Sam stared down at the leather bound book, open to the passage of Latin necessary to speak aloud during the ritual. He was nervous, knowing this was something of a gamble but more really because it was an awkward spell to complete with one's brother. Two dudes, even if they were brothers, performing a bonding spell felt weird: they expressed affection through punches and insults, not... not this...
But hey it wouldn't kill them and they were saving two idiots by doing it. That'd have to be enough.
Sam quirked a smile, thinking about the fact that he hadn't totally filled Dean in on all the spell's specifics. As much as Dean was willing to do what had to be done to, "hunt things and save people," Sam had omitted a couple aspects for two reasons. One, so that Dean would agree to it (given that they really were the only solution) and two, so Sam could laugh. Even now he had to hold back a smile in anticipation of Dean's reaction to the ritual's requirements. That is, if his big brother could first get past the fact that they had to do this at the town's local Lover's Lane.
Even Sam was a little embarrassed about that detail actually. He thanked God no other star-crossed teenagers had pulled up to the spot yet. Hopefully it'd stay that way.
He gazed out over the cliff: the coastal New England village's cobblestone streets and restaurants had just lit up below as dusk came on. Beyond, the panoramic view of the quaint town lay the harbor and further on the Atlantic ocean glittered under sun down. Sam sighed and shrugged to himself, acknowledging that it was quite beautiful. He would've taken a high school sweetheart here.
He wouldn't have cast a bonding spell with her.
Sam idly wondered if teenagers these days were just bored or stupid and settled on a little bit of both.
He and Dean were about to break the bonding spell that a teenaged couple had foolishly set upon themselves. The first couple that did this had both dropped dead immediately after their break-up.
The visit to the morgue had been ridiculous. The first couple had died at the same time in the same way: spontaneous heart ruptures. Dean's expression had been priceless.
"So. They both died of... broken... hearts?" Dean had asked, trying to keep a straight face. The pathologist didn't see the humor in it. Too soon, Dean, Sam had thought before the man responded with a dull affirmative.
"Must've been one hell of a break up," Dean had added, smirking at Sam who'd rolled his eyes. It was admittedly cliche and definitely worth a laugh... outside the morgue.
Nobody was laughing when Sam figured out how to break the spell though. He'd been researching at the table in the motel room when he'd found it.
"Dean! Got it," Sam announced and Dean stopped cleaning the guns on the bed to look up.
Sam continued to read the passage more closely in silence and held off on answering his brother.
Sam started cringing as he read, realization dawning.
"Uh, okay," he trailed off, "so..."
Dean waited expectantly. Sam sighed.
"Ohhh kay... so um... we need two subjects to do the ritual that'll break the spell..."
"Subjects, as in people?"
"Yeah. They need to... uh... care about each other so much that a bonding ritual would be redundant..." Sam hedged, choosing his words carefully.
"Okay, so... just like a happily married couple then, right?"
Sam quirked an eyebrow.
"Maybe, but how will we know for sure if they'll work as subjects? Also, who do we even know that'd go for that?" Sam asked pointedly. Dean thought for a second, then shrugged.
"I don't know. Got any better ideas?"
Sam swiveled around to face Dean.
"The way this thing works is that the two subjects mimic the bonding ritual, going to the same place the original couple went to... and performing the same spell. The Latin gets altered and a detail in the ritual gets changed to make it so the spell is transferring from the original couple to the new subjects. When it's done, the bonding spell cast upon the first couple gets transferred to the subjects and, if it's a redundant spell for the new subjects, it just disappears."
"Okay, sounds complicated enough to be real. So who do you nominate?"
Sam looked back down at the book.
"The ritual is a bonding spell... It doesn't say anything here about the type of bond," Sam hinted, looking up at his brother again. Dean shook his head, not getting it. "The couples that're using it right now just happen to be romantically linked," Sam said with a tired wave. He looked back to stare at Dean and waited for it to click.
After a three-count of Dean's dumb eyes, they finally widened.
"You want us to do it?" He asked in disbelief.
"Y-yeah," Sam trailed off helplessly. Dean made a face.
"Wha... Why don't we just get some other siblings to do it then?" Dean whined, annoyed. Sam thought about it.
"We'd still be putting them in potential danger: we've never done this before," Sam reasoned. Another awkward pause before he added, "Plus, do we know any siblings that're..." Sam stopped, rethinking the blunt admission, "...that'd be willing to do this?"
"I don't want to do this," Dean quipped.
"Well neither do I but I think we're kind of the only game in town, Dean," Sam insisted.
"Don't put it like that," Dean replied quickly, disgruntled. Sam smirked.
Dean washed a hand down his face. He looked at his brother wearily.
"You really think it'd work if we did it?" Dean asked genuinely. Sam shrugged and looked back down at the book.
"I'm not going to go into the chick-flick crap it says about bonds in here..."
"...But yeah. I think we qualify."
Dean rolled his eyes and sighed.
"Okay. Worse comes to worse we transfer it onto ourselves, right?"
Dean nodded and picked up the gun he'd been cleaning before.
"All right," he murmured, willing to try it out.
So here they were, the romantic location the teens had chosen to carry out a bonding ritual. Sam sighed, rolling his eyes at the thought of those two casting the spell right here out in the open.
Sam turned back around to where the Impala was parked just in time to see Dean close the trunk and start walking up to join his brother at the edge of the cliff. Sam turned back and looked down at the ground where he'd set out the ritual's items. It was relatively simple: a metal bowl, the kids' respective items, salt, a lighter, and he couldn't mess up the Latin but he knew he wouldn't. He felt Dean sidle up alongside him to his right.
"Hey," Dean muttered, jamming his hands in his pockets. No doubt he'd stowed flasks of holy water, packets of salt, a knife, even maybe had a gun on him somewhere even though anything doing them harm through this would likely be incorporeal.
"Hey," Sam responded evenly. He glanced at Dean. "Y'ready?"
Dean sniffed and looked behind him, also quite aware that this location served as a teenaged make-out spot. Dean braced himself and sighed, extending his arms out.
"I'm all yours," Dean replied bitterly. Sam couldn't not smile and Dean let out an exasperated breath. "C'mon."
"Okay okay," Sam agreed, pulling the book up and looked at it with renewed focus. He bent down to kneel and Dean followed him to the ground. Sam took a calming breath and began the Latin. There were two passages he had to recite and when he finished the first, he stopped, ready for the next phase.
"You wish," Sam murmured dryly, pulling out two pendants from his pocket and throwing them in the bowl.
"The pendants the kids gave to each other?" Dean asked lightly and Sam nodded. A gust of wind flew past them while Sam pulled a notepad and permanent marker out of his jacket. He uncapped it with his mouth and, before writing anything, looked up to Dean and nodded at the amulet he knew lay hidden under Dean's t-shirt.
"Take your necklace off," Sam ordered distractedly, smiling inwardly, pen cap still in his mouth, then looked back down to the pad of paper.
"S'not a necklace, dude," Dean groused, moving to take it off. "Why do you want it?"
"Just do it, man," Sam muttered, still not looking at Dean. He'd finished writing on the pad and ripped the page off hastily. Before Dean could see what he'd written, Sam crumpled the paper into a ball before throwing it into the bowl with the pendants. Sam turned to him, expecting Dean would follow suit with the amulet.
Dean watched his brother warily, then gestured to the bowl.
"This isn't fair - you're throwing a worthless piece of paper into the thing but I have to throw the amulet in?"
Sam shrugged and Dean didn't appreciate it. They stared at each other in silence, Dean refusing to relinquish the amulet. A light went on in Sam's head on how to convince his brother.
"Dean, the objects in this bowl," Sam started, about to lay it on thick, "have to be a symbolic representation of the love between-"
"-Oh my god," Dean interrupted with a loud shout, "Fine!" He yelled, his expression the essence of disgust as he threw the amulet into the bowl. Sam needed his laughter to die down before he started the next part.
Sullen and waiting for Sam to stop being obnoxious, Dean lapsed into wondering why the hell a crumpled up piece of paper would be Sam's symbolic representation of love. Sam coughed, bringing Dean back to the ritual.
"Okay sorry. That was just funny," Sam said good-naturedly, pouring salt over the bowl's contents.
"Hysterical," Dean dead-panned.
"We have to stand up for the next part," Sam murmured as he dusted his hands off and made to stand up. Dean sighed and followed his brother up.
Dean finally looked out at the view over the cliff. It was nice actually. He certainly would've taken a girl or two up here for some good times-
The moment broke when he felt Sam's hand clasp over his.
"Dude," Dean batted Sam's hand away. Sam snorted with laughter while Dean, stepping back a little, shot him the most harassed expression Sam had ever seen. "What the hell?!"
Sam started laughing, gesturing for Dean to come back. At Sam's waves, Dean just stepped back further, alarmed, making Sam laugh harder.
"We need to hold hands for this part," Sam could barely get out, body shaking with mirth. Dean's face was hilarious. Sam set the book down, extending his hand, palm up. "C'mere..."
"No! This is gettin' weird,man!" Dean stomped a frustrated foot like a child, his voice almost plaintive now.
Sam found this so funny he'd run out of breath so he just started inching closer to Dean, hand outstretched.
"C-C'mon!" He breathed.
"No! Sam!" Dean yelled as Sam approached, batting Sam's arm away again.
"HOLD MY HAND!" Sam yelled, laughing so hard he was tearing up. He leapt forward, making a grab for Dean's arm.
"No- dude!" Dean yelled as he grabbed Sam's reaching arm, pulled and twisted him around. Sam went with it easily, his back hitting against Dean's chest so he could elbow Dean in the gut. He heard Dean gasp and felt his arm wrap around Sam's neck tightly, putting him in a chokehold. Sam struggled under his brother's hold.
"Ha ha!" Dean roared, landing Sam onto the ground hard. Sam gasped upon impact, still laughing despite the pain.
"UH!" Sam gasped as Dean's weight came down hard on his chest. Sam dazedly realized Dean had just decided to sit on him. One of those off-limit forms immobilization that their dad had never allowed Dean to do to Sam while they'd trained as kids: it was obviously unfair. Now not so much though and Dean was leaning over Sam, laughing with his mouth open and blowing his nasty-ass breath into Sam's face.
"God, what is that, garlic?" Sam coughed, still gasping a laugh here or there when he could get a breath out.
"Salt and vinegar potato chips," Dean informed playfully, catching Sam's writhing attempts to get out from under him. Sam finally relented and went limp, still gasping under Dean's tremendous weight.
"You're... fat," Sam remarked between gasps.
"You're gay," Dean shot back, smiling.
"You're..." gasp, "gay."
Dean laughed at Sam's difficulty breathing, ignoring Sam's comeback. "And this was like the worst way to come out to me ever, Sammy," Dean's eyes glinted with humor. He quirked his head with mock consideration. "Elaborate though."
Sam wrenched an arm free and slapped Dean hard with an open palm across his face. It must've hurt because Dean had shouted a quick, "AH!" before emitting an annoyed groan. Sam burst into pained laughter again; still sounded like he was choking though.
Dean shook his head clear, turning back to face Sam, trying his jaw out.
"Ahh... Did you just bitch slap me?" Dean asked. Sam heaved his breaths, Dean's weight starting to genuinely hurt now.
"Yeah," Sam said dully, trying to quirk a small smile and save face. Dean returned it wryly, shaking his head, and then got off Sam. Sam rolled to his side, taking gulps of air, before he felt Dean grab his arm above the elbow.
"C'mon, Gaylord," Dean murmured, somehow affectionately, as he let Sam take his time getting up. Dean stood by balancing him.
Sam coughed as he got up and stood straight.
"Y'all right?" Dean asked. Sam nodded, swallowed, and looked up at Dean. He tilted his head towards Dean, staring at him pointedly. Dean rolled his eyes and shook his head before grabbing Sam's left hand and pulling him back to the edge of the cliff. Sam chuckled, stumbling a little bit in the process.
When they got back to their positions, standing in front of the bowl, Sam realized they'd switched positions - Dean was to his left now, holding Sam's hand with his right hand. It was the way they'd always done it when they were kids.
Left hands get held; right hands hold and, if Dean had just taken Sam's hand from the outset, Sam would've been the one holding Dean's hand. But the two of them were used to it being the other way around... Dean had just subconsciously affirmed that role. Sam shrugged inwardly about it, not really minding.
"Can I have the book?" Sam asked casually with a sniff. Dean looked around and bent down to get the book Sam had dropped from where he'd been before.
"D'you lose your page?"
"Nah I got it," Sam coughed, finding the passage. "Okay, ready?"
"Yeah, Sam," Dean huffed impatiently, lifting and squeezing Sam's hand harshly in evidence.
"Ow," Sam said blankly, "Okay," he said, prepping himself, then began the second passage of Latin.
Writer's Note: Second part should be up soon. Thank you so much for reading - please comment/review if you can spare the time! P.S. Hell yeah I titled this fic after Erasure's 1988 single, "Chains of Love." ~ Alex