Author's Note: As usual, the Brotherhood AU and the characters of Mackland Ames and Caleb Reaves are created by Ridley C. James and Tidia. Supernatural is created by Eric Kripke. I don't own either, just playing with them. This is for Phoebe, who encouraged me to write all the angst-y things I want! (I could've added this to "Suitcase of Memories", but it was a multi-chapter story.)

Just as Deadly By Sensue

Words can be just as deadly as a gun, given the right ammunition.

1996

Dean sat in the passenger seat of the Impala, listening as the engine slowly died down in front of the elaborate apartment complex. He turned towards his father, watching as John's hands tightened around the steering wheel and his jaw clenched in frustration. It was obvious to Dean--the man was gearing himself up for a fight. It'd been like this since Sammy had turned thirteen.

It was like a fuse had been lit and it was slowly burning its way to the dynamite attached at the other end. He'd done everything he could think of to blow out the fire, but no matter what he tried; he felt like he was only delaying the inevitable. Once, he even prayed for the fighting to end. It was an offhanded comment, a quick, 'please God, make it stop.' He grit his teeth when absolutely nothing happened as a result; it only served to prove what he already knew.

He didn't need to look at the backseat to know that Sam -- no longer 'Sammy', by his own decree -- was steaming mad. He hadn't spoken the entire drive, if you don't count all of the loud sighs, angry to be ripped away from another school--another attempt at 'normal'. No amount of pleading, yelling, or bribing their father would get him to change his mind once it was set. Dean understood this; right now, he was a liability and Sam's current attitude would only hinder the hunt. He just wished that Sam could understand their father's point of view as well.

The hunt had to come first. Innocent people were at risk.

So, Dean did the only thing he could; he followed orders. He turned away from his family, got out of the car and started to get his things out of the trunk. The apartment complex was essentially like a fancy hotel for rich people; it had a doorman, who apparently was aware that Dr. Mackland Ames was expecting guests. The bellhop had been called and they had a baggage cart ready and waiting. The young man politely nodded towards the duffle that Dean'd pulled from the trunk. "I can take that for you, sir."

Sam was a little bit slower at getting out, slamming the car door behind him when he finally did. He followed his brother to the trunk, shaggy hair flying everywhere. Instead of getting his things, he just glared at the car, kicking the tire when the engine abruptly started up again. Dean grabbed Sam's bag and tossed it onto the cart.

Dean quickly grabbed Sam before the car got another round of his wrath, then pulled him out of the way when the car sped away from them, John heading towards the next hunt, alone.

The bellhop stared at the scene, shaking his head at the family discordance. No one spoke as they went into the fancy apartment complex and waited for the elevator to arrive. Once the door opened, the elevator music was atrocious; Dean rolled his eyes at the classical music and quickly pressed the "Penthouse" button that would take them to their temporary home for the next couple of weeks.

Dean bit the inside of his cheek to hold himself in check. They'd always been told not to 'bother' Mac, not to take advantage of the kindness of the older man. Mac would literally give them anything they asked for -- money was no object. Once Dean was old enough to figure it out, he realized that it was about money. Perhaps it was a bit of jealousy and more than a little of pride, but John Winchester never asked for financial help from his wealthy friend. He was the family provider, and if all he could provide was a cheap motel, then that was what they got. Dean watched his father spend hundreds on ammo, guns, and supplies for a hunt... saving only a hundred to get he and his children by for the next month. It was one of the ways that John's priorities were skewed; it was one of the things that Dean knew Mac and his dad disagreed over.

It was almost hypocritical of their dad to drop them off at Mac's now. And it was Dean's fault. He rubbed his neck tiredly, giving his little brother a glance. Sam glared at him, still angry. It was similar to the way their father behaved. John Winchester held grudges and it seemed that Sam held them even longer. The elevator door opened, letting them out in front of the Ames Penthouse. The bellhop dropped their bags off right in front of the door, then looked at them with a wanting expression. When neither of the Winchester boys looked at him, he dropped his hand to his side and rolled his eyes walking away from them muttering about people not tipping.

Sam charged ahead and his hand went to the doorbell. Dean quickly grabbed him before he could press the button.

Sam whipped around, ready to argue, but the look on Dean's face stopped him. His brother looked exhausted and for once, he thought that his father might be right at forcing them to stay with the neurosurgeon.

When Dean spoke, his voice was practically nonexistent. He had to fight to get the words out. "Listen, Sammy. Mac's awesome to let us stay here, but we can't be a burden on him. We need to pull our own weight -- chores, food, everything."

"But Dean, he has a maid." Sam insisted, "Mac isn't going to mind us staying here..."

Dean shook his head, then closed his eyes as a wave of dizziness flooded through him. Thankfully, his brother didn't realize how close he was to taking a nosedive. "I know what you're thinking, Sammy. I know that you like Mac -- that you want to stay in one place, but he's not Dad. He's our friend and we can't take advantage of his generosity. Just -- be on your best behavior." He pointedly ordered his little brother. "Alright?"

Sam practically threw a temper tantrum, stomping his feet to the carpeted floor. "Fine."

Dean watched as Sam took in a deep breath and pressed the button. A couple of seconds later, the door opened.

As soon as Dean saw the older man, he felt the tension drain from his body. Mac smiled happily at the both of them before immediately drawing first Sam, then Dean into a warm embrace. "I'm so happy that you both could visit."

"Visit?" Sam, of course, had to put in his two cents. "Is that what dad told you?"

Mac didn't respond to the aggression. He just continued to smile and picked up their bags to lead them inside. "Sam, you can stay in the guest room. I put in a desk for you so that you can keep up with your studies. And Dean, of course, Caleb won't mind if you stay in his room." Caleb had his own apartment in Auburn, but would often come and crash in the NYC apartment while he was in town for TriCorp business.

Sam's eyes lit up with excitement. "You mean that Dean and I don't have to share a room?"

Mac glanced at Dean, then back at Sam before nodding. "Not unless you would rather..."

"No!" Sam quickly reassured him. "Thanks, Mac! This is so great." He ran to the assigned room and closed the door behind him. Dean could only imagine the thirteen year old jumping up and down at the prospect of having his own room for a few weeks -- his little brother was pulling away from him, no longer following him around and looking up to him. For all the complaining that he did about his annoying little brother tagging along, it still hurt to be rejected.

A hand on his shoulder startled the teen, making him jump slightly. Adrenaline pumped through his system, making him feel shaky, instead of more aware of his surroundings as it usually did. He fought to hide it by forcing his hands into his pockets and paying attention to the doctor.

"Sorry, Mac. I didn't catch that last part. I was thinking..." Dean apologized, grimacing when his voice broke on every other word.

Mac didn't let go of his shoulder, staring at him intently. "I asked you how you were feeling? Your father told me that you'd been sick... I didn't realize that you were still feeling poorly." The doctor's hands went to the boy's throat, but Dean backed away before he could examine him.

"I'm fine. Just a sore throat, Mac. Nothing to worry about." Dean licked his lips, fighting against the dryness and that slight choking sensation.

Thankfully, Mac let the issue go for now. Dean was relieved. "Do you want to rest, son?" Mac motioned towards the bedroom. "You look tired."

For a moment, Dean wanted nothing more than to sink into the expensively padded posturepedic mattress that he knew Caleb owned and have a 'Calgon take me away' montage, but he couldn't. "Nah. Maybe later. I'll just take these into our rooms." He picked up the bags and carried Sam's into the guest room where his brother was spinning around in his body-contoured desk chair excitedly.

Dean threw the bag onto the queen-sized bed, trying not to be angry. "You left this outside. Sammy, what did I tell you?"

"What? I would've gotten it in a second! Stop bossing me around! You're not Dad! And it's Sam!" Sam rolled his eyes.

Dean's throat was burning, and he truly couldn't keep talking. With every word he spoke, his ability to get the sound out and across significantly decreased. Soon, he wouldn't be able to make a peep. "Stop being such a bitch!"

Sam grabbed his bag and started pulling out his clothes and weapons, throwing them in the drawers that Mac had kindly left empty for their stay. "You're such a jerk, Dean! You're the one who follows Dad's every order like a trained soldier. God, it's like you can't even think for yourself!"

Feeling the heat start spreading to his face, Dean just walked away before he started breaking his own rules. He didn't want Mac to walk in on them arguing. Dean wasn't going to put the doctor in the middle of his family's problems.