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Don't Beat Yourself Up About It

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I was kind of an asshole about it, at first.

I mean, because it was funny. At least to me.

It was a cooyli, we figured out later. This little spirit-y thing that likes to hang out in the South, below the Mason-Dixon line, according to the lore. They're mostly pretty harmless, when you get down to it; like to fuck with people, make 'em do stupid shit and get in trouble. But they get bored easy, so they tend to pop in and out, make you run around the block naked or break into some cars or curse out your boss--nothing major, nothing soul-crushing or life-destroying, usually. Just like, the supernatural equivalent of a 12-year old boy: ring your mental doorbell, light a bag of dog shit on fire, and run the fuck away, cackling, listening to you curse as it flees.

They don't usually stick around longer than a day or two. Most times, people don't even know they've been ridden.

Usually. Most times.

Not this time. Not for Sam.

The thing made a fucking buffet out of him. Made a little treehouse in his noggin, strung two cans between his hand and his cock, and went to town.

Because, apparently? They like it when you make them laugh. When you entertain them, give ‘em a reason to stay.

Which, hey, I didn’t know, at the time.

So you could say it was my fault. Sort of.

At first, I figured it was happening because Sam never got laid. Because like all of a sudden, out of nowhere, he was lit up like a Roman candle all the time, like he was going through puberty again, or something.

We were at breakfast, the first time it happened. Had this really cute brunette as a waitress and she made some joke I didn't get, something about a German guy called Can’t, whoever that is, and Sam laughed, looked up, looked right at her. And then he got the weirdest expression on his face: like, blank and confused and flushed in the same breath.

His mouth stopped moving mid-sentence, and the girl just smiled like he was a complete weirdo (true) and as soon as she moved away he was up and out of the booth, bolting for the bathroom.

And I figured he was sick, that his egg white omelet thing was wreaking its revenge, and that was only right, because the waffles were freakin' amazing at that place, and like who doesn't eat the whole damn egg? Jesus.

But he wasn't gone very long. And when he came back he was blushing like a little kid. I mean full-on red faced and panting and as soon as he met my eyes I knew what it was and I laughed for like an hour, after that. Because, really?

"Really, Sammy?" I may have said like a hundred times, until I was almost crying over the steering wheel, watchin' him get more and more pissed off the harder I laughed, and it was this vicious circle of funny that, at the time, was just awesome.

Because Sam is a control freak, a goddamn Zen master, and it was kind of great, watching that control slip, a little.

He spent a lot of time in the shower that evening, biting towels or something, I'm sure, so I wouldn't hear. Like I was an idiot, or something, or worse: like I was a prude. I mean, come on. Please.

I tried to tell him that, tried to give him some perverted version of the "everybody whacks off" speech I gave him when he was like 10, but he wouldn't listen. Turned like four shades of red and stomped out of the room, cursing.

I leaned out after him. "Don't whip it out in the street, ya perv!" I yelled, scaring the crap out of the old couple going into the next room, but whatever. The little bitch didn't even turn around.

And then, after that, I may have played into it, a little. May have leaned over in the middle of an interview, at the edge of a crime scene, inside the deep freezer at the morgue, and whispered something about the curve of the widow's ass in that skirt, the blond cop with the smart mouth, the way the corpse was eyeing him, and enjoyed watching him fucking squirm, watch him drape his jacket over his crotch or curl his binder in his fingers or edge behind the meat table: anything to try and hide his completely inappropriate hard on until he could flee to the nearest bathroom or whatever.

And, now, knowing what it was, knowing that it was the cooyli driving Sam's dick: I was the one who pushed it too far. The one to shift it from amusing to kind of disturbing, to shove him from embarrassed to humiliated, to move it from hilarious to kind of problematic.

If I'd just left well enough alone, the stupid thing would have gotten bored with Sam's self-hate and humiliation and bugged the fuck out.

But, hey, I didn't know what I was doing, at the time.

After three days of this routine, of twisting the knife in Sam's side, of watching him squirm, I was running the fuck out of material. I was all out of cheap come-ons and my eyebrows hurt from waggling them so much. We were stuck in this stuffy sheriff's office, waiting for him to get out of a meeting with a local dairy farmer or some shit. Even flashing the badges at Rusty the deputy hadn't helped to speed things up.

I was bored.

And it had been at least an hour since Sam sported one in the coffee shop and almost broke the land speed record getting to the bathroom, making me snort hot coffee up my nose and cough so hard that the barista dude came two steps from giving me the Heimlich, and only Sam's reappearance had saved me from mouth-to-mouth, practically.

So I leaned over, all casual like, got my mouth near his ear, right and bright and soft, and said:

"What, ya got nothing for me, Sammy? Don't I do it for you anymore, babe?"

And I was totally kidding, and it sounded like it, he had to have been able to tell, but he turned his head, met my eye, and said my name in this way that was totally not brotherly, ok, that was practically filthy, and his face went from zero to fuck-me-now in like a second. I didn't move, just stared right back, stunned, didn't have to look to see if it had worked, if he was--

And that's when the sheriff came in, blustering and loud and luckily kind of fucking clueless. He didn't notice that the binder didn't move off Sam's lap the whole time. That Sam just sat there biting his lip and nodding and not saying anything.

And ok, even I could see there was a problem, now.

He spent the night not looking at me, not talking to me unless he had to. Eyes locked on the laptop, fingers sliding up and back and over the keys, searching. I called Bobby and got the machine. Left a message so vague that I wouldn't have called me back, because, wow, really did not want to have that incredibly awkward and potentially soul-scarring conversation.

And he didn't.

The next morning, the next day, was so freaking uncomfortable. We split up--that seemed best--and got it done. Met up at a cemetery after dark. Didn't talk more than we had to. Didn't touch.

At least until I had to get out of the fucking grave. Then I needed a hand. He reached down like he has a thousand times, and oh, I could see it in his face as soon as his fingers closed around my elbow. Could almost feel it in his fingertips.

But this time, he was humiliated. As well as staffed up. That sucked.

I took my time loading the car, after. Gave him time to commune with nature, or something.

And we drove on to the next town, the next gig, because neither of us really wanted a repeat of the night before. Of spending like eight hours not talking, not looking, and sure as hell not touching. Of keeping ourselves as far apart from each other as we could.

In the car, he sat squinched up on the seat, eyes closed, head back, body curled as tight as he could, given his fucking hugeness and my baby's limitations.

I was close-mouthed, eyes locked on the road.

Because it wasn’t something that either of us wanted to talk about. That seemed to warrant any kind of discussion.

After a while, though, the clouds kind of cleared away as we drove west. The moon came out, soft and silver and kinda pretty, and Sam's cock was part werewolf, apparently, came up at the light of the moon, because he started shifting around, making these weird little sounds, choked and mewing and kind of desperate.

I turned, caught the side of his head in my eye. "It's ok," I said. "It's ok, man. You do what you have to do. It's ok."

I heard him raise his head and huff. "Sam," I said, warning. "Come on. It's not worth suffering over. God. Just do--whatever and it'll be fine. We'll figure it out."

He shook his head, his whole body, until the seat rocked with him. "No," he gritted through his teeth. "Not in front of you. No."

And that was it, ok? The guilt train fucking slammed into my head, swung an anvil or something in my brain, and I started looking for a place to pull off, cursing and shaking the wheel and trying to reassure him all at once.

That didn't really work.

He kept rocking, I kept looking, things kept getting weirder until finally I saw an access road or something cut into the trees, swung her over and in and stopped the car, turned to him. And it was dark, so goddamn dark, under those fucking trees.

"Sam," I said again, softer, and this time, after a minute, I could feel him unwind himself. Could hear his zipper come down and that was kind of a relief, honestly. Like, ok. I leaned my head into the window and closed my eyes. Waited for it to be over.

But he, of course, couldn’t stop torturing himself. Couldn’t stop beating himself up about beating off, I guess.

He started to work himself, to pull, but then he moaned, turned and hit his head on the window. Hard.

“Dean,” he said. Desperate. “Make it stop. Please. I don’t want to–“

And that was all I could take of that, honestly.

I mean, how many people are there who, if faced with a problem whose only solution, seemingly, is to jerk off, would get so goddamn melodramatic about it? Jesus.


I reached over, fumbling in the dark, and grabbed his free hand.

Caught his wrist in my fingers and held it, turned it so his palm was open for me. Exposed. He made like a desperate noise in his throat and pulled back, just a little, until I reached up with my other hand and stroked his palm, soothing. Soft.

"It's ok," I said, my voice sounding way too loud in all that quiet. "It's ok. See? It's fine, Sammy, it’s fine. Just relax." And he must have bought it because he stopped trying to pull away, leaned back with a shudder. Started stroking himself again, slower this time. Watching. Me, I guess, the best he could.

I took a deep breath and started moving my fingers. Started tracing lazy circles in his palm, my fingertips touching, barely touching, him. I slid up and back and around, brushing the grooves, the cuts, the scars, down and over and again, and I felt, could just feel, the blood breathing in his skin. The calluses at the base of each finger. The soft triangle at the top of his wrist. The valleys between his thumb and forefinger. I followed them all, brushed them into being, saw them brighter with my fingers in the dark than I had in the light of every other damn day.

I started alternating the pressure-–first dragging, then caressing, now digging in--and that must have been good because he groaned, started working himself faster, tried to shove his palm up into my fingers. But I ignored him, kept up my own pace, slow and easy. I let my vision my world narrow to just my hand in his. He and I. Him and me. Normal.

Relatively speaking.

But everything was magnified, it seemed like, in that small space.

The sound of his breathing, dark and heavy. Ready. Oh, he was getting ready real quick.

The feel of my heart pounding in my chest. Loud. So loud and fast I was kinda worried it might pull a John Hurt and bust out squealing and bloody, scurry across the seat and over Sam's shoulder and beat it out into the dark. In search of its next victim.

The pulse of the seat beneath me as it hummed in time with Sam as he panted, shifted, yanked. Dug himself in, pushed himself out, his hips shooting up into his fist and falling back. And forth.

And I was focused, so focused on him, on keeping him grounded, on reminding him that everything was ok, really, if he'd just let go and come with me sitting right the fuck there, then we could keep going, could go figure out what the hell it was, and I could get my brother back, could trade in this–whatever the fuck he was, tall and weird and beautiful and lit up like a fucking firecracker, so anxious to get his hands on himself that he couldn't wait, had to do it right then, with me right there, right in front of him, for god's sake! that I lost track of myself just long enough to lean down without thinking and trace his life line with my tongue, to push my mouth into his palm, to kiss him there and dig my teeth in, a little, and.


He screamed, no other word for it, really, my name or a curse or both and just fucking came apart in the air between us, on the seat, on the dash, on me, a little. But it was dark and that helped because it meant that I could raise my head and lean over and kiss him without thinking, without worrying if I was gonna get him all over me, because I kinda wanted that, right then. And he kissed me back, reached for me with a sticky hand and pulled me in close, so close I sort of ended up in his lap, my back against the door, my head tipped back, his tongue shooting down into my mouth.

Again, the dark was a good thing. Left less room for worrying about who and what and when. More time for yes and now and again.

I arched up, let him lock an arm around my waist, slide a hand beneath my shirt. Push his palm into my stomach. My side. My chest.

I couldn't figure out what to do with my own arms, exactly, so they ended up kinda folded between us like I was a busted-up card table. But it was cool, letting him figure out what to do with me. What to give me. Nice to lie back and let myself be stroked and kissed, touched and bitten, until I started to feel a little crazy, a little out of it. Until my cock started shouting in my ear, until my hips were bucking up into nothing, looking for something that wasn't there. Not yet.

They did it again, this time so hard that I almost fell over, fell out of his lap, and he snickered into my mouth. Which would have been really freaking annoying if my cock wasn't suddenly in his hand, if I wasn't, ok, moaning into his face, if my hips weren't doing their thing again, this time with some actual purpose, with some kind of tangible goal: to get more of his touch, to have his hand everywhere, all over me, right the fuck now.

He grinned, pushed his teeth into my jaw and stroked me. Gently. Almost tender. Which was, again, fucking infuriating, goddamn it, and I opened my mouth to bitch, to demand to see the manager already, but all that came out was this slow-motion whine that shot up into--

And this is a little embarrassing, in retrospect.

--into full-on begging really fucking fast, because he started jerking me, hard, gave me like no room to think or to find words or anything and I fell hard into profanity, so quick that I’m not sure what came out, exactly. Just heard "fuck" and "please" and "goddamn it!" over and over, echoing in my head in the car in my throat until, clear as day, I heard Sam say, right and bright and soft in my ear:

"Would you just come already, you stupid bastard?"

And ok, from anyone else, that would have been totally insulting and would have made me feel like a girl, or something, being bossed around like that. But from Sammy, god, it totally shot me all to hell, right then, and I came all over the goddamn place like a fucking fire hose or something and made a noise that was alien and strange and honestly, kind of girly but hey. That was ok. Because it was just a one-time thing. Just for Sam.

All the tension in my body fell right the fuck away and I leaned back, pressed my shoulder into his. Pretended that I wasn't panting. That he wasn't laughing at me, a little, wasn't nuzzling my head and nipping at my ear.

"MMmmmm," I tried to say, I think, but even that came out sort of warped.

"Yeah," he breathed, and kissed me again in this infuriating way where it was clear that he was trying to make me nuts, teasing and playful and then dark, all of a sudden, my face in his hands, his fingers, still sticky as all get out, curving around my jaw, brushing the back of my neck.

Which, just for the record, totally wouldn’t have worked if I hadn't been so swimmy and dumb, hadn't been so damn out of it after coming like that, into his hand. But I was, and I had, so I went straight to Jello, fell right back into sighing and, unfortunately, uh, whimpering under his mouth.

Yeah. Embarrassing.

I might have even wrapped my arms around his neck. Maybe. Just so I could stay upright.

But there’s no proof of that.

So the cooyli? That was a one-time thing.

But what happened between us? That's stuck around a little longer.