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Strung Pearls

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Sam loves the sea; they spend so much of their lives breathing air passed through car vents, staring at prairies and asphalt in every direction—he loves when they hit one of the coasts, where there’s no more highway, just churning water that has traveled even farther than they have.

He loves to swim out closer to the start of the waves than the end of them, where the water could drag him down and he’d have nothing to grab hold of, no bottom to touch his pruney toes to. He is a drenched little merboy when his legs are in saltwater; he’d give his tongue to have them sewn together with strung pearls, to live for 300 years underwater.

Dean is a dry land creature—he likes to have his feet on solid ground, understands more of fire than water. But he’ll swim with one eye on the shore and one hand on Sam’s arm, like he knows his brother wants to drift away.

They find hidden places their father’s eyes can’t see, around corners where the rocking water presses their bodies up against the rough face of cliffs. Dean’s back gets scraped up as they kiss, and Sam gets salt water in his eyes when he slips below the surface, wraps his lips around Dean’s cock and lives off the air in his lungs until his chest hurts and his mouth is full.

“We should head back,” Dean murmurs above the sloshing sound of water and Sam’s panting breaths against his neck.

Sam swallows down a bitterness that has nothing to do with the come on his tongue. He forgets sometimes that his legs are only bound with strings of penny pearls, that they unravel at the first sign of rough waters.

When he leaves, they’ll find him at one of the torn edges of the map, somewhere the road runs out and he can smell the salt.