Dean has scars on almost every inch of his body. Raised and silver, criss-crossing and patterned. Dean tries to hide them, and the only time Sam can really stare is on summer nights when Dean throws back their sheets and lies naked. His skin hit by moonlight, motel room signs, street lamps. Natural or artificial, it doesn't matter. Sam just needs to see Dean's skin.
Sam always traces his fingers over every line of silver. Follows with his mouth and Dean never stirs, though Sam thinks he's more than aware of what's going on. Sam can name each of them. Almost every one from hunts, save a few. There's the line on Dean's left hand, running from ring finger to thumb. Caused by grasping a broken bottle when Sam was five, and Sam's not even sure why Dean did that. Just that, in the back of his mind, Sam knows it happened because Dean was protecting him. Always protecting him.
The biggest scar is on Dean's back, almost parallel to his spine. Dean was in the hospital for five weeks, and Sam remembers it vividly. A werewolf had sunk its claw in and the doctors said they were so surprised Dean escaped without spinal damage. So surprised, so lucky. When Dean woke up Sam was there —sat by Dean's beside for the whole forty-eight hours with his peeled open the — and he'd slipped a hand around Sam's neck.
"Hey Sammy," he'd said, his voice thick and croaky.
That did it for Sam. He'd fallen into sobs so strong he couldn't breathe, kept repeating "sorry, sorry, sorry" until his voice gave out and Dean tried to pull him closer. He had to be sorry, because it was his fault. He ran toward the werewolf.
"It's okay," Dean had said. Then, voice dropped to a barely-there whisper, "I'll always protect you. Never be sorry for that."
Sam presses kisses to the silver mark, all the way down, and Dean doesn't move in the slightest, but his breathing does hitch — just enough for Sam to notice.
"You always look after me," Sam breathes against Dean's skin.
"My job," Dean says into his pillow.
"Also my job." Dean turns his head. He has a small smile, maybe a smirk. Almost certainly a combination of the two. "You okay?"
Sam nods and moves back up Dean's body so he can kiss his lips, twisting a hand in Dean's hair.
"You're a heavy blanket," Dean murmurs.
"That a bad thing?"
Dean's response is to kiss Sam again, so Sam supplies his own "no" and kisses his brother back. He moves his hand lower, finds the nape of Dean's neck and the scar there. A ghost that threw him into a tree because Sam couldn't ignite his lighter fast enough.
"Roll over," Sam says, tugging Dean's hair gently.
"'m tired," Dean groans and drops his head back down.
Sam starts sliding away from his body, content enough to sleep. Or keep staring. He wants to do the former, will end up doing the latter. Just like he does every night. But Dean reaches out a hand, wraps it around Sam's waist and brings him closer again.
"But never too tired for sex," he says and rolls onto his back, pulling Sam on top of him.
Sam isn't even intending sex just yet. He wants to look at the scars while Dean watches him. While Dean lets him stare. He finds a scar on Dean's neck and follows it to where it ends at the dip of his throat. Demon that tried to possess Sam. Never came even close. He replaces his hand with his mouth, sucking into the skin until he leaves his own mark. Dean has all these because of him, and Sam to include his own in the geometric maze.
"You sure you're okay?" Dean asks, running a hand through Sam's hair. His fingers are warm, hot even.
"I'm with you, aren't I?" Which, in their world, means you have to be okay because even this is fleeting.
"Yeah, I guess you are."
Sam moves lower, down the centre of Dean's chest where there's at least three silver lines. All ghosts. Across his stomach there's only two, intersecting in the middle to make almost a cross. x-marks the spot, and Sam presses his tongue to the dead centre. He wonders, briefly, how Dean will be taken to hell. Will it be the hellhounds like the others? They'll rip him apart and there won't even be time to scar...
"Sammy." Dean's drawing him up with his hands, meeting Sam's eyes. In the moonlight his face looks soft. His thumb comes up to run under Sam's eyes, and only then does he realise he's crying. "Told you to never be sorry."
Part of Sam hates that Dean remembers. He's not supposed to be always protecting Sam; that's what got them to this point in the first place. He drops his head back down and sees two tears fall onto Dean's stomach, merging with the scars. Wendigo and Black Dog. Dean killed both for Sam.
He looks past the scars, over them, and goes for Dean's cock. It's glistening precome, turning up to almost touch the Wendigo's mark. Sam kisses the head, sucks it a little into his mouth, and Dean's far enough gone that he already arches up into Sam's mouth.
When he looks up at Dean's face he catches sight of the scar on his shoulder. Another that didn't come from a hunt. They are climbing trees when Sam was twelve and all limbs. He fell, of course, and Dean caught him. He's never stopped doing that.
Sam releases Dean cock, suddenly intent to just touch. To feel what these scars mean. Dean starts with "Dude, hard-on here—", but the look Sam gives must convince him to shut up. Or maybe he just feels sorry for Sam. That's probably it, because his thumbs are running under Sam's eyes again and Sam's still crying, even though he's got no idea why and can't really feel his tears falling.
"Sorry," Sam says and then wants to fucking punch himself because Dean just said—
"You're allowed to cry," Dean says. He moves his hands from Sam's face and goes back to his hair instead, fingers brushing his scalp. "Allowed to do whatever you want."
"Allowed to save you?" His voice breaks at the end and he's finally convinced that he's crying.
Sam shakes his head. He shouldn't have said that. He knows why he can't. Doesn't stop him from wanting to, but he understands. Dean loves him. It's as simple and complicated as that. Though Sam says, "I love you", and the fingers in his hair stop. "More than anything, and I can't just let you—"
Dean's hands urge him up to his mouth with quick, desperate kisses that have Sam fighting for breathe. "Yes. You. Can." Dean says against his lips.
I can't. Sometimes he wants to call Dean a selfish fucking bastard for going and signing his own death warrant. Apparently he's allowed to, because he's done so much for this family. And Sam's as twisted inside as the scars on Dean's back that he doesn't know if he should be overwhelmed with the feeling of love because, of all the things Dean could've chosen to be selfish about, he chose to have Sam.
"Sammy..." Dean breathes against him again. He presses up into Sam's thigh, and Sam can feel how hard he still is.
"Yeah, okay." He hears Dean's wordless plea of "come on" and "stop thinking" and "please, please, please". It's the least Sam can do for the person who's tried to give him everything.
There's lube in the bedside table because it's on Dean's list of 'things to always keep at hand'. The others are a knife, a gun, and a bottle of something to get you drunk. Wordlessly it's also his amulet that sits on his chest to cover one of the ghost-induced scars. The other is Sam, as proven when Dean sold his soul.
Sam opens the lid, smears some of it onto his fingers. It's already halfway warm in the boiling hot night, window left open but even the air it's blowing in is too warm to help any. This motel room doesn't even have a ceiling fan, but they stay because of the job. Always the fucking job.
"Gonna think about using that?" Dean asks.
Sam looks back at him, smiles apologetically, and sets the bottle of lube back on the bedside table. He runs his finger over Dean who let's out what might be a "Good" or a "God. Sam can't tell and doesn't think it really matters. When he circles Dean's rim and presses a finger inside, it's definitely a "Fuck" that falls from his brother's mouth.
He adds another finger, pressing it deep and maybe even a little rough. Dean is his, always will be. Never the devil's or the crossroad demon's or Lilith's or a hellhound's or —
"Damn it, Sam come on." Dean's practically growling the words, rocking back on Sam's fingers and getting them deeper, deeper.
Then Sam hits the spot and Dean gasps, arches up off the bed and Sam still keeps going, no intention to come like Dean's suggesting because this is for Dean. For what is Sam's. If Dean gets to own Sam, Sam's going to own him right back.
A third finger and Dean's not asking to be fucked anymore. His eyes are half-closed, hooded over, but he's still watching Sam and making noises. Breathless, wordless, nothing meaningful at all but still meaning everything because it means Sam's making him do it. He leans over, takes Dean's cock in his mouth, and Dean's response is to grip harder into Sam's hair and thrust up just that little bit more.
"Sam," Dean says just before he stills, before come hits Sam's tongue and he swallows it down, all of it. Keeps swirling his tongue around the head even when the taste is gone, and he tracks kisses up Dean's body.
His tear stains are still there and he licks them away. There'll be more, he knows that. Can't keep hiding how much it hurts to know what's going to happen, but right now they're still here.
Sam settles into Dean's arms, listens to his sleepy promises of getting Sam off later even though Sam doesn't even care. He latches onto the scar just behind the shell of Dean's ear, breathes on it. Remembers it.
Killing Yellow Eyes.