Word Prompt: Imagination
Warnings: Wincest, schmoop, hurt/comfort
"Dean?" the sound of Sam's voice piercing through the soft hum of Led Zeppelin and the rumble of concrete hitting tires as the Impala slid along the clear, open highway.
"Hmm," Dean mumbled, momentarily tearing his eyes away from the empty road before him to glance at his brother, wondering what the cogs spinning inside of his brother's overactive mind managed to create.
A small smile toyed at the edges of Sam's mouth, "Do you remember when we were little?"
"Gonna need a bit more than that, Sammy-boy," Dean joked, but a trace of true curiosity clung tightly to the words.
"Right, sorry," Sam mustered, fingers fiddling together in his lap, embarrassment tinting cheeks the lightest of pinks. "Whenever Dad was out, I remember us playing games. Not like board games or cards. Games like, I remember once, we were in the bathtub," here, the pink became a darker scarlet, but he continued, "and we used to have rubber ducks. Remember the ones that Pastor Jim got for us? The ones with the crosses?"
Dean let out a small chuckle of laughter at the memory of the sigil-infused ducklings that became the brothers' favorite plaything, "Yeah, I remember, Sammy."
A bigger smile threatened to take over Sam's face as he continued, "We used to play with those ducks, pretended they were us. The smaller duck was me, the one that I drew a book on,
and the bigger one was you. I remember you drew a shotgun on it, Dean. Remember how we used to pretend nothing else was there; how it was just the two of them? That the only thing they had was each other? No demons. No angels. No monsters. No hunting. No saving. No responsibilities. Just to make each other happy. I miss those days..."
A wistful gleam took hold of hazel eyes as Sam continued, "Now, we can't even pretend. I can't even imagine a time, not a second, that we could even pretend that hunting did not exist or that we did not start the apocalypse or..."
Dean stared straight ahead, gazing at the empty road before him, trying to focus on the lines keeping them in their lane rather than on the memories and emotions that Sam's story was beginning to evoke in him.
But it was with those words, with the story and the memory and what Dean recognized as a loss of innocence in hazel eyes, that a plan begin to formulate in the elder's mind. With conviction in his heart, Dean promised himself that he would not let the light of innocence leave his brother's eyes; he would not let the darkness take his brother completely, he would not let it win.
It was three days later that the first part of Dean's plan, so cleverly titled "Operation: Ducky", came into play.
The brothers pulled into the parking lot of the only motel in the small town of their latest hunt.
As soon as the keys were pulled from the ignition, Dean rushed out of the Impala and headed to the convenience store only a few buildings down with a call over his should to the slightly less enthusiastic Sam to "Get the bags and a room, I'll be right back" leaving Sam more than confused at his brothers antics. But he quickly brushed off the weird behavior, taking it as Dean being Dean and doing as instructed, although slightly begrudgingly.
Knowing that the exhaustion brought about by the hunt and the crash after his caffeine overload would have overwhelmed him to the point of immobility had he given himself a moment to rest in the motel, Dean hurried to complete his first task: finding the duck toys and a sharpie.
Letting the thought of getting the first part done be his motivator, Dean hurried himself over to the store, the quiet jingling of bells and the soft greeting of the cashier whisking over his one-track mind as he entered.
Not having the energy to deal with people, even to ask for help, the quest began; Dean adventuring his way through the few isles of the small store until he came across the office supplies where he promptly found a variety pack of black sharpies.
"Perfect," Dean thought, letting the image of books, shotguns, and sigils draw a small smile into his weary face.
A buzzing in his pocket moments later pulled the hunter from his reverie, his hand digging in loose denim pockets before emerging victorious, phone clutched in his hand. A text from Sam quickly relit his face. The words "Room 69. ;)" forcing a quiet, appreciative chuckle to emerge before hurrying to complete his journey.
With his phone stuffed back into his pocket and sharpies in hand, Dean continued his rounds of the small store, emerald eyes swiveling about the store in hopes of landing on bright yellow, plastic ducks. After many odd looks from the cashier and even more "I got it"s in response to offers for help, Dean finally found what he was looking for.
"Success!" Dean practically shouted, earning him yet another odd look and a bark of laughter as he drew his fist clenched around the two ducklings into the air.
As he let the shit-eating grin take over his face, he sauntered over to the front and paid for the first part of his plan.
Knowing that a Sammy-warmed bed was awaiting his company, Dean let part two of his plan slide, for now. Vigor renewed with the excitement of the new items, he unconsciously let his body take him to their room, with only a small giggle escaping at the room number before entering.
"Thought you would never get back," Sam stated, stepping out of the bathroom, a towel slung low around his waist, a smaller one protecting his shoulders from damp hair perfectly framing his strong face, and the steam of a warm shower leaving drops of moisture running down his smooth, golden body, the only things clinging to his sculpted form.
Dean swallowed thickly, the image before him forcing every thought out through his open mouth and every ounce of blood to drop to his groin.
"Dean?" Sam questioned, a teasing smirk lighting his face and he sauntered over to his brother. "What were you doing, big brother?" he drawled, low and sexy.
With the small bit of blood left in his upstairs brain, Dean let out a quick thank you for forethought about have dropping the bag with Part One off into the Impala, having known that Sam would be curious.
Trying to appear unaffected by his brother, Dean responded, "Nothing, bro," but the rising bulge showing through his loose jeans were enough to brighten the sparkle in hazel eyes.
"Right, okay," the younger replied, brining himself right up to Dean's front, letting large hands caress the small bit of skin between shirt and jeans. Lips crashed onto Deans as the hands slid themselves upward, taking the clinging black shirt with them over a firm stomach; lips breaking only long enough to get the shirt out the way.
"Can't get enough of me, huh, Sammy?" he panted as the shirt was tossed aside.
"Come on, big brother," Sam took hold of his brother's belt, using it as a leash to pull him to the bed, pushing him down on his back. "Let me show you the real meaning of 69," he drawled, Winchester smirk firmly planted.
Part two of Operation: Ducky was a lot more difficult to complete than Dean had originally thought. Despite it being the conceptual easiest, simply drawing the markings on the plastic ducks with sharpie, two factors stood in his way.
The first being that he had left the ducks and markers in the Impala, which at the time had seemed ingenious. Now, the lack of materials hindered the progress of the plan as he had not been outside of the motel room in three days except to go out to food marts or restaurants that were within walking distance.
Which brought Dean to the second factor. He had not been outside the room without Sam's presence. And he had not been in the room without Sam's presence except to use the restroom, not that he was complaining in the slightest; in fact, he welcomed the three day, relaxing break with his brother and pent-up lover. But even without Sam's college brain, Dean was sure he would begin to wonder what he was doing in the restroom for so long.
However, the third day of their designated relaxation period brought about the perfect opportunity to complete the task.
With the room emptied of clothes, cleared of salt lines and Devil's Traps, and the car loaded as it should be, the boys in the front seats making the Impala complete, the trek out of town began.
Before the boys could get too far, Dean recognized the perfect opportunity to complete part two into the form of small, locally run book store; Sam's favorite.
Knowing he could get bonus points as well from the little out-of-the-way excursion, Dean pulled his baby into a parking space right in front of the store before letting his head turn to glance at his brother whose face was pressed so close against the window that his breath fogged the glass over.
"You sure, Dean?" breathed Sam, knowing how bored his brother got when it came to books.
Yeah, Sammy," he started, "I'll just wait in the car. 'Got a magazine in the back waiting for me. Though," with a wink, Dean continued, "I wouldn't mind some payback later."
Sam let out a quiet chuckle as he turned to face his brother, bringing himself closer, letting his lips close enough to glaze over his brother's, letting the single word, "Deal," whisper over Dean's lips before pulling back and getting out of the car, making sure that his brother noticed the teasing sway in his hips.
As the door to the book store shut closed behind his brother, the smirk that was playing at his lips erupted into a full blown grin as he reached into the back, underneath the driver's seat, grasping hold of the black plastic bag and dumping the contents out onto his lap.
Dean made quick work of the sharpie wrappings, pulling them free of the plastic before he began the task of recreating his and Sam's childhood ducklings.
Minutes before Sam sidled into his position beside Dean, the sigils and symbols had been drawn to perfection, the ducklings and sharpies had been carefully hidden once again underneath the seat, and a magazine was stuffed in marker-blacked hands, eyes glancing over the pages.
Pretending to tear his eyes away from the captivating article, Dean asked, "Ready?", getting a joyous "Definitely" in return before driving out and on.
Part three of the plan took quite a bit of time to accomplish. In fact, three weeks, seventeen motels, and two hotels passed in a blur of hunts. By this point, Dean thought that what he was looking for would never be available to him: a bathtub, let alone a bathtub that could fit a grown man and his sasquatch of a lover. That was, until a haunting of a beautiful and lavish bed 'n' breakfast became their target salt and burn.
The boys completed the hunt, without a hitch. Same with Dean's plan.
As expected, the owner of the now-ghost-free building offered an all-expenses paid room for the night. Dean snatched up the offer in an instant, claiming that they had been hunting straight for three weeks and deserved some down time to unwind. Sam had not been far behind.
Within minutes of accepting, the boys had their bags in hand, Dean taking care to sneak the black bag into his duffle, and followed the owner to the best suite in the building.
They entered through the door, closing it behind them; the elder whistling in appreciation of their temporary abode, brushing off Sam's "I should have carried you over the threshold," jibe with a simple, "Shut up, bitch."
A bark of laughter infused with the familiar "Jerk" erupted from Sam as he and Dean dropped their bags in front of the bed, their own weary bodies collapsing on top of the covers, limbs tangled together, the warmth and silence of each other and the room comfortable.
The boys spent the next many hours simply being. Relaxing, reading, watching television, sleeping. Anything they could do to loosen the strain that had been taking over their entire bodies.
The entire day had been simply perfect. Until Dean began to fidget with the question of how he was going to set up the final step of his plan. Lucky for him, though, as the sunset faded, turning the sky dark with the shining moon and stars, Sam stood, stretched and announced, "I think I'm going to take a short walk; enjoy a night without something out to hunt me back. Want to come?"
"Nah, I think I'm just going to stay here, finish the show," Dean replied, pointing at the episode of Doctor Sexy, lighting the boys up in the darkness of the room.
"Suit yourself," he shrugged before grabbing his jacket, phone, and key and taking his leave.
Dean heaved a sigh of relief as he turned the television off and set about completing the final stage: enjoy.
Lucky for him, this would be the easiest portion of the task; simple set up and he had everything he needed to do it.
Dean sprinkled a path of white rose petals from the front door to the giant bath awaiting them, where he placed enough candles around the rim that, once lit, would let the room dwell in an ethereal glow where the imagination of the brothers could seem possible.
Soon, roses, candles, and ducks were in place. The tub was filled with soothingly warm water; the smooth liquid disturbed only by the ripples of underwater streams of jets. The only missing bits were Dean and Sam.
Knowing that his brother would soon return, Dean began to remove his clothing, folding each article and placing it gingerly atop his suitcase. Staring at the pile of clothes, he began to smile as he recognized the subconscious drawing from his obsessive, neat freak of a brother.
The smile remained as he followed the lain path to the tub. Being cautious of the candles, Dean gingerly stepped into the water, letting himself sink down, the warmth of the water pulling him deeper, embracing him.
As he waited, emerald eyes found the black dots surrounded by white, the eyes of the ducks, staring back; all owners sitting patiently for the arrival of their partner.
The wait was not long; within minutes, the squeak of the opening door and the soft, questioning "Dean?" into the almost-darkness, unmistakable signs of Sam's return.
Dean did not respond, hoping for the flowers to be a clear enough answer. They proved to be as the gentle footfalls grew steadily louder until they hit the barest edge of the bathroom's tile where Sam stood, mesmerized. He absorbed the atmosphere, hazel eyes roaming around the bathtub to land on each individual candle, thirteen in all, before taking notice of the plastic ducks hidden between two of the candles nearest to him. Finally, his attention shifted as his eyes found the image of his gorgeous, smiling brother, his lover, cast in the soft light, embraced delicately by the warmth of water. The glint of hope hidden in the deep recesses of emerald forcing all thought to vanish as unconscious love radiated from the younger's being.
Once coherent thought was possible, the stupor was broken and curiosity won over intuitive desire.
"Dean," he began, hesitation, questioning momentarily winning over before continuing, "What is all of this?"
Staring straight into hazel, Dean spoke, emotion, a longing, a hope, interwoven with each word, "Remember a few weeks ago? We were driving in the Impala and you brought up a story; of how we used to create worlds, just the two of us and our ducks; our own world?"
As Sam's slight nod, he continued, "Well, when you were done talking...I remember so clearly a light...An innocence vanishing...I couldn't have that, Sam.
I know we face shit day in and day out; we face more problems in a day than most in a lifetime. But even with all of that, with our hunter lives and death, and everything, I could not stand the idea of that light leaving you...
You're my little brother," Dean faded off for a moment, gathering his thoughts, letting breath find its way through his closed throat, "and it is my job, it always has been my job, to take care of you. That includes keeping you happy; that includes keeping that light burning bright forever."
A smile, a grand smile lit up the younger's face; youth and love and joy taking precedence over every event, every situation that may have taken it off in the first place. Soon, once more, curiosity won out,"
"And the flowers and candles? It is not exactly your thing, Dean."
"Do you like them, Sam?"
"...Of course, I love them."
"There you go."
Sam gasped for a moment, taken aback at his brother's response, before moving to join his brother. With each step towards the tub, Sam gracefully removed article after article of clothing until he reached the tub's edge and he was prepared to enter.
Toeing himself into the water, he let it and the allure of his brother pull him deeper; draw him closer to the open arms and lips of his brother.
Pulling back a fraction, Sam reached for the ducklings, drawing them close to himself, letting a light kiss drape across each of their heads, a reminder of their childhood.
Keeping the ducks close to his heart, he drew back into the embrace of his lover, Dean's hand joining his own resting upon his quickly beating heart.
"Thank you, De," Sam whispered, leaning his head against his brother's shoulder, letting open mouth kisses fall against Dean's exposed neck, before letting his head simply rest. The hope that the appreciation and love seeped through his heart, his body, to wrap around his lover's body as a blanket and into his heart as precious treasures assuring that the dim, but ever-present light continues to remain.