'Can you get me a beer or two?' I asked Bobby when he picked up his keys from our table. The room we moved into earlier was much better; bigger, brighter, seemingly newer. All three of us had space to move and now with two beds and a sofa that folded out to a bed, all three of us had somewhere to sleep. At least if Dean ever needed it, he had it. That was yet to be determined though. I wasn't sure of his plans and I don't think he was either.
Last night with him next to me, I slept okay; better than usual anyway. He had a tendency to take over the whole bed, not to mention steal the blankets. He was beat so I didn't fight him, instead I skewed my overgrown body into a position I could cope with and tried to concentrate on my breathing; just like Bobby advised me to do every night. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't but last night was a good night and I wondered if it was because I could hear my brother's breathing over my own.
Truth was I loved him staying with us, but I got the feeling Lisa didn't. It wasn't hard to notice his quick escape once Bobby and I settled into our new room. Fair enough too. I could understand her feeling shirked and deserted and hoped no friction was caused. Although I wasn't stupid; it was a given there would be some tension between them over this. He left her to come and stay with me when he needed someone the most. How was she supposed to feel? She was his partner – wasn't he supposed to need her? I bet she thought so.
And now, I had to go to her house and spend the evening with her and her son. I still wasn't looking forward to it. Hi, nice to meet you, I'm Sam, remember me? Your boyfriend's dead brother brought back to life. Where do I even start with that? What could I even say?
'Dean said he had beer.' Bobby said to me, pulling down his cap. He was off to the store to buy a bottle of wine for Lisa as a thank you for having us over for dinner. Dean said he had wine too. What was the difference?
'I know. I just want a couple before we go.'
There was the look I anticipated; the squint of his eyes and the tilt of his head. 'I don't know Sam. I don't like the idea of you depending on alcohol to calm your nerves,' When I didn't respond, he continued, 'and that's what you're doing isn't it?'
He seemed surprised I admitted it so outright but there was no denying it; it was a cold, hard truth. Things would feel easier if I could just have a few drinks. Fact.
'Then I don't know.'
'Just two?' When the persuasive expression I use on Dean to get my way didn't seem to have the same effect, I went on, 'Most people use it to do exactly the same thing.'
'You are not most people.'
'Just two. Come on. Just tonight. Please?'
I waited as he scratched his cheek, already knowing he was giving in. 'Fine but just two and not much more tonight alright?'
'Now, you're sure you're okay to stay here by yourself. Tell me if you're not.'
'I'm fine. All good.' I smiled.
'Okay, be back soon and then we'll get going.'
Lisa wasn't talking to me.
Just what we needed when we had guests coming over. Hostile silence. Excellent.
I had tried; I really had but no matter what I said or did, she didn't want a bar of it. All she wanted to do was bang cupboards, slam drawers and chop vegetables with such force it almost hurt my head – and all with one almighty scowl on her face. Lovely.
The expensive flowers I brought home didn't work – flowers die just like our relationship. The enormous box of chocolates I picked up at the specialty florist didn't work – they were insensitive to Ben. Fixing her flashy car in less than half an hour certainly didn't work – that meant I wanted to get rid of her.
Women were weird.
'Do you want to make it another night?' I asked as if I was doing her the favor. I absolutely did not want Sam around this tension. No frickin way.
'Nope.' Finally a word! Although it wasn't a real nice word; kind of sucked really.
'Then do you want help?' I tried, scanning the bench wondering what I could do. Everything was in such organized chaos I didn't even know where to start.
'Just go and sit down.' That icy tone of hers could cut and slice those carrots better than the two hundred dollar knife she was wielding.
'I think we should make it another night. Sam's sensitive right now. He can't handle-'
'Oh my God! Are you serious?' Bang went the two hundred dollar knife; slammed onto the counter. I wondered if the handle cracked with the impact but then thought it better not have seeing it cost two hundred freaking dollars.
'You know what I mean.' I frowned as I checked the timber for a dint.
'You mean this is all about Sam, yes I know what you mean.'
'Lisa, don't!' She knew not to use that tone when she was talking about my brother – and if she didn't, she should've. That was a definite no go zone. She didn't want to push me with that.
'No we couldn't go there could we? It's not like it's the truth or anything.'
'Of course this is all about Sam!' I shouted, my blood boiling. 'The kid has just been brought back to life. He-' How could I throw the one hundred and twenty years of …whatever he went through down there - in her face? How could she ever empathize with that?
'And what about us Dean?' She yelled back as if she didn't even hear me. 'What does this mean for us?'
'Nothing we can talk about now!'
She'd put me in a mood and I was too busy trying to chill the hell out so I wouldn't completely lose it. There was no chance of me thinking about that let alone answering her question. Not at the moment.
Saying no more and picking up the knife again, she resumed chopping. With her tears blurring her vision, I worried about her fingers.
'Here, let me chop.' I offered coldly, proud of myself for matching her tone.
'Go away.' She said as she fumbled and sliced the skin of her index finger slightly. No blood, but still….
'Lisa, let me chop.'
'Leave me alone!'
'You're going to chop your damn finger off!' I yelled at her louder than I intended.
'What do you care?' She spat back.
'Of course I care. Don't be stupid!'
'Really-?' Her glare softened suddenly and for a moment I felt like there was hope. Sammy might just have an okay night after all…but then I followed her gaze and saw Ben standing in the doorway.
It just kept getting better and better.
'What's going on?' he asked wide eyed, looking from his mother to me.
'Nothing dude. It's okay.' I lied.
'No, it's not okay!' Lisa actually said. 'Nothing is okay Dean!'
Was she kidding? Her son was in the damn, frickin room. If this was how she was like with Ben here, what the hell was she going to be like with Sam?
I turned and gave her one mother of a glare which luckily seemed to sink in and watched as she placed down the knife lightly this time. She then moved around the bench to get to the kid. 'Let's go for a walk hey?'
'Can Dean come?'
'I have things to do buddy.' I told him without looking behind me. I picked up the knife and took over the chopping.
'Just a quick one. Come on.'
Beer was good; I liked beer…a lot. I mean it didn't relax me as much as the day before nor did it calm me as much as I wanted it to, but it still did something and it still tasted damn good. If only I had more. I did need more.
When we pulled up in Dean's driveway, the butterflies in my stomach turned wild. Maybe if I didn't expect tension to slap me across my face the moment I stepped into the house, I would feel lighter but the girl was going to resent me; I already knew it. When I was gone, she had Dean all to herself, now that I was back…well, most of the time he was choosing me.
And all of a sudden, that didn't make me smile anymore. It just made me feel guilty as hell.
'Loosen up Sam; she's going to love you.' The way I looked at my surrogate father over the roof of his truck told him my thoughts on that. 'Everyone loves you. You wait and see.'
Sweet - but I didn't know about this.
Something else I didn't know about; the inside of Dean's house. This life was my dream for him but seeing him living somewhere else would hurt. Something freaky was already smashing inside of me.
And here I was falling again. I needed that confidence back; I needed to stop thinking.
'You ready?' Bobby asked me as we stood side by side on the doorstep.
I took a deep breath and nodded. Bobby knocked twice.
Please Dean answer the door. Please. He had to be there when that door opened. Please.
'Hey.' He smiled brightly even though the bruises darkened his face. 'Come in.'
He was alone - Lisa wasn't with him. What did that mean? The comforting aroma of dinner cooking blending with the sound of crockery clunking indicated she must be in the kitchen. And Ben; where was Ben? God, this was harder than I thought. Still, I smiled at him and followed him into his living room. Cozy room; but then the whole house had a cozy feel to it. Pity I felt anything but cozy.
'Have a seat.' His smile was forced and even though I took a seat on the couch just like Bobby did, I closed my eyes and took another breath. Something was wrong. I could feel it. 'Beers?'
'Thanks.' Bobby said.
'They're fighting.' I whispered after I watched my brother step out of the room, his shoulders tense.
'Looks like it.' Bobby mumbled back.
'Should we go?'
'No, I don't think so. Just ride it out.'
Easier said than done. Even before I heard Lisa say; 'How do you expect me to go out there and act normal Dean? Nothing is normal is it?' the lump in my throat grew.
'God.' I ran a shaky hand through my hair and tried my hardest not to shrivel into the cushions of the couch.
'Don't take it on Sam. It's their issue, not yours.'
'But it's because of me.'
'You don't know that.'
'We should go.' I stood up knowing for a damn fact I couldn't do this. There was no way. 'Let's go.'
Instead of arguing, Bobby stood with me which confirmed I wasn't imagining this. That made me feel worse not better.
'What are you doing?' Dean asked incredulously when he caught us standing around awkwardly. He handed us our beers and waited for one of us to speak.
'We're thinking we should go.' Bobby answered.
'Go?' His face twisted. 'You just got here.'
'I know but-'
'Hi you two!' Lisa beamed entering the room behind my brother with a smile as false as his. 'It's so good to finally meet the two most important people in Dean's life.'
She finished wiping her hands on a dish towel and handed it roughly to Dean, still full of smiles. First she hugged Bobby and then made a move to me. Thankfully I didn't take that much-wanted step back; thankfully I let her wrap her arms around me while I managed to place a hand on her back. Pity I was so stiff, but I made an effort with my smile and when she pulled away from me I think she bought it.
'You too.' Bobby said handing her the bottle of wine. This was so awkward. Why Dean thought this was ever a good idea, I had no clue. I smiled again basically because I had no idea what to say.
'Thank you so much.' She answered sweetly. 'Can you open this for me.' She ordered Dean as she thrust the bottle into his hand aggressively. 'Have a seat, make yourselves at home. I'll just call Ben.' Her smile was so sweet. Shame it was so phony.
We were stuck, there was no way out and I already knew this was not going to be a good night. Not at all.
Bobby and I sat down.
Lisa left the room.
Dean smiled at us.
(To be continued…)