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: (Wet Sam)
Title: In My Hour of Darkness
Author: [livejournal.com profile] amypond45
Genre: Gen
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 1,470
Warnings: None.
Summary: Sam has a fever dream while laid up in an abandoned warehouse. Maybe.
A/N: Written for the 2015 Triple Play at [livejournal.com profile] ohsam for the prompt: 1)setting=Squatting in an abandoned warehouse; 2) other character(s)=Mary; 3)Hurt/Comfort scenario=Fever Dream. Prompted by [livejournal.com profile] madebyme_x.

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: The Time Traveler’s Brother
Author: [livejournal.com profile] amypond45
Pairing: Sam/Dean
Rating: R
Word Count: 55,458
Characters: Sam Winchester, Dean Winchester, John Winchester, Pastor Jim Murphy, Bobby Singer
Warnings: Underage. Sibling incest. Mentions of rape and torture. Spoilers up through 10.01.
Disclaimer: Nothing about Supernatural is mine, everything belongs to its rightful owner. I make no money from the show or this story.
A/N: Written for the 2015 SPN_Kink_Big_Bang. This story is inspired by The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger. For her invaluable help and encouragement beta-ing this thing, many thanks to the wonderful [livejournal.com profile] smalltrolven

Summary: Dean's life is turned upside down the night his mother dies. But that's also the night a mysterious grown-up version of Dean's brother first appears in his life. While Dean grows up, "Old Sam" is often there, especially when Dean's father isn't, and as Dean learns what the future holds, he begins to question everything his father has taught him about who he is and what he is supposed to become. Can Dean find a way to save his little brother from his own future? This pre-series AU follows Dean from age four to eighteen.

Artwork Masterpost by the amazing winchesterchola here


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


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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

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