Author's notes: This is set in the "Sometimes the Hero Gets the Guy" universe. It isn't necessarily the third chapter in the story, although I do recommend reading it, otherwise one might be confused.
Sometimes the Hero Almost Screws it Up
Sam shifted in bed, and, still mostly asleep, reached out his arm. He was expecting to connect with a warm body; had been, in his sleepy state, looking forward to it actually. Instead all he felt were a mattress and blankets. He frowned, a little more awake now, and reached out farther, feeling across the mattress with his outstretched hand.
Strange. He really should have come across some portion of Dean's body by now; the bed was only a double for heaven's sake.
Now fully awake and a little frustrated, he sat up in bed and turned on the light on the night-stand.
Sure enough, he was alone in the bed. The frown that he'd been wearing since he had first started to wake deepened as he looked around the motel room for Dean. He called out his name tentatively.
But Dean was nowhere to be seen and if he was here, he was not making himself heard.
Sam stood up and made for the bathroom, intending to look there, although he already knew that Dean wasn't in it. He could sense that he was the only person in the motel room; had sensed it from the moment that he had woken up.
He checked the bathroom anyway, mostly in the interest of being thorough, knocking on the door even though there was no light spilling out from underneath. He opened the door, looked around, and was met with only empty, quiet space.
Feeling angry, confused and frightened all at once, he walked back out of the bathroom and opened the motel room's door. A quick glance around the parking lot told him that his car was NOT where he had parked it. That it was, in fact, not in the lot at all.
Sam stepped back inside and rubbed his hand viciously across his forehead. Why hadn't he insisted on getting Dean a cell phone? It was obvious that he had taken the car and left. But why? And to go where?
He deliberated trying to find him, but eventually discarded that thought. This was an unknown town and he would be on foot, whereas Dean had the car. He could look all night and not find him. Hell, he could look all night and not come anywhere close.
He decided that a better course of action would be to wait for a bit before trying to track him down. Dawn wasn't far away and it would be much easier to find him then. All of Dean's things were still in the room anyway, which in all probability meant that he intended to come back.
Feeling only slightly better once he had a plan, even if it was a rudimentary one, he sat back down on the bed and settled in to wait, mentally giving Dean two hours to turn up before he'd have to resort to hunting him down.
A little over an hour later, he heard the sound of a key turning in the lock. He watched in stony silence as Dean, who was obviously taking great pains to be quiet, opened the door. "Sam, what are you doing up?" he asked in surprise when he realized that Sam was indeed up and awake.
"Where the hell have you been?" Sam asked. His slow, measured tones did nothing to hide how upset he was.
Sam's voice grew even colder as he stood up. "I said, where the hell have you been?"
Dean's ever-present smile faltered. "I couldn't sleep, so I borrowed your car and went to the bar down the road. I didn't think you'd mind."
Sam, too angry to speak, just stood there, glaring.
"Look, if it's about my taking the car, I . . . "
"This isn't about the god damn car, Dean. How many times have I told you about going out alone?"
"Is that what this is about? Shit, Sam . . . "
But Sam didn't let him finish. He was far too full of righteous anger - always the most dangerous kind - to even stop and listen to what the other man was saying. "How many times, Dean? Huh? Did we not agree that it wasn't a good idea? And then you go sneaking off alone, at night, in a strange town! What the hell were you thinking?"
Dean took a couple of steps toward him, finally growing angry himself. "First of all, we didn't agree to anything, you agreed. And secondly, last time I checked, my mother was back in Fairfield, so get off my fucking case!"
"Dean, you know what's out there! Why would you go out without me? Why would you do something that stupid?" Sam asked, his voice growing louder and louder with every sentence.
"You are not my mother, you are not my warden and last time I checked, you did not own me! So just drop it!"
And with that, he pushed past Sam, heading toward the bed. Sam reached out and grasped his upper arm in a bruising grip, forcing him to a stop. "We are not done talking about this."
Dean glanced down at the hand on his arm before looking back up at Sam. "Really? Cause I think we are." He attempted to shake loose of Sam's grip, but if anything, Sam held on even tighter.
"Sam, let go of my arm," he said with forced calm.
Sam looked down and, realizing just how hard he was holding on to Dean, relaxed and dropped his grip. But not before he saw what Dean was holding in his other hand.
"What is that?" he asked, nodding toward the wad of bills that Dean was clutching.
Dean looked away, shaking his head. "It's nothing."
"Really? It doesn't look like nothing. Where did you get that money, Dean?"
Dean sighed wearily, moving away from Sam. "I was going to surprise you with it. We've been so low on money lately. I just wanted to help out."
And then it all clicked for Sam; Dean's sneaking out, going to the seedy bar in the middle of the night, the money . . . In his mind it all added up to one thing. And that thought was the one that pushed all his ugly, simmering emotions to the boiling point.
"How did you get that money, Dean? Did you fuck somebody for that money?"
Dean whirled around to face him."What!"
"This is unbelievable. You are unbelievable." Sam threw his hands up in the air, backing away from him in disgust.
Dean stared at him, mouth open, while hurt and shock warred for dominance on his face. "Is that where you think I got this?" he asked in a strangled whisper.
"Are you going to tell me something different?"
Sam waited, but Dean's only response was to continue to stare at him as if he had never seen him before.
"What am I supposed to think?" Sam continued when it became clear that Dean wasn't going to answer. "You go sneaking off late at night and you come back with a wad of money. What, that you became a stockbroker in the middle of the night?" He looked down and nodded at the money in Dean's hand. "That's a lot of money. How many did you have to take on to make that much?"
Dean's smile returned at last, but it was a twisted, ugly smile, a corroded version of itself. "Oh, I get it now. Once a whore, always a whore. That's all you'll ever see me as, isn't it?" He closed the distance between them, grabbed Sam's hand, and placed the money in it. His eyes shone wet in the room's eerie, yellow light as he said, "I fucked every single guy that was willing. And you can go to hell, Sam Winchester."
And without another word, he turned and walked away. He then made for the dresser drawer that held his clothes and began pulling them out calmly.
Sam, coming off the high of his fury after hearing Dean's words and seeing him break just a little, watched as Dean methodically emptied out the drawer of all its contents. "What are you doing?" he asked.
"What does it look like? I'm leaving."
And suddenly Sam's anger was gone, vanishing so quickly that not even its ghost remained. It was replaced almost immediately by the dual, sickening feelings of guilt and fear as they settled deep into his stomach. "What?"
"That was our deal, remember? I could leave whenever I wanted? Well, I want."
Dean picked up his duffel bag from off the floor and started placing his clothes into it with frightening efficiency.
"Dean, wait . . . "
Dean ignored him completely, seemingly hellbent on getting all his clothes to fit in the one bag.
Sam walked over to him and grabbed his arm gently. "Dean, stop. Please."
"Don't. Touch. Me."
The pure venom in Dean's voice caused Sam to back away, lifting his hand as if he'd been scalded by it.
Fine, so he wouldn't touch him. But he still had his voice and he'd be damned if he wasn't going to use it. "Dean, please don't leave. Please just listen to me for a minute," he pleaded.
And miraculously, Dean stopped packing, although he made no move to turn around.
"It's just that," Sam began hesitantly, "the thought of anybody else touching you . . . it drives me insane."
Sam stopped and waited. He waited for Dean to turn around, for him to smile that brilliant smile, to be told to "fuck off and die." Something . . . anything.
"Go on," Dean finally said.
"I'm sorry. I am so sorry," he said. Desperation colored his voice and he found that the more he talked, the faster he talked, until his words were practically tripping over each other in his eagerness to get them out. "It's just that . . . these past three months that we've been together? This is the longest relationship I've ever had. Before you . . . maybe three days tops. I'm so new at this. And I know I'm screwing up half the time, and I hate that I'm doing it. But, I swear, I don't think I'd be messing up this bad if I didn't care about you so much."
He clamped down on the flow of words abruptly, almost biting his tongue from the force of shutting his mouth. He was surprised to find that he was breathing rather heavily, almost as if he'd just gone toe to toe with some malignant force.
"Dean, say something . . . "
Dean heaved a huge, weary sigh and finally turned around. "Your jealousy shit is getting old, Sam."
Those few words might as well have been manna from heaven to Sam. Dean was talking to him. He was probably still upset, but at least he was talking. "I know. I know it is. But give me another chance. Or two or three maybe. I might need that many. But don't give up on me. Don't leave."
Dean crossed his arms in front of his chest and lifted one eyebrow.
Sam took that as another good sign and continued. "Dean, I honestly don't know what I'd do without you."
And I think I might be falling in love with you . . .
The thought, which had actually been swimming around in his mind for about a week now, flashed neon bright in his head, but he did not allow himself to voice it. Maybe soon he would, but not yet.
Sighing again, Dean let go of the duffel bag. It fell to the floor with a soft thump. "You're an ass."
Sam chanced a smile. Dean's voice held resigned affection. It was the voice of someone who is about to forgive.
"Yeah, I know." He held out his hand, waiting for Dean to take it and come to him. Somewhere in the back of his mind, the prospect of make-up sex was already rearing its naughty head. When Dean made no move toward him, Sam began to wonder if had he misread him. He lowered his hand and waited.
"I didn't sleep with anybody for that money," Dean said matter-of-factly.
"I didn't . . . "
"No, I got that part. But . . . what?"
"I hustled some guys at pool at the bar. That's where I got it."
Now it was Sam's turn to stare with his mouth open. "You're a pool hustler?"
Dean leaned casually against the dresser. "What can I say? I'm multi-talented."
Although he would never admit it, the relief at hearing where Dean had really gotten the money almost drove him to his knees. "Why didn't you say that in the first place?" Sam cried.
"Because you were so hellbent on doing your Ike Turner impersonation, I didn't think I should stop you."
Sam cringed. "I wasn't that bad, was I?"
"I'll let you know when the bruises heal, Ike."
Sam laughed and held out his hand again, putting on his best puppy-dog face. "Did I mention I'm an ass?"
This time, Dean reached over and took the proffered hand. He pulled Dean close to him and wrapped his arms around him, breathing him in, feeling his warmth. He kissed him deeply, running one hand down one jean-clad thigh while the other tightened in Dean's short hair.
It was almost hard to believe that just a few minutes ago Dean had been on the verge of walking out on him. The thought chilled him, and he vowed to himself never to let it get that far again.
They broke apart long enough for Sam to exhale, "Let's never do that again," before leaning forward to plant wet, little kisses along the base of Dean's throat.
Dean growled, low and animalistic and greedy and the sparks from that sound alone almost sent Sam over the edge.
Yeah, the fight had been bad, but my God, was the make-up sex going to be fantastic!
Sam had abandoned Dean's neck, and was now working on kissing every inch of Dean's collarbone when he felt strong hands on his chest pushing him away.
"Whoa, cowboy. Stop right there," Dean said breathlessly.
"What . . . what's the matter?"
"Much as I would like to continue this," Dean said as he looked Sam up and down, "there's still the problem of you thinking you're my mother and having a shit fit when I go out by myself."
Sam sighed miserably, trying to remind himself that he was an adult now and that pouting would be unseemly. "Dean, I don't want you going out alone because I worry about you."
"Yeah, well, there's a way we can fix that."
"What? No, no way. Out of the question. We've talked about this."
"Yeah, and your answer sucks every time."
"Dean . . . "
"Come on, Sammy," Dean said as he leaned into Sam, looking up at him through his lashes. "I'm strong. I'm fast. I'm a quick learner. And I'll be able to help you. I'll finally be able to pull my own weight around here."
But Sam was standing firm, even though Dean looked about fifty kinds of delicious when he did that. "First of all, it's Sam. And second of all, what I do is dangerous and the thought of you getting hurt out there . . . well, I don't think I could handle it, Dean."
Dean backed away, the flirtatious look gone. "Oh, but it's ok for me?"
"Do you have any idea how hard it is for me to watch you go out to face ghosties night after night while I'm stuck in some motel room like a. . . . a princess in an ivory tower?"
"You worry about me?"
"You are so fucking clueless sometimes, you know that? Of course I worry about you. Every time you leave me, I think that this is the time that your luck runs out."
"But I'm trained. Well trained."
"But you're not invincible, Sam."
"No, but . . . " He paused, not sure of what to say. He finally settled for a lame, "I had no idea you worried about me."
"The point is, I'm a grown man, Sam. I'm not a princess in a tower that you have to protect. Let me be your partner. Let me help you."
Sam dropped his head into his hands. This is what Dean had been pushing for ever since they'd met; his going on hunts. And this is what Sam had been trying so hard to avoid. The thought of all the dangers that Dean could face out there scared the shit out of him, but at the same time he knew he couldn't continue to treat Dean as if he were some defenseless child, or as he'd so aptly put it, "a princess in a tower." To do that would run the risk of losing him. No, Dean was a man, and he was going to have to start treating him like one.
Sam rubbed his hands over his face, wondering, not for the first time, why relationships had to be so hard.
He lifted his head and saw that Dean was looking at him intently.
"All right," Sam said. "We're going to have to make the make-up sex a quickie, then."
"Well, we have to if we're going to start training early in the morning."
Dean's eyes widened, filling with excitement like a kid's at Christmas. "Sam . . . "
"I think we'll start with basic self-defense. Have you ever heard of Krav Maga?"