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The Winding Road Leads Home

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Chapter 1

Driving for hours gave Timothy McGee way too much time to think. Sam had called. Sam Winchester, his friend, a man who knew him better than anyone else, the man he'd half-carried out of the mountains when he was injured, sleeping nights huddled together for warmth. The man he'd known off and on nearly all his life, the monster hunter, the smart, kind, brave... The only man he'd ever had haunting, intimate dreams about, who he couldn't get out of his waking mind, either. Words floated endlessly through his mind, the voice deep and rough with sleep. He'd woken to that voice in his memory again and again over the last weeks, and it always gave him a slight shiver and a tickle at the base of his spine. Trying desperately to analyze his responses, he tried to categorize, attempted to order his thoughts; all that shattered when he imagined forest green eyes looking at him from under heavy brows. He needed to see Sam. That was all there was to it. He had to see him and maybe all of this would make sense.

When he had agreed to meet Sam in Indiana, halfway between them, he'd dropped everything in his rush to get on the road. A quick email to Gibbs and the director informing them (not asking) that he needed a personal day, a phone call to warn Abby he was coming to drop Jethro, his dog, off at her place, and a flying whirl through his apartment to pack were all a blur in his mind. What was clearer was Abby's reaction when he'd told her he was going to meet someone.

"You're a good person, Tim. I hope she doesn't take advantage of you," Abby had said, frowning. She'd taken in his torn, confused expression and her mouth had formed a small 'o'. His eyes had widened at how well she could read him and he'd shaken his head mutely before fleeing.

Turning on the radio, he hit seek and stopped at the first music he heard. It took him a minute to recognize Dido's obsessive love song Here With Me, and when he did, he switched it off, stabbing the knob like he was afraid it would attach to his finger. Love. Was this love? He loved Sam, sure, he loved his friends, he wasn't so macho he denied it. Abby, Ziva, Tony, even Gibbs and Palmer and Ducky, each in a unique way. But was love...?

Eyes wide, heart pounding, he focused on the road, counting the mile markers, trying to get his mind to go blank.


Sam sat at the bar where they'd agreed to meet, sipping a beer and playing restlessly with the bottle. His brow was furrowed as he went over and over this whole...situation in his mind. A man. A dude! was Tim. Did it matter? He was feeling what he was feeling. Part of Sam wanted to just walk away from all this. He felt his stomach twist at the thought of never seeing Tim again, though, and he shook his head. He was here. Soon, Tim would be as well. His heart pounded at the thought. And then... Maybe it would be different, here in the mundane, public world. Having spent days relying on Tim as they hiked down off the mountain, well, that had been intense. Sleeping all bunched up like puppies after Tim's gear had washed away, it was undeniably intimate. Out here, the dreams might just fade away, replaced with the more concrete memories of their other meetings, once as little kids at a scouting camp, again in Arizona when he'd run away and lived on his own for two weeks, and the summer Tim had been a guest professor for a computer forensics seminar at Stanford. Maybe he'd seem like just a friend again, the dreams and musings vanishing like ghosts. Just a guy. A guy! It was unbelievable to think that he might be falling for...

Tim spotted Sam immediately. He smiled wryly: Sam was exceedingly hard to miss with his height, his long hair, broad shoulders... Those shoulders were rippling with tension under the thin plaid shirt Sam wore. Oh God...

Tim's feet took him forward without conscious choice. "Sam."

Sam turned and they stared at each other. Finally, Sam stuck his hand out to shake; pulling Tim into the familiar half-hug-with-back-slap fond friends might share. They both held on for a long extra moment. Tim tried to pretend he didn't take a breath through his nose when his face was next to Sam's, the long strands of Sam's hair soft on his cheek and the familiar clean scent vividly bringing a spine tingle. Sam tried to ignore the gentle waft of aftershave from Tim and how natural it felt to have the man close while enjoying the touch of his hand, the feel of his arm around him.

"It's good to see you, Tim," Sam said, sitting back onto the barstool, his voice as tense as his shoulders.

"Yeah, you too, Sam."

Tim sat on Sam's left and ordered two more beers. Sam felt electrified having Tim so close. Any thoughts that it was just something from their forced intimacy during the hike were disproved by the excitement flowing through him. Tim tried in vain to order his thoughts. The heat of Sam's body next to him was comfortably familiar and reassuring, which only confused him more. They drank in silence for several minutes, shoulders brushing as they instinctively leaned together, then parting when they realized what they were doing.

"It was really intense, out there with you," Tim blurted. His gut was roiling. His body was reacting in crazy ways to their closeness, and Tim was beginning to care less that this was a man beside him. Sam nodded. His breath was shallow and he was starting to admit to himself how much he hoped Tim was feeling the same things he was.

"I - I can't really stop thinking about it," Sam admitted. "About - uh, you, really." He kept his fingers on his beer so he wouldn't be able to tell if they were shaking. He stared ahead, using the mirror behind the bar to watch Tim. He was pale, but had red spots on either cheek, and he was intently studying the bottle he held.

"I've had these dreams... I just... I don't know..." Tim drank; barely cognizant he was finishing his beer already. The warmth of the alcohol fired the heat he was already feeling.

"Dreams. Yeah. And waking up..." Sam cleared his throat. Tim caught his eye in the mirror. He nodded slowly and finally tore his gaze away, shifting to look directly at Sam. He thought he saw Sam's breath catch.

"I woke up that last night in the mountains," Tim said, his voice barely above a whisper. "Coyotes, I think. You..." He swallowed hard and his voice dropped further. Sam leaned toward him. "You had your arms around me." Sam nodded slowly. "I was kind of freaked out, and I...asked if you were awake and you," Tim inclined his head and spoke very slowly, "kissed the back of my head and told me I was safe." He paused. "I believed you."

Sam's eyes were wide. "I don't remember that," he breathed. He remembered waking in the cold of predawn, holding Tim, breathing in the smoke and sweat scent of him, studying his sleeping face and feeling confused, trying not to think about how he felt.

"We should go someplace more private to talk. Back to my hotel?" Tim suggested. Sam nodded and indicated he'd follow. They left the bar, legs shaky and breath short.

Tim's hands gripped the steering wheel until they were white knuckled. Confessing even part of how he'd felt when Sam had reassured him that last night, hell, admitting it had happened, was momentous. As a young man he'd had some confused feelings about Sam, but had stifled them completely. This... This was so much more. It felt clear and pure underneath all the baggage of cultural concepts and archetypal roles. If Sam felt the same way... Was it possible? He wouldn't let his mind go any further with the thought. Not until they talked.

Sam grew calm. What Tim had told him made all the difference. In his mind the deed was done, the truth had been revealed while he'd been mostly asleep; it was just follow-through now.

The door of the hotel room closed behind them, and Sam turned to face Tim. They stood there, staring at each other. Tim felt his skin rise in gooseflesh all along his arms, and he sucked in a quick breath as Sam's hands came up to touch either side of his face. Sam's eyes searched his, open, vulnerable, asking, hoping. He must have seen Tim acquiesce, because he kissed him. Tim got the quickest erection he'd ever had; painfully fast. Sam was running on instinct: the same instinct that had made him smile at the sight of Tim's face when he woke on the mountain, the same instinct which had caused his body to curl protectively around the man in his sleep their last night in the wilderness and reassure him with a kiss.

Tim's body jerked like an electric shock had passed through him, and Sam pulled back, breath shuddering as he again looked into Tim's wide eyes. Tim took in the glint, the burning, in Sam's eyes and followed his own instinct: he closed the distance between them and resumed their kiss. Tim's hands came up to rest on Sam's waist, reassuring himself the man wasn't moving away, and at the touch, Sam took the kiss deeper, his tongue parting Tim's lips. Tim groaned, and his hands tightened on Sam, drawing the taller man against him.

Sam moved his hands from Tim's face and embraced him, sliding his arms over Tim's shoulders and cradling him close. After a long moment, he broke the kiss and kept his eyes shut as he rested his forehead against Tim's. Shaking, they clung to one another. When Sam opened his eyes, he found Tim watching him. Uncertainty flooded him, and his face flushed crimson. He moved away, further into the room. Tim leaned toward Sam as the hunter stepped back, and then rocked back, feeling drunk.

Sam shifted his weight, his hips twisting slightly in a familiar action to ease constriction in his pants and Tim relaxed. He wasn't the only one who'd reacted intensely in the moment.

"Look, I've never kissed a guy- "

"Don't," Tim's low cry cut Sam off. The hunter looked at him, tilting his head in question. Conflict tore at him, but if Sam was recanting, he'd honor the choice. "We don't need to go over that. We're both straight. Fine. We went through an extended trauma together-"

"Don't try to talk us out of this, Tim," Sam snapped. He set his jaw and gave the other man a hard stare. Tim looked away, knowing he'd been trying to rationalize their kiss, their feelings, all of it. But he had thought that was what Sam had wanted... He turned his eyes back to Sam and shrugged, feeling helpless.

Sam nodded, accepting that Tim was done with that train of thought. He went and sat down on the foot of the bed. His mind registered all the details of the room and catalogued the differences from the no-tell-motel places where he and Dean normally stayed. The list was long, and he sighed heavily. The contrast of their lives stood out starkly.

"That night. I have never felt... I was..." Tim shook his head. "I can't find the words."

"Safe?" Sam asked gently. Tim nodded, and Sam's voice broke on the next word. "Home?" Tim's eyes bored into Sam's, and he slowly walked over and sat beside the big man. He knew that Sam had never had a real home and what it meant to him.

"Yeah," Tim breathed. "And more. So much more." He scrubbed his hand over his face and half turned so he was facing Sam. "This could get...kinda complicated."

"Federal agent and wanted criminal? Yeah," Sam sighed. "I don't want to ruin your life, dude."

Tim shook his head, discounting any danger to himself or his career. He'd been thinking of his long, unpredictable hours and Sam's constant travel. He choked when he realized that his mind was already planning how to make a relationship work. So much for talking. He was in. Sam's eyebrows rose in question at Tim's expression, but Tim just shook his head again. Sam looked pained, and he turned with one knee up on the bed to face Tim. He put his hand on Tim's leg.

"I really don't want to make your life any harder, Tim. Just..." He swallowed at the constriction in his chest. "Just say the word and I am out the door," he pointed, "and you'll never see me again."

"No!" Tim exclaimed. He grabbed Sam's wrist and looked up at him. "No," he said more softly. He frowned, unsure how to express the jumble of emotion and complexity his mind was awash with. "It's do we even try to start something?"

Relief so strong his hands shook went through Sam. "I thought- " he chuckled. Tim frowned, not understanding Sam's mirth. "I've been trying to read you and not just project what I want to see," Sam explained. "I keep thinking you're ready to walk." Tim frowned and shook his head. He moved their hands together and intertwined their fingers. Sam stared at the sight. He was holding hands with a guy. No, not just a guy, with Tim. He'd been desperate to see him, had dreamed so often of holding him, and now they'd kissed, and it had felt totally right. But Sam knew jumping in without even trying to discuss it wouldn't be Tim's way. He'd need time, and words, and a plan. "Look, we're here. Let's just straight up talk about what we want right now."

"I don't know, I - I think I just..." Tim trailed off. He looked away, inarticulate and frustrated by himself. Sam was surprised at Tim's reaction.

"I want to be here, with you," Sam stated. Tim looked back at him and nodded. "Kissing you was... Uh, really- " He blew out a quick breath and then hurried on. " -hot, but I think what I want most is to be close to you tonight. Like we were. I've dreamed about it, holding you, and what I want more than anything is that."

Tim slowly released Sam's hand and put his hand on the hunter's hip, leaning toward him and putting his cheek against Sam's shoulder. Sam moved, dropping his leg off the bed and scooting close to Tim. They put their arms around each other and gave twin exhales of relief and pleasure. Tim breathed deeply, unabashed now in his desire to bask in the scent of Sam. Sam felt peace and warmth spread from their contact, and he laughed shortly. "Dean would accuse me of having ovaries for enjoying this as much as I am," he murmured. Tim frowned, holding on tighter.

"Can we just...ignore everything outside this room? Everything gets so complicated when I think about Dean, about - any of it, and I just want time with you so we can try to figure out what's going on."

It was so reasonable, Sam chuckled again. "You are so damn practical."

Tim drew back and looked at him with one eyebrow cocked. "You want to take all this on at once?"

"God, no! I like your idea; I just wasn't thinking that pragmatically." Sam's eye flickered to Tim's lips, so close. The perpetual pout of them was salacious to him now, and having had a taste of kissing them, Sam wanted more. Tim was shaken yet again, this time by seeing the naked desire on Sam's angular, stubbled, masculine, face. The softness of a woman's features would have blunted the hard edge of need he saw in Sam's eyes. He couldn't believe how sexy he found it. His toes curled and he had to tear his eyes away from Sam to control himself.

"If we're going to talk I think we need to get off this bed," Tim said with flat intonation. Sam bit his lip. Tim waited. He couldn't move, or he felt as if he'd shatter. It was up to Sam: he could get up and they'd discuss this, or he'd stay and Tim wasn't sure he would be able to keep from attacking him. "Well?"

Sam looked away and drew back, his hands dropping from Tim's back. "If that's what you want," he said, obviously hurt but willing to go along with what Tim wanted.

Tim closed his eyes, unsure if he was really ready, but certain he had to take that vulnerable, rejected expression off Sam's face. He could talk - they could talk and talk, or they could skip that and jump into the deep end. He'd always wanted to be with Sam, somehow; from their first meeting as kids, Tim had felt a bond with him and had somehow mourned the lack while they were apart. Now that the door had been opened to the possibility of taking this to a whole other realm, of taste and touch and intimacy, Tim knew exactly how to reassure Sam. Opening his eyes, he lunged, capturing Sam's lips with his own, his hand coming up to thread into the long hair and hold him steady. Sam rocked back at the impact, giving a short grunt, but almost instantly responded, pulling Tim close, using his strength to shift them up on the bed and dropping back with Tim leaning over him.

Kissing Sam had the same effect as before, and Tim groaned, stretching out beside the tall hunter. He pressed his erection against Sam's hip, his tongue exploring Sam's mouth; he was reveling in the reaction he was getting as Sam's powerful arms kept him close and his mouth responded to Tim's. Any remaining walls crumbled: he wanted this, more than anything.

Sam wasn't certain of the reality of what was happening. There was a dreamlike dichotomy of clarity and obscurity, but everything felt so good, so right, he surrendered to it. His hands slid over Tim's shoulders, and when his mind finally registered what the hardness was he felt pressing into his thigh, he palmed Tim's lower back and encouraged him to grind into it. Tim shuddered and threw his leg over one of Sam's, sighing as he rubbed against him. Sam slid his hand down to Tim's thigh and hiked it up to his own throbbing groin, rutting against the lean muscle. Their hands moved over each other: foreign, touching the hard muscles of a masculine body, but somehow perfectly familiar as well. They kissed and moaned into each other's mouths; they humped and groped and gasped. Sam finally tore his mouth free.

"What about - oh God - talking?" His voice shook with the effort it took to concentrate on speech. Tim shook his head. There was no way he was stopping in the middle of this conflagration.

"After," Tim informed him. Sam groaned and went back to what he wanted desperately to be doing: kissing Tim. Sam used his bulkier strength to roll them over so he lay half-sprawled on the other man. He reached up to touch Tim's face, breaking their kiss again to lock eyes and draw his fingers down Tim's cheek, Sam's thumb catching on his lower lip, caressing. Tim's breath stuttered and his hand rose to Sam's face. His long, sensitive fingers stroked Sam's cheekbones, slid down the hollow below, then along his jaw. Those hard lines captivated Tim. They studied each other up close, exploring with their hands as if this was an impossibly singular experience. Tim smoothed Sam's hair back, then stroked his fingers through it, finding the silky texture exactly how he'd imagined it. Sam slid his hand up, running along Tim's thick eyebrows and out to his temples. He traced the hairline over Tim's ear and stroked the slight curl behind it. Finally, Sam's fingers came down to Tim's shirt, and he begun unbuttoning. Tim took up the same cause on Sam's shirt, huffing when the thin fabric opened to reveal his powerfully built chest. Sam pulled Tim upright, shoving his dress shirt off of him and tugging the undershirt over his head. Insecurity flooded Tim at the contrast of his body to Sam's, but the expression on Sam's face was nearly worshipful as he touched Tim's pale chest, sliding his calloused hands across the soft skin. Getting Sam's shirt the rest of the way off just revealed more perfect musculature, albeit with many scars and his dramatic anti-possession tattoo.

Laying back down, both on their sides facing each other, they began kissing again, more sensuously. The heat of skin on skin as their chests slid against each other was intoxicating. Tim ducked his head to trail kisses down Sam's neck and he smiled when he heard the catch in Sam's breath. On impulse, he opened his mouth and bit and sucked, drawing a bruise to the surface of the skin. Sam gasped at the sensation and retaliated with his fingers sliding over Tim's chest, brushing against his nipple once, and again. Tim's hips bucked forward, and the slow exploration was over, the passion reignited. They pressed against each other, both trying to get closer, somehow both wanting what neither could have as they weren't equipped for sex as they'd always known it. They both seemed to realize that fact at the same time and came to an unspoken agreement as they reached for one another's pants.

Tim got access first since Sam wasn't wearing a belt like he was. His hand slid into the opening, under the waistband of Sam's underwear and wrapped around him, finding that his fingers barely touched around the thick member. Sam gasped and fumbled, trying to get caught up to Tim. It felt odd to touch a cock not his own, but Tim gave the most amazing sound as his hand slid up and down the sizable length of him that Sam quickly found himself liking the sensation. At last they began to stroke each other. It had been far too long since Tim had been with anyone and he found he desperately needed to climax. Sam's eyes rolled back at the feel on Tim's strong male hand on him. Unfortunately, neither could keep any kind of rhythm with how the other was making him feel. One would buck, the other hesitate, and frustration mounted.

"Shit," Sam hissed. He pushed Tim onto his back and grabbed his pants and boxers, pulling them down. Then he was back lying up against him, swatting Tim's hands away from his body. "We're taking turns, baby," he said, the endearment coming naturally. He kissed Tim deeply, his hand wandering over his chest, gently flicking at one then the other of Tim's nipples, making Tim jump and gulp air, before he dropped his mouth to Tim's neck and his hand back to Tim's cock. A firm grasp and long strokes had Tim making the most exquisite sounds Sam had ever heard. Tim panted, moaning Sam's name over and over. Sam's entire being ignited with the words. He tongued up to Tim's ear.

"Oh, Tim, yes, oh yeah. I wanna feel you come in my hand," he whispered, his ardor unleashed. Tim shuddered and groaned, turning his head for a short kiss and to look at Sam's highly aroused expression. His eyes squeezed shut on the sight and his hips bucked as he thrust hard into Sam's fist. "God, yes, Tim, baby, fucking come for me, yeah, let go, let me take you there, Tim, yes, yes," Sam crooned. Tim was transported. Panting, crying out Sam's name, his existence narrowed to the sound of Sam's voice and the sensations rolling through him as he came, shooting hard. Sam groaned; this was the hottest thing he'd ever seen, the heavy white spurts happening in time with his strokes and Tim's thrusting; Tim crying out his name, his face twisted in beautiful agony. Tim half turned, burying his face in Sam's neck, clinging to him as he slowly calmed. Sam held him, still whispering, now praise and gratitude, tears filling his eyes at his emotional response. Tim finally brought his mouth to Sam's, the kiss stopping the flow of words. Languorously tonguing Sam's lips apart and swirling sensuously, Tim expressed his appreciation. Sam shuddered with the kiss, arching his back and pressing tightly against Tim's side.

Running his fingers through Sam's hair, down to his neck, massaging gently, then trailing to the hard muscles of his shoulders, the deep v of his spine. He pushed Sam's jeans and underwear over the curve of his ass, fondling the pliable flesh and pulling his hips firmly against him for a moment before pushing Sam onto his back. Tim sat up and kicked his own shoes and socks off, then pulled his clothing off completely, using the boxers for a quick cleanup. He divested Sam of all clothing, not allowing Sam to help. The hunter lounged back, watching Tim, and Tim paused where he was, kneeling on the foot of the bed, taken again by what would be the perfect male figure if not for the scars puckering the skin in so many places.

"Oh, Sam," he breathed in sympathy and awe. He crawled back to his place beside his oft-wounded friend, hands honoring each mark as he went. The smile Sam gave him was soft and sweet, then their lips met again and Tim felt Sam's need. He didn't think about or consider what he was going to do, he just followed his instinctual desire to touch and taste and please Sam. He licked down Sam's neck, kissing the dark hickey he'd left only minutes before. Tim ran his hand down the length of Sam's arm and twined their fingers together, giving a good squeeze before resuming his movement. His mouth found Sam's nipple, the stylized flame of Sam's tattoo filling his vision as he nibbled and sucked.

"Oh, God, Tim!" Sam gasped. Tim smiled, tongue tracing across the defined abs and worked his way further down to the v-shaped indent guiding him directly to Sam's erection. Without hesitation, he opened wide and took Sam into his mouth, tongue swirling around the head then moving up and down as if this weren't the very first time he'd ever done such a thing. Sam's breath exploded out and he gasped, tossing his head. His voice deepened as he moaned expletives punctuated by Tim's name. Tim sped up, bobbing up and down, and in moments he heard Sam warning him. He sucked harder and drew him in deep as the orgasm ripped through Sam and thick gouts pumped out, coating the back of Tim's throat. He gagged at the new sensation but the sound of Sam's voice crying out, sobbing his name, was a brilliant distraction. He swallowed and slowly slid off. Shifting up to lay with his cheek on top of the protective pentagram tattoo, Tim listened to the thud of Sam's heart as it slowed. Sam's arms enfolded him, and that unnamable feeling, akin to both safety and home, but more powerful than either, stole through him. Tim closed his eyes and held tight.


Chapter Text

Chapter Two

The golden post orgasmic stupor went on for its indeterminable amount of time. They stroked each other's backs and faces, kissing and murmuring gratitude and compliments. Tim smoothed Sam's hair where the violent head tossing had tangled it.

"I don't know how we're supposed to talk now, Tim. I can't even think," Sam sighed. Tim smiled.

"That was pretty mind-blowing," Tim agreed. He felt more sated and relaxed than he had in months.

They rested a while longer. Sam finally decided it was time to talk. "I think it's safe to say we both want a sexual relationship," he said mildly. Tim laughed.

"Yeah. Yeah, that sounds like a safe assumption," Tim agreed. He glanced around and snagged his undershirt and wiped himself off. His smile turned shy as he looked at Sam, taking his hand and cleaning it as well. "But it's more than that. More than sex, I mean. For me, anyway...?"

Sam nodded. "Yes. I have no idea how we can make anything more work, but... I want more than sex." He stroked Tim's cheek and kissed him. They lay there, looking at each other until a cell phone set to vibrate buzzed. They looked to where their clothing was jumbled on the floor, then at each other. Both looked guilty.

"Maybe we should... Turn them off?" Sam asked. Tim hesitated.

"I didn't exactly wait for permission to take personal leave..."

Sam's face fell. "Yeah, no, I understand," he said. "We should, uh, see whose it is, anyway."


Sam scrambled down and was honestly relieved when it was Dean calling his phone rather than any of Tim's complications.

"Yeah, what?" Sam snapped into the phone. Tim frowned, watching Sam's agitation.

"Yeah, what?" Dean repeated. "That's how you answer your phone?"

"Look, I knew it was you, and I'm busy here. So-what?"

"What are you doing running out like that? And this note? What the crap, man?"

"I'll be back in a few days. I needed to see someone."


"It's none of your business, Dean."

"Forgive me if I'm not really all that into trusting you when you're being all vague, Sammy. Where the hell are you and what the hell are you doing?"

Sam looked at Tim where he sat on the end of the bed, then paced away from him. "I'm at a hotel in Fort Wayne Indiana. I'm with a friend, a civilian, and I'll be back in a few days. Just drop it! We'll talk when I get back."

"This sucks, Sammy."

"I know it does. I'm sorry Dean." Sam hung up and powered his phone off, dropping it back onto the pile of clothes. He looked at Tim again in pained chagrin. "I'm sorry. It's off now..."

Tim stood up and stepped closer to him, the intrusion of the outside world making him feel self-conscious at his nudity. He pushed himself past the awkwardness and put his arms around Sam. Sam engulfed Tim in his embrace, holding him tightly. "It's gonna be so complicated," Sam despaired. Tim closed his eyes. He focused on the immediacy of Sam's presence and was comforted.

"I know," he whispered. "What we have is right now. Let's... Make the most of it."

Sam drew back and took Tim's hand. "I want to hold you," he said, indicating the bed. Tim felt the world melt away again as he looked into Sam's soulful eyes, and he smiled.

They climbed under the covers together, sliding between the soft sheets. Sam curled on his side with his head on Tim's shoulder, and Tim found himself absently playing with Sam's hair. Sam sighed and pulled Tim closer.

"This is so much nicer than those awful Army blankets in the woods," Tim commented.

"I like camping with my Army blankets," Sam protested. "But this place is... Nice. Really nice."

"I guess. It's just a hotel. You'd like my apartment, I think. It's got character."

Sam propped himself up on his elbow and shook his head sadly. "I can't go there. Hell, we shouldn't be in a place this open. If I were recognized, or if you were just seen with a man..." Sam sighed and went ahead and used the words which, while true, still seemed awkward. "With a male lover, it could mean your career."

Tim knew he was right; having a secret affair could get his clearance pulled since it put him at risk of blackmail or other compromise, but wanted to be able to imagine Sam there every morning, and every night. He touched Sam's cheek; his lips pressed tightly together, a frown furrowing his brow. Sam looked on helplessly, hating the truth of what he'd said. He shook his head. Each time he'd tried for an apple pie life it had ended in ashes. A relationship with a criminal investigator was lunacy, for both of them.

Tim pulled his head back down against him. "Oh, Sam," he breathed. He turned his head and kissed Sam's forehead.

"Let's try not to think about that tonight," Sam suggested.

"Yeah," Tim hugged Sam close. "Yeah."

But Sam couldn't stop thinking about it. His mind went at it over and over, trying to find a loophole, a way out, a way he could keep Tim in his life.

"You're brooding. Your shoulders are like rocks; it's how they were at the bar," Tim observed. He ached, knowing how tormented Sam was.

"It-I... I'm not very good at enjoying something when I know I'm gonna lose it."

Tim thought about that. "Do you enjoy a library book less than one you buy?" He tried the analogy out.

"No, that's-that's different. I..." Sam's voice dropped to a whisper. "I want to keep you with me."

Tim traced his fingers along Sam's jaw and tilted his head back so their eyes could meet. "You're mine, Sam. Wherever I go, wherever you are, I'm not giving you up." Tim said it with firm conviction; a matter of fact, and his expression was so earnest, so vulnerable, Sam felt swamped by his own emotions answering that look. Words failed him, so he turned to action and he kissed his lover.

Sam moved up so his weight pressed Tim down into the soft bed, and their kiss seemed to stop time. When Sam finally broke it off, he ducked his head under Tim's chin, ashamed that his eyelashes were wet. His body jerked with a swallowed sob, and Tim responded immediately. He rolled Sam over onto his back and leaned over close. He stroked the planes of Sam's face, trying to soothe the clenched jaw, to ease the pain that Sam held inside with his squinched, leaking eyes and furrowed forehead. Tim's heart broke seeing him that way.

"Open your eyes, Sam," he ordered. Sam shook his head. "Look at me, damnit!" The eyes cracked open, and a tear slid back across Sam's temple. Sam rolled his eyes, shifting uncomfortably, tense and miserable. "Right now, Sam." Sam met his eyes, head tilting in question. Sam's whole body was tight, coiled up like he couldn't move or he'd break. "Right now, you look at me," Tim clarified. Sam's head jerked in a nod. Tim smoothed Sam's hair back, caressed the heavy brow until it softened. He gently wiped the tears from Sam's eyes and stroked the younger man's cheek with his knuckles, soothing.

Sam watched Tim's eyes like the look was keeping him from drowning. It calmed him, to focus on the kindness and open caring he saw in the clear blue-green depths. His ragged breathing slowed, and the pressure in his chest eased as the moments expanded with his intense observation.

Sam's body began to relax, and Tim smiled slightly. "Just be with me, Sam."

"I'm completely in love with you," Sam breathed. Tim's heart stuttered and his smile widened. For Sam, it was a relief to be able to express his feelings without reservations. Opening up emotionally to anyone else just wasn't an option, but he knew he was totally safe with Tim.

"Every minute of my life, every experience, has led me here. I think I've loved you all along," Tim said honestly.

Sam reached up and pulled Tim's face down into a kiss.

"It's weird, right? How quickly we've each gotten used to kissing a guy?" Sam chuckled.

"I've learned it's best to go with the flow in a relationship," Tim said. He settled back comfortably, watching Sam.

"Have you had a lot of relationships?"

Tim hesitated. "Define a lot."

"Dude, I've only had two serious relationships. Two."

"Sam, I'm older than you are, and I've lived a much more stable life. That's more conducive to relationships."

"How many?"

"Well, define relationship."

"Longer than two months."

Tim thought back. "Eight." Sam thought about that.

"Never married?"

"No, the only one I might have considered asking decided we were better as friends. She was right." He recalled Abby's astute assessment of who he'd left to meet. "She usually is," Tim settled back down beside Sam, lifting his hand and studying it while he stroked the strong fingers and callouses. "I should tell you, I read those books you told me about."

"Ugh, those are the bane of our existence sometimes."

Tim looked at him and smiled. "It certainly saves time on my getting to know you."

"You already know me," Sam said. Tim beamed. "Well, I read your books, too."

"Those are novels."

"Yeah, mostly. But it gave me more insight into you."

"You think so, huh?"

Sam rolled to face Tim again. "I didn't need it. It feels like I've known you forever."

They stared into each other's eyes again.


They spent hours in bed, kissing and groping and laughing together. A tickling match became a demonstration in the area between the door and the bed, comparing dirty fighting techniques. Sam pinned Tim on the floor and suddenly found himself painfully aware of their position. They both froze and felt the energy between them charge up rapidly. Keeping Tim's hands pinned, Sam kissed him deeply, exploring Tim's mouth with his tongue, rolling Tim's fat bottom lip between them, paying minute attention to the taste and texture of the other man. Tim arched under him, eyes rolling back at the sensuousness of the kiss. Sam let go the restraint of Tim's hands, and Tim immediately pulled Sam down onto him, stroking his back, sliding one hand down to grip the hard muscles of his ass. Their hips thrust against one another's, and Sam shuddered. He dropped his full weight onto Tim and slid his arms under him, crushing him to him. He hooked one leg under Tim's, trying to get closer, to meld into one. The heaviness of the bigger man's body, coupled with the powerful arms around him made Tim feel totally surrounded by Sam. Sam was all that existed for Tim as they kissed and embraced. Sam's insistent tongue allowed Tim to explore in response for long moments, then renewed its plundering. Tim breathed Sam in, wanting more, ever more. Their bodies grew slick with sweat and their writhing became thrusting with purpose. They humped against each other, their cocks sandwiched between them, rubbing in time with thier gyrations. Tim moaned into Sam's mouth and Sam sped up. Tim's hips bucked uncontrollably and Sam felt the heat boiling up inside him. Tim finally broke their kiss as he came, throwing his head back and crying out Sam's name. Sam kept thrusting, concentrating, and gave a strangled growl as his orgasm released its flood.

Shaking, arms quivering, Sam shifted to one side so all his weight no longer rested on Tim. He dropped his head to Tim's chest and listened to Tim's thundering heartbeat. Tim stroked Sam's back and hair. His lithe fingers played with the long strands and he felt Sam sigh in pleasure.

"I have to admit I love your hair, Sam," Tim said softly when his breath had returned to normal.

"Mmm, that feels good. Glad you like it," Sam sighed.

When they finally moved, agreeing they would have to shower to get the mess off their skin, Tim groaned as he sat up. "I think I got rug burns on my ass," he complained. Sam stood and pulled Tim up. Turning so Sam could see, Tim craned his neck to try to see his injury. Sam slid his big warm hands over Tim's skin. The heat of his palms cupping the oversensitive skin burned a little, but Tim closed his eyes as the vague pain brought pleasure, too.

"God, you've got a great ass," Sam murmured, then cleared his throat. "Uh, not too bad. A little abraded, but you'll be fine. But, uh, does that read 'mom'?" Sam laughed as he spotted the small heart tattoo with three letters inside it.

"Yes it does," Tim grinned. Sam just shook his head and led the way to the bathroom. Tim bit his lip lightly at the sight of Sam's nudity from a new angle. His eyes widened as he realized he'd briefly fantasized about sliding deeply into that perfectly sculpted ass. He swallowed hard, a little shaken by his adaptation to a homosexual situation.

Tim enjoyed washing Sam's hair, and Sam loved sliding soap slick hands all over Tim's body. They agreed that it would be best if they went to sleep after they got out, but the inherent eroticism of showering together had them both half hard again by the time they'd dried off. Tim slipped his arms around Sam and rested his head against his shoulder, closing his eyes. Sam held him lightly.

"You alright, baby?" He asked. Tim yawned.

"Yeah, just tired. I wouldn't mind doing something about this," he pressed his hips into Sam's. "But I'm just so wiped out."

"I want to hold you all night, Tim," Sam whispered. Tim's arms tightened around him and he nodded.

"Yeah. Oh God, yeah."

Sam took Tim's hand and led him to the bed. Turning out the light, they laid down and Sam hesitated. Tim didn't. He curled beside him and put his cheek on top of Sam's tattoo. Sam enveloped him in his arms and even wriggled his foot under Tim's, encouraging him to hook his leg over Sam's. With a smile, Tim did.

"I missed you so much. I didn't even know what was happening, but I ached to have you in my arms again," Sam confessed softly.

"I had this dream, about a house, and following you, and it always ended with you spooned behind me, and I was warm and safe. I think I dreamed it nearly every night for the last two months."

Sam stroked his neck, running his fingers up into Tim's hair, playing with how the short cut felt like it had a knap like velvet. He brushed it up and then smoothed it down over and over. Tim nearly purred.

"Oh, that's nice, Sam. You're gonna put me to sleep."

Sam smiled tenderly and kissed the top of Tim's head. "Sleep, baby. I'm here. You're safe and you're home," he murmured.

"Mmm, Sam," Tim sighed as he drifted off. Sam lay awake for a few more minutes, thinking about this monumental change. He'd no idea how this would fit into his life, but he was glad of the complication, not having realized how alone he'd felt for so long. His friend, now lover, was abruptly as vital to him as food or water. Nothing would make him give this up. Nothing. He fell asleep reiterating that to himself again and again.

Both men slept soundly through the night, shifting and moving but always touching.



Chapter Text

Chapter Three

When Sam woke, he was immediately joyful as he felt Tim spooned behind him and saw the familiar long-fingered hand a few inches from his face. He lay still, so not to disturb his bed partner, and simply soaked in the pleasure he felt.

As Tim's eyes opened on the sight of Sam's powerfully muscled back, he smiled. It was almost incomprehensible that they'd overcome their own heterosexual natures to become physically intimate together. He reflected on having performed oral sex and frottage with a man. He'd enjoyed both, and anticipation of taking the sexual relationship to the next level of anal intercourse gave him an erection. The two women he'd had anal sex with had taught him how pleasurable it was, and as his mind wandered to performing it on Sam, the gorgeous body bent over in front of him, he shivered and his penis throbbed. He shifted back away from Sam, who grabbed his arm and drew him back close against him. Tim swallowed hard, self-conscious.

"Good morning," Sam greeted. He rolled onto his back, still beneath Tim's arm. The friction made Tim stifle a groan. Sam grinned and wiggled his hips, and Tim laughed.

"Good morning," Tim finally replied. He snuggled closer with his head on Sam's pillow. Sam twisted his neck and kissed him lightly. The spark of happiness in Sam's eyes thrilled Tim.

"This..." Sam sighed. "This is so right."

"I know. I was laying here thinking about... How good it is. How good it can be, too." Tim's face pinked up and Sam nodded, understanding and amused by Tim's sweet reticence to speak graphically. "I told my boss I'd be back on Tuesday. I'm only bringing it up for clarity, and to point out we'll need food."

"Leaving this room in the next 36 hours holds no appeal to me," Sam replied. Tim smiled.

"Me either. I'll make the sacrifice and run out for supplies, though."

"You better be quick. I don't want you out of my sight for long, either," Sam warned. Tim laughed, and Sam decided he absolutely loved the sound.

With much good-natured grumbling by Sam, Tim eventually got dressed and left for the store.


When he got back, Tim found Sam kicked back in one of the oversized chairs in nothing but jeans and a t-shirt, reading a book. Tim set the bag down and started pulling out the food he'd picked up, putting it into the mini fridge. Sam came over and began helping. He hesitated when he pulled a small bottle of lube out. "Uh, Tim..." Tim looked over and saw what Sam was holding.

"That is just to give us options," he explained. Sam still looked worried.

"I just, I don't know, it seems like such a weird thing to do," Sam shrugged. Tim came to Sam and took the bottle, setting it on the counter and taking Sam's hand.

"So you've never done it?"

"No. Just the usual, man. Wait- you have?"

"I had a girlfriend who was into it. To be honest, it was pretty hot."

Sam looked away.

"Sam, it's just an option. I have no expectations, I just want to be prepared."

Sam looked back to him and gave him a tight smile. He pulled Tim into his arms and hugged him. "You really were a boy scout, weren't you?" He murmured into Tim's ear, smiling. Tim closed his eyes and leaned into Sam's broad chest.

"Well it's not paramilitary training from age ten, but I learned a few things."

Sam laughed and held tight. "We can do anything you want to do, baby. I trust you." He buried his face in the crook of Tim's neck, breathing deeply of his aftershave and unique smell of Tim.

Tim drew back and cupped Sam's face in his hands. "I want to be close to you, in every way we can. I love you, Sam."

Sam's answering smile made Tim feel light-headed with joy.

"You always use my name. I like how you say it," Sam observed. Tim settled back into Sam's embrace with his head on Sam's shoulder.

"Everyone else seems to call you nicknames. We both hate the diminutive of our names and I love your name as you give it, so that's what I call you."

"Well, I like it. Do you mind that I call you baby sometimes?"

"Not how you use it. I like it when you call me Tim, but the way baby rolls off your tongue is pretty sexy."

"Mmm, baby," Sam stroked his fingers up and down Tim's back. Tim smiled. Sam turned his head and breathed sensuously into Tim's ear. Tim shivered, his smile widening.

"I think you're yanking my chain saying that'd be weird," Tim accused teasingly. Sam's muscles tensed and Tim instantly regretted saying that. But there was more that needed saying. He moved to look the taller man in the eyes. "I think you're feeling just like I am: you want to make love. This is how we do that. But not until we're both ready for it."

Sam swallowed hard. "Millions of people do it, so there's gotta be some fun to be had," he said rationally. His look softened and he put his forehead against Tim's, his hair falling forward to curtain them off from everything else. "And yes, I want to be that intimate with you; to make love." He drew back and smiled wickedly. "Besides, what makes you think I'm a catcher not a pitcher?" He kissed Tim's forehead and ducked away, chuckling. Tim smiled at the playfulness. He brought one of the coffees he'd bought to where Sam had sprawled back into the easy chair. Sam took it and nodded thanks.

"Let's just finish this awkward conversation before we move on, all right?" Tim asked. He sat on the edge of the bed. Sam nodded again. "Okay. So, condoms. I've never had sex without one and I haven't been with anyone for over six months. I know I'm okay. Is that enough for you?"

Sam swallowed hard and nodded. "I'm good. Amelia and I used condoms, and before that, it was... A long time. That okay?"

Tim smiled, relieved. "I have a box if you want, but I-" His face turned red. "I want to feel you. I want you to be...well, my first, in a way. Skin on skin, nothing between us," Tim's breath came short at the thought.

Sam was nodding, and Tim had to look away to get his arousal under control. He wanted Sam fiercely enough that he shuddered and started counting prime numbers. The image of Sam's gorgeous back, hard glutes waiting came to mind and he lost track of where he was. He started reciting the periodic table and had finally calmed by the time he got to 32, Germanium. He looked back at Sam and gave an embarrassed half-shrug. Sam was silently laughing, but Tim didn't feel bad when he looked down and saw how Sam's hands were folded over a big lump in his lap. They shared their amusement silently for a long moment, then Tim cleared his throat, wanting to finish the discussion.

"We may find that one of us is a- pitcher and one a catcher, or that we can be... Switch-hitters, to mix the metaphor, but I've kinda...pitched a season in the minors, so I think that's where we should start. When we start, which will be when we both want it to be."

Sam laughed. "I guess I started the the baseball thing. Well done," he complimented. He sighed. "You're probably right. You get my reticence has nothing to do with how I feel about you, don't you?"

"I know. Topic concluded?"

Sam frowned thoughtfully. "No," he shook his head. He gestured. "Come here." Tim went to him and Sam took his hand and tugged. Tim balked.

"What, seriously? Sit on your lap?"

Sam smiled. "Just come here."

Awkwardly, Tim sat, and Sam shifted him closer, wrapping his arms around him and putting his face against Tim's chest. The other man held him, stroking his hair and back. The motion relaxed Tim as well as Sam and he let Sam take the effort of bracing him, enjoying the feeling of being cradled and also holding Sam.

"I'm not one to back down out of fear, Tim," Sam said quietly. "Let's do this."

"It's not a challenge, Sam. Let's see how it goes. I'm not sure I'm ready," Tim admitted. Sam looked up at him. "At least not before breakfast." He smiled.

They ate and talked some more. Never seeming at a loss for topics, their conversation meandered from news to literature to the latest computer gadgets. Tim talked about his coworkers and Sam about Dean and through the day they sympathized over the frustrations and grew fond of the other people through the positive stories.

"Abby was the one who decided you were better as friends, wasn't she?" Sam asked.

"She's an amazing woman and a good friend. I dropped my dog at her place and I think she suspected I was going to meet a man. She knows me very, very well."

Sam contemplated that. "You have a dog?"

Tim told him about Jethro, and more about Abby.

"Was she your back door girl?" Sam asked.

"No. I mean, yeah, we did, but we kind of did a lot of stuff. She'll try just about anything. I did tell you about the coffin, right?"

Sam laughed. "Yeah. Dean told me once that it's never a good sign when a woman won't turn the lights on."

"So, aside from Abby, there was one who pretty much just wanted that. I was young," Tim shrugged. "It was a very hot, very sexual relationship. Then she transferred and it ended." Tim looked at Sam and saw him smiling enigmatically. "What?" Tim looked down at himself, around, back to Sam. "What's that look for?"

Sam stood and extended his hand. "Let's shower."

Tim shrugged and took the hand, allowing himself to be led into the bathroom. Sam pulled his t-shirt off and Tim again found himself stunned by the revealed physique. Sam started the shower and turned back to Tim. That smile returned and Tim's brow furrowed as he puzzled over it. Sam stepped close and kissed him tenderly, then pulled Tim's t-shirt off. Steam began filling the room, and Tim decided he'd figure out what was up with Sam when it happened. He trusted him.

They both stripped the rest of the way and Sam checked the temperature and then held the curtain for Tim. The strange intensity continued in his expression until something caught his eye. A laugh escaped from Sam. "I really can't believe your only tat says 'mom'-on your ass."

Tim shrugged, smiling. "Why not?" Tim said rhetorically. Sam, still chuckling, stepped into the tub and pulled the curtain behind him.

"You know I'm gonna want you to get another tattoo, don't you?" Sam asked.

"An anti-possession tat? I can do that. At least it's a cool looking design," Tim said, tracing Sam's. "Does it matter where I get it?"

"No. It's better hidden, though. Had a demon put a brand across one to break the sigil and possess the person once. Probably better if it's hard to find."

Tim swallowed. "Brand?"

Sam held up his arm to show Tim where Meg had cut a sigil into his arm to lock herself in his body so she couldn't be exorcized and the branding scar that had crossed it, allowing the exorcism to rid him of the demon. "It's a quick way to break a sigil, but it really sucks."

Tim touched the scars, then brought Sam's arm to his mouth and kissed it. He smiled a little and continued kissing Sam's arm up over his bicep to his shoulder. Sam hummed in pleasure and ducked his head to capture Tim's lips with his own. The kiss started out sensuous but quickly grew insistent. Tim met Sam's demanding lips and tongue with his own, dueling. Sam pulled Tim into an embrace, trapping their hard cocks between their bodies. Tim shuddered, leaning into Sam. Sam reversed their positions and pressed Tim against the wall. Tim tensed, expecting cold tile, then relaxed as he felt that the wall was warm: Sam had pointed the hot water there in consideration. It indicated Sam indeed had a plan, and Tim was eager to find out what it was. Sam reached to the nook at the back of the enclosure and got some of Tim's body wash. He spread it between them, low on their torsos, then trapped the slippery suds by sealing their bodies together. He slid up and down a bit and Tim moaned as he felt Sam's erection rub against his.

Sam's strong body sliding up and down his own, undulating, keeping him pinned to the wall was unbelievably arousing. He shuddered and his hands spasmodically clutched at Sam.

Sam's mouth moved over to Tim's ear and he started whispering. "You feel amazing Tim. You've got me so hot I could come just like this, baby." Tim ducked his head to Sam's neck and bit him in response. Sam jerked and groaned. "Oh god Tim."

Sam brought their chests apart, allowing the stream of hot water to wash the soap away. He bent his head and sucked hard on Tim's nipple. Tim gasped. His head tossed restlessly against the tile and he started repeating Sam's name like a fervently whispered prayer.

Sam dropped to his knees, holding Tim's hips, feeling the hot water cascade across his shoulders. Rivulets trailed down his chest as he leaned forward and drew Tim's cock into his mouth. It wasn't strange, as he'd half feared; he kind of liked the weight and presence and he moved close, taking him in. He slid back and then repeated the initial motion. It was Tim, so it felt as natural as breathing. Tim's voice rose, still chanting Sam's name, now sounding more like pleading than praying. Sam slid down the length of Tim's shaft, enjoying the full hardness so much he adjusted his angle and fully engulfed him, taking beyond his mouth to his throat.

"Sam! Sam! Sam!" Tim cried out and his fingers dug into Sam's shoulders. Sam moved; long, slow withdrawls followed by deep envelopment. Sam repositioned Tim's leg, pushing his calf and raising his foot to brace against the edge of the tub. Tim was barely aware of the change until he felt Sam's hand high on the inside of his thigh. Sam slipped his hand back toward the wall, palm caressing Tim's sack and his fingers exploring further. His index finger found its target and he pressed, feeling the ring of muscle flexing slightly as Tim thrust into his mouth. Tim felt the intrusion, an odd sensation, but with Sam blowing him he didn't really mind at all. Sam went in further, the remaining body wash giving just enough lubrication to slide in and out, finger fucking him shallowly.

Tim was losing articulation. Only every third or fourth utterance was Sam's name now, the rest vowel-filled animalistic sounds. Sam felt Tim's legs starting to shake, and he knew he was close. He pressed in deeper, crooking his finger, stroking inside Tim like he was trying for a woman's g-spot, and Tim nearly collapsed at the stimulation of his prostate. Tim fell forward, catching himself on his forearms on Sam's shoulders as he gave a shout. Sam sucked harder, faster, adding the finger crook to his strokes, and Tim exploded.

"Ah! Sam!" Tim's voice bounced around the small room as he came. Sam removed his finger and used both hands to steady Tim as he shuddered through the last of his orgasm. He swallowed, unsure if he liked the taste but inordinately pleased with Tim's response. Sam helped Tim to sit, and they wrapped themselves around each other and let the water spray over them.

When Tim's body had calmed, he finally spoke. "Sam, I have never felt anything like that. Your mouth... I may have to give you a nickname: hoover." Sam laughed. "You don't have a gag reflex at all, do you?"

Sam shrugged. "I don't know, I just really liked how that felt." His face turned red at the admission.

"Ah, Sam. You can do that any time you want," Tim offered, grinning.

"And... The other part? Seemed... Good."

Tim nodded slowly. "Yeah. Better than I would have expected," he admitted. Knowing he'd feel more comfortable as the pitcher, still, he didn't want to ask Sam to do anything he wouldn't do. He took a deep breath. "We can try, if you want to."

The passion in Sam's kiss was answer enough. They rinsed off and got out of the shower.

Tim suggested he lean on the back of the chair with Sam standing behind him for the greatest versatility of control. It was how he'd done it the first time with his college girlfriend, so he figured that would be best. Sam wrapped his arms around Tim as they stood near their chosen spot, and kissed him long and sensuously. Tim felt his dick twitch, not quite recovered but already beginning to respond to the contact.

Sam's embrace was full-bodied, knees to chest, and Tim's fear mellowed. Sam was powerful but so tender, and Tim always felt utterly safe with him near. He gave himself over to the loving ministrations.

Sam's hands trailed all over Tim's back, shoulders, buttocks, leaving fire in their wake. Lost in sensation, Tim was barely aware when Sam turned him around, still holding him tight, and his fingers continued moving, touching neck and nipples, caressing through the light chest hair, up and down his abdomen. Tim rested his head back against Sam's shoulder, tremors shaking him. Everything felt so intense and pleasurable.

Still holding Tim with one arm, he prepared his fingers and slid the other between their bodies. Tim was sighing Sam's name with every breath, and there was no break in it when Sam encouraged him to widen his stance with his knee parting Tim's thighs. Tim opened, and Sam let his fingers glide up and down, trying to stimulate the whole area before he penetrated Tim at all. Having discovered how sensitive Tim's nipples appeared to be, he began flicking one with his index finger. Tim gasped in pleasure, Sam went ahead with beginning to finger him. One finger, progressively deeper, and Tim's reaction hadn't changed. With a smile, Sam moved on to two. Tim shifted his hips, but looking over Tim's shoulder, he could see the bobbing of his fresh hard-on, and he moved his hand down to stroke it. Tim's voice rose, calling out Sam's name, and Sam moved his fingers, spreading them, twisting, trying to stretch the tight ring of flesh. He hoped what he was doing would be helpful in allowing him entry. His cock was leaking pre-come with his own need and how incredible Tim's response was to what he was doing.

Finally, Sam bent forward, moving Tim into the same position. Still jacking him, Sam lubed his own cock and took a deep breath. Sam pressed close but noticed the tension rippling, knotting Tim's shoulders and back. He paused. "Baby, you okay?" Tim didn't respond or move at all. Sam backed off and pulled Tim upright, looking at his face. His eyes were wide, the color on his pale face was high with angry red splotches on his cheeks, his pupils blown wide, and he was breathing in shallow gasps. The physical response was either textbook sexual arousal or total panic attack, and Sam immediately knew it wasn't the good one. All the buildup and arousal was suddenly irrelevant with his concern for Tim. Sam forcibly turned him around. "Tim?! Hey, look at me," Sam ordered. A shiver went through Tim's body and his eyes finally met Sam's. The look in them terrified Sam, and he moved, settling into the huge chair and pulling Tim into his arms. Tim sat stiffly. "Hey, hey, we aren't gonna do anything, you're okay, it's okay, baby, come on," Sam soothed. Tim's eyes filled with tears and Sam touched his face. "Talk to me, man, please. What's going on?"

Tim took a deep breath that shook his whole body and relaxed slightly. "I just froze up, I don't know. I'm sorry, Sam."

"What the hell, dude? You think I'd want to do that to you? Why didn't you say anything?"

"I thought it was just nerves; that it would get better," Tim said quietly.

"Jeez, you're more scared of that than I am," Sam commented, hugging him closer. Tim sagged against him.

"I really didn't know I was," he whispered. They stayed that way for a while.

"Are you sure... I mean, you've never been-assaulted or anything?" Sam asked awkwardly.

"Not... No, not like you're saying."

"What do you mean?" Sam asked. He felt Tim's discomfort with the tension in his body. "You are safe, baby, I'm not gonna judge you."

"No, it's just-it was just hazing, bullies, you know. In college. They didn't rape me or something."

"Oh baby, I'm sorry. That really could be part of this."

"You might be right, I don't know. I'm sorry, Sam," his voice broke on the apology.

"Jesus, Tim, do not apologize! Y'know I could truly kill whoever did anything bad to you, ever," Sam's voice was tight and he felt the anger and rage he hadn't felt for years simmering up inside him.

"Sam, it wasn't what you're thinking. I shouldn't have even brought it up. It was hazing, stupid crap, nothing, really," Tim looked into Sam's eyes, disturbed by what he saw there.

"What did they do?" Sam demanded. Tim's face turned nearly purple in shame. "If it wasn't what I'm thinking, what was it?"

"I don't want to talk about it."


"Fine! They grabbed me walking back to my dorm from the library in the middle of the night. They tied me standing bent over the back of a chair and they paddled me. See? Nothing. Stupid bullying, that's all."

"That's not all. Tell me the truth, Tim."

"Sam-" Tim shook his head. His eyes begged Sam to drop it. Sam's fury subsided and he relaxed, holding Tim again.

"Have you ever talked about it?"

"No," Tim whispered.

"Then you need to. Please tell me what happened," Sam spoke softly and Tim closed his eyes.

"After the first time, I avoided being alone as much as possible, but they caught me again and took it further- they pulled my pants down and made it so I could barely sit in class the next day. I had freakin' nightmares for months, but they just moved on to someone else after that. They forgot all about me," Tim's voice was bitter. Sam gripped him tight.

"I'm so sorry, baby. If-no, when, because I'm not going to let some asshole ghosts from your past ruin anything for us: when we try that again, we'll do it differently, and it will be wonderful. I promise." Sam kissed him and stroked his back.

Getting more comfortable, sitting each in his own chair and holding hands, they talked. Tim confessed many of the more embarrassing harassments he'd suffered, and Sam commiserated, sharing the much less vicious pranks Dean had played on him. Tim talked about the hazing he'd taken from Tony and Kate, enjoying being able to speak about her with a nostalgic ache rather than severe grief. They ended up laughing over he and Sam's triumphs of retaliation and agreeing neither of them actually enjoyed that type of humor.

Sam, having not had the release Tim had, instead having been brought to imminence and denied, found himself stroking Tim's fingers sensually. Tim's body began responding before his mind consciously registered what Sam was doing. When he did, he interrupted himself midsentence with a laugh. Sam raised his eyebrows in question. Tim slightly raised their joined hands and Sam blushed at the suggestive hold he had on Tim's finger. Sam snatched his hand away guiltily, looking like a kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

"No, Sam, it's okay," Tim protested, but Sam looked away, shamefaced. Tim knelt in front of Sam and touched Sam's chin, turning his attention back to Tim. "Sam, you got me hard doing that and I laughed at myself. It's okay. God, any way you want touch me is fine. I don't even want to be that far from you-" he indicated his empty chair. "I just want to hold you and kiss you and just meld into you. That probably sounds creepy-"

"No," Sam whispered, shifting off the seat of the chair to kneel pressed against Tim. He kissed him and pulled him close. Putting his lips to Tim's ear, he spoke with barely a sound. "I want you in me."

A shudder passed through Tim, electricity shooting straight to his groin and setting up a deep ache of longing. "Oh, yes, Sam, please," he replied, a begging note adding urgency to the request. Sam kissed him passionately then stood and drew him to his feet.

They moved to the bed, snuggling and kissing, recreating their safe haven. Sam was more nervous than he had been the other way around, but found himself lost in Tim's embrace. They stroked and kissed and bit and humped, desire rising to a fever pitch.

"Turn over, Sam," Tim whispered. Sam obeyed without question, lying face down. Tim knelt beside him and paused, finding himself enraptured by the sight of Sam's powerful muscles, the valley of his spine, the magnificent shapes, curves, planes; and finally he fully admired the heavy, rounded glutes. A shudder of desire ran through him, anticipation of what was about to happen. His body recalled the heat, the grip of a tight sphincter and he somehow knew just how much better it would be with Sam, gorgeous Sam, his Sam. He pulled on Sam's hips to encourage him to rise up onto his knees and was overwhelmed by the image of such ultimate openness, willingness and trust and love. He lubed his trembling hand and slid it down the cleft before him. Sam clenched nervously, and Tim leaned over him to speak comforting words. "Sam, I'll never hurt you, you know that. You have the most amazing body, and I want to touch you everywhere. Trust me, Sam." Sam relaxed marginally and Tim slid his fingers delicately up and down Sam's crack, gliding over his tight hole, back and forth. He reached around and took Sam's dick in his other hand, stroking it slowly to distract and relax him. Sam started to moan and thrust. When he pulled back from one thrust, Tim pushed his index finger into Sam, just barely, and kept it there as Sam shuddered. He kept the hand job going, and Sam resumed his responsive hip movements. Tim eased his finger into Sam and Sam took it well.

"How you doin', Sam?" Tim asked. Sam groaned and his thrusting sped up. "Good, good. You are so hot. I want to feel you wrapped around me," Tim admitted, his voice low and secretive. "God, Sam, I want you so bad..."

"Oh, yeah, Tim. Tim," Sam sighed. The feeling of being stimulated internally and externally was overwhelming. He felt Tim add another finger and push it in and out of his ass, and it was such an intimate sensation he shook, finding it to be far more pleasurable than he'd thought possible. He wanted more. "Oh, baby, yeah, I want you. I want you," he moaned, his face reddening where it was buried in a pillow at the admission.

Tim kept the hand-job strokes slow and deliberate as he stretched Sam, doing his best to get Sam ready for their first time. A third finger, moving in and out, Sam rocking back into it then thrusting forward into Tim's hand, and Tim knew they were ready. He lubed his own erection, breath rasping, his mind so completely focused on what they were doing that he had none of the uncertainty he'd always suffered from with a new lover. He moved between Sam's legs, completely confident. He stroked the hard muscles of Sam's back, then lined himself up and held himself, pausing right against Sam's hole. He pressed against it, then backed off, restraining himself, not demanding, but instead asking. He did that multiple times until Sam was the one who pushed back against him and the head of Tim's cock passed inside.

"Ah!" Sam gasped. It was more than he'd expected, and his body trembled as he tried to adjust. Tim waited, his own breath gasping in gulps at how tremendously good it felt, and continued to stroke Sam's cock and his back. The tight heat felt better than he'd imagined, molten, fevered, and he quivered with restraint as he held himself still. When Sam shuddered back toward him, he slowly pushed in further, the muscles inside Sam rippling along his shaft as he entered. Tim clenched his jaw gave a low moan as he finally buried himself fully, coming home, the most ideal sensation imaginable: Sam, it was Sam, giving himself to him, and Tim looked down in awe to witness it. Sam's whole body was shivering, little muscle spasms throughout his system all twitching and jumping and Tim bit his lip hard, struggling with his control. Hurting Sam was the very last thing he wanted, but the most immediate thing he did want was to move, thrust, feel...

Sam was awash in feelings he'd never contemplated; he was more vulnerable than he had ever been but felt safer, too. Being penetrated this way was foreign and hurt some, a burning ache that was already subsiding, but the fullness, the heat of Tim's body leaning over him, it simply felt right. His was so completely centered on his internal stimulation that Tim's hand on his cock was secondary, an afterthought or added bonus: unnecessary. Giving himself over to it and to Tim, he sighed, "Oh, yes, Tim, yes."

Tim began to slide in and out and hiked himself up higher to angle for Tim's prostate. That bundle of nerves was one difference with being with a man. When Sam had stroked his while they were in the shower, it had felt exquisite and he wanted Sam to have that.

"Ah! Fuck!" Sam cried out, and Tim smiled, taking pleasure in Sam's pleasure, distracted for a moment from his own sensations. Sam's body was jumping and jerking, his voice hoarsely calling out to Tim, cursing, groaning, and Tim finally had to use both hands to stabilize himself, holding Sam's hips. Tim closed his eyes and let himself go, thrusting hard, crying out in response to Sam's cries, nearly sobbing. The heat, the tight grip, Sam allowing, welcoming him, Sam moaning; Tim felt his orgasm build quickly. It was the most perfect sensation he'd ever had.

"Oh, Sam! God, I'm gonna come, oh, oh!"

"Yes! Tim, yes, baby!"

Tim came in long, blinding pulses that felt like they started in his feet. He collapsed over Sam's back with the last spurts.

The hot throbbing of Tim inside him was the most erotic thing Sam had ever felt. It was like every nerve in his body was being stimulated, centered on his core, his connection to Tim, and it sent him over the edge: he came hard, spraying over the sheets beneath him, sobbing Tim's name.

They sagged prone together, Tim sprawled over Sam's back, and lay gasping. Tim eventually slid off to the side and Sam rolled to face him, pulling him close. Wrapped in each other's arms, they lay in a stupor.

"Oh my god, I can't believe we just did that," Sam whispered. Tim smiled.

"The final frontier?" Tim asked teasingly.

"No, baby, that'll be you," Sam chuckled. He stroked Tim's back, enjoying the languid post orgasmic sensitivity as he felt the smooth skin under his fingers.

"So that was...good?" Tim asked quietly. Sam hugged him closer.

"Yeah, yeah, Tim, that was...amazing. I never imagined..." Sam trailed off. "Even thinking about doing it, I just figured it'd be, endurable, or something. I didn't expect, uh..."

"To like it?" Tim suggested gently. Sam's face was red and he was frowning. "It's sex, Sam. What's not to like?" Sam shrugged. "Look at me," Tim ordered. Sam met his gaze and sighed at the sweet tenderness in Tim's expression. "I'm glad it was good. For me it was- transcendental. I've never felt so intimate with anyone, ever. That you trust me, that you'd give yourself to me so completely... Sam, I'm humbled by your strength."

Sam's face lit, and Tim was relieved to see the shadow of fear and shame lift. Sam kissed him, and they relaxed together, snuggling close. Eventually they rose and cleaned up, having dinner and then settling in for the night.




Chapter Text

Chapter Four

Sam woke early, deliciously content; his arms holding Tim close against his chest. He recalled that they would be leaving one another today, and the pang of loss twisted his gut. He tightened his grip on Tim, noticing then that he had a monster morning erection as he pressed against Tim's back. He shifted, smiling to himself, pushing his dick between Tim's thighs and slowly thrusting. Tim moved in his slumber, arching back in a half stretch, and Sam groaned, shifting higher to rub against the curve of Tim's ass. Tim murmured as he gained consciousness, sighing Sam's name. Sam ran his hand down Tim's chest and grasped Tim's cock, smiling wider at the hardness as he stroked. Tim groaned Sam's name and moved his hips. Sam kissed the back of Tim's neck and over to his ear.

"Good morning, baby," Sam whispered, then ran his tongue over the edge of Tim's ear. Tim shuddered.

"Seems more like wood morning, doesn't it?" Tim replied breathlessly.

"Seems synergistic to me."

Tim moved, rolling over within Sam's embrace, and kissing him. He pressed his body close to Sam's and rubbed their penises together. Sam tightened his hold on Tim, running one hand down to palm his ass. He trailed his fingers down between his cheeks and stroked lightly. Tim tensed, but continued to kiss Sam and focus his attention on the front of their bodies.

"Tim, baby, I want to make love to you," Sam murmured against Tim's lips. They drew back and looked into each other's eyes. "Will you let me do that?" Tim's expression was pensive, but he slowly nodded. Sam went back to kissing him and stimulating him from behind. Tim let himself get lost in the pleasurable sensations humping their erections together, and barely noticed when Sam reached for the nightstand and the bottle of lube there. He jumped slightly when Sam's hand returned to where it had been, now cool and slick.

Tim took a deep breath and then hooked his top leg up over Sam's, giving him freer access. They continued to grind together, and Tim slowly became accustomed to Sam's gentle fingers.

Sam withdrew and rolled Tim onto his back. He kissed down Tim's body, licking and nipping until he followed the trail of hair below his navel. Tim's cock jumped in response to Sam's breath on the hypersensitive skin. Sam caught him between his lips and sucked him into his mouth. Enveloping Tim's cock, finding once again how much he enjoyed the feel of the smooth skin, the weight on his tongue and in his throat. Tim cried out Sam's name and writhed. Sam reached up and continued his fingering ministrations, trying to get Tim ready. The blow job was a perfect distraction, since Sam had discovered what they each enjoyed most over the past two days. Sam massaged the underside of Tim's dick with his tongue as he drew him in deeply, working until he he felt the head against the back of his throat, then swallowing further until his nose was buried in Tim's pubes. From the corner of his eyes, he saw Tim's hands clenching in the sheets and moaned in response. He pushed another finger inside Tim, and Tim sobbed Sam's name. One of Tim's hands came up and cradled Sam's head, stroking into Sam's hair. Sam moaned again, his own cock so hard with desire that it ached. Tim was rolling his hips forward and back, calling to Sam, and Sam thought it was time. He shifted up to lie on top of Tim. They kissed feverishly, humping against each other, and Sam finally sat back and lubed his cock liberally. He put the head tight against Tim, and looked down at his lover. Tim's eyes were wide.

"Sam, I'm scared," Tim confessed. Sam came back down to kiss him softly.

"I won't hurt you baby. I promise."

"You're just...big," Tim said. Sam stroked his hair.

"It's better than you can imagine, being so close. It's okay, it's okay," Sam reassured him. Still feeling trepidation, Tim eventually nodded. Sam sat up and wrapped one arm under Tim's hips, lifting him. He started slowly with his fingers again: first one, sliding in and out, stroking Tim's prostate every third time. Tim jumped and gasped with each stroke to the sensitive spot. Sam gently added a second finger, crooking the two every other stroke. Tim's breath whined and his head tossed.

"Oh god, Sam, Sam," he groaned. Sam scissored his fingers, stretching, pushing Tim's limits. Tim was transported by the incredible sensations. Unable to wait any longer, Sam pressed himself close, and Tim looked up at him, seeing the need, and the tenderness there, he nodded again. Sam pushed inside, feeling that the pressure was almost painful. Tim flinched, his jaw clenching, and Sam stilled. Tim was breathing shallow and he was tense with obvious pain.

"Baby?" Sam said softly. Tim bit his lip and shrugged.

"I don't know..."

Sam reached between them and began caressing Tim's still hard dick. Tim responded to the touch, sighing, concentrating on the pleasurable feelings. Sam stroked him, and Tim began to relax, but still Sam waited. Finally, Tim started to move his hips with the hand-job, and Sam carefully pressed deeper. The tight heat was tremendous. Sam shook, forcing himself not to just shove in. Tim's eyes closed and he moaned. There was a sheen of sweat across his chest, and Sam paused again, uncertain, then gasped when Tim pushed against him and he was suddenly buried fully. Tim rocked his hips back, opening his eyes to reassure Sam. Sam nodded and slowly began to move with him.

"Oh, Tim, fuck, it's so...god, so tight, baby, ah, so hot, uh, oh, Tim..."

Tim was trembling, but he called Sam's name when he raised Tim's legs and angled to hit Tim's prostate. Sam increased his speed, taking the gasping and head tossing from Tim as a positive cue. Tim wrapped his long legs around Sam, high up on his torso, vice-like. Sam felt his abdomen tightening, felt the pressure building and he stroked Tim in time with his thrusts.

"Tim, Tim, I'm close, oh fuck, I'm gonna come, oh baby, baby, god, Tim, Tim!" Sam slammed into Tim as he came, stars exploding in his vision, his entire being focused totally on his lover. Tim felt Sam's hot throbbing climax and he saw Sam's face in gloriously agonized release: Tim's back arched and his eyes shut tight as his own orgasm tore through him. His body clenched and spasmed, he wasn't sure if he screamed aloud or not; all he knew was Sam, inside him, Sam, all around him.

Sam fell on top of Tim and they lay shaking. Self-conscious of his weight on Tim, Sam started to roll to one side, but Tim's arms and legs held him fast.

"No, stay. You feel good," Tim muttered. Sam smiled and came up onto his elbows so he could look at him. Tim beamed up at him, grinning.

"I'm proud of you, baby. Thank you for trusting me," Sam said softly. Tim blushed and he shrugged.

"Thank you for making it...good. For being patient with me."

Sam kissed him slowly, lovingly.

"I'd do anything for you, Tim."

Tim's expression turned bittersweet. "Come see me soon."

"I will. I couldn't bear to stay away from you."

They showered together and spent every moment that they could in physical contact. Sam's anxiety at their imminent parting grew, and Tim found himself spending more and more of their time soothing him. After they'd eaten lunch, Tim finally drew Sam back to the bed and they lay down, Tim holding Sam close, Sam clinging to him.

"Sam, oh, Sam, it's okay," Tim whispered, stroking the broad back and sighing at the knotted muscles he felt. "We'll see each other soon. We'll find a way. I promise."

Sam snuggled close, burying his face in the crook of Tim's neck. His breath hitched, and Tim tightened his embrace, his own eyes welling in sympathy. He had friends, his team, a support structure when he left. Sam only had Dean, who loved him beyond reason but also resented him and had been verbally abusing him since his return.

"I intend to text you day and night, and I want to talk to you as much as possible while we're apart. Sam, my dear, sweet, Sam, I am here for you from now on. You'll never be alone again," Tim vowed. Sam's whole body trembled as emotion overwhelmed him.

Sam knew that he'd never have a normal life. He'd accepted that when he'd left Amelia, returning to his nomadic existence with Dean. Giving up hope, again, had been like shutting himself into perpetual darkness. Tim brought light, hope, joy, with him, and Sam clung to it like he was dying.

"Do you hear me? You aren't losing me just because we're parting. I am not going to give you up, Sam. You are not alone anymore; I'll always be here for you. Listen, Sam," Tim shook him, and was shocked at Sam's outburst. He began to sob, a wracking, horrible, choked sound. Tim sensed that Sam had never let himself go like this before, and he cried as well, for the life he knew Sam had led, so against his nature. He repeated his reassurances, and they stayed that way for long minutes until the sobs eventually slowed and stopped. Tim knew right when Sam came back to himself, becoming aware and judgmental of his total loss of control, because the exhausted relaxation became a self-conscious cringe.

Tim let Sam pull back slightly but he ducked his own head to catch Sam's downcast eye line. "Thank you, Sam. I'm so moved that you feel you can completely express your vulnerability with me. You're amazing," Tim stated sincerely. Sam stared into his eyes searchingly, breaking Tim's heart with his obvious fear of rejection. Tim kept his gaze steady, trying to show Sam that he meant every word. Swallowing hard, Sam slowly nodded and relaxed incrementally. Tim smiled.

"What can I do that will help while we're apart? I could..." Tim thought for a moment and a half-smile quirked his lips. "Give you really dark hickeys all over, or-"

Sam interrupted the mischievous teasing, still completely serious. "Make love to me again, Tim. Please, make me forget there's anything that exists outside of us."

Tim's smile changed from twinkling and adorably playful to sensuous in a blink. "It's my honor, Sam." And he kissed him. Sam kissed back with abandon, and he pressed close, needing to feel Tim over every inch of his body he could. Tim did as Sam had their first night together, arms encircling him, one leg hooking around Sam's, trying to totally surround him. The tension in Sam's body changed from stressed to aroused, and Tim smiled against his mouth. He brought one hand up to bury it in Sam's thick mane of hair, glorying in the feel of it, in the taste of Sam's mouth, the scent of sex that permeated the bed, this wonderful haven of their first experiences together. He shifted, rubbing his pelvis against Sam's, and Sam groaned. As if by telepathic agreement, they broke apart and both stripped out of their clothes as fast as they could, then came back together, Tim rolling half on top of Sam. Sam's hands roamed over Tim's back and ass, kneading the mounds, encouraging Tim to hump his body against Sam's. Tim obliged readily. He'd had so many orgasms through their time together, his urgency was much more for loving intimacy than climactic coupling, and he sensed the same need in Sam.

They took their time, kissing and touching, making out like teenagers. When Sam finally whispered his need to Tim, their lovemaking was just as unhurried. Sam had adjusted to bottoming readily, shyly enjoying the feeling of ultimate surrender and closeness. Looking down at Sam's gorgeous back, catching glimpses of his face through his hair, Tim loved Sam more than ever. The feel of being inside him, the grip and heat of his body was fantastic. Sam lost himself in sensation and the sound of Tim calling his name. When Tim finally came, Sam was again overwhelmed by the way it felt with the rhythmic pulses deep within him, and he came as well.

Curled tightly together afterward, Sam clung to the moments, desperate to keep from thinking about leaving. Tim knew where Sam's mind was and did his best to keep both their focus in the present, touching and speaking lightly of nonsense topics. But the clock advanced, and after a shower together, it was time for them to leave. They were dressed and packed and stood near the door, holding close to one another.

"Do you have a headset for hands-free on your phone?" Tim asked. Sam didn't, but Tim found his old one still in his glove box and set it up so they each had one. With a final kiss, eyes bright and full, they went to their respective cars and Tim called Sam.

"I thought we could keep talking for a while," Tim suggested. He could see Sam's smile through his window two parking spaces over.

"Yeah, thanks," Sam replied. They waved and pulled out, turning separately to go opposite directions on the highway. "This, it's really hard."

"I know. Me too. But we're gonna make this work, Sam. There's no other option. I won't give you up."

"Okay," Sam whispered. He'd never been as open and emotionally raw with anyone, and he was grateful for the person Tim was that he was safe, completely.

They talked for over an hour, until Sam needed to stop for gas.

"You sure you're okay to hang up? We can keep talking," Tim offered.

"No, I...I'll be alright."

"Call me when you get there, or sooner if you want."

"I will. I, um, I love you, Tim."

"Sam, I love you. I'll talk to you soon."

"Yeah, soon. Um, bye."

"Bye, Sam."

They disconnected with none of the juvenile playing of who should hang up first. It was painful enough.

Tim switched his music on, and every sweet love song brought more of Sam to his mind. He sang along, loud and off key, distracting himself from his worry for Sam.

When Sam got back on the highway, he let his mind settle into the relaxed but alert state he'd spent so many hours of his life in, driving the endless pavement.



Chapter Text

Chapter 5

Tim was able to get a few hours of sleep before he went to the Navy Yard. He'd technically only taken one day off, but having never done such a thing spontaneously, he wasn't sure what the reaction would be upon his return. It was anti-climactic. DiNozzo tried half-heartedly to find out why he'd been gone, and both Tony and Ziva had watched him closely through the morning. He focused hard on his work, and by Wednesday, the pressure had eased. Luckily he hadn't seen Abby since his return. He'd been able to pick Jethro up from doggie daycare rather than directly from her place.

He established new habits regarding Sam; they spoke briefly in the mornings and longer when they could in the evenings. Tim texted him every time he went to get coffee or left his desk. He tried to send at least two emails every day. The hardest thing was to go to bed and be alone. His sleep was restless.


Sam's return to normal involved a dressing down from Dean for taking off as he had, and doing lots of research to try to find a case. The texts and calls from Tim kept him calm, though missing him was a constant longing, a thought always hovering on the periphery of his mind. Possible cases Sam came up with for the next two weeks were all in the north east, but Dean insisted they work what was probably a werewolf closer to home in Nebraska because the case was time sensitive since the full moon was imminent. It went quickly, seemingly a new werewolf who had likely been bitten by another who was passing through. They continued searching for the transient but could find no evidence to identify it so the trail went cold.

Tim made it until Friday that first week without seeing Abby, but he had to bring her a hard drive for their case that morning. Abby's eyes narrowed, studying him as he walked in.

"How was your weekend, Timmy? I didn't see you online at all," she asked.

"Um, good. Here's that hard drive. Gibbs wants to know about the guy's online activities," Tim set the box on her table. He could tell she had suspicions and probably wouldn't let it go, but tried for a quick getaway. "So, hey, I'll see you later..."

She stopped him with a look. "Spill." Her eyes kept him stock still and he held out for all of two breaths.

"Okay, yes, I met someone and we spent the weekend together," he admitted. "That's it. End of story. I really have to get back upstairs-"

Abby stalked right into his personal space and looked hard into Tim's eyes. "Name?" Tim compressed his lips.


Abby nodded. "I want to meet Sam."

Tim backed away, shaking his head. He wasn't ready for this. Not to share his confusion over having a male lover or to even have the fact openly acknowledged.

"Make it happen, McGee."

Tim fled to the stairs and ran up to the squad room.

Later that day, he texted Sam.

T-Abby wants to meet u-


T-she knows your name is Sam but only has suspicions-

S-what do U want?-'d be nice to have 1 person who knows & I THINK she'll be ok-

S-u think? Other possibility?-

T-she can get weird abt my relationships, (threatened?) but w/us she has reason to be ok-

S-not her fault if u switched sides?-

T-something like that-

S-hmm...let's think more before-

T-of course. Nothing unless u agree.-

S-thx. Same note: I want to tell D when he's in good mood. That ok?-

T-completely up to u. I want to shout us from rooftops I am so in love w/u, but I know it's complicated for both of us-

S-aww. I don't wanna share u, I like our private time, but hate hiding it. Contradiction?-

T-yeah but I get it. Good luck w/D-



Sam and Dean drove up to Montana on a case Sheriff Jodie Mills found for them, then back to the bunker a week later. Sam had been agitated when they'd been out of cell contact while they were in the country, but felt better once he was able to receive Tim's texts again.

Gibbs' team worked a particularly disturbing kidnap case, and Tim asked Sam to call him when he could on the night they finished. It was after eleven when Tim's phone rang, and he quickly logged out of his game to answer.

"Hey baby, you okay?"

"Sam," Tim sighed, feeling chronic tension flow out of his shoulders at Sam's greeting. "It's so good to hear your voice."

"What's up? Sorry it's so late..."

"Just a rough case. God, I miss you."

"I wanted to wait to tell you til Dean agreed, but I found a case in Virginia. We're heading out in a few hours. I was hoping-"

"Yes! Oh Sam, please say I can see you," Tim pleaded. He felt tears coming to his eyes and only then completely realized how miserable he had been for the weeks they'd been parted.

"Mmm, that's what I want, too." Sam was choked up at the thought of seeing Tim again. "I'll text you. We'll set it up as soon as possible."

"Good. Good. I can't wait."

"I've been thinking about you every night. Remembering what it was be together," Sam whispered the confession. Tim's body stirred.

"As much as I need to see you and...hold you, I want to feel you and taste you, and..."

Sam groaned. His mind vividly supplied him with memory and he had to stop their train of thought with just that tiny suggestion. "Oh, baby, don't. I can't stand it. I need you so badly... I'll see you soon. Soon," he repeated, trying to get himself under control.

Tim sighed and clenched his jaw. Sam was right.

"So, uh, what's your case? Can I help at all?"

"Na, we'll be fine. Probably a haunting, but we'll see."

They talked for a few more minutes then signed off, both buoyed by the thought of being together again soon.

When they drove into the city, Sam immediately began to feel the pull, like a compass orienting him toward Tim. He distractedly helped Dean figure out where they'd be starting their investigation, then informed his brother he needed a few hours to see someone. Even Dean's anger at his demand while they were on a case couldn't keep Sam from arranging a lunchtime hotel rendezvous with Tim.

His whole body was tingling in anticipation as Tim checked into the hotel and texted Sam the room number. Waiting anxiously, he removed his shoes and socks but remained clothed otherwise.

The second knock had barely sounded when Tim wrenched the hotel door open and yanked a grinning Sam inside. The door slammed and became a brace for their bodies as Tim collided against him, kissing feverishly. Sam groaned and clutched Tim to him for a moment before snaking his hands up between them to unbutton Tim's shirt. Tim kept their hips plastered together, driven wild by the feel of Sam's hardness against his own. Their teeth scraped together in a brutally battling kiss. Tim's hip grinding was keeping Sam from his goal of disrobing him, so he wrapped his arms around Tim and whirled with him, effectively switching positions. Tim gave a startled yelp at the motion, but chuckled when he felt what had been done. Sam finished with his shirt and started to unfasten his belt. Tim simply slid his hands beneath Sam's t-shirt and peeled it off. The head shake Sam gave to get his hair out of his face made Tim grin; he looked like a model at a photo-shoot. Sam's expression quirked in question, and Tim shook his head.

"You're so fucking hot," Tim confessed. Sam's face turned pink and he pressed Tim back against the door, taking his hands and pinning them to either side. He kissed along Tim's jaw and nipped at his ear, breathing deeply of the smell of him, and the cologne he wore.

"Baby, I've been going crazy thinking about you. You smell so good, and oh my God, how you taste..." Sam trailed his tongue down, releasing Tim's hands and dropping his own to hold Tim's hips. He bent to suck Tim's nipple, and Tim's hands clutched Sam's shoulders. Tim moaned and one hand threaded into Sam's hair.

Sam went to his knees and finished unfastening Tim's pants. He shoved both pants and underwear down and took Tim's cock in his mouth to the hilt in one motion. Tim shouted his name, shuddering and clinging to him. Sam slid back, then took him deep again, finding the musky scent of Tim's groin even more arousing than his cologne. Sam's tongue swirled as he bobbed slowly, until Tim's hand tightened in his hair in warning. He looked up at Tim, who shook his head. With a final swipe of his tongue around the head of Tim's cock, Sam released him and stood up. Tim held fast, shaking, and Sam waited patiently, stroking the back of Tim's neck with one hand and cradling him against his chest with the other.

"I wanna come inside you, Sam," Tim breathed. Sam shuddered, the words setting him aflame with desire.

"Oh, God, yes, Tim," he answered. Tim kicked out of the clothing around his ankles, glad he'd already been barefoot. They went to the foot of the bed, and Tim unbuttoned Sam's jeans, sliding his hand inside them to touch and caress the silky skin. "Oh, baby, yeah. We've gotta do this, I'm ready to burst."

Tim smiled as he continued stroking Sam until he finally grabbed Tim's wrist, laughing breathlessly. "I'm serious, man."

Tim gave a short laugh in return. He turned to the bed to arrange the pillows while Sam took his remaining clothes off. They turned to one another and stepping back into an intimate embrace, pressing against each other while they kissed.

Sam broke away and looked at the bed. There was a pillow in the middle and he looked a question at Tim.

"I want to see your face," Tim said softly. Sam smiled tenderly and climbed onto the bed. Tim admired the gorgeous body anew and swallowed hard at the trust Sam put in him as he settled back. Tim knelt on the bed between Sam's thighs and started to lube his fingers. Sam sat up and stopped him, taking the bottle and using the liquid to stroke Tim to granite hardness. Sam's breath was coming short as he reclined, raising his hips. Tim was trembling as he pressed himself close. He reached between them and began to pump Sam.

"Oh, ah, Tim, please, baby, I need to feel you..." Sam gasped. Tim pushed slowly, his whole body tense with restraint. Sam arched up and Tim kept going, moving with inexorable slowness into the molten heat. When he bottomed out, he stopped, waiting, checking that Sam was okay. The hunter's eyes were tightly shut, his head turned to the side.

"Sam, look at me," Tim said. Sam was lost inward, balancing the pain and pleasure of having Tim inside him, trying to tip the scale to make this how he wanted it to be. He should have let Tim prepare him, he wasn't accustomed to this yet and the burning ache was intense. Tim's words registered and he opened his eyes and looked up at him. Tim's eyes were dark with his arousal, his lips had a slightly swollen puffiness, and he was the most beautiful sight Sam had ever seen. Sam smiled.

Taking the cue, Tim began to move, keeping his gaze fixed on Sam's face. Soon Sam's mouth hung open, hair fanned on the pillow, and Tim nearly wept at the perfection of the moment. He started slowly, wanting the experience to last, but it felt so good, Sam was so gorgeous beneath him; he couldn't help himself and sped up. Sam moaned loudly, and Tim shifted, adjusting to try to find the sweet spot. Sam's neck arced, his head tossing, and Tim knew he'd found it. He thrust harder, faster, driven by Sam's guttural utterances. He felt his orgasm building and pumped Sam's cock, wanting a simultaneous climax. Sam roared when his cock began to spit, and Tim shouted at the way Sam's body clenched down on him. He sobbed Sam's name, coming with tremendous long spasms, and collapsed onto the muscled expanse of Sam's chest.

Sam gratefully held Tim, stroking his back as the weight of him pinned him in the most delicious way. Their heart rates returned to normal as their breath slowed.

"Thank you, Sam," Tim murmured.

"Baby, you never need to thank me for sex. I love being with you."

Tim snuggled beneath Sam's chin and sighed. "I guess I just don't know how our protocol will be. Should we take turns or..."

Sam smiled and ran his fingers through Tim's sweat-damp hair. "We'll do whatever we want to do, Tim. It's not something we need a plan for."

"I know. I mean, well, pitching, catching, oral, it's a bit less straight forward than I'm used to," Tim explained.

"I get it; I just don't want you to worry about it. Being together is the important thing. Now we've sorted out some of the mechanics we can be spontaneous, baby. It's all about being close to the person we care about." Sam had enjoyed what they had just done immensely and was utterly spent.

Tim propped himself up, leaning up to kiss him. They lay there looking into one another for long minutes.

"How long do you have before you need to go?" Sam asked finally. Tim checked his watch.

"About twenty minutes."

"Good, I really want to hold you a while longer," Sam whispered. Tim snuggled close.

"That sounds great."

Half an hour later, Tim strode into the squad room and settled at his desk without looking at Tony or Ziva. He pulled up his current project on his computer and rapidly began typing. The two looked at him, then at each other. Slightly swollen lips, hair damply combed, a particular air of satisfied relaxation; they were astute investigators and came to the obvious conclusion.

"Lunch out with a friend," Tony said, quoting Tim from earlier that day. "Is that code for a nooner, McStudly?"

"I think I understand 'nooner' from the context," Ziva stated.

Tim's ears reddened. "I am not discussing this with you guys," he informed them, still typing.

"Uh-huh. When did you get a girlfriend? Was that what your mysterious personal leave was about?" Tony pressed. Tim set his jaw and ignored the questions.

"Good lunch, McGee?" Gibbs asked in his normal low voice as he walked past Tim's desk.

"Uh, yeah. Th-Thanks boss." McGee's whole face was red now.

"It better sustain you. We've got a dead sailor. Gear up." He grabbed his jacket and circled around back toward the elevator. "Ziva, you're with me."

"Oh-are you sure, boss? I-" Tim protested.

"McGee you're with DiNozzo."

Tim groaned inwardly at the grilling he knew he was about to endure. His phone buzzed with a text.

S-You are incredible, baby. Can't wait to see you again. Call when you can.-

Warmth suffused Tim and he shrugged, grinning. Who cared what DiNozzo was going to say?


"Sam, the case? Or are you too busy texting your girlfriend?" Dean snapped.

"One text, dude. One."

"And two hours for your booty call. Couldn't you wait til we're finished?"

Sam looked away. He hadn't been able to wait. Being this close to where he knew Tim was had been overwhelming. He'd made excuses, but it had simply come down to his desperate need to see Tim.

"Whatever. You get an address?"

"Yeah, the uncle. Let's go." Dean glanced over at Sam. "Dude, you let her give you a hickey? Button your damn collar, we're supposed to be professionals." Dean paused and peeled the collar of Sam's shirt back for a better look. "She's got a big mouth there. Maybe a little buck-toothed?" Sam jerked away, his face red, and buttoned his shirt, tightening his tie.

"Not buck-toothed," Sam muttered defensively.




Chapter Text

Chapter 6

When their case was through, Sam sent Dean back to the bunker without him, saying he'd be a few days behind.

"Am I ever gonna meet this chick?" Dean demanded.

"I don't know, Dean, can you quit being a prick for ten minutes?" Sam slung his backpack onto his shoulder. They'd been snapping and grumbling through the whole two days. "I'll see you in a few days."

"Come on, Sammy. She's not another demon is she?"

"No! Why d'you always have to bring up Ruby, dude?" Sam fumed. "I don't bug you about L-"

"I told you, Sammy. Your girl won't wanna see you with a broken nose," Dean snapped, reminding Sam of the old threat if he ever mentioned Dean's ex-girlfriend, Lisa, again.

"Then you drop it." Sam stalked away. He hated lying to Dean. They hid things from each other for substantive reasons too often, it seemed stupid to keep this simple truth from him. But there was no way in hell he was going to tell Dean when his brother was in such a foul mood.

Sam waited at the hotel for Tim. When he finally arrived, he was utterly exhausted from working for nearly 48 hours straight so Sam helped him get undressed and they went to bed. They both slept soundly, holding each other.

Tim woke mid-morning, thrilled to be wrapped in Sam's embrace. The heat against his back, the weight of Sam's arm heavy across his waist, he slight tickle of his breath on his neck, the scent of him; it was Tim's dream come true. He carefully turned, trying not to wake his partner, only to find Sam smiling and ready to give a morning kiss that made his inevitable morning erection jump and ache. Tim pushed Sam onto his back and rolled onto him, feeling Sam's own hard-on against his belly.

Sam chuckled at Tim's immediate sexual aggression upon waking, wondering if he was always this horny in the morning. He was discovering that his own response rose to match Tim's: whenever, wherever. They kissed languidly, and Sam stroked Tim's back and sides. As heat rose between them, he reached lower and held Tim's ass so he could thrust against him. Tim groaned.

"Oh god. Good morning, Sam!" Tim sighed. Sam caught Tim's full lower lip between his and sucked on it before releasing it with a pop.

"Hey baby. You gonna follow through with what you've started?"

Tim shuddered. "I'll do anything you want me to, Sam."

Sam reached for the nightstand and the lube. "Yeah you will," he replied, grinning. He felt his face warm in a flush of desire mixed with embarrassment. Tim saw the discomfort and looked concerned.

"You want to do this, right? I never want to make you-"

Sam silenced him with a kiss.

"Yeah, Tim, I want it. Kinda scares me how much," he admitted. Understanding flooded Tim and he stroked Sam's face, brushing his hair back, studying the rugged visage lovingly.

"Anything for you, Sam. Anything."

Sam's reply this time was ardent, and they made love slowly, Tim ever vigilant not to hurt Sam, and Sam still hesitant in the pleasure he took in the act.

Spending the weekend in their cocoon of TimandSam, letting the world outside be different, opposite, like a photographic negative, their reality was a private bubble of time and space. They talked, sharing the details of the minutia from their time apart, and they ate the room service food, staying in that bubble as completely as they could. Never more than a few feet apart, they were in near constant physical contact, shoulder to shoulder, leg pressed sidewise against leg as they shared the couch. Making love, snuggling tight to doze, showering, it felt to each like their breath only flowed easily when he could feel the heat of the other's body across the mere inches that separated them.

"I'd like to meet Jethro," Sam said, and Tim knew he meant the dog and not his boss. "Although I am jealous of him."

"He actually doesn't get to see me as much as you might think. With the hours I work, he probably feels more at home with the doggie day camp and kennel than at my apartment. They know they have him pretty much all week unless I come for him. He's king of the place, though. He'll play a little with the other dogs and then spend hours laying in the sun. He's getting old for a dog his size. Here," Tim pulled his laptop close from its place on the side table. "They have streaming video."

They found the shepherd doing exactly as Tim said, lying in the sun, overlooking the rest of the play yard of dogs.

"What do you think about maybe meeting Abby tonight?" Tim asked. "I want to keep you all to myself but she...she's important to me."

Sam looked at Tim, who continued to watch the video feed of Jethro, his nervousness betrayed by the pink coloring of his ears. Running his hand lightly over Tim's hair, Sam settled his hand on the back of his neck and squeezed lightly. His stomach fluttered with nerves but he squashed his discomfort.

"Anything you want, Tim."

Turning to Sam, Tim smiled shyly. "Thank you, Sam." He sent a quick message to Abby then snuggled down against Sam's chest.

Sam stroked his back, thinking, and found himself excited, but with an edge of dread creeping forth.

"This will be our first step," Sam said quietly. "Out there. Out."

"I know. I hope...I hope it goes well. She's a forensic scientist, so she could find out an awful lot about you if we're not careful."

"What if I offer my fingerprints freely? A sign of trust? I mean, if she was really likely to turn me in, you wouldn't ask me to meet her, right?"

"Um, yeah, I trust her. As long as she doesn't think you're a threat to me, it'll be okay."

"Hm, 'cause I'm not threatening at all," Sam said with uncertain sarcasm, his hands no longer lovingly stroking. Tim gave a short laugh and hugged him.

"Not to me," he assured. Sam sighed and his hands resumed their occupation. Tim's optimism was so much a part of who he was, why he brought such lightness to Sam's world, he couldn't bring himself to express any further doubts.


Sunday night at the club was quieter than other times, but the darkness suited Sam just fine as he slumped down, trying to not look quite so big. He was normally so comfortable in his own skin; it felt strange to want to be different just to make the meeting easier. They sat quietly, Tim enjoying being in public together, Sam fighting the sense that he was poised to fight or flee. He tightly controlled his breathing, waiting for Abby. When she finally approached them, she'd already been watching for several minutes. Sam stood and extended his hand to shake. She shook.

"It's really good to meet you," Sam said when Tim introduced them.

"I didn't expect you to be so tall," she replied. Her eyes took in the tension in him and she sat beside Tim, sliding her stool close.

Sam glanced at Tim. "Tim didn't tell you much about me, huh? He talks about you a lot."

"No, he really hasn't," Abby said, cocking her head and looking pointedly at Tim. He shrugged.

"C'mon, you're the only one who knows anything about Sam."

Sam took a steadying breath and passed his empty bottle to Abby, offering his fingerprints and probably DNA on the rim. "And you'll know even more, soon. I trust Tim, so I trust you."

"Discretely, please Abbs, no trace?" Tim specified, wanting her to understand how private he and Sam were. Abby frowned at him.

"That is not reassuring, McGee."

"You insisted on meeting him. It was his idea to offer his prints."

Abby had already tucked the bottle into her bag. She cocked her head at Sam.

"You'd take them anyway," Sam shrugged.

Abby's eyes narrowed. "You offered them to try to manipulate me into liking you," she accused.

"I just figured it was better to be straight with you," Sam replied. He was shaken further by meeting Abby. According to Tim she was smarter than either of them, she was stunning as well as confident, and she showed obvious affection for and protectiveness of Tim. Furthermore, she was not only the woman Tim had considered marrying: she was the only former lover of Tim's Sam had met or was likely to. She sat close beside Tim, touching his leg and leaning against him in a proprietary way. Sam set his jaw and looked away.

Oblivious to Abby's nearness, Tim leaned forward in concern, finally registering that something beyond nerves troubled his lover. "Sam?"

Sam looked back, meeting Tim's gaze, and in that brief glance, all his fear and doubt subsided. What he'd told Abby was the ultimate truth: he trusted Tim. Nothing else mattered. Tiny half smiles softened both their expressions.

"Aw!" Abby exclaimed. They turned to her.

"What?" They chorused. She pointed at them emphatically. Each raised one eyebrow.

"You two are mirroring each other. You're totally synced up!"

They glanced at each other and back to her with matching shrugs.

"Is that a good thing?" Tim asked.

"It means you've really bonded. Aww," she repeated, her whole demeanor toward Sam softening.

Tim relaxed. The evening went smoothly after that, the three of them talking and laughing like any trio of friends. Tim was thrilled that his best friend and his lover were so compatible.

Back at her lab, Abby quietly slipped the Sam-imprinted beer bottle from her bag and tucked it behind a box on the shelf. She was pretty sure she'd learned all she needed to about him. The bottle was just in case.


At the hotel, quiet seeped through the room, between them, around them, both softly clinging to their diminishing hours together. They murmured to one another as they got ready for bed, moving carefully. Sam laid down first and he barely breathed while watching Tim prepare all his things for the following day's departure. When Tim turned out the light and came to bed, they wordlessly embraced, lying face to face. In the faint light, Sam searched Tim's face for mirroring of his misery that they would soon be parted, and as his eyes adjusted, he found it precisely: Tim's eyes were large and sorrow filled, a frown brought his thick brows to nearly meet along twin furrows, and his normally pouty bottom lip had nearly subsumed the top. Sam finally took a deep breath, relieved they were on the same page, but saddened that Tim was upset, then kissed him. The tension so typical of Sam's stress reaction seemed to have transferred to Tim as he held himself still, imagining that maybe, if they both froze, they'd be able to stretch the moments out. But Sam wasn't frozen with him, and his lips grew insistent on Tim's. When Tim didn't respond in kind, a soft whimper from Sam shattered his illusive fancy, breaking him down into his essential needs.

Tim's switch from unresponsive to primally lustful happened in an instant, and Sam felt for that instant that the Earth's axis must have shifted as well. Tim rolled on top of him, kissing with manic ferocity, hands roaming, nails trailing red lines into Sam's sides, tongue plundering, legs twining, sudden erection pressing tightly against Sam's belly. Sam couldn't breathe, but he didn't care. Moaning into Tim's mouth, Sam clutched his lover, his long arms wrapping fully around him, squeezing until Tim was as breathless as he was. Long minutes passed until they broke away gasping.

"Sam, oh, oh, my Sam. God, I don't wanna leave you tomorrow," Tim's voice whined in an anguished whisper. Sam choked and buried his face against Tim's neck.

"Me too. Me too," he replied miserably.

" do we do this?"

"I don't know. I...I don't know, Tim. Please... Please, make me forget. Make it all just- go away. For a while."

"Oh, Sam. Sam. I will. Anything, for you."

Tim began kissing him again, this time with sensual passion instead of feral desperation. He felt Sam give himself up to it, to what Tim was doing, and it made him lightheaded at the surrender. He slid his tongue against Sam's then across his jaw, tracing the edge of his sideburn to flutter against his ear, letting his breath tantalize. Sam had his hands on Tim's hips, his thumbs moving in circles on the smooth skin, keeping his awareness totally focused. Down Sam's neck, nibbling, licking, under his chin, back up the other side, Sam moved to make his skin more accessible. Roughness, beard rasping against his tongue, then the soft skin of his earlobe, the fullness of his lips; Tim found bliss in the textural differences as he moved. Sucking on Sam's tongue, Tim felt Sam's hips grind upward, both of them shuddering and sighing.

Adding his hands to the tactile exploration of his lover, Tim ran them through Sam's hair, enjoying the strands slipping against the webbing and across his palms. What he enjoyed more was Sam's reaction, like a cat arching into a caress. Rolling their bodies again, Tim settled behind Sam, spooned up, and kissed the back of his neck, continuing across his shoulders. With his hand free to roam through the light chest hair and begin to flick at his nipples, Tim added slightly harder love bites to his movement on Sam's upper back. Moaning again, Sam arched his back and pushed himself toward Tim. Tim's breath hitched and his fingers pinched Sam's nipple in response. The low grunt he got in return made Tim buck his hips, his desire to be inside Sam rising.

"Sam, oh, Sam, I want you..." Tim whispered. Sam arched again and Tim felt himself throb in response.

"Yes, Tim, god, yes, please, I need you, baby, please..." Sam groaned.

Tim retreated just long enough to grab the lube, then moved back to the warm embrace. He lubed his fingers and brought his hand between them.

"I'm ready, Tim, please, fill me up, I need to feel you," Sam insisted when he felt the exploring fingers. Tim changed course, rubbing the lube onto his penis instead. He bent his legs, encouraging Sam to curl up so he could get close behind, then lined up and carefully pushed inside. Heat. Pressure. Friction. Sam's body slowly opening before him, the muscles working like a hand fisted around him and his voice joined Sam's in crying out with pleasure.

It was so good, so perfect, Sam felt tears start filling his eyes and a memory rose like a bubble and popped into his mind: Dean, at the mystery spot, trying to challenge Sam's insistence that he'd lived the same day over and over, reciting a litany of insults including 'Sam Winchester cries his way through sex.' A laugh burst out, and he knew Tim's insecurities well enough that he followed the sound by calling reassurance to him.

"Tim! Oh god it feels so good! Yes, baby, yes!" Sam cried, and Tim responded with enthusiastic thrusting. Sam's words devolved into inarticulate groans, and he let the tears come. Pleasure rolled out in waves from where Tim moved, his hardness like a tide crashing into him, cresting, breaking, tumbling. Conscious awareness ceased, there was only sensation: the repeating collision of their bodies, Tim's breath on his neck, the fullness, the complete connection he felt. And then the electric quivering, up his legs, tightening, bringing the unbearable buildup.

There was a sound coming from Sam, a primal, low rumbling from between clenched teeth, and it was increasing in volume as well as pitch. Tim could feel Sam's muscles rippling, bunching, and that, coupled with the sound, the amazing sound, now rising to a roar, was sending him into raptures himself. Sam's body clamped down and he screamed a deep, masculine howl. Tim was undone. He came, glad to be lying down as he saw fireworks, explosions as his optic nerve reacted to the pressure in his whole body as he exploded in exaltation.

Tim's awareness returned and he was sobbing, repeating Sam's name over and over. Sam turned and enveloped him, arms, legs, even his hair seemed to embrace him. Slowly, Tim calmed, the warmth, the smell, the blessed familiarity bringing him back to something approaching his normal self, and he fell into a physically and emotionally exhausted sleep.

Sam stayed awake after he knew Tim slept, his mind in a daze from the intensity to which their coupling had risen. Tim had certainly done as he'd asked and made everything else in existence vanish from his awareness. Even contemplating their parting in the morning now only gave him a distant sense of unease. Tim was so real and present held close in the moment that tomorrow was suddenly a lifetime away. Kissing the side of Tim's head where it snuggled in the crook of his neck, Sam hugged him tighter and sighed, breathing in the scent of him, of sex and sweat. He was wholly content. He smiled. He was whole.

Waking, making love again, this time laughing, relaxed, casual, it was abruptly time to go and twin lumps formed in their throats. Wordlessly they held each other, and with soft kisses, reluctantly parted ways. Tim drove to the Navy Yard in silence, and Sam put headphones on as he settled in for a long bus ride back to Kansas.



Chapter Text

Chapter 7

The resort was remote and beautiful. In the time it took Gibbs to park the car, McGee realized that there were a lot more men than women around. In fact, he saw but a single woman, and there were several pairs of men who were obviously couples.

Gibbs had come down from the director's office and stopped at Tim's desk. "Special assignment. You got your go bag? Good. Gear up. DiNozzo, hold down the fort." And then the silent, uncomfortable drive all the way up to this remote location. Gibbs had finally spoken as they turned off the two lane road onto a rural, though still paved, track.

"SecNav's son was raped. He wants it kept quiet, but he wants the guy caught."

"He can't ID the perp?"

"It was dark, in the woods. He was drunk."

"Got it."

They parked, and McGee hesitated, though after seeing that this appeared to be a gay retreat, asked the question he really needed the answer to. "Why'd you ask me along on this one, boss?" The reply he got was that particular tilt of head and shoulders, the eye roll, which said: Don't ask me a question you already know the answer to.

"I see. So... How long have you known?" Tim swallowed hard.

"Does it matter?" Gibbs got out of the car and Tim hurried to follow.

Tim sighed, then suddenly realized that it might matter, not how long he'd known, but the fact he did. "I don't know, does it?"

Gibbs gave another look, but Tim shook his head. "Boss, I need to hear it."

"McGee, I don't care," his voice sounded exasperated, implying 'why are we still talking about this?'

Tim sighed and they walked up the steps of the main building. He was shaken but admittedly not all that surprised. Gibbs knew everything.

Both men suffered frank appraisal as they pursued their investigation. Gibbs appeared oblivious, but it made Tim uncomfortable. He found himself looking around and wondering if he should be feeling something about the attractive staff of young men. In the course of his normal life, he still found women attractive and desirable, but he felt nothing looking at these people. The head of security for the resort reminded him of Sam when they approached him to ask for access to their camera footage, and the resemblance made him miss his lover, but when the man flirted with him, he felt no response.

By the time they solved the case and made their arrest of a man from the nearest town, Tim had worked through his confusion. He loved Sam the person, so the fact he was a man didn't mean Tim had somehow become gay. They'd agreed that first time they were together that they both still felt straight, save for the bond that had grown over the course of their lives.

Having seen the easy, open affection among the guests, Tim was wistful. He daydreamed about Sam meeting him in the squad room for lunch, about holding his hand and walking along the mall in the spring when the cherry trees bloomed. It was complicated, out there. But here... The resort was all about discretion. He had the money, if they could make the time. He started to get excited about the possibility and couldn't wait to get home and discuss it with Sam.

He had to bring up his personal observation first, though, when Sam called him and he lay in bed talking with him late that night.

"Do you think it's weird I don't find any other men attractive? I mean, you are incredibly sexy to me: empirically, actually, and I love having sex with you, but I was surrounded by buff guys and...nothing," Tim offered.

Sam was in Nevada, standing in the back yard of the abandoned house where he and Dean were staying, leaning against a twisted pine tree. "No. I don't find any appeal in other guys, either. It's"

"If we never had any inclination that way, how did this even happen?"

Sam smiled. "Profound bond."

"Isn't that what Cas said about Dean?"

"Yeah," Sam chuckled.

"You think Dean ever...?"

"No way. Bond or not, the idea would never even cross his mind."

"Hmm. Then how did it cross yours?"

"I'm a little more self-aware and reflective than Dean."

Tim gave a snort. "A little?"

"Yeah, well." Sam smiled ruefully, thinking that it was a little strange that Tim could know his brother so well, never having met him. He shrugged to himself, chalking it up to one of the few positive things from having the Supernatural books written about them.

"I've been thinking that we need to get away. Maybe go someplace we wouldn't have to hide, you know," Tim said, trying to sound casual.

"What-private island?" Sam suggested facetiously. Uneasiness made him shift from the casual pose against the tree to pacing, his shoulders tense.

"I'm serious. I want to see you outside of a hotel room, Sam."

"I get it," Sam said softly. Tim was honest to a fault; hiding who he was went against his nature. Tim proudly showed his geek flag and took his lumps for it, no matter what. It was another stark contrast between them in Sam's mind. He'd hidden his true self all his life, pushing his intellect and compassion down to keep it from his father’s notice, then hiding his hunting life from everyone at college as well as the outside world, and now trying to keep his love for Tim from Dean. "I just, I don't know if I'm ready for that."

Tim frowned. This wasn't the reaction he'd hoped for. "I want to hold hands. I wanna kiss in public, hug, not worry who's watching, what judgments people are making, any of that..." Tim hesitated. "Maybe it's dorky, but, Sam... I just wanna hold your hand when we go for a walk," Tim's voice dropped in embarrassment.

"Baby," Sam sighed. He stopped walking and squeezed his eyes shut. It was killing him to deny Tim, to hear the pleading, the need, in his voice and not to answer it. "Where?" He whispered.

"Oh, Sam, really? Are you sure?"

The excitement and hope broke Sam's heart. "Yeah, Tim. Anything you want."

Tim didn't let himself hear the trepidation in Sam's voice, he just told Sam where to be and when, and they disconnected. He reserved a beautiful private suite at the resort, excitedly told Abby while asking her to care for Jethro, and received a great deal of teasing about his 'glow' from Tony and Ziva over the next ten days.

Sam's demeanor was subdued when they met in town and Sam joined Tim in his car for the last of the drive. Tim was so excited he failed to see the dark brooding in Sam's eyes and the stiff set of his body. He had Sam wait in the car while he checked in then enthusiastically brought Sam to their suite. Tim was nearly wriggling, and Sam had to smile, some of the dread that had been shadowing his mind since he'd agreed to come lifting with Tim’s eagerness.

In the room, Tim turned to watch his reaction.

"Oh my God, Tim, this place is beautiful!" Sam looked like the proverbial slack-jawed yokel gaping at their room, wandering across the thick carpet to look at everything. A wall of windows faced a peaceful looking forest; the furniture was all overstuffed and looked extravagantly comfortable while stylish. The vaulted ceiling arched above them, and the fireplace had seating as well as an extra plush hearth rug. Sam went up the stairs and grinned at the huge California king sized bed, ducking his head into the bathroom and laughing at the giant tub set in the floor. Tim followed, studying Sam with delight.

"You like it? I knew you would. And you know the best part?" Tim enthused. Sam looked at him. "It's a gay resort." Sam's eyebrows rose while his stomach fell to his knees. "Sam..." Tim approached him and took his hand, lacing their fingers together. "We can hold hands. In public, we can kiss, hug, all those things we talked about..." His eyes sparkled as the words tumbled out. Sam stood enthralled by this excited puppy version of Tim. He pulled him close, keeping their fingers entwined and hugging him tightly with his free arm. He couldn't bear to point out that all those things were what Tim had spoken of, not Sam.

"Let's get our stuff and get settled," Sam suggested, voice rough. He went back down the stairs and didn't see the hurt confusion on Tim's face.

They unpacked, Sam working as slowly as he could, and then Tim immediately wanted to show Sam around the resort. Sam gritted his teeth and gave a short nod. Escorting Sam to the door, Tim opened it gallantly and held it for his lover. While admiring Sam's shoulders, he finally recognized the knotted muscles and stopped. Sam paused in the hallway when he didn't feel Tim join him, and he turned back in concern just in time to witness the expression on Tim's face slide from thrilled joyfulness to general concern to blanching dismay.

Tim watched Sam's shoulders hunch further, looking like an abuse victim getting up the nerve to placate a tormentor and he stumbled back into the suite, afraid he would vomit. Sam followed quickly.

"Tim, baby, what is it? You alright?" He asked, reaching out to him.

Tim bent forward, bracing his hands on his thighs as the twisting of his stomach made him fight nausea. How had he missed it? Why had he forced Sam, his Sam, to come here when he didn't want to, obviously wasn't ready? Anguish shifted to anger: why hadn't Sam said anything?! He straightened, and the glare he gave Sam made him choke and step back. Tim's face fell when he saw he was exacerbating the hurt he'd caused and he turned away, walking to the far wall with its floor to ceiling windows overlooking the New England woods he'd dreamed of them hiking together. Feeling the air shift, he sensed Sam behind him and he took two shaky breaths before he turned around and gently enveloped Sam, burying his face against Sam's neck, wrapping his arms around the broad shoulders and pulling him close. He felt Sam's hesitation and his heart broke a little more but he was relieved when Sam slid his big hands around his waist.

"I screwed up, Sam," Tim whispered. A tremor went through Sam and his grip on Tim tightened protectively.

"What? No, it's me, I-"

"Sam!" Tim drew back to meet his eyes. He sighed. Sam's pattern: take the blame; sacrifice himself, his happiness, for others. How had he forgotten that? Tim angled his head and they moved over to a big loveseat and sat down, Tim taking Sam's hand. His mind worked feverishly, trying to find the best way to address the issue without further hurt.

"When we were first gonna have sex, and I freaked out, but I didn't say anything, you felt bad, right?" Tim kept his voice low, aware of his tone, his facial expression, body language, everything. Sam frowned but nodded, seeing how tightly under control Tim held himself. "You didn't want to hurt me or upset me or make me do anything I wasn't ready for, right?" Again the slow nod. "You caught it in time. I didn't. You told me you weren't ready for us to be out in public, and I made you meet Abby, and dragged you all the way out here-" Tim's voice broke, his control wavering. "This is on me. I screwed up, and I'm so sorry..."

Sam's face was a mask of pain. He pulled Tim close. "Oh, Tim, I wanted you to have what you wanted. I should be able to do this, I-"

"Sam! There is no should in this. I want complete honesty between us. If you're not ready, we're not ready."

Sam's face reddened in shame but he still argued. "I can sacrifice for us. I can do something that makes me uncomfortable to make you happy. That's part of loving someone, Tim."

"Compromise isn't the same as dysfunction."

Sam's back slowly straightened as he leaned away from Tim warily, his expression suddenly blank. "What do you mean by that?"

Tim pressed his lips together. "Yes, agreements can be made in compromise, but it gets dysfunctional when it isn't an agreement, it's an assumption, and real hurt is caused. Your family pattern is dysfunctional, Sam. You know that."

"Leave Dean out of this," Sam said lowly.

"Please don't speak to me through clenched teeth. Now may not be the time to talk about Dean, but my point is valid, and made to try to keep our relationship healthy," Tim said, his voice tremulous. He was terrified that he'd say the wrong thing and Sam would leave, but he'd vowed honesty and wouldn't back down on that.

Sam's brittle defensiveness about Dean shattered and he drooped, shoulders sagging and head falling forward; there were tears in his eyes, tears of frustration with himself for making Tim feel bad about the resort, and then worse with his poor communication skills. He set his jaw and tried not to cry, chastising himself, groaning when he recognized the critical mental voice accusing him of acting like a girl sounded like Dean.

"Sam?" Tim breathed. Sam shook his head, trying to get himself under control. His hair was a curtain hiding his face from Tim. "C'mon. Please, what are you thinking?” Tim’s gut was a roiling basket of snakes. What if this screwup had alienated Sam? What if he’d pushed too far and this couldn’t be mended? What if… He needed to know. “I-I... I'm scared you're thinking about leaving me," Tim confessed in a pained whisper. Sam's head snapped up.

"Baby, no! God, no. No way." Sam put his arms around Tim and kissed his forehead then pulled him close. "I may not be ready to be all open like you are, but I... I need you, Tim. You-you're like breathing. You're...essential." He tried to figure out a better way to express it, a way to show him, and the tears finally overflowed when he found himself at a loss. "I'm sorry, baby. I'm sorry. I'm sorry."

Tim relaxed in relief and held him more confidently. He could face anything but losing Sam. Navigating his lover's troubled emotional waters, encouraging him to find a way to have boundaries with his brother, standing up to anyone and anything that challenged their relationship: Tim was ready. As long as he had Sam, anything else was possible. He soothed Sam, letting him ride out the pain, reassuring him that anything Sam wanted would be fine with him.

When Sam calmed, Tim smoothed the long hair out of his face and kissed him tenderly. "What I'm thinking, and you better say if this isn't okay with you, is we enjoy this room. We order in, make a fire in the fireplace, try out that tub, look at our amazing view, and make love on every horizontal surface in here. Maybe some of the vertical ones, too. How does that sound?"

Sam smiled a little, then it faded. "Baby, I know you wanted to get out and-"

"Does my new plan have any flaws? Do you want to make any amendments to it?" Tim interrupted. Sam pressed his lips over a smile and shook his head.

"Good," Tim said. He kissed Sam, then grinned. "You wanna get naked?"

Sam laughed.


Their parting after the rapidly amended getaway weekend was as frustrating and painful as any other, and while memories brought joy, the grind of the mundane, or in Sam's case, the infernal, was bleakly depressing. Tim felt like all the color was leached out of the world when Sam was so far away, and Sam's sullen moping drove Dean to drink even more than usual, finding excuses to split up more often as well.

Pissed at Sam's moodiness, Dean had hooked up and gone home with a waitress, so Sam took advantage of being alone and lay naked in bed, talking on the phone with Tim.

After several minutes of their usual domestic niceties Sam playfully began to drop innuendos into the conversation.

"What are you doing?" Tim laughed, calling him on his lascivious talk. Sam chuckled, blushing at getting caught out.

"Well, Dean's not here, you're home: alone, I presume..."

"Of course," Tim reassured. "So you wanna..."

"I don't know, I just thought we could try it, but if it makes you uncomfortable-"

"It doesn't, Sam, I love it when you talk dirty. I've never felt like I'm very good at it is all, that's why I don't do it much."

"What makes you think that? Oh-it's the vocabulary, isn't it? I bet you think in anatomical terms, don't you? Yeah, that's not very sexy."

"God, you know me so well. That's exactly it. The colloquialisms just don't come naturally."

"Let's start there. What words are you comfortable using that aren't from a textbook?"

"Uh...I don't know..." Tim shrugged.

"Baby, c'mon, it's okay. You know I'm not gonna laugh at you. What do you like more: cock or dick?"

"Dick I guess. Cock seems too...porny."

"Okay. So... Tim, I love having your dick in my mouth," Sam offered. And Tim's dick stirred at the words.

"Oh boy, that's...that's really hot, hearing you say that."

Sam smiled. "So tell me you like it," he prompted.

"I do."

"Use the same words, baby. Practice, practice."

Tim swallowed audibly and his voice dropped to a whisper. "I love it when you...suck my dick."

Sam shuddered. "Oh, yeah."

Tim smiled at the throatiness in Sam's voice, pleased with the response. He shifted himself in his pants as he hardened. "So what should I say instead of orgasm and semen?" Tim asked shyly.

"Come, for both is good. As in, you make me come harder than I ever have in my life."

"Oh God," Tim sighed. "Y'know, when you talk when we're - getting physical, it is so arousing. I still think about what you said the first time we..."

"What did I say?" Sam asked. His hand slid under the sheet.

"You-you said you wanted to feel-"

"Say it the way I said it."

Tim paused. His dick was throbbing. This was something he'd never done before, and it was difficult to push himself to do it, but highly erotic as well. He freed himself from his pants and squeezed his erection.

"I wanna feel you come in my hand," Tim finally repeated. "Come for me. Let me take you there."

"Ah, fuck, baby, that's so hot." Sam began to stroke himself. "What are you doing when you think about me saying that?"

"The same thing I'm doing now, Sam."

Sam groaned. He imagined what Tim's face looked like, pale skin flushed, eyes dilated. "Describe what you're doing."

Tim thought he could hear the soft susurration of Sam touching himself, and he more firmly started doing the same. "You first, Sam."

"Mmm, okay. I'm picturing you lying in bed with your hand on your dick. I know just how you look when you're getting started, and it's gorgeous." Sam's breath quickened "I'm naked in my bed, and you saying this shit has me so fucking hard, I started jacking myself."

Tim's breath caught. "You've gotta let me watch you do that sometime. You have the most perfect body; I can't imagine anything more amazing than seeing that. Well, anything I'm not involved in. I-I'm stroking myself, slow, enjoying it, wishing you were here to suck me off."

"Tim!" Sam gasped. "God, if I was there, baby, I'd take you deep, your dick filling my mouth, my throat. I love how you taste, how you smell..."

Tim moaned. He could just see Sam bent over him, deep-throating him, hair swaying as he moved up and down. "Oh, oh, yeah. I love it when you do that. My god, it's so sexy. If you were here I wouldn't - come - in your mouth, though. I'd want to come inside you. You're so hot, almost too hot, and tight, and the sounds you make, the way you groan..."

"God, Tim, yeah - I want you to stand behind me - bend me over - I wanna feel you - deep inside me. Oh baby - you fill me up - you make me feel so - so connected to you," Sam was speaking in a choppy cadence as he got closer to his climax.

"Sam, Sam, oh, I wanna feel you, I wanna hold your hips and bury myself in you, make you mine, you're mine, Sam, always, oh god, I love you," Tim's own orgasm was building. "I need you. I need to come, come inside you, oh Sam, Sam, Sam..."

"That's it, baby - yeah, god - when you come inside me - the pulsing, the heat - your voice calling my name - oh fuck, baby - I'm coming, coming - now, ah, Tim!"

"Yes, oh, Sam, Sam! Yes, Sam!" Tim came in powerful spurts, whining, crying Sam's name, imagination providing wonderful stimulus.

Sam shuddered, nearly sobbing in conclusion as his body jerked and the come shot all over his chest.

They gasped into their phones, slowly calming.

"I wish I was there to hold you, baby," Sam finally spoke. He reached for the nightstand and tissues to clean up with. Tim was already cleaning up with his usual cloth and he swallowed hard.

"Every night I fall asleep imagining you're here, Sam. It's the most perfect feeling, your arms, the heat of you, your breath on my neck," Tim said.

"Home. Home is waking up to feel you beside me. I...I don't think I've ever had that before."

"Oh, Sam," Tim sighed. "Can you come here for a while? Please? Come and stay with me, at my apartment, so that I can come home to you every night and wake up in your arms every morning? It..." Tears filled Tim's eyes. "It's like I can't breathe with you so far away."

"That sounds..." Sam's heart pounded with the rush he felt at Tim's words. "But, it's not safe, is it? For you, I mean..."

"I was waiting to tell you, but...I've been, uh, hacking. Burying your criminal records under your aliases and beefing up your real presence as you. I hope you aren't mad..."

"Tim, don't risk that shit for me! You... Baby, you have a real life that's important and you can't-"

"I'm good, Sam. I've learned so many tricks, and I've created even more. I've worked cybercrimes and I know exactly what I'm doing and how to cover my tracks. I promise, I won't get caught, I won't get in trouble. I just... Sam, I need to be able to be with you, in the open. Eventually, anyway. For now, I just need you here. It's only been a week apart, but it feels like a year. Tell me you'll come."

"I can't deny you anything," Sam whispered, shaken by the bald truth of the statement. "I'll work it out. I'll come, soon."

Tim's breath hitched and he swallowed hard to cover up the fact he was crying. "Good," he choked out. "Good."


Chapter Text

Chapter 8

Convincing Dean he needed time away again involved Sam listening to days of tirade after tirade from his brother until Dean finally subsided into icy, glaring silence. Sam packed his backpack and said good-bye, promising to return. Dean did not respond.

Arriving in Silver Spring, Sam let himself into Tim's apartment with the key Tim had sent him. Slipping inside, he shut the door softly behind himself and let his backpack slide from his shoulder and rest against the wall as he looked around. Slowly, he made his way around the apartment, orienting himself where everything was. There was a note on the counter in the kitchen:

Sam- Welcome home! I'll be here as soon as I can. What's mine is yours. -Tim

Sam smiled. He could imagine Tim's excitement and shared it. He couldn't wait for Tim to get home. Filling a glass of water, he went back to the shelves of books and read titles. An hour later when Tim got home, Sam was lounging on the sofa, reading. Tim dumped the takeout bags of food on the counter, dropped his work gear and rushed to hug Sam.

"Hi honey, how was your day?" Sam said in a fake syrupy voice.

Tim leaned back so Sam could see him roll his eyes, then he kissed him deeply. Sam's arms tightened around him, crushing him against the broad chest, lifting him until Tim stood on tiptoes, then slowly letting him down. Tim laughed breathlessly when they broke apart, and Sam grinned at the way Tim's eyes sparkled.

"I brought food. I thought we could cook and eat in this weekend, but tonight, I hope Chinese is okay," Tim's words came out in a rush, and he tugged Sam with him as he went back to the kitchen. "I was in the lab all day with Abby, so I didn't really eat, just drank her Caf-Pow, so I'm starving. I got two different samplers since I'm not sure what you like-"

"Whoa baby, slow down," Sam requested, smiling. Tim had set out the food, easily enough for four people, and was busily opening cartons as he continued speaking rapid-fire. He stopped mid-sentence, lips pursed, eyebrows raised, and Sam's heart clenched at the sight. Of their own accord, Sam's hands came up to cup Tim's face, and Sam just stared. Tim swallowed hard, awed by the look in Sam's eyes. Tim's eyes flicked to one side, then back to Sam.

"Oh-kay," Tim drawled. "Sam... Are you gonna kiss me, or are we gonna eat, or what?"

Sam threw his head back and laughed, and he drew Tim into a hug. He pulled back, still grinning at Tim's expression, which was now confused. "Ah, Tim, you are just so..."

"What?" Real worry clouded Tim's eyes, and Sam stroked his cheek lovingly.

"Beautiful," Sam whispered. Tim's mouth quirked, obviously dissatisfied with Sam's choice of word. Sam hugged him again, then pushed back. "In the most masculine use of the word, of course," Sam clarified and slapped Tim on the back. Tim shook his head mutely and returned to the food.

"Anyway, take whatever you want, I'll eat any of it," Tim spoke quietly. He opened the last carton and stepped back, indicating Sam should go ahead. Sam blindly grabbed a carton and chopsticks. Tim took another, and they moved into the other room and sat on the couch. They ate in silence for several minutes until Sam finally put down his half-eaten food.

"I'm right, aren't I? Beautiful. It's a gender biased word and you think I'm making some kind of judgment," Sam asked, concerned.

Tim chewed the bite in his mouth carefully, using the time to consider. "I don't know, exactly. I mean, yes, I do feel weird about you calling me beautiful. And perception, cultural bias probably has something to do with it. Sam, look at you, then at me. Can you understand I might feel extra sensitive to a suggestion of emasculation?"

Sam slid close and put his arm around Tim. He took a deep breath. "Not my intention, ever, to hurt you in any way, Tim. Look, let me just be blunt here. Sexually..." Sam hesitated, struggling to say words that would cement the realizations he'd had. "Fuck," he muttered. "Okay, I get it. I'm having trouble of the exact same sort right now. I think... I mean, dude, I love to deep throat your dick and take it up the ass, okay? What the hell does that say about me?"

Tim nearly dropped his food. His mouth opened and no sound came out, and so he snapped it shut. He put his food aside and turned to face Sam, who looked pale and shamefaced. "Oh, Sam," Tim breathed. He wrapped his arms around him, and, when that wasn't enough, climbed into Sam's lap, straddling him and holding him close. Sam's return embrace was hesitant. "I love you, Sam. I'll be with you any way I can for every moment I can for the rest of my life, and I don't give a shit what anyone thinks about what we do in private." Sam's arms tightened around him, vice-like, and he stroked Sam's hair and back. Sam raised his face to Tim, who look advantage and kissed him passionately. His tongue slid roughly into Sam's mouth, scraping against his teeth. Tim's plush lips, so insistent against his made Sam feel wild. Sam growled and clawed at Tim's back. Tim shuddered. "I want you, Sam. Now." Sam nodded in agreement and stood, lifting Tim, who wrapped his legs around Sam's waist, laughing. "You are so damned strong, Sam. How could you ever feel less than a pinnacle of masculinity?" Sam blushed, and he carried Tim to the bedroom. He heaved Tim onto the bed and then pulled his shirt off. Tim looked up at the perfectly defined muscles of Sam's chest, at the chiseled abs. "You are an Adonis," Tim said, his voice husky. Sam stripped completely and climbed naked onto the bed beside Tim.

"I'm yours, Tim. Whatever else I am is secondary. That's all I care about."

"Mine. Oh god yes." Tim pushed Sam onto his back and kissed him deeply, then slid his tongue along his jaw and down his neck. He gently bit and sucked, and Sam sighed, arms lightly holding Tim. Tim explored lower, running his mouth over every indent of definition on Sam's chest, stopping only to suck hard on his nipples before gliding across the tan six pack. Sam trembled and shook, electricity jumping through his body at every touch. Tim moved down, pushing Sam's legs apart so he could kneel between them. A long swipe up the underside of Sam's massive hard-on, and Tim moved lower still. Sam moaned Tim's name, body tense and shaking. Tim carefully sucked first one, then the other of Sam's balls into his mouth, wondering at the sensation, enjoying the gasping sounds Sam was making, the smell of Sam. He pushed Sam's legs up and apart and ran his tongue along the crease of Sam's thigh. Tim looked at Sam spread before him and moaned at the sight. He held Sam's hard thighs and plunged in, tonguing Sam's hole. Sam shouted incoherently, hips rolling. Tim held him firmly and worked the tight ridge of flesh, wanting, needing, to have every experience of Sam. The taste and smell of him was earthy and somehow pure, pure Sam.

Sam had never felt anything like it before. Sparks of sensation shot out from the contact, racing along his nerves and he felt light-headed. His body jerked and quaked and he cried out and groaned unintelligibly.

Tim used his saliva as lubricant and slid a finger inside Sam and began to stroke in and out. He propped himself up so he could look up the long expanse of Sam's body to see his expression. Head tossed to the side, hair stuck across the sweat on his forehead, eyes squeezed shut, mouth open, panting: Tim was devastated by the utter, wanton surrender of Sam. Tears filled his eyes at the extremity of his emotional response. The moment seared into his memory, and he froze.

When Sam's mind caught up to Tim's hesitation, his eyes slowly opened and he looked down. The tears on Tim's lashes glistened and Sam reached for him, drawing him up to cradle him against his body. The loss when the intense stimulation ceased was shocking, but Sam ignored it in concern. Tim lay on top of the nude Sam, still fully clothed, and wept, overwhelmed. Sam held him, stroking his neck and back, murmuring to him.

"Baby, baby, please talk to me. Tell me what's going on. C'mon, Tim, it's okay, it's fine. Just talk to me, baby, please? "

Tim finally looked at Sam through his wet eyelashes. "I-I get it. The beautiful thing. Sam, you are the most beautiful sight I've ever seen..."

Sam smiled and pulled Tim into a kiss. When they broke apart, Sam started unbuttoning Tim's shirt. "You know I absolutely have to have you now, right? My god..." Sam paused in undressing Tim. "Baby, I keep thinking I couldn't possibly love you more, then you-you, Tim, you're so you! And there it goes. I love you. I love you more than I can ever say," Sam said huskily. Tim smiled and helped Sam get the rest of his clothes off. Tim quickly lubed himself and settled back atop Sam. Sam raised his legs, and positioning himself, Tim slowly slid inside. They held eye contact, both taking shuddering deep breaths. Tim lay forward, fully sheathed within Sam, and Sam raised his head and they kissed long and lovingly. Tim broke it and withdrew slightly, then pressed deep again. Sam gasped, and Tim did it again and again, with a long pause between each, staring into Sam's eyes the whole time.

"Oh god, Tim, please, more, please baby," Sam begged. Tim smiled and acquiesced. He began long deep strokes, and it seemed Sam's acknowledgement of his preference for bottoming freed him. His hips rose to meet each thrust, and they moved in perfect harmony. Tim felt Sam's body gripping him, massaging him, and he could barely breathe.

"Oh, Sam, oh, Sam," he sighed, repeating it with every exhalation. Sam smiled to hear it and began rocking his hips harder, experimenting, finding different ways to grip Tim, gaining knowledge with each stroke of what Tim liked, what he himself liked. It felt good to explore all the amazing possibilities of making love to Tim as 'catcher'.

Tim retaliated, shifting and pushing Sam's legs higher, angling so he was stimulating his prostate. Sam cried out, losing his ability to strategize or think in any way. Tim gave a breathless laugh, loving how Sam lost all control.

Sam looked up at the sound and grinned in return. He grabbed the back of Tim's neck and pulled him down into a violent kiss, throwing off his rhythm. Sam squeezed tightly, clenching his powerful muscles and Tim nearly squealed. Sam laughed and started a slow, gentle rocking, softening his kiss to tenderness. Tim followed the lead and moved with him, still angling for Sam's sweet spot. The pace allowed for more sensuous connection, and they looked deeply into each other's eyes. They moaned in concert and began to gain momentum. Tim could sense his climax building, rising volcanic from deep inside. Sam saw the change in Tim's expression and his own arousal increased. Tim stared down into Sam's green eyes and lost himself there as he tumbled over the cusp. Sam held tight to Tim when he felt the turgid pulses begin inside him and cried out as his own release followed. The individual men of Sam and Tim melted, melding into a single being of pleasure and love.

When one became two again, Sam spoke, voice barely audible to Tim who lay atop him, head resting on Sam's chest. "Stay with me forever."

"Always, Sam. For as long as you'll have me."

"Forever, Timothy McGee."



After the couple had cleaned up and finished eating, Tim excitedly showed Sam the video game which was his current favorite. He got his laptop going so they could both play, and they spent the evening slaying monsters together. Sam refrained from too many comments about how game monsters generally died more readily than real ones.

When they closed the game down and stood to stretch, Tim looked at his watch. "Maybe a little early, but we could get ready for bed... Read or something?"

Sam grinned. "Something? I could probably think of something..."

"Insatiable, hmm? I didn't want to assume, after earlier, but I've been thinking about our phone call," Tim admitted. Sam pulled him close, holding his waist. Tim brought his hands up to Sam's shoulders, one inevitably sliding across to play with his hair.

"Which part of our conversation?" Sam asked, enjoying having an abundance of time to touch and talk, knowing he had several more days at least and relishing every experience.

Pink made Tim's cheeks a temptation to Sam's lips, but he waited for an answer instead of giving in.

"Uh, well, watching you..."

"Don't say masturbate. Beat off, okay?"

"Okay, yes, touch yourself. I've imagined it so many times, and I figure I might be able to learn something as well, so-"

"Baby, I'm not asking for an explanation. It's fine to just tell me what you want."

"That's what I want." Tim swallowed hard, looking away.

"Say it," Sam ordered, his voice low. He licked his lower lip as the rush of desire filled him. "Look at me and tell me what you want."

Tim licked his lips and met Sam's eyes. "I want you to come into the bedroom and take your clothes off and lay on my bed and beat off while I watch," he whispered. A shudder passed through Sam at the words and he kissed Tim fiercely.

"Okay. Anything you want, Tim," Sam said softly, drawing Tim to the bedroom. Tim moved toward the chair in the corner. "You're not gonna-"

"I want to watch. If I'm close, I won't be able to keep my hands to myself."

Sam gave a crooked smile and waited for Tim to settle in his seat before he slowly started unbuttoning his shirt. The lamp on the nightstand was the only source of light, making long shadows across Sam's body as he angled himself so Tim could see. Tim stared raptly, his breath shallow as his fantasy came to life. Sam stood sideways to him as he bent over, pushing jeans and underwear off and stepping out of them. The hard musculature of Sam's body, with his erection springing free made Tim shift, adjusting himself within the confines of his own clothing. Sam smiled at the motion and climbed onto Tim's bed, dramatically bending over and crawling up to the pillows before turning over to lie down. Tim's chuckle at his exhibitionism was breathy.

Sam lay back, tossing his hair out of his eyes as he settled. Tim's breath caught at the gesture. He let his gaze drink in the sight of Sam's gorgeous body, on his bed, just as he'd imagined but so much more real than his thoughts had been able to create.

Sam found himself enjoying putting on the show more than he'd thought he would. He ran his hand down his stomach and took ahold of his cock, giving himself a couple of light strokes before beginning his normal masturbatory rhythm. After all, Tim wanted to see the real deal, not some crazy porn version. Knowing he was being watched made Sam self-conscious but also aroused him more. His breath sped up and he couldn't resist looking over at Tim. Tim's eyes were wide, his lips parted, and he was leaning forward slightly. Sam moaned at the sight of his lover's interest and heard an answering gasp. He felt the first tightening in his balls and he groaned Tim's name unconsciously. Breathing hard, Sam knew he was close already.

"Oh god, Tim, oh, oh, baby, fuck yeah-Tim, uh, Tim," Sam's voice was low, and Tim strained to hear every syllable. He was painfully hard, throbbing, wanting desperately to touch himself, but desperate not to miss a single moment of watching Sam.

Tim cried out when Sam came, overwhelmed and nearly coming in his pants as Sam's hips jerked and his muscles rippled. Tim clenched his fists, his whole body trembling with tension even as Sam's released and he sank back.

Sam took only a moment to relax before he sat up to look at Tim. He could see in the way Tim sat that he was restraining himself by will alone, and the sight of his hyper arousal was magnetic. Sam rose and came to Tim, kneeling before the chair. He reached for Tim's belt, and immediately, Tim assisted, pulling his pants off. Sam grinned and bent to lick Tim's cock. Sam tongued him and Tim moaned, his body shaking.

"Oh, Sam! God, I'm so close, I-I... Oh Sam!" Tim gasped. Hearing the desperate desire in Tim's voice while his own needs had been met was a new pleasure for Sam. Listening as Tim's voice rose on his name was thrilling. He slowly slid down the length of him. The swollen member filled Sam's mouth, and he pushed all the way down, attuned to every guttural growl and sighing whine Tim made. His experiences with Tim were wildly more erotic than anything he'd ever done before. He made swallowing motions, his tongue and throat massaging, and Tim cried out.

"Coming, Sam, Sam! Sam! Sam!"

Tim's hands were clawed on the armrests of the chair, and his body locked in a long orgasm, hips thrust up against Sam's face, toes curled, face a rictus of searing pleasure.

Sam swallowed, milking every drop from Tim before relinquishing his prize. He straightened and put his arms around the quaking Tim. Tim clung to him as his hitching breath slowly returned to some semblance of normal.

"Oh my god, Sam. That was so fucking hot..." Tim whispered. "You are so gorgeous..."

"Oh, baby, seeing you so turned on, watching me... I usually take longer than that on my own, but you turned me on so much, mm."

"Yeah, we never seem to take our time, do we? Earlier tonight was like the longest we've spent, I think," Tim observed.

"That sounds like a challenge," Sam said, smiling.

"Maybe a goal. Hopefully we'll have lots of time this weekend," Tim smiled.



Chapter Text

Chapter 9

Getting up the next morning to go to work, Tim enjoyed every moment he had with Sam and bounded through his day with thoughts of his lover at the apartment waiting for him. Abby smiled knowingly, Gibbs rolled his eyes more than once, and Tony and Ziva studied him. The pair tried repeatedly to get information on Tim's new "girlfriend", but he was immune to all their manipulative interrogation attempts as his mind barely even registered anything but finishing work to get home to Sam. Sam lazed around through the morning then worked out, showered, and spent the afternoon reading. Tim had been right their first weekend together; Sam loved the small apartment. It had character, like Tim had said, being in a converted warehouse with bare brick outer walls, but more than that, it was Tim's space. Every item in it had been put there by Tim and said something about him. Books, thousands of them indicating his voracious mind; computers, Tim's comfort zone; electronic bits and pieces, all organized meticulously; the fantastic old typewriter showing his wonderful eccentricity: Sam felt like he was completely enveloped in Tim-ness.

The call Tim received on his way home changed his mood completely, and he entered the apartment with a hangdog expression. Sam hugged him then ducked his head to stare into his eyes in concern.

"My publisher wants my rewrite of these chapters. I have a deadline and I'd rather just spend the time with you..." Tim confessed.

Sam smiled. Normal world problems... "I'll be here. Don't worry about it. I'll do my thing and when you need a break, we'll hang. Sleeping in your bed, being here, it's all I need, baby. Relax."

Tim's mood lightened and they settled down to have dinner. When they'd finished eating, Sam got up and took their plates, leaning over and kissing the top of Tim's head.

"You go ahead and do your thing. I'll clean up," he offered.

"Thank you, Sam," Tim said. He went into the bedroom and changed into a t-shirt and sweats, turned on some soft jazz, then sat down and loaded paper into his typewriter. He opened the folder with his manuscript containing all the notes from his editor, took a deep breath, and started typing.

An hour later, Tim was shredding every two minutes and grumbling aloud. Sam finally intervened.

"Baby, why don't you take a break and relax?" He gently put his hands on Tim's shoulders and squeezed.

"I wanna get this done so I can relax," Tim whined. Sam grinned.

"You'll work more easily if you can reset a little," Sam suggested, rubbing the knots at the base of Tim's neck. Tim closed his eyes and leaned back against Sam.

"Are you volunteering a massage?" Tim asked.

"I can do that if you want, but I was thinking of something a little more...carnal."

Tim felt his body respond to even that small suggestion and groaned. "Now you've done it. No way I can work now."

Sam chuckled and moved his hand down inside Tim's shirt to caress his chest. Tim shivered; enjoying the sensations, then finally shook Sam off so he could get up. A thought crossed his mind and he smiled mischievously. Sam's chest tightened with the twinkle in Tim's eyes.

"Wanna try a new position?" Tim asked. He blushed adorably when making sexual suggestions. "You'll, uh, be doing more of, I think."

"Tell me," Sam smirked. Tim rolled his eyes. He pulled his chair out and turned it around, sitting down.

"I'd rather show you," Tim challenged. He grabbed Sam by the hips and turned him around, kicking his legs apart like he'd learned to when preparing for a pat down, then pulled Sam back onto his lap.

Sam laughed. "I can work with that," he said. He rolled his hips back and forward, running his ass over Tim's hard-on. Tim groaned again.

"I bet you can," Tim sighed. He swallowed hard and wrapped his arms around Sam, sliding one hand up under his shirt and using the other to chafe lightly against the front of Sam's jeans. The rumble of Sam's chuckle reverberated through both of them and Tim tightened his grip.

"Take your shirt off, Sam," Tim ordered. Sam stood and slowly stripped his shirt from his body. Tim sighed, never tiring of the gorgeous body of his lover. While Sam's back was turned, Tim pulled his sweats and boxers off. "And your jeans, too."

Sam turned back around and grinned at Tim's own pantsless state. "Uh-uh. You do it," Sam suggested, stepping closer. Trading challenges was becoming a fun part of their sex life so Tim shrugged with a smile and reached out to unfasten the buttons. He slid his hand inside and caressed through Sam's boxer-briefs. Sam moaned lightly and shifted his hips. The sound made Tim's erection throb.

"Oh, god, Sam, will you please just get naked already?"

Sam snickered but did as requested. Tim grabbed his hips again and drew the tall man close so he could fellate him, and Sam soon stood gasping and holding Tim's shoulders. Sam finally drew away with a shaky laugh.

"I thought I was gonna do the work?"

Tim grinned. "Work? That was fun."

Sam shook his head and pulled Tim's shirt off. He ran his fingers through the short, mussed hair and ended gently touching Tim's cheek. Quirking his eyebrows, Sam dropped to his knees and returned Tim's sexual favor, drawing him in deeply several times before releasing him with a wet pop. He stood and turned around, straddling Tim's legs and lowering himself. Tim caught his intention and lined himself up. Sam impaled himself slowly and they groaned in chorus. Tim shuddered. Only using saliva made much more friction than their usual lube. He looked down and watched how Sam's skin pulled against his shaft as he rose up.

"God! Uh, uh, oh, Sam, are you...uh-uh, are you okay? We-we can get the lube..." Tim grunted. It felt amazing to him but he didn't want to hurt Sam.

"Fuck! Huh, no, Tim, god, this feels so good," Sam gasped in response. He moved up and down, totally in control of the pace, angle, and depth and reveling in it.

Tim ran his hands over Sam's back and sides, panting. He slid them around to run lightly over Sam's chest and six pack. He took ahold of Sam's bobbing hard-on and caressed it.

"Oh, baby, yeah..." Sam moaned.

Tim brought his free hand back around and up, fisting it into Sam's hair and tugging, directing that Sam should speed up.

"Ah! Fuck, yes, Tim!" Sam cried.

"Sam, Sam, my Sam," Tim chanted. Pulling Sam's hair, stroking his dick, and watching his own slide in and out of Sam's hot ass was making Tim wild. He bucked his hips, meeting Sam's downward movement forcefully. Sam rose up and when he came down, Tim again slammed into him. Sam cried out, ecstatic, with each deep penetration, and Tim felt his own body start to boil.

"Ugh, uh, Sam! Gonna come, Sam! Sam!" Tim warned. Sam was making an animalistic cross between a groan and a wail through his clenched teeth, and when he felt Tim's torrid pulses start; he came, too, shouting incoherently. Sam rode it out, somehow still sliding up and down as they both climaxed hard. He finally dropped back, resting more of his weight onto Tim, who wrapped his arms around him and rested his cheek against Sam's glistening back. They sat that way, gasping, shaking, until Sam eventually moved off of Tim's lap, onto the floor where he turned around and leaned back on his arms, legs out splayed.

Tim grinned at the exquisite, flushed Sam. "Wow."

"Hell, yeah," Sam agreed.

When they'd caught their breath, Tim cleaned himself up, put his clothes back on, and apologetically turned back to his typewriter. Sam hugged him from behind and kissed his ear.

"I love you, baby," he whispered. Tim turned his head and looked up at Sam. His smile was sweet and adoring.

"I love you, too. Thank you, Sam."

Sam kissed him lightly. "No thanks needed."

Tim did indeed find himself much more productive in his relaxed, post-coital state. He typed for two more hours before finishing and joining Sam in bed.

Sam chose to be much more productive on his second full day at the apartment. He gathered the laundry from the hamper in the bathroom, throwing the sheets and towels in for good measure, and ventured in search of the washing machines. In the basement, he had the room to himself, and he took advantage, sorting lights and darks and running two loads at once. He worked out back upstairs while they ran, hopping in for a quick shower before going back down to switch everything into the dryers.

Exploring the contents of the kitchen, Sam determined what he needed to be able to surprise Tim with dinner that night. He looked up where the nearest market was and waited impatiently for the laundry to finish so he could go shopping. When the dryers finally stopped, he threw all of the warm fabric onto the bed and headed out. Walking to the store let Sam get a feel for the neighborhood. Much more bustle and hum than he was used to, he found the pace invigorating and was surprised with his own reaction. He'd never spent much time in big cities, and he had to admit to himself that he was particularly drawn to this place by constant awareness that Tim knew these sights and sounds and found them familiar. He could pretend, for a while, that this was home for him, living with Tim, shopping here regularly. It made him feel good; wanted and normal. He ached and swallowed hard knowing it was illusory and he'd soon be back on the road with Dean. Pushing that thought away, he walked back toward Tim's apartment. The door to a shop which had been closed on his walk to the market was now propped wide and Sam missed a step when he saw a hunter sigil on the inside lip of the doorframe where it would only be visible with the door open as it was now. Sam stepped inside and looked around. An eclectic place, the shop sold everything from bumper stickers and incense to collectible statuettes of Buddha and bamboo growing into fanciful shapes. As he ventured deeper into the narrow shop he found a case of jewelry and "decorative glass" in the shape of bongs and pipes. There was a sign advertising that they did piercings and tattoos by appointment.

A leggy woman with long hair dyed a rainbow of colors appeared from a back room and they stared at each other.

"Sam?" She breathed.

A smile began to spread on Sam's face. "Krista?"

She laughed and flung herself at him. He nearly dropped his groceries trying to steady her and return the hug.

"Jeezuschrist you got big! I didn't even think you were still around after Bobby Singer died and the Leviathan were defeated. Haven't heard jack-shit about you since then!" She released him and stood back, keeping one hand on his arm. She squeezed. "Yeah, big! Damn, Sam!" She let her eyes roam his body appraisingly. Then her voice dropped to a conspiratorial whisper. "But I seem to remember that you were...big," she said, eyes dropping below his belt. He shifted his weight and looked away uncomfortably. "And still so shy!" She cackled. "C'mon, you want a drink?"

"Uh, no, thanks, Kris. I stopped in because I saw the sigil. I'm staying with someone nearby and... Hey, uh, what kind of tattoos do you do here?"

"All kinds, babe! You need something special?"

Sam tugged at his shirt, revealing his anti-possession tat. "I know someone who needs one of these."

She peered at it and nodded. "Yeah, I can do that. Add a little something to the ink to boost it, even. There's this pigment from Paraguay that's a vamp repellant, and an herb shifters don't like. It's more effective on animist types like werewolves and black dogs, but it might help with a true shapeshifter, too. Never tested it. That what you have in mind?"

Sam felt light-headed with his excitement. Anything that would keep Tim a little safer would bring him more peace.



Sam headed back with the fresh foods he'd purchased, pleased and excited to tell Tim about the tattoo. He prepped the vegetables and got the chicken breasts marinating. He remade the bed, folded the laundry, and settled down on the sofa with a book.

Tim texted when he was on his way and Sam cooked the chicken and made the salads. He set the meal up at the counter, and frowned at the plainness. He'd wanted a special welcome for Tim and the two basic place settings didn't seem to cut it. Remembering that he'd seen a couple of slightly dusty votive candles on a decorative shelf in the bedroom, he cleaned them and lit the little tea lights inside. Turning out the overhead, the soft light made the meal look much better than before. He was a little hesitant at the overt romanticism, but he figured that if Tim seemed put out by it, well, they could have a good laugh over it.

Tim arrived home and blinked at the dimness. He put his bag down and looked across the breakfast bar. Sam's face was made into sharp angles and deep hollows by the flickering light, but his hair shone in contrast like a shimmering fall of golden brown silk. Tim ducked his head and extended the bouquet of red roses he'd stopped for. Sam laughed and hurried around to hug him tightly.

"Hopeless, both of us," Sam whispered into Tim's ear. Tim chuckled. He'd been uncertain of the flowers and how they would be received, but coming home to a candlelit dinner made him glad he'd gone for it.

Tim searched for a while before he found the only vase he owned then set the roses on the counter between the candles and settled down to eat. A simple meal, salad with sautéed marinated chicken, still he was touched that Sam had cooked for him.

"You know, I think this the best experience of coming home from work I've ever had," Tim said, smiling at Sam. "Thank you."

Sam found the simple statement incredibly sweet. He took Tim's hand and squeezed.

"Thanks for the flowers. No one's ever done that."

Tim's eyes widened in surprise. "Not even Jess? I've had several girlfriends who gave me flowers."

Sam swallowed a surge of jealousy thinking of Tim's former relationships and instead thought back to his own. "She baked me cookies."

"That's pretty awesome. Not sure I can top that."

Sam grinned, letting the smile widen into a leer until Tim caught the unintended sexual pun. He hit Sam's shoulder lightly, blushing.

"Are Nutter Butters still your favorite?" Sam asked, remembering back to when they'd met in Arizona as kids.

"Yep. Did you find my stash?"

Sam shook his head. Tim pointed to the cabinet over the refrigerator. "I have to stand on something to reach. Keeps temptation at bay."

"Hmm. How often do you indulge?"

"Once a week. And a donut at work each week, too."

"Had your cookies yet this week?"

"" Tim looked at Sam strangely.

"Good. I have an idea."

"Oh god. I'm never gonna be able to eat a Nutter Butter again without getting an-"

Sam held up a finger. Tim was trying to be less clinical in his descriptions.

"Getting a hard-on," he amended. Sam smiled.

"If not it won't be for lack of effort on my part."

"On which part?" Tim waggled his eyebrows.

"Wait and see."

The innuendo and flirtation continued through dinner. Tim went to the bedroom to change his clothes and Sam got out the bottle of baby oil he'd purchased and threw a couple of towels on the floor in front of the sofa. He turned the heat up, brought the candles to the side table by the couch and got some music playing quietly. Tim's taste varied from his own, but he'd found a Paul Weller album that seemed like a nice compromise. Tim came out of the bedroom in a t-shirt and jeans and stopped at the sight of Sam with his shirt off, kneeling on the floor setting a pillow in place. The candlelight enhanced the physique which needed no enhancement and Tim bit his lip at the rush of desire he felt.

"Come here," Sam said when he looked up. Tim approached and Sam took his hand and tugged him down beside him. "You sort of asked for a massage last night, so I thought I'd make that happen." He shook his hair back from his eyes and Tim's breath caught. It was the motion that always looked to him like a gorgeous model shot.

"I-I, uh, I don't know if I'll be able to relax, Sam," he admitted breathlessly. Sam gave a low chuckle.

"Fair enough." He stood and drew Tim up next to him by the hand, then ran his fingers up Tim's arm and across to touch his face, holding his chin lightly as he leaned in for a kiss. Tim's arms wrapped around him, fingers skimming up and down Sam's back then dipping into the back of his jeans, pulling him flush against himself. Sam smiled into their kiss and moved them around until Tim was backed against the couch. His hands came around as he concentrated hard amidst the distraction of Tim's strong fingers kneading his ass, unfastening Tim's jeans and pushing them, along with his underwear, down his body. He gave Tim a gentle shove to get him to sit down, which he did, though he surprised Sam by quickly divesting Sam of his clothes as well, freeing his chubbed cock from the fabric and just as quickly taking it between his lips and sucking him to full hardness. Sam moaned at the shocking way Tim had turned his plan back on him, throwing his head back and steadying himself with one hand on Tim's shoulder and the other caressing his head as it rose and fell with his sliding up and down.

"Oh god, oh, baby... So good, fuck, Tim..." Sam groaned. Tim brought one hand up to hold the base while he worked his tongue all around, sending electric shivers through Sam. The other hand went back to kneading his ass, with his fingers going further, exploring the warm valley between his cheeks and down to play with his tight pucker. "Fuck! Tim, yes, ah!" Sam cried out when Tim worked a finger inside him. The dual stimulation had Sam's legs starting to shake, and Tim sped up, sucking harder, while he fingered Sam's ass, reaching and trying to stroke Sam's prostate from the awkward angle. Sam's hips started to buck, thrusting into Tim's mouth, faster, gasping his name, nearing orgasm. He choked a warning and Tim drew him in deep, shoving his finger inside at the same time; Sam came, shouting, heavy spurts coating the back of Tim's throat. He gagged slightly, but kept sucking, slowing, bringing Sam down gently. Out of breath, Sam sagged to his knees and Tim held him, smiling as the tall man trembled in his arms.

When Sam had caught his breath, he laughed and gave Tim a mock glare. "You sneaky bastard."

Tim grinned, unrepentant. "It's not like I won't let you reciprocate."

"Yeah, I bet! You just wanted to set the bar so I'd have to step up my game."

"Think so, huh? Well, let's see what you've got," Tim suggested. His face was pink as he leaned back, and Sam found Tim's self-consciousness while he was still being playful amazingly trusting. Sam leaned over and kissed him long and thoroughly, shifting his body as he did so that his abdomen was pressed against Tim's cock. He kissed down Tim's neck and over to his right nipple. He sucked on the small nub and Tim's body tensed, he panted, and his hard-on started leaking pre-come and twitching. Sam warmed at the reaction, and when he moved to the left side, he flicked the abandoned, spit slick point with his fingers. He tongued Tim's left nipple and grinned as Tim cried out. He brought his free hand up to cup Tim's balls, rolling them gently. Tim's head tossed against the back of the couch, and he moaned like he was in agony. His cock was trailing sticky fluid all over his belly as it jumped, seeming to beg for attention. Sam moved down and licked delicately, tasting the liquid oozing rapidly from Tim's slit. Tim shouted at the first touch, and Sam saw his hands were clenched into white-knuckled fists to either side of his pale thighs. He took pity then, and enveloped the head of Tim's cock with his lips, swirling his tongue over the sensitive head before he slid down.

"Sam! Sam, oh Sam, Sam, Sam," Tim began his mindless chant as Sam slowly bobbed up to flutter his tongue over the head and back down, angling to take him to the root, making swallowing motions, massaging, only to slide back up again. Tim still kept his hands tightly restrained, and Sam took Tim's left with his right, stroking, squeezing until it relaxed, then moved it onto the back of his own head, encouraging Tim to give him direction. Tim tightened his hand, drawing Sam down, then pulling him back, increasing Sam's speed. His hips began to move in tandem with the pace his hand set, and Sam eagerly met each thrust. Tim's voice had become gasping pants, Sam's name intelligible maybe half the time. Tim's pleasure thrilled Sam, and he followed his lover's direction. Sam felt the urgency rise in Tim and sucked, rapidly sliding up and down. The cry Tim gave as his body convulsed was strangled, half sob, half Sam's name, and completely perfect in Sam's mind. The strong throbbing pulses brought thick, bleachy jets of come, and Sam shuddered in gratification, finding the flavor had grown on him with repetition. He carefully licked Tim clean before he looked up at the wondering, glowing eyes.

"I'm glad I got to go first. I really doubt I could've topped that," Tim confessed. Sam grinned.

"Topping is later, baby," Sam growled suggestively. He laughed and his voice returned to normal. "After your massage. Think you can relax now?"

"Oh god, don't make me move," Tim moaned. Sam smiled.

"I'll help, baby. Come here," Sam said, his strong hands slipping around Tim's waist and pulling him forward.

Settling Tim on the towels, Sam began the massage, warming the oil in his hands before gliding them over the pale skin. Tim's muscles were pretty well relaxed already, but Sam still enjoyed the soft moans his strokes elicited. Working each limb all the way out to fingers and toes then returning to his back and then spending a long time caressing Tim's ass, his cock began to thicken. When Tim began to arch his back and push the rounded flesh into the touch, Sam slid his oiled fingers down between and listened as the moans changed. Tim spread his legs and Sam teased him with light brushes and rubbing in little circular motions until Tim groaned out a curse. He finally worked his finger inside, shuddering at the way Tim's body seemed to grasp and pull the digit in. His hips moved in time with Sam's slow finger fucking, humping against the towels beneath him. Sam hadn't intended to top, but Tim's reactions changed his mind.

"Oh, baby, I want you..." Sam murmured. Tim turned his head so he could be heard clearly.

"Yeah, Sam, please," he said, pushing back against Sam's hand. Sam shuddered and carefully added a second finger. Tim was tight, and hot, and Sam felt light-headed in anticipation. Tim continued to ride the fingers, moaning Sam's name. He pushed up onto his knees, giving Sam complete access. Sam slid his other hand under Tim and stroked his nipple, pinching gently. Tim's cries grew sharper, his hip movements more demanding, and Sam smiled as he added another finger. Getting past the second knuckle with all three proved difficult, and Sam watched Tim's bearing, waiting for him to relax before he went that deep. When he did, Tim gasped and Sam waited again. He brought his hand from Tim's chest to his cock and began to stroke him. That pleasure was what Tim needed, and soon he was rocking back onto Sam's fingers and then thrusting into his hand, panting. Sam refrained as long as he could, but seeing Tim in that state was too much. He carefully withdrew his fingers and lubed himself, moving into place and spreading Tim's cheeks with his hand. He continued to jack him, using Tim's backward motion to press into him, a little more with each movement. Tim's cries rose in pitch, but he kept moving, kept rocking back on Sam, and Sam trembled as he finally began to thrust into the heat and pressure of Tim.

"Ah! God, Tim! Oh, baby, fuck," Sam groaned. The sound penetrated the cloud of contradicting sensations in Tim's mind, bringing him to greater arousal. It had felt like he was being impaled on a baseball bat when Sam started, but the burning discomfort subsided into a sharp ache that gave as much pleasure as pain. Hearing in Sam's voice the rapture he was experiencing made Tim even more ecstatic himself. Sam's hand-job was bringing him closer and closer to the edge, but he wanted to hold off, wanted to have Sam be the one to pull him over. He experimentally squeezed his muscles and Sam shouted, increasing his pace and force. It was like a steam engine pistoning into him, faster and harder as the pressure built up. Sam released Tim's dick, needing to hold onto Tim, to steady him as they'd started scooting across the towels. Tim took over, bracing himself with one hand while he stroked himself.

"Tim! Fuck! Fuck! Ah!" Sam cried, giving a final tremendous push as he exploded. The throbbing of Sam starting to come inside Tim sent his hand flying up and down his shaft until his orgasm began before Sam's was through. They both shouted, Tim burying his face into the pillow beneath him, Sam roaring, reared back like a stallion.

Sam fell forward and his weight crushed them both prone. They breathed in gasping sobs, and Tim's gulping for air got Sam to stir enough to roll to the side, wrapping his arms around his lover's shaking body and keeping him tight against his chest. They curled together, catching their breath. Sam smiled, smoothing down Tim's sweat-damp hair.

"Why d'you think our sex reactions are so much like our pain reactions?" Tim asked, still panting. Little tremors still snaked through his body, the after-effects of his powerful orgasm.

"I didn't hurt you, did I?" Sam immediately responded, raising his head to look at Tim. He shook his own damp hair out of his eyes. Tim grinned.

"No, I just mean-well, actually, yeah, you're fucking huge, it makes me glad you like to bottom, but it's okay." The horror on Sam's face shocked Tim. "Hey, no, Sam, it's okay, really. Yes, it hurts, at first, then it's..." Tim blushed. "Then it kinda...hurts so good, y'know?" Sam still frowned, worry and fear obvious in his eyes. Tim stroked his face. "Listen to me. I'm always going to be honest with you, I will tell you if there's ever a problem, okay? I won't ever do anything with you sexually that I don't want to do. I love what we just did. Relax, Sam, please?"

Sam's uncertainty as he studied Tim's expression made Tim realize once again how important it was that he keep being totally honest with him. All the years of his dysfunctional, deceptive relationship with Dean had scarred Sam, and Tim wanted very badly for their relationship to be healthy and trust-based.

"I don't ever want to hurt you. I don't ever want you to feel pain, I want everything in your life to be joyful and happy and ecstatic," Sam whispered. Tim swallowed hard at the child-like simplicity of Sam's view.

"That's not life. Maybe that's heaven. And really, Sam, you have actual experience with it, so we know that yeah, that's heaven," Tim smiled and let his hand still, cupping Sam's cheek. "Life lets us have contrast, choices. It's what you fought for; Team Free Will."

Sam closed his eyes, not wanting to remember the year of the apocalyptic struggle to keep the angels from destroying most of humanity to give the remainder heaven on earth, whether they wanted it or not. Guilt for starting the whole thing still plagued him though he tried to bury it.

"Sam, love, please. Trust me. Trust us," Tim whispered, and the words worked their magic. Trusting Tim had already become a much-needed stabilizing force in Sam's life. Sam opened his eyes and smiled. He kissed Tim gently and relaxed back.

"Extremis. People cry from relief or joy as well as sadness and pain and ecstasy," Sam said quietly, returning to Tim's question about physical response to pain and sex.

Tim chuckled. "That explains how orgasmic facial expressions mirror agonized. At least I assume yours is like that, I never want to see you in real agony."

Sam shook his head. "You have seen me in agony. Every time I have to leave you," he said quietly. Tim sighed at Sam's melodrama.

"You know what I mean," Tim said.

"I do. It means your mind never stops, you're always thinking and analyzing, trying to understand...everything. I love that about you."

Tim smiled. "M'glad, 'cause there's no changing it."

Eventually, they got up and showered, then fell into bed.

"Helluva thing to go to sleep this early on a Friday night," Tim chuckled as they settled down in the dark. Sam shrugged, spooning him and kissing the back of his neck.

"I never got to do the thing with the Nutter Butters," Sam realized.

Tim laughed. "We'll have plenty of time tomorrow. Or Sunday. Or... How long are you staying?"

"I should probably head back Tuesday."

They were both silent as the prospect of yet another parting dampened the mood.

"So, you have three days of opportunity to play with my cookies," Tim said sleepily. Sam laughed and Tim smiled. "Wow, that sounded even dirtier than it was supposed to."

"I love you, baby," Sam said, snuggling close and burrowing his head into his pillow.

"Love you. Good-night."



Saturday morning Tim woke and was pleased that he could slip out of bed without waking his partner. It spoke well of Sam's level of comfort and safety that he slept soundly in their bed. Dressed in jeans and an NCIS t-shirt, Tim made coffee, then got out the box of pancake mix. It wasn't anything fancy, only a pre-blended, just-add-water thing, but he wanted to make something other than eggs and toast for Sam.

Having finished the pancakes, Tim poured coffee and orange juice, and was trying to figure out how to get it all moved for breakfast in bed when Sam emerged from the bedroom. He'd only pulled on a pair of pajama bottoms, and Tim stopped to stare at the bare chest, feeling like he'd just won a prize.

Sam noticed Tim's gaze and smiled ruefully before flexing just to see the beautiful eyes pop then return to his face. Tim blushed furiously. Sam came into the kitchen, grinning, and hugged Tim.

"Good morning," Sam said into Tim's ear.

"Good morning, Sam." Stepping back, Tim indicated the food. "You saved me from probable disaster trying to bring this to you in bed."

"That's really sweet, baby. Thanks," Sam couldn't stop smiling, and Tim seemed to soak up the positive reaction like a sponge. They sat and ate, not really talking, just enjoying being together.

When they'd finished, Tim smiled shyly. "I'm gonna go get Jethro, if that's okay. Do you wanna come with?"

Sam's stomach tightened. "Uh, is I know you've gotten all that computer stuff done so I don't have to worry so much about being arrested, but we, well, your job..."

"Gibbs knows."

Sam stared. "We haven't told our families, and you told your boss?" His eyebrows were nearly touching his hairline.

"No, ah, it's Gibbs. He just...knows. We worked a case at that resort we went to, and he let me know he knew."

"What did he say?" Sam asked incredulously.

Tim gave a short laugh. "When I forced him to say anything at all, he just said he didn't care. He...Sam, Tony calls him a functional mute, and he's only half joking. I get the feeling he knows, has known, and it's just another piece of information to him. It really doesn't matter. But Gibbs... He's got my back. If it came out, so to speak, he'd defend me, make sure it wasn't a problem. It's okay, Sam, really."

Sam frowned. There were so few people he'd ever trusted that much, he was unconvinced. But Tim was one of them, so he decided to take his word for it.

"Then, yeah, I'll go with you," Sam shrugged. "Do you mind... I kinda found the perfect place for you to get that anti-possession tattoo. Can I see if the artist can fit you in now, then we can get Jethro? It won't take too long..."

Tim cocked his head but nodded agreeably. He knew Sam wanted to take care of him, that he was as concerned for Tim's safety as Tim was for his, and the tattoo would give Sam reassurance. He'd nearly forgotten that Sam wanted him to get it but was glad he'd mentioned it. Anything to help repel demons would be a good thing by Tim's reckoning.

Sam called and after they'd dressed, they left the apartment. Tim didn't miss how Sam stayed half a step behind him, right at his shoulder, his head constantly swiveling to stay aware of their environment and any possible threats. He just shook his head at the bodyguard duty Sam had adopted. If it made Sam feel better, he'd tolerate it. For now.

The woman who greeted them at the shop had wildly colored hair which couldn't disguise her lovely features. Tim instantly sensed a particular air between her and Sam and he gritted his teeth, reminding himself that Sam had met Abby, so meeting a former lover didn't have to be a terrible thing.

"This your friend? Heya, I'm Krista. C'mon back," she indicated a door at the back.

"Tim." He replied shortly, following. Friend?

The room in back was spotless. Tim relaxed, not having been aware of how concerned he'd been about the health hazards of getting a tattoo at this funky little hole in the wall shop.

Krista had Tim remove his shirt and lay back on the reclining seat. She was all business as she put gloves on, cleaned his skin, shaving the little bit of chest hair, placed the stencil over his heart and prepared her tool. Once she began working, she began chatting with Sam again.

"So what's Dean up to?"

"Still hunting. I'm kinda... On vacation," Sam replied. Tim looked at Sam. Sam's eyes flicked to his then away. Tim stared hard for a moment then refocused straight ahead. He'd vowed to be patient and give Sam time to get used to their couple status before he pushed for more openness, so he would. Keeping that vow didn't help ease the sting, though.

"You wanna go out while you're here? All of us," Krista off-handedly included Tim and he smiled politely, remaining silent to see if Sam would field the question or if he needed to step in.

Sam had stuffed his hands in his pockets to keep their shaking from being seen. He felt blindsided by Krista's demeanor, though retrospectively, he knew he should have expected this. They'd hooked up more than once over the years, whenever their paths had crossed. He saw the tension in Tim's shoulders and he knew it wasn't from the pain of the tat. He hated that he was hurting Tim, his stomach knotted with the awareness and he clenched his jaw and mentally told himself to sack up.

"Thanks, Kris, but I'm in a serious relationship and we're just gonna stay in and spend time together," he finally said.

"Ah, a fuck-fest. That's cool," she shrugged. Both men's faces blazed red at the comment, but if she noticed, Krista didn't say anything else until they had paid her and were leaving. "You two have fun, now," she said as they turned to go. Sam looked back and she winked and nodded, making the okay sign with her hand and sliding her eyes suggestively to Tim. Sam relaxed and nodded his thanks. He put his hand on the small of Tim's back and guided him to the door. He stroked up and down once before he dropped the touch once they were out on the sidewalk. Tim smiled in acknowledgement and they got into Tim's car.

"How do you think Jethro's gonna react to us... Making noise?"

"That'll be an interesting thing to find out. I've never brought a woman I was seeing home, so..."

"Let's just hope he doesn't think I'm attacking you."

"Yeah, we'll see how it goes," Tim shrugged. Jethro was pretty mellow at his age and Tim wasn't worried. He had another concern, though. "I want to get you on the list at the kennel as an authorized person to pick Jethro up and drop him off. Can I tell them you're my partner or would you rather I not?"

Tim spoke casually, but Sam knew that there was hurt beneath his words. "I'm sorry about Krista," he blurted. Tim glanced his way with a small smile before returning his gaze to the street.

"I understand. I know you're...self-conscious"

"I froze. I don't know why it didn't occur to me that she would ask-that I needed to... I'm sorry," he repeated.

"Sam, I get it. It's okay. She's part of your testosterone-drenched life as a hunter. It's completely understandable. I just...I'd like to tell them at the kennel. They're cool, it won't be a thing at all."

"Krista knew. She-she got it, gave me a wink, kinda, like she approved. I'm so sorry I hurt you. Yes, tell the kennel. It's fine. It's the least I can do," Sam hung his head. It was so useless that he had tried to hide it. It had to be obvious in every look he gave Tim. He'd hurt the one person he never wanted to suffer, ever.

Tim parked a few doors down from the kennel and turned to see Sam brooding. He brought his hand up to Sam's cheek and turned his face to him. "Sam. I'm not mad," Tim said softly. Sam's eyes were the saddest Tim had seen, dark and regretful. "Tell me what you really want, please."

"You. Happy... With me. Just you, Tim," Sam's voice was a broken whisper. Tim tilted his head and leaned in for a gentle kiss.

"If you'd rather I not say you're my partner, I won't. Telling other people doesn't change how I feel, how we feel. You are still the most important person in my life, the one above all. What do you want?"

Sam caught his breath. Tim was so open and loving; Sam wanted to be that way; had been, long, long ago. Maybe he could be again.

"Yes. Yes, I want that."

Tim looked at him for a long moment before his face relaxed and he nodded. "Okay. Let's go."

The staff obviously knew Tim at the kennel. He'd called ahead so they had Jethro sitting beside the counter waiting when they entered the lobby. The bushy tail began to wag as soon as they walked in, but the well-trained animal waited until Tim gave a hand signal before he hurried over to him. Tim knelt down and roughly petted the dog, a smile of pure happiness lighting his features. He murmured to Jethro, and it seemed to Sam like the dog was actually listening and even responding. He'd never seen a dog with eyes that looked that intelligent. Shaking his head, he looked up and met the appraising look of a pretty red-headed woman behind the counter. Mid-twenties, slim and tall, her look was frankly approving but not in a predatory way. He nodded once in greeting but shifted uncomfortably, sliding a step closer to Tim, who continued to converse with Jethro until Sam cleared his throat. Dog and man's heads swiveled up simultaneously and Sam grinned.

Tim rose, standing close enough to Sam that his shoulder brushed Sam's chest. Sam put his hand on the small of Tim's back. From his peripheral vision he saw the red-head's shoulders droop. When Tim moved over to the counter, Jethro heeling perfectly, Sam stayed within Tim's personal space, off-set behind him.

"How's he been the last few days, Cara?" Tim asked.

"The king and his court, of course," she replied easily. She presented a form and Tim signed it with the air of long familiarity.

"Cara, this is my partner, Sam. I'd like to add him to the approved to pick-up and drop-off list," Tim said. The words he'd been practicing in his mind came out casually, but he heard Sam swallow. He glanced at the taller man, and Sam nodded that he was okay.

"Sure! ID, Sam?" Her smile was friendly, with no edge to it, and Sam was relieved that the situation was going so smoothly. Then he reached for his wallet and froze. He had no identification with his real name on it at the moment, just a bunch of fakes with the assortment of rock aliases he and Dean used.

"I forgot my wallet," Sam mumbled.

"I didn't tell you you'd need it. My mistake," Tim said. He turned back to Cara. "Can we take the form and fill it out at home? We'll bring it with when we drop Jethro off, probably on Tuesday morning."

"Of course," she pulled out a form and slid it across the counter. "And, uh, Tim? You look really happy."

Tim grinned and took the paper. "Thanks. I am. I really am." Sam blushed and shoved his hands in his pockets. "Let's go," he said to Jethro, and Sam hurried to get the door.

Sam waited while Tim put a seatbelt harness on Jethro and buckled him in in the back seat. He was surprised but had to acknowledge that Tim was nothing if not responsible. On the short ride back to the apartment, Sam kept looking back at Jethro. The dog sat and those eyes stared right at him. Tim noticed and laughed.

"You two need to bond," he said. "We'll work on it back home."

"Should I be nervous? He looks smarter than both of us," Sam commented.

"You took care of that stray in Arizona, I always figured you for a dog person."

Sam thought about the dog he'd hit, and how it had led to him adopting it and seeing Amelia. Losing her seemed like a necessary step leading to now, but he did miss the dog.

"Bones was a golden," Sam referenced the other dog he'd befriended, back when he was twelve. "-dumb as a stump but sweeter than anything. Jethro looks like he could solve world peace."

Tim giggled again and the sound warmed Sam, making him swallow hard at the swell of emotion. He wanted to hear that sound every day for the rest of his life...

"-training exercises will help."

"Huh? Sorry, I got distracted," Sam admitted.

Tim parked and get Jethro unharnessed and out of the car before repeating himself. "We'll have you run him through a few training exercises. He'll see that I like you and he'll be fine."

In the apartment, Tim talked Sam and Jethro through as many of the various training practices they could in the small space, including a whole slew of tricks. When they'd finished, Jethro seemed content to sprawl in the middle of the living room in a shaft of sunlight and sleep.

Sam drew Tim into a hug and they stood silently looking at the happy German Shepherd.

"Thank you, baby, for saying that stuff at the kennel," Sam said quietly.

Tim smiled and held him tighter. "It felt good. I...I want to be-out, you know, but it's kinda scary," Tim replied.

"I know you said Gibbs knows, but I'm still worried about you. The US military isn't known to be the most tolerant of groups," Sam cocked his head to look at Tim seriously.

"Same sex couples in the service who get married get benefits and everything-"

"Policy isn't the same thing as reality. I know you know that."

Tim shrugged. "Please don't forget that I can take care of myself. I have my team, years of experience and training. I'm not a delicate, fragile victim. Y'know, maybe we should spar again. We haven't ever really gone at it, just that first weekend..." Tim flushed as he recalled ending up naked on the floor, humping their sweaty bodies together until they came. Sam laughed, following Tim's thoughts by the look on his face. His arms tightened and he kissed the top of Tim's head. Tim squeezed Sam's waist. "Okay, maybe no sparring. But I'm tougher than I look."

"Baby, I know. I've just learned, through the years, that the worst monsters aren't the monsters. Humans do more abominable things than anything we usually hunt."

"Demons?" Tim whispered. They were what worried him most. They seemed to have an eternal target-lock on Sam.

"Were human. Twisted and tortured in hell."

Tim shuddered and Sam stroked his back, sighing. He was confident that they could handle any monstrous threat, but imagining a group of servicemen cornering Tim somehow; thinking of what people were capable of doing to each other... Sam wanted to chain Tim to his side so he could protect him forever. Or hole up in the middle of nowhere, just the two of them, for the rest of their lives.

"How the hell did we get on this topic? Let's just enjoy the rest of our day, okay?" Tim pulled away, smiling in determination. Sam nodded slowly.

"Okay," he said. A frown creased his brow as another image of Tim, alone and in trouble, passed through his mind, but Tim shook his head and stroked his knuckles down the Sam's cheek, making Sam smile before he replied. "What do you want to do today?"

"Hang out? Not shave? Read? Have sex?" Tim suggested. Sam nodded, his eyes lovingly scanning Tim's face.

"Sounds great," Sam agreed. "I started reading those 'Storm' novels you have. Those are fun." Tim went to the section of his book shelves where his mystery novels were and withdrew one.

"Newest from the author," he held up a hard cover titled 'Frozen Heat'. "They're cheesy, but well-paced and pretty accurate procedurally."

Sam shook his head. "Your law enforcement is showing."

Lounging on the couch, reading, occasionally reaching out to touch one another, the afternoon whiled away. Tim chuckled at something he'd read and put his book aside. He watched Sam for several minutes, enjoying the younger man's strong profile, his thoughts moving in a more physical direction as his eyes roamed to the expanse of Sam's chest and shoulders stretching his t-shirt.

"How long are you gonna do that?" Sam asked, his mouth quirking in a half smile. He kept his eyes on his book but watched Tim from the corner of his eye.

"Until you pay attention to me," Tim replied reasonably. Sam stilled, then quickly dropped his book and turned, lunging at Tim. He shoved the laughing Tim back against the armrest and kissed him hard. He ran his tongue over to Tim's ear and bit the lobe, earning a gasp. Neither noticed that Jethro jumped up and came closer.

"This the kind of attention you were thinking of?" Sam asked, sucking on Tim's earlobe.

"I kinda thought I'd share some of the inside jokes from that book, but this is good," Tim said. He reached up and took Sam by the back of the neck, drawing his mouth back into a sensuous kiss. Sam ran his hands under Tim's NCIS t-shirt, sliding it up and over Tim's head. He kissed down Tim's neck, across his clavicles and up the other side. Tim sighed in pleasure. He tugged at Sam's shirt, and Sam as obliged, he noticed the attention they were getting from the dog. Sam gave a quick hand command from what he'd learned earlier, and Jethro lay back down. Tim stared at Sam's chest. He loved looking at the definition, the tattoo, the light covering of hair in the center... His glance took in his own pale, flat chest. He had boasted to Sam that he was in the best shape of his life, and it was true, but compared to Sam he was the veritable 98 pound weakling.

"Sam, you are... Your body..." Tim bit his lip. "How can you find me-"

"Hey! Look at me," Sam said firmly. He'd seen the change in Tim's expression and he needed to stop the thoughts causing the sad, opprobrious look. Tim's eyes met his, and Sam stroked his forehead, smoothing the twin frown lines between his eyebrows. "You are perfect." The frown returned and Tim looked away, compressing his lips. "Baby. Listen." Tim looked at him again. "Everything about you draws me to you. Everything. Your eyes see straight through me. Your lips-" he kissed him "-are perfect. Your skin-" Sam shifted so he could draw his hands down Tim's chest, stroking up his sides, down his arms "-is so soft. Every inch of you is exactly what I want. Don't doubt that. You are as beautiful and perfect to me as you say I am to you. Please, trust me. Let go of that crap. Believe in me."

Tim's lips trembled and tears filled his eyes. "I do. Oh, Sam, I believe in you more than anything." He pulled Sam back down against him and kissed him roughly, desperate to prove it to him.

They realxed and made out on the sofa for a long time. It felt paradisiacal to have the leisure to spend an hour fooling around without pressure. Jethro looked up once when Tim moaned, but then simply rolled over and returned to his nap.

"What do you think about continuing this in the bedroom, baby?" Sam asked softly. Tim smiled and they held hands as they went and stood at the foot of the bed. Sam ran his fingers under the waist of Tim's jeans. "Do you think... You're up to a challenge?"

"Well, I still prefer to think of it as a goal, but if you're suggesting a prolonged lovemaking session, I'm totally game," Tim replied, smiling.

Sam leaned close and whispered in Tim's ear. "I want you to fuck me long and hard, baby. I want to feel you inside me until I don't remember what it feels like when you aren't there. And then I want your come to fill me like a goddamn supersoaker."

Tim's fingers dug into Sam's arms and he felt his knees weaken. "Oh god Sam, it is so hot when you say things like that..."

"You know I like to hear it, too," Sam led. Tim's mouth quirked.

"Well, you're better at it than I am," Tim protested.

"Try. Please?"

"I... The other part, when we...had phone sex..." Tim took a deep breath and leaned close, wrapping his arms around Sam and moving to speak into his ear. "I want to see you bent over in front of me. I want to watch how your back arches when I push my dick into you. I want to...make you mine. I want to know you're mine, Sam."

Sam was overwhelmed by the sweet relative romanticism of Tim's attempt. His own words seemed coarse in comparison, and he felt the need to follow Tim's lead. He swallowed hard, finding himself less confident. "I am here for you to take, Tim," he began, and frowned that that hadn't sounded the way he wanted it to. "I want you to take me, to slip inside me, become part of me. I...I'm giving myself-to you. You...penetrate me and I feel...whole. I-I don't think I'm saying this right." Sam moved to look at Tim and was awed by his expression. His eyes were wide and brimming with emotion, red spots high on his cheeks.

"I can barely fathom how you could possibly feel like that. I'm...humbled by your gift of trust and openness. I... This is about so much more than sex," Tim let out a shaky laugh. Sam smiled.

"Yeah, romance and dirty talk: I think they may be mutually exclusive," Sam replied. Tim's eyes narrowed.

"That sounds like another challenge. I can be erotic and romantic, I'm sure."

"Okay. Go."

Tim stared into the dappled green of Sam's eagerly waiting eyes while he thought. The confident, sexy and infinitely masculine man was laid bare to his gentle and sentimental soul. Tim couldn't bear to disappoint. He spoke slowly, his voice dropping low.

"When you open for me, waiting for me to touch and possess you, I can see into your soul as I enter you. I read the movement of your body, each quiver, every tensing of muscle. I stroke and taste and I plow your secrets. I move, you receive; you cry out to me and I answer with strong conviction. I paint you within from the essence of myself."

"Oh god, baby. I love that."

They both divested the rest of their clothes, and Sam moved onto the bed, kneeling facing the wall and taking ahold of the headboard. He leaned forward, spreading his legs and waiting, utterly vulnerable to his lover. Tim's knees grew weak again. He was overwhelmed by Sam's surrender, and he climbed onto the bed and brought Sam upright, hugging him close, his face pressed into Sam's hair at the back of his neck.

"Thank you, my love," Tim whispered. Sam grasped Tim's arms, keeping the embrace tight for long moments. He relaxed and waited for Tim to release him before bending forward again.

"Please, Tim, please, make me feel whole. Please take me. Please, baby," Sam sighed, shaking with the need to be filled by Tim.

Tim swallowed hard and quickly lubed himself and pushed up against Sam. Sam moaned, and Tim hesitated, savoring the moment, studying the shivering muscles of Sam's back before his own desire made him slide home.

The sound Sam made was somehow mellifluous with his baritone groan. Tim nearly sobbed at the sensation of becoming one, joined in the most intimate way. He paused for several deep breaths, reminding himself of that the goal was to make this last, then smiled in determination.

Tim held Sam's hips and closed his eyes, focusing on setting himself into a rhythm but tightly controlling himself so he wouldn't come. Compartmentalizing so he could enjoy drawing it out, he concentrated on the feel of Sam's skin under his hands rather than the hot friction around his dick, only letting himself hear Sam's moans and expletives peripherally.

Sam felt himself suspended in time, Tim's hard cock drawing out the most exquisite feelings as it thrust inside him. Listening to Tim's voice chanting his name, responding with his own expressions of his pleasure, Sam wanted this to never end.

They'd been going for an indeterminate amount of time. Sam was sweating, his hair had become wet with it, sticking to his neck and face. There was a deep ache developing in his gut, and he wasn't sure if it was pain from the pounding he was receiving or an astronomical orgasm building. He clutched headboard so hard he was vaguely concerned he'd break or bend it.

Tim's grasp on Sam was becoming difficult, slick from perspiration. He felt drops beading on his forehead and chest, droplets creeping down his shoulders. The sensations were bringing him back to full awareness of how good it felt to be riding Sam for so long. His back and knees hurt, but the exquisite grip of Sam's ass on his dick, the sight of Sam's damp hair swaying, glimpses of Sam's face, red with exertion, it made him want to keep going forever.

"Tim, baby, oh, god, we've-we've gotta finish, I'm-I'm gonna collapse."

"Yeah? You ready to feel me fill you with hot come, Sam?" The primal experience of this marathon sex slashed through Tim's normal reticence to explicit sex talk. Sam's jaw dropped at the words.

"Fuck yes! Oh Tim, yeah, fucking come in me, I need to feel you!" Sam cried out in reply.

"You're mine, Sam, mine mine mine," Tim chanted.

"Yes, baby, always, fuck, I'm yours, I'm yours Tim. Yes! Yes! Yes!"

Tim's body shook as he finally let himself go. He fell forward onto Sam, wrapping both arms around him, jackhammering, sobbing, crying out his lover's name. In moments, his orgasm began.

Sam dropped his face into the pillows and let out a primal roar when the hot throbbing of Tim's come filled him. His hips bucked and bucked, cock rubbing against the sheets, and he came, screaming, until stars exploded against his closed eyelids and he blacked out.

Tim's whole body ached with exhaustion. He'd never felt so bonelessly tired and yet so giddily sated. He lay on top of Sam, their hot damp skin rapidly cooling to a chill. He groaned, knowing he had to move but wanting to do anything but. He shifted, and winced as he slid out of Sam, his skin feeling almost raw. He heard Sam whimper as he stirred. Tim rolled to the side, finally letting go his iron grip on Sam's waist, and Sam's head turned to face him. Through slitted eyes, they looked at each other. Sam's hair was plastered across his forehead, and Tim brought a shaking hand up to smooth the strands back. Sam's mouth twitched in a slightly grimacy smile. Tim rested his hand on Sam's cheek.

"Oh, fuck, baby," Sam breathed. "Remind me not to challenge you unless I'm prepared for anything."

Tim smiled. "Goal achieved."

"I can't move."

"Me either."

"I'm cold."

"Me too."

They lay there until Tim stuck his tongue out.

"Bitch," Tim muttered. He started to sit up but was startled by Sam's explosion of laughter. He stopped and stared.

"Dean," he said, reminding Tim that 'bitch' was his brother's favorite loving insult for him.

"Oh yeah. Well maybe he has a reason for calling you that, hmm?" Tim leaned forward and kissed Sam on the cheek to soften any sting of the comment then sat up and grabbed the comforter from the foot of the bed and dragged it up over them. He collapsed back on his side, leg still hooked over Sam's, and slid his arms under the hunter's chest and over his back, snuggling close to him. Sam moved the two inches across the pillow to kiss Tim, then closed his eyes with a sigh.

"I can't believe how you were talking, baby. You kiss your mother with that mouth?" Sam muttered rhetorically.

"Hah. I licked your asshole with this mouth; how much dirtier can it get with words?" Tim murmured, but his face reddened with the comment. Sam's eyes flew open.

"Damn! Guess we opened the floodgates, huh? I love it when you talk dirty. Normally gets me all hot but right now I have nothing left."

"I wouldn't say that. You've got me, always, Sam."

Sam smiled. "God, I love you."

Tim kissed him.

When Sam woke an hour later, he stretched lightly, testing how he felt. A dull ache, itchiness from dried body fluids pasting the sheet on his skin, but an amazingly warm contentment was his assessment. His movements woke Tim, who performed a similar action and groaned. Sam smiled.


"Oh-my back. I think I rubbed my knees raw, too."

"Worth it?"

"Hell yeah," Tim laughed. "You know, I think what you do is called topping from the bottom."

"What are you talking about?"

"Well, you're a catcher, to use our initial terminology, but you seem to be the one who controls the sexual side of our relationship," Tim elaborated. Sam studied Tim while he thought about that. There was no judgment in Tim's expression, he was just sharing one of the conclusions his constantly working mind had drawn. Tim was always thinking, analyzing, deducing. He managed to make him shut that down by physically overwhelming Tim sexually, but that had not stopped Tim from thinking about it when they weren't doing it.

"I never consciously choose that, you know," Sam clarified.

"It's just who you are as well as how you learned to be, I think. I'm not complaining, just observing."

"I know. Just... You know I don't try to manipulate you, right?"

Tim smiled and stroked Sam's face. His earnestness was incredibly endearing. "Don't worry. I'm fine with it." Tim sighed contentedly, then his stomach rumbled. "Dinner. You mind if we order in? I don't feel like cooking."

"Whatever you like," Sam replied, determined to make sure they kept their relationship balanced. If he controlled the sex, Tim had better have more say elsewhere.


Chapter Text

Chapter 10

They spent the rest of their weekend taking Jethro for walks, continuing to get the dog to accept Sam as a handler, watching all three Lord of the Rings movies from the bed, although they really only saw two-thirds of the films since they were in bed and easily distracted by the fact, and just enjoying their leisure time together. Tim received an email on Sunday from his grandmother and pondered for a while before making a request.

"I want my grandmother to meet you, Sam. She's in town and wants to go to dinner. I want you to feel like you can say no, but I also want you to know that she's probably the most important part of my family."

"Introducing me as what, a friend?"

"No, she'd see through a ruse. As my lover, Sam," Tim explained.

"Dude, really? Don't you want to start with someone a little easier, like, some distant cousin or something?" Sam joked. His stomach had knotted even as his heart soared at Tim's desire to incorporate him into further aspects of his life.

"She'll be easy. Penny has always been there for me, no matter what. She's a hippy feminist and one of my best friends. She's important to me, and I really want her to meet you," Tim said, trying to alleviate Sam's fears. "Dinner tonight?"

"You don't have to drop it like a bomb, though. Why don't you tell her first? I could meet her next time."

"She's not young and she travels a lot. It'll be fine, Sam. Trust me please."

Sam's shoulders relaxed and he pulled Tim into a hug. "Okay." Magic words.

No matter how many times Tim assured him he'd scrubbed law enforcement databases of his likeness, Sam was still on edge in open, public places while he wasn't pre-texting that he was someone he wasn't. Driving directly up to a well-lit fancy restaurant with Tim made the back of his neck itch.

They were led to a secluded corner of the dining area, near an emergency exit, so Sam felt better when they were seated. Tim sat next to him and discreetly took his hand under the table. Sam relaxed further at the touch and vowed to try to enjoy the unique experience this meeting offered them. They chatted absently, both their attention on waiting for Penny.

When she arrived, they stood, Tim to hug her in greeting, and Sam to shake her hand. "Well hello there, Sam! It's so nice to meet one of Timothy's friends," she gushed. They ordered drinks from the server who'd accompanied Penny to the table and they all sat down again.

"Penny, I want to be clear up front here," Tim started. She looked at him, at Sam, and her eyes widened.

"Oh, Timothy, I see!" Penny exclaimed. She stood and gestured Sam to rise as well. "Then you get more than a handshake, my boy. Come here." She hugged him, smiling, then sat back down and casually began to look at the menu.

Tim's smile was both pleased and proud. Sam stared at him and shrugged.

"You were right," Sam muttered.

"Of course he was. He's one smart cookie, my grandson. But I'm sure you knew that already."

Sam chuckled. "Very smart, yes, ma'am."

"Oh, call me Penny," she insisted. Sam nodded.

They ordered and talked. Sam found the woman fascinating and felt totally adopted as part of the family by the end of the night.

Back at the apartment, they walked Jethro and decided he was comfortable enough with Sam to stay home with him on Monday instead of returning to the kennel in the morning. Sam was getting used to having a four-legged buddy again and was looking forward to the day.

They got ready for bed and by unspoken agreement, just settled in to sleep. Tim spooned Sam, stroking his chest. Sam fell asleep to the soothing touch, and Tim soon followed.


When Tim left for work the next morning, Sam was at loose ends. He ended up on the computer, automatically searching the obituaries for strange deaths and scanning headlines. He'd already dialed Dean's number to tell him about what looked like someone reanimating corpses into zombies when he realized what he was doing. And that it was only seven a.m. in Kansas.

"Yeah, Sammy, what's up?" Dean answered. He sounded as if Sam had woken him.

"I just thought about the time difference, I'm sorry, dude," Sam said apologetically.

"You okay?"

"Yeah. I'm...finishing up here tomorrow but I was checking out news reports, and I think we've got a necromancer in Abbotsville, Pennsylvania. There's reports of people seeing the recently deceased walking around, even a physical altercation with one. I'm still in DC, so I was gonna head up there tomorrow morning."

"Zombies, huh? I guess we'll meet you there around noon tomorrow, then."

"Who's 'we', Dean?"

"See ya there."

Dean hung up and Sam frowned as he turned his phone off. It disturbed him that Dean was bringing someone else. His lip curled when he realized that it was probably Benny, the vampire that Dean had escaped with from purgatory.

"Well, hell," he muttered. Jethro looked up at the tone of voice and Sam shook his head. "This sucks, boy." The dog came over and put his head on Sam's lap and he scratched the soft ears.

After several minutes of petting the dog, Sam felt better. He worked out, showered, and then took Jethro for a walk. Still getting a feel for Tim's neighborhood, Sam wandered, and as they passed a small playground a swarm of kids raced over with cries of "Jethro!" and "doggie!". Sam froze, but Jethro wagged his tail and sat down primly to accept the affection.

"That is Jethro, isn't it?" A blonde woman had approached behind the screaming hoard and Sam looked at her with his eyes wide and uncertain.

"Uh, yeah. Yeah, it is Jethro," he nodded. She smiled up at him and put out her hand.

"Patricia. These three-" she indicated a redhead and two brunettes among the wriggling bodies pressed so close around Jethro that Sam could only see his ears. “-Are with me."

Sam shook. "Sam."

"And you're Tim's..." She waited. Sam's face flushed red.


"Oh!" She nodded. "Well. It's nice to meet you. I'll probably see you around again. C'mon, kids, let Jethro go for his patrol now."

The mass of little heads and arms withdrew back toward the playground equipment with shrieks saying good-bye to the dog, and Sam hurried off, Jethro pacing proudly beside him. When Sam made it out of sight of the park, he stopped and texted Tim, worried he'd outed him.

S-walking J we met Patricia & hoard at park. Didn't know what to say & she assumed. Worried. ?-

T-no prob. She say how Kayla's recital went?-

S-uh, no. Just intro. Sure it's ok?-

T-yep, I led her that direction to get her to back off when we met. She nannies for a power couple up the street but wants her own power husband.-

S-well u r powerful. :)-


Sam smiled as he walked on, a bounce in his normally restrained step. Back at Tim's apartment, Sam grabbed the baby oil soaked towels from their massage night and sorted out clothes to do laundry, figuring he'd need at least a couple of changes since he would be working a case with Dean. His mood darkened when he recalled who Dean was bringing with him, but he vowed not to let that affect his last night with Tim.

Having been impressed with the produce selection at the local market, Sam ran back out and returned with more salad supplies as well as fruit and honey for dessert. He picked up more tea lights for Tim's two little candleholders, then added a half dozen more cheap votives and a bottle of wine. At the last minute, he grabbed a can of whipped cream as well, trying to act normal when it was all being rung up. He had to tell himself that the clerk couldn't possibly know what he had planned, but the wink he received as he grabbed the bags made him doubt.

He hard boiled some eggs and prepped the veggies while they cooked, making egg salad and tossing a bowl full of mixed fruit with the honey and some fresh mint leaves. Everything went back into the fridge and Sam settled on the couch to finish the novel he was reading. Another walk late in the afternoon with Jethro, then Sam fed him and prepared his vignette for their last dinner together.

When Tim arrived home, Sam had set up a picnic on a blanket in the living room, the apartment dark save for the golden glow of candles. Tim's heart soared at the romanticism of Sam's efforts and he recalled what Sam had said about his love for him rising ever higher. Tim felt his adoration for Sam grow deeper with each additional compatibility revealed. Sam was more than he'd dared dream of in a life partner. Having conceptualized of a reasonably attractive wife who wanted smart kids, someone hopefully intelligent enough to stimulate him mentally, he had figured contentment was his highest aspiration. Sam dispersed those old thoughts like vapor with his strength of body, mind, and character, opening up new possibilities for a life so rich and full that Tim felt giddy.

Jethro retreated to his bed in the corner of the bedroom when Tim pointed, not wanting a begging dog with old dog breath and big brown eyes to interfere with Sam's plans. They talked and fed each other, Sam ending up with his back against the couch and Tim leaning against his chest while they nibbled on the sweetened fruit. The warm glow from the wine and their enjoyment of one another made them clumsy and giggly. Honey dripped on Tim's shirt and Sam peeled it off of him then accidentally on purpose spilled more on his bare skin. They were both naked and sticky by the time Sam broke out the Nutter Butters and whipped cream, and afterward they had to scrub themselves in the shower to remove the mess.

Spooned together in bed, clean and sated, Tim ran his fingers up and down Sam's chest while he tried to express his earlier thoughts.

"It's cliché, but you really are my first and last thoughts every day, and you're a constant presence in my mind throughout. You're dug in so deep in my psyche, I'll never be alone again."

"That's a good thing, right? I mean, I've got Dean, and you have family and friends, but... It means so much to me to have you love me because you choose to, and I didn't know what that was like before now. I think Jess enjoyed me, and Amelia needed me, but you... I was so alone. And now I'm not."

Tim squeezed him tight. "Never alone again. Either of us."


The next morning, Tim had Jethro harnessed and was ready to drop him off at the kennel on his way to work, and Sam was prepared to head up to Pennsylvania. They held on tightly standing by the front door.

"Thank you, Sam," Tim said, his voice thick, throat tight with controlled emotion. "I needed this time so badly. I don't know how long I'll last until I have to see you again, but having had you here...I want you to know it means so much to me. I know it causes problems with Dean –"

"That's my problem, baby. If you need me, I'll come."

"I...I want it to be our problems, when there are problems. At least when it's about being together. I hope that's not too –"

"I like that. I just need to find a way to tell him. It's... It'll be okay." Sam cleared his throat. "I don't want to make you late."

Tim pulled back just enough to look up into Sam's eyes. "Then kiss me, and we'll go." Sam swallowed the tension in his throat and it became a shiver running through his body, down his back all the way to his toes. He kissed Tim, wrapping his arms tighter, trying to memorize the feel of his lips, the texture of his tongue, the taste and smell of him.

Tim's legs grew fluid with the power of Sam's embrace. He held on, clinging to Sam in order to keep his footing. When Sam broke the kiss, Tim couldn't let go for nearly a minute or he'd have staggered.

"Jeez, Sam..." Tim whispered. Sam's smile became impish.

"I'll see you soon, Tim. I love you."

"Oh god, Sam. You know I love you. Be safe."

"You too."

They went their separate ways.


Getting to Pennsylvania took longer than Sam anticipated due to the heavy traffic getting out of the DC area, and Dean called him just as he got into town. They met up at a motel to plan, Sam steeling himself before he entered the room.

"Cas!" Sam exclaimed, thrilled to see his friend and relieved it wasn't Benny who'd arrived with Dean. Two long strides across the room and he enveloped the angel in a hug. When he released the shorter man, he clapped him on the shoulder. "How?" He asked, wanting to know how Castiel had gotten out of purgatory. The strange, dark blue eyes studied Sam and Sam suddenly realized that with his angel senses, he probably knew about Tim now. He shook his head, trying subtly to ask for Cas' silence. The angel wasn't big on subtlety.

"He doesn't know how he got out," Dean said from the other side of the room. He looked more relaxed than Sam had seen him since he'd gotten back. Sam went and hugged him, too. Dean slapped him on the back. "Uh, okay, Sammy. I saw you like a week ago."

"Yeah, uh, of course," Sam stepped back and put his hands in his pockets. "So, we now have angel backup, that's always good."

"My abilities are limited, Sam," Cas corrected. "Whatever brought me back didn't leave me at full capacity. It took several tries to manifest, then when I succeeded with Dean in the shower, I–"

"TMI, Cas!" Dean interrupted. He turned to Sam. "He wants to hunt, so with you flaking out every other week, he's in."

"Okay, so let's get started," Sam agreed. Anything was better than Benny as Dean's hunting partner. He pulled his laptop out of his bag and set it on the table.

Sharing everything he'd found only took a few minutes and they agreed that interviewing the people who claimed to have seen the dead walking around was the place to start. Pre-texting as reporters for the World News Weekly, they quickly had a list of probable zombies. Sam returned to the motel to do a computer search for anyone connected to all of them, and Dean and Cas went to get a statement from the police.

Sam found an email from Tim when he checked.


We've got a series of robberies to investigate, so I'll be busy in the field. I can smell you on my clothes, and it comforts me. I miss you already. Text me when you can.



Sam smiled and sent a text to Tim's phone.

S-Baby, I've been missing u since u left my arms. I'll try for a visit when this case is done before I head back.-

And then he turned back to working the case, but he felt better with having had the contact.

Tim was checking out the home of a suspect's girlfriend with Gibbs. The getaway car had been caught on a traffic camera near two of the robberies. Tony had located two possible contacts, this place along with the seaman's brother's home, which he and Ziva were investigating. Tim was pleased it looked like it might be one of the rare simple cases they got.

"Go around back," Gibbs ordered. Tim nodded. The side gate hung partially open, so he eased past it in case it creaked, watching carefully. Someone leaped over the railing of the back porch and Tim drew his weapon, calling out even as he saw it was their suspect. The man turned to run.

"Federal agent! Don't move!"

To Tim, it felt like someone shoved him, then he was looking at the sky. Night fell, faster than he'd ever seen, and someone stood over him, a head floating in his vision as the light faded.

"SSSam...?" He slurred, and full dark settled in.


Sam was getting dinner when his phone rang with an unknown number. He stepped out of line and answered.


"Sam, it's Gibbs. Tim's in the hospital. Holy Cross in Silver Spring. Gunshot." The man spoke sharply, and his voice sounded rough. Sam's vision narrowed to a pinprick, then suddenly the lights in the lobby of the fast food place were way too bright.

"Ninety minutes. Maybe less," Sam said, estimating how fast he could get there.

"Meet you out front."

Sam left. In the car, he called Dean as he sped toward the highway. Dean could barely understand Sam's panicked explanation, save that Sam was returning to DC and he and Cas were on their own with a necromancer.

"That's just great, Sammy. You found this case and now you're bailing? What the hell!"

"I've gotta get there! Gibbs called, he's like a mute but he called me so he knows and I can't let - oh god, I've gotta go." Sam hung up and concentrated on driving.

Eighty-two minutes later, Gibbs met Sam outside the hospital. He was just as Tim had described, with the erect bearing, short silver hair and blue eyes that flashed as they caught the light. "He's in surgery."

"What happened?" Sam's voice was low and clipped.

"We were checking out a suspect, I sent him around back –"



Sam's fist slammed into Gibbs' face like a cobra strike. The blow staggered Gibbs back a step, his fists came up, and two orderlies moved toward them. Sam stood still, breath heaving, and Gibbs understood. He relaxed, waved the orderlies off, and took a step back to where he'd been standing.

"He's gonna be fine, Sam," Gibbs said, realizing too late he should have led with that. Sam's body was shaking with emotion, his jaw clenched, eyes burning with fury. "Shoulder. Through and through. They're just checking it out and patching him up. Tim is okay."

The red haze slowly retreated from Sam's vision. He swallowed hard, recognizing that he'd just assaulted a federal officer and a man Tim greatly respected.

"Um..." Sam didn't know what to say. Gibbs' eye was already swelling and would surely turn into a spectacular shiner shortly. "Let's get you some ice."

They walked into the hospital together.


Waking, Tim saw Sam standing over him with a painfully bright light haloing him, but Tim refused to look away, even when his eyes teared up.

"Baby, you're okay. You were shot, and you've got a mild concussion, but you're gonna be fine," Sam said. The sound of his voice was strange, coarse and echo-y, and when Tim nodded, the light turned out.

Tim regained consciousness again and the light was back to normal. He looked around and saw Sam was asleep with his head pillowed on one arm next to Tim on the bed. On the other side, Gibbs stood, drinking coffee.

"Who gave you the black eye, boss?" Tim asked. He tried to speak softly so as not to wake Sam, but the dryness of his throat made his voice come out in a froggy croak. He cleared his throat and swallowed.

"Sam. Your guy's fast," Gibbs replied.

"He blames you for my getting shot?" Tim asked incredulously.

"Yeah, but he made up for it by forcing the doctors to let me in here," Sam offered, sitting up. He coughed and shook his hair out of his face. "We need to get some legal documentation filed. I don't want to have to claim to be your brother just to be allowed to see you. That could get...awkward."

Tim's mouth quirked into a mischievous smile. "We could just get married," he replied, watching Gibbs' reaction. The older man rolled his eyes and walked out. Tim turned back to Sam. "Sorry, I just had to see his reaction to that."

Sam nodded and leaned in for an awkward snuggle/hug. "I'm so glad you're alright, baby. I'm sorry I punched him."

"I think you probably impressed him, actually. It impresses me; Boss rarely takes one."

"I've never had my vision just red out like that, not even when...not ever."

"Sam, my job can be dangerous, but Gibbs would never put me in harm's way unnecessarily," Tim admonished.

"I know. I actually like him."

"Yeah, I do, too."

Sam kissed Tim gently and smoothed his hair back.

Tim smiled. "That feels good. I could get used to this," he said. "But I'd rather be at home. Any word on when I'll get out of here?"

Gibbs returned with a doctor in tow.

"First thing tomorrow, most likely," the doctor offered. He began a quick examination. "If you can keep solid food down, I'll release you," he decided and left.

"You'll be off on medical for two weeks, then light duty," Gibbs said. He looked at Sam. "You staying?"

"Yeah. Might even take him to Kansas when he can sit in a car a while," Sam replied. He glanced at Tim whose mouth dropped open then closed as he grinned. Going to Kansas meant Sam was ready to tell Dean.

"Fly," Gibbs ordered. Sam cocked an eyebrow. "Tomorrow. Trust me."

"Sure thing, Boss," Tim said. Sam shrugged and nodded, and Gibbs gave them a little smile. "Uh, Boss, Tony and Ziva don't –"

"Go to Kansas," Gibbs replied and Tim understood that he'd already told them how to be together without Tony or Ziva having to know. "We still have a case, and now an unknown shooter. Call Abby before you go."

"I'm sorry I didn't see who shot me," Tim told Gibbs. "I told you I saw Seaman Graves at the house, though, right?"

"Don't apologize, McGee, you gave a statement before your surgery."

Sam's eyes widened at that revelation and Tim smiled at his reaction. No matter how often he'd told Sam that he was tougher than he looked, nothing was better proof than a demonstration. He was proud of having reported to Gibbs after he'd been shot, even if he had no recollection of doing so. Stroking Tim's hair one more time, Sam followed Gibbs out into the hall after the older man inclined his head toward the door.

"So, uh, thank you, Agent Gibbs," Sam said when the older man stopped and looked at him. Sam held out his hand to shake. Gibbs took it.

"Jethro," he said, then gave Sam a fierce look. "Just take care of Tim."

"I will. And, um, Tim told me how you are about apologies, but... Sorry about the eye."

Gibbs just shook his head and turned to go. Sam didn't see the half-smile as Gibbs walked away.

Returning to Tim's side, he found him dozing. He watched the even breathing and nodded to himself. It was definitely time to tell Dean and get this out in the open. He went back out in the hall and then outside the building to call and check on Dean and Cas and the case. He was glad when Dean's voice sounded relaxed on the other end.

"No thanks to you, but we're heading home. The zombies turned on their maker and all but one actually wanted to be put back in the ground. Add angel mojo to the ways to deal with those things, too by the way. The ones who wanted to die again just keeled over when Cas touched 'em. Did the stake into the grave bit on the last one, and we're done," Dean informed him. "What about you? You weren't making sense when you called, dude."

"I, uh," Sam took a deep breath. "I'm bringing someone back with me."

"Huh? Who?"

"Who do you think?"

"Finally! You don't even talk about her, just sneaking off for your phone calls. So she knows about the business? How'd she take it? Can she bring a friend? Or two? Cas could really use –"

"Dude, will you shut up for a minute? I need to tell you –"

"What, is she old?" Dean sounded almost jubilant as he started on a roll.

"No, it's –"

"Fat? You got yourself a fatty?"

"Dean –"

"Ugly? Fugly? With a good personality, I get it—"


" –what?"

"His name is Tim. He's a guy, Dean."

"Not funny, Sammy. C'mon now..." He waited and Sam stayed quiet. "No... Wait –what?"

"The person I've been meeting, calling... He's a man."

Dean froze, all trace of amusement gone. "So...when did you go gay?" He shook his head. "And how did I miss it?" He muttered to himself.

"I have not gone gay, Dean! It's just Tim. Anyway, we'll be there sometime tomorrow."

"You...and –Tim?"

"Tim McGee, yeah. He was injured, and I'm bringing him to the bunker to let him heal up."

"Dude..." Dean sounded confused.

"He's important to me. Please, just..."

Dean sighed. "Whatever. See you tomorrow." As Dean lowered the phone, Sam heard him begin to question Cas. "Did you know about –" Then disconnect.

On shaky legs, Sam returned to Tim's room and collapsed into the chair beside the bed. Tim stirred.


Sam looked over at him. "I told Dean."

"Oh my god. What...what did he say?"

"Not much. I'm sorry, I hope he won't be a dick to you. If he is, we'll go somewhere else –"

"It'll be fine, Sam. Really, I know how to handle a guy like Dean."

Sam hung his head, not certain he liked the thought of Tim handling Dean's sarcasm and hostility and scorn while Tim was trying to heal. Or at all.

"Sam..." Tim waited until he looked up then smiled. "It's going to be fine. I promise."

Sam's brows quirked into and out of a frown, and he shrugged. "We'll be together. That sounds fine to me."

"I need to sleep a while longer. Why don't you go to the apartment and pack some clothes for me, book us a flight, then come back."

Sam stood and kissed him tenderly. "I'm gonna take care of you. Don't worry about handling Dean. I'll manage."

"We'll manage, Sam."

Sam smiled.

He hadn't anticipated coming back to Tim's apartment so soon, but he was glad he'd been there since he knew the place well enough to get everything organized for their trip.

Tim woke from another restless doze and reached for the phone. Abby was awake at all hours so he'd never felt the need to check the clock before calling her, and he didn't bother now. As usual, she answered quickly.

"Timmy! Gibbs said not to bug you. Are you okay?" She didn't even say hello.

"Yeah, I'm alright. Sam was nearby and Gibbs called him. He's gonna take me back to his place for my medical leave," Tim told her. She squealed.

"Gibbs met Sam? What did he think? Did he say anything?"

"I don't know. I kinda got the feeling they liked each other. In a weird way."

"And Sam's gonna take you home! That's so sweet. He'll take good care of you. He better, anyway. Tell him I said so."

"Will do. Abs, I need you to help keep Tony and Ziva away from the hospital. This isn't how I want them to find out."

"Sure! But they're gonna be fine with it. I told you that."

"Abby –"

"Don't worry, McGee, I won't tell. I just know it's gonna be fine when you do tell them."

"Thanks, Abs. I'll see you in two weeks."

"Take pictures!"

They hung up, Tim shaking his head. He loved Abby, but her energy could really be exhausting. He set his phone down and closed his eyes.

When Sam returned to the hospital, Tim was deeply asleep, so he quietly sat down and pushed back in the reclining chair so he could rest as well. Nurses came and went, making Sam grumble protectively about Tim not being allowed to rest, but Tim just smiled and said it was fine.

The flurry of activity the next morning getting Tim discharged and making their way to the airport left Tim drained and he slept for most of the flight. Sam watched him. There wasn't much traffic from Hayes' tiny airport to Lebanon, and while Tim reassured Sam he was fine, the car ride over the back roads was rough on his wound. When they finally arrived at the strange, culvert-looking door, Tim grew excited.

"It's the ultimate secret hide-out!" He said, grinning like a kid. Sam kissed him and took a deep breath. “The Bat-cave!”

"You ready to face Dean?"

"With you, I'm ready to face anything, Sam."

The smile he got in return was worth getting shot for.




Chapter Text

Chapter 11

Dean looked at Tim and nodded. "I get it. You're the catcher."

Sam and Tim had arrived at the bunker in a rental car after the uneventful flight. The jostling Tim's shoulder had received just on the hour drive from the airport made Sam appreciate why Gibbs had insisted they fly from DC to Kansas. Tim's face was more pale than usual when Sam introduced him to Dean.

Sam tensed at the judgmental comment from Dean, leaning forward protectively, but Tim put his hand on his arm.

"Actually, we're switch hitters. You want me to describe how that works?" Tim said mildly.

"Jeez, ugh, no!" Dean exclaimed. "Dude, I was just kidding. I'm gonna grab a beer. You want one?"

Tim frowned slightly. It was 11:30 in the morning, local time. "No, thanks."

Sam declined as well, and Dean left the room.

Sam put his arm around Tim's waist and hugged him, chuckling. "That was great. Thank you. Just..."

"I'm not going to antagonize him, but I won't let him steamroll us, either. It'll be fine, Sam," Tim said. Sam stepped back, grinning.

"Let me give you the tour."

They wandered through, Sam excitedly showing off all the bunker had to offer. Tim was enchanted by the library, as Sam knew he would be.

"You have to get this stuff scanned and searchable; think how easy that'll make it. But man, that's a big project. It'd be cool if we could get a team in to do it," Tim enthused. Sam couldn't take his eyes off of Tim; he was wide-eyed and wondering. Sam had never seen him so enthralled, except during sex. Tim finally noticed Sam's lack of response and looked at him. His breath caught at the intensity in Sam's expression. He slowly moved toward Sam, and Sam carefully enveloped him in an embrace, kissing him languorously. Which of course was when Dean came looking for them.

"Ah! Dude, no! I'm outta here. I don't wanna see that," Dean complained. The couple broke apart, but Sam kept ahold of Tim's hand.

"Whatever. Bring home dinner tonight, we'll be done by then," Sam smirked.

"Brain bleach. Not enough in the world, man," Dean said. He shook his head as he walked out.

"What is brain bleach and why isn't there enough in the world?" A gravelly voice asked as Castiel emerged from deep in the back of the library stacks.

"Just an expression. Cas, um, this is Timothy McGee, my..." Sam took a deep breath. "My lover."

"Yes, this is the man you smelled like when you met us in Abbotsville. Hello." Tim nodded, speechless meeting a real live Angel of the Lord. Cas cocked his head and approached. "You're injured." He reached for Tim's shoulder.

"I thought you didn't have your mojo," Sam said. Cas' hand began to glow and Tim shuddered.

Cas dropped his hand and looked over at Sam, watching silently as Sam caught the weak-kneed Tim and helped him to a chair.

"Not all of it, but I can aid in his healing," Cas replied.

Sam gently removed Tim's bandage to check his wound. It looked like he'd been shot a month or more ago. Sam encouraged Tim to move his arm, slipping his sling off, and Tim whistled in amazement. It was sore but completely usable. Sam turned and went to hug Cas.

"Thanks, man. That is such a load off my mind!" Sam slapped the angel on the back and got a solemn nod in return.

"Hey Cas! You coming? Lovebirds need some time alone and we have that, uh, thing," Dean yelled from the front room.

"What thing?" Sam asked. Castiel frowned.

"I'm uncertain as to what precisely Dean is referring," Cas replied and brushed past Sam to go to Dean.

"Was he lying? Can angels lie?" Tim asked when they heard the outer door bang shut.

"That was very carefully worded..." Sam muttered. Tim nodded in agreement.

Though disturbed by the awkward retreat of Dean and Cas, Sam continued showing Tim the rest of the bunker, finishing in his room.

Tim smiled and slid his hands around Sam's waist. "We should probably be circumspect and not have sex when Dean and Cas are here, but right now, they're not here..." He leaned forward and began kissing Sam's neck. Sam grinned.

"Good point. I've fantasized about fucking on the table out there, in the stacks, against the railing overlooking-"


"Oh, all right," Sam agreed before he gave Tim a passionate kiss.

So they made love in Sam's bedroom rather than being adventurous, then settled at the table each with a stack of books to read. Tim had been thrilled to discover the records so there was soft jazz playing when Dean called from the entrance.

"Sammy! You decent?"

"Yeah, we're good."

Dean came in with a box. Cas wasn't with him and Sam didn't ask where the angel had gone. "Pizza," Dean crowed. They spent the evening talking, Sam and Tim sharing interesting tidbits of information that they'd found in the books they were reading. Tim went off tangentially on his ideas of getting the entire library scanned and computerized.

Sam was aware that Dean was watching them closely, so he studiously relaxed, touching Tim when it felt natural but not putting on a show. He wanted Dean to see how they really were together, because he knew how good it was. But Dean never really relaxed. Tim had noticed and also saw Dean's restlessness as the night grew later. He finally stood up and stretched then touched Sam's shoulder.

"I'm gonna head to bed, I'm still on eastern time," Tim said diplomatically. Sam rose and hugged him.

"I won't be long," Sam whispered. He drew back, but in a flash of mutual understanding, they didn't kiss.

"Good-night," Tim nodded to Dean as he left the room.

"Well, uh, good," Dean said after he heard Sam's bedroom door shut. "I wanted to talk to you alone."

Sam tensed but nodded. "About what?"

Dean finished his beer and set the bottle down next to his other three empties. "You, uh, remember the, uh, cupid angel thing?"

"Yeah, they make people fall in love. Like mom and dad with the creepy angel breeding program of mom's hunter family with dad's men of letters family. Why-" Sam felt a chill crawl across his scalp and down his spine then liquefy in an icy pool where he sat.

"Me and Cas found one and had a talk with him." Dean looked down at the table, then finally up at Sam. "He, well, Sammy, he turned you gay."

Sam didn't respond. All that iciness he'd felt seemed to flash-freeze solid inside him, and he knew, he just knew, that the tiniest tap and he would shatter.

"See, Gabriel grabbed him and pulled him back in time and had him tag you every time you met Tim. Gabriel probably made you meet, too. You took four hits before you went gay, dude, so I'm guessing you're like, super-straight or something-"

"Gabriel?" Sam asked.

"Yeah, the trickster son of a bitch archangel, you remember. He killed me. A lot."

"But he's dead."

"Yeah, I guess he did it before he died. One twisted little motherfucker. I thought he actually liked you, man, but to do this to you-"

"To us."


"To both of us, right? The cupid tags both people."

"Yeah, yeah, I guess so."

The ice in Sam didn't shatter, it vaporized, leaving an aching, yawning hole behind.

"Why would you do this?" Sam whispered.

"What? I thought you'd be relieved, man. I bet Cas can undo it. Where is he, by the way? He took off after we cornered that cherub."

"I was happy, Dean. Tim is...was...the best thing that ever happened to me. We're a perfect match, he-" Sam choked.

"What, happy? Come on, man, you've been moping for months since you hurt your ankle!"

"When I wasn't with him! I was so happy with him..." It struck then, not a tap but an avalanche: guilt. This thing that had been done had been done to Tim. Beautiful, brilliant, loving Tim. He'd probably be married with supergenius little kids by now if his life hadn't gotten tangled up in Sam's. Why had Gabriel chosen Tim? Why not some other person, someone who was already wretched, tarnished and damaged like he was? It was so unfair to Tim, taking advantage of his compassionate, caring nature to force him into a relationship with someone as screwed up as Sam. There was only one way Sam could see to start to make this right, but he didn't know if he could do it. To give up Tim... Sam shuddered. He wasn't sure he would survive that. If it killed him to let go of his love, at least this suffering would be over. But dying, for him, had never been all that difficult. Staying dead was harder. Unfortunately, Sam was sure his suffering wouldn't end with letting Tim go. He'd have to live, and hunt, as he had for so long. His head dropped forward in defeat.


"Go, Dean. I have to tell Tim, and I can't have you here to see it," Sam's voice was a low, miserable mumble. Dean rose. He touched Sam's arm as he moved toward the door.

"I'm sorry, Sammy."

Dean left. Sam sat at the table for a long time, gathering his courage. Every time he thought he was ready, another thought would cross his mind of something he would never do with Tim. He felt like everything he'd dreamed of sharing with Tim was in ephemeral tatters, each part slowly blowing away, one by one.

"Sam? You coming to bed?" Tim's voice was from across the room, and Sam flinched. Tim came closer. He'd never seen Sam look so bad before, pale beneath his tan to a terrible, sickly pallor, circles under his eyes as if he hadn't slept in a week. "Oh my god, what's wrong? Did Dean-"

"It's not real."


Sam cleared his throat and pushed laboriously to his feet. Tim almost reached out to help him up, the motion was so pained, but the next word stopped him cold. "Us." Tim twitched like an electric shock had gone through him. "Tim, there is no way I can express how sorry I am-there just aren't words. Cupid... The cherub thing was in the books, you know, so anyway, cupid...Gabriel..."

"We were hit by cupid's arrow?" Tim asked in a whisper.

"Every time we met. Gabriel, the-the archangel," Sam's voice dripped with venom. "Gabriel dragged the cherub through time and made him affect us every time we met. He took your choices away, Tim," his voice was agonized. "He made you... He forced you into this. I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry."

"Sam." His name, the most beloved word Tim knew, he breathed it like a prayer. "Sam, I don't care."

Sam looked up in shock.

"I love you. I don't care how it happened. We are great together. I wish Gabriel was still alive, I'd shake his hand! I'm so grateful to have you-"

"No! You don't understand. There is no together. There is no us. You need to go, run, now! Get back and try to salvage what you can of your lifetime. He took so much from you..." Sam nearly wept. "Please, Tim. Please, just go."

Tim felt the breath leave his body. He was serious. Sam was throwing him out, dumping him, telling him that everything they'd had was nothing. He had about a minute to convince him otherwise. Unless he'd already made up his mind... Trembling harder, he realized Sam was so stubborn, he might not have any chance at all.

"No. No, Sam. I've told you again and again that you're mine. You said home, you-you promised, you said forever, c'mon-"

"Not now. It's all changed. It's my fault, and you-"

Tim launched himself at Sam, cutting off his protests with a kiss. But Sam did not respond, he just used his strong hands to pry Tim off of him and push him away. Tim's eyes were wide, white visible all the way around. "I'd die without you, Sam," Tim whispered. Sam shook his head sadly and looked away.

"You won't. You're stronger than that, bab-Tim." Sam dug in his pocket and held a car key out to Tim, who refused to take it. Sam set it on the table. "The rental. Just take it. Take the car and just...go. Live your life. Convince Abby that she can handle a real relationship. Marry her, have super-genius kids. Be-be happy," his voice broke then and he hurried away, going to his room and locking the door behind him. His body crumpled and he dropped to his knees right there; further, until his forehead was on the floor, then he fell onto his side and lay curled in a fetal position, empty and more alone than he'd ever been.


Tim was shaking too badly to walk. After Sam left, he just stood there while minutes went by. His body trembled and shivered, but his feet couldn't move. His mind was blank. For the first time ever, no plans or ideas, no expectations or concerns were whirling through his head. He could feel, however, and the feelings washed over him like arctic seawater; he was drowning in the experience. Pain: wave after wave of agony; fear: terror so intense acid rose to the back of his throat; anger: red tinge to his vision, swept away by sadness: grief like a mountain settling on his shoulders.

Eventually, thoughts began to drift up through the murk of emotion. This had to be a nightmare. It couldn't be real. Please, god, please wake up. There has to be some way to fix this, to get through to Sam. Because to never look into his eyes again, feel his strength, it was wrong, all wrong! He'd come back out, surely. He was smart, as smart as Tim. He'd have to realize, have to know what they had was real, more real than anything else.

More minutes passed. Tim was unconsciously listening for any sound of Sam, so when the faintest flutter of wings from Cas' arrival back in Dean's bedroom came to him, Tim finally moved. He was at the door when Cas opened it.

"How does it work?" Tim demanded. "Cherubs, their power," he specified. Cas tilted his head.

"Those marked by the power of the arrows fall in love. No exceptions."

"And it's permanent? They stay in love for the rest of their lives?"

"No. The arrows trigger the initial response, but there is always choice. It is the oldest law from god that mankind have free will. It's how you were created, how you differ from angels."

Tim turned from Castiel and went to Sam's door. It was locked, but he had lock picks, and he knelt. When the knob turned, Tim pushed the door but was stopped with only a few inches of darkness showing in the gap. He carefully forced it, sure it was Sam blocking the way. Making the gap wide enough to slip through, he stepped inside and closed it. The darkness was like velvet, soothing, and part of his mind analyzed that his stress had caused his pupils to dilate and so lack of light was a relief from too much stimulus. Tim leaned back against the jamb and slid down until he sat. Only then did he reach a hand out to touch Sam. His fingers met the silky strands of Sam's hair, and he petted them. He was so disassociated that it wasn't strange to him that Sam didn't respond. All Tim's focus was on his sense of touch. Time lost meaning; he felt suspended in the blackness. Light didn't even creep in from beneath the door; there was a sweep across the bottom that left complete darkness. Tim loved the feel of Sam's hair. He ran his fingertips along, focused on how like satin it was. Then he spent time letting it trail between his fingers, over and over again. Eventually, he stretched a bit further and dug in to rub Sam's scalp. Feather-light at first, but the heat was comforting, and the gentle massage became Tim's whole hand cupping Sam's skull, palm flat over the curves, soaking in the sensations.

Sam had shut down completely as he lay still. The darkness cloaked him, returning to smother when he accepted that the bright glow Tim had shone was gone. He delved inward, seeking the way of being he'd existed in before Colorado, before a candle had ignited and grown into his own personal sun, ever shining, keeping the hated bleakness of his lonely existence away. Somehow, back then he'd managed a simulacrum of life, but if that façade was still within him, he couldn't find it. There was no impetus to rise from his position. Dean would eventually arrive to exert outside force upon him and he knew he'd move, then. He'd do as expected and the semblance of life would appear on the outside. But hollow... More hollow than ever, more hollow than when he'd lacked his soul. Hollow, and so alone inside, forever.

Tim let his fingers trace where the hair began high on Sam's forehead. There was a downy fuzz, and no matter how he tried to remember, with all the times he'd stared and tried to memorize Sam's features to the smallest detail, he'd never known that was there. Tim imagined that was how Sam's cheeks would have felt when they had met up in Arizona, back when Sam was twelve and Tim fifteen. He recalled adoring the boy Sam, the short waif with the big green eyes and tentative smile. They'd sat for hours every day of those two weeks in the abandoned house on the broken down sofa, reading comic books Tim brought, eating Funyuns and Nutter Butters and drinking Mr Pibb. Jonesy, the golden retriever Sam had befriended, lay at their feet and was the only reason Tim could bear to leave Sam at night, knowing that he wouldn't be alone. Tim had been shattered when he'd returned to find Sam gone, Jonesy nowhere around. He'd moped, depressed, for months. His parents had bought him the Camaro for his sixteenth birthday to try to get his spirits up, but the car accident and months of physical pain during his recovery had barely dulled the emotional pain of his loss. Life had continued, but Tim had remained sensitive, almost timid, learning to put on a mask of normal, until the summer he'd taught a computer seminar at Stanford and Sam had attended. It had been as if the piece of him that had been broken was healed and strengthened by the time they spent together; and while parting had then been difficult, actually getting to say good-bye had allowed Tim to begin to grow again as a person. He'd gained confidence working at NCIS, had grown as an agent by leaps and bounds while he was on Gibbs' team. In the best shape of his life physically, mentally, emotionally, meeting Sam on the trail, the timing had been perfect.

Perfect. The pattern of greens and the flecks of gold and brown near the pupils in Sam's eyes. The chiseled features, boyish smile, happy laugh. The glorious body, ripped muscles, powerful, beautiful, responsive. All the moans and curses and crying out when Tim touched him. His fingers moved down from Sam's hairline to stroke the smooth skin, the bump of the mole by his nose, the delicate hairs of his eyelashes, translucent skin of his lids, the strong forehead begun with the eyebrows. He felt the line of stress between those brows and automatically smoothed it away. Down, his jaw was clenched, and Tim soothed the tension away, feeling the rasp of his beard. Earlier, playing with that scruff, running his tongue across its roughness, later dozing in Sam's arms. Bliss in the scent of him, the heat. Making love, the heat inside Sam always felt degrees hotter than normal body temperature, so the experience of sex was a scorching, perfect thing.

There was a touch. Hair, then face. Some aspect of Sam catalogued it. His retreat inward had been defensive, but he knew this touch was no threat. Part of Sam extrapolated from the phantom touch. It meant Tim was safe. He'd go on. Out in the world, he'd shine on. Sam had done what he had to and released him. If Sam's mind had broken in the process, that was acceptable. Ghostly touches from Tim were a much better insanity that the ever-present Lucifer hallucinations that had nearly killed him. He inclined his head into the touch on his cheek and moved, sitting up, braced against the door. A delusional arm wrapped around the small of his back to hold his waist. He put his arm across the shoulders; the pose they'd held while Tim half-carried him from the mountain. Another hand came over and stroked his chest, sliding down against his abs and back up. It was comforting. Hallucinatory fingers moved to his nipples and they rose up to greet the touch. He grew hard as he was stimulated, sardonically noting that an imaginary partner was no worse than masturbation. When he was pulled down on top of a warm, inviting body, suspicion tickled the back of his mind and he brought his hands up to his partner's face.

When Sam's hands touched Tim's face, Tim reverently kissed each palm, then moved them down to his neck. He pressed on the fingers, spreading the thumbs to rest against his adam's apple, tightening the grip, asking, showing Sam what he wanted.

"What?" Sam breathed. Suspicion grew. Maybe this wasn’t hallucination.

"Please. Please, Sam," Tim begged. His voice was a faint sigh. "For the sake of the love we had, however it came about. Please, I want it to be you. Just-end it."

"No!" Sam shook his head, ice re-forming along his spine as reality speared through his delusion. He tried to pull his hands away but Tim's fingers tightened with manic strength on his.

"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I thought you might still care enough to do this for me. I want it to be you. I, oh, Sam, don't you even pity me enough to do it? Please, oh please, let your touch be the last thing I feel. Please, I know it's asking too much, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm weak, I know I am, please, please, please..." Tears flooded from Tim's eyes, sobs wracking him, interrupting his pleas, which went on and on.

Sam shook his head. That wasn't how this was going to end. It wasn't supposed to be like that. Tim had to go out into his life, had to marry and make brilliant little Timmys and maybe some baby Abbys, too. That light had to be in the world, somewhere, even if Sam would never experience it again. He had to know it still existed. Not snuffed out by his hand, or anyone else's. He registered the begging, begging to die, and grew angry.

"No! You have to live!" He shouted, voice garbled with the tears clogging his throat and chest.

"Do you hate me that much?" Tim asked, weeping harder, his voice gaining volume. "You want me to suffer like that?" The thought that Sam still cared, even in a brutally hateful way, enough to want something from him gave Tim a thread to hold. "Oh, Sam, whatever you want. I'll suffer, I'll live, the'll connect us. But-but you don't want that. No more connection. I can't lose- I need you- Don't you see I have to die?!" His voice rose desperately into a hoarse scream.

"No!" Sam roared. There could be no world without Tim in it. The darkness would swallow him, would swallow everything. Tim was everything, there was nothing more important than he was. There was only Tim. "Tim! Tim! TimTimTim-" Sam began to sob, burying his face against their clasped hands. They both cried, clinging one to the other, emotions overflowing, making tidal waves to smash themselves with. They were both wailing, keening, screaming, as something rose up in each of them to a crescendo, and they were reborn. Tim stopped trying to force Sam to choke him, Sam stopped trying to make Tim go away and live a different life. They were together. They were essential to each other. It no longer mattered how it had begun. They were still crying, wild, snot-dripping, messy crying, but they were clinging to each other, now, tighter, tighter, rolling over so their arms and legs could wrap around each other. They needed to feel each other, to be totally aware of presence, of vitality. Life. They each gripped the other's life as they held fast.

In the darkness, when the tears finally slowed, they carefully peeled the clothing separating them off of one another. Skin on skin they joined, touch their primary communication. They moved together, without goal or urgency, and when exhaustion overcame them, they slept. Upon waking they continued, entwined. All night, joined, awake, asleep, and with dawn came a release, quietly loving; unifying.


Coming out of the bedroom in the morning, they held hands. Neither could yet be out of physical contact for even a moment. Dean sat at the table and he looked up when they walked past. Sam kept his head up and eyes forward as they went directly into the kitchen. Tim glanced at Dean, not meeting his gaze, just checking his expression.

"He looks confused," Tim whispered. Sam poured coffee for each of them and Tim followed close while he got out milk and smiled shyly as it was passed to him. He used the amount he wanted and Sam stayed right with him as he put it back. A few fortifying sips later, Sam inclined his head back out toward Dean, and Tim nodded slowly. They went back through the doorway and Sam put his arm around Tim's shoulders. Tim's hand took its place at Sam's waist, and they stood united.

"Dean, this is it. Tim is my love, my partner; I'm gonna be with him for the rest of my life, so get used to it. I want him here. Either he's welcome, or I'm leaving," Sam said simply. They waited for a response but Dean just stared. "Do not tell me this isn't real. Do not try to tear us apart. I love you, Dean, but I swear to you, if you try to undermine this, I will leave. For good."

Dean continued to stare, and so they went back to the bedroom.

Castiel stepped out from behind the archway and walked to Dean's side. His gaze rested softly on Dean, and he set his hand on Dean's shoulder. Dean swallowed hard.

"Could it be real? This thing with them?" Dean asked quietly.

"They were forced to fall in love, but they've chosen to stay together. If choices define a person, they are love." Castiel paused. "You have choices, too, Dean."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"Your choices define you. They've chosen. What will you choose?"

Dean sat with his head bowed for a long time, then his hand came up to cover Cas', and he held on tightly.