Slow Burn

Rating: NC17
Pairings: Sam/Dean
Warnings: Angst, HurtDean, HurtSammy, Wincest, Torture, Rape,
Summary: Sam's idea of heaven shatters Dean's heart and he realises now he can never confess his true feelings for his brother and he just wants to walk away from it all. But when Sam is taken by Zachariah and sent to Purgatory, they are thrown headlong into a battle against the devil. With the help of Castiel, the brother's devise a plan to defeat Lucifer but unless they are truly bound to each other… Sam will be lost forever. The secrets they are both keeping might just get them both killed.

AU ending for "Dark Side of the Moon"

Chapter 1

Dean is waiting for the world to change. Waiting for it to shift and shimmy around him but it doesn't. He blinks and tries to swallow down his heart because this can't be real… this can't be happening.

He isn't sure when it started taking over every fucking part of his life or how or why it began.

It was like a time delayed addiction, a slow burn that you didn't even notice until you were being consumed by the flames and it was too late to do anything. All you could do was try to breathe and hide the fact that you aren't the same because the heat has already burnt your heart and scorched your soul.

He doesn't even know how to put in into words…. he's never had to try because it's always been his dirty little secret.

Always will be now.

There's only ever been one word anyway that he really needs to describe everything that matters, everything that is seared into his very bones and lights the way in the darkness.

There's only ever been one person that fills the void of friend, family, brother… one person that makes him want more than he can ever have between them.


Except now he knows it's all been smoke and mirrors…it's all been an illusion he created from his own needs and wants. Now he knows for certain that Sam would never understand how he feels.

It's okay though… at least now he knows how Sam really feels…

your idea of heaven is…it's bailing on your family

…and where he stands in the great scheme of things…

God wants you to back off

Dean Winchester will do what he always does in the face of fear and hurt and fucking things that would cripple a mere mortal standing in the middle of the Apocalypse.

He digs a hole and buries it deep.

Dean didn't know what he'd find when he had arrived at Stanford all those years ago. ..

Dad's on a hunting trip…

… whether Sam would walk with him or walk away.

As soon as Dean saw him from a distance, laughing easily and eyes shining as he sat with friends in the crowded campus bar, he knew he had to find out. As much as Dean had continued to fight the good fight with his father when Sam left, he couldn't do it alone.

He didn't want to.

Something stirred in his heart when he saw how happy his younger brother was in this world so far removed from the reality of their upbringing. Dean hesitated then, not because he was unsure about reaching out to Sam but because he was so damn certain that this was the right thing... sometimes you just needed to take a moment.

In hindsight Dean would always wonder whether it was this moment that had changed their path or secured their destiny.

It was all about the vertical and the horizontal.

Straight lines.

Just keep driving and don't look back at the burning bridges.

When Sam starts having visions, Dean starts being scared.

Not the visceral terror that paralyses your soul, no... that will come much later. This was just a healthy fear of the unknown, something he lived and breathed every day. It was just a little different when it struck this close to home.

When Sam starts moving things with his mind, Dean is terrified until he sees that Sam needs him not to be... and that's okay because he can do that. It's his job.

nothing bad's gonna happen to you Sammy

It's not until Sam goes missing in Hibbing, Minnesotathat he starts to understand how much he truly feels…. things he's felt for so long without really acknowledging… things he shouldn't be thinking or wanting... not from his brother.

When he finds Sam in the cage, scared but unhurt, a part of Dean just wants to keep him there locked up and safe while he stands guard.

You were worried about me

You vanish like that again I'm not looking for you

Sure you will

And they both know it's true... he would always look for Sammy.

It's not until Sam dies... for the first time... that he knows he can't stop this need within him… he sure as hell can't live with it alone.

What am I supposed to do Sam?

… so he gives up his life and his soul for something he knows he can never truly have... and that's okay because he would do anything for Sammy… since forever and for all eternity... amen…

You're my brother I'd die for you

… and he knows in his heart that Sammy would do anything for him… almost.

It was a whole new level of fear and hurt though when he came back from hell and saw that Sam had been walking along a dark path… the one path he had asked him not to tread.

A part of him died... again... when his brother chose a demon over family… over him… but he would always be there for when Sam needed to find the light again. No matter what he said…

If you walk out that door…

… because he loves his brother more than anything else. They were in this together…

I'm your family. We're supposed to be a team. It's supposed to be you and me against the world. Right?

Dean, it is.

Is it?

… until they weren't.

Heaven wasn't all it was cracked up to be after all and God... well God had left the building.

Castiel had followed shortly after, faith shaken to his core when he had heard God's message because he knew deep down that Joshua wouldn't lie.

Dean had watched the light dull in the angel's crystal blue eyes for the first time since he had known him.

His hand closed around the amulet that Castiel had handed back to him… he felt nothing but cold metal.

Dean walked towards the door, away from Sam.

Away from the younger boy's hopeful words of finding ways and working things out.

We'll find another way. We can still stop this Dean.

The older hunter turned away from the anguish he knew was on Sam's face because he knew Sam didn't mean to hurt him, he knew his brother wanted to make amends… but Joshua had been right. Dean was losing faith in himself and in Sam, and now he knew it was all up to them… and he was just too tired for this.

Dean hesitated briefly, amulet dangling down from his hand, Castiel's words echoing in his head.

It's worthless.

It had always made him feel like it stood for their friendship and loyalty and all they had been through as brothers. It represented Sam's love and need for family... need for him... and Dean had treasured it.

It had been hard to take it off when Castiel had asked but it had been for a good cause… a righteous cause… to find God.

Now… Dean pushed his feelings down into the ground and started digging.

Dean let the amulet fall from his hand and walked out the door... leaving a piece of his heart and soul behind.

He knew Sam still loved him... like a brother.

Dean knew he would still die for his brother without a second thought... some things are set in stone.

The difference was that now, he had lost his faith... lost his way... lost his family… and really, at the end of the day… if you didn't have that there wasn't much point. At the end of the fight and the war... if he was still standing… Dean knew now he would walk on alone because Sam didn't want to stay and God really wasn't interested.

So what the fuck… let the world burn.

Dean Winchester was sitting this one out on the bench.

Dean truly, absolutely, believed that for just under eight minutes.

It took that long for him to retrace his steps back into the motel room when Sam didn't follow him out or appear to the honk of the Impala's impatient horn.

Dean had once briefly entertained the thought of coming clean... admitting his weakness and fears and the fact that he needed the younger boy more than he needed to breathe... more than any brother should… he dreamt of caressing Sam's skin with his mouth.

As he sat behind the wheel and waited for his brother to emerge from the room, Dean now knew he could never say how he felt because Sam would only hate him more… at least this way, Sam might stay a bit longer.

Except his world fell apart the minute he moved back through the doorway.

He got a glimpse of Sam… head gash bleeding across his face and motionless on the ground before his younger brother disappeared in the blink of an eye.

Dean stared into Zachariah's gloating smile for an instant before the angel vanished, leaving behind only a bloodstain on the carpet and a gripping panic in Dean's chest.