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Getting Lost Is Easier

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“Sam and Dean!”

The voice is excited, pitched too high for indoor polite society, and entirely uncaring of any audience that may be in house with them.

Dean could care less.

“Look at you two! I mean. Well. Look at you Dean! You look great!”

Dean sits perfectly still, the menu in his hands not wavering the least bit as Garth’s undiminished joy pours over them.

“Hey but. Sam you don’t look too hot. You’re kind of gray actually. You been sleeping? They say that sleep is-“

Dean doesn’t stop reading the menu when the gun goes off. The sound is hideously loud in the little diner. It reverberates off the walls and through the room and rattles his eardrums.

Goddamn hand cannons. Dean should have brought a smaller caliber.

Garth stares at him for a long second, eyes wide and uncomprehending, mouth still open on whatever word was about to  escape him.

And then the light goes out and Garth dies.

The screaming starts a few seconds later.

 

----

 

Sam’s lying on his back in the bunker hall, his eyes focused up on the ceiling. Not far from where he’s reclined Kevin died. Dean can remember it all too well. He’s not sure if Sam does. Not really.

“Hey. I made you kitchen sink stew. Thought it would clean you out.”

His brother’s lips don’t move. They don’t curl.

Dean watches carefully.

Sam has two kinds of silence. One is thoughtful, the other is vengeful, but neither is total or complete. Sam has never been able to be quiet for long.

Dean was silent for over a year after his mother died. He remembers the feel of it. The sensation that words had been burned out of him in the fire. That all that was left was the hideous fear of a world that had killed the monster killer. After all, it hadn’t been John tucking them in at night and threatening the monsters.

Not then.

Sam has never managed that sort of complete wordlessness. His poor little brother has a brain too big to stop processing, and as a result words are always close to the surface.

He can rely on Sam giving something away. Letting Dean know if this silence is punishment for his actions, or if it’s Sam processing the knowledge that he was possessed by an angel, forced to do bad things, and then had to face his brother as a demon. The second shouldn’t be true.

Sammy will give himself away, and Dean can start fixing it from there.

“You know, that floor can’t be comfortable. Come on big boy. Time to get up.”

He puts the soup down and takes Sam’s big hands. Pulls until his brother is sitting up and looking at the wall across from him covered in books instead of the ceiling.

“Look at you. Somebody didn’t sweep when it was his turn.”

Dean pats the dust off Sam’s shirt, gentle and careful, but his brother still hasn’t responded.

“Yeah well, whatever dude, I told you to do it. Ok. Open up. Here comes the racecar.”

Sam has always hated the racecar game. He couldn’t be convinced to eat as a child with silly sounds and games, he had to be spurred on by contrariness. Baby Sam ate the racecar out of spite.

He still hasn’t talked. He hasn’t opened his mouth either.

“Don’t make me tickle you.”

Sam blinks, slow and steady, and then his eyes land on Dean and a cold chill passes through him.

“I can’t live here.”

Dean blinks himself. Licks his lips and puts the spoon back into the bowl.

“Ok. That’s fine. It’s just a place Sam. We’ll load the stuff up, hop back into Baby, and get back out there. We were always better on the road anyway. You ever notice how things always go to shit when we stop moving?”

Sam isn’t really looking at him. That’s what really clicks with Dean finally. Sam isn’t really looking at him.

But Dean can’t figure out what Sam is looking at.

“No.”

“No? Well if you can’t live here and you don’t want to go out on the road where do you want to live? Talk to me Sammy. You’re freaking me out.”

“I can’t live here. In this. This world you created.”

Dean grabs Sam’s shoulders and shakes him.

“I didn’t create this Sammy. You know that better than anyone. We just deal with what they throw at us. We just react.”

Sam shakes his head and lays himself back down. Curls up on his side.

“I can’t live here like this.”

That’s the last thing Sam ever says to him.

 

-----

 

Jody is settling down, a book she’s never managed to get past page three in sitting on her coffee table and her TV droning in the background. It’s been a long day and she just wants to get on with it. To get past the memory of the rage and rush, the long minutes ticking by and the civilians that know nothing about the darkness Jody now knows hangs out at the borders of their world. How weak perception truly is.

She wraps the throw blanket around herself, reaches for the book, and then tenses as the doorbell goes off.

“Motherfucker.”

Jody gets up, blanket hanging from her shoulder like a half ripped cape and hands flexing to control her annoyance as she heads for her front door. It’s not a huge town. They could all get together one afternoon and agree to leave her alone.

“What?”

The door swings open to show her Sam and Dean. Sam is shorter, hunched, and his gray face is drawn and skeleton like. His prominent cheekbones stick out too far. His skin is waxy and too thin.

He’s the walking dead.

Beside him Dean is looking at her like a man dying of thirst in the desert. His hands are shoved in his jacket pockets and his feet shuffle on the front stoop endlessly as time continues ticking off on the clock next to her head.

“Dean?”

“I’m sorry.”

He sounds like Sam looks. She takes a half step back, somehow sure that he’s about to tell her all over again that her little boy is dead. That the world has cruelly returned to a time when she had more to lose.

“Sorry for what?”

Dean holds his arms out, and Jody steps into them like she always has since she got to know these two lost boys.

And then there’s a sharp pain and her breath is gone.

Just gone.

She struggles to get it back but there’s no air in the air around her. Liquid has replaced it. Dean’s arms are still firmly around her, and she feels him move down, knees popping as he bends, and then she’s lying on the floor staring up at him.

The bloody knife in his hand is new. So is the hole punched neatly under her arm into her lung.

“I’m sorry Jody. I have to make it stop. I have to make it go back. Do you understand?”

She doesn’t. She looks to Sam, but he’s got nothing to offer her. He stares at the floor beside her head and doesn’t move. Doesn’t speak. There’s no spark in his eyes at all.

She dies looking for life in him.

 

-----

 

“Dean?”

His brother looks confused. For a second so is Sam. Something’s off but he’s not sure what.

“Dean? You ok man? What’s going on?”

Something. Something about him. Something’s not right.

“I’m fine Sammy. I’m fine.”

Dean stands up and wraps his arms around Sam, the way he only does when he thinks that he’s lost him. The way he used to after every tense moment in their lives.

It hasn’t been that way for a long time. The urgency that Dean would have back then that would overwhelm him. The need to know that Sam was safe and whole.

And it feels good, but off. Something is bothering Sam. Hanging out at the edge of his perception. Pressing against his chest like a weight and keeping his lungs from fully expanding and his heart from properly beating.

“I’m sorry Sammy. I’m sorry. I should have asked you first. I should have told you what was going on. I shouldn’t have done that to you.”

Sam feels his head tilt, but then Dean is pulling back and the moment is over. All that’s left is for Sam to stare at Dean standing in the bunker and looking for all the world like a child who’s broken the neighbor’s window playing ball.

“Done what?”

His brother looks around the room, eyes landing on a spot close to one of the pillars and hovering before it returns.

“Does it matter? How often do you get to hear me say sorry?”

Not often. Almost never really. That’s what has Sam so on edge.

“What did you do?”

Dean steps forward and takes his hand.

“The only thing I could.”

 

-----

 

Missouri hasn’t felt that mind in years. She puts her soup spoon down and leaves the steaming bowl at the table so she can go get the door.

Dean Winchester stands on the other side, just as she expected, but there’s a surprise in that Sam is standing there too.

She didn’t hear him.

“What are you boys up to? Come in. Get some soup. I just made it. Nothing better for the soul than chicken and dumplings.”

They follow without a word, and Missouri feels fear replace the hunger in her belly and seize her nervous system. Something is hideously wrong here.

Dean pushes Sam into a chair and then leans against the counter with his hand dry scrubbing his face like he’s got an itch that just won’t stop.

“Been a long time boys.”

He looks past her at something, and it takes her a moment to realize it’s the clock. It’s three in the afternoon.

Why was she under the impression it was dinner time?

“We got into a lot of trouble. Didn’t want to drag you into it.”

Missouri blinks several times, at a loss for words, and then she forces a smile.

“Well. It doesn’t seem like that trouble has ended. What happened to Sam?”

Dean gestures at the table and Missouri gratefully moves to it and takes her seat again. It’s been a long time since she’s been glad no one else can read her mind the way she can others’.

“I messed up.”

Missouri pushes her soup bowl and grips her spoon in the most threatening manner she can. It doesn’t elicit much from Dean, and that’s a surprise too. His eyebrow quirks, but his mouth stays a straight line.

“You got fifteen seconds and then I’ll beat you bloody with this.”

Dean slumps against the counter, the wind going out of him, and Missouri relaxes at the movement. She’s broken through one of the walls he’s constructed around himself.

“Sam was hurt. Bad. Sick. So I asked the only thing I could get a hold of to help him.”

Missouri reaches out with her left hand and touches Sam’s fingertips. There’s nothing there. Sam Winchester is not buried in a fleshy coffin, he has left the building.

“What did you ask?” She knows the answer but she can’t believe it. Needs to hear it from the source.

“The worst thing I could have. I asked an angel.” Dean swallows hard. His eyes are starting to sparkle. Missouri has known him a long time. She’s never seen him cry like this. “And it came.”

“But it didn’t help.”

His laugh is bitter, hateful, and Missouri shrinks from it a bit.

“When Sammy was little you know what I wanted for him?”

Missouri keeps the fingers of her left hand on Sam’s. Her right hand falls into her lap.

“What’s that honey?”

Dean laughs again at the endearment, his face pulling into a hideous grimace.

“A planet of pillows and books. A place where he could learn to his heart’s content and nothing would ever hurt him. He’d never go hungry. He’d never have to stay up past his bedtime to pack and move, he’d never have to know the world was full of monsters, and he would certainly never know I was one.”

Missouri feels the wood of the table from underneath, where there’s no varnish and the grain can be traced with her fingertips, all the cracks and whirls.

“But now he knows.”

Dean starts to cry. His head drops and his shoulders shake. It hurts Missouri to stay in her seat. Hurts her to watch the boy cry because she’s never wanted them to be sad like that. She can feel the despair there, a black wave taking over the bright fiery light he once carried.

“Missouri. I’m sorry. I have to do it. I have to do it.”

And she can hear that. But it’s not true.

“Dean. I’m real. This is all real honey. I need you to look up and see that. Sam is sick. We’ll fix him. We’ll find a way. But you have to believe me that I’m real.”

The gun is out and up, leveled with her chest before her searching fingers can find the handle of the one she stores under her table. The one John Winchester secured there so many years ago.

“But you’re not.”

Dean pulls the trigger, and Missouri is dead before she’s even sure if she hears the sound of the shot or the sound of his heart breaking.

 

-----

 

Sam slams the trunk of the Impala shut and turns around to see Dean smiling at him. The hunt went really well. The two of them moved in perfect sync, leading the ghost further and further from his cowering ex-wife before they dropped the last relic of his life in the furnace and watched him scream and burst.

It went really well, but that nagging something is still there.

Doors close together, and Sam laughs like he always does when they do that. Too close all the time, too used to each other, too ready to think as one mind.

Baby rumbles to life, but Dean isn’t laughing. He’s staring again, looking at Sam like he’s made of some rare and precious stone, and Sam feels a blush that is fucking crazy climbing to his cheeks.

What the fuck is wrong with them?

Dean drives them to a diner without a word, and Sam uses the time to check their voicemails. Garth makes up the bulk of them, calling again and again to try to tell one long story over the voicemail without ever seeming to understand where he ended or started. The gist of it seems to be about ghouls, but Sam isn’t sure.

“He got to the point yet?”

Sam looks over at Dean, hands gripping the wheel and mouth curled into the ghost of a ghost’s smile.

“Not yet. Hey. Dean. Does something feel…off to you? Like déjà vu?”

Dean’s eyes roll. He parks the car and turns to look at Sam.

“Are you going to tell me it’s Tuesday again? Because damn that was not fun.”

Sam’s lips purse without his control, and Dean finally lights up to full illumination.

It’s good to see. Eases some of the lingering panic and concern inside him.

“Shut up. It’s Thursday.”

 

-----

 

Castiel comes when he’s called.

He has for many many years. Since long before his shattered memory can recall, and he believes he will long after it is reset or gives up.

What worked for heaven will always work again with time.

Dean is sitting on the floor with his head against Sam’s knees.

Sam is gone. His body breathes, but there is nothing left inside of him of that tattered soul Castiel once left ruined to achieve his own ends.

“Dean.”

The human doesn’t turn around. Doesn’t make a sound. Castiel approaches, slowly, stepping over the undrawn boundary between them and stopping close enough to touch. He crouches so he can look Dean in the eye.

Castiel has brothers. Many of them. He has killed hundreds and been disowned by thousands more. He has fought and died with them. He knows how badly this tears Dean up.

“We will find something. To fix it.”

Dean doesn’t turn his head. He takes a deep breath, his nose smashed against the dusty denim covering Sam’s left knee. When he speaks his voice is empty and hollow.

“There’s no fixing this. I did it and all that’s left is to get rid of it.”

Castiel leans in closer and presses his hand against Sam’s ankle where skin just peeks. He gets a rush of cold, something synthetic and alien, and then he is falling backwards onto his ass.

Surprised. Dean has surprised him.

“You can’t try Cas. You can’t bring him back now. He has to die. Just like everyone else.”

Castiel feels his left eyebrow raise, a leftover of Jimmy or a part of the person he’s learned to be. He’s not sure which. He doesn’t have the Grace left to bring Sam back from wherever he has gone. Not from this distance for sure, and possibly not even with skin contact.

But Dean is not talking about statistics and likelihoods. Dean is talking about realities. Should be’s instead of could be’s.

 

“Surely you don’t mean to kill your brother.”

Dean cracks one eye, and Castiel can see that it is bloodshot and tired. That Dean has cried many tears, that he has stayed awake many nights. Why did he wait so long to call Castiel in? What has happened in the time he’s been away?

“I don’t meant to kill him yet. No. I just need to kill everything he loves first.”

Castiel feels his mouth open, knows that his next question is for Dean to clarify that, and then Dean is flying at him.

He could stop it. He does have the Grace for that. He could send Dean flying backwards and then move himself out of Dean’s reach. But his skin is iron for Dean. If the man wants to punch out his grief and frustration on Castiel so be it. He lets Dean sit on his chest and breathe deep.

Lets Dean close his eyes. Take a breath.

And then Dean surprises him with the angel blade.

Castiel is returned to the energy from which he came.

 

-----

 

Sam stops in the hallway and looks over at Dean who is drying off after a shower. He has a wild and random urge to cross the space, grab Dean’s shoulders, lick the wet drop traveling down his neck. It’s not a new urge, nothing Sam hasn’t squashed before, but it’s more intense in this moment for some reason.

The amulet shines dully against Dean’s skin. It’s still that same warm burnished copper that caught Sam’s eye when he was first looking for something to give their father out of Bobby’s stash.

He shakes off the thoughts, the melancholy, and then heads on into the bunker to find food.

Except he takes a wrong turn somewhere because there he is again looking at Dean who is now applying deodorant with a look of concentration better befitting surgery. Sam stares at his older brother for a long time. Watches Dean brush his hair, check his teeth, scratch his ass, and then chew a hangnail.

How did Sam get back here? He heads back into the bunker, down the hallway that leads to the great hall. It’s weird. They used to eat there and research there, the big tables lending themselves to a variety of tasks, but since…since recently Sam can’t remember any time they spent there at all.

Something’s wrong. He missed something huge and-

He’s standing in the bathroom door and Dean is looking at him this time. Staring. Sam can’t help but feel like a schoolboy caught peeping.

“Sammy? You ok?”

He nods, looks around, and then looks back.

“Yeah. Just got a little lost.”

Dean doesn’t laugh at him. That’s when Sam knows for a fact that something has gone hideously wrong.

 

----

 

Dean stands in front of Baby and watches her burn. It took hours to drag all the books into the garage and stuff his car, their home, with the precious old tomes. Pouring the lighter fluid was even harder.

Tears are rolling down his face. He sits beside Sam’s body and breathes shallowly, watching everything he had left of his family burn. His fingers link with Sam’s, but when he squeezes Sam doesn’t squeeze back.

“You always had to ask. You had to ask the goddamn questions. We could have made this work. We could have done this. I worked so hard to make a place for you Sammy. A place where it was all perfect. Where I didn’t fuck it up. And you had to start looking deeper. You had to ask.”

Sam doesn’t respond. He’s lost. He’s gone too far into the labyrinth to come back out. To join Dean back in the center.

His hand strays up, feels the amulet, the weight that he missed so much. That he threw away.

“How the fuck was I supposed to know it would tip you off? Was it so fucking unbelievable that I would want you too?”

Sam doesn’t answer. Dean doesn’t expect him to. He thought if anything gave him away it would be a memory. That Sam would look at something the wrong way and the maze he’d so carefully crafted with Daedalus would fall apart like a house of cards. He should have known better.

 

-----

 

Sam goes for it. He can’t help himself. He and Dean are so connected again. They’ve gotten over and through so much. They’re in sync again, and Sam thinks that they’re in sync about this too. He kisses Dean, slow and soft, lips to lips. Dean kisses back.

His brother presses forward urgently, mouth taking over, and Sam lets him. Their fingers link, their pulses beat in time, Sam merges into the hard points of the amulet.

The amulet.

The amulet he gave Dean instead of dad.

The one that found God.

The amulet Dean threw into a motel trashcan and left behind. The one that Sam was too ashamed and hurt over to pick up. That was lost forever to a moment of hatred and despair.

The amulet.

Sam pulls back and looks at Dean. Looks at his brother very carefully.

“What are you doing?”

“Uh. Kissing you? Sammy. Man I thought you knew what kissing was.”

Sam shakes his head. Pulls back further. That’s what’s wrong. It’s not there anymore. It’s not supposed to be there.

“What’s going on Dean? You don’t kiss me. You don’t. That’s not here anymore.”

His mind is having trouble finding the answer to his own words. He can’t seem to get to the point where he can speak the suspicions in his heart. He can’t figure out why his tongue is so tangled and lost.

“Sam. Breathe Sammy. Breathe.”

And no. He’s actually not doing that. He thought he was but he isn’t. His heart is going a million miles a second and everything is wrong here.

“Sammy. Stop.” Dean reaches out, links fingers in his hair and pulls gently until Sam goes with the pressure. Until he lays his head down on Dean’s chest so that his ear is lined up with his brother’s heart. “Like me. Breathe with me Sammy. Nice and slow.”

He does. He does but the damn amulet is pressed into his skull. Is screaming its wrongness into his brain. Finally, he finds himself under control enough to speak.

“Dean. That necklace.”

And his brother lets him go. Leans back and away with wide eyes. Dean’s hair is dry. They’re in Dean’s bedroom in the bunker. They weren’t there before.

Sam gets up before Dean can speak. Walks the hallway until he gets to the entrance of the bunker, opens the door, and steps back into Dean’s room.

“What. The fuck. Is happening?”

Dean swallows, eyes flitting around the room, and then they land on Sam and his brother is defiant. The instant posture he always takes when he’s wrong and he knows it.

 “We needed this.”

“We needed what?”

Dean swallows again, dry scrubs his face, and then stands up and gets close again.

“We needed a fresh start. We needed a new place. And we got it Sammy. I got it for us.”

Sam feels the floor drop out from under him.

“This is fake. That kiss. This world. All of this is fake.”

“I’m real.” Dean sounds hollow. Small. Sam wants to feel badly for him but he knows there’s more. There’s something he doesn’t know. There always is.

“Why? Why are we here Dean?”

His brother’s head turns and Sam sees the great hall. The books lining the walls, the tables with the reading lamps, the pillars. Dread climbs up his spine with sharp talons.

“Because we needed it.”

Sam sits down. There’s nowhere else to go but down.

“Kevin.”

The floor is cold. Feels like damp stone and madness. Sam sinks into it. Grips the sensation and rides it along to its only destination.

 

----

 

Sam wouldn’t forgive him. Dean knew it. He didn’t have to ask for it and be denied he simply knew that his brother could never forgive him for a betrayal so bone deep. How long did Sam spend fighting Lucifer from doing just what Dean let Ezekiel do?

Dean can’t get out of this one.

So he packs up and he goes on a little trip. After all, what else is there to do? He and Baby ride the highways, back into the deepest parts of America. The quiet spaces in between cities that normal people would simply drive past thinking they had glimpsed a ghost town. Dean drives until he finds a very special bar called Legends.

And then Dean learns some things. He learns that a labyrinth isn’t a randomly drawn collection of lines. That a true maze is built on pillars, solid anchors that bring the design together. That the idea is to draw the occupant deeper and deeper until they take the same turns over and over again all while thinking they’ve made progress.

Dean drinks with the man that threw his own son into the sky and plots out the maze. He picks the anchors, places them carefully, and creates an open world that only leads back to one place.

There’s nothing skeevy about putting his bedroom in the center. After all, they both slept in it more nights than not. Having space was awesome, but after years of sleeping in the same room, often the same bed, real sleep wouldn’t come alone anymore.

When Daedalus asks him what the center pillar should be Dean draws the amulet from memory attaching it to a stick figure version of himself, fingers smoothing lines and blurring creases in the comforting old shape.

“It looks familiar. What is it?”

Dean strokes the picture again.

“Something I threw away.”

Like everything else.

 

-----

 

The fire is spreading. Dean wonders what will happen when it reaches them. If they’ll feel it. He presses his forehead against Sam’s and breathes deep, the smell a little rank but still right. Still home.

“I’m sorry Sammy. I’m sorry for fucking it up again. I’m sorry for not asking you in the first place. I was desperate. Can’t you see that I was desperate? I’m no fucking good without you. You know that.”

Sam doesn’t respond. His chest is rising and falling a little more shallowly as he tries to breathe the increasingly thick and smoky air.

“And fuck you. Fuck you for leaving me like that. What gave you the right?  You don’t get to die. I never gave you permission to die.”

His brother’s skin is so cold. So clammy.

“I can’t. I can’t lose you. I’m gonna go back and you’ll be gone. I know it. Don’t you understand? This is the only hope I had.”

Nothing. Nothing.

Dean lifts the leather cord over his head and then tucks the amulet’s base into the barrel. He puts the horns against his temple and breathes deep.

“I’m sorry Sammy.”

It’s stupid. To be so afraid. He’s not going to die. Shooting himself here isn’t death.

But the only thing waiting on the other side is Sam leaving.

And death is better.

Dean squeezes Sam’s hand at the same time he squeezes the trigger.

 

-----

 

Sam waits for his brother to wake up.

Waits for Dean’s eyelashes to flutter, for the sleep talking to end, and then watches as Dean sits up rubbing the side of his head.

Sam isn’t sure how Dean destroyed the little figure in the center of the mock up maze. He saw each one fall, tiny depictions of people they cared about crumbling into dust and taking sections of the labyrinth with them, but he doesn’t want to ask how Dean managed it.

He doesn’t want to know how his brother did any of this. That’s not what matters in this moment.

Dean isn’t looking at him. He’s staring at the bedspread like it’s the only thing in this world that has any meaning.

“Dean.”

His brother doesn’t look up. He makes a non-committal grunt and reaches out to pluck a loose thread.

“Look at me.”

And he does. By some miracle. His eyes are bloodshot, he was crying in his sleep, and his hands move restlessly.

”Nobody gives you permission to die you jerk, you just do.”

Dean’s mouth moves, unsure at first before it kicks into full gear and brings out a cracked and rough voice.

“I should get some say.”

“No.”

Dean smiles, something hideous and dead that Sam remembers from inside the world his brother somehow created for them.

“Always gotta be contrary don’t you?”

“You built a fucking- whatever that is just to get out of saying sorry and you want to call me contrary?”

Dean’s mouth goes petulant and Sam ignores it.

“And furthermore Dean, because I feel like this should be said, don’t ever kiss me because you think that’s what will make me-“

“No wait. That wasn’t. Sam that wasn’t a ploy to make you.” Dean’s hands curl into helpless fists. “That was just. The moment.”

Sam takes a breath. He moves over and sits down on the bed beside Dean in the spot he found himself when he woke up. It remembers him.

“The moment?”

Dean shrugs, eyes traveling away again.

“The point was to go somewhere where I didn’t fuck up so bad. The kiss was just a bonus.”

“I want you to do something. Understand that later, sometime not crazy later but later, you and I are going to have a really, really long talk about how you’ve got to learn to apologize, and that you can’t make these decisions for me. But first I want you to do it again.”

Dean’s eyebrow lifts, and then he leans forward, captures Sam’s mouth with his, and kisses him.

Sam pulls back immediately.

“Holy shit your breath is awful. Ok. Teeth brushing and shower.”

Dean gives him a look that can only be described as exasperation, and Sam feels his anger swell and surge. He bites it back. Because he could hear Dean. He doesn’t think Dean knows that, and he’s not about to tell his brother, but he knows what’s going on in the back of Dean’s head. He knows why his brother did what he did.

It doesn’t excuse it, it doesn’t erase it, but it does make Sam want to handle Dean carefully.

Even if he was betrayed he’s not about to destroy Dean to make the scales even. They’ve done enough of that for one lifetime. Sam’s willing to shelve the hours of yelling and punching he’s earned to show Dean that no matter how angry he is about all of this he’s not going to take off.

So he grabs Dean’s hand and pulls, drags his brother maybe just a little roughly to the bathrooms and then slathers a toothbrush with toothpaste and hands it to Dean. He brushes his own teeth just to be safe.

Dean keeps looking at him like Sam’s trying to cause a distraction. He even skips his usual two minutes of loud and grating gargling to make sure that he’s done before Sam and standing somewhere where the door can be blocked. Sam doesn’t mention it.

Instead he pulls Dean back further, into the cavernous shower room, and then starts up two showerheads and pulls his clothes off.

And Dean? Dean watches. They’ve undressed in front of each other before. It’s not like seeing Sam naked is new. But Dean is looking in a way Sam hasn’t seen him look before. Dean is eating up the inches of skin and licking his lips.

This is happening.

Sam steps under the water and lifts his own eyebrow, challenging, and Dean drops his clothes quickly and without pretense before stepping under the showerhead next to Sam and grabbing his soap.

This won’t fix them, Sam knows that, but they’ve been wandering around in a labyrinth for who knows how long working on being brothers with a bit more again. They’re a wound that’s only healed on the outside. Still, Sam knows the importance of flesh closing over a hole. Whether Dean meant to do it or not he’s keeping infection out.

He ditches the metaphor in his head because that’s not very sexy and Dean is soaping himself up and looking at Sam with intent. And Sam takes it. Knows everything it means and everything it changes and takes it anyway because he’s had enough for a little while. Enough fighting, enough screaming, enough pain and death.

Crossing the line into brothers that fuck is Sam’s mini vacation from what has to come next for him to forgive his brother.

“It’s amazing you’ve been with as many people as you have considering how slow you are.”

Dean’s eyes flare up, never could back down from a dare, and then Dean is stepping into Sam’s showerhead spray and grabbing his brother roughly by the shoulders. He’s pushing Sam back into the tile and then pulling Sam’s mouth down to his.

Sam lets him. Lets Dean’s fingers tangle in his wet hair as his brother growls into his mouth, opens his lips, shoves his tongue into Sam’s mouth and starts stroking. His cock stirs to life as Dean’s free hand roams his body, ADD as Dean always is moving from rubbing his nipple to squeezing his hip to stroking his back.

It’s good. It’s surprisingly easy. Sam isn’t sure if this counts as angry sex or not, but he knows it’s going to happen again. He’s not letting go of something that feels this good. He cups Dean’s ass and bring his brother into full body contact and Dean moans into his mouth. Dean is hard too. Sam rubs against him to bring his half-stiffy to full life, and then Dean’s mouth is gone.

For half a second Sam thinks that his brother is backing out, but swift and sure Dean is down on his knees and taking Sam’s dick in his mouth.

Sam laughs, unsure of what to do, and then sucks in a breath when Dean’s mouth kicks into full gear. His brother looks silly and sexy all at once, one eye squinted to keep the water out and hair plastered to his skull as he tries to suck Sam’s brains out. One hand fists at the base of Sam’s cock after Sam’s hips move involuntarily and shove his dick further into Dean’s throat.

“Dean I- fuck- I didn’t know you wanted to be on the bottom.”

His brother hums around his dick and Sam’s head tips back and hits the tile hard enough he sees a burst of colors. And then Dean is tugging on Sam’s hips and he follows the motion down, watches as Dean clumsily slides back and tries to keep blowing Sam while he gets him on the floor. Dean tugs again and Sam moves from sitting to laying, his legs spread and his knees bent, and Dean is down between his thighs sucking and sucking, head bobbing, tongue slipping and sliding, all of it making Sam thrust and shake.

Then fingers press against Sam’s hole and he jerks instinctively away before settling down. Dean pops his mouth off of Sam’s dick.

“You’re thinking of the wrong kind of porn Sammy. In this kind the guy getting sucked gets fucked.”

“Is that what you consider pillow talk? How the hell are you so successful?”

Dean’s grin turns dark.

“Roll over. Let me show you what gets me the most ass.”

And so Sam does. Dean pulls him up onto his knees, and Sam finds it hard to keep his hands firmly planted on the slick tile and look over his shoulder. Dean must read his mind, because he grabs one of the nonslip mats that he bought after the first shower accident and rips it off the floor before slipping it under Sam’s hands. Then his head tilts oddly as he looks at Sam.

It makes him a little self-conscious.

“What? Chickening out.”

“Stay right there.”

Dean’s gone just a few seconds, not long enough for Sam to change his mind about this, but long enough for him to consider.

When his brother returns he lifts Sam’s knees one at a time and places thick, fluffy, folded up towels under each to protect them from the tile.

And Sam feels the anger part of his angry sex plan crumble at the tenderness, the unexpected thoughtfulness, and then Dean is disappearing where Sam can’t see him and the gentle thoughts are destroyed by the feeling of his ass cheeks being pulled apart and something wet and firm pressing against his hole.

Sam cries out, knees digging into the rapidly soaked cotton and eyes closing briefly as he enjoys the sensation of what must be Dean’s tongue rubbing in circles over his hole, pressing rhythmically, working harder and harder against him.

It’s good, it’s so fucking good, and when Dean’s tongue breaches him Sam can’t help but call his brother’s name. All thoughts of what they’re headed for, of the long and awful fight that’s coming, leave him and he’s left grunting and moaning as Dean’s wicked tongue works inside his hole.

Fingers join it, stretching and pulsing, darting in and out, and Dean confuses him by switching from jacking him off while he tongue fucks his asshole to fingering him while he licks the rim or bites a tender cheek. It’s painful and awesome and Sam’s head is swimming back and forth from the sensations.

And then Dean is on his knees behind Sam and his hands are on Sam’s hips. He doesn’t ask if Sam’s sure. He doesn’t stop to make a sweet comment. It’s no movie scene. Dean surges forward and starts to press his cock into Sam, the blunt head pushing his hole open and then spreading and spreading him as the shaft works its way in.

Sam relishes the burn that comes with it, the stretch, because if it was all pleasure then it wouldn’t be real and it wouldn’t be them. It has to come with pain.

He may be a little delirious.

Hot water pounds down on his skin, adds slickness as Dean’s hands pull his hips in little jerks timed with his own thrusts to work Sam further and further down his dick until he’s all the way in. And then suddenly Dean stops and bends over Sam’s back, breathing hard against Sam’s shoulder.

“Dean. Dean come on. I don’t need adjustment time, fucking do me.”

His brother laughs breathlessly.

“Sammy. If I move I’m gonna come.”

And Sam? Well. He’s a little brother first and always.

He squeezes down on Dean’s dick and shifts his hips forward and then back slamming himself down onto Dean’s cock.

And Dean’s teeth sink into his shoulder viciously as his brother’s dick jerks and spurts inside of him.

 

----

 

Dean is pretty sure Sam is going to give him lockjaw. On top of the dirty trick in the shower Sam made him change the sheets and now Sam has him right back where he kind of started rimming Sam for all he’s worth.

As much as he’d like to get back inside of Sam, Dean’s not as young as he used to be and coming in Sam was a pretty big event. He’s not going to be getting it back up for a while, and he can’t leave Sam hanging. His brother has taken to this part of the sex pretty quickly, and Dean is desperately jerking Sam off as he darts his tongue in and out tasting Sam and now himself.

It’s a tragedy that he can’t get hard over that.

He feels the telltale flutter finally, tilts his head a little to protect his nose when Sam’s hips start jerking and shaking, and then Sam is coming, spurting onto the sheets and calling out Dean’s name, and his cock gives a half hearted twitch in response to the stimuli.

Sam hits the bed hard and leaves Dean with the wet spot. He’d complain, but the ice is thin and he’s gonna take what he can get. He drops beside Sam and ignores the rapidly cooling puddle of his brother’s come.

That sentence should sound weirder in his head than it does.

For a while they lay there, not touching or talking, and Dean studies Sam. His brother’s eyes are closed, his chest is flushed and heaving, and his lips are bitten and inviting.

Dean doesn’t take the invitation.

“What does this mean?”

Sam’s mouth quirks, but his eyes stay closed.

“Are you asking me for a chick flick moment?”

Dean can’t help his scowl, and any victory he’d gain from Sam not seeing it is squashed when Sam opens his eyes and grins big and wide.

It’s good to see, but it doesn’t change the fear that’s welling up. The anxiety that clung to Dean for the entirety of the sexual act.

“Sammy.”

Sam rolls onto his side and looks at Dean seriously.

“It means I’m staying. It means I’m angry, I’m really fucking angry Dean, and I’m hurt, and I’m not sure what’s going to happen from here on out. But I’m not leaving. Who knows that kind of dumb shit you’d do if I did.”

Dean will take it.

And when Sam links fingers with him, something that isn’t exactly post sex cuddling but is pretty close for them, Dean will take that too.

Everything is uncertain, but Sam isn’t leaving.