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Sunday, August 15th, 2010 04:52 pm
Part 1 - The Haircut

It starts off with a haircut. Or rather, Sam thinks, it started off with Dean’s mouth open and going, as if because he keeps it closed so much, when it opens, he has no control over it.

“You need a haircut,” Dean says, one morning while they eat breakfast. They’re at Jack’s Grill, which they discovered in some nameless town en route to Mammoth Spring, where they’re going to hunt down what is, by all reports, a good, old fashioned kelpie.


(Jack's Grill)



It is pure luck that has brought them there, some whim of Dean’s to turn into the parking lot at the last minute, because they have the best hash browns that Dean has ever tasted. He swears this again as he shoves them in with so much enjoyment, lips glistening with grease, that it makes Sam want to try them. So he does.

Sam reaches out a fork for an end piece and when that slips off his fork, he uses his fingers to grab some. The hash browns are the perfect blend of crisp and salt and scorched bits where the grill got too hot and Sam’s tongue falls in love with them as they slide down his throat. Dean never puts ketchup on them, just loads of salt, and that’s just fine with Sam because ketchup is for French fries, not hash browns.

Watching Sam, Dean moves along to his bacon, using his fingers too, and for a moment, they chomp along, silent, each of them reaching for a gulp of hot, sweet coffee to make it perfect. Because it is, it really is. A breakfast like this is rare on the road, where the cook understands how eggs should be treated, with respect and a firm hand. How bacon should be crisp along the edges, but with curls of fat still sweet and soft to let you know that you’re eating part of something that was once alive. How toast should be thick and soaked with real butter in the middle. And how there should be plenty of raspberry or strawberry jam, not in packets, but in a covered jar with a spoon stuck in.

Because these are the things that make Dean smile. And today the jam is strawberry, which makes Sam smile.

Sam’s got an omelet, one of those ham and cheese ones, because it’s hard to screw up an omelet that simple, and the cook has done it justice. But it’s the pancakes that are drawing him again, the little pile of three that he ordered as a side. Those are his main pleasure this morning, chopped up first and then dotted with chunks of butter placed around and syrup drooled over the top. It’s a mess, sugary and glistening like Dean’s lips, and pretty soon, Dean’s fork comes over, just as Sam is making inroads through the pile, and takes a chunk.


(Sam and Dean Eating by [livejournal.com profile] radishface )



Sam hears the moan before he looks up.

“Good?” he asks, though the question is needless. Dean’s eyes are rolling back in his head, almost dramatically, almost overdone, because he’s learned, as has Sam, that if the waitress catches you acting like this, and she usually does, she will come over and want to know if something is wrong. At which point, Dean will wax poetic about the food and the service, at which point the waitress usually, though not always, manages to bring over some sweet rolls and more butter and forgets to add them to the bill.

The waitress comes over now, and pours more coffee for them both, and then, with the coffee pot resting on the edge of the table, asks, “You gentlemen doing alright?”

Sam nods and smiles up at her, chewing, and lets Dean carry the day for them both.

“Oh, man,” says Dean, not having to fake it, not even a little bit. “I think I’ve died and gone to heaven, because—”

And here Sam’s mind takes over the rest of the sentence. With waitresses, he’s got about, oh, ten pat speeches, and this is one of his favorites. Sam follows along with him as Dean finishes—because the last time I tasted pancakes this good, my mom made them for me.

Yeah. That was over twenty two years ago, but the waitress doesn’t know that. Nor does she need to. Nor does Sam try to explain it to her. The speech has the desired effect. The waitress smiles, and preens a little bit, as if she herself had made the pancakes, and Sam knows that the sweet rolls will soon be forthcoming. He just hopes he’s got enough room for them. For some reason, they never carry out whatever food is given to them. They make it a rule to eat on site, in front of the giver. With gusto.

Soon, she’s back and bringing her not sweet rolls but sticky buns, the rolled kind with pecans stuck in and brown sugar glaze drizzled over everything. She places them on the table with a little nod and a pat to her apron pocket, and while they spout their profuse thanks, she drops off the bill, minus the rolls, and sashays off towards the kitchen. Dean opens his mouth and not to shove hash browns in.

“You need a haircut,” says Dean again, reaching for his roll, pulling the butter dish closer. He spreads butter over the top of the glaze and bites in with all his teeth. Chews for a moment, and then swallows. “What’ll Dad say when—”

Then he stops like he’s been pole axed and he looks at Sam with wide round eyes, his coffee cup half way to his mouth. Like he thinks he might should want to apologize for the slip, for upsetting anyone, least of all Sam, and because he can’t, simply can’t believe he doesn’t remember that Dad is dead.

There’s no way Dean could ever make Sam get a haircut, no way he would even want to, not the way Dad ever had. But he’s gone and done it, associated the haircut with Dad.

Sam’s throat closes up and he locks up the feeling the remark gives birth to. There’s too much Sam can say about Dad, but he doesn’t. Not with the memory of how Dean had looked on the day they’d cremated Dad, because as bad as Sam’d been messed up that day, it wasn’t half, or even half of a half of what it had been for Dean. Dean’s emotions had been exposed like the underside of a badly butchered carcass, raw and red and frankly bleeding all over the place.

There’s a comeback on his lips that is 100% forced sass and belligerence and runs along the lines of Dad can just go suck my hind tit if he thinks I’m gonna get a haircut just because he says so. He’d made that remark once, just once, and Dean had curled back a fist to punch him and then, instead, had crumpled to laughter so hard, he sank to the nearest chair and laughed till he cried. Arms over his head saying hind tit, hind tit over and over again, till Sam had to smile too, and went the next day for a trim. Just a short one. Just for Dean.

Sam thinks about saying it, but doesn’t. Instead he butters his sticky bun, now, slathering the soft butter on with a knife and bites into it, tongue springing to life at the crisp edges and the crunch of sugar and cinnamon, though some of the sweetness has gone out of it. He chews and swallows for a minute, taking a slug of coffee, and gives Dean a minute.

Not that a minute will do Dean much good, nor an hour, nor even a lifetime. Dean never carries anything with him, but he never leaves anything of import behind. Dad is one of those things. The way Sam sees it, he’s one of those things, too, never to be left behind, not ever. Every time Dean lays eyes on him, Sam is willing to bet that there is a list in Dean’s head that is added to, the list that starts off with the heading Sam.

There’s subcategories too, like Sam Needs or Sam Wants, and if it’s ever in Dean’s power, the list is fulfilled. Nothing is ever scratched off this list, nothing ever goes away. Instead need or want is checked off, and then referred to later, in case the need or the want comes up again. It’s exhausting to think of this, how Dean manages it, and Sam sometimes wonders how he manages to resist this giving thing that Dean has, and even now, how to circumvent it without pissing Dean off. Because there is, amidst the bossiness, there some smoking, slow swirling thing so that the love comes out like a bark, or an order, or exasperation.

“Haircut, huh?” says Sam now, now that Dean’s most of the way through his eggs. Eggs with cheese on top, no less, the waitress being the sort to have suggested it, only fifty cents extra, and Dean, smiling, had agreed. There is nothing better on eggs than cheese, unless it is butter.

Dean looks up now, white, a little closed off, hand gripping the fork a little too hard. But he’s all there, eyes on Sam, watching Sam eat. Letting himself sink into the ordinariness of the moment. Nothing wrong here, just a friendly conversation between brothers.

“Yeah,” says Dean, around a mouthful as he chews. “You’re looking a little girly, there, Sammy, especially the lovely way it drapes across your shoulders.”

“Does not,” says Sam, almost by reflex. That’s the way he does it. Make it normal. Get shit from Dean, throw it back.

Dean laughs a little bit, eyes sparking to life, smiling as he chews, and slugs down more coffee. “Curls, dude. Real curls.”

Sam knows Dean is right. He feels the heater hump to life somewhere behind a wall and feels the current of warm air past his cheek that pulls his hair over his eyes. He pushes it back and sighs.

“You cut it?” he asks, but not as if he doesn’t already know the answer.

“Yeah, sure,” says Dean, going back to the last of his hash browns with a great deal of solemnity as if they were a sacred object and he their most faithful follower. Sam can’t blame him. The hash browns are pretty damn good.

*

They drive all day along the loopy, wooded roads to Mammoth Spring, Arkansas, and check in at the Riverview Motel. Their room, which overlooks the river, has sunlight streaming through the windows, tracing the carpet with glints and arrows.

Sam strips and sits perched on the edge of the tub in his boxers, with his feet inside. They’ve long learned that cutting Sam’s hair means you have to either vacuum as you go or toss each hank of hair straight into the toilet. Otherwise, you’ll be wearing Sam’s hair for days, and everything you own will be too, regardless whether it grew out of your head or Sam’s. Sam will rinse off right after, to keep him from itching with it.

Only once he settles in for his haircut, Dean can’t find the scissors. As Sam waits, his toes tapping the bottom of the tub, Dean rummages around. He even goes out to the car, and Sam can hear the trunk slam shut, which indicates a lot of irritation.

Dean comes in. He’s got his hunting knife out, and as Sam turns to see this, Dean flashes the blade into the light with a flick of his wrist.

“Yeah?” he asks permission.

Sam nods. He’s very shy of knives around his head except when they are in his brother’s hands. This is not unknown, just unspoken. The knife is sharp, he knows that too, and Dean will be as quick as he can, and will try not to pull. Tomorrow they will either find the errant scissors or they will buy some new ones.

Dean stands behind him, picks up a hank of Sam’s hair in his fingers, and starts. There is a skra-skra sound as the knife goes through the hair. There is tugging too, for although the knife can slice through paper without tearing it, there are edges to hair that the knife blade is having trouble with. Dean will have to sharpen the blade afterwards. Sam leans his head back a little to let Dean know that he is pulling. Dean eases his fingers around the spot, and starts up again. Tendrils of hair land in the toilet with little whiskery sounds as they bounce off the porcelain and Sam feels the heat of Dean’s breath as he leans to the side to check the length.

“Curls gonna go,” Dean says, chuckling under what must surely be a smile.

“Yeah,” says Sam. The long hair bothers Dean, and whether this is because it would have bothered Dad, or whether it’s an old habit, doesn’t matter. If it bothers Dean, then to give into this is almost painless. At that moment, with the soft quiet settling around them in the small tile lined room, Dean could shave him bald headed if he wanted.

Sam sighs. He thinks it is to himself, but Dean speaks up, his hands stopping.

“Did I pull?”

“Nope,” says Sam. “Just falling asleep here.”

“Huh,” says Dean. He continues, lifting the hair from Sam’s neck and, pulling just a little bit, slices it off. Every once in a while, his fingers move to cup the spot on Sam’s head that he’s just cut from, warm fingers easing the feel of the tug, stroking down to the skin. It’s rather like being petted in the right direction for a long time, and almost lulling him into slouching. But if he slouches, he will fall asleep, which he did one time, tumbling into the tub, waking up just as Dean’s hands grabbed him and saved him from smacking his head.

Dean’s hands are careful around his ears, lifting the hair back and away before he cuts, raking through the cut hair to check the length again, and smoothing stray hairs back from Sam’s forehead. Sam closes his eyes, and feels tufts like spider webs float down his back. Dean can’t catch them all, and for a moment, they feel like kisses, sending shivers through him, down his legs. Whipping into his groin like little bolts of lightning. It is not wrong, this, his body’s reaction, friction or heat or fear can do this just as easily.

More hair flitters down his back, and then Dean’s hand wipes him off, sweeping down, brushing, warm, curving around his ribs, doing it again, and Sam feels the jags from his stomach leaping around, and something hums in his brain. This is just Dean, cutting his hair, doing something he’s done before and will again, to save money, to save Sam from having to put up with a stranger waving a sharp object around his head.

“Almost finished,” Dean says, the knife skra-skraing again, hairs pulling from the crown of Sam’s head, fingers moving around his skull while Dean shapes Sam’s hair to his liking.

Then Dean leans close and, with heated moist air straight from his lungs, blows a curve across the back of Sam’s neck. He’s not doing it for any reason other than the obvious one, to get stray and invisible hairs off of Sam so Sam won’t itch later. But Sam’s skin is jumping up, tightening, and his cock is hard and hot against his stomach, pushing against the elastic waistband of his boxers, his balls tightening up, getting ready. His brain is shocked at his body’s readiness, so quick, so soon. Wanting. Wanting what? Nothing. There is nothing to want.

Dean moves his fingertips across Sam’s spine and then up his skull, lacing his fingers through Sam’s hair. He leans in, oblivious it seems, as Sam pulls his shoulders forward and crosses his forearms over his lap. Not that erections aren’t normal, they are, but now? Right now? His brain curses and his body flits away from this. It doesn’t care. There have been hands upon it, and fingers, and breath. Whispers of touches that feel like kisses. It is awake. It remembers. It has been a while.

“Hey?” says Dean.

Behind Sam’s closed eyes, there is a weight that tells him that Dean is leaning down.

“Sam, you okay?”

“You know,” says Sam, almost croaking with it. “We’re done here, right? You done? You’re done. Think I’ll take a shower now, Dean.”

There is a touch on his shoulder. Dean’s palm. It is hot. Sam’s body wants to lean into it. His brain scolds. Sam shudders.

“Sam, you—hey, how long has it been?”

There is no hiding it. Not with Sam perching on the edge of the tub, his toes curling and uncurling against the scratched porcelain, his thighs quivering, his hands casting half moons into his own skin.

Dean takes his hand away. Sam can hear him rinsing the knife off in the sink, and the rub of the towel as he dries the metal blade. The flush of the toilet. And Dean’s cough as he doesn’t leave.

“I’m gonna guess here, Mr. Oh-So-Silent. You just tell me if I’m right.”

Sam doesn’t want guessing, doesn’t want the discussion, doesn’t want any of it. Dean can never understand how a body can just shut down for that long, because his never has. Never will. Not until he’s dust in the ground. Maybe not even then. Not his brother. Not Dean.

“Don’t,” says Sam. “Just close the door behind you.”

“Madison, right?”

Sam’s whole body jerks at this. Bull’s eye. Target dead on. And why oh why is Dean so damn observant? Sam can’t move.

Dean doesn’t say a word. There’s a little pause, and Sam can hear Dean breathing, but what is there to say? Sam allows himself to open his eyes and take in the chipped tiles and the grout that can’t ever be stripped of mold completely, and he reckons that just adds to the bathroom’s rickety, backcountry charm.

He’s trying to concentrate on the small details, and not on Dean behind him. Dean who knows an erection when he sees one, knows the cause, now, and has no answer for it. Even if this is added to the Sam list, regardless of the subheading, there is no way he’ll ever be able to take care of the problem. Not unless he drags a girl in here and convinces both her and Sam to get it on. Sam will find his own girl. When he’s ready. Today does not look good. Tomorrow doesn’t look much better. His brain tells him this. His body is furious.

“Okay,” says Dean, and Sam hears him walking away, closing the door behind him. Two seconds later the TV is snapped on and any sounds or mutters Dean might make are masked by the local weather report.

Sam stands up in the tub and peels off his boxers, letting scraps of hair tumble at his feet. He eases his erection with the heel of his palm as gently as he can. Not mad. He can’t be mad at his own body, not when it’s remembering Madison like this. Not when it misses her as much as the rest of him does.

He breathes in and out for a minute, and then messes with the taps, letting cold shower water come down on him for a second before it heats up and plows down like a rain storm. He dips his head into the spray and picks up the soap. Concentrates on getting all the hair off him, on finding every bit, on soothing his skin out of its jumpiness, and talking it out of any more quicksilver responses to his brother’s touch.

When he gets out of the shower, he reaches for a towel and realizes he brought no clean clothes in with him. There are only the hair-woven boxers, and with all the trouble and fuss over leftover hairs, he cannot put them back on. There are sounds from the main room, and when Sam gets a towel wrapped around his middle and opens the door, he sees that Dean is putting on his boots and grabbing up the keys. He checks for his wallet, and with the hand that is not holding the keys, he opens the door. He looks at Sam.

“Going for a drink. Back later.”

This is cryptic even for Dean, and Sam frowns at the door as it closes. He listens for a bit to the sounds of the Impala starting up, the metallic and full throated rumble familiar and easing some of the sting of Dean’s departure. The space that Dean leaves behind him is empty.

Sam pulls on clean boxers and t-shirt. The TV talks to him as he wanders into the bathroom to brush his teeth, gives him information on weather for the county tomorrow, and follows this up by many ads about pills and creams and fast food. He looks at himself in the mirror for a minute, thinking that Dean has, yet again, cut his hair shorter on the right than on the left. He uses his free hand to brush the hair back, making it look more even. It doesn’t matter anyway, there is no one to see. Besides, hair is just hair.

As he finishes brushing his teeth, he leans forward and spits into the sink and feels better. This is normal, things are normal. Dean has gone out to get a few beers and talk to pretty girls and think about playing pool and think about the road. He is not, Sam hopes, thinking about the Sam list or making additions to it. There is nothing to be done anyway.

Sam has a new book that he got at the used book shop next to the gas station in Puxico, MO, several hundred windy and tree lined miles from Mammoth Spring. The book is about devils and exorcisms and crops filled with spoiled rye and towns gone mad with fear.

He turns down the sound on the TV and slips between the covers and takes up the book to read it. It is not a fun book, the few pictures are reproductions of woodcuts, but it absorbs him as he relaxes into the pillows, and his hair dries in uneven layers around his ears.

The TV settles into a pattern of noise that Sam ignores, and the book reads predictably. The spoilage in the rye caused a sickness that led to actions that people thought were possessions. Only one of these possessions cannot be traced to the person having consumed rye, and Sam reaches out to grab the motel pen, thinking that if he can, he will trace the name and come up with a pattern that is interesting. He thinks for a second that maybe they could go up near Boston, but he knows it is out of the way, and it would be hard to convince Dean to go up there just for the heck of it as the summer is over. Too cold. Not yet it isn’t, Sam will say, and probably win the day about their choice of gigs. As he has been.

He writes the name down in the margin and dog-ears the page. Then he puts the pen back.

He hears the rumble of the Impala. The door opens. Cold early autumn air cuts through the heat that has probably been on high for some time, only Sam’d not noticed. He notices now, and notices the clock. It’s been hours, but the book has taken him, and only now gives him back.

Dean comes in and barely glances at Sam. He closes the door and locks it. Then he takes off his boots and goes into the bathroom to pee. Sam hears the toilet flush and the hand washing and thinks that while normally there might be conversation, tonight there won’t be.

This is probably his fault. Yes, it most likely is. He’s given Dean something new to worry about, to imagine he’s responsible for. Shaking his head, Sam puts the book on the nightstand and turns off his side of the light. He places the clicker on the nightstand, nearer to Dean’s bed than his own, and slides low beneath the covers. The feel of his feet pushing against the sheets is nice and cool, and he closes his eyes. The room is warm, but sleepable, and he imagines that Dean will open the windows to let the air circulate, so that he can sleep warm beneath the blankets while the air is fresh on his face. That’s the way he likes it. That’s the way they sleep.

Dean comes out, not tiptoeing, turns off the TV, checks the door again, and walks between the middle of the beds. Sam opens his eyes and looks up. Dean does not look happy. Dean turns out the lights, and in the darkness, he doesn’t say anything, so Sam rolls away and listens to Dean getting undressed.

Sam traces the meaning of the sounds without thinking about it. The clink of a belt, the slide of cotton over skin, the flump of blue jeans as they hit the floor. Dean picks them up, he always does, and folds them and tucks them away. It wouldn’t ever do to have crap on the floor where you might trip over it if you had to move fast to chase something or get away from it in the dark.

Then the bed dips behind Sam as Dean crawls in under the covers. The sheets crackle as the static smacks around, zapping Sam in the small of the back. He arches away, thinking Dean’s just doing this to hassle him, because Dean’s got his own bed, and then Dean’s hands are on him. Pulling him till he’s flat on his back and Dean is over him. Dean’s arms are tucking him close, one arm up over his head, the other on his arm.

“Hey,” says Dean. There is beer on his breath, a warm current of hops against Sam’s neck and in his ear. Not a lot of beer because Dean knows better, knows his limit, but there’s a hint of Jack too, Sam is almost certain.

“Hey,” says Dean again. “Been thinkin’.”

This is usually a good thing, Dean’s ideas are always good ones, sometimes brilliant ones. His hands are familiar, and Sam’s body is still, accepting.

“What?” Sam asks.

“You need this,” Dean begins. His whole frame seems to sigh. “Can’t be good, goin’ on like this, an’ I don’t want you to.”

“What?” Sam asks again. His body is starting to wake up, to remember how warm and good it is to have another body lying next to it, but Sam’s brain can’t make sense of it, and is, in fact, raising its voice to be heard. “What are you talking about?”

“You miss Madison. I get that. But you don’t have to miss everythin’ else.”

“Everything being….” Sam lets his voice trial off as the heater humps to life once more, creating a background buzz that mercifully is devoid of any squeaks.

“Everything.” Dean’s answer is cryptic, possibly as cryptic as Dean’s ever been, and as Sam turns his head to demand what the hell, his body jumps as Dean’s hand moves onto his stomach and soothes warm skin with cool. “This,” he says now, his fingers slipping below the elastic band of Sam’s boxers.

Sam’s brain sits up protesting while his body says yes, yes, now is good, and then his brain is silenced, for the moment, into stillness.

Dean’s fingers, still cool, calloused on the edges, slip over Sam’s cock like a glove, fingers curling. Sam is pulled against Dean, and Dean shifts close and the humming begins in Sam’s brain. Taking up right where it left off when Dean had been cutting his hair.

Dean strokes him, once, up and down, and then stills. He seems to be waiting in the darkness, as the heater hums and Sam’s skin is jumping beneath Dean’s hand. Dean does this again, and Sam has the notion that the room begins to spin, and he imagines, as his cock goes rock hard, that he can feel the blood not simply pooling there, but racing there, as fast as it can, joyous at last to have a reason. A real reason. A hand-other-than-his-own reason, which, for all that, it hasn’t felt since Madison died.

Dean’s mouth is on his ear now, as Dean moves up, his bare thigh against Sam’s bare thigh, his ribs pressing into Sam’s ribs, and he takes a breath and whispers.

“You can stop me if you wanna,” he says, almost not audible, even this close. His lips, as they move, are like kisses, like the kisses Sam imagined along his back as the hair skittered down. As soft as dandelion crowns, weathered white and ready to drift away. “I’ll stop it, right now, if you wanna.”

Sam shivers at the heat in his ear.

“I will, an’ you don’t hafeta, an’ in the mornin’ we’ll go on like we always do. But you can’t, I mean, don’t want you to—”

Dean’s voice breaks off as if what he doesn’t want Sam to do is beyond his ability to speak. Sam can fill in the blank with any number of ideas, but his brain has gone dark in shock. There is a phrase stored up at the front however, which framed itself the second Dean’s hand wrapped around his cock. Way back. Before the rubbing started, or the soft whispers in his ear. It’s ready to be said. There are many words he can’t identify, but they all mean the same thing. Stop. No. He just has to give it the nod.

His brother has, it seems, already heard this message, this phrase, in the silence, and is pulling his hand back. Away. Off. He shifts, and his hand catches on Sam’s cock, and presses, just a fraction of a second, hard against the base. A fraction, but long enough for Sam’s body to wake up and shudder and press into Dean’s hand, into the warmth and cool together, his hips moving forward, his head going back, Dean’s lips brushing his jawbone, moist and sweet. And he sighs. Hears Dean’s choked breath, and feels the Dean’s arm slipping under him, feels Dean lean in.

“’kay,” says Dean, his voice a little thick. “I got you.”

Sam imagines for a second the expression on Dean’s face. The serious intent signaled by the furrowed brow and the frown of concentration. There will be a stillness that settles over his brother’s features, which even with his eyes closed, Sam can see. It is all he can see, or think, because as Dean takes on the task he has set for himself, that Sam has agreed to, there is nothing else.

Nothing but Dean’s face in his mind’s eye, and the press of his chest against Sam’s shoulder, and a hand, warm, moving on him, becoming slick. He’s testing the hardness with careful fingers, making the pressure come and go, flipping his thumb up along the edge of Sam’s cock rather like he might gun a motorcycle. Racing his engine. The thought might make him smile, if he could think it clearly, but he cannot. His head falls heavy into the pillow as he presses into Dean’s hand, his fingers coming up to grab at something, anything, turns out to be Dean, Dean’s hip, hot under the cotton t-shirt that slips up under Sam’s fumbled grasp.

The pressure in his spine begins to build, water behind a dam, months of it, and Dean’s hand is at the switch. Slipping and then holding, moving. Catching a bit as Sam turns towards Dean, into the hand, needing to press, this motion changing the angle so that Dean is pushed back, the hand on Sam’s cock pulling sharper, each pull tweaking as Dean’s hand slips over the head of his cock, wet and hot like a mouth swallowing him down.

A snap of sharpness and then Dean’s hand comes down again, moving faster, as Dean’s breath is faster, wrecked like the air in Sam’s throat, his hair, still too long, slipping into his eyes, into his mouth and he feels his jaw tighten. Wanting to keep back the sharp keen that’s leaping up inside of him, and it escapes him, in spite of this, as Dean’s hand begins that ever quickening pace, and slams down, just right, and pulls up, hard, and then does this again, and then again, till Sam’s pitched breath comes out like words and he’s pressed so close to Dean their foreheads are touching and he can feel his brother’s hot skin with his own and thinks just then, that he sees stars.

His spine heats up and melts down and jets out of his cock, spears out, into Dean’s hand, pulses hot as his cock jerks against Dean’s palm. He is hot all over, his body following, pushing, pulsing and he is pressed up against Dean as Dean lets go and wipes the heel of his hand against Sam’s thigh.

Dean tries to pull up Sam’s boxers but they are ripped now, and the elastic has had enough. Sam spills himself into Dean’s arms, thinking that he will fall, he will most surely fall with the darkness all around where no one will find him. But Dean finds him. As he always has. With warm arms to collect the bits of him that he’s left behind, steady pats, circles of hands, both on him now, he is against Dean’s chest, in the cave of his arms, his head beneath Dean’s jaw, and now, his feet hang over the edge. He sighs, heart thumping, lungs pushing hard, his head dropping into Dean. Between them, Sam’s boxers are soaked through and everything feels sticky. No one moves away.

“Okay, now, Sammy?”

Dean asks this though surely the answer must be quite, quite obvious.

Or maybe it isn’t. The heater has shut down, for the moment, and the room is still. Quiet. 

Sam swallows and the sound echoes in the dark. He feels Dean tensing as if his answer is going to be bad.

Sam swallows again, his throat is so dry, and then nods against Dean’s chest. Makes it clear. “Yeah.” His voice is low, so he coughs to clear it and says again, “Yeah, Dean.”

Dean relaxes beneath him and doesn’t complain about Sam’s weight as he might otherwise have done. But he shifts and Sam moves off of Dean, settling in where there’s a wet spot, determined that Dean won’t have to deal with it. Their bodies separate, and for a moment, only their hands, clasped to each others forearms, are touching. There is enough light in the room to see the dark edge of Dean’s face, but nothing more. His brother’s face is looking at him, and they are still again.

“Gonna sleep now, Sammy?” Dean asks this question, the obvious one, but there is more behind it that wants expressing. Sam can feel it in the line of Dean’s body, taut again next to him in the bed. The covers quiver and Sam doesn’t know if this is from him or Dean. Dean needs something from him and Sam is going to give it to him, straight out and no fucking around. Just be sure that Dean is sure that everything is okay.

“Dean,” he says, and feels Dean’s body pull to attention. “You are—” he stops here, his mouth working. “That was—” he tries again, not really sure what to say. Thanks for the hand job, my brother, it was the best ever?

It is going so badly, this part, this part that is up to him to make it go okay. He fumbles for Dean’s hand and pulls it to his head. He leans into Dean’s palm, as if it were Dean caressing him, and not Sam making his hand do this. He feels Dean start and then stiffen, and Sam pulls the hand towards his chin, cupping his own cheek with it, and smiles, nodding into the hand. “Dude,” he says, finally. “Seriously. Seriously good.”

Now Dean’s body relaxes and he cups Sam’s face. Pets him there, lets Sam lean into his hand, and Sam hears his brother sigh. “Dude,” says Dean in response. Answer and confirmation.

With a small, gentle pat, Dean touches his fingers to the soft skin beneath Sam’s eyes and the hand pulls away. Dean shifts on his back, and Sam knows, though he can’t see, that Dean is well on his way to stealing the covers. Moreover, he is not moving back to his own bed. Which, considering, is okay with Sam. He pulls his feet up and rolls away, folding his hands under the pillow, feeling his ribs and spine relax. His heart slows down. Remembers Dean’s words. In the mornin’ we’ll go on like we always do. Nothing had changed. Nothing would change. That’s what Dean had meant.

His brain has checked out and his body is following, swift as a bird, and he feels the darkness sweep up on him. The hand job must have been on the Sam List. If so, there’s now a check mark by it. And beyond that, more important than that, is the fact that Dean had rolled back and fallen asleep, with only Sam’s needs cared for. It is selfish and unfair and Sam feels a flicker of anger at yet again Dean taking care of Sam and not himself. Not letting anyone take care of him, least of all Sam. The exhaustion soaks into him, and his body waves off his mind’s attempt to organize itself around this anger. The body is happy and doesn’t care. But Sam cares. More than anything. It just isn’t fair.

~

Part 2 - Mammoth Spring
Master Fic Post

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