Things Sam Has Not Missed About This Life
1. Dean and girls. The way his eyes light up. The way he gets that little amazed look on his face. The faces he pulls at Sam behind their backs. The way he does this all the fucking time, like every single thing on shapely legs that crosses their path is a miracle.
The way he actually seems to be sincere about it.
Sam's tried to do it, but before he always felt like a desperate teenager, and now he can't seem to look at a woman without measuring the ways in which she isn't Jess.
2. The double hammer of his heart when Dean pulls out the fake ID. Just for that moment - ka-THUD - when he holds it up and tells the world who they're going to be this time.
When he tells Sam, because God forbid Sam should have time to get in character or anything. No, just flash and dash, moving on and tossing the ball back to Sam, expecting him to catch and carry on. Knowing he will. They don't have to be perfect, only good enough, and as a double act, they're definitely that. Without thinking.
Sam works better when he's doing it on the fly, anyway. What he doesn't know is if this is a natural talent, or something developed in direct response to being thrown into the line of fire.
Yeah, he's good at it. Better than Dean, even, because Dean can't help looking a little untrustworthy, a little smug that he's getting away with it. People have always taken to Sam. But still. Lying. Lying all the time. Having to remember which lies they've told to people today. It just becoming second nature. It builds up. It buries him.
The first thing he said to a girl at college (not Jess, some girl whose name he can't even remember now) was, "Hi, I'm Sam Winchester." And it felt fucking fantastic.
3. Dean calling him Sammy. If he was actually doing it to be annoying, it'd be one thing, it'd be something Sam could deal with - he could tackle him clean off the limp hotel bed and wrestle him into submission, or at least to the point where Dean was laughing too hard and saying, "SammySammySammy," over and again like the mantra of irritation that it was and Sam had to think of something else, like drowning him in the sink.
But he doesn't do it to be annoying. He does it when he's completely distracted and not even thinking. Falling over trying to get his boots off and yawning fit to dislocate his jaw and saying, "You want first shower, Sammy?" and he's just clean forgotten that time has passed.
4. Dean and the other girls. The ones with masses of fake, luscious hair and fake, luscious curves and blinding smiles. The ones with names like Tiffany and Candy and Bambi (no, seriously). The ones who are usually behind a bar or waiting their table and as soon as they walk in, Sam can pick 'em, the ones who'll be almost dumping beer in his lap all night as they make eyes at Dean.
Dean doesn't look at them like they're miracles. He looks at them like they're offering. And they are.
5. Sleeping in the car. It was bearable for that (all too brief) period where Dad was driving a station wagon, but Sam was too tall to be sleeping in Dean's car before he left for college, and he hasn't fucking shrunk. There is no way he can lie, even in the back seat, that doesn't end with his knee in his armpit and his back fucked six ways from Sunday.
"I'll give you a neck rub," Dean grunts from the front.
"I'll kick out your fucking window."
"I'll kill you in your sleep."
"That would require me to actually sleep."
Dean snores like an angry bear when he sleeps half sitting up. Sam is, however, actually too uncomfortable to dream.
6. Dean thinking he knows best. It always comes wrapped around some variation of the phrase, "Just do it, Sam," and this look like Sam's the one being unreasonable. Somehow, Sam's sure of this, Dad used to just say two words - like "Can't be" - and Dean would shut the fuck up and roll with it, but when Sam tries arguing - like "It isn't a curse, it's not unidirectional" - he gets the Look.
Of course, when they're running from the vengeful spirit that Dean just put his foot through there isn't time for "I told you so".
But when Dean's right, there's always that gunsmoke-residue still moment of savouring the stillness, the rightness, and then Dean's saying, "Not a fucking curse, eh? Not a curse? I'll give you not a curse, you uptight freak!" And Sam's too tired and relieved to do more than smack him around the back of the head.
7. Twinkies for breakfast.
"You know," Sam said idly, "the five food groups are not pastry, icing, coffee, cornchips and steak."
"I know," Dean replied, tossing the plastic package across the car. "You forgot beer."
8. Losing a favourite, perfectly balanced throwing knife because goblins bleed fucking acid. It's right up there with shotguns jamming on him because, actually, they aren't designed to be packed with salt.
"Right," Dean shouts, as Sam pulls the trigger twice more in desperation, then slams the butt into the creature's face. "Time for plan B."
"There's a plan B?"
"We get the fuck out of here."
That's another thing he hasn't missed: Dean thinking five minutes is about the right margin to be thinking ahead.
9. Dean's stupid little grin. How it comes out when he's happy about just about anything and makes him look about twelve again. That same brand of irresistible glee he had over baseball cards, despite the fact there was no one to trade them with but Sam, and Sam never gave a fuck. And yet despite that, there's always been something wonderful - something utterly covetable - about being on the inside of that joy. Dean has always wanted to share.
He gets the grin when he gives Sam a compliment. Like, a real one, not just "Hey man, good work," but the ones that frequently don't come with words, just a hand on his shoulder. The ones that mean, even if he doesn't say, "You and me, eh?"
Sam thinks that if it wasn't for the grin, he wouldn't be so stupidly thrilled at every single one.
10. That dead silence in his chest when he sees Dean go down. Every single time. It's not fear, because fear's a wild flail and bile at the back of his throat. Horror is like he's being sucked under. Anger - he knows that one, too - is hard and hammering in his fists and his temples.
This is none of them. It's still. It's silent. His heart just stops.
And the next moment Dean's up and giving as good as he's got, or Sam's dragging him out and Dean's coming to, coughing and spitting blasphemy, and one of the other three kicks in.
Sam can't help wondering how often his heart can stop before it doesn't start again.
Things Sam Has Missed About This Life
Things Sam Has Not Missed About This Life by dee