Summary: if this is wrong and dangerous and stupid, Sam won't care.
Pairing: Sam Winchester/Dean Winchester
original story: Samson, by clex_monkie89
Disclaimer: Unfortunately, everything here is Kripke's.
Notes: Thank you to the fabulous musesfool for the beta.
The Chemicals Between Us (Oxygen Remix)
In Texas, Sam learns how his brother's skin tastes when the sun has beaten down on him all day, a hint of summer and a lot of lotion, salt and sweat and Dean. He learns that his fingers leave bruises on Sam's shoulders, bruises Sam would like to memorise, maybe copy down, symbols he can use to counter the dark and the fear.
If he hadn't already known, he'd have learned he's a selfish fuck, too. But that he's always known, even before Dad told him at eighteen, before Dean told him at twenty-two. He's a selfish fuck, and Dean loves him, would do anything for him, which is maybe why Sam's always pushing too far, but more likely it's just who he is, the same way Dean's self-sacrificing to the point that Sam wants to beat it out of him. Bad gene dispersal, maybe.
He isn't sure who's causing this stalemate--Dean is backing away because he thinks it's betrayal, failure, but he wants this, wants Sam, and Sam wants him to have it, too, but if Dean's right, if this is wrong and dangerous and stupid, Sam won't care. He'll still take it, go after it and make it his, like he has every other bit of love Dean's given him, only now he realises what it costs to give, what it's worth to have.
Dean stands rigid, knuckles white round the handle of the bathroom door, and he shakes his head, forcing his face to blankness, as though Sam doesn't know every tell he has. "This is--Jesus."
He sounds wounded, lost, and Sam reaches out to touch him, the language Dean has always, always traded in, and Dean pulls away, flinches. It leaves Sam off balance, too, because Dean's a stubborn son of a bitch, and Sam doesn't want to do this on his own, doesn't want to hurt Dean, take him apart and cut him with the broken pieces, but he doesn't know how to not want this. He thinks if he could find the exact moment it happened, map the source of the problem the way Dad used to do with monsters, maybe he could fix it, torch it until there's nothing left but the road and a new day, the car roaring to life beneath them, Dean's hand on his shoulder, steady and warm. There's no moment he can find, though, no string laid out he can follow back, winding it as he goes until it's small enough to be put away, buried far enough down until it can't ever hurt them.
Going back has never been in the Winchester creed, anyway, though standing still, getting locked in the pattern is rule number one, and Sam knows it's too dangerous to let that happen. They can only go forward, aim for the horizon, and hope that they're fast enough to make the jump when the ground falls away.
"Dean," Sam says, "hey, man, don't do this."
He wraps his fingers around Dean's wrist, his pulse beating out a rhythm of panic and fear, and Sam holds him fast. "Don't do this," he says again. "Please."
He hadn't meant to kiss Dean, had sworn he would never after the last time, but it's been between them, even while Dean pretends it's not, and Sam has seen Dean watching him, known what he was thinking, has come, messy and hard and painful, over his own hand, his brother's name singing in his blood, and he knows--has always known--that this isn't going away.
Dean shudders, and Sam holds tighter. "It's just you and me, right? Okay?"
"Let go, Sam." He's already wrenching his wrist free, and Sam steps back, because Dean's decided to either run or fight, and he's hurt and scared enough right now to be dangerous either way.
Dean closes the bathroom door, leaves Sam alone and shaking, clinging to the memory of Dean's hand like a scar on his skin, the feel of his mouth, hot and sharp, laced with whiskey, with promise wrapped up in danger, and he knows he's always been more dangerous to Dean than Dean is to him.
He drops down onto his bed, listens to the shower run, finally gives up, slides his hand under his briefs and holds his dick. He remembers Dean's relentless, driving kisses, doesn't think he kisses anyone else like that, and the thought makes his fingers tremble around his dick. He comes, biting down on his lip just in case, Dean's name only a whisper in the dark.
It started after Dad died, which isn't true at all. There's never been anything but oxygen between them, never been a time when there wasn't so much love and need between them Sam couldn't breathe, Sam bleeding into Dean, Dean into Sam, lines and boundaries and space for other people, for people who haven't made a life in the darkness, I love you said in the gleam of a knife, in scars Dean took that should have been Sam's, people who hadn't brought their brother back to life, mouth against mouth, Sam's air Dean's until he didn't need it, for people who hadn't ever gone to their knees in a parking lot and thrown up, remembering their girlfriend's smile and how she'd burned, and only Dean's hand on his back had held Sam there, made it possible to keep going.
After Dad, though, there was more desperation, Sam clinging to Dean, Dean holding it together only with a silver bullet grin and an arsenal of anger and a handful of words, whispered like Latin, like prayers or prophecy--I'm okay and don't need to worry--like saying them would make it so, make them weapons against the guilt and the hurt and the loss.
Sam clung to it, swore he would make it true, tried words of his own, stayed close, as much for Dean as because of him--Dean in a hospital bed, Dean talking to Sam through a Ouija board, Dean helpless and lost and not coming back, the memory still too near, like a slow healing wound, and Sam wouldn't lose him. Couldn't.
"Little space, Sasquatch," he said, but he never pulled away, leant in when Sam clapped a hand on his shoulder or his knee, taking comfort the only way he ever knew how.
Sam got used to it, needed it, the feel and shape of Dean's body against his fingers, always within reach; got so he curled against him while they drove and Sam slept, his brother radiating heat like he radiated safety, his hand strong on the back of Sam's neck when he woke from a nightmare, fingers that loaded bullets and pulled triggers never offering Sam anything but reassurance and hope, while his smile challenged the night.
"I'm not gonna sleep here with you, freak show, no," he said, but he let Sam pull his wrist, drag him down, let them both be safe, breathe to the same rhythm and wake up tangled and content, even if Dean wouldn't admit it.
So maybe it didn't start with Dad; maybe it ended, the last turn in the road, the only place left for them to go. Sam was drunk when it finally happened, though not drunk enough, because the alcohol in his veins was never stronger than the fear.
You never considered actually making that deal, right?--asked in the car earlier because he knew the answer and wanted to be wrong, answering silence remembered later, when he was drunk enough to do it and sober enough to know he was crossing a line, the only one left, maybe, and he didn't care, wanted only Dean alive and warm under his hands, wanted to make Dean his, so no demon could ever have any claim on him.
"Don't you ever," he said, his hand pressed against Dean's chest, using all his height the way he only ever did when they were fighting. "Don't you ever do that."
Dean had looked surprised, and then Sam kissed him, right there in the street, the metal of the car cold where the backs of his fingers touched it, Dean so warm through the layers of his clothing where Sam held him.
"Don't," he said again, shook Dean a little as he kissed him, didn't stop kissing until Dean pushed him off, breathing hard, terror in his eyes, and underneath that, hunger and want.
"What the fuck was that?" Dean asked, his voice brittle, a mouth full of glass and loss.
"I just," Sam said, hand still curled in Dean's shirt, fingers running over the seam.
"Sam," Dean said again, and Sam stepped back.
He tried a smile, and it felt like someone was punching him in the face. "Too much to drink, I guess."
The lie poured out of his mouth like demon smoke, hung there between them until Dean said, "Yeah, okay, whatever. You're not driving my car."
Sam tossed him the keys, and it went on the list of things Dean never planned to speak of again, and on the list of things Sam couldn't stop thinking about.
Sam still hasn't stopped thinking about it, and Dean won't talk, but it's eating him up, too. There's a demon after them, feds on their trail, fellow hunters who think Sam's a legitimate target, and Dean won't touch him, keeps his distance as much as anyone can keep their distance while still sharing a car and a motel room, and somehow that's the thing that Sam can't deal with.
They drive and hunt, fill the days with small talk and silence, and at night, Dean goes out looking for a fight or a fuck or both, and Sam stays in the motel, jealousy and need twisting into a cold, hard knot in his chest. It's new only in intensity; he's never really wanted to share Dean, didn't mind the girls because he'd never wanted to admit that could be his, too, but he's always wanted to be the center of Dean's world, wanted to win Dean's smile, make him laugh the way he only did when he was happy, face open and young, all the light Sam had, and all the light he wanted. Now he wants more, wants everything, this final part that could be Sam's, and is the property of any pretty girl with good tits and a smile, instead.
Dean always comes back early, though, smelling of sex and smoke, tense instead of loose-limbed, none of the easy grace Sam is so used to seeing on him. He's always more angry than when he left, always scanning the room when he walks in the door, like he didn't before Sam took off for Indiana, and Sam doesn't know if it's because he thinks Sam is in danger without him, or because he expects Sam to be gone.
It makes Sam ache, a lethal mix of guilt and anger and shame, and he can't even fix that, because Dean won't talk about anything that means something.
"You're the one who keeps running away," he says in Chicago, chasing down another vampire, and there's blood under Dean's nails later, gouges in his palm, and Sam doesn't like to think how his face would look if Dean had less self-control and had actually punched him.
In Nevada, Sam has a nightmare, dreams of Jess and Dad and Dean, bodies burning while Sam holds the match, and when he wakes, Dean's standing over him, hands outstretched and pulling back.
He takes a step away. "You okay?"
Sam wants to whimper, be the eight-year-old who could, who always had Dean's bed to crawl into. "Go back to bed, Dean."
He looks like he might, but he's been Sam's big brother for longer than he's been freaked by him, and he reaches out again, drops his hand on the pillow by Sam's head and sinks to the floor.
"We are so screwed," he says, face buried in his other hand.
Sam touches Dean's neck. "Only 'cause you make everything so fucking difficult."
Dean shakes his head. "That's bullshit, and you know it. This is, Jesus, Sammy--" He keeps his head bent, the only way he can confess his secrets, and the words sound like they're cutting his throat to shreds. "You always ask for too much."
"You never ask for enough."
Dean sighs, and Sam rubs his fingers over his skin. "This isn't...God, Dean, this isn't the worst thing I've asked you."
It's a mistake, and he knows it the moment he says it, because Dean won't let him explain that Dean is as close to salvation as Sam thinks he can get, maybe as close as Sam wants to get.
Dean tenses, stands, and Sam can feel the anger pouring off him. "We gotta be up early in the morning. Ghosts ain't gonna salt and burn themselves."
"Dean," Sam says, but Dean walks to his own bed without looking back, and for the rest of the night, they lie awake and listen to each other pretend to sleep.
It's a ghost that finally undoes them. It's always the little things, boys, drilled into them over and over, Dad's voice more rueful than angry in Sam's head now.
It should've been a simple salt and burn, and it would've been, except they were both tired and Dean was still angry, and what they thought was one spirit turned out to be two. When the second went for Sam, lead pipe in hand, like they were in some warped game of Clue, even Dean's freakish reflexes couldn't compensate for distance or surprise.
Sam went down, pain and stars in his eyes before he lost consciousness.
He woke to Dean bending over him, and the naked terror on his face caught Sam like barbed hooks in his chest, registered even before the throbbing in his head.
"Hey," he said, curling his fingers round Dean's arm, bare now because he'd stripped off his shirt and had it pressed to the top of Sam's head, which hurt like a bitch.
He rubbed his thumb over Sam's forehead once, fingers trembling, which was the loudest way Dean spoke of love, and Sam relaxed. "Got your ass kicked by a ghost, Samantha. Not cool."
"Only 'cause you have the reflexes of a ninety-year-old woman."
Dean's teeth flashed white, and some of the tension in his shoulders eased. "Can you stand?"
Sam nodded and really wished he hadn't. "Think so."
Dean got an arm under him, and when the world did a crazy tilting thing Sam was pretty sure wasn't meant to happen, he was warm and solid at Sam's side--can't even fucking walk without me, and if your head wasn't six times the size of everyone else's it wouldn't have made such an easy target--his voice like the motion of the road, hypnotic and soothing, rolling over Sam like forgiveness.
"I missed this," Sam said before he could pull the words back in, swore he'd blame it on blood loss and pain later. His head lolled onto Dean's shoulder, and Dean stopped walking for a second, before he started moving them forward again.
"Yeah," he said, "Yeah."
Back at the hotel, Sam collapses on the bed; it feels like there's a whole army of hunters shooting rock salt inside his head, and he thinks never moving again would be cool.
"You should've gone to the hospital," Dean says, and Sam almost shakes his head before he remembers. Money's tight, because they need to keep a low profile, stay off the radar, and even if it weren't, going to the hospital isn't exactly Sam's idea of disappearing.
He makes himself keep his eyes open. "I'm fine. Stop bitching and sew me up, jerk."
Dean snorts. "Sam, you were out of it for eleven minutes. That's pretty good even for us." He moves beside Sam, bends over him while he examines his head again.
"Aw, Dean, were you counting?"
"Yeah, dipshit," he says, his fingers as always more gentle than his words, "so I could record it in the journal, right under the reasons Sam is a pussy."
Up close, though, Sam can see the way the muscle clenches in his jaw, how his gaze keeps coming back to Sam's face, assessing, cataloguing, making sure. Sam reaches up, slides his hand along Dean's cheek, thumb running over his lips, feels Dean's breathing stutter, before he leans into it.
He clears his throat, and his lips are warm and dry against Sam's hand when he speaks. "We're gonna need to get rid of that mop of yours. I can't stitch it otherwise."
Dean leads him into the bathroom, and Sam watches as Dean gathers his electric razor and the first aid kit, quick and efficient and sure, and Sam feels longing so sharp it hurts.
"This is gonna hurt like a bitch," Dean says when he comes back over, handing Sam a pill and a flask, medicating the Winchester way.
Sam drinks while Dean removes his hair, and Dean's hands are warm, almost warmer than the pain is sharp. He's been stitched up before, Dean's hands minimising the scarring, but he still isn't prepared when the needle slips in, skin pulling against skin, volcanic pain erupting through him, leaving nothing but more pain in its wake.
"Easy, Sammy. Easy."
Sam forgets he's not meant to, reaches up until he catches hold of Dean's hip, t-shirt ripped where it wasn't before, Sam's blood dried in and crusted, and he digs his fingers in, can't let go. Dean doesn't make him, holds his head still, hand comforting and steady.
"Be done soon, kiddo," he says. The needle keeps moving and Sam keeps breathing, holds on to the one thing he has.
When it's finally done, Dean pulls him up, lets Sam sway into him, a little drunk, a lot out of it, and when he collapses onto the bed, he doesn't even think before he yanks Dean down beside him.
Dean tries to move away, but Sam's arm is deadweight over him, and Sam isn't so far gone that he doesn't know how tired Dean must be, now that the adrenaline's worn off.
"We're okay?" he slurs against Dean's shoulder, and Dean sighs.
"Yeah, Sam. We're okay."
They fall asleep, and when Sam wakes a few hours later, Dean's still there, wrapped close around him, keeping him safe, holding him there.
When he wakes again, Dean's sitting across the room with a cup of coffee in one hand, newspaper spread out before him.
"Fuck," Sam says, as he pulls himself up, forgetting for a second about his head.
"Morning, princess," Dean says, and for the first time since Texas, he sounds like his brother. He gestures with his free hand at the night table. "Doughnuts and coffee. Aspirin, too."
"Thanks." He reaches for the pills and swallows them down with the coffee. For a while he just watches Dean, sprawled easily on the chair, legs carelessly spread, spinning the ring on his finger round with his thumb, metallic snick audible in the silence.
"Dude, I dunno what you're staring at. You look fucking ridiculous."
"Fuck you," Sam says, and Dean's mouth twitches, a barely there smile that's the best thing Sam's seen in months.
He stands up and goes to the bathroom, freaks himself out a little when he sees his reflection in the mirror. There's a bald patch in the middle of his head, hair bloodied and matted around it, a massive bruise forming around the gash. The stitches, at least, are neat, a row of perfect sutures Dad would be proud of.
"I told you," Dean says when he comes back out. "Ridiculous. Still looks better than normal, though."
Dean grins as he fishes it back out of his duffle, and Sam heads back into the bathroom, shucks his t-shirt to the floor and switches the razor on. He has it against his head when Dean appears behind him.
"Give me that, you freak. I'm not redoing your stitches when you pull them out."
Sam passes it over, and dean only pauses a moment before he moves to stand behind Sam, his breath hot on Sam's neck, his hand warmer as he turns his head.
"Everyone's gonna know what a weird shaped head you have now," he says. Sam laughs, and Dean smacks his shoulder. "Hold still."
He tilts Sam's head to the side, sweeps the razor through the hair and follows with his hand afterward, brushing loose strands away, his fingers light and soothing on Sam's scalp. The buzz of the razor is loud in the silence, and Sam feels the vibration tingle on the roof of his mouth; he isn't sure when he stops remembering to breathe, but he can pinpoint the exact second when he becomes aware of Dean behind him, gets so hard so fast he must've damaged something, and he has to bite back a moan as Dean stops to dust hair off his neck, calluses grazing over his skin, making him shiver.
"Move your head forward," Dean says, and his voice sounds like a crossbow strung too tight, and it makes Sam even harder to hear it.
The air is cool on his head, strange and ticklish as the hair falls away, and Dean is strong behind him, capable, the safety of an anchor and the possibility of the ocean, and his hands don't falter, even when his own breathing changes, shallow and fast to match Sam's own. When he starts humming Metallica, Sam nearly laughs, because if they're heading for a crash, it can't come soon enough.
"Dean," he says, and Dean slides his fingers under Sam's jaw, tilting his head to get rid of the hair around his ear.
"Shut up, Sam," he says, and Sam does, watches the hair--some of it matted with blood, falling in clumps, some of it clean, floating away--and he thinks about all the cultures where shaving means starting over, becoming someone new.
A car backfires somewhere in the parking lot, and Sam starts, making the razor dig harder into his scalp.
"Pussy," Dean says, though his thumb skims over the razor burn, and Sam leans his head back into Dean's hands, lets himself be held.
Behind him, Dean takes a breath, and then he goes back to methodically shaving stripes into Sam's hair, issuing directions--"Left--your other left, moron."--in that voice wound tight with need, and Sam is in danger of coming without even moving.
Dean makes a final sweep, as thorough with this as he is with everything else, making sure he hasn't missed anything, and then the razor clicks off, and in the silence, Dean's hands come to rest on his shoulders, just for a second, a squeeze, and then he's trailing them down Sam's back, over his chest, clearing away hair, touches feather light and full of promise, making Sam's dick ache so much it feels like all of him is on fire. He can't help it; he groans, grabs Dean's wrist. "Dean," he says, "what're you...?"
Dean turns his wrist, tries to escape now that Sam has hold of him, but Sam tips his head back, meets Dean's gaze and won't let him look away. "Dean," he says again.
Sam cuts him off. "We can," he says. "You and me. That's all."
Dean's trembling, and Sam steps back so every inch of them touches, and Dean is hard against him. "We can," he says again, and then they're both moving, turning and colliding and searching, hands gripping, mouths crashing together like thunder, like the sea over rocks, everything that's bigger than they are, unstoppable and terrifying.
"Sam," Dean says, when they finally pull apart, his mouth swollen and his voice raw. He drops his head to Sam's shoulder, hiding his face, and Sam puts a hand on his back, feels his muscles taut and trembling under his hand, feels each hitch of breath as he speaks. "There's nothing normal about this, Sammy. Nowhere safe you can run later that'll ever make it less fucked for you."
Sam almost smiles as he palms Dean's dick through his jeans, the way Dean arches into him making his own dick throb. Safety has only ever been this, wherever Dean is, the car and the road, half a spark of hope and a trunk full of silver. He can't say that, doesn't quite know how, doesn't think Dean would hear him. Instead, he says, "Last week I killed a wendigo; you just sewed my head together 'cause a ghost knocked me out, and a demon wants me to be part of his plans to--I dunno what exactly, but I don't think it's good." Dean half laughs, half gasps as Sam slides the zipper of his jeans down. "I think we put fucked up in the rearview a while back."
"Maybe," Dean says, lifting his head, staring at Sam, fear and hope and want written all over his face, like he can't hide it anymore. He puts his palm on Sam's chest, slides it over his belly, Sam's muscles jumping under the touch.
"Not maybe, Dean," Sam says, drawing him closer. "I want this. You want this. Stop thinking so goddamn much."
Dean does laugh this time. "That's my line, bitch." Then he breathes out, accepting, curls his fingers in Sam's sweatpants and drags him closer.
Then Sam's kissing him again, pulling at jeans and t-shirts, and Christ, how many layers of clothing is Dean actually wearing?
"Get off," Dean says, pulls them all over his head in one easy fluid motion, steps out of his jeans while Sam gets rid of his own, and Sam grabs him the second they're done, presses hard against him, and for once, Dean doesn't pull away.
Dean kisses and moves like he fights, like he's spitting curses and taking names, a fuck you to the odds, a promise he'll still be standing by the end. His mouth is hard against Sam's, hands tight on his shoulders, and Sam can't get close enough, is as needy and desperate as Dean is, has to prove he'll still be on his feet when they're done.
He doesn't know if they find a rhythm, could be it's all just desperate, needy thrusts, Dean's hand round them both, Sam's over his, each slide of skin and cock too much and not enough. Dean says Sam's name against his throat as he comes, says it like it's holy, a gift, his stubble rough against Sam's skin, and Sam tumbles over the edge, pleasure arcing through his veins, strong and fast as a bullet and shattering him like glass, until it's only Dean keeping him together.
They collapse on the floor, Dean beneath Sam, one arm thrown over his shoulders, and for a while they just lie there and breathe. "You're so fucking heavy," Dean says eventually, and Sam rolls away, watches Dean stare at the grimy ceiling like there's an answer there.
"Stop it," Sam says. Dean looks at him, and Sam splays his hand on his chest, feels his heart beat and knows he'll never regret this. "If you don't stop being all quiet and freaked out, I'm gonna talk to you about my feelings. I have a long list of things I could say--I haven't been sleeping much lately, and that's what I do when I can't; I make lists of things I have feelings on, and I make extensive mental notes on just what those feelings are and why." Dean starts to smile, and Sam circles his index finger on his skin. "Do you want me to start that?"
"Only if I have a gun to hand."
"Then go get me another coffee, and I'll find us something to hunt."
"How 'bout you get your own coffee and find us a hunt, since I got the last round." He's already standing, though, cleaning himself up, and Sam smiles.
"Bring back actual food this time, too. You know, dinner, or whatever meal we're on now."
They leave an hour later, heading north, chasing the horizon or the sky or maybe just tomorrow, and Sam reaches over, thumbs chocolate off Dean's cheek, and lets home and safety settle in his bones as the miles tick by.