The Gay That It Is (Or: The Gayest Gen Story Ever)
Inappropriate crack. Dean gets another ‘idea’, and the cliches run rampant. Flamingly rampant. PG-13 for boykissing.
They’re in Lincoln, Nebraska when a woman on the street smiles at them in a way that’s the exact opposite of the kind of smile Dean usually hopes for from a woman. She glances between him and Sam with tilted head and quirked brows the way that most women look at a group of little kids, or puppies, or whatever. He knows it. It says ‘aw’.
Dean nods to her and glances at Sam, who’s oblivious to the whole exchange. Then he realizes that they’re walking so damn close together that their shoulders are nearly touching even though there’s plenty of room on the sidewalk. It’s a habit they don’t pay attention to, one that started when Sam was a kid – a wordless warning to the world that Sam was not alone.
Somewhere along the intervening years, the message had apparently changed its tone.
He shoves Sam a little to the right and out of his personal space. Sam glances at him with mild annoyance but doesn’t say anything.
They’re in Owatonna, Minnesota later in the week after looking for a lone vampire for days and constantly missing it. They’re both a little pissed off from the near misses, the lack of real sleep, and the inordinate amount of time spent in the car staking places out and waiting. They’ve been living off snack food and scrubbing up in public restrooms, and they’re tired of all of it, which includes each other. Not a word has been spoken in twenty-six hours and Sam is thinking of reaching over and punching Dean in the shoulder just to start something when Dean says he’s had it, they’re going to stop for at least a day and figure out what to do next because this isn’t working. The announcement is followed by a mumbled string of obscenities and something about how much he hates Sun Chips. It takes Sam another minute or so to convince himself not to go ahead and hit Dean anyway while the chance is there.
The one motel they find within twenty miles looks average and there isn’t crime scene tape on it (there was, on the last one). The woman behind the counter in the office looks tired and bored but she immediately gives them a smile when Dean asks for two queens. Sam recognizes the smile and hopes Dean doesn’t notice because of how bent out of shape he gets when they’re mistaken for a gay couple. He shrugs and smiles back because it’s easier than trying to explain, and he doesn’t care anyway. It makes him aware of the fact that despite his mood and a need for space, he’s still crowded up to Dean, shoulders touching and hips nearly so as he leans on the counter. It occurs to him that they’re so rarely apart by any voluntarily means. They spend their time huddled together against the world, natural and otherwise. It had to be interpreted somehow. There were only so many reasons that two guys who didn’t look related were traveling together, sharing rooms, watching each other closely and having conversations that consisted mainly of glances. He didn’t blame people for jumping to conclusions, and he didn’t get offended. Well, not unless Dean was telling people he had a doll collection. That was annoying, even if it had turned out to be useful.
Dean’s looking at the bill as they walk back out to the car and finally says, “We got charged less than the going rate.”
Sam shrugs and says, “Wanna go back and make sure we pay our fair share on our fake credit card?”
Dean gives him a look that says he’s got an idea, that something is dawning in that wily head and con-artist’s heart, and Sam knows he’s probably not going to like it.
“I guess gay is in,” Dean says.
Dean takes first shower because that’s usually how it is, even after spending the last ten minutes bitching expansively about how bad Sam smells (it’s not true). Sam replots their course on the map, checking for patterns yet again and wondering whether this vamp has a plan or is just nuts or thinks he’s migrating. He checks in with Bobby to see if anything’s new and to say hi, because who else is calling Bobby just to say hi? A lot of people should.
Dean comes out of the shower and he’s in a much better mood as he paces around the room in a towel, rifling through his duffel and never making eye contact while he thinks aloud. Dean does his best thinking while pacing or driving or running or working on the car; he needs the motion and Sam figures that’s why he’s rarely motionless.
“It’s helped us more often than not,” Dean says. “I mean, I’m okay with it never happening again, ‘cause I don’t get it and it’s not my thing, even if it’s not like I really care. People can do whatever floats their boat, I have no problem with what people do. Seriously, dude, there was this one chick in Memphis a few years ago with a dildo and it wasn’t for her, you get what I’m saying? So I get it, that’s fine, I just don’t get why people look at us like that, but I figure, people are probably so used to seeing it by now that they just see it all over whether it’s there or not.”
Sam wants to tell him that was way too much information, but he rarely catches Dean babbling so he just lets it all unroll in front of him.
“In Oklahoma, with the bugs – we suddenly made sense in a way that made everybody accept us and let us wander all over asking questions. We’re more harmless to people when we’re a...gay couple.”
“You called me ‘honey’ and slapped my ass,” Sam says.
“You kind of make people want to do that.”
Sam doesn’t really want to know where the hell that comment stems from, so he just shakes his head.
“Then there was the chick with the doll collection,” Dean says, sorting through his socks. “We got info a little easier after I told her you had a doll collection. She totally thought we were gay. Dude, do gay guys even wear socks?”
“I noticed I always get to be the really, really gay one,” Sam says. “Dean, where are you going with this?”
“And then, around Christmas, the thing with the Pagan gods and the wreath,” Dean continues. “Much easier to get people to give us info when they think we’re gay. Totally weird. And I don’t think it’s a mistake that we got the room for less.”
Sam squints at him. “So it wasn’t okay before, but now that it makes things easier or gets us stuff, it’s fine with you?”
Dean pauses and purses his lips. “Yep. I’m not gonna change my walk, though.”
“Why not?” Sam says. “You’ve got the kind of hips that would make a swish come pretty easy.”
Dean nails him with a book about the history of salt, and Sam’s glad it’s a paperback.
“No,” Sam says again.
He says it more and more, lately.
Dean looks incredulous. “What’s your problem?’
“Letting people make assumptions is one thing,” Sam says. “Walking around pretending to be gay on purpose all the time is another.”
It’s a day later and Dean’s been postulating aloud about gaydar and antiquing, and Sam doesn’t want to hear any more.
“Sam, we lie all the time,” Dean says with exasperation. “What’s the difference? We use all kinds of cover stories.”
Dean so doesn’t get it.
He gets it even less when they’re at a bar later on to get a beer and two guys in the back buy them a round.
Sam thinks it’s bad enough when Dean flirts with every woman they run across. When he starts flirting with both sexes, Sam just groans and tries to gather what little patience he has left.
Someone drops a hand to the small of Dean’s back a little while later and it’s not a woman. Sam sees the moment of panic in his brother’s eyes and takes the opportunity to crowd in, shoulders touching, because Dean is not alone and Sam’s big enough to offer that as a warning.
Dean’s silent when they leave, and Sam misreads it as a good sign.
Awhile after that, Sam’s leaning on the check-in counter in some motel again, looking at his hands and thinking there weren’t many professions that caused a guy to get so many scars on his knuckles. Then Dean’s resting a hand right over his, squeezing his fingers a little. When Sam glances up in shock, Dean’s eyes are crinkling a little at the corners like everything’s perfectly normal. And then, God help him, Dean adds the last nail to the coffin because he doesn’t know when to stop:
“Okay,” Dean says about a minute and a half later out in the parking lot where Sam is pacing in the throes of a genuine freakout. “Next time, try not to look at me like you’ve never seen me before and I’m some creepy old guy trying to deflower you. It ruins the effect.”
“There’s no next time, Dean!” Sam shouts.
“Work with me here, Sam,” Dean says. “We don’t even have a shot at a discount if you’re gonna act like you’re gonna run into the bathroom and write ‘help me’ on your eyelids.”
“You called me...cupcake,” Sam says. “Even if any of this was okay, which it’s not, you didn’t warn me first. You just need to drop this whole thing.”
Dean shrugs. “If you’re having some kind of masculinity issue...”
Sam is back to shouting.
“Seriously,” he says, catching his breath, “...it’s not funny. Just knock this off.”
“What’re you so threatened by?” Dean says.
Sam throws his hands in the air. “Oh, my God, after all the times you’ve been pissed off about people thinking we’re gay? This is so like you. Can we just get back to finding the vampire, please? Unless you’re convinced that requires a certain level of gayness, too.”
Dean waves Sam off and doesn’t seem to care that nothing else is said the whole rest of the night except for one final outraged exclamation of cupcake? while he’s trying to sleep.
Sam is calmer the next morning when the really cute girl behind the register at Starbucks glances between them and offers them an expression that clearly says ‘aw’. They’re given ventes instead of the grandes they ordered.
Dean winks at Sam, and Sam sighs.
The vamp has either gone underground or has run into something it couldn’t survive or decides to try animal blood, because no humans are headless or exsanguinated anywhere they search. It would revert back to using people as single-serving containers sooner or later if it was still kicking, so the boys kept their eyes out for other hunts in the meantime. Something weird was happening in swimming pools in a neighborhood in Mason City, Iowa where people dove into the deep end and vanished; someone in North Dakota claimed their cat could speak Latin during a full moon; and a scooter was seen circling a parking lot somewhere in Arkansas...riderless.
In Winona, Wisconsin, Dean slaps Sam’s ass and calls him cupcake again on their way out of a Taco Time.
Sam can feel himself blush spectacularly, but he decides there are things that will leave bigger marks than freakouts.
Ten hours later, after a salt and burn that’s quicker and shallower than most, they’re checking into yet another motel with a yawning night clerk behind the counter who looks to be twenty-something and is more than likely keeping a shotgun just out of sight. They get an appreciative once-over right up until Sam leans in, cups Dean’s face in one large hand to turn it toward him, and runs a thumb under his eye.
“You had a little something, there,” he says to Dean’s mildly startled expression. Then he ups the ante exponentially by leaning in a little further and brushing his lips against Dean’s in an open caress, turning it into another and then a third. “Don’t worry, I got it.” The hand on Dean’s face becomes a trailing finger across his throat and down his chest while he takes up the rest of Dean’s personal space.
The look on Dean’s face is, to his credit, a very faint smirk.
They get the room for free.
“That was gay,” Dean says while they’re unloading the car. He sounds confused. “Really, really gay.”
“Are we done with this, then?” Sam says.
“Super King Kamehameha gay,” Dean says. He’s not listening. “Why am I not surprised that you had it in you?”
“Are you happy, now?” Sam demands. “Can we get on with our lives?”
“You kissed me,” Dean says. “Dude, gross.”
“The next one comes with tongue if you don’t knock it off,” Sam says. “You wanna be gay, Dean? Fine. Let’s be really, really gay.”
He really thinks, for a moment, that Dean’s finally realized how messed up the whole thing is and will give up because there’s just nowhere left to go with it.
He forgets that he’s basically just thrown Dean an open challenge.
The next thing he knows, they’re holding hands crossing the street.
There are looks, and catcalls, and only one derisive comment. Dean starts it and Sam refuses to be the first one to let go, so they end up in an auto parts store so that Dean can get a new air filter for the car, and they’re walking the aisles with fingers laced. Sam wonders if it looks like the battle of wills it really is.
Apparently not, because the older guy at the register looks horrified but doesn’t say anything.
“It’s not getting us any brownie points today,” Sam says as they cross the street again. “So...truce?”
“What was that, cupcake?”
Sam shakes his head but they both rest their free hands near their guns when a carload of guys pulls alongside the sidewalk and paces them with open stares.
“Hey,” Dean says, “Five dollah, make you hollah.”
Sam’s afraid there’s going to be a real problem for a moment, but it turns out that Dean’s stupid idea of humor was dead on; they were being solicited. There was a lot of disappointment from the occupants of the car when they were turned down.
“A man’s gotta keep his pimp hand strong,” Dean says.
“Sooner or later, someone we know is gonna see us,” Sam says.
“Then let go, Sam,” Dean says. “Go ahead. But you’re the one who started the kissing, you pervert. People can not get enough of us like this.”
Sam decides not to bring up the fact that they’re brothers, because no one else knows it and he is the one who started the kissing, regardless of why. He’s going to have to find a way to really deter Dean.
He finds it the same day, when they check into another motel. There’s a guy behind the counter this time and his eyebrows shoot right up his forehead when Sam wraps Dean in his arms from behind, chin on shoulder and hands tucked into Dean’s front pockets.
“You might wanna tone it down a little there, Francis,” Dean says a few minutes later, eyeing the single king they’re stuck with.
“You’re the one who made this a contest.”
“It works out pretty good for us when you’re not overdoing it,” Dean says with a scowl.
And he’s right yet again, because two days later in Michigan there’s a girl in the records section of a police department who gives them free copies of everything she has on a serial killer who’s dead but still hassling his victim’s relatives. Dean’s convinced that she was so helpful because she was really distracted by the way he was playing with Sam’s hair. She even calls one of the detectives who happened to work the case.
Dean pets Sam’s hair with a smirk when they’re back in the car. “See, Sam? Subtlety.”
Sam slaps him away with a glare. If Dean thinks public displays of affection are funny, he’ll get one.
They’re in a long line at WalMart stocking up on basics when Sam turns and grabs Dean’s head in both hands and goes for broke. He feels Dean startle and knows how badly he’s thrown him by the fact that he can get some tongue in. He was uncertain about it until then, because the earlier threat really had been idle – he didn’t want to make out with his brother, ever – but catching Dean off guard to the point where he got a startled mmph! and got him to drop the magazine he was flipping through was worth it.
Sam hears a nearby gasp and a tsk from someone else, but then from the back of the line someone says yeah! like they mean it.
Then someone starts applauding.
Dean grabs Sam and kisses him back, harder than necessary and making a show of it, and then there was a lot of applause. And some whistling.
Dean starts laughing in the car and Sam knows it’s because Dean still won that one, even if it’s Sam who struck first.
His attempts to get Dean to cry uncle were backfiring. Hard.
Sam gives up wearily and quietly allows the hand holding and the hair petting and the perks that come with it, namely a little extra everything from almost everyone they encounter. Dean openly enjoys the popularity and decides to start telling girls he’s bi, which apparently makes him even more irresistible. Sam chokes on a beer at the first offer of a threesome and he doesn’t get any less shocked the next dozen times it happens.
The first real sign of trouble comes by accident, when no one can see them. They’ve been driving for hours when Dean rests his arm across the back of the seat and starts playing with Sam’s hair. It takes them several miles to consciously realize it’s happening.
It’s become a habit.
It’s one other little thing that ends it all.
Dean is leaning across the seat looking for something he’s dropped while they’re filling up at a station in North Dakota. Sam opens the door and tells him he’s going to run into the mini mart. Dean glances up to say yeah, whatever and when he does, he leans forward without meaning to. Sam does, too, and there’s a quick, familiar peck on the lips.
They look at each other with wide, wide eyes for a long moment. Then Sam almost falls trying to get the hell back out of the car.
When he comes back with pop and snacks, they sit silently for a long moment.
Then Dean says, “Let’s just go back to waiting for someone to assume we’re gay. Then, you know, we can use it. If it comes up on its own.”
Sam says okay and that’s the end of it.
Dean still reaches over and plays with Sam’s hair when the miles get long. Sam pretends he doesn’t notice.
-|- -|- -|-