Part of my Deleted Scenes series. Full list of fics in reading order available on my profile page :)

As the spray of scalding water hits his over-sensitized skin, Dean feels his muscles finally begin to relax. He rolls his shoulders and tosses his head back and forth a few times, letting the heat release the knots in his back. He's been tense for hours, literally hours, and his neck had just about had enough of it. Being hunched over Sam's laptop for as long as they were seriously did a number on his shoulders. He always hates any kind of stakeout, preferring to just dive in and get shit done, and sitting in a dark room all night waiting for a monster to attack a god damn little kid is so not Dean's idea of a good time.

And the kid in question had been such an awesome little smart-ass, and so serious about protecting his younger brother that it had been like looking in a tiny mirror. It made Dean feel a strange sense of pride but also kinda freaked him out at the same time. All Dean wanted to do after he emptied a clip into that mother-fucker's forehead was, well, pretty much what he always wants to do after a hunt – drag an exhausted Sam back to their room, pull his listless brother into bed and pet him until he comes, but Sam had been really quiet after the Shtriga was dead and he got that prickly look all over his face that usually means he's got a stick up his ass again about something and Dean's just counting down the minutes until he gets to find out what.

Dean has a sneaky suspicion that he knows exactly what it's about, though. He'd sort of given Sam the Cliffs Notes version of their first encounter with the Shtriga, the night Sam almost died all those years ago, and knowing Sam he's gonna want Dean to recount the story again but this time in painfully specific detail. And Dean really has no intention of indulging him, because all Sam's gonna want to do then is try to convince Dean again that it wasn't his fault. Dean doesn't need to deal with that again, because it was his fault. Right on cue, Dean hears the bathroom door creak open and soft footsteps followed by the crinkle of the shower curtain being pulled back a little. Dean twists to look over his shoulder at a still fully-clothed Sam, smiling softly at him with sad eyes.

"Hey Sammy. Everything okay?" Dean asks warily, recognizing the look on his little brother's face.

"Yeah, it's … yeah," Sam sighs, breaking eye contact and scratching absently at his nose. "Mind if I join you?"

"'Course not." Dean grins. Hey, if he can get shower sex out of the deal, he's not gonna say no. It probably shouldn't be too difficult to distract Sam from whatever it is he wants to talk about now – as if they hadn't already done enough freakin' talking today. Enough talking for the rest of Dean's life, for that matter. Dean's nuts about the kid, he is, but sometimes … well, sometimes Dean worries that if he keeps giving in to Sam's need to talk everything out, pretty soon he won't have any secrets left that just belong to him. And that thought scares him more than he's willing to admit.

Sam moves back and Dean can hear shuffling sounds for a minute, the faint hum of a zipper, then the sound of Sam stumbling and cursing softly.

"Trip over your own feet, Sasquatch?" Dean chuckles.

Sam laughs quietly. "Shut up."

And then he's pulling the plastic curtain back again and stepping into the tub. Dean turns fully around to face his brother and lets his eyes linger for a minute on Sam's chest. Damn, he loves how big Sammy's gotten. The modestly sculpted abs, those giant, powerful shoulders, hell, pretty much every bit of Sam turns Dean on these days. The day Sam left for Palo Alto he was this awkward, too-tall and too-skinny teenager; Dean remembers Sam grew like six inches in one summer and still hadn't figured out how to move in his new body. But now? Yeah, he's definitely figured it out.

The Sam with him now practically looks like a different person. He's still got those long limbs and he's still stupidly tall (he makes Dean feel ridiculously tiny by comparison, the little fucker) but he's filled out in all the right ways and Dean can never seem to keep his eyes away. Or his hands, or his tongue. Sam sees Dean looking – not exactly like he was hiding it – and gets this adorably bashful expression on his face that effectively proves he is the same person Dean grew up with, and then he glances down to hide behind his bangs. Dean laughs again and rolls his eyes. He's seen Sam naked a thousand times, it's not like either of them have a thing to hide anymore, but sometimes Sam still gets all shy and blushing and 'aw, shucks' and it maybe shouldn't turn Dean on but, man, it does.

"Quit starin'," Sam mumbles. He steps towards Dean and then grabs his hips and spins him back around.

Dean makes a small noise of protest as he's shoved back under the spray, but then he feels Sam's big hands squeeze his shoulders and all his objections fly right out the window. Sam's fingertips press expertly into the sore spots on his neck, rubbing in small, deliberate circles. When Sam's knuckle finds a serious knot that's been assaulting the muscle above Dean's left shoulder, he digs into it and it tenses and then wonderfully releases. Dean lets out a moan that has to be nothing short of filthy. Apparently he hadn't realized just how stiff he was.

"Feels good, Sammy," he says with a shaky laugh. "What's with the spa treatment?"

"Just thought you could use it." Sam massages his thumbs into the top few notches of Dean's spine and Dean shivers involuntarily in spite of the hot water still pouring down onto his chest. "You kept rolling your shoulders, I thought maybe you were sore."

Dean moans again, leaning into Sam's touch. His angry muscles are practically melting under Sam's warm hands. Sam's fingers knead and press into Dean's neck and shoulders and damn, Dean is so in heaven right now. Then Sam's hands slide down Dean's back and wrap around Dean's waist, and Dean can feel Sam moving in and cozying up against his back. Sam leans down to nuzzle at Dean's neck and ear, and unfortunately Dean knows exactly what it means when Sam does that. When Sam wants to talk about something and he knows Dean doesn't, kissing and nipping at his neck is usually a surefire way to crumble Dean's resistance. Sam knows that just as well as Dean does and usually isn't above using it against him, but tonight Dean just isn't inclined to let him.

"Sam," he sighs, disappointed that he has to give up the touch that feels so good. "Can we, just, not? Please?"

"Not what?" Sam asks, clearly feigning innocence, but Dean isn't even close to fooled.

"You know what." Dean reluctantly takes Sam's hands and pushes them away from his stomach. "I'm not up for this tonight."

Sam pulls back and is quiet for a few tense minutes, while Dean soaps up his hair and hopes that if he keeps on pretending everything's okay maybe Sam will get the message and leave him alone. Dean would still like nothing more than to soap Sam up instead and rub up against his wet, slick body, but clearly that's not gonna happen anymore. At this point, Dean'll consider it a win if he can just get Sam to let them go to bed in forced, uncomfortable silence. After a long moment, Sam finally exhales heavily and steps back out of the shower, and Dean can hear him pulling his clothes back on and leaving the bathroom; the door closing with a soft thud.

At least he didn't slam it, Dean thinks. That's something.

When he gets out of the shower, he rubs his pink skin dry and then puts on the sweats and t-shirt he finds folded on the toilet seat. The excitement of the hunt is still making Dean's brain a bit hazy, but he's pretty sure he doesn't remember putting them there – Sam must've done it when he came in. Dean smiles a bit at the gesture. It's just like Sam to do sweet little things like that when he knows Dean's in a bad mood.

Dean's still rubbing a towel through his hair as he steps back into the main room, just a little apprehensive about the condition he'll find his brother in after the rejection in the shower, but luckily Sam's just sprawled out on one of the beds, flipping channels indifferently. His expression is kind of blank – he doesn't look exactly pleased but he doesn't look upset either, so Dean figures he'll take a minor victory over nothing at all. He chucks the wet towel back toward the bathroom and drops down onto the bed beside Sam; not quite touching but close enough that Sam could snuggle in if he wanted to. Sam doesn't, but that's okay. Dean's not feeling particularly into it tonight either. This hunt hit just a little too close to home.

"What're we watching?" Dean asks casually.

Sam shrugs and tosses the remote over to Dean. "Whatever you want. There's not much on."

His words are relaxed and nonchalant enough, but Dean hasn't spent the majority of his life living practically cheek to cheek with the guy for nothing, and the ice in Sam's voice definitely doesn't go unnoticed.

"We could order a movie," Dean suggests, silently praying that Sam will just roll over and go to sleep but resigning himself to the fact that that's probably not gonna happen. "Or, do you feel like going out or something?"

"Whatever, I don't care," Sam repeats, staring determinedly straight ahead.

Dean rolls his eyes for what's got to be the fifth time today. "So what, you're gonna pout now?" he asks quietly.

"I'm not pouting! Fuck you!" Sam snaps, scowling over at Dean and then heaving himself off the bed.

Which totally just proves Dean's point, but he decides it isn't necessary to point that out.

"God, Sam, it's not a crime to not want to talk everything to death," Dean groans. "Shit, you're like a dog with a freakin' bone sometime."

Sam whips back around and shoots a death-glare in Dean's direction. "That isn't fair and you know it. You can't drop a friggin' bomb on me like the one you did today and then expect me to just pretend it didn't happen! I'm not saying we need to do a whole Dr. Phil session or something, but damn it, I'm just so sick of you shutting me out!"

"Are you kidding me? Have you even been around the last couple of weeks?" Dean cries indignantly, pushing himself off the bed and squaring his shoulders. "Seems like all we ever do lately is have Dr. Phil sessions! And I've been open and I've been honest and all that other crap that, by the way, Sam? I would never be with anyone else, so honestly, I don't think it's too much to ask that you just let this one go!"

Sam rolls his eyes and sighs in a resigned kind of way. "You – yeah, you're right, okay? With Dad and everything, it's been a rough couple of weeks, I get that. It hasn't been easy for me either. But this just feels like one of those things we're gonna need to talk about eventually anyway."

"Why?" Dean demands. "I already told you everything that happened. It was a hundred years ago, there's nothing else to say."

"What about the fact that it's been eating you up inside for all these years?"

"It's not," Dean grinds out.

"Yes it is," Sam insists, impatiently pushing a few strands of hair out of his eyes. "And Dad knew that, that's why he sent us on this job."

"Sam! Jesus, stop!" Dean barks roughly. Everything Sam's saying is true, too fucking true, god-damn-it, and Dean's had just about enough. "I said I don't want to talk about it and I fuckin' meant it, okay? Just, stop it!"

"Fine! You don't wanna talk? Then you can listen!" Sam explodes, grabbing Dean's shoulders unceremoniously and shoving Dean down onto the bed.

"Fuck, Sam!" Dean begins angrily.

"No!" Sam interrupts loudly. "No, I am so goddamn sick of you calling all the shots! For once in your life, you're going to shut up and listen to me!"

Dean stares up at his little brother in disbelief; Sam's eyes are wild in anger and Dean isn't quite sure he knows what's going on anymore. Usually, when he pushes Sam away like they both know he's doing right now, Sam just gets frustrated. He doesn't usually get this angry.

"You said it yourself, Dad sent us here because he knew you'd want to be the one to finally take this thing out," Sam continues, his voice quieter now but carefully controlled. "Because he knew, that for all these years you've been beating yourself up over what happened back then because you think you let me down or something stupid like that!"

"Sam, you could've died!" Dean yells, standing up quickly as his temper reaches a boiling point. "Of course I let you down!"

"No you didn't!" Sam bites back, his demeanor just as fiery as Dean's, and Dean is sharply aware of the fact that it's like two brick walls colliding and both trying to push the other one over – that in the end the only accomplishment either of them will have made is them both crumbling to dust. They're both too stubborn. "You've never let me down, Dean."

"I disobeyed a direct order, and you almost died because of it. What the hell would you call it?"

For a few moments, Sam peers at Dean from under soft bangs and stitched eyebrows and looks almost … Dean can't even place the look he sees on his brother's face. Sadness, maybe?

"How old were you?" Sam finally asks, almost inaudibly.

"How old – you mean the first time?" Dean has to think for a second. "I was, I guess, about eight?"

Sam's eyes widen dramatically and for a minute he just stares – he looks shocked and indignant and heartbroken and a whole other host of emotions that Dean doesn't have a hope of deciphering.

"Dad left you alone with me when you were only eight?" Sam asks, in a tone of voice that sounds like it's the worst news he's ever heard in his life.

"Yeah, so what?" Dean can't help the note of defensiveness in his voice.

"So what?" Sam repeats incredulously. "Are you serious?"

"Well, what the hell did you think he did with us?"

"I – he – I don't know! I always used to think he at least left us with Uncle Bobby, or Caleb, or Pastor Jim or something!" Sam snaps; throwing up his arms in pure and utter annoyance. "At least until you were a little older! God, I don't know that much about parenting, but I'm pretty sure it's really, really not okay to leave an eight year old kid alone to take care of his four year old brother! Especially not in some skeevy motel room while Dad was off hunting a monster that goes after kids!"

"I don't blame Dad!" Dean shouts, his cheeks burning in anger.

"Well maybe you should!" Sam returns, just as furiously. "You were just a little kid, Dean! And he just gave you a shotgun and told you to take care of me, and then he left you for days at a time! And he probably even knew that the thing hunted siblings! He knew it might come after us and he still left us alone!"

"So? What is your problem, Sam? I mean, what the hell is your point? Whatever Dad did or didn't do, it was still me who left you alone that night! It's still my fault that you almost died!"

Sam sighs and looks at Dean with suffering in his eyes. "My problem is that you're still kicking yourself over something you did when you were eight years old. You were just a kid, Dean, you have to stop feeling guilty about it! It happened almost twenty years ago, I think it's about damn time you gave yourself a break."

Dean draws in a shaky breath, just barely holding back a pathetic sob as a wave of emotion crashes over him. God damn it, Sam. "How can I?" he asks weakly. "If it hadn't been for Dad, you'd be dead and it would be my fault. How am I supposed to let that go?"

"Alright, fine, so you screwed up!" Sam cries. His eyes are wild again and he seems to have reached the end of his rope. "So you left me alone when you shouldn't have and I almost got killed! The point is, I didn't! And today, you killed that bastard and you saved all the kids in this town! You saved Michael and Asher, you saved me! Don't you think that more than makes up for whatever mistake you made back then?"

"It doesn't fuckin' work like that, Sam," Dean growls, running a calloused hand over his face and turning away from his seething brother.

"Actually yeah, it does!" Sam shoots back. "That's exactly how it works! When normal people make mistakes, they say they're sorry and then they move on! They don't let something they did when they were eight freakin' years old haunt them for the rest of their lives!"

"Yeah, well, when the hell have we ever been normal?"

"You – that's so, not – it's – " Sam splutters. "Fuck, you're such a – "

Dean turns back around and is met by bluish-green eyes turned dark in fury. "Such a what? Tell me, Sam, what exactly am I?" he asks, really just taunting Sam at this point and that's a total dick move, Dean knows, so what he expects to happen next is not Sam launching himself forward and attaching his mouth to Dean's like a junkie that just got offered a hit.

Nope, not what he expected at all, but that's exactly what Sam does. Before Dean has a second to blink there are warm lips crashing against his and a tongue roughly working itself into his mouth. For a moment, Dean struggles to breathe and angrily toys with the idea of throwing Sam off, but then his body almost unwillingly melts into what's quickly becoming a really fucking fantastic kiss, even if it's just this side of painful every time his teeth clatter against Sam's. His hands snap up to grip at Sam's waist, sliding under his shirt and running enthusiastically up and down Sam's back, digging his nails in as he irrationally tries to get at every patch of skin he possibly can.

Sam's tongue swirls around Dean's in slow, sensual strokes, completely contrasting the way his hands are frantically grabbing at Dean's shirt like he's trying to just rip it to shreds. Eventually, he does get a good enough grip on it to pull it jerkily up and over Dean's head, damn near breaking Dean's nose in the process with a misplaced elbow. Dean would be completely justified in bitching about that, but right now he's way too worked up to care. Sam is almost never ferocious like this, and Dean had no idea that fighting was a turn-on for Sam, but if this is the payoff he's gonna endeavor to piss Sam off a lot more fuckin' often. Once Sam's ripped his own shirt off, he crowds back into Dean's space and attaches his mouth roughly to Dean's neck.

"Fuck, Sammy," Dean breathes, hissing in razor-edged pleasure as Sam's teeth sink into a tendon in his neck. "What the hell's gotten into you?"

If Sam hears him, he doesn't acknowledge it; choosing instead to cup one of his big paws over the throbbing bulge in Dean's sweats and squeezes, hard.

"Fuck!" Dean shouts again, bucking involuntarily against Sam's hand. He has no idea when he got hard, but he sure as hell is now and Sam's warm palm feels fuckin' good. And Sam's still biting and licking furiously at Dean's collarbone, and god damn that feels good too. Sam always knows just how to work him; always has, and Dean really should be embarrassed at how easy he is like this. Too bad his dick doesn't seem to agree.

Dean's fumbling hands somehow manage to work the button on Sam's jeans free and then slide up to grasp the sides of Sam's face, trying to regain some semblance of control but Sam's having none of it. He growls and slaps Dean's hands away, and then he wraps his arms around Dean's waist, picks Dean up right off the ground and throws him down onto the bed like he's a ragdoll, and fuck, that is not cool. Dean bounces up and down like he's on a trampoline a few times, and he's more than a little mortified at being tossed around like he's fuckin' nothing – he's a hunter, damnit! – and then he catches a glimpse at Sam's face through the sex haze currently blurring his vision.

Sam is leering down at him with this predatory gleam in his eyes that would totally be terrifying if it wasn't so hot. Sam's never, ever looked at him like that before and if it were possible to die from being too turned on Dean's pretty sure that would've done him in. He can't hold back a moan as his neglected dick spurts out a completely humiliating amount of precome, soaking quickly through the thin fabric of his sweats, and when Sam sees that he flashes this absolutely wicked grin that has Dean's heart racing. Sam pushes his jeans down his hips just enough to pull his own leaking cock out and strokes it lazily a few times, apparently having entirely gotten over his qualms about having Dean staring at him naked. And fuck, Dean's definitely not complaining. Even if he saw it twenty-four/seven he's pretty sure he could never get tired of the sight of a naked Sam, especially naked and hard. It should really be illegal for a person to be that delicious.

Dean's cock twitches again even though it remains maddeningly untouched. Sam only stands there on display for Dean for a moment, though, before practically pouncing and covering Dean's body with his own. He shoves his hand down into Dean's pants and pulls his erection free, tugging on it just once before his hips press down into Dean's. His mouth meets Dean's, still fierce and passionate but a little less forceful. Dean gasps into this kiss too, but he wasn't exactly complaining about the previous roughness, and Sam seems to sense that as he starts grinding down into Dean. Their twin erections are pressed up against each other and squished underneath the weight of Sam's body, and holy hell that's fucking incredible. Dean is winded and moaning freely now as Sam rocks into him.

"Do we … still … have lube?" he pants, licking up Sam's baby-smooth jaw. Jesus Christ, just the thought of fucking into that perfect body has Dean's brain blowing a fuse or two, almost as if it were the first time all over again, but Sam, apparently, has other ideas.

"Shut the fuck up before I make you," he growls, grinding his hips down harder into Dean's and Dean cries out in almost-pain, but it's good, so fuckin' good.

The friction is heating Dean's sensitive flesh up like a fever and he can feel the sharp rub from Sam's zipper burning into his skin, and his head is spinning and he's close, really freakin' close, and it's way too soon but he's so dizzy and overheated and it's so god damn fantastic that he doesn't even care. He comes with a harsh cry, arching up into Sam's hot, firm body and feels Sam tense above him only seconds later, hips snapping down to collide painfully with Dean's as scorching hot and wet somehow takes the edge off and makes it worse all at the same time. Sam gasps loud and moist against Dean's ear and sinks bonelessly into Dean. For another minute Dean's chest heaves and he draws in huge gulps of too-dry air, his body still twitching occasionally in pleasure that's like smooth velvet laced with razor blades, and vision still a little fuzzy around the edges. When he can think clearly, he laughs deeply and wraps his arms around Sam's neck, stroking his fingers through the sweat-damp curls he finds there.

"Shit," he breathes shakily. "Where did that come from?"

"I … I don't know," Sam mumbles. "M'sorry."

"What? Hey, do I sound like I'm complaining?" Dean asks, kissing Sam's temple and grinning like an idiot. "That was hot, Sammy. Just, a little unlike you, that's all."

"God, I know," Sam groans, rolling off of Dean and covering his eyes with his forearm. "Shit, I'm sorry. You just – you made me so … fucking mad." Sam laughs unsteadily and lifts his arm to peer at Dean with apologetic eyes.

"Don't be sorry," Dean says firmly. "Like I said, it was fucking hot. I could so get used to you like that." He hooks an arm under Sam's neck and pulls the big body back towards his own. Sam goes willingly and rests his head beside Dean's on the pillow. Dean shifts a little to the side so he can wrap his other arm around Sam's ribcage and press a warm, soft kiss to his swollen lips.

"And I'm sorry I pushed, before. About, you know," Sam whispers against Dean's mouth.

Dean can't help the chuckle that bubbles out of his throat.

"What're you laughing at?" Sam asks, pulling back slightly and eyeing Dean suspiciously.

"You," he snickers, bumping his nose lightly against Sam's. "Not even a good orgasm can shut you up, huh?"

Sam's already flushed cheeks deepen a few shades and he grins sheepishly. "Just, you know, I …" he trails off and takes a deep breath, his expression turning so fast back to serious that it's almost comical. "It really kills me to think you've been beating yourself up about this for so long."

"Sam …" Dean begins warily.

"No, listen," Sam insists quietly. "I'll shut up soon, I promise, but just – look, you made a mistake, okay? You were a kid, and kids make mistakes. You don't deserve to still be feeling guilty about it. Whatever happened back then, I forgive you, so you … just please, promise me you'll at least try to start forgiving yourself."

Dean sighs. In a stark contrast to the sex-crazed beast that was grinding on top of him not five minutes ago, Sam now looks like such a little boy again – wide, pleading eyes and floppy hair sticking out in all directions. Dean's tired and blissed out and he really, really doesn't want to start fighting again, and even though he still doesn't think he deserves any kind of forgiveness, all Sam's asking is that he tries, so yeah, okay, Dean can give him that much.

"Okay," he whispers, closing the distance between them again so he can kiss Sam's forehead. "I promise."