“What are you doing?” Dean paced back and forth in front of his little sister, Sarah, who sat on the couch in the den pulling absent-mindedly at a loose thread. She just had to let him blow himself out. Dean was always like this when she brought home a new boyfriend. Sure—this time it might be a little more complicated than some of her other boyfriends, but Dean still had to blow himself out eventually, right? He couldn’t complain forever. “He’s old enough to be our father.”
“My father,” Sarah corrected gently. Dean turned to give her a shocked look, and she shrugged. “Well, he was eighteen years old when I was born—which would have made him eleven when you were born—which I guess isn’t entirely impossible, but highly improbable to have fathered a child when you were born.” Dean made a frustrated noise, and Sarah held up her hands in surrender. “But—you were making a point.”
“I was!” Dean resumed his pacing and Sarah fell back against the couch cushions. “As I was saying—he’s old enough to be your father. He’s an alcoholic. He’s not unknown for having dramatic affairs with women younger than him. Why would you jump into bed with him?” Sarah started to chuckle, but Dean threw up his hands to stop her. “No. No, I did not mean that literally. I don’t want to know the intimate details of being in bed with him so please do not say anything that will make me want to drink bleach to feel clean again.” Dean paced for a little while longer before sinking down onto the couch with her. “But—Seriously. What are you doing, Sare? What is happening here?”
“Well,” Sarah reached out to take her brother’s hands into hers, “First of all, your sister—being an intelligent and well-rounded woman—would like to remind you that she’s not an idiot. Everything you just told me, Dean, I already knew before entering into a relationship with him. And he has come clean about much more since we decided to be exclusive. In spite of all that—I’ve not only continued to love him and date him, but I’ve also decided to bring him here to meet you and Mom and Dad. Okay?” Dean had the decency to look at least a little bit ashamed of himself. “Now—all that being said—I know he’s not perfect. I know that I could be wrong and this could all end badly. He’s got a rough past—but he’s been honest with me, and I’ve been honest with him It wasn’t like I was going out looking for him. I didn’t head out to a bar thinking ‘You know what, I’d like a man who could technically be old enough to be my father, preferably with a drug problem and maybe a bit of known infidelity.’ But I did meet Matt and I got to know Matt and I fell in love with Matt. And heaven help him, but he fell in love with me. So—that’s what I’m doing Dean. I’m bringing a man I love home to meet my family to show both them and him how serious I find this relationship to be. Is that an acceptable explanation?”
Dean squeezed her hands. “I’m sorry, I overreacted. But you understand my concern, yeah?”
“Yeah—I understand your grossly misplaced older brother bravado—and I forgive you,” Sarah teased, reaching up to ruffle Dean’s hair like he was a little boy. Dean made an annoyed sound and swatted her hand away.
“Alright. I know you don’t ‘Need’ my help—but if he hurts you—“
“I’ll call my big brother to do the messy bits because I like to keep my hands clean.” Sarah laughed, and Dean gave her a kiss on the forehead. “Come on,” Sarah tugged on Dean’s hand as she stood, pulling him up too. “Let’s go see if Daddy has killed Matt yet.”