Wait and See

Credit Where It's Due

A routine is starting to settle in the house. It's not a normal or necessarily good. But whatever it is it feels like progress.

Sam starts to get really serious about Hunting, which worries Dean. He understands that Sam can't do much else while his eggs are still scrambled and Sam is just like him- when things get bad, he wants to be working. It gives him purpose, it takes his mind off other things, but Dean's still sorting out the occasional revelation about their father, and Sam's single mindedness is a little too close for comfort.

Dean's starting to sicken himself with his heretofore-undiscovered propensity for being in a relationship. He let's Cas boss him around the kitchen. He let's Cas read with the Angel's head in his lap while Dean watches TV. He's started to realize that he's as into spooning as Cas is into handholding. He's never going to say it out loud. To anyone. Ever. But sometimes it's just as nice to lie there listening to Cas fall asleep in his arms as it is to have their teenagery-semi-sex.

Chelsea joins a book club. Apparently spending all her time with a couple and hunting monsters is not conducive to finding a boyfriend and after Karen tries to set her up with some guy who comes into the library in Mitchell all the time, Chelsea decides it's time to dive back into the dating pool.

Friday night dinners are starting to feel weird. Dean hasn't been able to tell Bobby yet. He thinks about it, and then he freaks out and can't do it. Chelsea and Sam are starting to shoot each other epically mocking looks across the table at basically anything that comes out of Dean's mouth during dinner.

Dean, Sam, and Castiel all start receiving royalty checks from Chuck. Dean's pretty sure that this has nothing to do with God riding shotgun in Chuck's melon, but doesn't push the issue.

There's suddenly money everywhere. Dean's had only realized a few months ago that the majority of Cas's hotel cleaning paycheck went to groceries, and all three of them have been living on Dean's job and Cas's checks since Sam got back. And, since Dean, Sam and Cas have never had more than a few hundred bucks in their pockets at any given time in their entire lives, none of them know what to do with it. Chelsea suggests some stock or mutual funds or at least a savings account for a rainy day. Dean admits that he's been cashing his check from the body shop at Wal-Mart and keeping the cash in a coffee can under his bed for the last year. She drags him to the bank practically by the ear.

And then he puts everything into savings. He doesn't need it; he doesn't know what to do with it. If he needs it later, he'll come get it.


Thomas comes through on his promise to host a dry poker game. He invites Dean, Cas, Sam and even Chelsea. Chelsea opts out for her Lonely Girls book club. Apparently the first meeting is the day after the game and she hasn't finished the book yet.

The atmosphere is a little awkward. Nobody's drinking, but they clearly want a beer on their Friday night a little more than they want to be supportive. Thomas also invites the new body shop guy, Spencer, who Dean's gone head to head with a couple times since he got brought on because the guy's a butcher with no feeling for cars. Spencer gives Dean an exasperated look when Thomas hands Dean an O'Doul's, but it's gone when Dean, Cas, and Sam sit down.

Dean expects problems explaining how Sam is suddenly less dead than previously described, but he massages the truth a little, Cas keeps his mouth shut, and Dean leaves the impression that he and Sam were estranged because of something to do with drugs. No one digs into it. Something about an ex-junkie and a recovering alcoholic under one roof with a traumatized veteran is just too much to poke at apparently.

There's nothing particularly remarkable about the night until Dean follows Cas into the kitchen to bring out another round of non- alcoholic beers.

"It was very kind of Thomas to do this. I understand alcohol is integral to these sorts of male social gatherings," Cas comments, handing Dean a few cans.

"I think I would have been okay," Dean says. And it's true. Everyone around him could have had a beer and he would have been fine. But only because he has Cas and Sam to watch him. He's only been sober for a month and a half. He was never really a binger, preferring a constant buzz to a black out drunk, but it's impossible to pretend that it isn't hard to come home and not have a beer. He'd known he drank too much, but it wasn't until Cas really started pushing it that he'd realized that he really was an alcoholic, and that his father had been, and so had Bobby.

Cas gives him big wide confession eyes and Dean sighs in his head.

"I'm very proud of you for working hard to be okay," Cas says.

"Can we not do this Dr. Phil thing?" Dean says. He tries not to sound too disparaging but sometimes Cas needs to be a little more aware of time and place.

Cas face falls. Dean feels bad and leans forward to give him a quick kiss just as the door opens and Thomas and Spencer walk in.

His heart stops. He could probably save this. Say something. Bat Cas away.

But it's just Thomas, who looks at Dean like he's a legend, and Spencer, who Dean thinks is a moron. It's not worth hurting Cas over, not when they're both trying so hard.

So, not quite ready to face the look he's expecting, Dean pulls back like everything is totally normal, smiles, clears this throat, and pats Cas's hip. He and Cas bring the beers back out to the table and Dean tries not to squirm in his seat for the rest of the night.

Thomas asks him about it in the break room on Monday. It's just Thomas, Jose and Dean up there. Dean remembers the way they'd both look at Cas after his boyfriend surprise. Vaguely charmed and just a little amused. So he tells them a very limited version of the truth. He'd realized how good Cas was for him and one thing had lead to another.

It's bizarrely not a big deal.

At least not with Jose and Thomas. By the end of the week word has spread. Most of the guys are suddenly awkward, but without actual malice. Matthew stops talking to Dean, and if it weren't for Spencer it might have been fine.

Cas calls with a question on Kitsunes while Dean's working. Spencer overhears the call, and Dean overhears the only partially whispered "faggot" that Spencer lets loose. The only thing that keeps Dean from braining him with a tire iron is Thomas showing up in the nick of time.

Dean doesn't actually lay a hit down on Spencer, but he fights Thomas to get to Spencer and Thomas was a Hunter once too. They're both way out of practice, Dean's better trained, but Thomas is stronger and it takes some effort for him to put Dean down.

All three of them get hauled into Hugh's office. Dean and Spencer get put on probation.

Sam tells Dean that Spencer can go fuck himself and if he's this much of a wad about Dean and Cas being together then he's probably just super insecure about either his own sexuality or masculinity.

When Dean talks to Chelsea about it she jokingly suggest that Dean "accidentally" show Spencer his trunk/armory. More seriously, she agrees with him that it's never going to be easy to be a gay auto mechanic in South Dakota. The guys will come around, there will be more and more people like Thomas and Jose, but there will always be a Spencer. Dean declares that he won't let Spencer drive him out. Chelsea kisses him and says "But sweetheart- you don't want to be a mechanic."

Dean's never thought of it like that before.


Sam's been back for just shy of three months. Physically he's improving. He can stay awake all day and eat solid food. He can run on the treadmill totally unsupervised.

He's still a little… spotty in the brainpan. He can tell most of his hallucinations from reality, but they aren't going away. He's starting to remember what happened to him in shards of memory here and there, and he's having rampant nightmares about Heaven, Hell, and the Cage.

He's also living his with his brother and brother's boyfriend and being driven crazy by, not just the two of them having the combined emotionally maturity of a lemon-lime gummy bear and a relationship that makes them both seem like they are about fourteen years old, but by the fact that he's totally and utterly dependent on them and their one friend.

He's not sure if he's more embarrassed by the "Sammy has two daddies" feeling he gets when Cas and Dean stumble into his room half dressed to pull him out of screaming nightmares, or by the feeling he gets when Cas or Chelsea take him out for errands or to the hotel pool- like he's a dog Dean told them they could keep if they promised to walk him.

Oddly, the thing that makes him feel the least like a freak is finding cases. Even if on his bad days he needs Cas or Chelsea to confirm that the article (and sometimes the newspaper) he's reading is real, he's good at tracking supernatural patterns.

He works phones. Dean gives him the hunter address book and lets him go for it. He starts being the first Winchester to get the call when the weird gets too complicated. He wonders if this is how Bobby felt.

But he's not Bobby and when a bunch of corpses with no hands or feet show up n Chicago, Sam has to bow to the experts. He's surprised when Bobby offers to drive into Sioux Falls on a weeknight, but relieved. Bobby treats him like less of a responsibility than everyone in the house does.

Dean gets a little flustered when Bobby walks in unannounced and Sam wants to smack him. Sam's about to tell Bobby about Dean and Cas screwing himself if this keeps up. Dean's little closet worry breezed past ridiculous months ago and is now hopping around at the "batshit crazy" watermark.

But every time Sam asks Cas about it Cas just shrugs and says, "He needs more time."

Sam thinks Cas just feels bad about the whole Dean/Spencer thing.

Sam's showing Dean the intel he found on a rash of similar murders in Miami two years prior when Bobby walks in and pours himself a cup of coffee. Sam goes back over the information with Bobby as well. Bobby nods when they finish, tops up his mug with a sigh and says, "So, Dean, where's the boyfriend?"

Sam can't help but laugh when Dean Winchester, who once used to convince people he was an FBI agent on a daily basis, chokes on his juice in the least subtle way ever.

Bobby waits, sipping coffee nonchalantly, until Dean's got his breath back.

"Just how stupid do you think I am, boy?"

Sam feels bad when he realizes how small Dean suddenly looks.

"I don't think you're stupid, Bobby," Dean replies.

"Do you think I'm prejudiced, Dean?"

"No, sir," Dean replies. "No I don't."

"Do you think you're happy?" Bobby goes on in the same slightly accusatory tone. Sam realizes that it's suddenly not funny anymore. Dean stills, looks up and shrugs. "Umm… yeah. I am. I guess."

"Well then," Bobby sips his coffee. "Guess I've got an Angel in law. Somewhere."

"He's helping Chelsea with something for her lonely-girl book club," Dean supplies.

"Literary Girl," Sam corrects. He'd spent the day with her yesterday while she bitched about trying to finish Pride and Prejudice. Apparently, she thought Mr. Darcy was a tool and didn't want to listen to "Sickly Marjorie" and "Crazy Devon" swoon over him anymore. Sam had missed girls like Chelsea. She reminded him of the girls he'd been around back in college. Fun. Smart. Feisty.

"Sure."

"Alright," Bobby cuts in "Well. When he gets home, how 'bout you idjits just sign the damn paperwork for the house. Now, let's switch off "Days of Our Lives" and get back to work. Bunch of people loosing limbs out there."


The nightmares are getting less intense and less frequent. Sam's getting bits and pieces of what happened. He was in Hell. He was in Heaven. He remembers being chased by Demons. Captured. Tortured. He remembers times where that stopped, because he had stopped somehow, but he doesn't remember anything from those times when he stopped. He was in Heaven for a while, he remembers being chased by Angels, he remembers Ash saving his ass again. He remembers Gabriel smiting a few Angels before they got to him. The sound of an Angel dying is different in Heaven, and the true form of Gabriel was overwhelming.

But he's getting better. Nightmares aren't a real problem. The hallucinations are only a problem is something sets him off, he can eat and take care of himself and unless it's a bad day he can tell if something is really happening.

None of these are convincing arguments when Sam tries to convince Dean that he can be left alone in the house for a week.

And he could push it, he could get angry, he could point out that Chelsea is going to check in on him all the time anyway.

But if Sam stays here alone Dean is going to spend the whole week worrying about him and Sam doesn't want to ruin Dean and Cas's little vacation. For their six month anniversary.

"No matter how many times I think about it, it doesn't stop being weird," Sam says, reaching up to get Chelsea's blender down from the top of the cupboard. She applauds him for his epic reach and takes it from him.

"I know, right? I mean, don't get me wrong, happy for those two crazy kids, but it's so… I don't know. I can't get over the fact that Dean thought this up mostly by himself."

Sam pops one of the little appetizers Chelsea had set out for the big girly book club thing that Dean and Cas's trip had landed Sam a first class ticket to. He's a little pissed that he's stuck here with the options to join in on or do anything he can to avoid a long discussion on "A Hundred Years of Solitude" but he appreciates what Chelsea does for him. He can help mix drinks and heat up appetizers before everyone gets here. "I thought it was your idea?"

"Well," – Chelsea pulls a bottle of rum and banana liqueur out of the freezer. "Karen asked if they were doing anything special for their six month. And I suggested a trip- but Dean came up with Yellowstone all by himself and even thought to get a nice hotel instead of just whatever skeevy motel was open."

Sam laughs. "I booked the hotel. Dean's plan was a skeevy motel."

Chelsea snorts and pulls two shot glasses out of the cupboard. "Okay… well. Dean did come up with Yellowstone, and we've got to give him that. Awesome power of nature? That's totally Cas's thing." She fills each glass three quarters full of rum then tops it off with banana liqueur. "I feel like we're not even going to recognize Dean in a year. He's just come so damn far."

"Yeah."

Chelsea gives him a half sad look. "You too. You'll end up surprising us too."

"Totally. I'm already working on my plans to do nauseatingly sappy crap with my boyfriend by this time next year."

Chelsea hands him one of the shot glasses. "A legitimate goal. But seriously. Give yourself some credit. You're doing amazing things with the hunting. You figured out that Tulpa after only two people had died. You wiped out that Amazon tribe."

"It's less impressive when you tack on the fact that I didn't actually do anything. I just made calls."

"And did the research, and the legwork, and figured out the pattern based on years of experience in the field. Lighten up, Sammy."

For some reason he lets the "Sammy" slide.

She holds up her shot glass. "Come on. Let's pregame this bitch. I am not looking forward to Marjorie bitching about how she can't keep track of the names and Donna trying to figure out magic realism."

The book club endeavor is every bit as bad as Sam expected it to be. He winds up having two daiquiris and on top of his shot he's actually pretty buzzed. He'd forgotten that he hadn't actually had a drink since before Hell. He's only been well enough to try one for the last few months and there's no alcohol in the house. They're at the point where Sam having a beer or two in the fridge wouldn't throw Dean off the wagon, but Sam's' not going to do anything to threaten his brother's sobriety.

Weirdly everyone wants to know what Sam thinks of the book and the mystery of why they would care is slowly illuminated when, over the course of the night, Sam gets slipped three numbers. Maybe Dean's moniker for her book club had been more accurate than Chelsea wanted to admit.

Sam shows the numbers to Chelsea after everyone's gone. She laughs and looks at them. "Annabelle… nope." She tears it up. "She is baby crazy and not picky about how she winds up with one. Donna… oh, Donna. She's married. Devon… Devon might be worth calling. She got a little drunk at the last meeting and told a story or two. Don't tell her where you live, but she's probably worth a roll in the hay."

Sam laughs. "I didn't think girls said things like that. Wouldn't you be pissed if she said something like that about you?"

Chelsea rubs her fingers over her forehead. "Put it too you this way, sweetie. I spend my Friday nights at another family's family dinner. I spend my weeknights at your house hunting monsters. I joined this club that was not supposed to be all women to meet non-hunter people and that last guy I went on a date with who was not a psycho was Dean. It has been a long as time since I was rolled anywhere near hay."

"Dean? Dean who's about to find out that I booked him the honeymoon suite for his anniversary vacation with his boyfriend? That Dean?"

"Rub it in why don't you?" Chelsea sighs dramatically. "Now you've driven me to a third daiquiri.

Sam follows her into the kitchen and holds his glass out for a refill as well. He's a little too buzzed for a third drink, but having a drink with a friend and talking about sex makes him feel a little more grown up and normal than his usual weeknight activity of explaining why sit com re-runs are funny to Castiel or assuring Dean that just because he zoned out for a second doesn't mean he's in the middle of a psychotic break.

Hell, having a friend makes him feel more normal.

He takes a deep drag of his girly-ass drink. "If it makes you feel better I haven't been in a relationship since I was 22 and the last fling I had was with a demon who used me to open the door to Hell and gave me a super fun demon blood addiction."

"I'm not getting into my last relationship," Chelsea says as Sam's phone rings. He digs it out of his pocket. His screen actually reads "Dean" when Dean calls these days. It's weird.

"Hey. How was the drive?"

"Long. Forgot how draining that could be. But thankfully we've got this ridiculous suite to kick back in."

Sam grins and turns his phone up loud enough that Chelsea can hear. "The website described it as very romantic."

"You couldn't have just gotten us a normal room?"

"It's a vacation. Why, is there something wrong with it?"

"No it's just… weird. It's flipping enormous for one thing. There's a damn Jacuzzi and chocolates on the pillows. And you should have seen the way the girl at the desk looked at us."

"Screw her. You deserve this."

"No, it was like an… excited… Becky Rosen sort of look."

"Awkward. Well, they would have given you that look with a regular king sized bed too. Especially if you'd gone with your shitty flophouse idea."

"What did this even cost?"

"It's Chuck money. Don't worry about it. Does Cas like it?"

"Yeah… he… yeah he does."

Chelsea presses her face into her palm to stifle a giggle. Sam notices just how flushed her cheeks are.

"That was a pregnant pause."

"He's… setting up the Jacuzzi. You okay with Chelsea?"

"Yeah, yeah, sure. We're taking candy from strangers and playing with matches. Don't worry about me. Go enjoy your vacation. And your Jacuzzi. And don't ever tell me what you did in there."

"Done. And uh… thanks, Sam."

"No problem. Bye."

Chelsea's grinning evilly when Sam hangs up. "You know what would be fun?"

She hand him her glass and runs upstairs. He goes into the living room and plops down on the couch. She returns with her computer and grabs her phone after a few moments of googling.

"Hello, I'm actually trying to reach room service? Thanks… yes, hello. I'd like to send up a plate of chocolate covered strawberries to the honeymoon suite?"

Sam laughs. Chelsea grabs her purse and reels off her numbers.

"That's your idea of a prank?" Sam asks when she gets off the phone. "Weak, Chels."

Chelsea grabs his knee. "Take a moment with me to imagine Dean's face when he has to get up out of the Jacuzzi to get them, and then realizes that we sent them."

Sam snorts. "Fair enough. Moderately funny."

Chelsea tucks her computer and purse away and settles back into the couch. "You know. In retrospect, my "book club normal" idea may have blown. My sister told me it was a stupid way to meet people, but then she suggested Internet dating instead, so there's no need to listen to her."

"You really want to do the boyfriend thing that badly?" Sam's surprised. He's always equated a desperate want for a boyfriend with being… frivolous. Maybe even weak. But Chelsea's not like that.

Chelsea shrugs. "I mean… it's not like a rush to the altar or a ticking clock issue. It's just… you know. Bobby and Karen. Cas and Dean. It's hard not to start thinking "how the hell do I make this happen for myself?" And I know you don't think it counts, but the hunting, even just desk side, means a lot to me. And it's way too easy to let it become everything. I mean… Dean was so obsessive when I first met him. I'm a little afraid I could become like that. And how long can I really third wheel alongside Dean and Cas before I'm just completely pathetic?"

Her slightly slurred words hit home. Sam clears his throat. "Yeah. I know exactly what you mean. If it makes you feel better at least you're not a freak with Hell PTSD who has to be under constant supervision. At least you can go looking."

"Sammy, everyone's a freak somehow. Marjorie? Calls each of her grown up sons every day to tell them about her medical conditions. Hillary? Calls up random customer service lines to bitch about her ex husband. Devon and her phone number are convinced that she was Janis Joplin in a past life."

"Those are a little different level than being able to see Lucifer tap dancing behind Marjorie for the whole book club."

Chelsea snorts. "Is Lucifer a good tap dancer?"

"Yeah," Sam says. "Totally." It actually feels good to hear someone be glib about it. Bobby ignores it. Dean gets this look like he's expecting Sam to fall to pieces. Cas gets a little "talk show host".

"Huh." Chelsea presses a hand to her pink cheek and then catches Sam's hand. "You're as bad as Dean you know. You don't give yourself any credit."

"Credit?"

"You've got a less than ideal grip on reality. Fine. But you still save lives everyday. You stood up to your father enough to finish high school, and then got a free-fucking-ride to Stanford. And I hate to harp on this but there was the time you over powered Lucifer and sacrificed yourself to save the world when even God wouldn't step up to the plate."

"It sounds great when you put it like that, but-"

"Shut up, Sam. It sounds great because it is great. I've listened to you berating Dean about his self worth a million times. I'm not going to sit here and listen to you ignore yours."

Sam grabs his drink with his free hand. "I see why they all like you so much."

Chelsea shrugs. "I am pretty awesome. And if it makes you feel better, I'm a freak too. What kind of normal person doesn't only not pick up and move back home when she finds out there are ghosts all over her hotel, but then seeks out the guys that burst in with shot guns full of rock salt and thinks: let's be friends. I just signed up for some freshman Latin classes at Augustana because I need to brush up to be able to get into the lore the way Bobby can."

"Maybe you'll pick up some college kid."

"Go cougar on some poor little nerd who decided to take Latin?"

"You're not old enough to be a cougar."

"I will be by the time I get laid again if I keep this up."

Sam laughs. "I'm on the same page. In fact," –he hands her the piece of paper with Devon's phone number on it–"You better take this away from me. I'm almost desperate enough to succumb to the temptation."

Chelsea grabs it from him. "You sure? She can put her legs behind her head."

"Oh, well in that case." Sam pretends to grab it back. Chelsea pulls away. It turns into a little play-wrestling match. The number finally tears and Chelsea falls just a little forward. Sam catches her.

Her eyes are deep dark brown. Her lips are dark pink. Her cheeks are flushed with alcohol and laughter. Sam can feel her warm breath on his face.

"Umm… maybe we…" but he can't think of how he expected to finish the sentence.

"Yeah…" Chelsea agrees. "Sam?"

"Uh- huh?"

"How long has it been for you?"

"Umm… including the gap where I was deadish… maybe two years?"

"Right… two and a half," Chelsea says. "Ugly break up."

Sam realizes what he's doing. He's seriously considering screwing his only friend. Who Dean and Cas are incredibly protective of. Who may have had too much to drink. And he's seriously considering doing this knowing full well that he might have Angels screaming in his head while he tries.

"How drunk are you?"

"A little drunk. Not much drunker than you though."

"Right."

Chelsea clears her throat but she's still looking at his lips. "I… uh… read the prophecies. Everyone you sleep with seems to die."

"Umm… yeah… but you know… you've got all these hunters looking out for you."

"Yeah. And Thomas has been teaching me how to throw knives. So I think I'll be good."

"Yeah."

They both lean in at the same time, a rum flavored kiss blooming between them.


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