Title: Take the Long Way Home
Spoilers: up through the end of S3, everything after that never happened
Feeback: oh hell yea!
Disclaimer: I do not own Dean or Sam ::damnit:: or anything else from the Supernatural universe
Author's Note: I started this in July of 2008. It rolled great up until the last 10 pages or so where it stalled and sat untouched for months. I basically sat down and forced myself to finish it a couple nights ago. It's pointless and rambley. It's just loads of schmoop and boys macking on each other and at the end there's smexing...pretty useless but hey, a) I like the mass amounts of mush and b) I finally finished something. So I could care less. :)
"Says he was on his way home and a passerby found him the next morning, looks like he was mauled."
"And he wasn't?" Dean asked, eyebrow quirked as he shoved another forkful of pancakes into his mouth.
"No indigenous predators in the area, at least, none big enough to cause that amount of damage," Sam offered, folding up the newspaper and returning his attention to his own plate.
"Coulda just been a murder, what makes you think it's our thing?"
"No forensic evidence. None."
"Look…" Sam trailed off.
They had both agreed to take it easy after Dean had come back, after Sam had brought him back from Hell. They had found a quiet little town in Colorado and holed up for a month, let Dean's physical and mental wounds start to heal over. Sam could tell he was getting antsy to move on. The waitress had greeted them by name when they came in this morning and Sam had definitely saw a scowl on Dean's face.
"It just…it looks simple."
"Last case we took where somebody was mauled it ended up being a demon's personal attack dogs," Dean said, voice carefully guarded.
Sam swallowed reflexively, hearing the crack through his tone either way.
"I know," he said quietly, dragging his fork through the runny yellow of his egg.
"So where is it?" Dean asked, breaking the stony silence.
"Where?" he asked again, spearing the last triangle of syrup soaked dough on his plate.
"This is where he lived?" Dean asked, glancing back down the hallway as they made their way to his apartment.
Sam knocked hesitantly on the door, his and Dean's ears listening for any movement inside.
Dean shrugged, spinning around when the door across the hall squeaked open.
Sam snatched his hand out of his pocket from where he had been pulling his lock pick out.
"Sorry ma'am…we uh, we didn't mean to disturb you."
The little old lady glared at them, her silver grey head of hair peaking out from the crack in the door.
"You looking for Spencer?"
"Yes ma'am," Dean drawled, turning to face her.
"He died," she hissed, eyes pinned on them.
"We heard," Sam said softly, "Did you know him?"
Her eyes darted between Sam and Dean again, the glare making Dean unsettled and he shifted to the right, slightly behind Sam's shoulder in a protective movement.
"And just who are you?"
"We're…friends, of Spencer's," Sam said.
"You're like him!" she hissed, "You get out of this building!" she spit out, turning to thrust a shaking finger through the door. "He died for his sins and you will too! You're nothing but filth on this earth!" she said, slamming the door in their faces.
"Well…that was…interesting," Sam said, hands held in front of him.
"What the hell was that all about?" Dean asked.
"I don't know. What 'sins' do you think she meant?"
Dean shrugged. "Probably the kind that doesn't exist. Crazy old bat, you said his record was clean."
Sam nodded, glancing down the hallway again before finally pulling his lock pick out.
There wasn't much left in the apartment. Whatever the police hadn't found the need to confiscate had obviously started to be gone through by his friends and family. Furniture had already been moved out, there were a few boxes half packed in the hallway.
Sam headed down the hall, while Dean picked his way through the living room, carefully peaking at what was boxed up.
Sam stepped into what must have been his bedroom, he headed for the computer in the corner but it had already been unhooked, the tower taken and he sighed. He glanced around, picking up a picture frame that sat on the desk, Spencer grinning, with his arm wrapped around another guy's shoulders.
Sam placed it carefully back where it had been and opened the desk drawer, poking around in the mess of pencils and paperclips, glancing at a couple other pictures of Spencer and his friends.
"This place has been picked over Sam," Dean said, walking down the hall and propping his shoulder against the door frame. "We're not gonna find anything here."
"Yeah, I know," Sam sighed, sliding the drawer closed and walking towards the bathroom.
He opened the medicine cabinet, nothing inside but a bottle of aspirin and a half empty Pepto Bismol. When he shut it again he finally noticed the square rainbow sticker stuck to the corner of the mirror.
"Hmm?" he asked, picking up a t-shirt off the floor. "Dude, this guy was tiny!"
"He was gay."
"That must have been what she was talking about."
Dean walked over to the bathroom door, eyes going to the rainbow sticker Sam was pointing at.
"You've got to be kidding me."
"It's the last place he was seen alive Dean," Sam sighed, honestly not liking the plan much more than Dean did.
"But Sam," he almost whined, "It's bad enough that old crone thinks that…we're…you know," he said waving his hand, "but a gay bar?"
Sam sighed again, leaning back in his chair.
"You think I like this any better than you do?" he asked. "I've tried doing this the paper trail way, I've got nothing. If anyone knows him it's going to be there."
Dean sighed, unconsciously scratching at his stomach.
"Fine," he groaned. "But if anyone asks, you bottom."
Sam just rolled his eyes.
Open Door wasn't as bad as Sam had thought. Well, honestly he didn't think it would be, but the last thing he needed was to end up in some dressed in drag sleaze hole with Dean.
And okay, so there were a couple guys in drag, but they were more for comedic entertainment than actual drag queens.
And seeing Dean blush when 'Lola' came over and hit on him…was so worth it.
Dean made a beeline for the bar, mumbling something about needing alcohol to make it through the night.
Sam laughed, letting himself fall slightly behind, half in an attempt to start a conversation with someone and half just to see if Dean found himself in any tight spots.
"You seem awfully comfortable with this," Dean said, slamming back a shot when Sam finally came up next to him.
Sam shrugged. "Went to a couple LGBT marches when I was at Stanford."
Dean's eyebrow quirked. "Something I need to know?"
Sam laughed, nodding at the bartender when he received his own beer, complete with a wink.
"No, Jess and I had some friends that were gay."
"Can I buy you a drink?"
Dean spun, startled by the guy that had come up beside him.
"Sorry," the guy quick backpedaled. "Didn't know you were with someone," he smiled apologetically at Sam, "Didn't mean to butt in."
"It's okay," Sam smiled awkwardly.
"Can we leave yet?" Dean whispered after he had left.
Sam laughed and shook his head. "We came here for information Dean and I'm not leaving until we at least try to get some."
Dean's eyebrow quirked again.
"Get some information. God, is your head always in the gutter?"
"I like it there," Dean grinned.
Sam rolled his eyes and pushed off the bar, letting Dean fend for himself.
A half hour later and the only information Sam had been able to get was two phone numbers.
He was slowly making his way towards the bar when he spotted the guy talking to Dean. He was wearing a jacket and jeans, about their age. Nothing about him would have screamed 'gay' at him if he had passed him on the street, but what really caught him off guard was the way Dean seemed completely comfortable in whatever conversation he was having with him, not like the stuttering wide eyed horror he had shown before when the first guy hit on him.
"Hey Sam," Dean said, spotting him as he made his way through the crowd and handing over a beer.
"So this is Sam," the other guy grinned, casual sprawl across the bar.
"Yup, Sam this is Logan," Dean grinned, wrapping his arm around Sam's waist and pulling him up beside him.
Sam felt the heat flush his face as he stumbled to catch himself before completely falling on Dean but assumed that's why Logan hadn't been hitting on him, Dean had told him he was already taken.
"Gotta say Dean," Logan grinned, not so subtle gaze raking over Sam, "You're lucky."
"Yeah, I know," Dean grinned and Sam had to quick take a swallow of beer at the way it didn't sound forced.
"Logan here knew Spencer," Dean said, turning to look at Sam, his arm still warm around his waist.
"Sure did. He wasn't the first to be killed either."
"There's been more?" Sam asked, suddenly unconcerned with the awkwardness of the situation.
"One, Adam went missing two weeks ago. Some kids found his body 'bout a block from where they found Spencer's."
"He was mauled too," Dean said, catching Sam's eye.
"Cops figured it was a rabid bear or something, they don't normally come this far into the city. Now I think they're looking for serial killer."
"None that I've heard of, there's whispers obviously. All just speculation. Ask anybody in here and they're gonna tell you it's a hate crime."
"Has that happened before?" Dean asked, suddenly back into the conversation, brow draw down in concern, arm falling from around Sam's waist.
"Sure, once or twice in the past couple decades, but nothing like this."
"Thanks man," Dean said, clapping Logan on the back. "We gotta get outta here though."
"Alright," he grinned, "You gonna be around? I'll buy you guys a beer next time."
Dean smiled, "Dunno man, but I'll take ya up on that if we run into each other."
Logan nodded and grinned.
"So whatchya thinking in that big ol' scary brain of yours?" Dean asked, shrugging off his jacket and draping it over the chair.
"That I don't really know you," Sam grinned, toeing off his shoes before opening his laptop.
"Yeah I know, your big homophobic brother actually talked to a gay guy, such a surprise," Dean snapped, hurt evident in his tone.
"That's not…I didn't think, I know you're not homophobic Dean," Sam scrambled, "I just, didn't think you'd be comfortable there."
"He's just a normal guy Sam," Dean said, blatantly refusing to meet his eyes as he flipped through the grainy TV channels.
And yeah, sometimes Sam wondered if he really didn't know his brother half as well as he thought he did.
They were halfway through bucket of fried chicken and six pack when Sam finally had a sketchy theory formed.
"Alright…so, I ran with the hate crime idea Logan had. Turns out, eight years ago this guy, Kyle Jameson, beats up a gay couple, one of 'em dies later at the hospital and the other tracks him back down and kills him."
"Alright, so what are you thinking?"
"Kyle Jameson…was killed in the park. Two blocks away from where Spencer and the other body was found."
"You thinking he's our spook? Going after gay guys?"
"Open Door…opened for business a two weeks before the first guy went missing."
Dean sighed, leaning back into a sprawl in his chair.
"Tell me you know where this asshole is buried."
"I know where the asshole is buried," Sam grinned.
The salt and burn was easy, the cemetery quiet, dirt soft beneath their shovels.
They were halfway back to the car when Sam realized Dean had stopped a couple of steps back.
He came up beside him and glanced at the black plastic temporary grave marker that was stuck in the ground.
Dean didn't offer an explanation. He finally just sighed, glanced up at Sam before looking away quickly and made his way back to the Impala.
Sam opened his eyes in the pitch dark of the room and rolled over onto his back.
"Yeah?" he asked hesitantly.
The first week out of Hell Dean had talked to him in the dark. Told him little things that he could remember, things that bothered him. The darkness provided a safety blanket for them, they couldn't see each other and somehow that made talking easier.
Sam wasn't sure if he should feel upset or pleased over that fact.
On the one hand he didn't want Dean feeling like he had to hide from him. He had never been much of a talker when it came to emotions, but had allowed himself a little leeway after he came back. Sam suspected it had as much to do with Dean thinking he needed it as to Dean himself actually needing to talk.
But on the other hand, Dean was actually talking to him and even if it was under the cover of darkness Sam would take what he could get.
Dean paused, clearing his throat a moment later and breaking the tense silence that had followed.
"You ever, done, anything…you know, with a guy?"
Sam was caught off guard by the question. Whatever he was expecting it sure wasn't that. But he had promised that when Dean opened up like this he would never lie, never hold back, even if he had never exactly let Dean in on that little fact.
"Sort of?" Dean shot back, and Sam could tell that he had turned his head towards him, could see the silver blue halo around the silhouette of Dean's hair in the room's window.
"It was at a party, at Stanford. One of Jess' friends was gay, he was drunk off his ass and apparently didn't know I was with her, we had just started dating. He never would have tried anything otherwise."
"What happened?" Dean asked softly.
"He came at me, shoved his tongue in my mouth and groped me right there in the kitchen," Sam said, breathing out a huff of a laugh. "I spazzed so bad when I shoved him away he collided with the fridge. Jess came in a minute later and I guess he must have realized that I was with her. There were some awkward apologies the next week," he laughed again.
Dean grunted into the shadows and Sam wasn't sure what to make of that.
"What about you?" he asked quietly.
"There was this chick one time in Indiana. I was pretty out of it, hyped up on adrenaline after a hunt and drug down with booze. She slipped into her bathroom and I'm thinking she was gonna come out in a teddy or something right," he said and Sam could hear his grin. "Came out with a damn strap-on on."
Sam might have squeaked, he tried to cover it with a nervous chuckle.
"Hell yeah man, I was horny," Dean laughed again, "I wasn't about to just leave."
Sam laughed again, wondering how talking about girls in strap-ons and drunken college groping could be so comfortable. Sure, the topic was out of left field, but there was something about the smooth whispered conversation between the two of them that made it all okay.
The silence that followed was easy and relaxed and Sam turned his head to stare at Dean's profile backlit by the window when he spoke again.
"There was this one time, I didn't have enough money for a room," he said softly and Sam could see the lump of his Adam's apple bob in his throat as he swallowed. "I woulda just slept in the car, but it was way too damn cold. So…" he sighed again.
Sam was torn between burying his head under the pillow to block out what Dean said next and leaning across the canyon between the beds and begging him to continue.
"I went down on my knees in the alley behind the local bar," he said quietly. "And lemme tell ya man, chicks make it look way easier than it is," he said, forcing a laugh, as if to soften the blow of the words before it.
Sam's tongue felt glued to the roof of his mouth and he swallowed reflexively trying to find his voice.
"Where was I?" he finally asked, voice breaking and making him wince.
Maybe he hadn't always paid attention to Dean's conquests, more than once he had turned an annoyed blind eye on them, but he was pretty sure he would remember a situation like that.
"School," Dean whispered.
Sam couldn't find anything to say after that.