Happy Birthday, Sam Winchester!
I woke up this morning with this little idea floating in my brain, begging to grow into a full story. It took all day, but it's still May 2nd where I am, so it's still Sam's birthday. :)
I'm excited with how this turned out and hope you'll enjoy this little bit of birthday fluff!
Happy to be Stuck with You
May 1st, 2020
Urgent Care Center
"First the thermometer, then this," Dean grumped, his words - and sneer - muffled behind the yellow mask that he was constantly readjusting.
"Yes, yes, the indignity of it all," Sam murmured, focusing on the form on the clipboard.
"I am indignant. And I'm not three. I could have told them I didn't have a fever. Or any of the rest of the litany of symptoms they interrogated us about."
"If you don't stop complaining, I'll go tell that really nice nurse that you're a lying liar who lies and you've been running a fever of over a hundred. I'm sure she'd recheck your temperature. Rectally."
His wicked grin was hidden behind the mask, but the amusement no doubt showed in his eyes as he stared at his brother. Dean's eyes narrowed; like he didn't want to believe him but almost did. It gave Sam no small sense of satisfaction to still have that kind of power over his brother. He returned his attention to the form. Maybe Dean would be quiet for at least thirty seconds before complaining about something else.
Well, five seconds of silence was good, too.
"I don't care. You have to wear it."
"Are you serious?"
Sam shot his brother a glare that hopefully clarified that he was, indeed, very serious.
Dean huffed and leaned his head back against the wall, closing his eyes.
Returning to the form, Sam fought not to touch the mask to itch his nose.
"You could have just set them yourself," Dean muttered, shifting and knocking elbows with Sam.
"I could have, but we're not on a hunt and there's no reason why we shouldn't do what normal people do and go to a doctor when something like this happens."
Dean reached over and pulled the elastic on the mask, snapping Sam in the ear. "This is why we shouldn't do what normal people do. We're sitting here sweating under masks - I probably now do have a fever, by the way - when we could be home knocking back a couple beers."
"Knocking back a couple beers with crooked fingers."
"You wouldn't set them crooked."
Sam smiled behind the mask. And, yes, he was sweating, too. "Maybe not, but we haven't found an x-ray machine in the Bunker, so here we are."
"Here we are," Dean echoed, a hint of accusation in his tone.
"You didn't just break a finger," Sam said, patiently. Apparently justifying his actions was going to be necessary. "You broke...well we don't even fully know what you broke. Which is why we're here."
The sound of his brother's pained shout was not something he would soon forget. He'd been going stir crazy in one of the storage rooms, sorting junk just to do something, while Dean had been going stir crazy in the garage. Over the past few weeks, Dean had taken it upon himself to see if he could get all of the vehicles in the garage to run again. Everything had been going well until today.
Sam had made it to the garage in record time to find his brother with his arm pinned beneath the engine of one of the old clunkers. Swallowing his desire to tear his brother a new one for using the engine hoist without help, Sam had wrenched the engine off of his brother's arm. Even if the mangled, bloody mess of Dean's hand hadn't convinced him of the severity of the injuries, the pallor and pain in his brother's face told him everything he needed to know. Dean hadn't even argued about the trip to the urgent care.
"I don't know why you're filling that out," Dean interrupted his thoughts. "It's not my right hand that's broken."
"Would you like to take over?" Sam asked mildly, continuing to fill the form out.
"Glad we had this chat."
Dean just groaned, his left arm cradled to his chest with a half melted ice pack dropping onto his jeans.
A minute later, Sam took the completed form to the front desk. Returning to his seat, he glanced around the waiting room. It wasn't overly crowded. For the most part, everyone was neatly spread out; the news playing on the big screen tv promising any number of dire consequences if they did otherwise. Hopefully, they wouldn't have to wait long. It wasn't that he was afraid of catching the virus, or any number of other germs that could be present in the room. He just wanted to get Dean put back together and collect some good painkillers on the way home.
"I can't go back, Sammy."
Head snapping to his left, Sam frowned at his brother. "What are you talking about?"
"The Bat Cave. I can't go back."
"You love the Bat Cave."
"I do. I did. Before we spent six weeks in it. Without going anywhere else."
Sam smiled at the whine in Dean's voice. "We've gone to the grocery store."
"It's not like there's anywhere else to go."
"Stupid beer virus," Dean mumbled under his breath. "I used to like Corona."
"The beer has nothing to do with the virus. You do know that, right?"
Dean glared at him from behind the mask.
"Just checking. Look, what if we just go for a drive later if you feel up to it? Just get some fresh, back-road air?" Sam offered, knowing his brother's cabin fever was reaching epic levels.
It wasn't like he wasn't feeling it too, because he was. The first few weeks had been good. They'd both been busy around the Bunker, cleaning, organizing, improving. Enjoying the peace and the fact no one was (currently) trying to kill them.
Dean had been working on all the cars in the garage and Sam had been keeping his eyes open for any hunts or anything on the Chuck-front. But everything had been silent. Maybe even supernatural creatures could get the virus? He'd have to look into that.
"This wasn't supposed to be how this weekend went," Dean said, not entirely answering Sam's question.
Sam glanced at his brother's mangled hand and cringed in sympathy. Dean looked so miserable that Sam didn't even have any interest in reminding him that they were supposed to use the engine hoist together. Before he could respond, someone stopped in front of them.
Assuming it was a nurse telling them it was Dean's turn to be seen, he was surprised to see a twenty something girl staring at them with something akin to controlled fury.
"Didn't you read the sign?" she snapped.
Sam's eyebrows rose as he glanced around the room, wondering which of the at least twenty signs she was referring to. Dean stared at her with an expression that he usually wore just as he was about to lop the head off something with claws and fangs.
"Which sign?" Sam asked, trying to placate the girl.
"The one that says you're supposed to sit at least two chairs apart from the next person." She jabbed a finger at a bright yellow sign. "It's called social distancing."
"Social distance is at least six feet," Dean spoke up before Sam could. He stretched his legs out, nearly touching the girl's shiny ballet flats. "You're too close."
"Well, I'm telling you that you have to sit further apart," she said, taking a step back.
"Are you the social distance police?"
"No." The girl straightened. "I'm just a concerned citizen."
"Your concern has been noted. Now, shoo." Dean waved the fingers of his good hand.
She sputtered, crossed her arms over her chest and said, "You could infect each other. That's the point of sitting further apart."
"Yeah? Well, we're together." Dean snapped, pain shortening his already short fuse.
Sam snorted at the girl's expression.
Apparently realizing what the girl was assuming, Dean practically growled, "He's my brother, lady. You think we haven't shared germs before? We're from the same freakin' germ pool."
"Gene," Sam corrected quietly.
"What?" Dean turned his glare on Sam.
"It's a gene pool, not a germ pool."
If looks could kill, he would have been dead.
"I know that."
"Look, I brought him in," Sam said to the girl, trying to calm the situation before she or Dean could get any more uptight. "You don't have to distance from people in the same household. Now. Shoo."
Dean snickered behind the mask and the girl's eyes nearly bugged out of her head. At least she finally did shoo. Moving away, she crossed the room as far away as she could get from them and sat primly on the edge of her seat and glared at them.
"Shoo?" Dean asked.
"You said it first."
This time Sam snickered. "You know that makes you sound like some grumpy old man, right?"
"I am an old man." Dean leaned his head back against the wall and closed his eyes. "Older than I thought I'd ever be."
There was bittersweetness mixed with amusement in his tone.
"We both are."
"Is that you angling for a big birthday party tomorrow? Because I hate to say it but the world's under quarantine so I can't invite all your friends over."
Sam rolled his eyes, then pulled out his phone. Yeah. Sure enough. Tomorrow was his birthday.
"You forgot, didn't you?" Dean asked, peering at him with one eye.
"It's been a little busy lately."
"No, it hasn't."
He had a point. Sam shrugged. "I just wasn't thinking about it. All the days are blurring together."
"Yes, they are." Dean elbowed him. "But tomorrow's your birthday so you better clear your schedule because I have plans."
"What kind of plans?" Sam asked, suspicion warring with curiosity.
"Secret plans. It's a surprise."
"Aren't we old enough that surprises aren't really necessary?"
Before Sam could ask anything else, a nurse called Dean's name.
Sam stood up, then offered a hand to help pull Dean to his feet. The mask couldn't hide the grimace of pain and sheen of sweat. He held onto Dean's arm until he seemed steady and then they crossed the room together.
Dean looked at him as they walked and asked, "Are you intending to hold my hand while the doctor resets the bones?"
"No, I'm just coming along in case they give me a lollipop, too."
He received another withering glare from his brother, but Dean didn't argue about him coming along.
May 2nd, 2020
Men of Letter's Bunker
Much too early in the morning...
"You'd think a guy could sleep in on his birthday," Sam muttered, following his brother toward the kitchen. "That could've been your first gift to me."
"First gift?" Dean grinned. "What makes you think there is more than one gift? Or any gifts at all?"
Sam wished he'd thrown both pillows at his brother's head instead of just one. Considering he had a broken hand, he was too damned chipper for six in the morning. Must be the painkillers he's on.
"Why are you up so early, anyway?" Sam complained. "Shouldn't you be sleeping the sleep of the heavily medicated?"
"I made breakfast."
"There better be coffee."
"There is coffee." Dean clapped him on the shoulder with his good hand. "Come on, grumpy."
"I'm not grumpy."
"You're right. You're hungover."
Dean wasn't wrong; he was hung over.
After they'd gotten home from the urgent care last night, he'd expected Dean to knock himself out on the narcotics and sleep soundly. Instead, Dean had decided they should pick up a pizza and spend the evening binge watching mindless television. It hadn't been such a bad way to spend the night, but now Sam had cause to regret the alcohol he'd consumed. Dean hadn't been drinking because of the meds and somehow Sam had inadvertently made up for his brother's lack by overdoing it himself. Wouldn't have been a bad thing if he could have slept a little longer to recover.
"How much coffee have you had?" Sam asked, rubbing his eyes. "You are shockingly perky for this early hour."
Dean grinned and said, "I may have had a few cups."
"Or a pot," Sam mumbled, stumbling down the steps into the kitchen.
The smell of coffee jolted a bit more awareness into him as he glanced around the kitchen. Dean had been busy. The table was set and a platter sat in the middle, piled high with waffles, eggs and bacon.
"Happy Birthday," Dean said, nudging him toward a seat.
"Thanks, man. You didn't have to do all this."
"I know." Dean sat down across from him. "I wanted to."
Sam smiled, feeling a little less grumpy. A cup of delicious, expensive, flavored coffee and a plate of food helped with the hangover. It was a nice, relaxing meal even though he couldn't help but ask why it had to be so early.
"Well, if I hadn't done this," Dean held up his casted hand, "we wouldn't even be here right now."
"Oh?" Sam asked, pouring himself another cup of coffee.
"We were supposed to leave yesterday."
"Where were we going?"
"Same place we are going." Dean grinned. "Once we're done with breakfast, you're going to pack a bag and then we're leaving."
Sam raised an eyebrow. "We are?"
"Yup." He looked incredibly smug.
"But you're not gonna tell me where?"
He intended to offer an immediate disagreement with the plan, but couldn't think of anything to say. For the first time in a long time, there wasn't an apocalypse for them to stop. A villain to fight. An innocent to save.
"Huh?" Dean grinned, tilting his head questioningly. "What's that mean?"
"I guess...there's no reason we can't do something...just to do it."
"We're not doing something just to do it. We're doing it because today's your birthday and that's reason enough," Dean said firmly.
Sam hid his smile behind his coffee cup.
They didn't do much for their birthdays, never really had. Gifts if they were able to. A nice dinner out if they had the chance. Occasionally, they died, but they tried not to think about that. Most of the time, they just spent the day together and that was honestly the best way Sam could think of to celebrate their birthdays.
So he just did what his brother told him to do and packed a bag.
A little over six hours later, Sam parked the Impala in the driveway at Jody's cabin.
He'd driven because, after all the cooking and then loading the car, Dean hadn't been able to hide how bad the pain was. It had taken some convincing, but he'd finally agreed to take the painkillers and ice his arm during the trip. Dean had cryptically been giving step by step directions, but when he'd started falling asleep, he'd finally told Sam to head to Sioux Falls and Jody's cabin. He'd slept the rest of the trip.
"Dean?" Sam called softly, giving his brother's shoulder a gentle shake. "We're here."
Waking with a groan, Dean peeled his eyes open and looked around groggily. Smacking his lips, he shifted in his seat, jarring his injured arm. He flinched, then lifted his arm, staring at the cast like he'd never seen it before.
Sam smiled and waited patiently.
Dean finally shook his head and looked at Sam. He frowned and asked, "Where're we?"
"We're where you told me to go."
Blinking at him like none of those words made any sense to him at all, Dean opened his mouth to say something, then closed it again.
"You're really out of it, aren't you?" Sam asked, grinning.
"Think so." Dean looked at the cast on his left hand again. "Drugged?"
"Yeah. You napped most of the way here."
Dean studied him with heavy, bleary eyes. He shook his head again and said, "Lunch. I'm hungry."
"Sounds like a plan."
"Sandwiches in the cooler." Dean yawned. "Bring it to the back porch. We can unload the rest later."
Sam pushed his door open, totally in agreement with the plan. He'd almost been hungry enough to run into the gas station and grab a bag of peanuts or something when he'd stopped to fill up the tank earlier. Grabbing the cooler from the back seat, he caught sight of his brother stretching and yawning. By the time he'd rounded the car, Dean seemed a bit more awake.
They made their way to the porch. The weather was perfect. Sunny and warm, they pulled their jackets off and settled in the chairs to enjoy their lunch. Enjoying the peaceful setting, Sam honestly couldn't remember the last time they'd spent a day like this, just sitting around relaxing in the great outdoors.
"I want a place like this," Dean said, his thoughts apparently running in the same direction. "We should have a cabin, shouldn't we?"
Smiling, Sam looked out at the pretty setting and said, "It would be nice."
"On a little lake. Do some fishing. Just breathe fresh air instead of recycled."
"You really did need to get out of the Bunker, didn't you?" Sam asked.
Dean nodded. "I like our place, but it's not the same as this. The Bunker just reminds me...of what we do. You know? Sometimes I get so caught up in there that I forget there's anything else."
It was the story of their life, but Sam didn't say that. Instead, he said, "It wouldn't hurt to look."
"It wouldn't, would it?" Dean pondered the question, a hint of longing in his eyes.
Sam remembered a conversation from a couple years ago now. Beaches. Toes in the sand. Hula girls.
A weird twist of utterly overwhelming hope surged through him. Chuck had said he'd run out of hope, but that wasn't true. Sometimes it took a beating, but he still had hope and the reason for that hope was sitting in the Adirondack chair right next to him. Right where he belonged.
"We should look," Sam said, ready to go for his laptop to look through real estate listings.
"Yeah?" Dean asked, with a hint of a smile.
"Alright. Let's. But not till later. I don't wanna leave this seat."
"You do look pretty comfy." Sam counted out the hours. "It's almost time for your meds."
"Not till after dessert."
"Dessert?" Sam looked into the cooler.
"Yeah." Dean sighed. "But you're gonna have to get it. It's in the trunk."
Realizing how worn out and in pain his brother looked, Sam said, "Are you sure you don't just want to-"
"Go get the blue bin." Dean waved him off with his good hand. "But no peeking."
He went back to the car, retrieved the bin and then brought it back to the porch.
"Ok. Key to the cabin's under the mat over there," Dean directed. "Go get some plates and forks and the ice cream from the freezer. Jody stocked up for us."
It seemed more involved than necessary, but Sam did as he was instructed.
When he got back to the porch, Dean had the lid off the bin and Sam smiled at the sight of a cake. The frosting was white and covered in colorful sprinkles. Dean was in the process of setting candles into it.
"Candles and everything, huh?" Sam asked, setting the plates down.
"Hell, yes. Get your lighter."
Again, Sam did as instructed even though the thought of a cake with actual candles seemed a bit silly. But Dean looked so pleased, Sam was prepared to even endure his brother's off tune serenade of the birthday song if it came to that.
"When did you make this?"
"This morning," Dean said, adjusting a candle. "Was supposed to do it yesterday but…"
He held his casted hand up.
"You made breakfast and a cake one handed," Sam said, righting another candle. I'm impressed."
Dean grinned. "As well you should be, little brother. There. Light 'er up."
Once Sam had, he waited to see what his brother would tell him to do next.
Waving his hand, Dean said, "Make a wish."
Another time, he might have laughed. This time, though, Sam made a wish. He wished for a place on a small lake somewhere and he wished for peace, but most of all, he wished for his brother. Wished, no prayed, that he would always have his brother.
A brother who made him breakfast and a birthday cake despite having a broken hand. A brother who he trusted with his life; who had saved his life over and over. A brother who had his back no matter the circumstances, one who knew him better than he knew himself. A brother he fought with, laughed with, enjoyed spending time with.
A brother he loved.
Smiling as Dean fanned the smoke away from the candles, Sam couldn't think of a single thing he wanted more for his birthday than this.
"I hope you wished for a million dollars," Dean said, trying to cut the cake.
"Give me that." Sam took the knife from him. "I'm not telling what I wished for because then it won't come true."
Dean snorted and held up a plate for a slice of cake.
"Thanks for this," Sam said, putting a generous slice on Dean's plate.
"Seriously, this was a great idea. We did need to get out of the Bunker for awhile."
"Yes, we did," Dean agreed. "And we're here for the week if nothing else comes up. I've got the entire Star Wars collection packed. We are celebrating May the Fourth right this year."
Scooping some ice cream onto Dean's plate, Sam smiled. "Sounds great."
"You bet it does." Dean settled back in his seat, awkwardly holding his plate to avoid spilling cake and ice cream all over himself. "So, anyway. Happy Birthday. Sorry, I didn't get you a pony."
"I'll try to manage my disappointment somehow." Sam laughed, settling back in his seat. Once they'd finished dessert, he said, "Seriously, Dean, thanks. This was great."
"No problem. It's about time you had a birthday where no one was trying to kill us. Or one of us wasn't dead or dying."
"It is kind of unusual, isn't it?"
"Only took a worldwide pandemic to give you a nice, peaceful birthday for once."
"That's an...interesting way to look at it."
"Just trying to look on the bright side." Dean shifted in his seat, grimacing.
"You ready for your pills?"
Sam dug through his jacket for the pills. Passing a couple to his brother, he said, "I'm gonna go grab you an ice pack."
By the time he got back, Dean had balled up both their jackets under his arm for a cushion and was resting with his eyes closed. Gently settling the ice pack on his brother's arm, Sam said, "Get some rest."
"It's your birthday," Dean mumbled around a yawn. "Don't wanna ruin it."
"You're not gonna ruin it by taking a nap, Dean." Sam patted his shoulder. "You said we're here for a week. We've got plenty of time. I'm just gonna sit here and enjoy the fresh air. I can't think of anything better to do on my birthday."
"Really?" Dean's heavy eyes lifted briefly.
Dean smiled, reaching out to give his arm a squeeze. "Aw, Sammy, there's no one I'd rather social distance with than you."
"And I'm happy to be stuck with you," Sam said, sitting down in the other chair.
"Huey Lewis. Really, Sam?" Dean lifted his head and shot him a disbelieving look. "Haven't I taught you better?"
"You pretty much taught me everything."
"Yes, I did. You're welcome."
"We do have all the same friends, you know," Sam said, unable to help himself.
"And the same address," Dean added, apparently unable to help himself, either. "We've also broken up a few times."
"It's too late for that now. You're stuck with me."
"Seriously, shut up before I punch you in the face with this cast."
Dean grumbled for a few more seconds before he was out like a light.
Settling back in his chair, Sam glanced around the peaceful forest before returning his gaze to his brother. They'd definitely had a rocky road in life, but the important thing was they were still around. Still together.
They were bound so tightly that even Chuck didn't stand a chance of tearing them apart. It didn't matter what Chuck wanted, he wasn't getting his ending. There was no way. He didn't deserve to get what he wanted.
It was his thirty-seventh birthday and if anyone was getting what they wanted this year, it was him.
Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed it. I hope that Sam gets what he wants for his birthday. It's gonna be a looooong wait till November, but I'm glad it's not over yet!