Author's Note: This story was written as a collaboration between Cat2000 (aka: BlackFox12) and FicwriterJet. We're filling the 'belt' square for a Holiday Bingo over at the LiveJournal group 'spanking_world'. This story is an alternate ending for Season 7 Episode 7 of Supernatural titled, 'The Mentalists'.
Disclaimer: We don't own any of these characters, and we're not making any money from this story.
Warning: Non-consensual spanking between siblings.
A DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD
It might have been inevitable he'd end up going back with his brother, Sam reflected, as he put his stuff in the trunk. Somehow, it seemed this was the cycle they were stuck in. Every time they tried to separate, something would draw them back together again. Closing the trunk, Sam headed round to the front of the car.
Dean stepped out of the diner with a smile on his face, more than ready to leave this town full of fake mystics and psychics. His eyebrows went up in surprise when he saw Sam putting his bag in the trunk of the old beater car Dean had helped himself to a few days ago. He was more than ready for them to put their current argument behind them, but he was surprised Sam was ready.
He tilted his chin towards the trunk and said, "That's your stuff?"
"Yeah." Sam smiled, figuring he'd extend the peace offering. "I figure we take one car." He wasn't sure he was completely okay with everything, but if he was honest, it was less about what Dean had done, and more about his brother lying to him.
"Works for me," Dean said. And it honestly did work for him. He wanted things to be okay between them again, but he couldn't just leave it at that. He scrutinized his brother for a few seconds before bluntly asking, "You still wanna break my face?"
"No," Sam admitted. "Not at this moment." He couldn't speak for the future. And he could have just left it at that and let them put it behind them. But he was tired of dancing around the real issue here. "Look you know what? You were right about Amy. If she was just any monster, I'm not sure I could have let her walk away." He didn't really like what that said about him. That he might be willing to put other people at risk because of a happy memory. "I don't know," he admitted, as much to himself as to his brother. "I mean I'll never know."
Dean couldn't keep the surprise off his face. Sam had been pissed when he'd found out that Dean had gone behind his back to kill Amy, and now he was saying that Dean had done the right thing? Did that mean all was forgiven? Because that 'not at the moment' comment sure didn't sound like forgiveness.
"So what are you saying?" Dean asked.
"I'm saying, I get why you did it." Sam held his brother's gaze. "You were just trying to make sure no one else got hurt." He knew Dean had done what he thought was the right thing, but all he had to do was look at his brother to see the dark circles under his eyes; the signs of exhaustion. His next words were spoken quietly. "But here's the thing. You can't just look me in the face and tell me you're fine. I mean you're not sleeping. You drink for the record." He sounded like a parent, but this worry had been building for a while.
"Oh, here we go," Dean muttered, eyes darting away from his brother's concerned expression. He did not want or need another lecture about his alcohol consumption, and when Sam looked at him with those 'I want to help' eyes, it only caused Dean to drink more.
"Look, whatever." Sam could see Dean wasn't really receptive to what he was saying, but he had to try. His next words were spoken somewhat wryly. "I'm the last one to preach, but just be honest with me. How are those the actions of someone who knows they did the right thing?"
Dean realized he had to give Sam something, if he ever wanted his brother off his back about this. "You want me to be honest?" It had been rhetorical, but his brother answered anyway.
"I went with my gut. And that felt right," he said with complete honesty. "I didn't trust her, Sam." But he knew that didn't explain the drinking or the sleepless nights, so he admitted a little more. "Course, ever since Cas… I'm having a hard time trusting anybody."
When Sam just nodded in understanding, Dean felt like a huge dick for the way things had been recently. "And as far as how I've been acting… I don't know." His voice got lower as he admitted more. "Maybe it's because I don't like lying to you. It doesn't feel right." He cleared his throat once and tried to shake off his darker emotions. "So yeah, you got me there, I've been climbing walls."
That had been obvious, at least to Sam, but at least his brother was talking to him and admitting it. "I know what that's like." He remembered trying to battle his own demons any which way he could. But even so… "There's a better solution than drinking."
"Yeah? You wanna share?" Dean asked. He was willing to try other things. Not that he'd give up his drinking, but he wasn't opposed to doing other things on top of that. He was pretty sure his brother was going to say something along the lines of meditation, or self-reflection, and a little alcohol would fit in nicely with either one.
Sam hesitated. It wasn't that he didn't want to share, but more that he still wasn't sure what was coming together in his mind was something he could put voice to without it coming out very wrong. "Never mind. Let's just go back to the hotel."
"Sounds good to me," Dean said with a shrug. Putting an end to this discussion of feelings was absolutely fine. They both got in the car, and as he started it Dean forced a grin and tried to get back to normal with a joke, "Your place, or mine?" He laughed at his own line and then added, "I'm just kidding. My place, obviously. I'm sure you picked a hotel that the positive affirmation barista back there would approve of. No thanks." With that statement, he pulled the car onto the road and headed for his cheap hotel on the outskirts of town.
"It wouldn't kill you to stay somewhere just a little nicer," Sam said, though without any heat in his voice. He was resigned to certain aspects of his brother, such as Dean's preference for hamburgers over anything that looked like it might be remotely healthy.
Smiling at his brother's expected bitchy response, Dean turned up the local rock station, and let the music fill the silence.
Twenty minutes later, they'd parked at Dean's hotel, gotten their bags out of the trunk, and shuffled into the surprisingly large hotel room. Dean tossed his stuff on one of the two king-size beds, and said, "You're lucky there's a convention in town. This was the only room left. Otherwise you'd be on the floor for the night."
He went to the little kitchen area, grabbed the half-empty bottle of whisky off the top of the mini fridge along with a plastic cup, and took them to the kitchen table where he'd left his laptop.
Sam watched his brother for a few moments and then looked away, not wanting to get into another argument about Dean's drinking. His thoughts began to turn to his and Dean's conversation after his brother had been put on trail. He'd been entirely honest when he said he didn't feel guilty and that was why Osiris hadn't targeted him. But Dean did feel guilty… and maybe not just about killing Amy and lying about it, but those two things were what had affected their relationship.
The idea that had come to him as a mere inkling now came full force in his head. He turned back and watched Dean for a moment, almost totally positive his brother wouldn't go for the idea. But maybe it was what he needed. Dealing with the guilt the way Dean had been doing clearly wasn't helping. "What about if you get punished?" he asked, before he could second-guess himself. "For killing Amy… for lying about it."
Dean's arm paused in the air, about to take another sip of whisky. His brow furrowed, as he tried to figure out what the hell his brother was talking about. "What if I get punished?" He shook his head and scoffed. "What kind of crap is that, Sammy? What if I get punished," he mumbled more to himself than Sam. "Yeah, and what if I grow a third eye, or start vomiting rainbows? Jesus." He downed his whiskey and focused back on his laptop.
"I'm serious." Sam knew he could have brushed it off. Part of him was tempted. But if he could halt this self-destructive path his brother was on, it would be worth it. "It isn't like what you're doing right now is working."
Dean looked at his brother's earnest expression and knew he wasn't joking, and a rush of fury ran through his body. Not because he felt like he didn't deserve punishment, but because there wasn't enough punishment in the world to clear his slate. His eyes narrowed into slits, and he turned in his chair so he was facing Sam. "Less than half an hour ago I asked you if you wanted to take a swing at me, and you said you didn't. But whatever man, if you've had a change of heart, go ahead." He gestured to his jaw. "Have at it, but I promise you it won't change a damn thing."
"Dean, I'm not talking about taking a swing at you," Sam replied. "I don't want to take a swing at you." He took a step closer to Dean. "This isn't about me. It's about stopping you feeling so guilty you end up killing yourself. Again."
Dean just glared at his little brother, trying to figure out what the hell he was talking about. If he didn't want to take a swing at him, then what did he mean by punishment? That specific word was one their father liked to use when referring to a spanking or a belting, but their father was long dead, and Bobby hadn't done that to him in over two decades. Maybe Sam was talking about some kind of torture he'd endured when he was in hell.
"What exactly are you suggesting, Sam?"
Sam knew he could back out now. He could drop the subject and Dean would do the same. But all he had to do was look at the whiskey and know dropping this wasn't an option. Not if he wanted to help Dean, truly help him. "I'm suggesting a spanking." There. He'd said it. Now the rest of the battle was in convincing his brother to agree.
If looks could kill, Sam would be a pile of ash from the glare Dean sent his way. "Are you fucking kidding me, Sam? Dude, I'm thirty-three. And even if I agreed that I deserved it, no one is around to deliver. Dad is dead, and Bobby is a hundred miles away. And if you think for one second that I'm letting my younger brother spank me, you're out of your damn mind."
"Well…" If persuasion wouldn't work, maybe logic would. "I might be your little brother, but I'm still bigger than you." Fairly certain that he couldn't just talk Dean into submitting, Sam had to ask himself if this was something he was prepared to push. And the answer was yes. If he had to force the issue, he was prepared to.
Dean's eyebrows went up in surprise. His brother didn't usually point out their size difference, and that more than anything made Dean realize his brother was being completely sincere. A tiny sliver of apprehension crossed the back of his head. Dean liked to talk a big game, but at the end of the day Sam was bigger. Add that to the fact that Dean had been drinking heavily and sleep deprived for weeks, while Sam had been jogging and taking care of himself, and Dean wasn't sure he'd come out on top if this came down to a physical altercation. It was time to stop this before it could start.
"No," Dean said firmly, and then turned back to his laptop dismissively, trying to end the conversation.
"Okay, I'm no longer making this a suggestion," Sam said, now having reached the point this felt necessary. If he let it drop, there was a chance he'd lose Dean. Maybe not physically, but his brother was slipping away from him. "You can't go on the way you are." His decision firming in his mind, he walked over to his brother, reached out and closed the laptop.
Trying valiantly not to let the worry show on his face, Dean slowly stood to face off against Sam. He balled his hands into fists and said, "This is not happening."
"I'm not going to stand by and watch you continue self-destructing," Sam replied. "So I can't back down." He took the couple of steps needed to get right in his brother's personal space, and reached to grab hold of him.
Acting out of desperation, Dean threw a punch at his brother's face, but Sam must have been prepared for that, because he ducked out of the way at the last second, which sent Dean stumbling forward right into Sam's grasp.
Sam didn't waste any time in taking a firmer hold on his brother. If it hadn't been for Dean's drinking and various other problems, he knew they would have been more evenly matched. As it was, he quickly half-pulled, half-dragged Dean towards the bed and pushed him over it.
"Shit!" Dean exclaimed as he instinctively put his hands out to catch his fall. He frantically tired to think of a way out of this situation, but all his brain could come up with at this point was a litany of, 'No, no, no, no, no!' As soon as his chest hit the bed, he tried to push himself back upright.
Sam quickly leaned one arm on Dean's back, using some of his weight to hold his brother down, while his other hand quickly undid his belt, pulling it through the loops. Deciding he could use enough force to hurt but not damage with the jeans in place, He doubled the belt in his hand and brought it down across the center of Dean's backside.
A grunt came out of Dean at the unpleasantly familiar pain. It had been over ten years since the last time he'd had his ass whipped, but it wasn't something that was easily forgotten. He tried to push himself up again, but Sam just put more pressure on his back to keep him down. Once he realized he was stuck, Dean stopped struggling, clenched his jaw, and imagined all the ways he was going to get revenge.
"I know what you're thinking." Sam continued to bring the belt down, careful not to go too hard, even if he knew it had to be harsh.
Dean forced a bitter chuckle out of his throat instead of a groan of pain. "If you knew what I was thinking, you'd be hauling ass across the state line, because revenge is a bitch, Sammy."
Sam smiled, but it was a sad smile and more to himself. "You know what, Dean? I'd be happy if you could start kicking my ass, and actually win, because then it means I'm getting my brother back."
Refusing to admit that Sam had a point, Dean remained silent. He closed his eyes, and tried to block out the entire situation, especially the growing pain that was becoming difficult to ignore.
"If you continue like this, you're not going to survive," Sam continued, using the belt on every third word. "I know you've died before. Hell, I've died before. But this time, you might not come back."
A noise of frustration that was somewhere between a groan and a growl came out of Dean before he yelled, "You think a little alcohol is going to kill me? Dad drank for years, and that sure as hell isn't what killed him."
"I'm not talking about the alcohol, Dean." Sam put a fraction more force behind the strikes with the belt. "You're losing your edge. Which means I could lose you."
"Christ," Dean said through grit teeth as the pain jumped up a notch. The thought of Sam being left alone in the world to fend for himself always made Dean feel slightly panicky. "You're not going to lose me," he said, not sure if he was trying to convince Sam or himself. In a strained voice he said, "Don't you think I've had about enough?"
Maybe with the belt, Sam couldn't help but reflect. He was willing to be harsh with his brother as needed, but if he went too far, he ran the risk of really hurting his brother. Putting the belt down, he instead lifted his hand, bringing it down sharply on Dean's bottom.
"Ah!" Dean's body jumped with surprise at the different sensation, and he squirmed to get away, but Sam still had him pinned. He turned his head to look over his shoulder and glare at Sam. "What the hell, man? The belt wasn't enough? Now you're gonna hit me with your freakin' Sasquatch hands?"
"This is personal, Dean." Sam continued using his hand, covering Dean's entire butt in the swats. "You lied to me. And hell, you outright admitted you felt guilty for it. You knew it was wrong."
Those words cut into Dean in ways that pain alone couldn't have. He turned his head back to face the mattress so that Sam wouldn't see the tears that were now blurring his vision. He hated lying to Sam, and hell yes, he felt guilty about it. At first, he'd told himself he was lying to protect Sam, but maybe the truth was that he'd lied because he was afraid of losing another loved one.
A few tears slipped down his face, but he cleared his throat and forced his voice to remain steady as he said, "I knew if I told you, you'd be pissed and take off." His voice betrayed him and wavered. "If you hunt on your own and get killed because I'm not there to back you up…" He shook his head and whimpered in pain before blurting the rest out through his tears. "I can't have another death on my hands, Sammy. Especially not yours."
"Maybe I would have been pissed, but I would have understood," Sam replied. "I found out the truth through a monster wearing your face, but I should have found out from you." Dean might have been trying to hide it, but Sam could tell he was crying. It didn't make him feel good.
The crushing, overwhelming guilt that Dean was often able to push down into the recesses of his brain came rolling into the foreground, and he could no longer keep his tears quiet. Sam was right, he shouldn't have kept the truth from his brother, and they both knew it. Desperately wanting to shove that guilt away and not deal with it, Dean decided to put and end to the incessant smacking that was forcing him to face things he didn't want to face. Since he hadn't been able to push himself up, instead he put both his hands back to cover his ass, and growled, "Just fucking stop already!"
Sean grabbed Dean's hands, pulling them out of the way, and holding them there. If he wasn't certain his brother needed this, he would have stopped already. As it was, he kept going, putting a fraction more of strength behind the smacks. "No, Dean. You're gonna take what I dish out. Because the alternative is losing my brother again."
That was Dean's undoing. He couldn't stop Sam, he couldn't stop the pain, he couldn't stop the guilt, and he couldn't stop the tears. "I'm sorry," he whimpered before pressing his forehead into the mattress and giving in to all the tears he'd been keeping inside for months.
Sam stopped the spanking and let his hand rest on Dean's back, rubbing gently, not sure if he should say something, or just wait for his brother to calm down first.
It only took a second or two for Dean to realize his brother had stopped, but that didn't help him stop crying. If anything, it made it worse. He tried to say he was sorry again, but it came out garbled.
"I know." Sam was fairly certain he'd deciphered his brother's words correctly. He let his hand move up to Dean's shoulder and gently squeezed.
It took a few minutes, but eventually Dean was able to regulate his breathing, and stop sobbing into the hotel quilt. Tears were still leaking out of his eyes, but that kind of manly crying was acceptable to his male ego. He cleared his throat and tried not to sound pathetic as he asked, "Can I get up now?"
"Yeah." Sam let go of Dean's shoulder, not sure what to expect next. Would Dean let him hug him? Try to take a swing? Pretend it hadn't happened?
Dean slowly pushed himself up, grimacing in pain at the movement, and keeping his back to Sam. He said softly, "I really am sorry, Sammy. Sorry that I lied to you, sorry that I killed Amy behind your back, sorry that I've been drinking so much, and not taking care of myself. All of that ends tonight. I get why you picked this method of punishment, and clearly it worked, but if you ever mention it to me again, I will knock you out cold."
"Okay." Sam's voice was soft, but there was a note of relief in it that he didn't even attempt to hide. He cleared his throat and tried to steer his brother away from the emotional fallout. "So I came across a couple of other suspicious deaths when I was researching the psychics."
Grateful that Sam understood him so well, the tension that had been in Dean's shoulders melted away. "Yeah?" he said as he wiped his face with his hands, shook his head once, and turned to face his brother. "Well then I guess you're on research duty tonight, because I'm gonna take a shower and go to bed. You can tell me what the next case is in the morning."
"Yeah, okay." Eyeing the whiskey on the table, Sam asked, "Want me to put that back in the fridge?" He wasn't certain Dean would be as fine with him suggesting he toss the contents.
Dean could see the worry lines on Sam's face, and put a hand on his shoulder to give it a reassuring squeeze. "Sure. But maybe pour yourself one first, and relax a little bit, because you had a hard night, too." He grabbed his bag and headed for the bathroom.
Sam looked at the whiskey and sighed, deciding to take his brother's suggestion. Yeah. He could really do with a bit of relaxing. He poured himself out a glass and then put the bottle away, out of sight of temptation.
Dean took a lukewarm shower, trying to get clean as quickly as possible without exacerbating the pain and heat that was radiating from his ass. He could tell it was going to hurt for days, if not weeks, and downed a small handful of pain medication before carefully putting on some sweatpants to sleep in. Pleased to see his brother at the computer with a drink in his hand, Dean made a beeline for his bed, and closed his eyes to sleep.
# # #
The next morning, Sam woke and began quietly packing everything up, not that they had that much. He wasn't sure how early his brother would wake up, but if Dean needed to sleep for longer, Sam could leave it for a while before waking him.
Dean was no stranger to waking up sore from injuries he'd sustained the night before, but when he opened his eyes to the sun streaming in through the hotel blinds, his first thought was Christ that hurts. His second thought was Good. Because focusing on the outside pain helped him to not feel quite so much pain on the inside. He eyed Sam who was sitting at the table in front of his laptop, and said with a pout. "No coffee?"
"Want me to head out and get some?" Sam asked. "Or maybe we can grab some breakfast on the way out."
Dean really didn't want Sam to see how painful it was for him to get up and get dressed. The pain would die down some once he actually got moving, and took a couple more painkillers, and then he'd have an easier time concealing it. He waved at the door and said, "Just go grab me some of the swill from the hotel lobby, and we can stop to get some real food on the road."
"Yeah, sure." Sam stood up. "I've got the details for the case up, if you want to take a look." He headed out of the room.
Dean groaned as he got himself out of bed, and got dressed as quickly as possible trying to push past the pain every movement caused. He washed some painkillers down with a handful of water from the bathroom sink, and then stood in front of Sam's laptop to read about the new case. He'd decided it was a standard ghost job by the time Sam got back with his coffee.
Sam came back into the room, carrying two cups of coffee, one of which he handed to his brother. "So. What do you think?" He gestured towards the laptop.
"Looks like a simple salt and burn to me." Dean took a drink of his coffee, and closed his eyes as a happy noise came out of his throat. "Better than most," he said with surprise before tossing the car keys to Sam. If it were Baby, he might have suffered through sitting to drive, but the current clunker they were being forced to drive wasn't worth it. "Let's go."
Sam caught the keys and nodded, grabbing his laptop and then heading out of the motel room once more.
Dean got in the backseat of the car without explanation, doubting that Sam would comment. He slouched down onto his side so that most of the pressure of sitting rested on his hip, sipped at his coffee, and grabbed the entertainment magazine he'd taken from the hotel lobby yesterday. Sure it was full of a bunch of girly crap, but Jessica Biel was on the cover in a sexy dress, so it had to have some merit.
Sam got in the front seat, not making any comment on Dean's choice of where to sit, and began to drive.
Dean found an article about the ten best pickup lines, and started to read. He chuckled and muttered, "Amateurs."
It wasn't huge, but Sam couldn't help the smile that spread across his face at Dean's chuckle and comment. Okay. So maybe whaling on his brother's ass hadn't been the most conventional way of bringing him out of his slump… but Sam figured he could finally relax and feel like his brother would be okay.