Trust Me, I'm A Doctor
Dean fucks the mother of one of his patients in his office.
All over his office.
Her name is Lisa Braeden and she's the hottest thing Dean's probably ever seen before. He fucks her against the wall with her legs around his waist and her arms around his neck. Across his desk with her on her back and her legs spread for him, flushed all down her chest and her perfect tits bouncing appealingly in time with the rock of their hips. She's tight and hot and sexy as hell, has really good sex noises and is really kind of dirty-filthy-hot all around. Kind of a perfect match for him. After that, she rides him in his big executive chair and he tongues and bites at her nipples and listens to her muffle cries of pleasure against the side of his head, and Dean's ass is sticking to his scrubs with sweat and she's completely naked on his lap and she's pistoning her hips harder and harder, not rising up as far, short little jerks that let him know she's close, and when she clamps down around him he closes his eyes and reaches between them, thumbs at her clit and feels his cock inside her and comes into the condom so hard his head hurts.
"Dean," she murmurs, smiling, and she doesn't have many reasons to smile lately. She's sweet and pretty awesome and funny and Dean kisses her on the mouth, pushes his tongue inside and she moans quiet and sated and kisses him back lazily.
After, she gets dressed and Dean cleans himself up and puts his scrubs back to rights. She throws him a half smile and says, "We should really probably stop doing this."
Dean snorts a laugh and looks at the stack of paperwork now all over the floor next to his desk. He grins at her. "Probably."
She smiles, her eyes brighter than usual, her expression more open here with him than it is downstairs when she's with her kid. He smiles too, without really even meaning to. It's all kinds of unethical, and he likes her, and she likes him, and Dean hasn't been on a real date in years and he doesn't know how to ask and he's not really sure if he ever will, but he thinks she'd say yes and he thinks it could probably go somewhere. Somewhere serious.
When he gets home later that night, sated and rumpled and feeling vaguely guilty, it's to find Sam standing in the middle of the living room in worn and threadbare blue jeans slung low over his hips and a white t-shirt. He's got his hands on his hips while he stares at the blank wall above the couch.
"I think we should get a Jackson Pollock or something," he says by way of greeting, tilting his head and scrunching his face up a little, regarding the wall thoughtfully. "It'd cost more than both of us put together, but it'd look good, right?"
And Dean thinks 'I love you' just as easy and unexpected as he thought 'I really like her' about Lisa earlier, and he means it in a way that is in no way, shape or form brotherly.
It hits him like a Mack truck, right between the eyes and smashing into his chest and he's completely blindsided by it. He has no idea what a Jackson Pollock is but apparently it's some magic phrase, some life-affirming provocation like 'open sesame' or some shit like that, because Dean is staring at Sam and Sam is looking back at Dean curiously and Dean's mouth is dry and he just got laid but he wants to go upstairs and shower and go to bed and he completely inexplicably wants Sam to come with him, wants to push him down in bed and tangle up in him and breathe him in until he sleeps.
"Yeah," he says, for lack of anything better to say, and he flicks an imaginary strand of hair out of his eyes and clears his throat and shrugs casually like yeah, it's cool, just in love with my kid brother, it happens. No big deal. I got this. His stomach is clenching and his chest kind of hurts and he wants Sam to get the fuck out and he wants to lick his way into Sam's mouth. His hands are shaking.
"Dean?" Sam asks, and now his ridiculous eyebrows are in on it, drawing together, brow furrowing in concern. "Are you okay?"
"What?" Dean says. "I'm fine."
But he must not look it, because Sam says, "You're kind of pale, man. I was just joking about the Jackson Pollock. We don't really have to get one."
Dean simultaneously wants to roll his eyes fondly, yell at Sam, and jerk off furiously. His body is all screwy. He feels kind of awkward in his skin. This is his brother. This is his brother, and he can't even pass it off as some kind of porn-induced fantasy like hot twins in bed together or something because it's Sam, who's giant and crazy and maybe sort of the center of Dean's universe.
"I'm gonna hit the sack," he says, voice harsher than it should be.
Sam is still looking confused. "Okay."
"Right," Dean says. They stare at each other for a few long, long seconds, and then Dean walks through the living room, giving Sam a wide berth, and turns the corner to go upstairs. He shuts the door to his bedroom and drops his bag on his bed and stands in the middle of the room, counting his breaths. There's a big red incest sign blinking in his head. He still smells like sex from nailing Lisa in his office an hour ago. He's in love with his brother.
Dean hasn't been in love since he was twenty-two years old and he met Cassie at the University of Chicago, but he remembers the way it feels—kind of awful—and this is so much more than that was because every decision Dean's ever made in his entire fucking life has had to do with Sam. There's something wrong with him.
This is monumentally fucked up.
It's okay, he tells himself. It's cool. He'll figure this out. He can do this. He's a fucking doctor. He'll figure this shit out. A few minutes later and he still hasn't moved. He can hear Sam come up the stairs, his footsteps heavy but quiet. His room is right across the hall, and he always leaves the door open, because there was a time too recently when Dean had to go make sure Sam was still breathing several times a night. His guts twist and his chest is kind of warm and fuzzy and he falls sideways onto his bed and forces himself to sleep without bothering to change.
At work the next morning, he walks into his assistant's office and glares at her. Her name is Jodie. She's probably in her mid forties and she's pretty much awesome. She's more capable than almost anyone else Dean's ever met and is really damn good at keeping Dean in line. Dean doesn't do schedules, but since his line of work requires it, he's got Jodie. She's saved his ass repeatedly and treats Sam like a prince. He buys her a really good Christmas present every year. It's a good match.
"Dean?" she asks. She calls him by his first name. It's still kind of unsettling.
"Mark yesterday on my calendar in Outlook," he demands.
She cocks an eyebrow and looks at him over her computer. "What?"
"Mark it as what?"
"Just mark it!" he tells her, and stomps past her desk and back into his office. "And don't bug me. I'm busy."
She makes an indignant sound and opens her mouth to yell at him, but he closes the door and ignores her when she pounds on it. She's ranting about how he can't just walk in and be an asshole and shut his door, but that's just what he did. Dean 1, Jodie 4,567. He digs into his bag and pulls out a patient file and starts to work. He's got several consultations today, okay? He's busy.
A few minutes later, he gets a notice that yesterday has been marked on his calendar as Important. And then he gets an email from Jodie that says:
Fuck you very much.
P.S.- Enjoy the homemade muffin I brought you for breakfast. Also, your appointment with Michael Starns is in five minutes.'
Dean just makes it to the exam room on time, chocolate chip muffin shoved into his mouth, and when he gets back she's ordered lunch for him and is giving him the silent treatment.
"Buy her flowers," Sam says when he drops by to say hi after his check-up with Dean's boss Cas and Dean tells him without looking him in the eye at all because yeah, that can't happen anymore or ever again. Jodie was overly sweet to Sam when he first walked in, kissing his cheek and putting her hands on her hips and looking him over and telling him he's too thin and looks too tired and using what she calls her 'mom voice' and noticeably ignoring Dean.
So after Sam leaves, Dean has some big roses and Cali lilies and some green leafy stuff sent to Jodie, and when he gets back from his second consultation they're there on her desk in a big vase and they make him sneeze and she kisses his cheek and hands him a tissue and tells him he works too much and he kind of turns to liquid under the pampering.
Turns out, Sam's kind of a genius.
A couple of weeks later, when Dean's spent a lot of time either avoiding his brother all together or hanging with him in the evenings and trying to be normal while thinking about fucking him on the couch, Dean tells Cas.
Cas is probably Dean's best friend in the world besides Sam. He's weird as fuck and talks like he was born a century ago and his full name is Castiel ("My parents were very strange," he told Dean after introducing himself), but he's also really awesome and kind of inadvertently hilarious. He's also Sam's doctor, which means that as long as Sam stays healthy Dean thinks Cas is a-o-fucking-kay. He's kind of a prodigy, head of neurosurgery at just thirty-eight, so at least that explains the awkwardness a little bit. Dean's never really considered himself a terribly book smart guy. He did well in medical school, and he's damn good at his job, but he had motivation. He's really just a regular dude who worked his fucking ass off. He can perform a miracle surgery and really have to work at it and still be capable of holding up a fluid conversation with normal people. Cas mostly just likes brains. The people they belong to make him awkward.
It's not exactly the smartest move in the world to get falling-down drunk when you've got a secret, but Dean's been bouncing between so strung out that he's nauseous and the kind of hair-tugging sexy-smile fit-to-impress that he usually gets for a chick, just this time with Sam, and he's all stomach fluttery with want and fantasizing in the shower. It's confusing and worrisome and makes him feel so guilty he feels the need to confess his sins or some shit like that. It's hard and strange and it's knocking him off his game.
It sucks, is what it does.
So he drags Cas out for a drink one night after work and he really only intends to take the edge off, get a little buzzed. Instead he ends up being all but carried into his own house by his best friend and pushed onto the sofa while Cas putters around getting him a glass of water and aspirin. Sam is pulling an all-nighter at the Law library working on a paper or brief or some shit (Dean doesn't know any other law-related terms). He dully drinks his water and slumps back on the couch and looks mournfully at Cas, who's settled himself carefully on the edge of the coffee table and is watching him with his intense eyes, curious.
"Are you all right?"
"No," Dean says dramatically. He rubs at his eyes because they're so tired, and then at his mouth because it's kind of buzzing.
Cas tilts his head. "What's wrong?"
"I think," Dean starts. He stops and clicks his tongue against the roof of his mouth, and then he puts his glass on the end table next to the couch and leans forward toward Cas and says, very seriously, "I think I'm going to Hell."
Cas frowns. "Do you believe in Hell?"
What? What kind of question is that? "Of course I fuckin' believe in Hell." Sam almost died. Sam was dying. Sam was in pain. Sam got hurt. Mom died. Dad died. Sam got sick again. Bad things happen. Dean believes in Hell.
"But you don't believe in God," Cas tells him.
Dean shrugs. "Don't need one for the other," he says, which may or may not make sense. Cas looks like he wants to argue that, but he stops himself and studies Dean again.
"Why do you think you are going to Hell?"
"Because," Dean whispers, which is actually louder than his normal talking voice. "Because of Sam."
Cas cocks an eyebrow. "That's a lot of pressure to put on someone. What did Sam do?"
Dean waves a hand at him jerkily, a completely involuntary move. He stops himself and sits on it to keep it still. "No," he says. "He didn't do anything. It's me. I'm fucked up, man. I'm really fucked up."
Cas purses his lips. He looks interested now. Cas likes brains. "How so?"
Dean opens his mouth, but he can't say it. It's insane. It's wrong, on every possible level. "I..."
That's all he gets out, and it's so quiet and still suddenly that Dean can hardly stand it. He can't make his voice work. It stretches on, and on, and on, and Cas is just watching him, brow furrowing further with every passing minute, and Dean makes a noise in his throat that's ridiculously high-pitched and Cas's frown deepens thoughtfully.
"If this is about your being in love with your brother—"
And just like that, everything comes back. "What?!" Dean squawks. His eyes are so wide it's making his face hurt, and he said it so loud that Cas actually looks startled.
"Sam," Cas says. "Right?"
"What?" Dean says again, voice higher than it has any right to be. "What are you. How did you—"
"Dean, please," Cas says, exasperated. Cas is the epitome of social awkwardness. Dean's usually the one having to explain the nuances of human interaction to him. This sarcasm is both new and completely unfair. "I have known for a long time. I assumed it was something you had both accepted. It seems rather late in your life to be having an existential crisis about it." Dean stares at him, open-mouthed, and Cas shrugs casually. "It's all right," he says. "I don't think anyone else knows. I spend an inordinate amount of time with the two of you, considering I have little time for socializing in the first place."
"Oh," Dean says. It seems like the only appropriate response. He feels a little mellow now that he knows that Cas apparently knows and has for awhile and is still talking to him and not with anything like disgust on his face. "Well. I just figured it out. That I'm in love with him, I mean. Or whatever I am. But it's probably his fault. Stupid fucking Sam."
"I suppose you can be somewhat slow on the uptake sometimes," Cas concedes. He dodges the aspirin Dean throws at him with an easy lean to the side.
"I don't like it," Dean says. "We're like. I mean. We're brothers, man."
"It's something of a taboo, I admit," Cas says. "I would not get drunk and tell anyone else. I will keep this confidence."
"You're not like, freaked out?"
"No," Cas says. "I am mostly ambivalent. I would prefer both you and Sam to find happiness. That doesn't change simply because you find it in each other."
Dean makes a face. "You think that Sam...Dude, Sam doesn't feel like. I mean, like that. Sam's a good kid." It hits him suddenly that someone else knows, that Cas knows. This is a mutual friend. This is someone Sam talks to pretty regularly. "Cas, you can't tell Sam!" He's panicked in a way that only being drunk can make him, his voice raspy and horrified, and the fact that he's acting like a thirteen year old with a stupid crush is kind of freaking him out even more. He looks up at his friend with desperation surging through his veins.
Cas stares at him. "For someone so intelligent," he says, "you really can be rather stupid."
Dean internally translates that to, "I won't tell Sam, I pinky swear" and he nods, once, and proceeds to pass out.
Another week passes and Dean's pretty sure he's moved through his mental crisis. He and Sam watch TV on the couch on evenings they're both home, and they talk and smile and laugh and Dean is comfortable. He's just gonna stop questioning it. He's busy, Sam's busy, they're good.
Latent incestuous feelings notwithstanding.
Dean's got a couple of texts on his personal phone waiting for him when he gets out of surgery a few weeks later, both from his brother. The first one was sent hours ago, before Dean scrubbed in: Good luck, Dr. Sexy with one of those stupid winky faces made out of punctuation marks. The second one is from just about an hour ago: Call when you can. Dean doesn't think twice about it, just drops into his big executive chair behind his messy desk in his office and presses the number one on his speed dial and listens to the alternative Indy bullshit that is Sam's ringtone scrape pieces of his brain off. It's soothing in a way.
"So I bought a frozen pizza," is what Sam says as soon as he picks up, and Dean's grinning without meaning to and his chest is unclenching when he didn't know it had been wound so tight in the first place. He tilts his chair back onto the back wheel and reaches back to grip the edge of the cabinet behind him to keep from falling.
"Yeah?" he asks.
"Yeah," Sam says. "It's got stuffed crust, and Italian sausage. I'm pretty excited about it."
"Maybe law is the wrong profession to be getting into for you, Sammy," Dean tells him. "Maybe your true passion lies in the culinary arts." Sam can't even cook instant oatmeal. A frozen pizza is pretty high on his skill list when it comes to the kitchen. Dean's almost proud of him.
"Fuck you," Sam says, without any heat. "How'd the surgery go?"
"Good," Dean says. "Wasn't real dangerous, just kind of tricky. In a weird spot."
"Tumors," Sam says commiseratively.
Dean snorts. "Yeah. How was class?"
"Interesting," Sam says. "I'm actually really liking tax law. It's—" Dean snores theatrically and Sam laughs. "Anyway. Class was good. You comin' home soon? I bought frozen pizza, dude."
"Christ, man, why don't you just marry the damn pizza?"
"Maybe I will," Sam says matter-of-factly. "Maybe I already proposed. Maybe I bought it a cheesy-bread ring and took it out to a fancy dinner and asked it to marry me."
"I bet you did," Dean says. "Slut."
"We're thinking a spring wedding. I hear Lake Tahoe is pretty that time of year."
"Oh my God, dude," Dean says, smiling so hard his face hurts. "Shut up. Yes, I'm coming home. I need to check in with Cas and then I'll be on my way. So I'll be like, an hour. And I expect my dinner piping hot when I get there, bitch."
Sam makes kissy noises at him through the phone and Dean rolls his eyes and hangs up on him, in a better mood than he has been all day, and he's still grinning as he straightens up his desk a little (which is to say he makes sure anything with confidential information is stuffed into his drawer and locked up) and changes out of his scrubs and into real clothes, pulls his rings and bracelets and the pendant Sam gave him when he was a kid back over his head, its weight comfortably heavy on his chest. It's late, and the pediatric ward is already all dimmed lights and sleepy time music floating through the speakers. Dean rucks his book bag over his shoulder and grabs his jacket and leaves his office whistling a little, stomach growling. He could totally go for some frozen pizza.
Ellen, Pediatrics' head nurse, and Bela, Dean's right-hand woman and the only nurse that he refuses to enter the O.R. without, are at the station in the floor lobby. Ellen has several clipboards in hand and is wearing scrubs that are purple with cartoon muffins on them, her long hair pulled back into a ponytail. She's probably just old enough to be Dean's mom, and she's wry as hell and generally pretty funny, can barely open her mouth without swearing, and can drink Dean and anyone he's ever met under the table. She's busily scrawling something across one of her clipboards as he walks up, but as soon as his footsteps get close enough her head snaps up and she narrows her eyes at him and looks him up and down. Bela, sitting elegantly in a rolling chair and scrolling through the scheduling program on her computer, quirks an eyebrow at him and smirks. She's kind of creepy sometimes.
"How long you been here?" Ellen asks him.
"Just over thirty hours," Dean tells her, and before she can start railing at him he rushes on, "And I'm going the fuck home now, thanks."
"Watch your damn mouth," she tells him. "There're kids around."
Dean snorts. "Uh huh. The Nelson triplets and their parents call you Nurse Potty Mouth."
"They do not," Ellen says, glaring.
Dean holds his hands up and makes his eyes big and round, the picture of innocence. "Could I make that shit up?"
Ellen opens her mouth to say something else, but at that moment, Cas turns the corner and starts toward them. His timing is usually either perfect or God-awful; Dean's grateful for it this time. Ellen hits.
Cas's nose is buried in a thick file and he's frowning at it thoughtfully as he moseys on over. He's a natural at walking without watching where he's going. Dean keeps waiting for him to run into a wall or a person or trip over some of the grubby little kids all over the place, but so far there've been no incidents. It's a little disappointing.
"Dean," Cas says when he's close enough, clearing his throat and lowering the file a little. He's got really intense blue eyes. It took a while for Dean to get used to being looked at like that. "Are you on your way out?"
"Yeah," Dean says. "Wouldn't have dreamed of leaving without telling you, though." He bats his eyelashes, but beyond looking vaguely uncomfortable, Cas doesn't react.
"Everything's fine. You've been here a long time. You should go home. Sleep. Ben Braeden is asking for you, though."
Ben Braeden is Lisa's kid, and one of Dean's oldest patients at eleven. He's a good kid, big smile and a lot of hope and a tumor the size of Dean's fist along his brain stem. He's a little older than the normal case for pontine tumors, but it happens. He's been in chemotherapy for the last six months, and the tumor's shrinking steadily but not fast enough, and his prognosis isn't good. Dean figures at the rate it's going it might take another few months before the tumor'll be small enough that he'll be able to remove it without causing brain damage, but the chemo is so hard on the kid that he's pretty much in the hospital full time.
"I can check on him," Dean says. Ben's roommates are littler kids, but they should be asleep by now and he won't stay long. Cas nods and pats him vaguely on the back and wanders off, back toward the elevator and his adult patients upstairs, and Dean looks around at Ellen. She cocks an eyebrow at him over her clipboard.
Dean smiles rakishly. "I'll see you Wednesday," he tells her. "Tell Jo I said hi."
Ellen swears furiously at him and punches him in the arm. "If you keep breaking my daughters heart, Dean Winchester, I'm going to take a scalpel to your ba—"
"Whoa, whoa," Dean says, backing up, hands held up in surrender, grinning. "Just messin' around."
"Uh huh," Ellen says. She rolls her eyes and jerks her chin in the direction of the hallway. "Get."
Dean bows his head respectfully, still grinning, and obeys. "Night Bela!"
"Night, Dr. Winchester," Bela sing-songs.
He walks into Ben's room just in time to catch five-year-old Melissa Cartwright as she launches herself off the end of her bed. She's dressed in red pajamas, a blue feather boa, and a plastic gold tiara on her bald head. She hits him like a bag of bricks, knocks him back a couple of steps and he grunts at the force. She's all laughter and squirming limbs, and he gets elbowed twice in the stomach and once in the face before he manages to get her feet back on the floor. He looks down at her and she looks up at him, smiling, and puts her hands on her hips.
"Dr. Winchester!" she says, looking him up and down, apparently offended. "Where's your doctor coat?!"
"I'm off duty," he tells her, and she makes a tsking sound. "And you've been told not to jump off the beds, Miss Cartwright."
"So?" she says, all attitude. She's kind of adorable, and she makes Dean so glad that he doesn't have kids that he actually sleeps better at night just from the knowledge. She sashays back over to her bed, where the other rugrat, an eight-year-old named Charlie, is sitting, far more composed than her trouble-maker friend. Dean looks at both of them very sternly, and they both look back at him with wide-eyed innocence. He looks around at Ben, down a couple of beds and across the way, but he's leaning back with his arms crossed behind his head on the wall and grinning, completely useless. He pretty much babysits these two all day. It's probably a source of vindictive glee to watch someone else deal with it.
"Didn't Bela come by and tell you guys lights out?" he asks the girls.
"Ben gets to stay up!" they shout in unison.
"Ben is older," Dean tells them.
"That's not fair!" Charlie says.
"You're not fair," Dean tells her.
She and Melissa look at each other, and then back at him.
"What?" Charlie says.
Ben laughs, and Dean sighs exasperatedly, but he's smiling. "C'mon, you two. Time for bed. I know for a fact that you've got an early morning," he tells Charlie, and then he looks at Melissa. "And you just need the sleep."
"I do not," Melissa says, and yawns insolently. Dean quirks an eyebrow.
It takes a few minutes to usher the girls into bed, but Melissa is crashing off of whatever sugar high she was on before and she falls asleep almost as soon as her head hits the pillow and Dean gets her blankets up over her. Charlie is quieter, more thoughtful. She looks up at Dean once he's got her tucked in and asks in a small voice, "How's Harrison?"
Harrison was their other roommate, and the patient Dean just fixed up in the O.R. He was eleven with a benign tumor that was pushing against parts of the brain that were making him a little nutty. Charlie's had a kind of crush on him since he arrived a few weeks ago. Melissa, of course, is waiting until she's old enough to marry Ben.
"He's good," he tells Charlie. "He's in recovery now. He's gonna be just fine."
"Promise?" Charlie asks. She's kind of a jaded kid, has been since she came in. The way adults act around her in general has made her paranoid that any good news she receives is really an attempt at placating her. Dean isn't her surgeon—she's one of Cas's patients due to the location of her tumor—but he's got Melissa and Ben and Harrison, so he sees her quite a bit, and he's easier to talk to than Cas is, for sure. She's starting to trust him.
"I promise," he tells her. They pinky promise on it, just to be sure, and she closes her eyes without anymore of a fuss.
Two down, one to go.
Dean kicks a few random toys out of the way and walks to the back of the room, where Ben's sitting up and staring unseeing out the window. He's one of the lucky ones, relatively speaking; the chemo didn't take his hair, and he pushes his fingers through it tiredly. It's played hell on him every other way though. Each treatment has him bed-ridden for days, and he's lost so much weight they've had to start intravenous nutrition. He looks tired and too old and too small. Dean pulls a rolling stool over by the foot of the bed and sits down on it, leaning forward to put his elbows on his knees, dropping his bag to the floor beside him.
"Dr. Azbit told me you wanted to see me?" he prompts, after a few moments pass and Ben doesn't say anything.
Ben gnaws on his lower lip and finally looks at Dean. It's another few seconds before he says anything. "My mom really likes you," he says.
Dean blinks. It's unexpected to hear, though he knows. He's known. Lisa is beautiful and funny and pretty much Dean's dream girl. He knows she'd like him to ask her out, to take her someplace nice, to maybe fall in love with her and help her raise her awesome kid. And it sounds good, sometimes. It sounds really fucking awesome, but he's so fucked in the head he could never inflict himself on another person, and she could never really be the center of his world the way she should. Sam's got that locked in.
"I know," he says.
Ben sighs and rubs at his eyes. He's talking quietly, and his voice is steady but his eyes are wet. His surgery isn't even scheduled yet, and every day is a battle. Dean keeps waiting for the desensitization to kick in, but it hasn't yet. Sam doesn't think it ever will. Says he hopes it never will. Sam's a sentimental asshat like that.
"I'm worried about her," Ben tells him. "We don't have any other family really, y'now? It's just me an' her."
"Your mom's a tough chick, kid," Dean says. "Stronger 'n you think.
Ben pushes his lips together, tightens them into a straight line, and then rubs angrily at the tear that spills down his cheek. Dean's heartstrings tug pretty hard.
"I'm scared," Ben admits quietly, voice breaking. "I'm. I'm scared."
Dean grips Ben's leg over the blankets, shakes his ankle a little, meant to comfort. "It's a risky case. You know that," Dean says. "But I'm awesome at what I do. It's good you're scared. You should be scared. But don't give up, huh?"
Ben huffs a quiet laugh and leans back, sinks further into his bed and wipes at his wet face. His mouth is pulled into a tremulous grin. They talk about a lot of bullshit like the other kids and Ben's schoolwork and sports that Dean doesn't really care about until Ben falls asleep. He's a good kid. Dean's gonna save him. He's got to save him. He watches him for a second, lips pulled into a tight line, chest tight, and then he gets up to go home.
They don't live in Palo Alto, because Dean doesn't ever want to live in a college town again, but they're close enough that Sam's commute to Stanford's law school isn't bad, and Dean's commute to the hospital isn't either. It's a nice open, three-bedroom two and a half-bath condo that they bought about a year ago. Sam's been going to law school full time and working as a part-time paralegal. He gives Dean just about everything he makes for his share of the house payment, but Dean's been putting it into a saving's account anyway. If nothing else, he got into a specialty that pays well, and signing on a contract with Roadhouse Memorial for the next five years of his life got half of his own student loans taken care of. Sam would probably kill him if he ever found out, but it's worth it. Sam's dealt with enough.
As soon as Dean walks in he can smell the pizza, and considering he's been eating hospital food and stale packaged donuts out of the vending machine in the break room for most of the last week, it smells better than Thanksgiving dinner, or something like that. Sam is dead to the world, asleep on the couch with a plate of pizza crust crumbs on the coffee table and the Craig Ferguson show on low on the TV. He's got one arm tucked under his head and his cheek smushed against the arm of the couch, one of his legs hanging off so his foot is flat on the floor and the other folded up awkwardly under him. He looks pretty peaceful, as far as these things go. Dean's spent an inordinate amount of his life watching Sam sleep. It's probably a little creepy, but it's part of what keeps him sane, too.
Sam is squirming around on the couch when Dean gets out of the kitchen with his own plate piled high with his half of the pizza. Dean grins at him with his mouth full and Sam makes a face and sits up, grunts a little when Dean drops down on the couch next to him and accidentally elbows him in the chest.
"Dude," Sam says, wiping at his eyes, fingers pulling over his mouth and Dean watches his lips tug, watches Sam's tongue rub over the chapped bottom one, feels something warm and guilty pull at his insides. Sam is sleepy and soft around the edges, dressed in a pair of scrubs that Dean bought a long time ago before he realized they were like, eight inches too long and a white t-shirt. His hair's rumpled and his socks have pictures of fucking sushi or something on them, and Dean wants to crawl over him and push him back into the couch and suck a hickey into his neck.
"Hey," Dean says, swallowing all at once. He hands Sam his beer to pop open because his hands are full, and Sam rolls his eyes but dutifully twists the cap off and hands it back. Dean settles in comfortably and takes a long drink. He's good. He's feeling good. The surgery was long but it went fucking awesome and now it's over, and Sam smells like library and familiar cologne and pizza and yeah, so Dean's noticing what his brother smells like. It's part of his life now.
"Hey," Sam says back, grinning a little. He slumps back into the couch and tilts his head back to make a dent in the cushion. The back of the couch is tall, because Sam is tall, and Sam rolls his head along it until half of his face is concealed by the plush and he's looking at Dean. Dean reaches over and flicks him in the forehead and Sam's eyes cross. "You off tomorrow?"
"Yup," Dean answers, around more pizza. "Got a whole lot of sleepin' planned."
"Tomorrow's a bank holiday," Sam says. Dean quirks an eyebrow curiously. The hospital has no such thing as 'bank holidays'. Dean's worked every Thanksgiving and Christmas since he was in residency. Sam gets bullshit holidays like President's Day and Labor Day off both school and work though. He'd normally work at the law firm on Tuesdays. "I'm off."
"What is it? Roommate's day? Jim Morrison's birthday? Will and Kate's wedding day?"
"Martin Luther King Day. And Will and Kate got married like a year ago, Dean." Sam grabs the remote off the arm of the couch and shimmies down until he can put his big feet on the edge of the coffee table, toes curling downward in his stupid sushi socks. "We should do something," Sam says. "See a movie or something."
"N'awww," Dean crows. "You askin' me out, little Sammy?"
Sam cocks an eyebrow. "Don't be an idiot."
"I'm flattered, really, but I dunno, man..."
"Well," Dean says, and bats his long eyelashes and pretends to consider it real hard. "Okay, but I don't put out on a first date unless I get dinner."
"Shut up," Sam grins.
"I'm a classy broad," Dean tells him, jabbing his pizza crust in Sam's direction. "And you're a no good delinquent. I've gotta watch out for myself. Just because I'm wearing a short skirt doesn't mean I'm easy. I need pie before you get the goods."
"You're such an ass."
Dean gives him a look. "Don't objectify me, Sam," he says seriously.
Sam punches him lazily in the arm, and Dean smirks and punches him back, because he has to, and because Sam is a fucking lawyer (in training) and has to have the last word, he punches Dean again and Dean can't just let that stand. They're too old to be wrestling around, but it doesn't stop them. Dean squawks in an entirely manly way when Sam's knee to his gut knocks him off the couch, and Sam's mocking laugh dissolves into a high-pitched yelp when Dean pulls him down by the ankles.
Dean wins—he always has, he always will, forever and even, amen—and he ends up with Sam pinned underneath him on the floor. Sam's breathing hard and laughing, lips parted and eyes crinkled with a smile and dimples etched deep into his cheeks, and even though Dean's currently got an arm pressed just shy of threateningly against his throat, he's looking up at Dean like Dean's the only thing in the goddamn universe and it's weird. It's weird, and it's good. Sam's always looked at him like that. It's never stopped being those two things: weird. good.
"Dean," Sam says, and his voice has a strange quality to it, lower and smoother than usual. Dean's suddenly incredibly aware of the way they're pressed together hips to feet. He clears his throat and shoves Sam down harder nto the floor with one hand on his shoulder for good measure and then sits up and smirks, so glad he changed into jeans because he's kind of hard and it'd show way more through scrub pants.
"I win," he tells Sam.
"Whatever," Sam says. "I let you."
He didn't, really, but that's okay. Dean picks himself up. They knocked the coffee table back when they were rolling around on the floor. Sam has the crust of Dean's third piece of pizza in his hair, and Dean's got pizza sauce smeared all over his fingers and socks, both of their plastic plates and crumbs all over the floor. Sam sits up and pulls the crust out of his hair, frowning.
"Mm," is all Dean manages.
"So," Sam says conversationally, picking up all the shit on the floor and straightening the coffee table back out and restacking the coasters and generally being obsessive compulsive, like he does. "Tomorrow. Movie?"
"And lunch," Dean says. "I want diner food."
Sam grimaces. "You always want diner food."
"S'good for me," Dean says, patting his flat stomach and grinning roguishly. "Grease is good for the immune system."
Sam makes a disgusted sound. "Dean."
"Trust me," Dean says. "I'm a doctor."
Sam shakes his head and cocks an eyebrow as Dean rescues the last unscathed piece of pizza from where it's dangling half off the coffee table and wolfs it down. He sighs, very put-upon, and heads for the kitchen. "I'm gonna go to bed, man."
Dean drops back down onto the couch and picks his beer up from the side table to toast his brother. "Sleep tight, Sammy."
Sam flips him off and Dean grins like a bastard and watches Sam's ass as he walks away, around the corner and up the stairs. On the TV, Craig Ferguson is talking to Geoff about gay sex.
"Shut up, Craig Ferguson," Dean tells him.
Craig Ferguson, notably, does not listen.
See, the truth is, the fact that Dean has fallen head over ass in love with Sam isn't really that big of a surprise. After all, Dean is all that he is because of his brother.
Dean started trying in school for Sam. He worked his ass off to make awesome grades that he cared about more than almost anything, so he could get into college, so he could get into med school, for Sam. Dean hasn't told him, it's a lot to put on someone's shoulders, but Sam probably knows. It's not like there isn't a direct correlation.
Sam had a pontine tumor like Ben's when he was eight. Dean was just a kid. John was a still-grieving widower who worked as an arsonist investigation consultant with the F.B.I. Dean and John spent almost a year in the hospital with him, watching him waste away under chemo treatments. Dean's pretty sure Sam only survived through sheer force of will. Dean was twelve, then, and after watching his dad actually break down in tears for the first time since his mom died as Sam lay pale and weak and so fucking young in a hospital bed in a children's hospital in Kansas, Dean decided he was going to stop other families from having to go through this shit. He'd already lost his mom, and his dad traveled so much for work that Dean took care of Sam more than he did. He wasn't going to lose his brother.
Sam lived. He grew up. He got into Stanford. He met a girl. They were dating for barely a year and living together when she died, just like mom, in an apartment fire caused by one of Sam's friends who'd shown up high and strung out and hyped up on so many pills he wouldn't have lived much longer himself anyway. Sam wasn't there, was down in Jericho where their dad had put himself in the hospital on the job with alcohol poisoning.
A little over a year later, just when Sam had been starting to move past it, he'd stumbled into Dean's room in their old apartment in Palo Alto one night, said Dean's name in a whimper and crashed into the floor so hard it shook. Dean had been there in seconds, but Sam had curled in on himself, was whimpering out these quiet little mewls of pain, tears streaking down his face, hands at his head and fingers curled like claws into his scalp. Dean had gotten him unfolded, onto his back, and Sam's eyes had rolled back and he'd surged up, puking all over himself and Dean and the floor, and the smell of vomit and urine had been overpowering and fucking gross and fucking terrifying and Sam had hit the floor again, jerked out of Dean's arms, and started to seize. Dean had just graduated from medical school. Had just started his residency. Sam had been in his first year at Stanford Law.
It was Cas who saved his life, performed a surgery that to this day makes Dean kind of want to cry at how beautifully it was done, something he'll never be able to thank Cas enough for and something he'll never be able to forgive him for. Cas saved Sam because Dean wasn't good enough.
The surgery went picture perfect, but Sam hasn't been the same, since. Or rather, he's been the same but he has new facets of his personality that he didn't before. It's hard for him to be around crowds, and he spooks kind of easy, and he was having legitimate hallucinations during the treatment because of where the goddamn tumor was pressing into his brain, but those have faltered off since. He's still prone to seizures, and he's got a few weird motor-skill ticks like his hand twitching and his handwriting has changed, gotten bigger because he can't guide his fingers in the tiny scrawl he used to write with. He talks to himself sometimes and he inexplicably spends a lot of time digging his right thumb into the palm of his left hand, and it's all new and kind of terrifying, but it's still Sam.
He's been cancer free for two years now, and he's twenty-nine and in his last year at Stanford Law, and just looking at his stubbornly determined brother makes Dean kind of want to bawl sometimes with pride. The second time was worst than the first, much worst. Sam's prognosis had been so bad and he'd been in such a severe amount of pain for so long that their dad had given up, had told Dean that if he couldn't save Sam they should look into something else, something illegal, something that would lose Dean his medical license and put him in jail for manslaughter and something that he would never, ever do. "If you can't save him," John had said, voice low and rough, his eyes on Sam who was pale and hairless and so thin and weak he was nearly comatose, "then put him out of his misery. Let him be with Mary."
It'd resulted in the worst argument he'd ever had with his dad that ended with John stomping angry and helpless out of the room. John had proceeded to drink himself stupid and drive into a cement highway median on his way back to Lawrence. He'd died on impact. Dean won't ever forgive himself for it. He hopes that his dad is happy now, safe. He doesn't really believe in God but he wants to think that there's some kind of heaven, something good beyond this where his parents are together, because John mostly sucked as a dad and Sam and Dean were never enough to distract him from missing his dead wife.
But he wonders what his dad would say now, if he saw Sam like this, just shy of thirty and back in school, his hair all grown out again, all big muscle from his ridiculous workout routine and totally excited over shit like frozen pizza and tax law. He's been through Hell—Christ, it was Hell for both of them—but he's come out the other side in one piece. A little crazy, sure. But he's alive. Dean really can't ask for more than that.
Dean wants to see his dad one more time. Wants to say, "I told you so" and "Think about what you wanted to make me do" and "I miss you." Wants to punch him in the face and buy him a drink. He wants to see his mom again and tell him he's sorry that she's dead, and that he misses her, and that he's sorry something so stupid like an electrical fire took her from them and that she never really got to know Sam That he's sorry both her sons are so fucked up and that he didn't keep John alive. He wants to save the life of every one of his patients, wants to save the fucking world, wants to let his guilt eat him alive until he's not breathing anymore. Dean wants, and wants, and wants.
And if that's branched out into wanting to push his kid brother down onto his bed and lick his mouth open and ride him like a cowboy, well, so be it. Dean can rationalize.
Honestly, they've been unhealthily co-dependent their whole lives, all wrapped up in each other, Dean living for Sam and Sam his to take care of. Hell, Sam followed Dean to school when Dean left for college, finished high school in Illinois while Dean was in undergrad at the University of Chicago. John hadn't spoken to either of them again until Sam was diagnosed with brain cancer again. Dean still doesn't know what the big deal was, why he got so mad that Sam left. John hadn't cared for much more than work since Mary died. Sam leaving really shouldn't have bothered him. He was almost never around anyway.
Now he's gone, everyone is gone. They've both lost everyone they've ever loved except each other, and if that doesn't bring people close then what the fuck does, right? Sam is still with Dean, and they're in their thirties (or near enough to it) and still living together.
Ellen thinks it's a little strange, but she understands family. Bela thinks it's hilarious. Cas's exact words were "It's necessary, for both of you."
Absolution from Cas. It's probably about the best Dean can hope for.
One night in late March, Dean wakes up to Sam crawling onto his bed and dropping like a rock over the covers next to him. He blinks at his brother in the darkness, pretty sure he's hallucinating. Sam's wearing too-long pajama pants and a t-shirt, and he curls loose on his side and fists his hand loosely in the comforter and rests his head on the free pillow and doesn't say anything. He's shaking a little, Dean can see it, in the light from the hallway.
"Sammy?" he asks, though it comes out slurred and sleep-rough. He's still not entirely sure this is real. Sam doesn't make a habit of crashing into his room in the middle of the night.
"Hey," Sam says, quiet. Dean can't really make out much of his face, just the shape of his body and the cut of his cheekbone and the muss of his hair. He's kind of trapped in his roll of blankets, but he squirms around until he can sit up, and he's about to flip on the light but Sam says, "Don't" and Dean lets his hand drop, scratches idly at his chest.
"Had a nightmare," Sam says.
It's not unusual. Sam's had them bad since he was a little kid. They used to scare the hell out of John, which usually translated into frustrated anger. They got worse with the second tumor. Dean spent a lot of time in Sam's bedroom, waking him up screaming, soothing him back to sleep, but if Sam's been dreaming bad in the last couple of years he's been quiet about it. Dean looks at him for a long time, his eyes mostly adjusted now, enough that he can make out the features of Sam's face. His eyes are open, lips parted, brow furrowed. Dean shimmies back down under the blankets, tugs until Sam obligingly lifts himself up at intervals so the covers aren't so tight around Dean. He stretches out on his side and faces Sam. The whir of the ceiling fan above is soft.
"Bad?" Dean asks.
Sam doesn't really answer, but he tugs at the blankets and asks, "Can I stay here?" and Dean says the only thing he can.
He sleeps really fuckin' good. He sleeps deep and solid and he dreams but doesn't remember them. When he wakes up Sam is curled around him, his face in Dean's neck, his leg between Dean's, his arm around him and the back of Dean's head cradled in his hand. He smells awesome and he's so fucking warm and Dean turns his head into Sam's hair and breathes and his heart is racing and it's awkward as hell. Sam is heavy and making stupid sleep noises and Dean's hard in his pajama pants but it's not more urgent than the need to not wake his brother up. He closes his eyes and sighs, shifts his arm under Sam, curls his fingers around Sam's hip, and goes back to sleep.
The next time he wakes up, he's alone in the bed and he can hear Sam puttering around downstairs. He reaches his arm across the other side of the bed, still warm, and then moves into the impression Sam left in the mattress, shoves his face into the pillow Sam slept on, and goes back to sleep.
A few weeks later, it's around noon and Dean is in his office and Lisa's riding him in his chair again, so hot and sweet and tight around him, moaning soft into his ear and all wrapped around him. It's really fucking good and he can't believe he's doing this again but it's so, so fucking good.
And then the doorknob turns. It doesn't make a sound and Lisa doesn’t notice, and she's clenching and tight and throbbing around him, coming with a soft, sexy cry, and Dean stiffens and he's about to get fucking fired and de-licensed and fucked so bad his whole life might crumble down around him.
But it's Sam that opens the door, Sam that stops short, eyes wide, lips parted, color rushing into his cheeks, and it feels like Dean's whole life might crumble down around him anyway. Dean has his hands on Lisa's hips and he drags his eyes down Sam's body and can see Sam's hard, dick thickening in his jeans, and Sam's breathing is a little heavy and he wets his lips and tilts his chin down, like a nod, his eyes still locked tight on Dean's.
Dean doesn't close his eyes when he jacks his hips up once, twice, and he tangles his hand in Lisa's hair and comes with his eyes on his brother and Sam's name silent on his lips. As the aftershocks rip through him his eyes roll back and close. When he opens them again, Sam is gone, and Lisa's hands are soothing and sweet on his neck and face.
Sam crawls into his bed again that night. This time he slips under the covers uninvited, and still early, before Dean's even fallen asleep. Dean is stiff and guilty and weirdly anticipatory, lying on his back and pressing his cheek into his pillow and looking at his brother. Sam curls loose on his side like he always does but he shuffles close, until Dean can feel warm breath on his bare shoulder and Sam's big hand wraps around his wrist, warm and dry and solid.
"Dean," Sam murmurs. It's quiet.
"Do you like her?"
"Sure," Dean answers. Of course he does. She's an awesome chick.
Sam frowns with his whole face, mouth and eyebrows and eyes, thoughtful and unhappy. "Do you think you'll, y'know. Do you think you'll like, date her?"
Dean tilts his head down to look at Sam better, further down toward the foot of the mattress than Dean is. "Why? What's it matter?"
Sam squeezes Dean's wrist and the way he's looking at Dean is almost apologetic. "I don't," he starts, but trails off. His tongue snakes out over his top lip before he finds his voice again. "I don't want you to."
Dean doesn't want to ask why not, doesn't want to think about it, wants to push it all down and put it out of his mind. Sam is warm in his bed, his shins brushing the side of Dean's leg under the covers. Sam is so honest since his last surgery, compelled to tell the truth. Some of his inhibitions are gone, and he's got a lot of new ticks, and he's kind of crazy and kind of awesome and generally very blunt. Sometimes it works for Dean, and sometimes it's so fuckin' sad it makes him want to scream and break things. Now it makes his chest tight, his breath hitch, his skin warm.
"Don't worry," he says. "I don't want to either." He should. He should want the girl and the awesome kid and the picket fence and a normal life, but he belongs here, in this condo doing this job and all fucked up about his brother. He belongs with Sam.
Sam's mouth pulls upward, into a smile so small it's hard to see, a guilty, relieved, hopeful little smile. He closes his eyes and he lets go of Dean's wrist but his hand stays close. Dean turns onto his stomach, pushes his hand up under the pillow and shuts his eyes. Sam is breathing next to him. Dean sleeps.
From that night on, Sam stops sleeping in his own bed, all but moves into Dean's room. Sleeps better there, he says. Likes to have Dean close, he says. It's safer. Dean doesn't question it. Likes it.
He doesn't have sex with Lisa Braeden again.
Dean had known, going in, that the surgery was risky. The chance of survival was less than one percent. Lisa had known. Ben had known. They'd made the decision together that it was worth it, because the tumor had stopped shrinking and the toll it was taking on Ben was too great. And then the hemorrhaging happened.
After six hours in emergency surgery, Ben succumbs, and Dean fails. Time of death is four-twenty-four am on April thirteenth. Dean calls it, his voice even, his mind blank.
All Lisa has to see is his face before she's screaming, crying, shoving him against the wall and punching him as hard as she can, fists beating on his chest again and again. Dean waits it out until she's calm enough to get an arm around. He holds her to his chest and listens to her cry, feels the sobs wrack her whole body, feels her tears soak through his scrubs. She's saying Ben's name again and again, groaning it, screaming it into Dean's chest, and Dean keeps his eyes open and his body still and holds her until her friends and the few family members she has left pull her away.
Bela is still inside the OR when Dean comes back in. Her hair is up in a messy ponytail. She's been a nurse longer than Dean's been a doctor. This isn't the first child she's seen die in the operating room, but she's pale and unhappy. She gets up on her toes to kiss Dean's cheek, and she doesn't tell him that she's sorry but she squeezes his wrist gently and he's glad she doesn't say the words out loud. She leaves, and Dean stares at Ben's body until the white sheet is drawn up over him. He turned twelve three days ago.
Dean avoids both Ellen and Cas on his way out, drives home in a daze, feeling overwhelmingly numb. It's not like he hasn't lost patients before. This is supposed to be part of his job. He went through training on this. He had to go through seeing a shrink after the first time because it's hospital policy. But it's not like it gets any easier, and Ben was...Ben was different. Ben was Lisa's. Dean could've...
Sam is in bed, of course he is. In Dean's bed, because that's where he sleeps now. Dean doesn't remember getting home, doesn't remember finding his spot in the parking garage or turning the Impala off of stowing his keys in his pocket. He doesn't remember the walk to the building or the elevator ride up to the twenty-third floor or stepping into the condo. He doesn't remember toeing out of his shoes or climbing the stairs. But now he's here, in his bedroom, where Sam is sprawled out on his side with the blankets wrapped around him and is warm and asleep and breathing. Cas did this, made this possible. Cas has lost patients too but he saved Sam.
Dean should've saved Ben.
He's suddenly unable to stand anymore, lurches forward and sits down on the side of the bed. Sam's a light sleeper, both of them always have been, trained by their Marine father to practice constant vigilance (and, naturally, fire safety). He comes awake quick, Dean can feel him shifting around, but he doesn't look around at him. He's got his gaze glued on a spot on the floor, a patch of light from the plug-in in the hallway and moonlight through the slats of the closed blinds.
"Dean?" Sam asks. His voice is sleep-rough, a little slurred. Dean's throat is tight, obstructed. He can barely swallow.
"Hey," he says, because it feels like he should.
Sam is moving again, the sheets moving, blankets pulling. "What—You're really late. Everything okay?"
"Ben Braeden died," Dean tells him. He hasn't told Sam a whole lot about Ben, but he's said enough. "Tonight. He died tonight on the table."
He hears a quiet intake of breath, and then he feels a wide, warm palm settle on his back. "Oh, man, Dean, I'm sorry."
Dean snorts a derisive laugh. "Yeah," he says dryly. "Yeah, me too."
He's still for a long time, and so is Sam. It's quiet and awful and Dean's entire body hurts. But then Sam's hand moves, winds around to Dean's chest, palm pressed flat to the center, and Sam is sitting up and drawing Dean back against him into the frame of his body. He goes arms and legs, wraps around Dean like an octopus, pulls him down onto his side, down into the bed, and Dean goes willingly. Sam is warm and smells like soap. The blankets are pulled up over them both, and Sam wriggles them both back so they're in the center of the bed. Dean tilts his head back onto Sam's shoulder and Sam's mouth touches the sensitive skin just in front of Dean's ear and stays there. His hair is soft and ticklish on Dean's cheek. And then there's something warmer there, something hot and wet and Dean's kind of crying.
"Dean," Sam whispers into his skin. He holds him tighter. Dean grips Sam's arm where it's wrapped around him, squeezes hard and Sam's other hand slides over Dean's and holds on just as tight. "It wasn't your fault."
"It was like I was twelve years old again," Dean whispers, and none of this feels real, "watching you die before you ever got to really live and I couldn't do a goddamn thing."
"Dean," Sam says again. "It wasn't your fault."
"This wasn't supposed to happen. He was...He was all his mom had, y'know? He was an AC/DC fan. He thought my car was the coolest fucking thing in the world."
Sam rubs at Dean's chest, fits his fingers into the gaps of Dean's ribs, brushes his lips over Dean's cheek and curls around him until there's nothing there, Sam's body at his back, the great Wall of Sam in the face of Dean's grief.
"You've saved so many lives, man," Sam says. "Hundreds of kids are alive because of you."
"Yeah," Dean says, though hundreds is pushing it pretty spectacularly. "Seems like the losses are always the ones that stick though."
The guilt is bad, so fucking bad, eating at him inside, but it's all muted and far away. He can't deal with this yet. He can't really deal with this at all. It'll ease. It always does. Another notch in his belt. Dean mostly hates himself.
"Don't die, Sam," he says. "You can't die, okay?"
"'m here," Sam tells him. "'m staying. Promise. Dean, I promise."
Dean closes his eyes, turns his head a little to nudge his nose against the line of Sam's jaw. Sam turns his head too, lifts himself up a little so they're looking at each other. Sam's got his concerned face on, eyebrows drawn together and the corners of his mouth pulled down. Dean parts his lips, grips Sam's arm hard and Sam's mouth touches his in a slow, dry kiss. It calms Dean down a little. He's tired.
"I got you," Sam tells him, his breath warm on Dean's face and in Dean's hair, lips on Dean's forehead now. "Dean. Dean. I got you."
Dean doesn't answer. There's not really anything to say. He pushes further back into Sam's chest and closes his eyes.
Six weeks and some change later, Dean wakes up with his brother in his bed, except this time there's nothing between them at all and Sam is long and built and solid and all warm skin against him. Sam graduated from Stanford Law last night, and Cas was there with Dean in the audience, and after it all went down he looked at the two of them and gripped both their shoulders and said, "It really is okay. Y'know, by me anyway."
Cas is kind of like Dean's personal Jesus (not the Depeche Mode kind). He saved Sam, so he saved Dean too. Dean's personal Savior and Messiah. His opinion is kind of the only one that matters besides their own. It was good enough. For both of them.
They barely made it into Dean's bed, and when they did they were already undressed. There's still a trail of clothes from the front door to the foot of the bed. Dean keeps his eyes closed, remembers Sam spread out underneath him, his legs wide, one wrapped around Dean's waist, canting his hips up in time with the slow thrust of Dean's fingers inside him. Remembers the inside of Sam's mouth and the soft, hot sound Sam made when Dean sunk inside him. Remembers fucking Sam slow and deep and careful, even when Sam got impatient because he can't fucking hurt him, remembers the tight, tight clench of Sam's ass and coming so fucking hard and deep inside him.
He remembers a few hours later, Sam's smirk, his drawled "My turn", his long, slender fingers scrubbing over Dean's prostate while he kissed Dean to make him shut up "I don't need a fucking anatomy lesson, Dr. Winchester". He remembers Sam's giant fucking cock pushing into him, stretching him open, punching a sound out of his throat that he'll never admit to, remembers scraping up Sam's broad back with blunt fingernails and sucking on his little brother's tongue and riding his little brother's cock and coming and coming and coming like he couldn't stop, feeling Sam spill so hot inside him.
It was, all in all, a damn good night. And maybe Dean feels a little guilty, and maybe this is wrong and fucked up. But Dean lifts his head from Sam's chest and looks down at Sam, who's all rumpled from sleep and blinking slow and muzzy, but grinning a little too. He clicks his tongue against the roof of his mouth and Dean waits for the inevitable freak out. He's know he's wanted to fuck Sam for months now, and that was with both of them fully dressed in the living room. How is Sam going to take this?
"So," he says. It's awkward. God, it's really fucking awkward. "Hey."
Sam laughs a little. He's got god-awful morning breath. Dean makes a face and clears his throat, looks shiftily to the side. Sam's legs are all tangled up with his. He can feel Sam's cock long and thick against his thigh. Sam tilts his head. "Hey."
"You gonna like. Freak?" Dean asks delicately.
Sam quirks an eyebrow. "No," he says. "Did that a long time ago."
Dean snaps his head back to look at him, stunned. "What?"
"Like, a while ago. Like when I had the chance to get my own place when our lease was up at the old apartment and I wanted to stay with you, instead."
Dean sits up quick and points at Sam accusingly. "That's why you were such a fucking prick!" He says loudly. "You didn't talk to me for like, a month, dude! You'd just complain about every goddamn decision I made and act like a jackass!"
"Yeah, well," Sam shrugs, looking only a little sheepish. "It was hard to talk to you when I was fantasizing about fucking you, dude."
Dean stares at him. "Christ," he says. "We are so fucked up, Sammy."
Sam laughs, reaches out to grip the back of Dean's neck, pulls him down and pushes their mouths together. It doesn't taste good but it feels pretty goddamn nice, and Dean sprawls between Sam's legs when Sam pulls him closer, lies back and takes Dean with him.
"Yeah," Sam says, kind of breathless, voice soft and familiar in Dean's ear. Dean slides his arm around Sam's back and hauls him up so they're pressed chest to chest. "But at least we're fucked up together, huh?"
Dean grins against Sam's neck, bites and Sam's ear, and feels something inside him just kind of let go, unclench. He lets himself relax. He lets himself be happy. What a novel fucking idea.
"Yeah," he says. Sam's heart is beating steady and alive against his own. "You and me against the world, Sammy."
"You and me," Sam says. "So, we're good? You're good?"
Dean lifts his head and nods. "Totally good," he tells him, and when Sam looks a little skeptical, Dean smacks a kiss to his forehead. "This is good. Normal."
"Normal?" Sam says incredulously.
Dean just grins. "Trust me. I'm a doctor."