Okay, so I'm getting another tattoo this week and it made me want to write a little something about the guys when they got theirs. So here it is...

And yeah, the Winchesters still belong to Kripke and CW no matter how much money I keep trying to offer them :)

Sam pulled up his jacket sleeve as he waited impatiently by the motel room door and checked his watch again. Ten thirty-two. He let out a sigh of irritation before yelling for his brother. "Dude, c'mon already! You're gonna make us late."

Dean was taking way too long in the bathroom this morning and they had an eleven o'clock appointment. Sam didn't know what the problem was; this had been Dean's idea in the first place.

* * *W*I*N*C*H*E*S*T*E*R* * *

Two weeks ago…

It was less than a week after Dean and Bobby evicted the demon Meg from Sam and both brothers had taken to wearing the anti-possession charms the older hunter had given them, but the things just seemed to get in the way all the time, especially Dean's, always getting tangled up with the black cord to his amulet. (And he sure as hell wasn't going to stop wearing that because of a damn demon.) And Sam, well he just didn't like wearing a necklace; jewelry wasn't his thing.

"Hey, Sam." They were about four hours west of Hopkinsville, Kentucky where their next job was taking them: it looked like a ghoul was making some of the small-town citizens its main course over the last couple of weeks.

"Yeah, Dean?" Sam asked without pulling his eyes up from the contents of the case file in his lap. He was trying to figure out the pattern of bodies to see if he could pinpoint a possible location for the ghoul's (or ghouls') hideout. It looked like the creature might be holed up in a rural neighborhood at the north end of town.

"I've been thinkin'…these amulets Bobby gave us, what would you say to replacing them with tattoos? I mean, it's the same thing, right?" He glanced over at Sam and saw the man close the manila folder he was looking through.

The younger Winchester shifted in his seat so he could look at Dean. "Tattoos? Um…," he shrugged. Where the hell had Dean come up with that idea? "Sure, I guess so. If that's something you wanna do, I'm game." Sam had never really thought he'd ever have a tattoo, but he'd be willing to do it if it meant getting rid of the damn necklace. It was permanent, too.

Dean grinned. "Alright, after this hunt gets wrapped up, we'll find a shop and get 'em done."

* * *W*I*N*C*H*E*S*T*E*R* * *

Present Day…

Dean looked at himself in the mirror; his pupils were dilated to the point that there was only a thin ring of green around them. He eyed the charm resting against his bare chest about three inches above where his amulet hung. You know, maybe it's not that bad; it didn't really get in the way that much.


Dammit! Dean jumped at his name being called again. Yeah, Sam was getting restless; he could hear it in the man's voice. Sam had been on his ass to leave, yelling at him for the last twenty minutes. He knew the clock was ticking…and he was beginning to sweat because of it. Dean had thought he could handle this when he first introduced the idea, but now…he wasn't so sure.

"Just give me another freakin' minute, will you," Dean called back out through the door. He smoothed trembling fingers over the pale skin just under his left collarbone where he and Sam agreed to get their tattoos. (He wanted to blame the shaking digits on the lack of caffeine this morning, but he would have only been lying to himself.)

Dean Winchester, world's greatest hunter extraordinaire (at least he thought so anyway), a man who could take down just about anything considered supernatural, was scared. He was scared to go under the needle. How was he going to hide this irrational fear from Sam?

Finally, taking a steadying breath and straightening his shoulders, Dean snagged his shirt off the counter and pulled it over his head. He ruffled his fingers through his hair to give it that perfect messy look that all the girls seemed to like, and then turned to leave the room.

* * *W*I*N*C*H*E*S*T*E*R* * *

"What the hell'd you do in there, decide to count your freckles or something?"

"Shut up, Sam," Dean said as he slipped his boots on and tightened the laces. Somehow he managed on getting them tied as well. "You ready?"

"I've been ready, Dean," Sam nearly growled. "We've got less than twenty minutes to get across town for this. You know, appointments are made for a reason."

"Yeah, well, we'll make it. Don't worry." Dean grabbed the car keys off the table and stalked out the door, leaving Sam standing there wondering what was going on.

Sam pressed his lips into a thin line and shook his head. What was wrong with Dean this morning? He guessed he'd find out at some point as he walked out the door, following his brother to the awaiting Impala.

* * *W*I*N*C*H*E*S*T*E*R* * *

Dean was giving Sam the silent treatment and Sam had had enough. If he knew what this was about, he could deal with it, but he was clueless; his brother had been fine last night when they went to bed. Whatever was bothering Dean was more important than their appointment.

"Dean, pull over."

His brother glanced at him, then back at the road. "What for, Sam?"

"Pull over. We need to talk."

"There's nothing to talk about."

"Dean, so help me, if you don't pull over, I'll-"

"Fine." The word came out short and clipped, cutting off Sam's threat.

Dean wrenched the car off to the side of the road and hit the brakes a little harder than he probably should have, causing Sam to throw an arm out to catch himself before he face-planted into the dash. The elder brother felt a little bad for that, but he couldn't bring himself to apologize.

"Jesus, Dean! What's your damn problem this morning?" Sam looked over at the man. Dean's knuckles were white on the steering wheel and his left leg was bouncing up and down. And was that a bead of sweat trickling down the man's temple? It was hardly seventy degrees outside, not the kind of weather that would make anyone sweat.

Silence. And then Dean started tapping his thumbs on the steering wheel as if to some song he was singing in his head.

"Dean?" Sam was getting concerned about the way his brother was acting. Something was definitely bothering the man. He reached over and grabbed Dean's shoulder, giving it a gentle squeeze and then tilted his head so he could catch the man's eye. "Hey, y'okay? What's going on?"

"Nothing. I'm fine."

"Dude, you are so not fine. Quit lying and lay it out."

"I said I'm fine, Sam." Dean went to shift the car back into drive and Sam grabbed his wrist, stopping him.

"The hell you are." His brother still wouldn't look at him and then it dawned on Sam. "Shit, Dean. It's that tattoos, isn't it? Are you scared?"

"I am not scared!" Dean snapped an icy glare at the younger man; a look that would have made most things cower, but not Sam; his brother was the only one immune to that look.

Sam ignored the frost in his brother's eyes. "Look, we don't have to do this. We can figure something else out. Hell, we can just keep wearing the necklaces if you want. They're not that bad."

Dean grit his teeth; he was still refusing to admit to himself that a little needle was making him quake in his boots. "We're doing this, Sam. And if I remember correctly, we have an appointment that we need to make." With that, he shifted the car into drive and pulled back out onto the road.

Rolling his eyes at Dean's dismissal, Sam slouched down into the seat and stared out the window. His brother could be such an ass at times, especially when he was in denial about something.

* * *W*I*N*C*H*E*S*T*E*R* * *

Dean parked the Impala directly outside the front entrance to the tattoo shop; he was out of the car before Sam could say anything about what had transpired on the way over. The younger Winchester hurriedly got out and followed him into the building.

It took another five minutes to sign all of the release forms …yes, they were both over eighteen…no, neither was under the influence of drugs or alcohol (although Sam really thought Dean should have had a drink)…no, neither had any type of blood-born diseases…and no, neither had any type of bleeding disorders. Each gave a final stroke of their pens on the last page and then passed over their I.D.s (Dean Bachman and Sam Turner) with the completed paperwork.

"So which one of you wants to go first?" the overly tattooed guy behind the counter asked, looking at each of them in turn.

Sam was about to step forward, but Dean spoke up and said "Me" before he could.

"Dean," Sam whispered, "you don't-"

"I'm going first, Sam. And it's not up for argument."

The tattooed guy came out from behind the counter and glanced at the two of them as he did so. He must have heard a few of the words being spoken between the brothers because he looked at Sam and said, "You can come watch if he's okay with it," he tilted his head toward Dean, "I'll be taking care of you in the same room, so you might as well come in."

Sam narrowed his eyes at Dean, almost daring man to say "no".

"Yeah, he can come," Dean finally said and turned to follow the man down the hall.

Sam was nervous, too, but he clearly wasn't as bad off as Dean was. But really, they'd both been through a lot more pain than what a tattoo could bring. Normal people got tattoos everyday…men and woman of all ages. The Winchesters could deal with this.

* * *W*I*N*C*H*E*S*T*E*R* * *

The tattoo artist – he introduced himself as Jeff – lead them to a small room at the end of the hall. What looked like a dentist chair sat in the middle of the room. "I'll need you to remove your shirt and take a seat. – Left side you said?" He glanced up at Dean as he pulled a drawer open and started to take out the ink and other supplies he was going to need.

Dean's eyes watched every movement the man made and then he finally nodded. "Yeah, left." He slipped out of his jacket and handed it to Sam, then yanked his shirt up over his head, exposing his broad, muscled chest.

To anyone else, Dean appeared to be holding up pretty solidly, but Sam could see right through the façade. He could see his brother's Adam's apple bob as he swallowed deeply before taking the proffered seat. Sam sat down on a small couch that he assumed was for people like himself, people who were invited to hang out while someone else was being inked.

Dean wouldn't look at Sam. He tried to keep his breath steady as he watched Jeff pull on a pair of blue latex gloves. The man spun around in his chair, disinfecting pad in one hand and razor in the other.

"Just gotta make sure there's no hair in the way," Jeff said as he swabbed the area of Dean's chest where that tattoo was going to go. And then he gave a couple of quick swipes of the razor. (It's not like Dean had more than a hair or two on his whole chest.)

After that was done, the man turned away to prepare the ink and tattoo gun. By now, Dean was starting to calm down. He let his mind wander to other things, other places. A few minutes passed and Dean was starting to think he could get through this…and then he heard it…the tattoo gun. Jeff had tested the machine out before spinning back in his chair toward Dean.

"Okay, I think we're ready if you are."

Sam could see Dean pale at the words. His brother even broke down and looked over at him, moss-green eyes wide.

Jeff spoke up. "Hey, there. No passing out on me, you hear?" It was said with light humor as the man was used to people being a bit nervous, especially those who had never gotten a tattoo before.

Without asking, Sam stood up from the couch and pulled a chair over to sit down next to his brother. He looked across Dean, to Jeff, and said, "He's good." And then he took Dean's hand in his, looking down at his brother. "You're good, right?"

Dean didn't say anything. He only held Sam's hand tight and closed his eyes. The loud buzz of the tattoo gun started up again and he jumped at the first slight sting of the instrument when it touched his skin.

Yeah, he was good. Sam would help him get through this. What were brother's for?

The End

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