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The second night
The fire licks into the air between them.
Through the flames, Dean watches his brother, the shadows playing off the sculptured face, shaggy bangs hanging down, and the orange-yellow flickers of light dance on his smooth skin. The fire is reflected in the ever-changing color of Sam's dark eyes, now narrowed against the wisps of smoke working their lazy way towards him in the gentle breeze.
He catches Dean's look, staring at him across the heat, and Dean sees something in the depths of those eyes, something dark and hungry glittering there, just before Sam's face goes hazy and smeared in the air just above the blaze. When he can see him clearly again, when the flickers have crackled down and Dean's focus is sharp and hard, Sam's gaze is now on the images dancing in the flames and the lust was probably imagined, just wishful thinking…
The smell of the fire whets his appetite, sharp apple wood and cedar ash curling into his stomach, making Dean's mouth water but not for food. No, he's definitely not craving food.
God, Sam's so fucking beautiful and he has no idea, none at all, how much Dean wants him. It's in the shiver down his spine, the desire, the need, the absolute longing to touch his brother in a very non-brotherly way, with plunging fingers and a hot mouth, yearning to feast on Sam's soul and indulge himself in all the delicious flavors he finds there.
Dean doesn't know quite when it happened, when he started having feelings towards his brother, when the love he's always felt for Sam changed, grew and became something else, something consuming and terrifying.
Truth is, Dean's been in love with Sam for years. He tries to remember when he first realized it but it seems like it's always been a part of him. That's not quite true. He may not have known when it happened but he does remember when he first accepted it, can pinpoint the exact time, the exact second, that he admitted to himself that he loved Sam totally and completely, heart, mind and soul.
The exact second.
Three years ago
It was just after Dean told Sam Dad's 'secret'…the awful thing Dad had told him right before he died, about the demon's plans for Sam and that if Dean couldn't save his brother, he'd have to kill Sam.
Sam had gotten drunk, while they were working the motel job, the one with those freaking weird-ass dolls, and, after calling Dean short (and bossy, Dean remembered with a scowl), had revealed his guilt about not being able to save everyone and his fear at what he was becoming. The worries that haunted Sam's dreams and plagued him every second he was awake had finally spilled out, messy and nasty, all over the ground at Dean's feet, and he'd begged Dean, no, pleaded with his brother to give him a promise - to do what Dad had said to…to kill him if Sam became evil.
And God help him, Dean had made him that promise, with Sam's stinking whiskey breath in his nose and Sam's huge, trusting eyes staring up into his own, and after he'd promised, Sam's hot hand on his face, his mouth so close to Dean's that when Sam had gasped out a "Thank you." a quick dip forward would have been all it took to change the moment into a kiss.
All Dean wanted right then, at that second in time, was to kiss all Sam's worries away, suck those soft lips into his own, make Sam understand that he'd always be there, would never leave him and would never, ever let anyone hurt him.
He'd muscled Sam down onto the bed, watched his brother roll over and instantly pass out while Dean had leaned back, rubbed the spit off his face from Sam's desperate, drunken ramblings and wondered what the fuck was the matter with him.
And when the hell would he ever get over this?
His breath caught over the lump in his chest; making breathing impossible as he let his eyes roam over Sam's body for what seemed like the thousandth time.
Desire rose up in him as Dean let his gaze wander along his brother's lithe form. His mouth watered as he took in the long legs that swelled into a tight ass, the jeans loose and torn but the saggy denim unable to hide the taut flesh that flexed underneath. His eyes burned with desire from the flash of skin glimpsed under the shirt hem pulled loose, the sexy back under the flannel shirt toned and sleek from years of training, those strong tanned arms that curled under the pillow and that hair, the tousled mop that always hung in Sam's face. He used his hair as a curtain, Dean thought, to hide both from the world and from Dean's penetrating gaze.
That hair was so perfect for running fingers through…
Dean pushed a hand through his own hair as fear churned through his belly at his thoughts, mortified for the thousandth time that this was his brother, his baby brother he was thinking this shit about and then he'd rubbed a finger over his lips, wondering how Sam would taste if he did steal a kiss, wondering how long it would take his brother to slug him into next week and idly contemplating just how big Sam's dick really was and if it was proportional to-
Shit, God damn and fuck!
Dean had jumped to his feet, angry at himself for being such a twisted sick son of a bitch and angry at Sam for…well, for just being there, for being so utterly, heart-breakingly beautiful, gorgeous, soft and sweet and…and so goddamn impossible to have!
He'd backed up to the door, heart pounding hard, scared to even be in the same room because all of a sudden, the want for Sam had risen up so fast in his chest, in his gut that he couldn't trust himself. Dean had felt his body move of its own accord and he'd actually taken one step towards Sam before he pulled back on the reins and stopped himself.
Shit, he couldn't resist, couldn't not touch and if he stayed, he was gonna let his hands wander along that peek of skin over Sam's hip to his belly, yank Sam onto his back and use his mouth on that flesh, see what Sam really tasted like and wake his brother up good and proper.
Dean reached behind him and fumbled for the door handle, twisted it in his hands, desperately turned it, ripped it open and had run hell-bent for the stairs, his body had screamed for him to stay but he'd run like the devil himself was after him and he'd made it to the car, jumped in, breathing hard, turned the key and squealed away before he could change his mind.
He'd parked the car about two miles down the road, surprised by tears that streamed down his face, his heart ached inside him, ripped open and bloody and he'd beaten the steering wheel with a hard fist, sobbed out his fear and need, wiped snot away with his sleeve and wished to Christ this feeling would just go the fuck away.
He pounded the steering wheel again. Goddamn! Just fucking goddamn!
He breathed in then out. He'd huffed in air, tried to calm down, to think and that's when it had happened. A feeling of tired acceptance passed over him, his rage and fear ebbed away when it came and he nodded to himself. Ok, ok, that's it, then. It wouldn't go away, it would never go away so he was just gonna have to learn to live with it.
Dean breathed in deep. Ok, he wanted his brother like that. Ok, he wanted to kiss those sweet lips and taste that hot mouth and touch that soft skin…
Yes, ok. Good man, Dean. He hadn't fooled himself or lied to himself. He'd dealt with what was right in front of him, just like a Winchester should.
The bitch of it all was, Dean could never let himself have it, any of it because Sam would get hurt. It would ruin them as brothers, Dean was sure of it, and Sam would hate him, be disgusted by him and probably would leave him. Hell, he was disgusted and hated himself so he couldn't expect Sam to react much different. Nope, he had to resist or Sammy would get damaged and broken, just like Dean was broken and he'd be damned before he let that happen.
Dean wouldn't let it out, that's all there was to it. No matter how much he wanted or needed, he would just keep on denying, resisting, pushing it down and inward, and never let Sam see, never show its face to the light where it could hurt them.
From then on, the war raged inside of him and each day Dean was triumphant, able to push away the love, the aching hunger for Sam that festered in his gut. Each day he resisted and when he couldn't resist any longer, when it became too much for him, he would leave Sam in whatever motel they were in that night and go out prowling. He would find whatever warm and willing body he could to shove himself into and he wouldn't think of Sam, not once, when he was fucking some woman deep and hard, wouldn't picture Sam underneath him, hot and panting, huge trusting eyes locked onto his while he whispered the words up to him, "Promise me…"
Dean had slept in the same room all the past three years, listened to the soft noises Sam would make in the dark, in his dreams, and Dean would jerk himself off too many nights to remember while his brother rustled in the next bed. He would stroke himself and imagine how Sam would sound if Dean joined him, fondled him to wakefulness and then took Sam in his mouth, sucked him to ecstasy until he erupted with orgasm.
The second night (continued)
It's like a disease that Dean's never been able to recover from. It's in his heart, in his mind, and in his stupid dick that doesn't know any better, doesn't know it should be ashamed of itself for the dirty thoughts, the awful lust that's always, always with him.
The eternal guilt he's felt is what made hell so deserving. It was the righteous end to his sick thoughts and the torture was justifiable, encouraged, even craved…to have the disease beaten out of him and driven away, replaced by ravaging pain and agony, to not have to think anymore about how much he wants to fuck his baby brother.
The first day
By the time they arrive at Lake Meacham in upstate New York, it's noon on the Friday just before Memorial Day weekend and there's a long line of cars waiting to check into campsites for the weekend.
Dean inches the car forward, bitching at the long stretch of time they've been sitting there and worrying about the Impala overheating. He shuts off the engine with each stop and shucks off his leather jacket in the midday heat. He doesn't know why they're having to do this, they can just sneak in after hours and find somewhere to crash but Sam is adamant about getting a campsite for the weekend, has even gone so far as to get them a tent and sleeping bags.
Giving him a bewildered look, Dean mutters, "We're here on a hunt, dude. What's with the Daniel Boone all of a sudden?"
Sam shrugs, "We might as well be comfortable, Dean. We can't really stay in a motel while we're hunting for a ghost on a lake and all the cabins have been rented. I'm sick of sleeping in the car so I thought we'd rough it a little, try camping out, maybe even do a little barbequing? I brought food…"
Dean immediately perks up and he grins, "What'd you bring?"
"Hotdogs and hamburgers, some steak, buns, chips, soda, beer…"
Dean waits with bated breath.
"Oh and some fresh-baked apple pie from the restaurant at the motel last night."
"Yes! Knew I could count on you, Sammy! You're alright, you know that?"
Sam laughs, shaking his head at his brother, "I knew that'd make you happy."
Soon, they're pulling up to the entrance and Dean's forking over the money for a four-day stay, handing Sam over the map and getting directions to their site.
"Thank you!" Sam yells back as they drive away. They find the campsite without trouble, pulling in next to the permanent barbeque grill and picnic table. There's a fire pit that's been used often and a buzzing of mosquitoes and cicadas the only music once the Impala's engine is shut off.
The smell of pine is heavy in the air, the campsite is surrounded by the tall trees and the sun is beating down, hot and bright. Both men strip down to t-shirts and while Dean busies himself unpacking the coolers, Sam works at setting up the two-person dome tent.
Dean calls over, "We're going to need to get more ice in this heat, to keep everything cold."
Sam unrolls the sleeping bags, replying, "There was a convenience store on the map that has ice. We can just make some runs. We're going to need some wood for a fire, too."
"Well, we got woods all around us. Let's go."
For the next half hour, they gather branches and twigs, stacking up a small pile next to the fire pit. Dean smacks at his neck and says, "This isn't gonna be enough wood but we can probably get more from the store when we get the ice. Hopefully, the smoke from the fire will keep away the damn mosquitoes."
"Here." Sam hands him some bug repellent with sunscreen, "Take off your shirt."
And Dean pulls it over his head, dropping it onto the ground and squirting some of the lotion into his hand. He starts to rub it on his skin and stops, inhaling deep, the thick, pleasant scent of coconut filling his head.
"Huh." He grunts, "Smells good." And then he tenses as he feels Sam's hands touch him, rubbing lotion on his back and neck, the warmth from those big palms making him bite down on his lower lip to stop himself from turning around and pressing his body into Sam's.
Sam's working in the lotion good, making sure to cover every part of Dean's skin because mosquitoes crave Dean's smell, bypassing other people for a taste of his flesh and Dean's pretty sure Sam doesn't want him itching (and bitching) all night long.
"Make sure you put it under your waistband. You know how they like to chew on that part of you."
"Yup." Dean mutters, taking a deep breath to calm his pounding heart and moving away from Sam's touch with relief, unbuttoning his pants and rubbing where Sam said. He looks down at the lotion, huffing in one more pull of air for courage before saying, "Let me get you."
Sam strips off his shirt and Dean's mouth goes bone-dry, his brain shutting down for precious seconds, tunnel vision blacking out everything but Sam's skin, Sam's freaking beautiful back muscles and Dean can't even find a breath to take in anymore.
His words stutter and fall, a choking sound coughing up into the air and Sam turns to look at him, one eyebrow raised, the unspoken "You ok?" passing between them.
Dean's eyes skitter away and he nods quick, reaching in fast before he changes his mind, to massage in a generous dollop of lotion onto the broad shoulders, working his fingers up under Sam's shaggy hair and around his ears. He's ignoring the throb of pulse in his hands, the heat in Sam's skin, and his brother's incredible smell, denying and resisting with every fiber of his being.
Just a few more seconds now and he'll be done and then maybe he'll be able to breathe again. Dean caresses Sam's lower back and ribs gently, rubbing the lotion in deep, trying to ignore his growing erection pressing up against his jeans, wondering how the fuck he's going to hide it when he hears someone clear their throat.
They turn (Ok, Dean keeps his crotch facing the other direction) and see a girl standing near the Impala, long brown hair cascading over slim white shoulders, wearing nothing but a bathing suit and sandals, her slender body and long legs making both boys stand up and pay attention. She's wearing sunglasses, covering her expression but there's no mistaking the knowing smile playing on her lips.
Sam blushes, because he's half naked, skin glistening with lotion and steps forward, "Hey. You need help?"
"I'm sorry if I'm interrupting…" She says pointedly and Dean feels a flush creep into his own cheeks.
"No! You're not! Really, you're…uh…not. It's…bug stuff and we're…uh…brothers…" Dean's stuttering out the words, hiding his hard-on and the girl's smile widens.
"Brothers, huh? Man, your parents must have been gorgeous. Well, I just stopped by to invite you to a party later. We're pretty much inviting the whole lake. We're getting some kegs and having a barbecue. Campsite 22 around sundown. Bring munchies." And the girl waves to them and walks away.
Dean hurriedly pulls on his shirt and pushes at Sam's back angrily, "Get dressed, jerk, before someone else thinks we're gay."
Sam pulls out two folding chairs and puts them in front of the fire pit, putting the beer cooler between them and looks around, making sure they've got everything they need. He glances at his brother, "Wanna go see the lake?"
Dean gives him a grin, "This is supposed to be happening weekend for teenagers so I bet there's gonna be some sweet young things down on the beach…"
Dean slides on shades "Hey, we can look, right? Even if we can't touch."
"Looking's allowed." Sam agrees and goes to get the map.
"Think I should wear my jacket? I look cool in my jacket…"
"Dean, it's fricking ninety-five degrees, you're gonna pass out from heat stroke if you wear that. You'll just have to be cool without it."
"Not a problem, Sam."
As they walk on the road, they're unprepared for the comradery that greets them, other campers hailing them as they walk by, waving, inviting them to 'sit a spell' and have a beer.
The steamy pavement of the tarmac fairly sizzles with the heat of the sun and the air is shimmering over it, reflecting the blaze of the day back up into their faces and they're working up a dripping sweat as they walk. Dean takes to cursing the heat as cars pass by, waving and honking, cursing, that is, until one car slows down and offers them a six-pack to cool off with.
Dean, a dopey grin on his face, takes it with bright eyes and a willing hand, telling Sam after, "Dude, I love New York! I have to get me one of those t-shirts…"
"You do and I will leave your ass here." Sam dead-pans.
"These people are way friendly, man."
"Most of them are already drunk, Dean or will be soon enough. That's why they're so chatty."
They round a corner and the lake spreads out before them, mountains on every side, a lazy wind making small ripples in the water and the sun reflects it back like glittering diamonds, so bright it hurts to look at it. The delicious smell of charcoal mixed with tanning oil waft towards them, coconut, Coppertone and baby oil, hamburgers and burnt marshmallows swirl together, heavy in the summer's air.
"This is beautiful!" Sam breathes in deep, a stupid grin on his face.
Dean tries to think of a snappy put-down to wipe away the smile off Sam's mug but can't quite manage it, staring in awe at the postcard scene before him, eyes roaming over the mountains, the lone canoe drifting peacefully near the middle of the water and can only mutter in agreement, "Yup."
"We did a good thing coming here, Dean." Sam turns his head, giving him one-hundred watt dimples and teeth and Dean's lost in the beautiful face of his brother, staring into him with a longing that he can't even begin to deal with. He almost sobs with an overwhelming urge to kiss those dimples, wanting to lick a trail from one cheek to the hollow in Sam's throat and pull whimpers out of his brother like sighs on the wind.
He wants to be the only one to make Sam whimper.
He pulls in a deep chestful of air, feeling the calm of the lake soothe him, the ache in his heart lessening and he nods, thinking maybe things can be worked out, maybe things can be better. A sense of peace fills him and he's quiet, at rest because he's just made the biggest decision of his life, just now and it's the only thing he can do. He's going to tell Sam how he feels.