Title: Safe and Sound
Pairing: Sam/Dean (established relationship)
Spoilers: 4.10 Heaven and Hell
Warning: self-harm (cutting)
Genre: ANGST, hurt/comfort
Disclaimer: Supernatural isn't mine, but you already know that.
Summary: Coda to 4.10 Heaven and Hell. Dean is tortured by his memories of Hell, and he hurts himself to cope. Sam wants to show Dean that there are still things worth feeling. Wincest, previously established relationship. Warning for self-harm, explicit sex, and enough angst to crush a person's soul with just enough comfort to put it right.
AN: This is both my first wincest fic and my first NC-17 fic (I've written implied slash before, but this is my first explicit slash). Please be gentle. Hopefully I've done both of these things justice. Title inspired by the new Taylor Swift song "Safe and Sound" from The Hunger Games soundtrack. This song played in my head A LOT when I was writing this, and I think it's very fitting for the story. Give it a listen if you haven't heard it. As always, comments are love. :)
I remember tears streaming down your face when I said I'd never let you go.
All those shadows almost killed your light.
I remember you said "don't leave me here alone."
But all that's dead and gone and passed tonight.
Just close your eyes,
The sun is going down.
You'll be all right;
No one can hurt you now.
Come morning light,
You and I'll be safe and sound.
Don't you dare look out your window,
Darling everything's on fire.
The war outside our door keeps raging on.
Hold on to this lullaby,
Even when the music's gone.
~ taylor swift, "safe and sound".
Safe and Sound
After Dean finally tells Sam what happened to him in Hell, they sit on the hood of the car for a long time. Sam says nothing, and Dean can't really blame him because what do you say to that? What do you say to your brother when you find out that he's tortured people? That he ripped apart countless souls just to save his own skin?
In the end, Sam doesn't say anything. He reaches out, squeezes Dean's shoulder, and wordlessly gets back in the car. He sits behind the wheel and closes the door, and Dean knows that Sam is giving him an out, allowing him a moment alone, a chance to pull himself together. But Dean is tired, and he doesn't have any more tears to shed. He climbs into the car and lets Sam drive.
Dean doesn't pay much attention to where they are, where they're going. They stop for food, stretch their legs at some random park off the Interstate. Sam drives the whole way, and when the sun finally sets he stops at some random hotel in some random town, and Sam tells Dean to relax while he goes to get them some food.
Once Sam's gone, Dean heads to the bathroom, locking the door behind him, which he never does. On his way to the shower, he catches sight of himself in the mirror. His face is thin, pale, and there are dark circles under his eyes. He barely recognizes himself.
As Dean stares at his reflection, images from years in Hell flash before his eyes. He relives the pain of his own torture every night in his dreams, but nothing is worse than the pain he feels every time he looks at his own face. All those people he tortured in Hell, all those souls he broke. In the end, Dean became one of the biggest monsters that Hell had to offer.
One minute, Dean's staring at himself in the mirror. The next, he's smashing his fist into it and reveling in the sound it makes as it shatters, reveling in the pain. There's still a small portion of mirror attached to the wall, but most of it has ended up in the sink.
He pants heavily, staring at his bleeding knuckles. He's a monster. He deserves this pain. All of it. All he feels inside of him is pain, and maybe that's because pain is all he deserves. He reaches down and pulls out the biggest shard of glass he can find. He squeezes it tightly in his fist, watches as blood drips off his palm and into the sink, and suddenly he can't feel anything.
Tentatively, he digs the glass into his flesh, opening a deep gash near his elbow, and he feels numb to the sight of his own blood dripping down his arm. It doesn't even hurt.
He cuts himself again, a shallow cut this time. He cuts himself once more, up near his left shoulder, and he notices the handprint burned into his arm. Castiel never should have pulled him out of Hell. Hell was where he belonged. Where all monsters belong.
This is what he deserves.
He switches the glass to his left hand and starts in on the other arm. He grips the sink with his right hand, and his blood smudges the rim, but he doesn't even notice.
He cuts himself again and again, waiting to feel something. Waiting to feel satisfaction, waiting to appease his own self-hatred. But as the glass cuts into his skin he feels nothing, and it's glorious. He's numb to the pain and that's just how he wants it. He's so numb that he doesn't even notice the hammering on the door, doesn't even hear Sam yelling his name, telling Dean to let him in.
He doesn't even flinch when Sam kicks the door down.
Sam has just put the greasy food bags down on the table when the feeling hits him: something is wrong. After so many years of living with Dean, hunting beside him, Sam knows when to trust this feeling.
He goes to the bathroom door and knocks.
He knocks again, louder, calls his brother's name more forcefully.
And that's when he hears it. It's quiet, barely a whisper, but Sam can just make it out.
Over and over, mumbled under Dean's breath. Sam feels his heart drop into his stomach. He tries the door. Locked. He bangs on it instead.
"Dean, open this door right now."
"Dean, open the door!"
Sam is frantic now.
"I'm coming in!" Sam yells in warning, and with one strong, well placed kick the cheap motel room door flies off its hinges.
As Sam takes in the sight before him, his heart stops.
"Oh my god."
Time seems to slow down and speed up all at once. His vision flashes, and he processes the scene before him in pieces. Glass on the floor. Blood on the sink. The broken mirror. Blood dripping down Dean's arms, staining the floor. Cuts all along his brother's arms. And Dean, mumbling to himself as he digs a piece of glass into his flesh.
It feels like forever before he can move.
"What did you do?" Sam moans, and he's at Dean's side before he can blink. He grabs his brother's wrist, stops him before he can cut himself again. He slaps the glass out of Dean's hand and holds onto him, twisting his hands up to survey the damage on his palms, on his arms, his shoulders. A quick look and years of experience tell him that he hasn't cut any major arteries. He's bleeding, the cuts are deep, but none of them are deadly, and Sam allows himself to let out a sigh of relief before taking control of the situation.
He looks up into his brother's eyes, and what he sees there makes his heart twist in his chest. Dean looks so…empty. Lost. He's looking right through Sam, like he isn't even there.
"Dean, look at me."
Dean doesn't flinch. His lips are still moving, but he isn't saying anything. It doesn't matter, though. Sam can still hear Dean muttering the word "monster" over and over again in his head.
"Dean, snap out of it. Please."
He shakes him gently, not wanting to startle him, but needing him to come back.
He lets go of Dean's wrists and grabs Dean's face between his hands.
"It's okay, Dean. I'm here. Whatever you were feeling before, it's over now. You gotta come back to me."
Finally, Dean blinks.
Sam sighs with relief.
"Yeah, Dean. It's me. You're okay now," Sam says, and he hates how his voice trembles when he says it.
"It's okay, it's over," Sam says again, grabbing Dean's wrists between his hands.
"I'm a monster."
Sam's heart clenches at the pain in his brother's voice.
"No you're not, Dean."
"You don't know, Sam. I've done so much worse to other people. This is so much less than I deserve."
"Stop it," Sam orders, gripping Dean's arm tighter.
"You don't know," Dean insists again. "If you knew about even half the things I've done-"
"I don't care!" Sam snaps, and Dean flinches at the anger in Sam's voice. Sam sighs deeply, tries to pull himself together. "I'm sorry. Here. Let me clean you up."
It's a testament to how screwed up Dean is that he doesn't protest when Sam starts to clean the blood off his arms. He washes them gently with soap and water, dries them off, and it's not long before the towels are stained red. Sam sighs as he wraps Dean's arms in a clean towel and leads him out to the bedroom, depositing him on a bed.
"Keep pressure on this," Sam tells him. "I'll be right back. Don't go anywhere," he orders. Dean just shakes his head, and with that Sam walks back into the bathroom and shuts the door behind him.
Sam wants to cry. He wants to hurl things around the room, smash what's left of the mirror, curl up in the corner, and sob. But once he's alone, and all he can see is glass littering the floor and blood staining the sink, he finds that his eyes are dry and his anger is gone. In its place: a quiet determination.
Instead of hurling things and crying, Sam cleans up the mess. He takes what's left of the mirror off the wall and deposits it in the trash can. Throws the bloodied towels in the trash. Picks the glass up off the floor and throws that in, too. Cleans the blood off the sink and the floor. Then he scrubs his hands, watches Dean's blood swirl down the sink. When he's done, his hands are stained pink.
He still doesn't cry.
Instead, he takes the garbage bag full of glass and leaves the bathroom. He glances over at Dean, finds him sitting quietly on the bed staring off into space.
Sam keeps going, heads outside where he deposits the bag in a garbage can. Then he digs the First Aid kit out of the Impala and heads back inside.
Dean's still sitting on the edge of the bed, staring at nothing. Without saying a word, Sam sits down next to him and starts to fix him up. Cleans, bandages, stitches. It's mechanical, robotic. He's done this so many times he could do it with his eyes closed. Sam tries not to think about how this is different. How Dean did this to himself. He puts all his feelings up behind a wall and focuses on helping Dean.
When he finishes bandaging Dean's right palm, which has taken the worst of the damage, Sam sits there and holds his brother's hands. He caresses Dean's palms, runs his fingers gently over the perfect line of stitches. Sam continues to hold his hands as he moves his gaze to Dean's arms. He finds a patchwork of precise stitches and clean bandages. Finally, Sam looks up at his brother's face, and when he meets Dean's eyes the silence he's been maintaining for the past half hour just shatters.
Sam doesn't know what to do, what to say. What do you say to someone who's been to Hell and back? Someone who's tortured countless souls and come back so broken he feels like he needs to hurt himself to make amends? Someone who wishes they couldn't feel anything anymore?
"I missed you so much."
It's not what Sam meant to say. He's not sure why he said it. But now that it's out there, he can't take it back.
"Sammy." Dean's voice breaks slightly as he says his name, and Sam would do anything to make his brother's pain stop.
"I tried everything to get you back, Dean. When nothing worked, I…I almost gave up. I almost…" He pauses, remembering how close he had come to ending his own life.
"And then you came back. You're here now, Dean. With me. You're not there anymore. Whatever happened to you in Hell, it's over. You're safe now."
Sam grips Dean's hands as tightly as he dares, willing Dean to understand him.
Then he kisses him. Softly, gently, lips caressing his brother's, trying to tell him without words just how much he cares about him, how much he wants to help him, how much he wants to make the pain go away, how much he needs him. How much….
He pulls away, eyes burning into Dean's.
"I love you," he whispers.
Sam can't remember the last time he has said this out loud to his brother.
"Let me show you, Dean. Let me show you that there's some good left in this world. That there are some things that are still worth feeling."
Sam lifts Dean's hand up to his face and kisses his palm, runs his lips along the stiches. He works his way up Dean's left arm, ghosting gentle kisses along all the cuts he finds there. Dean starts to shake slightly, but he doesn't pull away, and Sam grabs his brother's shoulders and holds him as he gently works his way down Dean's other arm. When he's kissed every inch of Dean's tortured body, Sam pulls away.
"You don't need this, Dean," Sam whispers, grabbing Dean's right hand in both of his, rubbing gently at the long gash left from the piece of glass he used to hurt himself. "I'm here now. Please, Dean. Let me help you."
"Sam…you can't…you can't fix me." Dean's voice is raw, and Sam can hear the tears he's holding back.
Slowly, Sam reaches out a hand. He cradles Dean's face in his palm, tenderly caressing it, and he feels relief when Dean leans into it, closing his eyes as a single tear makes its way down his cheek. Sam catches it with his thumb and swipes it away.
When Dean opens his eyes again, Sam stares into the green depths, searching for his brother, but all he can see is a broken shell, and beyond that, deep down, a man crying out to be saved from a Hell he can never leave.
"I know," Sam finally says. "Just let me help you."
And when Dean nods, Sam kisses him again.
Sam slowly eases Dean's shirt off of him, drinking in the sight of his unblemished chest. When Castiel raised him from Hell, Dean lost all of his scars, but Sam remembers every one of them. He kisses every scar that's gone, spending a long time on the spot over Dean's chest where the yellow-eyed demon used their father to tear Dean apart; the spot where the Hellhounds tore him to shreds. Sam can feel Dean's heart racing beneath his lips. Then he removes the rest of Dean's clothes and does the same thing with his legs. There's one on his left knee, one on the inside of his right thigh, a particularly nasty one on his right hip. As he kisses him, he tells him how much he needs him, how much he wants him.
When he's finished, Dean's breathing heavily, staring at him through half lidded eyes. He's already hard, and Sam has barely touched him. Sam smiles as he leans down and kisses him on the lips. He's gentle, not wanting to push. Dean kisses him back slowly at first, but when Sam pulls away Dean pulls him back in for another kiss, harder this time. Sam moans softly as Dean starts to undress him.
It's been so long since they've done this. They haven't been together since Dean came back from Hell. Sam takes it slowly. He lays Dean back on the bed and caresses his cock as he preps him, sliding his fingers into Dean gently, kissing his chest, his hips, as he works him open. When Dean whispers his name, Sam removes his fingers and enters him in one slow, fluid motion. Dean's muscles clench tightly around Sam's cock, and Dean moans low in his throat at the feel of Sam inside him. Sam pants softly, then starts a slow, tender rhythm. Dean groans in pain, and Sam pauses. But then Dean's telling him not to stop, begging him not to stop, and Sam kisses him and obliges.
Sam works himself into Dean slowly, and it's been so long, it feels so good, Sam knows he isn't going to last long. His nerves are on fire, and he's shaking slightly, breathing heavily. Dean wraps his legs around Sam's sides, uses his arms to pull Sam closer to him. He's wrapped around Sam like he never wants to let go. Sam moans out his brother's name, and in one quick motion he wraps his arms around Dean's back and pulls them up into a sitting position.
The new angle drives Sam deeper into Dean, his balls resting against Dean's ass, and they both groan at the sensation and try to catch their breath. Dean's sitting in Sam's lap and they're so close Sam can feel their hearts beating against each other. He looks at Dean, sees his own desire mirrored in those green eyes, and it's so intimate that Sam gets lost in the feeling of it. Dean's breath on his face, their hearts racing together, Dean wrapped tightly around him, connected to him arms, legs, and center. Dean's cock is trapped between their bodies, and Sam reaches down to stroke him. Dean's eyes flutter shut as he groans, and Sam marvels at the way he can practically feel Dean's breath hitch in his own body.
Dean opens his eyes, and that's all the prompting Sam needs. He moves both of his hands around Dean's lower back and grabs his thighs, lifting him up in his strong arms. He thrusts up slowly, muscles straining, his hips working gently as he pushes deeper into Dean. Dean's breath catches in his throat, and Sam feels Dean tense around him, holding him even tighter. Dean buries his face in Sam's neck while Sam works himself slowly and deeply into his brother.
It doesn't take much. It isn't long before Dean's panting, his heart racing against Sam's chest. Sam lets go of Dean's ass, resting him in his lap and wrapping one strong arm around his waist. With the other, Sam reaches around and strokes him. Once. Twice. Dean's shaking now as he moans quietly and pulls Sam closer, so close that Sam swears he means to mold them together into one being, forever inseparable.
As though they could ever be anything else.
Sam thrusts up again, and again. He strokes Dean once more, rubbing his thumb against the slit, and that's all it takes. Dean cries out his name and he's shuddering, his arms tensing around Sam's back as he comes. Sam wraps both his arms around his brother's lower back and groans. Dean's so close to him, arms wrapped tightly around him, muscles spasming around his cock, and all it takes is one more deep thrust and Sam's following him, coming hard as he moans Dean's name.
It takes him a minute to come down. When he does, Dean's arms are still wrapped around him like a vise, like he's afraid to let go, and Sam finds that Dean is trembling. He thinks it's just the aftershocks of orgasm.
Until he feels the hot, wet tears falling on his neck.
"Hey," Sam says gently. He puts his arms on Dean's shoulders and gently pushes him away. Dean loosens his arms slightly, but doesn't let go as he looks up at Sam. Tears fall silently down Dean's face as he stares at his brother. Sam can see a million emotions behind those eyes. But what he recognizes above everything else is fear. Dean's afraid that Sam is going to leave him here alone to deal with the mess that has become his life. Sam has given himself up completely to his brother, and Dean's terrified that he could lose him at any second.
Sam grabs Dean's face in both hands and pulls him close. He kisses him softly on the forehead, gentle and yet firm, and then pulls back.
"I'm right here, Dean. I'm not going to leave you. Ever."
"Sammy…" Dean sounds so broken when he whispers his name, Sam feels his heart shatter in his chest. But he stays strong for his brother's sake.
He kisses Dean's cheek, tastes the salt of his tears. He wipes them away with his thumbs and then kisses him on the lips tenderly. Dean kisses him back, softly at first and then harder. When Dean finally pulls away, Sam sees that he's crying again, so he moves a hand up Dean's back, runs his fingers through his hair, and gently guides his head back to his shoulder as he tells him to let go.
Sam holds his brother as he cries. Dean's body trembles under the weight of his grief, but Sam holds him together. Dean lets himself go, lets it all go, and as he breaks, Sam puts the pieces back together.
When the tears finally stop, when Dean stops shaking, he pulls away and looks at Sam. Sam stares into Dean's eyes, and through all the pain and grief, Sam can finally see his brother. He smiles, kisses Dean's forehead, wipes away his tears, and promises him that he'll never leave him.
Gently, he pulls out of Dean and lays him back on the bed. He cleans them up with a towel, then lays down next to his brother. Dean curls up next to him, rests his head on his chest, and Sam wraps his arms tightly around him.
"Stay with me," Dean murmers into Sam's chest.
Sam smiles and kisses him on the head once more.
Sam thinks he hears Dean say "I love you" as they drift off to sleep, but he can't be sure.
Sam stays at his brother's side. When Dean wakes up screaming in the middle of the night, Sam's there. He holds Dean tight as he moans in pain, body trembling. He kisses him tenderly, wipes the tears from his eyes, messages the tension from his body. Dean lets Sam hold him and tell him it's okay, that he's not in Hell anymore, that he's home now.
Dean falls asleep whispering Sam's name.
When they finally wake in the morning, sunlight streaming in between the curtains, Dean kisses Sam and thanks him. He knows the nightmares will continue to come, knows that there's nothing he can do to stop them. But now Dean also knows that he's home, safe at Sam's side.
For the first time since he was brought back, Dean feels loved, and it's something worth feeling.