The entire line of his form that's pressed up against Sam's is hot like a brand, thighs burning and torso warm like a fever. Except that, were his brother actually diseased with a fever, he'd be snuggled under thirty different sheets and whining for Bobby's carefully crafted soup like a six-year-old-girl. Except that, instead, Dean is still pressed up against Sam like a radiator.
"Think I should unbutton this a bit?"
Sam looks over at Dean, who is closely examining the number of buttons leading down to the hem of his untucked shirt and fiddling with the one closest to his neck.
"For realism." Dean adds, and Sam deems the addendum to be a bit unnecessary. And then, Dean doesn't wait for an answer and flicks the first two buttons of his shirt out of their confines and then even goes as far to do the same to the third. He makes a show of folding away his shirt to reveal a deliberate sliver of his chest.
It's not sun-kissed, tanned and golden, or any other word that might be appropriate to use in terms of describing a pornographer's actors, and that makes Sam feel slightly better about the situation.
"You think he's coming?" Dean stage-whispers over to Sam, squeezing his waist, and Sam glares at him.
"If he's not, this is a huge waste of time."
Dean squeezes his waist again, this time digging his fingertips into the pad of his stomach right where Sam's muscles get sensitive and his tickle reflex is activated, and Sam almost jumps into the ceiling. He muses, faintly, from the dusty corners of his mind, if this is how he holds and teases girls before the action starts. Maybe there would be a superfluous episode of Law and Order on the television that Dean only coaxed his presumably half-naked friend into watching to get her onto the couch, and cleverly also into his arms. Maybe he would wind his arm around her waist during commercials and squeeze her side and rub patterns onto her hip like he's doing to Sam now. Sam wonders if he consciously knows what he's doing, his thumb brushing indistinct patterns right above the jut of Sam's hipbone.
Sam realizes that he's only feeding into the notion that he is the walking poster boy for feminism and that in actuality, he is a girl. He squirms on the bed, the waistband of his jeans too scratchy and his socks too warm around his feet. And then, for a good five minutes, they stare at the door in united concentration. The muffled, remote sound of clanking pots and pans wafts upstairs through the door and Dean's hand on Sam's waist twitches a bit.
In the back of his mind, Sam imagines Bobby starting to boil water and prepare potatoes downstairs, completely immersed in the creation of dinner and not at all concerned with the location of the Winchester boys roaming free in his house, and at the thought of having to stay lodged up next to Dean's body like this for another hour until Dean finally caves and yells his frustration out at Bobby's food after misplacing his exasperation directed towards his failed scheme, Sam's stomach churns with the sensation of one thousand prickly needles tickling his innards.
"He'll come up here." Dean reassures, as if he just crawled out of Sam's mind, and Sam swallows as an affirmation.
They both keep staring at the door. Sam notices a steadily growing crack by the door's foundation and makes a mental note to tell Bobby later. He stares at the door handle, the one that always squeaks when he turns it with the paint scraping off to reveal cheap copper. There's an unidentifiable stain the shade of mossy mud trailing up the ceiling into a lopsided circle up by the door. Sam maps it all out until his eyes are bored of the far from entertaining sight in front of him. And then, cursing his vision, they find a new area to gaze over.
Dean's got long legs. They're short compared to the way Sam's shoes are dangling over the mattress, but they're long nonetheless. They have a bit of an arch and a bend to them, each knee curving away from the other like repelling magnets. Sam thinks of the time back during a February night drizzling with wet snowflakes when Dean got a knife drilled into his thigh and Sam had set him down into the snow and wrenched it out, listening to his whimpers and watching the snow turn pink under the lampposts. He had taken him back to their motel fifteen minutes later and broken the speed limit enough to run over unsuspecting old women. By the time Dean was cushioned on a lumpy mattress with a flask of whiskey swinging around in his hand, Sam had already removed his sticky pants and nursed his wound, all the while keeping an eye on his quivering legs.
He imagines his legs now without the confines of his jeans, littered with scars, some small, some straight, some deep, some jagged. There's a scar on Dean's left thigh that both of them used to laugh about as it, when viewed upside down, always resembled the head of a rabbit. Sam remembers the days in his childhood, filled with what seemed like an interminable road trip and shades of green and brown that whizzed by the window, as both brothers tried to find pictures in each other's scars just to pass the time to the next town. He imagines that Dean's body is different now. Stronger, more definite in its muscles, more sure of its capabilities. More marred by the sun and more riddled with marks. He used to trace them on Dean's flesh, feel the divets and the ridges of his skin and see which one went the deepest.
That's when it hits Sam like a freight train that he himself is the one who's overheating like this, and it's not Dean's body warmth so close to his own burning him into a fever right now.
There's a thump and a creak on the staircase and the plan, soaring back into business, alerts Dean to pull out his nastiest tricks to make this into the best and arguably worst Aprils Fool's Day to exist in centuries.
He fiddles with his shirt again and gives Sam's one displeased glance, as if they're both preparing for the same slutty college party where wearing undergarments is frowned upon and Sam's the uptight boy too pure to show skin. He reaches forward to flick away the buttons on Sam's top and Sam indignantly swats his hand away.
"What?" Dean asks, and reaches for his shirt again. Sam yanks his hand away and throws it over to the safety of the other side of the bed.
"Bobby doesn't need to walk in on second base!"
Dean shushes him urgently, like they're kids in the closet for an intense game of hide and seek at the neighbor kid's house and the smallest of giggles will reveal their brilliantly original concealment idea. Dean's pretty into the success of this prank, and this scares Sam a little, simply because he is so very not.
The stairs creak again, and this time Sam feels a strong thumb and a forefinger easing up his chin and finds Dean's nose smashed onto his own.
"Er." Sam says, and looks fixedly elsewhere. Dean's eyes are close enough to be nothing but a blur of fuzzy green, and even though he knows this is all part of the plan, he's starting to get a little uneasy with the execution of it. This is awkward. What exactly is supposed to happen after Bobby screams like a girl trapped in an asylum and Dean falls onto the floor in fits of uncalled for laughter?
Sam diverts his eyes from Dean's and looks anywhere else, anywhere else they're willing to focus. He looks at the spotty freckles dancing over Dean's nose and that's not good enough, so he goes further southward and plants his eyes onto his mouth. From this close, his eyes like an intrusive pair of binoculars looking at things he's not allowed to stare at, Dean's lips are pink and full, little lines and curves obvious thanks to their propinquity. Except that this is awkward too, so Sam looks down at his chest, and that's when everything goes to Hell.
If this was ever supposed to be funny, it's not funny anymore. Dean's shirt is open like an invitation into an illegal party. He wants to put a hand on it. He wants to put a hand on his stomach where the skin is soft and hitch up his shirt with two fingers and feel all the way up until there's nothing he hasn't touched anymore.
And that's when Sam sees the name-tag, stuck on his own forehead and reading incest, incest, incest like an obnoxious verse of a children's song or a neon warning sign stuck in the middle of a pothole-infested road.
Actually, this whole prank is a byproduct of incest, the long lost cousin of incest. And it's creepy, and it's sort of wrong, and Sam wonders how he was even managed to be convinced by Dean that this was a good idea. He wonders how Dean ever thought this was a good idea. And if he'd ever allow himself to believe that the roots of this plan are deeper than he can imagine, that Dean might have constructed all of this not for a good laugh or for Bobby's eyebrows to raise up into his hat out of shock and horror alone but rather as the twisted plan to get Sam up to his side like this, then all of this might make a shred of more sense.
But it's a bad thing to think. It's as if he's assuming that Dean's thinking the same thing, that Dean's heart is thumping the same beat, that Dean feels the same way too.
For just a second, Sam stops.
He realizes through a jump of his heart that's heavy enough to break through his ribcage that he's just had a scary epiphany. And if it's possible, the room gets even hotter and the touching gets even more unbearable, as if moving or pressing into his brother's body is suddenly going to break all of this and make it actually wrong.
He feels a tap, barely noticeable, on the bottom of his chin, and then Dean's thumb swipes over his jawbone to encourage Sam to look up. He looks up. Dean's eyes are still close, frighteningly close, and the point of his nose is still touching Sam's, but it's different. For a second the prank in the air seems to have evaporated, as if Bobby walking in right now would be intrusive instead of evoking the expected humor.
"Dean," Sam whispers, and wonders when he started whispering, and even though he has more to say, more to ask and more of the absurdity of this situation to swim in, that's all that comes out. Maybe he knows that the speech isn't allowed to be voiced. Maybe, despite fighting death and leaping into trouble headfirst like a swimming pool in the summertime, he's actually scared about what happens if he says what he's thinking.
Dean, lean in a little, let's just lock the door and kiss each other's necks, isn't on the list of things that Sam's Allowed to Say. He's a brother, and he's got a bro code, and secret number one on the code is don't fall in love with your brother during an April Fool's prank.
But Dean's got a bro code too, except that his number one should be don't use your brother for incestuous jokes on April Fool's Day.
The heat is getting to be a bit too much. It's all in Sam's head, and Sam is well aware of that fact, but that doesn't mean it's not existing somewhere. His thumb twitches, and then his whole hand is grabbing the collar of Dean's shirt and Dean doesn't even jump. Their eyes are still locked like a secret is being shared between them, and Sam knows that he's two seconds and three quarters of an inch away from a kiss that never needs to happen.
"Where's that old man," Dean breathes out in a single exhale, and it's supposed to be funny, just like this whole thing, but neither of them laugh. Sam's close enough to swallow Dean's voice down. Their thighs are still touching and Sam's hip is burning where Dean's hand is making indents into his skin by now, and all of it is so unbelievably close to the border of the point of no return that he can practically smell the aura of fear in the air. Dean's fingers aren't sliding over the worn fabric of Sam's shirt anymore. They're rubbing sketchy stars onto his skin, and every brush of his thumb Sam feels like a tattoo.
They're still looking at each other until Dean tips forward enough for their foreheads to rest together. Sam wonders if he's feeling all this too, if he knows that the tension around them is heavy enough to be cut with the kind of knife they keep under their pillows. Dean's eyelids go from open and boring into Sam's to sliding closed, eyelashes dark against his cheekbones.
Sam wonders if he's expecting something, like a kiss. A brush of the lips. Something to remind him not to fall asleep and something to blur reality with the joke that's no longer all that jocular but rather fading into nothing but an incentive to do this in the first place.
Dean's cheek slides by Sam's, a gentle scratch of afternoon stubble against his jaw as his nose ducks behind Sam's ear and lands into the crook of his neck. Sam wants to breathe and let out the exhale he's been gripping inside of himself like a balloon waiting to burst, but that too, seems forbidden. He feels the tip of Dean's nose trace his collarbone and his lips flit over the skin of his neck. It's the touch of an angel's wing, his lips barely touching his neck except that Sam can feel the hot gust of air escaping Dean's mouth and the soft sensation of barely puckered lips touching the groove of his neck in a fleeting kiss.
That's all Sam registers before Dean's cheek is rubbing against Sam's again, breathing against his ear with breath as hot as a tailpipe and lips rubbing against his earlobe. Sam wonders if it's all even real, if Dean even knows what he's doing, but soon Dean's back to rolling his forehead against Sam's atop his raggedy bangs and this time, he feels that warm gust of Dean's exhale on his own lips. He parts them, mouth falling open just in time to catch Dean's breath.
Bobby Singer is the last thing in Sam's mind right now, and at the moment, he stops and actually hopes that it's the last in Dean's right now too. But when the resounding sound of a gruff throat clearing itself echoes off the walls and into their brains, the spell is broken, and so is the moment, and even if it's just for a second, so is the prank.
"Do I need to... come back later?"
They look at the doorway where one paralyzed Bobby is standing, his expression one so priceless it could be printed onto a t-shirt. It's a Kodak moment, and it's perfect. It's the perfect reaction for the perfect prank. And he's probably been there for at least two minutes. And the April Fool's! that's supposed to break free of Dean's mouth and be followed by torrents of guffaws is momentarily forgotten. The prank has been forgotten, and that's because it's become real for them.
Bobby stares for another sixty seconds that ticks by like the world's last moments and seems to almost be edging out of the doorway with eyes as wide as tree trunks before Dean finally snaps out of the world him and Sam were floating in. His nose bumps against Sam's as he jerks away and the hand that's around his waist flies into the air.
"Oh," Dean says, and he's supposed to be shouting in euphoria at the triumph he's roped in right now, "...April Fool's."
It falls flat. There's not even an exclamation point. It sounds like someone smothered make-up over his words as a grimy cover up of the truth.
Bobby looks between them both, Dean twitched into a cumbersome smile and Sam frozen in space. For a second he seems like he's about to call them on their poker faces and their bluff, but then he bursts out into gruff chuckles and pats the hat on his head and turns around to go back downstairs, muttering something unintelligible about immaturity and buffoons and idjits.
When Sam gets off the bed and feels the bounce of the mattress of Dean doing the same as they both listen to the strained sound of Bobby giggling his way down the stairs, he can't help but wonder if Bobby was the actual fool on this absolutely horrific April Fool's Day.