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Theirs is not a love story–it doesn’t have a meet-cute beginning or happily ever after.

It’s a story about renting motel suites by the week, just a couple cans of spaghettio’s and half a sleeve of oreos in the cupboard. It’s trying to make a half-decent home in temporary places and barely getting by sometimes.

It’s about close quarters and girls that cry out too loudly when they come; a second-hand sex ed story told through thin walls. Hold it a little tighter, use your tongue, that’s it, just a little more. Sam knows just how Dean likes it before he ever gets the chance to make him moan.

It’s a story set in summer. Hot days with no A/C, shared ice cream sandwiches melting all over their fingers, the memory of a trunk full of fireworks and a first-time desperate kiss that lit up brighter than the 4th of July.

It’s lips together up on tiptoes, sin down on their knees, and every heat-soaked moment in between, stretched out and stuck together in tangled sheets.

It’s not a heartbreak story. Not even when Sam says ‘Stanford’ that first time, not even when Dean comes home smelling like last call and something fast and filthy in the backseat in response. Because what they share doesn’t live in the heart—it sits like a stone, right in the middle of them, the guts of them, where everything acidic lives and keeps living long after breakable things like the heart have stopped.

Sam starts packing and Dean starts drinking, and maybe theirs is a horror story, and the monster’s in the miles and silence and years between them.

It’s what’s creeping up their throats with the words they always say too late, bile churning to remind them how empty they are when they’re alone, eating them alive from the inside.

And maybe it is a love story after all—the bittersweet kind that spans a lifetime, written in the ink of demon deals and so much shared blood spilled.