visionshadows: (dean cas apart)
[personal profile] visionshadows

Ava handed Sam an apple, sitting down next to him in homeroom. He took the apple with a smile. “Thanks.”

Ave waved a hand at him dismissively. “I had an extra and I swear you always look hungry. Do your parents even feed you?”

Sam felt a flash of guilt before nodding. “I’m a growing boy.”

“Obviously,” Ava rolled her eyes. “Do you have a girlfriend, Sam?”

Sam choked on the piece of apple he was trying to swallow and Ava pounded his back as he coughed. She laughed at the same time.

“If it makes you feel better, I’m not asking you out. I need someone to go out with my friend Jess on Friday. I promised her I would find someone so she wouldn’t complain all night about being out with me and Brady.”

Sam smiled his relief and put the (evil) apple back down on his desk. A date would be nice. Getting out of the house on Friday would also be nice. Dean had been staying home which had earned a couple of phone calls and a snide voice mail from Victor calling him a virgin who couldn’t drive. Which Sam really didn’t understand, but Dean had laughed before calling him back and telling Victor he was a mentally challenged airhead.

Sometimes Sam really didn’t understand his brother at all.

Ava looked at him curiously. “Well? I promise Jess is nice.”

“Oh, yeah. I can do that.”

“Good,” Ava looked pleased. “So you think you can drive?”

Sam chewed his lip. “I’ll see if I can borrow the car.”

Shit, Dean was never going to let him drive the Impala. Hell, Dean didn’t like to admit Sam was old enough to have a license even though he had been the one to take him to the DMV because Dad was too fucked up to care.

“Thanks.” Ava grinned at him widely. “You’re a good friend, Sam.”

“I try. But you better not be using me for my good looks and possible use of a vehicle on a Friday night,” Sam teased, flicking Ava’s shoulder.

“I’m not. Brady’s grounded from borrowing the car because of one tiny accident. The car was barely scratched.”

“Dea- Dad is totally overprotective of his car,” Sam said with a nod, hoping Ava hadn’t caught the slip up. No one knew about Dean. Well, except for Mr. Novak. Speaking of -

“Hey Ava. What do you know about Mr. Novak?” asked Sam. He picked up the apple again, taking a cautious bite and hoping Ava wouldn’t come out with something shocking again.

“What do you mean?” asked Ava curiously. “He’s been here for four years. My brother had him his senior year which was Mr. Novak’s first year. I know he’s really hot.”

Sam made a face at that, an image of Dean and Mr. Novak hugging immediately coming to mind. “Not my type.”

Ava laughed. “I kind of guessed you were straight. Your fashion sense is atrocious.”

Sam looked down at his flannel shirt, Led Zepplin T-shirt (Dean’s) and worn jeans. “What’s wrong with what I’m wearing?”

“Flannel? Led Zepplin?” Ava made a face. “Promise me you have something nicer to wear for Friday.”

“I’ll have you know my gay brother gave me this shirt,” Sam protested. “He wears stuff like this all the time when he’s not at work.”

“Are you sure he’s gay?”

“Well he likes dick,” Sam said bluntly. “So yeah.”

It’s was Ava’s turn to make a face apparently. “I am never going to be able to look your brother in the eye now. Thanks for that.”

“He picks me up most days if you want to meet him,” Sam offered softly. “Not today though because his friend Victor is picking me up.”

“Why don’t you take the bus?”

“I don’t live on the route. Apparently this is a better school so here I am even though it’s more work to get me here.” Sam shrugged and finished his apple.

“It is a better school,” Ava said with a nod. “So why do you want to know about Mr. Novak?”

Sam gave a little shrug. “He’s been really nice to me since I got here. He even let me stay on the team when I lied about being able to play sweeper.”

“I guess I have to come to soccer matches now.” Ava let out a dramatic sigh. “I suppose I can do that.”

“Really?” Sam felt astonished and happy that Ava would do that. “You don’t have to. I mean, none of my friends came at my old school. Just Dean when he could get away.”

“We’re friends, Sam. I’m keeping you.” Ava grinned at him gently and Sam felt his heart swell. “And that means going to soccer games and you coming to my play and doing stuff for each other and with each other. Okay?”

“Okay,” Sam said softly, his cheeks flushing. “Thanks, Ava.”

Ava punched his shoulder lightly. “What? Haven’t you had a friend before?”

Sam thought of his friends, thought of Meg and Andy. He had called Meg once and Andy twice since he had moved. They never called him back. So yeah, maybe he didn’t really have a lot of friends who cared when he left. He’d never invited anyone back to his house, not after he was eight and Dean left. Maybe his friends thought he didn’t care either. Maybe he hadn’t. Not like he’d cared about Dean.

“Not like you apparently,” Sam said with a warm smile.

Ava smiled back.

When Sam opened his bedroom door in the morning and stumbled into the kitchen, he managed to notice that Dean was at the table on Sam’s cell phone. His expression was tight and he was barely talking. He looked up at Sam and seemed to let out a sigh of relief.

“Hold on.” Dean covered the phone with one hand. “It’s Dad. He would like to talk to you.”

Sam felt guilt roll over him. He had only talked to Dad twice, making sure that he wouldn’t call Dean’s phone and instead his cell. “Yeah.”

He took the phone and headed back to his bedroom. “Dad?”

“Sammy,” John said gruffly. “How come you didn’t answer?”

“I was still asleep. It’s Saturday and Dean let me sleep in since I was out last night.”

“Did you have a date?” John sounded pleased at that. Almost excited. “Tell me about her.”

“Kind of. My friend Ava needed someone to go out with her friend Jess. It was fun. Jess is really nice and I might see if she wants to go out again.”

“Does she go to your school?”

“No,” Sam looked up as Dean entered, handing him a cup of coffee silently. His expression was still stiff but he gave Sam a slight smile before leaving again. “She and Ava have been friends for years though. Dad, how are you?”

“I’m okay, Sammy. Shouldn’t be in here. Wasn’t planning on selling that shit.”

Sam closed his eyes, fighting the urge to say that he knew that. This was a conversation they had every time they talked and John never listened when Sam told him that it didn’t matter anymore.

“Do you need anything? Are you eating okay?”

“I want to see you,” John said in a quick rush. “Please Sammy. It’s been too long.”

“I’ll see what I can do. I might be able to borrow the car from Dean.”

John let out a snort. “He’s not turning you into a fruit, right? Not doing anything to you? Because if he touches you, Sammy, you tell me.”

“Dad!” Sam burst out angrily. This always happened. Always. “You can’t say shit like that about Dean. Gay does not mean pedophile. We’ve talked about this.”

“I’ll say whatever I damn well please. You shouldn’t be with him. You should be somewhere wholesome and not with him ruining your idea of what a real man is.”

“Oh like living with you was so wholesome,” Sam blurted out. “You spent all your time drunk or high, Dad! I raised myself and tried to keep you alive in the process. If Dean hadn’t helped out without you knowing, I probably would be in jail too!”

“I did my best!”

“No you didn’t. You did what was best for you from the moment Mom died!”

“Don’t you bring her into this,” John shouted back.

Dean walked into the room and took the phone from Sam. “John, I’m hanging up now. If you want to call and talk to Sam like a civil human being, you can. If not, don’t bother calling him.”

Dean snapped the phone shut and handed it back to Sam. Without thinking Sam threw the phone across the room.

“Why did you hang up on him? I barely ever get to talk to him!”

“Because he was being an ass. If you’re shouting like that, he’s being an ass and you don’t need to talk to him.”

“I’m allowed to fight with my dad!”

Dean folded his arms over his chest. “He’s my dad too, Sam. And you better believe I don’t want you hearing the crap he was saying to me before you came into the kitchen.”

“I want to go see him.”

“Why?” Dean sat down on Sam’s bed heavily. “Why do you want to go see Dad in prison?”

“He asked and I’m allowed to see him if I want to. I can borrow your car or take the bus. Something. You don’t have to come.”

“Yes I do,” Dean said wearily, all the fight out of him. “You’re sixteen. You have to have your guardian with you.”

“You don’t have to see him,” Sam said hopefully. He sat down as well, leaning into Dean. “Please Dean. I want to see Dad. I need to see that he’s okay. You don’t understand what it’s like, watching him all these years and then not seeing him, not knowing if he’s okay.”

“You don’t need to take care of him anymore. You never should have.”

“I need to know he’s okay,” Sam’s voice turned pleading and he meant it. He really needed to see if Dad was okay, needed to touch him, make sure Dad wasn’t hurt. “I need to.”

Dean sighed heavily and put his arm around Sam, pulling him close. “Yeah Sam, okay.”

“Do you have dirt on your shoes?” asked Victor before Sam even got in the car.

Sam rolled his eyes and lifted his feet to show Victor that no, he did not have dirt on his shoes. “I swear you are worse then Dean with your car.”

“I treat my princess like she deserves to be treated,” Victor said with a fond pat to his dashboard. “I make Dean check his shoes too.”

Sam turned to put his bag in the backseat, careful not to touch any of the unidentifiable bags that could contain human remains for all he knew. Victor was a pathologist and had a weird fascination with dead things.

“Can I ask you something about Dean?” asked Sam.

“That depends on what you want to know. Some things you have to ask your brother about.”

“I did. He doesn’t want to talk about it.”

Victor looked over at him warily. “I’m not telling you about our former sex life.”

Sam made a face. “I do not want to think about you and Dean having sex. Ever. Thanks.”

Victor shrugged as he pulled out of the parking lot. “Suit yourself. I don’t want to think about you having sex ever either.”

“That’s because there’s a vagina and boobs involved.”

“And because you’re Dean’s little brother.” Victor was deadpan. “So what do you want to know?”

“Do you know anything about a guy named Cas?”

Victor looked over at him sharply. “Who told you about Cas?”

“No one. He teaches at my school. Dean saw him when he picked me up from practice two weeks ago.” Sam looked at him curiously. “So you know about Cas?”

“Castiel actually. And yes. Only because Jo said if I was anything like him, she’d kill me. I believed her.”

“What did Castiel do?” asked Sam, leaning in.

“Broke his heart apparently. I don’t think he’s ever really tried to date someone since then. Even me.” Victor sounded almost sad and Sam wondered whether the break-up had been Victor’s choice at all. “Jo hates him.”

“So you never asked what happened?”

“I think he’s still not over Castiel. Jo and I decided never to ask him. She knows more because she was there, but I don’t think she’s asked him about it in years.”

Sam fell silent after that, thinking about how broken Dean had looked when he saw Mr. Novak. Castiel. Cas. Dean hadn’t even looked that way when he saw Dad in court and Dad told him it was an abomination to let Dean have custody of Sam. And Mr. Novak looked heartbroken.

“Do you think he loved him?” asked Sam softly.

“I know he did,” Victor said just as softly. “Don’t ask Dean about it again.”

“But Castiel is here now,” Sam protested. “Maybe they could make up and be happy again. They hugged when they saw each other.”

“And Dean hasn’t left the house except for work and picking you up since. I pick you up whenever you have soccer practice, Sam.”

“I just want Dean to be happy.” Sam murmured, looking down at his hands. “He’s always gone out of his way to make me happy. Even knowing what Dad would do if he found out.”

Victor sighed and reached over to squeeze Sam’s knee. “You know what is making your brother happy right now?”

Sam shook his head, his eyes on Victor’s profile as they drove towards Dean’s apartment.

“You being here and being safe is making him happy. Ever since I’ve known him, Dean’s talked about getting you out of there, wishing he could take you away. Circumstances are terrible and obviously he didn’t want your Dad to end up in jail, but knowing you’re here and no one can take you away from him makes him damn happy.”

“Oh,” Sam said softly, looking out the passenger side window. “Okay.”

Sam decided there was no need for subtlety with Jo. She was straightforward and appreciated when other people were too. Plus, even though she was absolutely tiny, Sam was a little scared of her. He didn’t want to piss her off by beating around the bush.

“Why did Dean and Castiel break up?” asked Sam, leaning over the bar while Jo was washing dishes.

Jo dropped a glass in surprise and then swore, shooting Sam an angry look. Sam blushed and hurried behind the counter to help her clean up. “Why do you want to know about that?”

“He’s my history teacher and soccer coach so he lives here too. Maybe they could get back together.”

“I know he lives here,” Jo sighed heavily as she dropped the large pieces of the glass in the trash. “In case you haven’t noticed we’re the only gay establishment in the area.”

“You knew and you didn’t tell Dean?” Sam poked her shoulder. “He would have wanted to know.”

“Actually he wouldn’t have wanted to know which is why I didn’t tell him,” Jo shot back, smacking Sam’s hand. “And Castiel asked me not to.”

“So Cas knew he lived here?” Sam sat back on his heels, puzzled. Why did it look like Cas had seen a ghost if he knew Dean lived in the same town he taught?

“I may have kept in touch with Castiel,” Jo said a little reluctantly. “It was a hard break-up for all of us. He was one of my best friends, Sam.”

“What happened?” asked Sam. “Victor didn’t know. He just knew that Dean was broken hearted and wasn’t over Cas even when they dated.”

“Cas is in the closet. No plan on coming out ever if he can help it. Dean didn’t want to live that way, for good reason,” Jo murmured, giving Sam a look of regret. “No one should have to, but Cas wants to.”

“So they broke up over that?” Sam furrowed his brow. “Dean couldn’t get past it?”

“I think Dean could have given the chance. Cas wouldn’t let him. Told him it would be easier if they broke up because Cas didn’t want Dean to have to hide himself, not after what he went through with your Dad. Dean called him for weeks, begging him to reconsider. Cas changed his number and refused to talk to Dean. I only ever got emails and that wasn’t until about two years later.”

“And this was four years ago?” asked Sam softly.

“Longer. Five years. You were just a kid when this all happened. Dean was just a kid when it all happened. I doubt you even knew Dean was dating someone much less that they broke up.”

“Dean loved him, didn’t he?”

“I think you’re the only person he’s loved more.”

“Why are you telling him this, Jo?” asked Dean from behind them.

Sam jumped, as did Jo. Ellen, Jo’s mom, was standing next to Dean with a scowl on her face. “Joanna Beth. What have I told you about gossiping?”

“Twenty-five years old, Mom.” Jo just shot back before turning to Dean. “He asked. You told me what happened when you saw Cas. He was right there, Dean. He may be a teenager, but even he can tell when something is up.”

“Hey,” Sam protested. “I’m observant.”

“Come in the kitchen with me, Sam,” Ellen said, gesturing at him. “Leave these two to talk. I’ll make you a burger.”

Sam wanted to protest, but Jo shoved him gently towards her mother. Dean looked hurt and angry and - Sam couldn’t be sure, but he looked a little scared.

“We’ll talk later,” Dean said gruffly as he walked past. Sam nodded, bestowing a quick one-armed hug on his brother before following Ellen into the kitchen.

“Wash your hands,” Ellen said, pointing Sam to the sink. “What do you want on your burger?”

“Cheese and mushrooms,” Sam replied, washing his hands. “Thank you.”

Ellen got the burger started before she turned and looked at Sam with a curious expression on her face. “What is going on in your head, Sam Winchester? Why are you digging up the past?”

Sam shrugged. “Curious, I guess.”

“Your curiousity is doing nothing but hurting your brother. And I’m sure if he knew, Castiel as well.”

“It’s this whole big part of my brother that I don’t know,” Sam blurted out. “Is it so wrong to want to know about him?”

“No, it’s not,” Ellen’s voice softened. “But Sam, digging into his past is just going to upset him. There’s a lot of stuff that happened to Dean that he doesn’t want you to know about. Castiel is one of those things.”

“Dean doesn’t want me to know that he was in love with someone? What’s so bad about being in love?”

“Oh honey,” Ellen said with a sigh. “Love is wonderful and painful. In Dean’s case, it’s still painful even after all these years.”

Sam chewed his lip, looking down at his hands as Ellen went back to cooking the burger. “Ellen? Should I not like Castiel then? Because I do. He’s a good teacher and a good coach.”

“Not at all,” Ellen said firmly before sliding the burger on a plate and handing it to Sam. “But maybe you should go back to thinking of him as Mr. Novak.”

Sam let it go. He didn’t push Dean to talk about it on their way home, didn’t ask him what he and Jo had talked about. He stopped asking Jo and Victor about Castiel - Mr. Novak. He stopped looking at Mr. Novak and wondering what he had been like when he was dating Dean, what Dean had been like in love.

He knew better then to push. He should have known better from the start. This was too much like when Sam would get curious and ask about his mom. Dad wouldn’t want to talk and Sam would push and then Dad would explode and Sam would be picking up after a drunk John for a week. He didn’t think Dean would explode and spend a week in the bottom of a bottle.

It was all tempting fate in the end.

Then he had seen the picture and it all came back to the forefront and he couldn’t keep his big mouth shut.

The worst part was that instead of pushing Dean about his past, he did it to Mr. Novak.

Dean flipped out at him, told him to leave Mr. Novak alone. Mr. Novak told him that he wouldn’t talk about it, that it was improper to talk to a teacher about his personal life. He was both grounded and unofficially suspended from the soccer team for two games. He could go to the games, but he wasn’t allowed to play.

Dean had refused to budge, saying that Sam had to know actions had consequences, blah blah blah. Sam knew that actions had consequences thank you very much. Being raised by John proved that.

But yeah, he’d fucked up and blurted out something to Mr. Novak that he never should have even thought much less said out loud.

Do you still love him?

All because of a picture on Mr. Novak’s desk that had Dean in it.

Sam sat at the small table, looking around the non-descript room at the other prisoners and their families. He turned to look at Dean who was at a table on the other side of the room. Dean gave him a warm smile and a quick nod. Part of him wanted Dean next to him because this was weird and uncomfortable and more then a little scary.

The rest of him wanted to be able to spend time with his father and enjoy it, not listen to the two of them fighting. The door opened again and Sam looked over, hoping this time it was John.

It wasn’t and he slumped back into the chair, playing with the small package he had brought. It wasn’t much, just some warm socks and a book. There were rules about what he could bring and he wanted to follow them.


Sam looked up and saw John standing there, blue jumpsuit and a beard. He jumped up and threw his arms around his father, hugging him tightly.

“Dad.” He kept his arms where they were, John holding onto him just as tight. “I miss you.”

John pulled back and put his hands on Sam’s jaw, looking at him with a smile. “I missed you too, kiddo. You look good.”

“You too,” Sam said honestly. John looked like he had gained back a little weight and his complexion wasn’t grey anymore.

John let him go and sat down, Sam following him. He briefly looked back at Dean who was watching with a sad expression on his face. John followed his gaze and saw Dean but didn’t say anything.

“How’s school?”

Sam looked back at him. “It’s good. I’m doing well and I made friends. More then I had before. There’s this girl, Ava. She’s really nice and we’ve hung out a lot and her friends like me too.”

“I thought there was a Jess.”

“Ava’s a friend,” Sam said immediately. “I’m kind of dating Jess. She’s Ava’s friend.”

“Good, good. And soccer?”

“I’m kind of suspended for another game,” Sam mumbled, looking down. He shoved the package at John. “This is for you.”

John took it, but didn’t open it. “Why are suspended from playing?”

“I said something to my coach that I shouldn’t have said. I deserved to be suspended. It’s not a big deal.”

“Sammy, you have to respect your coach. I’ve always taught you to respect authority.”

Sam’s face burned at that, thinking about John’s lack of respect for authority, and he gestured to the gift. “Open your present.”

John looked over at Dean again before opening the package. He took out the socks and the book. “Thanks. I needed these.”

“Dean thought you would,” Sam said softly. He looked at his father. “I know you don’t want to talk about Dean, but you need to know that things are good. He’s taking good care of me. Everything is good with him, easy.”

John looked sad, but gave Sam a weak smile. “I wish I could have taken better care of you.” He looked over at Dean. “And your brother.”

“Do you want to talk to him?” asked Sam hopefully. “He’s staying in the room because he has to be here while I’m here, but he thought you wouldn’t want to talk to him.”

John shook his head quickly. “No. It’s probably better he’s over there.”

“What’s so bad about Dean being gay?” asked Sam softly. “He’s still Dean.”

“It’s wrong,” John said just as softly. “I’m sorry, but it is. Your Mom … maybe if she was here, I’d be better about it.”

Sam set his jaw at that. “Stop using her as an excuse. You’ve done that all your life, Dad. She loved Dean and you know that.”

“She knew,” John played with the socks. “She knew and I think she tried to tell me when Dean was little, but I didn’t believe her. She told me Dean was different from other little boys, but he was still our little boy and we needed to love him just the same.”

“Then why didn’t you?”

“I do love him.”

“So the drugs and booze were the ones saying he was a sinner and an abomination? You called him a pedophile less then a month ago. You kicked him out of your house and signed away your parental rights. How can you do that to someone you love?”

“I don’t have to explain myself. I made mistakes, okay. I can’t change that now.” John looked over at Dean again and this time Sam did as well. Dean was reading a book, appearing not to be watching, but Sam knew better. Dean was always going to watch when he was with John. “He’s keeping you safe and I’m thankful for that.”

Sam slumped and brushed his hand over his eyes. “We’re never going to be a family are we?”

“No. I can’t give you that. Dean would, but I can’t.”

Sam let out a shuddering breath and nodded. “Okay.” He clenched his hands into fists and took deep breaths until he felt his tears recede. “You’re okay in here, right?”

John nodded. “I am. I think I need to be here.”

“When get out are you going to stay clean?” asked Sam hopefully. “I want you in my life, Dad. But I can’t take care of you anymore.”

“I’m going to try,” John promised. “I’m really going to try.”

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January 2013


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