My first complete fic! \o/
Coda to 4x04, Metamorphosis. Wrote it about a day after the episode aired. Reposted now after some revision. I can't get enough of protective!bigbrother!Dean and puppeh!Sammeh. And since show has been lacking in that area, I thought I'd attempt to make up for it a bit. ;)
Title: that angel's got nothin' on you.
Rating: R -- for some language.
Word count: ~3000.
Warnings: Hurt/comfort. Unabashed schmoop. And incest, albeit subtle.
Disclaimer: Yep, mine. What? It could happen.
Notes: Coda to 4x04. Italics in parenthesis are the boys’ thoughts.
Summary: Two days ago, all he wanted to do was leave.
Feedback: Comments trump sex. ♥
The drive continued in heavy silence. Yet, Sam almost didn't want it to end, didn't want them to stop. Their car (their home) was safe, he felt surrounded by metal comfort, by his brother who always (always) emits that protective vibe, by night and darkness that engulfs them whole. The outside world was overwhelming him right now, suffocating and exposing him, and he didn't want to be out there in it.
They do stop however, once they reach the first motel on the map, (and what town is this again?) and Dean mumbles something to himself about shower and possible stitches and freakin' sleep. Sam waits in the car for Dean to get them a room (since the latter of the two has less bruises on his face and they really don’t want to drive fast outta town when Sammy flashes the clerk his fresh slashes and gashes and scares the lady half to death). So yeah, he waits. Dean comes out and gets in the driver's seat and drives the little distance to park in front of room 16.
Dean's silent again as he gets their duffels and bags out of the trunk and it's starting to scare Sam a little. Sam had thought they talked this out (as best as Winchesters can talk things out), that his recent announcement in the car—his decision to go back to their old methods of wasting demons and ditching his avant-garde ways would patch things up and Dean wouldn't be that angry anymore. But right now, psychic powers or not, Sam couldn’t even begin to figure out what’s going on inside his brother’s head.
Dean drops his duffel on the bed closest to the door and Sam's bags on the other. He immediately gets the first aid kit out and puts it on the table, not wanting to forget to check Sam's wounds.
"Take a shower," he tells Sam who is half-laying on his bed, his eyes closed. "I'm gonna get us somethin’ to eat, when I get back I'll stitch you up." He sounds pissed and Sam sighs. Dean heads for the door but abruptly stops when he notices Sam hasn't moved yet.
"Today, Sam!" and Sam jumps. "Uh, okay, yeah–" He hears the door slam shut. Crap.
Twenty minutes later, Sam is in his clean, soft sweat pants and sleeping shirt, hair still a little wet, bangs (too long) sticking to his forehead, face and skin flushed from the hot shower, and Dean's breath hitches as he stands at the door, watching him. His little brother looks so dorky and innocent and sweet, like his little Sammy again, sorting through the first aid kit to make sure everything was there (typical geek-boy). He wonders how it’s possible that this kid sitting at the table in front of him is the same one he wanted to beat the shit out of two days ago (never again never again never again). The same guy he walked in on exercising with a demon, not exorcising one. (Thatbitch.)
Two days ago, all he wanted to do was leave. Even though he knew he’d never really do it, never go through with it. Knew firsthand what that would do to him, that it would leave him feeling like he was literally missing a limb, on a body that’s already limbless, distorted and jaded. Two days ago, all he knew was that he wanted to hurt Sam, show him just how he made Dean feel. But now… now he just wants to go over there and patch his little brother up, brush the hair out of his eyes, maybe hug him; just to see if it would still feel the same after what he knew about him, just to see if Sammy would still hold on to Dean like Dean's the air he breathes and without him he'll drown; he'll fall and shatter and disappear into oblivion.
Or, maybe, (probably), it'd just be a pat on the back from Sam and a half-assed shove and a "dude, finally switchin’ teams or somethin’?"
Now though, Sam just winces a little, and when he looks up at Dean a little smile escapes him before he could catch himself, but just as quickly disappears as he lowers his eyes. But Dean can read the kid better than he can read a skin mag (Oh yeah, there's reading material in there). It’s as if Sam forgot for a minute what had been going on between them before and suddenly thought, 'you moron, Dean is pissed at you and you're grinning at him like an idiot!' and stopped, and Dean hates when something takes that smile away, all beautiful teeth and dimples; hates that he doesn't get to see it that often. And to know that he just took it away? He mentally kicks himself in the jewels. But whatever. He is still a little mad. He plans to drag this out as long as possible.
He clears his throat and puts the bag of take-out on the table, throws his jacket on whichever bed. "Eat," and starts for the bathroom while unbuttoning his shirt. "W-what about you?" Sam practically whispers, suddenly afraid to raise his voice any higher. Dean however, has no problem turning up the volume. "I said eat! You're not taking any painkillers on an empty stomach, asshat!" and slams a door for the second time tonight.
Sam reaches for the bag of sandwiches, (Oh, yeah. He just adores me to little teeny pieces). As exhausted as he is though, Sam knew no sleep is going to come tonight when his big brother is fuming at him like that, probably reaching a whole new level of hatred.
He tries to get "burning flesh" out of his mind as he force-feeds himself three bites out of the chicken sandwich, then he—absentmindedly performing a favorite routine of his from childhood—rips a huge chunk of it, wraps it in a napkin and throws it at the bottom of the trash. He had to learn this trick when he was little to use on his dad; never thought he'd have to use it on Dean though. Dean who used to signal him when Dad wasn't looking, and mouth 'Now! Go!' and Sam would quickly wrap the biggest half of the pizza/burger/taco/sandwich in a napkin and pass it to his brother from under the table, giggling a little (never arguing with the fact that Dean knew Sammy’s stomach better than their dad did, better than Sam himself did, that he knew how much it can take and how much was too much) and Sam would grin and say, "All done, dad! Can I go finish my homework now?" and John would glance up from his book at Sam's plate, nod and say, "Well, you’re not eatin’ those crumbs, are ya son? I mean, you're no Dean," and Sam would snort and Dean would frown up at his dad, and shrug. And yet, once his dad’s eyes would settle back on that stupidly large book, Dean would unwrap the napkin and finish Sammy's dinner for him, Sam’s grin and happy eyes never leaving his brother’s face.
Sam's thoughts are interrupted when the bathroom door opens and Dean storms out in nothing but a towel, (not staring not staring why am I staring?) and heads for his duffel, rummaging through for some clean clothes, cursing himself under his breath for not doing any laundry this week. He puts on his last clean pair of sweat pants and throws the towel on his bed. He turns around to look at Sam, who is staring at him, and Sam swallows audibly. Dean frowns, (what is with him? Is he scared of me or somethin’?) as he looks from the table to Sam.
Dean sits near the edge of his bed, "Alright, c'mere then."
Sam stares. Again. "Wh... huh?"
Dean sets his jaw, (did he bang his head that bad tonight, or was he always this slow?)
"Get over here so I can look at those cuts on your big-ass forehead," and he goes to the nightstand to turn on the lamp (no more crashing lamps into walls no more scaring Sammy no more) then he sits back on the bed. Sam moves carefully to sit near the edge of his own bed, facing Dean, knees gently scraping. He hands him the kit, and leans in a little, just a little, enough to smell the toothpaste from Dean's breath. He looks at Dean, actually looks, and their eyes lock like steel for one moment, and Dean sees so much there; all kinds of guilt, fear, sadness swimming in his little brother's eyes and he wishes he could just take it all away. Wishes he could erase everything bad that had to happen to Sammy because of him. Because of this life.
He finishes up in record time (can't take his staring can't pretend he's not can't), he knows, he knows Sam's hurting and just wants Dean to talk to him, make him feel better, even though he said he didn't want to talk anymore. He knows. Not yet, though. Not just yet.
Dean gets up, puts the kit on the table, and puts on a t-shirt.
"Thanks… Uh, do you want me to look at yours?" Sam's still practically whispering, looking down at his feet.
He flinches at Dean's bark, looks up at him, all bangs and trademark hurtpuppydog eyes. Dean sighs.
"I already did it, I'm good," he explains, pointing at his face.
"Oh. Sorry," he immediately knows how dumb that sounded, but habit is habit, and 'sorry' tended to fix things in this family and he's badly aching for this to be fixed.
Sam goes to brush his teeth, and Dean puts the food away, still contemplating eating something, but knowing it'll mean puking afterwards. (Nah, breakfast sounds better.) Hopefully the image (and scent, dammit!) of Barbecued Longpig will have dissolved by then. He turns the lights off and gets in his bed.
Sam switches the bathroom light off, pauses, switches it back on, and steps out. Dean raises an eyebrow at him and Sam stops when he nears his bed. He tries to go for casual.
"Uh… would it, do you mind if I leave that on..?" he fails, miserably, and Dean thinks the kid has definitely lost it. He doesn't let his worry show, though.
"Whatever, Samantha," and inwardly winces at how harsh that came out, how everything he's said and done to Sam lately came out harsher than he intended.
Sam lets go of the breath he was holding, gets in his bed, and turns off his light. The room is instantly so dark and quiet that it startles him, and he has to physically hold himself from reaching over and turning the light back on. He squeezes his eyes shut and waits for the light from the bathroom to seep in the room, for the moonlight to leak between the cheap curtains. He slowly opens his eyes, registers the glow coming from the corner and wonders why he hasn't relaxed yet. Wonders why exactly is he petrified of the dark all of a sudden, when his whole life it's practically been his comfort-zone.
Came out before he even knew it, and nothing. He knows there's no way Dean could’ve fallen asleep so quickly, knows he's freezing him out, guesses he deserves it. He turns on his left side and faces the dull gray wall, his back to his brother.
But as he suspected, sleep is not in the vicinity. He's scared, he’s really terrified and right now not sure of what, of whom. But he is and his brother hates him and he's tired and he's in pain (why does it hurt?) and it's too much and then, then tears are dropping down his face onto his pillow, and he's hugging himself and he's trying to be quiet, God he is, but Dean must've heard him 'cause the mattress dips from his weight and his hand grabs Sam's shoulder, trying to turn him on his back, and Sam hates that he doesn’t even struggle; hates that Dean can see his stupid-crying-for-no-reason-face right now.
And Dean's eyes are wide.
"Sammy, what is it? What's wrong, man? Hey… talk to me, c'mon." Dean's voice is just above a whisper, soaked with gentleness and protectiveness and Dean.
"I…" Sam tries, but he doesn't quite know what it is that's wrong with him, tears still streaming down his face, hates that he can't stop them.
Dean holds him by the arms and lifts him up a little to get him to sit up, and burrows closer to him, their faces a mere breath apart. "Jesus, Sammy," Dean realizes that his brother is shaking, won't meet his eyes.
"Hey, hey! Look at me! Sam, what..? What's the matter, buddy?"
Sam sounds so far away and hopeless, like he’s in shock, his brother's name a strangled noise.
"Shh… okay, c'mere," Dean pulls him hard to his chest, fingers already in Sam's hair, and Sam does latch on. He latches on tight.
"...You hate me."
"You know I don't, you dork."
"I know, but… how could you not?"
Something inside Dean broke a little at that. He pulls Sam back to look him in the eyes; he needs to drill this into the kid's head.
"Sammy. Sam, even though you constantly make me want to, honest to God, no matter what you do, I could never hate you, little bro. I just can't. You hearin’ me?" Sam slowly nods. "’Kay. Now tell me where it hurts."
"…Head," Dean glances over at the nightstand and notices the untouched bottle of painkillers. "You didn't take these?" Sam follows Dean’s eyes, focuses his eyes on the object, and shakes his head. "..Forgot, sorry," Dean grabs the bottle of water and pops out three pills and puts them in Sam's palm. "Here, take ‘em," and Sam does.
He puts both his hands on the sides of Sam's face, thumbing away the tear streaks.
Sam won’t look at him, and Dean sighs.
"Look, I was mad, I was. But I'm not anymore, I promise. I knew the freeze-out would drive you nuts so I thought, 'sweet revenge', is all. But Sammy, what happened, huh? A minute ago you were doin’ okay, weren't you?"
"I'm just tired, Dean. I...I'll be fine."
Sam nods. "Yeah, can I sleep now?"
"Yeah. Yeah, I'll get out of your hair—"
Just as Dean is standing up, Sam grabs his wrist and Dean stops.
"Sam? Kinda need to take the hand with me, kiddo," gesturing to his own bed.
"I. I just, ah, you…" Sam's face and neck flash every shade of red and then some. Thankfully, Dean knows what that actually is in English, and while there's no denying this new look on Sammy is quite adorable and making all kinds of fluttery flutters in Dean's stomach, he doesn't want to bug him any more than he already has tonight. So he opts to put him out of his misery.
"You want me to crash here?" he asks, no mockery in his eyes, just love.
"…If you, if it's okay. Is it?"
"It is, if you tell me what the hell is scaring you so bad that you need a nightlight and somebody to bunk with." Dean smiles sweetly and locks his eyes on his brother's, telling him to trust him without having to ask for it, (never had to ask for it.)
"No, nobody else. Just you," and Sammy's blue grays (so pretty God) are bright and tearful and pleading up to Dean, who sits back down—wondering how that happened when his brain couldn't have told his legs to do that yet—and gets under the blankets, hip lightly grazing Sam's. His fingertips are on Sam's chin and he turns Sam’s head in his direction.
"I'm right here, Sam. And I got you, it's safe now, but you gotta tell me what's the matter. Why are you so scared, Sammy?" Sam lowers his eyes, sniffs, and Dean can feel him still shaking a little. What the hell? Nothing they ever hunted before has managed to scare him this bad, and he must know he would never end up like Jack because Dean would never (ever) let that happen, so what the fuck is it?
Sam looks up into Dean's eyes now and Dean still sees that indescribable fear, the guilt, and that's when it hits him. He finally understands. It's not a monster that's terrifying Sam. Quite the contrary.
"Oh, Sammy… No. No, no God. He's not going to hurt you. He's not," and Dean's voice is the pleading one now, because he realizes that when he first broke this splendid piece of information to his brother they were interrupted, and they never dealt with this, together or otherwise. They've been too busy fighting and trying to save/end Jack. Shit. No wonder the poor kid is freaked.
"Y… You don't know that. How do you know that? He told you—"
"He told me he needed you to stop and you did, so it's done now Sammy, he got what he wanted. And angel or not, if he so much as mentions your name again, I'll whoop his pretty little accountant butt, capiche?"
Sam huffs out a little laugh, and Dean feels the breath hit his face (close, so close), and he can't help but smile.
“You’ll tell him I’m done?” came the whisper. And Dean instinctively nods before even considering the words, (whatever Sammy wants anything Sammy wants).
"You promise you won't let him get me?"
Dean lightly kisses Sam’s temple, knowing that’s answer enough, but saying it just the same. "I promise."
They lock their eyes for what seems like an eternity. And Dean doesn't think, doesn't want to. Looking at Sam's lips doesn't really help matters, all red and swollen from teeth worrying over them. He leans in, not believing what he’s about to do, not believing that he wants to, and almost retreating right then and there because (what the hell am I thinking?) until he sees Sam’s lashes flutter and his eyes close, and that’s when their noses touch, their breaths mingle, and they both know it’s too late to back out now, and so they kiss. Soft and chaste and sweet and love; they kiss. And it’s the best thing either one of them has ever felt, has ever wished or hoped to feel. It's not sexual, not really. No, it’s slow and delicate and intimate and apologetic. Apologetic because ever since Dean laid that first punch to his brother’s mouth he couldn’t stop replaying it in his head, couldn’t process it enough to apologize for it and (how could I hurt his beautiful face and mouth and god) and now he’s letting his tongue do all the talking for him. And Sam gets it, and he swallows his brother’s soft moans intertwined with his own and plants his hands on the sides of Dean’s face and strokes and (it’s okay, Dean, it’s okay). And Sam suddenly thinks they must look so fucking beautiful from the outside if anyone was looking in, and he’s never had that thought about himself or anyone else before and it’s odd, yeah, but he knows, he knows they do.
Neither of them knows how long it was till they came out for air.
“Better?” Dean whispers, and a smile slowly spreads on Sam’s flushed face, making Dean’s heart warm just a little bit at being the one that brought it back.
“Lots.” Dean smiles, and kisses the tip of Sam’s nose as he gets the light.
“Good, now sleep?”
“Pretty accountant butt?”
“Just how pretty are we talkin’?”
“Dude, weren’t you dead-tired a minute ago?”
“Prettier than mine?”
“Go to sleep, bitch.”
“And, Cas? Really?”
“His name is too freakin’ long! Now sleep, dammit.”
“Alright, fine. G’night. Jerk.”
“That angel? He's got nothin’ on you.”
And although it was pitch-black, Dean could swear he saw Sam’s smile brighten even more.