Characters: Sam/Dean (Slash)
Summary (4x22, "Lucifer Rising" Coda): Dean used to think Sam knew...
Author's Notes: A belated birthday present for the lovely particlesofgale, who asked for this flavor of Sam/Dean story. The drabble form of this was too long, and I decided to expand it rather than trim it. I hope you like it!
Also for my spn_25 challenge, this is "Belong."
Dean used to think Sam knew, back before.
Before Stanford, because surely that was why Sam ran away and never looked back, why he started acting like he'd never had a brother or a family at all. For years, Dean thought it was then.
Later, Dean decided it was before Dad died. That whole long period (almost a year) when Sam kept his distance through all those tight places and broken dreams, that must have been because he knew. But once Dad was gone, Sam's sudden need for unending reassurance was more than Dean could handle. Clearly, he'd been wrong: Sam wouldn't have asked for that if he knew how much—absolutely everything, down to the name written on his soul—Dean had always been ready to give him.
Sam really should have known when the Hell hounds came to drag Dean to his fate. The fact of what Dean traded for Sam's life couldn't have been clearer—it was laid out as solid proof in tears and blood. Sam couldn't possibly have missed it, he'd have to have been blind.
When Dean came back from Hell, with both Sam and the world so different, he was sure that knowledge must have been part of what allowed Ruby to get her hooks into Sam so well and deep. Sam had to have been relieved to be free of the shadow of Dean's unholy love. How could any of them know that freedom wouldn't last?
Even if he couldn't pinpoint exactly when it was, Dean figured Sam must have known sometime—hell, he had to. How else could he have felt so safe in leaving, in rejecting Dean and every part of their past? It had to be because he knew Dean would always be waiting for him, just hanging on the hope of his return.
Now Ruby was dead, and Sam's eyes were finally open. He and Dean were on the verge of being able to set things right between them, but for the new threat rising up before they could even begin.
In the car, after they drove for daylight and the illusion of safety, Dean stopped to rest on the side of a forgotten road. Sam crowded him, pushing his way into a hug that Dean would never have admitted needing. Sam's whispered words fell past him, lost in the scents that overwhelmed the ache in Dean's heart—brimstone, blood, and the smell that was uniquely Sam. Dean was still reeling from the relief of it when Sam pulled back suddenly and kissed him until Dean shook.
It didn't matter, Dean realized, the question of when or if Sam ever knew. So long as they finally had this, whether it was for a lifetime or the next few hours, he could take whatever was coming.
Never again and I'm sorry, Sam said, and Dean held on tight and let the years of hopelessness fade away.
Whether it was demon blood or danger behind his change of heart, Sam was finally as much Dean's as Dean had always been his.