Disclaimer: I'm not clever enough for these things. I don't own it. Kripke doesn't look at his characters and see the same things I do.
Summary: After the Bloody Mary incident, Charlie still thinks of Sam.
Notes: I couldn't remember Charlie's boyfriend's name, if he even had one, so now he's called Evan. Also, mad love for memphis86 who betaed this on the spur of the moment despite having to deal with awful parents with a huge sense of entitlement.
For a long time after Sam and Dean pull away from Charlie’s curb, and blow through the stop sign on the corner of Ash and Lake leaving her behind, she can’t stop thinking of them. Well, Sam really. She thinks of curling up into the warmth of his broad chest, laying her palm flat over his muscles, and just feeling the air flow through him.
She imagines walking out of the school doors, over the green lawns, to see Sam waiting: hands in his pockets and expression sheepish. “I came back for you,” he’d say, and she’d be bathed in the quiet strength of his presence.
In her head Sam’s hands are gentle, callused fingertips raising whispers of sensation over her naked skin. He’s careful with her, weighed down by the experience of his age. She knows that he may not be the smooth charmer that his brother is, but there are girls who have known his touch.
In the space between waking and sleep, when her thoughts wander beyond her control, she imagines him often. He’s lying beside her, warmth radiating off of him in waves. His eyes would gleam in the darkness, that ever changing hazel that she’d found so startling. She doesn’t tell any of her friends about him because he isn’t some petty crush to giggle over. He’s a boy with sadness in his eyes and strength in his shoulders.
She talks to him sometimes, in her head. For all that she knew him for five minutes, he still answers back, soft smile curling his lips. She borrows his quiet confidence for the Sadie Hawkins Valentines dance, and she knows, oh she knows, that she's gone completely mad for him. It’s been months since he left, and she can’t stop thinking about him. The dimples when his smile chose to appear, the cadence of his voice, the slight hint of the southern Midwest around his vowels.
When she loses her virginity to Michael Williams, who’s shy and hippyish and the star forward on the soccer team, Sam is blurred around his edges. She likes Michael a lot. He makes her feel at home in her skin, a little less guilty for the sins that Sam had said weren’t hers to bear. But still she can’t help comparing him to Sam.
What would he be like? Would he be shy and hesitant and awkward? It isn’t Michael’s first time, but he’s fumbling enough that it might as well be. The Sam in Charlie’s head is shy, but never awkward. She laughs, it might be that he doesn’t live up to expectation either. But she thinks having the miles of his smooth skin between her thighs would go a long way to making her forget.
She doesn’t delude herself. She doesn’t think that if Sam came back that they’d have some great relationship, fairytale castles and lots of amazing sex over every damn surface. She just can’t help wanting every boy she dates to be like him. Michael is nothing like him, far too dreamy and impractical. She knows, for all that she knew him five minutes, that Sam would never write poetry or strum on a guitar. She thinks that rebellious man’s man Dean would be more prone to lyricism and pretty romance if he ever fell in love. Maybe that’s because she sees a little bit of a rockstar in Dean, a person consumed by passion and feeling.
All the honesty that she perceives in Sam, the straight truth and penetrating gaze, the way he let her in, for all that he knew her five minutes, that’s where the grand romance is. And his face inserts itself over Johnny Depp’s more times than she can count when she’s got her hand between her legs, knees winched tight, and breath coming hard.
She goes to college. She and Michael don’t kid themselves. They don’t attempt a long distance relationship. He goes to Haverford on a soccer scholarship and she ends up at University of Chicago. He’ll cheat with some equally hippyish liberal arts girl in his philosophy class, and she’ll hook up with one of the boys on the university newspaper after a night of drinking. She knows herself, and she knows Michael.
She looks for Sam on Facebook when she gets her school e-mail and makes an account. He was a senior at Stanford her senior year of high school after all, and she finds him, but he clearly isn’t keeping track of friends requests, because he never friends her back.
At least that’s what she hopes it is.
He’s making a goofy face in his picture, sitting in the sunlight, and he’s easy and free in a way he wasn’t when she knew him. She wonders, not for the first time, what happened to put that faraway look in his eyes. She hopes he’s gotten some of it back, that his brother knocked some cheer into him, with his bad puns and coarse jokes and waggling eyebrows. She hopes he thinks of her sometimes.
After a while she stops thinking of him. She can’t help it when people order Bloody Marys on airplanes or in restaurants. Her mind snaps instantly back, but it doesn’t linger. She’s moved on. Let her dream Sam go so that she can pursue better things. She’s gone months without meeting a boy and measuring him up to one she only knew for five minutes during the worst time of her life. Until she goes to the campus laundry, and there’s a girl tugging her clothes out of the dryer. Charlie walks by and the scent of detergent hits her. The same one Sam used.
She shakes her head. Has an amusing thought of Sam striding in and hoisting her up onto a washing machine, tugging the ratty shorts she had on down her thighs, and thrusting inside her. She laughs at herself and the other girl shoots her a look like she’s crazy.
Charlie’s used to it. People at her high school never treated her the same after her outburst in class. Not even her closest friends. The idea of Sam standing at her shoulder, wry smile upon his face, Dean beside him cracking jokes with an arched brow, had gotten her through it. Now she’s got herself and she knows it’s enough. He would be proud of her, she thinks.
Life moves forward. She gains eight pounds first semester from all the convenience store food she’s been eating as an alternative to the dining hall. Her suitemates say it’s okay, and so does her mom, and her dad, but she feels bad about it anyway. She starts going to the campus gym and using the bikes there. One afternoon Joe Walsh comes on the radio, the song that was playing in Dean’s car when they covered her up, didn’t let her look in any mirrors and sequestered her in their motel room.
She realizes now, when she looks back, she doesn’t blame herself for any of that anymore. She guesses, with enough distance, comes clarity. She can think about Evan now and remember the good stuff about him, the way he was without the mood swings. He isn’t some weight dragging her down. She wants to celebrate this, but she isn’t sure how.
Turns out celebrating is just going to the shitty little Chinese place with really good potstickers rather than eating in the dining hall. She’ll take what she can get.
It’s the start of Sophomore year. She’d been so tense and uptight she hadn’t been able to enjoy all the partying that had gone on last year during orientation week. Charlie’s actually feeling good about this year.
She agrees to go out with friends to some silly bar. They’ve wrangled fake IDs, and a few of them actually are of age, so it doesn’t look so ridiculous. She resolves to dance to loud music, not feel self-conscious in the kind of slutty low-cut top her friends had convinced her to buy when they’d gotten sidetracked furniture shopping, and to drink only spiked Shirley Temples even if all her friends do is laugh at her.
They’re only in there for ten minutes, all clustered around the bar waiting for their drinks, when Alice points him out.
“Really hot guy, 10 o’clock,” she says and nudges Charlie with her shoulder. The other girls turn, huddling inward and giggling. Charlie looks with the rest of them, and her heart pops out of her chest. Dean Winchester leans against the bar, looking at ease with himself. There’s an empty shot glass at his elbow. He looks a little older, but those eyes, and those shoulders, that mouth that will be turning heads until he’s in his grave, and he knows it.
“Oh my god!” Jenny giggles. “One of us has got to go over there and ask him to dance!”
Charlie’s about to open her mouth, and say that she knows him, but Kyle (the guy she kinda sorta has a thing for) wraps his arms around hers and Jenny’s shoulders and says, “You’ll only kill the one who actually does get a dance with him, so stay here and dance with me, I’m totally adorable.”
Jenny punches him in the shoulder and Charlie is once again about to tell them how she knows Dean, how she had a ginormous crush on his brother, but she’s stopped in her tracks by Sam walking out of the men’s room. The line of his shoulders have eased since the last time she saw him and he’s biting his lip around a smile. He walks straight to Dean, and covers the older man’s lips with a kiss, arms bracketing him to the bar.
Charlie goes warm all over as she sees the way their bodies gravitate towards one another, the way Dean’s eyes flutter shut, the hand he fists in Sam’s shirt.
Alice sighs. “Figures.”
The rest of the girls nod.
“What a waste,” Jenny says. “The tall guy is really hot too.”
Kyle is crowing, triumphant, and Charlie can feel herself grinning like an idiot. Brothers. Hah. She can think of all the little signs now. Heads cocked towards each other and mirrored body language. The way Dean watched Sam when he wasn’t looking, with such awe and love and longing. Oh man, she feels really kinda freakin’ stupid for never getting it, but she’s really happy for Sam. And kind of glad for herself. This way, she knows, if Sam never thought of her, it wasn’t because he didn’t think she was pretty or special, but because he was taken, so very taken if he’s still with Dean almost two years down the line.
“What are you smiling about?” Jenny turns around and looks at her.
She shrugs. “I just know them is all.”
“What?” Alice nearly shrieks, neon pink cosmo in one hand. “Introduce us already!”
Kyle and the rest of the boys groan. They pick up their round of beers and go off to a table. Charlie is left with a bunch of giggling girls in tow. She hopes Sam and Dean won’t kill her for this.
They walk over, and Charlie has gone back on her word, she’s a little self-conscious about her top. Dean’s leaning into Sam almost imperceptibly, and she can see the bartender hitting on Dean shamelessly. Sam doesn’t look like he’s got anything to worry about, but then again, Charlie thinks, if you were Sam you probably wouldn’t.
“Brothers, huh?” They turn to her, hunter reflexes sharp. “I should’ve known you two cads were together.”
They look startled for a bare second, and then it melts away into good humor. Dean whistles at her top.
“Damn, little girl,” he says with a smile all for her, just this shade of naughty. Dean knocks Sam’s shoulder, and Sam’s mouth quirks up at the corner. That look goes from the top of her head to the tips of her toes.
Sam steps away from Dean. “Hey, Charlie,” he says and holds his arms out for a hug. She can’t help herself. She squeezes him tight, buries her face into his chest. She can smell that very same detergent. He leans down and whispers in her ear, “You look beautiful.”
She blushes hot and steps away from him. Dean catches her eye and his look is knowing. She feels a little embarrassed, he’s the first person to ever know, and it’s Dean, champion of all that is crass and crude. Jenny pinches her arm and she remembers her purpose.
“Dean and Sam,” she says, ducking her head a little to hide the burning of her cheeks, “this is Alice, Jenny, Irene, and Katie. They go to school with me.”
The girls wave and giggle. Sam is biting his lip to hide a smile again, and Dean is sucking in the attention.
“Guys, this is Dean and Sam, I met them when I was in high school.”
“Nice to meet you,” the couple says together. Brothers. Christ. How could she not have noticed that there is zero resemblance between them? She drags her giggling friends off with her to join the guys at their table. She feels warm with the compliments Sam and Dean gave, and it feels easy to talk to Kyle tonight, to flirt with him. She looks over her shoulder and finds the two boys at a pool table, playing each other. Dean is clearly making an obscene joke with the pool cue and Sam is rolling his eyes. Dean sits back against the table, and draws Sam between his legs, cue set aside, hand slipping into Sam’s back pocket.
It seems more intimate than the kissing and it sticks with her. When she turns back, Kyle is inviting her over for a Monty Python marathon. She says yes immediately.
When she gets into bed that night, several hours and several drinks later, too lazy and too smashed to change out of her sexy underwear into some real pajamas, she’s really excited about that movie marathon with Kyle. But her brain’s also going a mile a minute about Dean and Sam. In that space where she can’t control where her mind wanders, they’re taking over, twining themselves around her body. Dean cradling her in his arms, whispering naughty filthy things into her ear with that voice like crushed velvet.
She imagines throwing her head back against his shoulder as Sam pushes inside her, her legs clamping tight about his hips as he bends to torture the tip of one breast with his mouth. Before she can even stop herself, and completely without thought to her roommate, she’s got her hand buried in the juncture between her thighs. She thinks of Dean slicking her up good, pushing in there, until she’s full, so full, body strung taut between them, while Sam’s hands run over her skin in reassuring sweeps.
Sam and Dean’s mouths would connect over her shoulder, as they rocked inside her. Sam would be good, oh so good, gentle with his strength, his power. But Dean would be there, for that edge of wild, of moonlight runs on the beach, and dizzy spinning in circles.
Before she knows it she’s coming with a sigh, her head thrashing on the pillow. She rolls toward the wall and imagines what would happen afterwards. Sam would talk her down, never stop touching her, but Dean would have eyes only for him. She’d be just another in a long line of many to him. And that’s how it should be. Sam can open his heart to many, let her in for five minutes, but it’s Dean who owns that heart. If such a thing were to happen, it would be for her, and not for them.