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Title: A Very Supernatural Birthday with Brother Stuff and No Wincest
Fandom: Supernatural
Rating: M
Warning: Food porn
Word Count: 6853
Disclaimer: Supernatural is not mine.  Alas.

Summary: Sam's birthday is coming up but no-one is gonna remember it, his life sucks and clowns are scary. Set during Season 4.

ANThis was written for BookwormBaby2580's birthday. I hope she had an haaawsome day! I love her hard.

Thanks to KT8812 for giving me the idea and encouraging me to run with it.

And thanks to annasense for fixing my mistakes and making the same suggestions about things I was uming and ahing about.

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Sam was annoyed. He'd been annoyed for the past six months and at this rate, he'd stay annoyed for the rest of his probably very short life.

In the last six insane months they'd had to deal with a depressed giant teddy bear, Sam was struck dead by lightning, and they'd been caught in the middle of a face-off between angels and demons. They'd fought off "psycho Nell" (to quote Dean) in Nebraska, psycho magicians in Iowa and the psycho ghost of a kid Sam had briefly gone to school with in Indiana. A siren almost had them kill each other. They'd had to rescue reapers from Lucifer. Dean ended up in hospital because those angel douchebags couldn't even manage a simple devil's trap – and the angels continue to dick with their lives. Just last month they found out that they have an honest to god prophet writing out the frigging 'Winchester Gospels', crazy women are writing stories about him and Dean being together together and they discovered they had a half-brother who was eaten by fucking ghouls.

To top it all off, his 26th birthday was in two days and so far Sam had seen no indication that anyone had remembered. Not that Sam wanted to celebrate. Hell no. His birthday was nothing to celebrate as far as he was concerned. Sam had long ago passed simply flying his freak flag to actually becoming a goddamned freak flag. As hard as he tried to fight it, Sam had finally accepted that he was one giant freakazoid and, really, it would've been better if he hadn't been born. So no, he didn't actually want to celebrate his birthday – still, it would've been nice if at least Dean had remembered.

Dean used to make such a fuss of his birthdays when Sam was a kid. They didn't have money for fancy presents and cake and shit, and more often than not their dad was too focused on whatever he was hunting at the time to remember such trivial things as birthdays. But Dean remembered. Every year. He would always make sure Sam woke up to pancakes cooking in the kitchen (if they had a kitchen at the time) and there would always be a cupcake, or a slice of pie with a candle in it. Somehow, Dean had always gotten Sam a present (Sam never asked how). Small ones sure, but they had meant a lot to Sam. A pocket knife one year, a small brass compass another. Dean had even given Sam a second hand Latin-English dictionary the year Sam decided he wanted to learn Latin. Sam still had that dictionary. Dean had always insisted that there was no training on Sam's birthday; no running, no target shooting, no push-ups, no wrestling. And no matter where John was, Dean was always with Sam. And he always insisted that Sam blow out his candle and make a wish while Dean sang Happy Birthday to him, horribly out of key.

But Sam hadn't been a kid for a while now and Dean obviously didn't think his birthday was something to celebrate anymore, either. Sam sunk dejectedly down into the green, fabric armchair on one side of the motel room and put his feet up on its slightly faded mate just opposite him.

They had just finished a hunt. A good hunt. A rawhead had been taking kids in a small town just south of Duluth and doing god knows what with them. Seven children had gone missing in the last three weeks and Dean said he was damned if another kid would go missing on his watch. Sam had been really hesitant to go after another rawhead, considering what had happened the last time they went up against one of those things, but Dean had promised not to taser anything if he was standing in a puddle of water. Sam insisted that Dean wear rubber soled shoes, just to be safe, but the only shoes they had with thick enough rubber soles to satisfy Sam were John's old rain boots.

Dean tried them on, immediately took them off and declared that hell would freeze over before he would wear those fucking boots. He did though. Dean would never admit it, but Sam's puppy dog eyes worked just as well on his big brother as they worked on old ladies and college girls and Sam was not above pulling out the big guns when he needed to. And this time Sam really needed to. Sure, Sam was super concerned about Dean's safety. He really did not want to have to watch his brother die. Again. Sam had seen Dean die enough times to last him a lifetime, thank you very much. But honestly? Those boots looked truly fucking ridiculous on Dean, and Sam could not miss such a sweet opportunity to collect ammunition against his big brother.

Sitting in their motel room, waiting for Dean to get back with food, Sam chuckled quietly to himself at the image of Dean in those boots.

First of all they were too big for Dean's tiny ballerina feet.

"I mean, what fully grown man has feet that size, Dean?" Sam had snickered.

"Fuck off," was Dean's truly eloquent come back.

"You know what they say about the size of a man's feet, right?" Sam pushed.

Dean had glared at his little brother, while he continued to fill the duffel with anything he thought they might need for the night's hunt – salt rounds, knives, shotguns, a machete, holy water and of course the tasers.

It wasn't just the size of Dean's feet, though. He was also slightly shorter than John had been. This was painfully obvious when Dean stood up and the boots came to just below his knees. But the kicker, the absolute kicker, was that Dean's tight jeans did not fit over the boots. So Dean had to wear the boots with his jeans tucked into them.

Sam couldn't stop the rather girly giggle that escaped his mouth at the memory of Dean standing near the bed, with too-big black rubber boots over his jeans, almost reaching the knees of his stupid bow legs, with a deadly look on his face as he said, "C'mon Sammy. Let's go gank us a motherfucking rawhead."

Sam had collapsed into full on belly laughter at the time. Dean just looked too fucking absurd.

"Laugh it up, Chuckles. I bet I can still get more chicks than you with these clown shoes on." And with that, Dean had promptly stomped out of the room with as much swagger as he could muster, those boots clomp, clomp, clomping with every step he took.

Sam had finally managed to stop laughing and had followed his brother out. He'd even managed to keep quiet every time Dean hit the brake and the gas pedals at the same time because of those goddamn boots.

They had tracked the rawhead to an old warehouse on the other side of town, and once they got there it was all very serious business. Sam had hardly sniggered when Dean tripped up a step or missed his footing. The rawhead put up a good fight, but in the end Dean fried the fucker extra crispy (overcompensating slightly, Sam thought) and all in all it had been a good night.

That is until Dean left Sam in the motel room to get burgers, beer and pie to celebrate. It didn't take Sam long to sink back into his funk. And the bottle of whiskey he'd found in Dean's duffle was, strangely enough, not helping matters.

Sam decided his life sucked. He had effectively killed his mother and girlfriend. He was such a douche that he'd walked out on his father and brother and hadn't spoken to them for years. He missed out on his college dream, and had failed to get out of the hunting life like he'd promised his younger self he would do. He had demon blood in him (not to mention his current addiction to the stuff thanks to Ruby) and he was practically a monster. He was abnormally co-dependent on his stupid big brother and nobody was going to remember his birthday.

Yup, anyway he sliced it, Sam's life sucked. And he was really fucking annoyed about it. Sam took another swig from the bottle, felt the burn slide down his throat, sank further down into the crappy green armchair and let his head roll back. He sighed. A great, big my-life-is-officially-down-the-crap-shoot-and-I'm- not-nearly-drunk-enough sigh.

He heard the door open, seconds before he heard Dean's voice.

"You still in your fucking funk, Francis?" Dean knew Sam was all 'sensitive' and shit but this getting completely out of hand.

Sam rolled his head in Dean's direction and sighed again.

"M'life sucks," he declared drunkenly.

"Yeah?" Dean unpacked the food and drinks he had bought. Burgers, fries and pie suddenly appeared on the small table in front of Sam, before Dean turned to pack the cans of beer and soda he had bought into the small fridge. He kept two beers out and was about to carry them back to the table, but after another look at Sam he put the beers back in the fridge and took out two sodas instead. He opened one and placed it in front of Sam with one hand, while prying the nearly empty whiskey bottle from Sam's gorilla grasp with his other.

"Yeah," Sam sighed. "Dean. Ev'rthing's all wrong." Sam lingered over the g in 'wrong' so the word came out 'wrong-gah'.

"How so, Sammy? We just ganked a monster, saved a bunch of kids, I did not electrocute myself, no thanks to those motherfucking clown boots and we got burgers and pie." Dean thought it was probably best not to mention the beer. "Everything seems pretty right to me." He had already taken a bite out of his burger so the last few words were spoken through a mouthful of bread, beef patty and bacon.

"Tha's cause… Tha's cause you're right Dean. But I'm… M'all wrongah!" Sam sighed again – his fourth sigh in less than a minute. Dean was counting, as six sighs and above meant DEFCON 1 in emo-Sammy world and Dean did not want to things to escalate to that dangerous level. He rolled his eyes.

"Oh here we go…" he muttered.

"M'a freak Dean. And EVERYBODY is dead cause 'a me. And m'nev'r gonna be a lawyer. And mah blood is a demon. A DEMON Dean! And my brother is an ass. And, and…" Sam looked around as he searched for something else to add to the pity party he was throwing for himself. His eyes landed on a decidedly creepy piece of art that he had turned to face the wall the first time they had walked into this room and pointed at it accusingly, "AND clowns are fucking scary!" Sam had checked off all the items on his 'My Life Sucks' list. Except for his birthday, of course.

"Oh snap outta it, Princess," Dean said through a mouthful of banana cream pie. "First off, you've always been a fucking freak, Sammy. No changing that. Number 2, I'm alive because of you, so many fucking times over I fucking lost count, and so are a lot of other fucking people. And C, your blood is not a fucking demon or things woulda got really fucking messy during at least one of the fifty thousand fucking exorcisms we've done." Dean shrugged, "But I can't help you with the fucking clowns, Sammy. That's your own twisted psychosis right there." Dean didn't say anything about his brother calling him an ass, because yeah, he kind of was.

Sam sniffed. He was feeling really sorry for himself.

"You swear too fucking much," he grumbled. He tried standing, because his head was really sore and spinning and he wanted to lie down, but his feet couldn't find the floor. He kept trying to put his feet down, but the goddamn floor kept moving.

Dean watched his little brother for a second, as his insanely long legs moved up and down, placing his feet on different spots in front of him before picking them up and trying again. He finally took pity on Sam and went to help him.

"C'mon Sasquatch. Let's get you to bed." Dean put both his arms under Sam's and hauled his big little brother to his very unsteady feet.

Sam didn't resist and Dean thanked God or whoever was up there at the moment for small mercies.

With some difficulty Dean managed to manoeuvre Sam to his bed. He sat him down and knelt in front of him to take off his shoes.

Sam dropped two gigantic hands on Dean's shoulders and shook him a bit until Dean looked at him.

"What? Quit shaking me, whaddaya want Sammy?"

"Dean." Sam sniffed again. "I don't tell ya this, cause your ego is big nuff, but… You're haaaawsome." Sam fell back onto the bed with the breath he expelled on that last word.

Dean smirked as he lifted Sam's legs onto the bed and barely held in his laugh when he heard Sam mumble into his pillow as he turned over, "an haawsome ass."

Yeah, Dean was so going to use that against Sam.

Dean was up bright and early the next morning, due in no small part to Sam's drunken snores which had serenaded him all damn night and well into the morning. He had finally just decided to give up on sleep. Dean moved around the room quietly so as not to wake up Sam, who he knew was going to be nursing the mother of all hangovers when he finally did wake. In between rolling his shirts and jeans and packing them into his duffel and collecting all his toiletries from around the room and bathroom to put in his bag, Dean dropped a bottle of Advil and a glass of water on the bedside table next to Sam. Not that he actually cared if his little brother felt sick. No way. Dean would deny that to his dying day. Had in fact. But he was the one that was going to be stuck in the car all day with a bitchy, whiny brother riding shotgun, and anything he could do to improve that situation, he was all for.

Once he had all his things packed – and most of Sam's too, he was just saving time not helping the jerk – Dean finally decided he couldn't wait any more. They had places to be and he had things to do.

There was still some left over pie, although Dean had given it his absolute best effort to eat it all the previous night. No reason why the day couldn't start with some fun, right? Dean carefully scooped three spoonfuls of the squishy deliciousness into the palm of Sam's right hand, which was hanging slightly off the mattress. Looking around him, he saw a discarded gum wrapper on the floor next to Sam's bed, so he picked that up, twisted it, and ever so carefully brought it to his brother's face. He slowly pulled the tip of the wrapper from the bottom of Sam's jaw, up to his cheek and drew little circles there until Sam's face scrunched up. Dean quickly withdrew the piece of paper. As Sam's face relaxed again, Dean resumed his position and tickled from Sam's cheek to under his nose and around to his other cheek, and watched as his little brother's pointy nose twitched. He hovered there a while, dragged the paper up and over Sam's forehead and then back down between his scrunched eyes to the tip of his nose again – and quickly moved out of the way as Sam's great big hand came up to rub away a tickle and smooshed pie all over his face instead.

"Mmmfff," Sam said as he sat up quickly. He looked at his hand and licked around his mouth, then looked at Dean and said, "Really? Really, Dean? Juvenile much?"

Dean watched as Sam's eyes grew wide then scrunched closed again. He stifled a laugh as his little brother brought his right hand up to his forehead, thought better of it as that hand was still full of banana cream, and instead used his left hand to cradle his head as he moaned, "Oh my god. There is a goddamn disco going on in my head and Gloria Gaynor is leading the conga line."

"Eesh," Dean said sympathetically before looking back at Sam. "Wait, who's Gloria Gaynor?"

Sam shook his head very gently, while looking for something to wipe his hand on, astounded at Dean's abilty to keep his head in the sand when it came to any music that wasn't mullet rock.

"Nevermind," he mumbled.

"No, really. Is she a maid here?" Dean looked around as if he was expecting a Gloria Gaynor in a tiny maid's uniform to suddenly appear in the room leading a line of similarly dressed and gyrating women. He looked expectantly back at Sam, who had managed to scrape the remaining pie off his hand and into the waste paper basket. But Sam was now completely focused on the bottle of Advil, out of which he was trying to shake, very quietly it seemed, a couple of the tablets.

"Thanks for these," he lifted the glass of water up to Dean, as if he was toasting him, before bringing it to his lips to knock back the pills.

"No, problem," Dean said offhandedly. "Now, up and at 'em Sleeping Beauty. I wanted to be out of this shithole an hour ago."

"Got somewhere you need to be?" Sam asked as he shuffled towards the bathroom.

Dean shrugged. "Bobby called. He has something he needs us to look at. Sioux Falls is only six or seven hours from here, so I told him we'd be there tonight sometime."

If Sam had bothered to look, he would have noticed that Dean's expression was way too innocent as he said all this. But Sam was too busy brushing the taste of banana cream, whiskey and month old dirty socks out of his mouth.

"Grah. Lil be goo t'thee Boffy. Coo yah ge a cufflah cooff's fuh th'roo?" Sam mumbled through a mouthful of toothpaste.

"Sorry Sammy, I don't speak Sasquatch. Come again?"

Sam rinsed and spit and turned to face Dean while wiping his mouth with a towel. "I said, it'll be great to see Bobby again and could you get a couple of coffees for the road?"

Dean lifted an eyebrow at his little brother, but didn't make the comment sitting on the tip of his tongue about how he was not Sam's beck and call girl. He figured he could cut Sam a bit of slack considering the shape his little brother was in.

"Sure thing. Be ready when I get back." Dean took one last look at Sam before he walked out the door and it looked very much as if Sam was deliberating the merits of throwing up first thing in the morning.

Sam had been uncharacteristically quiet all day. He hadn't complained about Dean's music once, although to be fair Dean had been playing the Black Sabbath album he'd chosen at a much lower volume than he normally would have. But Sam hadn't wanted to talk about their feelings, or the demon-blood thing he had going with Ruby, or the fact that they'd just found out they had a half-brother, like a week ago, who was now dead and he hadn't even hinted at Dean that he should share his experiences in Hell so he could get some closure.

Now, although it was obvious that Sam had one hell of a hangover, Dean could tell that wasn't the only thing that was keeping Sam quiet. He could see Sam slipping back into the emo-funk he'd been sunk in for the last – well, longer than Dean thought was healthy anyway. Actually, Sam's emo-funks were never healthy, not for Sam or him. Dean just didn't know how to approach all the things he knew Sam had been thinking about without it all turning into a frigging chick flick. He just hoped that what he had planned with Bobby would cheer Sam up some, because honestly, spending all day every day in a car with Sam at the moment was about as much fun as an ABBA concert with all the spandex and sequins. Dean knew. He'd hooked up with a girl once who was ABBA obsessed. Instead of going back to her place to bump uglies as he'd thought, Dean had found himself stuck watching an ABBA concert marathon and had left knowing far more than he had ever wanted to about a group that, just hours earlier, he had not even known existed. It also took Dean a good week and a half to stop singing Dancing Queen.

Sam had fallen asleep just as they left the city limits of Minneapolis, which was definitely preferable to his staring aimlessly out the window for miles on end. But with snoozing, hungover Sam, came snoring Sam and after last night Dean'd had just about all of Sam's snoring that he could take.

Dean pulled into a gas station and poked at Sam until he sat up, groggy-eyed and said, "Guh?"

Dean shook his head as he switched off the ignition and opened the car door. "Dude, you have got to get your sinuses checked. The noise that was just escaping your nasal passages was not natural."

Sam snorted, and wiped the drool off his cheek with the back of his sleeve as he looked around.

"Where are we?" he asked, getting out to stretch his legs and joining Dean at the back of the car, where he was filling the Impala with gas.

"We passed Winnebago a couple of miles back," Dean answered through a yawn. "Hey Sammy, why don't you go get us some food? I'm starving."

Sam was walking towards the small store before Dean had even finished talking. He felt his stomach could now handle something more substantial than the handful of pie and the coffee he'd had this morning. Speaking of pie, Sam counted down in his head, 3, 2, 1...

"And don't forget the pie!" came Dean's predictable reminder before Sam was even past the gas pumps. Sam smiled in spite of himself. As if he would ever forget the pie.

Sam paid for the food (including three slices of cherry pie), some sodas and the gas and made his way back to the Impala.

"You want me to drive for a while? You look beat man."

Dean seriously considered taking Sam up on his offer, if only to give his little brother something to do other than sulk, but there was no way he was letting someone drive his car who was as hungover as Sam. Hell, he could still technically be drunk with the amount of whiskey he'd tossed back last night. Never gonna happen, Dean thought.

Dean shook his head as he climbed back into the driver's seat, "Nah, m'fine Sammy."

Sam knew better than to try and argue with Dean about anything to do with his baby. He sighed – Dean took note – and got in on the other side.

"So," Dean started as he pulled away from the gas station, "you think I have an awesome ass, do you?"

Sam nearly choked on his mouthful of pie and looked at Dean. "Why the hell would you think that?"

"Said so yourself last night Sam, my boy. You admitted your true feelings for me. Well, for my ass anyway." Dean was grinning.

And Sam was looking at him in disbelief. "Dude. I may not remember much about last night, but I'm pretty sure I would never say anything like that."

"You can think what you like, Sammy. I was there. I heard it with my own two ears. I just never knew you swung that way. The things you learn about people when they've had a few too many." Dean was really enjoying himself now.

"Whatever dude," Sam said shaking his head. "You're just making this shit up to bug me." When Dean looked over though, he could see the doubt on Sam's face. He wasn't as sure as he wanted to sound. Oh, Dean was going to milk this for years and years.

But he didn't want to push his luck. Teasing Sam had kept his little brother's mind from sinking again, but if he pushed too hard he'd make Sam mad, and then he'd just sulk for the rest of the trip. And that wouldn't help the funk at all.

So Dean barrelled on with the first thing that popped into his head.

"Say, Sam? I gank with my little… erm… Shank! I gank with my little shank, something beginning with W." Dean finished his sentence, looking supremely proud of himself. Sam just looked back at him with his jaw hanging open.

"You are not serious," he said with no small amount of incredulity at his brother's inanity.

"As a heart attack, man. I gank with my little shank, something beginning with W, Sam." He looked at Sam expectantly.

"Dude! I am not playing Monster I Spy with you! That is just the most ridiculous… You… How do you even… Childish! No, Dean!"

At the opposite end of the car, Dean settled himself in his seat, arched his eyebrow at Sam, and repeated, "I. Gank. With. My. Fucking. Little. Shank. Something. Beginning. With. Fucking. W."

It didn't take too long for Sam to relent and play Monster I Spy with Dean. He actually found himself enjoying it. By the time they pulled into Bobby's scrapyard they had covered Wendigo's, Buruburu, Djinn, Wraiths, Shtriga, Banshees, Changelings, various types of ghosts, spirits and poltergeists, Ghouls and Blackdogs. Sam didn't agree with Dean using ectoplasm as a monster, as it was more a result of the presence of a monster than the monster itself, and after a short argument, Dean let him think he'd won.

It was close on 9pm when they found themselves walking up the steps to Bobby's front door, duffels slung over their shoulders. Before they had a chance to knock, Bobby swung the front door open and was ushering them into his kitchen.

"You two boys look beat. Here, you can sit and enjoy these while I take your duffels up to your room." Bobby handed the brothers each a beer, sat them down at the kitchen table, and was already hauling their duffels up the stairs when he heard Dean shout out.

"Obligatory holy water in these beers, Bobby?"

"Obviously." Bobby called back.

Dean looked over at Sam with a smirk. "He's not at all fucking paranoid, is he?"

Sam just shook his head, and took a big gulp from the bottle of beer in his hand. By the time he was finished swallowing, Bobby was back in the kitchen and looking at the boys fondly.

"You do know we've got anti-possession symbols tattooed on our fucking bodies, right Bobby? It would have to be a pretty fucking clever demon to get past that and still possess our asses." Dean had nearly finished his beer already, and couldn't resist ragging on Bobby, just a little.

"Don't you cuss at me boy! And there ain't nothing wrong with being too careful." Bobby moved around the kitchen, opening cupboard doors and getting out plates and bread and moving over to the fridge to get something out of there and before either of them knew it, he had placed plates of huge sandwiches in front of both Sam and Dean.

"You're a life saver Bobby," Sam managed to say before he joined his brother in stuffing his mouth with one of the best sandwiches he had ever tasted.

As they ate, the brothers told Bobby about their latest hunt. Dean thought Sam enjoyed telling Bobby about him wearing John's old rain boots a bit too much, but he returned the favour by telling Bobby about Sam's party for one last night. Bobby just sat back and enjoyed having his boys back. He had missed their ridiculous banter and childish arguments, though he would never admit to it. It was midnight before Sam finally stood up and declared he was going to shower and then head off to bed. He looked at Dean as if expecting him to follow, but Dean just mumbled something about being up later. Sam shrugged and climbed the stairs. He was really tired and couldn't wait to wash off the eight hour trip and accompanying hangover and collapse into bed. He was glad to be back in the old house. Bobby's was about the closest thing to an actual home either of them had, and Sam was kind of happy that he would be spending his birthday here, even if neither of the two dumbasses downstairs remembered it.

Dean still wasn't in the room they would be sharing when Sam got out of the shower. He could hear him and Bobby talking quietly downstairs, and he shook his head and smiled to himself. Those two could talk monsters and hunts for hours on end. Sam climbed into one of the slightly too small single beds and fell asleep almost before his head touched the pillow. He woke up a few hours later, when Dean crawled into the bed next to his, and although he did wonder to himself why Dean was only getting into bed then, he went back to sleep before his thought was finished, and didn't even remember it when he woke up the next morning.

Sam smelled pancakes and knew he was still dreaming. Then he smelled freshly brewed coffee and wondered at the detail of his dream. Then he heard the strains of one of Dean's favourite Journey songs drifting up through the floor and he knew there was no way he would include Dean's music in one of his dreams. So he opened his eyes. And he sniffed.

Yes, he could definitely smell pancakes and coffee. Strange of Bobby to go to that much trouble, Sam thought. He turned in his bed, his feet hanging over the bottom, to look over at Dean but his brother wasn't in the bed next to his. Sam sat up and looked around but Dean was definitely not in the bedroom. The evidence of Dean, however, was all over the bedroom. The clothes he had been wearing yesterday were strewn all over the floor and the shorts and t-shirt he had obviously slept in were similarly strewn over his very obviously slept in bed. Sam would never get used to Dean's untidiness. Never. But he had long since given up arguing about it as there was just no point. It had only taken Sam about 16 years to realize that.

Sam pulled on a not too dirty pair of jeans and one of his two remaining clean t-shirts, and padded barefoot across the hall to the small bathroom to brush his teeth and wash the sleep off of his face. He definitely felt better than he had yesterday and was keen to find out what Bobby had wanted to talk to them about. He felt a twinge when he remembered it was his birthday, but he pushed that back down almost immediately.

Sam didn't bother to put shoes on before he walked downstairs and into the kitchen. Honestly the smell coming from there was just too good to be bothered with silly things like footwear. But the sight that met Sam as he stepped into the kitchen stopped him dead in his tracks.

Bobby was walking around the kitchen table setting it with plates and cutlery and mugs and even goddamn napkins, but Dean? Dean was standing over the gas stove flipping pancakes. And from the small mountain of pancakes sitting on the plate next to the stove, he'd been flipping pancakes for a while now. Sam suddenly felt the need to blink profusely and the small cough he gave had nothing to do with a lump he felt forming in his throat. Nothing at all.

Dean turned around when he heard Sam and gave him the full 100 megawatt Dean Winchester grin. "Happy Birthday, Sammy!" he called out in a sing song voice.

Sam just looked at him.

Bobby walked up to him and clapped him on the shoulder, "Happy Birthday, kiddo. Glad you're still with us," he said gruffly before turning around and straightening already perfectly aligned table settings.

"What…" Sam struggled, "what's all this?"

"Whaddaya mean 'what's all this'? It's your birthday! And that means pancakes." Dean continued flipping those glorious pancakes as if he hadn't just given his brother the best surprise ever.

"I thought…" Sam started, shaking his head.

Dean looked over at his little brother. He knew exactly what Sam had thought. He'd thought none of them would remember or even want to remember his birthday. Dean fought down the urge to punch him. He might not have agreed with everything Sam had been doing but he knew it all came from the best intentions. He didn't agree with the all secrets and half-truths that were between them right then, but Dean had just spent forty years in hell, turning into a monster himself. He never thought he would get to see one more of Sam's birthdays and he was damned if he was going to miss out on celebrating this one.

It was Dean's turn to clear his throat. He turned back to the stove. "Yeah, well. You thought wrong, didn't you?" He made sure his smile was back in place before he turned around again, with a plate absolutely full of pancakes. "Come n' eat some pancakes Sammy!"

They all sat down and dug in. Sam thought they were quite possibly the best pancakes Dean had ever made, smothered in syrup and just fucking delicious. He sipped his coffee (probably the best coffee he had ever tasted), and looked over at Dean and Bobby laughing and joking and Sam could hardly believe it. This was his family and they were all together for his birthday. It was the best birthday present Sam could have wished for.

Once all the pancakes had been eaten and there was not one crumb left on any of their plates, Sam got up to help clear the table. But Dean shoved him back down. "Oh no, Princess. It's your birthday, you leave the cleaning up to the old man and me." Dean winked while Bobby huffed. "Besides, we're not finished with you yet." And with that, Dean placed in front of Sam a plate, with one single strawberry frosted cupcake, with one single candle pressed into the middle.

"I thought you'd probably had enough pie." Dean winked at him.

Sam found himself blinking again. "Thanks Dean," he said quietly.

"No problem, bro." Dean was already lighting the candle, and as soon as it was burning he started singing, "Happy Birthday to you," loudly and in the most god awful, off-key voice and it didn't take long for Bobby to join in. Sam watched as they linked arms and swayed in time to their terrible singing and yeah, it was probably the best thing he'd ever heard.

As they finished Dean looked at Sam expectantly, and when Sam leaned over to blow out his candle, he heard Dean say, "don't forget to make a wish, Sammy." And he did. Sam closed his eyes and wished his secret wish so hard.

He opened his eyes to find two parcels wrapped in newspaper had been placed on the table in front of him. Once again he looked at the two men who stood in front of him in disbelief.

"Can't have a birthday without presents, Sam," Dean said smugly.

"This one is from me," Bobby said, pointing at the larger of the two parcels. Sam reached for that one first, because he was a firm believer in saving the best for last, and no matter what Dean had gotten him, the mere fact that he gotten him anything at all made it the best present.

Sam carefully pulled the newspaper off Bobby's gift. He was pretty sure it was a book and he was not disappointed. Sam let out a soft gasp as he turned the clearly very old, worn leather bound volume over in his hands.

"It's a 16th century copy of Spina's Classification of Demons, written in the original Latin." Bobby told him. "If I told you how I got it, I'd have to kill you," the old hunter joked, looking at Sam with a grin on his face.

"Bobby I, I…" Sam stammered. "I dunno what to say. This is fantastic!"

Dean could tell if he didn't remind Sam that he still had another present, his little brother would be buried in that old book for the next few days. "You still got one more, you nerd."

Sam dragged his eyes from the antique manuscript he held in his hands and looked from Dean to the smaller package remaining on the table. He had almost forgotten about it and had the grace to blush slightly at his geekiness. He grabbed the parcel and unwrapped it with far less care than he had the book from Bobby.

A knife fell into Sam's hands. Sam looked at it carefully. The blade was two distinct metals, one half shiny and smooth, the other much darker, dull and rough. Carved onto the blade were various symbols and sigils. Sam immediately recognized some of the anti-demon symbols that were on Ruby's knife, along with what seemed to be some enochian sigils, and a few engravings that Sam didn't know at all. The handle looked to be made of highly polished ivory and there were markings engraved on it as well. Sam could identify a pentacle and other symbols of protection. He looked up at Dean.

"That blade is made of iron and silver, Sammy. I don't even know what all those symbols are but Bobby says they're all good. I don't think it will kill demons like Ruby's knife does, but I imagine it'll put em in a world of hurt. And it should kill pretty much anything else we come across." Dean looked nervous, like if he just kept on talking Sam couldn't tell him what a stupid present it was. As if Sam would say any such thing.

"Thank you Dean!" Sam gushed. "I LOVE it."

"Yeah?" Dean didn't look convinced.

"Yeah," Sam sighed. "This is like, the best birthday present ever."

"Hey," Bobby teased. "What's that six hundred year old book I gave you, chopped liver?"

"Oh, Bobby. No, I didn't mean…" Sam began.

But Bobby just ruffled Sam's long hair as he walked passed him. "No worries, kid. I'm just joshing ya."

Bobby left to get more beer and a few groceries as he knew those boys would eat him out of house and home, and by the time he returned Dean had set up a target board near the big oak tree around back and the boys were taking turns throwing the knife at it. In the kitchen he saw the book he had given Sam still on the table, but when he looked closer he noticed that a piece of paper had been placed carefully after the first few pages. Sam had obviously already started reading it, and Bobby smiled. That kid was already a walking encyclopaedia of weirdness and now it would just get worse.

After a few hours the brothers put the target board and the knife away and helped Bobby start up the barbecue. They sat outside, around the fire and talked about their dad and old hunts and when the meat was cooked they stayed outside, eating burgers off of plates balanced on their laps and drinking ice cold beers out of the cooler Bobby had brought out.

Eventually Bobby went to bed, declaring that he was too old for this shit and old geezers like him needed their beauty sleep. Sam and Dean just smiled fondly at the man who was as much, if not more, a father to them as their real father had been.

Dean made no move to leave though, and Sam settled back into his chair contentedly. For a long time neither one of them said anything, just enjoying the peace and quiet that so seldom seemed to be a part of their lives, and each other's company.

"Dean?" Sam eventually said, really quietly as if he didn't want to disturb the stars they were looking at.

"Yeah Sammy?" Dean answered just as softly.

"Thank you. Really, just… Thank you." Sam tried to keep the emotion out of his voice.

Dean looked over at his little brother and winked. "My pleasure. Happy Birthday Sammy."

And Sam thought to himself – not mentioning it to Dean because Dean's ego was 'big nuff' – that this was maybe the best birthday he had ever had.

The End
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