Summary: There is no way to get this blood off his hands. It is inside him.
Rating: R for blood-drinking and language.
Spoilers and/or Warnings: Blood-drinking, demon-style consent issues, Sam being a douche. Spoilers up to and including 4.20, "The Rapture."
Title, Author and URL of original story: "The Placebo Effect" by amaresu.
Sam has second watch. He watches TV for an hour. He watches Jimmy turn over stiffly, blankets and sheets pulled up to his ear. He watches Dean, still and silent in the dropped-off-a-cliff sleep he hardly ever lets himself have and pretty obviously needs. Sam can't bring himself to care about either of them, or his own safety, he just touches his pocket to make sure it's there, and walks out, throat and mouth and tongue begging for it, brain warm and slow for it.
The salt of his skin under the good, bitter funk of Ruby's old blood makes him hungry, makes his stomach growl for something more than food; makes his dick hard. He tips another sloppy puddle into his palm and squeezes his eyes shut while the blood moves through him with its texture like tapioca and its strange temperature--warm and lukewarm at the same time. He stares at his fingers and palm and wrist in the neon darkness. There is no way to get this blood off his hands. It is inside him.
When the done, in him, thrumming through his veins, reestablishing itself, he caps the flask and holds it against his cheek for a moment, remembering pressing his cheek to Ruby's sternum, smearing them both with her bright, fresh blood. The flask is light in his hand. He slips it back into his pocket and takes out his phone. He has to call her.
Was it a refreshing Coke?
"Sam," Anna says, and the back of his neck prickles. "You seem--different."
He finds her eyes over his shoulder and tries an awkward smile. "Me? I don't know--the haircut?"
She frowns without moving her mouth. "That's not what I'm talking about." She turns to Dean and talks about what fuck-ups they are for a little longer, but Sam is swallowing hard and thinking about blood visible on his hands, in his body, the ache in his joints and how his eyes feel huge in his head when he needs it; thinking about the half-full flask in his pocket and how even with the rationing, he's only got a few days left. A few days. He always drinks twice as much as he promised himself he would.
The last drops he can tap out of the flask make a quarter-sized pool in his palm. He licks his dry lips and swallows, his throat swollen with fear and need.
He tips his hand to his mouth and lets it sit on his tongue for just a moment. He squeezes his teeth and lips shut, squeezes his eyes shut, and ignores the tear leaking down his cheek.
Where the hell are you, Ruby? This isn’t funny anymore. I’m all out. Stop whatever you’re doing. Call me. I need more.
He can't even think any more, while Dean drives and Jimmy is sleeping the sleep of the fugitive--light, furtive, brief--in the back seat. He can't even handle Dean worrying about him. He's trying to figure out if he can cut open the flask and lick it clean. He's trying to figure out if he could have convinced Dean to capture one of the demons at Jimmy's house. For questioning.
His phone rings.
"Hello?" he asks, and when there is only breathing, "Who is this?"
"Can I speak to Jimmy? It's his wife." She sounds satisfied, for some reason. Sam frowns but looks over his shoulder and hands the phone back when he sees Jimmy is awake.
"Amelia?" Jimmy says into the phone, and then.
Oh my god.
Getting out of the car, Sam is planning. Fuck the flask and its tarnished nickel--not really silver, the blood would go bad, or denature, or whatever it is demon blood does--fuck Ruby. There are demons in this warehouse, and Sam will corner one and cut it open and bathe in its blood.
Or discreetly slit its neck or wrist so he can get a mouthful. That's all he needs, really. Just a drink. Just a sip. Dean won't see. Sam will make sure. He can be careful.
He hears Jimmy yelling around the side of the building, and Dean twitches and moves as if to follow him, but Sam takes his arm.
"What's the plan?" he says, hoping Dean doesn't notice the desperate rasp in his voice.
It's not a very good plan. Sam's plan isn't much better.
He nicks the woman's neck and the blood is flowing and in the back of his head, he hears himself saying that Dean is right there, the fight is nearly over, he will see, he will see.
But, oh, it's sweet and hot in the chilly night, and the strange rotten fruit taste of the demon is good in his mouth. He shakes the woman by her neck a little, getting his aching teeth into her skin and muscle. A last, long spurt fills his mouth and he stands while he's still swallowing.
He reaches out for Jimmy's wife and the demon in her reaches back, against its will: the best, biggest rush of all.
Dean made a call when they stopped for gas outside Pontiac, standing far enough away in the midnight parking lot that Sam couldn't hear his voice.
In the car, they are silent. Sam can feel the blood on his face, even though he scrubbed with the gas station bathroom's coarse paper towel and his own fingernails until he though he might break his own skin.
"All right," Sam says finally. "Let's hear it."
"What?" Dean asks, as if nothing has happened, as if he's just tired.
"Drop the bomb, man, come on." Sam shakes his head. "You saw what I did. Stop the car, take a swing."
"I'm not gonna 'take a swing,'" Dean says, still in that dead voice.
Something cold touches the back of his neck, his shoulders. "Then scream," he suggests, almost hopefully. "Chew me out."
"I'm not mad, Sam," Dean says, and Sam believes him and is suddenly terrified.
"Come on. You're not mad." Anything, anything, react.
Dean's face is drawn and paper-smooth in the low light. "No," he says.
"Right." Sam looks at his hands on his thighs, and the convincing argument he's been holding since last summer presents itself. "Look, at least let me explain myself--"
Sam knows Dean wouldn't listen, anyway, wouldn't agree. There's no argument he can make for this, not to Dean. No excuses. So he doesn't.
"I don't care," Dean says.
"You don't care," Sam says, daring Dean to say it again. Part of him, itching and warm and bittersweet at the back of his throat, believes it already.
"What do you want me to say, that I'm disappointed? Yeah, I am. But mostly I'm just tired, man. I'm done." Dean doesn't look away from the road. "I am just done."
This is the man who went to Hell to save your life, Sam thinks. And he is done.
Sam watches the road ahead, ignoring the ache that's already building in his joints and his stomach, ignoring what the fuck he's going to do now that Dean is done with him, and when his phone rings, he's glad to see Bobby's name on the screen.
The apocalypse, genius; now get your asses over here.