Back to Chapter Three
They didn't eat breakfast on Thursday. Sam wasn't allowed before the surgery and Dean wasn't hungry. The thought of food made him feel sick. Sam had been puking all morning; morning sickness or nerves, Dean didn't know and he didn't ask, and Sam didn't volunteer anything. He came out of the bathroom clutching a towel and looking like he'd had a bad taco.
"You okay?" Dean asked him.
Sam met his gaze. "Peachy. You ready to go?"
"I'll get the car started," Dean said.
They didn't talk on the ride to the hospital. Dean parked the car, turned off the engine and turned his head to look at his brother. "Sammy, there's still time, if you don't want to do this. You can always change your mind."
Sam turned his head and blinked at him. He shook his head. "No, I can't."
"Don't!" Sam said sharply. The word came out of his lips like it was pushed out and Dean recoiled, as if he'd been punched.
Sam made a scratchy sound at the back of his throat and shook his head. "Just... don't. Stop saying that. Don't say anything. Don't say that, okay?" Dean kept staring, longing to touch him, to put an arm on him and pull him into his arms, to hold him and give him comfort and tell him it was going to be okay.
"Okay," Dean said at last. "I'm sorry."
"It's fine," Sam said, and his voice was back to the same flat tone he'd been using all week. He sucked in a breath and snapped off his seat belt. "Let's go."
Dean's leg jiggled as they waited to be seen. He kept seeing it, feeling his knee go up and down, up and down, but he couldn't stop it. He placed his hands palm side down on his knees and thought about breathing in and out. That was what you were supposed to do when you were nervous, breathe in and out, get all zen and that kinda shit. Beside him, Sam had his arms folded, his gaze absent as he stared at the wall in front of them.
Dean cleared his throat and the muscle at Sam's jaw tensed just a little.
"I'm not going anywhere," Dean said. "While you're in there. I'll be out here. And I'll be here when they bring you out."
"I'll be unconscious," Sam said.
"So I'll be there when you wake up."
"They might not let you in straight away."
"Soon as they do, I'll be there."
Sam sighed and turned his head fully to look at him. He had that look in his eyes that Dean had seen so many times before, that mixture of annoyance and exasperation.
"Dean," he started, and Dean's heart sank. "Just don't, okay? Stop smothering me."
He turned his head back to face the wall and Dean dropped his gaze to his lap, to his leg that was still jiggling up and down.
"Stop it," Sam said, and Dean jumped as Sam's hand landed on his knee, stilling his trembling leg. "You're making me nervous."
"Sorry," Dean murmured.
Sam shrugged with one shoulder. "It's okay."
His hand was still resting on Dean's knee, it felt warm and heavy and it was the first real touching they'd done since the sex two nights ago. Hell, he wasn't even sure if he could count that. Even he couldn't delude himself into thinking that had been anything more than a quick and easy way to get off and burn off tension. And even if he had been able to fool himself into thinking that maybe it was a first step toward some sort of reconciliation, Sam had set him straight afterward.
But here Sam was, actually touching him and looking like he was getting some measure of reassurance from the touching. He stared at his brother's hand, at the bruises on the backs of his knuckles from their last hunt, at the dark hairs peeking from under the cuff of his jacket.
"Sammy," he said. Sam didn't say anything, so he took it as his cue to continue. "You gotta know that I'm with you, right? I know you might not give a shit what I think and I know I can't change your mind anyway, but I'm with you, and I think you're doing the right thing."
"Yeah, yeah, I do."
"Good. 'Cause I'm not so sure." He turned his head then, meeting Dean's eyes for a fraction of a second.
Dean wet his lips, caught by the lost and confused look on his brother's face.
They both started at the voice, gazes swinging to the nurse who had just entered the room carrying a file. Her eyes alighted on them and she gave a thin smile. "Sam Winchester?"
Sam got up from his seat and nodded. "Yeah, that's me."
"Okay, we're ready for you, if you'd like to follow me?"
Dean got up from his seat. Sam turned, hesitating for a second, his eyes crossing with Dean's. "I'll be here," Dean insisted. "I'm not leaving this place until they let me see you. Okay?"
Sam's lip quirked, an expression flitting over his face that looked like his my brother's such a pain in the ass look, but it was the nearest thing to fond he'd gotten in a long while, so Dean stepped forward and dropped his hand to rest on Sam's arm.
"You hear me? I'll be here, so just ask for me. Okay? I'll be here when you wake up."
Slowly Sam nodded. "Okay."
Dean let his hand fall to his side and nodded to himself, biting his lip as he watched Sam follow the nurse out of the waiting room.
"He's waking up again," said Bobby.
Dean jerked away from the panic room door, spinning to see Bobby leaning over Sam. Sam was still strapped to the cot, neat leather loops around his ankles and clamps around his wrists. He moaned something incoherent and Dean saw his feet twitch as he tried to move his legs.
"Dean," Bobby said.
Reluctantly, Dean drew closer, eyes skating but not resting on his brother's face - the pale sickly tinge of his skin, the unnatural red color of his mouth and teeth where the blood he'd drunk had left a stain. He watched Sam wake up, eyelids fluttering as his gaze slowly focused and finally rested on Dean.
"Dean? What? What's going on?" he said. His voice was shot, croaky and unnatural-sounding to Dean's ears. Dean exchanged a glance with Bobby. The old dude's expression was unreadable, arms folded across his chest and posture wary.
"It's for your own good, son," Bobby said when Dean didn't answer. "We're drying you out."
"We already had this conversation, Sam," Dean put in, feeling suddenly overwhelmed with exasperation and lethargy. This was the third time Sam had come around, the third time they'd been there to talk to him, to remind him where he was and what he was doing. But the cold turkey was fucking with his mind like nothing else, and the last time Dean stood here, Sam thought he was a hallucination.
"I'll make some coffee," Bobby said, patting Dean's shoulder as he drew away.
Dean nodded, watching him go. The panic room door slid closed behind him with a thundering jolt.
Dean returned his attention to Sam. Tears were rolling down Sam's face, over his cheeks and temples and staining the dirty pillowcase underneath him.
"I'm sorry," Sam said. His face was scrunched up, his mouth wobbly, eyes wet and red with tears. Dean felt something hook deep in his chest, clawing at his insides, his heart physically breaking as he stared at his brother.
A week ago, they were passing through Atlantic City when they won big at one of the card tables. They'd never gotten that lucky before so they celebrated by checking into a fancy hotel and upgrading themselves for once in their lives. Sam threw him on the huge bed and fucked him long and deep. It wasn't the usual way they did it, but it was the kind of change and the kind of experience that made Dean believe for a short while that maybe they'd make it after all. Maybe all that was wrong between them - Sam's powers and fucking Ruby and the fucking angels and the horrible unfathomable distance that seemed to have crept into their relationship - were all things that they could work through, all just blips and roadblocks on the highway of inevitability that was them. When they swapped positions and Dean pushed inside his brother as he'd done hundreds of times before, he felt the kind of rightness sink over him that he only ever felt with Sam, and he thought that yes, they could do it, they would make it. Nothing else was as important as this.
He was wrong.
"Dean, please..." Sam begged.
Dean passed his hand over his face, unable to keep looking at his brother. He wanted to bury his head in his hands, curl in on himself so he couldn't hear Sam anymore. Just hide away from all the goddamn responsibility, he was so tired of responsibility. It wasn't enough that he had to save Sam, now he was expected to save the entire world. It wasn't fair. It was someone else's turn.
Maybe Sam was right, he was weak.
He heard the leather bonds creak as Sam tried to fight them. He heard Sam's breath come tight and hitched like he was choking. He forced himself to look at his brother's face.
"Sammy, we gotta do it, please, man," he said. "It's for your own good. You gotta dry out, get off the fucking demon blood. It'll be okay after that. I promise. You don't need that shit."
"Dean...I know, I get it, I just..." His gaze slipped away from Dean's face and down his body, down to his crotch where his cock was fat and full in his pants.
Dean sucked in a breath of surprise and stared at his brother. Sam's mouth twisted as if embarrassed and he squirmed again, fighting the restraints on his wrists.
"It hurts," he hissed. "Fuck, Dean, please..."
Dean hesitated, looking between his brother's face and the erection tenting his jeans. He licked his lips, assessing just how long Bobby would be away making coffee. "Okay," he said, deciding quickly.
He unbuttoned Sam's fly, hearing Sam's exhale of relief when he finally got his hand around Sam's cock. It felt like a brand in his hand, hotter and harder than he could ever remember feeling it before, and he'd seen Sam's dick in practically every possible manifestation there was.
He jacked Sam's cock roughly, his hand chafing against the skin as he worked his wrist. Sam didn't seem to care. His eyes were squeezed tight shut, breath coming in harsh, tight pants, teeth caught in his lower lip. Every few seconds he muttered Dean's name through clenched teeth, hissed breaths of Dean and please... that sounded nothing like the Sam Dean knew. This wasn't Sam enjoying himself, getting his rocks off and about to come; this was Sam in pain, and he applied himself harder, willing Sam's orgasm out of his body.
It felt like a long time before Sam finally did come, his entire body spasming and jerking as far as the restraints would let him, fingers scrabbling in the mattress. Sam's spunk looked thinner and weaker than Dean remembered and it smelt funky, a bizarre almost iron tang to it. Dean sat on the edge of the cot and stared at his come-smeared fingers, smelling the strange, unfamiliar scent of his brother's spunk. Maybe he was imagining it, maybe his exhausted brain was playing tricks on him, seeing and smelling things that weren't there.
"Dean?" Sam said. He still looked embarrassed, even guilty when Dean glanced down at his face.
Dean didn't say anything. He tucked Sam's cock back into his pants and zipped his fly, careful and gentle in his movements. He got up and crossed the room to the pile of rags in the corner. They'd used them hours earlier to clean up the blood when Sam had bashed his head against the wall before they'd managed to tie him down. He wiped Sam's come off his hands and dropped the rag to the floor.
He didn't know how much longer he could keep this up.
"That guy was a chimera," Sam said.
"Huh? Which guy?" Dean paused with a forkful of pie hovering between his mouth and his plate.
"The guy who was role-playing as me, Barnes," Sam said. "He was a chimera, too."
"That's some serious commitment to detail," Dean commented, spraying crumbs across the table.
Sam made a face at him, ostentatiously brushing the crumbs that landed on his side back toward Dean.
"Chuck didn't have to make the Sam in the books a chimera. He could've, I don't know, taken some artistic license."
Dean put down his fork and raised his eyebrows at his brother. "Dude, what're you trying to say here?"
"I don't know! I just wondered why he decided to keep that in."
"Well, 'cause the books are about you and me, right? The freaking Winchester Gospels?" Here Sam nodded, so Dean continued. "Right. So, he's just writing what he knows about us. And you're a chimera in real life, so you're a chimera in the books."
"But he doesn't write about everything," Sam said, leaning across the table and folding his arms on the Formica as he stared at Dean. "He leaves out all the stuff about you and me."
Dean snorted. "Yeah, 'cause he knows he's got zero chance of being published if he leaves that shit in." He considered it for a moment and shrugged. "Hey, that Becky chick, maybe we should tell her that. Might stop her drooling over you."
Sam rolled his eyes and slumped back in the booth. "It'll be all over the internet in two seconds so let's not do that."
He made a face. "Yikes, good point." He picked at his pie, but he'd lost the taste for it. Sam's words were lingering. He still didn't know exactly what Sam was driving at, but it was a good guess that it wasn't something good. He should probably change the subject, but after the weekend they'd just spent, his brain still felt like it was trying to catch up.
"So," he said. Sam jerked his head toward him, and Dean cleared his throat. "Why is it bothering you? That the Sam in the books is a chimera?"
"It doesn't bother me," Sam said, and yeah... Dean wasn't sure that he was buying that.
"Is it the internet stuff?" he said, raising his eyebrows.
"All that crap on the internet written by those fans, who let's face it, are way overinvested in our relationship, where you're popping out kids here, there and every freakin' where, and I'm the baby-daddy and we're, like, playing happy families with our eleven kids. It's totally fucked-up, but it's just fiction, dude. It ain't real."
Sam didn't say anything for a moment, an expression flashing over his face that Dean couldn't read. Then he sighed, pursing his lips and dragging his hand through his hair.
"It isn’t that, it isn’t anything. I'm just tired, is all."
"Sure," said Dean, unconvinced.
Sam got up from the table. "Gonna pay," he said.
Dean slumped back in the booth and watched him amble across the restaurant to the register. That hunt was seriously weird, and it had fucked up his head in ways he hadn't yet processed. But at least one good thing had come of it: the demon called Crowley, the latest owner of the Colt. He had to admit that Becky had been useful for one thing, even if her panting over Sam had shredded his every last nerve.
Speaking of... He cast a long, lingering eye over his brother, watching him hand over the cash with his enormous hands. God, he loved Sam's hands. He allowed his gaze to roam over Sam, appreciating him from a distance as he rarely allowed himself to do. Sam was just Sam, he was dorky and had stupid hair and dressed in those old stupid flannel shirts and despite all that, probably because of all that, Dean wanted him. He wanted to be close to him and touch him and have him smile at him in that stupid dorky way, he wanted to reassure him and look out for him and he wanted to fuck him.
He'd long ago stopped freaking out about that last part. Now, his relationship with Sam was just another part of their lives, just like the car was his best girl, or just like burgers were his favorite food. Sam, his brother, was the person he most liked to fuck. It just was.
It hadn't always been like that. Before that day on the couch with Raiders on in the background, the idea of being with Sam like that hadn't even crossed his mind. Of course it hadn't, Sam was his little brother and he'd never once thought about tongue kissing his little brother, Jesus no. But when Sam leaned over and planted one on him, he didn't hesitate, it was almost as if a part of his brain had gone, Yes, of course, this is what happens next.
He watched Sam walk back toward him, tucking the receipt into his wallet and then stuffing his wallet into the back pocket of his jeans. He paused by the table and leaned over to grab his jacket off the bench seat.
"Hey," Dean said, catching his wrist.
Sam started and looked at him, a little surprised. "What?"
"How long was it, Sammy?"
"How long what?" He looked confused, a knot appearing between his eyebrows.
Dean cleared his throat. He suddenly wondered what he was doing, bringing this up now. But the weekend, the books, Sam's obvious discomfort with the chimera thing being in the books, and the huge fucking omission from the books had gotten him thinking. And now that it was in his head he couldn't stop thinking about it.
"That first time, you and me, on the couch, watching Raiders. Do you remember?"
Sam blushed and tugged his arm out of Dean's grasp. Dean uncurled his fingers reluctantly but kept his eyes locked on Sam's face. Sam's cheeks were red and he looked flustered. It was awesome.
"Sam," he said.
Sam slung his jacket over one arm. "Why you asking me this now?" he demanded, his voice slightly too high.
"I don't know, just thinking about it."
"We should go," Sam said. He turned to leave. Dean gathered his own jacket and slid out of the booth, following Sam out of the restaurant. Sam crossed the parking lot quickly and waited by the car, still looking uncomfortable. Dean deliberately took his time to follow, sauntering toward him with the keys hooked over one finger.
"Don't you remember?" he asked. He folded his arms on the roof of the car and stared at Sam's profile.
Sam huffed and turned to look at him over the roof of the car. Dean raised his eyebrows. "Sam?"
"Course I remember," Sam said.
"Oh, good. Thought you might've forgotten for a minute there."
"Hardly," Sam scoffed.
"Guess it was kinda a pivotal moment," Dean said, putting a leering emphasis on the words.
Sam rolled his eyes at him. "You can't make the word pivotal into a come-on."
"Unlock the car, Dean."
Dean shrugged but he drew away to unlock the car. He got inside and leaned over to flick the lock on the passenger door. Sam got in and tossed his coat onto the backseat.
"Hey," Dean said, putting his hand on Sam's shoulder as he turned to face frontward again. "Sam." He put his hand on Sam's knee and squeezed.
Sam turned his head to look at him slowly. This close Dean could see the awkward flush in his brother's cheeks and smell the scent of his skin - that diner scent of deep fried food and coffee, mixed with rain and Sam's cologne. He leaned in, pressed his mouth and nose to Sam's cheek to breathe him in, feeling the stubble tickle his top lip.
"How long, Sammy?" he murmured, the words reverberating into Sam's skin. "How long did you want me before that night? Was it a long time?"
He felt Sam's breath hitch. He could feel the way Sam swallowed, and he held himself tight waiting for it. "Thought we weren't supposed to talk about fight club," Sam said.
Dean laughed, not moving away but turning his face so his mouth rested over the angular bone of Sam's jaw. He opened his mouth, overwhelmed with the sudden urge to bite his brother right there, to leave a mark on him that he could stare at any time he wanted. He'd left hickeys on Sam before and it had always thrilled him to see them there on his brother's skin, badges of honor and proof of the two of them. He loved watching them fade over days. He loved how Sam would poke and prod at them in the mirror when he shaved or brushed his teeth. He loved how Sam would flush and get that gorgeous pout on his face if he caught Dean watching him and call him a Neanderthal.
"Shit, Dean, not here," Sam hissed.
Dean chuckled but he did draw away, bringing Sam's face into focus. "How long?" he said again. "Just humor me here, man. How long?"
For a moment he thought Sam wasn't going to answer, but then Sam shook his head and said, "I don't know, a long time."
"Before you found out you were a chimera?"
"Yes," Sam said.
"Oh," he nodded to himself.
"You gonna tell me why you're asking this now?" Sam said. "After all this time, why's it matter?"
He shrugged and pursed his lips. "I don't know, just crossed my mind. You talking about being a chimera in the books, all this crap about destinies."
"You think it was the destiny thing? You think that's why we're--" Sam made a jerky movement with his hand-- "like we are?"
"I have no freakin' idea," Dean said with a sigh. "But maybe, I don't know. You ever think about it? About us? About why we're like this?"
"Yeah, honestly," Dean said.
"Honestly... I try not to," Sam said. "It's not like I got any explanation for it."
"But you'd like to have," Dean said.
Sam sighed. "Dean..."
"Yeah, yeah. I get the message. Officially shutting up right now." He made the zip-it sign across his mouth and grinned at his brother.
Sam shook his head, but he was trying not to smile so that was all good.
"So, the Colt, huh?" Dean said.
"Yeah, never thought we'd see that again."
"Yeah," Dean agreed. He pulled on his seatbelt, put his hands on the wheel and cut a look at his brother. Sam was staring out the passenger side window, his face in profile to Dean's. "Sam?"
Sam turned his head. "What?"
"For the record, I'm glad that we're... like we are." He could feel his cheeks heating up, the knots in his belly tightening as Sam kept looking back at him. He thought suddenly of the djinn years earlier, of the wish he'd made that Mom had lived, that universe where Mom was alive but Dad was still dead and he and Sam hardly spoke. He kept looking at Sam, and as Sam's mouth twisted a little, a slight self-deprecating look to it, he just knew that his brother was thinking about the same thing.
"I'm glad too," said Sam.
Dean swallowed, kept his face pressed to the curve of Lisa's shoulder, his mouth closed against her throat.
"Dean, hey, baby. It's okay."
He felt her hand move over his head, fingers carding through his hair. Her hand was small, and when she touched his cock it looked strange. Her nails were neat and shiny instead of ragged and broken, her fingers were small and dainty instead of long and thin and calloused. When his dick was inside her, he felt like he was breaking her. She was small and perfect and everything he wasn't used to.
Her fingers scratched through his hair, and moved down to cradle his neck. She squeezed gently, and he took in another long breath and held it in his lungs, feeling his face burn with shame and embarrassment.
He'd had a couple of drinks, sure, but that never used to get in the way. Drinking all night in a bar, stumbling home with Sam's arm around him to keep him upright, falling into bed and watching the ceiling spin, wondering if he was going to barf. Then Sam's face hovering above him, with that wicked smirk as he pinged open Dean's fly and took out his cock like he was unwrapping a present.
"Hey, I guess someone ain't so drunk after all." Sam's voice was slurred with booze, but he was laughing and horny and talking dirty like he never did when he was sober. Dean's cock was growing in Sam's fist and Sam purred in appreciation. "You gonna fuck me with this big fat cock? Mmm, it's so fuckin' big, Dean, and you know it, don't you? Know how fuckin' huge you are, this gorgeous fat cock. You gonna give it to me hard and fast, big brother? Or are you too drunk?"
Of course he wasn't too drunk, especially when Sam started talking like that. He reared off the mattress, spun them, flopped on top of Sam, who was laughing, face turned into the pillow. He pushed up Sam's wrinkled shirts, placed his hand on Sam's stomach and felt the muscles jump under his palm as Sam laughed.
"You bet I'm gonna fuck you," he said. "I'm gonna fuck you so fuckin' hard, you won't be able to sit down tomorrow."
"Dean, c'mon. It's okay."
He pushed out the breath and raised his head. The room was dark, just a dagger of light spilling across the floor and the bed where the curtains didn't quite meet. He'd prefer it if there were no light at all.
"Hey, there," she said. She put her hand on his cheek and turned his face so their eyes met. He stared into her face, ready to see the disappointment in her eyes, but there was just sympathy. Always sympathy.
He wet his lips, forced the words out of his throat. "I'm sorry."
"No, no. I'm sorry. I thought..." He stopped. He didn't know what he was saying. The words swam just out of reach, and he didn't know how to find them. He wasn't even sure what he wanted to say to her, except I'm sorry and she was probably fed up of hearing that. It's not you, it's me. Equally trite and useless. But true, and she was smart enough to know it.
He climbed off her and flopped down onto the mattress beside her. It was cold. He lay on his back, let the cold seep into his skin as he watched her get up from the bed, picking up her sleep shorts and tank top from the floor. She sat on the edge of the bed with her back to him and pulled the tank over her head. He could see the side of her breast, small and high, the nipple perked from the cold room. She stood to pull up the shorts and he stared at the perfect pert cheeks of her ass. She was beautiful and desirable and he wanted her, except...
She climbed back into bed, gave him a brief smile as she reached to pull the comforter over them both. He grabbed her hand, and gave it a squeeze. "I'm sorry," he said again. "I'm just gonna..." He didn't finish the sentence. She knew what he was doing anyway.
He dropped her hand and pushed the covers aside. He reached for his sweat pants and t-shirt. He wasn't tired, he couldn't lay there beside her and fall asleep. He wanted a drink.
He could feel her eyes follow him as he padded softly out of the room, and this time he knew that if he did turn around to look at her, he'd see disappointment instead of sympathy. So he didn't turn around.
Dean jumped at the hand on his shoulder. He blinked his eyes open and stared at the nurse leaning over him.
"You're Dean Winchester, aren't you?"
"Yeah. Yes, I'm Dean."
"I thought so." She made a show of looking around the waiting room. The sole other occupant was a middle-aged woman reading a book, who glanced at them disinterestedly before returning to her book.
"Right," he nodded and gave her a faint smile. "Is it Sam? Is he okay?"
"Oh yes, yes, dear. He's awake. I came out here to tell you that you can visit with him if you'd like. He was asking for you."
"Was he?" He felt the smile slide into a grin. He glanced at the clock. "It's 7pm."
"It is," she said.
"What happened? That seemed like a long time. Was it a long time? Is it normal? We got here at eight."
She smiled reassuringly. "I'm sure the doctor must have explained that it's a complicated and lengthy procedure for men. The surgery takes three or four hours and we like to leave the patients to sleep for several hours afterward before we let visitors come by. But he's been awake a while and is asking for you if you'd like to see him."
"Yeah, yes please."
"Just come this way then."
He got to his feet and followed her through the double doors to a corridor of rooms. She opened one that already had a plastic card with SAM WINCHESTER written on it in the door slot. The nurse opened the door and ushered him inside. Sam was lying on the bed, propped up by about five pillows, looking pale and tired, his hair even more of an assrag mess than usual. He blinked at Dean as he stepped into the room.
"I'll leave you now," said the nurse.
"Okay, thank you," Dean said.
He kept his eyes on Sam as he grabbed one of the beige plastic chairs and brought it up to the bed. He sank down into the chair and cleared his throat.
"Hey, Sammy. So, uh, long time no see."
Sam's mouth quirked tiredly.
"How you feeling?"
Sam licked his lips. "What time is it?"
"Just after seven. Took a long fucking time."
"Yeah, man. So, you... it's done, right?" He worried his lip, eyes dragging down Sam's body, over his chest down to his abdomen, hidden by the blanket.
Sam didn't say anything for a second then he exhaled and nodded. "Yeah."
"Did they, uh, did they tell you what they did with it?"
"No. And I didn't ask."
Dean raised his eyes to his brother's face. That tight closed-down expression was there again. He thought about reaching over and taking Sam's hand, but the one nearest to him still had a drip stuck into the back of it where they must've sedated him, and he could already picture Sam pulling away from him, not wanting the contact.
"Does it hurt?"
Silently Sam nodded.
"Do you want me to ask for some more drugs? I'm sure they'd give you some if you said you were in pain."
"No. It's fine. Not like I can't handle a little pain." He gave Dean an ironic look. Dean smiled faintly and nodded to himself.
"Right, yeah. Guess this is small change for us."
"Guess it is," Sam said.
They sat in silence for another few long seconds, and then Sam turned his head and looked at him. "You should probably get back to the Bunker and get some rest. You look like shit."
"I look like shit?" Dean raised an eyebrow.
"Yeah you do. And you don't have the excuse of surgery."
Dean snorted. "Nice." But he was trying to push back the smile because this kind of stupid banter meant that Sam was acting more like his usual smart-ass self.
"They said they'd talk to me in the morning about---" he waved a hand -- "checking everything's okay."
"Can I be there?"
"I don't know. Can I stop you from being there?"
"Do you want to?"
"I don't know, Dean. Visiting's after two. Come by then."
"Okay." He got to his feet. It had only been a few minutes but he knew when it was his cue to depart and he knew that look on his brother's face. Sam wanted to be alone and he, well, there were things he had to think about too. He pushed the chair away from the bed and turned, hesitating. "They'll let you go afterward?"
"I'll bring some clean clothes. And food. Bet the food in here's for shit."
"Okay." He nodded again. "Right, well, night, Sam."
He strode out of there, pausing by the nurses desk to give the nurse a wave on his way out. In the car, he curled his fingers around the steering wheel and squeezed tight.
It was over. It was gone. Their little mistake. Just one in a long, long line of fuck-ups, and it was gone. He rubbed his hand over his face, blinking. His eyes felt dry and gritty and he wondered if he should cry about it. About what could've been. Perhaps in some alternate universe, they'd let this little mistake live. Perhaps in some alternate universe the other mistake, the one that had taken place fourteen years earlier, had lived too. He could almost picture it unfolding like an alternative future. He'd seen alternative futures, he knew how they could work, how you could just take one little thing and make a different choice and there you were: a different person.
Maybe a wish then. He could wish that Sam hadn’t gone to college, that he’d stayed and by some miracle that baby had lived. Would they have told Dad? Probably not - he would've tried to kill Dean, if he'd known. Better that they just tell Dad it was some random guy, a one-night stand. Explain that Sam had been on medication so the birth control didn't work. Would Dad have insisted on an abortion? Dean didn't know. He didn't think Dad was a pro-lifer, but this fetus would've been one of them, a Winchester, and Dad's feelings about family were nonnegotiable. So Sam would've kept the baby and he would have never gone to Stanford. It would suck not to be acknowledged as the father, but he'd still be the uncle. Cool Uncle Dean, he could live with that. The kid would be thirteen now. He'd be handsome of course, and tall. And smart, so fucking smart. He'd be a great shot like him and a natural with a knife, just like Sammy. He'd be the best of them. And with this baby, well, he'd have a little brother, too. The four of them would be a real family.
He blinked, forcing the pictures away. It was a false life. It wasn't real. The kid wouldn't be the best of them at all. Inbred, he said to himself, feeling the word shudder and slither around his brain, unnatural, wrong , deformed, monstrous. And its gene pool would be a mess. Even if nothing was wrong with that kid then what it was carrying, what could come out in the next generation... all kinds of fucked up carnival show shit. He'd caught it once on the laptop browser history, a wiki page about inbreeding and genetics. His stomach had flipped over and he'd closed down the page before he'd had chance to absorb the first sentence. Even if Dean didn't know much about that stuff, then Sam did for sure. It was why he'd always been so careful with his birth control, terrified of being forced to confront the grubby reality of what they did together.
Not careful enough, he thought, lip curling in self-disgust.
Two pregnancies, when many chimeras struggled to become pregnant once, or at least that was what the prevailing wisdom was. And Sam had done it twice, both times accidents and both times with him. Fate really did like to fuck with them.
Or maybe it wasn't fate. Maybe it was something else, some higher up messing with Sam's fertility. When the angels discovered Adam, they didn't hesitate to use him in their war. A baby with both their genes and blood would be a gift to everyone - angels and demons and every shade of supernatural monster - a baby that could be anyone's vessel. So, maybe there really was something deeper at work here, something more than just stupid dumb chance.
He swallowed and looked up, making himself look at his reflection in the driver's mirror. He set his teeth and grimaced at himself. Sam had made the right choice. It was better this way.
He started the engine and pulled out of the parking lot.
"I'm ovulating," said Sam.
Dean jerked his head up from the computer screen and blinked at his brother. Sam was standing in the bathroom door, naked except for some really freaking tight boxer briefs and holding a disposable thermometer in his hand. If Dean didn't know there was something seriously wrong with his brother, he would know it now. Sammy with a soul never wore underwear that tight fitting.
He cleared his throat, deciding to take the bait. "Uh, what?"
Sam flicked a look his way. His expression was sour, as if he was disgusted with everything around him, including Dean. Since he'd promised Dean that he would stop pretending to be Sammy, this expression had been getting more and more frequent. At least it was better than the terrifying blank-faced look he'd sometimes get, the look that seemed to shout that there was nobody at home, that he really was just an empty, soulless vessel. Dean hated seeing that look on his brother's face.
Sam raised the thermometer. "Temperature's up, I'm experiencing abdominal cramps, and I have been feeling an increased sensation of sexual arousal."
"But you... aren't you taking birth control?"
Sam gave him a pitying look. "I'm not putting that crap in my body. All those fake hormones will slow you down and dull your reactions."
"Sam always seemed to manage," Dean said.
Sam snorted, "I tolerated it, Dean. For your sake."
Dean swallowed and reached for the plastic tumbler of whiskey on the nightstand. "You - he- never said anything."
"Of course I wouldn't say anything," Sam said dismissively. "I was in love with you."
Dean's stomach flipped at those words, a deep curl of pain hooking into his insides and tugging tight. He half closed his eyes as he took a long swig from the glass. He could hear Sam moving around and he forced himself to open his eyes, to look up and look at him, at not-Sam, at that gaping hole of a person - a thing ¬- that was pretending to be his brother.
Sam was watching him thoughtfully and Dean flinched under the blatant scrutiny. "What?"
"You want to fuck?" Sam said.
Sam tilted his head to one side. "That's a shame." He sauntered across the room, tossing the thermometer in the trash as he made his way to the duffle sitting on his bed. He rooted around in it, putting his back to Dean. Dean stared at him, feeling the buzz of warm arousal begin to stir in his belly. He wasn't Sam, he wasn't Dean's little brother, but he looked like Sam, and that was just... it was really fucking confusing. Especially for Dean's dick, which after all these fucking years was programmed to respond to that ass and those long, long legs, and those perfect tight abs and pecs, and the stupid hair and the fucking ridiculous expressions he got on his face, and just that way... Slowly Sam turned around and eyed him again, except this time... Yeah, that was what Dean remembered, that look, the one with the dark, hooded eyes and flushed cheeks and parted lips. The look that meant they were about to be tearing each other's clothes off in five seconds.
The look vanished as soon as it had come, and Sam was watching him speculatively again.
"You sure you don't wanna fuck?"
Dean forced himself to look away. When he spoke, he was proud of how sure his voice sounded. "I'm sure."
"Suit yourself." Sam shrugged and pulled out a clean pair of jeans. He stepped into them, turning to look at Dean again. "You know, it would be very convenient. I wouldn't have to go out and find someone else. I'd make it good for you, Dean. I remember what you like."
Dean cringed, tightening his grip on the edge of his laptop. He reached for the plastic tumbler of whiskey on the nightstand and took a long swig. "I told you, I ain't interested."
"You used to be," Sam said. He tugged a v-necked sweater over his head.
And that was another thing. His Sam would never go for such douchebag wear, even if he was trying to get laid. Not that Sam used to go out and try to get laid that often, not unless they'd fought about something . Hell, even then they usually made up over sex. But if Sam did ever go out trawling for sex then he wouldn't get all primped up for it. He might make the effort to change his underwear or put on clean jeans and a clean shirt, but he wouldn't look like that.
"I used to be a lot of things," he said darkly. "You used to be my brother."
"I'm still your brother," Sam said, using that reasonable, superior tone of voice that was seriously fucking grating. Dean clenched his teeth and drained the rest of the whiskey. He reached for the bottle again.
He refilled his glass and watched Sam shrug on his jacket and pick up the car keys. He thought about asking Sam not to drive his baby, because enough was enough. It was bad enough to have this robotic fake version of his brother riding around in his body. It was even worse to think of him using his baby. But he was too damn tired and he couldn't deal with the complaints.
"Well, I was going to say don't wait up, but I guess you'll probably be passed out by the time I get back," Sam said.
Dean raised his glass in a mock toast and bared his teeth at his brother.
Sam clicked his teeth and gave Dean a dismissive look. "Right."
"Right," Dean murmured to himself. He watched Sam gather up his phone and tuck a knife into the inside pocket of his coat. "So, you got protection?"
Sam gave him a long, disbelieving look. "That's what the knife's for, Dean."
"No, not that. Protection, you know..." Dean jerked his head at Sam. "You said you were--" he gestured with his hand, some of the whiskey spilling over the edge of the glass, "--like, ovulating." He made a face at the word. "Don't want Sammy to come back and discover you've knocked him up with some barfly's bastard."
Sam grimaced. "Right. Well, that's what these are for." He slid a packet of condoms out of his jacket pocket and waved them at Dean. "I know how to be safe. After all, you don't know what you might catch when you pick up a loser in a bar." He gave Dean a pointed look that wasn't lost on Dean. Not that he'd picked up anyone in a bar for a long while. After everything that went down with Lisa, and having Sam's psychotic doppelganger right here and knowing that Sam's soul was still Lucifer's chewtoy, he didn't really feel in the mood for casual sex.
"See you later, Dean," Sam said, as he walked out.
Dean listened to him walk along the porch and down to the parking lot. A moment later, he heard the distinctive roar of the Impala.
"Yeah, fuck you," Dean said to the silent room, and he raised his glass in another toast.
He didn't drive back to the bunker. Instead he stopped by a convenience store, bought a six-pack, and drove out to Lombards Ridge. They'd discovered the spot not long after they first set up shop in the bunker and marked it as a great place to stargaze. Not that they'd done much stargazing in the last year. In fact, Dean couldn't remember the last time they'd taken some time out to drink a few beers and watch the stars. Maybe in those few months after Death returned Sam's soul, just before Cas destroyed his wall and decided he wanted to play at being God. Those had been a good few months, despite the monsters and Eve and their not-mourned Grandpa Campbell and all that shit with Castiel and Crowley teaming up. After Cas raised the Leviathans, there hadn't been much time for anything except getting those bastards. And then he went to purgatory and Sam hooked up with that vet, and well, that had brought them to the fuckfest they were in now.
Still, though, for a short few months it was good. Almost like it used to be back when they were kids, or in those few months before Dad died when they were hunting together.
He leaned against the hood, feeling the warmth from the engine seep through his jeans and warm his skin. He stared into the dark sky, counting the stars and trying to make out the constellations. Sam was much better at that than him.
"I'll give you a handjob if you can tell me what that is up there," Sam said, tilting the neck of his bottle at a cluster of stars.
Dean rolled his head against the windscreen and squinted at his brother. "How about you just do it anyway."
"Then you wouldn't learn anything," Sam said with a devious tilt to his lips. He took a swig on his beer and Dean watched the roll and bob of his throat as he swallowed. His dick fattened in his pants and he reached to adjust himself.
"Who says I gotta learn something?"
"I do," said Sam, turning to smirk at him.
Dean stuck his tongue out at him. "You suck."
"Why don't you guess, Dean?"
"Fuck, I don't know. The plow?"
Dean sighed and knocked his foot against Sam's. "Dude, just tell me."
Sam transferred his beer to his left hand and took another long pull. Dean listened to the smack of his lips and kept staring up into the sky.
"That's a galaxy, Dean."
Sam dropped his hand to Dean's thigh and Dean groaned, let his thighs fall further apart, sinking down a little to give his brother space. Sam's hand slid up Dean's thigh and skirted his dick.
"You're such a freakin' tease," Dean grumbled.
"Mmm, and you love it," Sam said. He flicked open the buttons of Dean's fly with one hand and cupped his dick through his boxers. "Try again."
Sam snorted and slid his hand under the waistband of Dean's boxers.
Dean groaned and half-closed his eyes when he felt Sam's fingers fist around the base of his dick. "Dude, don't..."
"Neglect the balls," Sam filled in. "Yeah, I know." His fingers skated over Dean's balls and Dean groaned out loud, spreading his thighs further until his knee knocked against Sam's.
"Best damn advice I ever gave you," Dean huffed out.
Sam chuckled and rolled Dean's balls with his talented, oh-so-talented fingers, or at least rolled them as much as he could with Dean's jeans still on. "Keep guessing, Dean," he said.
"Libra, Capricorn, Taurus..."
"Now you're just naming star signs."
"I figure one of 'em's gotta be right." He moaned again as Sam's thumb brushed over the head of his cock. "Fuck, Sam."
"Keep talking," Sam said.
"Aquarius, Scorpio, Sagittarius..."
Dean's eyes flew open, he jerked his head to look at Sam. Sam was smirking back at him; looking very pleased with himself. "Sagittarius?" Dean said.
"Uh-huh," Sam nodded. He leaned in, until their mouths were barely inches apart. "Good boy, Dean." He licked his lips and his gaze fell to Dean's mouth. Dean felt his cock pulse in Sam's hand.
"You gonna finish me, Sammy?"
Sam licked his lips again, slow and deliberate, like the ginormatrom sized tease he was. "Thought I might let you fuck me over the hood instead," he said.
Dean opened his eyes and finished his beer. He tossed the bottle into a patch of bushes. If Sam were here, he'd bitch at him for littering, but Sam wasn't here, Sam was still in the hospital because he'd had a fucking abortion. Dean twisted the cap on his last bottle of beer. He stroked his thumb over the ridge of the neck and thought about Sam bent over the hood of the car with his pants around his ankles and his legs spread. That was a good memory. He rested the lip of the bottle against his mouth and thought about Sam watching him over his shoulder, eyes meeting Dean's, hooded and hot.
Outdoor sex. He huffed out a laugh and tilted his bottle again for another drink. Sam had always enjoyed outdoor sex, the kinky bitch. Maybe that was what they needed to do. When Sam recovered enough they should pack up the car with picnic shit and a huge blanket and drive out to the middle of nowhere and fuck under the stars.
He finished his bottle and tapped it against his thigh. There was no Sagittarius in the sky tonight, but he could make out Orion and Sirius, the dogstar, and was that the Bear? He frowned. He couldn't tell, could never see the patterns Sam always got so easily.
He slid off the car, landing with a jolt that rocked all the way through his body. He was feeling a little buzzed and it was - he squinted at his watch - 3am. There was no point going back to the bunker now, and honestly, he didn't want to be there anyway, not without Sam. He'd sleep it off in the car for a couple of hours, and get to the hospital early.
He threw his last bottle into the same clump of bushes and got into the backseat, pushing aside all the old newspapers, shoes, clothes and fast food wrappers to make enough space. He turned the radio on low, and crawled inside.
"I've found a reason to keep living; Oh, and the reason dear is you..."
He snorted drunkenly, fucking radio fucking with him, being all ironic and shit. He closed his eyes and stopped listening to the words, letting the soft sounds of the guitars and harmonies lull him into sleep.