Title: Changing the Rules as We Go
Fandom/Pairing: Supernatural, Sam/Dean
Summary: Sam and Dean are both trying to find a way to build back their trust for each other and avoid Detroit at all costs.
Notes: This is canon almost the entire way and I will say that I have used direct dialogue from the show that does NOT belong to me but to the awesome writers, Kripke, etc. Also, Sam's biting kink is canon… if you don't believe me, watch Heart in S2.
Sam hadn't known it would be this difficult, walking away from Dean. It was like leaving for Stanford all over again, except back then (Jesus, had it really been almost 10 years ago) he had had this righteous anger burning in him. The anger had carried him forward, helping him fight the magnetic pull that he'd had to Dean's right side since he was old enough to walk. If Dean wanted to stay behind and take Dad's drinking, obsession, and bullshit then he could fucking be that way; but Sam was going to make something of his life.
Sam remembered with clarity how pissed off he was, how determined to leave, that the act of leaving in itself was eclipsed by his purpose, his destination, his escape. He hadn't said goodbye, hadn't actually thought that he was saying goodbye like Dad and Dean seemed to think. But he'd gotten on the bus and he hadn't looked back.
Now, was different. Now, was painful. Sam looked down at the spot of the bar he had been cleaning for the last 5 minutes… he was halfway to wiping the varnish off the wood. It had been two weeks. Two weeks, countless miles, and 22 aborted phone calls since that picnic table in Colorado. Fourteen days, endless hours of drowning himself in honest labor, and too many sleepless nights since he and Dean had given up on each other.
And all Sam could think about was the weekend that Dean had come to get him from school to look for Dad. The first time he'd seen him in four years, and Sam had felt that pull, back to his older brother's side. Except, he'd also felt the old anger; anger that Dean hadn't come to fit into Sam's new life, but to drag Sam back into their old one.
He'd never forgotten the look on Dean's face when he'd dropped Sam back off, "we made one hell of a team back there," he'd said.
Yeah, Sam had thought, but he'd just nodded and shrugged, he wasn't going back to hunting and he wasn't going back to Dean… relegated from aspiring lawyer to little-brother-side-kick in the time it took to pack a duffle bag. Then, the demon had taken another decision out of Sam's hands, literally blazing back into his life.
Now, though, Sam thought that maybe that had been the problem. The fire, Jessica, Dad, the hunt, in the middle of all that shit, Sam had been more than happy to follow Dean's lead and Dean had never tried to see Sam as anything other than that- a follower. Sam had grown up at college. He'd learned some things about life and about himself, but Dean hadn't been around for that transition and had obviously over looked it when he'd finally seen Sam again years later. It had burned Sam, still burned him.
Sam looked around the deserted bar as he started to close up. At least this job was monotonous, let him think about things he had shied away from contemplating in the past, with disastrous consequences. He was willing and able to look at the harsh reality of all this being his fault, he had chosen to forsake a lot of principles he would have sworn by just a few short years ago. The change in himself was humbling and scary: the 15 year old him, the 17 year old him, the 21 year old him… they would all have been absolutely disgusted with his choices, with his meaningless sacrifices, and his thankless job title.
So, he had left Dean sitting at a picnic table in a state park, the apocalyptic world hiding its true intentions behind a sunny, breezy Colorado afternoon. Sam left because Dean didn't trust him, didn't even want to be around him, and because Sam wanted a dark corner to hide in, to lick his wounds and hate himself.
Dean wanted to believe that he could be happy with Cas as his new partner in crime. The angel sure got things done when it came to utilizing what little powers he had left after his expulsion from heaven. Then again, Dean thought as he watched Castiel hold his FBI badge upside-down, he was lacking in other areas that counted on him being decidedly more human.
But Dean wasn't going to complain, he was doing what he could to contain the uncontainable cluster fuck that was the apocalypse. He was still trying to take on as many solo hunts as he could, there seemed to be no shortage of evil plaguing the population these days. He was even going to attempt to have a little fun, maybe he'd take his uptight angel to a strip joint later. After all, Dean couldn't remember the last time he had even looked at a pretty woman. He hadn't allowed himself a good wallow in debauchery since his own personal apocalypse, back when he was scheduled for Hell.
Plus, he could focus on himself a bit more now that he didn't have Sam to worry about.
Dean tried not to flinch as he listened to the officer in front of him talk about the strange fire at the gas station. Sam. Dean wondered how he was doing? What he was doing? Where he was doing it? Fuck he missed Sam, and his stupid floppy hair, and his girly drinks, and his exasperation at, and annoyance for, everything Dean did. In the four years they had been on the road together it had been easy for Dean to forget about the time in his life that Sam hadn't been there.
Dean remembered all too well how angry and hurt he had been that Sam had found it so easy to just leave. Sam had wanted a life beyond what their father had mandated and so Sam had gone forging for it. But, Dean's choices hadn't always been as simple as Sam thought they were. Sam didn't ever stop to realize how ingrained some of Dean's instincts were. Dean himself hadn't even really given voice to the traitorous whispers in his mind until the year he started staring down death in the face each morning he woke up.
For two years after Sam had gone to college Dean had fought every day not to just get in the car and drive, not to leave Dad and go to Palo Alto where he could protect Sam. Dean was very aware of the fact that he had raised Sam, was proud of, and constantly at odds with, the independent streak he had managed to instill in his brother despite the mindless way Dean seemed to stick to his father's guidelines.
But, he wasn't his father's son anymore and he wasn't his brother's keeper. Yet, still, he found himself starting conversations in hotel rooms before he remembered he was alone, asked questions he never heard the answer too, and looked to the passenger seat only to see an empty space. Dean was starting to understand that what kept him and Sam at each other's side, and each other's throats, may not have been something dictated by their father's upbringing. But, maybe something they had created themselves, a dependency that only separation could high-light. Multitudes of demons that kept hissing how the Winchester's were each other's weaknesses had certainly stuck with Dean, though never enough to contemplate leaving Sam.
But Sam had seemed determined enough to walk away when he'd gotten into the car with that stranger in Colorado, and Dean had finally gotten to the point where he was too tired to fix Sam and himself. Dean had finally realized that maybe it was Sam's responsibility to fix himself, and that maybe this whole issue between them was less about Dean's inability to trust Sam now, and more about his inability to let Sam know how much he had trusted him before… before it had been too late.
Dean watched as Sam pulled some junky old Cadillac up to the Impala, no doubt Sam had decided that whoever he stole it from would be glad to see it gone… it was that hideous. Dean still hadn't decided if this was a good idea, putting the two most volatile ingredients for the end of the world side by side, two for the price of one, big neon sign, him and Sam back together in the same place. All Dean knew was that if he could just keep Sam from Detroit, then he could maybe not feel like he had failed Sam again.
Dean took a deep breath as Sam unfolded himself from the car and slowly made his way over. Dean hated that he had missed Sam so much; he even felt tears prick his eyes and had to swallow past the lump in his throat. He also hated that, despite his recent fucked-up escapades into the future and his newfound knowledge that he and Sam belonged together, he still didn't trust Sam's judgment like he wanted to… he needed more time, they needed more time, and they didn't have it.
Dean handed Ruby's knife over to Sam and he looked into Sam's eyes, "Sam."
Dean glanced at the knife, then back up at Sam, "if you're serious, and you want back in… you should hang on to this. I'm sure you're rusty."
Sam looked down at the knife and reached up slowly to take it as if it may burn him to touch it.
Dean pressed on, "look man, I'm sorry, I don't know, whatever I need to be, but I was, uh, wrong."
Sam looked away from Dean's face for a second, "what made you change your mind?"
Dean sighed, "Long story… the point is, maybe we are each other's Achilles heel. Maybe they'll find a way to use us against each other. I don't know. I just know, we're all we've got."
Dean looked into Sam's eyes and then away, he tried not to picture Sam in a white, linen suit or the harsh, inhuman look in his own eyes that he hasn't just seen in a mirror now, "more than that, we keep each other human."
Sam nodded, "thank you, really, thank you. I won't let you down..."
Dean tried to smile around the tightness in his chest and gave Sam a fierce look, "Oh, I know it."
Sam's eyes are still darting around, from Dean to his own hands to the landscape and back, "so what do we do now?"
Dean shrugged, "we make our own future."
Sam gripped the knife in his hand, "I guess we have no choice."
Dean had forgotten what separation was like, when Sam went to college, when Dean had gone to Hell, and this last time apart, which they had both needed. Dean had forgotten what it was like coming back together, the first few moments of seeing Sam, of feeling his presence… it was like coming up for air. Dean had felt the string, the chain that seemed to be tied around his neck and attached to Sam, his whole life. It was like the further away Sam was, physically or even between the world of the living and the dead, Dean felt the string tighten to cut off his air, choking him until Sam returned and Dean could breathe again.
Did Sam feel it too, or was Dean just the fucked up one? No, Sam had told him before how far he'd go for Dean too, and in his own fucked up way he'd proven it, hadn't he? Dean didn't want to touch Sam, but he needed to. It was so unnerving, the need he got at times to use his fingers to remind himself of Sam's presence in his life. They usually saved affectionate touching for near-death experiences.
But, unlike Dean, or maybe because of Dean, Sam had never been as shy of affection as his older brother. He tucked the knife in his back pocket and gave Dean a weighted glance, as if sensing whether what he wanted was worth the fist to the jaw it may get him.
The knife in his back pocket burned through his jeans to his skin, a constant reminder of what he had done, and who he had become if even for a little while. Sam could never allow himself to forget what that place looked like, or he may find himself there again. But, now was not the time for looking back, so he looked ahead at Dean. Sam could read the uncertainty in Dean's eyes, not sure yet why he had changed his mind but certain that it was still not something Dean himself was sure about. The uncertainty in Dean's eyes, in the situation and in Sam, made Sam wince internally. Dean's inability to be certain about Sam's intentions and motivations was something Sam had created and was something only time could correct.
Both of them had run out of words.
He wanted to hug Dean, to remind Dean that despite everything Sam would never stop loving him, or needing to be loved in return, but more so to remind Sam that he hadn't dreamed this up. He wasn't sure if Dean was really ready to be hugged, especially since Dean didn't really do hugs even at the best of times. But, Sam had already decided he was going to start this long process of fixing them by being honest.
Hugging Dean was honest, so he tentatively reached out first one hand and then the other to slide along Dean's left shoulder and under his right arm. Sam caught his fists into the material of Dean's jacket, at his shoulder blade and in the middle of his back, pulling his older brother into a violent hug. Sam wasn't surprised that Dean didn't really return the hug, but he was surprised when he felt Dean turn his face into Sam's neck and breathe deep.
Dean couldn't even find it in him to push Sam away, to make a joke about chick movies, or to even wrap his own arms around his brother's back. He settled for bringing his hands up to Sam's biceps to grip as if to push him away, hugs that lasted too long were awkward in Dean's opinion (unless he had just been brought back to life), but he found himself turning his head towards Sam's neck and breathing in his brother's familiar scent.
Dean had never allowed himself too much comfort in touch because physical contact was the first sensation that faded from your memory when sight, sound, and smell all remained; he had learned that when he mother died. But, the warm feel of Sam's skin beneath his, and Sam's arms tight around his back and waist, was a sensation that Dean allowed himself to cling to for just a minute longer than he would ever admit. And so they stood there, neither one willing to pull away when both of them knew it was appropriate.
Sam thinking about blood and regret.
Dean thinking about choices and Detroit.
Sam had almost given up on checking his patience in penance for his crimes. The other shoe finally dropped in Ohio when Dean tried to literally drag him out of a motel room, barely listening to what Sam had to say about the case and its completion.
"You know this isn't going to work," Sam tried really hard not to make a face anything remotely like the one that Dean called his bitch-face.
He failed when Dean just turned around and said, "What isn't?"
"Us… you, me, together. I thought it could, but it can't."
Dean turned defensive, "You're the one who wanted back in."
Sam nodded, "and you're the one who called me back in."
Dean looked away and then back, "well I still think we have some trust building to do."
Sam growled, "How long am I going to be on double, secret probation?"
Dean raised his voice just slightly, "till I say so."
Sam bristled, see, that right there was what pissed Sam off, "look, I know what I did. And I'm trying to climb out of that hole, I am, but you're not making it any easier."
Dean threw his hands up, "what, am I just supposed to let you off the hook?"
Sam shook his head, trying to remain calm, "no, you can think whatever you want, I deserve it, and worse… hell, you'll never punish me as much as I'm punishing myself, but the point is, if we're going to be a team, it has to be a two-way street."
Dean looked unconvinced, "so we just go to the way we were before?"
Sam wanted so badly for Dean to understand, "no, cause we were never that way before, before didn't work! How do you think we got here?"
Dean narrowed his eyes, "what's that 'spose to mean?"
"Dean, one of the reasons I went off with Ruby," Sam took a breath, "was to get away from you…"
Dean blinked, "wha?"
Sam tried to think about how frustrating it had been to have Dean back in his life. He had been so over glad that he was back, yet almost subconsciously bitter that he had been shoved into the passenger seat again, "it made me feel strong, like I wasn't your kid brother."
Dean tried not to look hurt, but angry defiantly got through, "are you saying this is my fault?!"
Sam shook his head, "no, it's my fault," Sam was very aware at how far he had let those negative feelings take him, "All I'm sayin' is that, if we're goin' do this, we have to do it differently, we can't just fall into the same rut."
Dean tried to calm down instead of just blowing up, "what do you want me to do?"
Sam shrugged, "you're goin' have to let me grow up, for starters."
It was about that time that Dean's phone rang, the call from the sheriff proving that Sam had been right, though Sam kept his mouth shut. The look Dean gave him as they left the room told Sam that the conversation wasn't over.
Sam had to give Dean credit though, because most of the time it took him awhile to bring up these things. But as they packed their stuff in the trunk after the hunt, Dean turned to Sam.
"Listen, I was thinking about what you said the other day, 'bout me keeping too tight a leash on you."
Dean waited for Sam to nod, "maybe you're right."
Sam didn't say anything so Dean continued, "I mean look, I'm not exactly Mr. Innocent in this whole mess either. I did break the first seal."
Sam winced remembering the first time Dean had told him about breaking, "You didn't know."
Dean twisted his keys in his hand looking at Sam in the eye, "neither did you. I'm not sayin' demon blood was a great way to go, but you did kill Lilith."
Sam thought about those few seconds after he watched her lifeless vessel fall to the ground, how pleased he's been, how vindicated, "yeah, and started the apocalypse..."
Dean interrupted, "which neither of us saw coming, I mean, who would have thought killin' Lilith woulda been a bad thing?"
Dean thought about how strung out Sam had been in the panic room, how he had pleaded with Dean later at the motel to just listen to him for once, "point is, I was so worried about watchin' your every move that didn't see what it was actually doing to you."
Dean looked Sam in the eye, "so, for that, I'm sorry."
Sam tried to swallow, "thanks."
Dean closed the trunk, trying to think about what it means for his entire attitude to let Sam start becoming… well, doing more.
Dean decided to start small scale by asking Sam's opinion, "so, where do we go from here?"
Sam turned away from the trunk and more towards Dean, "way I see it, we've got one shot at surviving this."
Dean smirked, "what's that?"
Sam grimaced, "maybe I am on deck for the Devil, maybe same with you and Michael, maybe there's no changing that…"
Dean tried for sarcasm, "well, that's encouraging."
Sam continued, "But, we can stop ringing out hands over it, we just gotta grab our hands onto whatever is in front of us, kick its ass, and go down fighting."
Dean grinned, Sam's starting to sound like him, or the old him, "I can get on board with that."
Sam caught Dean's eyes, "'k, but we're goin' have to do it on the same level."
Dean held Sam's gaze, "you go it."
Sam nodded and then Dean broke eye contact, "whata'ya say we get outta here?"
Sam turned away to get in the car, "hell yeah."
Dean looked down at the keys in his hand turning back around towards Sam, "hey, you wanna drive?"
Sam looked down at the keys Dean's holding out like they might be a mirage, "you sure?"
Dean shrugged, tossing the keys to Sam, "yeah, I could use a nap."
And Sam thinks that maybe this whole mess can get better.
After the conversation in Canton, Ohio Sam decided that he still couldn't expect Dean to really change overnight. He was still bossy, still tried to take point on everything, and when he did remember that he was supposed to be trying to treat Sam as a partner, it pretty much just lead to Sam driving the Impala. Not that Sam didn't understand the extreme importance of Dean letting him drive, because he did, and Sam wasn't going to complain that Dean seemed to take two steps forward and one step back… as long as those steps forward continued.
Sam kinda wanted to have another talk about it, maybe Dean could let him go in first, let him take out the creature on his own for once. Then again, what could Sam say that he hadn't already? Dean was trying to be better and Sam was trying to be understanding, and maybe they were both just going to die trying.
Though, Sam was pretty sure that only true trust led to reliance and Dean had already said that he didn't trust Sam. But they both had to work to fix this; Dean had to realize that the dynamic their relationship had revolved around, since Dad had shoved Sam into Dean's arms at 6 months old, hadn't really ever worked. Now, they were in this mess that they had both created and Sam just wanted Dean to quit treating him like a child.
Then they went to the convention, or rather they were tricked into going to the convention. Sam really wanted to shoot himself standing in that hotel ballroom listening to people talk about the homosexual undertones of the book series that was based on his life. He had really forgotten in the shit-storm that was his life that there were Dean-girls and Sam-girls… and slash fans. Then, in that god-awful alternate universe-esque hotel full of people pretending to be him and Dean, they had actually found a freaking case and Sam was carrying the stuff and doing the research and watching Dean go crazy on two of their fans.
Sam really sorta agreed with Dean that their lives were horrible, dark, insane existences that no person would ever chose, and wanting to be just like them should really make you consider having yourself committed instead. But, honestly Sam was a little hurt that Dean seemed so ready to say 'fuck all' to the life they had to live together. Somewhere between leaving school and raising Lucifer from Hell, somewhere along the way, Sam could remember a time when he had finally found acceptance with the life he and Dean had carved out for themselves… they had each other.
He listened to Dean rant about how horrible their lives were to those poor fan dudes. Sam maybe thought he finally knew, however unreasonable the feeling was, what Dean had felt the night of the college fight. Sam had screamed at their father that he never wanted anything to do with hunting ever again and that he was going to college.
Sam had been trying not to think about it, but was pleasantly surprised out of his moping (except it wasn't moping because he didn't mope) when Dean had let Sam go with the 'other' Sam and Dean while he stayed back and watched over the girl. Of course Sam had been forced to double back and save Dean's ass, but finally Sam had felt for the first time since Dean got back from Hell, like Dean found him remotely useful… they had acted like partners.
But, the weirdest thing was that Dean had seemed at peace for the first time in a long time when Sam had finally met him at the car later. Dean had been leaning against the hood of the Impala with the sun glinting off his skin, his face relaxed, his thoughts drifting in a way that Sam hadn't seen in so long, before Hell. And Dean had told him in the car what the two fans, the couple, had said to him; Sam didn't know what had Dean more shocked, yet surprisingly undisturbed: that a few gay fans had managed to remind him of what he and Sam had in each other… or that those gays fans were role playing them. And why wasn't that more disturbing to either of them?
Sam had been thinking that aside from the whole books about their lives, and crazy fans thing, this particular and accidental hunt had been a success. But seeing all those fake Sam's taking orders from all those fake Dean's, made him realize that Dean maybe didn't treat him like that anymore. But, those two guys had apparently been a couple, lovers, and they had seemed so, so, well, so something that he and Dean were still fighting to get back. Did that come with sexual awareness?
He had definitely never felt about Jessica the way he felt about Dean, but he had also felt on much more equal footing with Jessica. But, he'd never thought about Dean sexually. So what if Sam could just combine his long and complicated history with Dean, with the equal partnership he had created with Jessica? He winced at her memory, a scar that had been recently sliced open by Lucifer. He still missed her, what she had meant to him, what she had represented within the life he no longer even tried to want.
Dean had been thinking about what Lucifer had said to him; actually he hadn't stopped thinking about it since he'd seen his little brother break Dean's neck, his neck, like he was stepping on a rather loathsome bug. He hadn't stopped thinking about it since he had heard the fearful words breathed from a traitorous mouth, Detroit. Dean thought that maybe the fate of the world rested in what would happen at Detroit, but he knew that the precipice of his world teetered on the choices that would be made on the road to that city in Michigan.
But what choices could Dean make that Lucifer wouldn't ever contemplate? How could you throw a curve ball at the Devil? All Dean knew was that he would do anything to keep that parasite from infecting his brother, from removing from Sam's face, his body, his personality, everything that Dean knew and loved about Sam, gone… to be replaced with ice smiles and half truths.
Then, Dean had seen the other Sam lay his head on the other Dean's shoulder, and when was the last time that Sam had felt comfortable enough with Dean to even really touch him in a way that wasn't strictly necessary. Well, except that hug which maybe Dean hadn't actually encouraged, but when did he ever encourage Sam's chick-flick moments?
But, Dean had thought, against all barriers he attempted to throw up, that maybe he had actually thought of one thing that Lucifer hadn't been expecting. In fact, it had been in front of him since they had first found out about Chuck and the books. But, it wasn't something that Dean ever thought about, because it was wrong, and crazy, and wrong… and maybe it was the one thing that Lucifer would never expect from the Winchesters.
Dean had been thinking about it since Carthage. Well before that, really since the stupid Supernatural Convention that Becky had tricked them into going to. But after seeing the flames roar into the air in the silence that followed the bomb, knowing with painful clarity that his decision to not talk Jo or Ellen out of their own decisions had ended in such blazing finality. He could never take back those seconds where Jo started back for him, could never change the events that led to their deaths. If Dean had learned anything it was that one moment, one lie, on reflex- too quick, too slow- could change everything. It just never got any easier.
This is what he had thought about, the one way to maybe out smart both their destinies that he had dreamed up in a moment of clarity and that he hadn't been able to really consider nor really forget for the past few weeks. Everyone from angels to demons to Lucifer seemed to think that because of their roles in life, their relationship, they were destined to be Michael and Lucifer's vessels. But Dean couldn't help but wonder, and so far it was the only thought he had come up with since his future flash, what if he and Sam changed their relationship?
Sam had told Dean that he needed Dean to treat him as an equal, and so Dean had been working towards fighting his base instinct to view Sam as his to protect and nurture, so that he could allow Sam to step out of Dean's shadow within their partnership. But what if that wasn't enough? What made this their destiny? What was dictating that he and Sam couldn't change the parts of themselves that made them so perfect to be the vessel for two warring brothers? What if they decided to alter the entire fabric of their relationship? Would that be enough of a wrench in the machine to throw everyone off balance?
Dean wasn't sure that they could do anything drastic enough to undo being the chosen vessel. But, then again, Dean didn't need to stop them from being the vessel… he just had to stop Sam from saying yes in Detroit, or anywhere else. Something that Sam had now heard straight from Lucifer.
So Dean had brought it up one day to Sam, in one of their no name hotel rooms in New Mexico while they were researching a hunt for an ancient text that Cas was having them track down (which may or may not have a way to kill the Devil in it).
Dean had pretty much just tossed it out there, instead of, "pass me that pen," like he had been meaning to say he instead blurted out, "I think we should try being lovers."
Dean wasn't really sure what he expected from Sam, because while Dean had been giving it a lot of thought lately, as far as Dean knew Sam had not. There was a time in his life where Dean was oblivious to the way he and Sam related to each other, where he thought all siblings had grow up being just as close as them. Then he had discovered at some point that this just wasn't the case, but it had never been like that.
Then, along came Supernatural the book series and Sam's crazy web hunt for all things Supernatural and Dean had spent a very uncomfortable week forced to think about how somewhere out there were real people writing stories where he and Sam had sex. That had led to really, really fucked up thoughts where he had imagined having sex with Sam.
Due to his desire to remain relatively un-insane he had abandoned those thoughts, but now his fucked up life had somehow deposited him back at this moment; he had a choice, either give his body over to an awkward, intrusive, all-consuming, and irreversible experience with an arch angel… or give his body over to Sam. If those were his choices, he would trust Sam every time.
But despite all of his logic, which he tried to hastily and without too much embarrassment explain to Sam, what Dean didn't expect was for Sam to look at him and say, "Yeah, I've been thinking about that too."
Dean had looked up at Sam in disbelief, because, could they really be this fucked up? Sam looked serious though so Dean thought it safe to continue the conversation without getting yelled at, punched, or left.
Dean rubbed at the back of his neck, "I've thought about, well, I mean, I'm not sure how much, or how far… well, I'm not sure how we're goin' to get past the wrong or the awkward."
Sam nodded but kept his eyes averted, "but you still think that it might mess things up enough that maybe it will throw us off our current path?"
Dean shrugged, "I don't know Sam. All I know is that Lucifer keeps saying that no matter what we do, you say yes in Detroit in just a few short months… and this seems pretty crazy, definitely something I wouldn't have done under any other circumstances, you know?"
Sam swallowed and looked up at Dean, he thought that maybe just the fact that they were considering this meant that Dean was starting to trust him again, "well, I think that with all the horrible…" Sam stumbled but continued, "With what I've done, incest shouldn't really even make a dent."
Dean looked up sharp, "don't say that Sam, just, now that we're on the same page, let's think about it, k?"
Sam had already thought about it, and he was already clinging to it like a last hope, like a single match in a sea of darkness… but he'd let Dean have the illusion that it was something they both needed to contemplate just a little longer.
Sam gave him 2 days.
It happened in the junk yard, they had stopped off at Bobby's so he could pour over the book they had managed to track down. Dean had stepped out to go grab the guns out of the Impala that he may as well be cleaning with nothing else to do at the moment. Sam had followed him out without a word, leaving Bobby mumbling something in Latin as if trying to remember what it meant.
Dean made it to the trunk of the Impala about to open it when he felt Sam's hand settle on his right hip. The weight of it was warm and firm and almost innocent except that Dean now had a whole new reference point for Sam's touches. He tried to relax, to not shift away, to not cringe, to not make a joke, to not think at all.
Another one of Sam's hands snaked around Dean's left side, under his arm to settle on his torso and chest pulling him back against Sam, back to front. Dean tried to think about the one time he had been with a guy, he had been 22 and drunk, it had been weird yet not unpleasing and he had decided that he preferred women. But, every now and then he found himself checking out the prospects from the other side of the fence… just not lately.
Dean wanted to lead, he wanted the control. He didn't like being pressed between Sam and the Impala, he felt like the girl. He jumped as Sam's fingers skimmed over one of his nipples through his tee. He could tell Sam wasn't hard, but he wasn't either so maybe it was because they were both so nervous.
He felt Sam's lips press lightly into the side of his neck and instead of jerking away he tilted his head to the side.
Dean felt Sam's grip on his hip tighten and then relax like Sam had been surprised yet pleased that Dean had bared his throat to him. Of course, Sam didn't have any reason to believe that Dean wouldn't freak out.
Then Sam finally spoke, like he was reading Dean's fucking mind, "It doesn't make you the girl, you know. I just wanted to know what it would be like, if we could even handle the small stuff."
Dean shivered as Sam's warm breath puffed out against his neck, "s'not so bad."
Sam laughed and then started laying open mouth kisses along Dean's neck, nuzzling his ear, moving back down to nip at the spot where Dean's neck met his shoulder. Dean jumped at the bite, sucked in a breath.
Sam nipped again, eliciting a similar response, "I think I found a spot."
Dean growled, "Shut up."
Sam just laughed, like he always did when he knew he was getting on Dean's nerves.
Dean shifted then, letting Sam know he wanted out, and Sam backed off and stepped away. Dean turned looking up at Sam, maybe they could do this. Dean reached out, griping Sam's shirt and swinging him around till he fell up against the Impala with Dean stepping into the space between Sam's splayed legs. Now they were plastered front to front, mouths open inches from one another and breathing each other's air.
Dean smiled, "your turn."
He leaned in and slid his mouth over Sam's who was already open and waiting. Dean pressed himself into Sam, afraid to find out that he liked it here, yet unwilling to stop. Sam's hands moved to Dean's lower back, bringing their bodies even closer together just as Dean slipped his tongue inside Sam's mouth.
It wasn't as good as some other kisses he's had, but unlike kissing a girl where most of the time he had to coax and chase and tease, Sam met him halfway. The minute Dean deepened the kiss, melding their mouths together, licking into Sam's mouth, they were dueling, fighting for dominance, trying to one up each other like they always had.
Dean found it surprisingly hot, which maybe he hadn't quite expected it to be that good. He finally couldn't contain the feelings in his chest, spiraling out from his center to the rest of his body and he groaned when Sam bit down on his lower lip, swiping his tongue across to sooth, before dipping back into Dean's mouth.
Sam's hips twitched at the sound that Dean finally let loose and Sam felt an answering moan escape from his mouth into Dean's own. Finally they both pulled apart to breath, clinging to one another and trying not to look too fucked out when they met each other's eyes.
After that first kiss, and neither one of them really looking at each other for a few hours, they came to the conclusion that it would happen again. They still pursued other avenues, helping Castiel and searching down every lead Bobby gave them. They dodged arch angels, demons, Lucifer, all the while searching for other options, other ways out than just saying yes.
Sometimes Dean would initiate it, sometimes Sam. Dean recalls the very first time Sam had reached over to trail his fingers along the inseam of Dean's jeans up to his crotch, while Dean was trying to drive the Impala. Dean had almost run off the road as his whole body reacted. He had definitely done sex in a car before, but never while driving. Plus it was the first time that Sam had deliberately put his hand anywhere near, well, there.
Sam was still trying to live down an episode from the week after the Impala incident. It was the first time that Dean had bitten Sam… mostly Sam did all the biting. Dean had tackled Sam to the bed and climbed over him as they made out in some motel in Washington State. Dean was making his way down Sam's chest as he unbuttoned his shirt, licking along the salty skin and sucking little bruises into the tender flesh. Sam tried to flip them so he could wrestle Dean's shirt off but Dean pressed his weight down, his legs lying between Sam's spread ones, but Sam wouldn't stay still. Finally Dean had just had enough, and to warn Sam he bit down hard on Sam's exposed collarbone.
Sam's reaction was immediate, his hips rocking up into Dean's as his entire body when pliant beneath Dean. Sam tried to calm the shudder that racked his body and quiet the soft moan that tried to work its way out of him, but damn if he didn't have a thing for biting.
Dean was so shocked that for a second he could only stare down at Sam, the fact that Sam had a thing for biting him hadn't really processed with Dean that maybe it went the other way too. But Sam used Dean's spot on his throat to his advantage and Dean was sure as hell going use this biting kink to his. He leaned over to sooth the spot he had bitten and moved down till he had kissed a path to the spot under Sam's heart over his left rib cage before biting down again. And once again, Sam gave a strangled yell and arched up into Dean.
What Dean could admit now, thought couldn't process at the time, was that making Sam make those little noises turned Dean on more than half of the mediocre sex he'd had in his life. This revelation led Dean to a second more startling one, which he accidentally may have told Sam… sex was more intense with Sam then another other partner he'd ever had.
Sam had told Dean it was because they knew everything about one another: hopes, fears, weaknesses, strengths, how they thought, how they moved, their bodies. Years of training, living, working, hunting together had given them an intimacy that extended into sex, yet existed outside of it.
Sam had been drawing patterns on Dean's back as they lay in the bed, something Dean only let him get away with for the first 5 minutes after an orgasm, "you've probably only had sex with someone you've known for no more than 3 days, possibly no more than 3 hours, Dean. Sex with someone you've known for months or years or decades is different."
Dean had shrugged, "we haven't actually had sex yet Sam."
Sam's fingers stopped on Dean's lower back, "do you want to actually have sex?"
Dean turned over to sit up and look at Sam, "do you?"
Sam shrugged, "maybe."
Dean looked away, down at the sheet covering him, "you know, the touching and the kissing and blowjobs are well, good, but you know still not…"
Sam hit Dean's leg, "are you trying to say you're not satisfied? Because I have a sticky stain on my stomach right now that says otherwise."
Dean looked up at Sam, "Dude? Really? You went there?"
Sam laughed, "Yeah. Yeah I did."
Dean shook his head, "all I'm sayin' is that, if we actually have sex then that'll be it… we will have officially crossed that line."
Sam looked at Dean like he'd lost it, "Dean, what line man?"
Sam gestured from himself to Dean, both of them naked under the covers, "does this look like a line to you? It's the apocalypse man, is there really a line?"
Dean shrugged, "I guess not."
Both of them fall silent, Dean cleared his throat, "you know Detroit is less than a month away… six months gone and the world falling into complete shambles… we can't give in."
Sam placed his hand on Dean's thigh, the thin cover of the sheet between them, "I'm not going to say it, I promise."
Dean wants to believe that they've changed enough about whatever it was that led to Detroit, but he still sees a different Sam sometimes when he closes his eyes and it scares him that they're both one small word away from the end as they know it.
When six months comes and goes and Sam is still Sam. When Lucifer doesn't show up and Detroit is at least 6 state lines away, Dean shuts Sam in a hotel room and fucks him within an inch of his life. They don't leave the hotel room for 24 hours and Dean spends almost all of them relearning Sam's body, Sam's face, Sam's eyes, voice, touch, taste.
Dean sinks into his brother's tight heat, his head thrown back on a groan that Sam echoes back at him. Sam's body drawing him in, hot and firm, is confirmation that his brother is alive and whole and all Dean's. He snaps his hips back and forward the moment Sam begs him to move and they spiral higher together. Dean leans down to trail wet kisses across Sam's throat and chest, moving up to whisper things into Sam's ear that he would deny saying in the light of day. Sam grips Dean's arms, fingers seeking purchase on slick skin, and whispers back.
Dean feels Sam coming apart as his groans turn into breathy moans, "come 'on Sam, be here with me."
Sam's eyes open and he pants out, breath warm on Dean's face, "always here Dean, always, with you."
Dean shudders as Sam comes, tightening around Dean almost painfully. Dean's own orgasm slams into him and he follows Sam off the cliff, leaping and falling; he isn't sure what's at the bottom or if the fall with kill him, but he knows he'll be with Sam… and that's all that matters.
They know they've won the battle.
But they haven't won the war.