Disclaimer: I own nothing, this is just for fun.


Chapter V

Several months had passed since Jessica's death, and slowly but surely Sam seemed to be coming back to life. He laughed and smiled more, although he was still plagued with terrible nightmares from time to time. They were becoming less frequent, but when they happened he would wake up in a cold sweat, gaping with horror, not even able to cry out. The dreams were always the same; Jessica trapped on that ceiling, her face frozen forever in an expression of terror and disbelief, her blood dripping from a gaping wound in her stomach, slowly, and thick as treacle, drip drip drip. Sam would always reach desperately for her, only for the room to burst into flames, and then he'd wake up, shaking violently.

It was moments like those that made him crave physical affection. After the initial shock of the nightmare had worn off, Sam would always turn and look at Dean, who was either fast asleep or who would be staring back at him with an expression that was a strange medley of confusion, concern and something else that Sam couldn't quite put his finger on.

Of course, they never discussed the indiscretions that had occurred when they'd been younger. There were always strange, lingering looks in moments of silence, and smiles that went on just a second too long, but neither of them ever mentioned it. Sam sometimes felt like he wanted to explode, just to have Dean acknowledge it. He knew that he needed his brother, but he was unsure in which way he needed him, and whether it was want, not just need.

On the rare occasions where Sam didn't dream about Jessica, he dreamt about Dean, and would always wake up riddled with guilt and nausea, and nursing an erection that throbbed painfully between his legs. Typically he would use it as an excuse to go have a shower and relieve himself, the scalding water dripping off his nose as he would closed-eye masturbate thinking about the blonde man in the next room. He always felt overwhelmed after his orgasm. It always involved myriad feelings; guilt about Jessica, about wanting someone so badly so soon after her death, anger towards Dean for making him feel this way, bitterness that Dean had pushed him away so long ago and disgust at himself for being so weak.

Dean gave Sam no real indication of how he felt about it all. He seemed relatively normal (by Dean's standards anyway), full of innuendos and smart-ass comments, taking great pleasure in teasing his younger brother and getting hideously drunk now and again, which usually culminated in him disappearing with a barmaid or some other girl for several hours, before returning smelling of cheap perfume, sweat and sex, with a large, smug grin plastered to his face. It was a smell that turned Sam's stomach every time without fail, and he would be in a bad mood with Dean until sometime the next day, even though Dean pretended not to notice.

Today they were in Maine. It was nearly April, but there was still a harsh chill in the end, and white snow clouds were collecting menacingly on the horizon. Sam hated snow. Being so tall and slim made it difficult for him to keep warm. Dean, being shorter and stockier, seemed to cope with it better. Plus Sam felt that he'd gotten far too used to California's warm climate in the several years he'd lived there.

Dean had parked the car briefly on the hard shoulder of a deserted road. They hadn't seen another car for miles, and in normal circumstances it would've made anyone nervous. However, they were Winchesters, and the words "normal" and "nervous" didn't enter into their vocabulary. Dean was glaring with intent at a crumpled map while eating a biscuit, dropping crumbs all down it. Sam was flicking through their father's journal idly. He'd read it countless times, to the point where the words were ceasing to have any meaning, just becoming repetitive symbols and pictures and not much more.

"I swear, Sammy," said Dean, sounding disgruntled. "It's around here somewhere. It just doesn't seem to be on the map."

"Well, it's an old place. There's no reason why it would be."

Sam and Dean were in the process of finding an abandoned farmhouse which was seemingly inhabited by a particularly hideous spirit that lured the owners of broken down cars off the road, in a farcical show of friendliness. The unfortunate people had all met grisly ends, their faces all frozen in an expression of utter terror, torsos slashed to pieces. They'd all died of massive blood loss. The police remained baffled by it. Obviously there were never any witnesses, or any survivors, or any fingerprints. It seemed a lost cause until the Winchester brothers started to take an interest in it. After some digging by Sam on his laptop, it appeared that the spirit in question seemed to be a David Von Raumer, a farmer who had been found brutally murdered shortly after his disappearance in the surrounding countryside. His stomach had been slashed open, and he'd died from loss of blood. It seemed as if his angry spirit was taking revenge for his brutal death, but taking revenge on people who were wholly innocent.

"Well, wherever that damn farmhouse is, looks like it'll be a simple salt-and-burn," said Dean. "Didn't you say that his wife had him buried on the land, near some tree that had their initials carved into it?"

"Yeah," replied Sam. "It'd be sweet if it didn't involve burning the body of a murderous ghost."

Dean gave a small snort of amusement, and turned his head to look at the setting sun. The light caught his green eyes, making them glow in a way that was unsettlingly dazzling. The little flecks of gold around his pupils were briefly illuminated. Sam gawped at him stupidly for a moment, reminded of Homer's description of the gods in The Iliad, their eyes shining, and terrible in their beauty. Dean was beautiful beyond the reach of mortal men. Sam felt his pulse quicken. His mouth felt dry.

"Sun's going down," said Dean, who either hadn't noticed Sam's gormless expression or was pointedly ignoring it. "We'd better start looking for this place. I don't wanna start driving and end up getting lured off the road by some asshole of a spirit."

Sam nodded assent, opened the car door and walked round to the boot. He pulled the lid up, picking up a pistol loaded with rock salt, a medium-sized hatchet, a shovel and a sawn-off shotgun. Dean locked the Impala before picking up similar weapons. He shot a small smile at Sam.

"Just another day's work, huh?" he said. "Y' know, sometimes I wish I could just work in real estate or something."

"Really?" said Sam, eyebrow raised, incredulous.

"For someone so smart, you really are a moron sometimes, Sammy," said Dean, shaking his head.

"It's not my fault that you don't know how to enunciate sarcasm properly," retorted Sam, giving Dean his best sardonic smile, but secretly rather embarrassed to have not gotten the joke.

"Ooh, big words, college boy," muttered Dean, rolling his eyes. He checked the barrel of his rock-salt pistol, making sure it was fully-loaded, his eyes alert and serious. "We need to be careful with this one, Sammy," he said. "Apparently he's a quick bastard, and you just know he won't like us diggin' him up. Son-of-a-bitch."

"Yeah," said Sam, looking thoughtful. "All those people... they didn't deserve what happened to them." The sun was almost gone now, mostly sunk below the horizon. The sky was wild with violet and orange bursts of colour. Dean went to say something, but paused. The colours of the sunset had whispered glimmering lights on Sam's dark, wild hair, licking around his face like bright flames. Dean swallowed.

"Well," he said, his voice low. "A lot of shitty things happen to people who don't deserve them." A dark look crossed his handsome face. "That's life."

Sam didn't have a reply to this. He looked away from Dean, his eyes shadowed and sad. He breathed in, the freezing Maine air almost startling him. He zipped up his jacket. "You ready?" he asked. Dean nodded, and with one last look at the map, the brothers set off into the darkening forest, imposing, green and black. It smelt damp and fresh.

They walked for miles, listening intently to the surrounding sounds of the woodland. It was practically silent, the quiet only pierced occasionally by the sharp squawk of a bird, or the sounds of twigs snapping under the brothers' large feet. Their breathing was measured and quiet, despite the exertion of walking through miles of overgrown forest. They were old hand at this now, and somewhat jaded at things that would give other people nightmares for their rest of their lives. Eventually, Dean came upon what appeared to be a path that had been overgrown with plants and creepers for a long time. He pulled a machete out of his backpack, and slashed at the blockage.

Sam kept an eye out, shining his torch around the now pitch-black forest. He knew they were close, and could feel the adrenaline begin to hiss through his bloodstream, pleasurable, exhilarating and fearful all at once. It tingled down his arms, and he felt slightly lightheaded.

After several minutes of hacking, the path became clearer, and wide enough for a man to walk through. The brothers continued to walk in silence, watching and listening, shining their torches, until suddenly a dilapidated building loomed ominously up ahead of them. They stopped, and looked at each other with expressions that were somewhere between trepidation and relief. Dean's face, illuminated in the torchlight, grinned at Sam, giving him the look of a very handsome skull. Sam almost laughed, but caught himself.

"Let's get looking for that tree," said Dean, his voice deceptively loud in the painful silence of the forest. "Smoke that bastard."

Sam nodded. They decided not to separate. It was dangerous doing it at the best of times, in broad daylight, but it was monumentally stupid to try it at night, next to a farmhouse that was haunted by a homicidal spirit with a penchant for butchery.

It took around twenty minutes to locate the tree. For a moment Sam and Dean just stared at it, shining their torches on the love-heart that had been inscribed into it. Sam felt a pang in his chest; someone had loved the soul of the spirit they were about to destroy once. They'd been happy. He felt he could understand the anger of someone who'd been murdered and taken away from the person they loved. He could see how years of fury, regret and despair could turn you into a monster. He stared at the headstone at the trunk of the tree.

Dean had apparently noticed the soft look on Sam's face and frowned at him. "Sam, stop feeling sorry for them," he said. "They're not the same as they were when they were alive. It's not the same thing. This Von Raumer guy... he might have been good once, but now he kills innocent people. You shouldn't pity him."

"I know," said Sam, quietly. "But monsters are made, Dean, not born."

"I bet you wouldn't be saying that if he was carving his initials into your guts," said Dean, darkly.

Sam didn't reply, and started to dig. Dean continued to frown, but helped Sam, heaving piles of dirt away from the old grave, their torches upright, casting weird shafts of light around the forest, and creating nightmare shadows. Despite the biting cold, Sam and Dean began to sweat from the effort of digging. Their shoulders ached, muscles cording uncomfortably at the neck, their blood turning to battery acid. Finally, they hit wood. It sounded hollow, and was unmistakeably a coffin. Dean pried off the lid and stared down at the white bones inside, completely indifferent. It was something he'd seen dozens of times before; it was nothing new or shocking or special.

He climbed out of the grave, followed swiftly by Sammy who was still gazing downwards with an expression that was almost tender.

"What the hell, Sammy?" snapped Dean, exasperated. "Why're you getting so fucking mushy over a goddamn salt-and-burn? What the hell's so special about this?"

Sam glared at Dean. "Just because I have to destroy something doesn't mean I have to feel nothing about it, ok?" He sighed, aggravated. "Just salt and petrol it already. I've got the matches."

Dean shook his head, his annoyance subdued, and poured the rock salt around the corpse. The temperature seemed to drop a little lower, and Dean felt something icy slip down his spine. It was definitely not a good feeling. Feeling strangely nervous, he poured the petrol on the corpse, making sure it was covered.

Suddenly, Dean gave a blood-curdling shriek, and Sam visibly flinched. Dean looked down at his stomach, to see blood dripping onto the waist band of his jeans. Sharply, he tugged up his shirt to see that he'd been slashed. He felt sick, but yelled at Sam, "Light him up, Sammy! Fucking light him up!"

Sam gawped at him, open-mouthed and wide-eyed, before struggling to light a match. Eventually the match flared into being, and Sam threw it into the grave, where the body instantly ignited. To Sam's horror, he saw the spectre of Von Raumer standing behind Dean. The spirit started to flame, but it didn't struggle or wail as spirits often did. It simply stared at them hungrily, and then smiled in such a way that made Sam's blood freeze in his veins.

He turned back to Dean, who had slumped to his feet. Sam tugged up his shirt and gasped at the wound. It wasn't terribly deep, and he knew that Dean would be alright, but the sight of his brother in such pain was almost disorientating.

"Dean, Dean, it's ok, it's ok," Sam cried breathlessly. "Come on, get up, we need to get you stitched up."

"I know, Sammy," said Dean, who sounded almost pissed off. He had one arm over the wound, trying to stem the blood flow. He seemed to be losing a surprising amount of blood for a cut that hadn't pierced any organs or major vessels. Sam grabbed the torches, sticking one in Dean's free hand, and then supported his brother, practically dragging him through the forest, away from the burning corpse. It took a long time to get back to the Impala, by which time Dean was very weak and starting to become incoherent from shock, his eyes rolling around in his skull like snooker balls. Sam placed Dean in the back seat of the Impala, and was startled at how pale his brother's face was. The freckles on his nose stood out like bruises in the whiteness and he suddenly looked very hollow-eyed.

"Where's the nearest motel?" mumbled Dean, in a moment of clarity. "You can't stitch me up here, man."

"It's miles away," said Sam. "You're in pretty bad shape, Dean. I'm gonna have to stitch you up here, whether you like it or not." Dean groaned dully in response, before reaching under the front seat, shakily and taking picking up a hipflask. Whatever was in it smelt highly alcoholic – probably whiskey – and Dean took several deep glugs from it, before grimacing at the taste, and also the sight of Sam preparing a needle and thread from their first-aid kid.

Sam laid Dean back, pulling his brother's shirt up to his armpits. Dean's stomach was an expanse of toned, fair flesh with a line of light hair running down into his jeans. His beautiful body was marred by the cut, which although was not seriously deep, was nasty and still bleeding, although not with the same speed as it had been, which gave Sam some relief.

"Stay awake," Sam snapped at Dean, who was looking groggy. "I don't want you passing out on me."

Dean snorted in response, and stared at the car roof, hissing with pain every time the needle sank under his skin, before being slowly drawn back out. It took almost an hour to sew up the wound, by which point Dean seemed to be slipping in and out of sleep, partly from exhaustion, partly from losing blood.

"You still with me, Deano?" said Sam, rubbing some antiseptic lotion on to the sewn-up slash. Dean raised his head and looked at Sam with a tired, displeased gaze.

"Yeah, I'm still in the land of the living," grumbled Dean. "I'm real tired though."

"From the blood loss, probably," said Sam.

"No shit, Captain Obvious," snapped Dean. "God, I feel like hell. That cut fucking hurts."

Sam threw Dean a concerned look. "Maybe we should get you to a hospital. I mean, you've bled kind of a lot. You might need a transfusion."

Dean stared at Sam with an expression of utter contempt. "Sam, I'm up and talking, aren't I? Do you really think that I'm such a pussy that I need to go get a damn transfusion?" He gave Sam a withering look and Sam felt his cheeks go hot under his brother's gaze.

"Okay, okay," he conceded. Dean looked terribly pale and was very tired, but he seemed fine and wouldn't have any lasting damage, apart from a new scar to add to his already large collection. Sam put the antiseptic cream back in their first-aid box and left Dean lying in the back seat, staring up at the Impala's ceiling with drowsy, shadowed eyes.

"If you crash the Impala, I'll end you," grunted Dean.
Sam snorted with mild amusement at his brother. Even after a nasty injury, his car was still debatably the most important thing to him. The drive was uneventful and quite long, with Sam trying his hardest to avoid potholes in the road. Whenever he hit one, Dean would make a small, disgruntled sound, one hand over his gashed stomach. It seemed to be clotting well, however, which was a blessing.

After a half-hour drive, Sam spotted a grim-looking motel at the side of the road, its cheap neon sign flashing and humming. He pulled into the car park, and dug around in the glove compartment for one of the many fraudulent credit cards. After several seconds of deliberation, Sam decided to be Roger Waters today. He peered into the back seat to see that Dean's eyes were shut. Sam froze for a moment, before feeling a wave of relief wash over him as he watched Dean's chest rise and fall rhythmically. He gave Dean a little nudge with his knuckles, and his brother's eyes fluttered open sleepily. He looked dazed.

"We here already?" said Dean, his voice thick with sleep.

"Yeah," said Sam. "Want me to help you out?"

Dean raised an eyebrow. "I can walk fine, thanks," he said. "I've had worse. You know that."

Sam shrugged, one-shouldered, still looking at Dean with concern. "Well, ok then," he said. "If you really think you're alright."

"I'm fine," snapped Dean gruffly, and Sam fell silent.

Once inside the motel, Sam paid for the nicest room possible, which in this case meant the room with the least insects, a door that locked and hot, running water. It was a strangely decorated room; red and cream, which gave it a wholly girly look that Sam wasn't impressed by. Dean didn't seem to notice, as he was half-asleep, rubbing his eyes and looking sulky as a child. Sam helped Dean get into one of the beds, as bending down seemed to cause him a fair amount of pain.

"I'm not a fucking old woman, Sammy," huffed Dean. He was embarrassed, Sam could tell. Dean was always so self-sufficient, so independent and so used to taking care of his younger brother that being treated like he was an invalid in any form made him seethe with shame.

"Stop being so stubborn," said Sam. "You got hurt. I'm just seeing you're okay, man."

Dean looked into his brother's face. His expression was one of such care and concern that it almost brought tears to his eyes. He shrugged them away, feeling ashamed of himself. He could feel Sam's soft hazel eyes on his own, and could feel himself start to get slightly lightheaded, his pulse quickening.

"Yeah, I know," said Dean, softly, looking somewhat bashful. "Sorry Sammy."

Sam's face softened, and he smiled. "It's ok," he said. It was late, and there was a slight chill in the air from the open window. Sam crossed the room in two long strides and shut it, before turning to Dean. "Look, I'm kinda hungry. I'm gonna go see if there's a vending machine around here or something." As if on cue, Sam's stomach growled, and Dean smiled. "Are you going to be ok here?" said Sam.

"Yeah," said Dean. "I'm gonna go to sleep, I think. I feel like hell."

"You look it."

Dean gave Sam a sardonic look, and gingerly pulled his blood-stained t-shirt off, looking at it with disdain before flinging it across the room. Dean hadn't thought anything of it until he glanced at Sam, to see his brother's mouth fixed in a small "o", as if startled. Suddenly Dean felt very naked and vulnerable; a feeling he was not used to and certainly didn't like. Sam blinked at him like a deer caught in headlights, before opening and closing his mouth with no sound coming out. He turned, all long legs and wild hair, and made to leave the room, fists strangely clenched. Dean raised an eyebrow.

"Going to look for food," he said, his voice low and controlled. "Rest up, Dean." Then he opened the door, and slipped out like a thief, leaving Dean staring at the shut door, utterly baffled, and his heart pounding uncomfortably in his chest. He could feel his pulse hissing inside his wound, each beat like a tiny needle of pain.

Wincing from pain, Dean removed his jeans – filthy from tramping through the forests and bloody – and slipped under the covers of his single bed. To his surprise, it smelled clean, which he hadn't expected from such a grim-looking motel.

He felt exhausted, but at least Sam had done a decent job of sewing him up. Dean had been lucky that none of his muscles had been damaged. Upon closer inspection, his wound didn't look as deep as he'd expected, although it was still very painful. Without warning, his mind slipped back to the backseat of the Impala, looking down at Sam leaning over him, Sam's young face screwed up with concentration as he threaded the needle and stitched up his brother's stomach. Sam's long, gentle fingers danced through Dean's head. The thought that so recently they'd been on his skin left imprints like fire. Dean felt his mouth go dry and reached for the tumbler of water that was by the side of his bed. He held it to his temple and shut his eyes, feeling himself unconsciously relive Sam's expression of concern and what Dean suspected was love, feeling his fingers brush his pale skin. He saw the little flecks of green in Sam's hazel eyes.

Dean sighed, and reached to flick off the light. His eyelids fluttered with exhaustion, and the last thing he thought of before sleep enveloped him was Sam. Only Sam.

Sam was gone for longer than he expected. As it happened, he did find a vending machine, and had got himself a wealth of incredibly unhealthy snacks, along with a cup of hot chocolate. It was bitterly cold by that point, and well past midnight. He assumed that by now Dean was fast asleep, and that it was safe enough to head back to the room and go to sleep.

Sam's head felt like it was pulsing with thoughts. He'd always been a deep thinker ever since he was a child, and frequently lost himself in ideas, memories and thoughts. He dwelled on things too much, he felt, but it wasn't like a switch that he could magically turn on and off. It was simply the way he was, constantly dissecting situations and conversations and emotions, and trying to make sense of it all.

Sam frowned at the black night sky, brows furrowed. This all felt so familiar and comfortable, but it was also something that had broken his heart, something that he had spent months, years, getting over. Not to mention the fact that Jessica had died several months ago. He felt like he was doing a huge disservice to her memory. He couldn't help imagining the look on her face if she had ever found out that Sam had spent a portion of his teenage years alternately fantasising about and fucking his elder brother. It was an expression that always stopped him dead, even if it was imaginary.

Sam had never understood why Dean had suddenly turned so cold all those years ago. It had seemed like one minute they had been desperately in love with each other, spending every moment they could together, being astonished at the depth of their feelings for one another, and then the next minute Dean was pushing him away, giving him dark, cold looks whenever Sam tried to be affectionate, and avoiding being close to Sam at all. The final crushing blow had been Dean sleeping with other people, and most painfully, being blatant about it – talking loudly and obviously about some gorgeous blonde he'd bedded the night before, or describing graphically all the things he'd done with them.

It was the smell that had bothered Sam the most. Dean's words could easily be ignored, but the sour odour of cheap perfume, sex and sweat had turned his stomach. More than once Sam had had to retreat to the bathroom to throw up, retching until his throat was sore and until tears had spilled down his cheeks without him even being aware of it.

To say that it had been painful would be an understatement. It had broken his heart in two.

That final night before he'd left for Stanford had been for worse. Even now, several years on, Sam couldn't remember that night without feeling a raw pang hit him in the stomach. That look in Dean's eyes as Sam had begged him with his own to stand up for him, to protect him; the way Dean had looked at him, then looked away, leaving Sam at the mercy of their father's rage... Dean had always been Sam's protector – always – even when he'd shunned his feelings, and to have Dean side with their father, the man who had essentially ruined any hope of a normal life for his sons... it had been too much to bear. Leaving had been the only option. If he'd stayed, Sam couldn't have borne it.

It was freezing outside now, unsurprisingly, and Sam hugged himself, moving quickly on the spot to prevent himself getting pins and needles. He looked at his watch, and was surprised that it was nearly two in the morning. Suddenly he felt fatigued and yawned widely. Dean must be out cold by now, he deduced, and with some relief he trudged back to his odd little room, fervently hoping that Dean was asleep, not only because his recent thoughts had caused him extreme discomfort, but also because sometimes it was just nice to look at Dean while he was sleeping.

Once he'd made it back to the room, Sam slowly and deftly opened the door, being as quiet as humanly possible for someone so large. A sliver of light from the hallway cut across the room, and Sam couldn't help but smile to himself at the sight of Dean, who was splayed across his bed as if someone had picked him up like a ragdoll and dropped him there. His mouth was slightly open, revealing his very white, very even teeth. One arm was draped over his stomach in an unconsciously protective gesture, while the other dangled helplessly off the bed. He looked terribly young and innocent in his sleep, which Sam knew he definitely was not.

However, the illusion was nice, and Sam had no intention of ruining it with something as annoying as common sense.

Silently, he undressed, one eye always on his brother, making sure he was alright, transfixed by how beautiful he was. He remembered looking at Dean once when they were younger, thinking that he'd looked like a sleeping Apollo. Looking at him now, that thought still remained as violent as fresh as if it had been yesterday. He felt his stomach do an unsettling little quiver. Sam glowered at nothing in particular, and attempted to push the feeling down.

It was impossible.

He sat there for a long time, just watching Dean sleep. Part of him felt extraordinarily creepy at doing this, but Dean was like morphine to him. More and more he was becoming the reason to get up the morning, to smile during the day, and to sleep soundly at night. Every smug grin, every disgruntled look, every time Dean would sing along terribly to his favourite songs, every time he would get a bit of food on his face and not care, it made Sam's soul flare, like a star just about to die.

Sam remembered that look on the spirit's face, just after it had slashed Dean; that chilling smile. It had dominated his thoughts all evening, remembering that terrible grin, the hungry look it had given them as Dean had gasped and clutched at his torn skin. Sam didn't know if the spirit had intended to kill Dean or if it had just lashed out in a final moment of undead fury. It was just that it smiled afterwards that bothered Sam. He recalled that split-second of mind-bending horror at the sight of his brother's blood dripping onto the forest floor, the looked of sheer shock on Dean's face as the blood drained from it.

Sam's eyes rested on Dean's face, now so different in sleep, so calm. All the shock and pain that had creased his perfect features earlier was completely gone, and he looked as guileless as a child.

I could've lost him tonight, thought Sam. That thing was relishing the sight of me watching the person I love most die.

He had a brief, chilling mental image of Dean dying in the forest, his guts tumbling out of a gaping stomach wound, lying back on the ground, eyes wide and his breath making tiny ghosts in the cold night air. Sam imagined his own grief at the idea of being unable to save his brother, at having him die in the cold and the dirt, the green and black of the forest looming malevolently behind them, swallowing them whole.

Tears filled Sam's eyes and he blinked them away.

This is stupid, he thought. I'm crying over something that hasn't even happened. If Dean could see me right now he'd just laugh in my face.

Sam lay his head down on the hard motel pillow, still facing Dean's sleeping, motionless form. He gave a deep sigh, partly of bitterness, partly at the intensity of the feelings he had for the golden man lying near him. It struck him as a painful melancholy, being this close and being so utterly unable to act on his feelings. The guilt hit him again, like a pistol whip to the back of the head.

I'm so sorry, Jessica, Sam thought miserably. Would she have seen this as a betrayal? Sam didn't know, and knew he never would. It was such an insubstantial thought, a pointless hypothetical situation, but nonetheless one that circled round and round through his tired head to the point of exhaustion. He could feel his eyelids getting heavy, and heard Dean shift slightly in his sleep. It was a strangely comforting sound, and one that helped to eclipse the image of the beautiful, dead blonde behind his eyes. Dean started to snore, and Sam grinned into the darkness, before feeling himself start to fade and fall down and down into the abyss of sleep.

They remained in the motel for several days, with Sam occasionally driving off in the Impala to fetch some real food. They got sick of the food in vending machines particularly fast, and Sam knew as well as Dean did that he would get stronger faster with real food. No one could exist on Twinkies and cups of coffee out of a machine for days in a row.

The wound healed better than Dean expected it to, and although it was still red and sore, it showed no indication of becoming infected or rejecting the stitches. However, Dean knew that there was no point in them doing any hunting until he could move without pain, and it was still causing him some discomfort. Sam got him some painkillers, which he gratefully accepted, but ever the stoic, Dean didn't take too many, preferring to just ride out the suffering instead of giving in and accepting that he genuinely was as frail and mortal as anybody else.

The incident in the woods had frightened Dean in a way that he didn't quite understand. It hadn't been anywhere near the first time he'd been injured on a hunt, but on those other times he'd had John with him. John was a seasoned hunter; tough and aloof. Nothing fazed him. It had been a world of difference having Sammy be the one to take the role of the protector, and it hadn't been something Dean was overly comfortable with. Sam was such a gentle person that it was hard to imagine him in any role other than that of the protected. Dean frowned to himself as he thought about it. It was hard, sometimes, to remember that Sam was a grown man now, and not the glancing-eyed boy he'd been before. Behind the eyes, Sam was old, and as much as Dean had to grudgingly admit it, he was as cool and solitary in his habits and tough as their Marine father was. That night in the forest had simply brought it down to earth, and cemented it uncomfortably but undeniably in the corridors of Dean's mind.

It was a midweek afternoon, and the day was dragging painfully. The weather outside was grim and dark, with heavy blankets of drizzle sloping slowly from the granite-coloured clouds. Dean peered out of the window, squinting towards the car park. Sam had taken the Impala into the nearest town to pick up some food and newspapers to read. Dean could tell Sam was bored, and felt strangely guilty about it. Sam had a naturally energetic, inquisitive mind, and being stuck in this cheap, depressing motel was obviously getting to him. Dean glared down at his bandaged stomach, willing it to hurry up and heal so they could get out of this dump.

He was bored too. It had been roughly a week since he'd been injured, and already Dean was itching to get back on the road, back behind the wheel of his beloved car, drumming relentlessly on the steering wheel while he sang along badly to Metallica. It would just be enough to leave this place and go around looking for their next hunt, just to have something to occupy their minds. Dean felt like he was going slowly insane in this strange red room. Sometimes, in his less lucid moments halfway between sleep and waking, he felt like he was lying on a bed of blood. Moments like that made him desperately want to leave.

Dean heard the rumble of the Impala on the gravel of the parking lot, and shot towards the window like an excited pet, wincing slightly at the dull pain that hissed through his stomach as he did so. He could see Sam's face, partially hidden by shadow, and set in hard lines. He looked tired and drained as he got out of the car, several papers under his arm, and a bag of food in his left hand. Dean felt his stomach fill with butterflies at the sight of him, at the intolerable sweetness of Sam's pessimistic expression. He wanted to kiss that expression off him, to bury it under his mouth.

Several moments passed, and finally the door clicked and in walked Sam, all six feet and four inches of him, hair tousled by the wind, and with dark circles under his eyes. He hadn't been sleeping too well, apparently, thought Dean vaguely.

Wordless, Sam handed Dean a copy of Rolling Stone magazine, and then settled himself on his own bed, flicking through newspapers in the hope of finding something odd that they could track down. His right foot twitched relentlessly, back and forth. Dean watched it, torn between amusement and annoyance.

"Are you gonna be doing that all day?" said Dean, eyebrow raised, a sardonic grin playing on his face.

Sam turned his head slowly and gave Dean a mock-sneer. "I can't help it, man," he said. "I'm so bored here." His gaze dropped to Dean's waist. "How's it healing?"

Dean pulled up his shirt slightly. The bandage had been changed three times since it had first been stitched up. The new one had only been applied yesterday, and there was barely any blood staining it. Dean smiled at Sam. "Looks like it's doing pretty good," he said. "You did a good job."

Sam returned the smile. "Looks good," he said. "You're lucky you didn't have any muscle damage though."

Dean nodded. "Yeah, I know." He realised he was still holding his shirt up, and pulled it back down self-consciously, the expanse of pale, freckled skin disappearing back underneath the material.

Sam settled back down and sighed, pawing through the newspapers. Finally the rustling stopped, and Dean turned to see his brother staring intently at a news article. "What's that?" he asked, his interest perking up.

"A road in Georgia where people seem to be disappearing without a trace," Sam said. "There's never any sign of a struggle. They just disappear, cars left abandoned on the side of the road." He frowned. "Weird."

Dean nodded. "That is pretty weird. How far's it from here?"

"Pretty far," sighed Sam. "About a thousand miles. But I think we could make it within a week, if we drive real fast and avoid the cops." Dean nodded to himself, weighing up the situation, mind already on gas and what tape he was going to listen to. Sam could see this, and couldn't help but allow a little grin to spread across his lips. Once again, his eyes dropped to Dean's stomach. "You sure you're ready to get going though?" he said, eyes full of a puppyish concern, wide and unblinking. "I mean, you were pretty beat up. I don't want you ending up in the ER because it got infected or something."

"I'm fine, man, really," insisted Dean, face full of glee at the thought of being able to leave the motel. "I feel ok. I mean, it hurts a little, but nothing too bad. Besides," he said, moving his head to indicate towards his duffel bag. "We've got a ton of painkillers in there." He beamed at Sam, his smile dazzling. "I'm good to go."

Sam raised his eyebrows with surprise, but he guessed this was expected. Dean hated being cooped up, and so did he. They'd both be glad to get out on the open road, and Sam didn't care at all for the dark, suspicious looks that he got from the cantankerous motel owner, glaring daggers him behind his shabby, coffee-stained desk. Two young men, alone, in one room, for a whole week. It looked odd. Sam knew it as well as anyone. It was as if the locals could smell it; the smell of old sex, the whisper of feelings pushed down and down until they were turned to sediment, the soft hiss of testosterone that hung heavily in the air, always.

Sam felt invigorated by the thought of getting back in the Impala and driving into the distance, even though he felt bodily exhausted. Doing nothing left him grouchy and lethargic, not to mention the fact that he'd been staying up late watching Dean sleep; a fact that he liked to ignore in the cold light of day. But then, it'd been the same when they'd been young, before Stanford. He'd often stay up after sex, just watching Dean breathe deeply in his sleep, chest rising and falling, muttering unintelligible words, limbs utterly limp. Witnessing Dean like that, lost in his own dreams, relaxed and without any smart-ass remarks or bad innuendos was like looking at God. It had filled Sam with white light. It still did.

Sam yawned widely and Dean grimaced at the sight. "Look," said Sam. "I'm real tired. I think we should get one good night's sleep, rest up a bit, then leave early tomorrow morning. What do you think?"

"Sounds good to me, Sammy," said Dean, reaching into the shopping back and retrieving some unhealthy, greasy morsel. He took a wide bite of it, chewing with his mouth open, grinning toothily as he ate. He glanced with disdain around the room. "I'll be so fucking glad to get out of this shithole."

Sam snorted with laughter and laid back, arms behind his head, feeling as if he was already in Georgia, the road gaping, the sunset endless, while the wind whipped through his hair and into the hollow seashell of his ears.

They had risen the next morning in sleepy silence, dressing swiftly, stifling yawns as they made sure they'd packed everything. They drank cheap coffee from a machine, wordless, with dark circles under their eyes in the cold morning light, leaning on the Impala's hood. Dean seemed in good spirits, despite his tiredness. He had never been a morning person, and would have slept until the afternoon if Sam hadn't shaken him awake at a time that Dean referred to as "fuck o' clock".

Sam had attempted to insist that he was driving, but had been cut short by Dean instantly settling in the driver's seat, grinning a wolfish smile the moment he put his hands on the cold steering wheel. Sam had shrugged, with a short, barking laugh, and conceded that there was no point in trying to get between Dean and his Metallicar. Sam settled in the passenger seat, resting his long legs on the dashboard, and felt curiously happy at the sight of his brother drumming his long fingers relentlessly on the wheel, humming gleefully to Iron Maiden. If his stomach was causing him any pain, Dean hid it well.

The landscape sped past them, fields and woodland replaced by cities and towns, and then reverting back to fields and lonely farmsteads with sun-bleached wooden beams. Dean drove too fast, like he always did and Sam felt that tense grip in his stomach at the sound of the engine, like he always did. The terror of crashing and the feel of speed bloomed like a rose in his gut, thrilling and fearful.

"Goddamnit, Sammy," said Dean, and Sam could almost hear the smile in his tone. "I'm so glad to be back behind the wheel."

Sam turned his head and locked eyes with his brother, and they both grinned. Dean practically glowed. As far as Sam was aware, there was no place Dean was happier than behind the wheel of his car. A memory came to him unbidden, of the pair of them, years ago, limbs entwined, staring blissfully at one another, and Dean had muttered that he was happiest when they were together, like this. The poignancy of the memory struck like a stab, and Sam felt his smile dim a little. Dean didn't notice – he was too busy singing, glancing at the surrounding landscape, keeping an eye on the road to notice anything else.

It was an arduous drive, full of traffic jams on the freeway and bad weather, which irritated Dean to the point of distraction. He had stopped singing now, only speaking to shout obscenities at the visibility conditions and the rain. His mouth was set in a grim line, and Sam busied himself with the map so as not to annoy Dean further. He'd already snapped at Sam several times today. Sam had ignored them so far, but Dean was starting to annoy him. It wasn't Sam's fault that the weather was shitty, and he didn't appreciate being a scapegoat over something he had no control over.

"What turning am I meant to be taking?" Dean asked, his voice practically a growl.

Sam raised an eyebrow, but decided not to aggravate Dean further. He looked at the map, and then felt his stomach sink as Dean powered past the turning they were meant to take. "Uh, Dean," he said, trying to keep his tone as neutral as possible. "We just missed it. You drove past."

Dean gave Sam a look of intense annoyance. "Jesus Christ, Sam," he snapped. "You're meant to be reading the fucking map! Not staring at your own goddamn reflection in the mirror. Little bitch."

Sam glowered at Dean, his face flushing with irritation. "Dean, you can barely drive in these conditions anyway," he said. "It doesn't matter if you'd even gone down the turning because this weather's getting so bad that we'd have to stop soon anyway." Dean refused to look at Sam, his eyes firmly fixed on the road, trying to squint through the torrent of water that poured incessantly down his windscreen. "Dean," said Sam, his tone softer. "Let's just try to find somewhere to crash for the night." He looked at the quickly darkening sky. "It's gonna start getting dark soon, and there's no point in trying to drive in this weather."

Dean still refused to look in Sam's direction. He slowed down slightly, although he was visibly pissed off at having to do so. "Fine," he grunted. He threw Sam a patronising glare. "Try to find a motel on the map then. If you're capable of it, that is."

Sam's bud of irritation burst into full bloom. He stared at Dean with an expression of loathing, sick of being used as Dean's verbal punch bag. "Dean, man, what the hell? I miss one turning and suddenly I'm a complete retard? You were driving too fast anyway – you would've missed the damn thing regardless!"

"You're meant to be in charge of directions, college boy," spat Dean. "I fucking drive, and I'm fucking tired. The least you can do is do your damn job like you're supposed to, like I do mine."

"Oh yeah," said Sam, his tone dripping with sarcasm. "Driving too fast, getting pissy at the fucking weather – you're doing your job real well, man." He made a dismissive noise. "I even offered to fucking drive, but you said no, so don't give me crap about you being tired when I tried to help!"

Dean's lip twitched with anger. "Shut up, Sam," he snapped. "I'm not in the mood for your shit."

"Well, I'm not in the mood for yours either. You've done nothing but talk to me like I'm a goddamn moron all day, and I'm sick of it."

Dean gave Sam a dangerous look. "Sick of it, huh?" he said, tone deadly. "Well, if you want, Sammy, you can fuckin' walk to the next motel."

"Maybe I will," countered Sam. "Being soaking wet and cold is better than being stuck in this car with your miserable ass."

Without any warning, Dean turned the car on to the side of the road and slammed on the breaks. Sam was surprised; they often bickered, but today had been particularly bad. Still, he hadn't expected Dean to just pull over. Sam looked at his brother, startled at the dark look Dean was giving him.

"What the hell, Dean?" said Sam, somewhere between incredulous and concerned.

"You wanna go? Go ahead and leave, Sam. Why change the habit of a fucking lifetime?"

Sam's mouth dropped open in a startled "o", hurt and anger written all over his tanned face. "What do you mean by that?" said Sam, voice barely audible. Dean glanced at his brother's large hands, and was surprised to see that they were curled into fists and shaking. He instantly regretted what he'd said, but kept his face passive.

Dean gave a sigh that could've been interpreted in any way. "I don't mean nothin' by it," he said, going to turn the ignition. Sam stopped him, grabbing his hand, and Dean blinked, taken aback.

"No," said Sam, his tone deadly and his eyes hard. "What did you mean by that, Dean?" He spat every syllable, and Dean had to hold back a wince.

Dean felt a flare of aggression mingled with years of suppressed feelings ignite in his gut and he flung Sam's hand off his own. "I meant what you think I meant," he hissed, his eyes narrowed. "You don't wanna do this job anymore, Sammy? Then you can just up and leave again, like you did last time."

Sam looked at Dean like he'd never seen him before, his eyes suddenly over-bright, struck with the memory of that awful night when he'd left home for Stanford, the night when he'd hoped against everything to have Dean stand up for him, to protect him against their father, but he hadn't. Dean's words were so like John's, each syllable a personal insult. Sam turned away from his brother, feeling physically sick, his mouth slightly open and aghast. Slowly, he gently opened the car door, grabbed his duffel bag and got out, shutting it behind him with a contemptuousness that would have been less offensive if he'd slammed it.

Dean watched him, feeling partly bitter and partly overwhelmed with regret. He paused, then got out of the car too, walking after his brother's retreating back. "Sammy!" he shouted. "Sam! Come back, man. I'm sorry, I didn't mean nothin' by it."

Sam didn't stop, or even turn around. He continued to trudge through the rain away from Dean, water dripping off the end of his fine nose, his hair already plastered to his skull. He vaguely heard Dean call after him, but the words were lost in the roar of the rain. Against his will, his lower lip quivered, suddenly transported back to his eighteen year old self, remembering that feeling of betrayal and heartbreak, knowing that that was the moment he had truly lost Dean, not just when his brother had stopped returning his love.

Suddenly he felt a hand on his shoulder, and stopped dead. He shook it off, knowing perfectly well who it was. Dean felt his brother stiffen under his touch, and withdrew his hand.

"Sammy," he said. "I'm sorry."

Slowly Sam turned around and looked at Dean. It was a sight so beautiful, so heart-shaking, that Sam momentarily forgot his deep anger. Dean was dripping with rain, and several droplets had landed on his long eyelashes, reflecting in his eye. He literally sparkled. His mouth was slightly open, and he was breathing hard. Sam swallowed the lump in his throat, and kept his gaze hard.

"Do you even know why I left, Dean?" Sam said, his tone measured, but his eyes like flint.

Dean exhaled. The rain had turned his blonde hair dark. Droplets slid uselessly off his leather jacket. "Because you wanted a normal life," he said dully.

Sam gave a mirthless laugh. "No," he said, shaking his head. "No, no, no."

"Why then?" said Dean, feeling his blood pressure begin to rise. He tried to control his tone, but failed. "Why'd you leave, Sam?" Suddenly Dean felt very young, like a wronged child.

Sam looked him straight in the eye, and Dean felt his heart thud in his throat at the sight of his brother, dripping wet, his hair absurd, hazel eyes reflecting green, like autumn reflecting spring.

"I left because of you," said Sam, suddenly looking a lot older than his twenty-two years. He gave a deep, shuddering sigh, a sigh that went down to the marrow. "I left because one minute everything was wonderful between us, and then the next you cast me aside, just like one of your fucking girls."

Dean looked away. Sam's hard, bitter expression was too much to take. Being faced with the evil of what he had done was something he had hoped he'd never have to deal with again. Every hug that was brushed aside, every time he had deliberately slept with someone else to push Sam away, to protect him, came flooding back, each memory as devastating and brutal as a blow to the head.

"I left because of that, Dean," continued Sam, relentless, his lower lip shaking in earnest now. "How the fuck was I meant to react? To just go back to how things were before? Like that wouldn't have killed me? You have no idea how hard it was. You've got no idea how fucking alone you made me feel. And then when I got into Stanford, and told Dad, all I wanted was for you to stand up for me, to tell Dad that it didn't mean I was a coward or that I was abandoning you both." His voice shook. "It was just too hard. It was much too fucking hard." He ran a hand across his face, and it trembled. "I don't even know what I did wrong, Dean." He looked at Dean again, and his gaze was so terrible and sad that Dean felt his heart would break.

Dean swallowed, and put a hand on Sam's shoulder. This time Sam didn't stiffen. He was practically limp, swept away by his own unhappiness.

"Dad knew, Sam," he said. Sam blinked, startled.


"He knew. He saw us. Once." Dean breathed, recalling that hideous moment. He shuddered. Sam's eyes were fixated on his own, his expression one of abject horror, but a strange understanding dawning on his face. "He beat the crap outta me, Sam. He said that if I went near you again, he'd throw us both out. I didn't want to do that to you. I figured..." He swallowed again, trying to maintain composure. "I figured that if I just stopped, I'd be protecting you, making sure you weren't fucked up." He paused and thought about it. "Well, more fucked up." Dean sighed. "It broke my fucking heart, Sam."

Sam looked shell-shocked, his hands knotted in his soaking hair. He seemed to be lost for words.

Dean felt his stomach flip. "I never stopped loving you, Sam," he blurted out. He could feel a rush of blood storming towards his cheeks, and averted his gaze. "I never stopped because I didn't love you. I did it to protect you."

Sam gawped at him, his eyes suddenly demon-dark. He wasn't smiling, but he wasn't frowning. Dean felt nervous, and sick. He expected Sam to turn and walk away, spitting blood with disgust.

Sam opened his mouth to speak, but was apparently overcome with an emotion that Dean couldn't place. "All this time," Sam eventually struggled out. "I thought..." He turned away, covering his mouth, eyes screwed tightly shut against the barrage of emotion that was threatening to overwhelm him. He felt dizzy. To know that all this time Dean had not only reciprocated his feelings, but had distanced himself because he loved him, turned his world upside down and inside out. Suddenly every iota of pain he had felt, every night he had stayed awake watching Dean sleep, every dazzling smile that he committed to memory seemed justified, crystallized, perfect.

"I thought you were ashamed," Sam finally said.

Dean shook his head, his features pained and serious. "Sammy, what we did was fucked up, there's no denying that." Sam nodded. "But I don't regret a single second of it." Dean's look hit Sam as hard and sweet as a shot of pure honey to the heart. His breath was taken away.

"I don't regret it either," he said. He realised he was shivering. Dean stretched out an arm, and put his hand on Sam's back. A frisson of electricity danced between them, and neither dared to look the other in the face.

"You're freezing, Sam," said Dean.
Sam nodded mutely, and allowed himself to be led back to the Impala like a wayward child, shaking slightly against the cold and the damp. Sam sat heavily in the passenger seat, still shell-shocked, his brain short-circuiting against all the information he'd just been fed. Their father had known, Dean had never stopped loving him, neither of them regretted it. The proverbial elephant in the corner had finally been acknowledged, after months of stress and fear and bitterness, cleverly concealed behind a facade of brotherly back-slapping and crude jokes. They had both known deep down that they could never go back to being just brothers. They had overstepped some invisible but strangely tangible line a long time ago, and once stepped over, you could never return. Sam wasn't even sure if he would choose to take it all back if he could. He leant his head back, eyes half closed, lost in thought.

Dean drove to a motel without a word. Sam wasn't even aware that Dean was driving until they'd been back on the road for a few minutes, so utterly lost in his own head as he was. They didn't speak as they entered the motel and paid for a room. Sam had to practically be dragged by Dean, still in a state of complete bewilderment, but his expression now void of anger or stress. He almost looked like he was in a trance.

Once inside, Sam lay down with a thump on one of the twin beds, staring at the ceiling. A slow smile was beginning to spread across his tanned, lovely face and Dean couldn't pretend not to notice. He chose not to say anything, and instead began to change out of his sopping wet clothes, leaving them in a trail across the bedroom. He could feel Sam's eyes on him, and felt a coil of lust form in his lower belly. Without a word, he slipped into his own bed, avoiding eye contact with Sam. Eventually, he couldn't ignore him any longer, and turned to stare at him. He felt like the air had been sucked out of his lungs. Sam's hair had partially dried, and stood up, his curls absurd and disordered around his dark, high-cheekboned face. He was beautiful. A beautiful creature, all long limbs and wild hair. Dean felt his mouth go dry.

Slowly, with a catlike grace that shocked him, Sam sat up, and began to remove his sodden shirt and jeans, all the while staring at his brother, his pupils massive and dark in his eye sockets. He blinked, slowly, almost mockingly, and Dean felt a stab of lust in his groin. This time there was no shame, and he felt baffled and thrilled.

Sam was down to his underwear, and continued to stand there, staring at his brother with such an intensity that Dean could feeling himself begin to throb, full of nerves, on end with anticipation. He averted his gaze, feeling bashful. Sam moved towards him, still with that elegant grace that was all his own, and sat next to Dean on his bed. He didn't take his eyes of his brother once.

"Sammy," Dean said, his voice low, and dark with lust.

"Dean," replied Sam, tone husky, and grinning like a shark.

Dean didn't know what to say. Green eyes locked on hazel, and everything was suddenly lost to the moment. Everything ceased to exist. All there was, for that moment, were two men, their heartbeats thudding like war drums and a need that was so intense that it was palpable. Dean's eyes were half-closed. Sam smelled of damp wool, of sweat, of a certain type of shaving foam that he used. He smelled clean and dirty. Dean felt his pulse throb uncomfortably in his cock, and pulled at the duvet, not wanting Sam to know how aroused he was without even being touched.

Sam's breathing was heavy. Slowly, almost painfully slow, he tilted his head, and bumped his nose against Dean's. Dean's mouth fell open slightly as he attempted to control his breathing. Adrenaline flooded his veins. He felt lightheaded, and opened his eyes wide to look into Sam's.

"Do you want this?" he whispered, his voice shaking slightly.

Sam nodded fervently, biting his lip. "Yes," he almost hissed. "God, Dean, so much." He ran a big hand through Dean's still-damp hair, and Dean twisted into the touch, gasping.

Sam gripped Dean's hair and tilted his face up to meet his. Their lips met, and Dean could no longer control his breathing, ragged gasps escaping his lips. Sam held Dean's face in his hands, running his hands over the curves and bumps of his brother's face, relishing the taste of Dean's mouth. He tasted of coffee and smelt of gasoline, so masculine that it hurt. They lay together, devouring each other's mouths, gasping and whispering into each kiss, gripping one another's hair and skin, nipping at the skin on their necks and shoulders, groaning.

Sam looked down, to see the bulge in his brother's boxers and grinned. Dean flushed red, but grinned back wolfishly. Sam reached down, torturously slow, slipping his hand under the waistband of Dean's boxers. Dean moaned, and hissed, "Oh, Sammy..."

Sam ran his hand down Dean's swollen length, eliciting more moans as he traced his way back up, before gripping Dean's cock hard, moving the taut skin up and down, relishing the view of Dean's expression, eyes shut, mouth open, groaning under his touch. Sam bit his lip, eyes full of desire for the beautiful Adonis next to him. He ran his fingers over the slit of Dean's cock, and Dean gave a haggard gasp, eyes suddenly wide and staring up into the face of his brother, his lover.

"I missed this," Sam whispered throatily. Dean couldn't even reply, so lost as he was in his own brother's eyes, lost in the feeling of Sam touching him. It all felt like a dream, a wonderful, terrible dream. His bones ached for Sam, for every inch of him. He wanted to lose himself in Sam.

Sam leaned away, and Dean blinked in surprise, keening slightly at the loss of touch. Sam hushed him, smiling, and came back to him moments later, a small tube in his hand. Dean recognised what it was instantly, and felt his pulse quicken. Sam squeezed a pearl of lube on to his hand, and removed the blanket from the bed. He arranged himself between Dean's legs, and watched how his brother's breathing increased, his face flushed and his emerald eyes shadowed. Slowly he reached between Dean's legs, stroking his ass. Dean gasped, and Sam hushed him again.

"It's ok, relax."

Dean nodded, eyes shut, pliant as a lamb. Sam brushed his slippery fingers across the tight ring of muscle, listening to his brother's little noises, feeling himself get almost uncomfortably hard. He slipped a finger inside, and felt the muscle tighten around his finger. Dean was tight, very tight. It had been a long time since this had happened to him. Sam moved his finger gently at first, searching for the little kiss of flesh that turned his brother to liquid gold. Eventually, Dean gave a wild sob of pleasure, and Sam knew he'd found it. He ran his finger over Dean's G-spot, feeling almost trance-like at the sounds of his brother's voice, gasping and hiccupping with pleasure. He inserted a second finger into Dean, stretching him, and Dean's noises became more erratic, more needy. Dean clawed at Sam's tanned torso, biting his lip.

"Sammy," he panted. "Oh God, Sam, please, I want it so bad. I want you. Please, please."

Sam smiled, eyes almost demon-black, his smile predatory. He leant down, and ran his tongue across Dean's red, quivering cock. Dean cried out. "Please, please," he begged, near weeping.

Sam slipped in a third finger, and Dean was putty in his hands, writhing on the bed, sweat on his brow. He clawed towards Sam's own cock, and Sam groaned as his brother stroked his throbbing member.

"Dean," he uttered throatily. "Want you so bad... gotta have you..." Dean nodded, wordless, on the verge of sobbing. Sam withdrew his fingers from Dean's ass, and Dean experienced a feeling like loss, almost driven wild with desire. Sam had never done it like this before. Dean had always been the one in charge. It was a whole new experience and he felt nervous, bewildered, but elated. He couldn't have stopped Sam if he'd wanted to.

Sam squeezed more lube into his hand and ran it over his cock, shivering with anticipation. He positioned himself over Dean, moving his brother's legs far apart, blown away by Dean's fair beauty, wanting to kiss every freckle, every eyelash, to bury himself in his brother and lose himself entirely. Slowly he pushed the blunt head of his cock against Dean's ass, and began to move himself inside. Dean bit his lip, his expression somewhere between intense discomfort and arousal. Sam pushed himself inside gently, not wanting to hurt his brother. Dean was so tight, so hot, and his muscles milked Sam's cock in such a way that for a moment he could barely move.

Dean rested an arm on Sam's hip, pulling him forward, gritting his teeth against the pain.

"Please Sam," he gasped, hoarsely. "I want you in me, wanna feel you..." Sam moaned at his brother's words, and thrust shallowly. Dean hissed, caught between pleasure and pain, unsure which sensation was stronger. Sam thrust again, and Dean made himself relax. Another thrust, and pleasure finally overtook pain. Dean groaned desperately, arching his back, neck bent back, helpless with lust.

Sam stared awe-struck at Dean, feeling wave after wave of pleasure course through his veins as he thrust again and again. Suddenly, he struck that golden point again, and Dean cried out.
"Oh fuck, oh fuck, oh Sammy," he wept, his muscles tightening around Sam's cock. "Right there, right there. Don't stop, Sammy, oh my fucking God, don't stop."

Sam thrust into his brother hard, feeling Dean convulse and weep underneath him, his face flushed red, his eyes squeezed tightly shut, completely at the mercy of Sam's cock. Dean's cries became more and more desperate, and he clutched at Sam's torso, leaving nail marks, tiny beads of blood filtering through the delicate layer of skin. Sam groaned, loving the feeling of mingled pain and soul-crushing pleasure. He could feel his orgasm beginning to build, and slammed into Dean hard. Dean's inner muscles began to contract wildly, and Sam knew that Dean was close.

"Come for me, baby," snarled Sam, bruising Dean's lips in a hard kiss. "Come for me, I wanna see you come." Sam angled himself and hit Dean's G-spot one last time, and Dean's eyes shot wide open, and he came, hard, all over his stomach and chest. The sight of Dean's face, contorted with the power of his orgasm, those perfect lips curled back, his green eyes suddenly black was too much, and Sam came violently, pumping Dean full of white fluid, his head swimming. He felt he would pass out. Slowly he withdrew himself from his brother's body, shaking as if he was in a blizzard, his body coated with sweat, his face glowing and radiant, and lay next to Dean, staring at him as if he hadn't seen him in years.

Sam felt chewed from the inside out, like God had spat him out reborn. Dean was still breathing hard, quaking from the intensity of his orgasm. He weakly turned and looked at Sam, and a smile spread across his breathtaking face. It wasn't a smile of smugness, or the smile that one sometimes saw after an incredible fuck – it was the smile of someone truly content, of someone hopelessly, incurably in love. He practically glowed. Sam ran a hand across his cheek, astonished by the rays of love bursting from his chest, everything encompassed in a beautiful, drowsy brightness.

"I love you," whispered Sam.

Dean's smile only grew broader. "I love you too, Sammy," he said. He pulled Sam towards him, wrapping his arms around him, aware that they had destroyed any hope of ever having a normal relationship with anyone again, but simply not caring. Nothing that felt this wonderful, this soul-shattering, could ever truly be wrong. Even if they would go to Hell for this, they knew without any shadow of doubt that every moment of torture and suffering would be worth it.

There were no more words. Just smiles, and touches, and little whispers in the dark, and the indescribable feeling of two bodies fitting together perfectly, as if they had been intended to since before their souls even came into being. It made no sense, and yet made perfect sense, in the way that only they could. The paradox of brothers who were lovers. No sense, and perfect sense. A lack of normality that ached in its beauty and terror.

That night Sam had the first good sleep he'd had in years. Laid in his brothers arms, sticky with sweat and semen, listening to him breathe was the most devastatingly wonderful thing he could envisage. He felt that he could die happy, as long as he was with his brother. It was a cruel thing that the one person in the world who he loved and adored more than anyone else was Dean, but as long as it made them both happy, so full of white light, he felt it was irrelevant. He would never love anyone the way he loved Dean. No one would ever come close. It was both a blessing and a curse.

The next morning was like a whole new world. For several moments they'd simply gawped at each other, dumbfounded and blessed, then they'd laughed.

"Man, I forgot what sharing a bed with you was like," teased Dean. "I swear you're ninety percent legs."

Sam laughed. "And the left over ten percent?"


They'd dissolved into blissful, unselfconscious laughter, before diving into the shower to remove the smell of sex and sweat. They had been almost unbearably tender that morning, in contrast to the night before, Dean kissing Sam all the way down to his groin, gently kissing his hipbone and the scratches he'd made last night, while Sam arched into the kiss, dopamine like glitter in his arteries.

They couldn't stay long and they knew it. They had to get to Georgia. There were people they needed to protect. It was them against the world. They felt as if they could take on anything.

Dean drove, of course, and Sam sat, pretending to read the map, but stealing glances at his wide-eyed brother instead, dissolving into smiles. On a deserted stretch of road, Dean leaned across and pulled Sam to him, fingers tangled in his wild dark mop of hair. He laid a kiss as serene as an orchid, as gentle as a butterfly's wing, on Sam's forehead, and Sam closed his eyes with the joy of it.

Sam watched the late afternoon sun dip towards the earth, casting a low, golden light over everything, bathing the brothers. He sighed, content, all the raging voices in him now silent. He looked at Dean, golden, a Kansas-born Apollo, his perfect lips tilted in a crescent smile that cut him like a lovely knife, leaving scars all over his self, the essence of what made Sam who he was. He leaned back into his seat, feeling his muscles relax, turning to molten gold. He was sated.

It felt very peaceful.

And there we go! Done. I hope you enjoyed it. =) Reviews are much appreciated.