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The Little Spoon

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The first morning Sam wakes up with a warm, solid weight in his arms, it takes him a while to figure out what’s going on. It isn’t until he gets his eyes open and sees the back of a familiar head, light brown hair spiking all over the place and mussed from sleep, that he panics.

Dean’s first rule when they started this thing—his very. first. rule.—was no cuddling. Especially no cuddling involving Dean as something that can be described by either the word “little” or the word “spoon”.

And yet here they are, because Sam apparently finds it impossible to respect personal boundaries when he’s worried about his brother’s well being. Dean probably isn’t going to think that’s anything resembling a good excuse.

Dean’s been on edge lately anyway, back from Hell and denying he remembers anything when Sam can see it in his eyes, all those shadows and flickering fires and smoke. ‘Less than enthusiastically’ doesn’t even begin to describe how he’s gonna react when he wakes up and realizes Sam is using him as a safety blanket.

Oh crap, he’s gonna kill me.

After all those months alone, Sam’s used to keeping his head in tight situations, so instead of flailing his way out of bed (thereby waking Dean up and getting himself caught), he carefully shifts away and eases his arm out from underneath his brother. Dean murmurs sleepily and rolls over onto his stomach.

Heart beating too quickly from his near miss, Sam gets up and heads into the bathroom to start the day.


It isn’t until he wakes up with Dean in his arms for the fifth morning in a row that he admits to himself that he has a problem.


That night he scrunches up as close to his side of the bed as he can get without falling out, hoping that the extra distance will help. When his full bladder drags him back to consciousness seven hours later, though, Dean is heavy and senseless in his arms.


Sam’s pretty much an expert at sneaking out of this situation by now, and he does so while biting the inside of his cheek. After he’s taken care of his bladder, he leans on the sink and stares into the mirror.

Something is obviously wrong with him. He thought he was dealing with Dean’s death and damnation and subsequent return—accompanied by angels, of all things—but it looks like he was really, really wrong because he’s turning into a clingy octopus in his sleep. It reeks of desperation, and a fear of losing Dean yet again, and Sam doesn’t quite know what to do about it. He’d like to talk it out with his brother, but of course Dean has declared a moratorium on anything that even faintly smacks of Hell.

Also? If Sam admits to having cuddled with Dean for the last week without saying a word, Dean might not kill him, but he’s very definitely going to punch him. Possibly more than once.

Sam will just have to find some way to keep his hands to himself until his subconscious finishes sorting out the fact that Dean isn’t going to up and vanish when his back is turned.


Sex seems like a viable option. After all, if Sam is really, really energetic right before they go to sleep, then maybe he’ll be too tired to move once he conks out.

So when it’s time to turn in, he rolls over and kisses his brother and gets a whole lot of interested Dean in return. Whatever else Hell did to Dean, it certainly hasn’t dampened his sex drive, and he proves it now, rutting into Sam like he’s been hit with succubus venom. Sam fucks back with more than his usual vigor, gripping Dean’s shoulders and pulling him close and basically doing everything he can to work both of them into a frenzy.

By the time Dean comes, Sam’s ass feels like a fucked out mess, and all he really wants to do is let Dean get him off with a handjob and call it a day. That isn’t going to tire him out the way he wants, though, so he gives Dean a couple seconds to catch his breath and then pulls his brother on top of him.

Dean gets the picture immediately, and after giving Sam an incredulous, ‘are you fucking kidding me?’ look, he rolls his eyes and reaches around to finger himself open. If he’s a little less than enthusiastic at first, he quickly warms up to the task when he finds his prostate and pretty soon he’s writhing and moaning like a lap dancer desperate for tips.

By the time his brother is ready to sink down, Sam’s interest in Dean’s ass is based less on his practical plan and more on desperate want. He’s well mannered enough to let Dean guide the initial penetration at his own pace, but once his brother is seated, he just grips Dean’s thighs and lets loose. After, when he has gotten both Dean and himself off and is covered with sweat and aching pretty much everywhere, Sam rolls onto his side with a weary, but satisfied, smile.

No way is his urge to snuggle going to get the better of him this time.

Except for how it does.


Over the next few weeks, Sam tries everything he can think of. On the off chance that wearing himself out through sex left his body with the wrong idea, he goes for a twenty-mile run a couple of hours before bed. He tries meditation, and hypnotic suggestion, and threading his arm through one of the slats in the headboard. He even tries taking sleeping pills to put himself more deeply under and hopefully restrict his movements.

And every morning, without fail, he wakes up wrapped around Dean.

Finally, Sam comes to the unpleasant but strangely freeing realization that there isn’t anything he can do. He’s become a sleep-snuggler, and sooner or later Dean is going to wake up first and catch him at it. All Sam can do is hope that the ensuing fallout won’t be too bad.

Now that he has conditionally embraced his sleep-snuggling-self, Sam finds that he sleeps better than he has in over a year. Ever since he found out Dean made that stupid deal, actually. It’s kind of nice knowing he’ll wake up with Dean so close, and the only downside to the situation is that Sam can’t chance nuzzling at his brother’s neck the way he always wants to. Dean looks better as well—looks more rested—and Sam knows that’s probably just time dulling the edges of his brother’s memories, but in the privacy of his own mind he likes to pretend that it’s his doing. Likes to think that his arms are keeping away the nightmares and letting Dean sleep.

He finds himself touching his brother more often during the day, and one afternoon when Dean is sitting on the bed watching TV he only just manages to stop himself from sliding into place behind him and pulling Dean back against his chest.

Sam has to wonder whether Dean is going to need to catch him in the act at all because if things keep going the way they are, he’s going to end up outting himself in broad daylight.


Sam has been sleep-spooning Dean for almost three months when he wakes unexpectedly in the middle of the night. He’s a little tipsy—they both were when they stumbled into bed—and he doesn’t sense any strangers in the room, so he doesn’t react when he feels someone lifting his arm up. He does open his eyes, though, hoping that will help his confusion.

It doesn’t. Because, as far as he can tell, Dean is maneuvering himself into Sam’s arms in a stealthy, careful manner.

Sam stays still and silent—mostly because he still has no clue what’s going on, and isn’t sure he’s not dreaming—as Dean presses his back up against Sam’s chest and pulls Sam’s arm over his side. He’s stiff for a moment and then, stroking the back of Sam’s hand once, relaxes into him with a soft, contented sigh.

Oh, Sam thinks, thoughtlessly allowing himself to move his head closer so that his nose is buried in his brother’s hair.

Dean stirs against him, a soft roll of hips, and then stills.

Sam shuts his eyes—just for a moment, just until he works this out in his head—and drifts back to sleep.


In the morning, Dean is very definitely in his arms, but Sam still isn’t sure he wasn’t just dreaming the night before, so he plays his usual covert extraction game and slinks off to the bathroom. It isn’t until breakfast, while he’s casually cutting into his omelet, that he mentions, “I had the weirdest dream last night.”

“Mmhm,” Dean grunts, shoving about five strips of bacon into his mouth at once.

“I was in bed with this chick, and she was totally manhandling me into spooning her.”

Dean chokes and spits the bacon out onto his plate.

Sam’s mildly disgusted by the glob of half-chewed meat, but mostly thrilled by the confirmation that, no, he wasn’t dreaming. Which means Dean has been responsible for all those snuggle-fests.

Which means Sam has enough blackmail and joke material to last him forever.

“Weird, man,” Dean manages after he finishes coughing. His face is red—maybe from almost inhaling his bacon, but probably because he’s blushing—and Sam’s overcome with the urge to lean over the table and kiss him. He manages to rein it in (Dean may have changed his mind about spooning but no way has he altered his stance on PDAs) and contents himself with plotting out the many, many ways he’s going to torment his brother with his newfound knowledge.

He plans right through the rest of breakfast and during their drive and through lunch and then, finally, it occurs to him to wonder why. Why has Dean decided to treat Sam like the world’s largest, sweatiest comforter?

It doesn’t take him long to figure it out now that he’s thinking about it. All of the light-hearted teasing in him instantly quiets, and he knows that he’s never going to taunt Dean about this. Never going to use it to embarrass him.

Sam does his best to play it cool for the rest of the day, but some of the protective tenderness filling his chest bleeds through into his actions anyway. He knows that he’s touching Dean too much—little light, reassuring brushes of his hand—and smiling at him, and in general staying as close as he can. Dean keeps shooting him skittish looks when he thinks Sam isn’t looking, and instead of calling Dean on it, Sam lets him have the illusion of being smooth.

When they get into bed that night, Sam initiates a slow make out session that smolders its way into sex. It’s difficult to make himself abandon his brother’s lips, but Sam manages it and crawls down between Dean’s legs to lick him slick and open. Then, moving back up into position, he eases himself inside.

Before now, he’s always been rough when fucking Dean—he hasn’t thought his brother would appreciate anything else—but tonight, with his newfound knowledge, he has the courage to be tender. Dean doesn’t seem to know what to do with himself at first, stiff and awkward with how gentle Sam’s thrusts are.

Nipping at his brother’s jaw encouragingly, Sam whispers, “Come on, baby,” and Dean just—Dean relaxes into it. He hooks one leg around Sam’s hip and lets Sam move inside of him and press worshipful kisses into his skin.

After, Sam rolls over to his side of the bed like he normally does. He gives Dean a few minutes to come down—he wants his brother to be completely cognizant when he does this—and then reaches over and draws him in. Despite the breathing space Sam offered, Dean is still dazed enough that he comes without a fuss. It isn’t until Sam is turning him around and sliding up against his back that Dean stiffens.

Before his brother can say something defensive and make a fool out of himself, Sam whispers, “I know, Dean. I know and it’s okay.”

Dean’s trembling a little now, like he’s scared, and it makes Sam’s heart ache. Scooping his brother closer to his chest, he gives in to the urge he’s been having for the past three months and nuzzles the nape of Dean’s neck. His brother’s hair is fuzz-short and soft there, and smells strongly of hair gel and the muskier scent that’s all Dean.

“I like having you in my arms,” Sam adds. It’s easier to talk like this, he realizes—easier when they don’t have to look each other in the eyes. It’s easier, and yet strangely more intimate: filled with the knowledge that Dean can probably feel Sam’s heart beating against his back.

Dean’s trembling has stopped, but he’s still stiff and so Sam presses a kiss to the soft skin behind his brother’s ear and continues, “I sleep better like this, and I think you do too. And I’m not going to ask what dreams you’re trying to avoid, although I’ll listen if you want to tell me. I just—Dean, if this is what you want, and it’s what I want, can’t we just have it? Without all the sneaking around and the subterfuge?”

Dean is silent for a long moment—long enough Sam’s beginning to think his brother is going to be stubborn and pig-headed despite Sam’s plea—and then, finally, the tension eases from his body. His hand comes up and grips Sam’s where it’s resting lightly on Dean’s chest, threading their fingers together.

“You ever call me the little spoon and I will cut you.”