Rating: Hard R
Disclaimer: Lies, all lies.
Summary: what's beyond logic happens beneath will; nor can these moments be translated
A/N1: Written as a gift for my beloved silentpoetry1 , who then found inspiration to graciously make a lovely painting, which can be found here. Isn't it beautiful?
A/N2: The title and the summary are both borrowed from e.e. cummings.
‘all by all and deep by deep’
~for silentpoetry1 .
what’s beyond logic happens beneath will;
nor can these moments be translated
watch. listen closely. just see. remember. don't forget. ever. Ever.
Dean felt the bed dip down behind him. He hadn't been sleeping, not exactly, but rather in that place between awake and asleep, where the slightest shift would send him either way. The interzone between here and there. A small sound, a captured breath behind him, and Dean knew without looking that it was Sammy. He could tell it by the way the air moved around him, by the way the unfamiliar floor creaked beneath very familiar footsteps. Dean didn't move when he felt a rough sandpaper hand brush along the sliver of skin between his shirt and his jeans, hooking a finger in his beltloop for a second. Yeah, he slept in his clothes nowadays. More times than not he never even bothered to take his boots off. The end of the world didn't lend them much time for flannel pajamas or bathrobes. It had been while since this happened, and
Dean slammed himself on the bed, thinking about collateral damage and that look in his father’s eyes. Not even that bottle of cheap scotch and all the angry shouts could erase the deep down hurt there. And fear. More than a little of it. He faced the wall and waited for the fight in the other room to be over.
What he wanted right now was to sleep, sink into the darkness of the room and forget it all. Forget the fact that when he woke up in the morning the bed across from his would be empty and would stay that way from here on out. Sam would be gone and there wasn’t a damn thing he could do about it.
The worst part was that he didn’t want to do anything about it, because that would mean telling Sam he couldn’t have something he needed, and Dean had never learned how to do that. Never really wanted to learn.
Then the shouting stopped.
Dean craned his neck to look behind him when he felt eyes on his back.
"This isn't about you. Don't make it be." It was Sam, leaning up against the doorway to the only bedroom in this crap apartment they’d called home for the last few months. Their bedroom. Dad slept on the couch. When he was here, anyway. Sam’s arms were crossed, his spine rigid, straight as an arrow with his shoulders pulled back. Dean watched the muscle in his brother's jaw tick, clench and unclench. Everything about Sam screamed stubborn right now.
Well, two could play at that game. Dean faced the wall again.
The bed springs moaned as Sam sat next to him, placed a hand on his shoulder and then quickly took it off when Dean flinched like he’d been burned.
“So, Stanford, huh? Nothing like waiting for the last minute,” Dean mumbled, hating the sound of his voice, the vulnerability in it. Because he didn’t do vulnerable, just like he didn’t do shorts, or parents, or girly fru-fru drinks that tasted more like dessert than coffee. He liked his black, thank you very much.
“Do you blame me?” Sam asked.
The kid had a point.
They both jumped when the sound of the front door slamming echoed throughout the place. A heavy sigh came from Sam, like he could finally breathe again now that their father had left.
“You could come with me, you know,” Sam said after a minute. “There’s nothing stopping you.”
For some reason that was the hardest part, that sound in his brother’s voice, way too casual for it to be an off handed remark. Dean wanted to say yes, the word was right there, scratching at the back of his throat and almost out in the open, but he had long ago learned that clean breaks were a hell of a lot better than crooked ones, whether you were talking about bones, or family, or brothers, or fuck all else.
“Do you need money?” Dean said instead, and that was as much of an answer as any.
“I’m good,” Sam replied, but now the tone was different. Small. Shaky and unsure.
Dean gave in, rolled to face his brother, and in the shadows could make out the wet glint of Sam’s cheeks, and how he hunched his shoulders, arms wrapped tightly around legs that were drawn up toward his chest. He looked like a mountain trying to collapse in on itself.
Something shattered inside Dean then, maybe his will power, or maybe his heart, and he grabbed a hold of his brother’s elbow, pulling him in and wrapping an arm around him.
Sam came easily, pressed his back into his brother, uncurling and relaxing some, fingers clasped tightly around Dean’s arm as it circled his shoulders. It was as if Dean was holding onto two people at the same time, a small, scared and scarred kid hidden inside the body of a man who could take out the biggest of the bad and never once back down.
“Get some sleep, Sam. Tomorrow morning is gonna feel real early.” He pressed his lips to the crown of Sam’s head. That they should have outgrown this a decade ago didn’t matter right now. Normal had never been the name of the game, not around here, anyway.
“I’ll miss you.” Sam said after a while, and his voice was less than a whisper, more like a breath.
“I know, Sammy.” Dean smoothed Sam’s hair back from his forehead. God, how long had it been since he’d done that? Long enough that he was surprised at how soft his hair was, as soft as when Sam had been a kid. His hair was too long, always was. If he’d had more time, Dean would have made sure to take him to get it cut. But time always had a nasty habit of running out.
He listened as Sam’s breath became steady, felt it when his brother’s legs did that twitchy thing they always did when Sam was well on his way to a deep sleep. Even still, Sam’s hands clasped tightly to Dean’s arm. Like he’d never let go.
Six more hours. Only six more hours until the bus left for Palo Alto, and Dean blinked hard, forcing himself to stay awake. Six more hours, and Dean didn’t want to waste a second of it sleeping.
He reminded himself to give Sam his Ruger in the morning before he left. The trigger in Sam’s Glock had been sticking recently, and Dean hadn’t gotten around to fixing it yet. But first
back further back
The landscape buzzed past them, reduced to a blur of barren trees and brown grass set against the backdrop of a murky grey sky and to the soundtrack of the Impala’s roaring engine.
Dean was in the back seat, his brother pressed up close enough to his side that he could feel the kid shiver. It was freezing cold, the wind whipping around their heads, and he knew better than to ask their father to close his window. The weary sag of his dad’s shoulders and the shoddy bandage on his forehead was a warning signal brighter than the fireworks on the fourth of July. Now was not the time for questions, much less requests.
Except Sam was sick, had been sick for days. A high fever was making him sweat, and bringing the shakes right along with it. Sam needed real medicine, nothing that Dean had lifted from the quickie mart had touched it. His face was pale, his eyes weren’t quite focusing right, the skin around them was bruised looking. Everything was just plain wrong.
Dean hated it, this feeling of being powerless. Hated his dad for leaving them for over a week. Hated that he couldn’t take his baby brother to the doctor, because no amount of fast-talking would convince child protective services that he could take care of Sam just fine, that at the ripe old age of fourteen, he’d already had a decade of doing just that under his belt.
In the front seat, Dad lit another cigarette and rolled the window down even further, and that was just it, Dean couldn’t take it. He opened his mouth to speak, knowing full well he would wind up with a split lip for his efforts, but it didn’t matter.
Before he could, a too-warm finger crossed his lips, and Sam was looking up at him, his eyes fever bright and his lips pursed. He shook his head. “Don’t,” Sam choked out, before a series of coughs tore through him.
And for a moment, Dean was amazed by Sam, at the huge amount of bravery stuffed into this little package. This kid, well on his way to growing up too fast, who knew already that monsters were real, but that Santa wasn’t, who knew their father too well, and knew that there was no way that they could stand up to a hunt gone wrong.
Dean nodded, and Sam dropped his hand. Shifting slightly to get his coat off, he added it to the layers of scratchy army blankets covering Sam. He pulled his brother part way into his lap, as if proximity and pure will power could break his fever.
Sam settled down again under Dean’s watchful gaze, and Dean knew that the entirety of his world was resting in his lap, all wrapped into a package made of flesh and bone, topped off with hazel eyes that showed an intelligence which scared Dean more than any creepy crawly ever had.
In that instant, that very second, Dean knew with perfect clarity that he loved his brother more than all else.
Loved him in a way that was bigger than the ocean, bigger than the sky.
When they got to where ever Dad was taking them, he would just
Sam was storming around their hotel room, and Dean was stretched out on the bed, far along on the road to becoming well and truly drunk. Situation normal.
Except it wasn’t. He looked at Sam, and all he could feel was cold mud on his clothes and the sticky slick of his brother’s blood on his hands, all he could see was a cooling body laying on a dirty mattress in the middle of nowhere. All he could remember was his muscles screaming as he carried his brother into that ramshackle place, Bobby behind him wanting to help, but knowing he couldn’t, that Dean wouldn’t allow it.
But that was all over, sealed, stamped and delivered. His soul for Sam’s life. It was a fair trade. More than fair.
Dean drank half his bottle in one long swallow, felt the whiskey burn on the way down, and worked to stop that train of thought before it could even leave the station. The world already had its fair share of weepy drunks, he didn’t need to add himself to the mix. That had always been Sam’s job, anyway.
Sam grabbed a stack of books from his duffel and tossed them on the table, the sound of their landing loud in the room.
“Easy there,” Dean said. A man couldn’t even get drunk in peace around here.
It seemed to set Sam off, and he spun toward Dean. Two long steps carried him to the bed, and then Sam was looming hugely over him, filling up his vision until he was all that Dean could see. Sam knotted his hands in Dean’s shirt, yanking him close, and damn, the son of a bitch was strong.
The bottle fell out of his suddenly numb fingers, Dean heard it clank against the metal bed frame on the way down. His nose filled with the smell of the stuff as it spilled, sweet and cloying.
“Just tell me one thing, “ Sam said quietly, his upper lip drawn back in a snarl, eyes flashing dark, so dark. Almost demon dark. “Why did you do it?”
“Because I’m nothing without you,” Dean said simply, startling himself, like he’d accidentally slipped and fell headlong into the truth.
Sam blinked, once, twice, three times. “I won’t let it happen,” he said. “I can’t.” And then Sam shoved him backward, his heavy, full weight pressing on Dean as he slid over him, crashing their lips together. The electric taste of blood mixed with whiskey bloomed in Dean’s mouth. He wasn’t sure whose it was, his or Sam’s, and it didn’t matter, he’d always known that they tasted the same.
This was a kiss to seal a deal, Dean knew that. And even though he was certain that it would never come to pass, that it was empty, Dean still let it seep into his bones, cancelling out the lingering feeling of the other one he’d made. He felt something break free then, some sort of itch that had needed scratching for Christ only knew how long, and he opened up, his mouth, his body, everything, and let Sam in. Sam could take what he wanted, maybe they both could.
That this shouldn’t happen was a half formed idea from a misfiring brain that was ragged and slow from too little sleep and too much booze. Things became fragmented, and what mattered most was the boom, boom, boom of Sam’s heartbeat against his chest. The alive sensation of Sam’s warm lip trapped between his teeth as he tugged and sucked it in and listened to the growling sound of Sam’s breath. The way Sam’s muscles moved beneath the skin of his back as Dean’s hands pressed there, harder. Harder.
Dean’s fingers were clumsy, pulling at Sam’s shirt, pushing at his belt. Sam breathed a frustrated noise, broke their kiss and shifted lightning fast, shoving Dean’s arms above his head, pinning them there with one huge hand. Dean tried to struggle, his body working solely off of reflexes, but Sam was implacable, and immovable force above him with a rock steady hand and a leg pressed insistently between Dean’s.
Sam’s ragged whispers punctuated the sound of Dean’s blood rushing through his body. “You’re mine,” he said, biting down on the base of Dean’s neck as if to prove it. “And I take care of my own,” sucking there at that same spot, and, fuck, if Dean had known that this sense of being surrounded by Sam could feel so good, he might have done it years ago. “You taught me that,” Sam continued, his hair falling sloppy and wet across his eyes. “Remember?”
Before Dean could come up with an answer, one simple stupid syllable or even a nod, Sam’s mouth met his again, his restless tongue sweeping in, tasting and taking, and Dean just let him.
Sam rocked atop him, their hips sliding together, coming down hard, Sam’s movements smooth and feline, as slow and relentless as the tide, and Dean allowed himself to get lost there, inside that hot desperate feeling pooling down low, as he rode the shockwaves that fired through his nervous system. Sam snaked his free hand between them, pressing firmly along the line of Dean’s cock, and before Dean could count from one to ten, lights erupted against the blackness of his eyelids, and he came, not with a shout, but with a weak sounding moan that was lost to the sound of Sam’s own.
There was a minute of heavy breathing, and then Sam reached down, fingers finding the forgotten bottle by the bed. He shifted to lay beside Dean, and swished the contents of the bottle, barely a sip left after the spill. He held it up to Dean’s mouth, pouring it in, and then ran a thumb along Dean’s lower lip before placing it in his own mouth. Sam wrinkled his nose, and leaned forward again, his lips pressing lightly against Dean’s.
“Never did much like this stuff,” Sam said when he leaned back, letting the bottle fall again to the floor, “but it tastes good on you.”
A year to go, and Dean was determined to learn everything he didn’t know about his brother, to take the time to watch the way the light touched him. Learn everything, so that he could remember it all, hold on to it if all else failed.
Dean let Sam envelope him again, all long arms and legs, powerful and close, the smell of Sam’s sweat weighty in his nose, the feeling of hands wrapped
forward again now to Here
Yeah, he slept in his clothes nowadays. More times than not he never even bothered to take his boots off. The end of the world didn't lend them much time for flannel pajamas or bathrobes. It had been a while since this happened, and there was so much water under this bridge that sometimes Dean was afraid he might drown in it if he let go, if he let his grip slack off even a fraction.
Now Sam was behind him, a pressure that ran from head to toe, form fitting. Sam’s fingers were dancing along his ribs, moving low on his belly, restlessly dipping beneath his belt buckle, just a little.
Sam’s nose pressed to the back of his ear, his breath tickling that soft spot right there as he spoke. “He comes to me, you know. When I dream.”
Dean kept quiet. He knew who Sam was talking about. There weren’t any secrets between them, not any more, that had been part of the bargain.
“Sometimes he looks like Jess, sometimes Dad, or other people I’ve never even met.”
Dean shifted some to let Sam know he was still listening. Their boots knocked together.
“But it gets worse,” Sam went on, “much worse. Sometimes he looks like you. And that’s when it’s hardest.”
Anger flared up huge and red inside Dean, and he bit it back. That wasn’t what Sam needed right now. Instead, he took Sam’s hand in his own, placed a soft, dry kiss on the palm of it, and tucked it between his face and the pillow, sliding his own alongside it.
“Tomorrow,” Sam started, but Dean interrupted him.
“We’ll be fine, Sam. I’ve got you.” It was a lie, and they both knew it, but sometimes candy-coated sincere lies were the only thing that could get them through the night.
His brother’s breath hitched a little, and something wet slid down Dean’s jaw. He flicked his tongue out when it hit his lips. Salty.
Sam kissed the back of his neck before speaking again. “Everything I am, everything that is good in me is because of you. I want you to know that. I need you to know that. I need you to remember, because I’m afraid I might forget.”
“I’ll remember, Sammy. I won’t forget. Ever.”