Word Count: 3000
Notes: Written for smpc. Oh good lord, the angst. Many, many thanks to cherie_morte for the look-see and for soothing my shaky nerves on this one.
Summary: Two days ago, Sam screwed his brother. One hour ago, Dean came back.
Steam rises from the faucet turned full-on hot, clouding the mirror. Water whirlpools in the rusty truck stop sink.
Sam cups his hands beneath the water, lets it pool until his palms become an angry color. He douses himself, yesterday’s shaving knick like a pinprick on the underside of his jaw, then wipes his face dry with rough paper towels that smell like cardboard.
The mirror is cracked diagonal, corner-to-corner. Sam’s face is misaligned, left and right sides not quite matched up, one eye a fraction of an inch higher than it ought to be and there’s a split in his mouth. Dead center. He rests his forearms on the sides of the sink and breathes deep, holding in a lungful of heavy air. Lets it out nice and slow.
Two days ago, Sam fucked his brother.
One hour ago, Dean came back, busting through the motel door with a gruff command to get in the damn car already. He's found them a case. There’s a ghost breaking necks just over the state line. He hadn’t looked at Sam then and hasn’t much since. Sam found himself frozen, shocked still and struck stupid, unable to move from the death watch he’d taken up on the motel bed. Fear and want and above all relief pounded through him at the sight of Dean, so heavy and thick that it had made his eyes water and his throat close down. His body’s sympathetic reaction. He hadn’t cried. Not really.
He thinks he ought to look different now, but he doesn’t. The same straight set to his mouth that Dean calls stubborn and Sam calls determined. Same squared off angle to his shoulders. Same hazel eyes, and where the hell he got those, he’ll never know and there’s nobody left alive who can say. It could be that they look a little more spooked nowadays, but no one can blame him.
They say that mirrors always tell the truth. This one is broken, though. So maybe that's the difference.
Outside, insects swarm the gas station lights overhead, swooping down then up. Sam’s two days past tired. He’s car crash beat, with sluggish feet made of concrete and a set of eyes that are playing tricks on him. So tired that the white wings of the moths trail out with a sort of after burn, tiny comets set in orbit around a buzzing yellow high-pressure sodium moon. He waves a slow hand in front of himself, fingers spread out in a fan. It trails too, like he’s on the ass end of an all-night acid trip, stomach in a knot, riding out that last jittery free fall into morning.
Dean leans against the trunk of the car, a boot propped on the chrome bumper and a fist wrapped around the gas pump. The knuckles on that hand are scraped up bloody, the middle one swollen and misshapen, but Sam won’t ask him what happened. Dean has come back, and now Sam feels like he has a pair of aces in his hand backed up by a set of eights. He’s not gonna push his luck.
From across the parking lot, Sam watches Dean's profile, the way he shrugs his coat straight on his shoulders, the subconscious pout of his lower lip and the guarded, dangerous expression on his face. Pretty enough to be a movie star, although Sam knows better than to say that to him outright. In another time and another place, he could give James Dean a run for his money.
Sam nears his brother, circling around the Impala on the way to the passenger seat. Dean shifts a little, Sam’s proximity marginally shoving him back, and right now they’re matching magnets, both positive or both negative, scientifically proven incapable of sharing the same space.
“Dean,” Sam starts, his hand twitching in his brother’s direction, something akin to a muscle tic or a reflex. He’s not sure where to go from there, all options seeming equally impossible, so he repeats Dean’s name.
Dean gives him his best ‘what now?’ face, not quite meeting his eyes. He’s cornered the market on long-suffering, and Sam figures at least now he has a reason.
“Why did you come back for me?”
“Couldn’t leave you there. That woulda been a dick move.” Dean violently slams the gas nozzle back into the pump, taking his pent-up aggression out on a harmless, innocent metal bystander. It could have been worse, could have been Sam’s face. In a self destructive way, Sam almost wishes it was his face. At least then Dean would have touched him.
With a curt shake of his head, Dean says, “No, Sam. Just. Just no.” It’s an iron door banging shut.
There’s a dip in the passenger seat of the Impala, a Sam-sized indent that clings to the small of his back, pulls him in and hugs him tight. The leather is worn, soft and as smooth as the skin high up on the inside of Dean’s thigh. Sam’s not too sure what to do with that sorta knowledge, just like he's not sure what to do with this thing that’s curled up in his head and around his heart, wrapped around his chest in an aching band that makes it impossible to catch his breath.
He's never known what to do with it, not when he was twelve and couldn't take his eyes off of his brother, nor when he was sixteen, hunched in the shower with his fist wrapped around his cock and wishing it was Dean's hand instead, rough and hard and steady. Not at eighteen, when he'd left, and not at twenty-one when he'd come back and had brought his glock right alongside his stubborn, wrong shaped heart.
Dean falls into the driver’s seat, digs in his pocket and throws a Baby Ruth bar into Sam’s lap along with a crumpled receipt, and Sam’s stomach grumbles a thankful response. Two days since he's eaten. Two days since he's done anything but wait. The engine turns over with a throaty growl, the first lullaby Sam can remember, and Dean points them westward toward the place where Pennsylvania turns into Ohio. They’ve been here before, and Dean knows the way.
They do this thing sometimes where they don’t talk for a day. So many miles in a car with someone and it’s only a matter of time until the conversation runs out. Communication turns basic, shared looks and caveman grunts, a tap of Dean’s knuckles on Sam’s knee to get his attention then some kinda chin point. Eventually it’ll turn into a standoff with Dean--it always does--the verbal equivalent of a staring contest. For Sam’s part, he enjoys the quiet, the break from Dean’s litany of good-natured ribbing and stupid kid jokes. Dean’s sense of humor became static, fossilized at about the age of thirteen (I dare ya, Sammy. I double-dog dare ya), all wordplay and stupid puns topped off with a healthy dose of pop culture. Sam hates it, secretly loves it.
The silence is miserable now, sullen and sharp. Laced with land mines. Sam tries to sleep, neck arched against the window, and winds up in that place in between, coming more fully awake every time he feels Dean’s eyes on him. He watches his brother, peeking through the lashes of his mostly closed eyes. Faking it, but Dean’s probably onto him. Live long enough in the same car or hotel room or bar with someone and just about everything becomes obvious. Besides, not much gets past Dean, never has, and that's the bitch of the thing.
Highway lights move in a slow strobe across Dean's face, from monochrome shadow to vivid color and back to shadow again. A bruise the size of a silver dollar marks the smooth stretch of Dean’s neck below his ear. Dean keeps mindlessly tracing it, fingers skittering around the edges and pressing into the center, like he’s trying to commit it to memory through touch. Sam recognizes the shape of his mouth in it, the crooked dings his teeth left behind now filled with blood, remembers the heat of his brother's skin and the taste of it, all salt and sweat and cheap aftershave.
Dean’s supposed to be easy. Clear-cut boundaries of family and trust and faith, a solid foothold when everything else rattles beneath him. Or if not easy, then at least less impossible than the rest of it, more predictable, familiar. Sam's run out of road map, stepped off the edge of the earth.
They cross the state line as the sun is only beginning to rise. The welcome sign is red, white, and blue, god bless America and tells them that there's so much to discover in the great state of Ohio. It doesn't know the half of it.
The case is cut and dry. All the victims are middle aged men, broken necks after single car accidents along a stretch of highway straight as an arrow, although the toxicology reports say they had it coming to them. There's a cross on the side of the road, sun-bleached plastic flowers in a vase and a wreath with the name Jamie printed on it in faded letters. A couple of hours on the internet and Sam figures out the how's and why's. A seventeen year old girl and a hit and run back in '84, a guy by the name of Lester Cash, who had three DWI's under his belt and forty-eight years on this planet, who offed himself with a rope and a particularly sturdy ceiling fan before he made it to forty-nine. She's been out there looking for him ever since.
She'd had red hair. Her folks had buried her in a white dress with a belt made out of pink ribbon. The highway noise is a drone in the distance. Sam wipes the graveyard dirt from his hands on the seat of his pants before he pours salt and accelerant, Dean lights the match and they both bear witness, just like their father taught them.
The flames are slow to die and Sam's the worst kinda sinner because he can't help but look at Dean and think about the way Dean's hand had felt on the back of his neck, how surprisingly soft his mouth had been, how Dean had looked so good spread out on the bed with his ass tipped up and how he'd said things like fuck and god and please, Sam, please. Sam can't help thinking about how they'd gone to breakfast that morning two days back, how he'd ordered oatmeal and Dean had ordered steak and eggs and how he'd never expected that he would end up buried balls deep inside of his brother less than twelve hours later.
It had been the smallest thing, the tiniest fucking thing. Sam had returned to their hotel room, Chinese takeout cradled in the crook of his arm to find Dean spoiling for a fight. Something about a ding in his best bowie knife, but that hardly matters, it coulda been anything. Dean had pushed him and Sam had pushed back and then pushed again, pinned Dean against the door and kept him there until something inside of Sam had misfired, broken free. It had been less like a kiss, more like slamming into a brick wall at a hundred miles an hour and that was just the start.
Dean's fucking around with his bottom lip, rolling his thumb along it and Sam wants to do it for him, very badly wants to know what he's thinking, reaches out and shivers when Dean lets him touch his shoulder. It only lasts a second before Dean's smacking his hand and turning away to start the short trudge back to the car.
Anger blooms in Sam as he follows behind, a quick flash of it, stabbing and as sharp lightning. For a second there he can't stand his brother, loves him twice as much as that. It’s two sides of the same goddamn coin, really. Always has been.
Dean pauses at the open door of the car, head bowed and shoulders slumped, and Sam watches him the way he always watches him, his brother in sharp focus and the rest of the whole wide world a static blur. Window dressing.
"Why did you come back?" Sam says, and he knows he's pouring alcohol on a fresh wound, pulling the stitches out too early.
"I already told you," Dean says. He doesn't look up, keeps his back turned.
"That didn't cut it." Sam approaches Dean, careful to keep his footsteps silent, like he's on a hunt. "Why?" He touches the small of Dean's back, his t-shirt damp and sweaty beneath his fingers, traces the shape of his spine all the way up until he gets to the bare skin above his collar and decides not to notice the way Dean flinches.
"Because there are only two things in this world that matter to me, and one doesn't count unless I have the other." Dean heaves a deep breath and turns toward Sam.
"I'm sorry," Sam says, broken glass pumping through his busted heart instead of blood.
"You don't get to say that." Dean shakes his head, gives Sam half a smile and it's the most dangerous thing Sam's seen in months, years maybe. He's trapped between Sam and the car, and his only two choices are to come out swinging or stand down, escape into the driver's seat. Dean's never been the standing down type. It's one of the best things about him, damn near to the top of Sam's impressively long list.
"What do I get to say?" He inches up on Dean and the air around his brother feels electrified with some strange current.
Dean's staring at his mouth. "Dunno, Sammy. Tell me that it was a mistake, that you didn't mean it, and I'll tell you who's a liar."
"I never would have--" Sam starts and doesn't get to finish, because Dean pulls him down by the back of his neck, pushes himself up and kisses him, intent and decisive and as unavoidable as gravity. He slides his tongue slow and sweet past Sam's lips and licks in deep, kisses him like he means it, like it's everything. No take-backs.
Dean gets his hands under his shirt, grips his hipbones and snugs him close, smashes them together. Dean's chest is solid against Sam's and his cock is thick, nudges hot along Sam's crotch as he rolls his hips in tiny hitches, all mindless and needy.
"Stop," Dean tells him, talking against Sam's mouth. "There's no good way to finish that sentence." Still boxed in, Dean drops down, doesn't even bitch when loose gravel crunches under his knees and that's how Sam knows he's serious, that he's not fucking around, that this isn't some cosmic joke. "I'da never thought. Not in a million years."
"What?" Sam asks, but Dean's hair is soft under his palm and he's close to losing the thread.
"Never mind. Later." He nuzzles at Sam's cock through his pants, opens his mouth along the obvious bulge and Sam feels dismantled, rendered weak and helpless by the press of Dean's fingers into his skin, the heat of Dean's mouth bleeding through his jeans. Headlights from the distant highway flit past and the leaves on the trees are making quiet shushing noises and now Dean has Sam's pants open and his cock in his hand, jerking him fast and rubbing the tip of it on his slack mouth. Sam bites down hard on the inside of his cheek, a bright stab of pain that tells him this is real, that he's not stuck in some insomniac delusion.
Dean swallows his cock down and Sam's mindless, begging for forgiveness, begging Dean not to stop. He shuts Sam up real quick with a wide swipe of his tongue around the head, a quick flick of it into the slit. Dean doesn't have a lotta know-how, but that hardly matters. He takes Sam half-way in and gags around him, pulls off and wipes his chin and tries again. Too much spit and if this ever happens again he's gonna have to watch it with the teeth, but the heat of his mouth is close to perfection, just like the quiet moans that vibrate up Sam's cock and make him warm all over, make Sam's stomach muscles tighten, his thighs tingle, and his balls pull up close to his body.
Dean hums again when Sam moves slightly, loses the fight to instinct and allows himself a few tight little thrusts into his brother's mouth, pulls out at the last possible instant and shoots against Dean's lips, knees locked in place and his breath trapped in his lungs.
"If it happened once, we could call it a fluke," Dean says after he's climbed Sam like a ladder and given him the filthiest kiss, licks into Sam's mouth and lets him know exactly what he tastes like. His lips are wet and swollen, the color of a bruise. Pretty as can be and that's another thing Sam's never telling his brother.
"What if it happens twice?" Sam asks. He's muzzy-headed, shaking all the way down to his bones. Dean steers him toward the back of the car, shoves at his jeans until they're bunched around his thighs and bends him at the waist. The metal is cold on Sam's palms and the side of his face and Dean's jeans are rough against the bare skin of his ass. Dean's fingers are warm though, rock solid and sure.
"Guess we'll just have to find out."