spoilers through 'Heart'
beta by stir_of_echoes *adores*
Part two from stir_of_echoes' Hush, Now. Don't You Cry.
It took thirty minutes for Sam to realize that Dean was not taking him back to their hotel. It took effort for him to lift his head and look out the window and realize that they were leaving San Francisco behind. The Impala purred along I-80, a cool breeze blew in and Sam tried to clamp down on the shivers that threatened to overwhelm him.
He was cold. His skin damp with sweat, his shirt was stiff with spattered blood.
“Dean. You gotta stop.”
“Soon. Hang on. We have to put some distance between us and--” what we left behind.
Sam watched Dean's fingers move on the steering wheel. He saw the hesitation of a reach over and stop and he pressed against the door. Leaned his head out the window. Closed his eyes and prayed that Dean wouldn't touch him. Not now. Not here. Not like this. His skin crawled. Even a friendly pat would snap his strained, shredded, barely-there control now that he realized what he'd done. The first solid hug in Maddison's apartment had been instinctive. A reaction that wouldn't be denied, but now ... it would be too much. Dean's hand on his thigh would break Sam. Shatter him.
The air rushed past his face, through his hair. It kept Sam from smelling himself. Kept the scent of her perfume, her sweat, her sex, her blood away from him.
When the steady sound of the engine changed, Sam opened his eyes. Dean was finally pulling off the highway and down an exit ramp. Four blocks and into the parking lot of a hotel. He parked the Impala between two semis and rifled through the glove compartment for a random ID and credit card that matched.
“I'll get us a room.”
Sam couldn't get out of his clothes and into the shower fast enough. He didn't know how long he stood there, hot water pouring over him. It mixed with tears and snot and pain as he stared at the drain wondering why the water wasn't stained and dark as it swirled and disappeared. Why it wasn't the color of his mind and of his soul.
When he came back out into their room he saw that Dean had picked up his dirty *bloody* clothes and laid out his favorite sweatpants. His brother was spread over the other bed, the one closest to the door, of course. A beer on the nightstand, open bag of Cheetos on his chest. Snoring lightly, the remote in one hand as the television flickered. Sam felt a drop of water fall from his hair to his shoulder. He nudged the bed with one knee.
“Bathroom's empty, Dean.”
Dean's eyes opened instantly. Something that Sam had seen so many times in his life and tonight he felt like he was seeing it again for the first time. The way Dean could be completely relaxed, sound asleep and then awake, coherent and ready to take over.
Sam knew the withering look he gave Dean as his brother headed into the bathroom wasn't warranted, but he couldn't stop himself. He knew that he wouldn't be sleeping tonight. Not with the memory of her eyes, warm and soft and deep. Not with the feel of her skin, smooth silk with curves that fit under him, still under his palms. Not with the echo of the gunshot ringing in his ears. The crumple of her body. The light going out. His name on her last sigh of breath as if they'd loved for a lifetime instead of one night.
Sleep wasn't going to be on the agenda. Not even close.
While Dean showered, Sam drank a beer. He'd started to get out his laptop, but left it unopened on the table. He'd picked up John's journal and held it in his hands, unread. He stared at the television, but he couldn't tell what was playing. Sports, drama, sit-com, the news – it could have been anything. By the time Dean was done showering, Sam was reciting law cases that he'd memorized in school. Names. Years. Precedents.
Sam turned his attention from the ceiling to find Dean looking at him. With that look.
“If you ask me that one more time, I'm going to kick your ass.”
Dean snorted and turned away. He dropped his towel and pulled on a pair of jockey shorts.
“You wish,” he mumbled as he picked up his beer, studiously keeping his back to Sam.
And just like that, Sam knew that he had hurt Dean. Something that on a normal night, wouldn't have affected either of them. They'd spent their lives taking shots, leveling low blows, snarking and teasing and playing practical jokes that went over the edge at times. They'd argued past the point of fist fights over their torn devotion to their father. They'd spent months not talking after Sam left the triad for college.
But Sam always knew that Dean had his back. He knew that ingrained in his brother was a deep, almost twisted sense of loyalty and responsibility and possession for Sam.
Tonight, after Maddison, after the wolf and the hunt and the unexpected connection that had knocked Sam off his feet and dragged him to his knees ... he couldn't deal with any more scattered pain.
Sam slid out of the bed and stood behind Dean. Looking down at his brother's wide shoulders. He was suddenly struck by the memory of when he shot up. In one year. Growing so fast that his bones hurt at nighttime. Seemingly, instantly taller than his brother and finally taller than his own father. John's constant bitching about having to stop after every hunt and buy another pair of jeans, another pair of shoes. Another shirt or coat or jacket and Dean's stubborn refusal to wear Sam's castoffs because he was the older one and Sam's fervent wishes that it would just stop.
He didn't want to stand out. He didn't want to be different. It was just one more thing that set him apart in school, in whatever neighborhood they lived in for two months. He was the tall boy. The gangly one. The clumsy one. The brother that tripped over his own feet and didn't know the length of his reach. Spilled salt, spilled milk, broken dishes and slammed doors.
He remembered Dean climbing into bed with him as he cried from the pain. Silent and warm, strong fingers rubbing on the joints that felt like knives and razor blades. Massaging his shoulders and the bends of his knees. Pressing in along the line of his spine and the sharp bones of his hips.
When it was the worst, Sam would feel Dean's breath blow over his cock. He'd feel Dean's fingers pull down the elastic of his jockeys and the soft, warm, wet lick of Dean's tongue on his skin. On the head of his dick. The quiet, constant love in his voice as he whispered.
"Is this where it hurts, Sammy?”
"No, Dean ... no ... that doesn't hurt ...”
"Want me to stop?”
"Don't, please ... don't stop.”
The growth spurts ended. The bed sharing didn't.
Sam had always slept the deepest when he was wrapped around his brother, chest to back. His mouth at the base of Dean's neck, his nose pressed into Dean's hair. His cock still slick from lube and come.
When Sam left, he thought he'd found that similar safe comfort in Jess, with Jess. But he never slept as well. Never as deep. Because Jess wasn't going to jump out of bed, gun in hand like Dean would. Like Dean had when a demon found a hole through the salt and forced it's way into their room while their father was out killing the rest of its kind.
Sam reached out, long since comfortable with the length of his arms and the stretch of his body. He slid one finger along the line of Dean's bare shoulder. From the soft, fine fuzz at the base of Dean's neck to the rounded skin over muscle and bone at the top of his arm.
“I'm not okay, Dean.”
Sam heard his voice. He sounded like he was ten again. Twelve. Fourteen. He sounded like he was alone in the dark, scared of what might be in his closet. He sounded like he was twisting in his bed on cheap cotton sheets, his mind warped with pain. He sounded like he'd just killed someone he cared about to save her.
He sounded like he needed the one person that he could always count on.
“Tell me where it hurts, Sam.”