But when has Dean ever been able to refuse his Sammy!
Set around end of season six.
Dean was always amazed at how Sam for all his bulk and height, could still whine like a five-year old and how that whining still got the same reaction from him as it always did, he wanted it to stop!
"Sam," he sighed. "I swear you're like the freakin' moon, you have phases so regular that we could set a watch by you. You forget what happened the last time you went camping on your own to get in touch with your 'inner you'?"
He took his eyes from the road to shoot Sam an exasperated glare. "A frigging' slip of a girl drugged you and wed you in two days flat! A record even for you."
"But Dean...," Sam hesitated, floundering a little as the arrow hit home. Becky was still an uncomfortable topic! "This time we can go together. It'll do you the world of good; fresh air, back to nature, no monsters to fight, just the thing to re-charge our batteries," he assured, going instantly from whiny to earnest as he felt victory getting closer.
He knew that ultimately Dean rarely denied him anything.
"Sam. It won't work. I hate camping. Then the open countryside is the most dangerous place on Earth; you should know that! It's healthier to sit in a bar with a beer and a hamburger. Usually wendigos or were-wolves don't hang out there, looking to serve us up as their main course," he snorted sarcastically.
"Oh, come on man, we've had some good times in the past..."
"I'm amazed you're the one to say that, Sam," Dean interrupted. "You hated getting dragged off by Dad into the big outdoors for gun practice and training. You were always at your happiest in a corner with your head in a book."
"That was a long time ago, Dean. Then it was the hunting I didn't like, not the country-side," Sam parried.
"Remember the time you got your hands on those fire-works and we set them off in the field? It was awesome, Dean! Dad would have torn us a new one if he'd known, wasting cash and time on something so useless, but it was one of the best nights of my life.
I'll never forget how we stood there together and watched the sky light up with colour," Sam continued.
Dean tensed up. He remembered all right. it had been his first memory in Heaven when they'd been trying to get to the Garden and God. The only one Sam hadn't been witness to.
He snorted. If that was Heaven, he wanted none of it, at least in Hell he had known where he stood; pain and torture for all eternity, but it seemed Heaven applied the same methods only they were much more subtle about it!
They'd managed to turn his and Sam's memories into a way of putting one against the other. How he loathed angels; give him a surly demon any day!
That little fiasco had led to him being so disillusioned and angry with Sam that he had thrown away the amulet he'd worn non-stop since a young Sammy had given it to him that long-ago Christmas.
With it all far behind him now, he understood how they'd been manipulated by Zachariah for that very reason, to push them apart, to make them go along with being vessels for the Apocalypse.
Funny how that went down.
Sam, whose memories, or lack of those which had included Dean, had nearly made him accept becoming Michael's vessel, yet it was Sam's trust in him that had stopped him from doing so. His is gaze in the green room was so full of hope and certainty that his big brother would do the right thing, and Dean had.
Pushing the sword up through Zachariah's smirking face had been one of the most satisfying things he'd ever done.
He so regretted throwing the amulet away, however.
Neither of them had ever mentioned it again. It was as if it had never existed, yet Dean had often felt its ghostly weight on his chest, at times going to finger it before realising it was no longer hanging round his neck.
He'd wanted to say something, to tell Sam he was sorry for having so impulsively trashed it but as time passed he found it more difficult to bring up the subject; strangely enough, the more the months went by, the more he missed the damn thing!
It had been a tangible sign of their bond, and that bond was something Dean prized above all else.
He sighed as he went to open his mouth. Compensation was a bitch! -"Okay, Sam. A couple of days is all. That's as much as I can take before getting back to civilization."
He was treated to one of Sam's extra special luminous smiles, the kind that sorta blinded the unwary, and which Dean still melted under even after all these years.
"Thanks, Dean. It's gonna be great!" Sam declared with all the enthusiasm of a five-year old.
"Yeah, okay, Sammy. Don't go all Disney princess on me now. At least spare me that!" Dean eye-rolled.
But now that Sam had achieved his goal, he was falling over himself to make their little holiday Dean-friendly.
"Stop at the next town and I'll go for supplies, Dean. I'll get all the stuff that goes with camping out. It's gonna be great."
Dean wondered if he had done the right thing, in trading a whiny Sam for an enthusiastic one, but his little brother was still his little brother, whatever version was on the day's menu.
He pressed down on the accelerator and the car leapt forward.
Him, Sam, the Impala and the open road. Nothing heaven offered could beat this!
Sam came out of the store, his hands full of bags which he deftly deposited in the trunk.
"We're set to go, Dean. I think I got everything including the marshmallows," he grinned, taking his place in the passenger seat.
Dean just shook his head at his brother's eagerness, the thought of sleeping in a cramped tent with insects worming their way into the most tender parts of his anatomy didn't thrill him at all. But hey, it beat Hell if nothing else, so that was a plus!
It was early evening the next day before Sam decided he had found the perfect place to pitch their tent.
Dean had to admit it was a beautiful spot. The vegetation was a vibrant shade of green and the trees and shrubbery seemed landscaped artificially to be as appealing as possible, with the little gurgling stream an added bonus.
Maybe he had been too pessimistic.
The essentials taken care of, the brothers sat companionably around the little fire as night began to fall, the stillness of the area broken only by the occasional rustling in the undergrowth and the odd bird-call.
They'd eaten everything that Sam had cooked up, and Dean fell back lazily onto the soft grass, arms cushioning his head. He looked up. The stars were popping out one by one as the sky darkened.
Sam came to lie next to him, his shoulder lightly bouncing off his brother's.
"Isn't it beautiful, Dean?" he said softly. "So peaceful that you can forget all the crap we go through every day."
"I suppose," Dean answered, not ready to revise his opinion, but he could understand why Sam liked it here so much.
He had to admit that he loved looking at the stars too. "Twinkle twinkle little star..." The long ago nursery rhyme his Mom used to chant to him coming back to mind.
He turned his head to watch as Sam pulled himself to his feet on those ridiculously long giraffe legs and made his way to the Impala.
"Fed up with looking at the stars already?" he called after him.
"Na, be right back."
Dean turned his eyes back to the dome of the now black sky, identifying the constellations one by one, just like Dad had taught him. He'd almost slipped into sleep when Sam's voice yelled his name.
He came to alertness immediately. He'd been a fool to let himself be lulled into a false sense of security.
He bet Sam had gotten himself into some kind of trouble. His brother attracted evil like nobody's business.
"Sam! I'm coming," he shouted, his hand going for the pistol he carried in his waistband, but the hand dropped away when he saw Sam smiling at him.
"Hey, man, don't be so uptight. I'm fine! Where's your lighter. Gonna give me some help here? " he said pointing to the three empty beer bottles now filled with fire-works.
Dean looked down, then back up at his brother, his eyes glazing over.
"Sammy, uh..." but Sam just stood there waiting and Dean pulled out his lighter, touched it to the paper and stood back.
The sky exploded in a riot of colour, just as it had all those years ago, when he'd been the big brother in the physical sense too, and Sammy a skinny eleven year old, not a Sasquatch as he now was. But as Sam turned to face him, he saw the same little boy that he'd once been, peeking out at him.
Did we ever truly change, Dean mused? Our bodies got bigger but our souls remain the same.
"You remember what I did when we watched back then?" Sam asked.
Dean nodded. Sam had thrown himself on him, hugging and thanking him for the fireworks.
"I remember," he said. "You did this."
Dean pulled him into a fierce hug and he felt Sam's long arms enfolding him, his head fitting perfectly into the nook of Dean's neck, while Dean just held on to the reality that was his brother, his eyes closed in thanks for Sam's existence, the loneliness of the moments in his life without him, coming back to haunt him.
After a while they pulled apart.
Sam bent down to light the last bottle and as they stood there in perfect harmony, Dean swore to himself that he would tell Sam how sorry he was to have thrown the amulet away, and how he'd have payed anything to get it back, while Sam was wondering if this was the right moment to reveal to Dean that he'd fished the amulet out of the trash-can and been waiting for the right moment to ask if he wanted it back.
Maybe tonight would be that time.