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Six Months

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While other boys groaned around Sam, he happily pulled on his clothes. Waking up had become fun for him. The others complained, but Sam adored it, like everything else at the home. He loved the little things like waking up early for school and doing so many chores that he fell asleep quickly later that night. Having something to do was fun for him, along with having a structure. With three meals a day, a home and a family, it was impossible for Sam not to adore the new life he had began. Then again, Sam had been up for hours trying to plan things out.

 

There was a formal coming up at school and Sam planned on asking a boy out. He spent hours picking out and trying on outfits before finally deciding on something more casual but nicer than the normal jeans an t-shirt he would wear to school. His friend was buying flowers for him to use when he asked he boy out, because according to another friend using a poster is cheesy and looks sloppy. Sam really liked the boy he was asking, though, so he couldn’t risk using a poster and turning him off to the idea of going to the dance together. Sam liked him almost as much as he liked Dean.

 

Sam’s feelings had yet to go away. They only grew closer and closer and Sam’s feelings only grew with it. Dean was sweet to him and sometimes he even called Sam pet names. Sam loved Dean, he had for months. He knew there was no chance, though, so Sam moved on for the most part. He casually dated Jason before they both decided being friends was better. There were a few boys at school Sam would hook up with, too. Nothing more than kissing, though. Sam knew he wasn't a virgin, but he wanted his real first time to be with someone he trusted and cared for deeply. Not a boy who didn’t tell his girlfriend about them.

 

Other than that, school was good. His grades were only going higher and his tutoring was working. He had several friends and most of his teachers liked him. While other boys hated school, Sam loved it. It only fed into his craving to be normal. Some of the boys didn’t want normal. They wanted to do things the way they did it and have Dean back off. Sam knew how that felt, but he was only stubborn. Being normal was addicting to Sam. He never wanted to leave.

 

Breakfast was done by the time Sam got downstairs, several boys already missing from the table. Depending on the activities they did at school or the jobs they worked, each boy would leave at a different time. Sam made sure to never have anything in the mornings so he could spend each morning with the boys. Sam slipped into the kitchen, squeezing past two of the boys who had been cooking. He picked up a plate and got a scoop of eggs and a scoop of fruit before grabbing a piece of bacon and popping it into his mouth.

 

The dining room was packed despite the lack of boys. Many had come and gone since Sm joined, but he still knew every boy by name. That was important to him. He needed the boys to feel included the same way he did. Sam smiled at one of the boys he sad next to, Andre, who had just left foster care and was now one of the best boys in the home who would work on cars. Dean often joked that Andre was going to steal his title as the homes mechanic. Andre ran away from home due to a poor living situation. He fled from town to town until he got busted for being underage and having no home. That was when foster care began. Parents passed on Andre, not because they didn’t want him, but because they couldn’t read him. Andre was only 14, but he was smarter and kinder than most adults Sam had met.

 

On his other side was Mark, a seventeen year old who had been in juvie five too many times. Mark had been busted for anything and everything. Fighting. Killing. Stealing. He was harder than most of the boys in the home, but he was still caring, mostly of the younger ones like Sam was. With his title as a problem kid, he was not accepted into any foster homes. Mark had only killed one person, his abuser. Mark’s mother did horrible things to him, so he did the same back. Dean had Mark in therapy and anger management, just to teach him to cope. None of Mark’s family wanted him, either. Sam couldn’t imagine how hard that was to hear.

 

Once all the boys finally sat down, they bowed their heads and prayed, with Dean leading the prayer. No one had to pray, but they had to sit and be respectful. Sam had yet to pray. He did not want to believe in a God who allowed the things that have happened to the boys happen. So, while Dean lead the prayer Sam and Andre played a few games of thumb war, holding back their giggles as Andre continuously won. By the time the prayer was over Sam’s stomach was rumbling beneath his skin. Sam grabbed his fork and began to eat, not bothering to take a break and drink his orange juice.

 

“You eat like you’ve been starving.” Mark mumbled. “Slow down before you make yourself sick. I mean it, just take some food with you to school.” Mark’s eyes darted around as he mentioned school. Sonny had to homeschool Mark. The public school all the other boys went to refused to take Mark. Sam hated how much the boy had been rejected.

 

Sam nodded in reply, looking over at Andre. “How’s your food?” He asked, sinking down in his seat.

 

Andre smiled with two cheeks full of food. “Amazing. It always is.”

 

“Yeah,” Sam chuckled to himself. “Real food never gets old.” Dean offered to bring the boys fast food often, but Sam always declined. He preferred real food. Sam was almost sure he would never eat any fast food again if it was his choice. “You want some of mine?” Sam asked.

 

“You sure?” Andre asked, already grabbing Sam’s plate and pouring the food onto it. “Don’t you want some of it?”

 

“Nah.” Sam shook his head. “I can eat a big lunch.”

 

Across the table, Jason smirked to himself before looking up at Sam. “Nervous stomach getting you?”

 

Sam flushed pink and looked down at his lap. “Come on, Jay. They don’t know.” He looked around at all the boys who were already staring at him, along with Dean who studied him from his seat at the end of the able. Sam could feel his cheeks darken. “It’s nothing.”

 

“There’s a dance at school.” Alex grinned, food still in his mouth. “Sam plans on asking someone.”

 

Dean smirked, resting his elbows on the table. “Oh?” He raised an eyebrow. “Is that why you are so dressed up?”

 

Sam looked down at his black pants and white button down he was wearing, smoothing out any wrinkles that were on his shirt.

 

“And that weird smelling stuff?”

 

“It’s cologne, and it smells amazing.” Sam replied, shaking his head. “It isn’t that nice-”

 

“He’s been up for two hours. There were like five other outfits.” Jordan groaned. “Next time he wants to ask someone out he needs to get ready in the bathroom. Some of us enjoy sleeping.”

 

Sam scoffed. “Bite me.”

 

“So… Sammy-”

“It’s Sam.” Sam shot back.

 

Dean smirked. So, Sammy, you are asking someone to this dance, no?”

 

“I am and it is none of yalls business.” Sam huffed, sinking down in his seat with his arms crossed over his chest.

 

Andre elbowed him. “Don’t pout.”

 

Sam shoved him playfully. “It’s one dance-”

 

Diego smirked. “Who are you asking?”

 

“None. Of. Your. Business.”

 

“That means we know him.” Jake pointed out. “Who is it? One of my friends on the team?”

 

Sam groaned, covering his face. “I don’t wanna say until I know the answer.”

 

“It’s Max, isn’t it?” Dean asked, laughing when Sam’s face flushed dark red. “Yep. He’s asking Max.”

 

“Max totally flirts with him, though.” Jordan said. “Like they hang all over each other at school. And sometimes they kiss. They are basically dating.”

 

“We. Are. Not!”

 

Dean nodded in agreement with Jordan. “You are. But really, Sam. Good luck with asking him.” He leaned over the table, reaching out and taking Sam’s hand. He held it tight. “I hope it goes well.”

 

Sam blushed at Dean’s touch. He could feel Dean’s eyes bleeding into him. Sam could live happily under Dean’s gaze. Sam swallowed some, nodding. “Yeah… me too.”

 

Little to no people were at school when Sam arrived. He liked getting there a little bit before the bell. It meant he could see his friends and work on any homework he had missed the night before. Sam climbed out of the car, gripping one of the straps on his backpack before swinging it onto his shoulder. He walked towards the front doors while other boys scrambled to get out and get their own bags. The emptiness of the parking lot was eerie, the sun barely climbing over the tops of the buildings. Mornings were peaceful to Sam, he found beauty in watching the world wake up with him.

 

The hallways were almost empty. A few cheerleaders crammed their bags into their lockers before rushing to a meeting while football players made their way to the showers after their practice. Sam offered a few smiles to the people he passed, grinning when he saw Emma fixing her hair in her mirror. The red cheerleading skirt she wore barely touched the middle of her thighs. The bow on her head was in the middle, almost perfectly.

 

“Hey!” Sam called as he rushed over. “I saw a few cheerleaders going into the gym. Is there a meeting?”

 

“Only for the new girls. They have to pledge some stuff like no drinking because it “makes the team look bad” or whatever.” Emma pulled lipstick from her locker and rubbed it onto her lips before grabbing lip gloss and layering it over the top. “I think Jessica has the flowers for later.”

 

“Is there a game tonight?” Sam asked, picking up Emma's backpack and holding it for her.

 

Emma rolled her eyes. “Yes and we are fucked. It's against Summit and we are not ready for it. And all the drama-” She sighed. “I wish I wasn't a cheerleader sometimes.”

 

“I know.” Sam smiled. “But you look great in the uniform.”

 

Emma nodded, putting her gloss in her backpack and slamming her locker shut. “That's starting to be the only plus.” She pulled on her backpack and began to walk down the hallway. “Noah's boyfriend dumped him.”

 

“Oh no…” Sam muttered. Noah was the only other openly gay boy Sam knew of. He was hooking up with a baseball player who was in the closet. “What happened?”

 

“John said he felt bad dating Noah when they couldn't even go on dates-” It was a small town. They would be outed, easily. “He said he loved Noah a lot but now isn't the time for them.”

 

Sam nodded. “I hope he's taking it okay.”

 

“I wish you two could date.” Emma mumbled. “You two would make each other so happy. Both of you are sweet and nice and nerdy. He would be better than Max-”

 

Sam scoffed. “Look, Max is a sweetheart and I like him a lot.”

 

“And he sure likes Emily-”

 

“They aren't a thing anymore. You are just protective.”

 

Emma nodded. “Enough bad shit has happened to you.” She looked at him and smiled. “I'm not gonna let anything else happen.”

 

On the steps leading to the basement was Dylan, a box of cigarettes on the floor next to him. In his lap was Clara, her hair pulled back in a braid and her yellow sundress standing out against Dylan’s all black outfit. They were kissing, Clara’s hand tangled in his hair. Dylan gripped her hips, holding her close. Dylan was thin, almost thinner than Clara.

 

“Didn't you take an oath of abstinence?” Emma asked, fake gagging and dropping her bag on the ground.  

 

Clara kissed Dylan harder, closing her eyes. She held up her hand, showing the ring on her finger. “Kissing isn't the same as sex.”

 

“Well…” Dylan kissed along her jaw. “If we keep kissing this way, it’ll turn into sex.”

 

“We are waiting until marriage, remember?” Clara pecked his lips.

 

Dylan nodded, biting her bottom lip. “How can I not remember? It's painful.”

 

Clara rolled her eyes and nudged Dylan, climbing out of his lap. “How is everyone?”

 

Sam watched Dylan, ignoring the conversation going on between Clara and Emma. He watched as Dylan looked around with wide eyes, bouncing his leg quickly. “You said you stopped.”

 

Dylan frowned. “What?”

 

“Meth.” Sam hissed. “You got thinner and you keep fidgeting and you are looking around like you've never seen the place.” Sam's heart ached at the memories of his mother and her addictions. “You said you got help-”

 

“Dylan…” Emma sighed. “That can kill you.”

 

“I am fine.” Dylan replied. “None of this is even your business.” He crossed his arms and leaned back against the wall. “I can take care of myself, understand?”

 

“I have been praying for him.” Clara added, rubbing Dylan's arm. “And he has been praying. Things will end up okay-”

 

“Prayers don't fix everything, Clara.” Emma pinched the bridge of her nose. “Especially addictions.”

 

“I’m okay. It's sweet that you care, but I know what I am doing.” Dylan looked over at Sam. “So back off-”

 

“Why don't you go smoke?” Clara asked.

 

“Giving him another thing to get addicted to won't fix anything!” Sam snapped. “We can't keep ignoring this-”

 

“I'm done.” Dylan stood up, grabbing his box of cigarettes, shoving past Sam as he disappeared down the hallway. Clara gathered her things and hugged Emma and Sam before rushing after him.

 

Sam dropped his bag, shaking his head. “Christ-”

 

“I know.” Emma mumbled. “He needs real help. But there isn't anything close to us. And Clara… she tries but… only doctors can help these kinds of things.”

 

Sam ran his fingers through his hair, closing his eyes and leaning his head back against the wall. “I wish we could do something. Save money and send him somewhere. Tell the police.”

 

“No one will help him here.” Emma whispered, digging the toe of her shoe into the floor. “Not in this shitty town.”

 

Noah rounded the corner, his head down. “Guess you guys saw Dylan…” He looked up, watching them nod. “Clara is nieve.”

 

“She needs something to believe in.” Emma said.

 

Noah shook his head. “She needs to get in the real fucking world.”

 

“I'm sorry about John.” Sam wrapped an arm around Noah, pulling him into a hug. He rested his chin on top of his head, humming. “You will find a good guy.”

 

Noah pressed his face to Sam's chest, closing his eyes. “I hope so.”

 

Sam pulled away and cupped his cheek. “I promise. You are… amazing.” He smiled down at Noah. “So amazing.”

 

Noah's cheeks turned pink as he pulled away. “Jess is in the office right now. She got in a fight with one of the football players. Well… she punched him in the nose.”

 

Sam smirked. “Sounds like Jess.”

 

“She finally snap on Ricky?”

 

“Yeah.” Noah said. “He has had it coming for a very long time.”

 

“Well maybe if he left the girls alone for once he wouldn't get punched all the time.” Sam muttered. Ricky was known for creeping girls out. Touching them. Following them. Waiting on them. “Maybe he will learn.”

 

Emma sighed. “We all know he won't.”

 

Once Jessica got out of the office Sam was on his way to class. She passed him the flowers before snaking her arm around Emma and kissing her. Sam walked down the hall, clutching the flowers. A half a dozen red roses were wrapped in pink and white packaging with a red bow. Emma helped pick them out and told Jessica to take notes.

 

Classes passed slowly, Sam spending each hour counting down how many minutes until he would ask Max to the dance. His nerves only grew stronger as the time drew closer. Sam made sure to keep the roses safe, laying them on his desk and only letting people look at them, not touch. Sam needed this to be perfect. Max deserved it.

 

Max and Sam had been flirting for months, kissing and cuddling in between study sessions. Max complimented Sam and even got him a few books as presents. Everyone knew Max liked Sam back, but neither of them had made a move. Which was why Sam figured asking him to a dance was the perfect segway. He planned on doing it off to the side during lunch so Max wouldn't be outed but he could still ask at school and away from the boys home. They would all embarrass him if he did it around there.

 

Sam rushed through his work, nervously chewing the skin around his thumb as he scribbled the answers onto paper. Max wasn't very romantic but he was sweet. He hated sappy movies but he always complimented Sam, telling him he was smart and beautiful. Sam returned the compliments, of course, loving the way Max would smile in reply. Max's smile was one of the most beautiful things Sam had ever seen. He could look at it forever.  

 

By the time his class let out for lunch Sam was jumping out of his skin. He grabbed his bag and the roses, waiting until everyone else had left before he followed them out into the hallway. Sam held the roses close to his chest in order to avoid them getting damaged. People pushed past him only causing Sam to move slower. He had to save up for weeks to pay for the flowers. Jessica offered to, but Sam declined it. He didn't like asking for favors. In his mind that meant he owed someone and after years on the streets Sam learned not to owe anyone anything.

 

The cafeteria was packed as Sam stepped inside, walking over to where Jessica, Emma, Noah, and Clara sat. Dylan was nowhere to be seen which wasn't surprising. He skipped school often, especially after someone mentioned his addiction. Dylan tried to stop, but he needs help. That was something he didn't want to admit.

 

“Are you excited?” Noah asked, leaning against the table. “Do you know what you'll say?”

 

Sam smiled, nodding. “Yeah, I have practiced a few times.” He shrugged his backpack off and set it on his chair.

 

“Young love.” Jessica smirked, kissing Emma's hand. “How sweet… remember when I asked you out?”

 

“In the middle of a math class? Yeah. I do.” Emma leaned against her. “I thought you were gonna ask me for answers. Not ask me on a date.”

 

Jessica gasped dramatically. “Rud-”

 

“I see him!” Sam almost shouted. He grabbed the flowers and rushed through the groups of tables. Students were finally beginning to sit down at tables or find their way to the lunch lines. Max never ate lunch. Sam always shared his with him. “Max!” Sam called, hiding the flowers behind his back. “Hey!”

 

“Hm?” Max looked up from his phone. “You need help with work or something?”

 

“No.” Sam blushed. “I actually… wanna ask you something that doesn't have to do with school.”

 

“Shoot.”

 

“So…” Sam trailed off. “There is a dance tomorrow. And I… really like you and you like me, so I was wondering if you wanted to go together… as like a date. A first date. We can go to dinner and everything.” He held out the flowers. “And these are for you.”

 

Max stared at Sam, wide eyed. “I… don't like you.” He glanced behind Sam, stuffing his hands in his pockets. “How could I? You are dirty. Sleeping with all those older men. I don't want someone who sold themselves on the street. You are just some poor slut-”

 

Sam tensed up. “Please… lower your voice. I don't want them all knowing…”

 

“Knowing what?” Max laughed. “That you are a fucking prostitute. That men paid ten dollars to have their way with you?”

 

“Please…” Sam stepped closer. “I just thought… you felt the same, that's all. You always flirted with me-”

 

“It was a dare, Sam.” Max scoffed. “I wouldn't ever want you. My friends just wanted me to mess with the new freak-”

 

“Oh…”

 

“You are just another one of my jobs. Teach you and leave you. That’s it!” Max began to shout. “We are not friends! I would never be friends with a faggot like you!”

 

Sam dropped the flowers, staring at Max. “We kissed!”

 

“It was a dare! You idiot! All of it was. The kissing. The cuddling. The flirting. I didn't mean any of it!”

 

Sam blinked away the tears welling up in his eyes. “I'm sorry… I didn't know…”

 

Max laughed, shaking his head. “I can't believe you thought I could want someone like you.”

 

Slowly, Sam backed away, the tears he had been fighting finally falling down his cheeks. Around him the kids began to laugh, everyone but his few friends at their table. Sam didn't bother grabbing his backpack before he left the cafeteria. He ran out of the cafeteria and down the hall, running through the gym and out of the gym exit, tears blurring his vision.

 

All of it was fake. Max never wanted him, it was all a joke, he was a joke. Max even called him a faggot. They used to be so close. Max knew so much about Sam. About his mom and her boyfriend, about the things he did in the past and about the way he felt. And Max didn't care. It was all a dare. Mess with a freaky new kid. Sam flinched as he began to think about all the things Max could have told his friends. About his crush on Dean or how Sam got so desperate he would beg men to sleep with him.

 

Sam dropped to his knees, leaning over and beginning to vomit. All of his secrets were gossip to him. Max didn't care. Sam was another project in order for him to get into college. They weren't friends nor were lovers. And the entire school now knew. Each student knew that Sam was just a joke to them. A dirty, freak who had to sell himself to live. Sam normally didn't see any shame in what he did to survive, but now Sam felt so dirty he wanted to rip his own skin off.

 

Sam clutched his stomach as he gagged, his entire body shaking. More tears fell down his face and he wasn’t sure if they were from his anxiety or the pain. His entire body hurt, but his chest ached the most. He had finally trusted someone and this was how it ended. As a joke, a worthless little bet. Sam needed to find a new tutor, maybe even a new school now that everyone knew his past. Sam couldn't handle any bullying. He was already falling apart.

 

Sam stumbled to his feet, wiping his eyes with the backs of his hands. He had almost forgot how mean people could be. Sam took deep breaths as he began to run again, stumbling over his own feet. He continued to run, making it as far away from the school as he could before slowing down. Tears still fell from Sam's cheeks, his face stained red with embarrassment. All he wanted to do was ask a boy to the dance and now he was the school joke. The faggot. The prostitute. The dirty freak.

 

Sam began to gag, leaning against a bench as he passed. His throat burned from the acid and his stomach ached from throwing up before. As his body jerked, Sam tried to close his eyes and focus on breathing. His stomach was empty. There was nothing else he could throw up. When the gagging finally subsided, Sam stood up, his eyes landing on a payphone. Sam stumbled towards it, grabbing the phone and digging through his pockets, pulling out money. Sam dialed a number and held the phone to his ear, beginning to cry once more.

 

Not only was Sam humiliated but he was heartbroken. He cared about Max, he liked him. A lot. Max was one of the first people to show him kindness and it was all fake. Sam wiped his eyes, keeping his head down. The phone rang softly, crackling filling his ear. The phone must have been old. Sam chewed on his lip nervously, wiping his eyes with his shirt. Everyone that passed him was staring at him. He felt like he was on the streets again. That thought only made his heart ache even more.

 

“Uh, this is Dean... “ Dean’s voice filled the air around Sam. “I own the boys home on Oak Street. Is there anything I can help you with?”

 

“Dean…” Sam whispered, his voice cracking. He closed his in shame. “Can you please come pick me up… something bad happened and I just need to be at home.”

 

“Buddy…” Sam could imagine Dean’s face as he struggled to figure out who he was talking to. Dean knew many voices, so Sam didn’t think he would figure it out. But he did. Because that is what Dean does. He makes Sam feel important when Sam needs it the most. “Sammy… hey… what happened?”

 

Sam took a deep breath. He didn’t think he could say it outloud. “Please…”

 

“Are you hurt?” Dean sounded panicked. Scared.

 

“No…”

 

Dean let out a sigh of relief. “Thank god...  okay. Are you at school?”

 

“No.” Sam repeated. “I left. I… am in front of this gas station down the road some…”

 

“Okay. I’ll be there in fifteen, don’t go anywhere. I mean it.” Sam could hear Dean rushing around in the background and the door closing behind him. The jingle of keys were loud. “Please… stay safe for me.”

 

Sam nodded, taking a deep breath. Snot dripped from his nose and his head began to throb. “I will… I just need you.”

 

The car door opened on the other end. “Well, I’m here now. Always will be.”

 

Sam smiled to himself, wiping his eyes again. For a moment he felt happy.

 

The wait for Dean to get there was painfully long. Sam kept himself tucked close to the outside of the payphone, people looking him up and down as they passed. He got the same looks he did when he was on the streets. Disgusted looks. Pitiful looks. Sam kept his arms wrapped tightly around himself, his eyes on the ground. Feeling people's eyes on him made him feel dirty and ashamed. Sam wanted nothing more than to run away and disappear. He didn’t need all the people staring. He just needed to go home and shut himself in his room. To hide. That was what Sam did best.

 

Sam could hear Dean’s car before he saw it, the loud rumbling motor echoing down the road. He stood at the edge of the sidewalk, his toes touching the road. For a moment or two Sam thought about stepping into the road. Things would be easier if everything ended. Now that people knew what he used to do at school he would never hear the end of it. Sam knew the words they would use, but he was not strong enough to deal with it.

 

He had grown too soft, he had let his walls down and let people in. That was his mistake. Thinking people would be kinder just because they weren’t paying for him. No one was kind, not fully. Everyone has things they regret or something they had done wrong. Sam was stupid for believing anywhere was safe. He needed to leave again. There is no settling down for people like him. Just like there are no happy endings. There was no settling down, either. Only running. Hiding.

 

Sam pulled open the door to Dean’s car, climbing inside and slamming the door closed. He pressed himself to the door, distancing himself from Dean. Sam crossed his arms over his chest, looking down at his lap. “I’m leaving.”

 

‘Sam-”

 

“I won’t let you stop me. No one can stop me. I’m done pretending this place can be home for me, Dean!” Sam snapped. “No where can be home.”

 

“You're not pretending, Sam. This is your home and we are your family and we love you. You don’t have to run from us... “ Dean put his hand on Sam’s shoulder. “You don’t have to run from me.” He wrapped his arm around Sam’s shoulders and pulled Sam into his side, kissing the top of his head. “Come here, Sammy. It’s okay.”

 

Sam pressed against Dean, gripping his arms. Sobs rippled from his chest, his body shaking against Dean’s. His tears got Dean’s t-shirt wet. Dean didn’t care, though, he continued to rub Sam’s back and keep him close. Sam sobbed loudly, his chest heaving as he cried. His head was pounding only causing more tears to fall down his cheeks. Sam held Dean’s shirt in his fists, his body shaking. “I asked Max to the dance.”

 

Dean tensed. “Oh, buddy…” It was obvious that Dean knew where his story was going.

 

“He humiliated me…” Sam pulled away and rubbed his eyes, staying in Dean’s arms. It was the only place where he felt safe. “Called me a faggot. Told everyone what I used to be…” Sam laughed dryly. “I’m not even ashamed… I just know how they will look at me… like I’m some pathetic, cheap object. Or like I have a disease… I can’t do that, Dean. I won’t. I can’t feel that way again.”

 

“I won’t let you.” Dean cupped Sam’s cheeks and kissed his forehead. “I’m sorry he was so mean… I’ll get your tutor changed…. I just thought he liked you. All the kissing and the flirting, I couldn’t keep you two off of each other….”

 

“It was all some stupid dare.” Sam’s eyes fluttered shut and he pressed into Dean’s touch. “They said it was a prank-”

 

“That means it’s funny.”

 

“Well…” Sam shrugged. “Most of them were laughing. Probably thought the freak had it coming for asking someone like him out. I should’ve known better. These damn small towns... “ He shook his head, pulling away. “They all know I used to be a prostitute. And they know I’m a creepy gay guy who had a crush on his tutor.”

 

“But you aren’t creepy…”

 

“That’s how it looked. I got him flowers and asked in front of everyone. I look like some stalker…” Sam pushed his fingers through his hair. “Boys suck…”

 

Dean took the car out of park and began to drive, the car rumbling louder than before. “You will find a good guy, I promise. They don’t all suck.”

 

“You are the only one who has yet to majorly suck for no reason.” Sam wrapped his arms around Dean’s arm, resting his head on Dean’s shoulder. “You are one of the good ones.”

 

“Well, WIlliam Parker disagreed.”

 

Sam made a face. “Who is that?”

 

“A boy I asked out. He didn’t do exactly what Max did. He and his friends just beat me… bad. I got the scars and everything.” Dean smirked some. “Made me look like a hell of a badass, though.”

 

Sam beamed up at Dean. “You know…. I hear boys dig scars.”

 

Dean chuckled. “I think you dig everything I do, Sam.”

 

Sam was silent for a moment before nodding. “Mhm.”

 

“Anyway, they beat me. Keyed my Baby, too. It was scary… worse than anything I had ever felt. I just… didn’t know what to do. But Sonny helped me. Turned the boys in and got them sent away for hate crimes.”

 

“But this is a small town.”

 

“Yeah, I know.” Dean glanced at Sam. “But Sonny also knew shit about the cops that no one needed to know. The man knows how to play dirty when he needs to. And no one messes with his family.”

 

“I don’t think I can turn in Max for being a dick.” Sam sighed. “Or for ruining my first dance before it even started…” Sam looked at his feet, lowering his voice. “I always dreamed of going to a dance with a boy…”  

 

“The point is, with the help of family, you can get through anything, no matter how bad it really is.” Dean lifted his arm and wrapped it around Sam, pulling Sam into his side. “There will be other dances.”

 

Sam ignored what Dean said about the dances. It wasn’t that this was his only. It was that the dance was his first. Suddenly, dances were very unappealing.“That was pretty cheesy.”

 

Dean shrugged. “It’s true. We are here for you and we love you. I know it feels easier to go through it alone but it isn’t. Let us help you.”

 

“Why do you have to be so sweet?” Sam asked. Dean already had Sam calming down. “It’s not fair. I wanna be done with this.”

 

“It's easier to be done, but you won't be happy.” Dean looked over at Sam. “We need you just as much as you need this place.”

 

Sam hid his face in Dean's arm, closing his eyes and pray that Dean was telling the truth. He was afraid of being alone, but Sam felt so much shame for asking for help. When he was on the streets he never allowed himself to be this weak. He was becoming soft. “I shouldn’t be crying.” He finally mumbled. “He’s just some guy-”

 

“You are allowed to feel sad, Sam. You don’t have to be strong anymore…” Dean brushed his knuckles across Sam’s cheek. “Let us be strong for you for a change.”

 

The idea of fully relaxing scared Sam. He still awoke from horrid dreams drenched in sweat and feeling nauseated. He had yet to fully relax and allow himself to feel safe. Sam had gotten close, though, but after this he wasn’t sure if he could ever fully relax. The world was cruel to him. He was beginning to feel as though he would never really be happy. “I don’t know… what to do…” Compared to his other problems, this was small, but this was one thing Sam didn’t know how to cope with. “How do you… move away from something like this?”

 

“Knock his teeth out. Date a hotter guy. Humiliate him. There are many ways.”

 

“But which do you want me to do?” Sam asked, peeking up at Dean.

 

Dean smiled down at Sam. “Keep going.”

 

Dean said it like it would be easy.

 

When they pulled up to the house Sam walked inside without a word. His stomach was in so much pain it hurt to move and his head was pounding so bad he could cry. Sam needed a break from reality. He walked inside without looking out at Dean. Sam crept up the stairs, thankful that everyone was at work or school. A few boys were going to be coming home from night shifts, but no one he would have to see or talk to.

 

Sam stripped his clothes off, bunching them up and throwing them across the room. He flopped down on his bed, kicking the covers around before wrapping them around himself and settling in the middle of his bed. He extended an arm and pulled the curtains over the window closed, laying back on the bed and closing his eyes. The silence of the house was odd, the house was almost never silent. Dean would be working or the boys would be home. The house didn't feel like home without them.

 

Sam sighed. Home. It sucked that he had a home, that his feelings were entangled with so many people. Feelings made disappearing hard. He cared for people and they cared for him. No matter how hurt or ashamed or angry Sam was, he couldn't leave. Part of him knew he didn't want to leave at all and that it was just his instincts telling him to run, but Sam still tried to convince himself he wanted to leave.

 

Slowly, Sam's eyes fell heavy and his breathing evened out. Dean came in once he began to fall asleep, kissing his forehead and telling Sam that he was going to make his day better. Sam was too tired to move or reply, so his eyes remained closed as he began to drift to sleep.

 

Sam's sleep was dreamless which wasn't a bad thing considering Sam was haunted by nightmares for years. When he opened his eyes the room was pitch black and when he pulled the curtain back it was dark outside, blackness covering the sky. Sam covered his face and took a deep breath. His stomach rumbled and against Sam's better judgement he got out of bed and got dressed in sweats and a shirt before making his way downstairs.

 

Sam needed to eat, his body was finally at a normal weight and size. Sam refused to let any asshole boy mess with his health. He grabbed an apple, frowning when the same deafening silence filled the air like earlier. There was no dinner on the table or anyone cooking. No boys were working on homework or watching a movie. Sam frowned to himself, looking around. He didn't even see anyone in the rooms as he passed. Where was everyone?

 

“Dean?” Sam called, walking towards the back of the house. On his way to the back, Sam grabbed a knife off of the table and gripped it tight. “This isn’t fun-” Sam froze as he stepped in front of the back door. Soft yellow light flooded in through the thin glass window lighting up Sam's face. “What the hell?” Sam pulled the door open and walked outside, gasping.

 

Yellow lights were strung around the tree branches and the patio. There was a vase filled to the brim with flowers and soft music playing in the background. In the middle of it all stood Dean in a black suit, his tie tucked neatly beneath his jacket. The lights lit his eyes beautifully and his freckles stood out beneath the light. Dean smiled at Sam, crossing his arms over his chest. Dean even had on nice shoes, the tops of them glimmering in the light.

 

Sam felt his chest tightening. This was too good to be true. “Dean…”

 

“I know Max was an asshole… and there is no way in hell you will go to the dance tomorrow. So… I sent the boys out for the night and-” Dean extended his arms. “Brought the dance to you.”

 

Sam shook his head. “No.”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Dean-”

 

“You deserve this, Sam. Stop being so hard on yourself.” Dean smiled at him. His smile was soft beneath the glow of the lights. “Let yourself have this.”

 

Sam blinked away tears. “God… this is so nice…” He wiped his eyes, looking down at his clothes. “I look so bad.”

 

“It's okay.” Dean winked. “I think that you look good in anything… now… are you done freaking out or do you need a few more minutes?”

 

Sam looked around, his eyes wide. “I… don't know. What will I do?”

 

“Dance-” Dean closed the gap between them. “With me.”

 

“Are you asking?” Sam asked, wrapping his arms around Dean's neck. “Or are you telling me?”

 

“Asking.” Dean mumbled. “And hoping you will like this and not think it is insanely weird and predatory.”

 

Sam laughed softly, shaking his head. “No. You're good.”

 

Dean placed his hands on Sam's hips, swaying side to side with Sam before beginning to move more. “Is this okay?”

 

Sam nodded, resting his head on Dean's shoulder. “Yeah… it's perfect… but I can't dance.”

 

“Don't worry.” Dean lifted Sam up with one arm and without missing a beat he placed Sam's feet over his. “Just stand there and look pretty for me.”

 

“I'm good at that.” Sam grinned, hiding his face in Dean's neck.

 

Dean nodded, dancing them across the yard, spinning beneath the golden lights. “You are…”

 

“Come on.” Sam breathed out. “You gotta stop making me fall in love with you.” He laughed but he wasn't kidding.

 

“Sam-”

 

“No.” Sam snapped, cutting Dean off. “I know. We have talked about it before. You don't have to remind me.”

 

“If you would shut up for a second I could explain.” Dean covered Sam'd mouth before pulling his hand away. “I want to…” He pushed his fingers through Sam's hair. “Trust me… I think about it every time I see you… wanna touch you…” Dean dipped his hand beneath his shirt before pulling away.

 

“Then do it.” Sam grabbed his wrist. “No one is home… I won't tell-”

 

“You are 17.”

 

“Don't you want me?” Sam was so frustrated. He was ready to slam his fist into Dean's jaw and scream at him to make up his mind. “You are so confusing-”

 

“Six more months.” Dean whispered as though someone was listening to them. “And then we can… okay?”

 

Sam stared at Dean. Six months and then Dean was his. And he would be Dean's. “That is a long time…” Sam pulled Dean's tie from beneath his jacket and tugged on it. “Gonna need something to hold me over…”

 

“I'm going to hell.” Dean breathed out as Sam inched closer, gripping Dean by the tie. “I am so fucked….”

 

“Kiss me.” Sam whispered. “I want you to kiss me first, Dean.”

“Sammy…”

“Please… Dean… just give me this…” Sam's lips hovered over Dean's.

“Sammy…”

Sam leaned down and brushed his lips across Dean's. “Never liked that nickname… but now that I hear you say it like that… like you're begging…”

“Christ.”

Dean slammed his lips into Sam's, knocking him back against a table. He kissed Sam roughly, holding him close. Sam tangled his hand in Dean's hair, pulling him closer. Dean kissed the air from Sam's lungs, kissed him better. Dean pulled away only to kiss Sam one more time before pulling away.

“Dean-”

Dean smirked and wiped his swollen lips. “That should hold you over.”