They’re in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Sam’s finally got a fucking date. A real one, like cheap fast food and a movie, not just groping behind the bleachers. And the guy—well. He’s a couple years older than Sam, eighteen to his sixteen, and he’s got the prettiest curls, and he’s on the basketball team and in Sam’s AP Lit, and Sam’s pretty much hoping they never move again.
“I’m going out with Aaron,” Sam announces when he hears the front door crack open. He squints at himself in the mirror, scooping up more water to try to make his hair lay flat. Not only does it not work, but now the back of his shirt is wet. Goddammit. “So don’t wait up!”
“Who?” Dean calls back. Sam can hear him throw his jacket on the floor (and who does he think is gonna have to pick that up, dammit Dean) and hobble towards the couch. He broke his leg on their last hunt, a haunting in an old plantation home, which is why Dad left them both behind even though Dean’s long-ago dropped out so he could hunt full time. Sam tries to feel bad, but his brother likes his job at the cafe even if he complains about froofy coffee orders ‘cause his cute coworkers more than make up for it. So really, broken leg aside, it’s kind of ideal.
“Aaron,” he says. “Remember, from when you picked me up after the game? Real tall?”
There’s a long pause. “The muscly dude? With the Lakers shirt?”
“Like he’s grabbing you for dinner with the other guys?”
Sam rolls his eyes, even though Dean can’t see him from the living room. He can see himself in the mirror, though, and honestly that’s audience enough. “Why would I say don’t wait up if I’m grabbing dinner with school friends, dude?”
“I don’t know!” The clacking of Dean’s crutches picks up again until he’s leaning against the frame of the bathroom, frowning at Sam where he’s still standing in front of the mirror. “But you’re not going out with him.”
“Yeah, I totally am.”
“You are not! Dude, he’s like-” Dean gestures vaguely, which could mean anything from too tall to way out of your fucking league. “No way, man.”
“I told you I was gay,” Sam points out. “How is this a surprise?”
“He’s old !” Dean yells.
“He’s a senior!” And already eighteen in September, but Sam doesn’t point that out.
“That’s older than you!”
“I’m a junior! Also, like, what the hell are you talking about, I know you scored a college girl when you were my age. Which I only know ‘cause you wouldn’t shut up about it, by the way.”
“That’s different .”
Sam makes a face, giving up on trying to dry his shirt and pushing past Dean into their shared bedroom to find another decent one. “How?”
“He’s a guy!”
He freezes, bent in half where he’s pulling his lucky purple dog shirt from a drawer. “I thought you were cool about that.” He stands up the rest of the way and yanks the shirt on. He wants to turn around and glare at his brother, but he somehow can’t make himself.
“I am cool,” Dean says indignantly. “That doesn’t mean I’m supposed to go let you date grown-ass men! That guy’s taller than me, Sam. And he’s Gumby, either, the guy’s got guns. What if he tried something, huh?”
Sam rolls his eyes, turning around and plopping down on his bed. He pulls his legs up and sits cross-legged to face Dean, who stays in the frame of the bathroom. “Dean. We train every day. I’ve taken down a werewolf single-handed while you and Dad were busy being all concussioned-out on the ground. You seriously think some high school boy can take me?”
“High school guys can play dirty,” Dean says, and fuck, he’s got his serious-dad-voice on, which somehow works better than Sam’s actual-Dad’s serious voice. Dean only pulls it out when he’s all worried and his eyebrows get all scrunchy and it both makes Sam want to sneak out to run wild and stay home to sit under his big brother’s arm on the couch and watch old movies, all at once. It’s a powerful thing. “I would know, Sammy. Don’t underestimate a teenage boy who’s trying to get some.”
“I’m a teenage boy,” Sam points out dryly, but Dean doesn’t seem to hear him.
“I mean, what if he roofied you or something? Or honestly, even just gave you a normal drink, ‘cause you know you can’t exactly hold your liquor.”
“I can too!”
“I’m sorry, who was it that giggled so hard I had to fucking Heimlich him? After like, one beer too!”
“I was twelve! Also, we’re not even getting drunk, we’re going to CookOut and a movie!”
“That’s what he says ,” Dean says in a tone he probably thinks is wise. “‘Til he pulls out a flask and asks if you want a sip, just to loosen up. And then bam, next thing you know-”
“A flask? Dude, I’m pretty sure that’s only you. Also, that’s a freaking weird move, does that even work?”
“Everything works for me,” Dean says smugly. He finally sticks his crutches back in his armpits and hobbles over to sit on the bed opposite Sam, collapsing on it with a groan.
“Well,” Sam says. “How about I won’t drink out of any flasks, and you won’t be weird about me going on a perfectly normal date.”
“Hmm,” Dean says. “No. How ‘bout, y’all watch a movie here and I can chaperone?”
Sam’s pretty sure his face shows exactly how horrifying that prospect is. Because, uh, what the fuck, Dean.
“I’m a cool chaperone!” He adds on hastily. “I totally am, you know I’ll let y’all have a couple beers or whatever."
“Dean,” Sam says very politely. Or at least as politely as he can, considering, well. “You are not invited on my date.”
“I just wanna make sure he doesn’t take advantage!”
“I want him to take advantage!”
Dean’s eyes bulge out of his head a little. It’s kinda funny, even if Sam knows it’d be a bad time to laugh. “Dude,” he says slowly, absolutely horrified.
Of course, it’s then that the doorbell rings.
Sam jumps up, running to the bathroom to make sure he doesn’t look absolutely horrific before dashing to the door. Thankfully, Dean is too busy being horrified at the idea that his brother has a sex drive to do anything about it.
He opens the door, beaming, and there’s Aaron. He’s got one of those pink polo shirts on with a pair of khakis, like all Southern boys Sam has ever met wear on nice occasions. It’s endearing on him, and that’s how Sam knows he really likes this guy.
“Aaron!” He says. “Hey!”
“Sam,” Aaron says, smiling a little awkwardly, glancing him up and down real quick in a way that sends shivers up Sam’s spine. “You look great, man.”
“Thanks,” Sam says. “You too. I mean- really.”
They smile at each other for a second, and it’s awkward and fragile and perfect. And then Sam hears crutches.
“Well!” he says, moving forward to try to subtly shove Aaron back out the door with him. “We should go! Don’t wanna miss that movie!”
“Wait!” he hears Dean yell behind him.
“Nope, do not wait,” he tells Aaron when the guy freezes, but he does, because apparently he is not as smart as his comments in AP Lit would make him seem.
“Is that your dad?” Aaron asks. “Should I say hi?”
And then Dean stumbles through the door. “Wait,” he says again, pausing in the kitchen doorway to catch his breath.
Sam closes his eyes for a moment and prays that his brother magically becomes normal.
“Uh,” Aaron says. “Hi. You’re Sam’s brother, right?”
Dean doesn’t acknowledge that. Instead, he leans back on his good leg and lifts up a crutch to point it at Aaron in a way that’s probably supposed to be threatening. “You,” he says. “Be good to Sammy.”
“Yeah,” Aaron says. “Yeah, ‘course. Totally.”
“Do not try to fuck with him if he doesn’t wanna be fucked with. You hear me?”
“Um,” Aaron says.
“O- kay !” Sam says. “And we’re going!”
This time, Aaron moves when Sam pushes him out the door, although he’s still squinting back confusedly at Dean. Dean, to his credit, doesn’t waver from where he’s balanced on one leg, which can’t be easy.
“Wait!” Dean yells again. “Sammy, you got protection? And your phone! Call me if-”
Sam slams the door.