an agent of the random (riyku) wrote,
an agent of the random
riyku

fic: Slouching Towards Bethlehem

 Title: Slouching Towards Bethlehem
Genre: Sam/Dean, undertones of Dean/Castiel
Rating: NC17
Word Count: ~8,000
A/N: Many, many thanks go to anyothergirl415 and silentpoetry1 for tracking down my grammatical indiscretions, for honestly letting me know what they think, and for constantly egging me on. The title was unabashedly borrowed from Yeats.
Warnings: Wincest, bottom!Dean, my personal interpretation of certain biblical events.
Disclaimer: Nope, not mine, nope, not real, yup, still broke.

Summary
: There was a second when Dean knew that he could put a stop to this, all of it, and return to their version of normal. All he had to do was nothing; drop his eyes and turn away. 



They were moving in a constant headlong rush toward another town. A place that was so small and so desolate that its dot on the map had dried up and disappeared at least a decade ago. This time they were an hour west of the Badlands, on another mission sending them on an eastward path, traveling along a twisted up and down road through the Black Hills of South Dakota. 

Their headlights shone faintly through the relentless darkness of their surroundings, the faint flickers from faraway storms revealed a hill that rose up steeply along the right side of the road. Sam felt closed in by it. 

The Impala’s engine was whining and groaning, its protests punctuated by Dean’s soft speech, curses mixed in with words of encouragement—c’mon girl, you can do it…ten more miles…all downhill from here… Sam watched him with a sideways look as Dean slammed the transmission into low gear, wincing when the engine raced, its RPM’s running too high. The car wasn’t handling it well, it was more suited to the arrow straight roads of the Midwest, those clear-cut, dead ahead open highways. 

Sam could sympathize. He was certain that the next turn—one that his brother would inevitably take at a breakneck speed—would reveal an unexpected switchback, a doglegged turn that wanted to shove them the other way. A sudden change in direction that Dean wouldn’t catch in time. But it wasn’t Dean’s fault, none of this was.

He wanted to ask Dean to slow down, but Sam choked on the thought well before it could turn into spoken words. He didn’t have the right to ask for a time out. Dean was running himself ragged trying to set to rights the wrongs that Sam had done. He never talked about it, Dean never blamed him, but they both knew that this was a skeleton that had come bursting out of Sam’s closet with a full parade and a twenty-one-gun salute, a skeleton that now sat between them on the car’s worn leather seat. But it wasn’t the only one that Sam had stowed away.

Sam didn’t know when it happened. Maybe he was just built this way. That he loved his brother was natural, normal, expected. He always had, it was hardwired into his DNA. It was a genetic imperative.

But in those fleeting and frightening moments when he was honest with himself, he knew what his years running away to Stanford really stood for. All of those past 2 AM hook-ups. All of those men, always a little older, always with dirty blonde hair and green,green eyes. And if Sam had occasionally caught himself calling them Dean by mistake as they moved together in back rooms and back alleys, well, he pretended not to notice. And so did they. No questions asked and no questions answered. It was easy to hide, especially when you couldn’t admit to yourself exactly what you were hiding from.

This was another demon that haunted him, only one that Sam couldn’t pull out with a flick of his wrist or a few dusty words in Latin. There was no one-way ticket to hell for this fucker. Sam supposed that they both had their own demons to deal with. Some of them were even real.

There was a little voice telling Sam that he could just tell Dean what he wanted. That Dean would give it without hesitation. It would be another instance of Dean taking care of his little brother, providing for him, giving Sam what he needed. 

Dean had been fixing Sam his whole life. Rarely was there any guilt or recrimination. There was never the need for a payback, a hand for a hand, or an eye for an eye. Just the occasional smirk from Dean as he yanked his little brother back to his feet with a slap on the shoulder. An unspoken ‘I got you Sam, always have, always will.’ 

After all, self-sacrifice was the Winchester family motto, and Dean had swallowed it, hook, line, and sinker. 

“What do we know, Sam?” Dean asked suddenly, and Sam knew it was more to break the hours long silence between them than for any real need for information.

Sam lowered his flashlight and tossed the book that he’d been studying for the last two hundred miles into the back seat. “Not much,” he began, “Faith, South Dakota. More than eighty unexplained deaths in the last week. All male. All first born. Dropped dead within hours of each other. Officials are looking into the town’s water supply,” Sam explained. The words came out woodenly, as if memorized by rote. 

“Faith,” Dean spat the word out. “How much further?”

“Four hours, at least.” 

“Find me a place to stop,” Dean said, and leaned forward a little to look at the dark sky through the windshield. “These roads are bad enough as it is. But when the rain hits…let’s just say that we won’t do anyone any good if we show up dead.” 


~*~*~*~*~*~*~


The place Sam directed them to was less like a town and more like an afterthought. Cheap houses built quickly to house cheap mine workers when silver and gold was found in the hills here. Most of the town had been abandoned just as fast when the mine came up bust. 

“Bring in the Browning and the Kewshaw, would you?” Dean shouted over his shoulder as he made his weary way up the front walkway to the condemned house they had decided to call home for the night. 

Sam ought to have known that it would be knives tonight. He knew all of Deans tells and his nervous habits. Like the way that Dean went after the guns and the oil and the brushes if he was bored. If he was anxious, it was the knives, always the knives. The constant scrape of metal on metal set Sam’s teeth on edge, but he knew better than to complain. If he did, Dean would only keep at it longer, until the blades were sharp enough to split apart molecules.

Rifling through the trunk, Sam found the two weapons in their leather sheaths and shoved them into his backpack. As an afterthought he grabbed the old Bowie, the one that had belonged to their father, JW carved into the base of the handle, worn shiny and smooth from years of use. Just in case Dean couldn’t get to sleep tonight.

The lightening flickered again, painting the front of the house for an instant in blue-white light. It was too far away for the thunder to be more than the faint suggestion of a sound, but it was getting closer. 

As he followed Dean inside, Sam thought about whether he would ever be able to take a thunderstorm at face value again. See the lightening flash in the distance, hear the roll of thunder coming ever closer, and know for certain that it was just science, a vocal and violent clash of atoms, of cold air swirling and mixing into hot. He wondered if he would ever be allowed to smell ozone in the air and believe that it only meant that water would soon be falling from the sky. There was a sort of simplicity hidden in the complexity of something merely natural. 

The interior of the house was bare, a few pieces of broken furniture littered the floor here and there. Sam watched as his brother made quick work of checking all of the rooms—it never hurt to be sure—and then helped him as he dragged a sagging mattress into the main room. They threw it down near one of the windows, a cloud of dust swirling in the dim light provided by their lantern. Dean snatched up Sam’s sleeping bag and unrolled it onto the mattress before spreading his own out on the opposite end of the room. Sitting down atop of it with a small groan, Dean took out his whetstone and spit on it.

“I get the floor this time, remember?” Sam said.

Dean uttered a noncommittal grunt, effectively cutting off the argument before it even started. He slid the first knife out of its sheath and started sharpening it. He was passive aggressiveness personified.

“We’ll get there in time,” Sam said, grasping at straws, trying to figure out what was going on inside his brother’s head. Dean had been too quiet recently, the spaces between his sarcastic quips growing larger and larger over the last month. Sam wanted to Dean to hit him, scream at him, blame him, anything but this oppressive silence would do.

“We’re already too late,” Dean said.

“You don’t know that.”

Dean just shrugged in response.

“You can talk to me, you know.”

“Not too big on the sharing and caring right now. Stop pacing, you’re making me seasick .” 

Sam hadn’t even realized he’d been walking back and forth until Dean called him on it. 

The air in here was too still, and Sam busied himself with prying off the wooden boards covering the two glassless windows in the room. A hint of a breeze crept in, hot humid air that did nothing to make the room less stifling. The lightening was getting closer, the storm would be here soon.

It seemed as if the air suddenly grew thicker, more like water and less like oxygen. He knew what, or more precisely, who was coming. Sam chanced a glance at Dean, who was now frozen, the knife stopping mid-stroke. The look on his brother’s face sent a hot stab of resentment through Sam. The lines of worry on Dean’s forehead smoothed out a little, and the tension that wound around Dean’s shoulders lessened almost imperceptibly. No one else would have noticed the change, but to Sam it was more obvious than the sun.

A quiet footfall beside him told Sam that the angel had arrived. 

Castiel was a constant reminder that Sam had failed. He couldn’t save his brother, he wasn’t able to bring him back. The handprint that marred Dean’s otherwise smooth and perfect flesh was a souvenir of it that Dean carried with him wherever he went. Of Sam’s inability to make good on the debts he owed. Sam itched to tie Dean down, take the knife out of his brother’s hand and cut it off of him, take rough sandpaper to soft skin and eradicate all traces of his failure from his brother’s body. Replace that scar with one of his own making.

“Jesus, Castiel. Where have you been? It’s been more than a week,” Dean said, and to Sam he sounded less like a badass and more like a jilted lover. It left a bitter taste in his mouth.

“There were some pressing matters,” Castiel replied, and took a few long strides toward Dean.

“Care to fill us in?” Sam asked.

The angel shot a quick look in his direction before facing Dean once more. “The less you know the better.” 

Dean’s gaze slid from Sam to Castiel. “That’s right. I forgot that you preferred your humans barefoot and stupid,” Dean said. He looked down at the knife in his hand, and started sharpening it again. “I will say that we could have used your help in Sedona. Belial was a real son of a bitch. His general was even nastier.” 

“I never doubted that you could take care of it. Dean, you and your brother are needed in the south. A legion is amassing in Death Valley. It would appear that they have a sense of irony. We need you to capture one of them and make them talk.”

Sam knew that they were no better than pawns, caught in a game so complex that even the best players had long ago given up. Chess was something that he’d never been great at, it wasn’t a game that could make them money, not like cheating at cards or hustling pool, but he knew when he was on the losing end of a checkmate. It looked just like this.

“I’ll pencil it in,” Dean said. “Right now we’re heading toward Faith.”

Castiel’s mouth twitched in something that Sam decided to interpret as a smile. It was as if he liked the sound of those words coming from Dean’s mouth. “That is merely an ancient curse that some human dragged up,” the angel said. “The crisis there is over.”

“Merely? A crisis?” Dean moved fast, on his feet in a split second and rushing toward Castiel, the blade in his hand spinning and flashing like quicksilver. “Almost a hundred men are dead and you call that a crisis? Like it is some sort of color-coded terrorist threat system. Yellow for crisis, only a hundred men dead. How many people have to die before you put a call into the VP of angelic affairs and raise the risk level to red, before you realize how well and truly fucked we are? A thousand? A hundred thousand?”

“I am aware of the problem there,” Castiel said calmly. “But our battles are many. I am only trying to stop you from chasing down something that is hopeless. It’s not worth your time,” Castiel continued, placing a hand on Dean’s shoulder. 

Dean scrubbed a hand through his hair and lowered his eyes. “So along you come, send us in a different direction with a peck on the cheek and a pat on the ass. Like this is just another day at the office for you. You don’t know what hopelessness is, you have no idea,” Dean said, his voice a low growl. 

The angel turned away from Dean, his shoulders slumping as he shoved his hands deep into his pockets. Sam recognized that it was not a sign of defeat, only a change in strategy.

“I cannot make you follow orders. I can only remind you that you made a promise,” Castiel said over his shoulder as he walked out the door.

Sam had thought that demons were manipulative. It turned out that he didn’t know the half of it. He opened his mouth to say as much to Dean, but closed it again with an audible snap when Dean spun on his heel, throwing the knife in his hand across the room. It lodged hilt-deep into the wall. Snatching his keys off of the floor, Dean strode purposefully toward the door.

An irrational fear gripped Sam, that his brother would leave before he had a chance to make something—anything—alright. He needed to hammer out the chinks in his brother’s armor, all those little dents that he had put there the first time he had left. Fill in the bigger gaps he’d made when he left the last time. It was either fix it or strip Dean of it completely before it strangled him.

“Are you alright? Where are you going?” Sam asked.

“I’m just gonna get the map, Sam,” Dean replied. “There’s been a change of plans. We’re heading south.”

There was something about Dean’s voice that Sam didn’t like. It wasn’t the sound of giving up, Dean was way too proud for that. It was the sound of giving in, and that was so much worse. 


~*~*~*~*~*~*~


Dean glanced at the sky as he walked down the crooked stairs toward the car. The thunder was a steady grumble now, as if the universe was clearing its throat in preparation for a full rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus. The air was damp, thick, it caused an immediate thin layer of sweat to cover Dean’s skin, making the fabric of his shirt cling uncomfortably to his back. 

His fist tightened around the keys in his hand, the metal digging sharply into his palm. It helped him forget about the painful sensation deep in the skin of his arm. Dean hadn’t told anyone this, not even his brother, but whenever Castiel appeared, the handprint always came alive with a throbbing burn. Maybe the feeling was in his head, maybe not, but either way it was a reminder of the promises he had made.

His life was the sum of his promises now, ones that he kept, others that he’d broken. The voice of his father ghosted into his mind.Take care of Sammy…watch out for your little brother, boy…another promise that Dean hadn’t known how to keep.

And now Sam wanted him to talk, but what could he say really? That he was scared of his brother, maybe more than just a little? Sam had turned into something he wasn’t, a self-destructive, reckless thing that wanted nothing more than to exact revenge. For Dean, because of Dean, Sam had turned into somebody he wasn’t. 

Dean couldn’t tell Sam that he wanted nothing more than to take it all back, go back to a time when the worst hell he could imagine was being stuck in a dry county when all he really wanted was a beer, a time when there was no such thing as heaven, and angels didn’t even exist. A time when he did not have to see the silent plea for forgiveness that flooded Sam’s expression every time their eyes met. Sam didn’t seem to understand that there was nothing to forgive, only things that needed forgetting.

A flash of lightening struck, close enough to make the short hairs at the back of Dean’s neck stand on end. His breath hitched in surprise at the clap of thunder that echoed overhead, and Dean chuckled a little at himself. The sound of his laugh was unnatural to his own ears. He never used to scare this easy. 

Shuffling through the glove compartment, Dean hastily found the map and started toward the door. The wind was picking up, hot air blowing into his face and cold air hitting him from behind. This storm was gearing up to be a real son of a bitch.

Sam was sitting on a scarred up table in the center of the room when Dean entered the house once more. A knife, the one that Dean had thrown into the wall, was twirling around in his fingers, and Dean was struck for a moment with how menacing his brother looked. He wondered when the tall, skinny, clumsy kid that he knew so well had turned into this creature. A man who was now made up of long muscles and unconscious grace. Frightening and formidable, but at the same time somehow entrancing, like an enticingly familiar stranger.

At the sound of the door closing, Sam glanced toward him, the small frown on his face changing to something that looked more than a little relieved.

Dean leaned against the door, the vibration in the wood from the constant rumble of thunder outside was soothing. Unfolding the map, he quickly scanned it, looking for the straightest route southward.

“We should still head east. Go to Faith,” Sam said quietly.

Dean didn’t look up from the map. “You heard what Castiel said,” Dean replied. “There’s nothing we can do there.”

“Yeah, I heard him,” Sam said dismissively. “But what if whoever did this digs something else up? Like water that turns to blood, or some other biblical plague? Do we let him off the hook for killing all those men? Just because some refugee from Heaven told us to? And since when do you follow their orders?”

Dean’s eyes snapped up at the bitter sound of his brother’s voice. He schooled his own and said calmly, “If you want to go, more power to you. I’m not gonna stop you.” 

The constant motion of the knife in Sam’s hand stilled, and he dropped it onto the table, the point lodging into the wood with solid noise. With a few long strides he closed the distance between them. Sam placed a hand on the door above Dean’s head and leaned forward. There was a light in his eyes, an intensity that Dean thought he had seen before, he just couldn’t place where.

The map fell from Dean’s suddenly numb fingers, and it floated to the plank floor. The heel of his boot clunked against the door when he subconsciously tried to take a step backward. There was nowhere for him to go.

“I’m not gonna let you do this alone,” Sam whispered, so close that Dean could feel the warmth of Sam’s breath on his face. 

“That’s not the first time you’ve said that,” Dean whispered back. He placed a hand on his brother’s chest, his palm resting flat in the center of it, right over Sam’s heart. Dean knew it was a symbolic gesture at best. Moving Sam right now would be like moving a mountain, and besides, pushing his brother away was not an option. It never had been, never would be.

Sam closed his eyes, his tongue flicked out of his slightly open mouth, wetting his lower lip. When his eyes opened again, the strange light there was gone. 

But one look and Dean knew this wasn’t over. That this was just the eye of the storm, a moment of calm before the wind changed direction and the dangerous part hit. When everything that had been forced one way was suddenly bent the other. The part of the hurricane where everything started to break, the part where the roofs came flying off.

There was a faint sheen of sweat on Sam’s skin. Dean watched the flutter of flesh at the pulse point on his brother’s neck, moving in rhythm with the beat of his heart beneath Dean’s palm. That he ought to drop his hand was a half-formed thought, but those circuits connecting his brain to his muscles seemed to have broken down, when rather than lowering his hand, his fingers curled more tightly into the fabric of Sam’s shirt. 

Sam took a deep breath, his throat working for a moment before he spoke. “I won’t leave you.”

Four small words, words that Dean had heard his brother say in the past, they had even been strung together in this particular order before. But never had they sounded quite like this. 

Dean felt like his body was somehow connected to the storm outside, the sound of the hail that was just beginning to fall on the tin roof was as quick as his heartbeat, the wind pushing his blood along faster through his veins, the thunder making his skin feel fever sensitive, the lightening heightening his vision, making what had been invisible now crystal clear.

His brother needed him. In that moment, in that second when Sam leaned forward, made that small gap between them disappear, everything that used to be important—right and wrong, good and bad—no longer mattered. Black and white mixed together into a shade of grey that matched the color of storm clouds. 

Sam pressed his lips to Dean’s, and Dean was reminded of crossroads, of kisses meant to seal a bargain. This was no deal, this was a promise, and there was somehow a difference.

Then Sam was moving backward with a few hasty and somewhat stumbling steps. Doubt and fear warred in his expression, and beneath it all was an undercurrent of want that had Dean’s breath catching in his throat. 

There was a second when Dean knew that he could put a stop to this, all of it, and return to their fucked up version of normal. All he had to do was nothing; drop his eyes and turn away. Deny Sam and deny himself this one thing that could be theirs alone. He could make the choice, Sam was giving him that.

Dean’s first step toward Sam was hard, the rest were easy. 

He reached out, both hands pulling Sam toward him, trapping himself between the door and his brother again, and lacing his fingers behind Sam’s neck, he drew him closer.

The stubble on Sam’s jaw rasped against his own as Sam brought his lips close to Dean’s ear. It was an alien sensation, one that awoke something within him, something that Dean suspected had been in there forever, only latent until now. 

“You’re mine,” Sam said. “You do know that. Always have been.”

“Yes,” Dean gasped, fingers digging into the solid muscle of his brother’s shoulders. It was always yes for Sam. A hundred times yes, a million.

Sam’s lips hovered above Dean’s again, and he snaked his tongue out, swiping it along Dean’s lower lip, as if he was testing, asking for permission.

Dean gave it without hesitation, crashing their mouths together, tongues connecting as they both fought to learn how the other tasted. Sam breathed a low noise into Dean’s mouth, his hand coming up to cradle Dean’s head. Quick needy licks and bites gave way to slower, searching movements as he angled for better access. Dean allowed Sam to control the kiss, let his muscles relax as Sam mapped out his mouth with his tongue.

Dean’s hands slid to the small of Sam’s back, his fingers working to sneak beneath the sweat damp cotton of his brother’s shirt, hiking it up as his hands sought out the feeling of smooth skin.

Their kiss broke, both men drinking in the other’s breath for a few heartbeats before Sam yanked Dean’s shirt above his head and did the same to his own. Sam moved his hands up Dean’s sides, his palms working along Dean’s ribs as he breathed heavily, his eyes running along his chest as if he’d never seen Dean before, really seen him. Dean recognized that light that sparked in Sam’s eyes once more. It was possessive, it sent a shockwave through Dean’s body, a heat pooled in his groin and he was instantly, achingly hard. 

Raking his teeth along the graceful column of Sam’s neck, Dean bit down forcefully on the skin covering Sam’s collarbone, causing his hips to buck forward into Dean’s, his want desire very clear through two layers of filthy and worn denim. Dean sucked hard on the flesh of Sam's neck, hard enough to be just this side of painful, intent on marking him, teaching Sam that possession could run both ways. Sam hissed, but rather than pull away, he wrapped a large hand around Dean’s head, holding him close, nonsense words that to Dean sounded like yes and please and don’t stop tumbling from his mouth.

Sam pressed him harder against the door, sliding a leg between Dean’s and pulling their hips flush together. Dean felt the rough wood dig splinters into the flesh of his shoulders. He felt time stretch out and contract to the point of nonsense, until it lacked all meaning and significance. His senses tunneled down to pinprick precision. 

The only thing that mattered was the taste of his brother's sweat on his lips. Dean imagined the smell of it working it's way in through his nose, through the thin membranes there on a one-way track to his bloodstream, becoming part of him, making them the same. 

Sam guided them sideways, clumsy footsteps forming an awkward two-step as he led them toward the mattress, mouths still reaching for each other, hands fumbling with belt buckles, buttons, and zippers, feet tripping over boots. Dean found himself spun around, dizzy and feeling drunk, the world slipping sideways as Sam followed him down to the floor.

The wind was howling outside, the lightning offering up flickering illumination that painted the familiar and foreign contours of Sam’s body. Sam hovered above him, propped up on an elbow, his hips rocking slightly, offering a light tantalizing friction that was nowhere near enough. 

Dean grabbed his brother’s hips, marveled at how his hands fit over the bones there, and pulled Sam closer to him, arching up to slide his cock alongside Sam’s. It was a strange sensation, the solid weight of a man atop him, of Sam, so far away from anything Dean had ever known. 

They rocked together perfectly, moved together perfectly. Maybe it was a result of a life lived out of each other’s pockets, a dangerous existence where each one needed to know how the other worked in order to stay alive. Or perhaps it was some twisted combination of genetics that had created these two people to fit flawlessly together.

Sam’s hands were everywhere on him. They skittered along the skin of his stomach, restlessly working their way up to his face, dipping down again to his cock with a few heavy twisting jerks only to move on, constantly pulling and pushing, fingernails digging into his hips and then sliding upward to knead gently at the muscles of his shoulders.

It was as if Sam had waited so long to touch and to feel, and now that he could, now that it was allowed, he didn’t know where to start or to stop. Sam’s mouth found Dean’s once more, taking it in open sloppy kisses that meant desire, love and more than anything devotion. An unerring devotion that filled Dean to the brim and chased away any lingering sense of doubt.

“Sam,” Dean began, his voice hoarse and breathless. Sam shut him up, claiming his mouth once more, slow and dirty, then slid along Dean’s body, leaving a spit slick trail of kisses as he worked his way down.

Dean pressed his head into the lumpy and crooked mattress, a hand thrown over his eyes, another hand tangled lightly in Sam’s hair. It was soft, slipped through his fingers in a way that he hadn’t expected. Dean was less surprised than he ought to have been that he’d wondered how Sam’s hair would feel under his hands. It didn’t matter now, nothing did but the feeling of Sam’s lips and teeth as they did wicked things along the sensitive skin of his lower stomach, as his tongue ran a long wet stripe along the underside of his cock. Dean was getting close, so close, and Sam had barely even started. 

A gasp escaped Dean’s lips as Sam’s fingernails suddenly raked down his chest. Dean felt like he’d been violently slammed back to ground zero, and froze when images skittered in his mind’s eye, flashes of claws rending him apart and exposing his insides to the outside. An eternity of torture that only lasted mere moments. He reached up, flattening Sam’s hand to his chest to stop the suffocating feeling. Sam stared up at him, a question clear in his eyes. Dean offered up his answer by drawing Sam’s hand upward. He took one of his brother’s long fingers into his mouth, biting lightly on the pad before swirling his tongue around it and sucking. 

It was as if Sam read his mind, and stilled for a moment, aiming a dark and direct look into Dean’s eyes. “I know, Dean. You’re not going anywhere,” Sam said, and the deep rumble of his voice, the sureness in it, made Dean’s toes curl and his hips move unbidden. “I got you.”

For the first time in what seemed like ages, Dean believed him, completely and utterly.

Dean fought to still the restless rolling of his hips as Sam began again, wrapped his huge hand around the base of Dean’s cock and snaked his tongue out, tasting and teasing, pressing into the sensitive bundle of nerves there. Sam hummed an appreciative sound as he took Dean into his mouth fully, lips tight and tongue feeling like velvet as he set a quick rhythm. 

His orgasm was close, a heat mounting and becoming more insistent as he lost the fight and started to make shallow thrusts into Sam’s mouth, fingers tangling tighter into his brother’s hair. A soft groaning noise that he didn’t recognize escaped from his throat. The sound set something off in Sam, who started taking him in quicker and deeper, the suction increasing as he hollowed his cheeks more. Dean’s hips rose fully as he came, and Sam’s hands slid beneath him, cupping his ass and taking him in even deeper. Dean felt himself hit the back of Sam’s throat, muscles swallowing around him, as Sam took in all that Dean could give.

Sam sat back, pulled Dean up to straddle his hips, jerking him slow through the aftershocks, his lips slack and glinting wetly in the darkness. Dean wrapped shaky arms around his shoulders, sucking in Sam’s bottom lip, tasting himself there, bitter and salty.

The hard length of Sam’s cock was now trapped between them, and Dean dropped his hand to it, swiping a thumb over the head, collecting the wetness gathered there. He brought his finger to his mouth. They tasted the same. 

Dean began to jerk him slowly, the curve of his brother’s length feeling hot and the skin silky soft in his hand.

Sam’s breath was coming ragged and quick, brushing against the sweat damp skin of Dean’s neck. “You’re quieter than I thought you would be,” he panted.

“You thought about this?” The question came out before Dean’s groggy mind could catch up.

“This, and more.” That dark sound was back in Sam’s voice. Sam ran a hand down the curve of Dean’s ass as he spoke, “Like how it feels inside of you.” Sam’s fingers moved along Dean’s crease, playing at the tight ring of muscle there. 

“Inside me,” Dean repeated thoughtlessly, trying to wrap his mind and his senses around what Sam’s hand was doing, the feeling so obtrusive, treacherous and tempting at the same time. 

“Like how it would feel to be part of you,” Sam continued, and Dean found himself rocking down on Sam’s hand, breathing out a needy sigh.

“Fuck,” Dean breathed when Sam’s finger moved in more. 

“How it would feel to know that you were mine.” 

“Yours.” Dean had intended to ask a question. Instead the word came out more like a promise. 

Sam’s body jerked at the sound of it, his cock twitching in Dean’s steadily moving hand, his finger pressing into Dean further, moving, stretching. Then he was tumbling Dean backward, flipping him onto his stomach. Dean had a moment's worth of wondering when his brother had gotten to be so goddamn strong before Sam was leaning bodily over him, reaching toward his duffel and yanking out a small bottle.

Fingers, this time cold and wet, found Dean’s entrance again, two pushing in implacably and fast, twisting. Dean felt exposed, torn apart and vulnerable for a second, but then Sam was there, draped over his back, open mouthed kisses painting the back of his neck and his shoulders, all of his brother’s weight leaning heavily upon him. Dean was holding them up, stopping them from falling, keeping them together. 

When Sam pressed into him, slowly, so slowly, it hurt, a burning, stinging ache that made him arch his back and hold his breath. But Dean had learned long ago that everything that was good always came with a price, and more often than not that price was pain. He instead concentrated on the whisper light feeling of Sam’s hand as it ran along his spine, soft gentle touches that contrasted with the stretching feeling of fullness within him.

His breath hitching, Sam pulled back, only to slam forward more forcefully, his cock swiping over something within Dean, making his vision explode with white pinpricks of light. He was instantly hard again, blood rushing and body moving of its own volition, pushing back and writhing against Sam. 

Sam grunted, said something about mine and beautiful and perfect and not going to last. The words were all but lost on Dean, whose whole body felt like nothing more than a collection of nerve endings as his brother moved inside him, hitting that spot relentlessly, mouth biting into his neck. One hand dug into the sweaty flesh of Dean’s shoulders, the other reached around to squeeze his cock, and a few fast jerks had Dean spilling again, come running hot along his abdomen, over Sam’s hand.

Sam’s thrusts grew erratic, his hips sputtering as he chased his own orgasm, crashing harder and harder into Dean, there were more nonsense words and hard slaps of skin on skin. And then Sam was everywhere on him, wrestling them to their sides, still buried deep within, an arm slung around his abdomen, their legs a tangle, burning hot lips fixed to the soft skin behind Dean’s ear, holding him, pushing in deeper, impossibly deeper as he came.

For long moments, they laid there, both shivering and shaking a little, Sam still moving lazily behind Dean, his thumb tracing patterns on the skin of his stomach.

Dean wet his lips, tried to speak, his mouth felt numb, his body not responding to commands. But this was somehow important.

“Mmmm?” Sam hummed, little more than a vibration in his chest that ran down Dean’s spine.

Dean tried again. “To Faith,” he finally managed, his voice a dry croak.

Sam only held him tighter.

Sliding his eyes closed, Dean thought about how easy it could be to just stay right here, let the war play out without them. Just forget. Sit back and watch as the world disappeared to nothing. 


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


The wheels of the Impala kicked up a cloud of dust in the dry air as Dean drove into the motel’s parking lot. He wanted nothing more than to turn the six-pack in the trunk into a thing of the past, and fall dead asleep to the sound of some late night B movie on the motel’s television. It had been a hell of a day. Humans, the sons of bitches never ceased to amaze him.

As he opened the car door, he rubbed a knuckle against the handle, opening up a bloody cut from earlier that day. Dean cursed softly and shoved it into his mouth as he stood up. Knuckles were the worst, the wounds took forever to heal, always breaking open with the smallest movement.

A tingling sensation erupted in the handprint on his arm and Dean spun, his boots skidding on the gravelly pavement of the parking lot. Castiel stood a few feet behind him, hands hanging loosely at his sides and his head turned toward the deserted road that ran alongside the building. The green neon lights from the motel sign made him look even more pale than usual.

“And so it was written in Leviticus: ‘None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness,’” Castiel quoted. 

“Thanks, Cas, but I think I’ll skip the Sunday school lesson,” Dean said, and continued toward the trunk of the Impala, his keys in his hand.

Castiel continued, “I know what you have done, Dean. It is an abomination. You must pray for forgiveness.” 

Dean became immediately and irrationally angry, the sudden urge to shoot something—anything—coursed through him, it made his fingers itch. He was so very tired, sick of the orders and commands, of the constant pull and push toward a supposed destiny that he did not understand and did not entirely believe in anyway. 

But right now he was mostly fed up with the way the angel looked at him, Castiel’s carefully chosen words and stilted speech. The angel had been here for thousands of years, watching, always learning. Dean figured that he would have used one or two of those years to learn to speak like any other red-blooded American.

Castiel’s eyes slid toward him. “Sam is already your weakness, and this could create…” Castiel paused, as if searching for the proper word, “complications.”

“Because everything so far has been simple? I don’t know about you, but personally, I think that this war to end all wars has been a walk in the park.” 

Castiel ignored Dean’s sarcasm, and instead stated, “You are not merely another soldier. There is a duty that only you can fulfill.” 

“You guys are all like used car salesmen, what with your shady promises and half truths, offering up a twenty percent discount if I fight the good fight and play by your rules. Well, I’ll tell ya, find another sucker, because personally I’m not buying whatever it is you’re selling.”

“You are different. Your faith is crucial. You must hold tight to your potential for salvation.”

“Yeah, and Heaven chose me because I’m the poster-boy for healthy living.” 

“What would happen if at the very last moment you finally start believing in God and want with every fiber of your soul to take all of it back? Tell me, Dean, what would you do then?”

“I’d tell God it was a set up.” Dean replied, sneering, and turned toward the trunk of the car. 

Castiel moved quickly, closing in on Dean, and spinning him around with a hand on his shoulder. He was a looming figure with half-lidded eyes that were almost dead looking, almost but not quite. Dean swore there was a light behind them that he had never seen before. It reminded him of hellfire. “I was created with the heavens and will persist when this world is nothing more than ashes. I was the chorus that sang our Father’s praises the day the earth was born. I have seen mountains rise and fall, I have seen civilizations reduced to dust because of time or misdeed. I can look backward into eternity. I warn you Dean, you do not want to cross me.” Castiel’s words were made that much more ominous for all their quiet.

Castiel’s menacing approach awoke Dean to the fact that he was now nose to nose with a preternatural being, one created to be Heaven’s most stunningly fearsome instrument of wrath. “But don’t misunderstand me,” Castiel continued. “I wish to know why you’ve done this.” 

Dean wanted to ask the angel if he had ever known utter desperation. The sort of gut-wrenching, throat-closing desperation that constantly lay over him like a blanket made of pure lead. The desperation that came when Dean truly realized for the first time that for every person they saved there were dozens more, hundreds more. Thousands.

He wanted to ask whether Castiel had ever felt the heavy burden of utter futility. Or the need to become whole again, no matter the price, and the only means to feel that way was to bury himself in something that was so far from normal, moral or even acceptable. How he needed the sensation of complete release that came when the rulebook was thrown away. The freedom that came when all his self-imposed restrictions were finally blown to smithereens. 

Dean wanted to know if Castiel could even really feel anything at all. 

Instead Dean answered Castiel’s question with another. “What do you do when hope has left the building and taken reality out the door with it?” His voice cracked. He hated the sound of it.

“You persist. You have faith because you have no other choice. But believe me when I say that I am not without sympathy for you, Dean.” Castiel’s hand still rested on Dean’s shoulder, the lightest pressure that kept Dean’s feet planted firmly in place. 

“You’re in no position to lecture me on faith. If memory serves, I’m not the only one here who has burned his fair share of bridges.”

“I do not speak of my insurrection. I faced the wrath of Heaven and Hell for you. I would again, if you only were to ask it of me.” Castiel slid his hand from Dean’s shoulder to his neck. He tilted his chin down, fixing his eyes on Dean’s as if searching for something. “Dean, I have faith in you.”

“Sorry, buddy. But you voted for the wrong guy.” The truth was out, the darkest and deepest root Dean’s doubt. Dean knew this, was sure of it in a way that he had been certain of nothing else in his life. He wasn’t strong enough. Nothing that he had ever done made him worthy of this.

“I have faith in you,” Castiel repeated, leaning forward a mere fraction. In the small space between them, the air felt alive with electricity, like someone had managed to trap lightening in a bottle and Dean had just taken a double shot of it.

“No, Castiel.” Dean tried to swallow past the ache in his throat. His eyes stung, and he slid them closed. He bowed his head slightly, slumped his shoulders and leaned his weight more heavily against the cool metal of the car behind him. “I don’t deserve this…your faith, any of it.” 

“You do deserve it, Dean. All of it. Everything.” Castiel placed a finger beneath Dean’s chin, tilted his head up, but Dean would not open his eyes, knowing that if he did, Castiel would see the weakness there. “I have faith in you,” Castiel said one final time, and pressed his lips to Dean’s forehead. 

To Dean it felt like a blessing, like the long awaited fulfillment of a prayer.

Dean’s hands rested on the trunk of the car, and Castiel laid his over the Dean’s. There was an instantaneous heat, a burn that flared up and was gone just as quickly.

Finally, Dean opened his eyes, stared down at his hand that was moments ago scabbed, bloody and aching. He flexed his fingers, amazed that the skin there was now perfect, unmarked. He blinked up at Castiel. 

“Is this love? The desire to take away all traces of pain from a person? Is this what it feels like?” Castiel asked, holding his hand palm forward to Dean, a smudge of Dean’s blood shining darkly in the center. “Did I just learn what it means?”

Dean did not respond, but rather and walked back toward the motel room, the blue light from the television flickering through the sheer curtains at the window. He reached out a hand to twist the doorknob and opened it, staring at his brother for long seconds. Sam was asleep on the couch, an uncomfortable tangle of long, curled up legs and crooked arms. His brother had fallen asleep with his boots still on. Dean was going to have to take care of that. Taking a step through the doorway, Dean turned toward Castiel. “No,” he answered finally. “You didn’t just learn it now. You’ve always known what it meant. So have I.” Dean offered him a small, sad smile as he shut the door.


~*~*~*~*~*~*~


Glancing through the window, the angel watched as his human, his charge, bent before his brother, half carried and half dragged him toward the bed furthest from the door. Dean tugged at Sam’s shoes as he toed his own off, and covered Sam with the drab comforter before collapsing fully clothed onto the other bed, and throwing an arm over his eyes. Castiel watched as the rise and fall of Dean’s chest took on the slow even motion of sleep. Castiel prayed that it would be dreamless.

Castiel’s thoughts flitted back through the centuries, through millennia, backward toward Bethlehem, where he had bore witness to the birth of a man. He had been a simple man, the son of a farmer, a man who would be called upon to slay a giant. A warrior who had fallen in love with a prince, and who would later be made a king. 

Dean was right. Castiel had long known what it meant to love a human. 

A flicker of movement within the room caught Castiel’s attention once more, and he looked on as Sam rose, took a few stumbling steps toward the bed next to his. Sam lay down beside Dean, faced his brother, and placed his head on Dean’s shoulder. Dean stirred some in his sleep, snaking an arm around him, resting his lips against Sam’s forehead. A blessing of his own.

Castiel turned his back to the window, and cast his gaze toward the invisible nighttime horizon. He was a guard, a sentinel, after all. He was to watch, and to fight. It was the purpose behind his creation. It had always been his duty. That and nothing more.

~fin~ 
Tags: fic: sam/dean, rated: nc-17
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