Rating: Hard R
Warning: A bit of an ambiguous ending.
Notes: Thanks so much flawlessglitch . You put up with me so graciously.
Summary: It's the end of the world, and Dean can't stop moving.
The tape breaks as they’re hauling ass through the western half of Iowa, two-lane blacktop rolling out empty and pin straight under the wheels of the car. Breaks right in the middle of ‘War Pigs.’ One second Ozzy’s belting it out, and the next there’s nothing but wind whistling in through the cracked openings of the car windows.
Dean mutters a quiet ‘son of a bitch,’ and thumbs the eject button. He spools the broken, metallic tape into a knot and throws it in the back seat, knee pressed to the wheel of the car to keep them on the straight and narrow, and Sam tries to not read something more into it.
He’s seeing signs everywhere these days: in a gas tank almost running out, in empty dive diners, food abandoned to spoil on plates, in vacant streets with trash skipping along the curbs, in goddamned broken Black Sabbath tapes. Everywhere.
Dean pulls off the interstate, not a word between them. The battering noise of a seventy-mile an hour wind disappears, replaced by thunder. A constant, rolling sound that’s been going on so long Sam hardly hears it anymore. It’s been reduced to background noise for the last two weeks, at least. Now he’s hyperaware of it again. It’s wicked. Undeniable.
The sky’s the ugly color of a bruise at its edges, the sun no more than a dark spot in the center. No real heat comes from it. There’s the smell of something burning. Sam figures it’s maybe Des Moines. The place wasn’t looking too hot when they passed through half a day ago.
Dean steers into an abandoned motel parking lot, the neon sign dark. There’s one car parked in front of the office, some late model sedan that’s been collecting highway dust for a while, judging from the caked windows and debris shoved against the tires. Sam occupies himself at the trunk while Dean goes right on up to the office, knocks the door in with a couple of kicks without even trying the handle first. Just another day on the job.
He comes back out with a fistful of keys and a grim expression. “Don’t go in there.” He wipes a hand across his mouth.
Sam doesn’t ask, he’s learned not to. Instead he ducks into the passenger door of the car, scooping up folders and stray papers. Astrological charts written out by hand, and reckoned with a cheap kindergartener’s calculator, one of those solar powered jobs because his computer bit it a week ago.
Dean unlocks a few motel room doors, pokes his head in. He chooses the forth one by some criteria Sam can’t fathom.
And over their heads the sky just keeps on breaking.
Dean’s hanging on by a thread and even that’s starting to unwind. He’s never been one for patience and they’re playing the worst kind of waiting game. Silence stretches out around them and Dean is light years away and Sam’s almost afraid to reach out and touch him, thinks that his fingers would find nothing but air and empty space.
The thought is ridiculous, illogical to the core and Sam searches for a way to unstick it. He wonders which one of them is not really there. Every place is a ghost town nowadays and maybe it’s sunk into them.
“Remember that hunt in Amherst?” Sam says, closing his book. “It was like the poltergeist had seen Amityville Horror one too many times.”
“Don’t. Just stop, Sam.” Damn it, but Dean sounds tired to the bone, voice broken like he’s just come home from an all-night blackout bender. Sam’s seen Dean drive 36 hours straight and not sound this tired at the end of it. But at least he answered.
“What?” Sam says, and it’s mainly to keep Dean talking.
“A replay of our greatest hits. It’s fucking depressing. Worse than depressing. What’s that word for it?”
“Morose?” Sam supplies.
In a sudden flash of movement, Dean pushes himself off of his bed and gathers the papers strewn in front of Sam. He shoves them into the trashcan, grabs the book resting on Sam’s knee and tosses it in on top for good measure, and then stares it down, as if setting a fire would be the next reasonable course of action. Sam would let him and not even say a word.
“How much longer?” Dean doesn’t look at Sam when he says it, head bowed and shoulders gathered. His whole body is pulled together, tense.
“Close.” Sam’s voice comes out as a cracked, tight sounding thing. He clears his throat and tries again. “It’s. It’s really close.”
“What are we doing here?” Dean asks, mostly to himself. “C’mon.” He yanks the door open and leaves without looking back to see if Sam follows.
Dean drives fast. Suicide-fast, squinting into the setting sun like it’s some kinda dare. No destination in mind. The car vibrates with the roar of the engine and Dean guns it around the curves, tires laying down patches, screeching. The smell of burned rubber is heavy in Sam’s nose.
Sam sits in the passenger seat, hands relaxed on his thighs, shifting with the movement of the car as he watches his brother. Any minute now, Dean will jerk the wheel around a turn and they’ll go flying, ass over tincups, their nuclear little family going up in a blaze of twisted metal.
Sam could think of worse ways to go.
Dean clips a curve, the back wheel snagging on the soft shoulder of the road, and the world tilts sideways, back tires trying to swing around and catch up to the front. Sam’s plastered to the passenger door by centrifugal force, and for a second Dean lets go of the wheel, lets it spin on its own. There’s a sound, a crazy sound, and Jesus Christ, but Dean is laughing.
This is it, Sam thinks, and there’s no panic. It’s surprising, this second that stretches out long and fluid. There’s no life flashing before his eyes, no yelling or screaming or lunging for the steering wheel, no sudden bend toward self preservation. Only a weight that lifts off of Sam’s chest. Relief and a sensation of finally. Just finally.
But near enough to three decades of training quickly snap into Dean as he grabs the wheel. He’s got reflexes so fast that he could probably catch lightning if he wanted to, and he straightens them out, pulls them out of a one-eighty that lands them crossways to the road with a rocking stop.
The engine sputters to a stall just as Sam spills out of the passenger door, a delayed adrenaline reaction thrumming through his body and he leans on the car to keep from toppling down. He’s got his hands on his knees and he coughs out his first deep breath in what seems like years, road dirt turning the back of his throat into sandpaper.
Dean’s boots swim into his field of vision, his brother’s hand lands on the back of his neck. There’s this maniacal light in Dean’s eyes, a superhero grin spread across his face. His fingers grip the back of Sam’s neck even tighter, his palm is sweat damp but his hand is rock steady. Sam buries his hands in the front of Dean’s shirt, hanging on for balance. When Sam laughs, it sounds insane too.
“Tell me it was worth it,” Dean says, grin just as big, and it’s non sequitur, it doesn’t make sense. Sam’s not sure if he’s talking about the jitterbug they just danced down the road, or the people they’ve helped, or the fights they’ve won and lost, or the whole rest of it, every single goddamned thing.
So he says the first thing that pops into his head. “Yeah. It was. It always has been.”
“Yeah,” Dean says, and then he pulls Sam forward, smashes their mouths together. It’s jarring, violent, all teeth and desperation.
Dean holds tight to the back of Sam’s skull like he’s trying to keep Sam from running away, but what he doesn’t understand is that there’s nowhere else Sam would rather be. Even now, Dean doesn’t get it. The world is crumbling down on top of them and Sam just wants to be right here, with Dean pinning him to the side of the car and his hand curled tight in Sam’s hair. This is it. This is all of it, and it is worth it. Every fucking stolen second of it.
Sam’s hands don’t feel like his own, like they belong to someone else, and they won’t quit shaking, but Sam latches onto Dean’s hips and they get a little steadier. Dean bites along his jaw, moves down to the crook of his neck and back up again, as if he doesn’t know where to go next. Sam just holds on, rocks his hips forward on instinct. Dean finds his lips again, his tongue slicking into Sam’s mouth. His lips are soft and there’s a day’s worth of stubble scratching on Sam’s skin, and it’s like every single one of Sam’s twisted jerk-off fantasies have come suddenly and shockingly to life.
It’s dangerous and it’s wrong but none of that matters one goddamn bit when Dean says things like yeah and please and Sam, barely audible over the thunder and the heavy rush of Sam’s blood in his ears. His hand is splayed large and low on Sam’s belly and moving south. He undoes the top button on Sam’s pants with a snap of his fingers, palms his dick and Sam almost loses it right there.
Sam comes quick. A few rough jerks of his brother’s hand and he’s spilling hot inside his shorts, over Dean’s fist as Dean sucks a painful bruise onto his neck. “Fuck,” Dean pants against Sam’s skin. The look he gives Sam is still lit up half crazy, adrenaline high and like he’s gotten away with something. Sam figures if he looked in a mirror he would see the same thing staring back at him.
Sam spins them around and now it’s Dean who’s got his back to the Impala, leaning a little backward and helter skelter, flush high on his cheeks and his chest rising and falling quick. Sam goes to his knees, grit biting through his jeans. He shoves Dean’s t-shirt up under his arms and trails his mouth along his stomach. The clean, perfect taste of his brother’s sweat sticks to his tongue and Sam goes dizzy with it. He hooks his fingers in Dean’s belt and looks up, silently prays to no one in particular. He asks for just one more week. Please. Just one more day, one more something. He has this now. It’s finally his, and it shouldn’t be taken away so soon. It can’t be.
Dean cups his chin, thumb tracing Sam’s bottom lip. Dean smiles down at him, and to Sam it looks like hallelujah.
It’s the good stuff. Johnny Walker Blue and a lukewarm Budweiser chaser. It washes the salty taste of his brother out of Sam’s mouth and plants a warm sensation in his stomach.
They should find a safe place, and they both know it. Somewhere they can hole up and fortify. Some hatches to batten down. But Dean says that if something’s gunning for them, well, they might as well meet it head on, and he’s mostly wrong and mostly right all at the same time.
Sam’s pretty sure how this story will end, with gunmetal hot as blazes in his hands and his spine pressed hard to Dean’s in a back-to-back sorta waltz. Neither of them will miss a step.
But for right now Sam’s alright with just laying here, dry grass prickling through his shirt and into the skin of his back, neck arched crooked and uncomfortable with Dean’s arm for a pillow.
Sam feels Dean shift beside him, a subtle tightening of his brother’s body. The thunder grinds to a halt. A resounding silence.
“You hear that, Sammy?” There’s no fear in Dean’s voice when he speaks, only a determination that puts metal in Sam’s backbone.
“You ready?” Dean shoots him a sidelong look, fighting back a lunatic grin.
“As I’ll ever be.”
“Alright. Let’s go.”
Thanks for reading.