The Long and Winding Road (amypond45) wrote,
The Long and Winding Road
amypond45

If Dreams Could Make Wishes Come True - Part Five

They left the next day, after checking in with Bobby and letting him know they'd run out of money and needed to move on and if John checked in with Bobby would he please let him know they were on their way back to Sioux Falls because of course he wasn't answering his cell. School was starting in a couple of weeks, and Sam needed to enroll, keep up his trajectory toward college and a normal life. Now that Sam had his heart's desire, he fantasized about leaving hunting, taking Dean with him, settling down somewhere safe, somewhere they could have the kind of regular, middle-class life he had dreamed about when he was small. Dean had been happy there, in that dream-world, and Sam knew instinctively that he could be again, without the constant threat of monsters and his father's relentless quest for revenge.

They took their time on the road, stopping in little road-side bars and restaurants where Dean hustled pool and made enough to feed them and pay for a room where they could tumble into bed together, their heat for each other an almost constant thirst that had to be quenched every chance they got.

"No butt-sex," Dean announced after the first few of weeks of nearly constant humping, rubbing, and sucking to get each other off. "I don't do anal."

"Okay," Sam agreed without hesitation. It hadn't come up, really, and although Sam had rubbed off between Dean's legs plenty of times, whenever he'd touched Dean's hole, Dean had bucked away, skittish and sometimes coherent enough to burst out with, "Hell, no!" so Sam had never pushed it.

Sam, on the other hand, had no such aversion, and he'd read enough and experimented with his own body enough to know he was definitely willing to try it if Dean wanted to. He couldn't deny feeling a little disappointed when Dean shut down the possibility completely, but he was so head-over-heels with things as they were that it just wasn't much of an issue. He was content to rub himself off on Dean for all eternity if that's all Dean wanted, and Dean seemed on board with letting Sam suck his dick as much as he wanted, so Sam was good.

And the first time Dean went down on Sam felt like every Christmas and birthday present he'd never had, so yeah, Sam was definitely good. Beyond good, he gasped as he looked down at Dean's gorgeous mouth wrapped around his dick, harder than he'd ever been in his life at the sight. They were six months into their physical relationship by that point, and Sam had decided it was never going to happen, like the butt-sex thing. But on the night of January 18, one week before Dean's twenty-first birthday, he lay Sam down on the bed, kissed down his chest and stomach, and while Sam held his breath, Dean looked up at him with those big green eyes all blown black with lust and just went to town on Sam's dick.

Sam figured he'd been thinking about it for awhile, maybe even researched it, had definitely been taking lessons from Sam and all those girls who'd given Dean all the head he never even had to ask for all those years before Sam. Who wouldn't? Sam asked himself when he was feeling jealous. And when Sam's orgasm coursed through him and he didn't have time to withdraw, Dean swallowed like a pro, licking every last drop out of Sam's slit, then licking his lips and crawling back up Sam's body to kiss him, letting Sam taste himself in Dean's mouth till he was breathless.

"Happy sixth-month anniversary," Sam whispered when they were lying side by side, facing each other, Sam having just returned the favor so they were both sated and sleepy.

"Shut up," Dean frowned, rolling his eyes, as if it had never occurred to him. Sam reached up and brushed his fingertips along the perfect planes of Dean's face, over his lips, still slick with spit, and Dean tolerated the touch, the tenderness he never allowed Sam to express verbally, keeping his eyes cast down, long lashes fanning his cheeks almost delicately. Sam was overwhelmed again by the strange juxtaposition of violence and beauty embodied in this man who could take down a pack of werewolves single-handedly but make love like he was creating a work of art, drawing out moans and whimpers from Sam like they were brush-strokes on a canvas.

"When did you know, Dean?" Sam asked quietly, fingers skimming down Dean's chin, his throat.

Dean's eyes opened, deep green pools in the dim light of the room. "Know what, Sammy?"

"When you first knew how you felt. About me."

Dean rolled his eyes, pulled away and sighed, rolled over onto his back. "Oh, God, not this again," he groaned, flinging his arm over his eyes dramatically.

"Not what again?" Sam demanded defensively, instantly full of self-doubt. "I was just curious. You don't have to tell me."

"What?" Dean peeked out at him from under his bent arm, frowning. "You want me to say it? You want to hear about how I lusted after a twelve-year-old? Is that what this is?"

"Did you?" Sam asked. "Did you know right away? When you first met me?"

"Jesus, Sam, what do you want from me?" Dean rolled his eyes again. "I felt sorry for you, okay? Figured you could use my help. You were so – you were this little kid, y'know? It seemed like you needed somebody to look after you, and I felt responsible."

"It was a good thing," Sam clarified, pushing up on his elbow so he could lean over Dean. "Not just a drag, not just an obligation. You liked me."

"Yeah, I liked you, Sam," Dean shook his head, still irritated. "Don't you remember? We had a good time. It was a good summer. I wasn't pretending, if that's what you're worried about. I really enjoyed myself."

"Me too," Sam breathed, more relieved than he wanted to admit. "It just seemed like we hit it off right away. Did it feel that way to you?"

Dean's face relaxed a little as he gazed at Sam, like he was remembering those golden days, before things got complicated. He reached up and pushed Sam's hair back from his face, tucking it behind his ear, a vague smile curling his lips. "Yeah. Yeah, it did. It felt like I'd known you all my life. Like I was just waiting for you to show up that day on that road."

"Yeah," Sam agreed, feeling his face relax into a grin of its own, lowering his eyes as his cheeks grew hot. "Same here."

He could feel Dean looking at him, his hand still curled around Sam's ear. Then he sat up and leaned forward, and Sam looked up just in time to catch the heat in Dean's gaze, to watch those green eyes lower to Sam's mouth as Dean's hand slid behind Sam's neck, tugging him forward.

"Come here, you adorable little shit," Dean murmured, and then his mouth was on Sam's and all of Sam's insecurities melted away, forgotten in the reality of the moment, in the here and now of Dean's warm, talented lips on his.

*//*

The next year passed pretty much like the last one, partly on the road with John on various hunts, but mostly stationed somewhere semi-permanent so Sam could go to school. Dean took odd jobs, often working as a mechanic, fixing small engines, or mowing lawns, whatever he could get. He worked as a dishwasher, a delivery boy, a mover, even for awhile as a driver for an elderly woman who needed someone to take her to various doctor's appointments and on errands. Sam was amazed and impressed by Dean's patience and natural kindness with the old lady, his easy courtesy. She tipped generously, so Dean was excused for putting up with her frequent last-minute demands, but he also seemed to genuinely care, and his charm and good looks were certainly not lost on her.

"Your brother is a real looker," she commented to Sam, who didn't bother to correct her. "He's a real hit at my bridge club."

Sam couldn't help teasing Dean about his appeal to the old gals, and Dean shot him a warning look and shook his head.

"You better watch it, Sam," he warned. "If I took a dime from every girl that wanted me to take her out, we'd be living in Hollywood by now."

Which shut Sam up pretty quick. He understood that Dean had given up girls, was being utterly monogamous with Sam, but his insecurity got the better of him once in awhile, and he needed to be reminded that Dean had chosen Sam over all of the girls, young and old, who would have dropped everything to be with him. Because part of him just couldn't believe he deserved to be so lucky. It felt like there had to be a catch somewhere, something bad just around the corner ready and waiting to snatch it all away, make Dean hate him or leave him or just suddenly wake up and realize it had all been a dream, or a nightmare, that he'd never really loved Sam at all. The other shoe was just waiting to drop, like it always did for Sam, or at least always had before he met Dean, and he was living his life in constant dread of that horrible moment when it would all be over, when Dean would come to his senses and realize he'd been tricked, that Sam wasn't really the one he wanted after all.

The sense of foreboding got stronger the closer Sam came to putting his plans together for college. As he began his senior year, he started having nightmares in which he was leaving Dean, and he woke with such a grinding, gasping terror in the pit of his stomach it took him hours to get back to sleep, even when Dean woke up and gave him a late-night blow-job, then fell asleep again cradled between Sam's thighs, nuzzling his scruffy face against Sam's belly. Sam lay awake another hour, relishing the sand-paper feel of Dean's cheek against his skin, smoothing Dean's soft hair with his fingers, until utter exhaustion pulled him down into sleep again just as the early dawn began to lighten the sky outside the bedroom window.

They didn't talk much about Sam's plans for college; it was a given, Sam realized, that Sam would go, but whenever he tried to broach the subject, Dean changed it, raising other issues or leaving the room so subtly Sam didn't even realize he was doing it until it became impossible to avoid. On the surface, Dean seemed more than supportive of Sam's college plans; he drove him to the SAT testing site in October, came back to pick him up and took him out to their favorite restaurant to celebrate after.

"Here's to the guy who got the top score," Dean raised his beer, and Sam clinked bottle necks with him, grinning from ear to ear because he knew he'd done well, and he didn't have to use his psychic ability for an instant, and Dean knew that too.

Dean helped him complete the college applications, filled in all the cover forms with pertinent information so that Sam could concentrate on the more complicated essay questions. They agreed he would apply to five top schools only, with University of South Dakota as a fall-back. Dean claimed he was happy living wherever Sam got accepted, but Sam could tell he wasn't as excited about Yale and Harvard as he was about Stanford and Berkeley and the University of Chicago, so Sam couldn't help it if he put a little extra effort into those applications.

In the midst of finals that fall, John Winchester showed up with a case that needed their help. Sam stayed up all night doing research, so that he was exhausted and wrung out at school the next day, and when he got back to their little rented shack John and Dean were gone. The note on the refrigerator from Dean promised he'd be back within the week, but Sam immediately panicked, dialed Dean's cell and ranted and railed for fifteen minutes while Dean listened, grunting periodically to let him know he was still on the line.

"Get your homework done, senior boy," Dean admonished when Sam finally paused for air. "The colleges really look at your fall grades, and you need to keep giving them those straight A’s. Dad and I are handling this one."

It didn't help that Sam dreamed about demons that night. Their eyes glistened black as night, and they taunted him with threats of taking Dean away from him permanently, hiding him somewhere Sam would never find him. He woke in a cold sweat, Dean's absence in the bed making the nightmare real for a few seconds too long, keeping Sam's heart pounding until he finally remembered why Dean was gone. Not being able to reach Dean that day did nothing to reassure him, though Dean had warned him they were going to be in the mountains, where cell service was sketchy at best.

Sam dreamed about demons almost every night that week, scaring himself shitless because the dreams brought back in vivid detail the last time he'd seen a demon, in Bobby Singer's basement. In the dreams Sam relived moments from his childhood, but this time there were demons in many of the pivotal roles. The two police officers who picked him up from the dingy little apartment where he'd been left by his mother while she went out and died of a drug overdose suddenly had black eyes in his memory-dreams. And Dr. Clausen, the creepy clinician who somehow excised his dreams of a home he'd never really had, had the same demonic black eyes, as had at least one of his temporary foster-mothers.

In his waking moments, Sam felt fairly confident that the dreams weren't real, that no demons had actually possessed the people from his messed-up childhood. But then he dreamed about the demon in Bobby's basement, the taunting way the demon claimed to know him, seemed to imply that demons had kept watch over Sam all his life, would continue to keep an eye on him now that they'd found him again. In his dream the demon stared straight at him, as if it could see into Sam's waking life, and Sam woke in a cold sweat again, didn't even try to go back to sleep because this time the dream had been too real.

When Dean came home later that day Sam didn't wait for him to come through the door. As soon as Sam heard the familiar rumble of the Impala's engine he was up and outside, grabbing a startled Dean and pulling him into his arms for a ferocious hug that went on and on, Sam's whole body shaking with raw emotion.

"Sammy?" Dean grunted, hugging back but mostly just allowing himself to be mauled.

"Don't ever do that again," Sam breathed as soon as he could control his voice. "Don't ever leave like that again."

"Okay," Dean agreed. "Just trying to give you some space, Sam. That's all. Finals, remember? Figured you needed to concentrate."

"Needed you, jerk," Sam pressed his face into Dean's neck, inhaling the scent of gunpowder and leather and soap. "Couldn't sleep."

"Couldn't shower either, I'm guessin'," Dean commented dryly. "You reek, Sam."

"We gotta get outta here," Sam pulled back, shaking his head, willing Dean to take him seriously. "I think they found me again."

"Who?" Dean frowned, instantly on guard, glancing around furtively, as if the mysterious they"’ would suddenly appear out of nowhere.

Which Sam was not so sure they couldn't do.

"Demons," Sam shook his head. "Like before. They've been looking for me, since that time at Bobby's. And since you left I've been having these dreams – they're more like visions, I think – and it's like they can see me now. They know where I am, and they're coming for me."

Dean stared, reached up and pushed Sam's hair back from his brow, left his hand on his cheek, thumb tracing Sam's cheekbone, his other hand firmly on Sam's shoulder, holding him in place as he studied him. That's when Sam realized he probably looked awful. He hadn't shaved, he hadn't slept, and he certainly hadn't showered or washed his hair since Dean left. He couldn't even remember the last time he'd eaten or had anything to drink, for that matter.

"Winchesters don't run, remember, Sam?" Dean said, his voice low and gruff, belying the gentleness of his fingers.

Sam shook his head, freeing himself from Dean's grasp, backing away but grabbing Dean's arm so he could pull him into the house. "No, no, this isn't cowardice, Dean. You don't understand. They've been using me all my life, until I met you. I didn't see it before, but here's the thing: they can't see me when I'm with you. It's like you shield me from them somehow. I already called Missouri, and she agrees with me. Your psychic thing complements mine. That's the only thing that makes sense. As long as we're together we're okay, but when you're gone it's like I lose my shield. After we left Bobby's that time, they couldn't find me again, but now..."

Sam could hear himself rambling, but he was too keyed up to stop. The words poured out of him, out of the jumbled confusion of his mind, and everything got clearer as he talked, as if he was forging reality with language. He was stuffing clothes into his duffel as he talked, packing his books and papers into his backpack, stalking out the door to the car, dumping his stuff into the backseat. He flung himself into the passenger seat just as Dean slid in next to him, and their doors slammed exactly at the same moment, making them both jump, then stare at each other in silence for a moment before Dean turned away.

"Fuckin' weird shit, Sam," he muttered as he started the car, then eased out onto a quiet little side-street, passing a parked car with two men sitting inside. Sam frowned at them as the Impala slid past, and at the last moment one of them looked right at him and a little jolt went straight through his body, shooting ice through his veins. The man's eyes were solid black.

Sam gasped, turned around in his seat to stare at the car through the back window, but it just sat there, unmoving, as Dean turned the car down the next side-street, heading for the highway.

"Did you see that? They were in that car back there," Sam breathed out as Dean shot a questioning look at him.

"Who?" Dean glanced at his rearview mirror, but the car was already out of sight.

"Demons," Sam answered, shifting nervously in his seat. "I looked right at one of them, and his eyes were black. They acted like they didn't even see us. Just sat there."

"Sam, you're scaring me," Dean growled, frowning. "Are you sure you're not just having some kind of break-down or something? I mean, you've been working pretty hard, and not eating or sleeping can make your mind play all kinds of tricks on you, make you see shit that's not there, that kind of thing."

"That's not what this is, Dean, I swear," Sam protested bleakly. "I wish to God it were. But I get it now. For the first time in my life, I can see the patterns."

"Oh, now you're sounding like Mel Gibson in that conspiracy movie..."

"Just drive," Sam demanded, knowing he sounded whiny and irritated. "Let's get as far away from here as fast as we can, okay? I promise I'll explain everything when we've put some distance between us and them."

Dean shook his head, clearly not convinced and obviously more worried about Sam's state of mind than demons or anything else, but he did as Sam asked, pulling onto I-80 going east just to give them a chance to haul ass.

When the sky began to darken, Dean pulled off at a truck-stop with a convenience store, a diner, and a shabby two-story motel, leaving Sam in the car while he checked in, in plain sight, answering Sam's panicky look with a reassuring wink.

"Not going anywhere, Sammy," he smirked. "Promise."

Once they unloaded the car, Dean marched Sam into the bathroom with strict orders to clean up while Dean got them some chow. It wasn't easy for Sam to let Dean go, but he did it, telling himself Dean went out for food all the time, had been doing so for years, and no demon had ever found them. Only when Dean was away for a period of time, and at a distance greater than just across the street, had the protective barrier slid aside so the demons could find them. After talking it over with Missouri Moseley and researching the hell out of psychic phenomena, Sam had come to the conclusion that the soul bond between he and Dean had created a kind of bubble around the two of them, keeping them both safe as long as they were together. It seemed a little hokey, and Sam wasn't entirely certain it was something that initiated with Dean; it could just as easily be Sam's power that triggered the bubble, but only when Dean was close by. Sam wondered about his recent fear of Dean leaving him, if that was somehow his subconscious warning him that he'd have more than a broken heart to worry about if Dean ever really left him. Which made him wonder if there was a protection charm he could wear that might have the same effect, make the demons not see him when they looked straight at him.

When Dean returned, Sam was on the phone with Bobby, picking his brain about demon protection charms. Turned out the amulet Bobby had given him could be spelled to have the effect Sam was hoping for, and once Sam explained what it was for Bobby was eager to help.

"You're a demon-magnet, Sam," he said. "For some reason, those bastards just love you, which should be creepy as fuck, except I know you, boy, and there's not an evil bone in your body."

"Thanks, Uncle Bobby," Sam breathed, grateful for the vote of confidence, which was more than he could muster for himself these days. "I can't put Dean in danger. I won't. If I can't find some way to deter them, at least until I can find out what they want from me, then..." Sam glanced at Dean, who was setting take-out containers on the table. He clenched his jaw, fighting back the sudden urge to cry.

"Listen to me, son," Bobby interrupted, clearly responding to the choked sound in Sam's voice. "We'll figure this out, y'hear? You're gonna be fine. Dean's gonna be fine. Just hang in there."

"You believe that?" Sam asked, sounding desperate even to his own ears, and he answered himself before the older man could lie to him. "Never mind. Just...thanks, Uncle Bobby. For everything."

After Sam hung up, Dean made him eat, sitting him down at the table with him and all but spoon-feeding him, forcing limp salad and turkey dinner with all the fixings down his gullet, making him drink glass after glass of water until he felt bloated. Sated. Stupidly grateful to Dean for taking care of him, letting him transfer all the strain and anxiety of the past few days onto Dean's broad shoulders.

"Gonna fix you up, Sam," Dean told him. "Gonna get you feeling right as rain again. Then we'll see what's what."

After supper Dean flipped on the t.v. and collapsed onto the bed next to Sam, who was out like a light before the first commercial break, his head sinking over onto Dean's shoulder, his last conscious thought how grateful he was to have Dean home. Sam slept dreamlessly that night for the first time in a week, Dean's warm body pressed against him from shoulder to ankle.

*//*

It took Sam another week to recover from his time apart from Dean. After researching the hell out of soul-bonding, he decided on the theory that he had been suffering from a kind of separation sickness that affected soul-mated couples, except in their case Sam and Dean had the added problem of being targeted by demons, or at least Sam did, which made it Dean's problem as well, as Dean insisted.

"Dean, it's not your problem," Sam shook his head. "They've been after me my whole life. Uncle Bobby was probably right when he said they want to use my abilities. Dr. Clausen was obviously one of them. He was testing kids like me, finding the ones with the most potential, then sending them to training facilities run by paid shape-shifters. There were probably other training centers, maybe still are, full of psychic kids and shape-shifter trainers. The demons think they own me, Dean. They invested in me, and they want me back."

"Yeah, well, they can't have you, and that's final," Dean said. "And yes, it sure as hell is my problem, Sam. Anything and everything to do with you is my problem, y'hear? We're in this together, to the bitter end. No take-backs."

Sam loved Dean beyond reason when he got tough and protective like this, although he'd never admit it in a million years. It made him feel safe, and it felt so familiar it brought tears to his eyes. dream-Dean had been like that, always fierce in his defense of Sam, even when they were little, and it made Sam want to curl up in bed with the real Dean and never get up again. But it also brought protective instincts out in Sam, who felt overwhelmed with guilt for bringing down the wrath of these horrible, possessive creatures on Dean. Sam was intensely determined to do everything in his power to keep them away from Dean, who had never done anything to deserve that kind of attention.

Although the fact that a demon had killed Dean's mother and baby brother bothered Sam, because it suggested that there was a connection, that there might indeed be something in Dean's past that had attracted demonic interest, besides just him. He wondered if Dean's psychic abilities had brought the demon that had killed his family, if that demon had intended to take Dean that night the way demons took Sam when his mother died. They had both been four years old when their mothers died; Sam wasn't so sure that was just a coincidence anymore. Maybe the yellow-eyed demon had planned to take Dean that night, but his dad got in the way, managed to scare the thing off, thwart its plans.

Sam didn't dare discuss his theory with Dean, though; he knew how sensitive the subject was, even all these years later. Dean missed his mother with a vengeance, remembered her love like a painful reminder of how things could have been, how they should have been if the yellow-eyed demon hadn't visited his family that night.

*//*

Sam and Dean spent several weeks moving from town to town, until Sam was confident that they'd shaken anything that might have been trying to follow them. By that time it was after Christmas, close to Dean's birthday, and when Sam suggested they settle in Champaign, Illinois for the rest of the school year, Dean was all over it. He found a townhouse a block off the university campus, where he and Sam could easily afford the top floor. The apartment was sparsely furnished, intended for students, and the landlord seemed laid-back and easy-going, not even bothering with their references or a deposit, assuming they were good renters because he'd been a student himself fairly recently and he believed in giving everyone a good start in life.

"You boys will love it here," he assured them as he handed them the keys to the door and the mailbox. "Lots of liberal types, plenty of acceptance for all lifestyles and orientations. It's a good neighborhood."

Dean's eyes widened until Sam had to stifle a laugh, slinging an arm around his shoulders and playfully patting his chest, earning an arched eyebrow that was almost a smirk from their landlord.

"I'm sure we'll love it here, won't we, honey?" Sam teased, and Dean's eyebrows went up even higher as he turned his comically shocked gaze on Sam, then back to the landlord.

"Oh, absolutely," he exclaimed, ever the trooper, and Sam was prouder of him in that moment than he could ever recall feeling. Dean thought on his feet, that was for sure, even when the topic was incredibly uncomfortable. "We'll be very happy here."

Then Sam felt Dean's hand on his ass, squeezing almost painfully, and he suppressed a yelp of surprise and near-pain as he jumped a little, then tried valiantly to recover, managing a weak smile as their landlord eased his way out the door, a look of uncertainty clouding his regular features.

"That dude needs to get laid," Dean announced as soon as the door was closed.

"He's not the only one," Sam muttered, grabbing the collar of Dean's jacket in one hand, palming his dick with the other as he pushed Dean up against the wall and kissed him, sloppy and hard and desperate, just the way Dean liked it.

*//*

That spring was the happiest Sam and Dean had ever shared. Dean found a job right away, working for a millionaire who reconditioned classic cars and was thrilled to have a handsome young mechanic who was as talented with cars as he was easy on the eyes. Sam enrolled in the local public high school, ace-ing all his Advanced Placement classes, and finishing top of his class. When the letter arrived from Stanford offering him a full scholarship and living stipend, forwarded from Bobby's, it was already late May, the flowers were in bloom, and Sam and Dean celebrated by getting smashed and making out on the grass on the university campus, under the stars.

"Fuck me," Sam begged as Dean ground his hips against Sam's, mouthing the tender skin under his jaw, his hands in Sam's hair, holding his head so he could get the angle he wanted.

"Okay," Dean murmured against Sam's skin, nipping his adam's apple, licking and sucking along his neck to his ear.

"Do it here," Sam gasped, turning his head to give Dean better access. "There's stuff in my backpack."

Dean lifted his head, glanced over at the pack, then off across the lawn at the lights of the campus. "We're in kind of a public place here, Sammy."

"So?" Sam challenged, thrusting his hips up provocatively. "It's kinda hot that way."

"You're still under eighteen," Dean reminded him. "If we get caught, they'll put you in a boy's home."

"So? It'd be worth it," Sam insisted breathlessly, spreading his legs so Dean could grind down between them. "Come on, Dean. Not gonna get caught."

Sam could see the minute Dean got on board with the idea, the sudden glint in his eye, the little smirk as he pulled away so he could reach for the pack. Sam took the opportunity to toe his sneakers off, followed by his socks, jeans and underwear, then lay on his back with his knees pulled up to his chest, spreading himself open wantonly.

"Jesus, Sam," Dean breathed as he knelt on the grass between Sam's legs, condom and lube in hand, just staring.

"Come on, Dean, do it," Sam whined, wiggling down toward Dean, stroking down the skin beneath his balls so he could push at his own hole with the tips of his fingers. "Come on."

Dean flipped the cap open on the little tube, poured the lube onto his fingers, replaced Sam's fingers with his own, gently at first, exploring the tight opening as he watched Sam's face. Sam gasped as he felt Dean's fingers circle his hole, then push gently against his opening; Sam rocked into it, and Dean's middle finger pushed inside, eliciting a deep moan.

"Yeah, that's it, Dean," Sam encouraged, rocking against the strange intrusion, forcing Dean's finger further inside him. "Now move it around, stretch me open. Come on, Dean, that's it."

Dean's face was a silent mask of concentration, watching Sam's reaction to every movement of his fingers with a look of rapt fascination, his determination to do this new thing the right way conflicting with his concern for Sam, for any sign that he was hurting him. But after the first penetration, Sam began to relax almost immediately, his body adjusting to the new sensations with almost no discomfort at all, so that when Dean added a second finger, then a third, Sam was more than ready, the tingling in his channel making him harder than he'd ever been before.

"Okay, okay, I'm ready," he gasped, pushing down frantically on Dean's fingers, pulling his legs back so Dean was hitting that place inside that sent those incredible little tingly shockwaves straight to his dick. "Come on, Dean, fuck me. Come on. I'm ready for it."

Dean withdrew his fingers with an audible sucking sound. "Jesus, Sam," he breathed. "Goddamn."

Sam wiggled his hips and stripped his dick while Dean rustled around between his legs, pulling his dick out, unwrapping the condom, sliding it on and covering it liberally with lube.

"I don't even know why we're bothering with this thing," he muttered to himself, "It's not like you haven't been swallowing my jizz for over a year now."

"Just do it," Sam begged, grabbing his legs behind the knees, lifting his ass off the ground. "Please, Dean."

"Okay, okay," Dean murmured, taking his dick in one hand, holding onto Sam's thigh with the other. "Pushy little bitch. Just hold yer horses there."

Sam could feel the moment Dean's cock touched his hole, sending sparks through his system, threatening to overload his brain. His eyes slid shut and he squeezed his dick in an effort to restrain his building orgasm, chewing on his bottom lip to keep from moaning aloud. He couldn't contain the keening sound that escaped his throat as Dean pushed in, though.

"You okay? You okay there, Sammy?" Dean froze, waiting for Sam to nod, let out his breath, adjust to the sensation of fullness. Dean's dick was bigger than his fingers, and Sam realized a moment before he started pushing in again that this was going to be nothing like working himself open in the shower, as he'd been doing for some time now, getting off on imagining Dean's cock inside him.

"Sam?" Dean checked again, his voice rough, hoarse with need. Sam felt Dean's dick pulse a little in his ass and Sam's muscles squeezed back reflexively, wringing a stifled grunt from Dean as he held himself still, tension causing his arm to shake as he held Sam's thigh.

"Dean?" Sam opened his eyes, looked up at Dean's face, read the strain and effort there, the attempt to contain his own need to bottom out and thrust, the obvious pleasure of feeling Sam's tight heat around his dick. The sight of Dean struggling to be careful not to hurt Sam was almost too much to bear; in one sudden, hard movement, Sam rocked down on Dean's dick, burying it to the hilt, a sobbing moan tearing out of his throat as Dean hit that place inside where all Sam's nerve endings coalesced, sending sparks of pleasure-pain up his spine.

Dean's eyes flew open, wide with shock and wonder, but Sam couldn't keep his own eyes open; he needed to focus on the sensation of having Dean deep inside him, of being filled and owned and made complete, this sudden violent connection which was everything because it was Dean, his Dean, the love of his life.

"Sammy," Dean breathed, and Sam's eyes fell open a little, just enough to see the expression on Dean's lovely face, the tears in his beautiful eyes, before Sam squeezed his eyes shut again and rocked, thrusting down on Dean's dick, encouraging him to move.

And Dean did, moaning a little as he pulled back, not all the way out, just enough to feel the drag on Sam's tight channel, and Sam could tell it felt incredible because of the sounds Dean was making, the little breathless moan as he pushed back in, then started pumping, thrusting in and out in quick, short thrusts that told Sam he was close, that being buried in Sam's ass was the hottest thing Dean had ever experienced, and he couldn't last long. Sam reached up and wrapped his fingers around the back of Dean's neck, coaxing him down for a kiss, and Dean was gasping and moaning and trembling against Sam's mouth and it felt like he couldn't get any closer, couldn't go any deeper. When Dean stopped, held himself rigid and held his breath as he always did just before he came Sam kissed him deeply, keeping his tongue buried deep in Dean's open mouth as his body shook out its orgasm, licking lightly, kneading the back of Dean's neck with his fingers, rocking shallowly against him as he came down.

"Jesus fuck, Sam," Dean breathed as he finally pulled away, trembling with the effort to keep from collapsing on top of Sam. He sat back a little so he could look down between Sam's legs, where they were still joined, then at Sam's belly, streaked with white from Sam's own orgasm, almost incidental in the scheme of what had just happened. Dean let out a harsh gasp as he pulled out, yanked off the condom and tied it off, tossed it easily into Sam's pack.

"Eww, Dean," Sam complained. "Gross!"

"Early birthday present, Sammy," Dean smirked, then shrugged off his over-shirt and pulled his own tee-shirt off, exposing his muscular chest, skin pale and almost glowing in the starlight. Sam watched silently as Dean cleaned him off, then stuffed the soiled shirt in Sam's pack and reached down to retrieve Sam's discarded clothing. Sam pulled on his jeans, stuffing his underwear and socks into his pack, while Dean tucked himself away in his own jeans and pulled his over-shirt back on, then turned to stare at Sam expectantly. Sam had the distinct feeling he should say something, help Dean deal with this new step down the road to gayness, reassure him that it was all perfectly normal or something, didn't mean they were any more gay than they had been before Dean had agreed to pile-drive Sam's ass.

But the truth was, Sam had sensed Dean in a way he never had before, as if in the act of physical union, the psychic barrier between them had finally been breached, if only temporarily, and Sam could swear he had seen inside Dean's soul, had felt Dean's love for him like a salve on his own insecurity, on the guilt Sam felt for bringing evil into Dean's life. And it made him want to do everything he could to assure Dean of his love and devotion, to make Dean see how important he was in Sam's life, how he had saved Sam and changed his life for the better, how grateful Sam was for that.

"Stay," Sam begged, reaching out and taking Dean's wrist, pulling him closer till Dean was right there, staring into Sam's eyes with those big green pools of emotion and reality and memory, the windows into Dean's soul. Sam could sense Dean's uncertainty, his need for reassurance, and giving him that was the least Sam could do.

"It's okay, Dean. It's okay. It's good," Sam nodded, pulling Dean back down with him on the grass so they lay side by side, staring up at the stars, Sam's fingers on Dean's wrist slipping down till they were entwined with Dean's, so they lay there holding hands like lovers on a first date, or like an old couple who had been together forever. "We used to do this, when we were kids, in my dream," Sam said quietly. "We used to slip outside after everybody was asleep and just lie on the grass in the backyard and watch the stars. I think we fell asleep there once. Woke up freezing and soaked with dew."

Sam could feel Dean turn his head and stare silently at him until Sam turned his own head, returning the gaze. "What?"

Dean shook his head, the corners of his mouth turning up a little. "Nothin'," he said. "It's just you, having dream memories of our childhood, like we grew up together. And now we're together like this. It must be weird for you, is all. Must feel a little..."

"Incestuous?" Sam offered, his own mouth relaxing into a grin. "Yeah, maybe. But mostly it just feels like wish-fulfillment. Like I dreamed you into existence. I have more memories of you, of growing up with you, than I do of my real life. I think I tried to forget a lot of the things that happened."

Dean squeezed Sam's hand sympathetically. "But you know that wasn't really me," he said softly. "My childhood was one lonely, miserable time, full of a lot of crap I wish I could forget. My dad drinking all the time, missing my mom; hell, sometimes I think he blamed me for surviving that night. Sometimes the heat was off and there was no food in the house and Dad was just gone. Being hungry and cold leaves its mark on a kid. I was no pampered, middle-class suburban Little Leaguer with birthday parties and picnics and family vacations, Sam. That ain't me."

"I know," Sam whispered, squeezing back. "I wish– I wish you could remember the dreams like I do. You were such a great big brother, teaching me stuff, holding my hand when we crossed the street, standing up for me on the playground, keeping me safe."

"And now I'm reaming your ass on the grass," Dean smirked. "Good thing I'm not your big brother. I'd have to kick my own ass for incest and child abuse."

"I'm not a child," Sam pouted just a little, and Dean's smirk grew into a lascivious grin.

"No, Sam, you definitely are not," he agreed, pushing himself up so he could look down at Sam, propping himself on one elbow. Sam watched the stars shining around Dean's head, thought he saw one glint in his eye for a second, decided it was either a trick of the light or possibly a tear. "You're the gorgeous stud who just let me fuck him into the ground."

Sam's face relaxed into a grin again as he felt his cheeks heat. "So much for the thing about 'no butt-sex,'" he commented dryly.

Dean cupped his cheek, slid his thumb over Sam's bottom lip, taking his time, just looking and smiling at Sam before he lowered his mouth and kissed Sam's lips, slow and careful, with just a hint of tongue. "That's why I love you," he murmured against Sam's mouth as he pulled back. "You get me. You get me, and you love me anyway."

"Yeah," Sam breathed, heart pounding, eyes filling with tears at Dean's unexpected admission, which felt so out of character on the one hand, and so very Dean on the other. "Yeah, I do." I do love you, he thought but couldn't say, was terrified of wrecking the moment. But Dean's eye-crinkling grin told him he'd heard him anyway.

Or at least Dean knew him so well, he knew Sam was thinking it, even if he wasn't actually reading Sam's mind.



*//*

Dean made Sam attend his high school graduation, even though Sam wasn't really keen on going.

"No way, Sam," Dean shook his head firmly. "No way, after how hard you worked to get your diploma." After all I've done for you to be sure you graduate and get into college, Dean didn't say, but it was like Sam could hear it, even without being able to read Dean's mind. Although he knew Dean would never think that way, would never see himself as sacrificing for Sam. It was just who he was, Sam realized. Dean was the big brother who gave all of himself to the little brother he loved with everything he had. Sam was as convinced of that as he had ever been of anything, even though the rational part of his brain knew full well Dean's little brother had died all those years ago, before Dean had ever had a chance to be a big brother in the first place.

"After all you had to overcome to get here, no way you're gonna blow this off, y'hear me?" Dean went on. "Plus, Bobby's coming."

"Uncle Bobby's coming to my graduation?" Sam was shocked. He'd assumed John wouldn't come; as far as he knew, John hadn't even attended Dean's, although Sam had been there, whining and pleading until Dean agreed to go through with the whole thing. Bobby hadn't even made it to Dean's graduation; he'd been on a hunt with Rufus in Omaha.

"Yeah," Dean nodded. "He's got a lead on some kind of voodoo thing that can fix your protection amulet so you and me don't have to be attached at the hip forever."

"Oh," Sam couldn't hide his disappointment. Being apart from Dean was never something he looked forward to, and he didn't like the idea that Dean felt any different. "I guess you miss hunting with your dad."

Dean shrugged, but Sam could see the way his face darkened, the haunted look that came into his eyes. "Dad doesn't need me," he said gruffly. "He never did. I was just extra baggage, holding him back. He's happier on his own."

"That's not true, Dean," Sam protested, even though it was, and they both knew it. "He loves you." At least that was totally true; Sam had felt John's love for Dean like a brand sometimes, like a deep, passionate conviction that John held onto with all his heart and soul. Dean was a symbol of everything John had lost, of his failure to keep his family safe, but he was also the source of John's strength, his determination to persevere in the face of that loss and failure. Dean was the rock that kept John sane, gave his life purpose. Sam just wished he could do a better job of conveying how much Dean meant to John. Dean needed to feel confident of his father's love, but Sam was just about the last person who could convince him of that. And Sam knew enough about the way John thought to understand that John would never tell Dean how much he loved him.

It was so sad and twisted, sometimes Sam just wanted to pull Dean into his arms and hold him for as long as it took to make up for the love John withheld from his son, not to mention all the painful, aching guilt over his survival after the night that tore his family apart.

"It's not your fault," Sam offered on more than one occasion, over completely unrelated events, and still Sam could see Dean's jaw clench every time, watched the way Dean's eyes flickered away and then refused to look back. Damn. So Dean had internalized all that guilt, and there was nothing, literally nothing, Sam could ever do to alleviate that.

Which meant, if he really wanted Dean's love, he would have to pretend he didn't see how guilty Dean felt. Not for the first time, Sam was glad he couldn't read Dean's mind, because at least he didn't have to face all of Dean's survival guilt, his obvious sense of failure at being unable to save his mother and his baby brother. A failure that had been reinforced at every turn by a father who felt exactly the same way but couldn't tell him so. Had to scapegoat his own son in order to alleviate the crushing sense of defeat that threatened to destroy him every day of his life.

So when it was Sam's turn to cross the stage at graduation from Champaign Central, there were four people watching with pride: Dean, Bobby Singer, Mr. Jackson the guidance counselor, who was thrilled to add Sam's college admission to his list of accomplishments, and Sam's English teacher, Mrs. Miller, who had written one of the letters of recommendation that had gotten him into Stanford in the first place.

"Congratulations, Sam," Mrs. Miller said kindly as she shook his hand afterwards. "You deserve all your future success. I look forward to seeing you again in ten years and hearing all about it."

"Yes, ma'am," Sam grinned bashfully, glancing over her shoulder at Dean and Bobby, who were waiting off to the side of the gymnasium where the graduates and their families had gathered after the ceremony. Sam was grateful to have spent the last six months in the comfortable little college town. Although he'd be grateful to leave and reclaim some familiar anonymity, he was also glad to have had his final high school experience at a place where his academic performance didn't stand out too obviously, where there was an expectation of success that didn't make him seem too freakish.

"Damn, you got tall, son," Bobby exclaimed after congratulating him with a big, solid bear-hug. "You got time to let an old man take you out for burgers and pie? Help you celebrate?"

Sam nodded, suddenly too choked up to speak, ducking away to return his cap and gown so Bobby wouldn't see the tears in his eyes.

An hour later, sitting across the table from the older hunter, Sam and Dean rubbed shoulders and tried not to let on to Bobby how excited they were at the prospect of moving to California and starting their new life. But Sam could read Bobby's mind the moment he figured it out, sitting there watching them moving in synch, finishing each other's sentences, leaning into each other even though there was plenty of room on the bench.

"So you boys figure you can keep hunting during school breaks? Is that it?" Bobby asked.

Sam nodded eagerly. "That's right," he agreed, swallowing a bite of his burger. "You can send us anything you find. And during the school year we can handle local jobs on the weekends."

"You find any more evidence of demon activity?" Dean asked around a mouthful of fries.

Bobby shook his head. "Nothin'," he said. "But I did find a guy who can put that spell on a protection amulet for Sam. He just needs a little of Dean's DNA. Guy works in a lab that does police forensic work. He's the one who looked into Sam's case for us, back when we first found Sam. Apparently, he does the voodoo stuff on the side." Bobby shook his head. "The things you learn about people that you never thought to ask."

"Thanks, Bobby," Dean nodded. "It'll be good to get away from this overgrown puppy once in awhile." He nudged Sam's shoulder as he said it, smirking a little, and Sam nudged back, harder, making Dean grin wider.

Bobby glanced from one to the other of them, then shook his head. "Yeah, I can see you're just dying to get rid of him," he commented dryly. "You two look just about as desperate to get away from each other as two people can be."

Sam lowered his eyes to his plate, trying to hide the sudden heat in his cheeks and the shit-eating grin he couldn't stop from taking over his face. That they were that transparent was embarrassing, especially in front of Bobby, who was about as much of a father-figure as Sam had ever had.

"Is it that obvious?" Sam asked, glancing up shyly. Dean frowned, clearly not understanding, but Bobby just shook his head and sighed.

"I'll put it this way, son," he said. "It's a good thing you two are living in a liberal college town. And you'll fit right in at Stanford, too. Palo Alto's about as open-minded a town as you could ask for. Lots of gay-friendly folk out there."

Dean's face clouded over as he finally figured out what Bobby was talking about.

"Whoa, hang on just a minute. I'm not – we're not – " he started to protest, but Sam put a hand on his arm to stop him before he said what he knew would come out as another denial, and somehow Sam was relieved Bobby knew. Bobby knew about their relationship and he was okay with it, and that was comforting to Sam, and even if Dean wasn't quite on board with being public about sleeping with a seventeen-year-old boy, it normalized things.

"A psychic told us one time that we're soul mates, Dean and I," Sam said softly, shifting on the bench a little, so that his thigh rubbed against Dean's. "She said we found each other because that's what soul-twins do. They spend their lives looking for their other half."

Bobby frowned, looking deeply uncomfortable. "Well, if that's what some psychic told you, it must be true," he ventured, finally. "But I have to say, Sam, I could've told you that, first time I saw you two together. Didn't need some psychic telling you you're 'soul-mates' or nothin'. You two are like that pair of matching socks that eventually end up together, no matter how many loads of laundry get done in-between."

"Thanks, Bobby, I'll remember that one next time I'm doing my laundry," Dean snapped. "That's just perfect."

"Jus' tellin' it like I see it," Bobby muttered, tipping back a last swallow of his beer. "Now, I need some of that DNA, Dean. You got a hairbrush or a toothbrush or something I can take with me?"

And just like that, the crisis was past. But Sam remembered, later, when he was feeling down and depressed because he loved Dean so much but he couldn't help doubting himself for it; wondering if there was something wrong between them, worrying that his love was too suffocating, that Dean really did want to be free but felt too responsible for Sam to admit it.




ON TO PART SIX - Back to Masterpost
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