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At the end of February, Sam walked into the kitchen where Dean was cooking dinner and announced, “I’m pregnant.”

Dean looked up from the pan of frying steak and blinked at his brother. “Come again?”

“I’m pregnant,” Sam repeated.

“Yeah, that’s what I thought you said." Dean pushed the spitting pan off of the heat and turned to face his brother. He could feel the heat from the lit burners against his skin, making sweat pool in the small of his back. He watched Sam cross his arms and take the few steps into the kitchen. Sam paused by the big wooden table and pulled out a chair. He sank into it, and tipped his head back to meet Dean's gaze.

“It’s yours, by the way. In case you were wondering."

“I. Yeah. I know. I mean, you haven’t… With anyone else. Have you?”

“No,” Sam said flatly.

“Right.” Dean raised his hand and passed it over his face, feeling the bristles scrape against his fingers. “So, what’re we gonna do about it?”

 

**

Sam wasn’t diagnosed as a sexual chimera until he was fifteen.

Most boys were discovered much earlier, as they turned ten and went through the mandated routine screening that all American males were supposed to attend. Unfortunately, moving state to state and changing school so often meant that Sam had missed his screening, along with so many other routine doctors’ appointments over the years. Instead Sam's big reveal happened in the most dramatic way possible, which Dean guessed was pretty fitting for the Winchesters.

Dad had been gone for three weeks that looked like turning into four or five. They were living in a rented apartment in Oklahoma and Dean had a job on a road crew building a new highway a few miles outside of town while Sam attended the local high school. He got the message from the foreman who ambled over during lunch to tell him the high school had called to say his little brother had been rushed to the ER during first period. Dean swore at the guy, which got him an on-the-spot firing. Not that Dean particularly cared at that moment.

He got to the hospital in ten minutes to find that Sam was already in surgery with suspected appendicitis. He paced the waiting room with his face covered in dust and dirt from laying tar, the smell clinging to his ratty jeans and flannel. After three hours of surgery, Sam’s surgeon appeared and did a double-take when Dean presented himself, looking around the waiting room like he was expecting someone else. Dean explained that their dad was away, thinking angrily that none of this mattered, that he just wanted to know why the fuck Sam had been taken to the freaking hospital and how the stomach ache he’d been complaining about last night had turned into three hours of emergency surgery.

“So did you take it out?” he asked.

The doctor frowned at him and repeated, “Take it out?”

“His appendix,” Dean said. “They said he had appendicitis. That’s what happens, isn’t it?”

The doctor gave him a long look then removed his glasses to rub the creases on his nose. “It wasn’t appendicitis, Mr Winchester. The pain was due to some small developmental abnormalities of his uterus. On occasions, that kind of abdominal pain can be incorrectly diagnosed as appendicitis. But I can assure you that his appendix is intact and doing just fine.”

“Developmental abnormalities of his what?”

“Uterus,” said the doctor, replacing his glasses. “Luckily, we were able to fix it. We’ll run more tests and another scan tomorrow of course to check that everything’s looking good. But at the moment, his uterus and ovaries look as healthy as those of any other fifteen year old sexual chimera.”

Dean’s head spun. He stared at the doctor, watching his mouth move and really not taking in a word he was saying. The doctor paused and gave him a pitying look.

“You didn’t know. Did you?”

Dean blinked at him. “You’re saying that my brother’s a chimera?”

"I can show you the scans if you like," said the doctor.

Dean lifted his hand to the back of his head and ran it through his hair. "Uh, yeah. If it's not too much trouble?"

The doctor made a poor attempt at hiding his exasperation, because clearly it was some trouble, but he beckoned Dean to follow him anyway.

Dean looked between the black and white images and the doctor's face and shook his head. "Yeah, so I have no idea what I'm looking at here."

"The uterus," the doctor pointed to a funnel shaped white blob between the two pelvic bones. “The malformation was just here,” he moved his finger to stroke one side of the funnel.

“This is definitely Sam, right? This..." Dean gestured at the image. "This."

The doctor raised his head to blink at him. “Yes.”

“So, he’s definitely a chimera?”

“Yes."

Dean blew out a breath. “Well, shit. You didn’t tell him, did you?”

“No. He's been sedated. He should be waking up," he made a show of looking at his watch, "in about fifteen minutes. You're welcome to make your way to the recovery room."

"Yeah, thanks," Dean said.

"I'll ask the nurse to give you some literature," the doctor said, and this time his tone was getting perilously close to almost being sympathetic. "It can be a lot to take in."

Sam came around slowly, blinking and smiling dopily when his glazed eyes finally focused on Dean.

“Hey, Sammy,” Dean said.

“Dean. You’re here. How long have you been here?”

“Course I’m here,” Dean said, ignoring the question. “How do you feel?”

Sam made a face, nose wrinkling in a way that made him look even younger. “I want to go home. When can I go?”

Dean glanced around him and leaned in. “Soon, man, soon. So, uh, hey. There’s something we gotta talk about.”

 

**

Sam took the news with the kind of stoicism Dean was beginning to notice and admire in his little brother. He was silent at first, not saying anything when the hospital finally let him go home. He had a big pile of information leaflets in his backpack alongside the homework he’d begged Dean to bring him. He’d gone through a check-up and a scan and a comforting chat with the hospital’s chimerism counselor and he hadn't said a word to Dean about it.

Dean helped him into the apartment and got him settled on the couch with a blanket and more reading while he fixed lunch. When he came back into the living room, Sam was still sitting on the couch, unmoving, matching tear tracks staining his cheeks. Dean hesitated, standing in the middle of the room holding his plate of sandwiches and feeling completely useless.

Wordlessly, Sam lifted his head and looked at him. They stared at each other for what felt like a long time, and then Dean swallowed and forced himself to move toward Sam. He placed the sandwiches on the coffee table, sank to his knees by the couch and scooped up his brother into a hug. He only began to pull away when he felt Sam squirming. He raised his head to look directly into Sam’s face and rested his hand on his neck.

“You know it doesn’t matter,” he said.

“That’s crap, Dean,” Sam said.

“No, not for me,” he insisted, because it was true. It didn’t matter. Sam was still Sam, he was still Dean’s bratty little brother. So what if he was also a chimera? The condition wasn’t that rare. There were always a handful of chimeras in every school. According to the literature the hospital had given them, about 5% of the male population were chimeras; it was more common than twins. Dean had even been with two chimeras before. There was nothing weird or unusual about it and it was nothing to feel ashamed of.

Admittedly, this had come as something of a shock, and he was dreading the moment when they had to tell Dad, knowing that Dad could be weird and old-fashioned about these sorts of things. Dean hadn't dared mention anything to Dad about his own sex life, and definitely not about his experiences with guys. But all things considered, it could be so much worse; Sam could have had stomach cancer or something equally horrific. It could’ve been a hell of a lot worse.

“I thought I was bisexual,” Sam said at last.

Dean blinked at him, surprised by the abrupt change of subject. Sam had his head turned away from Dean, wiping his eyes with the back of his hand.

“I mean, I still like girls. But guys… I like them too. I thought I was bisexual.” He broke off and shrugged bitterly. “I guess it doesn’t matter now. Girls never go for chimeras.”

“That’s not true,” Dean said.

Sam gave him an unimpressed look.

“Dude, c’mon. You can date or fuck who you like; you don’t have to be constrained by bullshit labels. You know that kinda shit doesn’t matter to me. And you know that I've, yeah, I've been with dudes before, and some of them were chimeras,” he added in a rush. “And it was good, you know, it was hot and we had a damn good time and..." He broke off when he saw Sam looking at him, eyebrows raised pointedly. He blushed and cleared his throat. “Yeah. So, whatever, you know. Plenty of chimeras end up with women.”

“No they don’t,” Sam said.

“Okay, fine, they don’t,” Dean said, rolling his eyes. “Have it your way, but seriously, man, why’re you worrying about that shit now? You’re fifteen for fuck’s sake and you got us. You’re a freakin’ hunter! That’s gotta be more important than anything.”

Sam didn’t say anything to that, so Dean nudged the plate of sandwiches toward him.

“Eat these. Your skinny ass needs to eat.”

With an enormous sigh, Sam reached for the plate of sandwiches, lifting one to his mouth and tearing into it. Dean watched him eat; the sight of Sam eating the food he’d prepared made him immediately feel better. He needed to make Sam understand that there was nothing wrong with what he was, and there was nothing wrong with being a chimera. The only people who gave a shit about chimeras’ sexuality and who they ended up with were the same religious assholes that had issues with gay people and anyone who dared to have sex at all. In Dean's opinion, those douchebags didn't want anyone to be happy, and they were way too over-invested in what happened in other people’s bedrooms than was healthy.

He got up, thinking that Sam would probably like a cool glass of ice tea with his sandwiches.

“Dean?” Sam called out.

Dean turned, hand resting on the edge of the doorframe. “Yeah, Sammy?”

Sam swallowed his mouthful of sandwich and kept looking at him. The tears from earlier had dried, but his face still looked blotchy, his eyes red-rimmed, and there were crumbs at the edges of his mouth. Despite his tall, gangly body, he looked closer to five years old than fifteen.

“When Dad gets back, will you tell him?” Sam said in a rush.

Dean kept looking at him, feeling a knot in his stomach tighten. “Yeah, we gotta,” he said at last, though it was a conversation he was dreading.

Sam’s mouth twisted. “Right.”

“Listen.” He took a step into the room. “I can handle it if you want?”

“Really?”

“Yeah, course, man. If that’s what you want.”

Tight-lipped, Sam nodded. “Yeah. If I do it…” he made a face. “We’ll just end up fighting about it.”

Dean snorted. “Yeah.”

“Thanks, Dean,” Sam said, sounding relieved.

“Anytime, Sammy.” He watched Sam pick up the last sandwich and tear a hunk out of it. “Just gonna get you some ice tea, okay?”

Sam nodded with his mouth full. “Thanks.”

“And, you know, what I said, I meant every word: this doesn’t change anything for me.”

Sam swallowed his mouthful and smiled faintly. “Yeah, I know, Dean.”

 

 

**

 

Dean put it off until Dad came home from the hunt, until Dad had slept off the hunt and the road and the bottle of whiskey he’d drunk his first night back. He put it off until Sam had gone to school and it was just him and Dad eating pancakes from a mix and drinking coffee.

Dean cleared his throat, and Dad looked up sharply from the pile of mail he was working through.

“Dad, there’s something I need to tell you,” he said. He kept his voice as steady as possible, meeting his father’s gaze as if he had nothing to hide.

Dad replaced the newspaper cutting carefully on the table and narrowed his gaze. “What?”

“It’s about Sam.”

“Spit it out, Dean.”

“Yeah, so.” He hesitated, licked his lips, felt his Dad’s gaze narrow even further. “He was in the hospital. I didn’t tell you ‘cause everything was okay and there’s nothing wrong with him. Except…” He hesitated again, searching for the words. Dad was giving him no break, eyes scrutinizing Dean’s face like he knew Dean was about to say something he wouldn’t like. “He’s a sexual chimera, Dad. Sir.”

Dad’s eyebrows flew up and Dean thought briefly about how he’d never really seen his father genuinely surprised before. “What did you say?”

“He’s a chimera,” Dean repeated. “He um, he has a uterus and ovaries and—“ he waved a hand in front of his stomach as if to encompass all of Sam’s newly discovered sexual organs—“all of that. It’s definite, Dad. I saw the scans. Everything’s fine and Sammy’s okay, but he’s… yeah. A chimera.”

Dad didn’t say anything at first, picking up his coffee and taking a long, silent sip.

“This doesn’t change anything,” Dean said quietly.

Dad snorted. “That’s what you think.”

“No, no, really. It doesn’t. There was a counselor who talked to us and the doctors and they say that it’s completely normal. I mean there was a problem, some developmental abnormalities, but it’s all fixed, and Sam’s just fine. And they told us: there’s nothing he can’t do that he couldn’t do before. They said that to us, so yeah, he can still hunt.”

Dad got to his feet and walked into the kitchen. Dean listened to the sound of him lighting a burner, filing up the pan of hot water they used to make coffee, and placing it on top of the stove. He passed a hand over his face and sighed. Slowly he pushed himself to his feet and walked into the kitchen. His father was standing over the stove, shoulders hunched as he stared down at the pan of boiling water.

“You mom would’ve known what to do,” he said.

Dean’s breath hitched. “Yeah. But, Dad, what they said to us—“

“I don’t care what they said to you,” Dad interrupted. He turned around and stared at Dean. “You handle this, okay? You look after him.”

Dean felt his own shoulders stiffen, drawing himself up as he heard and accepted the order. Of course he would look after Sammy, it was his job. And even if it wasn’t his job, he would still do it. “Yeah, of course, Sir. You know I will.”

Dad nodded slowly to himself, as if satisfied. “Good. Now tell me what else I’ve missed.”

The subject was obviously closed.

 

**

“He hates me,” Sam said.

“No he doesn’t.”

Sam looked up from his sundae and gave Dean a withering look. “Yeah, Dean, he does.”

“Well, if you would be more—“

“More what?” Sam snapped. “More like you? Like a good little soldier, like a real man and not a fucking chimera!” He dropped his spoon to the table with a clatter.

“Sammy…”

“It’s Sam!”

“Sam. You know it’s not that.”

Sam glanced up at him from under his furrowed eyebrows. “Isn’t it?”

“No, no it isn’t,” Dean insisted, though he wasn’t sure himself. Ever since he’d told Dad the news about Sam’s diagnosis, Dad had been different with Sam. He was less inclined to ride him or yell at him, which was good of course, but he was more distant, his gaze resting on Sam with a look on his face that Dean didn’t like thinking about too deeply. He didn’t seem disappointed; Dean knew what disappointment looked like on his father’s face and it wasn’t that. Instead he looked more puzzled, or perhaps, troubled. Yeah, that was probably the best way to describe it. Sam troubled Dad now, like he didn't know what to do about him. Before, they’d clashed and gotten on each other’s last nerve – which was just Sammy acting out, too freaking smart for his own good, being the emotional and otherwise normal teenager he was supposed to be. But now, with Sam’s official diagnosis, with the chimera literature sitting on the kitchen table alongside the usual newspaper cuttings and pages of research, Dad couldn't get away from it. Dean had seen it in his father's face and his attitude toward Sam, he couldn't fool himself that he hadn't. Dad was much more reluctant to confront or even to talk to Sam, relaying orders through Dean. And of course Sammy had noticed it too.

Sam shook his head pityingly at Dean. “You’re so full of shit. And the thing is you know that you’re full of shit. I can tell, Dean.” He picked up his spoon again and stirred the melting ice cream. “He hates me and he’s scared of me. He’s scared that I’m gonna get knocked up and ruin his happy hunter family.”

“That’s not going to happen,” Dean said.

“It could,” Sam said.

“Yeah, but then so could me banging Carmen Elektra. Anything could happen.”

“Now you’re just being obtuse.”

“Ooh, big fancy word.”

“Bite me.”

Dean stuck his tongue out at his brother and was rewarded with an eye-roll. “You know, man, I gave you the talk about the birds and the bees, you know that shit. You ain’t gonna get knocked up. Unless you want to of course.” He narrowed his eyes. “You don’t want to, do you?”

“Dude, I’m fifteen,” Sam said, giving him another of those superior and incredulous teenager looks. “I don’t want a baby.”

“Right. But in the future.”

Sam shrugged. “I don’t know.” He dropped his spoon into the sundae glass again and rested his chin on his hand. “It’s so weird. Just to think that I could… you know.”

“It’s not that weird. Other chimeras do it all the time.”

“Yeah, but.” Sam hesitated and wet his lips. He shrugged his bony shoulders up and down, pressed one finger into the formica table to chase around the specks of sugar. “I didn’t expect this.”

“I know,” Dean said softly. “But it’s okay. We’re gonna be okay.”

Sam didn’t say anything to that, so Dean signaled the waitress for the check.

 

**

 

Sam had his first big date when he was sixteen. They were in Maine and it was cold. Dean hated the cold and thought wistfully of the previous winter in Georgia. But Sam seemed to enjoy the high school, so that was something. Dean could deal with the shitty weather, Dad’s long absence, and working crappy part-time jobs to cover the rent so long as Sam was happy. Dad was up north, hunting ghosts along the Canadian coast, and Dean had picked up some shifts at a local gas station, smiling and flirting with the locals as he pumped gas. He earned enough in tips after a week to pay for Sam’s tux rental so he was pretty pleased with himself. His little brother was going to the Homecoming Dance with one of the stars of the football team and Dean was going to make sure Sam went in style.

He wolf-whistled as Sam stepped out of their shared bedroom, fiddling with the cuffs of his tux that still managed to be short on his ridiculously long arms.

“Shut up!” he hissed at Dean, but Dean just laughed and moved to straighten his brother’s bowtie.

Sam tipped his head back to look up at him, his bangs falling across his forehead and that pink tinge in his cheeks that was part embarrassment and part excitement. Dean paused when he was done and flicked imaginary specks of dust off Sam’s shoulders, wanting to keep his hands on his brother and feeling an uneasy churning sensation in his belly at the thought of letting him go off into the night with some other boy. He cradled Sam’s neck and slid his thumbs around to span his brother’s jaw. They were practically the same height now and Sam was still growing. He was going to be taller than him in a few months.

Sam blinked at him and smiled in a way that was almost shy. “I’ll be okay, Dean. I can look after myself.”

“I know. I know you can.” He didn’t want to let go of Sam, he didn’t want to pull his hands away. He wanted to pull Sam closer, to hug him and tell him to go back into that room to take off the damn tux. He wanted him right here where he could keep an eye on him.

Sam put his hands on Dean’s wrists and gently pried his hands away. “You’re gonna blub, aren’t you?”

“What? No! Don’t be stupid.”

Sam smiled evilly. “It’s okay, Dean. I won’t tell anyone.”

“Dude, c’mon.”

Sam chuckled and pulled away. “Yeah, right. You’ll do it when I’m gone. You’ll blub, just like a proud mommy.”

“Shut up, Sam.”

Outside, headlights hit the window, momentarily flooding the room in bright light. Sam glanced up, licking his lips in an unconscious and nervous tell.

"Expecting someone?" Dean asked, raising his eyebrows.

Sam blushed again and fiddled with his cuffs. "I asked him to pick me up."

"Why'd you do that? I can drop you," Dean said.

Sam gave him a look that managed to be both ironic and exasperated.

"Dude, what? Why not?" Dean protested.

"No, Dean," Sam said firmly. "Anyway, he's here now."

"Yeah, why don't you invite him in? Just say hi," Dean said.

Sam scoffed. "No freaking way. You'd just go all parental on him. So damn embarrassing."

"Hey," Dean protested. He was not embarrassing, he was cool. He was the cool older brother, that was who he was.

"I'll see you later, okay?" Sam said. He slid his hands into his pockets, looking suddenly nervous again. "I guess I should…” he jerked his head towards the door.

“Oh hey wait!” Dean called. He jammed his hand into his pocket and took out the fresh packet of condoms he’d bought that morning. He held it out to Sam. Sam glanced down at the pack and his face flushed red.

“Dean…”

“Dude, no, take it,” Dean interrupted, moving forward into Sam’s space and sliding the pack into the pocket of his tux. He patted the pocket, hand lingering. “I’ll feel better if I knew you had them with you. You can’t trust a guy to do it.” He slid his hand up to cup Sam’s wrist. “Well, not a guy, but you know what I mean. And this is Homecoming, man, you gotta be prepared.”

Sam sighed but didn’t resist. “Fine.”

“Good, good.” Dean nodded his head and stepped away, reluctantly letting go of his brother’s arm. “So, yeah. He’s bringing you back, right?”

“Yeah,” Sam nodded.

“Okay. If there’s a problem then…”

“I’ll call you. Now quit worrying. It’s all fine.” The emphasis on fine was so typically bratty Sammy that Dean bit his tongue to keep from laughing. He stepped back and sat down in the chair, taking up the paper he’d been in the middle of pretending to read.

“Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do!” he called as Sam closed the front door behind him.

Dean lowered the paper and tossed it to the floor as soon as he heard the porch steps creak, Sam crunching across the driveway to the road. He got quickly to his feet and hurried to the window. He pushed aside the curtains and watched Sam’s date get out of the car and hold the passenger side door open for Sam. Sam looked about two inches taller than him which made Dean smile. The kid said something to Sam as Sam slid inside, before he shut the door behind him. He wasn't sure how the opening the door routine would land with Sam, especially when Sam was the one who’d done the asking out, but at least it showed that the kid had some idea of good manners.

Dean drew away reluctantly when the car disappeared down the road, and let the curtains fall back into place. He stared at the empty living room and at the clock ticking over the TV. It was 6:44pm, the dance was supposed to finish at midnight, which meant he had just over five hours to kill. Only five hours. How much could Sam get up to in five hours?

By two am, Sam still hadn't returned. Dean told himself that he shouldn't worry yet. So Sammy was out past curfew, so freaking what? It wasn't like he was anyone to throne stones. If it got to four am and Sam still wasn't back, then yeah, he'd start worrying, but not yet. Whatever Sam said, he wasn't that damn parental.

The pizza he'd had for dinner seemed like hours ago, and he wasn't heading off to bed anytime soon, so he decided make a grilled cheese sandwich. He had the sandwich toasting nicely in the pan when he heard the door. He dropped the spatula to the worktop and walked into the living room.

“Dean! Hey, there you are,” Sam greeted him. He was weaving, leaning against the closed door which seemed to be the only thing keeping him upright. He was flushed and rumpled and he had an enormous grin on his face.

“It’s two am,” Dean said.

Sam blew out a breath, waving his arm dismissively. “You go out huntin’ all night.” His speech was slurred, his gaze unfocussed as it finally landed on Dean. “You and Dad go huntin’ and you could get killed and I don’t say anything.”

“You could come with us.”

“Don’t wanna.” Sam pouted at him. “Hunting’s dumb.”

Dean rolled his eyes. “Yeah, you’re totally wasted.”

“It’s Homecoming! Supposed to be wasted!”

Dean looked at him for a long moment then shook his head, half-smiling to himself. “Yeah, okay, point taken. So, you have fun?”

“Uh-huh. It was kinda dumb, like, cheesy, you know? But it was good.”

Dean peered at him and raised his eyebrows. “Oh my God, you got laid, didn’t you?”

“Dude, don’t be gross!” Sam spluttered.

“Oh you did! You so did! Little Sammy finally got some!”

“Don’t call me that!” Sam protested. He pushed himself away from the door and stumbled towards the kitchen, brushing past Dean. “Hey, you’re makin' grilled cheese!”

“Whoa there,” Dean said, putting a hand on his elbow to steady him. “Don’t pitch over.”

Sam shook him off with a hilariously sulky little look and weaved his way into the kitchen. “You are! You are making grilled cheese. Why you holding out on me, Dean?” His expression slid into a classic Sammy pout as he toppled onto a stool. He crossed his arms on the table and gave Dean a pleading look. “I’m starving.”

Dean rolled his eyes. “Okay, but quid pro quo, kiddo. You gotta tell me what went down tonight. Or no food.”

Sam kept pouting and Dean raised his eyebrows again. Eventually Sam sighed and wrinkled his nose. “You're really gross.”

“Spill, Sammy.”

“It’s Sam.”

“Yeah, keep saying that, I ain’t listening.” He moved back to the stove where the sandwiches were sizzling nicely, just beginning to turn that perfect shade of toasty brown. He flipped them over and took a long sniff of the delicious aroma of melting cheese. “Hmm, smell that, man. Fan-freaking-tastic!” He smacked his lips together and gave Sam an obnoxious look.

“Fine,” Sam sighed, dropping his chin to his hand. “What d'you wanna know?”

“So did you do it? Did he pop your cherry?”

Sam blushed furiously and glared at him.

“I’m taking that as a yes,” Dean said. He prodded the sandwich with the spatula, ignoring the little flip in his own belly and the clutching of his heart at what his brother wasn’t saying. He had been expecting this, and it was good. It was about time Sam let himself go for long enough to really have fun. He was always so serious. “You were safe, right? I don’t need to go around there and beat his ass?”

“God, you’re so lame,” Sam groaned. “Give me some freakin' credit. And anyway, I didn’t need them. He brought his own.”

Dean whistled. “Go on Jock-boy. So was it good?”

“Not talkin' about this with you. Normal brothers don’t talk about this shit.”

“Well, I ain’t a normal brother,” Dean said, pointing the spatula at Sam.

Sam snorted. “Yeah, lucky me.”

Dean scooped the sandwich onto a plate and deposited it on the table in front of Sam. “Lucky you that I’m awesome enough to make your drunk ass a grilled cheese sandwich at two fucking am.”

Sam tipped his head back and grinned at him, the dimples popping in his cheeks. “Thanks, Dean.”

“I know, I’m an awesome brother. It’s my cross to bear,” Dean said.

He slipped the other sandwich onto his plate and took the seat opposite Sam. He was about to raise the sandwich to his lips when Sam grabbed his wrist. Dean lifted his gaze to his brother’s face. Sam’s eyes were shining, hazy with alcohol as he focused on Dean’s face.

“Thanks, you know. For everything.”

Dean frowned. “What?”

“For the tux and – and being okay with it, and not telling Dad.”

“Dad ain't here.”

“Yeah I know, but you didn’t tell him, and I appreciate it. He would just be…” he made a face, “weird about it. About it being a guy.”

“You’re a chimera,” Dean said.

“Well, duh, yeah. But he’s weird enough about that. This just makes it worse.”

Dean held his gaze for a moment, then lowered his sandwich to his plate. He gently tugged Sam’s hand off his wrist, laying it down onto the table. “Well, okay, you’re welcome. I just hope you didn’t get any jizz on that tux. I gotta return it tomorrow.”

Sam sighed. “I was right first time, you’re an asshole.”

Dean just laughed.

 

**

“Are you sure?”

Dean adjusted his grip on the wheel, casting a hesitant glance his brother’s way. Sam was screwed up in the corner of the passenger seat, or about as squashed up as someone of Sam’s proportions could be.

It was four days since Sam dropped the bombshell. They hadn’t had chance to talk about it. Not that either of them had been prepared to talk about it. But Garth called with a hunt that he wasn’t able to get to (wrong time of the month and all that) and so they’d been in Arkansas for the past few days, chasing down and eventually vanquishing a vengeful spirit taking out soccer moms. They saved a mother who’d been the next name on the spirit’s shitlist. Remembering the look on the husband’s and little boy’s faces after they saved the woman, Dean was reminded just why it was they did this job and why what they did mattered.

So he was feeling good, feeling better about things than he had been for a while. Until a minute ago when Sam turned to him and said, “I’ve decided to get rid of it.”

Dean didn’t need to ask what Sam was talking about. They hadn’t talked about it over the last four days, but that didn’t mean anything. They were always not talking about one thing or another; it was just how they rolled. But this was different. Dean found himself aware of Sam in a way he wasn’t usually during a hunt. When the spirit slammed Sam into a nearby headstone, he’d been momentarily terrified, the thought spinning unchecked through his mind: What about the baby? He's carrying our baby. But it had been immediately replaced with something worse, the cold rip through his heart of, maybe that would be it, that could take care of the problem, take the decision out of our hands... Slam Sammy up against a couple of walls and another headstone and then it could all be over… He swallowed over the roll of nausea in his gut, remembering how his stomach had churned in horror and disgust as he'd ruthlessly pushed away the terrifying insidious thought. He'd dropped the lit match into the grave and run to Sam, so fucking relieved to see his brother get unsteadily to his feet and return his nod. However quick or convenient it could be, that wasn't the answer to their problems. There was no way he could stand by and let Sam get hurt like that.

He flicked another look at his brother. This time Sam caught him out, their eyes meeting for a fraction of a second, before Dean turned his attention back to the road.

“I don’t think we got a choice, Dean.”

“There’s always a choice,” Dean said automatically.

Sam said nothing to that.

“I mean it. If you want to…” He hesitated, searching for the words and not finding them, feeling his voice fade away as the silence took over.

The car engine hummed, and Dean reached instinctively to turn the dial on the radio, pausing when snatches of a familiar tune came through the speakers. Drowning in a sea of love where everyone would love to drown. Now it's gone, it doesn't matter anymore… He listened to the lyrics for a moment, recognizing Fleetwood Mac’s "Sara". He’d always had a soft spot for Stevie Nicks. If Sam hadn’t said what he’d just said, he’d turn the volume up to enjoy it properly. He hated these long, awkward road trips. There’d been too many of them over the past few years. Better to enjoy the radio than endure more painful, bitter silences.

Sam sighed, and changed position, and Dean risked a glance at him. He was still staring out of the window, his expression impassive and shut down.

“Sam.”

Sam swung his gaze Dean’s way and Dean glanced at him again, seeing the knitted eyebrows, the dead look in his eyes. Sam looked so much older than his 32 years. Then again, Sam had always seemed older than his actual age.

He had thought about it over the past few days when his mind wasn’t actively engaged on the hunt. He’d let it wonder, let the images flow through his head untouched: what would Sam look like actually carrying their baby, letting it grow inside him? Would he go to pieces at the birth or would he be calm like Sam? Would the kid be freaking enormous like Sam? Would it have his ridiculous hair and changeable eyes? Or maybe it would have Dad’s eyes, or Mom’s? How would he feel actually holding a kid that was his and Sam’s? The only person in the world that he could maybe love as much as his brother.

“I’ll do whatever you want,” he said at last, his voice low.

Sam bowed his head, nodding slowly. “I want to get rid of it. That’s my decision.”

Dean felt his heart sink but he nodded. “Okay, then that’s what we’ll do.”

He reached to turn the volume up. There were two hundred miles left to the Bunker and he wasn’t planning on sitting in silence.

Chapter Text

The Planned Parenthood building was surprisingly new and clean. Someone had made a real effort to make it welcoming with plants and pictures and magazines that weren’t Readers Digests. There was even a box of children’s toys in one corner, the area occupied by one sole toddler. Dean watched the kid, trying to figure out who its parent was from among the huddled and surly group of people in the waiting room.

Not counting the stony-faced woman accompanying the tearful teenage girl sitting opposite them, they were the oldest people in the room. Dean was thirty six years old. It was ridiculous that they were in this position. People were supposed to be married and settled at his age. He crossed and uncrossed his legs and got up from the seat to stroll around. He paused by the notice board to read the local ads: Glen the house painter – 30 years of experience! Maria the piano teacher – ex Julliard! Gaby the tutor – no student turned away! He glanced toward the sliding glass doors, eying the people smoking in the parking lot enviously. God, a smoke would be good right now. Not that he was going to do that, for obvious reasons.

He went back to his seat.

“Keep still,” Sam whispered. “You’re driving me crazy.”

“Sorry,” he said, and took out his phone. Charlie had downloaded some game onto it the last time she’d stopped by the bunker. It was annoying and absurdly colorful but also surprisingly addictive and reassuring. It was nice to have someone compliment him with ‘Great job! Awesome!’ even if that person was a machine.

Sam glanced down at his phone and sighed. “Seriously, that again?”

“Shut up, I'm occupying myself. And you’re…” he glanced over at Sam. He was scrolling through a news site on his iPad. “Doing whatever it is you’re doing.”

“Looking for a job,” Sam said without looking up.

“Oh, really? Right now?” Sam gave him a look that Dean could only describe as challenging. “I mean…” He struggled for the words. “I know we did that hunt for Garth, but I was thinking we could take a break while we figured things out. And I was for real, what I said before, you really don’t have to do this.”

“I know,” Sam said calmly, turning his attention back to the iPad, finger sliding from one side of the screen to the other as he scrolled.

“We could… you know.”

“What, Dean?”

He paused his game and cleared his throat, trying to work out just exactly what it was that he wanted to say. He glanced around the room; the woman with the teenage daughter was watching them with a mixture of curiosity and suspicion. Dean looked away from her and tapped a beat on his thigh.

“I don’t know, man. But you just got to know that we got options – you got options.”

Sam didn’t say anything for a moment, then he slowly closed the iPad and turned to look at Dean. “Would you retire from hunting?”

“I don’t know, maybe. If I had to,” Dean said.

“Would you stop going out there and saving people, Dean? When Charlie or Cas or Jodie comes by asking for our help, would you say no?”

“Yeah, yeah I would. And you would too, man. You’ve always said about wanting a normal life. This could be it.”

Sam let out a long breath, shaking his head. “Oh, Dean. You so don’t get it.”

“Don’t get what?” He was beginning to feel annoyed by the way this conversation was going. Sam was so infuriatingly calm about the fact that he was making cold, hard plans to destroy something that was part of both of them.

“We can never have a normal life, we know that! Every time one of us tries it, everything fucks up and people get hurt. You remember what happened to Lisa and Ben, right?”

“Sam…”

“Yeah, I know, I’m not supposed to talk about it. But it’s bullshit, Dean. It’s all bullshit! It didn’t work back then and it sure isn't gonna work now, so how about we both shut up and get this done?”

“No,” Dean hissed, glancing about himself. Other people were starting to look up from their phones and magazines and watch them with blatant interest. They were probably trying to decide which of them was the stupid chimera who’d gotten his fool self knocked up. Or maybe they just assumed they had VD. Either way, it wasn’t flattering, and they really shouldn’t be doing this right here. Still, though, Sam was finally talking about it, so Dean wasn’t going to miss this opportunity to make his point.

“This isn't the same thing!” Dean insisted. “This is us, you and me. It’s not involving other people. We know how to protect ourselves, and together we would know how to – to protect---“ he glanced down at Sam’s flat stomach, feeling a shiver ripple through him, his throat feeling tight—“to protect him.”

There. He’d said it. He’d given it a gender – not that that was much of a stretch, babies born from chimeras were male in 90% of cases – but he’d made it into something real. Something more than an unwanted group of cells that were shortly to be erased.

Sam was silent for a moment and when Dean risked a glance at him, he could see that his brother’s expression had changed, his mouth was tighter, his eyes stonier.

“Sam—“

“And what would he call you, Dean? Who would you be to him? Uncle or Daddy? Or both?”

Dean was floored for a moment, trying to visualize it, trying to really imagine “him”. A baby, another human being that was completely reliant on him. God help the poor bastard.

“As usual, you’re not thinking this through,” Sam continued. “We can’t raise a kid. Even if we weren’t fucking related we couldn’t do it. And then there’s the whole part where we are related and there could be some serious birth defects. How would you deal with that, Dean? How would we care for a disabled kid in our crazy supernatural bunker? And what about all those sonsofbitches that are out there, gunning for us? Even if we retired from hunting, we still got giant targets on our backs. We're never going to be safe, and a kid would just be a walking target too.” Dean didn’t say anything, and Sam sighed, his tone returning to the customary resignation. “It’s best that we just get this done.”

“Okay,” he said at last. “Okay, whatever you want.”

Sam picked up his iPad again and went back to his reading. Dean put his phone away and stared at the floor.

The nurse called them five minutes later. Sam got up from his seat and slid his iPad into his messenger bag. Dean looked up at him expectantly.

“Are you coming with me?” Sam asked.

He didn’t think twice, just said, “I’m coming.”

They followed the waiting nurse through a door she unlocked with a key code. She held the door open for them, smiling tightly as they passed by. “Room 302,” she said.

They nodded thanks and made their way along the corridor. “Guess she’s not coming with,” Dean murmured, as the nurse went back out into the waiting area.

“Guess not,” Sam said.

“Hey.” Dean grabbed his brother’s arm. Sam halted and threw him an irritable look. Dean raised his other hand, cutting off anything Sam was about to say. “Look, before you say anything you gotta know that I’m with you. No matter what. I’m here, man, and I don’t want you to think like you’re going through this on your own ‘cause you’re not. ‘Cause you got me, and let’s face it, this is, like, half – more than half – my fault anyway.”

“Dean…”

“No, no, let me finish. I—“ he hesitated and licked his lips—“what I was saying before, just forget about it, okay? You were right, it’s fucking ridiculous for us to raise a kid. We can’t do it. It’s too dangerous and the poor bastard would be damned from the start. All that vessel crap and the bloodlines, and you’re right about the birth defects, too. It would be a ticking timebomb and that ain’t fair, not to an innocent kid. I was just… I was being naïve.”

“Okay,” Sam said and his voice sounded softer.

“Right. Good.” Dean bowed his head and sucked in a breath. He looked up again, meeting Sam’s gaze. “So, we’re good then?”

Sam sighed. “Yeah, we’re good. Let’s go, Dean.”

 

**

 

“You gonna hog that all night?” Dean rolled his head against the back of the couch to look at his brother. Sam scooped up a handful of popcorn and crunched through it steadily. He grinned through a mouthful of kernels, and Dean made a face. “Dude, gross.”

The bowl was lying against Sam’s chest, one of Sam’s arms around it, hugging it protectively close like a plastic baby. Sam legs were in Dean’s lap and his head was propped up on one arm of the couch. He looked comfortable and content and relaxed in a way he never was when their father was around. But Dad wasn't around now; he'd been gone for a week on a hunt and didn't expect to be back for two days. It was Saturday night and they were both home. This was a rare occasion these days. Sam always seemed to be out on Saturday nights, either dates with girls or guys, or study groups, or just hanging out with friends. Sam always seemed to have something going on. Dean had felt ridiculously pleased when Sam told him earlier that day that he wasn’t going out tonight, so pleased that he cancelled his own plans with the cashier at the Shop n Save just so the two of them could spend the night on the couch watching movies and hanging out.

“Just watch the movie,” Sam said, poking him in the side with his bony foot.

Dean sighed and turned back to the TV. They were watching Raiders of the Lost Ark. Dean loved this movie, he really did. He’d seen it approximately thirty times. It was up to the car chase scene, when Indy jumps on top of the Nazis’ jeep to punch that French dude out. He’d always liked that bit. Sam squirmed on top of him trying to get comfortable, feet digging into Dean's thighs and barely missing his junk.

“Dude, mind the goods,” Dean protested, throwing him a look. Sam ignored him and just tossed aside the empty bowl of popcorn, brushing a flurry of popcorn kernels onto the couch, the floor and Dean. Dean snatched up his brother’s foot and curled his fingers around Sam’s ankle. “I said quit it,” he said.

He was uncomfortably aware that Sam’s maneuvering was having an effect on him, and not the effect that was welcome right now, not when they were squashed together on the couch like this. Sam’s ankle felt delicate under his fingers, which was ridiculous because Sam’s feet were freaking enormous. But still, he could probably snap those fragile ankle bones if he wanted. Just a twist of his wrist... Sam cleared his throat and Dean jerked his head his way. Sam was watching him intently, a hooded look in his eyes.

Dean blinked, staring back at his brother. He watched Sam push himself up from the couch, bending his long body in two like a pair of tongs as he leaned closer to Dean. Dean held his breath and watched Sam’s face loom closer until their mouths were only inches apart and he could smell the popcorn and beer on his brother’s breath.

“Dean,” Sam said.

Dean licked his lips nervously; he could feel Sam’s eyes dart to his mouth and then back again, their gazes locking. His breath hitched, and then Sam’s hand was on his neck and Dean had no idea where that had come from, but it felt nice so he didn’t shake it off. He blinked again, and suddenly Sam’s mouth was on his mouth, and Sam kissed him, quick and dry and totally surreal.

Sam jerked back when he’d finished like he’d been scalded. He put his fingers to his mouth as if he couldn’t believe what he'd just done. He gave a choked, nervous laugh, and looked down at his lap.

“Sorry,” he said.

Dean cleared his throat. He wasn’t sure what had happened to his voice, but he couldn’t speak. He was vaguely aware at the back of his mind that he’d gotten hard at some point, and that his body felt warm all over, especially the place where Sam’s hand was resting on his neck.

Sam slowly raised his head so he was meeting Dean’s gaze once more. He blinked, the corner of his mouth quirked into an embarrassed, shy smile, and then he drew in a long breath and leaned in to kiss Dean again.

This time Dean almost felt prepared for it. He’d seen the intent in Sam’s eyes; he knew that this wasn’t an accident. Sam’s mouth lingered longer on his own, only pulling away after a couple of seconds. Sam made a quiet moaning sound, something that came from the back of his throat, and it pushed and caught at something inside Dean, hooked at something hot and deep and buried in the pit of his stomach. He raised his hand to cradle Sam's face, running his thumb over his brother's cheekbone, and this time, he kissed Sam first.

The third kiss was harder, sloppier and messier, and Sam was breathing heavily when he finally pulled away, his face flushed hot and lips shiny and pink. Dean dragged his hand from its place around Sam’s ankle and cupped his brother’s jaw, shifting their positions so he was looming over Sam, pushing him down into the cushions. Sam wrapped his arms around Dean’s back to bring him down on top of him. He was muttering under his breath, Dean’s name over and over, angling his head to one side so Dean could rain kisses over his neck and throat.

Dean scraped his teeth over his brother’s adam’s apple, resting his lips on the side of his neck where his pulse was beating furiously. He was so hard he was panting and he could feel Sam’s hands sliding over his back and down to cup his ass, pulling him in so they were flush together. Dean gasped when he felt their crotches rub together, Sam’s dick a hot line against his own. Sam jerked his hips, rubbing himself against Dean, fingers clawing insistently at the meat of Dean's ass.

Dean snagged his fingers in Sam's hair and lifted his mouth from his brother's throat long enough to meet his gaze. Sam's eyes were hazy and dark, his cheeks flushed with heat. He blinked, a slow-motion flicker of his eyelashes that sent a pool of lust rocketing through Dean.

"Sammy," he said. "You...."

"Don't say anything. Please, Dean," Sam said. He cradled the back of Dean’s neck. "Kiss me again. Love it when you kiss me."

"Okay," Dean said.

Sam arched his hips up, wrapping his long legs around Dean's waist as they rocked together and kissed some more. Dean groaned into his brother's mouth, felt Sam's tongue slide and slip over his own, felt his mouth being devoured by Sam, felt Sam in and around and everywhere. He wondered distantly at the back of his mind if this was where they’d always been headed. He wondered why he wasn’t more shocked about what they were doing and he wondered why he hadn’t pushed Sam away and told him it was wrong. He wondered if it was supposed to feel like this when your brother dry-humped you on the couch. He guessed that it really, really wasn’t, and that this was just another of those reasons why he and Sam weren’t like other brothers. He wondered if he should be freaked out by that. He supposed that it really didn’t matter.

“Stop thinking so hard,” Sam murmured into the side of his face.

“What?” He lifted his head and blinked at his brother.

Sam was watching him with an amused little smirk. He palmed the side of Dean’s face and caressed one finger over his cheekbone. “You’re freaking out.”

“No I’m not,” Dean said honestly.

“Huh. Really?”

“Yeah. Are you freaking out?” Dean asked.

Sam shook his head, hair spilling over the arm of the couch. Dean tangled his fingers in Sam’s hair. He’d never say it out loud but he’d always liked Sam’s hair. And right now, he really liked it, loving the way he could fist his hands in the soft silky strands and drag his brother’s head to one side, exposing a long line of neck and throat.

He ducked down and kissed the side of Sam’s neck, tongue lingering over his pulse point. Sam gasped and squirmed under him, grinding his hips up into Dean. He moaned Dean’s name again and grabbed his neck, yanking his head down into another long kiss.

“I think we should be freaked out,” Sam said after they'd pulled apart to get their breaths once more. He spoke with the kind of calmness and matter-of-factness that Dean had always admired about him. “If we were normal, we would be.”

“If we were normal, we wouldn’t be in this position,” Dean pointed out, feeing secretly impressed by how coherent he sounded. He didn’t feel coherent at all inside, his guts were churning and his cock was harder than he could remember ever being before, as if the blood inside him was responding to the blood in Sam – their shared blood. Blood on blood, he thought, feeling a little hysterical, the lyrics from the cheesy Bon Jovi song skipping through his mind: Blood on blood, one on one, we’ll still be standing when was all was said and done… He ducked his head, trying not to laugh.

“Dean?” Sam rested his hand on Dean’s cheek, turning his head. He frowned at him. “Are you with me?”

Dean pushed Jon Bon Jovi and his cheesy lyrics out of his head and focused on Sam, just Sam. “Yeah, course.”

“Good.” Sam grinned tentatively, the dimples in his cheeks fluttering. Dean poked at one with his finger, then slowly traced the bow of his brother's lips.

"What do you want?" he said.

Sam swallowed, and Dean watched his adam's apple bob up and down. "You," Sam said at last. "Can you..." he glanced down his body to where his dick was full and fat in his jeans.

Dean grinned at him and nodded. He flicked open Sam's fly, reaching through the slit in his boxers to pull out his cock. Sam's cock was pretty, he thought, long and slim and perfectly shaped. Not as big or thick as his own, but that was normal, Sam was only sixteen and he was a chimera, but he was still no slouch. He squeezed Sam's dick and watched a shiver rock through him, Sam's eyes fluttering shut for a moment, before they snapped open again and rested on him.

"Don't tease me, Dean," he said.

Dean grinned evilly. He could tease Sam so much, he loved teasing Sam, tickling him or ribbing him or generally doing anything to get that glorious little pout on his face and make him all red and flushed and undone. He loved it when Sam was undone, which... yeah, maybe that should've given him a clue. He wanted to tease Sam for longer, and perhaps next time, he might do just that, get Sammy really riled up and begging. And hey, there he went, already thinking about the next time they could do this. So, that was something else he'd have to think about later. For now: this.

He spat into his hand, staring for a second at the small foamy puddle of drool in the middle of his palm, before he slid his fingers over the head of his brother's dick. Sam gasped out loud and his hips jerked up from the couch. Dean glanced at his face and saw he was biting his lower lip, cheeks flushed as painfully red as his cock. He decided not to tease him anymore, but got to work, dragging his hand up and down and around, paying attention to the fat crown and the thick vein on the underside.

"Dean...." Sam moaned, and he reached for Dean, fingers knotting in Dean's shirt as Dean loomed over him.

"I'm here," Dean said. He'd gotten a rhythm going, working his fist up and down, liking the feel of Sam's silky thin cock in his hand, and admiring just how damn pretty it looked poking through his fist.

"I know," Sam said, staring up at him. "Always here."

"Yeah, Sammy."

Sam shut his eyes, smiling to himself, and Dean moved his other hand to cradle the side of his face, as he kept jacking his dick with an easy, slow rhythm.

"Dean..." Sam said again, and that was it. Dean felt Sam shudder and the warm thick jizz spurted over his fingers as he kept working Sam through it, watching the tremors reverberate through his body.

"You alright?" he whispered

Sam exhaled and opened his eyes. He nodded, breathed out, "Yeah. It was amazing."

Dean laughed shakily. "Yeah?"

"Yeah." He smiled, shy and relieved and happy all at the same time, and it was so damn beautiful and unusual to see in Sam's face that Dean wanted to remember it forever, to keep this image in his head so he could bring it out later when life sucked and Sam hated him. He could remember how at least for a short while, Sam was happy because of him. "Hey, you want me to..." he glanced down at Dean's crotch, at the place where his own dick was pressing painfully against his fly, his body thrumming tight with pent-up arousal.

Dean shook his head and fumbled his fly open, pushing his jeans and boxers down to let his cock spring free. He fisted it, and glanced back at Sam. Sam was staring at his cock, his tongue was poking slightly out of his mouth, his eyes hooded. He met Dean's gaze and flushed self-consciously.

"Your cock, it's uh... it's nice. Big."

"Yeah?"

Dean felt his chest puff up, pleased at the compliment. "You like my dick?"

"Yeah. Yeah, I do," Sam said. "It's different to other guys I've been with. It's um, bigger..." he trailed off and shrugged self-consciously. "Yeah, it's hot."

Dean nodded, pleased. He knew that he was packing something special, enough guys and girls had commented on it before, but it was different to hear Sam say it and to see the hungry, admiring look in his eyes. He spat into his palm once more and started stroking, half-closing his eyes as he lost himself in the pleasure of it. He started when he felt Sam's hand cup his balls. His eyes flew open and he gazed down at his brother, at Sam's long thin fingers cupping his balls as if weighing them, a thoughtful, wicked slant to his gaze when their eyes met.

"Bigger than mine," Sam whispered.

Dean shivered at the sensation, feeling Sam's clever, perfect fingers skirt across his perineum and circle his ass crack.

"Feel good?"

"Fuck, yeah," Dean breathed. His hand stuttered as he felt Sam draw closer, sitting up so his head was level with Dean's chest, his hand still cupping and gently rolling Dean's balls. Dean's cock was leaking desperately, and it twitched as he felt Sam's breath ghost over his belly when he exhaled.

"Love that we're different like this," Sam said. "Love that your dick is so big and fat and your balls are heavy, Dean. Mine aren't heavy like that..."

He lifted his gaze to Dean, cheeks stained red and hair falling in his eyes. There was a smirk playing at the corner of his mouth as he kept and held Dean's gaze, forefinger rubbing gently over Dean's ballsac. He licked his lips, deliberately and slowly, eyes tracking down Dean's body to his fat leaking cock and then back to his face again.

"Oh Jesus... fuck, Sammy," Dean choked out. He felt his cock stutter and jump in his hand, his entire body reverberating and clenching up as his orgasm shot out of him, coating both his hand and Sam's.

Sam gave his balls one last considering caress and withdrew his sticky, shiny fingers. He held them up, grinning widely as he met Dean's gaze and looking like he’d won the lottery.

"So," Sam said, "that happened."

Dean swallowed, trying to find his voice. He cleared his throat, mumbled, "Uh, yeah?"

"Yeah," Sam nodded. He made a face and wiped his sticky fingers on his rumpled shirt. He glanced down where Dean's dick was still hanging out of his pants, come stains now on the fly. "We're gonna have to do laundry tomorrow," he said.

Dean pushed out a laugh, feeling somewhat desperate. "Uh, yeah, yeah."

"Got no clean underwear," Sam said. He gave Dean a sideways, sly sort of look. "Course, we don't have to wear underwear. Not if we don't want to."

Dean blinked at him. "Huh?"

Sam flushed a little, tongue swiping over his lips in an unconscious gesture that was different to the conscious provocative effort just before. "Sunday tomorrow, Dean, we can do what we want."

Dean kept looking at him, feeling his chest start to swell, heat in his belly pooling and hooking at his insides once more. "Yeah, yeah, I guess it is."

 

**

"This, here," Sam said, "this is the part I like."

They were lying on towels under the shade of an enormous oak tree, naked save for boxer shorts because it was hot. It was extremely hot, like, in the nineties in the shade. There was no breeze and the grass underneath was dead and scratchy where Dean's calves overlapped the end of his thin towel. Despite the heat, Dean felt good. He and Sam and the middle of fucking nowhere, the distant sound of cars going down the road, the chirping of cicadas and the car radio playing classic rock songs of the 60's and 70's.

My girlfriend's run off with my car, and gone back to her ma and pa
Telling tales of drunkenness and cruelty...

Dean hummed the tune under his breath and idly turned the page of The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, chin propped on his folded arms.

"This. This is one of my favorite parts," Sam said.

For a moment, Dean thought his brother was talking about the music, then he felt Sam’s hand trail down his spine. He shivered and looked up from his book. “What?”

Sam wasn't reading his book anymore - Wuthering Heights, because Sammy was a geek and had already gotten the required reading list for his new school from the town library. Instead, Sam was lying on his side, propped up on one elbow and chewing on a grass stalk like he was Huckleberry Finn. He would be in senior year when school started next month and Dean couldn't wait for him to be done with school. After Sam graduated, the three of them could hunt properly, or maybe, if they proved themselves, Dad would let them head off on some easy hunts, just the two of them.

"This, here," Sam said. He pushed his sunglasses into his hair and rested his hand on Dean's lower back, on the dip of his spine just above his ass. "I love this part, Dean." He brushed one finger over the bottom of Dean's spine, just skirting the cleft of his ass. Dean shivered at the sensation and Sam grinned at him, his face shiny with sweat and sunscreen.

Dean pushed his book away and rolled onto his side to face his brother. He cupped his cock through the thin boxers and leered at him. "And what about this part?"

Sam's gaze roamed down his body to rest on his fattening dick which was starting to strain the material of his tight shorts. He licked his lips and breathed out heavily. "Yeah, that part. I really love that part."

Dean chuckled knowingly and let Sam drag him closer with one hand on his hip. "You wanna fuck out here, little brother? Out in the open? Where anyone could see us?"

"Maybe," Sam said, looking at him from under his eyelashes. "You got a problem with that?"

"Hell, no," Dean said. He yanked off his sunglasses and tossed them aside, ducking his head to meet Sam's mouth in a bruising kiss. His dick was fully hard and his entire body felt taut and pent up with the heat and desire. He could feel sweat running down his back, pooling in the small of his back - Sam's favorite place - and across his forehead to drip off the end of his nose.

Sam cupped Dean's cheek, and pulled back, breaking the kiss. Dean stared at his flushed face, at the ends of his eyelashes, glittering in the burning hot sun. He thought suddenly that Sam was beautiful like this, with the sun making his body gleam like burnished gold, with his dark hair curling and damp with sweat, and his dark clever eyes, always watching Dean with such intent. It was a weird thing to think about his own brother - that he was beautiful - but he guessed that he was a weird guy.

"I, uh, got something to show you," Sam said.

He turned away from Dean, reaching for the cargo shorts he'd discarded as soon as they'd gotten here. He fumbled in one of the pockets and took out a small plastic bottle of pills. He handed them to Dean.

Dean glanced from the pills to Sam's face; he looked a little anxious, biting his lip as he waited for Dean's reaction. Dean read off the side of the bottle and frowned. He'd seen these sorts of pills before, on the nightstand of one of the chimeras he'd been with.

"Birth control?" he said.

Sam nodded. "Yeah."

"Why?"

"I want you to fuck me without a condom."

Dean swallowed, felt his cock twitch in his shorts because... yeah, okay. He could get with that program. He could do that.

"Dean?"

"Uh, yeah. We can do that."

"Yeah?" Sam smiled tentatively, the dimples starting to pucker in his cheeks. "You sure? I mean, I figured you were clean. I know you’re obsessive about using condoms--"

“’Cause safe sex is important!” Dean interrupted. He narrowed his eyes on Sam. “I hope you remember that all the time, Sammy.”

Sam sighed. “Yes, Dean. I know all about safe sex. But you don't gotta worry. It's been ages since I’ve been with anyone else, and I’ve kinda noticed that you haven’t been hooking up so much recently.”

Dean rolled his eyes, feeling suddenly self-conscious. "Right, yeah."

"I never asked you to be monogamous. I never expected it. We're brothers, it's..." Sam shrugged awkwardly. "I don't know, it seems even more fucked up if we are, like, faithful to each other or something."

"So you want me to fuck around?" Dean said, incredulous.

It wasn't like he'd intended to be monogamous with Sam. They weren't dating; they were free to do whatever the hell they liked. They were brothers and that was more important than anything else, far more important than sex, even though the sex was pretty amazing, even if Dean did say so himself. And that right there was the issue. It just seemed a waste of time these days to go out trawling for a hook-up when Sam was right there, wanting sex with him as often as one horny seventeen-year-old could ever want sex - which was pretty much every day that Dad wasn't around being the world's most effective cockblock. Most of the time, Sam instigated things anyway, as Dean still felt a little weird about coming onto his brother first, but Sam knew exactly what he was doing. He'd learned all of Dean's favorite buttons as freakishly quickly as he'd learned all of those Latin incantations Dad was always drilling into him. And Dean wasn't complaining, hell no, he liked things as they were. Things were good, they were better than good. Sex with Sam was fucking great. So, yeah. Sam was right, damn him, he hadn't been with anyone else for a while.

"No, Dean, I don't want you to fuck around," Sam said, making a face.

Dean laughed, feeling relieved, and leaned in to nuzzle the side of Sam's face, lips lingering on the edge of his jaw. Dean kissed down his throat, scraping his stubble against Sam's neck in that way that drove him wild. Sam moaned and moved, throwing Dean down onto his back, knocking the breath out of him as he swung one leg over Dean's thighs and straddled him. He reached inside Dean's shorts and drew out his cock, fisting it and swiping his thumb over the head and into the beads of pre-come.

Dean's hips jerked up instinctively, fucking himself into Sam's hand. He squeezed Sam's bare thigh, feeling the heat of Sam's body under his hand. Sam was taller now; he topped Dean by an inch. His body was starting to fill out, no longer the skinny bony kid, but growing into his height and packing on some muscle.

He watched, holding his breath as Sam sat back, lifting one leg and then the other to slide his shorts off. He tossed them aside and hooked his thumbs in the waistband of Dean's shorts. Dean lifted his ass obediently and let Sam tug his shorts down, leaving his cock bobbing and slapping back against his belly. Sam slid a small tube of lube out of his pants and grinned at Dean as he squeezed the gel onto his fingers. Dean watched, teeth grazing his bottom lip, as Sam lifted up on his knees and cocked one leg in the air to slide his fingers inside himself.

He looked kinda ridiculous, like a dog with its leg cocked about to pee on a lamppost. He was frowning with the effort and wobbling on one knee as he slid his long, long fingers in and out. He didn't mess around for long, pulled his fingers out and made a face as he wiped them on Dean's towel. It was the exact same face he always made when confronted with bodily fluids. Sam freaking loved sex and he couldn't get enough of sex with Dean, but he didn't like the mess and always wrinkled his nose in the prissy Sammy way when he got stuck with the cleanup.

He positioned himself over Dean and fisted the base of Dean’s cock.

“Wait,” Dean said, craning his head up. “The condom?”

“Don’t need it,” Sam said. “I told you, got the birth control now.”

“Yeah, but they don’t start working straight away, do they? You got to let it get into your system.”

Sam frowned but he seemed to think about it. Eventually he sighed and shook his head. “Yeah, okay, I guess. Just – I was looking forward to it. Doing it without.”

“Yeah, me too,” Dean said feelingly. “But we gotta be safe, man. Pocket of my shorts.”

Sam nodded in agreement and sighed again as he retrieved the condom from Dean’s back pocket. He wrinkled his nose as he tore the packet open and slid the latex over Dean’s cock.

“Hey,” said Dean, patting Sam’s thigh. Sam raised his eyes to look at him, squinting in the sun. “Next time. I promise.”

 

**

 

The doctor was a woman. Dean wasn’t expecting that. For some reason, he assumed they’d get a guy.

“Do you have any idea how many weeks along you are?” she said, looking up from her computer screen.

Sam sucked in a breath and glanced at Dean. It wasn't like it was hard to put a date on it. One time since Dean had come clean about the angel possession and Sam realized how Kevin had died. Just one fucking time, and it hadn't even been good. He could still recall the look on Sam's face afterward, the immediate regret and disgust, the way he hadn't even looked at Dean, but just headed off to shower like he couldn’t wait to wash Dean off him. Given that it was notoriously hard to predict when a guy was fertile and given Sam’s obsession with taking birth control, it was a miracle that Sam had even managed to get pregnant.

“I would guess maybe nine or ten weeks?"

She nodded. “We have to run a blood test to confirm the pregnancy. Is that okay?”

“Yeah, of course.”

She got to her feet and crossed the room to a cabinet. She pulled open a drawer and took out a small electronic device that looked like a calculator and a cling-wrapped tiny needle.

Sam shrugged off his coat and started rolling up the left sleeve of his plaid shirt, exposing his taut, ridiculously muscled forearm. The doctor walked back to her desk and paused. “It’s okay, I don’t need a vein for this,” she said, waving the device at them. “Just need a pinprick really. Your finger will be fine.”

“Oh right, fine,” Sam said. He rolled his sleeve back down and held out his hand.

“Put it on the desk,” she directed, sitting down.

Sam bent forward and dropped his hand to the desk, palm side up. She unwrapped the small needle thing and positioned it over Sam’s forefinger. “You're just going to feel a little prick..."

Sam barely blinked as the needle pierced his flesh. Dean watched the doctor slide the needle free and fiddle with it, picking up the calculator thing and slotting it inside. She pressed a couple of buttons to activate it. The screen immediately lit up and started to flash some numbers.

“It’ll take about a minute to run the full screen,” she said as she tossed the needle and her latex gloves into the medical waste.

Dean stared at the flashing device, wondering if it was capable of reading everything about Sam’s blood. Could it see the demon blood? Could it see Yellow Eyes’ taint? Was that in there? He could feel Sam looking at him again, and he turned his head. Sam’s gaze was heavy and dark and completely unreadable. Dean swallowed and turned his attention back to the doctor.

“I didn’t know you could just do—“ Dean gestured at the device –“that.”

“Oh yes.” She smiled at him. “The wonders of modern technology. A few years ago, I’d have to draw an entire vial and send it down to the lab and then you’d have to wait for two days. Now it’s just as easy as running a blood sugar test.”

"Oh right," Dean said. He could see Sam in his peripheral vision, buttoning his cuff and shrugging on his coat. Dean glanced at him, watched him cross his arms and sit back in the chair with that posture that Dean recognized as his fight-or-flight mode.

The doctor laced her fingers together and propped her chin on her hands, looking between the two of them. “So, I imagine you’ve discussed options?”

Dean felt himself tense and forced himself to relax. He licked his lips, glancing expectantly at Sam.

Sam nodded, his stiff posture unchanging. “Yeah, we have. I want a termination.”

Dean couldn’t help the flinch at Sam’s words. Terminations, abortions, whatever you called it, it was something that happened to other people. Things like that weren't supposed to happen to them. They dealt with apocalypses and vampires; they didn’t deal with this everyday life crap.

“Well, we can arrange that, if you’re certain,” the doctor said. “But you should know that a chimera termination is a complex and expensive procedure which requires a significant recovery period. Most health insurance policies don’t cover it at all. There’s also a chance – albeit a small one - that you may be rendered infertile by the procedure.”

“I’ll consider that an upside,” Sam said.

The beeping of the machine cut off any comment from the doctor. Dean watched her pick up the device and press some more buttons. She lowered it and gave them both a thin smile.

“Well, I’m not sure congratulations are in order, considering. But you were right. You are pregnant.”

Sam sucked in a breath and nodded. “Yeah. So, when can I be scheduled in?”

“We can come to that, if you’re decided,” she said, “but Kansas state law says that I have to run through some questions with you before we make any official decision.”

Sam sighed. “Fine, let’s just get it over with.”

“Okay then,” she said. She tapped on her keyboard and then looked up at him with a tense smile. “I promise I’ll make this as quick as possible, and then we can discuss your options. If you’re decided that a termination is the way you want to go, then we can put the arrangements in motion. Okay, easy one first: Name? Date of birth? I guess that's what I've got here." She picked up the form Sam had completed in the waiting room and read off, "Sam Winchester, May 2nd, 1983."

"That's right," Sam said.

"Okay then. Question number two: is this your first pregnancy?”

Dean was waiting for Sam to say yes, for him to look bored and irritated by the routine question, because of course this was Sam's first pregnancy.

“No,” said Sam.

Dean started out of his chair, forgetting the doctor’s presence as he spun to stare at his brother. “What?”

Sam gave him an annoyed look. “Not now, Dean.”

“When? When was this? When were you pregnant before?”

“That’s my next question,” the doctor cut in smoothly. “How old were you at your last pregnancy and what happened to the fetus?”

Sam glared at Dean as he pushed the words out. “I was eighteen and it died. I had a miscarriage.”

“Stanford,” Dean murmured to himself. “You were at Stanford then.”

“Yes, that’s right. I was at Stanford. I had a miscarriage, I went to the hospital in Palo Alto and they looked after me. It was just a routine surgery. No side effects and obviously it never affected my ability to conceive.”

"Of course, thank you," the doctor said, fingers clattering over the keyboard. She paused delicately, looking between them both. "Do you want a moment? Or is it okay for me to go on?"

"Go on," Sam said straight away, not looking at Dean.

Chapter Text

Sam was even quieter on the drive back from the clinic than he had been on the way there. He didn’t say a word as he traipsed inside the library and made his way to the crystal decanter of 70 year old whisky they kept on the sideboard.

Dean watched in silence as Sam poured himself a generous measure and raised the glass for a long sip. He nestled the glass against his chest and met Dean’s gaze steadily.

“Okay. You get this one chance. Ask me now ‘cause I don’t want to ever talk about this again.”

Dean didn’t have to think about his first question, it had been burning and eating away at his insides ever since Sam had said no to the doctor’s question. “Was it mine?”

“Yes,” said Sam.

Dean sucked in a breath and fell down into a chair. He felt like he’d been sucker-punched. Slowly he looked up. Sam was sipping his drink, staring past Dean, across the bunker.

“Sammy,” Dean said quietly. "Why didn't you say anything?"

Slowly Sam turned his attention back to Dean. He shrugged. "When was I supposed to say something? After Jess died? While we were looking for Dad? It was nearly four years. It wasn't really on my mind at the time."

"But before then! When it happened! Sam, Jesus, man, it's been years. All this time and you never said anything. It’s just another fucking secret.”

“You got no right to lecture me about secrets, Dean.”

Dean pressed his lips together. Sam was right. But still… thirteen years. No, more than that. Fourteen years.

“Fourteen fucking years and you never said. What about – about when it happened? Why didn’t you call me? You must’ve known that I’d come. I’d never let you go through something like that on your own.”

“It was already too late,” Sam said.

“Jesus, Sam…” The heavy stone in his chest felt like it was dragging him down and down, churning his stomach, making his throat ache. With a huge effort, he forced himself to look at his brother’s face.

Sam was watching him, and he looked devastated. They stared at each other in silence, Sam’s grip white-knuckled around his glass. Dean watched his brother swallow, watched him take another sip of his drink, dropping his gaze to stare into the whiskey. When he looked up again, his expression was shuttered, that resigned, stony façade back in place.

“Don’t make it all about you, Dean, because it isn’t. It happened a long time ago. I forgot about it until she asked. Until…” he put one hand on his belly in a thoughtless, instinctive gesture, then flinched when he realized where he was touching himself and yanked his hand away, mouth twitching.

Fourteen years, Dean thought. If the kid had lived, he’d be thirteen now. The same age Ben was when he lived with him and Lisa. A thirteen year old kid that was his and Sam’s, with a double dose of Winchester genes. He’d be a tough little bastard and that’s for sure.

“So what happened?”

Sam turned his attention back to him and shrugged slowly. “It must’ve happened... I must’ve conceived just before I left. I was sick, do you remember? I was on medication and I was distracted by everything that was going on, I probably missed a couple of pills. I was at Stanford about six weeks when it happened. I remember working a shift and feeling terrible the whole time. I thought it was appendicitis. Just like before, like when I was diagnosed. You remember?” He broke off and Dean nodded. Yeah, he remembered. “Yeah, so I called a cab and went to the hospital. That’s when they told me that it wasn’t appendicitis.” He shook his head, laughing hollowly. “I had no goddamn idea I was even pregnant.”

"You could've called me then," Dean said.

"I wanted to. But it all happened so fast. They took me into surgery immediately to – to remove it. And when I came around, I hurt so much. I wanted to call you then, but I kept thinking that you'd be on a hunt and Dad would find out and it was a whole bunch of crap that I didn't need. I was worried about missing classes and losing my job and I just wanted to get back to my life. To tell the truth, I was just so freaking relieved that it was over and that I’d gotten away with it. And then I knew that I couldn’t tell you because you would react differently. You'd be..." he hesitated as if he was searching for the right word, "…devastated and you’d mourn it like it was something real. And you'd never understand why I didn't feel the same way."

He watched Sam drain the rest of his glass. Sam turned his back and placed the glass on the sideboard, fingers lingering around the rim. Dean stared at his broad shoulders, at the tight line of muscle and his bowed head. He should say something, he knew that, offer Sam some crumb of comfort, but Sam was right. He was only hearing about this now, fourteen years after the fact, and he was regretting it, wishing that Sam had called him, that he'd tried harder to stop Sam going in the first place, that he'd even had some fucking inkling that his brother was knocked up with his kid when he walked out on them.

He watched Sam walk out of the room and didn’t say anything.

 

**

Four hours had passed since Sam dropped his bombshell.

As I was going over, the Cork and Kerry mountains
I met with Captain Farrell and his money he was counting..."

Dean lay on his bed, headphones on, music loud. His eyes were squeezed shut and he was listening intently to the lyrics, concentrating on the sad fate of Captain Farrell, poor Molly and the trigger-happy narrator. He wasn't thinking about anything else, not at all.

I first produced my pistol, and then produced my rapier
I said stand or deliver, or the devil he may take ya...

Sammy had a miscarriage. Sam was pregnant with his baby and he lost it.

Sam was pregnant right now and he was still going to get rid of it. It was a second chance and they weren’t going to take it. He would never be a father, which was good because he would be a lousy parent. Look at the fuck-up with Ben. He’d had to erase himself from the kid’s memory to keep him safe. And worse than that, look at Sam, look at the sorrow and grief and fucking misery he’d brought down on Sammy over the years.

"Dean..."

He jumped as someone jogged his foot, his name spoken loud enough to be heard over the music. He snapped his eyes open. Sam was standing by his bed, looking ridiculously tall as he loomed over him.

He pulled off the headphones. "What?"

"They called back with a date."

He didn't need to ask what for. He kept looking at his brother.

"It's Thursday," Sam said. "Early, first thing. We have to be there by eight.”

"Thursday. That seems soon."

"I guess." Sam looked around the room, like he was trying to made his mind up about something, and Dean waited for it, body tense as he waited for Sam to speak. Sam shrugged, stiff and awkward, and rested his gaze on the guns above Dean's headboard. "So yeah. Thursday," he said.

"I'll come with you," Dean said. It probably didn't need saying because of course he would, he'd never let Sam go through something like that alone. Then again, things had drifted so badly between them he couldn't take anything for granted.

"Okay," Sam said. He was still standing there, and Dean's gaze was drawn to his hands, to his fingers flexing involuntarily and nervously by his side. Eventually he pushed out a breath, and to Dean's surprise, sank down to sit on the edge of Dean's bed.

Dean shuffled to make room for him, shocked that he was still there. "You okay?" he asked.

Sam made a scoffing sound and turned his head to look at Dean. His expression was ironic, maybe even self-deprecating. "No. You?"

"Pretty far from okay, man," Dean said.

Sam nodded and blinked. "I'm sorry... for not telling you before, about..." he jerked his shoulders up and down in an awkward shrug. "You know."

"Okay," Dean said.

He still didn't get it. Only a couple of months into Sam's first year at Stanford, they were still in contact. He would call the kid every fucking week. They'd talk and Sam would tell him about his classes, about the two jobs he was working off campus and occasionally about some of the other students he'd met. And Dean would offer to swing by, to leave him some cash so he didn’t have to work two jobs, and Sam would protest, insisting that he could make it on his own and he didn't need his big brother bailing him out all the time. Maybe that was why he hadn't called Dean. Maybe that's all it was, just Sam trying to assert his independence, to not always rely on Dean to pick up the pieces.

They never used to talk about Dad, and they never talked about them during those calls, and so Dean had always assumed that that part of their life was over. Perhaps that was the real reason Sam hadn't called him from the hospital. Having Dean there when he went through all that would just underline the squalid, dirty reality of their relationship, and Sam was trying to escape from that claustrophobic dead end. Sam wanted to be normal. He wanted to forget and move on with his life. Dean’s presence would stop him from doing that.

Whatever, it didn't matter now. And in the scheme of things, after the losses they'd endured, what was one miscarriage?

Everything, Dean thought.

"Dean."

Dean jumped when Sam touched his leg. He jerked his gaze down to the place where Sam's big hand was spanning his knee and calf, finger lodged in the crease of his knee. Sam shifted on the bed, bringing one leg up so his knee pressed against Dean's foot. Slowly, he drew his hand up Dean's leg, keeping eye contact the entire time. Under Sam's hand, Dean felt his skin prickle and burn hot. His cock was plumping and his balls felt tight and heavy. He swallowed, a shiver of lust rocking through him as Sam's gaze got heavy and dark. He watched his brother climb onto the bed, knees sinking into the memory foam as he pushed Dean's legs apart with his hands on Dean's thighs.

He should say something. Make a protest, or ask Sam what the hell he was doing, and did he really think that this was the right time for this shit? After all, hadn't falling back into this well-remembered groove gotten them into this fucking mess already? But Sam had that look on his face that Dean hadn’t seen in too long and his own cock was fat and starting to drool pre-come, and it wasn’t like things could get much worse, so yeah… To hell with it, he thought, and he put his hand to the back of his brother's neck, and yanked him into a kiss.

Sam actually groaned as their teeth clashed together. Dean's nose smashed into Sam's cheek and he tilted his head, finding the natural angle and the well-remembered fit. Sam kissed him hard, following up with his hands fisted in the sleeves of Dean's shirt, tugging insistently at it. Dean curled his arm around Sam's back, spanned his sides, and kissed and kissed; the kisses hard and brutal and unforgiving as Sam's knee slid between his thighs and rocked against his dick.

His headphones tumbled off the bed and crashed to the floor. Dean flinched at the noise and tore his mouth away from Sam's. He fisted a handful of Sam's hair and yanked his head away.

"What the fuck we doing?" he panted.

Sam blinked, his gaze hazy and glassy with lust. "The inevitable," he said.

"Dude, what the fuck does that mean?"

Sam laughed shakily and reared back, hand fisted in Dean's shirt. He relaxed his grip and spread his fingers over Dean's chest, applying enough pressure to keep him pinned to the bed, while his legs straddling Dean did the rest. Dean stared up at him. He still felt like he was in shock, his head spinning by this sudden about-turn from Sam. He could hear the tinny white noise of his headphones where they'd fallen off the bed.

"Sam…"

"Shut up, Dean. Stop talking."

Dean's mouth fell closed. Sam slid his hand down Dean's chest, over his belly and abs, down to his cock. He cupped it with a thoughtful kind of air and when Dean opened his mouth to protest again, Sam slammed his hand over Dean’s lips and raised his eyebrows.

"I said, no talking."

Dean felt his cock twitch in his pants and saw the smirk curl at the edge of Sam’s mouth. Slowly, Sam removed his hand and sat back on his haunches. He unzipped his fly and Dean noticed with a jump of his pulse that he wasn't wearing underwear. He pulled out his cock and fisted the base, keeping his gaze locked on Dean the whole while.

"I thought," he thumbed the slit, and Dean watched a bead of pre-come gather and roll down Sam's shaft, to be stopped by Sam's finger, "that we might swap things around this time." Sam sucked the finger into his mouth, eyes narrowing as he tasted himself. He slid another finger in alongside it and coated them both liberally with saliva. He pulled them out and smothered the crown of his dick with the sticky, shiny saliva, and then turned his attention back to Dean. "How do you feel about that, Dean?"

Dean wet his lips and swallowed, trying to find his voice again. His gaze was caught by his brother's cock, red and shiny with spit, another bead of pre-come forming at the slit. "Yeah," he said at last, raising his eyes to meet Sam's gaze. "I feel pretty good about that."

"Good." Sam smirked and cupped Dean's cock again. "Then roll over."

 

**

 

Two days after the fucked-up hunt with Max Miller and his family, two weeks after Dean left Cassie behind for the second time in his life, and six months after Jessica's death, they had sex again.

Afterward, as Dean lay there, satiated and sweaty, Sam's back to him and the smell of spunk in the air, he wondered if they'd just made the biggest mistake of their lives. He’d always believed that part of Sam's bid for freedom in leaving for college was not just to escape Dad and the hunting life, but also to escape him and their relationship. Sam wanted normal. He wanted a real, normal future without a father who fought him every step of the way, without ghosts and demons and no fixed abode. Sam wanted a real relationship that wasn't creepy or unhealthy with someone who wasn't fucking related to him. Sam wanted out of all that. Of course he did. Who wouldn't?

"Stop freaking out." Dean jumped as Sam's voice broke the silence.

"I ain't freaking out," he blustered.

Sam sighed wearily and rolled onto his back. "Yeah, you are."

"Sam, I--"

"Shut up," Sam said, and his voice sounded indulgent under the weariness. "If I didn't want it, I wouldn't have done it, Dean. You know that."

Dean worked through what Sam had said, trying to look at it from his brother's point of view. He rolled his head on the pillow until he could see Sam's profile, edged grey in the dark room. In the old days, he would've touched Sam, cupped his face or nuzzled his throat, or put his hand on Sam's chest, just to make some point of contact between them. Now, though. Even after the sex Sam still felt distant from him.

He'd been through so much in the past six months. Not just Jess's death and the destruction of the real life and real future he'd always wanted, but now this crap with the nightmares and visions and freaking telekinesis. Sam was reeling and lost and so he'd fallen back on something that was familiar to him. And worst of all, Dean had let him do it. Dean was glad for it. That moment a couple of hours ago when Sam put his hand on his arm, curled his fingers tight around Dean's bicep and pulled him in, kissing him as hard and as passionately as he always used to, Dean felt like crying with happiness. He was so damn grateful for it. When they pulled apart, he saw the loss and sadness in Sam's eyes and he knew that he shouldn't have given in. But Sam backed him up against the dresser, kissed him again, sliding his hand into Dean's jeans, and Dean closed his eyes and stopped thinking.

He wished he could stop thinking now.

Dean cleared his throat, "So, it's just a coincidence that this happens now? After Max and everything?"

"Dean." Sam sounded even more tired, and Dean felt a pang of remorse. He knew that Sam hadn't been sleeping. One of the reasons he'd insisted on Dean not getting back into his own bed was because he thought he could sleep better with Dean closer, and yet here he was, making Sam think about things he should let damn well alone, for both their sakes. "Please, don't make this something we should feel bad about." The subtext was there: there's already enough shit to feel bad about...

"Sorry," he said at last. "It's just that after all these months. I thought."

"What did you think?" Sam said, and he sounded interested now.

Dean huffed. "I don't know, man. Just that... it's been six freaking months, and it never seemed like you were interested in starting all that shit up again. And I know before, you were a kid and a teenager, and now you're a grown-ass dude, so I thought... I don't know. I thought it was over. Done with."

"It's never gonna be done with," Sam said. His voice was low, sending a thrill through Dean that made his stomach duck and roll. "You and me. There's always gonna be a you and me, Dean. Hey, here." Dean started as he felt Sam move again, rising up on one elbow so he could look down at Dean. He put his hand on Dean's cheek and Dean felt the knots in his belly tighten, Sam's hand feeling so big and gentle against his face. "Look at me, man."

Obediently, Dean raised his gaze to meet Sam's. Sam's eyes were barely visible in the dark room, just the gleam of them and the reflection of the windows in his pupils.

"This was always gonna happen again," Sam said. "I've been thinking about it for months. I just felt that before... with Jess. It was too soon. But you almost died, Dean, and then there was Cassie, and I was happy for you, knowing that you had her while I had Jess. But I was so freaking worried that you might get back with her again and then..." He huffed out a laugh, shaking his head. "God, I was so jealous, thinking I might have to share you with her. I was going to do something then, but you were so affected by it that I felt bad to be flinging myself at you, just after you'd gone through all that shit with your ex again. And then there was Max."

Right, Max. Definitely something Dean didn't want to think about.

"Just... let's enjoy this, hey? You and me again. It'll be good. We gotta have something good, right? Something that’s for us."

Dean could see him biting his lip, his voice fading away into the dark room. "Yeah, okay, Sam," he said at last.

 

**

The thing was it was good. For months, it was good. Even with Dad being gone, and the Yellow-Eyed Demon, and knowing what Dad did just before he died. The one thing he could rely on, the one thing he came back to over and over again was Sam. He couldn't do this without Sam and he didn't want to. The day after they ganked the killer clown, they had sex in the back of the ancient station-wagon they’d borrowed from Bobby on a back country road. The car was pulled off the road, mostly on the wet grass and mud, and every so often headlights would hit the back window and the car would rock as a truck or a semi came past.

Sam raised his head from Dean's dick and pushed the hair out of his face, his eyes gleaming as they met Dean's, tears rolling down his cheeks. Dean didn't cry, just rested his hand gently on top of Sam's head and guided him back down again, sighing as he felt his cock bump against the back of Sam's throat. He carded his fingers through Sam's hair and after he came in his brother's mouth and watched Sam spit his come out through the open window, he gathered Sam up and kissed him, over and over again until their lips were sore and their jaws ached.

"It's just us now," Sam murmured, and Dean still didn't say anything, fingers clenched around his brother's jaw and mouth against his temple. Sam was all he had, and that was okay because Sam was all he really needed.

Which was why when Sam got infected with the Croatoan virus, Dean didn't go. Sam was his responsibility, and if Sam was going to die, then Dean would be right there with him. Either he'd save him or he'd follow him. There was no other choice.

And that was why three months later he made the deal.

"I don't want to live in a world that you're not in," he told Sam, and he meant every word.

Of course, Sammy was going to fight it. He expected that, and maybe even in a secret hidden part of his brain, he was counting on it too. Maybe there would be a third way, a way that meant he would survive and Sam wouldn't go evil and they would be together, working the job and saving people and killing monsters and doing what they were raised to do.

But a year later, they were at Bobby's place, trying to find a last minute miracle to rescue him from the hellfire. Dean was having waking nightmares about hellhounds while Bobby drowned his sorrows in liquor, and Sam was upstairs, alone in the room they'd always shared, with his heart snapped in two.

Dean pushed aside the book he'd not been reading and made his way upstairs, needing to be close to his brother. Sam was awake, lying on the bed with dry, red eyes and piles of dusty books around him. His gaze rested on Dean, heavy and aching, and his mouth twisted as he held out his hand.

"Close the door," he said.

Dean pushed the door shut behind him and walked toward Sam, letting Sam gather his hand in his own and tug him onto the bed. He fell heavily on top of Sam and buried his face in his brother's neck, breathing him in.

"This is the moment when I wish I stopped taking birth control," Sam said.

The words buzzed through Dean's head, and he raised his head and blinked at his brother, uncomprehending.

"I could be like a heroine in a book whose lover has died tragically, but she's still got an unborn child, who grows up to be the spitting image of the dead lover."

"I knew you secretly read chick lit," Dean said.

Sam snorted and smiled self-consciously. "I get the point now," he said. He cupped Dean's cheek, sliding his hand around the back of his head and into his hair. "'Cause there'd be something left of you, something more than just the car. Something real and human and something I could... love. Of course the sane part of me knows that it's totally fucking ridiculous, but I don't feel sane right now, and I wouldn't be even telling you this if we weren't... if we weren't, you know, if it wasn't now. But a kid that was half you and half me..." He broke off and laughed hollowly. "Yeah, fucking crazy, right? The poor bastard would be cursed and wanted by every demon out there. He’d be dead before his first birthday most likely."

"Sammy..."

"Don't say anything, Dean," he cut in, his voice sudden and sharp. He inhaled and leaned in until their foreheads touched.

Dean held his breath and curled his fingers around his brother's biceps, digging in hard enough to leave bruises and hoping that he would. At least then Sam would have a physical memento of him.

"Want to remember you like this and not like..." he sucked in another breath and exhaled it deeply. Then he drew back, blinking at Dean. "I'm gonna save you, okay? It'll be okay, Dean. I'll save you."

"Yeah, man, I know," said Dean and he nodded, forcing out a smile as he stared into Sam's shining, determined eyes. He cupped the back of Sam's neck and squeezed. "So, you coming downstairs? See if Bobby's chased up anything?"

Slowly Sam nodded, sighing as he drew away from Dean. "Yeah, okay. Let's go."

 

**

Dean's ass throbbed.

He stood in the shower and closed his eyes, savoring the sensation of the hot water pounding down upon him. His ass throbbed in time to the drumbeat in his head. He clenched and unclenched his fingers and wondered if Sam had wanted to punish him. If Sam had, then Dean had been a willing participant. And as punishments went... well, Dean wasn't complaining too much.

Dean didn't bottom often. It wasn't a preference thing; truthfully Dean liked sex any way he could get it. But most of the sex he'd had over the years was with Sam, and as Sam preferred to bottom, Dean did the obliging good brotherly thing and fucked Sam up the ass, just as he liked it.

Dean shifted to grab the soap, and grimaced. His ass felt squelchy as well as sore. It had been so freaking long since he'd bottomed, he'd forgotten about the embarrassing, uncomfortable and downright spoogey side of it. He'd forgotten how it felt to feel his brother's spunk and spit dribbling out of his asshole. Just spit, 'cause Sam hadn't used lube, and Dean hadn't asked him to.

He slid one finger gingerly between his ass cheeks and winced. He lifted it away and stared at his finger. The water washed away any remaining bodily fluids, but Dean kept staring, thinking vaguely of the pictures that you used to get in high school health classes with the cross-sections of male and female genitalia, inside and out. There was a separate section in the textbook that showed chimera genitalia, along with the few lines explaining chimera reproduction. He’d read up on it after Sam had gotten his diagnosis, furtively sneaking medical textbooks from a town library when he was supposed to be doing research for a job. He could still remember the plain anatomical sentences by heart.

Semen from a sexual chimera is sterile in 99.9% of cases, though there have been rare reports of sexual chimeras impregnating females. Most sexual chimeras will ovulate every 6-8 weeks with shorter fertile periods than females. Once released by the ovaries, eggs are deposited in the rectouterine pouch. When a sexual chimera engages in anal intercourse with a fertile male, sperm will be carried from the anus to the rectouterine pouch by rectouterine transporters. Fertilization takes place within the rectouterine pouch. The fertilized egg will then travel through the fallopian tubes to the uterus where it will implant in the uterine wall.

All of that had happened inside Sam, and not just this one time. But twice now. Twice his sperm had been transported to that special pouch and done the business with Sam's eggs. And now the egg - the fetus - was where it was supposed to be, implanted in Sam's uterus, alive and growing.

Not for much longer, he thought.

"Dean?"

Dean started as the bathroom door opened. He stepped out of the spray and peered around the curtain. Sam was standing in the doorway with his arms crossed.

“I’m heating soup. Do you want some?” Sam asked.

“What flavor?”

“Chicken.”

“Yeah, okay then. If that’s alright?”

Sam rolled his eyes. “It’s soup, Dean, hardly cordon bleu.”

“Well, yeah, but you don’t cook,” Dean said.

“Heating soup isn’t cooking,” Sam said.

Dean considered it and nodded. Sam was right. “Okay.” He ducked back behind the shower curtain and heard the door slam shut.

Dean padded down to the kitchen in his favorite robe and slippers when he was done. Sam was already sitting at the table with two steaming bowls of soup. He nodded to the one opposite. “Sit down, tuck in.”

To Dean’s surprise, Sam had also rumbled up buttered toast from somewhere, so he dug in with relish. Half way through his bowl, he noticed that Sam had barely touched his. He swallowed a mouthful of toast and nodded at Sam’s bowl. “You aren't eating?”

“Not hungry,” Sam said.

“Sam, c’mon, you gotta eat. Gotta keep your strength up.”

“I’m not doing the trials anymore, Dean, you don’t gotta worry about me.”

“I’m never gonna stop worrying about you.”

“Yeah, I know,” Sam said wearily. He pushed the barely touched bowl of soup aside and got up from the table.

Dean watched him cross to the sink where he filled a glass of water. He turned around, parking his ass against the worktop and made a face at Dean. “Everything I eat comes back up again.”

“Oh,” Dean said. He laid his spoon carefully against the side of bowl and blew out a breath. “Is that ‘cause of…”

"Yes,” Sam said.

Dean nodded to himself. “Right.” He ate a few more mouthfuls of soup, but Sam’s revelation and the reminder it brought had dulled his appetite. What was left of the soup had gone cold anyway. He placed his spoon neatly in the bowl and cleared his throat.

Sam’s head snapped his way, his gaze narrowing a little.

“So, uh, before…” Dean raised his eyebrows, waggled them, tried and failed to keep the smirk from crawling across his face. “That was hot. We should do it that way more often.”

“You’d be okay with that?” Sam said dubiously.

“’Course, man. You know me, I like it anyway I can get it.” He hesitated before adding, “Especially with you.” He could feel his cheeks redden and felt a momentary spark of embarrassment. But it was the truth, and if Sam was as smart about that shit as he was about everything else, then he knew it already.

“Dean,” Sam sighed, and uh-oh, that wasn’t a good sign.

“What?”

“I don’t want you to get the wrong impression.”

“What wrong impression?”

Sam crossed his arms and shrugged his enormous shoulders up and down. “You know. That things between us – they’re all fine and fixed. ‘Cause they’re not. And the sex… I wanted it, you wanted it, it was great…” here, Dean smirked, and Sam huffed out a breath, rolling his eyes, “but it’s not everything. It hasn’t suddenly made everything good between us.”

“Dude, I know that,” Dean protested. “Give me some fucking credit. But you came after me, remember? You started it, Sam.”

Sam pursed his lips. “I don’t think that argument works when you get past ten.”

Dean pushed his chair back, the legs screaming on the tile floor. He picked up his bowl and Sam’s barely touched one and carried them to the sink, elbowing Sam out the way. Sam shifted reluctantly, turning to rest his hip against the side as Dean filled the sink with hot water. Dean washed both bowls and spoons in silence, stacking them neatly on the draining board. He still got a kick out of doing this sort of humdrum shit in their own place, he couldn’t help it. It would probably get old soon, but they’d been here for over a year and he still enjoyed it. It was nice to have their own kitchen, to keep it nice and clean and sparkling, to be able to cook and serve real food.

“I can make you a sandwich,” he suggested.

He glanced at his brother’s profile, watching Sam’s mouth tug down at the corners as he made a face.

“Will that make you barf too?”

“Probably. But hey, consider the upside, I won’t have this problem in a couple of days,” Sam said.

Dean paused, hands wrist deep in the hot soapy water. He clenched and unclenched his fingers and turned his head to look at his brother. Slowly, as if feeling Dean’s gaze on him, Sam turned his head to look back at him. They stared at each other for what felt like a long time.

“There’s always time to change your mind,” Dean said quietly.

Sam shook his head. “No.”

Dean sighed and pulled his hands out of the water. He shook off the suds and reached for the cloth. He put his hand on Sam’s arm, expecting to feel his brother flinch under the contact, but Sam just stilled and glanced at him from under his eyelashes.

"What, Dean?"

“Just know that we’re in this together, okay?”

Nothing.

Dean swallowed and persisted, “Okay, man? Sam?”

He peered up into his brother’s face, to his gloomy brow and the hair falling into his eyes. “We’ve been through worse than this. We’ll get through it and we’ll be okay.” He licked his lips, feeling his heart thump in his chest and aware of the churning in his belly that had never really dissipated. “Sam?”

“Yeah, okay,” Sam said at last.

Dean breathed out and patted his brother’s arm a couple of times before reluctantly withdrawing his hand. “Okay. I’m gonna watch TV. You should come join me.”

“Maybe later,” Sam said.

Dean nodded, puffing out his cheeks as he turned to go and trying not to take Sam’s answer as a rejection.

 

Chapter Text

They didn't eat breakfast on Thursday. Sam wasn't allowed before the surgery and Dean wasn't hungry. The thought of food made him feel sick. Sam had been puking all morning; morning sickness or nerves, Dean didn't know and he didn't ask, and Sam didn't volunteer anything. He came out of the bathroom clutching a towel and looking like he'd had a bad taco.

"You okay?" Dean asked him.

Sam met his gaze. "Peachy. You ready to go?"

"I'll get the car started," Dean said.

They didn't talk on the ride to the hospital. Dean parked the car, turned off the engine and turned his head to look at his brother. "Sammy, there's still time, if you don't want to do this. You can always change your mind."

Sam turned his head and blinked at him. He shook his head. "No, I can't."

"Sam..."

"Don't!" Sam said sharply. The word came out of his lips like it was pushed out and Dean recoiled, as if he'd been punched.

Sam made a scratchy sound at the back of his throat and shook his head. "Just... don't. Stop saying that. Don't say anything. Don't say that, okay?" Dean kept staring, longing to touch him, to put an arm on him and pull him into his arms, to hold him and give him comfort and tell him it was going to be okay.

"Okay," Dean said at last. "I'm sorry."

"It's fine," Sam said, and his voice was back to the same flat tone he'd been using all week. He sucked in a breath and snapped off his seat belt. "Let's go."

Dean's leg jiggled as they waited to be seen. He kept seeing it, feeling his knee go up and down, up and down, but he couldn't stop it. He placed his hands palm side down on his knees and thought about breathing in and out. That was what you were supposed to do when you were nervous, breathe in and out, get all zen and that kinda shit. Beside him, Sam had his arms folded, his gaze absent as he stared at the wall in front of them.

Dean cleared his throat and the muscle at Sam's jaw tensed just a little.

"I'm not going anywhere," Dean said. "While you're in there. I'll be out here. And I'll be here when they bring you out."

"I'll be unconscious," Sam said.

"So I'll be there when you wake up."

"They might not let you in straight away."

"Soon as they do, I'll be there."

Sam sighed and turned his head fully to look at him. He had that look in his eyes that Dean had seen so many times before, that mixture of annoyance and exasperation.

"Dean," he started, and Dean's heart sank. "Just don't, okay? Stop smothering me."

He turned his head back to face the wall and Dean dropped his gaze to his lap, to his leg that was still jiggling up and down.

"Stop it," Sam said, and Dean jumped as Sam's hand landed on his knee, stilling his trembling leg. "You're making me nervous."

"Sorry," Dean murmured.

Sam shrugged with one shoulder. "It's okay."

His hand was still resting on Dean's knee, it felt warm and heavy and it was the first real touching they'd done since the sex two nights ago. Hell, he wasn't even sure if he could count that. Even he couldn't delude himself into thinking that had been anything more than a quick and easy way to get off and burn off tension. And even if he had been able to fool himself into thinking that maybe it was a first step toward some sort of reconciliation, Sam had set him straight afterward.

But here Sam was, actually touching him and looking like he was getting some measure of reassurance from the touching. He stared at his brother's hand, at the bruises on the backs of his knuckles from their last hunt, at the dark hairs peeking from under the cuff of his jacket.

"Sammy," he said. Sam didn't say anything, so he took it as his cue to continue. "You gotta know that I'm with you, right? I know you might not give a shit what I think and I know I can't change your mind anyway, but I'm with you, and I think you're doing the right thing."

"Do you?"

"Yeah, yeah, I do."

"Good. 'Cause I'm not so sure." He turned his head then, meeting Dean's eyes for a fraction of a second.

Dean wet his lips, caught by the lost and confused look on his brother's face.

"Sam Winchester?"

They both started at the voice, gazes swinging to the nurse who had just entered the room carrying a file. Her eyes alighted on them and she gave a thin smile. "Sam Winchester?"

Sam got up from his seat and nodded. "Yeah, that's me."

"Okay, we're ready for you, if you'd like to follow me?"

Dean got up from his seat. Sam turned, hesitating for a second, his eyes crossing with Dean's. "I'll be here," Dean insisted. "I'm not leaving this place until they let me see you. Okay?"

Sam's lip quirked, an expression flitting over his face that looked like his my brother's such a pain in the ass look, but it was the nearest thing to fond he'd gotten in a long while, so Dean stepped forward and dropped his hand to rest on Sam's arm.

"You hear me? I'll be here, so just ask for me. Okay? I'll be here when you wake up."

Slowly Sam nodded. "Okay."

Dean let his hand fall to his side and nodded to himself, biting his lip as he watched Sam follow the nurse out of the waiting room.

 

**

"He's waking up again," said Bobby.

Dean jerked away from the panic room door, spinning to see Bobby leaning over Sam. Sam was still strapped to the cot, neat leather loops around his ankles and clamps around his wrists. He moaned something incoherent and Dean saw his feet twitch as he tried to move his legs.

"Dean," Bobby said.

Reluctantly, Dean drew closer, eyes skating but not resting on his brother's face - the pale sickly tinge of his skin, the unnatural red color of his mouth and teeth where the blood he'd drunk had left a stain. He watched Sam wake up, eyelids fluttering as his gaze slowly focused and finally rested on Dean.

"Dean? What? What's going on?" he said. His voice was shot, croaky and unnatural-sounding to Dean's ears. Dean exchanged a glance with Bobby. The old dude's expression was unreadable, arms folded across his chest and posture wary.

"It's for your own good, son," Bobby said when Dean didn't answer. "We're drying you out."

"What?"

"We already had this conversation, Sam," Dean put in, feeling suddenly overwhelmed with exasperation and lethargy. This was the third time Sam had come around, the third time they'd been there to talk to him, to remind him where he was and what he was doing. But the cold turkey was fucking with his mind like nothing else, and the last time Dean stood here, Sam thought he was a hallucination.

"I'll make some coffee," Bobby said, patting Dean's shoulder as he drew away.

Dean nodded, watching him go. The panic room door slid closed behind him with a thundering jolt.

"Dean?"

Dean returned his attention to Sam. Tears were rolling down Sam's face, over his cheeks and temples and staining the dirty pillowcase underneath him.

"I'm sorry," Sam said. His face was scrunched up, his mouth wobbly, eyes wet and red with tears. Dean felt something hook deep in his chest, clawing at his insides, his heart physically breaking as he stared at his brother.

A week ago, they were passing through Atlantic City when they won big at one of the card tables. They'd never gotten that lucky before so they celebrated by checking into a fancy hotel and upgrading themselves for once in their lives. Sam threw him on the huge bed and fucked him long and deep. It wasn't the usual way they did it, but it was the kind of change and the kind of experience that made Dean believe for a short while that maybe they'd make it after all. Maybe all that was wrong between them - Sam's powers and fucking Ruby and the fucking angels and the horrible unfathomable distance that seemed to have crept into their relationship - were all things that they could work through, all just blips and roadblocks on the highway of inevitability that was them. When they swapped positions and Dean pushed inside his brother as he'd done hundreds of times before, he felt the kind of rightness sink over him that he only ever felt with Sam, and he thought that yes, they could do it, they would make it. Nothing else was as important as this.

He was wrong.

"Dean, please..." Sam begged.

Dean passed his hand over his face, unable to keep looking at his brother. He wanted to bury his head in his hands, curl in on himself so he couldn't hear Sam anymore. Just hide away from all the goddamn responsibility, he was so tired of responsibility. It wasn't enough that he had to save Sam, now he was expected to save the entire world. It wasn't fair. It was someone else's turn.

Maybe Sam was right, he was weak.

He heard the leather bonds creak as Sam tried to fight them. He heard Sam's breath come tight and hitched like he was choking. He forced himself to look at his brother's face.

"Sammy, we gotta do it, please, man," he said. "It's for your own good. You gotta dry out, get off the fucking demon blood. It'll be okay after that. I promise. You don't need that shit."

"Dean...I know, I get it, I just..." His gaze slipped away from Dean's face and down his body, down to his crotch where his cock was fat and full in his pants.

Dean sucked in a breath of surprise and stared at his brother. Sam's mouth twisted as if embarrassed and he squirmed again, fighting the restraints on his wrists.

"It hurts," he hissed. "Fuck, Dean, please..."

Dean hesitated, looking between his brother's face and the erection tenting his jeans. He licked his lips, assessing just how long Bobby would be away making coffee. "Okay," he said, deciding quickly.

He unbuttoned Sam's fly, hearing Sam's exhale of relief when he finally got his hand around Sam's cock. It felt like a brand in his hand, hotter and harder than he could ever remember feeling it before, and he'd seen Sam's dick in practically every possible manifestation there was.

He jacked Sam's cock roughly, his hand chafing against the skin as he worked his wrist. Sam didn't seem to care. His eyes were squeezed tight shut, breath coming in harsh, tight pants, teeth caught in his lower lip. Every few seconds he muttered Dean's name through clenched teeth, hissed breaths of Dean and please... that sounded nothing like the Sam Dean knew. This wasn't Sam enjoying himself, getting his rocks off and about to come; this was Sam in pain, and he applied himself harder, willing Sam's orgasm out of his body.

It felt like a long time before Sam finally did come, his entire body spasming and jerking as far as the restraints would let him, fingers scrabbling in the mattress. Sam's spunk looked thinner and weaker than Dean remembered and it smelt funky, a bizarre almost iron tang to it. Dean sat on the edge of the cot and stared at his come-smeared fingers, smelling the strange, unfamiliar scent of his brother's spunk. Maybe he was imagining it, maybe his exhausted brain was playing tricks on him, seeing and smelling things that weren't there.

"Dean?" Sam said. He still looked embarrassed, even guilty when Dean glanced down at his face.

Dean didn't say anything. He tucked Sam's cock back into his pants and zipped his fly, careful and gentle in his movements. He got up and crossed the room to the pile of rags in the corner. They'd used them hours earlier to clean up the blood when Sam had bashed his head against the wall before they'd managed to tie him down. He wiped Sam's come off his hands and dropped the rag to the floor.

He didn't know how much longer he could keep this up.

 

**

 

"That guy was a chimera," Sam said.

"Huh? Which guy?" Dean paused with a forkful of pie hovering between his mouth and his plate.

"The guy who was role-playing as me, Barnes," Sam said. "He was a chimera, too."

"That's some serious commitment to detail," Dean commented, spraying crumbs across the table.

Sam made a face at him, ostentatiously brushing the crumbs that landed on his side back toward Dean.

"Chuck didn't have to make the Sam in the books a chimera. He could've, I don't know, taken some artistic license."

Dean put down his fork and raised his eyebrows at his brother. "Dude, what're you trying to say here?"

"I don't know! I just wondered why he decided to keep that in."

"Well, 'cause the books are about you and me, right? The freaking Winchester Gospels?" Here Sam nodded, so Dean continued. "Right. So, he's just writing what he knows about us. And you're a chimera in real life, so you're a chimera in the books."

"But he doesn't write about everything," Sam said, leaning across the table and folding his arms on the Formica as he stared at Dean. "He leaves out all the stuff about you and me."

Dean snorted. "Yeah, 'cause he knows he's got zero chance of being published if he leaves that shit in." He considered it for a moment and shrugged. "Hey, that Becky chick, maybe we should tell her that. Might stop her drooling over you."

Sam rolled his eyes and slumped back in the booth. "It'll be all over the internet in two seconds so let's not do that."

He made a face. "Yikes, good point." He picked at his pie, but he'd lost the taste for it. Sam's words were lingering. He still didn't know exactly what Sam was driving at, but it was a good guess that it wasn't something good. He should probably change the subject, but after the weekend they'd just spent, his brain still felt like it was trying to catch up.

"So," he said. Sam jerked his head toward him, and Dean cleared his throat. "Why is it bothering you? That the Sam in the books is a chimera?"

"It doesn't bother me," Sam said, and yeah... Dean wasn't sure that he was buying that.

"Is it the internet stuff?" he said, raising his eyebrows.

"The what?"

"All that crap on the internet written by those fans, who let's face it, are way overinvested in our relationship, where you're popping out kids here, there and every freakin' where, and I'm the baby-daddy and we're, like, playing happy families with our eleven kids. It's totally fucked-up, but it's just fiction, dude. It ain't real."

Sam didn't say anything for a moment, an expression flashing over his face that Dean couldn't read. Then he sighed, pursing his lips and dragging his hand through his hair.

"It isn’t that, it isn’t anything. I'm just tired, is all."

"Sure," said Dean, unconvinced.

Sam got up from the table. "Gonna pay," he said.

Dean slumped back in the booth and watched him amble across the restaurant to the register. That hunt was seriously weird, and it had fucked up his head in ways he hadn't yet processed. But at least one good thing had come of it: the demon called Crowley, the latest owner of the Colt. He had to admit that Becky had been useful for one thing, even if her panting over Sam had shredded his every last nerve.

Speaking of... He cast a long, lingering eye over his brother, watching him hand over the cash with his enormous hands. God, he loved Sam's hands. He allowed his gaze to roam over Sam, appreciating him from a distance as he rarely allowed himself to do. Sam was just Sam, he was dorky and had stupid hair and dressed in those old stupid flannel shirts and despite all that, probably because of all that, Dean wanted him. He wanted to be close to him and touch him and have him smile at him in that stupid dorky way, he wanted to reassure him and look out for him and he wanted to fuck him.

He'd long ago stopped freaking out about that last part. Now, his relationship with Sam was just another part of their lives, just like the car was his best girl, or just like burgers were his favorite food. Sam, his brother, was the person he most liked to fuck. It just was.

It hadn't always been like that. Before that day on the couch with Raiders on in the background, the idea of being with Sam like that hadn't even crossed his mind. Of course it hadn't, Sam was his little brother and he'd never once thought about tongue kissing his little brother, Jesus no. But when Sam leaned over and planted one on him, he didn't hesitate, it was almost as if a part of his brain had gone, Yes, of course, this is what happens next.

He watched Sam walk back toward him, tucking the receipt into his wallet and then stuffing his wallet into the back pocket of his jeans. He paused by the table and leaned over to grab his jacket off the bench seat.

"Hey," Dean said, catching his wrist.

Sam started and looked at him, a little surprised. "What?"

"How long was it, Sammy?"

"How long what?" He looked confused, a knot appearing between his eyebrows.

Dean cleared his throat. He suddenly wondered what he was doing, bringing this up now. But the weekend, the books, Sam's obvious discomfort with the chimera thing being in the books, and the huge fucking omission from the books had gotten him thinking. And now that it was in his head he couldn't stop thinking about it.

"That first time, you and me, on the couch, watching Raiders. Do you remember?"

Sam blushed and tugged his arm out of Dean's grasp. Dean uncurled his fingers reluctantly but kept his eyes locked on Sam's face. Sam's cheeks were red and he looked flustered. It was awesome.

"Sam," he said.

Sam slung his jacket over one arm. "Why you asking me this now?" he demanded, his voice slightly too high.

"I don't know, just thinking about it."

"We should go," Sam said. He turned to leave. Dean gathered his own jacket and slid out of the booth, following Sam out of the restaurant. Sam crossed the parking lot quickly and waited by the car, still looking uncomfortable. Dean deliberately took his time to follow, sauntering toward him with the keys hooked over one finger.

"Don't you remember?" he asked. He folded his arms on the roof of the car and stared at Sam's profile.

Sam huffed and turned to look at him over the roof of the car. Dean raised his eyebrows. "Sam?"

"Course I remember," Sam said.

"Oh, good. Thought you might've forgotten for a minute there."

"Hardly," Sam scoffed.

"Guess it was kinda a pivotal moment," Dean said, putting a leering emphasis on the words.

Sam rolled his eyes at him. "You can't make the word pivotal into a come-on."

"Who says?"

"Unlock the car, Dean."

Dean shrugged but he drew away to unlock the car. He got inside and leaned over to flick the lock on the passenger door. Sam got in and tossed his coat onto the backseat.

"Hey," Dean said, putting his hand on Sam's shoulder as he turned to face frontward again. "Sam." He put his hand on Sam's knee and squeezed.

Sam turned his head to look at him slowly. This close Dean could see the awkward flush in his brother's cheeks and smell the scent of his skin - that diner scent of deep fried food and coffee, mixed with rain and Sam's cologne. He leaned in, pressed his mouth and nose to Sam's cheek to breathe him in, feeling the stubble tickle his top lip.

"How long, Sammy?" he murmured, the words reverberating into Sam's skin. "How long did you want me before that night? Was it a long time?"

He felt Sam's breath hitch. He could feel the way Sam swallowed, and he held himself tight waiting for it. "Thought we weren't supposed to talk about fight club," Sam said.

Dean laughed, not moving away but turning his face so his mouth rested over the angular bone of Sam's jaw. He opened his mouth, overwhelmed with the sudden urge to bite his brother right there, to leave a mark on him that he could stare at any time he wanted. He'd left hickeys on Sam before and it had always thrilled him to see them there on his brother's skin, badges of honor and proof of the two of them. He loved watching them fade over days. He loved how Sam would poke and prod at them in the mirror when he shaved or brushed his teeth. He loved how Sam would flush and get that gorgeous pout on his face if he caught Dean watching him and call him a Neanderthal.

"Shit, Dean, not here," Sam hissed.

Dean chuckled but he did draw away, bringing Sam's face into focus. "How long?" he said again. "Just humor me here, man. How long?"

For a moment he thought Sam wasn't going to answer, but then Sam shook his head and said, "I don't know, a long time."

"Before you found out you were a chimera?"

"Yes," Sam said.

"Oh," he nodded to himself.

"You gonna tell me why you're asking this now?" Sam said. "After all this time, why's it matter?"

He shrugged and pursed his lips. "I don't know, just crossed my mind. You talking about being a chimera in the books, all this crap about destinies."

"You think it was the destiny thing? You think that's why we're--" Sam made a jerky movement with his hand-- "like we are?"

"I have no freakin' idea," Dean said with a sigh. "But maybe, I don't know. You ever think about it? About us? About why we're like this?"

"Honestly?"

"Yeah, honestly," Dean said.

"Honestly... I try not to," Sam said. "It's not like I got any explanation for it."

"But you'd like to have," Dean said.

Sam sighed. "Dean..."

"Yeah, yeah. I get the message. Officially shutting up right now." He made the zip-it sign across his mouth and grinned at his brother.

Sam shook his head, but he was trying not to smile so that was all good.

"So, the Colt, huh?" Dean said.

"Yeah, never thought we'd see that again."

"Yeah," Dean agreed. He pulled on his seatbelt, put his hands on the wheel and cut a look at his brother. Sam was staring out the passenger side window, his face in profile to Dean's. "Sam?"

Sam turned his head. "What?"

"For the record, I'm glad that we're... like we are." He could feel his cheeks heating up, the knots in his belly tightening as Sam kept looking back at him. He thought suddenly of the djinn years earlier, of the wish he'd made that Mom had lived, that universe where Mom was alive but Dad was still dead and he and Sam hardly spoke. He kept looking at Sam, and as Sam's mouth twisted a little, a slight self-deprecating look to it, he just knew that his brother was thinking about the same thing.

"I'm glad too," said Sam.

 

**

"Dean."

Dean swallowed, kept his face pressed to the curve of Lisa's shoulder, his mouth closed against her throat.

"Dean, hey, baby. It's okay."

He felt her hand move over his head, fingers carding through his hair. Her hand was small, and when she touched his cock it looked strange. Her nails were neat and shiny instead of ragged and broken, her fingers were small and dainty instead of long and thin and calloused. When his dick was inside her, he felt like he was breaking her. She was small and perfect and everything he wasn't used to.

Her fingers scratched through his hair, and moved down to cradle his neck. She squeezed gently, and he took in another long breath and held it in his lungs, feeling his face burn with shame and embarrassment.

He'd had a couple of drinks, sure, but that never used to get in the way. Drinking all night in a bar, stumbling home with Sam's arm around him to keep him upright, falling into bed and watching the ceiling spin, wondering if he was going to barf. Then Sam's face hovering above him, with that wicked smirk as he pinged open Dean's fly and took out his cock like he was unwrapping a present.

"Hey, I guess someone ain't so drunk after all." Sam's voice was slurred with booze, but he was laughing and horny and talking dirty like he never did when he was sober. Dean's cock was growing in Sam's fist and Sam purred in appreciation. "You gonna fuck me with this big fat cock? Mmm, it's so fuckin' big, Dean, and you know it, don't you? Know how fuckin' huge you are, this gorgeous fat cock. You gonna give it to me hard and fast, big brother? Or are you too drunk?"

Of course he wasn't too drunk, especially when Sam started talking like that. He reared off the mattress, spun them, flopped on top of Sam, who was laughing, face turned into the pillow. He pushed up Sam's wrinkled shirts, placed his hand on Sam's stomach and felt the muscles jump under his palm as Sam laughed.

"You bet I'm gonna fuck you," he said. "I'm gonna fuck you so fuckin' hard, you won't be able to sit down tomorrow."

"Dean, c'mon. It's okay."

He pushed out the breath and raised his head. The room was dark, just a dagger of light spilling across the floor and the bed where the curtains didn't quite meet. He'd prefer it if there were no light at all.

"Hey, there," she said. She put her hand on his cheek and turned his face so their eyes met. He stared into her face, ready to see the disappointment in her eyes, but there was just sympathy. Always sympathy.

He wet his lips, forced the words out of his throat. "I'm sorry."

"It's okay."

"No, no. I'm sorry. I thought..." He stopped. He didn't know what he was saying. The words swam just out of reach, and he didn't know how to find them. He wasn't even sure what he wanted to say to her, except I'm sorry and she was probably fed up of hearing that. It's not you, it's me. Equally trite and useless. But true, and she was smart enough to know it.

He climbed off her and flopped down onto the mattress beside her. It was cold. He lay on his back, let the cold seep into his skin as he watched her get up from the bed, picking up her sleep shorts and tank top from the floor. She sat on the edge of the bed with her back to him and pulled the tank over her head. He could see the side of her breast, small and high, the nipple perked from the cold room. She stood to pull up the shorts and he stared at the perfect pert cheeks of her ass. She was beautiful and desirable and he wanted her, except...

She climbed back into bed, gave him a brief smile as she reached to pull the comforter over them both. He grabbed her hand, and gave it a squeeze. "I'm sorry," he said again. "I'm just gonna..." He didn't finish the sentence. She knew what he was doing anyway.

He dropped her hand and pushed the covers aside. He reached for his sweat pants and t-shirt. He wasn't tired, he couldn't lay there beside her and fall asleep. He wanted a drink.

He could feel her eyes follow him as he padded softly out of the room, and this time he knew that if he did turn around to look at her, he'd see disappointment instead of sympathy. So he didn't turn around.

 

**

 

"Dean?"

Dean jumped at the hand on his shoulder. He blinked his eyes open and stared at the nurse leaning over him.

"You're Dean Winchester, aren't you?"

"Yeah. Yes, I'm Dean."

"I thought so." She made a show of looking around the waiting room. The sole other occupant was a middle-aged woman reading a book, who glanced at them disinterestedly before returning to her book.

"Right," he nodded and gave her a faint smile. "Is it Sam? Is he okay?"

"Oh yes, yes, dear. He's awake. I came out here to tell you that you can visit with him if you'd like. He was asking for you."

"Was he?" He felt the smile slide into a grin. He glanced at the clock. "It's 7pm."

"It is," she said.

"What happened? That seemed like a long time. Was it a long time? Is it normal? We got here at eight."

She smiled reassuringly. "I'm sure the doctor must have explained that it's a complicated and lengthy procedure for men. The surgery takes three or four hours and we like to leave the patients to sleep for several hours afterward before we let visitors come by. But he's been awake a while and is asking for you if you'd like to see him."

"Yeah, yes please."

"Just come this way then."

He got to his feet and followed her through the double doors to a corridor of rooms. She opened one that already had a plastic card with SAM WINCHESTER written on it in the door slot. The nurse opened the door and ushered him inside. Sam was lying on the bed, propped up by about five pillows, looking pale and tired, his hair even more of an assrag mess than usual. He blinked at Dean as he stepped into the room.

"I'll leave you now," said the nurse.

"Okay, thank you," Dean said.

He kept his eyes on Sam as he grabbed one of the beige plastic chairs and brought it up to the bed. He sank down into the chair and cleared his throat.

"Hey, Sammy. So, uh, long time no see."

Sam's mouth quirked tiredly.

"How you feeling?"

Sam licked his lips. "What time is it?"

"Just after seven. Took a long fucking time."

"Did it?"

"Yeah, man. So, you... it's done, right?" He worried his lip, eyes dragging down Sam's body, over his chest down to his abdomen, hidden by the blanket.

Sam didn't say anything for a second then he exhaled and nodded. "Yeah."

"Did they, uh, did they tell you what they did with it?"

"No. And I didn't ask."

Dean raised his eyes to his brother's face. That tight closed-down expression was there again. He thought about reaching over and taking Sam's hand, but the one nearest to him still had a drip stuck into the back of it where they must've sedated him, and he could already picture Sam pulling away from him, not wanting the contact.

"Does it hurt?"

Silently Sam nodded.

"Do you want me to ask for some more drugs? I'm sure they'd give you some if you said you were in pain."

"No. It's fine. Not like I can't handle a little pain." He gave Dean an ironic look. Dean smiled faintly and nodded to himself.

"Right, yeah. Guess this is small change for us."

"Guess it is," Sam said.

They sat in silence for another few long seconds, and then Sam turned his head and looked at him. "You should probably get back to the Bunker and get some rest. You look like shit."

"I look like shit?" Dean raised an eyebrow.

"Yeah you do. And you don't have the excuse of surgery."

Dean snorted. "Nice." But he was trying to push back the smile because this kind of stupid banter meant that Sam was acting more like his usual smart-ass self.

"They said they'd talk to me in the morning about---" he waved a hand -- "checking everything's okay."

"Can I be there?"

"I don't know. Can I stop you from being there?"

"Do you want to?"

"I don't know, Dean. Visiting's after two. Come by then."

"Okay." He got to his feet. It had only been a few minutes but he knew when it was his cue to depart and he knew that look on his brother's face. Sam wanted to be alone and he, well, there were things he had to think about too. He pushed the chair away from the bed and turned, hesitating. "They'll let you go afterward?"

"They should."

"I'll bring some clean clothes. And food. Bet the food in here's for shit."

"Probably."

"Okay." He nodded again. "Right, well, night, Sam."

"Night, Dean."

He strode out of there, pausing by the nurses desk to give the nurse a wave on his way out. In the car, he curled his fingers around the steering wheel and squeezed tight.

It was over. It was gone. Their little mistake. Just one in a long, long line of fuck-ups, and it was gone. He rubbed his hand over his face, blinking. His eyes felt dry and gritty and he wondered if he should cry about it. About what could've been. Perhaps in some alternate universe, they'd let this little mistake live. Perhaps in some alternate universe the other mistake, the one that had taken place fourteen years earlier, had lived too. He could almost picture it unfolding like an alternative future. He'd seen alternative futures, he knew how they could work, how you could just take one little thing and make a different choice and there you were: a different person.

Maybe a wish then. He could wish that Sam hadn’t gone to college, that he’d stayed and by some miracle that baby had lived. Would they have told Dad? Probably not - he would've tried to kill Dean, if he'd known. Better that they just tell Dad it was some random guy, a one-night stand. Explain that Sam had been on medication so the birth control didn't work. Would Dad have insisted on an abortion? Dean didn't know. He didn't think Dad was a pro-lifer, but this fetus would've been one of them, a Winchester, and Dad's feelings about family were nonnegotiable. So Sam would've kept the baby and he would have never gone to Stanford. It would suck not to be acknowledged as the father, but he'd still be the uncle. Cool Uncle Dean, he could live with that. The kid would be thirteen now. He'd be handsome of course, and tall. And smart, so fucking smart. He'd be a great shot like him and a natural with a knife, just like Sammy. He'd be the best of them. And with this baby, well, he'd have a little brother, too. The four of them would be a real family.

He blinked, forcing the pictures away. It was a false life. It wasn't real. The kid wouldn't be the best of them at all. Inbred, he said to himself, feeling the word shudder and slither around his brain, unnatural, wrong , deformed, monstrous. And its gene pool would be a mess. Even if nothing was wrong with that kid then what it was carrying, what could come out in the next generation... all kinds of fucked up carnival show shit. He'd caught it once on the laptop browser history, a wiki page about inbreeding and genetics. His stomach had flipped over and he'd closed down the page before he'd had chance to absorb the first sentence. Even if Dean didn't know much about that stuff, then Sam did for sure. It was why he'd always been so careful with his birth control, terrified of being forced to confront the grubby reality of what they did together.

Not careful enough, he thought, lip curling in self-disgust.

Two pregnancies, when many chimeras struggled to become pregnant once, or at least that was what the prevailing wisdom was. And Sam had done it twice, both times accidents and both times with him. Fate really did like to fuck with them.

Or maybe it wasn't fate. Maybe it was something else, some higher up messing with Sam's fertility. When the angels discovered Adam, they didn't hesitate to use him in their war. A baby with both their genes and blood would be a gift to everyone - angels and demons and every shade of supernatural monster - a baby that could be anyone's vessel. So, maybe there really was something deeper at work here, something more than just stupid dumb chance.

He swallowed and looked up, making himself look at his reflection in the driver's mirror. He set his teeth and grimaced at himself. Sam had made the right choice. It was better this way.

He started the engine and pulled out of the parking lot.

**

 

"I'm ovulating," said Sam.

Dean jerked his head up from the computer screen and blinked at his brother. Sam was standing in the bathroom door, naked except for some really freaking tight boxer briefs and holding a disposable thermometer in his hand. If Dean didn't know there was something seriously wrong with his brother, he would know it now. Sammy with a soul never wore underwear that tight fitting.

He cleared his throat, deciding to take the bait. "Uh, what?"

Sam flicked a look his way. His expression was sour, as if he was disgusted with everything around him, including Dean. Since he'd promised Dean that he would stop pretending to be Sammy, this expression had been getting more and more frequent. At least it was better than the terrifying blank-faced look he'd sometimes get, the look that seemed to shout that there was nobody at home, that he really was just an empty, soulless vessel. Dean hated seeing that look on his brother's face.

Sam raised the thermometer. "Temperature's up, I'm experiencing abdominal cramps, and I have been feeling an increased sensation of sexual arousal."

"But you... aren't you taking birth control?"

Sam gave him a pitying look. "I'm not putting that crap in my body. All those fake hormones will slow you down and dull your reactions."

"Sam always seemed to manage," Dean said.

Sam snorted, "I tolerated it, Dean. For your sake."

Dean swallowed and reached for the plastic tumbler of whiskey on the nightstand. "You - he- never said anything."

"Of course I wouldn't say anything," Sam said dismissively. "I was in love with you."

Dean's stomach flipped at those words, a deep curl of pain hooking into his insides and tugging tight. He half closed his eyes as he took a long swig from the glass. He could hear Sam moving around and he forced himself to open his eyes, to look up and look at him, at not-Sam, at that gaping hole of a person - a thing ¬- that was pretending to be his brother.

Sam was watching him thoughtfully and Dean flinched under the blatant scrutiny. "What?"

"You want to fuck?" Sam said.

"What? No!"

Sam tilted his head to one side. "That's a shame." He sauntered across the room, tossing the thermometer in the trash as he made his way to the duffle sitting on his bed. He rooted around in it, putting his back to Dean. Dean stared at him, feeling the buzz of warm arousal begin to stir in his belly. He wasn't Sam, he wasn't Dean's little brother, but he looked like Sam, and that was just... it was really fucking confusing. Especially for Dean's dick, which after all these fucking years was programmed to respond to that ass and those long, long legs, and those perfect tight abs and pecs, and the stupid hair and the fucking ridiculous expressions he got on his face, and just that way... Slowly Sam turned around and eyed him again, except this time... Yeah, that was what Dean remembered, that look, the one with the dark, hooded eyes and flushed cheeks and parted lips. The look that meant they were about to be tearing each other's clothes off in five seconds.

The look vanished as soon as it had come, and Sam was watching him speculatively again.

"You sure you don't wanna fuck?"

Dean forced himself to look away. When he spoke, he was proud of how sure his voice sounded. "I'm sure."

"Suit yourself." Sam shrugged and pulled out a clean pair of jeans. He stepped into them, turning to look at Dean again. "You know, it would be very convenient. I wouldn't have to go out and find someone else. I'd make it good for you, Dean. I remember what you like."

Dean cringed, tightening his grip on the edge of his laptop. He reached for the plastic tumbler of whiskey on the nightstand and took a long swig. "I told you, I ain't interested."

"You used to be," Sam said. He tugged a v-necked sweater over his head.

And that was another thing. His Sam would never go for such douchebag wear, even if he was trying to get laid. Not that Sam used to go out and try to get laid that often, not unless they'd fought about something . Hell, even then they usually made up over sex. But if Sam did ever go out trawling for sex then he wouldn't get all primped up for it. He might make the effort to change his underwear or put on clean jeans and a clean shirt, but he wouldn't look like that.

"I used to be a lot of things," he said darkly. "You used to be my brother."

"I'm still your brother," Sam said, using that reasonable, superior tone of voice that was seriously fucking grating. Dean clenched his teeth and drained the rest of the whiskey. He reached for the bottle again.

He refilled his glass and watched Sam shrug on his jacket and pick up the car keys. He thought about asking Sam not to drive his baby, because enough was enough. It was bad enough to have this robotic fake version of his brother riding around in his body. It was even worse to think of him using his baby. But he was too damn tired and he couldn't deal with the complaints.

"Well, I was going to say don't wait up, but I guess you'll probably be passed out by the time I get back," Sam said.

Dean raised his glass in a mock toast and bared his teeth at his brother.

Sam clicked his teeth and gave Dean a dismissive look. "Right."

"Right," Dean murmured to himself. He watched Sam gather up his phone and tuck a knife into the inside pocket of his coat. "So, you got protection?"

Sam gave him a long, disbelieving look. "That's what the knife's for, Dean."

"No, not that. Protection, you know..." Dean jerked his head at Sam. "You said you were--" he gestured with his hand, some of the whiskey spilling over the edge of the glass, "--like, ovulating." He made a face at the word. "Don't want Sammy to come back and discover you've knocked him up with some barfly's bastard."

Sam grimaced. "Right. Well, that's what these are for." He slid a packet of condoms out of his jacket pocket and waved them at Dean. "I know how to be safe. After all, you don't know what you might catch when you pick up a loser in a bar." He gave Dean a pointed look that wasn't lost on Dean. Not that he'd picked up anyone in a bar for a long while. After everything that went down with Lisa, and having Sam's psychotic doppelganger right here and knowing that Sam's soul was still Lucifer's chewtoy, he didn't really feel in the mood for casual sex.

"See you later, Dean," Sam said, as he walked out.

Dean listened to him walk along the porch and down to the parking lot. A moment later, he heard the distinctive roar of the Impala.

"Yeah, fuck you," Dean said to the silent room, and he raised his glass in another toast.

 

**

He didn't drive back to the bunker. Instead he stopped by a convenience store, bought a six-pack, and drove out to Lombards Ridge. They'd discovered the spot not long after they first set up shop in the bunker and marked it as a great place to stargaze. Not that they'd done much stargazing in the last year. In fact, Dean couldn't remember the last time they'd taken some time out to drink a few beers and watch the stars. Maybe in those few months after Death returned Sam's soul, just before Cas destroyed his wall and decided he wanted to play at being God. Those had been a good few months, despite the monsters and Eve and their not-mourned Grandpa Campbell and all that shit with Castiel and Crowley teaming up. After Cas raised the Leviathans, there hadn't been much time for anything except getting those bastards. And then he went to purgatory and Sam hooked up with that vet, and well, that had brought them to the fuckfest they were in now.

Still, though, for a short few months it was good. Almost like it used to be back when they were kids, or in those few months before Dad died when they were hunting together.

He leaned against the hood, feeling the warmth from the engine seep through his jeans and warm his skin. He stared into the dark sky, counting the stars and trying to make out the constellations. Sam was much better at that than him.

 

 

"I'll give you a handjob if you can tell me what that is up there," Sam said, tilting the neck of his bottle at a cluster of stars.

Dean rolled his head against the windscreen and squinted at his brother. "How about you just do it anyway."

"Then you wouldn't learn anything," Sam said with a devious tilt to his lips. He took a swig on his beer and Dean watched the roll and bob of his throat as he swallowed. His dick fattened in his pants and he reached to adjust himself.

"Who says I gotta learn something?"

"I do," said Sam, turning to smirk at him.

Dean stuck his tongue out at him. "You suck."

"Why don't you guess, Dean?"

"Fuck, I don't know. The plow?"

"Wrong."

"The bear?"

"Nope."

Dean sighed and knocked his foot against Sam's. "Dude, just tell me."

Sam transferred his beer to his left hand and took another long pull. Dean listened to the smack of his lips and kept staring up into the sky.

"Milky Way?"

"That's a galaxy, Dean."

Sam dropped his hand to Dean's thigh and Dean groaned, let his thighs fall further apart, sinking down a little to give his brother space. Sam's hand slid up Dean's thigh and skirted his dick.

"You're such a freakin' tease," Dean grumbled.

"Mmm, and you love it," Sam said. He flicked open the buttons of Dean's fly with one hand and cupped his dick through his boxers. "Try again."

"Something Greek?"

Sam snorted and slid his hand under the waistband of Dean's boxers.

Dean groaned and half-closed his eyes when he felt Sam's fingers fist around the base of his dick. "Dude, don't..."

"Neglect the balls," Sam filled in. "Yeah, I know." His fingers skated over Dean's balls and Dean groaned out loud, spreading his thighs further until his knee knocked against Sam's.

"Best damn advice I ever gave you," Dean huffed out.

Sam chuckled and rolled Dean's balls with his talented, oh-so-talented fingers, or at least rolled them as much as he could with Dean's jeans still on. "Keep guessing, Dean," he said.

"Libra, Capricorn, Taurus..."

"Now you're just naming star signs."

"I figure one of 'em's gotta be right." He moaned again as Sam's thumb brushed over the head of his cock. "Fuck, Sam."

"Keep talking," Sam said.

"Aquarius, Scorpio, Sagittarius..."

"Bingo."

Dean's eyes flew open, he jerked his head to look at Sam. Sam was smirking back at him; looking very pleased with himself. "Sagittarius?" Dean said.

"Uh-huh," Sam nodded. He leaned in, until their mouths were barely inches apart. "Good boy, Dean." He licked his lips and his gaze fell to Dean's mouth. Dean felt his cock pulse in Sam's hand.

"You gonna finish me, Sammy?"

Sam licked his lips again, slow and deliberate, like the ginormatrom sized tease he was. "Thought I might let you fuck me over the hood instead," he said.

 

 

Dean opened his eyes and finished his beer. He tossed the bottle into a patch of bushes. If Sam were here, he'd bitch at him for littering, but Sam wasn't here, Sam was still in the hospital because he'd had a fucking abortion. Dean twisted the cap on his last bottle of beer. He stroked his thumb over the ridge of the neck and thought about Sam bent over the hood of the car with his pants around his ankles and his legs spread. That was a good memory. He rested the lip of the bottle against his mouth and thought about Sam watching him over his shoulder, eyes meeting Dean's, hooded and hot.

Outdoor sex. He huffed out a laugh and tilted his bottle again for another drink. Sam had always enjoyed outdoor sex, the kinky bitch. Maybe that was what they needed to do. When Sam recovered enough they should pack up the car with picnic shit and a huge blanket and drive out to the middle of nowhere and fuck under the stars.

He finished his bottle and tapped it against his thigh. There was no Sagittarius in the sky tonight, but he could make out Orion and Sirius, the dogstar, and was that the Bear? He frowned. He couldn't tell, could never see the patterns Sam always got so easily.

He slid off the car, landing with a jolt that rocked all the way through his body. He was feeling a little buzzed and it was - he squinted at his watch - 3am. There was no point going back to the bunker now, and honestly, he didn't want to be there anyway, not without Sam. He'd sleep it off in the car for a couple of hours, and get to the hospital early.

He threw his last bottle into the same clump of bushes and got into the backseat, pushing aside all the old newspapers, shoes, clothes and fast food wrappers to make enough space. He turned the radio on low, and crawled inside.

"I've found a reason to keep living; Oh, and the reason dear is you..."

He snorted drunkenly, fucking radio fucking with him, being all ironic and shit. He closed his eyes and stopped listening to the words, letting the soft sounds of the guitars and harmonies lull him into sleep.

Chapter Text

Sam hears Dean's voice before he sees him. He's using that wheedling, flirty tone he uses on law enforcement when he’s trying to talk them around to letting him have his own way. He can't make out what Dean's saying and he figures that if Dean does manage to get past whichever nurse is in charge right now, then he'll open his eyes, and see just why Dean's gotten here so damn early. For the moment, he's really tired and everything hurts, so he's going to keep his eyes closed and keep wishing he could go back to sleep.

"Hey, Sam."

Sam opens his eyes. The sun's behind Dean so Sam can't make out the expression on his face very well, but he knows he's looking pleased with himself. Bucking authority or circumventing the rules or just generally getting his own way always makes Dean look pleased with himself.

"They let me in to see you for five minutes," Dean says. "How you doing, man?"

Sam shrugs, then regrets it. It hurts. Everything hurts. It makes no sense because the operation was only supposed to be in one area, and yet everything hurts.

Dean sits down, his face coming into focus, and Sam sees that Dean doesn't look good. He also doesn't smell so good, and he's wearing the same clothes as yesterday.

"Jesus, did you sleep in the car?" His voice sounds a little scratchy and his mouth is as dry as dust.

Dean looks sheepish. He passes his hand over his chin. "Uh, yeah, actually. Didn't want to go back."

The "without you" is left unsaid, but they both know it's there. Dean and his inability to be alone, Dean and his debilitating dependency issues. Sam knows it all, he doesn't know why he expected anything different.

"Can you pass the water?"

"Oh, yeah, yeah," Dean says, jerking to his feet and moving to pour the water. He plonks a straw inside the plastic glass and holds it out to Sam. "Got you a straw. Don't want you dribbling."

Sam gives him an unimpressed look and Dean smirks, equanimity back once he can tease Sam again. Sam takes a long sip of the water. It's blissful. He half-closes his eyes and opens them again. Dean's watching him closely, and when their eyes meet, Dean smiles, sheepish once more.

"Look, sorry for rocking up here early and annoying everyone. Just, couldn't sleep, you know? Wanted to make sure you were okay."

"They won't let me go until the afternoon," Sam says. "They said that last night. I have to have a scan and check-up, make sure everything's all put back in place and stitched up right."

"Of course, that's good," Dean says.

"So you may as well go home. Get changed, have a shower." He puts an emphasis on the last few words. "And bring me some clean clothes."

"Oh right, yeah, yeah. Forgot about that. Sorry." Dean makes a face, and Sam feels the absurd urge to laugh. He takes another sip of his water instead and looks at his brother pointedly over the rim of the glass. "You mean now?" Dean says.

Sam lowers the glass. "Yeah. There's no point waiting around. Get cleaned up. Please."

"Ungrateful bitch," Dean mutters, and this time Sam does laugh, except... ouch, not good. The pain creaks through his abdomen, stealing his breath. Instantly, Dean's leaning over him, concern on his face and one hand on his shoulder. It feels kinda nice, so Sam doesn't shake him off. "You okay?" Dean says.

Sam sucks in a breath and nods at him. Seriously, he's fine. This is chicken shit compared to some of the torture he's gone through. It's not even in the same library, never mind on the same page as some of Lucifer's favorite pastimes. Dean slides his hand up Sam's shoulder to hold the side of his face, fingers tangling in the ends of his hair. It still feels nice, it feels like how Dean used to touch him when they were kids, and despite everything, that's still comforting.

"I'll be back in a few hours," Dean says.

One of the nursing techs arrives about an hour after Dean leaves to take him down to imaging. She introduces herself as Nora and talks to him as she helps him into the wheelchair. Whatever he was given is wearing off and his abdomen hurts with rhythmical deep throbs that feel like being punched in the gut over and over again.

"Well, you're a big one," she exclaims as he leans on her shoulder.

He gives her a weak smile of acknowledgement. He does feel huge next to her. Her head barely makes it to his chest. She must be about five one or five two at the most. His legs are too long for the chair, the thin hospital gown too short for him, and his knees poke out. He looks completely ridiculous; Dean would have a field day if he could see him right now.

She wheels him to the imaging room. It's busy so she parks him by a couple of chairs and takes a seat next to him. "I'll wait with you, honey," she says.

"Thanks," he says.

"Your partner's very charming," she says with a bright smile, and Sam resists the urge to snort. "He was so determined to see you this morning."

"Dean can be very persuasive," he says.

"It's nice," she says. "To be so devoted. I felt bad for him, he was really worried about you."

"Yes, well, I'm fine. I told him that."

"Of course, honey," she says soothingly.

He glances down at his lap. His fingers have tensed into a fist without him realizing it. He exhales a long breath and unclenches them.

"You make a very handsome couple," she continues. "Have you been together a long time? I hope you don't mind me asking."

He can't remember what they said about his and Dean's relationship, though it's evidently a safe assumption that they didn't go with the brothers thing. So many people have assumed that he and Dean were a couple over the years that most of the time they don't bother correcting them. Besides, he guesses that it's kind of the truth. Or at least, it used to be.

"Sixteen years," he says automatically.

She's probably counting back, trying to figure out how old he was when he and Dean got together, so he continues. "We were in high school." It's true for him, though not for Dean. Dean had dropped out a couple of years before then. He can still remember that first time so clearly, hear the theme music from Raiders of the Lost Ark, smell the popcorn in the air, and remember how Dean had tasted: beer and popcorn and garlic from the pizza. Even now, the smell of popcorn makes him hard.

"Oh," she says. She makes a face, it's a little self-conscious, maybe even self-deprecating. "My first husband was my high school sweetheart. I remember how that is."

"Your first?" he prompts.

"Yes. We were together five years before he decided he wanted to be elsewhere. Still, I wouldn't trade that time for anything. My eldest son is from that marriage." She gives him a soft smile. "He's a chimera, too."

"Oh," Sam says. "And he's... he's okay with it?"

She shrugs with an expression that is a little wistful. "I hope so. He's seventeen, so he doesn't say much about it. He wants to go to college. He's so smart, and I'm not just saying that because I'm his mother. He likes astronomy, stars and planets and space, all that kind of stuff. He wants to study that."

"It's a fascinating subject, just thinking about what's up there," Sam says. He gives a self-conscious shrug when he notices her looking at him.

"Yes," she says, "it is."

They smile at each other, and Sam feels overwhelmed for a second because she's not judging him. She's not judging him for being a chimera, or having a boyfriend, or even for this - for the (say it, Sam, you went through with it so you can say it) for the abortion. She's not judging him because he's nothing special here. He's just one unlucky chimera among many, just another statistic, just another patient. She probably sees dozens of guys like him every year going through the same thing. She's not surprised by it, she's not judgmental. She's nice and kind, and for some stupid reason, mainly because this sort of human kindness and acceptance is so far from the kind of world he and Dean live in, he didn't expect it and he's not sure how to deal with it.

I'm not special here, he thinks, and it's such a huge relief, it's such a monumentally wonderful thing that he kind of wants to cry. He wants to take her hand and say thank you for thinking Dean's my high school sweetheart, thank you for not seeing everything underneath - the corruption and lies and incest - thank you for being so fucking nice about everything.

The exam room door opens, and a teenage guy walks out, eyes downcast and expression troubled. Sam tears his gaze away from him and looks at Nora.

"I guess that means it's my turn."

"It is," she says. She gets to her feet and wheels him into the room.

The scan is relatively quick and painless. The tech doesn't say much when it's done, just tells him that the results will be passed to Dr Abelard who performed the surgery and he'll be by to see Sam later that afternoon.

Nora returns to wheel Sam back to his room and helps him get settled in bed.

"It will get better soon," she says with a bright smile before she leaves him.

He's not sure what she's talking about, but the certainty in her voice makes him feel better.

Dr Abelard stops by a couple of hours later. He pulls up a chair by Sam's bed and opens Sam's file.

"So, the scans look good," he says. He glances up at Sam. "Sore?"

Sam nods. "Yeah."

"That's completely normal. If it gets really bad, I can up your dosage a little."

"It's fine, I can handle it," Sam says.

The doctor nods. "Okay, well, just let one of the nurses know if it does exceed your pain tolerance. We'll be sending you home with Percocet of course, but the pain should go down in a few days. I noticed you already have a few scars..." He raises his eyebrows.

"Yeah, we're quite outdoorsy. Me and my partner, we like extreme sports, hunting and uh, paragliding, that sort of thing," he says.

"Right," the doctor says, though he doesn't look convinced. He doesn't say anything else thank God. "Okay then, let's take a look at the scar."

Sam braces himself as the doctor gets to his feet and leans over to push up Sam's gown, exposing his junk to the cold room. The doctor peels aside the dressing carefully and frowns as he surveys his handiwork.

Sam glances down at himself. The new scar looks sore, red and surprisingly long. It's in the same position as a female c-section scar, a few inches below his belly button. The last time with the miscarriage the scar was above his belly button and was not so neat. He can remembering telling Dean he got it in a bar fight when Dean noticed, and when Dean scoffed, "You? In a bar fight?" he explained about the job he had tending bar at a roadside dive where he did indeed break up bar fights as part of his job. In the end, he only worked there three weeks. Jess insisted he quit, saying she was worried about him getting hurt. When Jess asked about the c-section scar, he made up a story about emergency chimera surgery, which was close enough to the truth not to make him feel bad about lying to her again. At least he won't have to lie about where he got the new scar.

"Well, that looks fine," the doctor says, replacing the dressing. "One of the nurses will redress you before you're checked out, but you should be okay to go without dressings after a couple of days. We'll send you home with some supplies. Do you have someone who can help you with the redressing at home?"

Sam nods. "Yeah, my partner can do it."

"Good." The doctor sits back down and opens Sam's file again.

"Is it... does it look...okay?" Sam asks.

The doctor glances at him, and nods. "Yes. I think it's all satisfactory."

"So, it's gone," he says, and he's not sure if it's a question or a statement.

"Yes," the doctor says.

Sam inhales sharply. He swallows over the lump in his throat before he says, "Was it... could you tell what it was?"

The doctor looks at him for what feels like a long time. "Do you really want to know that, Sam?"

"Yes, yes I do."

"At ten weeks, it's hard to tell without a full pathology report, but my best guess is that it was male. Babies born of chimeras are male in 90% of cases."

"Yes, I know that. And was there..." he pauses, trying to fish for the right words. "Was there anything wrong? With... it?"

"There was nothing wrong with the fetus for its stage of development. There is no reason, medically speaking, why you couldn't get pregnant again. If that was something you wanted.”

Sam hesitates before speaking again, pushing the words out slowly. “And if it was something that I didn’t want? Didn’t ever want. What about a more permanent solution than birth control pills?”

“For sexual chimeras, you know that this means a full hysterectomy. Tying the fallopian tubes isn’t usually an option.”

“I know that.”

The doctor nods slowly. “It’s a big decision, Sam.”

“I know.”

“Of course you do,” he adds smoothly. “But it’s not something I generally recommend. Birth control—“

“Has failed twice,” Sam interrupts. He swallows, glances down at his fingers knotted in his lap. When he looks up again, his expression is set. “I can’t go through this again, doctor. And I can’t—I can’t have a baby. It’s not an option.”

The doctor looks at him then nods slowly. “Okay. Of course many sexual chimeras do elect to have hysterectomies because they’re uncomfortable with their sexuality—“

“I’m not uncomfortable with my sexuality, I never have been,” Sam insists. “I just can’t have a baby.”

“Okay, but please think about it. I have some literature for you to take away with you. This is a major surgical procedure and like all major surgery, it carries risks. The recovery time can take months. We provide an excellent counseling service here of course, which can support you through the procedure.”

“I don’t need to see a counselor,” Sam says.

The doctor sighs and stands. He hesitates by the door, tucking Sam's file under his arm. “You should take some time to think about it, to talk about it with your partner. Once it’s done, it can’t be reversed.”

Sam nods to himself, bowing his head again. When he raises it once more, the doctor is watching him. “Thank you,” Sam says, clearing his throat.

"You're welcome."

**

He's actually kind of relieved when Dean shows up again, this time toting a duffle with a clean change of clothes. Dean helps him out of the bed and into sweat pants and a baggy t-shirt. He guesses he has to give his brother credit for picking clothes that weren't going to be difficult to put on or weren't going to rub.

Dean exhales when he sees the dressing and lifts frightened eyes to him. "Jesus, Sam, is that..."

"It's where they went in," Sam says.

“Can I look?”

Sam nods shortly and sucks in his stomach as Dean gently peels the dressing away. Sam’s stomach muscles flutter under his brother’s scrutiny and he’s starting to feel really self-conscious. It’s just a future scar, one of many that cover his body. It’s not even the first C-section scar he’s had.

“Dean,” he prompts.

Dean seems to shake awake and finally he puts the dressing back, gently smoothing down the edges. He lets the t-shirt fall back in place.

"Lisa had a c-section scar," he says. "It's how she had Ben. She told me that she didn't want to, she wanted to have him naturally, but it'd been going on thirty six hours. You couldn't tell, not when she was wearing panties."

"Well, I'm not gonna wear panties."

"Shame.”

"Shut up," Sam says. He catches Dean’s eye and Dean smiles faintly at him, looking freaked but amused. “We both know that’s your thing, Dean.”

The smile broadens, and Sam feels a weight lift off his chest as Dean pats his arm and reaches for the sweatpants. He drops to his knees to help Sam step into the sweatpants, and tilts his head back to look up at him, and it's having an effect on his stupid cock. Despite the aches and pains and hospital atmosphere, it's having an effect, because Dean's on his knees in front of him, and he was just talking about wearing panties, and Sam's stupid dick is hard-wired to his brother and all the stupid crap Dean comes out with.

"Dude," Dean says as he gets to his feet, pulling the sweatpants up as he does. His knuckles graze over Sam's half-hard cock deliberately, and Sam shudders, his cock twitching. "Save it till we get home."

Sam just sighs, and Dean chuckles, the expression brightening his face for one short, sharp moment. He looks tired and he hasn't bothered shaving and Sam can still smell the alcohol fumes, but thank the lord, he’s changed clothes and showered.

"You need help with these?" Dean takes Sam's running shoes and socks out of the duffle and waggles them at him.

"Yes, please," he says, because he's not ready to do any kind of bending over just yet, whatever his hopeful and stupid dick might think.

Dean gets to his knees again and Sam stares at the top of his head, at his damp hair, at his broad shoulders filling out one of his favorite flannel shirts, at the tip of his nose and the dark spidery spread of his lashes. He drops his hand to the top of Dean's head and feels Dean still, his fingers pausing on Sam's laces. He hears Dean's breath hitch and watches him tip his head back to look up at him.

Dean's eyes are very wide and very green as he stares up into Sam's face. Sam feels his throat tighten again, because goddammit, he loves him. He loves him to a stupid degree, and it's always been the problem, because Dean is Dean, and he's infuriating and suffocating and damaged, and he's broken Sam in so many ways because he can't let go, and Sam is so fucking angry with him for it. He's not going to forgive him, not this time, not for the angel and Kevin, he can't forgive him for that, but he loves him, and he can't just choose to stop loving him because Dean's a damaged, fucked-up human-being. He'd like to, because it might be the only way they'll ever survive each other, but he can't. In that respect, he's just as fucked-up and damaged as Dean. But at least... at least now with what he just did, and at least with what he plans to do, he knows that only the two of them will suffer. Too many innocents have died around them; Sam refuses to ever bring another person into their mess.

His hand slides around to cup Dean's cheek. He watches Dean close his eyes, shuddering as he exhales, his breath warm against the edge of Sam's hand.

He watches Dean's lips trace his name, the two syllables, not spoken aloud, but Sam knows how his name looks on his brother's lips. He pats Dean's cheek and removes his hand.

"You ready to go?" he says.

Dean clears his throat and opens his eyes. "Fuck, yeah."

 

**

"Sam, is there anyone we can call?"

Sam blinks his eyes open and stares at the kindly face of the woman leaning over him.

He keeps staring at her and she smiles awkwardly and pats his arm. "Do you know what happened? Did the doctor explain it to you?"

He swallows; his throat feels sore and dry. He'd kill for a glass of water. He feels hazy and insubstantial and he's aware that his stomach hurts. He can remember that part clearly. His stomach was hurting all day, all through class and then his shift at the hardware store. He felt sick and the pain was just too much, even for him to handle, and so he called a cab and went straight to the hospital. He thought it was appendicitis, but there was a part of him that knew that it wasn’t.

"I had a miscarriage," he says at last. His voice comes out croaky and dry, and he licks his lips. "Are you a nurse? Could I get some water?"

"I'm not a nurse," she says, "but I can definitely get you a glass of water."

She disappears and he takes the moment to look around. He's still in hospital. The curtains are drawn around his bed for privacy. He has a nightstand with a small cupboard, it's one of those portable metal ones and the top of it is depressingly bare. Then again, no one knows he's here, so he'd hardly expect flowers or a card. He hopes his clothes are in the cupboard. There's a chair by the bed and he wonders if the woman was sitting there while he was asleep.

He pushes the cover aside and peers down at himself. He's in a hospital gown and his stomach aches. He remembers being taken into the exam room, the doctor putting his hand on his stomach, his eyebrows narrowing together as he scanned the form Sam had filled in.

"You're a sexual chimera?" he asked, and Sam nodded, gritting his teeth through the pain.

"Are you pregnant?" the doctor asked.

"No, no, of course not.”

The doctor kept looking at him, grim-faced. "Might you be pregnant?"

Sam blinked at him, opened and closed his mouth. "No, I can't, I take birth control, I..."

"When was the last time you were sexually active?"

Dean, he thought, just before I left...

"About six or seven weeks ago I think," he said.

The doctor sighed through his teeth, a hissing sound that reverberated up and down Sam's spine. "We need to run some tests immediately."

He pulls the covers back over his stomach and stares at the shapes on the thin pink curtains. He sees the woman’s shadow through the curtain before she whips it aside and enters, holding a jug of water and a glass. She places them on the nightstand and goes back to pull the curtains back into place.

She pours a glass and his mouth waters at the sound. She holds it out to him. "Can you hold it? Would you like a straw?"

He shakes his head because he can manage fine. He plans to be out of here just as soon as she leaves. He doesn't know how long the fake insurance card Dean had given him before he left is going to hold out.

She doesn't leave, though, she just takes a seat and watches him drink. He puts down the glass when he's done and she smiles at him again, an understanding sympathetic sort of smile.

"Sam, I'm Wanda, the hospital's chimerism counselor," she says.

Of course, he should've known. He holds the glass tight and nods to himself. "Right."

"You came here by yourself on Tuesday night," she starts to say.

He interrupts, "What day is it today?"

"Thursday," she says.

Shit. That's five classes, one shift at the store. Stan's going to be bitching him out for missing work and not calling.

"You're a Stanford student?" she says.

"Yes."

"Do you have the name of your advisor? I could call them and let them know why you've missed school, if you'd like?"

"No, it's fine. Thank you."

She folds her hands in her lap and fixes him with a look. "Look, Sam, Dr Kendrick explained to me that you thought it was appendicitis when you were brought in and that you didn't know you were pregnant."

He doesn't say anything, waiting for her to continue.

"It's not an unusual situation. I’ve had patients who have gone to full term and delivered babies, not realizing that they’re pregnant. Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about chimera physiology.” Another soothing, understanding smile, and she leans forward. “I can arrange for you to speak to someone about what you’ve been through.”

“A therapist,” Sam says blankly. “You think I should see a therapist.”

“I’d like for you to have the option if you want to. What you’ve just been through… it can be overwhelming. Stanford has a great counseling service. Many of the counselors there are personal friends and they have great experience with sexual chimeras. I could arrange a referral for you.”

“No thanks,” Sam says. She opens her mouth to speak again, but this time he doesn’t let her, interrupting, “When can I check myself out?”

She looks a little taken aback by the abruptness but she recovers smoothly. “The doctor will want to see you again before you leave. But if everything’s fine then there’s no reason for you to stay.”

“Good. Thanks,” he says. “And thanks for talking to me. I’ll think about what you said.”

She doesn’t look convinced but she does leave at last. Sam collapses into the pillows and closes his eyes. He slides his hand under the covers, and spreads his fingers over his tender abdomen. There was a baby in there – no, not a baby, not yet, a fetus – but there was something real and alive, something that he and Dean created together.

What would he have done if it had lived? He’d have figured it out eventually and then what? Would he have gone through with a termination without telling Dean? If Dean knew then he’d want to keep it. He’d want to be a part of it, but what about Dad and hunting? And what about him and his life? He’d be dragged back into the family business with a baby in tow.

No, this is probably the best outcome all round. This way he doesn’t have to tell Dean, and Dean doesn’t get to mourn something that didn’t even exist. Dean doesn’t get to be sad and he won’t feel guilty for breaking his brother’s heart all over again. He can keep this secret. It’s for Dean’s own good anyway, he’d just want to come out here and beat himself up about it and figure out some way of taking the blame, and Sam can’t deal with that. He can’t deal with Dean’s guilt on top of all this…

He unclenches his hand, spreads his fingers over his abdomen and opens his eyes. That card he used had a fake name, they don’t know who he is, except for him being a Stanford student. He can leave right now if he can get out of bed.

He pushes the covers aside and winces as he slowly slides his legs off the edge of the bed. He pauses for a moment, letting the shiver of pain rock through him, then he gingerly steps onto the floor. He crouches down and opens the nightstand and breathes a sigh of relief when he sees his clothes.

 

**

"Hey, I made some beef stew," Dean says. He looks slightly embarrassed, running his hand through his hair and not meeting Sam's eyes. "It's nutritious."

Sam chokes back a laugh. "Nutritious?"

"Yeah, that's what the website said. I put vegetables in it."

Sam fixes him with a look. "What kind of vegetables?"

"I don't know, man. Like potatoes and carrots and spinach and um, eggplant."

"Eggplant? You cooked with eggplant? Do you even know what an eggplant is, Dean?"

"Course I know," Dean says, looking offended. "They're big and purple and I put them in the stew for you. 'Cause you like that kinda crap."

"I like eggplants?" Sam says.

"Yeah, sure you do. C'mon, have a bowl. It's delicious."

"Yeah, okay. Can't be that bad."

"Dude, I told you, it's fucking awesome.”

He leaves as Sam gets out of bed and puts on his robe and slippers. He's been back three days and he's feeling much better. The pain's gone down and the incision doesn't look infected. He still feels weak and kinda useless and Dean's being ridiculous about not letting him out of bed. Yesterday Sam threw a book at him because the nurse act was wearing seriously thin. Dean seemed to have gotten the message though, as he's been keeping to himself all day today so far. Evidently that was because he was working on his stew.

He pads down the draughty corridor, pulling the robe closer around him and feeling about seventy years old. Dean's singing lustily to himself in the kitchen, his back to Sam as he does something over the stove. Sam hovers in the doorway listening to his brother and smiling when he recognizes the lyrics.

Danny knew this white trash girl, we each threw in a ten
She took us to this cheap motel, and turned us into men...
Blood on blood, one on one...

"Dude, are you singing Bon Jovi?" Sam says.

Dean spins around and flushes. He licks his lips and flounders for a second before answering, "Yeah, so?"

Sam shrugs and grins delightedly to himself. "Nothing. Carry on. You sound great, Dean."

Dean scowls at him. "Shut up."

Sam laughs, and ouch... yeah, that's not got much better. Immediately, Dean's expression flashes to the typical concerned look and he makes an aborted move forward before Sam motions him away.

"I'm okay, seriously. What about this stew then?"

He lowers himself down onto one of the kitchen chairs and waits for Dean to ladle him a bowlful of his gourmet masterpiece. There are crusty rolls on the table that still feel warm and Sam briefly wonders if Dean has taken the nurturer thing too far and gone and baked his own bread. He spreads butter on a roll and takes a bite. He's actually really hungry and he savors the bready-buttery taste as Dean plonks the bowl of stew down in front of him with a flourish.

"Go on, tuck in," Dean says.

Dean's eyes are wide and enthusiastic and he's making that five year old face, so Sam sighs and gives in. He can definitely see recognizable vegetables among the gravy and lumps of meat, so he spears a carrot and takes a bite. It's... it's actually okay. In fact, he swallows the carrot and goes for one of the lumps of meat, it's really tasty.

"See? See?" Dean says, grinning and looking ridiculously smug. "Good, right? I did tell you."

"Yeah, it's incredible, Dean, it's the best thing I've ever put in my mouth," he says.

Dean raises his eyebrows. "Well, I wouldn't go that far." He leers at Sam, and Sam rolls his eyes.

He doesn't really know where they're at now with their sex life. Their relationship's still screwed up but Dean's really trying. He's not going to change, Sam knows that. Dean's still fundamentally the same person who said all he wanted was to keep his family together all those years ago in Chicago the night Dad showed. And Sam's still the same person who didn't want that, who wanted to get out and get back to what he thought of as his normal life at Stanford. He knows now how naive he was back then and just how much of a lie that normal life had been, but it still didn’t stop him from trying to create something real and different and unrelated to hunting when he thought Dean was gone. He still wants to get out, and he still wants Dean to get out, but he recognizes that both of those things are a work in progress.

The one good thing he can say about where they are now is that he has no illusions anymore. He knows all the horrible bad shit Dean has done – has done to him – and still, he hasn’t left. He’s thought about it plenty. In those first weeks after he found out about Gadreel and Kevin he had a duffle packed, intending to go at any moment. And yet, he didn’t. He procrastinated and delayed and made excuses about hunts and angel and demon wars, and still he didn’t leave. He told Dean he wasn’t his brother, he told Dean they were only going to be hunting partners, but still he didn’t leave. Instead of doing the right and healthy thing, when Dean looked at him that way, like his misery and his debilitating inability to be on his own was Sam’s fault, Sam reacted by slamming him against the wall and grabbing his cock. That really didn’t help the “we’re only going to be hunting partners from now on” thing. And then he ended up pregnant, so yes, that really was some fucked-up fallout.

He doesn’t know what happens next, but just the fact that he’s planning to go through with a full hysterectomy makes him think that there’s some real part of him that wants to keep having sex with Dean. Therefore, logically speaking, that must mean that he’s equally unprepared to leave Dean.

The thing is Sam knows that Dean can be on his own; he survived well enough when Sam was at Stanford and they didn’t talk for two years. But Dad was alive then, and that’s the difference. Dad is family and Sam is family and Dean needs family. He’s tried replacement families, Lisa and Ben, or Benny, his so-called vampire “brother”, but all those experiments ended disastrously, and Sam knows that they would never have even gotten off the ground if the two of them hadn’t been dimensionally separated. Sam knows that Dean could manage with them apart if he knew Sam were alive and happy, he’s said so at least twice in the past, but death is not an option for him. Dean would just keep figuring out a way to bring him back. Dean’s never going to be cured of his pathological need to take care of his family.

He watches Dean fetch his own bowl of stew and take the seat opposite. He picks up a spoon and hesitates, feeling Sam looking at him.

“What?” He gestures at Sam’s bowl. “Eat your stew.”

Sam puts his spoon down and folds his hands under his chin, regarding his brother closely.

“Oh God, what now?” Dean groans.

“We should talk,” Sam says.

Dean makes a face. “Really? How about we don’t do that.”

“Dean…”

“No, Sam.” Dean says and he puts down his own spoon and jabs his finger on the table. “No, ‘cause I know what you’re gonna say. You want to leave or you want me to leave or you want us to stop being brothers, or whatever the hell we are, and I don’t want to hear it. I can’t hear it right now. I’m sorry about…” he waves a hand, “you know. I’m sorry you had to go through that, and if you like then we’ll stop. For good. No more sex, no more fucking or hand-jobs or blow-jobs, whatever. The best way to avoid getting knocked-up is abstinence, right?”

“Dean, shut up.” Dean’s mouth falls closed and Sam shakes his head. “I don’t want that.”

“But you said about us not being brothers anymore?”

“Yeah, and I meant that at the time. But the sex – I still want that.”

“So, you want to fuck me, but you don’t want to be related to me?”

“I don’t know,” he says. “I don’t blame you for the abortion, Dean.” He doesn’t miss Dean’s flinch at that word, but he ignores it, clearing his throat before he continues, “It was just one of those things. And it’s over now.”

“But you still don’t want to be brothers,” Dean says. “So what does that make us then? Hunting partners with benefits?” His tone’s gotten belligerent. No, not belligerent, defensive. He’s hurt and upset and he’s doing what Dean does when he’s hurt and upset which is lashing out.

“No, we’re more than that, you know that,” he says wearily. He lowers his gaze to his stew. He’s not feeling hungry now and it’s a shame because the stew was really good.

Dean goes quiet. He’s not eating either. Finally, Sam raises his head. “I’m going to have a hysterectomy,” he says.

Dean’s mouth falls open in shock, he looks numb. “Dude that’s some change of subject.”

Sam shrugs. “I guess.”

“Are you serious?”

“Yes.”

Dean pushes out a breath and shakes his head. “No, c’mon, you don’t have to do that.”

“Yeah, I do.”

“But if they remove all of that stuff then you won’t be a chimera anymore. And I know you’ve always been a little…” he pauses, searching for the word, “unenthusiastic about it, but Sam, c’mon, think about this.”

“I have been thinking about it. And you’re wrong; I’m still going to be a chimera. That’s never going to change. You wouldn’t tell a woman who had a hysterectomy that she wasn’t a woman anymore, would you?”

Dean open and closes his mouth. “No, but…”

“But exactly, Dean! It’s who I am. And I’m cool with that. But I can’t go through this again. I can’t have a baby, you know that, and you know the reasons why not.”

Dean says nothing for a while, and Sam keeps staring over his brother’s shoulder, not meeting his gaze.

“Sam. Sammy,” Dean says.

Sam cringes inwardly at the nickname, but he slowly brings his gaze to rest on Dean’s face. Dean’s using that pleading expression, his eyes wide and guileless. “Don’t do this.”

“You don’t get to tell me what to do with my body. Not after what you did,” Sam says, feeling his teeth grind together.

Dean flinches, his face pales as his mouth twists in pain. “Yeah, okay,” he says, and his voice sounds scratchy. “But just think about it, please. You said that you want a future, away from hunting, you want a real life. And, Sam, if we do close the gates of hell, if we figure out what’s going on in Heaven and Cas wins, then you could have that. You could get out and you could have that happy ever after. I get that you don’t want to have kids with me, and I’m okay with that, you’re right about it being fucking stupid. But if you do this to yourself, then it’s permanent. You can’t ever have your own kids.”

“I know,” Sam says quietly. “And I’m okay with that. And Dean…” he flicks a look at his brother, a stone settling in his gut at the distraught look on Dean’s face, “with you or not with you, it makes no difference. The baby would still be a Winchester, which means it would be cursed, and I can’t live with that responsibility. I can’t do that that to an innocent kid. So, yeah, I’m going to have that operation. There’s nothing you can say to change my mind.”

Dean turns his head and Sam can see the glint of tears in his brother’s eyes. He watches Dean stumble to his feet, chair falling with a crash as he strides out of the room.

Sam keeps sitting at the kitchen table, bowl of stew getting cold in front of him. Eventually, he gets to his feet and starts to clear the table.

 

**

He doesn’t sleep. The pain’s back because he hasn’t taken anything in five hours. His abdomen is doing that dull throb thing again. He pulls up his t-shirt and puts his hand gingerly over his belly, his fingers skimming the dressing that’s still covering his scar. It will be okay, it will just be like going back to the days before he knew he was a chimera. He was fine then, he was happy enough. Nothing’s really going to change, except he won’t have to take birth control anymore, which is a good thing he guesses.

“Sam?”

He snatches his hand away and hastily tugs down his shirt as the door opens. Dean’s standing in the doorway, holding a bowl of popcorn and carrying a plastic bag.

“Hey,” he says.

“Hey,” Sam says.

“So, I, uh. I thought you might want to watch a movie,” Dean says. He shuffles the popcorn under his arm like it’s a football and pulls a DVD out of the bag. It’s Raiders of the Lost Ark. His expression is tentative as he hesitates in the doorway. “Thought you might want to see it again,” he says at last.

“’Cause I’ve only seen it a hundred times before?” Sam says.

“This’ll be the hundred and first then. It’s still awesome.”

“Yeah, okay then. Come in.”

“Awesome,” Dean says, closing the door behind him. The tentative look has morphed into a full-wattage special, and Sam would feel embarrassed for him, except there’s that stupid ridiculous part of him that can never get enough of Dean smiling like that.

He shuffles across the mattress, leaving enough space for Dean to drop down beside him. Dean pulls a six-pack of beer out of the bag and balances it on the nightstand before he makes himself comfortable on Sam’s bed.

“Quit moving around,” Sam says, reaching for a handful of popcorn.

“But this mattress…”

“Is much better than the weird thing on your bed. Put the movie on.”

Dean gets up, grumbling under his breath as he bends to slide the DVD into the player. Sam takes the remote and turns on the TV.

“Quit hogging the popcorn,” Dean says, crawling back onto the bed. His knees sink into the mattress as he leans over to snatch a fistful of popcorn, kernels spilling all over Sam and the sheets.

Sam sighs and shoves the bowl at him. “Quit messing my bed.”

“Bitch, bitch,” Dean mutters.

“Shut up,” Sam says.

Dean shuffles back to the spot beside him, relaxing against the wall and stretching out his legs. He balances the popcorn on his lap and grabs a couple of beers from the six-pack he dumped on the nightstand. He twists the caps and offers one to Sam. Sam takes it and they clink the necks together before Dean takes a long chug. He settles back into the pillows and snaps off the light, plunging the room into darkness save for the light from the TV.

The movie starts and they watch Indy make his way through the jungle with Satipo.

Dean chugs his beer and wets his lips. Sam glances at him and sees that Dean’s already watching him. Dean’s mouth twists sadly. “You’re not going to change your mind, are you?” he says.

Sam doesn’t need to ask what he means.

“No. It’s the right thing to do. I’m never gonna have a kid and I’m okay with that. I might not have chosen it, but it’s better than the alternative. Everyone who gets mixed up with us dies. Look what happened to Adam, and he was our blood.”

“Yeah, I guess. But what you’re talking about – it’s so permanent.”

“That’s kinda the point.” He sips his beer, rests the bottle between his thighs. “It won’t change anything, not really.”

“That’s crap,” Dean says.

Sam snorts. He’s remembering them having exactly this conversation years earlier when he found out he was a chimera. Except then it was Dean insisting that nothing would change. He’s still not sure which of them was right.

He goes back to watching the movie. He’s tired, but he’s not aching so much now. Maybe it’s the beer. He doesn’t think he should be drinking with his meds, but he’s never let that sort of thing stop him before. He rests his head against the wall and lets his eyes fall half-closed. The music is swelling and he knows that it’s gotten to the action sequence of Indy running from the boulders and the holvos tribesmen. Dean’s hand slides onto his thigh, and he opens his eyes, rolling his head against the wall to look at his brother.

Dean’s watching him, the white light from the TV playing across his face and making his eyes shine. Sam stares back at him, thinking about how different, how ethereal and unreal and vulnerable Dean looks in this light. Dean’s face is more familiar to him than his own. It inspires reactions in him that no one else’s face ever has. Looking at Dean has always made him feel so much, and when he was younger he used to resent Dean for it. He still resents him for it, for making him feel so much with just his stupid perfect face, but he’s resigned to it now, and in a way, it’s comforting. It makes him feel powerful, because he knows that other people don’t have this. Other people don’t have brothers who would kill or die for them, who would betray them and commit the kind of crimes Dean has. Dean’s love for him and Dean’s need for him is a terrible, awful thing and Sam was so done with it, so over it, and yet, he keeps coming back to the same thing: he’s still here.

Dean bites his lip, opens his mouth as if he’s about to say something, but Sam’s too quick for him. He leans in and presses a kiss to his brother’s lips.

Instantly, Dean’s hands are in his hair, pulling him into the kiss, his mouth hungry on Sam’s. He tastes of popcorn and beer and the sense memory of those tastes and the Indiana Jones theme tune and the smell of popcorn and Dean’s skin is overwhelming for a moment. Sam pulls away, trembling as he turns his face away from Dean. For some stupid reason, he feels like crying. He hasn’t cried, not through any of this, but he can feel the sting behind his eyes and the ache in his throat.

“Sammy?” Dean says, his voice a little unsteady. “You okay, man?”

He nods his head, keeping his face turned from Dean.

“I, um.” He hears Dean swallow and clear his throat. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have…”

“It’s okay,” Sam says.

Dean’s hand is still resting on Sam’s thigh, like he’s forgotten to remove it, and Sam puts his own hand over it, sliding his fingers into the grooves between Dean’s knuckles and lacing their fingers together. He hears Dean exhale as he squeezes his hand. He feels Dean lean in and rest his temple against his shoulder. Dean nuzzles under the short sleeve of his tee and presses his lips to his bicep. He can feel the hot flutter of Dean’s breath on his skin and it makes him tingle.

“I’m sorry,” Dean says, whispering into Sam’s skin.

Sam reaches across his body to pet Dean, sliding his fingers into his short hair and cupping his skull. “I know,” he says.

Dean is sorry, he knows that. But Dean also said that he wouldn’t change anything. Given the choice he would still have let the angel into Sam’s body. Dean still loves him in a completely destructive, unhealthy way and it’s stifling and terrible and Sam’s still not going to leave. They’re in a very dark tunnel right now, but at least with the decisions he’s made it’s only ever going to be the two of them. Sam knows that it’s going to take a long time before he can fully trust Dean again, but he’s so tired of being angry at him. He wants to enjoy his company again, he wants to fuck him without feeling guilty, and he wants to stop feeling like he shouldn’t love him like he does – because he knows that’s not going to work. He’s always going to love Dean and he wants to feel good about it. He’s so over feeling bitter and betrayed. It’s about time they both found their way out of the freaking tunnel.

He tugs lightly on Dean’s hair, and Dean pulls away, tilts his head back so he can look at Sam. Sam cups his brother’s face and kisses him, letting his mouth linger. Dean exhales happily when they’re done. Sam draws back and pats his cheek.

“Watch the movie,” he says.

Dean rolls his eyes. “Bite me.”

“Maybe later,” Sam says.

 

**

Sam stares at the device in his hand. He reads the instructions again. He glances at the two other test sticks sitting on the edge of the sink. Statistically speaking, all three can't be wrong; therefore the only logical explanation left is that all three tests are giving him the right answer. He has to accept it. He's pregnant.

He grits his teeth and stands up. He chucks all three tests in the trash and washes his hands. He stares down at the tell-tale cardboard boxes and plastic sticks and considers getting rid of them, hiding the evidence. But who's he hiding it from? Dean? He's going to tell Dean, it's half his fault anyway.

One time, one fucking time. They hadn't done it in months, and he regretted it immediately afterward, seeing the hope in Dean's eyes and knowing that for him things were so far from good and one desperate fuck wasn't going to fix anything. It hadn't even been about them and their sorry relationship but about sex, about biological urges and resentment and desperation and the undisputable fact that Dean was there and Dean was convenient and having sex with Dean was better than pretending everything was okay.

But for Christ's sake... one fucking time. He’s on birth control for fuck’s sake. What the hell has Dean been putting on his Wheaties? Who knew that a diet of Jim Beam and hamburgers made for prize fighting swimmers.

Then again, maybe it's not Dean, maybe it's something else. Who knows what kind of a mess the angel left behind when Crowley finally evicted it from his body. Maybe this is some big fucking cosmic joke, a punch line courtesy of Heaven and Hell. Or maybe it's something worse, something nefarious and insidious and they're trying to breed him, trying to get the next generation of Winchesters to use for their fucked-up purposes.

Whatever it is, he really has no choice here.

Dean's cooking dinner at the stove, fried steaks by the looks. The smell makes him feel nauseous, though everything seems to make him feel nauseous recently. At least he knows now why that is.

He doesn't sugarcoat it. There's no point. He watches his brother for a second before he steps into the kitchen, footsteps announcing his presence. Dean doesn't look up from the steaks, but his shoulders hunch as if he's expecting a fight. He's probably going to get one.

"I'm pregnant," he says.

Dean turns around and blinks at him, confusion written all over his face. "Come again?”

“I’m pregnant,” Sam says again.

“Yeah, that’s what I thought you said," Dean says. He pushes the spitting pan off the heat and Sam stares at the bloody and greasy meat. His stomach flips over, and he pushes down the roll of nausea. Dean stands with his back to the stove and watches him warily. Sam folds his arms and crosses the room. He pulls out a chair and takes a seat at the big wood table. He sits down and tips his head back to meet Dean's gaze.

“It’s yours, by the way. In case you were wondering," Sam says.

“I. Yeah. I know. I mean, you haven’t… With anyone else. Have you?” His eyes widen, that face he sometimes pulls that makes him look about five years old. He looks confused and lost, and for a brief moment, Sam feels sorry for him.

“No,” Sam says.

“Right.” Dean raises his hand and passes it over his face, and Sam can hear the slight scrape of bristles against skin, a sound that even now reminds him of their father. Dean drops his hand and when he looks at Sam again, he looks more confident, like Sam's big brother again.

“So," he says, "what’re we gonna do about it?”

 

THE END