Good Faith Bargaining
Supernatural, Dean/Sam, PG13
Written for poisontaster's birthday and riffing off her and Mona1347's Heart 'verse, I took some liberties with the Heart 'verse, respecting the timeline but it's just a little hardcore domestic fic set sometime between year 13 and year 16, when the school becomes home. thanks to audrarose and jellicle_freak for the beta.
It showed up one day, just after the first spring green broke through the frost in the year, not long after they'd first been able to throw off the mound of blankets they slept under. The farmhouse was good, was great, was theirs. It had plumbing and central heating -- but it also had thin walls and a serious need for some extra insulation. There were a bunch of cracks and gaps around windows and doors that needed plugging. The furnace and duct work needed to be replaced but that was a few thousand dollars they didn't have and running a charge through a fake credit card wasn't exactly viable when you were keeping a permanent address.
"Sam, there's a truckload of lumber in the yard."
"Yeah, I know. Place needs some work," Sam said. They stood on the back porch, staring at the mound of building supplies, Dean eyeing the mini-cement mixer like it was some kind of beast that might need killing.
"You planning on repairs or just building a whole new house?" Dean asked him.
Sam had grinned and draped an arm over his shoulders. "A little of both."
Dean raised his coffee cup in the direction of a large crate half-covered with a tarp. "That looks like a shower."
"Yup. Toilet too. We need another bathroom with this many people."
"So, the building supply fairy just showed up and left us this?"
Sam ducked his head and nodded. "Something like that."
Then Sam had left Dean staring bemusedly at the supplies. Dean was even more bemused when a couple of hours later Sam was out directing people like he'd been doing construction supervision all his life. The kids helped where they could and other people, some Dean didn't know but who apparently knew what they were doing, moved around the yard like a well trained if slightly chaotic army. By the end of the day there were foundation points poured off the back of the house, adjacent to the bedroom he and Sam had been sharing.
It wasn't like what was being built could be hidden or obscured. It was an addition to the house -- and, yes, an extra bathroom. But the barebones structure of the foundation told Dean there was more than a bathroom going on here -- unless it was the biggest damn bathroom in the history of the world.
He half suspected but was too stubborn to ask, especially when Sam kept giving him those knowing and amused smirks. It wasn't like it was supposed to be a surprise; couldn't be with people working every day, with the kids getting distracted during lessons and training at the sound of saws and drills and pneumatic hammers as the framing went up.
Okay, so another bathroom was a good idea. The house already had two and a half baths; one full upstairs and another full one and a half-bath down stairs near the laundry room. They had six kids sharing the one upstairs because that's where their bedrooms were and that bathroom was newer, the bathroom itself bigger than the old one downstairs, which only had a tub. Dean would rather shower, but that meant the stairs. Good exercise, he told Sam, and he could do them most days, game leg or not, but the minute Sam had bought a shower attachment for the downstairs bathroom over the winter, Dean had stopped making that climb.
Sam had said nothing at all, but Dean was not blind enough to ignore the fact that Sam worried, that he knew the cold weather made it harder to get that leg moving in the morning. He certainly wasn't going to tell Sam that he was as anxious about taking a header down the stairs as Sam was about him doing it.
But climbing in and out of the old claw foot tub downstairs presented its own problems. The bars installed on the walls helped keep Dean from getting a concussion, but they angered and frustrated him to no end. Reminded him he was a cripple and half blind and sometimes he thought knocking himself out while climbing in and out of the damn bathtub would only be the icing on a pretty wretched cake.
He could live with another bathroom.
They were almost into summer when the roofers came, which was good because they got there before the last and heaviest of the late spring rains came and turned the yard and driveway into mud.
When the countertops arrived Dean wasn't sure what to do or think. Lying in bed next to Sam that night he wanted to say something, point out that he knew what it was, say thank you, something. Instead he rolled over and rested a hand on Sam's chest. "How much is left to do?"
Sam's hand covered his, threaded their fingers together. "Plumbers and electricians should be here this week. We finish putting in the counters and the cabinets and then we paint."
Sam rolled over to face him, face mostly in shadow, but it would take more than that to hide the gleam of white teeth or the shine in his eyes. "Then we move in," he said.
"We're already moved in," Dean said, feeling a little contrary and a lot overwhelmed. "How much is this going to set us back?"
"A little late to be worrying about the money now." Sam didn't sound mad at all, but he wasn't going to help Dean out on this one. "There's enough to finish this, and fix the roof on the front side, upgrade the furnace. Air conditioning will have to wait for another year."
"I knew there was a reason renting was always a good idea. It's like we're landlords."
"We're homeowners and then some," Sam said quietly. "We've been here awhile. We're gonna be here awhile. This is ours. The house, the land, the school. This is home." His hand brushed over Dean's face. "It's what Dad wanted for you, what I want -- what I thought you wanted. If it's not, tell me now."
Dean didn't, of course, and when he slipped from their bed later, he was pretty sure Sam was faking the sleeping part. He wasn't exactly graceful getting out of bed anymore.
They hadn't run power to the addition yet, waiting for the plumbers to make all the connections. The wiring was in place, base-board heaters waiting to be installed. There would be a small kitchen -- kitchenette; a living area where their bedroom now was.
The bathroom was currently one big bare room, fixtures poking through the floors and walls. The shower/tub inset wasn't fancy -- fiberglass and chrome, as inexpensive and durable as Sam could find. Dean thought about the rest of the house and the work that needed to be done there, of Sam diverting the money they did have into this.
They didn't need a whole damn suite to themselves, but that's what Sam was giving him. A place for them to go where they didn't have to listen to people coming in to use the bathroom next to their bedroom, where every time someone ran up or down the stairs they could hear it.
There was a roughed-in door that would open onto the back porch, the back yard. There would be ugly linoleum on the floor and curtains in the windows if Chance and Sarah had anything to say about it.
It was still skeletal looking, open bracing for the counters, and an interior wall waiting for insulation and drywall. The fanciest part of the whole thing was the double French doors that were installed at the end of the old hallway to separate the new space from the rest of the house. Sam found them in a salvage yard and they'd been cleaned up and re-glazed, re-stained. They locked from both sides and there were pocket doors that slid out behind them. When both sets of doors were closed, you couldn't hear a damn thing from the rest of the house. There was no one above them except where their bedroom was now.
It wasn't huge or fancy but there would be room for Chelsea, a place for his favorite chair; closets and cabinets for stuff beyond clothes and weapons.
It wasn't that he didn’t want it, or that he thought they didn't deserve to have something, someplace, separate from what they did every day.
It was something he wanted for Sam maybe. A thing he would have done to…to keep Sam here with him, or just with him anywhere.
But Sam had done it for him and he didn’t know what to do with that at all. It helped a little that Sam had done it for himself too. The kitchen counters were a little taller than standard, the doorways a little higher.
This wasn't opportunity, this was planning. Deliberate and purposeful and Sam saying something that Dean wasn't sure he would believe if Sam just said it.
When he went back to bed, Sam wasn't faking sleep any longer. "What color did you plan on painting the bedroom?" Dean asked, feeling stupid and girly and completely embarrassed.
"White probably. Easier. Goes with everything."
"You remember that house we rented in Bethany, in Missouri? I think you were maybe ten or eleven."
"Yeah, I think so. The one with the offset garage. The park down the street. Mrs…Uh...Mrs. Carstairs -- lived a few houses away. Had been her mother's house."
"Yeah, that one. You remember the room we had there?"
Sam was quiet for a moment but his hand slipped into Dean's. "Tan with the green trim. Those weird English hunt prints on the walls."
"I liked that room. That house," Dean said.
Sam grinned in the darkness. "I thought it was that girl across the street. Sheila. The one with the red hair."
Dean shrugged. "I liked her too. But I remember the house best."
"We could do that."
"I can do it. Painting I can do."
"I won't argue. Painting gives me a headache."
"Okay then. Tan walls and green trim." Dean was quiet for a long time, lulled by the steady rub of Sam's thumb across the back of his hand. "This is weird…owning all this."
"I could make you pay rent," Sam said, the smile in his voice obvious.
"I don't exactly have a paycheck coming in," Dean said and couldn't help smiling himself. Sam was so not subtle.
"I could take it out in trade."
"I'm not that kind of guy."
"You are so that kind of guy," Sam said with a laugh and then an oomph when Dean rolled and levered himself on top of him. Sam was still grinning though. "Once a week blowjob."
"Just one? That seems kind of low-ball."
"Twice then. On Sundays."
"I'm half owner -- what are you offering here?" Dean said and pressed against him, hip to hip, shifting enough to make Sam hiss and thrust up.
"The other six days. We can negotiate the actual details later," Sam ground out and pulled his head down.
Dean eased back, let his fingers track over Sam's face, across his lips. Dipped his head down again until he was breathing the same air as Sam. "Want a down payment?"
Sam's mouth opened under his on a soft moan and he pushed at Dean's sweatpants, baring skin. "I'll take it on good faith," he said.
Best deal Dean ever made.
Comments or criticism? drop me a line at maygra @ bellsouth.net or in my livejournal.