amypond45: (S&D)
Title: Tonight There's Gonna Be Trouble
Author: AmyPond45
Pairing: Dean/Sam
Rating: NC-17
Word Count: 4,300
Warnings: sibling incest (Wincest!)
Summary: Following the adrenaline-rush of their escape from the secret prison in the Colorado Rockies, Sam and Dean just need to let off a little steam.

READ IT HERE ON LJ | READ IT HERE ON A03

Note: This is an episode coda for 12x9 "First Blood." The title is from "Jailbreak" by Thin Lizzy.

//##//


"How were you gonna do it?" Sam asks.

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amypond45: (Pilot Sam (profile))


Author: [livejournal.com profile] amypond45
Rating: NC-17
Word Count: 5,242
Tags: Time Travel, Wincest, Bottom!Sam

Summary: Did Sam really "stop" looking for Dean after he disappeared at the end of Season 7? Or is there just something Sam did that he doesn't want Dean to know about? Soon after the brothers move into the bunker, Dean has a weird dream. When he confronts Sam about it, he gets some answers he wasn't quite expecting.

A/N: This is an attempted fix-it AU for 8.01 and 11.11 and is a sequel to Most Things Happen Somewhere Else by [livejournal.com profile] riyku based on my prompt for SPN-Masquerade. That's a brilliant story on its own, but it also fits my idea of what happened to Sam after Dean disappeared at the end of Season 7, even though that's probably not what [livejournal.com profile] riyku intended. I highly recommend reading it before reading my story, although it's not necessary to do so to understand what's going on here. I got the title from The Allman Brothers' song of the same name. Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] smalltrolven for the helpful beta!

Fic Links: A03 HERE | LJ HERE

Artist: [livejournal.com profile] stormbrite

Art Links: On LJ | On A03
amypond45: (baby)
Title: Any Way You Want It
Author: AmyPond45
Genre: SPN, Romance
Pairing: Sam/Dean
Rating: NC-17
Word Count: 3,628
Warnings: sibling incest (Wincest!), consensual somnophilia, sex games, Bottom!Dean, anal sex
Summary: Sometimes they play a game. The number one rule is, they don't talk about it. Not a single word. Set sometime early in Season 10.
A/N: Written for [livejournal.com profile] smpc.

READ IT HERE ON A03

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amypond45: (baby)


Fic title: Until the Morning Comes
Author name: [livejournal.com profile] amypond45
Artist name: [livejournal.com profile] dreamlittleyo
Genre: Wincest AU
Pairing: Sam/Dean
Rating: R
Word count: 38,452
Warnings: show-level violence, sibling incest, minor character deaths
Summary: Sam's in his sophomore year at Stanford when he discovers that his former roommate is possessed. Things go downhill fast from there, and soon Sam, Dean, and Jessica are on the run, dodging monsters, struggling to make sense of a world suddenly overrun by demons. When history appears to be repeating itself, putting a new batch of psychic kids in danger, Sam realizes he must stop running and find a way to face his fears head-on.

Link to fic: PART ONE | PART TWO | PART THREE | PART FOUR | PART FIVE | PART SIX

ON AO3 HERE


Link to art: HERE

A/N: Created for the 2016 [livejournal.com profile] spn_j2_bigbang. This story is the conclusion to a trilogy that includes "If Dreams Could Make Wishes Come True" and "When the Rain Comes." The following summary should make it possible to read this story without having to read the first two, although many of the characters (Missouri Moseley, in particular) are fleshed out more completely in those earlier stories. (Summary of previous stories below the cut.)

Many, many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] dreamlittleyo, the most wonderful artist a fic writer could ever hope for (and an awesome writer herself!), [livejournal.com profile] smalltrolven, the bestest beta in the world, and of course thanks to [livejournal.com profile] wendy for running this amazing challenge each year!

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amypond45: (Pilot Sam (profile))
Fic Title: Won't Get Fooled Again
Author: [livejournal.com profile] amypond45
Artist: [livejournal.com profile] stormbrite
Pairing: Lucifer/Sam, Sam/Dean
Genre: Hurt/Comfort
Rating: NC-17
Warnings: Non-con, torture, psychological horror, hellucinations, Major Character Death(s) - imagined and temporary, established Wincest
Word Count: 13,570

Summary: Sam's in the "Cage." Nothing is real. AU for 11.09 & 11.10.

Fic Links: PART ONE | PART TWO | AO3
Art Links: LJ | AO3. Go give [livejournal.com profile] stormbrite some love for all the incredible artwork for this story!

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amypond45: (red-shirt Dean)
Title: The Soldier, the Geek, and the Frickin' Weird-ass Time-Closet
Author: [livejournal.com profile] amypond45
Pairing: Sam/Dean
Rating: NC-17
Word Count: 5,997
Warnings: Sibling incest.
Summary: Sam finds a nineteen-year-old version of himself in his closet. Dean decides it's a good thing.
A/N: Written for [livejournal.com profile] smpc


LJ HERE || AO3 HERE
amypond45: (S&D)


Title: When the Rain Comes
Author: AmyPond45
Artist: Bluefire986
Art: here
Category: Bigbang
Word Count: 39,315
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: Sibling incest
Summary: Written for the 2015 [livejournal.com profile] wincestbigbang, this Stanford-era AU is a sequel to my 2015 [livejournal.com profile] spn_j2_bigbang fic, “If Dreams Could Make Wishes Come True,” in which the boys are separated when Sam's a baby, then raised apart. That story ends with Sam and Dean discovering that they're brothers, although they've been lovers since Sam was sixteen. Dean freaks out, and Sam leaves for Stanford. This story picks up after Sam gets to California, where he discovers that being apart from Dean is a kind of living death. When an emergency hospitalization results in an emotional reunion, both brothers must face the fact that they can't live without each other. When summer comes, they embark on a journey of discovery, to overcome their past, to learn how to be brothers, to recover the bond they shared before they became lovers. This is a tale of angst and pining, of unrequited and repressed desire and the ultimate redemptive power of love, of learning to be together in spite of everything because being apart was never an option. Oh, and both Winchesters are psychic. Told from Sam's (sometimes slightly unreliable) POV.

A/N: Between the above summary and the prologue, I’ve tried to cover most of the road so far, so it shouldn’t be necessary to read “If Dreams Could Make Wishes Come True,” but if you want to, here it is. Thanks to smalltrolven for her excellent beta work, and to elenajames for moderating this challenge. Y'all are awesome!


CHAPTER ONE | CHAPTER TWO | CHAPTER THREE | CHAPTER FOUR | CHAPTER FIVE

READ IT ON AO3
amypond45: (Angsty Dean)
Title: 14 Going On 40
Author: [livejournal.com profile] amypond45
Pairing: Sam/Dean
Rating: NC-17
Word Count: 5,617
Warning: underage
Summary: During the events of 10.12, "About a Boy," Sam gets hexed and turned into his fourteen-year-old self. Sam and Dean still manage to kill the witch and Hansel, saving Tina in the process. But now they're both stuck in fourteen-year-old bodies, raging hormones and all.

A/N: Written for [livejournal.com profile] smpc

READ IT ON A03

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amypond45: (Default)
Title: (We've Got to Get Ourselves) Back to the Garden
Author: [livejournal.com profile] amypond45
Pairing: Sam/Dean
Rating: NC-17 (duh bc porn, right?)
Word Count <10k
Warnings: Sibling incest
Summary: Sam wakes up the morning after his death in Cold Oak to find it's twelve years later, and a lot has happened, none of which he can remember, including the fact that he and Dean have apparently been sleeping together for years.

A/N: Written for [livejournal.com profile] smpc


READ IT HERE

READ IT HERE ON A03
amypond45: (Default)
Title: You Can't Go Home Again
Author: [livejournal.com profile] amypond45
Pairing: Sam/Dean
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 27,799
Warnings: Established Wincest, not explicit
Summary: Sam and Dean find evidence they time-traveled to 1983 to rescue their younger selves and their father after their mother died. Many silly, cuddly moments ensue, and while they're at it, they find a way to fix things for their dad. Happy endings!

PART ONE - PART TWO - PART THREE - PART FOUR -
PART FIVE - PART SIX - PART SEVEN - PART EIGHT - PART NINE

READ IT ON AO3
amypond45: (Default)
Sam was in the dungeon of the bunker, performing his fifth locator spell, when he heard the screams.

"Dean?"

He'd know that voice anywhere.

Sam was up the stairs like a shot, letting his legs carry him toward the screams on pure adrenaline and instinct, skidding around the corner into the library and down the hall to Dean's room --

The room was dark, and it took Sam a minute for his eyes to adjust to the gloom, but he could see the figure huddled on the floor in the corner because he was wearing a white bathrobe.

"Dean?"

The figure screamed again, curling his body into a tight ball, hands in front of his face to ward away something unseen. He was shaking, turning as far away as he could as Sam approached.

"Hey, it's okay, it's me," Sam murmured, moving slowly and cautiously toward his brother, hands out in a calming gesture. "Take it easy. You're okay. It's just me."

Sam could see now that Dean was basically naked except for the robe, and maybe a pair of boxers. His chest gleamed in the meager light from the hallway, and his feet were bare. When he lifted his face for a moment Sam could see that his hair was wet, and he wore some kind of headband which held his hair back from his face --

Sam gave an encouraging smile when he caught Dean's eye, stopped in his tracks by the look of abject terror in Dean's expression.

"Oh god oh god oh god oh god oh god -- "

The litany of panic poured from Dean's lips as he hid his face against the wall again, putting his hands up as if the thing that terrified him was right there in the room with him. As if the thing he was most afraid of was --

"Hey, Dean," Sam knelt down cautiously, not daring to move any closer. "It's just me, buddy. I'm not gonna hurt you. Not gonna let anybody hurt you. It's okay."

What the hell had happened?

It had been two months since Sam had seen his brother. Two months since Dean had died in Sam's arms. Two months since the night his body had disappeared from this very room. Sam had spent every waking moment searching for him since, chasing down every lead, performing rituals and spells and interviewing endless witnesses.

And Sam had done everything, literally and absolutely everything, short of killing someone, to get his brother back. This last spell had been a particularly complicated and dangerous one -- he'd had to use his own blood, Dean's DNA (luckily a few stray hairs had been left behind on his hairbrush and pillow) and the blood of a demon he had trapped and tortured, something Sam would never have done before this.

But Dean's death and disappearance had changed everything for Sam. Faced again with a future without Dean, Sam was determined he would never stop looking, even if it killed him. Especially if it killed him. Even if it meant that what came back to him wasn't really Dean anymore.

Or was damaged beyond anything Sam could do to heal or help.

Dean was whimpering now, so at least the screaming had stopped, but the pained muttering continued, as if he was making an effort to calm himself.

Sam stayed where he was, squatting a few feet away, murmuring reassuring sounds as Dean's breathing slowed, his mutters finally reduced to whispers, then stopped altogether.

"Hey, Dean," Sam tried getting through again once Dean was quiet, watched as his brother spread his fingers apart, opening one emerald green eye to stare out at Sam.

Sam smiled, nodding.

"That's it," he said softly. "See? It's just me. It's just me, Dean."

"Why do you keep calling me that?"

Dean's voice was muffled behind his own hands, but at least he was speaking, at least he seemed calmer.

Sam shrugged, pushing down the dread nudging at the back of his mind.

"It's your name," Sam explained gently, wondering if Dean's confusion was indicative of some kind of brain damage or -- or worse.

But at least he was talking. That was a good sign, wasn't it?

Dean took a deep, shaky breath, let it out slowly, letting his hands slip down over his knees, clutching them to his chest.

"No, it's not," he said, shaking his head sharply. "You know that. So why are you calling me that? What's happening? Where are we?"

"We're in the bunker, Dean," Sam explained, nodding. "This is your room, remember?"

Dean shook his head sharply again.

"No, it's a t.v. set," he insisted. "It's just a t.v. set. It's not supposed to be real."

Sam frowned. Something wasn't right here. Bad dreams or hallucinations were one thing, but this sounded like a full-blown delusion, a transposing of one reality onto another --

"What's the last thing you remember?" he asked.

Dean looked up at him, winced, shook his head again, then looked away at a corner of the room.

"I lay down for a minute -- we were between scenes and it was gonna take awhile to set up the next shot, and I was up late last night so I figured I could just catch a couple of minutes of shut-eye. Then I wake up and everybody's gone and the set is wrong, man. There's no way out. Everything's wrong! It's some kind of big joke! Somebody's decided to play a stupid fucking joke on me and I need it to stop! Now!"

Dean was working himself up into another panic attack, and out of sheer instinct Sam moved closer, laid gentle hands on his brother's shoulder and neck, trying to calm him.

Usually it worked. Usually Sam's touch was the one thing that got through to Dean when he was like this. Sam's touch and Sam's voice were the magic antidotes to anything that ailed Dean.

But this time it just wasn't happening. If anything, Sam's touch was the thing that was making Dean's freak-out even worse.

"No!" he jumped away. "Don't hurt me! Please! Oh god oh god oh god oh god --"

"Not gonna hurt you," Sam shook his head, his exasperation with the situation finally breaking through his caution. "Dean, what's wrong with you? You're home. You're safe here."

"No, no, not home, not home," Dean insisted, scrambling away from Sam with a wild look on his face. "I'm not him, damn it. I'm not -- you're not -- "

He stopped suddenly, peered up at Sam with wide eyes, realization dawning.

"You're not him, are you?" Dean said, tentative. "You're -- you're -- Oh my god, how is this happening?"

"Dean, calm down -- " Sam moved forward again, determined to stop this panic attack from escalating again.

"No," Dean started to pull himself up, stumbled, fell heavily on his ass, stared up at Sam, blinking. "No, listen to me. I'm not him, okay? I'm not -- I'm not Dean, goddamn it."

Sam felt like he'd been slapped.

Of course. Of course this wasn't Dean. Why the hell hadn't he figured that out before?

Then who -- or what -- was this half-naked man cowering in the corner of Dean's bedroom?

The man read the sudden fury in Sam's face, his eyes widening as he tried frantically to scramble away again.

"No no no no -- I can explain -- please don't hurt me! Please!"

But Sam had already grabbed the man by the lapels, was already hauling him to his feet, shoving him back against the wall, anger and frustration rising like a tidal wave from the depths of his soul.

"What have you done with my brother?"

The words roared out of Sam's chest with the force of a cannon, and the man's head snapped back, hit the wall hard.

"Ow!" he moaned. "Please, stop! Okay? I can explain! Don't hurt me! Let me go and I'll explain!"

Sam was shaking the man and shoving him against the wall, and now he could smell it -- something expensive, some kind of styling gel or cologne or something -- nothing like the earthy sweat and leather and Old Spice smell of his brother. The guy was wearing some serious product.

"Tell me," Sam bellowed. "Tell me right now why I shouldn't just end you?"

"No, no no no no," the man winced. "Please -- I think I know what's happening. It's insane but I think -- You -- You're Sam Winchester, aren't you?"

Sam shoved his face right up close, hauled the man up on the wall so he was on his toes, almost suspended with Sam pressed against him.

"You bet your goddamn life I'm Sam Winchester," Sam snarled. "Now who the hell are you?"


"J -- Jensen -- Jensen Ackles," the man stuttered, trembling violently in Sam's grasp. "I'm an actor."

Sam's eyes narrowed as the information sunk in, the name bringing back memories of something that happened years ago --

The t.v. show. Fake Castiel. Fake Ruby, for godssake. That freaky alternative universe where there was no magic, no supernatural. Just a shitty little t.v. show starring a couple of douche-bag actors.

Sam loosened his grip slightly, backed off so the guy -- Jensen Ackles -- could take a breath. The actor relaxed a little, eyes flicking up to Sam's, wincing, looking away again, still clearly trembling and scared shitless.

And so obviously not Dean, now that Sam knew the truth, that he couldn't help staring, noting the differences.

"No, you're not my brother," he breathed out, letting go of the man and backing away. "I can see that now. You're that actor. From that t.v. show."

Jensen straightened his robe, pulling it closed over his bare chest, crossing his arms in an attempt to appear less nervous. He nodded, then glanced up at Sam again.

"So what are you doing here?" Sam asked. "How did you -- "

Suddenly Sam knew.

"Oh my god," he murmured. "You and Dean share DNA -- alternate universe, same DNA -- how is that possible?"

Jensen shook his head.

"You tell me, man," he said. "You're the brilliant big-brained geek. I just act."

"But you have -- obviously you're not -- " Sam's brain was working hard to make sense of this, because it simply didn't make sense.

Finally he shook his head.

"No, that can't be it, because you don't have the same ancestry. Your parents are different. This isn't biological. This is something else. Plus, you and I aren't related -- "

Sam peered at Jensen skeptically. "Are we? I mean, the other actor -- he's not your brother, right? The one who plays Sam?"

Jensen's eyes got big, and he actually stared straight at Sam for the first time, shocked.

Then he looked away again, shaking his head and shifting his feet nervously.

"God, no," Jensen breathed. "Jared and I aren't even friends."

"Huh," Sam nodded, remembering that other time. "That's right. Wow. This is -- "

He was about to say "weird," but he caught himself. When had weird ever been unusual for the Winchesters? And the opportunities here, if he could just figure this out, were enormous.

But first, there was a shivering civilian standing in front of him, a scared and completely freaked-out guy who needed some reassurance.

"Hey." Sam tried to soften his voice, put on his most sympathetic expression. "How about we find you some clothes, get you something to eat. Then we'll figure this out, okay? Does that sound good?"

Jensen raised his eyes, and the doubtful look there puzzled Sam. It was like the guy thought he was being the butt of a cruel joke. Like he was used to being a punching bag. For Sam.

Or Jared, the actor who played Sam.

Sam held Jensen's gaze intently, as he would when he worked with a traumatized victim at a crime scene, and finally it seemed to work a little. Jensen's facial expression went from tense and terrified to resigned and bewildered, and he gave a little nod as he looked away, seemed to be trying to collect himself.

"Okay," he agreed.

Sam opened drawers, pulled out Dean's jeans and a tee-shirt, laid them on the bed.

"Okay," he turned to Jensen, who was hugging himself and watching Sam. "I'll leave you to it. You know how to find the kitchen, right?"

Jensen nodded, looking so lost and sad that Sam couldn't help reaching out, couldn't help laying a reassuring hand on the actor's shoulder.

"Hey," Sam spoke gently, and Jensen looked up, wide-eyed and bewildered. "It'll be okay. We'll figure this out. We'll get you home, okay? I promise."

Jensen's face softened and his eyes suddenly glistened and for a minute Sam thought he was going to cry, so Sam patted him, then squeezed his shoulder, looking away awkwardly.

Because he did not need this strange man with his brother's face and body bursting into tears and needing comfort right now.

Sam so did not need that.

*

In the kitchen Sam scrambled some eggs, fried some bacon, made fresh black coffee and toast. When Jensen finally appeared -- what was he doing in there that took almost twenty minutes? -- Sam struggled not to jump. In Dean's jeans and black tee-shirt Jensen looked good. Really, really good.

Of course he looks good. He's an actor, Sam reminded himself. It's his job to look good.

Still, Jensen's appearance rattled Sam to the core in ways he didn't want to think about too deeply.

Because, the thing was, Sam was missing his brother something awful.

And suddenly, here was this look-alike in his kitchen, and it was -- it was unsettling.

To say the least.

"I can't eat that," Jensen noted, looking at the bacon and eggs on the table, obviously set out for him with the coffee.

Sam raised his eyebrows.

"Why? What's wrong with it?"

"I'm vegan," Jensen said. "I don't eat animal products."

Sam stared at the actor in disbelief.

"You're kidding me," he said. "They cast an actor to play Dean who doesn't eat meat."

Jensen shrugged.

"So how do you even play all those scenes in the diners with the cheeseburgers and the barbecue and steak and -- "

Jensen lifted his eyebrows, taking Sam's breath away because his eyes were so green and looked so much like Dean's.

"It's called acting," Jensen said. "They use soy for the burgers. Usually they cut the scene so I can spit it out anyway. If I ate the way Dean does I couldn't fit through the diner door, much less into these jeans."

Sam did not want to touch that comment with a ten-foot pole, not least because Jensen looked so damn good in Dean's jeans and it was totally messing with his mind.

Because he was not thinking about balling his brother, so there was no way he could be thinking about fucking this douche-bag actor.

No fuckin' way.

"Okay," Sam nodded, trying his best to show how calm he could be if he tried really, really hard. "So what can you eat?"

Jensen shifted his feet, looked awkward, like he fully expected Sam to take every advantage of any weakness he showed.

"Salad," Jensen suggested slowly. "Fresh fruit, fresh veggies, soy milk products, coffee. Oh yeah, lots of coffee."

Sam reached over and plucked the cup of java from the table, shoved it into Jensen's hand.

"Good. Here," he offered, trying hard to ignore the reaction he couldn't avoid when his fingers brushed Jensen's.

Damn it.

"Thanks," Jensen acknowledged, hands closing in around the mug of hot coffee like an anchor, letting it pull a moment of normalcy into the mix. "I'll just wake up now, thank you very much."

Sam turned away, determined not to let Jensen's presence affect him, knowing in his heart that was a losing battle.

"Not a dream, I'm afraid," Sam said softly, scooping up the plate of food and dumping it into the compost bin at the end of the counter.

Cuz Sam Winchester could garden with the best of 'em, and composting was totally part of the program.

Except that he'd been spending the past couple of months tracking down spells and leads to get his brother back, so the gardening and whatever else domestically was taking a bit of a backseat.

Okay, then.

"Okay, I think I get how you got here," Sam turned back to the actor, who was sipping the coffee and staring at him over the rim of the cup.

So not fair.

"You and Dean are clearly identical in every physical sense," he continued, thinking it through as he talked so he didn't have to admit how affected he was by those green eyes. "And don't ask me how that's possible, since you don't have the same parents. Right?"

Jensen shook his head, and Sam nodded.

"Okay, so it's a classic doppelgänger scenario," Sam went on. "You and Dean prove the theory that we all have an identical twin in another universe. Except in this case, there's this crazy coincidence that you and Dean actually have something in common -- namely, the story of our lives, which is fiction in your universe."

Jensen was still staring at him over the rim of his mug, and Sam felt his cheeks grow hot. He cleared his throat and shifted his feet in an obvious attempt to hide his body's reaction, but Jensen was watching him too intently not to notice

"You're really not him, are you?"

Jensen's question was so out-of-the-blue and unexpected that it took Sam a second to readjust, frowning in an effort to follow the words.

"Who?" he asked.

"Jared," Jensen clarified. "You're really not Jared."

Jensen's eyes dropped to Sam's crotch, then slowly raised to his mouth before meeting his eyes again, this time with a come-hither smirk that made Sam instantly hard as a rock.

Sam cleared his throat, shifted awkwardly, put one hand on his hip and ran the other through his hair, cleared his throat again.

"No," he agreed. "We already established that."

"You don't hate me," Jensen continued.

"Dude, I don't even know you," Sam huffed out a laugh. "Hate's a pretty strong emotion. Not exactly something you can muster for someone you barely know."

He looked speculatively at Jensen.

"Why does he hate you? You seem like a nice enough guy."

Jensen shook his head, looked away, a grim smile turning up the corners of his mouth but not quite reaching his eyes.

"It's a long story," he said. "We have to project this camaraderie on screen, you know? Everybody thinks we're best friends. The network likes it that way. Feeds the fan following. Two hot guys playing brothers, best friends in real life. Sells advertising. It's good for business."

Sam couldn't stop watching the actor's mouth as he talked, wanted him to keep talking just so he could keep watching. He was so distracted he barely heard the question.

"So where's your brother?"

"Huh?" Sam shook his head, dragging his gaze away so he could focus.

"Your brother? Dean? Tall, good-looking, crush on his younger sibling?"

Sam blushed to the roots of his hair, lowered his chin to his chest in a last-ditch effort to hide his response.

Jensen made a low chuckle, and when Sam raised his eyes the actor was smiling, crows feet at the edges of his eyes, straight white teeth showing.

"Man, you've got it bad," Jensen noted. "You and Dean are really doin' the deed. It's like every bad fan fiction fantasy come true, am I right? Wow." He shook his head, still grinning. "Can't say I'm surprised, and I'm definitely not saying you two don't deserve it, after all you've been through. But incest is -- wow."

Sam moved so fast Jensen didn't have a chance. He grabbed the actor's shirt in his hands and shoved him hard against the wall, sending the coffee cup crashing to the ground, where it shattered spectacularly.

"Shut up!" Sam bellowed. "You don't get to judge! You don't have a fuckin' clue! Who the hell do you think you are? Just because you play Dean in some stupid t.v. show, you think you know him? You think you understand us? How dare you, you little shit."

Sam shook the man soundly, for emphasis, and was rewarded with the return of abject terror to Jensen's handsome face.

"Hey, I'm sorry, man," Jensen stuttered, his whole body shaking in Sam's grasp. "I didn't mean -- sorry. No disrespect, seriously."

More satisfied by Jensen's fear than he probably should be, Sam nodded, stepped back, released the actor and let his eyes drop to the floor for a minute, ignoring the mess.

"Sorry. I'm a little on edge lately," he mumbled as he shuffled his feet and ran a hand through his hair, self-soothing to calm himself down. "Dean's missing, and I've been trying everything I can think of to find him -- And now I've got you to try to deal with --"

"Dean's missing?" Jensen repeated. "Wait -- is this right after he turned into a demon? Are we in the middle of the hiatus right now? Is that what this is?"

Sam stared, shaken to the core, unable to comprehend Jensen's words because they seemed so nonsensical.

"What? Dean turned into a demon? What are you talking about?"

Jensen nodded, taking a step sideways to position himself out of Sam's reach.

"At the end of Season Nine," he said. "Dean died, right? Metatron killed him. That just happened, am I right?"

Sam nodded slowly.

"Two months ago," he said. "I've been looking for him ever since."

Then it hit him.

"But -- " Sam's brain was spinning. "Dean has the tattoo. He can't be possessed."

Jensen was shaking his head, tiny smile turning up the corners of his mouth again.

"Not possessed," he said. "He IS a demon. Like Cain. Scary, out-for-nobody-but-himself, super-strong, care-free. And you can't find him because he doesn't want to be found, Sam. Cuz he's a monster now. He's the thing y'all used to hunt and kill."

Sam heard Jensen's words, understood what he was saying, and in his heart he knew it was true, but that didn't prepare him for the crushing weight of grief and devastation he was suddenly experiencing.

It pinned him in place, making it difficult to move.

"How do you know?" Sam breathed out, only now realizing that he'd taken a step backwards, hit the table with the backs of his legs.

He grabbed the edge of the table to steady himself, his legs threatening to give out on him all of a sudden.

Jensen was watching him, sympathy winning out over the trepidation in his eyes.

"It's in the script," he said gently. "I'm sorry, man. We've already been filming. We've got the third episode in the can already."

"Wait -- so you know everything that's gonna happen," Sam clarified.

Jensen tilted his head, shrugged.

"I've got a general idea," he admitted. "I've read the scripts for the first few episodes, and they've given us the story arc for the season."

Sam ran a hand through his hair.

"You're like Chuck Shurley or something," he suggested, desperation making him grasp at straws. "You're like a prophet."

Jensen shook his head.

"No, I'm not a fictional character," he insisted. "And I'm not a writer. Those guys are the gods of this thing, not me."

"Wait -- what did you just say?"

Jensen lifted his eyebrows, shrugged.

"I'm not a fictional character," he repeated.

"No, the other thing. The writers."

Sam was already bounding out of the kitchen and into the library, Jensen on his heels. Sam grabbed his laptop, slid into his seat.

"Those guys might exist here," Sam said. "Maybe one of them can help us figure out what's happening."

"I can tell you what's happening," Jensen insisted. "But you're not gonna like it."

"Dean being a demon isn't bad enough?" Sam snapped.

"Unfortunately not," Jensen admitted. "He's not the real monster in this story, Sam."

"What?" Sam looked up, confused. "What are you talking about? Who's the real monster then?"

"Well now, that would be you," Jensen shrugged, backing up to give Sam some room to absorb his words, his accusation.

Sam glared, waiting for Jensen to continue. The actor managed to look smug and a little bit apologetic at the same time, and Sam struggled with the urge to hit the man.

Or kiss the damn smirk off his pretty face, whichever.

"I don't know why I'm even listening to you," Sam went for the bitch face.

Jensen shook his head.

"You're gonna get really desperate, Sam," he explained. "Another month or two go by and no Dean, and you start torturing people for information, doing whatever it takes to find your brother."

"No way," Sam shook his head. "Not gonna happen."

Jensen shook his head again.

"It's in the script," he said. "It's already been filmed. Sorry, Sam. It's a done deal."

Something in Jensen's words struck a nerve in Sam, made him catch his breath and shake his head, overwhelmed by a sense of deja-vu.

This conversation was too familiar, too much like other conversations with other creatures -- and Jensen might be human and a civilian, but his very existence was a supernatural event, and therefore he -- Jensen -- was a kind of supernatural creature. Something that shouldn't exist, but did.

Then it hit him. This was a lot like those asshole angels, like Zachariah telling him all those years ago that he couldn't escape his fate. That he and Dean were destined to bring on the apocalypse.

"No," Sam breathed out now, raising his eyes to Jensen's, feeling the familiar Winchester stubbornness well up inside him. "No, that's not how it's gonna be. I'm changing it. Right now."

Jensen's eyes widened in surprise.

"You can't," he insisted. "It's already been filmed."

"Well, it hasn't happened here yet, in this universe, so that proves we're not perfectly parallel. Your being here proves that, right? Or did the actor who plays Dean magically appear in the middle of the bunker one summer day in your world? In one of the scripts?"

Jensen was still staring, seemingly mesmerized by Sam's intent gaze. Then he swallowed, and Sam couldn't help letting his eyes drop, watching Jensen's throat move.

"No, that's true," Jensen agreed softly.

Sam tore his gaze away, turned back to his laptop.

"Okay, then," he said, clearing his throat. "Let's get to work. I need to know everything you can tell me about how the story unfolds in your timeline. What are the names of those writers?"


Three hours later, Sam was turning up some seriously messed up shit. Knowing more about Dean's behavior, his whereabouts, the places he went after he resurrected and the things he did -- facing the fact that he was looking for a demon, the reality that Dean had become the very thing they both hated most -- well, it was seriously messing with Sam's head, that's all.

And it really didn't help having Dean's stupidly good-looking doppelgänger sitting in the chair next to him at the table, filling in the blanks, trying to be helpful between freak-out jags about his own inter-dimensional travels.

Because Sam had priorities, and at the moment, returning Jensen to his own reality wasn't at the top of his list.

So when he was ready to leave the bunker and head out to follow leads -- turned out a Jeremy Carver owned a comic book shop in Boise, and possible doppelgängers for Robbie Thompson and Adam Glass wrote scripts for an indie film company in Seattle -- he nixed Jensen's pleas to come along, reminding him that this world was full of monsters and it just was not safe.

"So you're just gonna leave me here?" Jensen stared. "Alone?"

Sam raised his eyebrows.

"You'll be perfectly safe here," he assured the actor. "This place is heavily warded. Nothing supernatural getting in here. There's food in the kitchen. Just stay here, okay? I'll be back in a few days, then we'll figure out our next step."

"A few days?" Jensen's voice was rising, bordering on hysteria again. "You can't be serious. You can't just leave me here for a few days!"

"Hey," Sam put on his most soothing voice, dropped a hand onto Jensen's shoulder to steady him, gazed into his eyes. "You'll be fine. I promise. You can call me if you need to talk to somebody. There's a t.v. and some dvds in my room if you get bored, or you can shoot pool in the rec room. Just -- just don't leave the bunker, okay? It's seriously not safe out there."

"Oh my god, Sam, please -- I can't stay here by myself -- I'll lose it," Jensen was pleading, his green eyes wide and filled with tears. "Please -- "

"Hey. Okay, wait a minute," Sam soothed, pulling the smaller man into his arms, feeling his body tremble along the length of his. "It's okay, you're gonna be okay. Come on, man. I promise."

Jensen melted into Sam's body, hugged him desperately, pressed himself so tightly against Sam it was like they were one person.

And the thing was, Jensen's body fit Sam's perfectly, just the way his brother's did. It felt exactly like hugging Dean, hugging this strange actor who played his brother, and Sam's body responded like it always did to Dean, just like Sam knew it would because he couldn't control the deep, urgent need to be in Dean's arms. To hold Dean like this.

And for a moment he indulged himself, knowing full well that this wasn't Dean, but needing the feeling of having Dean in his arms so desperately it just didn't matter. This substitute, this fake Dean, was giving him strength, was filling his body's craving for his brother like food to a starving man, and he just held on, crushing Jensen against him, burying his face in the crook of the man's neck, trying not to notice the difference in the way he smelled, just allowing himself to give into the fantasy, however briefly, that Dean was home.

When he started to pull away, Jensen clung to him, and it took him a minute to realize the man was craving this closeness as much as Sam was. It made no sense, so he doubled his efforts to pull away, and Jensen actually sobbed in protest, a deep, tearing, ragged sound wrenched from the depths of his body.

Sam lifted his head, looked down into Jensen's tear-filled eyes, confused.

"What's wrong?" he asked. "What's the matter with you?"

"Please," Jensen choked. "Please don't leave me."

And damn it if Sam just couldn't do it, regardless of what a stupid thing it was to bring the man along. He couldn't do it because when he looked at Jensen he saw his brother, and it wasn't right in so many ways, and he was more messed up than he wanted to know, but he was beginning to fear that getting Dean back, fixing him, might be harder than anything he'd ever done before. And in the meantime, having Dean's doppelgänger around was beginning to seem a little less onerous and maybe just a little bit preferable to not getting Dean back for a very, very long time.

If ever.

Not saying that last thing again. Not getting Dean back, not fixing him, was not an option.

Nevertheless, Sam's protective instincts and years of training were not exactly in top form since Dean died and disappeared, and in his mounting desperation to find and fix his brother, taking a civilian on a dangerous supernatural hunt suddenly didn't seem like such a major taboo anymore.

Why is he supposed to care if the guy gets slaughtered again?

Slippery slope, Sam, he reminded himself sharply. You start breaking the rules, doing things that you know could get people hurt or killed, you're already heading down a dark path.

It was his brother's voice, Dean's voice, reminding him of what their dad taught him all those years ago,

And that was the last straw.

Because Dean wasn't here to remind him about a hunter's rules, about protecting civilians, about never taking one on a hunt. Dean had left, didn't want to be found, didn't want Sam rescuing him.

So Dean and his rules could just go to Hell.

Bad-ass-mo-fo Sam Winchester was back in town. Alone. With a civilian side-kick if he wanted it.

He wanted it.

"Okay, okay," Sam spoke softly, shaking Jensen a little to get his attention. "Okay, you can come."

He patted Jensen on the cheek, meaning it as a friendly but firm way to get Jensen to end the embrace.

But Jensen's eyes got wider (if that was even possible) and he surged forward again, wrapping his arms around Sam and burying his face in Sam's shoulder, clinging for all he was worth and trembling with relief, so Sam found himself returning the embrace again, stroking the man's firm body through the thin tee-shirt, taking comfort from the familiar feel of muscle and bone. The actor was slighter than Dean somehow -- maybe not quite so muscular, maybe just a lighter weight overall -- lean and without an ounce of fat anywhere -- again, like Dean but not like Dean.

"Thank you," Jensen breathed against Sam's shoulder, his tears and warm breath leaving a damp spot on Sam's shirt. He snuggled in closer, showing no signs of letting go, and Sam tolerated the hug for another full minute before he made the first move to pull away.

That's when Jensen shifted so that his crotch was shoved against Sam's and --

Okay, then. So Sam's body's not the only one responding to this.

Sam pulled back more firmly, and Jensen raised his face, tear-streaked pink cheeks and slick pink mouth and eyes like deep pools of emerald water --

Sam cupped Jensen's face in one hand and damn if it didn't fit just like Dean's did, just the perfect size for Sam's long fingers to curl around behind his neck, so Sam could feel the fine short hairs there with his fingertips, run the pad of his thumb along the curve of the man's perfect cheekbone, feel the sandpaper rasp of his five-o-clock shadow against the calloused skin of Sam's palm.

Time seemed to have stopped as Sam gazed down into the face of the man he loved -- knowing it wasn't really Dean, but unable to shake the illusion, needing to pretend for just one more minute --

Then Jensen's eyes dropped to Sam's mouth and his pink tongue slipped out to swipe unconsciously across his perfect lips and the spell was broken.

Sam lurched back, breathing hard, needing relief from the tightness in his pants but unwilling to adjust himself in front of Jensen.

Jensen raised his eyes to Sam's and smirked -- fuckin' smirked, for godssake!

"You want me," he said darkly, eyes almost completely black with lust.

And that was just so so unfair.

"Shut up!" Sam mumbled, shifting his feet in an obvious effort to ease his discomfort. "It's not you."

He took a step backwards, putting his hand up to ward Jensen off.

"It's not -- it's not you, okay?" he insisted again. "I miss him. I miss my brother."

Jensen lowered his eyes, but the little smile at the corners stayed right where it was, maybe even growing a little.

"Jared never could control that either," he growled softly, his voice low and sultry. "He always gets hard-ons when we hug. Even now, even after all these years. It's a problem."

Sam stared. What?

"What -- you know, I don't even want to know what the hell you're talking about," Sam said, frowning. "I don't even know you. And this conversation is over. I have work to do."

He turned, grabbing up his laptop case from under the table, shoving the laptop and some of his papers into the case.

"You coming?"

Sam flung the words over his shoulder without even looking to see if Jensen was following him as he charged out of the room toward the garage.

NEXT CHAPTER - BACK TO MASTERPOST
amypond45: (Default)
image

Title: Take the Long Way Home
Author: [livejournal.com profile] amypond45
Pairing: Sam/Dean
Rating: Mature
Word Count: 24,509
Warnings: Major character death (doesn't stay that way, no explicit descriptions); mentions of rape and torture in the past; strong language
Summary: Sam finds a way to "fix" demon!Dean, but there's a catch. He has to kill him to do it. And as horrible as it is, Sam does it because it's the only way to get his brother back. The good thing is, Dean comes back "normal." The bad thing is, he turns demon again after six months, and Sam has to kill him again to get him back. Long story short, this is one vicious cycle, not just because of the killing and dying thing, but because every time Dean comes back "normal," he's really pretty damaged and doesn't remember a thing about what happened before. Can Sam find a way to stop the cycle before it's too late? Before Dean becomes so damaged there's nothing left to bring back?

PART ONE - PART TWO - PART THREE - PART FOUR -
PART FIVE - PART SIX - PART SEVEN

READ IT ON AO3
amypond45: (Default)
Three days before the end we return to the bunker. Cas pops in to check on us, leaves again. He's trying to find signs of angel activity, looking for God again. All the angels went home but he's stuck here, and it's lonely for him. I assure him he's welcome to hang out with us as much as he likes, and that seems to please him.

He's such a dork.

I appreciate his presence though. It takes the heat off this thing that's looming between Sam and me. We've managed not to talk about it till now, but suddenly Sam can't stop referring to it, making comments out of the blue.

"We need to rehearse," he tells me, all nervous and jumpy.

"It's a single gun-shot, Sam," I remind him curtly. "Point blank, straight into the brain. Not much chance of missing."

"There's always a chance," Sam's eyes are wild, he's starting to hyperventilate. "My hand could shake. I sweat. The gun could slip."

"So shoot me again," I sigh, so not wanting to talk about this.

Truth is, I don't want to think about it. It scares the shit out of me. I don't want to die. I don't want Sam to suffer yet again as he watches me die.

I hate my life.

We agree to do it in my bed. If he manages the angle right there shouldn't be much mess. My brain should absorb the bullet. Then he can just leave my body there till I resurrect.

I make him promise to burn my body if I don't come back within three days. It's always three days when he kills demon!me, so we have to expect it'll be the same.

I have a terrible feeling he's just gonna let me rot. The three days will go by and he won't be able to let go.

I take Cas for a drive, just long and quiet in the car along a back-country road, listening to the comforting rumble of the engine. I find a spot we can pull over, look at the view. Cornfields and sky forever.

"I need you to promise me something," I tell Castiel, and he nods solemnly. "If I don't come back after a week and Sam isn't letting me go, just get him out of there. Don't let him kill himself. Don't let him sit there drinking and not eating and not sleeping until he dies."

I close my eyes, trying to shut out the image of Sam sitting over my dead body, drunk and dying.

"You got me, Cas?" I turn to him, look him straight in the eye. "Don't let him die."

"Dean, he cannot die," Castiel assures me. "There is nothing on this earth now that can kill Sam. When you're gone, he will go on indefinitely. If you don't resurrect, Sam will be alone. Forever."

Fuck.

"Wow," I breathe with a shake of my head. "Great bedside manner, there, Doctor House. Thanks for the comforting words."

"I am only stating the facts," Castiel frowns, clearly not understanding my sarcasm. "However, I doubt very much that the Mark will allow you to die permanently, so your concern is groundless."

"Oh it is, huh?" I glare. "Cuz last time I looked, Lady Luck had pretty much checked out of the Winchester Motel. About forty years ago, as a matter of fact.. So the way I see it, this thing going off without a hitch seems pretty unlikely. I need to plan for contingencies.

"So what I need from you, Castiel-oh-all-knowing-all-powerful-recently-resurrected-dork-twit, is your promise to look after Sam, no matter what happens to me. Can you do that?"

Castiel lifts his chin, and for a moment I think he's angry, but then the corners of his mouth curve upwards just a little, and he nods.

"I can do that," he agrees.

I nod, clear my throat, nod again.

"Good," I say, more relieved than I expected to feel.

I fire up the engine, turn on the tunes, and we don't speak again as we drive back to the bunker.

But I got what I needed from him, and I feel fairly confident he won't let me down.

*
The night before, our last night, Sam wants to stay in a motel. He doesn't want to try to sleep in the bed where's he's going to kill me.

I can't blame him.

So we get in the car and drive, find a decent place near Omaha, with a pool and an ice machine and a little kitchenette so we can eat in and watch t.v. and sip our beers. It's just like any night, I tell myself. It's like a hundred other times after a hunt when we come back to the motel to shower and sleep, maybe have sex, maybe just lie quietly together, feeling lucky to be alive.

He's taking the first shower as I write this, sitting propped up on the queen-sized bed closest to the door. Tomorrow we'll drive back to the bunker, I'll put this journal away in the drawer next to the bed with the rest of the records of my past lives, the lives of that clueless guy who spent his useless, meaningless existence trying to figure out who the hell he was and never quite getting there. Never really knowing.

Well, I know now. I remember everything, good, bad, and horrifically terrible. And I gotta say, as lives go, it's probably not the worst.

I have Sam. And Castiel.

When people like that love you, you can't just ignore that like it doesn't mean anything.

I do, but that's because I'm an asshole.

Being loved by Sam is a gift. I don't accept it lightly. I wish I could tell him that, but I can't.

He'll find this journal so he'll know.

He knows anyway.

So Sam, if you're reading this, I guess Luck was on vacation. Again. Sorry about that. Guess I'm gone for good.

So this is the last thing I'll ever say to you, and it's in writing cuz you know me and I'm not one for talking about how I feel.

I think I probably said it before, but just for the record, I'm proud of us, Sam. Despite everything bad that's happened, we done some good. Sometimes we did some bad things, but we did what we had to. And overall, it was a good life because I had you, Sam. Best day of my life, the day you were born.

So if it means anything, don't forget you were loved, Sammy.

You were always loved, little brother.

Fuck.


**

My name is Sam Winchester.

I feel like an idiot writing that, but Doctor Parker says I need to start a journal as part of my therapy, and I should start by writing the things I know about myself.

At the moment, I don't know very much. I was in a hunting accident, apparently, and I managed to shoot myself. The bullet lodged in my brain, nearly killing me, and I've been through two surgeries and was in a coma for a few days. I have no memory of this, or of anything before this, and Dr. Parker says that's normal with a traumatic brain injury. She thinks I have a good chance of recovering some memories, but it may take awhile. I've also lost the use of my legs, but with physical therapy, I should be walking again soon. There's nothing physically wrong with my legs, but my brain doesn't think I should be walking for now so I can't.

So, starting with the things I do know, apparently I was brought in to the hospital by my brother, who was understandably upset. He's been with me the whole time except when I was in surgery, and he's the first thing I saw when I opened my eyes yesterday.

My brother.

Now, I know that's who he says he is, and I believe him, but when I first opened my eyes yesterday and saw his face, my brain whispered the craziest things and my body responded in the weirdest ways.

He was asleep in the chair next to my bed, his eyes closed, long eyelashes resting on freckled cheeks, full, lush lips slightly parted, head tipped back, exposing a strong neck with a couple of days' growth of scruff.

The rush of pure pleasure at seeing him was unexpected, to say the least. It was like everything was suddenly okay, like somehow nothing else mattered. In my sleepy, not-quite-conscious waking moments, looking at this man was the most meaningful thing, like every answer to every question was there in him, in his beautiful face.

Then he opened his eyes, and the world fell away.

For the split second before his eyes met mine, before understanding dawned there and he realized I was awake, we just looked at each other, and it was like the universe re-aligned itself with us at its axis.

And then he saw my eyes open and looking at him and he was suddenly on the bed with my face in his hands, murmuring my name and crying and kissing me, my cheeks and my forehead and my lips --

He can't be my brother.

The way I feel about him is a little overwhelming because I don't actually remember him at all. It's just feelings. Powerful, consuming, confusing feelings. Love, anger, frustration, lust, more love. My soul is literally bursting with feeling for him. But at first all I could do is stare at him, my brain trying to pull actual memories from deep inside as he's saying things to me that make no sense:

"You did it, Sam, you fixed me. You did it."

Then his expression turned angry and demanding.

"You stupid son-of-a-bitch," he scolded me. "What were you doing? Why did you shoot yourself, jackass? You could have died. What the hell were you thinking?"

I wasn't understanding him, couldn't remember how I knew him. Maybe I said,

"I don't remember. I don't remember you."

He stopped abruptly and stared at me.

"You don't remember anything?" he asked, and I shook my head.

That's when I realized my head was bandaged, and when I put my hand up to touch it I found no hair. They must've shaved my head when they did the surgery.

I'm immediately struck with an overwhelming wave of grief and loss, and all I can think is, "My hair!" like it had some kind of magical power or something. Like I'm Samson from the old story and without my hair I'm powerless and weak.

Which I guess I am at the moment, so maybe that makes sense as a literary allusion.

I must've gone to college. I must've been an English major.

"It'll grow back," my brother said, shaking his head as he lay his hand over mine, relief winning out over the anger in his handsome face.

*
It's been two weeks since I wrote in this thing. Life has kind of gotten in the way.

Dean and I are a couple. The brother thing was just so he could have access to me in the hospital. It took me exactly no seconds to figure that one out, but I was relieved when he agreed to my suggestion, although I have to admit he didn't look exactly happy about it.

"We're not really brothers, are we?" I asked after we'd been making out for nearly ten minutes straight that first evening.

He pulled back and looked at me, frowning, and at first I thought he was going to argue. But then his face got a little sad and he lowered his eyes, shook his head.

"You really don't remember," he stated simply, his voice low.

I slipped my hand along his cheek, caressed the stubble there, tucked my fingers into the hair on the back of his neck.

"I remember this," I breathed. "My body remembers yours." I slid my thumb along his full bottom lip, slick with my spit. "I remember I love this. I love you."

The minute I said it I wished I could take it back. His eyes flickered up to mine, and there was a wounded look there, like I've just told him something terrible, like I hurt him.

Damn, I think. Maybe we don't talk like this to each other. Maybe I've never told him I love him.

How is that possible? I obviously do. I obviously love this man more than life itself. Why would I never tell him?

Now it's two weeks later and I'm still trying to figure us out. We're obviously in love, but there are other things about our relationship I can't understand.

For about the four-millionth time, I wish I could remember something. Anything.

Dean answers my questions, fills me in on our life before, and everything he says makes sense, even if the details don't sound familiar. He's a mechanic. I'm a former pre-law student from Stanford University. We met on a shared tour of duty in Afghanistan, where we both saw some serious action. We've been together ever since, traveling around mostly, picking up odd jobs here and there.

Everything he says sounds right, but I get the feeling there are things he isn't telling me.

Then there's the weird guy in the trench coat.

He started dropping by right after I woke up. I heard Dean arguing with someone in the hall, sounding really angry, going on and on in a fierce whisper about "Where the fuck were you?" and "He almost died, you stupid ass-hat!"

"Dean?" I called, and the whispers stopped dead.

Another second went by before Dean stuck his head in the door, raised his eyebrows at me.

I still haven't gotten used to the flutter in my chest whenever I see him. It's in my gut too. It's all over. My body craves his and it's almost unbearable sometimes.

"Yeah?" he said, then glanced at something behind him.

"Who are you talking to?" I asked, and he sighed, came all the way into the room so the person behind him could step inside.

Meeting an old friend is supposed to help jog memories, but Castiel is a complete blank to me. I can't remember ever seeing him before, and I had none of the passionate sense memories that flooded me when I first saw Dean.

Cas is just a guy.

Dean was so weird around him I wondered if they had had some kind of relationship, maybe before he met me. Or maybe he cheated on me with this guy. Maybe that's why Dean seems so uncomfortable when Castiel is in the room with me. Because it's still happening, whenever Castiel drops by, and they still whisper together in the hall sometimes, not realizing I can hear every word.

Not that anything they say makes sense to me.

They argue a lot about fixing me, which apparently Dean doesn't want Castiel to do. I get the sense Castiel is some kind of faith healer. I wonder why Dean is so adamant about not letting Cas do whatever it is he can do. I mean, it can't hurt, can it?

One night, when Dean and I are alone, I bring it up.

"Why don't you let Castiel fix me?" I ask.

Dean looks up from the book he's reading -- some novel by Tom Clancy, I think -- and stares blankly at me for a minute.

"What?"

"Why do you not want Castiel to do whatever it is that he does to try to help?" I say. "I think it hurts his feelings."

Dean frowns, considers for a minute, then shakes his head.

"He's all right," he says. "You'll be fine. We don't need his help."

I ask about Castiel. Apparently he was in Afghanistan with us. Apparently he was a chaplain and now that he's state-side again he's gone back to his accounting business.

No wonder I don't remember him at all. He's really, really boring.

*
I've been doing physical therapy for my legs and I'm almost standing on my own. They have me use my arms to move along between the parallel bars, and I can scoot myself up and down the hall with a walker. My arms are getting quite a work-out.

Not that they need it. I have heavily muscled arms, and I obviously work out a lot. It makes me wonder about Dean's body. He covers himself in layers of clothing, but the thought of seeing him naked takes my breath away.

My physical therapist shows Dean how to help me up, how to get me going with the walker. They're planning to send me home at the end of the week, and Dean will need to care for me for awhile as I train myself to walk again. We practice getting me in and out of bed, and it's almost comical, the way he curses my "freakishly long arms" and calls me "octopus" and "princess."

Then he gets his hands on me and it's all I can do not to grab him and pull him backwards onto the bed, slide my hands up under his shirts and kiss the smirk off his full, pouting lips.

One day I just do it, and he grunts and mutters against me before he surrenders, just melts into me, lets me kiss him and touch him until we're both dizzy with need. We're rutting against each other and he's got his hand under the waistband of my sweatpants when we're interrupted by Castiel, who seems to appear out of nowhere.

"Dean," he says, his eyes heated, and I just know it now. I can see it, even if Dean can't. The guy is in love with Dean.

"Damn it, Cas," Dean growls, pushing himself off the bed -- off me -- reluctantly, irritably. "What? Huh? Just -- what?"

"We need to talk," Castiel says darkly, and I watch Dean as his face changes, the irritation clearing as he gets Castiel's meaning. He flicks a glance at me, and so help me God he looks guilty, and now I know he's hiding something from me.

"Okay," he says to Castiel. "Let's get a cup of coffee."

I grab his wrist as he starts to move away, and he turns back to me, green eyes wide and guileless again.

"Don't go." I sound whiny, but I don't care. I need his reassurance right now. I need to know he's not going off with this guy and leaving me.

He looks startled for a minute, then frowns.

"Not going anywhere, Sam," he promises, his voice surprisingly deep, his expression serious. "Not gonna leave you. Just getting some coffee, okay? We'll be right back."

And just like that, I'm sure. Just like that, I know in my soul he loves me. There's nobody else for him. I have his heart.

Thank God.

*
On Friday we go home.

Or at least, we go to this beautiful mountain cabin by a lake that takes about an hour of driving down a dirt road off the main highway to reach. It's obviously out in the middle of nowhere, and as soon as the car stops we sit and stare for a minute, taking in the beauty of the setting, the isolation, the abandoned look of the little house.

This is obviously not our home.

"Come on," Dean says finally. "Let's get you inside. Then I'll unpack and fix us something to eat."

The ground is rough, unpaved, so we don't even bother with the walker. Dean comes around to my side of the car and helps me out. I pull myself up and lean heavily on him, move my legs one at a time and manage to make it to the front steps that way. Dean curses a few times, struggles with his arm tight around my back, his other hand pressed against my chest to prevent me from pitching forward. We're both a little winded from the effort, so I sit down on the steps while he goes back to the car for the walker.

The air is fresh here, even if the porch is a little dusty. I have a feeling the house will be full of dust, and I'm not wrong. It hasn't been lived in for years, as far as I can tell, but I don't question it. I sit on the couch while Dean unloads groceries, gets the propane hot water heater up and running, checks the septic and the well. There's a wood stove for heat, but we don't need it yet. A gas-fueled generator runs the lights, and as it starts to get dark Dean gets that up and running, then grins proudly as he flicks on the light switch.

Dean grills a couple of steaks and pulls a bottle of wine out of a bag and opens it, pours it into two paper cups and hands one to me. We sit close at the table, so our knees knock together as he raises his cup in a mock salute. The moment is heavy with meaning, and I can't quite get past the lump in my throat to salute back, just stare into his beautiful eyes and wonder how I ever got so lucky.

Dean reads my mood, smirks a little as he lifts his cup.

"To us," he says, and I grin despite myself, feel my cheeks flush as I raise my own cup, tap it lightly against his.

"To us," I agree softly.

Later, after we've eaten and he's cleaned up and checked all the house systems again, while I watch in helpless fascination because he's obviously avoiding me and it's funny somehow -- finally he stops in front of me (I'm still sitting at the table) and says,

"Come on. Let's get you to bed."

He's not looking me in the eye, and even when he lets me pull myself up on him, then lean heavily against him again, he doesn't look up.

So I twist my body around so we're chest-to-chest and take his face in my hands so he has to look up at me and --

Damn. From this angle he's so stunning I can hardly breathe.

I lower my eyes to his mouth, lean in, my heart speeding up and my whole body shivering with anticipation.

When our mouths touch it's electric, desperate. I'm instantly hard and needing more, and I can feel his response; I know he feels the same.

So when he pulls away, gets a hand between us and gently but firmly pushes himself back, tearing his mouth away with a shake of his head, at first I'm confused and surge forward, chasing him, trying to recapture his lips.

But he's shaking his head, stepping back.

"No, I can't -- I can't, Sam," he mutters apologetically, looking anywhere but into my eyes.

"What?"

I can feel the confusion like a glass of cold water poured down the back of my shirt. I thought I understood. I thought this was what he wanted. I thought he brought me here, to this romantic get-away place, because we were finally going to --

Until that moment, I hadn't realized how much I wanted this. I hadn't questioned him partly because I wanted it so badly. I didn't want to break the spell or whatever. It felt like if I could just go with whatever he was doing -- bringing me here to this place which was obviously not our home -- which could mean anything: Maybe we don't really live together? Maybe we've never had sex and this is a new thing between us? (no, that's not right -- I'm fairly certain we've had sex before. My sense memories are absolutely convincing on that point) -- if I could trust him enough, maybe he would let me have this. Maybe he would give me what I needed from him.

But I knew it wouldn't work. I knew I couldn't get that.

Because what I need from Dean isn't just sex, or some romantic get-away week at an abandoned cabin in the mountains.

What I need from Dean is -- it's --

Everything. I need everything. He's everything.

"Marry me," I blurt so suddenly it startles us both. His eyes flick up to mine and hold them in shocked silence, and I'm so overwhelmed by what I've just said all I can do is stare back at him, mesmerized by how deep the green goes. I feel like I'm sinking, down, down, inside a warm, green ocean with powerful waves and wrenching currents and he's with me.

Then he gives a little shake of his head, rolls his eyes and hunches his shoulders.

"Fuck, I can't let this go on -- " he mutters, and I grab his shoulders, hold for dear life so he looks up, startled again.

"Yes," I insist fiercely. "Yes, you can, Dean. I love you. I need to be with you. I need to spend the rest of my life with you. I can't live any other way -- "

I'm babbling, on a roll, scared to death that if I stop he'll leave. Or laugh at me.

Instead of either, he puts his hand up, presses his fingers against my lips.

"Okay, Sam, that's it," he says when I stop, distracted by his warm, smooth skin, the intimacy of the gesture sending another stab of lust through my gut. "You need to know something about us. You have to believe me when I tell you this, okay? Because it will sound crazy to you, but you need to trust me."

I stare at him, heart pounding, sick with curiosity and dread. I know I need to know the truth, but it terrifies me, although I have no idea why it should. I'm afraid of the secrets he's keeping; I'm terrified that the truth will destroy us, take away this fragile thing between us.

Dean closes his eyes a minute, clenches his jaw, steeling himself for whatever it is he's about to say.

"We really are brothers, Sam," he says finally, opening his eyes to stare fiercely into mine. "This thing between us has been here since before you were born. We're -- " He pauses, rolls his eyes again, scrubs a hand over his face, then looks up at me again. "We're brothers. You get me?"

I stare, looking for the joke, waiting for him to smirk or laugh or admit he's putting me on.

He's looking at me with a frank openness that doesn't look at all like lying.

"What are you talking about?" I argue. "You said we were hunting buddies. You said we met overseas."

Now he looks away, scrubs a hand over his face again, nods shortly.

"Yeah, I know that's what I said," he says. "I lied. I'm actually pretty good at that."

He's got a wide-legged stance going now, with his hands on his hips, like he expects me to start swinging and he wants to be ready.

I'm still not making sense of his words. They don't make sense.

"But we -- You and I are obviously -- Are you saying that this thing between us -- "

I wait for the horror. I wait for the shocked disgust.

It's just not there.

Surprise, yeah. Why lie? Why would he double-down on that lie? What's he gaining by telling me the truth now? If we're fucking -- and now I realize we've been fucking since we were kids, probably -- how does it help to bring me out to this cabin in the middle of nowhere to tell me?

Incest.

I should be shocked. I should feel like throwing up. I should want to run, get as far away from him as I can run.

Something tells me I probably already did that, at least once, and it didn't work out so well.

Because I'm in love with him.

Hopelessly, tragically, desperately -- like every bad tragic romance in history -- every forbidden love -- every stupid story of star-crossed lovers --

And I'm pretty sure he feels the same way, so --

We're a fucking cliche.

I'm still standing next to the table, one hand on the chair-back to steady myself, absorbing the truth and the immensity of his revelation, and it's just okay. I'm okay with it. It's obviously something we came to terms with years ago, so it's not like some new thing. However it started -- and I'm pretty sure now it started when we were pretty young -- it was resolved a long time ago. We're still together. We figured it out.

So -- why are we here again? Why is he telling me this now?

"Dean," I lift my eyes to his, watch him cringe a little, like he expects me to hit him.

Really?

"It's okay," I say. "Whatever this is between us, and I believe you when you say we're brothers -- it makes sense, actually. And maybe there's something wrong with me that it doesn't change a thing, but -- it doesn't change a thing, okay?"

I'm willing him to believe me now, because he's got that skittish look again and he's shaking his head a little.

"I'm still in love with you," I try again. "I still want to be with you. Hell, if it was legal to marry your brother, I'd still want to marry you."

"Sam -- " Dean puts his hand up, lets it drop, glances at me, looks away.

There's still something he's not telling me. It's more than just the brother thing. Now that he's got that off his chest he's feeling guilty because there's more to the story.

The story of us is weirder than incest.

"That's only the tip of the iceberg, isn't it?" I suggest slowly, and I can see from the guilty glance and the way he shifts his feet awkwardly that I'm onto something. "There's things you're not telling me -- about us -- that are crazier than what you just told me."

He scrubs his chin again, nods shortly.

Suddenly it's like the room pitches, like the floor is heaving and I'm standing on the deck of a moving ship. I grab the edge of the table because I'm losing my balance --

And he's right there, arms fast around me, keeping me on my feet, catching me before I fall.

I wrap my arms around him, pull him in hard against me, bury my face in his hair, his neck, breathe deep.

He lets me hold him like that until the vertigo passes, until I'm steady on my feet again.

Longer.

Suddenly it hits me. Not like a memory, more like an epiphany. The thought just pops into my head and I know it's right.

I pull back a little, so I can look into his face.

"Castiel -- " I start, feeling shy and awkward suddenly, unsure that my thought really holds water but needing to share it. "He can fix me, can't he? Restore my memories."

Dean lifts his eyebrows in surprise, searches my eyes for something.

"Yeah," he nods finally. "He can."

"And my memories -- You think I'd be better off without them, don't you?"

Dean's eyes go wide for a moment, then he frowns.

"You're a freak, Sam," he says. "You and your psychic mojo. What, are you reading my mind now?"

I shake my head.

"No, I heard you two talking in the hall," I admit matter-of-factly. "I'm just now making sense of what you said. So that's right, isn't it? You don't want me to have my memories back."

Dean pushes away from me again, muttering.

"It's not like it's gonna make that much difference," he says. "I can tell you what you really need to know. I just figured it might be -- Some of that stuff -- Damn it, Sam, we've seen a lot of shit, okay? We've been through hell. I didn't lie to you about that. What we've seen -- sometimes I wish I could forget. And you're getting a chance to start fresh here, without all that baggage. You and I can make our own memories, starting today. We don't need to go back and relive all that crap."

"And you can live with me this way," I say, needing him to confirm it. "You can live with me not remembering our shared past, all the things we did, all the people we knew. Because you realize it makes me a different person. I'm not the Sam who shares that history with you. If I never recover my memories, you've essentially lost your brother. You do understand that, right?"

He looks up at me, wide-eyed and beautiful, and I know he hasn't thought it through, it's just his instinct, it's just his gut telling him to protect me from the horror of our past life.

I cup his face and lean in, kiss his soft lips, and he lets me, melts against me as I taste his mouth, languid and gentle and slightly tentative.

He pulls back after a moment, looks up at me.

"I think I can live with that, for now," he says. "I kinda figured we needed the break, and maybe -- maybe now's as good a time as any. We've got plenty of time to take on the world again, after, when you're walking again. You okay with that, Sam?"

I trust him so completely it scares me. I probably shouldn't. I don't know what deep instinct in me makes me believe in him so completely, but I do. It's probably the same instinct that makes me love him so much. He's my anchor in the storm, the center of my universe, and I never want it to be any other way.

"Yeah," I breathe. "I'm okay with that."

* *
We take our sweet time getting undressed, getting into bed together, fucking each other's brains out. It's more athletic than it has a right to be, especially since I'm flat on my back the whole time, or sitting up while he straddles me, taking me all the way with the most gorgeous look on his face -- like he's punishing himself and loving every minute of it.

I get the sense our lives are like this -- the pain is just below the surface, but we have these moments of respite, these times when we can take pleasure from each other, and somehow that makes it almost bearable.

Afterwards, as he's lying in my arms with his cheek on my chest, stroking circles on my belly, turning his cheek once in awhile to press kisses along my skin, I have this sudden thought that maybe he's getting something out of the differences. Maybe my not being the Sam he knows -- the Sam who has all those memories of our life together, all the things we did -- maybe it's a relief to him. Maybe there's things in our past he wishes he could forget, and having me not remember gives him a little peace.

Which suggests that our life together is pretty messed up.

But if I can give this to him for awhile, if we can have a break from whatever craziness or tragedy we're used to living together -- It's the least I can do for this brother, this lover, this man who has obviously given everything to be with me. I don't have to know it all right now. I don't need to figure everything out. As long as we're here together, now, the world can just go on without us.

For awhile, anyway.

FIN

BACK TO MASTERPOST
amypond45: (Default)
I have to do something. I can't just sit around reading dusty old books and twiddling my thumbs.

So I'm on a schedule. I get up early, I run. I eat breakfast. I weight-train. I spend an hour with the punching bag, then I eat lunch. In the afternoon it's target practice, more running, some sparring. I do my p.t. exercises, my speech exercises. (Look, Ma, I can touch Sam now without collapsing into a quivering fangirl!)

By the end of the first month in the bunker I decide I'm ready for anything.

–Come on,– I sign in a tough-guy parody of the old Dean. –Let's get out there and kick some ass.–

Sam just rolls his eyes at me and sighs.

Fuck this.

Speech or no speech, I can communicate what I want, and just because he won't listen (so to speak) doesn't mean I'm not still the boss.

I gesture "never mind" at him and head out to the garage.

The car is in perfect condition. Sam says I don't take care of her when I'm a demon, but I must make up for that during the hiatus 'cuz she's in great shape. I check her out, change her oil and her spark plugs, top off her fluids, check her tire pressure. The books make me sound so obsessive about this car, like it's human or something, and maybe I do project a little object-love onto her. She's the only constant in my life, after all, besides Sam. She WAS Sam at one point, I think, recalling the story from the chronicles of our weird, weird lives.

When she's good and ready I slip inside, start her engine, let her warm up for a good minute or so before I ease her out the door.

Once we're on the road I'm feeling good again. Just driving, window down so I can feel the warm summer air on my skin, headlights picking up the dust of the road ahead. I took off my jacket earlier, so there's not much between me and the night sky and it feels fuckin' fantastic. I could drive forever this way.

My cell phone does its stupid ringtone thing. "Bad to the Bone." Stupid. Gotta change that.

It's Sam, of course.

"Where are you?" he demands, then fills in for my non-response. "Listen, Dean, you can't just do that, okay? You can't just drive away like that. There's things that will come for you."

–What are you, my mommy?– I think.

He sighs. "Look, just let me come with you when you go out, okay? I know you've been going a little stir crazy here."

–Oh, you think?–

"Just let me know and I'll come with you next time, okay?"

–Fuck that, Nanny McPhee.–

"Just – come home, Dean. Okay? Please?"

I hang up on him.

I know it's cruel. I know what he's been through. What he's going through right now, worrying about me.

But I have to do this. I just have to get out on my own for awhile. Clear my head.

The phone rings again almost immediately, so I shut it off. Sorry Sam, I'll be back soon, I promise silently. I imagine him cursing at the phone, maybe throwing it across the room so it smashes against the hard floor.

I grin, furrowing my brow at the same time. I'm such a bastard.

I'm not sure where I'm going. Driving seems like a good idea for now, but eventually I pull off the road, take a side street in a quiet little town where all the lights are off and the people are sleeping. The only light on this street is in the stained glass window of the little church at the end of the road, so I pull in, cut the engine, sit for a minute in the quiet, listening to crickets.

I don't know what I'm doing here. When I push open the door of the church it's deserted, of course -- it's fucking three a.m. -- but I step inside anyway. My boots make a dull thud against the wood floor as I move down the aisle, slip into the front pew and sit, staring up at the crucifix above the altar.

What the hell am I doing here?

From what I've read, Dean Winchester is not a religious man. But somehow I get the feeling he has some faith. Or at least he did, before he took on the Mark of Cain and became a demon. I don't know what kind of man he is now. Obviously not human anymore.

But he does some praying, from time to time. Or at least he used to. And now I can't speak, so praying isn't happening anyway. Besides, what the fuck would I pray for? To escape this vicious cycle of murder and resurrection? For Sam and I to stop being so wound up together? To put an end to all the violence and the sex --

"Hello, Dean."

The voice startles me out of my thoughts like a shot, and I'm up with my gun out before I even realize I'm doing it.

The man has blue eyes, that's the first thing I notice. He's sitting placidly in a pew a few rows back, completely alone. His silence is the next thing I notice. How the hell did he get in here without my hearing him?

He's wearing a trench coat, and he's stupidly good-looking.

Castiel, my brain provides helpfully. It's Castiel. The angel. My angel.

I open my mouth, but of course nothing comes out. Castiel stares at me, frowning a little, then he closes his blue eyes and I feel something warm in my chest, like someone has put the palm of their hand there.

Something loosens in my throat, and suddenly I'm --

I clear my throat, startled to hear myself making sounds. I open my mouth again, push air up from my chest.

And speak.

"What--" the sound makes me jump, and I lower the gun. I clear my throat and try again.

"What the hell?"

Castiel's blue eyes are staring at me again, this time with a look that's almost sympathetic. He looks up at the crucifix, glances around the church, then back at me, all without moving anything but his head.

"Castiel?" I ask. "Are you Castiel?"

He frowns a little.

"You don't remember?" he asks, and I shake my head.

"I was in a coma," I say. "Lost my memory."

He nods.

"I can fix that," he says. "But you have to let me touch you."

I'm not quite ready for that, so I point the gun at him again, put on my tough-guy face.

"I thought you were dead," I accuse.

The look of wonder in his eyes then is almost mesmerizing.

"God brought me back," he says. "Like before. He's not done with me after all."

"God," I repeat skeptically. "Huh. That's a good one. God brought you back. Well let me tell you, pal, God hasn't been around for a long time now, as far as I can see. And I wish he would drop in so I could show him what a piss-poor job he's doing with my brother. I'd like to give him a piece of my mind about a thing or two -- "

"Sam?" Castiel interrupts. "But Sam's okay, isn't he?"

"Pretty far from okay, at least from where I'm sitting," I say angrily. "Kid's suffering pretty bad, and it ain't getting better."

"Why? What's happened? Dean, what's wrong with you?"

Figures he'd pin this on me. Figures he'd think anything that was wrong with Sam would be my fault.

Which of course it is.

It suddenly occurs to me that I'm relieved, that having somebody else to talk to -- someone who cares and understands me -- someone who knows us -- it's such a goddamn relief I can't even express it.

I lower the gun for good this time, put the safety back on, slip it into my pocket.

"Other than turning into a demon every six months so Sam has to hunt and kill me?" I swing my arms out and shift my feet, give a shrug. "Oh, and then spending a good part of the next six months crippled and useless? While Sam kills himself a little more each time trying to find a way to fix me?"

I shrug again.

"Not a thing. Everything's just peachy."

Castiel stares at me, still frowning, lips parted.

"Oh, Dean -- " he breathes, and okay, that's enough.

"Come on," I gesture to him. "Let's get out of this rat-trap and go home. I know somebody who'll be glad to see you."

He doesn't ask if I'm glad to see him, thank god. I am, but I'm damned if I'm gonna tell him so. From what I've read, dude's got a crush on me about the size of the Grand Canyon, and I am not encouraging that.

It's nice, though. Can't say I really mind it, as long as he keeps it to himself.

Castiel looks so pleased to be asked to come with me it's just stupid. I'm already fond of him and I don't even know him.

In the car we listen to music so we don't have to talk, and I can feel him staring at me but I pretend not to notice.

It's dawn when we get back to the bunker, early morning light casting a dim shadowy glow on everything, and when I pull into the garage and turn off the engine Sam's there like a shot, bounding down the stairs two at a time. His face is a mask of misery and desperation, and I feel a twinge of guilt when I see the state he's in -- clearly he's been up all night freaking out, and it's my fault, of course.

He skids to a stop in his headlong plunge toward me, clearly intending either to hug me or punch me -- as Castiel gets out of the passenger seat and casts that long-suffering gaze upon him.

"Cas?" Sam's face collapses in shock.

"Look who I found in the church by the side of the road, Sam," I say, going for jovial, grateful to have Castiel there to take the heat off.

Sam stares at me, mouth gaping, and suddenly I remember I'm talking.

I shrug.

"It's a miracle, what can I say?"

I'm talking about my speech, of course, but also about Castiel's resurrection.

And Sam's a smart boy. He gets it.

"Hello, Sam," Castiel says in that deep gravelly voice of his. "It's good to see you again."

Then Sam moves around the car, grabs Castiel in a massive bear-hug, just obliterates the little guy with his gigantic body, holding on for dear life with his eyes closed, bending down a little like he has to do with me only more cuz Castiel is short.

Castiel tries hugging back but he can't get his arms all the way around Sam's Sasquatch body, so he just holds on, lets Sam hug the hell out of him for a few minutes.

It starts to get a little uncomfortable so I clear my throat.

"Hey, you two. Get a room," I say, and Sam jumps, pulls back from Cas a little and pats him on the cheek.

"It is good to see you, my friend," Castiel says again.

Sam's eyes are glistening. He nods, obviously too choked up to speak.

Then he turns to me.

"Don't you ever do that again," he scolds. "Don't you ever leave without telling me like that."

That gets my hackles up. Who does he think he is, telling me what to do?

"Last time I checked, I was the big brother," I say. "I'm calling the shots."

"No, Dean, you are a recovering amnesiac who was in a coma for over a month," Sam growls. "You are under my care. If you can't let me take care of you I will take you back to that rehab center and check you in. Permanently."

"Fuck you, Sam!" I can feel the anger and frustration boiling up inside until it's spilling over, because really -- who the fuck does he think he is? "I may not have my memories, but I know what happened to me, and I know enough to try and figure out a way to fix it. I can't just stay here while you do research, Sam. It isn't in me."

"Then you help with the research," he insists.

"Cuz I'm so good at that," I snap. "Cuz maybe what I am good at is getting things done. So I went out and got something done. Now we have our angel back. Now I have my voice back. Batman is a man of action. He doesn't sit around doing research."

Sam is shaking with the effort not to yell at me some more, but he can't exactly argue with what I'm saying, so he just huffs out a breath and looks mad.

Ha. Score one for me.

"You're not Batman," Sam sulks.

"Superman, then," I growl back at him. "But Batman's got the cool car, so fuck you, I'm Batman too."

"Dean -- "

"And Cas says he can give me my memories back," I rush in and interrupt him before he can argue.

It's lame, but the thought of getting all those memories back is more than a little daunting, and I'm sort of hoping Sam will help me figure it out.

Because really, do I want all those memories? All those things I did -- all those people who died because of me -- if I get that stuff back in my head again, will I even be able to function?

Sam's staring at Castiel.

"You can do that?" he asks, then shakes his head. "Never mind. Of course you can. So your -- your grace is back."

"I am as good as new," Castiel agrees. "Apparently God still has work for me here."

"Wait -- what do you remember?" Sam asks him.

Castiel shrugs.

"The last thing I remember was you and me doing the spell to try to cure Dean of his demon transformation," he explains. "I was aware that it wasn't working, and you were trying to get me to stop, but it was too late. Then I was sitting in the church."

He looks from one to the other of us questioningly.

"I am aware that I died," he says. "And I can see that Dean isn't a demon anymore, so does that mean the spell worked after all?"

Sam looks away uncomfortably.

"Not exactly," he admits.

"Come on, Cas," I say, needing to take the focus off Sam's gloomy guilt. "Let's get us some coffee. Sam's got a story to tell, but I need a little caffeine first."

NEXT CHAPTER - BACK TO MASTERPOST
amypond45: (Default)
At the diner in the morning I grab a paper off the counter, check the date.

June 9, 2024.

It's been ten years.

My brain supplies the math without a conscious thought. Sam watches me looking at the paper, watches me lift my eyes to his. I put up both hands, fingers spread wide.

Sam sighs.

"Yeah," he agrees softly. "It's been ten years."

The waitress brings coffee, takes our order. I glance around the diner, looking for obvious differences, but there's really nothing. The customers look the same -- working class men in flannel and work-boots, a few tough-looking women, a little girl in ponytails. It could be 1954 or 2014. Middle America just doesn't change.

I glance at the newspaper headlines. Conflict in the Middle East, trade talks with China, birthrate crisis in Japan, immigration problems everywhere. Pretty much familiar news.

Chicago Cubs win again.

Well, that's new.

But mostly, same old same old.

The food arrives and Sam digs in. I watch him as he eats, looking for grey hair, age lines in his face, his hands.

I've already looked closer at his face -- last night -- than I probably should; I've already answered my own question.

Sam hasn't aged. He's still young, no signs of middle age anywhere.

I grab the pad and scribble, push the words across the table.

Sam reads, looks up at me, swallows his food. He shakes his head.

"No, Dean," he says. "We don't age. At least as far as I can tell. It took awhile for me to be sure, and I get why you don't age -- you're immortal because of the stupid Mark. But me -- I guess because we're bound by this life-and-death cycle. It puts us outside time or something."

–How long?–

My hand is shaking as I write, and when Sam looks down he doesn't answer right away. I shake the pad under his nose, glare at him.

He sighs, turns away, doesn't look at me when he answers.

"I don't know," he says finally. "Hephaestus made it sound like this would be it. We're stuck this way until -- well, at first I figured it would continue for my natural lifetime. But then when I realized I wasn't getting any older -- and of course you don't get older -- In order to hunt you I have to stay young and strong, obviously, so there's that."

I lean back in the booth, turn away from him to look out at the parking lot. The cars are old, beat up and dusty. A few pick-up trucks. The Impala stands out like a prize stallion in a corral full of cow ponies.

*
We hit the road again right after breakfast, but this time I'm driving. I'm never gonna not drive this thing again. Sam can navigate, tell us where to go, but that's the way it is from now on.

To his credit, Sam accepts it when I demand the keys, doesn't even argue. Smiles a little, like it makes everything more normal and he likes it that way anyway.

He's the little brother, after all. I'm the boss of this outfit; he can be the brains.

We listen to mullet rock on the car's cassette player and Sam doesn't complain, although I have a pretty good idea he doesn't like mullet rock. I'm still pretty indifferent to it, but it's growing on me. It suits my new image of myself as a bad-ass-mo-fo who lives at least part of every year as a Hell-raising master demon.

Fuck.

When we stop for lunch and gas I find a cassette copy of the Rolling Stones album Let It Bleed in the truck-stop cut-out bin, add it to our collection. Sam rolls his eyes, making me so warm inside I almost throw up in my mouth.

I'm definitely feeling something for this dude. Not just lust, either, thank god.

It's almost dusk when we pull into Lebanon, Kansas. Sam directs me to a little grocery store so we can pick up supplies, then out into the countryside, down a barely-used side road to the nondescript hole-in-the-ground we apparently call home.

It takes me a minute to adjust when we get inside, park the car in the massive garage, then climb the stairs into the living quarters.

Holy shit.

"Yeah, we live here," Sam answers the look on my face, moving ahead of me with the grocery bags, leaving me standing in the middle of a huge room with tables and chairs and books. "This is the library. In here's the kitchen."

He returns a minute later, pointing down a long hall.

"Bedrooms are down there. You've got your own room, Dean. Go see if you can find it while I fix us something to eat."

I follow his directions and start opening doors in the hall, peering into dark, dusty rooms. Some have beds, but nothing that look familiar. Finally I open one that has guns mounted on the wall over the bed, a framed photograph of a little boy holding a baby on the bedside table.

Bingo.

The room is clean and neat, bed made, everything in its place. I wonder if that's who I am -- Mister Neat Freak -- or if Sam did this after I left last time.

I think back to Sam's wet towels all over the bathroom floor at the motel, to the books and papers scattered all over the tables in the library.

No, I'm definitely the Felix Unger of this Odd Couple. Sam's Mister Messy.

I sit down on the edge of the bed, look around for anything familiar. I pick up the photograph, stare at it, willing myself to remember being that long-haired four-year-old, awkwardly clutching his baby brother.

Nope. Nada.

I lie down on the bed, cross my arms and my ankles, sink into the crazy foam mattress, imagine lying here listening to music, or waiting for Sam to come to bed.

Shit.

I check out the bedside table, find headphones and an iPod, put them on and lie down again, turning on the tunes.

More heavy metal. Loud.

Sam sticks his head around the door frame, raises his eyebrows at me, mouths something I can't hear because of the damn music.

I pull off the headphones, squint at him, reach for my writing pad.

–Do I ever listen to anything besides metal?– I scribble.

Sam shakes his head.

"Doesn't mean you have to keep on listening to it, though," Sam says. "I mean, you've got a chance to reinvent yourself here. You can kinda do what you want, seems to me."

He shrugs. "Hell, Dean, if I suddenly woke up without my memories, I can tell you I don't think I'd mind so much. There are a lot of things I wouldn't mind forgetting. You're getting a real opportunity here to improve on your own past. Do it differently. Start fresh."

I think about that as I follow him out to the kitchen, sit down at the table while he serves me pork and beans from a can with a piece of toast and a beer. It makes me smile.

"What?" he demands, frowning a little at his own plate as he sits down with me.

–Not much of a cook, are you?–

"You always did the cooking," Sam sulks, stirring his pork and beans around for a minute before dropping his fork and reaching for his glass of water.

I glance around the kitchen, take in the dirty dishes piled high in the sink, on the counters.

–And the cleaning too, I'm guessing?– I suggest.

"I've been a little busy hunting you down, Dean," Sam snaps. "Then getting you back. Then trying to find a way to break the fuckin' cycle so we don't have to keep going through this forever and ever. So yeah, washing dishes doesn't exactly make it to the top of my to-do list these days."

I nod, dig in to the sad little meal, keeping my eyes on the food.

"We'll start your physical therapy tomorrow," Sam promises. "And the speech exercises. Need to get you talking again."

I nod. Now that we're "home," the future seems like an abstract concept. If I just turn into a demon again in a few months, what's the point?

–I want to know everything,– I write on my pad. –Tell me what I've missed.–

"Tomorrow," Sam promises.

–No, Sam, now.–

Sam huffs out an exasperated breath.

"I can show you everything. All our years of hunting together, all the crazy things that have happened. It's all available on-line, maintained and updated regularly. It's not going anywhere. Just leave it for tomorrow, okay?"

–Our life history is on-line?– I stare at him.

"We're internet-famous," Sam nods. "There were a series of novels written about our lives years back, and this group of fans is still writing about us. Fan fiction, mostly, but some actual reporting of our activities. They monitor and report on things that sound to them like it might be us -- sometimes they're dead on, which is scary."

–People believe this stuff?–

Sam shrugs. "Some do. Not enough to make it a problem. It's just a hobby for these people, I think. They get together sometimes. Supernatural fan conventions."

–Do they know about this demon thing? The Mark of Cain?–

"There've been some rumors. Speculation. Sometimes something you do gets into the local news, and they pick up on it. You're not exactly all shy and reserved when you're in your demon form, Dean."

–I must be easy to track, then.–

"Sometimes," Sam agrees. "You like to tease, I think. And you're way over-confident. Cocky."

He looks down, stirs his beans.

"Sometimes you come after me," he says. "To scare me off."

I'm stunned. What?

–Do I try to kill you?– I write.

This is just so weird.

Sam smiles a funny, wry little smile that pierces right through my chest, into my heart.

"I think you tell yourself you can take me," he says. "But that never ends well for you. I have some kind of special powers where you're concerned. You can't kill me, and if you get too close I always get the upper hand. It's the way this thing is designed."

I shake my head.

–Do I remember?– I ask. –When I'm a demon, do I have my memories back?–

Sam nods, looks away, afraid to meet my eyes.

“Yeah, pretty sure you remember everything. You like to taunt me with shared memories of us. It's part of your nature."

–Cruel bastard.– I comment.

Sam cringes, hunches over and hugs himself briefly, and I fight the urge to touch him, offer comfort.

–I'm sorry, Sam.– I write. –I sound like a real asshole.–

He shakes his head, straightens up in his chair, looks me in the eye.

"It's not you, Dean," he says. "It's not you."

I'm not so sure it isn't more me than I am right now, but I don't say that. I can see how painful this is for him. I can't imagine losing the most important person in my life, the way he has. It's a kind of tragedy I can't imagine experiencing.

He gets up, clears our dishes, directs me to the bathroom.

The plumbing in this place is amazing. I take the longest, hottest shower of my life (or at least that I can remember) then slip on a tee-shirt and boxers. I find an old bathrobe hanging on the back of the bathroom door and put that on with some slippers, head back to the library.

Sam's hunched over a table, reading a dusty book. There's a pile of dusty books next to him, and I reach for the one on top, read the spine. Faber and Faber's Encyclopedia of Ancient Myth Volume 16. I flip the book open and a puff of dust rises up, makes me cough.

Sam looks up at me, his eyes red-rimmed.

He's been crying.

Shit.

His nose and cheeks are flushed red too, and that's when I notice the whiskey.

I gesture at the bottle, pantomime drinking, and he nods.

"Help yourself," he says, so I do, grabbing a glass from the kitchen, pulling a chair up and settling in it with my pad and pen.

–I don't think I can sleep until I know everything,– I write.

He nods slowly, then pulls his laptop out and hands it to me.

"Knock yourself out," he says softly. "Let me know if you have any questions. I'll be here all night, most likely."

–We're gonna figure out a way to fix this, Sam.– I write. –I promise.–

He reads my words, lifts his eyes to mine. They're full of unshed tears.

"I know, Dean," he says. "You always tell me that."

Fuck.

I get up, take the laptop and my glass of whiskey, head back to my room to read.

Four hours later I'm still reading. This shit is just too crazy. It's not all the crap, all the supernatural monsters and the fighting and killing and the angels and the saving the world from the fuckin' apocalypse that gets to me in the end.

It's us.

Sam and I dying for each other. Our dad dying for me. Our mother dying for Sam. All our friends -- Bobby, Ellen, Jo, Rufus, Kevin, even Gabriel the archangel. Dying for us.

What's a little unbrotherly love in the face of all that dying?

I carry the laptop back to the library, put it down on the table in front of Sam.

Sam looks up at me, his eyes still red-rimmed, cheeks still flushed. He's finished over half the bottle.

I tap his hand, then put my hand on his shoulder.

–Come on,– I gesture. –Time for bed.–

He face floods with relief, and he lets me haul him to his feet, lead him down the hall to my room. I'm not thinking right now, just going on instinct, my head so full of the story of our lives it's like I'm still inside that world, like this is happening to that other guy. That other Dean.

I close the door, turn toward Sam, slip the bathrobe and tee-shirt off so he's got the idea, stand there waiting for him to make the first move because I have no fuckin' idea how to do this and he does. Well, I've got some idea, just not with him.

He looks so shattered, so desperate and sad and needy, so I smile a little, open my arms to him and give a little shrug. -What the hell, right?-

Suddenly he's right there, his hands on my face, and I get a close-up of his hazel eyes and long eyelashes before he's leaning down to kiss me.

His lips are soft, just the way I imagined. His huge hands holding my head steady are warm and gentle. I put my hands on his hips, just to anchor myself, kiss him back, tentative at first.

But my body knows his, responds to his with such wanton abandon it's goddamn embarrassing. I'm harder than I've ever been, desperate and greedy in two seconds flat, and I don't need memories to know exactly how to touch him to make him moan and beg.

It's rough and hard and needy and over way too soon. We lie naked and sweaty and breathing hard on the bed for awhile, staring at each other silently. He can't stop touching me, and I keep thinking it's his big, strong hands that kill me.

"I'm never gonna stop trying to find a way to save you, Dean," Sam promises, his voice a hoarse whisper. He strokes my face gently, then leans in for another kiss. I taste myself on his tongue and it makes me hard again, so we go another round, slower and not quite as desperate this time.

I fall asleep with his arms around me, spooning me, his lips on the back of my neck. It's the safest place I've ever been, and I know this even without memories. I'm struck again by the irony that this is the man who kills me. My brother. My lover. My murderer.

Gonna figure this out, Sam, I promise him silently as the blackness of sleep pulls me down.

*
When I wake he's gone. My phone says it's 4:00 a.m. so I lie awake for a minute, thinking he'll be back. When he doesn't return I haul myself out of bed, put on my shorts, bathrobe, and slippers, pad down the hall to the library, where the lights are blazing.

Sam's hunched over the table, reading. He's into the whiskey again, and this time the bottle is almost empty.

I know he can hear me coming up behind him, but I lay my hand on his shoulder carefully, just in case. From what I've been reading, I get the sense that Sam Winchester is one dangerous motherfucker with a hair-trigger temper, and when he's on his game his reflexes are positively lethal.

He tenses just a little when he feels my hand, turns his head but doesn't look up.

"Hey," he says, and I slip my hand into his hair, cup the back of his skull and lean down, place a solid kiss on the side of his head.

He looks up at me with a wan smile as I move around the table and sink into the chair opposite. I pick up the bottle, raise my eyebrows pointedly as I slosh the remaining shot or two.

"Yeah, so I drink," Sam murmurs bitterly. "You can't even remember what a light-weight I used to be."

Damn.

I stare at him for a minute, torn between the desire to jump his bones again and the desire to haul him up and kick his ass.

Yeah, right. Out-of-shape me, still recovering from a coma, thinking I could take on this weapon of a man the size of a small mountain.

This is how that other Dean must've felt all the time when it came to Sam, I think. The affection for his little brother warring with the constant frustration at what a self-involved pain in the ass he could be.

–You need to drop the whining, dude– I write on my pad. –Everybody's gonna think I'm just fucking you because I feel sorry for you.–

Sam stares at me after reading that.

"Are you?" he challenges. "Was that -- what we just did -- some kind of pity thing?"

He stares a minute while I shrug, smirk a little.

"Goddamn it, Dean," he huffs. "You are such a bastard sometimes. Even when you don't remember what an asshole you used to be. How is that even possible?"

I pick up the bottle again, hold it up next to my face and wiggle it back and forth, waiting for his explanation.

He sighs finally, shaking his head.

"Okay," he resigns himself, even manages a little tired smile. "I get it. I'll stop wallowing. You're right. What am I doing wasting the time I have with you crying into my wine?"

I nod, sit back and put the bottle down, reach for paper and pen.

–How long do I have?–

He looks at the words, flinches.

"About four months, give or take a few days," he answers. "You were in a coma for a little over a month, then two weeks of rehab, so it's been about two months since the last transformation."

He lifts his eyes to mine.

"It's not long enough," he says grimly. "We never have enough time to get anything accomplished. Mostly we waste the time chasing leads, researching, ending up with nothing. And each time, your recovery time is longer, so there's less and less time to get anything done."

I shake my head. Doesn't matter.

–You keep notes?– I write. –You know what we've already tried? You have an idea what we should be looking for this time around?–

Sam nods.

"Yeah, I keep notes. You do too. I have all your notebooks – "

I stop him with a sharp gesture, scribble furiously.

–What? You have my notebooks? From the other times?–

He reads, looks up, nods. He's frowning a little.

"Yeah," he says slowly. "But they're not exactly helpful, Dean. You start from scratch each time, so your notes are mostly a lot of rehashing of stuff that's happened before. It always takes you awhile to get up to speed."

He looks away for a minute, like he's thinking, then adds, "Although the period between your physical recovery and your mental recovery is getting shorter," he frowns, thinking again, then shakes his head. "But that doesn't count because your physical recovery is longer each time. At the rate we're going, you'll be spending your whole six months in a coma within -- well, I'd say within the next five years."

I shake my head. –Are you sure?– I write, then scratch it out. Of course he's sure. He's got some kind of super-brain and if he has a mathematical equation worked out to explain why I'm getting exponentially more brain dead, then I trust that.

Totally.

Which sucks, totally.

So I concentrate on the other thing he just told me.

–Can I see my notebooks?–

Sam blinks at my note, shakes his head.

"Why?" he asks. "They're not gonna tell you anything, just waste your time. There's nothing helpful there."

–I'll be the judge of that,– I write. –They're my notebooks.–

He looks at me with that helpless kicked-puppy gaze of his, and I'm suddenly feeling cornered.

"Why, Dean?" he says again. "It's just you going on about yourself, re-learning who you are, who we are. You never recovering your memories. Never making any sense of things."

–You've read them,– I accuse, and sure enough, he goes red, looks away, tries to avoid my eyes.

–Sam, those are MY notebooks,– I write. –You need to give them to me. NOW.–

Shit.

He gives one more long sigh, then shrugs.

"They're in the bedside table in your room," he grumbles. "You always ask. You always read them. It never makes any difference."

I get up, stomp past him, cuff him lightly on the back of the head as I pass.

"Ow!"

He's got some nerve looking through my private stuff. I would never let him read this journal.

*
It's been over a week since I wrote in this thing.

It's been a long, hard, depressing-as-hell week since I could stand to open the pages and make the effort to make sense of this crazy, violent, monstrous existence I have to call my life.

After I read those other journals, those documents of other lifetimes, I felt like giving up. Or maybe throwing up. Both. I had to admit, Sam was right. Reading that stuff was a complete waste of my time, and my time is short as it is. Reading my pitiful attempts to make sense of things in other times was just damn discouraging, not to mention demoralizing.

It's enough to make me want to kill myself. Just end it all right now.

Of course, I did that, the third time. After reading the first two journals, I just picked up one of these guns, loaded it, and stuck the barrel in my mouth.

I know because Sam told me the next time around as a way to try to prevent me from reading the damn journals in the first place. And I wrote it down in the fucking journal, of course.

Masochist.

All suicide accomplishes is a speedier transformation into the demon, of course. And since it all happened right here, Sam came running and found a helluva mess.

I look around my room, at the walls and the floor and the bed, imagine them splattered with blood and brains and gore.

Great.

So suicide's out.

Not the Winchester Way anyway. Too weak. I gotta be tough and face this thing. That's what the real Dean Winchester would do. Figure out a way to overcome the odds and fix this.

Ha.

Well, I ain't him, but I can make an effort, for Sam's sake if not for my own.

Cuz who the hell am I really anyway? I'm not the guy who was raised from Hell by an angel.

Who, by the way, died in the first round trying to save me. Gave the last of his grace trying to cure me and fuckin' died.

We are so fucked.

Apparently the rest of our old friends are dead too, according to the journals. Jody Mills, Garth and his werewolf family, even those dorky ghost-chaser guys. Charlie Bradbury may still be alive, but she's been lost in Oz with her girlfriend for the past ten years, so who knows? My old friend from Sonny's Home for Boys died a few years back of cancer, so at least that wasn't my fault.

I've left Ben and Lisa alone, and as far as I know they're still out there somewhere. Thank god for small favors.

Our lives are unbelievably sad and lonely. And now we're caught in this horrible time-loop thing like a bad nightmare version of Groundhog Day. Or that crazy thing that happened to us all those years ago before I went to Hell the first time, where I kept dying every day and then the day reset so poor Sam had to watch me die again.

Sam's the one who has to remember everything, and my death is worse for him now because he has to be the one that kills me. I don't know how he can keep functioning. He drinks like a fish, beats on me when we wrestle, fucks with a terrible desperation and then collapses and cries all over me.

Something's gotta give.

I've been working out, sparring, practicing my moves, target practicing. The first day after I put these journals aside I told Sam I wanted to get back out there, do the hunting thing. Do what I'm obviously trained to do.

He just stared at me, shook his head.

"Dean, you can't hunt," he said. "You've been in a coma. It'll take weeks of training to get you into shape again."

–Okay, so let's start. Now.–

He just stared at me, and I knew what he was thinking. By the time I'm ready to hunt, it'll be time for me to go dark-side again.

Whatever.

NEXT CHAPTER - BACK TO MASTERPOST
amypond45: (Default)
He's back within the hour with Chinese take-out: Garlic Beef with fried rice and egg rolls for me, chicken and broccoli with steamed rice for him. He doesn't look at me as he sets the food down, then pulls out a six-pack of local microbrews. I haven't had a beer in -- well, I can't remember, obviously, but I really, really want one, and it goes down so good and cold I'm already reaching for another before he notices, frowns at me.

"Slow down, Dean," he says.

I shake my head at him and take a long pull on the beer.

We eat in silence. I'm waiting for him to tell me what the hell's going on. He seems to be avoiding the issue, not looking at me, pretending he's so hungry all he can look at is his stupid-looking health food.

Finally he gets up, looks around for something, finds the t.v. remote and sits down on the edge of the bed, flipping on the t.v.

I watch him for a minute in disbelief.

Really? He's not gonna talk about the salt thing and the weird dirt thing and the trunk full of weapons? Really?

Well, fuck that.

I get up, cross in front of him so he can't see the t.v., gesture angrily.

He looks up at me for moment, annoyed, and I shake my head, scribble on my pad and thrust it in his face.

–No fuckin' way, pal. You tell me what the fuck's going on. Now. Or I walk out that door.–

That last is a bluff, and he knows it, damn him.

–Did you bring me out here to kill me?– I scribble wildly. –Are you some kind of psycho serial killer?–

He looks up at me, opens his mouth, shuts it again and shakes his head.

"No, Dean, I did not bring you out here to kill you," he lets out a long breath. "You and I – we're hunters, man. We hunt things. Bad things."

I stare at him, uncomprehending. Hunters? But what's with the salt and the dirt and that goddamn arsenal, then?

And what the hell does he mean, "Bad things?"

–Are we bounty hunters?– I write.

"No," Sam shakes his head. "The things we hunt aren't human. And we kill them. We don't take them in for money. Although sometimes I think that might make more sense."

I stare at him, uncomprehending and feeling like he's doing it deliberately. Making me feel stupid.

–So they're animals,– I write. –Big game. Predators.–

His mouth twitches in a small smile, but he looks away, which means it's a joke to him, what I'm saying.

"Not exactly," he says.

–Bears? Cougars? Wolves?–

He shrugs.

"You're getting closer," he acknowledges.

I am so done with this shit.

Before I think about what I'm doing I've got him up against the wall, hard, shoved there with his shirts in my fists and my face in his, glaring at him, shaking him.

He looks surprised, stares at me keenly for the first time in a long time, and it feels good to finally have his full attention.

But then I realize how close we are. I'm aware of my thigh pressed between his legs, against his crotch.

I shake him one more time, then back off, whirling away from him and grabbing my pad.

–Quit fucking with me.– I write, thrust the pad angrily into his face. –I need to know what the hell's going on.–

"I know you do, Dean," Sam sighs. "I just think it would be easier if I could show you. Tomorrow when we get home. This isn't something you can just make any sense about without some context."

–Try me.–

If I could hiss, I would. Sam is being beyond annoying. He's being a total pain in my ass.

Sam's shaking his head.

"You'll just think I'm crazy," he says. "And I really don't need you running out that door right now. Also, talking about it trivializes it. And believe me, what we do is not trivial. Or simple in any way. Or normal, for that matter."

–Tell me, goddamn it.–

Sam lifts his eyes, looks into mine for a minute, and I do my best to hold his gaze, not let it make me melt with need and desire and something even more profound.

"Okay," Sam shifts his feet, puts his hands on his hips, licks his lips. "You know all the stories you heard as a kid, about bogeymen and monsters under the bed and in your closet? Ghost stories? Well, not you personally, you don't remember your childhood. But you've heard of those things, right? Ghosts, monsters, werewolves and vampires?"

Suddenly I know. I just know. It's not like I have a sudden memory of anything specific. I just know in my bones that this is what we do. We hunt those things he's talking about. We've been doing it forever, since we were kids ourselves. We hunt them, and then we kill them.

"Are you hearing me, Dean?" Sam presses, 'cuz, I'm staring away from him, at a corner of the room, trying to process this weird feeling of just knowing what he's telling me is true. "You're not freaking out on me?"

I snap my eyes up to meet his, fiercely scribble and hand him my pad.

–Don't you dare think I can't handle this. You were holding out on me, damn you. Lying to me. Goddamn mechanic, my ass.–

Sam sucks in a breath, raises his eyes from the pad to my face, puppy-dog look back.

I snatch the pad back, scribble furiously, shove it in his face again.

–We hunt evil. We kill it. I get it.–

He raises his eyebrows, lets his arms swing wide in a helpless gesture.

"How can you just accept that so easily?" he asks. "Damn it, Dean, here I was thinking all the time that maybe you weren't gonna remember. Maybe you wouldn't have to live that life any more. You could finally have some normal ––"

–Obviously our lives are pretty far from normal, Sam.–

–And I don't remember. I just know.–

Sam stares, then shakes his head.

"Those goddamn instincts of yours," Sam says. "It's like a sixth sense or something. Like some kinda psychic mojo."

Now it's my turn to stare, because when he says that, it's like something itches inside my head. It's like there's something I'm supposed to understand but I can't quite see it. The thought that pops into my head makes no sense whatsoever and is completely and utterly terrifying, beyond what I've just learned about us. And I'm not ready to think too deeply about it, so I don't.

So now it's my turn to avoid conversation, and Sam accepts that, thank god. Just lets me get ready for bed, then takes over the bathroom like a goddamn octopus.

The thought nags at me, just won't go away, even when Sam comes back into the room and climbs into his own bed, reaches up to turn out the light.

"Night, Dean."

I raise a hand and give a little wave, blankets pulled up to my chin, turned away with my back to him so I don't have to watch him fold his long, lanky, well-muscled frame into the tiny twin bed.

I can't sleep.

I lie as still as possible for awhile, listening to Sam trying to make himself comfortable in the other bed. He tosses and turns, then goes still for a few minutes. Then turns over and huffs out a breath.

"Dean? You still awake?"

I lie as still as I can, still turned away from him.

"Dean, I can tell you're awake. I know how you sound when you sleep."

Fuck.

"What's wrong?"

So many things, pal, I think. So many things.

"Come on, man, talk to me."

Yeah, right. Like I would if I could.

"Dean?"

Damn it.

I turn over, sit up, turn on the light, grab the pen and pad off the nightstand and scribble on it, thrust it toward him, all in one movement, fast and hard.

He looks at the pad, then up at my face, and there are tears in his eyes, damn it, but I don't look away.

"I don't know, Dean," his voice is choked. "I don't know if we're human anymore. Sometimes I think – after what happened to you – "

I grab the pad back, scribble furiously.

–What happened to me? Cuz it weren't no car accident.–

"No," he agrees, his voice a hoarse whisper. "It wasn't a car accident."

I shake the pad for emphasis, demanding.

He keeps his eyes lowered for another minute, and when he raises them to mine they're coated with tears.

"Please don't make me tell you," he begs. "Not right now. Let's get home first, where it's safe. Then I'll tell you everything. I promise."

I shake my head again, turn back the page on the pad to the one where I already wrote NOW in all caps. Hold it up to him with a little shake.

Sam runs his hands through his hair, screws his face up in an expression of such agony I can't stand it.

I reach out, brush my fingers across his cheek in a gesture I mean to be comforting but which is way more intimate than I intended. It feels so natural I don't even want to think how many times I must've done it in the past.

And the way he leans into my hand -- yeah, been there, done that.

His eyes are closed and he's taking slow, shaky breaths, leaning his face into my hand, so I leave it there for a minute, rub my thumb along his cheekbone, watching him steady himself and take comfort from my touch.

When he opens his eyes again I pull my hand away. He nods.

"Okay," he says. "Okay, Dean."

He takes a deep breath.

"You were lost," he says. "I had lost you. You weren't coming back. It wasn't Crowley, wasn't Hell, wasn't even angels and God. It was the Mark. The fuckin' Mark of Cain."

I watch his face as he talks, lost in his story, hazel eyes still shining with unshed tears, hair mussed and sticking up in places.

"So I learned everything I could about that Mark," he goes on. "How it twisted your soul till there was nothing there. Nothing to save or bargain for, nothing to cure. I knew it made you immortal, kept bringing you back when you died. I followed the history of the thing all the way back to its origins, to the fiery kiln where the First Blade was forged. Below Hell, the underworld that existed before Lucifer and the angels."

He pauses, looking up at me for a minute to be sure I'm following.

I'm not, really, but I'm listening. I'm waiting for the things he's telling me to make sense. I have some crazy faith that they will, eventually.

He nods.

"I found a guy who could help," he says. "One of the gods of the old pagan underworld. The Greeks called him Hephaestus. The Romans called him Vulcan. He was a blacksmith, forger of all sorts of ancient talismanic artifacts and weapons, including, as it so happened, the First Blade. After the re-ordering of the pagan gods, he got a job making weapons for Heaven. And Hell."

–You went to this underworld to meet with this dude?–

Sam nods.

"Yeah. Don't ask how I did it -- there were spells and incantations and I had to kill a lot of innocent people to create the offering that led me to the door, and it's not exactly something I'm proud of, Dean. But I did it."

I'm stuck on the "killing a lot of innocent people" part, feeling my mouth drop open in shock.

He won't look at me, seems to know what I'm thinking. Just barrels ahead with his story.

"So Hephaestus said yeah, he could release you from the hold the Mark has on you, but only for six months out of the year. For six months you could come home. We could live our lives. Your soul would be whole and healthy again."

Sam looks up, the hope and love so plain in his expression it takes my breath away. It's my turn to look down, to look way from the naked emotion in my brother's face.

How can I ever live up to that? What did I ever do to earn that kind of love?

"But at the end of the six months, you're Demon!Dean again," Sam goes on. "You're back in the pit of your own private Hell. You're the evil son-of-a-bitch I'm supposed to hunt and kill."

He's clenching his fists, throws his head back like he wants to scream, lurches to his feet and begins to pace around the room, suddenly wired and full of a terrible, frenetic energy that actually scares me.

"And I do, Dean," he chokes out, turning to me, standing there in his tee-shirt and boxers, shaking, muscles tensing, jaw working furiously. "That's the sickest thing about this whole thing. I have to hunt you. I have to hunt you and kill you so you can come back to me, broken and bloodied and brain-damaged -- "

He takes a deep breath, closes his eyes.

"I'm the only one who can do it, see. The only one who can kill you. And I do it because -- because if I don't, I lose you forever. And I can't live with that."

Watching him standing there, suffering and miserable, I'm suddenly on my feet, taking the steps to reach him and gather him into my arms, pulling him against me.

He stiffens for a split second, surprised, then collapses into me like a drowning man, his long arms wrapping me up, leaning down so he can press his chin into my shoulder, turning his face into my neck and hair, breathing deep.

I start patting his back, then I'm clutching his shirt in handfuls, hugging him against me, our bodies not quite flush because he's so freakishly tall he has to lean down to put his head on my shoulder.

I wish I could say what's going through my head.

-– It's okay, Sammy. Just let it go, brother. It's all right, I've got you.–

The words are there, deep inside me, beyond thought or memory or understanding, and I'm letting go of all conscious thought for the moment so I can listen to them, respond to him, this strange, beautiful man in my arms.

But he seems to hear my thoughts, squeezes my back and shoulder, presses his face into my neck so that I feel wetness against my skin.

We stand there for a long time, till Sam's breathing slows, till his body stops shaking with sobs. I run my hand up into his hair, cup the back of his neck and knead the muscles there gently until he pulls back a little, and I'm cupping his cheek again, running my thumb along the perfect cut of his cheek.

He smiles a little, eyelashes still wet with tears, eyes red with crying. I nod.

–Okay?–

His eyes fall to my lips as I mouth the word, linger there, so I clear my throat, deliberately take a step back.

He lets me go, reluctantly, and I turn away from him so I can reach for my pad and pen.

–Not gonna even try to understand everything you just said,– I write. –But I know in my gut you did your best. You did what you had to do. We'll figure this out.–

Sam stares at me, lips parted, long arms hanging loose, and I realize I'm physically fighting the urge to gather him into my arms again. To soothe his furrowed brow and kiss his soft lips and give him everything he so obviously needs from me. Only from me.

But I can't. I still barely know him, even if my body feels completely familiar with him. I still can't give him what he wants.

Not yet.

"I don't know how much longer I can keep doing this, Dean," he says now, voice cracked and broken. "To have you back -- it's everything. But you come back a little more damaged every time. Hephaestus says the memory loss is part of the way it works. You come back up the River Lethe, so you forget everything each time. At first I thought that was a good thing. You don't remember all the things that happened while you were a demon. Believe me, that's a good thing. But you don't remember us either. I have to spend more and more time just getting you to trust me again. To trust US."

A demon, I think. I'm a demon.

So I'm not human.

I knew it.

–Sam, I need to know. How long has this been happening? How long since I was just me?–

Sam's face crumbles again as he reads my note, like I've punched him.

Fuck.

He shakes his head.

"A while," he says, his voice barely above a whisper. "It's been awhile, Dean."

I nod. Years, I think. It's been years. That's the only answer that makes sense.

None of this makes sense.

Suddenly I'm bone tired. Suddenly I don't think I can stay on my feet another minute.

I sink down on the bed, put my face in my hands.

Sam shifts his feet nervously.

"I know it's a lot to take in, Dean," he says softly. "Just take all the time you need. I don't mean to pressure you."

–Yeah, you do. Demanding little bitch.– I throw the pad at him and he catches it easily.

A tiny smile turns up the corners of his mouth as he reads.

"Jerk." His smile widens a little. It's the ghost of a grin I used to tease out of him pretty regularly, I'm guessing.

We look at each other for another minute, and it feels warm and familiar and I'm so sure it's everything he's said it is, this thing between us. I'm as certain of that as I can't remember anything specific about it. And it's inevitable, I guess, that I'll be kissing those lips one of these days and feeling all that warm, tan skin on mine.

Just not tonight.

–Need to sleep,– I gesture, pulling the covers back so I can slip under them again.

He watches me another minute, till I wave and turn my back to him, curled in a ball on my side with the covers pulled up to my chin again.

"Night, Dean," he says softly, leaning down to turn out the light. I hear the sheets rustle as he climbs back into his own bed, then waves of exhaustion crest over me and I'm out before I can form another coherent thought.

NEXT CHAPTER - BACK TO MASTERPOST
amypond45: (Default)
I can't tell Doc about this, so I lie. I tell her my brother had some business to take care of. He'll be back at the end of the week to pick me up. Take me home.

Oh God I can't go home with Sam.

The speech guy is pissed at me because I don't have anyone to practice his stupid exercises with.

"There's no miracle cure, Dean," he says. "You have to work if you want to get better."

Yeah, I'd like to work my fuckin' fist up your ass, buddy.

No. Not that. Not thinking about assholes.

'Cuz the truth is, I'm definitely not into guys. I look at pictures, I check out the good-looking dudes in the hospital -- nothin'.

Girls, I can do. Junior gets interested right away when that hot nurse comes into the room. The temporary receptionist at the front desk. The girl at the cash register during the dinner shift in the cafeteria.

My physical therapist is a handsome guy, but there are zero sparks there. He touches me, positions my arms and legs, puts his hand on my back while I do the exercises he wants me to do.

Nothing.

So this thing is just about Sam.

And damn it, I already miss him. It's only been like a few hours -- I can't fall asleep. I keep seeing his face, how devastated he was when I told him to leave. I toss and turn for awhile, trying to think about something else -- trying to clear his face from my mind -- but it's just useless.

I call the nurse, finally, ask for some sleeping pills. She checks my chart, finds some standing order that gives her permission to give the pills to me -- apparently I'm prone to anxiety, have a history of panic attacks, according to my brother.

I'll bet.

So I get the pills, take them with a tall glass of water. At first I think they're not gonna work, but suddenly I wake up with a start and realize I've been out for the night.

Dreams of Sam linger at the edge of my consciousness.

Fuck.

The phone next to the bed rings and I pick it up, put the receiver to my ear.

"Dean?"

It's Sam.

Fuck.

"Dean, please don't hang up."

His voice sounds ragged, choked, like he's been crying.

Fuck, fuck, fuck.

"I know you want to be left alone for awhile, so I won't come over. I just wanted to give you my side of the story. Maybe it'll be easier for you to hear it if I'm not in the room with you. Okay?"

I let out a long breath, and he sucks in a quick one, like he's breathing me in.

"I know you can't answer, but since you're not hanging up I'm gonna assume you're willing to listen to me at least." Sam voice is softer now, a little steadier. "See here's the thing. There's stuff you don't know about us, Dean. We're different. Really, really different. I think you can sense that. What we have between us is -- it started before we were born. I don't even know how to explain it to you in a way that you could understand, but it's like the cosmos has plans for us. I know how that sounds, I know how crazy -- "

He sucks in another breath, pauses.

"The thing is, you and me, we're fuckin' everything, man. I can't even begin to describe what you mean to me. And I know you feel the same way. You have to trust me on this, okay? I know it's fucked up because we're brothers -- whose fuckin' idea was that? But you have to believe me -- we were born this way. It's who we are. Hell, maybe we had to be born brothers so we'd be stuck with each other no matter what."

I shift on the bed a little, reposition the phone on my ear, wish to god I could talk.

"Dean? Do you hear what I'm saying? You did not take advantage of me when I was a kid, or whatever it is you think. You're not a monster."

He takes another breath. I wish I could see his face. Wish I could–

"Okay," he says. "I'll go now. Thanks for listening. I'll see you on Friday."

I hear the click as he hangs up but I can't put the phone down. I want him to keep talking. I could listen to his voice forever.

My vision blurs and I close my eyes, feel the tears or whatever slide down my cheeks, stick in my eyelashes. My throat closes up and my chest heaves and goddamn it I'm not gonna start sobbing like a girl!

I wipe furiously at my eyes, my cheeks, then I make myself put the phone down before somebody comes in and wonders why I'm sitting on the edge of the bed, hunched over and crying, cradling the stupid old-fashioned corded telephone like a fuckin' baby.

Goddamn it!

If I could just remember --

Later, when I'm out for my walk in the hospital garden, stretching my legs and taking huge gulps of fresh air, I let myself think about what Sam said. It doesn't make any sense, can't possibly be right. He's just making excuses for what happened so he doesn't have to face the truth. It's like that hostage syndrome that victims get sometimes when they sympathize with their captors as a way of coping and surviving. That's what this is for him. So he doesn't have to deal with the reality of being raped and abused.

That's what my head tells me.

My heart, on the other hand -- or my gut, whatever -- knows with absolute certainty that he's got it exactly right. My gut tells me he and I are fated or cursed or whatever, and this thing between us is exactly what it was meant to be. Together we're like a force of nature. Winchesters against the world.

By the time he comes to get me on Friday, I'm not freaking out anymore.

I still have no idea where this is going, and I'm scared shitless of being alone with him, but I've made my decision. If he's willing and able to forgive whatever I've done, if he can still be my brother after all that, I guess I at least owe it to him to try to figure this thing out.

Then he walks into the room and I'm just done.

How could I ever think I could handle this?

He's more gorgeous than I remembered. Definitely the most beautiful thing I've ever seen in my life, in fact. Tall, perfectly-proportioned, leggy and muscled and with the most amazing hands -- long slender fingers, nice nails. Not all bitten and chipped like mine. His face has these incredible planes and angles and soft pink lips and slanted hazel eyes and scruff and those dimples. I need to run my hands through his hair and –

I'm lost. I cannot do this. All I can do is stare, and he's having such an effect on me I feel like passing out.

What I feel for this man goes beyond anything I can even begin to describe. I know it's a cliche, and I'm not that good a writer, so there's probably nothing I can say that would be enough. But they're all good feelings, though. Really, really good.

And kinda sad too.

-Hey- I gesture, trying not to look as uncomfortable as I feel.

He grins all over the place, and his face just shines. The smile is hopeful and tentative at the same time.

I clear my throat, shift my feet and look away.

"Ready to go?" he asks, and I nod. He signs all the release papers, clutching the file of papers with instructions for my exercises and meds. Then he shakes Doc's hand, and I do the same.

"So I'll see you next week," Doc says as she smiles into my eyes. "You keep up that journal, okay?"

I nod, glance over at Sam, who isn't looking.

Why do I get the feeling I'll never see Doc again?

When we get to the parking lot there's this amazing black classic muscle car -- '67 Chevy Impala, my brain supplies, and yeah. I obviously know cars.

What I didn't expect was Sam striding right over to the car with keys in his hand, unlocking the gorgeous thing and slipping into the driver's seat. I stop and stare as he leans across the bench to unlock the passenger side, then looks up at me as I slide my hand along the metal, just admire the sleek lines of this beauty for a minute.

"Yeah, Dean," Sam smiles. "This is your car. Do you remember anything?"

I concentrate, dragging my eyes up and down the long body of the car, trying to jog a memory -- any memory.

Finally I shake my head, slip inside, pull the door closed and run my hand over the dash, the seat.

"It's a little weird for me, seeing you in the passenger seat," Sam says with a small smile. "But I'm guessing you don't know where we're going, so I better drive."

I look over, raise an eyebrow.

Then it hits me.

They all said I was in a car accident.

The car looks perfect.

Okay, I was driving something else.

No way. No way would I drive anything but this baby. Ever.

My writing pad and pen are in the trunk inside my duffle, so I can't ask about it, have to file it away for after we get where we're going. So I sit back and watch the town slide by, then the countryside. We're somewhere flat, without mountains, and I know without asking that it's Illinois. We drive for hours, then stop at a roadside diner. Sam orders a salad. I point to the bacon cheeseburger on the menu, then gesture for a pen.

"I know," Sam sighs. "Extra onions. He always orders extra onions," he says to the waitress.

I wink at her and she blushes, gets all flustered and practically drops her order.

After she leaves I glance across the table at Sam. He's frowning, so I raise my eyebrows.

–What?–

Sam huffs out a breath, mutters, "Always flirting with the waitress."

I grab my pad and pen, scribble quickly, pass it over.

–Ah, Sammy, you know you're the only girl for me, right?–

I wink at him, but he just stares, shocked and stunned.

–What?– I gesture.

"You called me Sammy," he says.

I shrug.

–So? It's your name, isn't it?–

He reaches out, grabs my arm on the table, looks intensely at me.

I look down at his hand on my arm, grateful that I've got my long-sleeved shirt on so I don't have to feel how warm his hand is, how the contact makes my skin tingle.

I feel it anyway.

Damn.

"Do you remember?" he asks. "Do you remember anything, Dean?"

I stare back, gaze into those strange, beautiful eyes of his, try to imagine his face younger, more eager and innocent. Try to imagine "Sammy," the boy with the dimpled smile and the floppy hair, my little brother.

Nothing.

I look away, shake my head.

Back in the car he puts in a music cassette.

"This is your favorite album," he says. "Jog any memories?"

I recognize the music -- Led Zeppelin -- but it doesn't provoke any memories. Doesn't give me any particular sensations of "aha!" or "oh yeah!"

I shrug, tilt my head, and Sam sighs.

I wish I could give him his brother back. I know he misses him.

We're halfway through Missouri when Sam decides to pull into a motel for the night. I wait in the car while he books the room, then help him unload the car.

In the trunk is a stash of weapons like nothing I've ever seen before.

At least I'm pretty sure I've never seen it before, because it shocks the hell outta me.

What the fuck!?

I stare at Sam, gesture at the trunk, watch a rainbow of expressions flash across his face, ending in another deep sigh and that hang-dog sadness again.

"Yeah, I'll explain everything," he says. "Just give me a minute."

We dump our bags on the beds in the motel room and I watch Sam as he digs into his duffel for a -- what the hell is that? Salt?

I stand in the middle of the room watching him as he pours a line of salt along each of the windows, in front of the door., under the window in the bathroom. He doesn't seem to notice me gesturing questioningly at him, just puts the salt away and grabs a ziplock back full of some kind of brownish-gray dirt, follows the salt lines with lines of this stuff.

Finally I grab his shoulder to get his attention and he stops, turns to me.

"It's protection," he explains. "So we can sleep. Otherwise one of us has to stay up all night, and I don't know about you, but I'm pretty beat."

–Protection from what?– I write, shoving the notebook in his face because he's not looking at it, knows what I'm asking before I ask.

"Look," he says. "I'm gonna go get some food, then we'll talk, okay? Why don't you take the first shower. Just -- just stay in the room till I get back, okay? Can you do that, Dean?"

I'm starting to freak out a little again.

What the hell have I gotten myself into? Who is this guy?

Sam reads the look on my face, moves close, puts his hands on my shoulders, gazes into my eyes.

My heart flutters, my stomach jumps, my whole body trembles under the warmth of his hands, the heat in his eyes.

"I need you to trust me, Dean," he says. "Can you do that?"

I swallow, and his eyes drop to my throat.

I'm instantly hard.

He steps back, drops his arms to his sides, notices the bulge in my jeans.

"Sorry," he says, glancing away, licking his bottom lip almost unconsciously.

"I'll be right back," he lifts his eyes to mine again, voice oozing sincerity and warmth. "Just lock the door behind me. You'll be fine."

Fine. Yeah, sure.

Fuck.

NEXT CHAPTER - RETURN TO MASTERPORT
amypond45: (Default)
My name is Dean Winchester.

At least that's what they tell me. I can't be sure, 'cuz I don't remember a thing from before. Before the accident. My brother tells me I was in a really bad car accident, and I was in a coma for over a month, and now I've been awake for a week but my brain still isn't working right so I don't remember anything.

The head doctor says I should keep a journal, so that's what I'm doing. I can't talk; for whatever reason, the speech center in my brain isn't working right, but otherwise I'm in good physical health -- except for being comatose for a few weeks. Doc says I need physical therapy, psychiatric sessions, speech therapy. So I'm in this rehab center for another week. If everything goes okay, I'm free to go home.

Whatever home is.

My brother comes every day. Apparently he's all the family I got. He says his name is Sam, and he's got these amazing multi-colored eyes --

So when I asked him what happened, he looks away when he answers. I have to write my questions on paper, pass them to him to read. It's annoying as hell, but he's pretty patient about it. Still, something about his answers is off, like he's lying. Or holding something back.

But all I ask are the regular questions. Who am I? Who are you? What happened? What do I do? Nothing weird or out of the ordinary.

So why do I keep getting the feeling he's lying to me?

He tells me I'm a mechanic. Says I never finished high school. Says he graduated from Stanford University, for fuck's sake, with a pre-law degree, and now he's a handy-man, goes around fixing things.

–What? With a Stanford degree? What happened? Are you brain-damaged too?–

He looks at the note, glances up at me for a second, and there's definitely something broken there. Something like shell-shock.

Oh.

–Did you serve?– I write.

He smiles a little, shakes his shaggy head. Guy's got hair like a goddamn girl. Long and thick and probably really, really soft–

"No, Dean," he says. "I've never been out of the country."

He stops himself, thinks for a minute, then nods.

"Well, once," he corrects himself. "We went to Scotland."

–Scotland?–

He looks down again, and I can tell I'm not gonna get a straight answer.

"Yeah," he says. "We were on a job for an old friend."

I give him a skeptical frown, because come on. A handy-man and a mechanic on a job in Scotland?

Then I realize I'm thinking we went together. But why would we? Why do I keep thinking we're work partners?

Is that why I keep getting all the weird vibes off this guy?

–So we work together?– I write, and he flashes me this wounded look which is downright painful.

Okay, so not work partners.

Then he nods.

"Yeah, we work together," he sighs, but he doesn't look at me.

What the fuck am I missing?

The nurse comes in to give me my meds and even in the loose-fitting hospital uniform she's a total hottie. Curvy, with long red hair and blue eyes and the cutest little ass you ever saw. Dean Junior perks up right away. So glad to know that part's still working!

And at least that answers one question.

I'm not gay.

Good. Glad that's settled. Cuz the way this "brother" of mine keeps looking at me, I was starting to think–

Never mind.

I would scratch out these stupid sentences but Doc says, "No, Dean, you need to free-write, not edit yourself. Anything you write can help to trigger your memories and you don't want to hold anything back or re-write anything. Just get it all out. That's the best way to jog your brain and get those creative juices flowing. Re-read later if you want -- in fact, that's a good way to remind yourself what you were going through at first, so that as you slowly piece your life back together things will make more and more sense."

It's a good thing she's pretty, cuz I gotta see her twice a week for awhile. She's got a nice smile. Makes her eyes light up.

The speech therapist is another thing altogether. Big heavyset dude with a permanent frown. Keeps wanting me to open my mouth, push sounds out from my gut. Nothing happens. I take a deep breath, put my hand over my own throat to feel the vibration as the air goes in and out.

This is so stupid I want to choke.

Dude says I need to practice feeling the air going in and out, focusing on the vibrations of my throat, working those muscles. He wants me to practice with my brother, put my hand on his throat while he talks so I can feel the movement, then try to imitate that.

The first time I touch Sam it goes straight to my dick.

I pull my hand back so fast I almost hit myself.

What the fuck?

I stare at him, and he looks back with this funny hopeful expression.

"Do you remember something?" he asks, all innocent, like he doesn't have a clue.

I shake my head, write "Are you sure you're my brother?" on my notepad, hand it to him.

He just rolls his eyes and sighs.

"Yes, Dean, I'm sure," he says. "Our parents were John and Mary Winchester. We were born in Lawrence, Kansas, and when you were four and I was a baby Mom died in a fire. After that, Dad took us on the road and that's how we grew up."

–We grew up on the road?– I write.

Sam nods.

"Dad's job took us from town to town. He went where the work was, and he took us with him. Did his best to raise us."

At least now he seems to be telling the truth. Looks me in the eye when he talks.

So if this is true, and we really are brothers, then what the fuck just happened?

Doc says inappropriate feelings are just my brain's way of dealing with trauma. The circuits are all mixed up. Touching Sam triggered some residual sense memory and my brain interpreted that as sexual attraction, which is wrong, of course, but until my real memories come back I may find my brain misinterpreting a lot of the signals coming into it.

–Like visual signals?– I ask. –Like when somebody looks at me a certain way and I feel like I'm being hit on?–

Doc smiles, looks down, and I swear there's a little blush in her cheeks.

"You're a good-looking man, Dean, in case you haven't noticed. Lots of people are going to look at you that way."

I'm only thinking about one who does, but I can't keep going down that road. Obviously I'm still pretty sick in the head. And Sam –

The next time I practice the speech exercise with my brother, I steel myself ahead of time, think about dead fish and old men's saggy butts when I press my fingers to his throat.

It helps. I'm not instantly rock hard, like before.

But then I feel his pulse race under my fingers, notice that his lips are parted and his pupils are dilating and–

Shit.

I pull away, notice how close we are, am suddenly hyper-aware of his body heat, of our knees almost touching.

This is so fucked up.

He's looking at me like I'm his favorite food and he's starving.

What the hell?

I look down at my writing pad, just to get my eyes off those soft lips.

–So we were lovers.– I write.

He nods, licks his stupid lips. And that is so unfair, goddamn it.

"Yeah," he breathes, and his voice is like a cool breeze on my over-heated skin.

–How long?–

"Since we were kids," he answers. "I was about fifteen the first time. But we always slept together. Can't remember a time before you were in my bed. It was the only way we could get to sleep."

I'm suddenly feeling overwhelmed, dizzy, my heart racing, my vision starting to blur. I'm stumbling away from him, stunned and sick.

I raped a fifteen-year-old kid.

My own brother.

I'm a monster.

"Dean."

He's following me backwards, reaching for me, concern and love in those gorgeous hazel eyes.

I put my hands out to stop him, shaking my head till it feels like it might fall off.

"Dean, hey," he murmurs. "It's okay, man. We're okay. You're just freaking out, and I can see this is a lot to take in. But it's really okay. Has been for years. Always. It's always been okay. I swear. This is just who we are."

I'm still backing away from him, and suddenly I feel the wall behind me, can't go back any further.

He's still coming towards me, and now I'm really losing it. If he touches me again, I know I won't be able to think straight. And I need to figure this out, damn it.

I give him my most severe expression, frown intensely at him, pointing a finger at him and shaking my head. I mouth the word "Stop!" as fiercely as I can, and he does. Drops his arms to his sides and looks at me helplessly. His expression is so sad all I want to do it gather him into my arms and –

Fuck.

It's like I'm programmed to give in to him. To fill his needs.

What the hell is wrong with me?

I gesture to him to "Stay!" like he's an exuberant puppy or something. He nods, still sad, and I keep my eyes on him sternly as I move cautiously around him to the table, avoiding contact like he's diseased and contagious. Like a single touch could kill.

Which yeah, it would.

I finally reach the table with my writing pad, grab it, keeping my eyes on him the whole time to be sure he stays put.

–I need time to think. I need you to leave. Now.–

He sucks in a breath as he reads, raises eyes so full of desperation and unhappiness I have to close mine. The urge to grab him, to pull him in and never let go, it's just –

–Please.– I write, hating myself for feeling so weak, so helpless and out of control in the face of Sam's tsunami of desperation and longing and–

He loves me. He really really loves me.

I'm feeling like my soul is shattering into a million pieces, and I don't ever want to put it together again.

"Dean, please don't send me away. We can work this out. I can explain."

I stare at him. I can't believe how trusting he is, how he can just love somebody who did that to him.

It's so sick I don't even know how to respond.

So I shake my head, look down, determined as I can be that this is what we both need right now. Time to think. Alone.

I can feel the moment he gives in and turns to go, the moment he walks through the door.

Because it feels like my heart has been ripped out of my body and my world has ended and nothing will ever be okay until he returns.

I am so, so much sicker than I ever imagined.

NEXT CHAPTER - BACK TO MASTERPOST

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