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Desperate Measures

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DesperateMeasures

 

Chapter 1

Burlington, Iowa

"You're not going anywhere, Dean. Stay inside so the good, law-abiding citizens of Iowa don't see you and report us both to America's Most Wanted."

From his seat on the too-soft motel couch, Dean resisted the urge to poke his tongue out at Sam. "Just go already, would you? I'm starving."

"I'm serious. Stay inside." Sam warned, but Dean just waved a dismissive hand at his baby brother and focused back on the laptop in front of him. He didn't see Sam roll his eyes as he went out the door.

"And don't forget the beer!" Dean called after him, and grinned as Sam called back something impolite. The lock clicked as he pulled the door shut behind him, probably slightly harder than was strictly necessary, and a few seconds later the Impala roared to life and pealed out onto the street.

Despite appearances, Dean knew Sam was right. After that debacle in St. Louis his police sketch was all over the news, even in the adjoining states. Being a dead ringer for a recently-deceased serial killer would definitely get the attention of the local Five-0.

Dean being held on murder charges would severely restrict the Winchester boys' ability to find their dad, so with a view to avoiding such an inconvenience, they'd put St. Louis in their rear-view mirror as soon as the Shifter was dead and they had made sure Becky was okay. They drove all day and into the night, putting as many miles as possible between themselves and Dean's doppelganger, only stopping well over the Iowa state line when both had been too tired to drive any further.

That had been nearly four days ago, and the heat was finally dying off. The story had disappeared from the papers and the local news bulletins weren't even showing his police sketch anymore. This was a good thing, because Dean was starting to go a little stir crazy. He'd spent those three-and-a-bit days shut inside their shoebox of a room, hidden way in the back of an equally tiny motel that was as far away from the main roads as they could get, and had well and truly run out of things to do.

After cleaning every weapon they owned, casting more silver bullets to replace the ones they'd used on the Shifter, going through John's journal with a fine-tooth comb (again) and exhausting the motel's pay-per-view menu (let's face it, there's only so much Casa Erotica one guy can watch), Dean had even resorted to trying a few of Sam's books. But To Kill a Mockingbird just didn't do it for him, and staring at the faded floral wallpaper got old real fast, so he now found himself playing around on Sam's laptop.

Dean sat on the edge of the couch with the laptop open on the coffee table and beer in hand as he scrolled through Sam's obsessively organised digital photos, looking through his brother's other life at Stanford. There were photos from a few parties, random places around what looked like the Stanford campus, some football and baseball games, and from a sightseeing trip into San Francisco. But mostly, the photos were of the same small group of people. He saw Becky and Zach in a lot of them, but apart from those two and Sam and Jess, he didn't recognise anyone.

The thing that really struck him about the pictures was that there were a ton of Sam and Jess together. Dean found that kind of sad, because they looked really happy. The thought that the thing that killed their mom had taken this from Sam as well…

Dean heard a crunching sound, and was surprised to find he was unconsciously crushing the nearly-empty beer can in his left hand.

Sam might not remember Mary, but Dean did; he knew what Sam had lost that night in his nursery, even if his little brother didn't. And as if that wasn't bad enough, now that monster had to take his girlfriend too…?

He drained the remaining beer from the mangled can and tossed it a few feet through the air and into the kitchen sink, where it landed with a metallic clatter, then turned back to the laptop with a sigh. He was starting to feel the need for something stronger than beer.

Dean clicked through to another folder, containing some older pictures. He still saw some familiar faces, but Jess wasn't there - looking at the dates on the photos, and counting the months off on his fingers, he realised that was because Sam hadn't met her yet. He would only have been in his second semester when most of them were taken. Zach and Becky were still there, but a few different guys were showing up that weren't in the later pictures. There were maybe three or four different young men that Dean could identify - all were tall, tanned and athletic, and looked about the same age as Sam.

"Maybe Sammy joined the soccer team." Dean smiled to himself, scrolling down further. Sam looked like he was close to these guys - they were always smiling, and he often had an arm around their shoulders, or them around his. Good friends, by the look of it.

It's nice that Sam had friends, Dean decided, ignoring the small twinge of jealousy that stabbed at his gut. The kid had always been something of a loner, and it was good to see him doing the social thing. Really it was.

Just because Dean hadn't ever quite managed to get away from their dad and do it himself didn't mean he couldn't be happy for his baby brother - the fact that it all came crashing down so spectacularly brought him no joy. He loved being on the road with Sam, but he'd give anything for his baby brother to have that 'normal' again.

"Oh yeah. Definitely haven't had enough to drink yet." Dean groaned, looking wistfully at the fridge. The can he'd thrown into the sink was the last one, and he'd have to wait until Sam got back with a fresh six-pack, so he went back to the laptop and opened the next folder. He was getting deep into the maze that was Sam's organisation system, and this one was buried under a few layers of other folders.

When the image previews loaded, Dean's heart nearly stopped. "Holy…" he breathed, blinking a few times as he stared at the screen. He knew immediately, without a shadow of a doubt, that Sam wouldn't want him to see these photos.

There weren't many - all the thumbnails fit on one screen - but there didn't need to be. Dean had found a folder of pictures (and even some videos) of his baby brother with other guys. With them. In the Biblical sense.

Dean sat heavily back in the quicksand-soft cushions of the couch, staring at the screen, and rubbed at his mouth with one hand while his brain ground its gears and tried to make sense of what he was looking at.

"How the hell did I miss this?" he asked the empty room, and ran a hand back through his hair as he unconsciously chewed on his lower lip.

Dean knew his little brother. They'd lived in each other's pockets basically their entire lives - he knew Sam as well as he knew himself. Or at least, he thought he did. He'd never even seen Sam look twice at another guy, and-

There was a shocked gasp from behind him, and Dean leapt up off the couch like it had bitten him. He spun to see Sam standing there, clutching takeaway noodle boxes and the promised six-pack, with a look of absolute horror on his face.

Dean held his hands up, palms out, in a placating gesture. "Sam, it's all right-" he began, but Sam cut him off mid-sentence.

"This is not all right, Dean!" Red patches bloomed high on the younger Winchester's cheeks, a mixture of anger and embarrassment.

I didn't want him to find out this way!

Hell, Sam wasn't sure he wanted Dean to find out at all. But, now that he had, Sam wasn't sure how to react. He thought he should probably be angry Dean was looking through his photos, or even embarrassed at the contents of the ones he'd seen, but mostly… mostly, he just felt sick.

He turned away and dropped the food and beer onto the kitchen table, and Dean saw his shoulders rise and fall as he took some long, deep, and slightly shaky breaths. Wisely, he let Sam take a few of those before he tried again. This time though, acutely aware of how big a deal this must be for his little brother, he made a conscious effort to choose his words more carefully.

"I'm sorry." he said, simply, and Sam tensed. That wasn't what he'd been expecting. He took one more deep breath and turned slowly back to face Dean, his expression tense and unreadable.

Dean fought the urge to avoid Sam's gaze, but he needn't have bothered. The younger Winchester looked away after only a few seconds, preferring to stare at the sand-coloured linoleum of the kitchen floor instead. Dean wouldn't have been surprised if he'd started nervously scuffing at the floor with the toe of his shoe - he looked like a kid that had been called to the principal's office and was about to get told off.

"These are your photos, and I shouldn't be digging through them. I just wanted to know what life was like for you at Stanford, you know? You don't really talk about it, and I was kinda curious…" Dean trailed off, brow furrowed as he studied Sam. He looked like he was wishing for a hole to open up in the floor beneath his feet and swallow him.

"So now you know." Sam said quietly, steeling himself for Dean's response. His heart was racing in his chest, and the room suddenly felt extremely small and confined. If the floor had indeed split open and swallowed him whole, he would have welcomed it.

"Yeah… now I know." Dean breathed, and then scrubbed a hand over his mouth as he tried to work out what to say. His brain had been quick enough to recognise what the damn photos meant, but now it couldn't come up with anything halfway intelligent to say about it…?

"Sam-"

"Dean-"

They both spoke at the same time, then stopped. Dean furrowed his brow, watching Sam still studying the linoleum; his whole body was tense and he looked like he was waiting for someone to punch him in the gut.

Like his big brother is about to disown him or something.

Dean wanted to kick himself for not working it out sooner. Suddenly, he knew exactly what to say.

"It's okay, Sam." he said, before the younger Winchester could get another word out. Sam's head snapped up, and Dean was taken aback - even a little hurt - by the look of surprise on his face.

Did he really think I'd turn my back on him just because of this?

"Look, I don't care what your deal is. Guys, girls, sock puppets - do whatever or whoever makes you happy, man." Dean told him, with what he hoped was a reassuring little smile.

Sam just stared with wide eyes, absorbing that. "You don't mind?" he asked, still a little wary.

"I don't get to mind, Sammy. It's your life." Dean told him, and his face broke out into a genuine smile when he saw the anxiety disappear from Sam's expression. All the tension melted from the younger Winchester's body, and he actually breathed a sigh of relief.

Dean took that as a cue to end the chick-flick moment, and busied himself putting the beer away in their little fridge.

Sam sank into one of the kitchen chairs and watched, wordlessly taking the bottle his big brother handed him. A relieved little smile touched the corners of his mouth as he twisted the cap off with a slightly shaky hand, and he felt his heart rate slowing as Dean sat opposite him.

"So what happened, man? I mean, the few dates you actually went on, I remember them being girls." Dean said, taking the cardboard noodle box and plastic cutlery his little brother handed him.

Sam retrieved his own food and utensils before he replied, considering his answer. "Well, when I got away from Dad and hunting and all that crap and I finally had some space to think, I learned a few things about myself." he said slowly, and Dean quirked an eyebrow.

"So you weren't always…?" He waved a hand vaguely in the air, obviously fishing for the correct term.

"I'm bisexual, Dean." Sam supplied, with a small smile, and Dean nodded.

"So you weren't always bi, then? What're they teaching at this college?" he joked, and Sam laughed. It felt good, knowing Dean was okay enough with this to start making jokes.

"Well, I didn't just turn bi, if that's what you're asking. I just never had a chance to be before, I think - the way we lived kind of smothered everything under a blanket." Sam said, taking a long pull of his beer. This was going really well and all, but he still really wanted a drink.

Dean glanced up at him, frowning slightly. "You felt smothered? Dude, we're the freest people I know." he replied, opening his container of Singapore noodles.

Now it was Sam's turn to frown. "Maybe you are, but I couldn't do anything, Dean - I had to fight Dad to even finish high school." He tapped his unopened package of plastic cutlery restlessly on the table as he spoke, some of the earlier tension returning to his voice. "Every spare minute I had was spent rushing through homework, training, or sleeping. I went straight from my textbooks to the frigging firing range, then back again. When did I have time to date anyone - girls or guys?"

"Hey, I did all right." Dean protested, his tone defensive.

"Yeah, but you dropped out, remember?" Sam reminded him, pointedly.

Dean gave a conciliatory nod, but didn't reply - they both knew he'd dropped out because school was getting in the way of hunting. He gave up on the whole 'normal' thing fairly early on, but Sam had stubbornly kept an iron grip on it. Dean knew it made things harder on him, but he never imagined Sam felt so stifled that he couldn't even explore his own sexuality, and he felt sorry for the kid. No matter how you sliced it, that wasn't fair.

"And anyway, even if I was attracted to other guys, it wasn't like we weren't different enough already. Why pile on one more thing, you know?" Sam went on, and sighed as he opened his container of chicken pad thai.

For once, Dean didn't argue with him - he could understand that, he supposed, so he decided to cut Sam some slack and stop pressing the issue. He also suspected, just quietly, that this might go a long way to explaining some of the Sam/John tension; but their childhood dramas weren't really the point of this conversation, so he didn't bring it up. There was quite enough deep-seated drama unfolding as it was, as far as he was concerned.

Sam looked up from his dinner, surprised that Dean wasn't continuing the argument. "Nothing to add?" he asked, eyebrows raised.

"I knew I had it easier than you, but I didn't think you felt so trapped." Dean said, with a shrug, and Sam only just managed to stop his mouth from literally dropping open as he stared in amazement.

Dean is letting me have this one. He never does that!

"Uh - thanks. I, um, appreciate that." Sam blinked, and had to think for a second to remember what he'd been saying. "Well, anyway, when I was on my own I got the chance to be me, finally. Not Samuel Winchester, hunter, whose mother was murdered by a monster. Just Sam. A normal college guy." He shrugged, unwrapping his plastic knife and fork. "For a while, anyway."

"Okay, so tell me - how does Sam the Normal Guy wind up dating other normal guys?" Dean asked lightly, stabbing his fork into the tightly-packed noodles.

That got a little smile from Sam - he was a pain in the ass sometimes, but as big brothers went, Dean could also be pretty awesome. He was putting some obvious effort into making this whole conversation as easy as possible.

In the back of his mind, Sam knew he shouldn't really be so surprised. Dean had never shown the slightest hint of homophobia, but it was still a big deal to come out to your older brother - however it happened. Now that he knew, and Sam knew he was okay with it, it was like a physical weight had been lifted off his shoulders.

God, it's a relief to be able to talk to Dean about this.

"Well, one night I was having beers with Tyler - a friend of Becky's - and he was telling me how he'd just broken up with his boyfriend."

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Palo Alto, California
2002

"So he dumped you? Just like that?" Sam asked, incredulously.

"I know, right? Ungrateful bastard left me cold for the guy that sold him his new car." Tyler confirmed, taking another sip of his beer.

"'Cause used car salesmen are so reliable." Sam joked.

That got a laugh from Tyler. "He deserves whatever he gets. Hope the man-stealing asshole runs over his foot." he replied, and Sam chuckled a little himself.

Sam was sitting with Tyler in a little bar just outside Stanford's grounds. It was a warm summer night and they had a booth by a window, where the very last rays of the evening sun filtered in through the abstract stained glass border of the window and laid coloured mosaic lines on the worn tabletop. They'd both already had a few beers, and were getting along like a house on fire.

Sam had only met Tyler the previous weekend, at Zach's birthday party, and when Becky introduced them Sam was slightly surprised to hear Tyler refer to himself as a 'lab rat'. He looked like he should be surfing at Ocean Beach, not doing a science degree - in Sam's opinion, he wasn't nearly pale or indoorsy enough to be a scientist.

Tyler was a native Californian, and tanned a deep golden-brown with a sprinkling of freckles (over great cheekbones, Sam had noted). And besides being a chemistry major, Tyler was an athlete. He was a second-string receiver for Stanford's football team and only an inch or so shorter than Sam, with short, dark blonde hair, and eyes such a light brown they were the colour of honey in the dusky evening light.

"So are you seeing anyone, Sam?" Tyler asked, peering at the youngest Winchester over the rim of his glass.

Sam, still months away from meeting Jess, shrugged noncommittally. "Nobody at the moment."

That made Tyler raise his eyebrows. "When Becky appeared with you at the party, I figured you two must be together."

"Me and Becky?" Sam choked, and only just managed to avoid spitting out his beer as he laughed. "Nah, we're just friends."

Tyler regarded him sceptically, a small smile touching his mouth. "Guys and girls can't just be friends." he said, knowingly.

"So does that mean you don't have guy friends?" Sam asked, and Tyler paused to think about that for a second.

"I have plenty of male friends," he admitted eventually, "but that's different."

Sam just grinned at him. "It's exactly the same, and you know it. You can have friends that are guys, and I can have friends that are girls." He paused for effect, taking another drink. "For example: Becky."

Tyler's smile widened, but it didn't quite reach his eyes. "So guys aren't your thing? That's a shame." As far as he was concerned, it was a shame. Sam was funny, nice, smart… and, of course, gorgeous.

"Honestly, I've never really had a chance to find out what I am." Sam said, slowly, and Tyler raised his eyebrows in genuine surprise.

"How do you get all the way to college and not know which team you're batting for?" he asked. Sam smiled a little, suddenly self-conscious.

Am I really saying this? I must've drunk more than I thought.

He normally didn't discuss his sexuality with new acquaintances like this, but Tyler was a nice guy - and, if he was honest, Sam couldn't remember the last time he'd known anyone well enough to talk about this stuff anyway. Well, no-one other than Dean.

And this is not a conversation I want to have with Dean.

"I've moved around a lot - basically my entire life. Never stayed in one place long enough to have a long-term relationship with a girl, let alone a guy." He paused, letting the sentence hang. Tyler noticed his hesitation.

"But there was this one guy…" he supplied, and Sam sighed. There was one guy.

"Yeah. I've known him basically forever." Sam admitted, and Tyler grinned.

"And you like him?"

Sam considered that. "I more than like him." God, I sound like a freaking schoolgirl.

"What's his name?" Tyler asked, and Sam hesitated briefly. Maybe he should use an alias. But, then again, it wasn't like Tyler was ever going to meet him…

"His name's Dean."

Tyler put his empty glass down and regarded Sam speculatively. "So you like this guy - a lot, I think - but you're not sure you're not straight?" he asked, and Sam nodded. "Well, I've got news for you." he continued, drily.

That got a chuckle from Sam. "I know, that sounds ridiculous. But it's not guys in general - it's just this one. I've noticed other guys on occasion, and maybe I might have wanted something more with a few of them, but the way I feel about Dean… I've only ever felt anything like that for women. And even then…" Sam sighed again. Honestly, he'd never felt quite this way about a woman either.

"Does he know?"

Sam snorted. "No."

"Are you ever gonna tell him…?"

Sam sat back in his seat and chewed on his bottom lip a little. He wanted to tell Dean, but the thought scared him to death. How exactly do you tell your big brother you're in love with him?

The way Sam saw it, if he told Dean how he felt, there were two possible outcomes. First - and most likely - Dean would reply that he'd never thought about his little brother that way, and it would never happen. That would inevitably lead to awkwardness and a permanent split between them, and he didn't want to fracture what he had with Dean.

Second, Dean might say he felt the same way. And that would be awesome. Until it wasn't, and they split up anyway. In Sam's mind, that was the worst-case scenario - being so close to everything he ever wanted, then watching it drive away in a black classic muscle car. He lived in fear that Dean might say no, but in terror that he might say yes.

"It's complicated." he said, eventually, and then it was Tyler's turn to sigh.

"It's always complicated, Sam."

"He's straight." Sam offered, by way of explanation. He sure as hell wasn't going to give him the other reasons.

"You sure about that?" Tyler asked, quirking an eyebrow.

"Pretty sure, yeah." Sam replied, regretfully. He'd never seen the slightest hint from Dean that he was interested in anything but women. And he was very interested in those.

"There's only one way to know for sure." Tyler suggested.

Sam shook his head and drained the last of his beer. "Dean doesn't even know I'm attracted to guys." he said.

"If he doesn't know it about you, then maybe you don't know it about him either." Tyler offered.

God, Sam wanted to believe that. "I don't even know if it is guys, plural. Maybe it's just him." He shrugged, and signalled the waitress for two more beers.

Tyler considered that for a second, and when he eventually spoke he chose his words carefully. "Can I give you some advice?" he asked.

Sam nodded. "You're the only one here with any clue on the subject." he pointed out, smiling a little.

Tyler gave him a little smile back. "You want to know if it's 'guys' in general, or just him?" he began, and Sam nodded again. "Well, seems to me that you're only going to find out if you try another guy." Tyler said, simply.

Sam was somewhat taken aback by that, and Tyler saw it. "Look, man, I didn't mean to offend you or anything-" he started to apologise, but Sam stopped him.

"No, no - it's cool. You're right." Sam was smiling, but Tyler was unconvinced.

"I don't know what came over me. I don't make a habit of giving random guys advice on their love lives. I mean, I've known you for like a week." He blushed a little, looking horrified that the words had actually come out of his mouth. The rosy tint in his cheeks made his freckles stand out.

Sam held up a calming hand. "No, you're totally right, man," he repeated. "I've never done - it - with a guy; not even anything approaching that. I don't even know what I'm talking about, really."

Even as he was saying the words, Sam's mind was ticking over, thinking it through. He thought he knew where Tyler wanted to go with this. He'd been fishing for clarification on Sam's sexuality when they'd been talking 'girls and guys can't be just friends', and he'd obviously been a little disappointed when Sam had confirmed girls were his thing.

And he had made a good point, after all. Sam had been attracted to a few guys before, and the only way to find out if he wanted to go there - all the way there - was to give it a try.

And I could always pretend it's Dean...

The only thing was, Sam liked Tyler and he wasn't sure he should risk wrecking any potential friendship they might have by 'trying' him out.

Despite Sam's good-natured response to his 'advice', Tyler resolutely steered the conversation away from the jagged reef that was the topic of Sam's sexuality for the rest of the night. They stayed another couple of hours at the bar, eventually leaving after 10pm.

It was still warm outside when they left, which probably accounted for all the people still on the street. There were so many of them out enjoying the balmy evening that it felt more like a Friday night than a Wednesday. Tyler had promised to lend Sam a textbook, so the youngest Winchester and his new buddy made the short walk to Tyler's frat house just off-campus.

As they walked up to the Theta Delta Chi house, Sam noted that they didn't put nearly as much thought in to the student housing as they did the university itself - there were no ivy-covered walls or elegant sandstone arches here. It was a nice old weatherboard house, like all the other nice old weatherboard houses one finds in California. The only indication of its fraternity connection was the sign out front displaying three Greek letters - which was, oddly, draped in multicoloured streamers.

"Those streamers are leftovers from the mixer on the weekend." Tyler explained, as they walked up the path to the front door. The place was quieter than Sam expected, and when Tyler unlocked the door, it was also tidier than a frat house had any right to be.

"I know, everyone's surprised the place isn't an alcohol-soaked, vermin-ridden den of iniquity." Tyler grinned. "That's a weekend thing." he added, starting up the stairs.

Sam laughed and followed him past a series of closed doors bearing names and message boards for their occupants. Strains of Led Zeppelin drifted out from behind one, while at the next door he recognised the squealing tyres and gunfire of Grand Theft Auto.

Tyler's room was at the end of the hall. There was a cork message board here too, and his nametag was stuck on the door under another one that read 'Steven'. Tyler saw Sam raise an eyebrow.

"I know. Someone thought it'd be funny to stick us in the same room. Neither of us have his lips, unfortunately." he quipped. Sam smiled, but not at the joke. Dean had lips like that.

"Is Steven going to mind me turning up here this late on a weeknight?" he asked, as Tyler opened the door. The room was relatively neat and tidy, if a little small, and filled to the brim with a combination of wooden furniture approximately as old as the house, alongside newer IKEA-vintage pieces.

There were two single beds, a couple of desks, and some bookshelves occupying most of the floor space by the walls, plus a comfortable-looking easy chair by one of the two open windows. The place could have benefited from a vacuum cleaner and a little dusting, but overall, it was nicer than a lot of the motels Sam had stayed in over the years. It even had an air conditioner, which Tyler turned on as he walked past it.

"Steve's house-sitting for the week. Won't be back until Sunday." Tyler bent down and opened a little fridge Sam hadn't noticed - it was almost hidden behind the easy chair - and pulled out a couple of beers. He handed one to Sam, then went over to one of the more severely overloaded bookshelves and started scanning it for the one he wanted.

As he perched on the edge of a table by the door and took a drink from the cold glass bottle, already covered in beads of condensation in the steamy night air, Sam watched Tyler and considered what was happening. This was how almost every hookup he'd ever seen Dean have had started. Well, except for the textbook part.

He liked Tyler, and had spent most of the evening noticing pleasing little things about him. A weird (yet wonderful) sense of humour, the same passion for literature that Sam had (evidenced by the overloaded bookshelves)… His full, soft-looking lips and those warm amber eyes didn't hurt, either, and Sam got the impression he was cut under the worn old Billabong t-shirt. He watched as Tyler reached up to pull a book off the top shelf, the hem of his shirt riding up as he stretched.

He looks good in those jeans…

Sam's train of thought was interrupted by Tyler's cry of triumph as he pulled the Spanish textbook down from the top shelf. He blew a thin layer of dust off it, and wiped it clean on said close-fitting jeans as he brought it over to Sam. "One Introductory Spanish textbook, as promised." he said, and handed it over.

"You're sure you don't need that?" Sam asked, looking at the book as he accepted it - except for the fact it was out of its plastic wrapping, it looked brand new.

"Está bien." Tyler waved a hand dismissively, smiling. "I surfed Mexico for six months. I could teach everything that's in this book."

"Maybe you should tutor me." Sam chuckled, not entirely joking. His Spanish wasn't awesome.

Tyler took the textbook and set it down on the table beside Sam. "Spanish isn't the only thing I could help you with." he said, lingering in Sam's personal space for a long moment. Sam immediately grasped his meaning, and sucked in a breath.

Tyler heard the little involuntary gasp, and cringed. "God, I'm sorry, man. I'm just overstepping all kinds of boundaries tonight." He took a couple of steps back, out of Sam's space, running a nervous hand through his sandy hair. Maybe he'd misread the signals - he thought Sam had caught on before they left the bar. The way he'd seen Sam looking at him… it looked like they were both thinking the same thing.

"No - it's okay. Really." Sam protested, getting up to face him.

Tyler just stared at him in amazement. "Are you the nicest guy on the face of the planet? I've been getting into your business ever since we sat down at the bar, and now you're not upset that-"

"Yes."

"-I'm propositioning you in my fucking dorm room-" Tyler finally stopped his embarrassment-fuelled ramble and just stared at Sam. "Wait - what?"

"Let's try it." Sam repeated, and Tyler blinked a couple of times.

"Really?" he asked, eyes narrowed as he tried to work out if Sam was yanking his chain.

Sam could see Tyler wasn't sure, and gave him the least-shaky smile he could manage. "I like you. You're a nice guy, and I'm trying to broaden my horizons. Let's do it."

Tyler slowly smiled back, hardly able to believe his luck. "You're sure?" he asked. Sam just nodded, taking in another deep breath. He could feel his heart thudding against his ribcage, hard enough that he wondered briefly if Tyler might actually hear it.

Tyler set his beer down on the table beside the book, then took Sam's beer and did the same. He pushed Sam gently back against the door, his body always close but never touching, and reached down by his right hip and turned the lock on the doorknob. Only when he heard the metallic click of the pins sliding home did he press right up against the youngest Winchester.

Sam exhaled slowly as he felt Tyler's body against his. Oh yeah - under that t-shirt and jeans, Tyler was ripped.

As Tyler held Sam against the door - gently, trying not to pressure him - he could feel the tension in his new friend. Sam hadn't done this before, and it showed - in his head he had no doubts, but his body hadn't quite gotten the message yet. In the back of his mind he knew he was with another guy, and although it felt good, it was taking the rest of him a while to warm up to the idea after a lifetime of doing this with girls.

But that kind of thing is to be expected, right? It's just going to take a little getting used to, Sam told himself.

"If you wanna stop, all you gotta do is say so." Tyler breathed, only inches from Sam's left ear. He was starting to get hard - Sam could feel it against his left thigh.

It felt… nice, to have another strong body pressed up against his own, pushing him back against the door, and there was no way Sam wanted out of this. He closed the distance between them and pressed his lips to Tyler's by way of reply.

He immediately kissed back, and it wasn't what Sam expected. His lips were soft and gentle - more so than some of the girls Sam had been with - and he tasted good, too. Like beer and bar nuts. Like Dean did in his dreams.

Sam let out a little sigh as he felt Tyler's tongue pressing at his lips, and opened them to let him in. It was nice, making out with Tyler like this - it was a different feeling than he got when he was with a woman, and he liked… he liked the way…

Sam lost his train of thought as he felt Tyler slide one rough, calloused hand up under his shirt. He sucked in a breath as it ran across his abs and caressed his right side briefly, then the next thing he knew, Tyler had his belt undone and that hand dipped down below his waistband.

Sam almost gasped out loud when Tyler's hand found its way inside his boxers. He had gentle hands for a football player, though, and he felt Tyler's lips turn up into a smile as he started rubbing and stroking, and realised just how much of Sam there was to stroke.

"I hit the jackpot, huh?" Tyler whispered into the kiss, getting a small laugh from Sam. With Tyler's talented fingers now in play, his brain finally got out of the way and it wasn't long before he started to get hard.

He tried to undo Tyler's jeans, but only got as far as loosening his belt before he pressed his hips against Sam's and stopped him. "If you do that, babe, it'll be all over right here." he breathed, lips brushing Sam's. He was smiling, but there was no trace of a joke in his voice.

"Just… let me, okay?" he asked, kissing Sam again, and the younger Winchester moved his hands back to Tyler's hips without protest. That was fine with Sam - there would be plenty of time for that later, because they were definitely going to do this again. And with Tyler's hand wrapped around his cock, he could hardly think straight anyway.

Tyler pushed Sam gently towards the bed, leaving a trail of their clothes as they went, then gave him a shove and sent him sprawling back onto it with a little grunt of surprise. He started to sit up, but Tyler planted a hand on his chest and pushed him back down.

He lay there and watched Tyler climb on top of him, admiring his athlete's physique as he straddled his hips. Tyler leaned forward to place a kiss on Sam's lips, then another on his chin, more down his neck and his chest, then laying more kisses over his stomach, down over his navel and…

Sam didn't watch at first. He couldn't help but tense a little when he felt Tyler's lips at the top of his left quad, kissing the sensitive skin where his inner thigh met his pelvis. The sensation wasn't any different to when a girl did this to him, but like the kissing earlier, somehow knowing it was another guy made it different.

Tyler noticed him tense, and slowed things down a little to give Sam some time to get comfortable. He continued the line of slow kisses down the inside of his right thigh, then placed half a dozen more up the inside of the left when he felt Sam start to relax.

When he got back to the top and Sam didn't tell him otherwise, Tyler ran his tongue maddeningly slowly along the underside of his cock, from the base right up to the hot, hard tip, and smiled when he was rewarded with a long, low moan.

He pinned Sam's hips down to the bedspread with both hands, and took almost his entire length into his mouth at once. Sam - past the point where he cared who was touching him - lifted his head off the bed with a groan and watched this guy he barely knew sucking on his cock like it was going out of fashion.

Given that he didn't even know Tyler's last name, Sam wasn't surprised that up until this point he hadn't noticed his new friend had a tongue piercing. He could feel it now, though, and Tyler really knew what he was doing. Whether it was his skills or the novelty of being with another guy, it was all over in five minutes - Sam had never come so hard in his life, and Tyler swallowed every drop.

As he lay back on the bed taking deep breaths, Tyler leaned over and kissed him. Sam smiled a little against his mouth, and felt Tyler smile too. He started to reach down between them, figuring he should repay the favour, but the other man pressed all his weight down on Sam's hips and trapped his hand.

"That's not how I wanna come." he whispered. Sam immediately grasped what Tyler meant, and his heart fluttered a little in anticipation. A blowjob was nothing; it had been awesome, but also was the moment of truth, and Sam was pleased to discover he was a little excited to try it. If he was honest, he was also a little relieved that Tyler's cock wasn't as big as his own.

Tyler reached out to the bedside table and opened a drawer, then took out a foil-wrapped condom and a little pump pack of lubricant. "Hope you don't mind being on the bottom." he said, smiling, and Sam laughed breathlessly. He had no idea, but he was looking forward to finding out.

Tyler opened the condom, and blinked in surprise when Sam took it and put it on for him. "Be gentle with me, okay?" Sam said, eyes on his task, though he knew he probably didn't have to. Even as he said it he could hardly believe those words were coming out of his mouth, and couldn't help but smile as he looked up at Tyler.

"For sure." Tyler promised. He gave Sam another kiss, then sat up and tugged on his left hip a little to encourage him to turn over onto his stomach. Sam did, heart rate rising more than a little as he rested his chin on the back of his hands.

Tyler sat back over his quads and saw him taking those deep, calming breaths again, and kissed the back of his neck. "I'm not gonna hurt you." he breathed.

Sam exhaled slowly. "I know." And he did. Really. But that didn't mean he wasn't entitled to a few last-minute nerves.

"Relax. It'll only hurt for a minute, and then it's fun - I promise." Tyler placed one more kiss on the back of Sam's neck, just where it met his right shoulder, then sat up. Sam didn't expect what he did next - Tyler actually gave him a quick massage.

He started at Sam's shoulders and worked down, kneading the tension right out of him, and he enjoyed it almost as much as Sam did. Dean Winchester's baby brother was a big, strong guy, and Tyler really enjoyed getting his hands on those huge muscles.

By the time Tyler got to the base of his lower back, Sam was feeling much more relaxed. He moved down further, running his hands over the smooth globes of Sam's ass, and then stroking a single finger down between them.

That got a little moan from Sam, so he did it again. Sam actually adjusted the position of his hips a little to give Tyler better access, so he put a little lubricant on the fingers of his right hand and gently rubbed it over the tight little ring of muscle.

Sam groaned every time he touched it, and stayed relaxed even when he slid the finger inside, but the low growl from Sam when he did that almost made Tyler blow then and there. He made a mental note to draw this part out next time.

"Ready?" he breathed, stroking Sam's lower back a few times as he rubbed the remaining lube over his own cock.

"Mmm-hm." Sam sighed, eyes closed.

When Tyler entered him Sam let out a gasp that was both shock and a little bit of pain. It was a tight fit, and he couldn't stop the moan that fell from his lips as Tyler pushed the rest of the way in, his hands on Sam's hips to position him exactly where he wanted him.

Sam buried his face in the pillow and held onto it with an iron grip, breathing through the burning pain. Tyler, well aware of how much this could hurt, waited until he felt Sam relaxing around him before drew back and started moving slowly in and out.

He leaned down over Sam, pushing the hair back out of his face and giving him a kiss on the cheek. There was a smile on Sam's lips, and every other breath was a little gasp of pleasure.

"Is this what you wanted?" Tyler asked, his voice only just above a whisper.

"Yes." Sam groaned, eyes fluttering closed. "Oh God, yes."

x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x

Sam told Dean the whole story - omitting the graphic details and the name of the 'one guy', of course.

"Well, look at you - my baby brother had friends with benefits! I'm proud of you, Sammy!" Dean grinned, and Sam smiled back.

"It didn't last long." Sam shrugged, looking back down at his dinner. "I met Jess about six months later, and we were going out not long after that." He didn't mention that he spent most of his time with Tyler - and the other guys - imagining he was with Dean.

Dean did a few silent calculations on his fingers, and grinned at Sam again. "You were a busy boy! And here I was wondering if the Winchester sex drive gene passed you over." He laughed, and Sam tried not to blush. Dean seemed pleased, so he just stopped fighting it. And he was right - Sam had never had so many casual sexual relationships in his life. The whole situation sounded more Dean's speed, really.

"So who is this 'one guy'? Do I know him?" Dean raised his eyebrows, taking another swig of beer, and Sam tried not to look like a rabbit caught in headlights. He opened his mouth to reply, and actually considered telling Dean the truth. Well, for half a second anyway.

"Nah, nobody you know." Sam tried to smile, and started chewing on another mouthful of pad thai. He was going to need a helluva lot more than half a beer before he started that conversation.

"Well, I'm glad you told me." Dean said, and Sam raised his eyebrows.

"Don't you mean you're glad you found out?" he asked, pointedly.

Dean rolled his eyes. "Yeah, okay - well, I'm glad I know." He looked at Sam for approval of that phrasing, and got a smile. "I don't know why you didn't just tell me, man."

"Well, this is kind of a sensitive subject for me, you know? And in case you haven't noticed, our plate's kind of full at the moment." Sam pointed out.

"Can't argue with you there." Dean conceded. Honestly, he could understand why Sam hadn't brought it up - this wasn't exactly the kind of thing you sprung on your big brother after barely speaking to him for two years. But he didn't like the idea that Sam thought he needed to keep it a secret.

"I just… look, you can tell me anything. You know that, right?" Dean asked, more seriously, studying his little brother from across the table.

"Yeah, I know that." Sam said. He knew that probably didn't include the 'I'm in love with you' conversation, but he appreciated the sentiment.

"'Cause when you came back with the food, you looked like you were scared I was gonna hit you or something." Dean went on, and Sam sighed. There was a reason for that - in his mind, his sexuality and his attraction to Dean were inextricably linked. When Dean discovered half the secret, Sam's mind immediately went into worst-case-scenario mode and reacted like he'd discovered the whole secret. But he couldn't tell Dean that.

"I didn't know what to think - I sure as hell didn't expect to have this conversation when I got back with dinner." Sam replied, smiling a little. That was true, technically. "But for what it's worth, I wanna say thanks. You were pretty cool about it, and - I don't know, you made it easy on me. So, thankyou." he went on, honestly.

"I know, I'm an awesome brother." Dean gave him a winning smile. "And just so you know, if you come across the right guy, you don't have to sneak around or anything. It's cool." he went on, and Sam smiled as he took another bite of his dinner. He really did have an awesome brother.

"I mean, it's not like I wanna watch or anything-" Dean added, grinning, before Sam held up a hand to stop him.

"Dude - that's enough! I get it!" Sam choked, and nearly spat out his mouthful of pad thai. Dean laughed and went back to his noodles, still completely oblivious to the fact the only guy Sam wanted was sitting across the table from him.