Sam was acting weird.
Dean noticed Sam was staring at him out of the corner of his eyes, but would turn away whenever Dean looked at him. He avoided eye contact with him and avoided being alone with him in general.
Dean thought maybe something happened in Orlando.
John and Sam had been hunting a Djinn in Orlando, while Dean was supposed to be on a five day, five states road trip. As it turned out, in the first state he met a woman named Lisa, and ended up staying with her instead.
Lisa was wonderful. She was beautiful and funny. She was good in bed. But she was also interesting, and thoughtful, and got along with Dean perfectly. Dean was actually disappointed when he had to leave.
But now he was back, and Sam was acting weird towards him, and wouldn't tell him what was going on. Dean hated it, but realized he'd have to wait until John left again before he could figure out what was on Sam's mind.
"Bobby called. A hunter friend of his needs some help a couple states over," John was already packing a bag to go, and Dean knew what that meant. "I figured Sammy would want to hang out here being how school just started, so I'm going by myself."
Usually, Dean would be a little upset that his dad didn't want him to come. Sam was older now, already 15. By the time Dean was 15, he had already been left alone for weeks at a time to take care of Sammy. It seemed like Sam was old enough to not need Dean as a babysitter, so that Dean could go out on hunts more. John disagreed.
But this time was different. Dean was hoping John wouldn't ask him to go. He needed to talk to Sam, and fix whatever he did.
"I left some money for food and stuff, but you boys are old enough to get the money yourself if you need to," John swung the bag over his shoulder. "I'll be back in a few weeks. You watch out for Sammy, now."
"Yes, sir. I always do."
Once John was gone, Dean went to pick Sam up from the library. He figured he'd take the little brat out for dinner and get on his good side before asking about what was wrong. "It's fine, Dean. I'm not even hungry." Sam mumbled from the passenger side. He still wasn't looking at Dean, choosing to stare out the window instead.
"Not hungry? Of course you are, Sammy. You're a growing boy. You need all the food you can get."
Dean stopped at a diner and sat the two of them in the corner farthest from the counter. He wanted a little privacy.
Dean ordered a bacon cheeseburger, and Sam got a chicken salad. He'd been eating healthier lately, and Dean would always tease him about it. Not today, though. Today he stayed silent.
"So, how was Orlando?" Dean started, somewhat awkwardly. He guessed that something happened between Sam and John that was making Sam act like this, and he wanted to know what.
Sam shrugged. "It was a hunt, Dean. Not much else to say about it." Sitting across from him, Sam was forced to look at his brother, but was still avoiding direct eye contact.
"So, nothing... weird happened?"
Sam scoffed. "No. Why are you asking?"
Dean shifted in his seat, knowing he was walking on eggshells with this kid right now. "No reason. You just... you're acting a little weird since you got back, that's all. I just want to know what's up."
Sam sighed, but didn't say anything.
Dean bit his bottom lip. He missed the little Sam, who would stare at him intently, like he was the most interesting thing in the world. And the Sam that would go to him whenever something went wrong, and want nothing more than to be comforted by his big brother. "You know, you used to tell me everything." Dean wrapped his fingers around his soda, wishing it was beer. "Whenever something happened, even if it was totally boring, you couldn't wait to run home and tell me all about it."
"Things change, Dean. I'm not a kid anymore." Now Sam was meeting his eyes, and Dean realized he looked... sad.
"Dude, just... be honest with me. Tell me-"
"Here you boys go. Can I get you anything else?" The waitress placed down their respective plates.
"No thank you, mam." Dean smiled politely, and she left. He turned back to Sam. "Just tell me what's wrong, Sammy. Tell me what I did so I can fix it."
"You didn't- It's not your fault..." Sam's voice was strained and high-pitched, and Dean could tell he was struggling to keep his emotions in check. "It's not your fault. I just... I don't want you to go."
Dean crinkled his forehead in confusion. "You don't want me to go? I'm not going anywhere, Sammy. What are you talking about?"
"Not yet, but you will!" Sam looked down at his salad, pushing it away. "You're 19, Dean. And soon you're gonna meet some girl that will change your whole world. And you're gonna love her, and she'll be able to give you everything you've ever wanted. A normal life. A house, a family. And, and... you're gonna leave!"
Dean sat there, bewildered, unsure of what to say. "Sammy, why are you thinking about this? What's going on?"
Sam shook his head. "I know you didn't have some five-state road trip, Dean. The odometer in the car had barely moved. And when you came back you were in such a good mood. I know you were with a girl, Dean. You were with a girl, and eventually you're going to find one that you love more than us-" Sam's voice cracked, and he excused himself from the table.
"Sam, wait!" Dean followed Sam into the bathroom, which was otherwise empty.
Sam was leaning against the sink, crying. "Sam, please, look at me." Dean pried Sam's hands away from his face. Sam was getting so tall, he was almost at eye level with Dean. "Sammy, let's get one thing straight. I will never, never, find a girl I love more than you. Because I couldn't possible love anyone the way I love you. So don't you go and get that in your head, okay?"
Sam nodded, sniffling. His face was red and puffy from crying, and Dean couldn't believe he was this upset the whole time.
"Second of all, I wasn't with a girl." Dean knew he was lying, but he had to fix this. "You're right. I didn't go to five states, I lied. I only made it tot he state line before I lost the money for gas." It wasn't a perfect lie, but he hoped it was believable enough.
Sam's eyes went wide. "You lost the money? How?"
"I was trying to win some extra money playing pool at this bar. Turns out I was more drunk than I thought, and I ended up losing it all. I just didn't want to tell Dad, so I lied."
Sam wiped the tears from his eyes. "So... you weren't really with a girl?"
Dean shook his head. "Nope. Well, not just one, anyway." He winked, and Sam rolled his eyes.
"Sorry, Dean. I shouldn't have gotten so upset..."
"It's okay, kiddo. Now come on, and let's finish our food."
Dean felt much better after talking to Sam. Sam seemed to believe his lie, and he stopped acting so weird towards him.
Dean had no idea that Sam didn't believe a word he said. Sam knew his brother, and he knew him well. He knew when Dean was lying to him, and in that moment, he definitely was.
Dean also had no idea that that was the night Sam decided he was going to leave. He couldn't stand the thought of Dean taking off one night, and never coming back. So he decided he would have to be the first one to go.