For the first time in four years, Sam was riding shotgun in the Impala. Dean didn’t really have a plan beyond that. Get Sam, head off to find Dad. The how
, the where
, the what next
– they could work that out together. Because together
was what this was all about.
Sam had changed. Dean had expected this, but when he’d flipped Dean onto his back in the apartment, Dean had still been shocked at the hard-muscled young man who had replaced his lanky, gawky brother. Sure he still walked as if perpetually in danger of hitting his head on the ceiling, but a frame that four years ago had been scarecrow-gangly, had matured and become substantial. As Sam had pinned him down, Dean’s breath had caught in his throat at the first close-up sight of Sam in four years. And as Sam pinned him down, Dean’s cock had hardened at the first touch of Sam in four years.
In the car, Dean got Sam talking – what was college like, how did he ever land a babe like Jessica, why did he want to be a lawyer of all things? Sam asked after people they knew – Pastor Jim mainly, and Caleb. Safe stuff, easy stuff. Sam had always been the talker. It had been hard when he’d been young, when Sam’s chatting to neighbours or teachers about the family business would lead to another midnight departure from another town. And as he got older he’d asked questions Dad hadn’t liked – most of which began with why or why not? And when he was sixteen he’d asked Dean the question that had changed their relationship. That question had started with please.
They stopped talking for a while, the car swallowing white lines and tarmac as they headed towards Jericho. Dean reached to turn up the music, anything to fill the silence but Sam stopped him, his huge hand resting on Dean’s.
“So tell me Dean. What have you been up to?”
Dean glanced over. He thought back to that day four years ago when Sam had left, when Dad had yelled at him to never come back. Dean didn’t know who he had hated most then – Sam or his Dad. He’d wondered when Sam had decided to leave, which must have been months before hand, whether he’d though about Dean at all. He’d said nothing as they’d hunted and fucked and hung out, given no hint of what he decided. And he couldn’t understand why his Dad, who would rather die than let anything happen to his special Sammy, had told his youngest son never to darken their doorstep again.
Just three days before Sam left, Dean had thought his life was perfect. They’d been out with Dad hunting a roggenwolf that had strangled five farmers in this county and the next. After they’d tracked it down and killed it behind an old mill, John had traipsed off to the nearest bar while Sam and Dean had headed back to the cabin they were staying in.
Pumped with adrenaline and the thrill of the kill, the sex had been fast and wild. Sam had wrestled Dean to the floor that night too - or rather Dean had let him. Dean remembered them laughing as they struggled to get out of layers of damp coats and shirts and tees, especially when Dean had tripped over trying to pull his boots and jeans off together. He’d slumped into a chair and Sam had knelt before him, unlacing each boot before easing it off. He’d rubbed his thumbs into the Dean’s soles, before he’d pulled his jeans and boxers off, and then crawled between his legs. Dean had thrown his head back and groaned as Sam sucked on his hardening length, and kneaded his balls. His fingers knotted into Sam’s hair, Dean had pulled him down further as his hips rose to thrust his cock deep into Sam’s throat.
Dean could have come like that but as much as he loved fucking Sam’s mouth, he needed something more. So he’d pulled Sam off him, and pushed him back onto the floor. As he rose from the chair, Sam had tackled him around the legs, bringing Dean crashing down. The two brothers brawled around the room and furniture was injured, and some further bruises collected as they grappled like ancient Olympians. Legs wrapped around hips, hands grasped, arms pinned shoulders to the floor. Dean finally bent Sam over the arm of the sofa and the tight ring of Sam’s ass opened to suck him in as Sam had pushed back onto his dick. With hands tight on his brother’s narrow hips, Dean had driven his cock inside Sam, knocking the breath from him with each thrust.
They’d finally ended up back on the floor, stuck together with sweat and come, Dean still inside Sam as the end of his orgasm pulsated through and around him. Their breathing slowed until their chests rose and fell in unison. Sam had said something like “This is one of those times. You know, when you wish it could always be like this?” And Dean had made some crack about Hallmark moments, but secretly he’d agreed. Until three days later when Sam had left and Dean wondered whether everything it had all been just so much bullshit.
There had only ever been two things that mattered in Dean’s life: protecting Sam and obeying his father. That was until he discovered something else he could do: he could make Sammy happy. To see Sam smile, or hear him laugh or watch the bliss on his face when he came, Dean could make these things happen and nothing mattered more to him.
But Dean had just never realized that the things that mattered most to him could cancel each other out. Sam wanted to leave, so Dean had to support him because if it made Sam happy Dean wanted it too, but he couldn’t protect Sam if he left, and his father didn’t want Sam to come back and he had to obey his father.
Dean couldn’t deal with these contradictions, so he decided to deal with none of them. Over the following months he’d spoken to Sam a couple of times on the phone. It was hard to know what to say, but that was okay because Sam’d be back with them at semester break. He and Dad kept hunting, and not talking about Sam. Part of him enjoyed having Dad all to himself, getting absorbed in the hunt, working as a team, saving people from horrible evil things. While he felt Sam’s absence keenly all the time, he didn’t miss the fighting, and having to spend all his time running interference between his brother and father.
Then Sam had called to say he wasn’t going to hook up with them in the holidays, something about extra classes or some shit. Dean suggested to John that they drive down to Palo Alto for a visit, but all he got in return was a brusque “He doesn’t want us Dean. And we’ve got work to do”. A couple of times Dean called Sam and left rambling messages, saying everything except what he wanted to (I miss you so much, life sucks without you, do you still get hard when you think of me, do you think about me at all)? And the months passed and Sam never called back.
Dean didn’t know who he had hated most – Sam or his Dad – until he realized he hated himself more. It finally hit him what he’d lost when he’d driven Sam away. It was like he was in one of those Readers Digest stories, you know where the guy gets his arms ripped of by a grizzly and he manages to hike down a mountain and save a puppy on the way, and it’s only when he gets back to town that he realizes that fuck my arms have been ripped off and passes out.
Dean didn’t pass out, although not for want of trying. He’d studied Coping with Emotional Trauma by John Winchester, and so he bought a couple of bottles of Wild Quail and drove to a lonely road. He puked a few times but the liquor just made him feel more hopeless and he welcomed the dawn pulling himself to a hollow climax as he sobbed Sammy’s name.
For weeks, months, forever, Dean was in a fog of pain. It was bad between jobs, when empty hours invited him to examine in detail how many ways he was fucked. The nights were worse, when he was alone with demons that rock salt or silver bullets couldn’t banish, demons which stalked him into his dreams. He tried for a while to avoid sleep – sucking off the greasy dicks of long haul truckers in exchange for speed. But the jagged wakefulness wasn’t worth the added paranoia and jumpiness. There’s reason most demon hunters prefer alcohol to amphetamines.
If John noticed his son’s withdrawal and dark mood, he didn’t say anything; although it was around this time he bought a new truck and gave Dean the Impala. And Sam confirmed everything Dean knew by not calling.
But slowly, things changed. Dean had no darkest night, no great epiphany. He didn’t find God, or a good therapist or a whore with a heart of gold. Little things happened that just seemed to make a difference. The look of gratitude from a man whose children he rescued, a waitress in a diner sitting with him and chatting about her son who was off in Iraq, a hug of thanks from nine year old girl, Dad mentioning that he’d swung by Stanford and that Sam was doing ok, Caleb teaching him cunning pool tricks.
John started letting him go off on jobs on his own and life took on a new rhythm. Dean might have fucked up lots of things, but he knew he could make a difference in the lives of many people. Hell you couldn’t get much more important than actually saving their lives. So Dean killed shit, and saved some people, and got really good at pool, and fucked some pretty girls and some gangly boys and learnt all the words to the AC/DC back catalogue. John kept an eye on Sam, but Dean couldn’t bring himself to make the trip. Once he met someone he really liked, who was smart and a talker like Sam. But she was like Sam in other ways because he drove her away too.
And so things went on. Dean learnt that kids liked him, but old people not so much. He discovered that he had good instincts for when people were lying, and that he could spin a pretty good line of bullshit. He worked out how to make an EMF out of a Walkman, and how to use rock salt in a shotgun. Dean found out that his father had a good singing voice, and once ate magic mushrooms, and had seen people do things in Vietnam that still made him cry.
Over the last six months, John had been consumed by whatever he was researching. Dean didn’t know what it was; he knew his father would clue him in when the time was right. Then Dean had gone down to New Orleans which was pretty harrowing, not because of the voodoo, but because the devastation wrought by Katrina. Dean had stayed longer than he’d intended, helping clean up the flotsam and jetsam of people’s lives. When he’d returned, Dad had missed their rendezvous, and didn’t answer his phone and there was no mail at their mail drop. And then he’d got that freaky message with the EVP on it.
And so Dean had decided to come and get Sam. Not because he needed him, but because he wanted him. And because with John gone, Dean was alone and that was the one thing he couldn’t bear.
“Dean, I asked what you’ve been up to.”
“Oh you know Sammy,” said Dean as he turned the music up, “Same old thing. Dad and I kept hunting. He disappeared and here I am.”
And so for the first time in four years, Sam was riding shotgun in the Impala. Get Sam, head off to find Dad; Dean didn’t really have a plan beyond that. The how, the where, the what next – they could work that out together. Because together was what this was all about.