useful, you do so much already. You are not a tool to be used, Andy." Adam repremanded, turning his body to face him, his hand grabbing the boy's bicep.
"We're here," Samandriel muttered, changing the subject as he wiped the beginnings of tears from his eyes.
He bends on his haunches, and reaches for Adam's hand, tugging him down to join him. Adam bends down too and finds himself frown again, this wasnt what Adam expected. A tiny yellow flower is blooming from between cracks in the concrete.
"It's a flower," Adam mutters, badly masked disappointment in his voice.
"That's your problem," Samandriel smiles, as if expecting the reaction, "you have no poetry in you, Adam."
"I do so," Adam countered petulantly.
"That flower isn't just a flower, Adam."
"Then, please, enlighten me." Adam grins, falling back onto his butt to sit on the concrete. He missed this. The banter, the feeling of warmth beside him, he missed Samandriel as a whole.
"There is a saying, you know," Samandriel starts, but doesn't wait for a response, " 'a flower who blooms in adversity will be the most beautiful of all'. This flower symbolizes that."
"This is my gift?" Adam smiles, not entirely surprised at the boy's strange idea of a gift.
"Yes, more than anything, I think you need hope," Samandriel whispered seriously, his eyes boring into Adam's. "Ever since the war, you've changed. You don't smile as much as you used to. I used to think it was because you'd grown bored of me-"
"Never," Adam interrupted. "That could never happen. Ever."
"I'm glad," he smiled to himself, then continued on. "I have realized you carry the burden of Dean on your shoulders. You, inadvertantly, feel responsible for all that happened back then."
"I know it's stupid-" Adam started, but Samandriel covered Adam's mouth with his palm.
"It's not stupid, feelings aren't stupid. They can be irrational at times, but they all happen based on what we think and let me be the first to say you had nothing to do with any of that. So yes, this flower is your gift, because I see you in it. You work so hard to meet everyone's expectations and carry such a heavy weight on your back alone. All I ask is that you share it with me, that way you can slowly grow." Samandriel smiled, removing his hand from Adam's mouth.
"You know how you said feelings aren't stupid?" Adam laughed quietly to himself, Adam's eyes never leaving his.
"Do you believe we should always act on our feelings?" Adam asks, his face suddenly blooming into a small smile.
"As long as those feelings do not harm others or ourselves in any way, we should always act on our feelings."
"Yeah?" Adam asked smiling, seeing a noticable shift in Samandriel's expression. Samandriel got the hint.
"I have something else." he muttered, licking his lips nervously. "If you want it, that is."
"Of course," Adam laughed, his cocky expression he used to have those years ago peeking through. "I love opening gifts, after all."
"You pervert," Samandriel laughed, moving to interlock his fingers with Adam's. "You should at least try courting me first."
"And here I was thinking you were in charge of it all, this seems oddly thought out." Adam responded questioningly.
"Well, I hoped we would." he smiled, blushing. "I have wanted to for a long time."
"Then how about we get this show on the road?" Adam smiled, pulling Samandriel closer.
And they kissed for the first time, but it certainly was not their last.