Sam could never have known, could never have guessed, that that one little innocent moment of curiosity would fuck him up forever. Just as he would never know if he would've ended up fucked up anyway had he found out later or maybe not at all. Seeing such a thing at that age, young and all-too impressionable, could easily have flipped some switch in his head, clicking the train tracks over and sending him down the path of ultimate doom. But then maybe he would've been headed that way anyway, maybe it was predestined, and there was a shiny seat reserved somewhere in hell that'd had his name carved into it before he'd even been born.
Either way, he was resigned to it now. Whatever (whoever) had set him on this path – this path that forever pointed toward his brother – there was no helping it now. Too much had happened, it was ingrained too deeply, and while he had struggled with it for many years, Sam had long since thrown himself into that abyss of no return. Perhaps there had been a point where he still could have held on to his denial and turned back from the point of loving Dean – loving him like that – but by the time he'd reached it Sam had simply run straight past. He needed Dean, and Dean needed him, even if he didn't always realise it.
The age of thirteen: young and nosey and stupid. A precursor to the epic level of stubbornness he would come to inhabit in later years. In the thick of childhood nightmares of monsters and hellfire, and naïve enough to still think he would grow out of them. Like a chronic ache they kept him awake at night. Not all the time, but often enough. Mostly Dean was there, either waking him mid-scare or at his side once he ripped himself out of it. He was lucky if he could manage to get back to sleep after that.
On that one occasion, however… there was no Dean to be found. It was dark out. A single streetlight shined patchy yellow through those places where the curtain had worn thin with age. John was off… somewhere. Sam hadn't cared enough to pay attention to whatever his sorry excuse was, poltergeist or vengeful spirit or whateverthefuck. He'd been gone for more than a week and Sam knew their cash had to be running low – canned soup for dinner two nights in a row was a dead giveaway. Dean took care of that side of things, despite that he should have been sleeping so he could get up and to go to school the next day. He told Sam that he hustled pool, but Sam was cluey enough to have noticed that Dean didn't always come back smelling like 'dive bar'. For some reason he never pressed the issue, just not so long as Dean continued to come back in one piece.
Getting out of bed and crossing the room, Sam pressed the back of his hand against Dean's mattress, finding only the tail-end of body warmth still lingering on the sheets. The bathroom was obviously empty and Sam could see the impala's shadow through the window, so Dean couldn't have gone far. He flipped the lock so he wouldn't get locked out and padded quietly outside dressed only in the sweatpants and threadbare t-shirt he'd gone to bed in, the chill of the night air prickling his skin. The barest of sounds caught his ear and Sam followed the path around the back of the motel, leading him toward the pool area. There was a patio with a couple of decaying deckchairs, their wood bleached and weakened from decades in the sun, and it shared a wall with the rear of the reception building. The pale stream of light coming from the reception's back room was just enough to highlight the shapes of two people standing together on the patio, one of them pushed up against the wall.
Sam crept closer and shoved his fist between his teeth to stifle a gasp. It was Dean and the unshaven middle-aged jerkface who'd checked them into the motel the week before, Dean being the one who had his hands pressed to the wall, the other guy standing at his back, their bodies a little too close together for Sam's liking. Edging closer still, Sam squeezed himself behind an air conditioning unit and his eyes blew wide when the complete picture finally came together.
His back hunched, jeans down around his thighs, Dean's face was pressed into the sleeve of his shirt in order to muffle whatever sounds were being pushed out of him by Motel Douche's dick. Motel Douche had his hands clamped around Dean's waist and was pulling him back in time with his thrusts, the back of Dean's ass and thighs slapping against the front of Motel Douche's jeans. Sam had to strain to make out whatever running commentary was being muttered under Motel Douche's breath, but once he started catching wind of choice phrases like 'lookit that sloppy pussy' and 'take my cock so good', Sam decided he was better off trying not to hear anything at all.
He should have left then, backed away and gone back to their room and tried to bleach whatever filth he'd just seen from his mind. But he didn't. Sam couldn't tear his eyes away. Couldn't stop watching the flexing of Dean's thigh muscles as he strained to keep upright, couldn’t stop being mesmerised by the loose swing of Dean's balls, his barely half-hard dick just hanging there, exposed. Motel Douche made no move to touch Dean anywhere apart from his hips, and when his thrusting finally stuttered to a stop, Motel Douche simply withdrew with a wet slurp and started tucking himself back into his pants. Sam thought he'd been about to leave when he stopped and quickly fished a wad of cash from his back pocket and tossed it at Dean's feet. Dean grunted in acknowledgement and then Motel Douche was gone.
Sam knew he had to leave, he couldn't stay a moment longer lest Dean come to his senses and see Sam scurrying away in the night, and so he started slowly backing away from his hiding spot, quiet as a mouse, eyes still on Dean. (As if he could have been looking at anything else right then. Dean was a people magnet at the best of times.)
Maybe (probably) he should have been disgusted by the whole thing, and maybe (probably) he should have been horrified or outraged for his brother's sake, that he'd had to take this avenue for money. Except that Sam couldn't assume to know what had really led Dean to this decision nor when he'd first made it, except that Dean would never forgive himself if Sam knew, would never be able to stomach the humiliation…
Except that even in the shade of this shitty motel, his body used and exposed, Sam thought Dean was beautiful.
It happened again at fourteen, at fifteen, at sixteen and seventeen.
The first couple of times were purely unintentional, waking up to find Dean gone in the night or coming home early from a study group at school, noticing a strange car parked outside their motel room. Something had twigged in Sam's brain that second time, and he'd gone around the back of the motel, peeking in the back window where the mould-speckled blinds were just shy of being fully closed. It had been another older guy all up in Dean's space, pushing him down on the bed like he owned him, though at least this one looked like he'd showered recently. His cleanliness didn't excuse his shitty attitude, however, and Sam had watched with clenched teeth as he'd pulled Dean's boxers away and then pushed him down by his shoulders, Dean clearly a little apprehensive about the situation.
"Let me just get on my knees—"
"No need, kid. I wantcha on your back."
"You'll go deeper if I'm on my—"
"Who's payin' who here, huh? I said on your back. Wanna watch that pretty face while I fuck you."
Lips downturned, Dean had physically tamped his anger down and given in to the guy's demands, settling on his back. Sam had scarcely moved, glued to the ground, barely breathing, as Dean and his 'customer' then went through the motions, Dean skidding across the mattress as he was fucked hard and fast. Unlike the first time, this guy had given some minor attention to Dean's dick, jerking him off until he was mostly hard. But Sam had watched to the end, knew Dean hadn't come from it, knew he was left there alone on the bed afterwards, dripping and unsatisfied, with only a small stack of bills for company.
It had made Sam burn with fury – mainly at the guy, but also at himself. Not so much for spying as for getting hard while he did so. The knowing was important (because sometimes Dean needed to be saved from himself) but wanting to get off from the vision of Dean getting fucked was unforgivable.
Problem was, whether he wanted to or not, Sam would spend his next days, months, years, imagining himself in that guy's place, on top of his brother, imagining what he'd do different, all the ways he could try to erase what had already been done.
Sam would make it so good, so much better. He just knew he would.
After that second time, after sleeping on it and some semblance of morality restoring itself, Sam tried resolutely to deny what he'd seen and what he'd felt, explaining it all away with whatever excuses he could convince himself to swallow. That stubborn streak of his allowed him to get away with it for longer than he should have expected, but always in the back of his mind was that sense of reality, nudging at him any moment he let his guard down, reminding him that Dean had prostituted himself and had probably been doing it longer than he knew about, that Dean had let strangers stick their dicks in his ass essentially for Sam's benefit, so he could go to school and train for hunting and grow like a weed and just go on living as normal, blissfully ignorant.
If only he was.
Having that veil of ignorance smashed to pieces was a burden he could never have expected to bear. The need to pretend like he knew nothing, that everything was cool, that he didn't beat himself off in the shower to self-made images of his brother impaling himself on Sam's dick… More than a few days went by where Sam couldn't bring himself to look Dean in the eye, days where he'd flinch whenever Dean's hands came near him. Thank fuck he managed to convince John and Dean both to chalk it up to teenage hormones, though it didn't stop their dad from boxing his ears a few times, gruffly ordering him to 'get it together'.
As Sam got older John started dragging him along on more and more hunts, meaning more time was spent with all three of them together, frictions rising and abating like the tide. It had Sam conflicted, because having dad around meant Dean was less likely to do something stupid, but it also meant less time with just him and Dean on their own – the times he cherished the most. John being around meant that Dean would pick up girls instead – girls to hook up with, to take on a date or two before they moved on, that had John slapping Dean on the back with encouragement. Dean never seemed too cut up about leaving any of them behind, but Sam couldn't tell if Dean was genuinely into them either, whether the men were just means to a financial end and the girls were what actually got his rocks off… or was it all just for show?
The one time he'd been able to spy on Dean with a girl all he'd managed to see was Dean eating her out for ten minutes before Dean's phone had rung, John warning him that they'd be heading out before the end of the day. It wasn't enough to go on for Sam to be sure of anything, but it did have him wondering what it would be like, to put his mouth between Dean's legs, to lick at his brother's hole until he had tears in his eyes, until his vocabulary was reduced to nothing more than 'please, please, please'.
Sam's desires never relented, only deepened, and he started to actively seek it out, despite the guilt that hung around him like a bad smell. Anytime John left them alone, anytime a week passed and Sam knew things were getting tight, he would follow Dean out whenever he thought he could get away with it – tailing him to bars or latenight diners, making a point of coming back early anytime Dean was particularly interested in what time he'd be finished at school… A lot of the time nothing out of the ordinary happened, but then occasionally it did. Bathrooms, back alleys, sometimes whatever motel they were staying at, sometimes Dean's own bed. But only ever when they needed the money.
That simmering resentment Sam had been holding onto for years already continued to burn bright.
By the time he left for Stanford, it had been time to go. Sam was sick and he knew it, but whatever cure he'd thought college could provide, he was left disappointed. Jess had soothed the hurt where she could, and it hadn't been enough (no one else could possibly be enough) yet she stuck around for some reason despite knowing it. He'd told her as much about his life as he dared and she had sympathetically talked him through it, held his hand or his body when he needed, her eyes unable to hide her desperation to try and save him from himself. Sam wondered, in the end, if she'd ever really gotten a clue as to just how fucked up he was.
But then he was suddenly back at Dean's side, almost like he'd never left. Jess was gone and it hurt like fuck, but she was a single stone falling into a gaping abyss. Perhaps what was worse was Dean being extra handsy because of it – a long-held arm over Sam's shoulder, a tightening hand on his arm, an unnecessary nudge to his side, all meant to be some likeness of comfort to a mourning Sam. He could have pushed Dean away, very easily in fact, but in some twisted up double-whammy Sam decided to take the 'comfort' with the guilt-ridden self-punishment aspect that came with it.
Still, he was functioning and able bodied. So they travelled and hunted and searched for John. Possibly for the first time in his life Sam found the physicality of the hunt a good way to clear his mind, so he threw himself into the work in a way he hadn't done before. If Dean noticed his heightened eagerness, he didn't say anything. Between them they carved out a new yet familiar rhythm, and Sam found something like relief in it, he felt like he could finally take a full breath again, like maybe he could do this, live this life again without the assurance of impending doom on the horizon.
But it was a precarious path, and someone had to slip eventually.
With John still in the wind, they continued doing what they did best, supplementing their fake credit cards by way of darts or pool or whatever was going. They burned through gas and food and motel rooms faster than they probably should have, but Sam had thought they were doing okay, making ends meet, if only barely.
They were deep into a case, and Sam was deep into his research when the dam finally broke. Sam was so swept up in the notes he was making, the websites he was trawling through, that he nearly didn't hear Dean at all. But something his brother said forced a subconscious response, and Sam was dragged from his work like someone had hooked a cane around his neck and pulled.
"Sorry, say that last bit again?"
"'m just gonna hustle some pool, little bro. No big deal. You keep on with the books and I'll be—"
"No." Sam was on his feet like a shot, some dark instinct inside him taking over, the desk trembling from where his hips had jolted it along the floor. "I'm going with you."
Dean was taken aback, eyes wide. "Dude, someone needs to figure this case out so we can get outta this hell hole, and no one's better at it than you."
"Then you're not going."
"Our cards are maxed, so unless you wanna starve for the next couple days, then yeah I am."
"I'm not letting you go without me—"
"I've been doin' this since before your balls dropped, dude, so I'm pretty goddamn sure I'll be fine without your help."
Sam's jaw dropped in horror. "You've been doing it that long? That's… I…"
"What?" Confusion twisted Dean's brow. "What the hell is going on right now, Sam?"
Sam moved his lips but no sound would come out. He was blindsided by the thought his brother might have been selling himself far longer than he'd ever anticipated. He watched Dean's fists clench at his sides and then his expression changed as he mentally arrived at the decision to escape, Dean turning on his heels and heading for the door. But Sam beat him there, roughly dragging Dean back into the centre of the room by his shoulders.
"How much?" he asked through gritted teeth.
"How much would you make? How much do you charge them for a go?"
There came no response to that, but Sam could see the light dim in Dean's eyes, could see the fear of realisation rising up to the surface, dark and soul-deep.
"I've got some savings stashed in my bag, so tell me and I'll fucking pay it."
A beat passed. A moment where everything seemed to stop. Then Dean turned his head away.
"I don't know what you—"
"I won't have it, Dean. I'm not letting you do that anymore."
Sam grabbed him by the arms as if to shake him, but Dean twisted himself away, stepping out from Sam's reach.
"And what would you know, huh? What right have you got—"
"It's my right because you're mine!"
Shoving Dean back against the wall, Sam moved in close and boxed him in with his arms, hanging his head. He couldn't bring himself to look at his brother, couldn't bring himself to reveal his shame as it squeezed out from his eyes and trickled down his cheeks.
What must Dean think? Sam had exposed his brother's greatest secret, and exposed his own in the process. Even if he backed away now, it wasn't as if they could come back from this point. The months since he'd left Stanford were all borrowed time, he'd been living in some sort of constructed limbo, thinking and believing he could go on this way.
"You should be mine," Sam confessed under his breath, tasting the salt on his lips, "How could you give yourself to them like that?"
"After the first time I saw you, I thought I'd been broken apart and put back together wrong. I couldn't stop thinking—"
Sam was shocked out of his train of thought by a hand on his neck, sliding up to cup his face. He hadn't expected any kind of answer. He'd expected to be knocked flat on the floor, left to watch with blurred vision as Dean had walked out on him. But instead…
"It was my job to protect you and that's what I thought I was doing. Sorry you had to see that. I never wanted you to know… It's just something I did from time to time, when I had to."
"I hated it." Sam swallowed down the lump in his throat and leaned into Dean's chest, resting against the curve of his shoulder. "I hated what they did to you. And I hated it even more that they didn't take care of you. More than anything I wanted to be able to take care of you after, but I couldn't let you know that I knew."
Sam choked through the words. "I just wanted… wanted to hold you an… make- make you feel good. That's all I wanted."
Fingers carded through his hair, Dean's other hand resting on his waist. Dean comforting him, taking care of him, yet again. Like always.
"Look at the shit we go through together, doing what we do. You've got my back and there's no one else I trust like I trust you. Ain't that enough?"
"Wish it was. 'm too far gone now."
Neither of them talked for a long time, just stood there against the wall, arms clutching one another. Sam dared not be the first to move, didn't want to be the one to end this final moment, interrupt whatever it was that was still keeping that last thread holding together. Then finally Dean let go a deep sigh, the rise and fall of his chest displacing Sam's hold.
"Fine," Dean said, resigned, "Go on then."
Slowly pulling back, Sam raised his head just a little. "What d'you mean?"
"You said you wanna take care of me, right? So do it already."
"You…" Sam could feel his blood starting to race. "I don't wanna be like them. I don't want you doing this just for my sake."
Dean tilted his head just slightly, the way he was looking at Sam reminding him strangely of Jess.
Sam nodded, letting the tension in his body ebb away.
Reaching out, he starting pulling the clothes from Dean's body, pushing the flannel from his shoulders, pulling his shirt up and over his head, and then unbuckling his jeans. Sam waited for the pushback, but it never came. Dean just kicked his boots off but otherwise let Sam do all the heavy lifting, deft hands stripping Dean down to nothing and then doing the same for himself. Taking Dean's hand, Sam guided them toward the nearest of the two queen beds, urging Dean down onto his back.
"You okay like this?"
Sam couldn't help but remember what he'd seen many years before, but his brother made no protest on this occasion, only shrugging as he got comfortable on his back. Taking it as a 'yes', Sam picked through his bag for a half-empty bottle of lube, then returned to the bed and settled in the cradle of Dean's hips. They both gasped as their cocks pressed together, Sam most of the way hard but Dean a little further behind. Sam stretched himself over the length of Dean's body, curling his back so that their faces lined up. Dean stared up at him, wide-eyed and apprehensive, but not so much that he seemed on the brink of pushing Sam away. And Sam was thankful for that, because he didn't want to stop now, he felt like he had something to prove. He needed to show Dean that this was how good it could be if he let it.
Leaning down, nice and easy, Sam pressed his lips against Dean's. It was just a peck at first, soft and dry, but he repeated it over and over, letting Dean warm to him, to his mouth, until he let Sam's tongue slip in. Sam moaned as he got his first real taste, licking and sucking at Dean's tongue, letting the rhythm of it take him over. He let it flow into his hips, their bodies rocking in sync, one of his hands sliding down Dean's back and hooking under his ass cheek, pulling him away from the sheets and drawing their cocks closer together.
Sam kept at it until the friction got too much to handle, pulling back suddenly and watching as his brother's eyes glanced down to get a look at what he was packing. The attention made his dick throb, the shine in Dean's eyes and the way he bit his lip shooting straight to Sam's ego. Dean didn't hesitate as he slipped his hands between their bodies and wrapped them around Sam's dick, stroking him and pressing his thumb into slit at the tip, watching Sam shudder through the resulting jolt of pleasure.
"Fuck, Sammy, just look at you…"
Shaking his head to clear the haze, Sam stared straight back at his brother, admiring in kind. He let his free hand roam the toned planes of Dean's chest, the unexpected softness of his stomach… His cock was fully hard now (the first time Sam had really truly seen it that way) and it was the most perfect shade of pink he'd ever seen, the gentle curve of it arching up over his abdomen.
"You're perfect… So perfect, Dean."
His mouth watered at the thought of stretching his lips around it, sucking his brother's cock right down to the root, but that particular idea would just have to wait. Sam had other things in mind this time around.
"Wanna be inside you. Fuck you 'til you come."
"Has anyone ever fucked you for real before? Or only when…?"
Dean's eyes shuttered, hands dropping away from Sam's dick.
"No. Only when I was… Yeah."
"Let me show you then. Said I wanted to make you feel good, right?"
"Yeah. Yeah, okay."
Retrieving the lube, Sam poured it over his fingers and sat back on his heels, edging down between Dean's thighs. It was one of those moments he'd been dreaming about for so long, he wondered if he weren't still dreaming it. Except that he could smell the familiar scent of Dean's body, only thicker and muskier than usual, and he could feel the heat of Dean's body where it pressed against his own, could see the individual beads of sweat on his skin, the veins on the underside of his pretty cock and the way it twitched under his gaze… No, it had to be real. This was all Dean.
Sam dipped his fingers between Dean's legs and circled at his hole, rubbing at the furled ring of muscle until it loosened up, letting Sam's finger slip inside. He pressed in and out, eventually adding a second finger and scissoring them back and forth, stretching Dean out. Dean was tight, deliciously so, but he jerked away in shock when Sam grazed his prostate, and once Sam had somewhere to aim for he soon had Dean squirming and bearing down on three of his fingers, eager for more.
After withdrawing his fingers and slicking up his cock, Sam gently pushed inside, hissing as the head popped in and the shaft followed in one smooth but agonising glide. Dean's mouth hung open, his chest heaving, and he tugged at Sam's hand, threading their fingers together and gripping tight. A glowing flush had bloomed across Dean's neck and shoulders, matching the one that had spread over the bridge of his nose, and Sam couldn't help but lean down to bite at the juncture of his neck, sucking hard enough to leave a bruise and add to the flurry of colour on his skin.
"C'mon, fuck me with that thing already."
Sam needed no further encouragement, and started rolling his hips as slowly as he could stand, intent on driving Dean crazy. He held out for a good few minutes too, until Dean started squeezing his hand hard enough to cut off circulation, then his impatience began to get the better of him. Sam pushed up on his unoccupied hand for better leverage and drove his hips forward in earnest, deep thrusting jabs that forced the full length of his dick into the heat of Dean's ass. Dean gasped aloud with each punch, as if Sam's dick alone were driving the sound from his throat, and fuck, maybe it was. Sam revelled in the way his brother's body seemed to contract in time, back arching and fists clenching and his hole clamping down around Sam's dick. It was so hypnotic Sam almost missed how close he was to coming, to losing his head completely, brains utterly scrambled because of his brother's beauty.
"Touch yourself, Dean. Wanna watch you come."
Dean wasted no time doing as he was told, strong fingers squeezing at his tightly-drawn balls then curling around the thick length of his dick and stroking fast, already on the verge. "Yeah? I'm gonna… 'm close… so fucking close."
He felt it the moment Dean climaxed, muscles clenching down, ripping Sam's own orgasm right out of him. He stumbled as he attempted to keep thrusting, dick throbbing as he spilled deep inside Dean's hole, but even that couldn't tear him away from Dean's face – the pure ecstasy of his expression as he came, thick white ropes pulsing across his chest and onto the sheets, sin personified. Sam immediately dropped his shoulders, letting gravity pull him down into another kiss, licking and nipping at his brother's lips, sucking at them until they were swollen red. Dean's breath was hot over his cheeks, heavy with humidity from the exertion of it all. His own would've been no better, but neither he nor Dean drew themselves back.
Sam cleared his throat. "Are you…?"
"'m good," Dean croaked, grasping at the back of Sam's neck, "You?"
"Fine." Sam looked away as his eyes started to sting.
"Hey now, Samantha. Quit it with the cryin'."
He punched Dean in the shoulder. "Sorry. Just been dreaming of this for so long… Thought I'd go insane before it actually happened, though."
Dean cuffed him over the ear and nudged him down onto the bed, the both of them wincing as Sam's dick slid free. They should probably have gotten up to shower, or clean up at the very least, but Sam said nothing of it as Dean simply rolled onto his side and curled toward him. It was a rare moment and one he'd never deign to break.
"Would never let that happen. I'd do anything for you, little brother."