Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural.

A special thanks to AlElizabeth for beta'ing my story.

Nine Letters

Apologizes. They have always been different when it came to Sam and Dean Winchester. It was never an 'I'm sorry', or 'Please forgive me,' when it came down to really, truly meaning it. No. When the Winchester brothers came to apologizing it was nine letters between them. Nine letters that let them know that everything was going to be all right. Nine letters that said it didn't matter what anyone else thought the other one was just fine. Bitch and Jerk. Nine letters.

In the beginning before those nine letters, Sam always knew by the way that Dean would say his name 'Sammy' it would tell him how much trouble he was in. All in how the word sounded coming out of his mouth would either make Sam's heart race with joy or fear. The sort of inflection in Dean's tone lasted while Sam was a toddler all the way through until he started high school.

Then things changed. It didn't matter, not really, how Dean said Sam's name, but something else eased its way in its place. It was no longer the name that Dean would say. It was the nicknames that they gave each other. In the beginning they had to say it low enough so that their father couldn't hear them, but as they got older and the 'sailor talk' became more prevalent within the household of a '67 Impala, those specific nine letters would ring throughout the interior of the car, their home.

John often worried about the word 'bitch' that Dean would use on his brother. He didn't like it, but then again, if someone else said it to Sam, Dean was in his or her face yelling at that person with Sam standing behind him in a protective cover. So John realized that Dean was invoking his right as a big brother. The right that states, the only one that is allowed to call my brother bitch it me.

Then John thought of his youngest son, Sam. His retort for being called a 'bitch' was calling his older brother a 'jerk.' In John's mind that didn't seem even. But at the time for someone that was four years younger that was the first insult that came to the younger boy's mind. Then John witnessed something that made him do a double take. He's always known the protectiveness of Dean, but never seen that of Sam.

They were at a park. John was sitting at a picnic table looking over papers at a job he was working on. Dean was watching over Sam and Sam was on the swing. John doesn't know what started the entire thing, but the next thing he knew Dean was standing over Sam, who was kneeling on the ground. Once whatever happened was over Dean stood up, satisfied, and headed back towards the picnic table. A kid came up to Sam and yelled, pointing at Dean's back, that he was a jerk. The kid yelled it so loud that not only did Dean hear it, but John did as well. Both older Winchesters were watching, dumbstruck, at what was said. Suddenly, Sam stood up and was in the boys face screaming. It took both Dean and John a second to get their legs moving to get to Sam. Dean got to Sam first, since he was already standing and was only a few steps away anyway. But John took a second, as he had to put something over the papers that he had on the table and get up. John knew that he had to hurry and get over there as it was looking Dean wasn't calming Sam down. John also knew that if fists, that looked on the brink of flying, started going with Sam's training it would not be an even fight, and John didn't want to have to leave the town too early. There still was a case in town.

So after that incident, there was an understanding that no one could call Sam a bitch and no one could call Dean a jerk. If those words were said and they were not said by the brothers and them only. Whoever said it would face the wrath of the brothers. And that's how it was, the power of those nine letters.

Those nine letters were not said often, no. Those two words were used to convey feelings. And as they grew older, those words meant more than just anger towards each other.

Sam and Dean would argue. Sam and Dean would get angry with each other. They would try not talking to each other, which was hard when they spent the majority of the day sitting less than five feet from each other, and lately it was just the two of them in the car. But the silent treatment affected Sam more than Dean. But Dean wasn't one to share his feelings. The rule of 'no chick-flick moments' came about when Sam wanted to apologize for something he had earlier did. It was something small, but Dean didn't like it and Sam knew that Dean was upset. So the nine letters became more than just insults to each other. It became an olive branch between the two.

When Sam was younger, the way Dean said his name let him know how Dean was feeling; now it was if he responded to one word. One four-letter word. If Dean responded to Sam's four-letter word with just a five-letter word, then he knew that everything would be all right. And it was the same with Dean. Those nine letters that started out as insults became their apology.

"Hey, Dean, what I said earlier, about mom..."

"Hey, no chick-flick moments.



They had said it off an on while they were adults now. But after a while, they weren't apologizing they way they were supposed to.

Sam thought about it as he sat in the back seat of their home leaning against the door. Sam knew keeping the fact of what happened from Dean wasn't the smartest idea and Dean was already upset about the secret with Rowena. It was the same with keeping the secret about the demon blood and Ruby. And the last thing Sam wanted was to go through that again. The small jabs that were said hurt. They hurt more than he let on, and he did not want to go through that again.

Sam sat looking at the annoyed face of his brother, biting the inside of his cheek. He wanted to apologized and the proper way. Not 'I'm sorry.' No more I'm sorry. They don't mean anything. I'm sorry is not the true way the Winchester brothers apologize and say your forgiven.

So Sam bit the bullet and said it.

"Goodnight, Jerk."

Holding his breath, Sam waited. Please forgive me, Sam thought. Don't be angry with me while we are fighting the Darkness.

"Goodnight, Bitch."

And there it was. A visible weight lifted off of Sam's shoulders as he let out the breath he was holding. Dean forgave him. All was right in Sam's world. And tomorrow was a new day with a job that may or may not be there.

It's amazing how nine letters, two words, could convey an entire conversation. Jerk. Bitch.

The End

A/N: Thank you for taking the time to read my little one-shot. ;) I hope you enjoyed it. :) Please leave a review.

Many hugs and kisses to you all.

Mandancie :)

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