They're just two hours into a sixteen hour drive day when Dean pulls into a Quik Trip to fill up the gas tank.
"You want anything?" he asks Sam, walking backwards across the parking lot.
"Way to be specific, princess." Dean calls, vanishing into the store, but Sam just flips him the bird and goes back to his newspaper. It's a good morning, sun bright and clear in the sky, and they got rid of something evil last night, saved some people. Sam's feeling pretty charitable towards Dean's routine taunts.
Dean comes back out, a plastic grocery bag hooked in one finger and goes to screw the cap back over the gas tank. He flicks a bag of Sunchips at Sam through the open passenger side window, grinning like a kid, and crosses in front of the car, flinging himself comfortably into the driver's seat. He's already digging through the shopping bag for something, despite the Slim Jim that's sticking out from the corner of his mouth.
Sam grins in response, even though his brother just chucked a bag of chips at his head. Dean just has that effect on him. "It's like living with a giant goddamned eight year-old."
"You love it." Dean shoots back, by rote, without looking up. He's still seeking something out in the bagful of junk food and Sam gets curious, despite himself.
"What're you--" he starts to say, but Dean cuts him off with a pleased, triumphant noise.
"Mystery flavor, Sam!" he exlaims, waving a bright colored package of bubble gum in his brother's face. "Or are you too chicken?"
Sam starts, a genuine smile creeping over his face. It's been years since they played this game. "Oh, it is so on."
The game started, much like everything else in their lives, with Dean trying to keep little Sammy happy and quiet in the backseat of the Impala, during one of their father's cross-country drives. The premise is simple: they'd each take a piece of mystery-flavored gum or candy or what-have-you, and whoever guessed the flavor first got to pick the snacks for the rest of the week. Dean almost always lost and Sam had never quite figured out if he was trying to appease his baby brother, or whether Dean's steady diet of Doritos and Mountain Dew had actually deadened his taste buds.
"Wait," Sam said, pulling his hand back before Dean could pass him a piece of gum, "Different stakes: winner picks the music for a week, regardless of whether he's driving or not."
Dean scowls, eyebrows coming together sharply. "Two days."
His brother lets out a gusty sign, worrying at his bottom lip with his teeth and Sam can't look away. "Fine."
Sam grins, satisfied. "Alright, gimme." Dean obligies and they both unwrap their pieces. "Ready?"
Dean nods shortly. "One..."
"Three!" They both toss their gum in their mouths, chewing in silence for a second and then...
"Cherry lemonade!" Sam proclaims victoriously.
"Motherfuck!" Dean spits, displeased, and Sam can't resist blowing a massive celebratory bubble in his brother's direction. Dean reaches out to pop it, but Sam's expecting that, dodges easily, laughing.
"I think this is one of those packs where every piece is a different mystery flavor," Dean says, so seriously that Sam almost believes him for a second, but then he catches the gleam in Dean's eye and remembers that his brother is a hustler, born and raised.
"Dude, you really don't think you're gonna pull one over on me?"
Dean gives him a petulant look, but Sam can tell it's just for show. "You don't know what flavor mine is, you can't prove it."
And Sam doesn't know why he does it, he really doesn't. But Dean's green eyes are bright, the same challenge in his voice that got Sam his very first broken bone, and his brother's always had this effect on him. Before he's even given himself a moment to think it through, he's slid across the seat, hooking an arm around Dean's neck, and crushing their mouths together.
Dean swears loudly and gasps, his lips parting under his brother's and suddenly Sam forgets what he's doing this for, just thinking yes, good, more and pressing in closer with a groan. His brother tastes like cherry lemonade and coffee, the faint bite of whiskey suggesting that he spiked his drink at the diner earlier. He tastes like Dean and suddenly that's the hottest possible thing Sam's ever experienced and he licks kinda helplessly at the roof of his brother's mouth.
Dean's lips are impossibly soft, his mouth velvety and warm and perfect, and Sam is a little blindsided by the realization that he could happily do this for the rest of his life.
Then his brain catches up with him and he realizes he's sucking on Dean's tongue--Dean who almost certainly did not wake up this morning expecting to be an unwilling participant in an incestous make-out session--and Sam jerks back with a gasp.
Dean's head thunks back against the driver's side window hard enough to be pretty painful, but he doesn't flinch, eyes squeezed shut. Sam makes a weird, panicked sound and those eyes fly open, too wide and dark, green irises swallowed up almost completely by blackness. He's looking at Sam like he's never seen him before; startled and wary, and Sam's stomach clenches.
"Jesus Fucking Christ," Sam mutters, awkwardly scrambling out of his brother's lap and back across the bench seat, "Fuck, Dean, I'm sorry!"
Inexplicably, Dean looks displeased at that, eyebrows drawing together in a frown. "Sorry for doing it, or sorry for liking it?"
Sam's stomach bottoms out. He'd been hoping to play it off--another one of their damn pranks gone to far--but Dean's apparently seen through that ploy before it was even attempted.
Probably because Sam was sucking on his tongue and moaning like a two-dollar whore less than three minutes ago.
"Uh." he says inelegantly. Dean will give him this out, Sam knows, if he wants it; Dean will never deny him anything.
But Sam can't bring himself to lie to his brother, not now, even if it means Dean will send him away. Even if leaving his brother's side now might actually kill him. Dean deserves the truth and Sam knows, under the years of conditioning and denial, that this isn't really a surprise to him.
"I--" Sam stares past Dean's left shoulder, rather than looking him in the eye, "I, uh, I li--liked it." he says, sorta lamely. I really really liked it his brain supplies unhelpfully, but Sam ignores it, thinking the damage is probably already bad enough.
"Sammy." Dean breathes, and there's an odd tone to his voice, not the disgust Sam was expecting, so he doesn't really have any other choice but to look up.
Dean's expression is wrecked, there's no other way to put it, and Sam feels sick, because he did that. But then Dean reaches up and puts his palm flat against his brother's cheek and this is not going how Sam expected it to at all.
"You're not fuckin' with me, Sammy?" Dean says in a hushed tone, "Because I don't--I can't--"
"Dean, Dean," Sam cuts him off, a terrifying fluttering sensation taking up residence in his chest. It feels suspiciously like hope, "Are you...do you...?" he can't even finish, too frightened that he's reading this wrong, that he's gonna ruin everything.
But Dean's there, as consistent as the moon, knowing exactly what Sam can't say and he nods, jerky and frantic.
"Yeah. Yes. God, Sammy, always." And then he's reeling his brother in again, crushing their lips together with a fierce sort of finality and Sam thinks his heart might actually explode out of his chest.
The second kiss is better than the first, probably because they're both participating, and Sam's starting to get some pretty interesting ideas as Dean cranes up to mouth along his neck, panting like he's run miles. His brother pulls back and looks at him mischevously, eyes heavy lidded and Sam presses down into him again.
"Dean, nngh, c'mon, please." he's not even sure what he's begging for, but there's a light puff of breath on the side of his face as Dean chuckles.
"Not that I'm not totally onboard with this, Sammy," he says, unfairly coherent, "But we're in a parking lot." Sam ignores this, sucking a bruise just under his brother's jawbone, satisfied to hear the tremor that comes into Dean's voice, "Ungh...Texas. Sammy, God, broad daylight."
Sam's still not really listening, fascinated to discover that his brother apparently has an incredibly sensitive throat. But that's about the moment a car horn explodes from the car at the pump behind them and some redneck asshole yells, "You queers better git outta here before I go for my shotgun."
"Aaaand that's our cue," Dean says, regaining control of the situation, pushing Sam out of his lap. He's laughing, eyes bright and as soon as he revs the engine, Sam glances over his shoulder, and waves cheerfully at the old farmer, watching his hands clench in annoyance, and he joins his brother's laughter.
Dean reaches for the volume control then, but Sam snaps out, whippet quick, and grabs his wrist.
"Dude--" Dean tries to protest.
"Dude," Sam mocks, "You lost, fair and square." When Dean opens his mouth, all aggrieved, to argue, he adds, "I am intimately aware of how your gum tasted, so don't even try it."
A pink flush floods Dean's face at that, and Sam decides he really likes it. He leans forward and pecks a kiss at the corner of his brother's mouth and Dean's hand falls away from the radio and his lips quirk.
"Oh, fine," he says, trying to twist his expression away from the sparkling joyous one he's currently wearing, without much success, "But if you play any of that goddamn boy band shit, I swear I won't blow you when we get to the motel."
Sam blinks, a little shocked, and a whole lot aroused. "I think that's a compromise I can deal with," he manages, voice rough, and Dean quirks an eyebrow like he knows what his little brother is thinking.
They end up listening to Muse on the variety station and even Dean starts bopping after a few minutes, this new thing between them happy and contagious, reparations for everything else they've been made to suffer.
Yeah, Sam thinks, not a bad compromise at all.