It's OK, Max says, I'm a witch. His smile is so soft. His eyes are so strange. It's not like with anyone else.
Max strokes a hand down Sam's spine.
That OK, man?
Yeah, Sam says, but--
I'm younger than you? I'm a man? I'm a witch? I'm a twin? I'm a hunter?
Max doesn't say these things out loud, but it's easy to hear them, easy in the way he still hears things on the edges of hearing, like calls on the fringes of a dark field. Psychic trails,he thinks of them as; sequelae. Not something he says aloud but part of him, part in the parcel he handed his brother the night not so long ago (but long ago) they lay in Baby's arms and talked, dreams and fevers and visions and god. I still get flashes sometime, Dean, I'm still a freak, your freak. Dean still called him bitch, warm and drowsy and still, still said it with the same--
In the afternoon, he helped the twins clap a case shut; there was blood in the grass under the glacier-blue. His hair's still wet from rinsing off the gore.
Max says, Sam?
I want this, Sam says.
It's so different. Not because he's in another country. Can't, he finds, take charge, push another body (this body, hard and accipiter-light) up against a strong surface, or turn, nipping and licking and rolling in a den of sheets, or backseat it, sweet, candylipped waitress-in-a-blanket; that was long time ago. Can't find the tender hotspring either, one that wells up and tames, one he's never given but to Jess. Or to Dean.
It's not about --Max says--
--don't worry, Max whispers, I'm an old soul.
Nothing crosses his boundaries, nothing inside.
Just, Max says, lie down.
The bed's soft, smells of sage. He's dressed. Then he's not.
Max asks: do you want this? Not out loud.
Max does something with his fingers, maybe to his scalp, hairroots, the top arch of an ear, one eyelid, top lip--and Sam's eyes come open and Max's hands are still in his own lap, the black shirt with the hidden sheath (from the hunter’s surplus, Max joked, they got a big & tall if ya want one) still draped over him, and Sam's not naked after all, just--
it feels like he is, and he is. OK? Max says, and Sam feels fingers and tongues, the way they worry, horsetail down from the sacrum and up; inner thighs, around where he's open and in where he's soft and over where he's hard.
Max's palms land on both of his knees, just twice, and Max’s palm takes a seat just below his navel and goes in, presses and presses and rests. Very light.
Sam's arm goes up, up, lands over his eyes, makes dark. Swallows him.
Nothing crosses borders but something begins to rock, hot and soft between waypoints, hipjoint and sacrum; pelvis; acetabulum.
Max lays on the hands, like he did last time, calls bits of Sam out to smooth over. Only small ones; the aftermaths. His sister’s outside, burning something sweet in the yard. Clouds running off towards distant ranges. Passerines.
I don't even know--Sam says.
Max looks at him, calm as a pond:
Point is just to say it's OK. You know? You know and I know it's --
tender in there, Sam thinks, what with the not wanting anything inside him, not wanting to be inside anything, anyone, not to push himself in or feel himself opened, wider and wider until he’s--metaphysic, and gone.
Just--Max is saying. They’re on the porch now, somehow, blanket -shouldered, coffeecups cupped against the cold wind.
You need a little grounding, Max is saying, earth, man, that I can do. Like Sam is the sky.
Sam says, but did you--
Oh, Max says, you know I wasn't built for just taking, right? Unless you mean killing the bad things. Or if, ya know, that's what someone wants. The flutter, then, in Sam’s direction; boy can't help it.
The road's not far off and this place-- quiet power, brother-sister: safe. Until he’s home again. And clean.
Sam leans back into warded boards, looks up at the heavens over Canada.