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glee: Chris is composed.

backinblack in spn_holidays

Final gift for lazy_daze (part two)!

Second half of Dirty Up Your Conscience. Notes and such can be found on the first post.


---

They spent two days on auto-pilot, not avoiding each other but not really speaking, either. Dean brought back all their meals, and they ate sitting at the edge of their beds, watching tv. It was better than having to muster up camaraderie in a restaurant. Dean was in charge of the remote, except for when he was asleep; he woke up a few times to Sam watching God knows what on HBO, both of them bathed in the blueish light of the tv. He wanted to tell him to turn it off and get some sleep, but it would break their unspoken rule of grunting, so he rolled over and smashed his face into the pillow until sleep came again.

That night he spent flicking through the tv stations, so fed up of being in that tiny motel room while Sam prepped their next hunt. He wasn't really seeing anything, only catching snatches of infommercials and the ubiquitous Law & Order marathons. Sam was watching from his bed, back against the headboard and arms crossed over his stomach. Dean could see him getting more and more agitated from Dean's channel-flipping, but he wasn't going to stop until something changed, like maybe there was something good on tv or if Sam said two words to get him to stop.

Things got momentarily weird when Dean landed on the skin channels. He desperately flipped through, his fingers cramping like he was having fucking target practice, until they cleared out of the breathy moans and cheesy music. After, it felt like neither of them were breathing, the TV Guide channel scrolling by, a chipper announcer recapping this week's entertainment news. They still didn't speak. Dean almost turned it off, but that would be acknowledgment, and he didn't think either of them wanted to go there. He looked at the shows and movies scrolling by; there had to be something utterly sexless on tv, he didn't care if he had to put on the goddamn Disney channel. High School Musical was less painful than sitting in that stupid motel room with Sam, both of them too freaked out to move.

One of the HBOs was showing Titanic. Bingo. He'd never seen it, some weird hybrid of a chick movie and a disaster flick was not his bag, but he couldn't think of anything less suggestive than a lot of people flailing around in the ocean.

It was evident that the ship hadn't struck the iceberg yet, and he had to suffer through bad monologues and some crappy true love shit. He heard Sam almost start laughing at the "I'm flying!" bit, and he had to bite down hard on the inside of his cheek to keep from doing the same.

He should have changed the channel when it got creepy. There was this feeling in his stomach, this finely honed sense of danger that apparently extended from hunting to movies. But he reasoned that it was PG-13, how bad it could it be, and more channel flipping would put a giant I'M UNCOMFORTABLE sign above his head. So he sat back and watched and forced himself to stare unblinkingly at Kate Winslet's boobs.

It was over in that goddamn car. "I've gotta -- shower," Dean muttered, and threw the remote onto the bed violently. He was into the bathroom so quick it seemed like tires should have squealed. He stood with his back against the closed door, feeling like laughing hysterically or beating his head against the wall in frustration, he wasn't sure which. After a moment it passed and he started shucking off his clothes.

It was weird. He was soaping up and squinting under the overspray when it struck him what Ruby had made of the two of them. It was what she'd wanted and they had both fallen into it. Kate Winslet's tits had sent him running from the room like a five year old kid afraid of things in his closet. Pretty ridiculous. All because of some random crap in Dean's head and Ruby's sense of fun.

He tried to think back to the last time when things were this weird. All that came to mind was Stanford and that time Dean slept with Sam's high school best friend (even though Sam had no real chance with her, claimed not to want any real chance with her, and probably spent all of his time at her house painting his toenails and gossiping). Which begged the question as to how they'd gotten through that crap. And it was either something fucked up happening and taking precedence, or Sam angrily trying to make them talk through it. Not that it ever actually worked -- the talking -- but they pissed each other off to the point of throwing punches, and after you've given someone a bloody nose it's hard to stay sullen.

Punching his brother in the face (again) was not going to solve anything. Sam would just punch back and call him a pervert and Ruby would get one of those grotesque victory smiles. Maybe if he refrained from the punching, or let Sam take a lone shot at him, maybe it would have the same effect. Dean rinsed his hair and squinched his eyes shut when shampoo ran onto his face.

Thinking about it was wearing on Dean's mind, and thinking about personal shit was about the last thing he wanted to do, right after hang gliding. He turned his mind to the immediacy of the shower, running through the well-worn routines of mohawking his hair with the conditioner and taking a second round with the soap.

When he found himself considering the free exfoliant, Dean acknowledged his pathetic attempt at putting off the inevitable. He was probably a lot of things, but Dean Winchester wasn't a coward. He squared his shoulders, put down the soap, and shut off the water tap. The faucet dripped into the sudden silence, and he ignored the rushing terror in his veins in favor of wrapping a towel around his waist. He'd left his sweatpants on the floor that morning, crumpled into a corner, another sign that he and Sam weren't working at maximum efficency. Sam usually picked up his crap and tossed it in with the dirty clothes. He yanked his pants on and considered putting on the shirt he'd been wearing before, but it smelled like too many days in a motel room, so he threw it back onto the floor.

In the steamed-up mirror, his reflection looked back at him, wide-eyed and freaked out. Par for the course. He flipped off the light switch and opened the door, which creaked in protest.

He looked automatically for Sam on the bed, probably sobbing at the movie by now, but he wasn't there. The tv was off and the sheets were still rumpled. Panic exploded in his chest like he'd been shot, and Dean's head snapped from side to side as he searched Sam out. The room could hardly be called big, but he almost missed his brother sitting stiff-backed in the one chair that had been in the room when they arrived. One of its legs was shorter than the other three, which might have accounted for the pinched expression and lack of acknowledgment Sam was giving him.

"Hey," he said tentatively, to fill the silence. His olive branch went unaccepted, and he busied himself with going through his duffle for a shirt, his back to Sam. He found a green shirt that he didn't usually sleep in, but Sam wasn't doing the laundry and he wasn't either, so he pulled it out and gave it a shake. He pulled on the shirt, turning topics over in his mind, something to get the ball rolling. Anxiousness built up in his chest and he blurted the first thing that came to him. "So I was thinking, I could really go for some ice cream." Ice cream. He wasn't even hungry. He wanted to talk to his brother and all that came out was ice cream. "I think there was a Baskin Robbins a few miles back, what do you say to some Rocky Road?"

Nothing. Sam was a heavy presence behind him, solid as a statue. He pulled on the shirt and tried to think about something other than ice cream flavors. It took him a moment to turn around, but when he did, he met Sam's stony eyes.

"Anyone home in there?" he tried.

Sam's jaw clenched and he turned his head, the first movement he'd made since Dean stepped into the room. He wasn't looking at Dean, obviously, but Dean could see his eyes glittering and the way a muscle in his cheek twitched. He'd seen that look a few times on Sam, like he was hardly holding it together. Realization hit Dean like a ton of bricks. He stepped backward fast, holding his hands up in front of him in a bizarre gesture of disgust and surrender.

"Dude, you think I was. You think--"

"You weren't?" Sam said, deliberate and mean, looking back at Dean with the dead-on kind of stare that made most people toss down their cards or confess everything.

The shower, the shower was where they went, both of them, to jerk off. Early morning when the other was still groggy; it was better than feeling the sheets tangle around his feet while he tossed and turned and waited for the Sam's breathing to even out. Better than misgauging it and starting when Sam was still awake and listening. And at this point, it was pretty much routine, like maintenance.

Dean had never felt less like getting off in his life, these past few days. It sounded as appealing as surgery and made him about as tense to think about it. "Dude, I wasn't in there jerking off, so you can just fuck off." He turned, face burning in indignation and embarrassment, and picked up his weapons duffle. He fiddled with the strap a moment before tossing it back down on the bed. His hands shook.

"Right." Sam shifted, Dean hearing something clank on the table Sam was sitting near. "Whatever."

He kept his back to Sam and swallowed around the furious lump in his throat. Apparently it was too late for heart to hearts. "I don't care if you believe me, you asshole. You can believe whatever the fuck you want."

--

Yeah, so the tension wasn't exactly alleviated after their little exchange. Dean would look over at Sam in the passenger seat as they drove seven hundred miles to their next case, hand him his coffee and bagel, ask him to roll down his window, but all he could think is how he wanted to break his fucking nose. It was always Sam that got him this riled up, Sam with his stupid ideas and misconceptions. He had this mindset growing up that he wasn't one of them, would never be, and that attitude more than anything sent him off to Stanford with the motel door slammed behind his back. Now him and Ruby. He couldn't even think about it. He found himself pushing the accelerator to the floor and forcibly made himself slow down; it was dangerous to speed this time of day, and it drew attention to him.

There was a time in the dusty heat of New Mexico when they stopped for gas that Dean thought Sam might crack. Say something, fuckin' apologize, which would be nice and not a little overdue. Dean might have been having some creepy thoughts, but he wasn't going to disrespect Sam by flaunting it in his face. Stupid goddamn brother should know him better than that.

Sam was in the john, no doubt feeling that Big Gulp he'd been working on since their last pit stop, and Dean thought he'd finished and gone back to the car, so he headed over to the side of the station and tried to open the door to the bathroom. It was locked, occupied. Great. He leaned against the side of the porous wall and waited.

His brother came out and looked utterly stunned to see Dean waiting there. His jaw almost dropped. Dean pushed himself off the wall and tried to slip past him, but Sam just stood there. Dean raised an eyebrow.

"Dean," Sam blurted, then looked surprised at having said it.

Dean waited, his other eyebrow lifting to match the other. Sam didn't say anything, not for a full thirty seconds, only rolled his shoulders under his t-shirt. "I gotta piss. You mind?"

When he came back to the car, Sam was sitting with the windows rolled down and reading dad's journal. He didn't say anything, didn't look up.

The next time he spoke it was a state line away, nighttime, when he wanted burgers. Dean gritted his teeth and took the next exit with a McDonald's sign. He rolled down his window and ordered for both of them, not caring if Sam wanted a side salad or a goddamn parfait. He was eating what Dean bought. They idled at the window, a few back in the line of dinner rush customers, and when they pulled up, the chick who handed him their sodas was sweaty and rushed and nearly dumped it all over his lap.

"Sorry," she fussed. Underneath her stupid work visor and frumpy clothes she might be hot. She thrust his bag of food at him.

He took it, studying her, both of them clutching the bag in mid-air. "You know," he said conversationally, the blood starting to roar in his ears and his stomach doing odd flips of rebellion, "my brother now thinks that I am thinking about him fucking you." Her face dropped into an expression Dean hadn't ever seen before and her hand fell away from the bag. He heard orders called out behind her, surreal in their silence, and felt kind of bad for fucking up her day. "Have a nice evening," he intoned, and gunned it out of there.

He thought Sam would throw a fit when they pulled away, but he just sat there. Dean flicked little glances at him out of the corner of his eye, between shoving fries into his mouth, but Sam did nothing. It got really difficult to suppress the hysterical, desperate laughter bubbling up in his throat, so he coughed around his fries and sucked down like half of his Dr Pepper.

"Aren't you hungry?" he asked, giddy with saying this shit, for shaking up Sam's self-righteous little world. Sam sat there, greasy bag on his lap, and Dean reached over and stole some of his fries.

--

Pushing 80 down the interstate, Zeppelin blaring, when Sam's cell rang in his pocket. Sam pulled his phone out and checked the display, then turned down the music with one hand and pressed Talk with the other.

"Hey, Bobby."

Bobby. If it was about Dean's predicament, Sam would stall and find some reason to call Bobby back later, fidgeting, full of nervous habits. But if Bobby was calling them back with obscure info on a hunt from one of his endless books, it meant Sam would have to actually speak to Dean. Form words, maybe even sentences, about something other than rolling down his window or getting a diet Coke instead of regular. Dean watched Sam on his cell out of the corner of his eye, knuckles white on the steering wheel.

"Thanks for getting back to me so fast. None of the sources I could find were much help. Yeah. Small-town libraries and all that. So. D'you think it's a succubus?"

It was about the hunt, then. A hunt was what they needed, something to burn off tension, something to focus on other than the huge white elephant in the room. The car. Whatever. Their last job turned out to be a dead end; a hotel in California (no relation to The Eagles). Lights flickering, weird sounds, the works. It turned out the owners had actually rigged some room lights on a dimmer to fuck with people's heads. Oh, and Saturday night was Seance Night, which Dean had been forced to sit through, EMF in pocket, in case any real shit was going down. There wasn't, of course, just the usual propaganda about old, 'haunted' hotels used to drum up business taken a step too far.

Dean could hear Bobby's voice muffled through the phone and against Sam's ear. Sam dug through the bag at his feet for paper and a pen, found a crumpled and forgotten computer printout from two cases ago, and started scribbling down notes as fast as Bobby could dictate them. Dean contemplated taking the phone and saying hey; it had been a while since he'd talked to Bobby and he could use some sane human contact. Sam hung up before he could decide one way or another.

Dean looked over, waiting for Sam to pass on the details. Habit. Sam just tucked his cell phone back in his pocket and wiped his palms on his jeans. So he wasn't as cool and collected as he'd been playing -- Dean already knew that, but it was something else to see past Sam's bullshit.

"It's succubi, like I thought." Dean had dealt with one of them when he was on the road with dad, but Sam hadn't, so Sam had been extra-thorough in checking the details. Wasn't like he'd accept Dean's help with researching the hunt. It might mean they'd have to look at each other. "Bobby said they're tricky to kill, even harder to hide from. If we go after her, she's gonna know." He gestured at his notes. "He said some stuff might help to help ward her off."

Pretty much the same deal when he and dad went after theirs. "Let me guess, hagstone, pen knife, blessed silver?"

There was a pause. When Sam spoke, it came out in this restrained, dull tone. "Yeah. I was thinking some blessed silver rounds might do the trick."

Dean nodded again, didn't answer. He turned the music back up, they choose the path where no one goes, and Sam sat back in his seat, both of them silent again.

--

Two nights sleeping with hagstones by their beds made for some fucked up dreams. The succubus knew they were coming after her, and she descended on them viciously as soon as they went to sleep, her sick darkness and lust bleeding through to their dreams. Luckily the hagstones forced her to go in circles, never really finding an entrance. Neither of them felt rested during daylight hours, and if they weren't talking before, they really weren't now. Dean was almost too tired to drive from the motel to the gas station or the burger joint, but somehow he managed.

Night three, and Sam had about finished preparing the ritual to get succubi to manifest in human form. Or what passes for human when you're a sex-starved demon. They couldn't do it in the motel room, too many people and too much potential for havoc. Dean cruised until he found an abandoned tri-level house on several acres. It wasn't quite falling apart, looked sturdy enough for the job, but he was kind of antsy about the neighbors, not to mention the woods behind the house. It was the best they could do in a town like that one, though.

Dean loaded his and Sam's handgun with the silver bullets, and as an afterthought loaded a shotgun with rock salt. Couldn't hurt. Last time he and dad had longer to prepare, better protection, and the benefit of getting along, no huge cloud hanging over their heads. Dean trusted Sam to have his back, even in this state, but the both of them were worn down. Their hunting would suffer for it.

In the car on the way to the abandoned house, Sam stared at the invocation and mouthed it over and over, rubbing at his eyes when they must have dried out. He looked like he hadn't slept in days, which was pretty close to the truth. Dean couldn't help the begrudging feeling of worry that crept up.

"You all right?" he asked.

Sam didn't look up from the invocation. "I'm fine."

"Well, good. 'Cause we're here." He veered off the rocky driveway and drove over weeds to the back of the house, in stealth mode. Less chance of interruption or someone calling the cops if they didn't see a huge black car in the driveway of an abandoned house. He switched off the headlights and then the ignition. Crickets sang somewhere out in the woods.

He got out and shut the door as quietly as he could. Sam followed a few seconds later, bringing his duffle and checking his weapon in the light from the trunk. Dean rustled around for last minute ideas. He'd kept the pen knife on him, and the hagstone, but Sam had left his in the motel room. There was a silver cross tucked into a box with some amulets, and Dean put it on with a mental shrug.

"Everything ready?"

Sam nodded. "I've got some candles in my bag," he said. "We're gonna need some light."

"I'll bring the lantern." He bent over the trunk to get it, had to dig around for a while, and when he came up with it, Sam was already gone, inside the house. He hissed an angry breath through his teeth and slammed the trunk closed, remembering the neighbors too late. "Fuckin' ridiculous."

He trudged to the window Sam had obviously already broken into, duffle in one hand, rocksalt gun in the other, his gun strapped to his side. He felt oddly naked for all of his weapons, and pissed off, and tired beyond belief. It wasn't a bolstering combination.

--

Things could have definitely gone better. Dean had laid out a Devil's Trap on the ceiling and a salt ring, but when the succubus bitch (not hot at all in human form, considering the lore on those things, he'd forgotten about that) popped up in the room, she busted through both like they were toy handcuffs. She was quick, too, like a spirit instead of a human, and both of them were sluggish and startled, adrenalin only now starting to kick in. Sam wasted half a clip shooting at air, and she kept popping up behind Dean like something out of a cartoon.

Dean managed to get behind her, fingers painfully tight around the penknife he'd pulled out instead of his gun. Sam saw him and stopped firing in case one of his bullets went awry again, eyes trained on the succubus as she hissed and cackled and tried to find a way out. Dean yanked her back against him in the space of half a breath, and fuck, she stank like rotten flowers or something up close; her hair, her ratty dress. Last time he hadn't been foolish enough to get close and smell her. She struggled, and Dean raised the knife, aiming to plunge it into her heart.

"Sammy," she said, the first actual word out of her mouth, not those creepy animalistic noises. It was soft and seductive and knowing. Sam went pale and Dean knew he was going to shoot.

"Son of a bitch." Dean might have yelled it, he wasn't sure, but it could have been a thought he didn't have time to vocalize. He shoved the succubus away and tried to get out of Sam's line of fire. Sure enough, Sam shot the rest of his clip at her and missed. Both of them, fortunately. Dean was on the dirty floor, the side of his face scraped and his knees not feeling great either.

She crashed through one of the windows in a spray of glass and undoubtedly ran off into the woods.

"What the fuck was that?" Dean demanded, panting, finally getting to his feet, but Sam took off after her.

Dean cursed and wiped blood off of his cheek, stopping to pick up the lantern before staggering out the window after the pair of them. He saw Sam had gotten the trunk open, and he hoped he hadn't remembered to lock it, because if Sam had busted the mechanism to get in, he was fucking dead meat. Sam went for the loaded shot gun, regular rounds, and sprinted towards the woods before Dean could catch up. Fuck.

He drew his gun and followed the sounds of Sam's feet snapping over wet foliage and twigs, further off the sounds the succubus apparently couldn't help making. Sam fired the shotgun two times, and the succubus screamed, the sound reverberating in the night.

"Sam," he shouted, pretense of stealth thrown out the window, wanting to make sure his stupid brother didn't do something stupid like run off blind in the woods after a succubus with nothing to protect him. "Shit, Sam?"

Sam didn't answer, just shot again. It sounded closer, and Dean ran toward it with his heart slamming and his heavy breathing in his ears; still the crickets kept singing, undisturbed. The lantern made crazy shapes against the trees, and he'd catch a flash of what he thought was Sam and chase after it only to find he was gone or it wasn't Sam in the first place.

"Sam!" He screamed, staring to panic, running faster.

He nearly tripped over Sam when he found them, Sam standing with his gun aimed at the succubus as she sprawled on the ground. She must have tripped over something. She whimpered and growled, started to pick herself up, and Jesus, that wasn't pretty. Sam hit her at least once with the shotgun, and those rounds may not have been able to kill her, but they did some gory damage. Dean raised the lantern and winced at the blood.

Sam made to shoot her again, and Dean raised his other hand to stop him, to remind him it wouldn't do any real good. She stared at them both, Dean behind his brother, and she wobbled around like a cornered animal. Her lips split in a smile. "Sammy," she sighed again.

Sam shot her in the head. It knocked her backwards and Dean didn't feel up to checking if she still had anything left up there. He reached for his gun, still holstered at his side and holding the only bullets they could actually kill her with. Sam took it from him wordlessly and put three into her chest.

"Dude." Dean said, not even seeing any of it anymore, not her body or the woods around them. "Hostile much?"

--

Dean drove them back to the motel, Sam dirty and sweaty in the passenger seat. He didn't respond to Dean's numerous shifty glances or his meaningful throat-clearing. The way Sam was acting, the way he'd responded to the succubus, it all overrode Dean's worry and anger over that bullshit with Ruby. He knew it would come back, but he needed to make sure Sam didn't need to go to the hospital or anything first. And swear to God, if Sam was acting like this on purpose, to pay Dean back, he was beating him senseless.

"You all right there, Helen Keller?"

"I'm fine, Dean." Sam's voice came out low and croaky.

"Yeah, you sure seem fine." Dean gave him a dark look but Sam didn't see it, staring straight ahead at the road.

"I'm tired."

"Bullshit," he snapped. "I'm tired too. I didn't go half-cocked after a succubus like... some sort of rabid dog. This isn't like you, Sam."

Sam didn't answer.

"Hey." Nothing. "You fuckin' talk to me." He reached over and shoved at Sam's shoulder, hard, hard enough to hurt. That at least got Sam to look at him, eyes narrowed, jaw working.

"I'm tired of demons, Dean," he said, back in his normal voice now.

"You and the rest of the world," Dean said, pushing him, trying to press his buttons. "What the fuck, Sammy?"

Sam started, winced. "I'm just. I'm tired of demons trying to fuck with my head."

Dean took a moment to consider that. "You mean the succubus, she, she did something?" Sam sighed and rubbed at his temples. It was enough of an answer for him right now. "She didn't do anything to me."

"I noticed."

Dean didn't know what to say. Sam didn't have to go to a hospital, at least. He was so strung out from what had been going on between him and Sam, his brain felt fried. "Do you wanna talk about it?" It was what Sam would have said. He was a piss-poor replacement for his brother in this situation. Sam didn't answer him, which is what Dean would have done. He could sort of appreciate the irony. He continued on. "Well, messing with people's heads, that's what demons do, Sam. It's not-- you can't listen to them." Demons lie. There was a reason Lucifer was called the Prince of Lies. Sam knew that like he knew how to read a frigging map. "What, did she tell you more crap about you leading some demon army?"

"No."

Dean nodded to himself, thinking. "She... was it about me? About my deal?" His voice scraped over it like a wound. It was something he couldn't think about for too long, something he couldn't help but dwell on. He pretended it didn't exist most of the time so he didn't have to deal with Sam trying to save him and exactly how well that would end.

"No."

A beat. "You're going to have to give me something, man, I'm too tired to play 20 Questions."

Sam wrapped his arms across his stomach and slouched in the seat. "Jess."

Shit. No wonder Sam was wound so damn tight. He lost his head when anyone brought up Jess but him, still torn up over it, touchy as hell. "Of course she played that card." He might have said he was sorry, given Sam some sympathy, but they weren't themselves. "That sucks. You know you..." He cut himself off. Sam wouldn't want to hear another speech on how he wasn't responsible for Jessica's death. Dean didn't think Sam would ever get over feeling guilty.

"She showed me." Sam's voice broke and he cleared his throat. Uncomfortable. "Me and Jess. Dean."

"What?" They were almost back to the motel, but Dean was tempted to keep driving, keep Sam talking.

"You thought about me and Jess."

It felt like he cracked a rib. The quiet way Sam said it, the silence in the car after. It wasn't an accusation, really, and it should have been. Like it was another fact on a long list about how fucked up Dean was. "I'm sorry."

He'd actually forgotten. It wasn't something he thought about often. Just, you know. Once or twice, feeling guilty in the back of his mind but pushing it away to make room for the image of Sam fucking his beautiful college girlfriend on his second-hand couch. How he'd tried to ignore the fact that she was dead but it kept creeping in, unavoidable, and that didn't make him stop. Even thinking about thinking about it brought back how hot he'd been, how hard he'd come, and he felt like the lowest scum on earth. And Sam had seen it.

"Don't be sorry," Sam mumbled, exhaustion and something else getting the better of him, and looked out the window. "Don't."

--

Dean thought Sam might leave. For real, for good. Like Stanford, but no dad going missing and no girlfriend dying to drag Sam back. Dean didn't really know how he felt about it. He spent a lot of time, he didn't know how much exactly, but a lot of time lying in bed or drinking at bars. It was pretty clichéd and he felt stupid doing it, that whole driven to drink thing, but it wasn't like he could help himself.

He and Sam spoke more than before, but none of it mattered or fixed anything. Sam told him he was drinking too often, goofing off, and Dean told him to shut the fuck up and do the laundry, Cinderella. Some tension had been broken, but it wasn't the right kind.

It was 2am, and there was a pretty attractive girl with sandy blonde hair sitting at his table. She'd come over and watched him throw darts and hustle fifty bucks from some redneck, pretty impressive considering how smashed he'd been. He thought about fucking her in the car but the idea exhausted him, and now if he thought about sex he thought about Sam, default, nothing he could do about it. Wasn't exactly arousing, walking around feeling like a sick fuck. He didn't glory in it, and Dean supposed it made him a better person than someone who would.

He went home when most of his buzz wore off. He'd driven the Impala and was prepared to let Sam rip him a new one over it. He probably could have walked or called a cab, but he wasn't woozy or too uncoordinated.

Dean had a moment at the door when he thought he'd lost his keycard, but it was stuffed in his wallet between two twenties. He opened the door to silence, one light on. Not unusual. Sam spent a lot of time reading paperbacks or looking stuff up on his laptop; Dean was more the tv-watcher.

"You finish your book?" Dean asked, taking off his jacket and hanging it over the chair by the door.

"Fuck anyone?"

Dean froze. He forced himself to keep moving, unbuttoning his shirt. He figured a quick exit to the bathroom was probably best if Sam was. Moody. "Nope," he said, too cheerful, hand already reaching for the bathroom door's knob, "lots of dogs in this town."

"Or you were too drunk to get it up."

"Nice, Sam." He opened the door, shaken up, and walked inside. Sam didn't comment.

Dean stood under the tepid water, still too sloshed to make much sense of it all. Yeah, if Sam's new and improved mood was anything to go by, they were one bout of throwing punches away from Sam leaving and never coming back. Dean thought maybe it might be harder for Henricksen to find them if they split up. He knew Sam was smart, he'd just melt into obscurity like he'd never even existed in the first place. Maybe it was supposed to be this way. Maybe Dean wasn't supposed to get a year.

He got out and dried off with the shower still running; he was about to leave the room when he remembered it was still on. Christ. It was like taking up half the allotted space inside your head. It took him another spaced-out moment to remember he had no clothes in the bathroom but the ones he'd worn to the bar, and those stank like it. Fuck it. If Sam was going to leave anyway, he could live with seeing a split second of Dean's bare ass.

The temperature shift between the bathroom and the bedroom was disconcerting. Dean walked over to his bed, cool droplets of water chasing themselves across the pane of his back, and tried to remember where he put his clean boxers.

"Did you jerk off?"

Dean threw Sam a disgusted look. "What the fuck is your problem?" He didn't want to fight, not then, but he didn't want lewd comments from the peanut gallery, either.

"I'm serious." Sam shifted around in bed, and he did look serious, his expression open, or at least not the blank mask Dean was used to seeing. "Did you get off in there?"

"Not that it's your business, but no," Dean spat, flustered.

Sam's lips twisted bitterly. "Because you couldn't?"

Dean had a hard time believing Sam truly wanted to get into it right then, at some ungodly hour of the morning, that he wanted throw Dean out -- no, take his own shit and go with a meaningful slam of the door, that was Sam's style. It was cold and Dean didn't think he could throw a punch to get the whole thing going. He wanted to, he'd prefer violence to Sam rubbing his face in what a fucking failure of a brother he was.

"Because I don't, and I'm not fucking going to, so you can take your righteous indignation and shove it. I told you I was sorry, man."

It was a little odd to stand there in a towel, towering over Sam's place in his bed from across the room. Almost like he sensed it, Sam sat up straighter against the headboard, working himself up to a good fury, probably. "No, you didn't. You said you were sorry for Jess. You didn't apologize for getting off over me."

Dean's teeth gritted, unsteadily and too hard, so he caught the inside of his cheek. It was a prick of pain, nothing he even noticed. "Sorry," he said heavily. "That good?"

Sam snorted. Dean threw his towel on the bed in a rush of fury and pulled on his boxers with shaking hands. He tried to think of something to say, something to stop their strange little fight or rev it up so Sam would just leave him already, but there was nothing.

"Dean."

He focused on turning down his bed, fluffing his cheap pillow, his hands so jerky it felt like he might rip it. "What."

He shouldn't have turned around. He wasn't planning to, but it wasn't Dean's habit to talk to someone without looking at them from time to time. Sam, Sam was shirtless -- which Dean had noticed but it hadn't occurred to him to question why -- and the sheet he'd pulled over himself was now pushed down past his thighs. He was naked. And sweating, a little.

"This is what you want?" Sam asked, in this weird grunt of a voice. He started jerking himself, and Dean physically recoiled and backed away until the backs of his knees hit his bed. He sat down.

"Jesus, Sam."

Sam kicked the top sheet and blankets off of his legs, so he was just lying there against the white of the mattress. It was disturbing and Sam was just huge all over, which Dean knew, but now he really knew. He wiped a hand over his face, grimacing, and pointedly looked at the wall opposite from Sam.

"You fucking look at me." Sam wasn't playing at sexy, or whatever the fuck, he was mad. Furious. Dean could hear the crack in his voice and the way his breathing deepened, nothing to do with the way he was touching himself. "You're the one who wants it." His voice rose to an almost-yell, loud enough that the couple staying in the next room might hear. Might pound on the wall. Dean wished they would.

"You're fuckin' gross," he tossed back, "put that shit away." He still didn't look.

"You're a goddamn liar, Dean," Sam started, full on ranting, and Dean wondered what kind of picture he made, furiously preaching and jacking himself off. "Fucking dick." Dean heard Sam moving around, and it was strangely painful to listen to, worse than the yelling. He heard the slap of what Sam was doing, not muffled by covers at 3am when Sam thought he was asleep. "I can see your dick, Dean. You're fucking hard for it. You want it." Sam made this choked sound in his throat, Dean couldn't tell if he was gagging or moaning or what. "You gonna have the balls to get off to your Sammy without some chick in the middle of it?"

It was the Sammy that did it, the way Sam said the word like it was the most disgusting thing he'd said in his life. It wasn't that Sam was right about him being hard, because Dean was so freaked out he couldn't even process that. He crossed the room and started swinging at Sam's face, harder than he'd thought he could. Sam caught his fist and use the momentum to shove Dean back, so he sprawled onto the floor, Sam standing up from the bed and towering over him. Naked. It was surreal and kind of funny. Dean fought laughing, not very well, and dragged himself to his knees, trying to stand.

"What the hell do you even want from me, Sam?" Dean asked, halfway to hysterical.

Sam ignored the question and looked down at Dean, chest heaving. He'd gone half-flaccid and it was pretty much the only time Dean had seen another guy's dick in a sexual situation outside of porn. He looked ridiculous, piece of skin hanging there out of place from the lines of his body, and Dean couldn't stop staring.

Sam's hands flexed at his sides. "Take your dick out," he said, no hesitation, like he was asking Dean to pass the salt.

"Fuck," Dean muttered.

"Do it," Sam said, putting some force behind the words. "Take it out and jerk yourself off."

Dean slowly reached down to his boxers. He didn't even feel hard. He knew he was, and when he worked open the button and pulled it out he could feel that he was for certain. He stroked automatically, muscle memory, and squeezed around the base. Sam watched him for a minute, and the nearly unblinking weight of it made Dean flush and start to soften some. Sam's expression didn't change, but he spoke. "Get on the bed."

Dean did. His knees cracked in protest when he stood up. Sam's bed was warm, the mattress felt like it might be softer than his. "I meant lie down, Dean," Sam said, and Dean pulled his legs up and slid over some to lie down against the pillow. Sam's shadow hovered over him for a minute.
"I'm bigger than you thought, right. I know I am. Jerk off."

Dean did. Slower than he would have usually. He swallowed hard when he felt the dip of the mattress as Sam got on the bed next to him. Their shoulders pressed together, Dean could feel the muscles of Sam's arm constricting with his movements.

"You wanna see me come?" Sam asked, breathless, and Dean looked over. The head of Sam's dick was sticky, his fingers making a ring around it as he jacked himself. He was bigger than Dean thought. His stomach flipped. "I know you do, you wanna see me shoot all over some girl's face." Sam was shaking the whole bed and Dean kept speeding up to match Sam, nearly stripping himself. "Fuck, fuck, fuck, I'm coming," Sam bit, his body raising off the bed and going stiff while he shot ropes of come over his stomach and thighs.

--

Dean's eyes burned as he stared at the ceiling above them, patchy with water stains. He was covered in come and Sam was warm next to him, alien. As soon as Sam had come, he'd shut down, watching Dean frantically jack himself until he shot so hard he got some of it on Sam, and hadn't spoken since.

"I didn't mean to do that," Sam said quietly, startling Dean, and that was so like him. More talking.

Dean knew he didn't. He knew the kind of shit Sam did when he got pissed, and he knew he would have stopped him if he'd. Wanted to. "I know." Dean blinked a couple times and wondered if there was any Tylenol in the room. He knew there was some out in the car.

"You were right about Ruby."

"What?"

Sam swallowed. "Ruby. You were right about her."

"This is about Ruby?" Dean thought he'd been burned out of emotions, but putting the pieces together and figuring that Ruby had a hand in this fucked up confrontation made his whole body tense up. "Did she--"

"No. She's dead." Sam paused. "I killed her."

"Oh." He thought good, but didn't say it.

"She didn't want to save you. Couldn't," Sam corrected himself.

Dean went back to staring at the ceiling. He didn't know what Sam wanted from him, congratulations or reassurances that he'd find something else. He didn't want Sam to find something else. He didn't want Sam to fucking die.

"I'll find something else."

Dean rolled onto his side. "Don't hold your breath."

--

Three days later, most of those spent sleeping, and Dean was ordering Sam's food in a shitty diner just over the border of Idaho. Sam was in the bathroom, and Dean felt a wry stab of humor when he remembered that Ruby wasn't going to show up and casually ruin Dean's life.

The waitress was pouring coffee for both of them and slopped it over the table. He reached out with a napkin to soak up the spill.

"Sorry," she groaned, shaking her head at the mess. "Klutz since birth, I'm kinda hazardous."

Dean laughed. "It's no big thing," and she gave him a dimpled grin.

Sam came back from the bathroom and bitched about the sticky shit on the table getting onto his laptop. Dean feigned ignorance and stole half of his hash browns when the food came.

"I've got a hunt in Illinois," Sam said, "if you're already as sick of Idaho as I am."

"What's in Illinois?"

"Uh." Sam leaned back and studied the screen of his laptop. "It looks like a poltergeist. At a museum."

"Fucking poltergeists are better than this state. They should think about a Six Flags or something."

"I'll write a letter to the tourism board," Sam said, deadpan.

He possibly ate too many of Sam's hash browns on top of his Meat Lover's breakfast special. The grease overload was giving him heartburn. "You got any Tums?"

"I think I've got some Pepcid AC," Sam said, considering. He dug through his manbag (that thing was not made for a laptop and Sam knew it) and his brows drew together when he couldn't find it.

The waitress brought over their check and offered to freshen their cups. Dean waved her off, impatient for the Pepcid AC, making faces at the burning in his esophagus. "Who's got it this time?" he asked, trying to distract himself.

"Uh, me," Sam said, still digging. Dean glanced at the check, his Meat Lover's special coming in at a ridiculous $8.99, and was about to pass it over when he noticed the smiley face and phone number. Their waitress, Brenda, wanted him to call her "sometime." Shit. "I can't find the pills, maybe they're in my other bag." Sam shifted in the booth so he could pull out his money clip. "What's the damage?" He snatched it out of Dean's hand and snorted at the price. "That's over twenty bucks with tip. I hope they go out of business."

"Shit, can we please go, my throat feels like it's frickin' on fire."

It turned out Sam had thrown out what was left of his Pepcid AC several weeks ago. Dean managed to find some linty Rolaids in the glove compartment, underneath some napkins. Sam ignored his bitching and moaning in favor of leaving a message with Bobby. Dean was feeling slightly better by the time they got back on the freeway.

"So," Sam said, after hanging up, "that waitress gave you her number."

Great, the heartburn was back. "Yeah," he said, acting super intent on changing lanes.

Sam cleared his throat. "Did you...? You know."

Dean gave him a look. "I'm not calling her. In case you haven't noticed, we're going to Illinois."

"Right, I know. She's not my type, anyway."

It took Dean a minute for that to sink in. He laughed so hard, just one forceful bark, that he felt like he'd dislodged something. "Cute, Sam." And fairly fucking unbelievable, considering they hadn't said one word about the whole thing since that night in the motel room.

"I thought so." Sam leaned over to pick up his book from the floor. He shot Dean a half-smile, awkward but genuine, mostly just smug, before opening his book and settling in the seat.

Dean popped Skynyrd into the tapedeck and rolled his window down. It was three days, likely four, to Illinois. He put Brenda the waitress and her diner's shitty food in his rearview and tried not to subtract four days from the time he had left.

Sam might talk to him now, outside of pleasantries and cases. They hadn't fixed anything, or figured out anything, but Sam was still sitting the passenger seat, and Dean was still driving.

Oh, and Ruby was dead.

Thank fuck.

--

END.

Comments

(Anonymous)

That was fab. Loved the blend of angst and hot. And how you kept it conflicted and complicated, and real (without the default resolution to full on sexing which I was expecting).

I don't think I've read anything else by you, but I'd love to read more...do you have other fic (any fandom) that you could link me to please?

P
Hahahaha, ty! Let's see, my fic lj is jamaillia, and my Skyehawke page might have other stuff you'd be interested in. Thank you so much for reading and reviewing, :x.
Ahhh, masterful! Totally hot, funny and awkward and uncomfortable and tense in all the right places. :D! OSignodinhdoifn *roots for them!* Sam being all commanding and pissed off and super-dom seriously almost KILLED. ME. *_*!
I was worried to see if the dom!Sam stuff even worked, so ty!!!! :>
God, tell me about it!

I was kind of :/ over how it eventually unraveled, but ultimately I'm satisfied. I'm glad you like it, I trust you since you've been there since the night I actually started writing the damn thing. :>
OMG YAY YAY THANK YOU SO MUCH! I am so irritated at my internet provider delaying my internet so that I had to read this like, two days after it was posted in my lunch break at work D: but OMG IT IS CERTAINLY A MUCH MORE ENJOYABLE LUNCHBREAK NOW. This is LOVELY; the section at the beginning with Dean's fantasising, gsjasdljghdlfh so COMPLETELY perfectly what I wanted and so, SO hot. Ruby in the diner, oh my god. AWESOME. That bit made me flail in glee. Fucked-up, awkward boys, so gorgeously done, the tension was brilliant and intense and GUH. Lovely writing, fucking brilliant character voices and, just a complete delight to read. THANK YOU so much!! *kiss*
I AM SO RELIEVED YOU LIKE IT!!!!! It was hard to pick a prompt and when I sat down to write this one I was like, this could get carried away or totally not work. :> :D You're very very welcome.
Amazing, just amazing. I wish you'll write a sequel ♥
Man, this was awesome. Your writing just flowed and carried me along, and I love how you didn't go for the hearts and flowers ending. They fucked up and they did some stupid shit, but they're dealing with it, and they're still together. This was really nice. It felt real. Thank you.
This is awesome- Dean's fantasy about tongue-ring girl just CRACKED ME UP. It was completely on, for one of those too-horny daydreaming fantasies, where you start out thinking something completely normal and reasonable and within 45 seconds it's degenerated into cartoonishly raunchy PORN and you're not sure how that happened and then you have to somehow snap out of it (um... er... not that I know that feeling, or anything... oh god. *facepalm*) Anyway, very funny.

And the image of Dean mohawking his hair in the shower? WINS.
Holy crap AWESOME! That was hot as hell and SO AWKWARD. LOVE IT!!

(Anonymous)

Friggin awesome, man!
I liked how you left it here, kind of fit with the whole mood of the story. I think you had a really strong Dean voice during this and I like that we (as well as Dean) couldn't really tell what Sam was thinking half the time.
Wow. This was totally unexpected. But, oh, this is just SO DEAN! I can just see him thinking those things. And Sam dealing with it in a way only Sam could, because, really, you can't talk through a thing like that. This was really quirky wincest and I just really, really loved it and I love that Sam killed Ruby, the bitch!
Wow! Just . . . wow. Awesome. Loved how Sam was even bigger than Dean thought, and he'd thought about it a LOT. (grin)
Oh, great story! I liked how you didn't take use all the usual fanfic cliches - liked how Sam was pissed off and disgusted and things were awkward between them for so long. Excellent fic!!
this was hot and I couldn't stop reading once I started.