As soon as John slid into the backseat of the Impala, he could feel the ripe tension in the air. The musk of want and rage crawled down into his lungs, making it hard to breathe, and it was almost enough to make him forget his sorrow about the death of Daniel Elkins.
He wondered if the boys could feel it too.
For a while, his concern over the missing gun and the nest absorbed his mind, and as he explained to Sam and Dean all he knew about vampire lore, they could almost be mistaken for a normal family, a father imparting his wisdom to his sons. The irony of them being at their most ‘normal’ while hunting certainly wasn’t lost on John.
But then came the motel. Old patterns and no money meant John didn’t really dwell on the situation until it was too late, the three of them holed up in the same small space and with only two undersized queen beds. He could have made the boys share, but what was the point in fooling himself that he’d be able to sleep at all? He let them take the beds and turned the police scanner on low.
Dean went under fast, more secure than he’d been in a long time with the only two people he loved right beside him. Sam didn’t.
Sam watched him from the bed through slitted, vulpine eyes that glinted darkly in the early morning light washing through the room. John watched him back, a nasty anticipation pooling in his gut even though he’d promised himself that nothing would ever happen between them again – and, probably more compellingly, Dean was right there.
He hated the challenging way that Sam looked at him. He hated the way Sam spoke to him, argued with him about every damned thing, and demanded answers and reasons, why, why, why, all the fucking time. Sam had always been a royal pain in the ass, especially compared to Dean. John could count on one hand the number of times he’d ever smacked Dean back into line – excluding when they were fucking – and those had almost always been because of Sam too. Because of Dean protecting Sam. His other boy, though... Jesus. John had spent most of Sam’s teenage years wanting to throttle him.
It was one of the things that had contributed to this whole sorry mess, actually.
“Sam! That’s enough. We need to get to Missouri before the next full moon, so you’re going to miss the last couple weeks of the semester and that’s an end to it. I want you packed before Dean gets home from work.”
“No, it’s not fair! I’ll lose credit. What, it’s not enough for you that you forced one son to drop out? So he can follow your orders and risk his life the whole time, working shitty bar-backing jobs when you decide to lone-wolf it because you never leave us any fucking money.”
“Boy, you watch your mouth,” growls John warningly.
“Why the hell should I? You think you deserve respect from me? Fuck you. You get enough misguided hero worship from Dean – and God knows why he thinks you’re so damned fantastic after all the ways you’ve screwed up his life. He can’t always get bar work or labour and construction work, you know. He tells me he makes ends meet by hustling pool, but when we’re in those one-stoplight towns, I know he’s lying. So, what do you think, Dad? Huh? Where do you think your precious soldier is getting that cash?”
“Shut the fuck up, Sam. Now. I won’t tell you again.”
The very worst thing about it is that he’s never once stopped to think about how Dean keeps them afloat when times are lean. He strongly suspects that his boy turns to thieving, but there are other possibilities and he doesn’t want to even consider them.
“Are you gonna make me?” Sam snaps derisively. “I know you’re not gonna be winning any parenting awards anytime soon, but beating me because I want to stay in school and want my brother to have a normal life is a new low, even for you.”
John exhales through his teeth in frustration, hands tightening into fists. Sam’s staring at him defiantly, chin raised, and he really is more man than boy now. He’s long and lean and handsome – and so fucking self-righteous and angry that John wants to thrash him into next week. It makes something tighten inside him, sliding and insidious, and he’s suddenly all too aware that there’s an unidentifiable undercurrent to the way that Sam baits him.
Unable to resist the inexorable draw of Sam’s disobedient and insolent expression, John steps closer to him. He hasn’t taken a belt to Sam in over a year, but he wants to now – so, so badly. He thinks about the satisfaction of striping red across creamy white skin, of how it glorious would be to make Sam buckle and surrender and cry, and he’s shocked by how deep and hot the desire runs to hurt Sam, to force him to submit.
“The beating would be for your mouth, kiddo, and all the vicious bullshit that comes out of it,” says John dangerously, face and body only inches from his son’s. Sam’s growing fast, as tall as Dean now, but he’s shy of John’s height and has nowhere near the bulk. John wants his boy to remember that he’s still perfectly capable of putting him in his place if he’s pushed far enough.
And maybe Sam can tell that part of John really wants to hurt and humiliate him. Maybe all that dark desire is seeping out of his pores and clouding Sam’s senses, getting him recklessly high by association, because Sam does the damnedest thing.
He closes the gap between them even further, torsos brushing, stares straight into John’s eyes with an almost predatory smile and says, “Do it.”
The whole moment feels dizzying and surreal, a dance out of step with the real world, and there’s this charge in the air. They’re used to teenage hormones and excessive testosterone bouncing off the close walls, but this is deeper and darker; it makes the air smoke-thick, soupy to breathe, and it smells sharp and ripe like sex and violence.
Maybe it’s been coming forever, it’s hard to tell, but John would swear to every god he’s ever heard of that it’s still a bone-shaking shock when he registers that Sam’s half-hard against his thigh.
All the things he should do and think and feel, all the reactions he should have... They slide away from his grasping mind and float beyond his reach. He’s left hollowed out of all reason and sense, a blank canvas with nothing but visceral need and a pulsing, encompassing anger to fill it.
Sam’s face-down on the table before John even realises he’s moved, and he’s not sure whether he intends to thrash the boy or do something infinitely worse and permanent. All he knows is that his son is laid out before him, sublimely submissive for a few glorious seconds, and John wants to ruin him. Something dark inside him clamours to damage Sam, to do something that can never be taken back, and now Sam is cursing him out. He doesn’t hear the words, but he knows he’s being goaded and taunted and commanded, pushed, pushed, pushed...
John’s furious with Sam for being hard, for forcing this realisation on them both, and maybe he can beat it out of him? Maybe if he hurts him, it’ll save them both. John’s belt’s off and Sam’s pants are down in seconds, and it’s an enormous mistake. The first hit gives John untold satisfaction, like a cooling balm in his blood, but Sam’s cry doesn’t hit the right note: it’s sharp and pained, but that’s not all it is, and the boy grunts and pushes back into the hit, grinding down against the table. Mortified, John tries another couple of times, getting all his force behind the blows and painting Sam’s skin red, but it just makes it worse.
A part of Sam is enjoying it, and John is helpless to ignore it, to not get caught up in it. He’s aware now that he’s hard in his jeans, his whole body aching with the need to do something, and it’s all Sam’s goddamned fault. He’s got to make him pay and suddenly he’s tearing at his son’s clothes, roaring at him for reducing them to this.
Everything’s a blur, hard hands on white skin, and John doesn’t know what’s happening. He’s not there, he doesn’t fit inside his body – like a demon’s shoved him aside in his own meat suit – and who’s grasping at Sam’s naked body? Has he ever even been with another person before? Shocked, appalled, he pauses, but Sam growls at him, yelling “do it!” over and over again, and before he can yank himself out of his madness it’s way too late.
John shook the memory the memory away, irritated both to find himself turned on and Sam still scrutinising him darkly from across the room. He wondered what would happen if he went outside, or even to the bathroom. Would Sam follow him? He wondered what would happen if he crossed the room to Sam’s bed, even with Dean slumbering lightly not five feet away.
He was so fucking grateful when he heard the call come across the scanners, giving them their next lead for the vampires.
He’d rather be fighting bloodsuckers any day than his own unnatural desires for his son.
Get back in the car.
I said get back in the car.
Yeah, and I said no.
This is why I left in the first place.
What did you say?
You heard me.
Yeah. You left. Your brother and me, we needed you. You walked away, Sam. You walked away!
You’re the one who said don’t come back, Dad. You’re the one who closed that door, not me. You were just pissed off you couldn’t control me anymore!
John was breathing heavily as he returned to his truck and peeled off into the night. He’d been an ass to Dean earlier, berating him about not touching up the Impala, and the poor kid had just been forced to intervene to stop him and Sam fighting on the side of the road. He couldn’t even remember what Dean had said; he was so used to his eldest trying fruitlessly to arbitrate that he just tuned the words out.
If Dean hadn’t been there, John knew that he’d be balls-deep in Sam by now, one way or another. As it was, it had taken almost inhuman willpower to walk away, even with Dean standing between them, physically prising their hands off one another. Thoughts of beating Sam and throwing him over the hood of the car reverberated around his mind, pulsing against his skull. Jesus fucking Christ. How did the kid drive him to this? Every damned time?
He palmed himself through his jeans, grunted in self-disgust, and stepped hard on the accelerator.
“Why do you never get mad?”
“What?” asked Dean, turning to look at Sam. He’d taken the wheel since Sam’s kamikaze bid to run their father off the road.
“The man’s an ass. He treats us like crap. But you never even get pissed. Why?” Sam knew that he was being challenging and aggressive, and that it wasn’t really fair to target Dean, but he was so damned enraged.
Dean sighed harshly. “Because there’s nothing to get mad about, man. I don’t have a problem with Dad. You do, because you’re both as fuckin’ stubborn as each other, but stop trying to make that my issue.”
Sam – too frustrated and angry to see straight, not to mention horny as fuck – was feeling vindictive. He sure as hell wanted to hurt John, but right now he wanted to hurt Dean too. For being blind, for his stupid amiable willingness to take a backseat all the time, for his selflessness. Most of all, for both loving and wanting their father.
“Are you sure it’s not so that he’ll throw you a reward fuck?” asked Sam nastily.
Dean’s hands tightened on the steering wheel and his jaw clenched while his whole body flinched, but he managed to keep the car entirely steady. For a while, Dean stared straight ahead, moonlight washing across his stony features.
Eventually, tone flat, he asked, “Did you follow me? After the daeva thing?”
“Yes. I saw what he did to you. What you let him do.”
“And did you see me ask for it, too?”
Sam gasped, shocked, and Dean finally turned to face him, glancing back at the road and John’s taillights every few seconds. “I know you like to blame Dad for everything, but this isn’t on him. If you saw what happened, then you know that I went to him. I wanted it. So, however pissed or disgusted or whatever you are, keep it to yourself and stay the hell out of it.”
“Why do you let him?”
“Because I like it.”
“How did it start? When?” demanded Sam, wondering whether John had told him the truth. After Sam had watched them fuck, he’d confronted John while Dean was in the shower.
It wasn’t right after you left, if that’s what you’re thinking. I didn’t prey on him when he was at his lowest.
“What do you want me to say, Sammy? Whatever the circumstances, you’ll twist it around into something it’s not.”
“Was it when I left?” Sam tried to avoid talking about Stanford at all costs. Even after all this time, the wound was too raw for Dean – and it hurt Sam too much to think about his brother lonely and confused, no doubt drinking himself into oblivion. But he needed to know if his suspicions were right.
“Sam,” sighed Dean. He ran a hand over his face, pursing his lips as he considered whether to answer or not. Eventually, he gave in with a helpless little shrug. “Yeah, I guess. We were both upset – both of us – and I...we... Shit, Sammy. I can barely even remember, okay? We were both so fucking drunk, and all I know is that I needed the...comfort, I suppose. So did he.”
Sam shook his head to himself, glowering at the truck speeding ahead of them. “You’re wrong about him. He’s not some innocent victim in this. He kicked me out, for good, and then he took whatever you were offering when you were in a mess and didn’t know better.”
“You think whatever you want. I know that you will anyway. But we’re not talking about this again, okay? And you’re not gonna use it to attack him. Because I wanted it, and that’s an end to it.”
“Do you still want it? Do you get hot for your own father?”
Dean sniffed, following John when he indicated a right turn and finally giving a non-answer. “Guess I’m just wired wrong.”
Dean yelled goodbye, far happier than anyone had any right to be about an errand involving funeral homes and drawing blood from corpses, and Sam and John both flinched as the door slammed closed.
Being alone together wasn’t good for them. Never had been.
Sam didn’t really want to start a fight. John had actually been trying with them, explaining things and letting them in on the plan for a change. However, he needed to tell his father what he’d revealed to Dean. And, honestly, part of him wanted to – just to see the dismay that would be on John’s face.
“I told him that I know.”
“Dean. I told him that I’d seen you two together.”
John blanched a little, then cursed loudly, turning away from Sam and clenching his fists for a moment, trying to get a handle on himself and will away the panic. He needed to know how much damage had been done.
“Did you tell him about...?”
“The fact that you fucked me first? No. He’s blissfully sure that he’s the only one who gets Daddy’s own special brand of affection.”
John glared at him. “Look, I know I’m an asshole, okay? It’s not exactly breaking news. But I don’t want to mess him up any more than I have, and I’m leaving him the hell alone. So, let’s give him a chance to heal, all right? If you tell him about us, then as much as you think you’ll be hurting me, the person who’ll suffer the most is your brother. Don’t do that to him.”
“My God. You’re seriously going to lecture me about not hurting Dean? You lied to me, not that I’m fucking surprised: you did get your paws on him when he was hurt and vulnerable, and probably wasted too. Like some damned vulture.”
“And why was he hurt, Sam? Because you abandoned him. You abandoned us. I know you won’t believe it, but I was in as much of a state as Dean – because devastation is all that you ever leave in your wake. You don’t give a shit about your family, even when we think you’re the most important thing in the world.”
“How can you even... You spent our entire childhoods dragging us around everywhere, constantly leaving us in danger, never letting us have a life. You’re the one who doesn’t care! And, yeah, you’re right: I abandoned Dean. And I had to live with that guilt and pain, because what the hell was I supposed to say? I’m going to college so that Dad won’t fuck me anymore?”
John sneered at Sam, blood bubbling like lava in his veins. He suddenly snatched hold of Sam, one hand around the back of his neck and the other pressing bruises into his upper arm, then marched him over to the full-length mirror in the corner.
He shook his squirming son, forcing him to look at his reflection.
“You see yourself, huh? You may hate me, and blame me for everything, but take a good, long look, boy: you’re exactly like me.”
“No,” denied Sam, glaring murderously.
“Yes. You’re stubborn and selfish and self-righteous. You hurt everyone around you, run off whenever you feel like it with no thought to the consequences, and you manipulate everyone. Your brother worships the ground you walk on and you use him and discard him. And I think you want to fuck him too, even though you won’t admit it, and God knows he’d probably let you. So, yeah, you’re everything that you hate about me. Now, tell me, Sammy,” he said silkily, nodding at Sam’s dark-eyed reflection, “Does that make you proud of yourself?”
Sam flushed with anger and humiliation, trying to wrench out of John’s grip. When he couldn’t get free he changed tactics, eyes shifting so that he was staring at John in the mirror instead. His father was close behind him, left side of his chest pressed to Sam’s back, and he felt a dirty little thrill at the hard, solid heat.
He suddenly reached back and snatched up John’s wrist, grinding the bones together. John’s other hand tightened on Sam’s neck and they both winced, although their hearts sped up and their breaths hitched.
“No, I’m not proud,” said Sam, and his voice was smooth and low, sultry. The tantalising hint of shame just made it all the more alluring. “But what about you? You want to punish me, and I deserve it, and here we both are, one wrong move away from screwing. Like always. I know you remember that first time differently to me – and I’m not gonna argue again about whether it was my fault that you stuck your dick in me while I cried against a table – but I won’t deny that I wanted it after. Craved it. And now look at me.”
Sam dragged John’s hand forward and roughly cupped it over his crotch, letting his father feel his hardness. “You fucked me and you fucked me up. I hate you, but I come so goddamned hard every time. And, because I escaped, you twisted my brother up and set him on this road to Hell too. And I’m still hard for you.”
He stared hard into his dad’s reflected eyes, shifting his hips back and smiling bitterly when John grunted, his own dick erect and greedy. He started moving his hand, and John’s, rubbing solidly over his crotch. “And you’re hard for me. Your son. Your little boy, who you’re supposed to love and protect above all else. So tell me, Dad, does that make you proud of yourself?”
John shook his head, stepping forward so that his cock pressed against Sam’s ass. He let Sam work his hand harder, closing his fist around his son’s shaft as much as possible through the thick denim. “No, kid, I’m not proud. I’m disgusted with all of us, me most of all. I want to be what a father should be – and I wish like hell that I was stronger. It’s like an addiction, but infinitely worse than booze or smack or whatever other monkeys ride the backs of weak bastards.”
Sam was breathing heavily now, hips driving forward into John’s hand and back against his dick.
“You’re sick,” snarled Sam. “We both are. I can barely look at either of us. Fuck, har-harder. Unzip my pants, Jesus.”
“No,” murmured John, slicking his tongue over Sam’s ear and making him shudder. “You’re gonna watch yourself come in your pants, and you’re gonna stand there after and take a long hard look, and feel just as fucking ashamed as you should.”
“Fuck,” yelped Sam, the words hitting him with a low and dirty punch of lust. He hated it all the way down to its rotten roots, but the awful truth was that nothing – no fucked up thing he’d tried as a bitter teenager, no experiment at college, not even those golden and idealised times with Jess – had ever conquered him sexually like John had. What was it that Dean had said? Just wired wrong.
He bucked his hips forward with a strangled cry as his dad worked him with a hard grip, shooting into his pants. It was hot enough to flash fry his brain, draining him and buckling his knees such that he accidentally sagged against John for a moment, but he forcibly pulled himself together with the knowledge that his father would happily just let him tumble to the floor.
John made an abortive little noise, half lust and half disgust, and pushed Sam away with a shove. He was still hard but made no move to satisfy himself.
Still shaking, Sam made the mistake of meeting his own eyes in the mirror for a fleeting second, but immediately flushed and looked away. He was suddenly hit, bright and sharp, with the memory of pissing his pants when he was six years old after misjudging whether he could hold it until they got back to the motel. He’d lost it on the threshold, crying with the shame, and John had made him stand in front of a mirror then too. For three hours.
Of course, John had gone out that evening and Dean had put him in the shower and then tucked him into bed, slinging an arm around him to watch some old Clint Eastwood movie while eating Funyuns.
So, of all of it, the thing that hurt Sam’s heart the most was when John said, “Leave your brother out of this, you vindictive little bastard.”
Sam angrily swiped a tear as John stalked off towards the bathroom, reflecting on how fucked up things had to be if his father was closer than him to having Dean’s best interests at heart. He really needed to be a better brother.
Then again, he reconsidered as he shifted at the uncomfortable sensation of spunk cooling in his pants, he also really needed to piss off his asshole of a father.
John silently seethed as he watched his boys.
Sam was being far more attentive than normal, actually listening to Dean and laughing with him and subtly complimenting him about his work on the case.
Which would have been fine, welcome even, if the asshole hadn’t kept touching him all the damned time. Oh, it probably could have been passed off as accidental, or just brotherly closeness, but John knew better. Sam wasn’t tactile anyway, hadn’t been since puberty and the sudden realisation that it was weird to sometimes sleep in the same bed as his brother, and he and Dean had essentially been apart for four years.
Not only that, but he kept shooting these sneaky little glances at John when he hooked his hand around Dean’s neck or touched his thigh to get his attention.
John knew it was a taunt – and perhaps a warning. What his sly expression said was, I can have him if I want him.
John didn’t want Dean to get hurt. He was sure that was at least ninety percent of why he was so pissed off. It didn’t really help that he was still horny from jacking Sam off – and, yes, humiliating him – and he knew exactly what both of his boys felt like underneath him. So when they turned to one another and laughed openly, eyes dancing, conflicting emotions and desires squirmed inside him. He wished that he could only feel contentment at seeing his sons bonding and happy.
He thought about Dean and how all he really wanted was to be close to someone. Loved. He thought about how Dean always pushed for kissing and face-to-face and afterglow – so utterly different to Sam. He thought about how pathetically grateful Dean would be if Sam showed him true affection, and what a fucking eager puppy it would probably make him in the sack.
Somehow, they were both to blame for his anger and jealousy. Sam was purposefully trying to bait him, and Dean was just so transparent and easy to manipulate. Or, at least, he let himself get manipulated if he could squeeze a few drops of what he craved out of the whole thing.
They both needed to be taught a lesson.