Dean waits for Sam in the patch of anemones, tall grass tickling his knee where his jeans have long been torn. The sun is at its peak in the sky, wisps of clouds clinging to the surrounding blue. He hears the rustle of footsteps behind him, the tell-tale hitch of breath, and thinks SamSamSam.
Dean doesn't turn around when Sam's arms slide around his waist. He just leans his weight against his brother's solid chest and lets his eyes drift closed. Sam whispers a slur of words into Dean's hair, a jumbled mess of Dean and need you and missed you.
Dean hums low in his throat, face tilted towards the sky. Like he's trying to suck the sunlight into his skin—like he's trying bleed out the darkness and the let it seep into the soil. Then Sam twirls him around and presses his lips to the corner of Dean's mouth. "Mine," Sam whispers. Sam's. He's Sam's. Not even the sunlight can touch him under the blanket of Sam's shadow.
Sam's already in the field when Dean arrives. His brother is lying in the grass, head crowned by the old wooden cross jutting up from the ground. Sam is curled up on his side, hand splayed flat against the earth as if he's trying to touch Dean through the six feet of soil separating them.
Dean stands a few feet away, watching his brother stroke the ground in silent worship. Dean feels his heart clench in his chest at the sight, but he can't look away. "Sammy," he breathes.
"Lay with me," is all Sam says. Dean hesitantly makes his way across the tall grass, mindful of the clumps of flowers under his heavy boots. He lies in front of Sam so they're face to face. The hand that had been caressing the earth moments before rests on Dean's chest instead, right above his heart. "It's beating." Sam sounds breathless with his surprise.
Dean knows. He can feel feel it pounding in his chest, a slow tha-thump against his rib cage. "No, it's not." Sam gives him a wry smile and doesn't argue the point.
The sun is already bleeding into the ground, and Dean twists his fingers in Sam's jacket like he's desperate to keep Sam here. And he is. So fucking desperate for Sam that he clings to the younger man as if it would make a difference. "I almost thought you weren't going to come," Sam whispered.
Dean pillows his head on Sam's bicep. "I'll always come, Sammy."
The sun disappears behind the mountains and takes Sam with it.
Sam looks worn out and so very old. There is a dusting of stubble hugging his chin and black, crinkling lines under his eyes. He's still the most beautiful thing Dean has ever seen. Dean scuffs his boots along the yellowing weeds and smiles sadly. "Jesus, Sammy. When was the last time you slept?"
Sam blinks, stopped at the foot of the grave site. "It's been a while," Sam says with a slow grin.
"Gotta take better care of yourself, baby boy."
Sam shrugs, looks at his feet. "Nothing I haven't already heard from Bobby or dad."
Dean feels himself flinch back. "Dad... is he...?" he clears his throat.
"He's been better. He misses you," Sam says. "We all do."
Dean stretches his hand out and Sam hesitantly steps forward to take it. "I'm right here."
Sam's lips on his bare skin burn, as if Sam had held them over an open fire until they were searing hot. "Please," he breathes. Sam's hands are on his ass, spreading him open, and Dean feels a finger probing the puckered skin there. "Please, Sam."
"Not enough time," Sam whispers. There is a thread of sadness beneath the heavy desperation and anticipation. "There's never enough time."
"I know," Dean says, and on those words, Sam slides into him. They melt together with frantic movements, their words murmured into the air like their last rites.
When they come with a shout of each other's name, Sam holds Dean to his chest as the sunset paints the sky in a mural of vibrant pinks and purples. They are sharing a last kiss when the ground opens up and swallows Dean back down.
Sam falls against the grass, the red stain on the front of his shirt spreading steadily. "Nonononono," Dean says, running to Sam. He cradles his brother's head in hands as he carefully peels away the cotton from Sam's abdomen. Three vertical claw marks run along the length of Sam's stomach, a stream of blood seeping out with each labored breath that hitches in Sam's chest. "Goddamn it, Sam. You should be in a hospital."
Sam grabs Dean's hand and clutches it tightly. "Couldn't," he slurs. "'S our day. Couldn't miss our day, we only get one." He gives a weak cough. "We only get one."
"There's next year." One of Dean's tears splatters across Sam's cheek. "There's always another day next year."
"I want to spend every day with you." Sam's eyes start to droop. "Let me?"
"You can't," Dean says fiercely, but Sam doesn't listen. He goes slack in Dean's arms and Dean can do nothing but watch the light fade in Sam's eyes.
Dean holds Sam until the moon rips him from Dean's arms.
Sam's sitting on his own grave when Dean feels the pull of sunlight. There are no anemones planted around Sam's cross, but there is a small patch of wild roses. Sam's running a tentative hand along the petals when Dean steals up behind him. "Idiot," Dean says quietly. His voice is hoarse like he spent the whole year crying. And maybe he had.
Sam chuckles. "Am not. I'm the brains of this outfit, remember?"
Dean cracks a small smile that doesn't quite reach his eyes. "Yeah," he says. "I remember."
Sam leans his head against Dean's leg and whispers "Missed you." Dean threads his fingers through Sam's dark hair and whispers back, "Missed you too, Sammy."
"Does this mean we have more than a day?" Sam asks, voice cracking with fragile hope.
"I think this means we have forever," Dean replies.
That night, when the earth took Dean back, it took Sam too.