Author: Regala Electra
Summary: Sam thinks that if things were different, Dean might’ve been a packrat.
Word Count: 2,036
Author's Notes: For wendy's prompt: Sam/Dean, records which for use in this particular fic is defined as: a thing constituting a piece of evidence about the past. There are references made to S3, in particular Bad Day at Black Rock and Dream a Little Dream of Me. Feedback is appreciated.
Nothing stays if it can’t be carried and fitted in the trunk—that was Dad’s rule. The cheap, always out of tune guitar Dean won in a poker game (the $500 winnings went to Dad, for ammunition and food, Dean had only pocketed a little side money for himself) is left in Macon, Georgia.
The guitar is abandoned in the rundown house they squatted in for nearly three months, a stretch of time that feels almost too long which is how Dean nearly picked up a hobby. He hadn’t though. The guitar was used was more to annoy Sam. He’d play it whenever Sam was studying and sure Dean could only mangle “Stairway to Heaven” but it was a hell of a way to pass the time.
Dean places it in a battered case he stole from the high school music department. Painted across one side, the case declared it school property. He leaves it downstairs in the coat closet where someone might find it one day and wish it sounded a little clearer and that the notes came out better but what can you expect from a free guitar?
Sam gets books from the library because that way he doesn’t have to worry about leaving them behind. He tries to read everything at least twice if it interests him and he makes sure to read one new book in each place they move to. They move a lot so by extension he reads a lot.
He throws tests, essays and projects in the trash. There’s no value to them once he gets his grades back because all that matters is the final number on his school transcript. He’s been thinking about how those numbers are adding up more and more and what it’ll mean when the transcript’s done.
Dean offered once, as a joke, to put one of Sam’s perfect A’s on the fridge but they don’t have any fridge magnets. Or a fridge as at the time, they only had a small cooler with some essentials piled inside.
Once he finds one of his end-of-the-year exams, one of those big ones that’s supposed to determine his placement up against other kids his age, crumpled under a stack of newspapers that’s Dean’s reading. It’s research which means Dean did something to put himself back on research duty. Research is one of Dean’s least favorite activities which Sam doesn’t really understand. It’s a lot easier than all the stupid drills Dad makes them do at the crack of dawn, in the middle of the night, always the most unexpected times.
There’s clippings messily tossed all over the kitchen table and Sam figures once Dean cleans up, the test will be tossed in the trash.
At Stanford, Sam threw away all the hand-me-down clothes he got from Dean. The blue flannel jacket they got from a Salvation Army in Flint, Michigan three years ago, faded and frayed at the sleeves, is gone without a thought about how Dean had picked it up and called it the ugliest damn thing he’d ever seen.
The two pairs of jeans he still has that were already a little too short a year ago get dumped. With a twist of vindictive flair, so goes the jeans Dean had picked up for Sam that were fitted for Sam’s longer legs, the jeans that were new and not from a discount or outlet store, but paid for full price, a rarity.
He disposes of everything.
It’s left at a Church drive because Sam can’t think of tossing it in the garbage, like everything else. He only keeps the clothes on his back and maybe he’ll burn it later, a bonfire to celebrate starting fresh. Just like Dad told him, he’s on his own.
When he’s stripping down to take a shower in the dorms, he almost misses it, the little packet fluttering out of his back pocket.
He crouches down and says, softly, “Dammit, Dean.”
Before Sam left, Dean had pushed a fistful of cash into Sam’s hands. The offering was rejected, falling to the ground and Sam didn’t look back, didn’t dare to.
It had been a distraction. Dean’s good at that and Sam’s an idiot for not realizing it.
Barely protected by a manila envelope is some money folded strangely, covering something. Peeling away the layers of bills, twenties and fifties, he sees a picture, of Mom and Dad.
He’s seen it before. Dad always had it in his journal, something he refused to talk about, but when Sam first stole Dad’s journal, that’s what captivated him most of all, the image of his mother. The woman that they don’t talk about. Mom.
Sam wises up a little, anger slowly dissipating. The first purchase he makes with his emergency money is buying a frame for the picture.
There's a little raised line of white across Dean's right knee that he never talks about. It's easy to miss, so damn easy that anyone who noticed wouldn't think nothing of it. He got it tumbling off a boulder, no more than thirteen years old, trying to show off.
Sam was little then but brave. Looked at the scraped mess of Dean's leg and asked what he could do to help.
They'd climbed down the mountain, both of them, back towards the little cabin in the small clearing at the bottom, Sam trying to help by shouldering Dean's weight.
So while Dad doesn't ever talk about Sammy, Dean can tap his fingers against that scar and know that Sam's gonna be okay.
Dean doesn’t ask Sam, a week later when they’re leaving Palo Alto, what he wants to take from his apartment.
It takes Sam a short while to return with a duffel bag and he asks if it’ll fit in the back. It’s meant to be mean and Dean registers it as that, nodding his head. Sam’s desperate to burn out the grief as soon as it builds up and Dean’s dealt with worse.
He tells Sam that there’s plenty of room.
Sam thinks that if things were different, Dean might’ve been a packrat. His love of the perverse offerings of a life on the road is too strong. He’d collect the most inane things and always for its gross-out potential. The Betty Page memorabilia seems to be a particular favorite.
Instead when they’re at the latest stop-‘n-go and Dean’s been eyeing one of those stupid pens where you turn it upside and see a naked woman, the only things Dean brings to the register are food and drink.
Picking up one of those serenity rocks with a rune etched on the surface, he raises an eyebrow as if to say to Sam, Can you believe this crap?
When they find Dad’s storage locker, Sam’s real quiet but later on the road, he gets to talking.
Talking ‘bout how they never kept anything and here it was, Dad was squirreling things away and Dean lets Sam keep on talking because that’s what you do when your brother’s high on pain meds.
“The only stuff we were told to take care of were those damn weapons.” Sam’s laugh fades a little as he softly adds, “And each other.”
Dean has to slow down ‘cause he knows there’s a trooper stationed nearby, waiting to issue speeding tickets. When he does, he puts a hand on Sam’s thigh. No good reason to do it.
It just feels right and quiets Sam down as Dean continues driving at a boring and safe speed.
He ties off the condom and tosses it in the garbage can. Bought it at a gas station outside of Champlin, Missouri. Damn. Hadn’t even had a good reason to buy it back there, except to tick off the guy giving them the stinkeye when they’d stepped up to the register to make their purchases.
“Dean. Talk to me.”
Saying nothing is the best bet for when you got a little too desperate and went way over the damn line and can’t even see where the line used to be.
The matchbook bearing the motel’s logo is safely stowed away in Dean’s jacket pocket. Sure he’s got lighters and plenty of damn matchbooks. But this one means something different.
There's a tangle of wet towels left like an offering to a water-sprite across the bathroom floor. The curtain's almost been ripped off the hooks.
But there's no time to clean up.
Sam thinks about kissing Dean to wake him up. Instead he gently runs a hand across the spreading bruise across his left bicep and quickly presses in. It's enough of a wake-up call that Dean stirs, groggy and thoroughly fucked-out.
Sam hands over coffee, wordlessly pointing to the last clean change of clothes on top of Dean's duffel. When the stretch of silence gets to be too much, he says, "We don't have much time."
They leave the room a disaster, evidence of time spent hurried and furious.
Dean used to have this theory about hickeys when he was younger. That they only showed up because they were supposed to be there in the first place, which is a line he used when getting laid and believe him, he did score off that line and probably still would, only he's doesn’t really need to seeing as he’s a little occupied.
Occupied by Sam's mouth doing exactly that. He’s working a nice one right at the base of Dean's throat.
Sam likes peppering each sucking kiss with a careful scrape of teeth. He's real careful like he's been meaning to do this for ages and now that he can, he's going to make sure it's done right.
Dean doesn’t see that he’s fit to complain not when he can groan and encourage Sam to keep on doing what he’s doing so damn well. Pushes up against Sam, cock getting hard all over again.
If it weren’t for these damn handcuffs, he’d be doing a lot more than just thrusting.
Sam doubts it’s coincidence that Dean’s letting him drive the car today, claiming that he needs to sleep, which is a lie because Dean regularly passes out after fucking unless he’s jonesing for a second round. He’s gotten plenty of sleep in the past two days to make up for all the sleep he lost out after chasing the dreamwalker.
Also he’s not sleeping.
Sometimes it’s amazing to watch Dean when he’s trying to be crafty. Since it’s so painfully obvious, Sam’s decided against calling him out for the moment.
“You’re not gonna install a CD player.”
Studying Dean out of the corner of his eye is habit but at that comment, Sam chances a quick look. “Yeah? And why’s that?”
“The car, the tapes, this all stays with you. Y’know.”
Oh. Sam steels himself for it but it hurts the same. No. He’s not going to let that happen. “I thought the driver gets to pick the music.”
“Yeah but not if it’s that emo crap.”
Sam forces the smile he feels on his face from spreading any further, killing it effectively. “We could get satellite radio.”
“I like my tapes. You’ll—you’ll keep ‘em, right, Sammy?”
The answer should be obvious. There’s been no established code of conduct, of touch, when they’re not fucking so Sam’s at a loss. He could stop the car and leave Dean breathless, prove why that’s a stupid question as if Sam could ever, ever stand to lose anything of Dean’s.
Instead he does what a Winchester does best. He deflects away from the raw truth of the matter with a joke.
“I think there’s some room in the trunk. Somewhere. Maybe next to the salt.”
Dean whistles, low. “That’s cold, dude. I’m gonna get you back for that.”
“Good to know you’ll defend the honor of tapes. What would you do for eight-tracks?”
Dean’s apparent revenge for the slight against his archaic music collection is writing his name (and a few other things) all over Sam’s body in permanent marker.
The placement of “Property of Dean Winchester” was apparently so important Dean had to underline it three times.
It’s almost a shame to wash it off.