SantaGod is constantly inspiring me with these two. I created a series through A03, combining it into "Akin to Hypnosis" which is a three-part tale on Sam and Dean through their frantic and needed beginning, to this innocent and revelatory middle to the very last part, which I know will be tragic.

Dedicated to SantaGod for that very reason, I adore you dear.

hypnosis-an artificially induced trance state resembling sleep, characterized by heightened susceptibility to suggestion.

All rights to the creators, you glorious writers who have brought us through Hell and back.

The notion of peace clashed with their calling and name's sake, the truth about the way their eyes scanned the rooms of half-lit diners and truck stops, meeting strangers' eyes just to see the proof of a blue, brown or hazel pupil instead of unreflective black, yellow, red or anything resembling the reason their weapons became sharpened, their guns remaining loaded. Serenity and hunting never did go hand-in-hand.

Dean sometimes feared that he liked this a little too much, that the sickening spill of blood that drenched the bodies of nothing that retained humanity was plain acceptance, forged and roused from some dark place within him that stated that he had better get used to being in the business of killing lest he be killed. There was nothing quite like knowing that the shrieks that slithered through his ears, coating his hearing with the death wails of a monster was caused by his hand alone, that he was not the one begging for his life in-between broken teeth, naive to the thought of what lurked in the shadows; ignorance was a luxury that ninety percent of the world's population could afford with little more than their very existence. The knowledge was something he paid for with every fiber in his body, every pore and indelible gun powder mark on his left palm, every callous on his heel and visit to the hospital that spoke of his mortality, that he was not one of those lustful creatures of the night that wished the world ill.

Sam knew bravery the likes of which he didn't believe he was capable of having within his soul, for whether his brother liked to concede to the thought or not, all living things had spirits. It was a strength that roared of omnipotence, a fire-fume of every disgrace he had felt at the hands of the things that robbed him of parents, the demons that found it well within their rights to toy with mankind like little dolls, stripping them of their wood luster and limbs until the strings were severed altogether at the end. Those things deserved to die, the ones that got sick pleasure from torturing those around them, the ones that calmly stole life before it had the chance to be fully lived. It was those that he enjoyed slaughtering, the grotesqueness of what the world could push into existence when it knew no way to cease the Pandora's Box of its own curiosity and sin-filled cost for having such desires.

During stake outs, Dean would tell Sam that he didn't think that, even if suddenly by some fluke all of the bad things were to suddenly go into hiding forever or disappear into the black hole that they crawled out from, he would be able to adjust to the life that those normal people had.

"You know the ones, the ones with the ties that whistle while they walk to get the paper, the average Joe who says how do you do when he gets coffee and chats with his co-workers at the water cooler. Those guys Sammy, I don't think I'll ever be able to do that."

Sam waited for him to finish, for Dean to pause to form his next frame of thought, his tongue pushed at the edge of his lip, awaiting for his brain and throat to create what had to be said, what would be the difference from the bliss and partial chagrin of confession to the sickening apprehension that came with being too silent for far too long.

"I'd still sleep with a knife under my pillow. Maybe a knife and a gun, yeah, a knife and a gun and if there was a burglar who wanted to steal Baby or my dog or whatever was in my wallet, I'd kill him without a thought. The police would think it was self-defense and congratulate me, and I'd feel sick, just sick at the thought of that poor bastard dying because he didn't know that his neighbor used to kill the boogeyman at night, and revel in it."

Dean wiped the back of his hand across his lips, as if the very words that he spoke gave birth to the slime of gall against his mouth. Self-disgust, something lingering beneath the surface that was brought to light and instead of it being celebrated by the one who created the words and found honesty, gazed in repulsion at his creation, at the garish hues that made the truth so much more painful to digest.

"You could though, you could go to college and become a hot-shot lawyer who took on cases just for the hell of it, not because you cared about impressing your boss. Find yourself a nice girl, drive a Chevy or some sissy-ass car and just let yourself go on with life, with this."

He gestured to the neighborhood they were watching, the street-light staining everything a pollen yellow, something sickly and reviving all at once that contrasted with the chill of the night, snow-coated lawns and slumbering families without a clue in the world what was out there, what they hunted.

"I'd blow my brains out. Or join the army or something, go up the ranks if they liked me, maybe become like Bond or Bourne or some sleek guy like that, breaking hearts and cities and taking down the names of terrorists who attacked the world. I just couldn't find myself in a nine to five cycle, day in and day out. I'd miss this too much."

There were some people, Sam considered with a mixture of horror and re-dawning pride for his brother, who were meant to be on the front line their entire life. Soldiers formed in the swell of their mother's bellies, screaming their battle-cry on toothless gums and red, flailing limbs to the battlefield that would know no end for them.

When simply breathing became a war, how tired would you have to be to finally give up arms, to lay down weapons and cease the upsurge that was ingrained in every fiber? How tired was his brother to finally show the shadows that pulsed with the subtle but very much there bruising under his eyelids, how exhausted was he that in the shadows of this winter night, the firm line of his mouth that was usually nonchalant to the simple joys of cassette tapes and pie crusts that he would willingly reveal this shaken side of his psyche, the part of him that needed desperately to be comforted?

He wasn't tired, but Dean was.

Sam reached for him, the ruffle of his jacket against the interior of the seats a guillotine that slashed through the mired sight of his brother, of his savior and best friend, gripping his hand with all the strength he could wrest from himself this night.

"You're a hero. You wouldn't be able to understand a life without pulling out your gun, a life without the constant thrill and adrenaline that comes with being scared out of your mind. That doesn't make you crazy, disturbed, or a killer at heart: it makes you someone who can face the demons and everything else out there with everything that you have in you, when others can't fight. That's what you do Dean: you fight when others can't, when I couldn't, when Dad..." he swallowed a few times because that still hurt no matter how numb the ache "...wanted us to take over. We're what we've got, I'm what you've got. Even if something claws at my throat and leaves me unable to speak or something, I'll write this down for you, I'll type it and tape it everywhere, I'll carve it on Baby's paint; I just don't want for you to feel like you have to go at this alone, that you have to think you're anything less than how I see you."

Dean exhaled once through his mouth as if the simple act of Sam saying his little pep-talk with him had left him bereft of breath instead of Sam, his eyes murderous slits when he spoke of destroying Baby's paint job.

"You wouldn't do that, because I'd murder your ass."

There was nothing left for Dean to say Sam understood, had understood with every time they came together, every time in the past week that their fingers brushed on accident as they were cleaning their weapons, every lingering and snuck glance at well-developed stomach muscles that peeked out of hotel towels as if to taunt by the golden perfection of skin. There was only silence, because words would ring hollow and false in their ears, and what they needed was the completion of lips, the bend of their bodies that let them know that they weren't alone, that for the hours they spent writhing in a bliss that no woman had ever given them, they were invincible. Invincible, because the one being that could inspire the strength to fight through the claret-drowned night was with them, the one that could push them to be humans when they fought like cornered animals was pressed against their backs, singular and eternal purity found in hands upon muscled planes of shoulders, the sculpt and dip of hips that rocked in a tuneless rhythm against another pair of hips, or the mattress, or the backseat.

It was not something that came from desperation, from needing a warm body next to each other when the winter proved too powerful a force to reckon with, when the chill of the night seeped through the cracks in the car or the hotel they stayed in, a night when the both of them clung to what was unspoken and too powerful to try and place into words. It was something that they needed, a healing agent that was the analgesic to every woe and affliction that marred their skin like those persistent scars that no amount of stretching of the skin could erase, the binding tape to broken knuckles and sleeping pills that provided hours of relief, somnolence surrounding them with the cloak of what was benign about the winter nights.

It had nothing to do with pretending, with surrendering and donning airs that had no business marking the faces of brothers who could see right through the masks and the veils that were erected for the sake of self-survival, of fleeing from questions spoken in the late hours when not a one was on the road, when even Metallica and ACDC couldn't quench their overwhelming need to say a word about that one time in Montana, about the ghost that nearly killed them, and the way that they were pushed together out of something entirely supernatural, not the natural states that they leaned against in order to find their humanity.

It had everything to do with releasing themselves late into the night, of understanding that these modes of defense had been there from the moment their life was altered by the Yellow-Eyed demon and all the pain and misery he could cause them within the conjuration of his own whim. It was because in an instant their lives could be up and all of the horrors they had seen, all the evil they had vanquished had been little more than an iota of help in the long run of their lives. It was accepting, the fact that they were two men fighting against a war that had been running since the dawn of time for all they knew, and that there was not a thing they could do to stop it altogether, that evil and good were on a precarious balance that blurred and tipped, but was up to them to see to it that it remained.

The keepers of balance, all of those times when they smiled to one another or laughed with the abandon of a child without a care in the world, those times of innocence that were worth it despite the fact that slaughter stained their hands indelible with each twist and ricochet of their knives and bullets.

It was against one another's mouths that they knew peace, when they found that shadow part of themselves that they used to shy away from and now willingly embraced, all facets too painfully mortal and weak but still human, the separation from the things that they killed without mercy, the necessary but gut-wrenching shunting of the shades of grey that could arise as cause of their life's work. Fingers clenched against the napes of necks, digits splaying across skin that had known far too much toil far too young to be anything less than a soldier fighting against an upsurge of ten-million, fingers that mapped and worshiped flesh that had only known the tongue and taste of womens' lips and their whispered words of fever, the promise of something after libido and the aftershocks of joining wore off.

It was about trust, about understanding that the body pressed against them, that the breath that was making a chest sculpted from instruments with the knowledge of beauty was firmly loyal, and that despite how they were tested by man and might, by demon and devices that they were all but powerless to govern and control, that this night, this middle of the day, this early morning that bathed the room white-gold was a declaration that affirmed their bond.

Sometimes they spoke, remembering things that should have been cast to the side for the sake of remaining a hunter first and a creature of nostalgia second, the little things that time and the pressure to remember the combination for certain spells shoved far deeper than either could reach. Dean remembered the way his mother used to smell, like something so fresh and welcoming, a warmth that blurred his vision and clogged his throat with half-forming sobs upon remembering that time she sang him to sleep with a voice of honey and a lilt that made him feel like the safest boy in the world.

Sam remembered feeling that way when he had nightmares, when Dean wrapped his arms around him when they were younger and placed in a hotel in the middle of nowhere, Dean whispering fervently that all would be well, that his aim was second-to-none and that no way in hell would he allow something to take him from his arms that night, no matter what the fires of night-terrors could spawn.

They clutched each other then, in a messy sprawl of limbs and searching hands, clenching until neither could breathe, until they nearly passed out from lack of oxygen and the stars that beckoned them behind their eyes that they could go to sleep now, that everything was alright.

Sometimes they shed tears, from a small flash of light and pain from green eyes that reflected itself in hazel pupils, and sometimes it came as a torrent from the middle of nowhere, sobs that stole the breath and golden glow of the sun, rendering the world a terrible, grief-stricken and life altering place. They apologized and shoved one another once it was over, calling each other all the names they could think of, that there was no way in hell that it was possible for either of them to showcase more weakness.

And then they realized it was weak of them not to display this, not to allow themselves to feel as deeply as they allowed themselves to, that if they needed to talk for two hours about a little detail that they remembered from a certain hunt, that if they needed to remain quiet for a night and just sleep and rise with a popped back and a wry smile, that was what was needed.

Whatever could keep them sane, together, meshed and very much human, even if it was through some strange form of living that neither could quite understand, a bewitchment of their eyes that made them reach for one another with the knowledge that there wouldn't be much sleeping tonight, that had their father been alive he might have been repulsed at what conspired between the two of them.

All they knew was alacrity, a purging that allowed for them to howl and scream into pillows and into the night, a feeling of purity that was cathartic and therapeutic for the both of them, that without the other they would be a broken segment that no other person, conversation or siphoning of the hourglass could fill. Not a feel-good fix-all, but something far deeper than either could successfully place into words, a draught that cured the lust for alcohol for Dean, the lack of a need for Sam to remember college and that scholarship that he could still have a chance at gaining.

Those moments, the time when Sam fell asleep against the passenger's seat with his hair disheveled and breaths uneven and then even again, the sunlight playing against the tone of his skin, the face that inspired in him the faith to believe that just maybe there was some God out there who cared, someone who would look at all the shit that happened and open up the gates of pearl for them one day.

Those moments, the time when Dean's face was a conflagration that knew no such word as extinguish, filled full with his favorite song that sliced through the night on discordant melodies and harmonies derived from a band's night of lunacy, air guitars and fake drum crashes changing his face of stone and stoicism for a time when he knew the loss of control that came with that damn tune.

Those times, times shared in one another's company illuminated the road they traveled, and though it might have been a trick of the lights on the road, both were very certain that they knew they were driving on crystal, that this was where they needed to be, no matter the anguish and the devastation it could ultimately cause the two of them.

After all, they were brother's in arms, invincible when together and forever strong in tandem.

That was better than a spell any day.

"...Oh, got no reason, got no shame

Got no family I can blame

Just don't let me disappear

I'ma tell you everything..."