Author: amara_m aka phantisma
Summary: It's in the little things that he finds the truth, the color of a door, the taste of the skin, the clinging touch of a hand that needs his to be complete.
Word Count: 3109
Spoilers and/or Warnings: (if applicable) CHARACTER DEATH. This is a major plot point. Do not read if this bothers you.
Title, Author and URL of original story: lunabee34, Thanatopsis
June 19, 2009
Cold. He shivers as he thinks it, slow, like it takes time for the thought to process through him and express itself. Everything feels off…not quite right, but it isn't anything he can put a finger on and he chalks it up to the way the hunt got twisted around them, the bump on his head from the fall, the way he'd had to duck and run, not even sure Dean had made it out until suddenly he just knew.
He's almost to the hotel, sure Dean will be waiting for him…bloody, bruised maybe, but there. He's sure of it, maybe more than he's sure of anything else. His fingers fumble for the key, numb and stiff in a pocket that's wet with…it has to be mud from when he tumbled down that hill. He doesn't remember the night being so cold before they left, but it's near to midnight and the breeze is chill as he finally gets the key from his pocket and reaches for the door.
Dean doesn't look up when he finally gets the door open, his head turns, but he doesn't really move. Sam drops his key and closes the door, squinting into the dark of the room. There are no lights on, only the bit of yellowish light from the parking lot eking in around the curtains and outlining the side of his brother's face.
"Sorry we got separated." Sam says, frowning a little at the sound of his voice, like he hasn't used it in a while, dusty, hoarse. He yanks on the collar of his shirt, pulling it up and off, pausing as his eyes pick out tears and streaks of red-brown dirt. He lobs it toward the trash, one hand ghosting over his skin, checking…but there's nothing there but cold dirt and clammy skin. "Hey, you okay?"
Dean hasn't moved, hasn't said anything and his face is…he looks almost sick. "Dean?" Sam moves until he's standing over his brother, sweaty hair dripping in his eyes.
Dean drags in a shaky breath and nods, though his expression doesn't change. Only his eyes flick up at Sam, dark with…some emotion. "Yeah…Sam. I'm okay."
Sam watches him, eyes drinking in the taut lines of his face, the way he moves as Sam pulls him up from the bed. "Good. That was close, man. Too close." Dean is almost docile and it's all wrong. Sam's hands move over his brother pulling aside his clothes, eager to touch his skin, assure himself his brother is okay. "But those vamps, fucking wasted man. When you went all Highlander on that one dude…" Sam feels only supple skin under his fingers, drags Dean closer. The sight of Dean with a blade in his hands always did make Sam crazy.
He kisses Dean then, hot, needy…the taste of blood and the hunt and maybe a dash of dust. Dean shivers against him, clinging, a needy sort of noise in his throat as Sam pushes them toward the bathroom, finishing the act of stripping them both as they go, leaving a trail of wet, muddy clothes along the motel floor.
The water is hot and delicious on his skin, stinging and Sam uses the excuse of washing Dean's back to examine the place he was sure he'd seen that one vampire get a hold of him, but there's nothing. "Not a scratch."
Sam feels it again, that fumbling feeling that his skin doesn't quite fit, that something isn't right, but Dean's hands slide through the water on his skin and Sam lets it go with the simple joy of having survived another one, of having this, of having his brother here with him.
He goes to his knees in the hot flow of water over them, hiding them from the world and he takes his brother into his mouth, hotter even than the water, messy and fast before Dean pulls him up, kissing him as they stumble out of the shower and back to the bed.
Dean's too quiet, too gentle, too still as they lay together on the bed…they don't talk, but Sam can feel the weight of things Dean can't say hanging over them, he just can't seem to fit them together, make them real. He's cold again, pulling Dean to him. He feels his brother's eyes, worries about him, but sleep drags at his body, heavy and relentless until he can no longer fight the pull.
June 19, 2012
There's an odd feeling in his stomach as he approaches the door. The impala is parked near the room, gleaming black under the full moon. Sam looks up at the sky, wondering how he didn't remember there was a full moon. Maybe it was hidden behind the clouds, which seem to have moved on.
Still, his feet squish inside shoes gone wet from the rain and mud and a chill runs through him. His hands tremble, the fingers oddly tight, stiff as though he hasn't used them in weeks. The door opens and Dean looks up. "Sorry we got separated." Sam says, pulling at his torn up shirt. He frowns a little as his hands come away muddy, dirty with a rust-red that looks vaguely like blood, and he lobs the whole mess at the trash can.
"Well, grandma, some of us don't run like pussies." Dean says, though the flippant words aren't really supported by the tone of his voice, like it's a line he's rehearsed until the meaning has gone.
The only light in the room is the greenish fluorescent glow from the overhead lights on the walkway outside the door, and it casts Dean's skin in eerie shadows that seem to squirm and move as Sam gets closer. "Grandma, eh?" Sam asks, leaning into Dean's space. "Lets see who can keep up now."
He pushes Dean back onto the bed, hands on his bare chest, feeling over muscle and skin before leaning in to kiss him and start working on his jeans. This feels familiar, right…even in skin that sits a little too close and eyes that see things moving in the shadows, because Dean moans and quivers when Sam's lips find a tender spot on his inner thigh. They move together up the bed, stretched out as Sam licks his way over hip bones and up onto Dean's stomach, hands following slow and easy, touching Dean everywhere but the place he wants it most.
Dean's hands grab at him eagerly, pull him in to kiss before Sam pulls way and goes back to licking over the marks on Dean's skin. He pauses as his lips and tongue find their way to something unfamiliar, something different. He feels Dean tense beneath him as his tongue slides up the long scar and down again, tasting the newness of the skin, feeling the path of ruin that might have killed him. Sam lifts up, his eyes seeking out Dean's, the question unasked, hanging naked and ignored in the air as Dean pulls him in, rolls them around and then Sam is the one grabbing for Dean, for contact as Dean's body presses against him, as Dean's cock fills him.
It feels like forever since he's had this, since he's felt the delicious pull and burn of his brother inside him, since the heat has erupted at his core and spilled out into his veins and dropped him into ecstasy.
And he clings to each sensation, to the fire, the need, the rolling tilt of hips, the slide of skin on skin, the flush of heat as they come together…clings to it as though it's the last time he'll ever know this touch, these feelings. Dean collapses against him, breathing into the sweaty skin of his chest, whispering words Sam can't make out as the night slips on toward morning and the weight of sleep forces him under.
June 19, 2017
"What you're doing is wrong…"
Sam stops, looking for the source of the words, familiar voice, whispering through the night. It's warm outside, a flush on his face like shame. The door is white. He remembers it was blue. There's a scratch in the paint on the Impala's passenger side door he doesn't remember.
He pauses beside the car, reaching in through the open window to touch the worn leather of the seat with a longing filling his stomach. He misses her, which seems strange. He looks at the window of the room, at the shadow of his brother waiting for him. Something isn't right. Sam's hand brushes over his neck, a half memory of…something…teeth, blood…but it's gone when Dean moves inside.
Sam leaves his fear there with the car and goes inside. "Sorry we got separated."
"Yeah, well, maybe if you paid attention." Dean snaps, whipping around to face Sam.
"What? Me?" Sam lets it wash over him, the feeling of this of him and Dean, of home. "You're the one who broke cover."
"Because you're ass was about to be vampire breakfast." Dean shouts, though his voice catches a little when he says it and his hand involuntarily goes to his neck, rubbing and rubbing and rubbing at the same spot on his neck and pointedly not looking at Sam.
"I knew he was there, Dean. I was luring him in." Sam feels his brow furrow together, his lips purse, his jaw tighten. He doesn't want to fight all night.
It isn't enough, this isn't why he's here. He tackles Dean then, pushing and pulling and ripping at clothes until he finds enough skin to latch onto and rolling them around until he is sinking into the heat of his brother's ass, moving until he can hold Dean to him, kissing him messy and wet while they fuck, Dean's legs circling his waist, his feet pressing against Sam's ass.
Dean's lips press into his neck, alternately kissing and licking and whispering apologies into his skin and Sam can't bring himself to ask what his brother is sorry for, can only take what his brother is giving him, give his brother what he needs even though they both know something here just isn't right.
June 19, 2023
Sam knows now. The little things get harder to miss every year. Dean is sitting on the hood of the impala when Sam gets there, a six pack behind him. He wonders if maybe this is it, if Dean will finally tell him…admit the truth, but Dean smiles when Sam stops beside the car, slides off the hood and offers his brother a beer.
They get in and the seat seems to remember him, holds the shape of him and it's easy and familiar. They sip at their beer and stare at the red motel room door and share the silence.
“After you left,” Dean says sometime after midnight when the beer is nearly gone, “I came to Stanford every couple months. Checked out the wards on your place, made sure nothing freaky was nosing around.”
“I know,” Sam says with a soft sigh, turning his head and watching the way his hand moves against Dean's skin.
Dean leans back in the seat, pressing his cheek into Sam's hand.
“You weren’t exactly stealthy, Dean. Who’d you think Jess kept leaving those cookies on the counter for? Santa Claus?” He laughs at the memory, at the exasperation and affection he'd felt for Dean then. He feels some measure of it even now. He draws Dean in to kiss, softer than they usually do, easy and gentle.
He stretches out, long legs sliding into the driver's side of the car, pulling Dean in to lay against him. The thumpthumpthump of his brother's heart is calming, strong and solid under his hand. He knows Dean isn't ready, and maybe neither is he.
He doesn't mean to sleep, but this body is so heavy, the oppressive summer heat weighing him down until his eyes close on their own and he fades slowly into the night.
June 19, 2030
The years show in his brother's face, in the collections of scars on his too thin body, and Sam handles him slow and easy, gentle as he lays Dean out on the bed, touching and kissing each bit of skin he can, taking his time, cherishing every moment of this night.
He savors each moment, tastes each inch of skin, memorizes every scar, every freckle. He marks each and every change since the first time he touched Dean or Dean touched him. He doesn't even really remember now how it started.
He sinks into Dean with a soft moan and kisses up the line of his neck. When he comes he closes his eyes, picturing the way things were before, wondering what it is Dean sees when he looks at Sam now. It's the little things that are hard to miss, the things that never change, the things that do.
"Sorry we got separated." Sam whispers into Dean's ear as Dean's eyes close and his warm body spoons into Sam's. Dean's hand pulls Sam's hand to his chest and he clings to it, his heart beating out a rhythm that sounds to Sam like not yet, not yet, not yet.
June 19, 2034
Sam knows this is the end when he sees Dean's silhouette against the dark mass of clouds hanging low on the horizon, backlit by the last smear of the sun's descent and the orangey-gold glow of the city in the distance. The impala's parked in the same place she always is, but the motel is gone, the blacktop torn up, nothing but packed red clay and stacks of building materials in it's place.
Twenty-five years, every one of them weighing on his brother's frame as Sam slides to a stop beside him. "Hey, Dean." The words seem to say so much more as Sam shoves his hands in his pockets, acknowledging that the mud that fills them isn't mud at all.
Dean doesn't look up, his pale green eyes staring off into the distance. "You don't seem surprised." His voice is flat, broken.
Sam sits beside him, rubbing their shoulders together. "How stupid do I look?" He smiles as he says it, lets the genuine affection fill his words. He knows it was wrong, all this time, letting Dean think he didn't know, clinging to this one night, to these short hours he could pretend and yet he can't seem to care. "Dude, you're older than Dad. You've been gray for forever now." His voice sounds so young, even to his own ears. "Probably need a cane, old man."
Dean doesn't quite smile. "I can still beat your ass, bitch."
"Jerk." Sam responds, bumping their knees together. It feels real, normal, right. Sam settles into himself, feels like things are shifting together, all the pieces fitting for the first time since he can remember. He can't imagine what Dean will see when he looks at him, if he ever does again. He thinks maybe it's Dean's way of finally letting go, not looking at him this time, not seeing him.
Sam fights the urge to do something to make him look, and just sits beside his brother, waiting for it to happen, for the feeling that he can go.
"If you knew…" Dean's voice cracks a little and he rubs one finger under his eye. "Why'd you keep coming? Why didn't you move on?"
Sam's breath catches and he looks away for the first time, lets Dean out of his sight as he tried to answer truthfully. "You needed me." Sam says finally, knowing it's honest, but not the truth. Sam needed Dean too, needed him desperately enough to cling to this, knowing all these years what it was doing to his brother, what it was doing to him.
They sit in silence, side by side, looking out at the thick bank of clouds that threaten rain, watching lightening streak them bright white that fades to dark again in an instant and Sam thinks that's what it should be like, but he knows somehow it won't be.
Dean's hand reaches for him, hovers over his thigh before landing on his own again. Sam lets his own hand cover Dean's, slides their fingers together. It isn't enough. He wants more. He wants to feel Dean's heart next to his chest, taste the tears he knows wet his brother's face, wants to hold him and tell him that it's okay…but they both know it isn't.
"I, ah…I couldn't find your body." Dean says after a long silence. He doesn't pull away, lets Sam keep possession of his hand. "I tried. For years." He opens his mouth like he has more to say, but the words don't come. He looks down at their hands, watching Sam's thumb tracing idly over his skin.
"I know." Sam says, nodding a little. He thinks he remembers now, knows there isn't much left to be found anymore. He lay at the bottom of that hill cold and alone while the blood seeped from him, but he won't tell Dean that. He won't tell Dean that the one who bit his neck during the fight wasn't the one that killed him in the end, he won't say most of the things that fill his head.
It's time to say goodbye, but Sam finds he doesn't know how, isn't sure anymore that he can.
Dean clears his throat and Sam can see the wet on his face even though he won't look his brother in the eye. "You ready?"
"No." Sam chokes on the word, forces it to sound like a laugh, a small, strained sound. Dean's hand tightens around his; as if the force of that connection could be strong enough to hold him there…and Sam knows Dean will never let him go until Sam tells him to.
Dean's been holding on to Sam his whole life.
Sam slides off the car, turns to face his brother, looking into a face that's changed in so many tiny ways and yet is as familiar to him as his own. There's so much to say and no words to say them with. "Dean. You have to let go of my hand." Sam's voice is cracked, tears tracking down his face as Dean closes his eyes.
Sam brushes his lips over Dean's, lets his tongue caress those soft, sweet lips, tasting his last of Dean, salt and skin…he steps back until only the union of their hands holds him. Dean's eyes open, tears spilling out of them as their fingers uncurl, palms sliding…Sam refuses to close his eyes, refuses to look away, his hand held out between them as he fades.