[identity profile] acidquill.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] verse17_17
title: for your red rocking chair
author: [livejournal.com profile] acidquill
disclaimer: don't own the boys, but I like to make them angst.
rating: G
summary: Dean's first birthday after the fire.
character: Sam, Dean
notes: takes place the January following 'in the space where you belong.' Inspired & title snagged from this song.

Sam's been waiting all day for his brother's attempt at subtle hint-dropping, but Dean hasn't even mentioned the date once. That, more than anything, sets Sam's teeth on edge. Puts an ache at the back of his throat that has nothing to do with the cough he's been nursing for a week. He knows better than anyone how hard these last three months have been, but Dean should have remembered today. Sam's seen his little brother go without too many times.

The two of them stop for the night at a motel outside South Fork. Dean calls dibs on the shower before they get to their room. Sam grabs their stuff from the Impala; he follows behind his brother more slowly, an idea stating to form at the back of his mind. When he walks into the room, Dean's on the phone ordering pizza. Sam tosses the bags on the bed closest to the door. He unzips his duffel and rifles through it for his wallet.

"Why don't you go ahead and grab your shower?" Sam asks. He nods toward the bathroom. "I'll pick up the food and grab us a couple of drinks."

Dean digs through his own bag and pulls out a pair of boxers and a clean shirt. "Mountain Dew, Sammy. None of that diet crap either."

"Yeah, yeah."

Sam remembers Dean's first birthday.

They were somewhere warm, maybe Florida. Where the mosquitoes still hung in clouds and nobody wore a coat, even in January. Dean was just learning to walk. He held on to the side of the bed and wobbled around the motel room on chubby, unsteady, little legs.

That morning Sam looked at the calender and saw the two big numbers side by side. First a two, then a four. And he didn't have to know the big 'J' word to know what month it was. Dean was a year old. Sam tried to tell his daddy what day it was, but Daddy had told Sam he was busy, then left them with Mrs. White. She lived down the street from the motel and took care of them sometimes when Daddy went away.

Sam hated it. He didn't want to stay with Mrs. White. He wanted to make sure Dean knew how special he was. Turning one was good, maybe the best thing ever. Dean needed presents and cake. Sam wished his mommy could come back. He wanted her to take Dean to McDonald's for a sundae and sing Happy Birthday, like she had for his birthday; Dean needed that too.

But he didn't get it.

The shower's still running when Sam gets back; he knew Dean wouldn't be done yet. They've been driving for days and neither of them have seen hot water in at least two. Sam grins when he makes out his brother's muffled version of 'Sweet Home Alabama' through the bathroom door. He balances the pizza box on top of the television and drops a bulging plasic grocery bag beside the dresser.

He waits until he hears the shower squeak off and lifts the grocery bag off the floor. Dean will be out in a minute, wanting his share of the pizza and badgering Sam to let him have a beer. Sam pulls out a package of Hostess cupcakes, a king-size bag of M&Ms, a two liter Mountain Dew, and a box of candles. He sits everything on the dresser. Sam opens the package of cupcakes; the cellophane crinkles in his hands. They're kind of squashed, but he figures Dean won't mind. He stabs a candle into each one of them and fiddles with the lighter until the wicks catch.

The bathroom door opens and Sam crams the empty sack and cellophane in the tiny motel trashcan. Dean pads out of the bathroom, water spotting the collar of his t-shirt.

"Hey Sammy, I saved you some..."

Dean goes quiet. There's this look on his face like he can't quite wrap his head around what he's seeing. Like Sam's given him something besides some candy and a makeshift birthday cake. Sam leans over and punches his brother lightly in the arm, "Better hurry before we set off the smoke alarm."

Dean blinks at him a minute then grins. He leans down and blows out the candles.

Sam smiles.

"Happy Birthday, little brother."

- end

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October 2009


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