It may get tiresome, but hey, let ' s reiterate: NC-17, graphic slash, incest, dubious consent. Don ' t come in unaware. And I did dream the opening sequence...which beats pumpkins any day. If you know what I ' m talking about, you win the internet.
I know that I could use somebody
To hold me in the dark
If it ' s wrong, then it ' s wrong
I ain ' t ever gonna know.
--Friends of Lizzy, If It ' s Wrong
Dean never heard Sam coming, and that disturbed the hell out of him.
He looked up from checking the Impala's oil to find Sam staring at him from around the propped hood. Sam, staring hard and not saying anything, eyes intent on him.
"So how'd it go?" Dean said, only glancing at him and back down at the exposed engine in quick stutters to keep Sam from seeing he was startled. A little distracted, that was all.
"We've gotta talk," Sam said flatly. "Now."
Dean straightened and did something Sam recognized from a hundred hunts where they'd been separated, however briefly. He checked Sam over with his eyes. He openly eyed Sam's body language, the way he was standing, the fists he'd made his hands into. He was making sure it was Sam.
"It's okay, Sam," Dean said, wiping his hands on a rag already gray and black from state after state of oil checks. "Just because you caught the bouquet doesn't mean you have to follow through."
Sam felt every second that passed. He had to make them count. If he stopped to think, he'd balk, and he wouldn't survive it any better than Dean would.
"How much do you trust me, Dean?" Sam said. "With your life, yeah, but that's not as important to you all the time. How about everything else?"
Dean got something wary in his face that Sam recognized as easily as he did anything else Dean let out by accident. He watched Dean close the hood and come around the car to face him. "I'm not even gonna guess what's going on. If something happened, just say it."
"We're all we have," Sam said, making sure he held Dean's eyes. "If you had to wreck us to save us, would you do it?"
"Sam," Dean said, forced impatience creeping into his face and tone, "...not in the mood for games, today. If you're all weird about watching people get married and be happy all weekend, just - "
"We're all we have," Sam said again. "You gotta remember that, no matter what happens."
Dean eyed him stonily. "Yeah, right," he said. "You lost Jess and I'm all there is, so you're pretty much just transferring all your castoff emo right on to me, aren't you, Sa -"
Dean never saw the hit coming, which was odd in itself, but Sam moved so hard and so fast that it would have been hard to avoid anyway.
Sam slammed Dean bodily against the passenger side of the Impala, up against the door, flattening him in place with his weight and pinning him with his hips. He had Dean's wrists in his hands, slamming them to the roof of the car, using Dean's confusion to manhandle him into a spreadeagle. Dean's eyes were huge, the glare less recriminating than it could have been behind so much startled amazement.
"This feel like transference to you?" Sam said.
The moment of nervousness in Dean's face, so briefly there and so hard to read, was gratifying. Sam felt dirtier right then than he had in the last couple of days. Then the cockiness he recognized was back in the arch of one eyebrow, the uptilt of Dean's chin. "Okay," Dean said. "I get the point."
"I don't think so," Sam said.
A flare of annoyance lit somewhere in Dean's eyes, and he tilted his head and brought a note of demand between them, not catching on to the desperation in Sam. "What exactly do you want me to do?"
Sam wasn't sure what was better, of all the damning things that happened when he ground his hips into Dean's: that Dean's eyes rolled up in his head or that the demand trailed off into a choked huff of breath. Arguably, the sound of the back of Dean's head hitting the roof of the car involuntarily was sweeter than a lot of things, just a little more evidence that he was losing control.
"That," Sam said breathlessly. "That works."
He watched Dean swallow and keep his eyes screwed tightly shut, closed off. Startled into barely reacting at all.
"You're a handful, aren't you," Sam said, purposely echoing Dean's words from the night before back to him. "Feel like I'm done with you?"
Dean's eyes flew open to stare at the sky and Sam watched the panic start. "What the - "
"You were kind of busy while I was gone," Sam said. "Only, I wasn't gone. Did you notice anything about her, Dean? Did she seem familiar?"
"What did you do?"
"Hey," Sam said, "Funny you'd jump right to that." He backed off, fast, not giving Dean the chance to swing at him. "I'll tell you what I did ," he said. "Inside. I don't think you wanna do this in a parking lot."
Dean was looking at him with the most bizarre mix of confusion and incrimination, flashing between the two. He kept leaning against the car as if he couldn't dredge up the strength to straighten. For an awful moment Sam thought Dean's knees might buckle, the way he was standing. There was sweat beading on his upper lip and Sam realized he was going to lose his nerve if he didn't push things along.
"Dean," Sam said. "We don't have a lot of time."
Dean pushed off the car and walked past Sam toward their room, the furrow between his brows as intense as the scowl that slipped into place. He kicked the door open and let it rebound, watching Sam catch it in one hand and slam it behind.
"What the fuck is goin' on," Dean said, making a verbal assault of it. He was standing well back of Sam, breathing hard, flexing his hands like he wasn't sure what else to do with them.
"I started back here yesterday," Sam said, keeping his voice low, keeping his hands held out a little, palms toward the floor. "It's taken me this long to get back. As me . I don't know what the hell got me, but it was big. Demon class but not a demon."
Sam described it and wasn't surprised to see there was no recognition in Dean's eyes. "It knew us," Sam said. "It knew more than enough about us. Where we've been, who we are, all our weaknesses. Like it's been watching. And it didn't have to touch me to do anything to me, Dean."
"What'd it do?" Dean said, and he said it like he didn't want to hear it. He'd moved over by the windows, keeping Sam to his left, no longer looking straight at him, eyes too bright.
Sam went over what he could remember of the mostly one-sided conversation he'd had while tied to a chair. "It made itself pretty clear," he said. "Either I could take a run at you, or it would. And then it changed me. What have we ever run into that could do that? Huh? This is bigger than we're used to. This is bigger than demons."
"You gotta ask what it wants us for," Dean said. He'd turned partially away from Sam, running his hands over his face, not turning his back to him all the way but angling himself so that he didn't have to look at Sam anymore.
"Don't stall, Dean," Sam said, staying where he was. "I picked you up in a bar thinking that was all it wanted. It wasn't. Do you get it? That was me ."
"It messed with your head, Sam," Dean said, sounding distant and just bone-weary. "Maybe it just...made you able to see - "
"We can figure this out," Dean said, taking a stab at using a tone of command, lowering his voice into something gruff and below his normal speaking range.
"We're out of time," Sam said. "It gave me until noon. It's quarter after eleven now."
"It's probably long gone," Dean said, and he knew he sounded desperate. Sam could see it in his face. That was a revelation, in itself.
"I've seen what it can do, whatever it is," Sam said. "It heard everything we said. It saw us. So I'm not gonna start doubting it now. That was me, Dean. And you recognized me."
"That's - " Dean started.
"Don't you fuckin' lie to me!" Sam shouted, and instead of stepping up, Dean swallowed visibly and looked Sam up and down. It was just a flicker of his gaze, almost indiscernible in the room's light, but it was enough to tip Sam off that Dean remembered the difference in their sizes and that Sam didn't fight any fairer than Dean did when he was pissed off.
"It changed my goddamn form," Sam said, voice lowered but just as violent as it had been in a shout. "Without touching me. If it wants to kill you, or worse, it's going to no matter what I do. But if I can put it off for awhile by doing what it wants, I'll take the chance and sort it out with you later. You can hate me and live, or die for no reason."
"So what are you gonna do, Sam?" Dean said, and he hated it that his voice was as hollow as he felt.
Sam sighed. It didn't sound nervous. It sounded like he was trying to get enough air and courage to do something.
"Better if you just tell me how you want it ," Sam said, and Dean bolted for the door.
All their lives Dean had been faster, but what Sam didn't have in speed he now had in brute force. He didn't use it enough for Dean to be prepared for it. Calm, gentle Sam, Sam who thought things through and talked them over first and fought as a last resort.
Sam, who he kept underestimating.
Sam caught him by the door and dodged the swing he took before slamming him into the door itself hard enough to rattle it in its frame and prove to Dean that he wasn't making a point or kidding around. Dean managed to get a double handful of Sam's shirt and they stood in a locked-arm struggle for a moment, only inches apart, one trying to get closer and the other trying to widen the gap.
"I don't wanna hurt you, Sam," Dean said through clenched teeth.
"Hey, guess what," Sam said, breathing hard. "I don't wanna hurt you either, but it's pretty much headed that way."
Dean didn't have much leverage, as close as Sam was, but he took a shot with an elbow anyway, still playing fair. Sam ducked under it and fucking picked Dean up at the hips by his belt, in both hands, twisted around, and slammed Dean onto the floor on his back, landing on him. Dean grunted, startled, the breath driven right out of him. When he tried to fill his lungs again and roll away, Sam straddled Dean's hips and pinned his wrists above his head, hooking his feet under Dean's legs to keep him immobile. Dean closed his eyes and refused to look back, still gritting his teeth and trying to arch his way loose.
"You willing to take the risk that I'm wrong?" Sam said. "You willing to die rather than do me again?"
" I didn't know !" Dean nearly screamed the words between his teeth.
"Not on the surface," Sam said. "Didn't seem possible, right? But you knew."
"You could've just told me," Dean said, voice gruff enough to almost be unrecognizable. "All you had to do was tell me and we could've - "
"What part of the hearing us and watching us did you not get?" Sam said. "I don't know what else to do. Jesus, Dean, just get it over with and we can find a way to kill the damn thing. Please. Pretend I'm somebody else."
Dean went limp beneath him, and Sam knew better than to trust it. Dean was going to pretend he was giving in, headbutt his kid brother, and take off looking for whatever might be out there. Unprepared, uninformed, and out of time.
"How did it use our names?" Dean said.
Sam blinked and tried to grasp where Dean was going. "It kept using my first and middle name but didn't do it every time. It called you 'that one' and only said your name once. And then it was 'Dean Winchester' like you had to be..." Sam paused and tried to catch his breath. "Like you had to be invoked or something."
Eyes still closed, Dean nodded a little like Sam had confirmed something and said, "It was just messing with you, to see what it could get you to do. You won't really, Sam."
Dean didn't mean it. He was stalling. But Sam released Dean's wrists anyway and planted his own hands on either side of Dean's head. "You know what it is, don't you," he said.
Dean's hands stayed where Sam had left them, the fingermarks on his wrists filling in with red, angry lines now that the blood could get back to them.
"You gotta help me with this, Dean," Sam said, holding him down with one hand on the center of his chest. He was shaking by then and knew Dean could feel it. "Don't make me..." He couldn't finish that. "Don't make me."
"Are you gonna pretend I'm someone else?" Dean said.
Sam hated the calm in his voice. The resignation, the suggestion.
"No," Sam said, and leaned in.
It didn't hurt him when Dean didn't kiss back; Sam wasn't any less frightened, lips just as cool, knowing he'd be the one losing instead of lost. He'd had time to let the idea of the night before settle, to let the idea that he could do anything to keep Dean alive settle right into his bones. He remembered everything and knew what it was like with Dean . Not Dean his brother, but some distant alternate external view of him. If he had to disassociate himself a little to make it work, fine.
But he wasn't going to.
"C'mon," he said against Dean's mouth. "We've already been here." He dropped to his elbows and took Dean's head in his hands, dropping his voice to a whisper. The sound of Dean struggling to keep his breathing even broke his heart. "I need you for this. You walked me through last night, walk me through this too. It's only me."
When Dean didn't react, Sam pulled away and climbed to his feet, then dragged Dean off the floor much the same way he'd put him there. Dean stood, eyes still closed, overwhelmed into doing nothing for the first time Sam could remember. Sam shoved him, and Dean stumbled back and then finally opened his eyes, looking pale. Looking like he was thinking of running for it again.
Sam dragged something out of the back pocket of his jeans and tossed it on the bed. Lube.
"Jesus Christ, Sam," Dean said.
"Make up your mind," Sam said, voice shaking, pulling his shirt over his head. "It's still a choice. I'm not gonna lose you without a fight. If I gotta tie you up, I will, you wanna go that way. But I'll kill you myself before something just damages you into not being Dean anymore. And I know it can."
Dean believed every word. He stood and tried not to hyperventilate and couldn't tear his eyes from Sam's even though he couldn't stand the look on his face.
"Don't make me," Sam said again, and this time it was so small and frightened that Dean moved for him without thought.
Having all the same angles made a difference this time, his height, the circumstances. Sam thought about Dean the way he knew him now, hands and breath and patience, taste and feel, and the fear didn't override the longing to get there again somehow. Sam yanked him in and buried his face in Dean's throat, hands under his shirt and then stripping it off him. Before Dean could say anything or move, Sam planted one hand in the center of his chest and got a handful of denim at his hip and tossed him onto the bed.
Power, not held in check.
Sam stripped the rest of the way, ignoring the outrage on Dean's face and trying not to think how much of the last couple of days he'd spent naked and not minding. He was already half-hard and wanted that to be the result of the combination of fear and the fact that Dean's hands had already been on him once...twice...okay, three times and oh damn good at it.
Dean was staring at the ceiling while Sam crawled onto the bed and hovered over him on hands and knees. He didn't help Sam get him naked the rest of the way but he didn't struggle with him either. "I've never done this, Dean," Sam said. "I'm assuming I don't just - "
"Did you not experiment in college?" Dean said, still looking at the ceiling. "Four years and you didn't get to this? What the fuck is wrong with you, Sam?" His voice was even and carrying a wealth of typical scorn, but his hands were shaking when he grabbed the lube and coated one hand with it before reaching in and grabbing Sam much the way Sam had grabbed him the night before. Sam had no shame about leaning in to it, not when Dean was stroking him in one fist and it was obliterating his urge to freak out.
"You have to..." Dean made a face and raised his head enough to slam it back onto the bed in frustration. He was blushing, and Sam stared at that from close above in amazement. " Goddamnit. You have to loosen me up." His tone said I hate you for not knowing this and making me say it.
Sam took only an instant to catch on, and then thought what are you willing to do to him to save him and the rest was that easy. He kept his eyes on Dean's face while he got what he thought was enough lube in his fingers and used a knuckle to circle Dean's opening before sliding one finger in.
Dear diary: today my brother talked me through finger-fucking him. I think we really connected.
The absurdity was not lost on Sam even though he didn't lose sight of how irreversibly things were changing.
"Unless your dick is the same size as your finger, and it's not from what I can see, that's not gonna work, Sam," Dean said through clenched teeth, eyes closed again.
Sam got enough panic cleared away to remember he would have to help Dean through this too. And shut him up for a minute. He backed down Dean's body as he slid a second finger in and pressed his mouth to a spot just below Dean's navel. When Dean jerked beneath him he knew it wasn't just the discomfort of a second finger stretching him. Dean wasn't hard and wasn't likely to be and wasn't likely to enjoy any of it unless...
"What're you - "
Sam went ahead and drew his tongue along Dean's cock, managing not to lose his place with either his tongue or fingers when Dean sat up in a convulsion of shock.
"Sam, Jesus ... Christ ."
Dean's voice went up an octave at the end and Sam took note of it the same way he recognized Dean's scent and taste as if he was coming home. He had no problem taking that further but Dean startled away from him, visibly aroused but panicking, and Sam went with him, pushing him back onto the bed.
"C'mon, Sam," Dean said between his teeth. Do this, do me, do something.
Dean didn't make a sound but Sam knew he was hurting him and he made it halfway in before he balked at that and the fact that he wasn't prepared for how tight he was. He had to breathe for a moment, maybe this was all it wanted out of them anyway, maybe he didn't have to -
Dean got his legs around Sam's hips and arched, forcing him in the rest of the way, unbalancing him into collapsing forward and just barely catching himself on his hands.
It was so rough and intense that for a moment Sam was convinced he'd actually just climaxed, and he held still out of shock, listening to Dean gasp for air. He moved without meaning to, then he did mean to, adjusting the angle a little to settle in closer and paused again when Dean pulled him in around the hips again and made that same noise Sam remembered from the car, right in the back of his throat.
"That's the spot," Dean gasped. Before Sam could ask, he added, "I'm not gonna explain it to you. Look it up."
The reality of Dean reduced to an arching of hips and hands clutching the sheets in desperation and whimpers he couldn't suppress made Sam feel insane . He didn't even care what it said about him, about them, anymore, as long as it didn't stop . He couldn't even really say reduced because Dean had more power over him right then than he ever had before or would again. That vulnerable, placing himself in Sam's hands. It was Sam sinking himself deep but it was Dean that let him in and cradled him, that said it's okay and god yes .
It was awful to hear his own name moaning out of his brother between teeth clenched in an agony of need but he didn't think there was a world he could live in anymore where it didn't exist. He wanted to stare at Dean's face but he couldn't lift his forehead from where it had come to rest in the haven of where Dean's neck met his shoulder, elbows braced on either side of Dean's shoulders for leverage while he tried to get in further than he had any right to. Dean had a hand in his hair that night have been painful any other time, but was perfect just then, tugging to the roots because he had to hang on. Sam could feel his other hand digging into his bicep until it dropped to the sheets again for purchase and because he was losing it . Dean's arousal pattern was suddenly as familiar to him as his own and he knew how little he could really take now that he'd been on both sides with him.
It wasn't supposed to be that goddamn good, wasn't supposed to reach all the way to his fingertips and border on pain, wasn't supposed to be so important that he could feel Dean hard against his own belly.
He wasn't supposed to feel nearly violent vindication when Dean whispered his name and locked up beneath him and slicked them both with come.
He wasn't supposed to feel let down that it was over when he came hard enough to nearly black out.
They held onto each other for different reasons; Dean because Sam was all there was left of the world and Sam because Dean might take off or be taken otherwise.
The clock flipped to noon with an unheralded flick of red digital light.
They kept holding on and Sam stared at Dean's closed eyes and placid expression, waiting, thinking it was easily the last time he'd be that close. It wouldn't happen immediately but if they got through alive there would be a flip out somewhere down the line. Dean was going to step on it for as long as he could and then Sam had no idea what would happen.
Sam wasn't flipping out and didn't really care why.
It was Dean who rolled away first, who couldn't stand to stay that close to anybody for that long much less Sam. He stood and then stayed where he was, staring at the facing wall.
Sam rolled the other way and went for his bag, careful not to say anything. He dug around in one of the side pockets and withdrew a small, leather bound volume that was cracked with age and dark with time and desperate hands. Just holding it was hard; he didn't actually pick up any 'vibes' off it but it was heavier than it should have been for its size. It couldn't harm him on its own but the contents were as dire as any dark altar and held the same purpose. He moved for Dean, making it around the bed and ignoring Dean's attempt to shove him away when he planted a flat hand just above his navel and pushed his back against the wall. He held him there and pressed the volume into Dean's hand, meeting his eyes long enough to convey that they wouldn't be talking and that there was no point to it even if they did.
Dean glanced down at the book and his face changed in degrees. Recognition, worry, a moment of guilt.
Sam flipped the pages for him, ran a finger along a certain passage.
Dean was shaking his head but Sam held his finger in place, insistent.
It could hear and see them all it wanted. It would never understand the things they didn't say.
If it wanted to push them, they would push back.
Dean flipped the pages for himself for a moment, and Sam was conscious that he was standing too close and didn't care. When Dean looked up again and met Sam's eyes, a world of understanding passed between them.
He'd never loved anybody more than he did the other person in the room. He might not have been capable of anything more than that. He would let the rest of the world and his concept of right and wrong slip through his hands for Sam.