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Jan. 5th, 2010

I thought this was going to be longer, and then it wasn't. OH WELL. Mostly I found it unfinished in my drafts and wanted it to become finished!

Gone to the Finest School
Sam/Dean AU, R, 5200 words. In which Sam Winchester left behind his brother and the family ranch to become a lawyer, and learns that you can go home again.


"I still don't get how you're the bad son," says Jessica, leaning against the door frame as Sam stuffs clothes in his bag. Usually, he's more careful. Counting out all his clothes first, making sure he has enough pants and shirts and underwear, folding everything neatly--pants on the bottom, then shirts, boxers quartered and zipped into the inner pocket. Tonight, his hands are shaking, and he's just shoving things in without any order, a shirt he hates, pants he outgrew, anything to keep his fists full.

"It's complicated," says Sam.

"Is it the gay thing?"

Sam snorts. "They don't even know about the gay thing." He lets out a long breath, closing his eyes, hands full of socks. "It's just--they're old-fashioned. My mom and dad were from the same town. Mom had big city dreams, making something of herself, and dad wanted it too, but then her parents died and they inherited the ranch, my mom got pregnant with my brother, and their priorities changed."

"Yeah, but--you're successful," she says. "You're smart, you're capable, you're pretty rich. I don't see why they're holding a grudge."

"Because I'm in New York, fighting injustice, and not in Kansas, being a cowboy."

"And now your dad's dead," she says quietly.

"Yeah," says Sam, barely a breath. "Now my dad's dead."

"I'm sorry, Sam," says Jess, coming over to rub him between the shoulders. "I can come, if you want. Just say the word."

Sam laughs hollowly. "Honestly, my brother would just hit on you and I'd have to kill him."

"Even now?"

Sam sighs. "Especially now."

"What did you tell Josh?"

"I broke up with him," says Sam.

"You broke up with him?" asks Jess incredulously. "What? Why?"

Sam shrugs. "We weren't that serious."

Jess sighs. "Sam."

"What?"

"You know I love you. But--have you thought about what you want out of a relationship?"

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"I mean, your dad just died, you're stressed, you're unhappy. Most people would turn to their boyfriends for support in this trying time, not dump them and add to their stress."

Sam shrugs. "We weren't that serious."

"You've been going out for six months, Sam. Six months."

"I gotta go," says Sam. "Plane to catch."

"Don't you dare shut me out too, Sam Winchester. Don't do that."

"I'm not," he says. "I just--I couldn't deal with him. Not on top of everything else. I couldn't deal with him asking if I'm okay."

"Are you okay?"

Sam smiles at her, weary and small. "Ask me again tomorrow."

*

He told Dean when he was getting in, but he hadn't expected his brother to actually come get him at the airport. He's outside, looking for a taxi to hail, when he spots him leaning against the door of the Impala, scowling.

It's unmistakably Dean--even if the car wasn't a giveaway, the surly expression and the leather jacket are so familiar Sam's heart pangs.

"Hey," he says, dragging his bag over to where Dean's leaning. "You didn't have to come get me. I was going to get a cab."

Dean shrugs. They don't hug, but they've never really been that kind of brothers. "Whatever," he says. He gives Sam a cursory once-over, like he doesn't care that in the last ten years Sam's gotten taller than him, that his clothes are nicer or his face is harsher.

Dean at 33 looks a lot more than ten years older than Dean at 23. He's stronger, which isn't surprising, and he has a few gray streaks in his hair. He looks tired and wrung out, and Sam feels abruptly guilty. This is why he never called, he thinks suddenly. He knew what he'd find.

"Guess I wanted to make sure you were really coming," says Dean, not looking at Sam as he makes his way to the driver's seat.

Sam tosses his bag in the back seat and sits in shotgun. It's like traveling back in time.

"Of course I came, Dean," he says quietly.

"Yeah, of course," Dean scoffs. "Forgive me for not having faith in you."

"Dad kicked me out," Sam says. "He's the one who told me to never come back."

"Yeah, and you seemed really torn up about it."

Sam scrubs his hand over his face. "Can we wait five minutes before we start fighting? I'm tired, I'm wrung out, and--can't I just be glad to see my brother until we get home?"

Dean snorts. "I don't know, can you?"

"Would you believe I missed you guys?"

"Not really," says Dean breezily. "But go ahead and say it. My ego needs the stroking."

Sam sighs. "How's the ranch?"

"Oh, yeah, you care about the ranch."

"Do you want me to leave?" Sam asks. "Because you were the one who called and said I needed to come home. But if you don't want me around, I can leave again."

Dean snorts. "Yeah, Sammy, I don't want you around. That was always the problem."

Sam leans back in the seat, closing his eyes. "I never wanted to stop being part of your lives."

"Yeah, well," says Dean. "Good job with that."

Sam swallows. He knew this wouldn't be easy. God, it's not like it's a surprise. "Just wake me up when we get back," he says, closing his eyes.

*

Dean doesn't wake him up; Dean opens the door Sam's leaning on and lets him fall out of the car.

"Jesus Christ!" says Sam, catching himself before he actually takes a spill on the muddy road.

Dean grins, all harsh edges. "Welcome home, Sammy."

A couple dogs--dogs Sam has never met--run over and jump on Dean, and he laughs and scratches behind their ears. Sam feels his heart in his throat; he never missed small-town living, exactly, never wanted to be a ranch hand forever, but he never hated it.

The dogs run over and sniff at him, and he lets them, scratching them and letting them lick at his hands. "Hey, guys," he says softly. "Hey."

"The big shepherd's Gabe," says Dean. "And the retriever's Cass." He gives Sam an appraising look. "They like you."

"The dogs always liked me," says Sam. He straightens up. "Thanks for the rude awakening, by the way."

Dean grins again. "Gotta keep you on your toes, Sammy boy. All that city living made you soft."

"New York's not exactly an easy place to survive, Dean."

Dean doesn't respond to that, just goes up the stairs to the farmhouse with the dogs on his tail. "Grab your stuff," he tosses over his shoulder. "I made the bed in your room."

Sam can't hold back a smile as he gets his bag out of the trunk. "Thought you didn't think I was coming."

The only response is the door slamming, but Sam doesn't mind.

*

Sam's not sure he's ever slept past 6 a.m. in this bed. All through his childhood, he had to help out with the ranch, feeding the horses and the cows, getting eggs, doing as much as he could before school.

He's surprised when his phone--the alarm that always goes off at seven-thirty to get him up for work, that he forgot to turn off--is what wakes him, and not Dean telling him to move his lazy ass. The light is coming in softly from outside, and Kansas is flat and wide outside his window.

It's strange how unfamiliar it looks, even though it's exactly the same.

The Campbell ranch is a family business--it's been in his mother's family for generations, for as long as there have been Campbells in Lawrence. Sam knows his grandfather was afraid Mary would leave the whole thing behind, but then she fell for their new hand, and she didn't get out either.

Sam likes to think that, if she'd lived long enough, she would have been proud of him for leaving.

It's a nice piece of land, always has been. Sam feels the love for it deep in his blood, something primal and unavoidable. He has a fierce love of New York too, of the crowded streets and pulsing energy, but it's so different to wake up to nothing but birdsong.

He pulls on the least objectionable clothes he has--old jeans, a worn gray t-shirt from a charity run he did a long time ago, and a hoodie from his college days. Sam tries to remember the last time he felt unselfconscious enough to wear a hoodie.

Dean's not in the kitchen, but there's coffee brewing, and Sam takes a cup and goes barefoot into the yard to look for Dean.

It's a little chilly--still early spring, after all, and Sam realizes with surprise that his birthday's in just a few weeks. He had plans with Josh--he'd completely forgotten when they broke up.

Maybe Jess is right. He could have been less of a jerk about that.

Right then, he sees Dean, and he suddenly forgets all about Josh, and Jess, and New York City.

Dean's wearing jeans that are more rip than denim, and they ride low on his hips. He's not wearing a shirt, and Sam can see the necklace he gave him for Christmas a billion years ago still around his neck, resting against his sternum. He hadn't noticed it last night, and the fact that Dean still wears it makes him feel warm all the way down to his toes.

Dean's attractive. Dean's always been attractive. When he was little, it drove him crazy, how everyone thought Dean was so good-looking. And then, once he got a little older, he realized that he wasn't exactly immune himself.

He probably wouldn't have run so far, if he'd been able to ignore how unbrotherly his feelings for Dean were.

Dean tosses the the bale of hay he was carrying into the back of his truck and glances back toward the porch, catching Sam staring. Sam awkwardly raises his hand in greeting.

"You should've woken me," he says. "I could've helped out."

"You made it pretty clear you're not interested in helping," says Dean.

"Dean, I'm here," says Sam. "I'm here because you asked me to come, so can you stop treating me like some leper?"

"You were the one who wanted to sleep," says Dean.

Sam rubs his face. "Okay. Fine. I'm sorry I forgot to set my alarm, okay? I'm a horrible person. Do you want some help?"

"You still remember how to work, city boy?"

"I work about eighty hours a week, Dean."

"Yeah, in a suit," Dean says, like this is the worst thing he can imagine. Knowing Dean, it might be.

"Just tell me what you need me to do."

Dean smirks. "Well, get your shoes on and come on down, princess."

*

By lunchtime, Sam is remembering that it's hard work living on the ranch. He gets a good deal of gym time in, and he knows he looks good, but he doesn't really do much with it. Dean--well, okay, no one is going to deny that Dean is gorgeous, but he's not ripped and chiseled like Sam, but his muscle is more function than form, and all Sam's good looks aren't really that practical.

Still, he's doing a hell of a lot better with the ranch work than he thought he would be, and by lunchtime, he's tired but satisfied, and he feels kind of smug about how he didn't quit, like Dean clearly thought he would.

They go in at lunch and Sam's disconcerted by how glad he is to be across from Dean at the table, not talking about how Sam left or how their dad is dead, just sitting together, discussing the animals.

But it can't last; Sam's got too many questions. Finally, he breaks on, "You haven't hired anyone?"

"For what?" asks Dean, not looking at him.

"To help out."

"Dad's not even buried yet," says Dean.

"I meant--before. You don't have anyone to help out?"

"We get by."

Sam swallows. "You aren't married either."

Dean raises his eyebrows. "Would've invited you to a wedding, man."

"Yeah," says Sam. He always expected Dean to settle down--when he left, he and Lisa Matthews were getting pretty serious, and Sam would be lying if he said that wasn't part of it. But Dean's all alone in the old ranch house now, and it makes Sam feel guiltily happy at the same time it makes him ache with sadness. "Just--figured you couldn't keep them away."

"Well, the manure kind of balances out my natural sex appeal," says Dean. He cocks his head at Sam. "You got kids yet?"

"I'm not even married."

"I thought all you lawyer-types had to get married."

Sam shrugs. "Haven't met the right person yet."

It's his rote answer, what he's told everyone except Jess who asks him, but Dean doesn't look convinced. "The right person? Jeez, Sammy, could you be any gayer?"

He means it like a joke, but--Sam figures there's no reason to hide it anymore. Dean already hates him. "No, not really. Although I'm single right now, so I guess if I still had a boyfriend, I'd be a little gayer."

Dean stares, slack-jawed. Sam shrugs awkwardly.

"I was gonna tell you," he finally says. "I just--" he sighs. "Surprise, I guess."

"But--you went out with--Sammy, what?"

"I can tell you the whole story of my gay epiphany," says Sam (although he'd leave out Dean's not-insignificant part in it), "but I don't think you really want to know."

Dean gets up and puts his plate in the sink.

"I have to go to town and sort some stuff out for dad's funeral," he says. Sam expects to be left alone to bum around the ranch, and he's surprised when Dean turns around and says, "Want to come?"

"Sure," says Sam. "Let me get changed."

Dean raises his eyebrows, and then he snorts. "Oh right. Gay."

"You know, you don't have to be gay to not want to go out looking like a slob."

"You don't look like a slob, Jesus. You don't have to wear a suit to go to town."

Sam's more concerned about how dirty and sweaty he is, but he guesses Dean is too, so he sighs and gives up. "Okay, well, let me grab my phone, anyway. I'll be ready in a minute."

"You got ten and then I'm leaving without you."

Sam shakes his head. "You're such a jerk."

"Whatever. Bitch."

*

About halfway into town--not in the Impala, because they need the bed of the pickup truck for some supplies--Sam's phone buzzes in his pocket, breaking the silence that had been consuming the car.

He's relieved, at first, but then he glances at his phone and sees "Josh" on the display.

Shit.

He thinks about just ignoring the call, but--he has been beyond a jerk to Josh, and Dean's giving him this expectant look, like he's wondering why the hell Sam's not just picking up.

"Hello?" he says, warily.

"You're in Kansas?" asks Josh. "And--Jesus, your dad's dead?"

Sam leans back in his seat and sighs. "Yeah. I'm down here for the funeral." Out of the corner of his eye, he sees Dean flinch at that, and he wishes that wasn't way more interesting to him than anything Josh could say.

"Why didn't you tell me?" asks Josh. "I mean--shit, you--I thought we had something, Sam."

"I'm just--it's a lot to take in," says Sam. He scrubs his hand over his face. "I've got a lot to deal with here, and--"

"And you don't want my help," says Josh flatly. "I stopped by your place to try to talk to you, and Jessica said you went home. You couldn't even have told me yourself?"

"I've got a lot going on," says Sam. "Look, I'm sorry I hurt you, but--I don't even know when I'm going to be able to come back."

"Fine," says Josh. "You know what? Just--fine. God, after six months, I thought I deserved better than a phone call to break up, but--whatever. Bye, Sam."

Dean looks at him evenly as he hangs up the phone. "Thought you said you were single," he says.

"I am," Sam replies. "Now."

"Heartbreaker, huh, Sammy?"

Sam swallows, turns away from Dean to look out the window. "Something like that."

*

Downtown, such as it is, is mostly unchanged. Dean wants to go buy farm stuff, and Sam figures he'll hit up the grocery store for some stuff that he likes that Dean doesn't keep--most things that aren't meat or carbs. He runs into people he hasn't seen in ten years, most of whom tell him how good he looks, how tall he's gotten, and how sorry they are about his father.

What surprises him is how many times they ask him how Dean is. It's strange to think of Dean being a fixture for these people, but none of them think he's their friend. The people older than them worry over him, motherly tongue-clucking and paternal head-shaking, and those younger than him respect him, but he doesn't seem to be a part of the Lawrence society.

Everyone asks him when the funeral is, even though he doubts most of them will come, and he dutifully tells them it's tomorrow. Most ask what will become of the ranch, and tut when he doesn't say he'll be staying to help Dean. He doesn't say he's leaving again, but clearly everyone takes his silence on the subject as confirmation that this is just a visit.

Of course, it is just a visit, but he doesn't know how he feels about everyone knowing that.

When he can't take it anymore, he heads back to the car to call Jess.

"Hey, Sam!" she says, picking up on the first ring. She sounds overly cheerful.

"Yes, he did call," says Sam. "And yes, I'm kind of pissed at you."

"I wasn't going to lie to him, Sam."

"I know," says Sam, sighing as he leans against the truck. "I know. I'm sorry, I didn't think he'd come see you."

"It's okay. How's Lawrence? How's your brother?"

"It's--" he tries to figure out exactly what he's feeling, and finally laughs. "Weird. Really, really weird."

He can see her smile when she says, "I'm thinking of you."

"Thanks." He sees Dean coming over with a bag of mulch slung over his shoulder and a whole lot of other stuff waiting to be loaded and surprises himself by smiling. "I gotta go, Jess. I'll call you later."

"Bye," she says.

"Bye."

"Not your boyfriend," Dean observes, dumping the mulch into the bed of the truck.

"Best friend," says Sam. "Need help?"

He expects Dean to fight him on it, but he doesn't. They make short work of the bags, and they're in the car before Dean speaks again.

"So when are you heading back?" Dean asks.

"Huh?"

"To New York, or wherever."

Sam knows Dean knows exactly where he lives. "I don't know," he admits. "I figured I'd stick around, help you out a little."

Dean snorts. "Right."

"What?" asks Sam, harshly. "God, Dean, what do you want?"

"Whatever, Sammy," says Dean. "Forget it."

"I'm here, I'm trying--to help you, Dean!"

"I don't need a couple days from your busy life, Sam! God. If it's such a hardship, just go home."

"It's not!" says San, and that much is true. "I want to help, Dean."

"Then stay," says Dean defiantly. "That's how you can help. Stay here and be my fucking brother."

"Dean--" Sam starts.

Dean snorts. "Yeah. That's what I thought."

*

The funeral service is outside. It's bright and cold--sharp, with the smell of frost in the air. A few people from town come, but not too many. Sam isn't surprised that his father didn't have a lot of friends. Dean is stoic and quiet in the front row, not crying, not doing anything at all, just staring straight forward, hands clenched into fists on his dress slacks.

Sam's never seen Dean wear slacks before in his life. It's like seeing him dressed up for a play.

Everyone who came gives their condolences--a few brave souls hug Dean, but most people keep their distance.

Sam doesn't touch Dean either, not until it's over, and they have to go to hear the will read. He just brushes his fingers over Dean's elbow, a contact so slight he wouldn't have even noticed it with anyone else.

Dean jerks like he's been slapped.

"We should go," Sam says softly. "They're doing the estate."

Dean relaxes, nods. "Yeah. Guess so."

*

"The entire estate is bequeathed to Dean and Samuel Winchester," says the estate lawyer, "with certain provisions."

"Provisions?" asks Sam.

"Here, here, and here," he says, indicating starred passages. Sam can see Dean's eyes swimming at the legalese; Sam's fluent by now, of course. "It's a little dense. Do you have a lawyer?"

"I am a lawyer," says Sam.

"Then I suggest you take it home and review it," says the estate lawyer. "You can call me with any questions."

They leave together, walk home in silence. Sam wants to ask Dean what he's thinking--try to find out if Dean has any idea what they're in for, but his posture isn't open.

"You want some coffee?" Dean asks, when they finally make it home.

"Sure, yeah."

Dean starts making it, his hands shaking slightly, but Sam doesn't mention it. He puts the papers in front of him and starts looking through, skimming the provisions and trying to make sense of what his father wanted.

When it's done, Dean passes him the cup and sits down across from him at the table. "So, what's the damage? You just gonna give me your part?"

"It's not quite that simple. There's--it's kind of like a marriage clause."

Dean stares. "What?" he asks flatly.

"It's not," says Sam. "It's two separate clauses, one's--a partnership clause. Not necessarily a marriage, just someone to help with the ranch. A partner."

"I just have to have a partner?"

"Or I do, yeah," says Sam.

"But you don't want the ranch."

"I don't want it to leave the family," says Sam. "If worse comes to worse, I can--"

"Just tell me what I have to do."

"There are two main points. Each one must be satisfied by one of us."

"Me," says Dean.

Sam decides not to argue it. "The first is the partnership. It could be a marriage, but it could also be a business partnership. This is pretty much just to make sure you aren't trying to do this all by yourself. You just have to find someone willing to live on the ranch with you and share the work."

Dean snorts, shakes his head. "Right. Great. And the second part?"

"Producing offspring," says Sam, skimming over the lines. "Probably to make sure the ranch can stay in the Campbell line." He pushes his hair back. "Both of them have deadlines."

"Deadlines?"

"Partner by," he glances down and swears under his breath. "Thirty," he manages, almost evenly. "Child by 35."

Dean stares. "What."

Sam glances through the papers. "He hasn't updated this since 2005," he says absently, "you would have been a few years shy of 30 then--"

"Are you fucking serious?" asks Dean. "I'm too old to inherit the ranch?"

"I might be able to fight that, argue that the unexpected death means the will wasn't updated, but--"

"But I might just be fucked." He sighs. "Jesus Christ."

"He probably just--"

Dean gets up and throws his coffee cup into the sink; it doesn't shatter, but it chips. "I know what he wanted, Sam." He storms out, and Sam knows he should give him space, but he can't. He looks at Dean's cup, makes sure nothing broke off that will cut either of them, and then follows him outside.

Dean's a natural with horses. Always has been. Sam never took to ranch life. He was always strong enough, decent at the work, but he didn't belong like Dean did. He never had a haven like the stables were for Dean.

He's in the third stall, like Sam expected. It hasn't been occupied since Dean's first horse, and in high school, whenever Dean needed to be alone, this was where he went.

He doesn't look surprised to see Sam, but he stands up and brushes off his jeans.

"We'll figure something out."

"Yeah? What?"

"He didn't mean to do this."

"Of course he did," says Dean. "He never thought I could do this myself."

"Maybe he wanted to make sure you had some help."

Dean snorts. "Since when are you dad's biggest fan?"

"I just--maybe he was trying to do right by you."

"He doesn't trust me," says Dean. "Never has."

"Dean, you're--"

"Leave it alone, Sam."

"We're gonna figure it out."

"Maybe we should just let it go. Clearly he didn't think I could do it on my own."

"Can you?" Sam asks, and it comes out combative.

"Fuck you," Dean shoots back, and Sam's suddenly aware of how close they'd gotten, how angry Dean is, spoiling for a fight, and in an instant, everything becomes dangerous. Dean seems to notice too--there's a change in the air, and Sam expects a punch, so he's totally unprepared when Dean closes the last inches and kisses him instead.

*

Sam doesn't think it's possible to kiss your brother without thinking about it. He doesn't think you can do it by accident. And he wonders, if it only took Dean two days to snap, how long Dean's been waiting for this.

Maybe even longer than he has.

It's that thought that makes him snap, kiss Dean back desperately, like the world might end if he doesn't. Dean almost pulls back in surprise, but Sam anchors his hands in Dean's suit-coat, slick and satiny smooth, and Dean groans and doesn't try to escape again.

Sam doesn't let him talk, never brings their mouths far apart enough that Dean can speak, and Dean doesn't seem to want to try to hard either. They make out for long moments, and then Sam pulls Dean back, out of the stables, back toward the house, not letting up for a second because he's afraid one of them will realize how colossally they're fucking this up.

It's nearly impossible to navigate like this, tripping and nearly falling, but it's worth it for the slick slide of Dean's lips against his, Dean kissing him until he's practically numb with it, and the tantalizing grazes of Dean's dick against his thighs as they stumble.

They don't make it up the stairs, only as far as the master bedroom on the first floor, and if Sam were more with it, he'd be kind of horrified by the idea of having sex with his brother on their parents' bed.

As it is, he's too turned on by the idea of sex with his brother to really think about it.

They fall into bed together, still kissing, and except for the distant part of his brain that knows this is going to blow up in his face, he's never felt so good in his life.

*

Sam wakes up alone, and isn't surprised. The Impala isn't in the driveway, and Sam wonders where the hell Dean went.

He wonders if he's ever coming back and, if he does, what he's going to say to him.

It's almost a blessing when the phone rings.

"Hey, Jess."

"Hey, Sam. I just wanted to see how the funeral went."

"How do they ever go?"

"Right. Sorry. So you're--"

Sam wonders if there's a one-word response that incorporates "worried about the ranch and fucking my brother." He finally settles on, "It's weird."

"I bet."

He leans back against the headboard. "Dad's will was--beyond weird."

"Yeah?"

"To inherit the ranch, the son planning to occupy it has to have a marriage or business partnership by the time he's thirty."

"Oh."

"Dean's 33," Sam clarifies.

"Oh," says Jess, with greater understanding. "Oh."

"There are all sorts of provisions," he says. "Some of them are my fault, some of them are Dean's."

"So what are you going to do?"

Sam sighs. "I don't know. I have--I have a life, Jess."

Jess is silent for a long minute. "What did you want to be when you grew up, Sam?"

Sam is taken aback. "What?"

"You just--you talk all the time about how you wanted to be a lawyer, how you're doing what you always wanted, but you didn't. I remember when you got to Stanford, you had no idea what you wanted to do. And, yeah, you're a good lawyer, but you've never been happy."

Sam swallows.

"The first time you told me about your brother teaching you to ride a horse?" she says, smile clear in her voice. "That's the happiest I've ever seen you. Just thinking about that."

Sam never wanted to leave Dean. That was never the issue. It was just all these other things--his dad and the farm and the pressure, and the whole incestuous crush didn't help. He thought that maybe, if he saw the world, he'd find something better.

"I'd have to live here for at least ten years," he says finally. "One of my provisions."

"I'd miss you," says Jess. "But Sam--"

Sam licks his lips. It's getting dark outside; postcoital afternoon naps mess with his internal clock. "Yeah," he says. "I know."

*

Dean's phone goes straight to voicemail, and Sam doesn't let it bother him. Instead, he goes downstairs and grabs his laptop to write up a contract.

He's a pretty awesome lawyer--he knows how to make a business agreement stick.

After he's done, Dean still isn't back, and it's almost eleven.

Sam cracks his back and doesn't let himself worry. Dean's not going to leave the ranch. And it's not like Sam wasn't consenting or something stupid like that.

He goes out, sits down in the third stall in the stable, and waits.

*

"Dude," says Dean mildly, prodding Sam with his foot. Sam blinks up at him--it's morning. He must have fallen asleep. "I can't believe you fit in there."

Sam pulls himself to his feet and brushes his jeans off. He holds out the contract.

"Please tell me you didn't write me a note," says Dean. He glances down at the paper, his eyes widening. "Sammy--"

"It should satisfy everything in the will. I'm pretty good at this lawyer thing."

"Sammy, what--you can't stay."

"Why not?" asks Sam.

"Because you hate it here. Dude, I'm not gonna--I'm not gonna make you stay, God."

"You're not," says Sam. "Well--I guess you kind of are. But I want to."

Dean raises his eyebrows. "That makes no fucking sense."

"I never--I didn't want to leave you. Dad drove me nuts, and I wanted to try something else, but--" he laughs. "I didn't know how to be here if I couldn't have you."

Dean stares at him. "Sammy--"

"So if it's okay with you," says Sam, "I think I'll stay."

Dean licks his lips, and Sam can't help leaning in and kissing him again, smiling when Dean laughs and kisses him back.

"Gotta stop making out in the stable, man," says Dean, grinning. "Gonna spook the horses."

"We could go inside," Sam suggests. "If you're that worried."

"Better sign that contract first," says Dean. "Can't trust lawyers. Always trying to weasel out of shit."

"I'm not trying to leave anymore."

Dean grins again and pulls him out of the stall. "Yeah?"

"Yeah."

"Okay." He laughs. "Good."

Comments

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brate7
Jan. 6th, 2010 04:34 am (UTC)
Aw, this was so sad and beautiful, then you threw in a happy ending. Lovely.
z3s_keep_going
Jan. 6th, 2010 04:44 am (UTC)
oh boys, love them being on a ranch!
sequinedfairy
Jan. 6th, 2010 04:45 am (UTC)
oh, greatness. i had just finished my homework, when i checked my email and, lo and behold, there was a new, long, spn au. thank you so much!
matalinolukaret
Jan. 6th, 2010 04:53 am (UTC)
Mmmm, Dean on a ranch. ♥ Love it. :3
leodragon1
Jan. 6th, 2010 05:02 am (UTC)
Oh, this is so awesome. I love SPN AUs, and this is a really plausible one. I love how you turned the family business into a ranch. Shout out to Jared and Jensen being from Texas, hmmm? (I KNOW not all Texas boys work on a ranch, but they do have 'em!)

I love how much of this is canon, just turned 90 degrees. Dean still wants to carry on the family business (plus he's good at it), and Sam left partly because he didn't get along with John, but he finds himself pulled back to the ranch. I'm glad there's a happy ending to this one though.

The tension between Sam and Dean really worked for me, all the unspoken stuff beneath the sniping. You're so good with humour, it's not fair that you're good with the angst as well.
earthquakedream
Jan. 6th, 2010 05:08 am (UTC)
Ohhh, I really adore this. I love how you kept the most important things the same, but it's still so different. Really loved how Dean reacted to Sam when he first showed up - angry, bitter, trying to push him away - but he still accepted it when Sam wanted to stay in the end. Ohh, boys. <33
extremespndiva
Jan. 6th, 2010 05:22 am (UTC)
LOVE it!! :D
__tiana__
Jan. 6th, 2010 05:26 am (UTC)
I had no idea I wanted an AU like this, but apparently I did, because I loved it!! It was bittersweet and real and ultimately happy. Yay! :D
loveisimmortal
Jan. 6th, 2010 05:45 am (UTC)
just love it.

oh dean.
leslieo54
Jan. 6th, 2010 05:56 am (UTC)
This was really interesting - it totally wasn't anything like what I expect going into one of your stories, but I definitely enjoyed it despite that. It's actually kind of funny, I had opened up a bunch of tabs to read and this was the last one I got to; once I had finished, I knew that I quite liked it, but I had to look up and see who it was that I'd be commenting on that fact to. And I was completely surprised! Really nice work, and further proof of your talent, I guess. :-)
shortsweetsoul
Jan. 6th, 2010 06:25 am (UTC)
♥ so great.
not_sally
Jan. 6th, 2010 06:28 am (UTC)
Oh man, you had me when Dean named the dogs. I nearly died.
woman_of_
Jan. 6th, 2010 06:44 am (UTC)
It worked out great for them in the end!
biancathecookie
Jan. 6th, 2010 08:11 am (UTC)
FHASEHFAKSD. UNF.
crimsonkitty88
Jan. 6th, 2010 08:44 am (UTC)
Oh. ooooooh.

yesplzkthxbye
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