ellerkay: (Supernatural)
[personal profile] ellerkay
Title: Birthday
Fandom: Supernatural
Category: Gen (Weechesters)
Characters: Sam, Dean, John
Rating: G
Wordcount: ~1500
Warnings: John is kind of a jerk, but not really abusive.
Disclaimer: All for fun, none for profit.
Summary: Weechesters; Dean is twelve and Sam is turning eight. Which, as far as John is concerned, is too old for birthdays.


***

Sam bounced out of the motel room bed with a smile on his face. Dean, still half-asleep behind the wall of pillows they’d set up between them, groaned at the motion and swiped at him half-heartedly. Sam dodged Dean’s arm and dressed himself quickly.

It wasn’t that he was expecting a pile of presents, or a birthday party like the ones he’s occasionally attended. They weren’t in one place long enough for Sam to make a party’s worth of friends, anyway. But on his birthday, Dad always asked where Sam wanted to eat. He’d buy an Entemann’s cake, and even though the candles (the same ones he kept in the Impala’s trunk) were too big, Sam liked blowing them out. And he usually got a cool toy. This year he thought he’d be just as happy with a good book. He’d been dropping hints for the last couple weeks, but he wasn’t sure if Dad had noticed.

In retrospect, he should have seen it coming. They didn’t celebrate Dean’s birthday anymore; Sam could barely remember a time when they had. But he wasn’t thinking about that. He was just excited about turning eight. Only two years away from double digits!

He bounded up to Dad, who was sitting at the motel room table, leafing through one of his big old books. Sam had tried to take a look at it the other night, but Dad had snatched it out of his hands and told him very sternly that it was not for children.

At his approach, Dad closed his book and smiled warmly. His eyes were tired. “You’re up early,” he said. “Is this a special day?”

His tone was teasing, and Sam grinned widely.

“You know it is,” he said.

Dad put his arm around Sam’s shoulders and hugged him close. “Happy birthday, Sammy,” he said. “Do you know how happy I am that you were born?” Sam smiled, even through the rough scratch of three days’ stubble against his forehead as Dad kissed his hair before releasing him.

“So tonight,” Sam said eagerly. “I was thinking we could go to T.G.I.Friday’s?” It was his current favorite. Too expensive and time-consuming to eat most of the time, but maybe today…

Dad’s expression was serious.

“Sammy, this town doesn’t have a Friday’s,” he said. “I don’t know where the closest one is. It could be hours away.” He sighed and rubbed his eyes. “And, the thing is, I’m probably going to have to hit the road this afternoon, when you and Dean are at school. I’ve got a lead I can’t pass up.”

Sam bit his bottom lip, masterfully fighting back tears of disappointment. “But it’s my birthday,” he said.

“I know, Sammy,” Dad said gently. “But you’re old enough now to know that sometimes, that’s just the way things go. You’re not a kid anymore. You don’t need a big fuss made over you to know that your brother and I love you, do you?”

Sam shook his head, not trusting himself to speak.

“When I get back, I’ll take you to a bookstore and you can pick something out, okay?”

But that isn’t the same as getting a present, Sam thought. “Okay,” was all he said. He coughed a little to clear the tightness in his throat. “Gonna brush my teeth before school.”

He fled to the bathroom, not looking at Dean, who was sitting up in bed now and had probably watched the whole thing.

***

When he got out of the bathroom, Sam had himself under control. He and Dean ate breakfast and Dad drove them to school. There was no further mention of Sam’s birthday, and John told them to walk back to the motel if he wasn’t there to pick them up at the end of the day.

He wasn’t. When they got back to the room, Sam did his homework while Dean watched TV. For dinner, Dean ordered them a pizza.

“What do you want on it, Sammy?” he asked.

“I don’t want pizza,” Sam said sulkily.

“Well, that’s all that delivers around here, so what do you want?”

“I don’t care.”

Dean shrugged and ordered pepperoni and sausage. When it arrived, Sam just picked at it. He went to bed early. Even The Giver (his current book, which he loved and was reading for the third time) wasn’t holding his attention. He felt sad and angry, and guilty for feeling sad and angry, and he just wanted to go to sleep.

***

Sleep didn’t last long. He woke up a couple hours later, at the sound of the motel room door clicking shut. Dean was coming back in. Sam sat up, rubbing his eyes.

“Where were you?” he asked, still petulant. “You’re not supposed to leave me.”

“Don’t be a brat,” Dean said. “I just went to the convenience store across the street for like two minutes.” He moved around in the semi-darkness, rooting through one of the bags.

“Do you want the light on?” Sam asked, getting curious.

“No!” Dean said quickly. There was a thump, and he let out a few words that Sam knew would get him yelled at if Dad heard him.

“What are you doing?” he asked.

“Shut up, just gimme a second,” Dean said. Sam sat quietly, knees drawn up to his chest.

“Okay,” Dean said, after a moment filled with mysterious rustlings. “Here we go.”

There was a click and a fwshh and then Dean was coming towards him, face illuminated by the glow of a Zippo, stuck deep into a Hostess cupcake, which was unwrapped but still in the package. Dean carried it carefully to the bed and sat down. Sam stared at it for a moment.

“I’m not singing, dude, so make your wish and blow it out already,” Dean said impatiently.

Sam shut his eyes tight, wished very hard, and then blew out the flame.

“Okay, turn the light on,” Dean said, and Sam obeyed. Dean picked the lighter out of the cupcake. It was covered in white filling, and he looked at it a little warily. “I hope I can get this off. Do not tell Dad I put his favorite lighter in a cupcake.”

“You know I won’t,” Sam said, helping himself to the unbruised snack cake. He liked it when he and Dean had secrets, anyway.

“Here,” Dean said, shoving something wrapped up in a plastic shopping bag into Sam’s hands. Sam looked down at it, surprised.

“You got me a present?” he said.

“Well, I didn’t want you to cry your baby eyes out that Dad wasn’t doing birthday stuff anymore,” Dean replied. Sam glared at him.

“I’m not a baby,” he said resentfully.

“Open it,” Dean said.

Sam opened the bag slowly. It was a set of little plastic boats in different colors, the kind meant for kids to take in the bath.

“They didn’t really have any good toys,” Dean said apologetically. “I asked if they had books for big nerds, but it was just car magazines and stuff.”

Sam looked down at the boats, throat tight for what seemed like the hundredth time today. He couldn’t really explain it, but the boats – the cupcakes – it all made him really happy, and at the same time so sad. Why am I sad that Dean was nice? he wondered.

“Thanks, Dean,” he said, finally looking up at his brother. “I really love them.” He launched himself at Dean and hugged him hard around the neck. Dean hugged him back for a few seconds, then pushed him away.

Sam re-seated himself and picked up his cupcake again. “Do you want half the good one?” he asked, holding it out.

“Nah,” Dean said. He’d already eaten most of the one that had held the lighter. “You take it. It’s your birthday.”

Sam ate in silence for a moment. “Next year, I’ll get you something for your birthday,” he said, not looking at Dean.

“You don’t even know when my birthday is,” Dean scoffed.

“Yeah, I do. It’s January 24th.”

Dean didn’t say anything, so Sam knew he was right.

“I’ll get you a pie,” Sam said, warming to the idea.

“No, don’t, Sammy.”

“They have those little ones at a lot of places! And I bet I can find birthday candles, too. Real ones, not like Dad uses. And – ”

“I don’t want to have a birthday!” Dean shouted. Sam stared at him, eyes wide, and then went back to eating his cupcake.

“But we can do yours, if you want to,” Dean said. His voice was at normal volume again, but Sam could tell he was still upset. “It’s cool. I just don’t want stuff for mine.”

“Okay,” Sam said quietly.

They finished their cupcakes in silence. Dean made Sam brush his teeth again before they went to bed.

“Happy birthday, Sammy,” he said, as he turned out the light.

***

A/N: I realized while writing this that this would also have been the year Sam found out that Santa wasn’t real but that monsters are. Poor Sammy.

Date: 2013-05-04 09:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bleemoo.livejournal.com
This made me cry! I want to give the Weechesters hugs.

Date: 2013-05-05 01:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ellerkay.livejournal.com
I knooooow, they are the sweetest. I'm so glad you liked it and that it touched you! Thanks for commenting.

Date: 2013-05-04 10:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] borgmama1of5.livejournal.com
I appreciated that John wasn't mean per se, just matter-of-factly dismissive. It made the story hurt more without bashing John.

"...it all made him really happy, and at the same time so sad. Why am I sad that Dean was nice? he wondered."

Brilliant and very moving line!

Date: 2013-05-05 01:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ellerkay.livejournal.com
Thank you! Yeah, I have some really, REALLY big problems with John, and I can see the perspective some fans/stories take that he might have been seriously abusive (rather than just negligent and absentee and such). But it's not something that really rings true for me, based on what we've seen on the show.

Brilliant and very moving line!
Thank you, and thanks so much for commenting (as always!). :D

Date: 2013-05-06 02:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] inkahootz.livejournal.com
Beautiful and sad story. Very well done. It can be hard to write kids, so good job here.

<3
En

Date: 2013-05-10 12:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ellerkay.livejournal.com
Thank you so much! I'm glad to hear they sounded pretty believable as kids. Thanks for reading and commenting. :) <333

Date: 2013-05-06 03:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kethrium.livejournal.com
Very nice! Right in line with what my headspace says. I especially like the interaction when Sammy tried to tell Dean that he'll do something for Dean's birthday.

Date: 2013-05-10 12:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ellerkay.livejournal.com
D: It's heartbreaking, right? "I don't want to have a birthday" rather than "to celebrate my birthday." Early, early Dean!issues of worthiness.

Thanks so much for reading and commenting. :)

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