Dean awoke from a nightmare; he couldn’t quite remember what had happened but the vestiges of it stayed with him long after he had opened his eyes.
In the dim yellow light of the bedroom he could see Sam bent over the laptop; this was Sam with a soul and therefore a Sam that should be sleeping. Dean’s mouth was dry; he knew why Sam wasn’t sleeping and it was the same reason that he was waking up after vague nightmares.
“You should get some sleep.” He propped himself up on his elbow and Sam turned his head, eyes finding Dean’s.
“Can’t sleep.” He looked exhausted and Dean wondered how much of a lie that was. “Thought I might use the time to – to do some more research – see if there is anything we missed.”
Dean swallowed down bile and he rubbed a hand through his hair; the clock told him it was 5am and he suddenly needed coffee so badly that he felt almost desperate for it.
“Is there anything?” He was aware of sounding pathetically hopeful and he saw Sam’s weary smile; his sudden acceptance.
“Nothing.” Sam bit his lip and stared at the laptop as if it was the answer to everything. “There’s nothing at all.”
“Do you want coffee?” It was random and sudden and totally off subject but it got another weak smile out of Sam, so it was probably worth it.
“Sure.” Sam pushed his chair back and stretched, his bones cracking. “Make it frothy and girly, okay?”
Dean managed to smile back knowing that Sam expected snarky but he was unable to come up with anything funny to say.
They drank their coffee on the steps of the shabby motel room watching the sun rise over the scruffy looking leafless trees and the small patches of grass that surrounded them. Tonight would be a full moon and the last chance to try the ritual for at least a month. People were dying in this one horse town and the Winchesters couldn’t let that happen; they saved people – sometimes by any means – but this – this was one of the worst things that they had ever had to do and it was part of a long list of terrible things which included hell, death and all the things in between.
Sam was distant, eyes fixed on the horizon; Dean sipped at his coffee, strong, black and bitter.
“Is there anything else we can do?” He was clutching at straws and Sam knew it. His brother nudged his shoulder gently.
“You know there isn’t.”
“The last thing I want to do is hurt you Sammy.” Dean licked his lips. “Maybe we should give this one a miss. Maybe this is too much – even for us.”
“The last person that died was a ten year old boy, Dean, and I can only imagine the agony he felt; that his parents must have felt. This thing – whatever it is – is going to keep attacking, and killing things, until someone performs the ritual. Who else is gonna do it, Dean? Gay, incestuous sex . . . shit, the people who put down these rituals were sick! They knew that it would be decades, centuries maybe until someone came along who was prepared to do this – decades of people dying, Dean. We have to stop this.”
Dean let his eyes slide side wards so he could look at his brother; Sam was certainly a grown man now, nothing of the chubby twelve year old left in him. Sam was taller than him by inches, broader, his shoulders wide, wide enough to shoulder the burdens of this life, wide enough to carry burdens for both of them. Sam had been to hell, had lost his soul, had managed to get it back again and had suffered in the process. Sam wasn’t a child anymore but he was still Dean’s little brother, still Dean’s to protect, to care for and this – this was something that neither of them had ever wanted or considered, something that neither of them could comprehend.
“You – in this one thing you are a virgin, Sam.”
“Isn’t that the point?” Sam smiled wryly. “Isn’t that the whole point of this ritual? I’m sorry Dean, I am and I know this is hard for you but we have to do this.”
“I – we’re brothers, Sam and despite all the angel jokes . . . .” He winced as he thought what Zachariah had said about them, about them being erotically dependent on each other. “I never wanted to get in your pants, Sammy.” He tried a grin but it was pathetic at best and his throat hurt, the lump there almost too big to swallow down.
“I know that Dean.” Sam half smiled and put out a big paw to grasp Dean’s shoulder. “I know but we can get through this in the same way we get through everything - together.”
Dean nodded but he wasn’t so sure despite Sam’s insistence; the thought of laying his brother naked on a sacred altar, of taking his brother in that way, made him feel sick inside and he wasn’t even sure he could get it up enough to even see the ritual through.
“We’ll do this thing, Dean.” Sam was still talking, soft and gentle and persuasive, the only thing in Dean’s life that was actually worth something. “It’ll be alright.”
But Dean wasn’t so sure and although he took comfort from Sam’s determination he knew that this wasn’t going to be like any other hunt. This was going to be different and he was frightened, terrified even, because he was convinced that this – more than anything – was what was going to tear them apart.
Sex magic was not unusual but these days it wasn’t considered the way to go; decades in the past though, things were different and magic and mystery were a dark and dangerous thing. Witches used sex magic to bind and to control and they kept familiars close to them, familiars who were often incubi's or succubi's; who helped the witches practice the magic and who paid with their bodies and frequently with their souls.
The altar in the middle of the woods was a place that was steeped in history; black magic had been practiced here and the dark atmosphere of evil was still easy to feel. It prickled along the back of Dean’s neck and sent cold sweat pooling into the dip of his spine. Beside him, Sam couldn’t hold back a shudder and Dean wished that there was some other way they could do this, some other solution.
The creatures – whether they were human or not – that had built this altar had been sick and depraved even by the standards of the time. They had held orgies here, taken virgins and deflowered them, used their blood for ancient rituals, for summoning demons and devils, for controlling cattle and crops. They had made sure that the power surrounding the altar would never be broken, complicated sigils and incantations, a binding spell so strong that only a few would dare to sever it. The ancient text told them that only siblings could bring the spell to an end, only siblings could purify the altar and leave it harmless. A virgin sacrifice in a way; one member of the family deflowering the other, taking what should not ever be theirs and soiling both body and soul.
They couldn’t ask anyone else to do it; Dean was a horn dog and had had experiences in the past, had enjoyed men as much as women even if he hadn’t wanted to mention it. Sam was a virgin; untouched, even without a soul, he had never even considered men and he was perfect - perfect to break this spell. Dean knew how hard this would be, knew how difficult it would become. They had to lay here on the sacred altar under the silver light of the harvest moon, he had to take Sam, to take his innocence, to spoil the altar with Sam’s blood. It made him physically sick to think about it but he understood why they had to do it, understood why it was necessary.
The evil had lurked here for far too long; people dying in horrible ways, children taken, abused, and left for dead. The malevolence hung around the woods like a bad smell and anyone in the near vicinity, anyone who was innocent or pure, was tainted with it, ruined by it and it was something that neither Winchester could tolerate.
It was a fine night; balmy and clear. Dean would have laughed at the irony if he had been able to see any humor in the situation, any real amusement at having nature on their side at least.
Sam stripped off his shirt and jeans; he was wearing thin cotton boxers beneath and his skin prickled as he stood there, teeth clenched. Dean knew it was nerves not cold and it made him feel worse about what they were going to do, made Dean feel like the torturer he once was, getting ready to rip his brother asunder. Without speaking, Sam climbed onto the altar, legs so long that his bare feet hung off the ends, toes dragging in the moss and dirt. He lifted his head to look at Dean and his eyes gleamed almost silver in the moonlight.
“We don’t have all night,” he whispered and Dean gulped down his own fear, shedding his jacket and his t-shirt, undoing his belt before climbing astride Sam, thighs on either side of Sam’s jutting hips.
Sam was beautiful; it wasn’t hidden attraction or sudden gayness but an observation, something honest and true. Dean gazed down at acres of tanned, taut skin, flat stomach and firm thighs. Sam was fit even for a hunter and he had strengths both inner and outer that Dean was proud of. Sam’s stupid hair hung in his eyes and Dean brushed it back from his forehead with a shaking hand. Sam gripped his wrist and held it tight.
“You should do it,” he hissed, “before I change my mind.”
Dean nodded; it was dark now, the silver of the moon shedding dim shards of light over them, trees sheltering them, the occasional call of a wild creature the only thing disturbing the silence. He sucked in a breath and pushed down his jeans taking boxers with them so that he was naked from the waist down, his junk hanging limply against his brother’s flat stomach and possibly the most embarrassing thing that had ever happened to him.
“Dean?” Sam’s voice was deep, so low it was almost inaudible. “Dean . . . .”
Dean gulped and put his hands on his own cock, rubbing the flaccid object and thinking of anything arousing, anything but his naked brother laying beneath him waiting to be taken, to be defiled.
Sam could see his brother hesitating and his stomach flipped and rolled with nerves; despite the heat of the night his whole body was shaking and he could barely stay still as he watched Dean play with his own cock, watched Dean trying to get hard enough to do what he needed to do. Sam knew that his brother didn’t want any of this, knew that Dean was as scared as he was and that Dean would never willingly hurt him, would always strive to protect him despite the fact that they were both men now and Sam was as grown up as he was ever going to be.
He almost leaped out of his skin when Dean’s callused hands stroked across his body. There was nothing sexual about it, nothing even remotely titillating just a gentle sweep of fingers, a reassurance. He heard a snap and realized that Dean had opened the heating lube they had bought. He felt his body tense despite himself and he closed his eyes, teeth worrying his lower lip, visions of the women he had loved coursing through his brain; Jess, Madison, Sarah – even Ruby – seemed to dance in front of him, naked and tempting, giving him something to focus on, something to distract him from.
Dean’s finger-tip was at his entrance and he let his thighs fall apart almost against his will; it hurt – felt odd and off and weird and he tried to get away from it, body scooting up the altar, back dragging painfully on the stone. He could hear Dean’s ragged breathing and he took deep breaths of his own, his fingers reaching up and digging into Dean’s biceps.
“Sammy.” Moss green eyes looked down at him and he could see the fear and concern there. He wanted to smile but he couldn’t and he just bit his lip harder, his head nodding almost in perceptively, willing Dean on. Dean shook his head as if to clear it and another finger joined the first. This time the pain was worse, more intense and he wanted to pull away, fear that if this was what fingers felt like the rest would be unbearable.
It hurt and it was beyond humiliating; he felt the burn inside of him turn to a raging fire as his brother pushed slowly in. Dean was trying to be gentle, trying for tenderness almost but it was failing, he was failing and Sam bit his mouth so hard that it flooded with salty blood. He was naked and covered in sweat, his back burning as it scraped along the altar, his whole body screaming. He was clinging to Dean so hard that his brother’s skin was beginning to bleed red and his breathing was erratic, panicked.
“Sammy,” Dean sounded wrecked; he was moving as slowly and as carefully as he could and it was clear that neither of them were getting off on this.
“Sammy, I can stop man. Tell me, if you want me to stop.”
If Dean stopped now then everything would go back to how it was; they would have come this far and no further and their chance of saving people would be gone. Sam had experienced enough pain and torture in his life to know that this wasn’t as bad as things could be but in some ways it was worse. It was his brother, inside of him, tearing his flesh, making him bleed. He had never wanted this from any other man and he certainly didn’t want it from his brother. God, he loved Dean, loved him in an intense and often unhealthy way but he hadn’t ever wanted him and he couldn’t even pretend that he did, couldn’t even close his eyes and get any sort of pleasure from this. It was torture both psychological and physical and he just wanted it to end.
“No,” he gasped out, his whole body arching up, his heart thundering. “Please – just go on, Dean. Finish it, for fuck’s sake, finish it.”
Dean gave a grunt and began to move faster; beneath him Sam felt the thrust of his brother’s body, the pain, the burning, the thickening of Dean’s cock making it even harder to take. He didn’t know what his brother was thinking to make him hard like that, didn’t really care much. He heard Dean say something but his head was spinning and he felt as if he was going to puke as something warm and wet that wasn’t blood began to seep out of him and he cried out before he could hold back the pain and agony, his hands slipping from his brother’s biceps and coming to rest across his eyes.
Sam felt something tepid and damp on his face and he reached up to brush it off. He could hear his brother, breath hitching, the noise he was making sounding like he was choking, little whimpers and moans in the back of his throat. Sam opened his eyes and shifted, the pain that shot through him making him shudder, his whole body trembling, fluids seeping out of, what seemed like, ever pore, the darkness that had surrounded them giving way to the red and orange glow of sunrise, the ambiance of evil washed away and replaced by the sweet scent of new and fresh and forgiven.
Dean was crying; Sam knew that now, could feel it and he wanted to say something, anything to comfort him, to reassure him but his throat hurt and his breath rattled and he couldn’t seem to form the words, unable to move his body at all, muscles screaming, back and ass on fire.
“Can you - can you move, Sammy?” Dean swung his legs up and off the altar and began to dress himself quickly. There was blood on his legs and on his stomach and Sam knew instinctively that it wasn’t Dean’s blood. He didn’t want to think about anything else right now and he made his head nod up and down even though he wasn’t sure he could move, wasn’t sure he would ever move again.
“Fuck, Sammy,” Dean’s voice broke on the second syllable. “I am so sorry.”
He knew then that he had to move for his brother’s sake; Dean would freak if he didn’t make an attempt to get up right now and he took in a deep breath and began to roll over, his body screaming at him for mercy.
Shit, he could do this; he had gone to hell, jumped into the pit, had his soul shoved back into his body. He had watched his brother die, he had seen his father’s funeral pyre. He had survived so much and he should survive this. He would survive this. He rubbed at his face and got his own legs up and over the end of the altar pulling up the boxer briefs that were hanging round his ankles, ignoring the pain and the mess and concentrating on his brother’s sobs, his brother’s hands coming to help him, slipping him into his shirt as if he really was the little brother again.
“We should - maybe - I was thinking that we ought to . . . .” Every word that slipped from Dean’s lips was wavering and worried. Sam had known his brother long enough to know what he was getting at and for once he thought he was probably right but they couldn’t. If they went to see a doctor now even if they made excuses there would be swabs and tests and they would find out. He shook his head.
“Nothing legal,” he managed to gasp out as Dean fastened his jeans and let him lean against his broad chest. “Maybe Bobby knows someone.”
“Sam, we can’t tell Bobby,” Dean sounded as if he had been gargling knives and Sam wanted to say something, anything, to reassure him. His body ached and his head was spinning and he thought he may very well be sick. Inside his jeans his underwear was wet and he couldn’t even begin to imagine what it must look like down there.
The ritual had worked though; the glade was sunny now, bright and open, birds singing and every single fairy tale cliché you might think of. Sam felt a strange sense of achievement and he leaned further into his brother, his eyes closing as he relaxed, the sound of Dean’s snorted laughter mixed with aborted tears.
Dean lay him in the back of the Impala; there was no question of him sitting as everything from his lower back, to the part of him he just didn’t want to think about right then, ached. He closed his eyes for a long moment as he smelt the familiar scent of leather and motor oil; elements of past and present merging so that he felt like a child again. He had lost his actual virginity in the back of this car, a date in some random town with a girl whose name he couldn’t remember. As much as he hurt right now, he could still take pleasure from those memories and he wondered if he would ever be able to get over this, to surmount the fact that he had had sex with his brother.
Dean watched Sam relax into the back seat and only started up the engine when the younger man appeared to be asleep. He wiped at his eyes feeling foolish that he couldn’t stop crying; memories of his brother’s whimpers and moans making him ache in a bad way. He had been surprised that he had been able to get hard and stay hard; particularly when he had realized how much pain Sam was in, and how much it hurt him. It had been tight and when he closed his eyes it had just been another willing body. It was only at the sound of his brother’s voice that he had come back to himself, the pleading in Sam’s eyes, pleading for him to stop, pleading with him to continue. He swallowed back bile and pulled out of the parking lot. The sun was shining now, bright and new, the glade cleansed of all evil things, another victory for the Winchester brothers but at what cost?
Sam woke up lying on his front on cotton sheets; he could hear the distant hum of the TV and the buzz of Dean’s razor. His shirt had been removed and something cool and soothing rubbed on the wounds on his back, burns from the altar, skin scraped thin. His ass hurt but the hurt seemed distant, barely there and he realized that he had been given something good. He felt the sting of a needle on the inside of his arm and he mumbled something to which Dean replied but the conversation, for what it was, made no sense. They were in a motel but a nice one, he was aware of the billowing curtains – white not gray – the softness of the mattress beneath his stomach, the scent of lavender not mold. His stomach rumbled and he realized he was hungry, wanting food again was a good sign and he sighed as he let the drugs take him and he fell into sleep.
When he woke for the second time he felt better; he could roll on to his back and watch the TV. It was dark in the room now and Dean was lying next to him on the same bed. It was a King, no other beds in the room. Sam smiled to himself as he realized that his brother wanted to be as close as he could, that Dean was caring for him again and he couldn’t help but laugh when he thought how easily they fell back into their given roles again, big brother – little brother, no death, hell or demons could alter that and he knew that everything would be alright again.
Breakfast is short and awkward; it is Sam’s first day out of the motel room and walking since – well since – and he still aches, still throbs, can’t sit for long periods which makes traveling hard. They have agreed to stay put for a while, whilst Sam recovers. It is almost like having an illness with no cure, the pain and discomfort still noticeable, the mental trauma harsh and unforgiving. Nothing can take away the fact that Sam had sex with his brother; that his brother took his virginity in a way that he had never thought could happen. Sam wasn’t gay nor was he attracted to Dean in any way. He loved his brother, would die for him in an instant but he didn’t and never had wanted him in THAT way and it was uncomfortable and difficult to surmount. He could see that Dean was as embarrassed and upset as he was, that Dean hadn’t wanted it any more than he had. The only thing that haunted him is that Dean got hard, kept hard and was able to come; he knew that had been part of the ritual but it made him sick to think that his brother had been able to do that, made him feel violated somehow like a cheerleader who had been deflowered after prom.
Time would heal he guessed; miles and months down the road his brother would try to get him laid again. He would submit to teasing, maybe take a waitresses number, flirt with a pretty librarian, even watch porn. The ache in his body would fade, the memories would blur into others. They would come back together again as they always did; after Jess, after dad, after Cold Oak, after hell, after the Apocalypse, after the pit. They would hunt and drink and laugh; they would face other, bigger foes, they would forget, get back to normal.
But not now, and not yet. Sam was hurting.