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The headphones come loose out of the jack, caught by his elbow, and enthusiastic moaning pours out tinny over the laptop’s speakers in the two fucking seconds before Dean can catch the base and shove it frantically back in place. In the next bed, Sam makes a vague, almost-noise, a brief interruption in his deep, even sleep-breaths, but settles in a moment. Dean lets out a deep breath and gets his hand back around his dick, eyes fixed again on the girl riding a guy cowboy-style on his screen, tits bouncing and gasping oh-so-pretty.

Ok, so jerking off with your brother in the next bed, when Sam would barely have to crack his eyes open to see him is a little weird—he won’t argue that. Dean will, however, argue that personal space is pretty much a myth for them, like the kind whispered reverently by sailors after a tenth mug of ale, and sometimes you just wanna masturbate in the comfort of your own bed with some visual stimulus to go along with it, rather than sneaking into the bathroom in the dead of the night and standing on cold, hard tiles with your fist stuffed in your mouth in a painful attempt to stay quiet. Speaking of which. If he doesn’t ease up soon, he’s bound to break skin and then Sam will see it tomorrow and know, and Dean will get a lecture about how Sam’s precious laptop better not have a virus from his ‘disgusting habits’.

(Where the fuck else is he supposed to watch porn?)

Dean finishes up not a minute after the video, quiet and efficient, and carefully removes his saliva-drenched left hand from his mouth, which rivals his jizz-drenched right hand in grossness. A wet wipe from a travel-sized pack—shut up, that shit’s useful—cleans them both quickly, and is then furtively chucked in the trash can between the beds. Dean sighs, contented, a small smile playing about his mouth, and removes his headphones, one by one, placing them carefully on the bedside table. He’s reaching to close the browser window when he sees it: the ad now superimposed over the completed video, a bright and flashy orange. Attention-getting, unfortunately, because he’s actually forced to read it. SAXX. It’s for boxers. Boxers, the ad claims in its obnoxious, orange way, that are perfect for huge penises. That require an “ergonomic comfort pouch”, whatever the fuck that means. Dean squints at the ad, frowning thoughtfully. SAXX, he thinks. SAXX. SAXX. That’s, that’s something, that’s—

An impossibly high-pitched squeak escapes Dean’s mouth, and he slaps his hand over it, which smells faintly of wet wipes. That’s the fucking brand Sam wears.

Slowly, Dean turns to stare at his brother’s sleeping form, horrified and intrigued. Sam’s got some pretty specific brand loyalty. Dean supposes it stems from all the moving around when they were kids, all the hand-me-downs and thrift store specials. Nothing’s permanent in their lives, but Sam wants something consistent, familiar, something he feels is really his. Of course, he’s latched onto these boxers as well, orders them for twenty goddamn dollars a pair off the internet sometimes, has them delivered to the nearest PO box when he can, because, Dean assumed, he’s a picky bastard who can’t suck it up and deal with Wal-Mart brand like the rest of the family.

All those laundry days, all those PO box trips, it never occurred to him that Wal-Mart brand just couldn’t contain his little brother’s monster dick.

The ad is still there when Dean glances back at the computer screen, mocking him orangely. It’s real, then; not any karma-induced hallucination brought on by an improprietous masturbation session facilitated by his brother’s laptop when said brother is sleeping two feet away. His eyes slide back to Sam again, appraising. There’s no way Sam’s dick is bigger than his. Yeah, Sam’s big—ok, Sam’s huge—but he’s Dean’s kid brother. It wouldn’t be fair if he had a bigger dick. The universe must have some sort of law against that.

Dean inches his way out of bed carefully, almost subconsciously, scarcely daring to breathe. Feet on the scratchy, motel room carpet, he tugs the laptop’s corner to refocus its faint glow. Sam’s on his side, body curved towards Dean slightly, the blankets draped around his waist and fortunately not cocooned around him, as they are on colder nights. That should make this easier, satisfy his curiosity enough to let him sleep. It’s not like he’s gonna take Sam’s underwear off or anything, ok? Dean just figures he’ll see what he can see, and then go to bed and hope he can pretend this was a really weird dream. His fingers grasp the covers, gently lifting them away, and Sam’s eyes snap open as if a gunshot had gone off.

It takes Sam a second to realize it’s only Dean that woke him, and then his whole body relaxes as he sighs, blinks a few times blearily. “Dean?” he mutters. “Whassa matter?”

“Uh. Um. Nothing,” he lies quickly, and not very well. “You were having a nightmare.”

“Mmmm. Don’ remember it.” A slow, sleepy grin spreads across his face. “Did I interrupt your me-time, you perv?”

Dean makes a hasty retreat back to his own bed. “The hell are you talking about, Sammy?”

“I’m talkin’ about how you got my laptop in bed at one in the morning,” Sam says. “What’re you doing, then? Research?”

“Yeah. Maybe.” Dean crosses his arms petulantly in his defense, sits up a little straighter.

“Research you need headphones and wet wipes for?” Sam quips.

“Shut up,” Dean splutters indignantly, before closing out of the porn site and snapping the laptop shut.

In the darkness of the motel room, he hears Sam’s low laugh and the rustle of sheets. “G’night, Dean.”

*

Despite his strange and unsuccessful attempt to investigate the size of his brother’s dick, Dean sleeps soundly and is awoken by the slam of the door and the smell of coffee as Sam returns to the motel room.

The previous night’s conversation has been thankfully forgotten, Dean realizes as he tears into his egg-n-bagel from the local donut shop, as Sam taps away at his laptop and discusses their next move without even a hint of awkwardness.

But then Sam leans back in his chair, stretches slow and laboriously, revealing a tan slice of midriff and the waistline of his boxers. SAXX. Dean chokes on his bagel a little, hastily washes it down with coffee.

Maybe it’s not as forgotten as he’d like.

*

Laundry day rolls around inevitably. Dean sprays about half a bottle of Shout onto the ectoplasm staining his favorite ACDC shirt, willing his nose to get used to the stuffy, detergent-thick, laundromat smell before it drives him mad. Next to him, Sam unloads his garbage bag of clothing into a washer, including, of course, his super-special giant-dick-accommodating underwear.

“Dude, you’ve gotta tell me what’s so great about those boxers,” Dean says, before he even realizes he’s opened his mouth.

Sam raises his eyebrows incredulously and huffs in disbelief.

“I’m serious!” Dean insists. “Don’t they cost like twenty bucks a pair? Do they bring you good luck or something? Free beer? Free lap dances? Not like you’d appreciate them.”

Sam’s forehead could probably create a new dialect of sign language. It’d be useful for deaf people wearing mittens or quadriplegics with sore throats. Right now, it’s communicating to Dean in no uncertain terms that Sam thinks he’s an idiot. “They’re more comfortable,” Sam tells him slowly, as if he’s speaking to a difficult child. “That so-called ‘great value’ shit you wear is made of cheap, itchy material that rides up my ass and squishes the hell out of my junk.”

Oh god. Sam’s junk. Sam’s huge junk that couldn’t comfortably fit into any of Dean’s boxers. He’s as good as said it. Meaning Sam’s junk is bigger than his, which is unfair and unacceptable. “Whatever you say, dude,” Dean ends up saying lightly, with a derisive snort. With any luck, it’ll prevent Sam from seeing right through him, to his anxiety about the Issue At Hand, and he’d never hear the end of it if Sam figured this out. As if this whole stupid thing isn’t bad enough in the first place.

Thankfully, Sam drops it. Dean adds twice the regular amount of detergent to his washer and blocks out Sam’s complaints about wasting time and money when he has to set it for another rinse. At least the ectoplasm’s gone.

*

Growing up between the Impala and various motel rooms never afforded them much personal space, and even after Stanford, the longest they’d been apart, they slipped back into the old rhythms easily, showering and shaving and brushing their teeth like a well-choreographed dance. Given this, Dean thinks it’ll be pretty easy to catch a glimpse of Sam’s dick and see if he really needs those boxers or if they’re just his weird way of overcompensating for being the little brother. He conveniently forgets that living in motel rooms also means they’ve adjusted to living in motel rooms, until a month has gone by and Sam’s kept it so far under wraps that he might as well be wearing a freakin’ chastity belt. They’ve never made a habit of parading around naked, and yeah, Dean was aware of that before his little social experiment started, but he didn’t think it’d require James Bond level espionage to ‘accidentally’ walk in on the guy he’s barely away from for more than two hours at a stretch. But unless Dean’s willing to plant hidden cameras or find some excuse to yank the shower curtain back while Sam’s soaping up, he’s no closer to seeing how his brother measures up than he was on the ill-fated night when he first saw the ad.

What Dean does see is a whole lot of Sam’s boxers. In a variety of colors. All with the fucking ‘ergonomic comfort pouch’ proudly displayed. Ok, it looks big, even soft (he assumes), even hidden behind a layer of red-or-blue-or-grey-or-green-or-black cotton, but hey, it could be the stupid pouch. Hell, if it’s enhancing Sam’s dick as much as his ass, Dean’s got nothing to worry about. To be fair, it’s kind of hard to emphasize an ass that isn’t already emphasizing itself, and Sam’s is amazing. He could model, Sam and his perfect ass and his enormous dick. (And his washboard abs. And his equally muscular arms and chest. And his dimpled smile and puppy dog eyes, and—) So Dean’s a bit jealous. It’s making his stomach do funny gymnastics whenever Sam walks out of the bathroom in nothing but those accursed boxers. But who wouldn’t be?

If he were willing to gamble, Dean could attempt to start a trend himself, just walk out of the bathroom ass naked one day like it was perfectly normal and start getting dressed at his regular pace. Hell, he’d forgotten to bring underwear in with him before and had to retrieve it, sheepishly and dripping wet, from his duffel, wearing nothing but the amulet around his neck and a scratchy, motel room towel around his waist. Sam’s done that, too, and maybe if Dean started the whole impromptu nudity thing, he’d follow suit, rather than hiding his junk out of some misplaced sense of modesty. Really, Dean reasons, they’ve both got the same set of genitalia. There’s nothing to hide, and Sam would just be giving Dean ammunition to mock him if he acted otherwise. The major flaw in Dean’s plan, though, is that Sam might notice his problem before Dean has enough evidence to decide whether it even exists in the first place, and this is enough to dissuade him from putting it into action.

The worst part would be the waiting. Sam would never vocalize his observation immediately, not even if they were both naked and Dean was staring conspicuously at Sam’s dick. Dean’s the one who latches onto something—like the clowns, oh man, does Sam hate those—and ribs his brother about it until Sam’s threatened to kill him at least thirty times and they’re both sick of the joke. Sam, on the other hand, files any newfound knowledge away carefully. It could be months from now, but Dean will inevitably forget and get complacent and start hassling Sam about his hair or his music, or how he needs to get laid, and Sam will look meaningfully at his crotch and tell him to stop overcompensating. And that’d be it. He’d take the wind out of Dean’s sails and walk away with an enigmatic smile and leave Dean in a confused funk for the rest of the day, because, as the older brother, he was supposed to piss off his little brother. He was supposed to get the last word. But Sam had a way for disrupting the natural order of things.

Exhibit A: Possessing a larger dick.

Dean bites his lip during his latest round of contemplation, sneaking glances at Sam’s boxer-covered package out of the corner of his eye. There has to be another way.

*

They crash through the doorway of their current motel room after hours and miles of hiking through the Arizona desert, hunting what they’d almost fatally mistaken for a werewolf. All signs pointed to it—the mutilated bodies, first livestock, then human, the missing hearts, the coinciding full moons. Like the one that lit the way tonight, as they trekked silently across the sand towards the rocky outcropping where a couple of kids swore they’d seen a half-man, half-beast howling at the moon.

Fortunately, Dean’s silver bullets worked well enough on the full-grown, terrifying, and completely unexpected panther that sprung at him from a particularly dark niche hidden among the rocks. He was sure for a moment that this was it, the killings weren’t even supernatural, and with their luck, they’d have the cops on their ass for poaching. But the corpse that hit the ground belonged to a skinny teenager, miraculously transformed in the last few moments of his life, wearing a face Dean recognized from a missing persons poster in town. Shit.

Sam was at his side in an instant, summoned by the gunshot. Dean heard him sigh in relief, and then a shout of, “Dean!”—just enough warning to turn his body and catch the claws of the second panther across his ribs instead of through the soft tissue of his stomach and intestines. And it provided an opening for Sam to shoot the panther and be the hero for once. (Dean makes sure that happens from time to time, because he’s an awesome brother.) Yeah, it still hurt like a bitch, but that didn’t mean it was bad enough for Sam to cart him back to the motel for first aid and drag himself all the way back out there later to salt-and-burn the corpses alone. Or so Dean told himself, until Sam finished the job and helped him hobble back out into the light of the full moon.

The entire right side of his shirt glittered wet and sticky, and when he’d touched a hand to it, it came away covered in blood.

Point is, he’s propped up in the bed now with towels pilfered from other motels spread out beneath him, a bottle of much-needed whiskey clutched in his fist. Dean’s not dying tonight, although that might be better than listening to Sam ranting about how he could have.

“I can’t fucking believe you,” Sam says, yanking the whiskey out of his hand.

“Hey—ah, shit!” Dean starts to protest, hissing as Sam unceremoniously dumps a liberal amount of alcohol over the shredded skin. He reaches for the whiskey again, but Sam shoves a water bottle in his hand instead.

“Don’t give me that look. You lost a lot of blood. You need to hydrate.” Sam pinches the skin of the first scratch together and jams the needle through.

Whiskey out of reach, Dean chugs his water to distract himself from the sharp, bright pain as Sam stitches him up, none too gently. With the way his head’s spinning, he might not need any more alcohol. No way he’s telling Sam that, though.

“’S a liquid,” he slurs, vaguely gesturing towards the bottle Sam’s propped up against his knee.

The next stab of the needle is particularly forceful, which Dean takes as a reminder to not piss off the guy who’s holding you at the mercy of a sharp, pointy object. “I said hydrate, smartass, not drink yourself into alcohol poisoning. And trust me, with the state you’re in, it wouldn’t take a whole lot. So either drink your damn water, or I’ll dig out the IV.”

Dean grimaces. “You just like stabbing me with needles. Fuckin’ sadist.” Sam’s berating him again, but the room gives a nausea-inducing lurch, and Dean lets his head loll back rather than wasting his energy on paying attention. With his luck, he’d puke all over Sam and bleed out while his brother took five consecutive showers.

He’s more than halfway to convincing himself to pass out and trust Sam to do the rest when a hand tapping the side of his face brings him back. “Dean,” Sam’s voice says, far-away. “Dean! If you fall asleep now, I will drag you to the hospital for a blood transfusion, I swear! And I will not bring you your Walkman, or your skin mags, and I will leave your ass there to watch shitty daytime TV and eat hospital food. You hear me?”

Mostly, Dean hears the panic in Sam’s voice, and that’s wrong, all wrong. He needs to pull himself together, find out what’s messing with his little brother, and fucking kill it. That’s what he’s good at. He groans and opens his eyes, grinning as Sam swims into view. “Heya, Sammy.”

Sam smiles, relieved, dimples and all, and Dean grins wider in return. Looks like he’s done good. “Ok, Dean,” Sam says. “Ok, talk to me. Keep talking. And drink your water.” Sam presses a new bottle into his hand. He must have finished the last one. Or dropped it on the floor. The bed’s too dry for him to have dropped it there.

The motion causes Sam’s shirt, too small, shrunk in the wash, and clinging to him with sweat, to ride up. Dean’s eyes follow the motion, pure muscle memory by now, and he sees it again. That fucking logo.

He sniggers stupidly, nearly choking on his water. “There’s no way your dick is that big.”

The needle diving through his skin pauses mid-stitch as Sam gapes at him incredulously. “What?”

“I’m onto you!” Dean says accusingly, gesturing with his water bottle and slopping it all over his knuckles. “You wear special big dick boxers!”

“Special—” Sam huffs and shakes his head, returning his attention to Dean’s stitches. “Are you really having an inferiority complex about my dick right now?”

Dean shakes his head emphatically. “Nope. Nuh-uh. You know why, Sammy? Because I’m not freakin’ inferior!”

“Oh my god, you are!” Sam laughs. “You’re pissed because my dick’s bigger than yours.”

“Am not!” Dean says shrilly. “How the hell would you know, anyway? Just because I don’t need no goddamn expensive boxers to cradle my fragile ego does not mean I’m tiny!”

Sam ties off the last stitch and drops the needle into the cup of rubbing alcohol on the nightstand. “Ok, one: if you’d done any amount of research, you’d know that my underwear isn’t just for ‘huge dicks’,” he says, air-quotes and all. “It’s designed to hold your junk in place comfortably. And two: my everything is bigger than yours. In other news, the sky is blue, water is wet, and life isn’t fair. Get used to it.”

Dean ruminates this while Sam washes his hands and dumps a fresh flood of alcohol—rubbing, this time—over his stitched-up side. Then, he has an epiphany. “I bet it’s the demon blood.”

Sam gives him a look of pure disdain and begins smearing antiseptic ointment on his wounds.

“Don’t look at me like that!” Dean insists. “It made you bigger everywhere else!”

“This is it,” Sam mutters, half to himself. “This is the stupidest thing that’s ever come out of your mouth.”

“What about that time I threw up that seafood buffet?” Dean asks, and swears he can see his brother turn faintly green.

“No, that was the stupidest thing you ever put in your mouth. Your body subsequently made a very wise decision that I imagine was completely independent of your brain.”

Dean’s man enough to admit he doesn’t have a comeback for that, but he’s still snickering when Sam tapes on the gauze bandage. “I’m going to regret asking this,” he says, with a pained expression, “but do you need help getting your pants off?”

Well. He’d hate to make Sammy a liar. “You wanna get a look at the goods, little bro, all you had to do was ask.”

“Never mind!” Sam says, throwing up his hands in defeat. “But if you get too hot during the night and pull your stitches, you can fix them yourself.”

Of course, Sam doesn’t really mean that. He’s about ninety percent sure. All the same, Dean probably shouldn’t push his luck, but he’s just having too much fun with this. “What’s wrong, Sam? Think we’ll find out you’re actually smaller and I’ll steal your fancy underwear?”

Sam stands between the beds, hands on his hips. He looks halfway between exasperated and murderous, and it’s the funniest thing Dean’s ever seen. “All I did with offer to help you get out of your blood-encrusted jeans without pulling your fucking stitches and bleeding to death. I assumed you could handle that like an adult. My mistake.”

“It’s nothing to be ashamed of, Sammy,” Dean says, because he never did know when to quit. (It’s like the clowns all over again.) “You know what they say, it’s not—”

“Don’t say it,” Sam groans.

“—the size of the boat—”

“Don’t fucking say it!”

“—it’s the motion of the ocean!” Dean finishes with a grin.

“Ok,” Sam says, breathing heavily out his nose. “Now that is the stupidest thing that’s ever come out of your mouth.”

“Alright, alright, I’ll tell ya,” Dean says generously. “It’s about six inches.”

“Dean!”

“When it’s at attention, obviously.”

“Dean!”

“Oh, c’mon, Sammy!” Dean cajoles. “Don’t be shy! How much’re you packing?”

“None of your business, you freak,” he says. “And besides, I’ve never been self-obsessed enough to measure it.”

Dean snorts in disbelief. “Everyone who’s got one measured theirs at some point. Don’t lie.”

“Fine,” Sam snaps. “I’ve never measured it as a grown fucking man.”

“So?” Dean prompts.

“So what?”

Dean rolls his eyes. “So what was it when you did measure it?”

Sam’s sigh is mingled frustration and disgust. “Five inches. When I was fourteen. Happy?”

Fourteen. Jesus. That was before Sammy’s colossal, two-year-long growth spurt that left him lanky and hungry and taller than Dean. “Lemme see it,” he says, impulsively.

“Are you serious,” Sam says flatly.

Dean raises an eyebrow suggestively towards Sam’s crotch. What the hell, it’s out there now, and he’s not taking it back.

“You know what? Fine,” Sam says, and starts—oh fuck—starts unbuttoning his jeans. “Fine. If this is what it takes to clear up your freaky obsession.”

“It’s not—” Dean protests, but then Sam’s pushing his pants and underwear down past his hips. They pool around his ankles, and when Dean looks back up, oh. Wow. That’s definitely bigger than his. That’s bigger than half the dicks he’s seen in porn.

When Dean’s eyes finally make their way back to his brother’s face, Sam is smirking. The smugness practically radiates off of him. Dean clears his throat, collects himself, and snaps his mouth shut, which—why was that hanging open in the first place? “Yeah?” he says. “That all you got?”

“No, Dean, it’s a retractable dick. I’ve got more hiding up in my pelvis.”

Dean waves his hand dismissively, and his side gives a warning twinge of pain. “What, you gonna make me spell it out for you? Are you a grower or a shower?”

“You tell me,” Sam says, and then, oh god, wraps a hand around his dick.

Abstractly, Dean knows this has gone too far. He should fake disgust, tell Sam he’s won and promise to never mention his dick again, or at the very least, stop staring open-mouthed at the smooth stroke of Sam’s hand over his cock. But, lightheaded from blood loss, drunk on whiskey, and exhausted from stumbling back through the desert, this added shock seems to have short-circuited his brain. He can’t look away, and can’t even lie to himself about his interest here. He’s fascinated.

Dean realizes he has to modify his previous assessment, now that Sam’s fully hard: he’s easily bigger than three-quarters of the porn star population, barring only the dicks of terrifying, coke-can proportions. His brother’s packing just enough to promise a good, hard fuck, the kind Dean imagines would leave his partners blissed out and happily sore, without threatening permanent injury.

In short, he thinks Sam’s kinda perfect.

About halfway through (he guesses), Sam grins, breathless, says, “Don’t be shy, Dean.”

Clueless for a moment, Dean follows the line of Sam’s vision down to his lap, where, oh no, he’s fucking hard, chubbing up in his jeans from watching his brother jerk off. Panic sets in while he frantically tries to think of an excuse, attribute it to adrenaline, a near-death experience, something that isn’t worshipful admiration of Sam’s dick. But now that he’s aware of his own dick, it’s difficult to ignore. Dean feels like he needs to get off, and—fuck it. It can’t be that weird if they’re both doing it.

Right?

In retrospect, Dean probably should have accepted Sam’s help in getting his pants off; it’s practically an Olympic feat just to get them down past his hips, and his underwear is still bloody and stuck to his thigh. But then, if he hadn’t pushed Sam this far, they wouldn’t be here. He exhales sharply in relief when his hand finally finds his dick, and grins back at Sam, triumphant. Dean’s going for challenging. Sibling rivalry, he understands, although he can’t quite tell what the stakes are. But Sam, Sam’s got his shirt off, now—he knows that can get in the way sometimes, if you’re jerking off while standing up—and he’s sweaty and gasping and so, so close. Dean’s smile falters as his whole body goes hot and cold in bursts, and he hears a high-pitched whine before he realizes that it’s coming from him. He’s still watching when Sam crosses the proverbial finish line, moans and shudders and spills all over his fist. And that’s it: Dean’s head thunks back against the wall behind him, and he strips his cock frantically, racing towards the edge until he tips over.

Dazedly, he notices Sam’s no longer in the room, and then that there’s water running in the bathroom, Sam washing the come off his hands. Because he just got himself off in front of Dean. Fuck. Dean rests his head against the wall again and closes his eyes.

Moments later, something wet drops onto his lap. He jumps, startled, but it’s just a washcloth. “Thanks,” he mutters, and starts wiping himself clean, of both blood and come.

“Don’t mention it,” Sam says. He’s already changed into pajama pants and an undershirt, and he sounds tired, calm, and, well, post-orgasmic. Like he doesn’t have a care in the world.

“Sam?” Dean asks, when his brother’s already got one leg in bed. “Could you, uh.” He gestures vaguely at his pants, tries to ignore how his softening dick is still laying exposed on his thigh, and how his side’s too fucked up to do anything about it.

Sam laughs quietly and crosses the space between their beds. “Ok, lift up,” he orders, hooks his fingers under Dean’s waistband, and yanks both his pants and his underwear down over his legs. He half-expects Sam will say something then, some quip about his stupid masculinity or observation on the size of his dick, but the atmosphere changed subtly, sometime after Sam started jerking off at Dean’s insistence. So, he keeps silent, even when Dean’s sitting there naked, save for the bandages on his side.

“Thanks,” Dean grunts, and gingerly lays down, pulling the blankets over himself as he goes. He’ll have to sleep naked; he’s not asking Sam to dress him as well as undress him. This night’s been weird enough.

“You good?” Sam asks, and something in his inflection tells Dean he’s not just asking about the injury.

“Yeah,” Dean says, letting his eyes slip shut. “Night, Sam.”

He can sense Sam hovering over him for a moment longer, hesitating, before he says, “Goodnight, Dean,” and flicks off the light.

*

The Minnesota sun bakes into the large, front windows of Fosston’s public library, warming Dean through for the first time in days. Between the warmth seeping through the back of his leather jacket and the sleepy smell of the musty tomes before him, he’s struggling not to take a nap on top of a particularly boring book of the town’s history. Normally, he’d opt to get food and coffee and leave Sam with the research, but a broken heater and a cheap, stubborn, and lazy manager have conspired to make their current motel room particularly miserable. And Dean’s plans don’t include research anyway, not after Sam went out running this morning. Running. In this weather. Letting in frigid blasts of air that woke Dean when he left and re-woke him when he came back, hiding under his covers and shouting every curse he knew. Meanwhile, Dean’s feet were so frozen he had to hold a heating pad on them for ten minutes just to get them in his boots.

So, he reasons, it’s only fair that Sam fetches the food and does the research, while he grunts convincingly and does exactly jack squat. And dear lord, please let Sam lead them directly to a grave. They can stand over a fire and then get the hell out of this town instead of stopping to interview any witnesses and prolonging their stay in the cold. Not that Sam feels it, the bastard. He’s like a fucking furnace. Must be all that muscle mass.

Vividly, Dean remembers exactly how much of Sam’s muscle mass he’s seen, and his head drops onto the book in front of him with a groan. It’s been long enough that the once jagged wounds over his side have healed to a new-scar pink, and the intermittent time has left a veil over that night, giving it a dreamlike quality. Although that’s probably more due to the fever he’d woken up with the next morning. Sam beat it back with a severely unpleasant cold bath and enough Penicillin to retroactively give their mother a yeast infection—no Sam, this is too much, I’m not taking that, I am going to grow a vagina to accommodate all the yeast that wants to grow in me—ok, he was probably still delirious then. The only thing it led to was Sam force-feeding him probiotic yogurt and absolutely no discussion of any past or possible future mutual masturbation sessions.

And, truth be told? Dean’s a little disappointed.

Sure, it’s weird, but no weirder than the fact that skinwalker panthers are apparently a thing that exists now, and half of the other shit they’d seen in their fucked-up lives. Sam gets him, in a way no one else possibly could, and physicality with him is as easy as breathing and just as necessary, the way their feet tangle under a diner table or their shoulders bump as they walk. Bickering, sparring, even prank wars, those inevitable sibling competitions, all provided a little extra boost, like an espresso shot, and a simultaneous release of pent-up tension. This, the whole masturbation thing, was like that, except with the added benefit of an orgasm. Hell yeah, he wants to do it again.

Still, there remains the obvious and glaring problem of getting Sam to go along with it. It’s not difficult to get under Sam’s skin, get him all riled up again, but gearing it in that particular direction would take—

MY COCK IS MUCH BIGGER THAN YOURS, screams through the library’s quiet morning and interrupting Dean’s train of thought so badly that he yelps and falls out of his chair. Ass on the floor, he realizes his thigh is vibrating because, Jesus tapdancing Christ, The ungodly noise is coming from his phone. And several other library patrons are staring at him, scandalized.

Dean manages to wrench the thing out of his pocket right when it shouts, CAN’T YOU SEE THAT YOU LOVE MY COCK? and sees the contact “Sammy” flashing across the screen.

He viciously hits the ‘talk’ button and yells, “Sam!” into the phone, only to hear him fucking cackling on the other end. “What the fuck, Sam!” he says, clambering to his feet and preparing to run the hell out of the library before someone calls the cops. (Town this size, you can never be sure.) “Where the hell are you?”

Sam’s continued laughter gives him no hints, and spins in circles futilely for a minute before spotting him out the window, face red and ear pressed to the phone. Swearing under his breath, Dean abandons the would-be research on the table and high-tails it outside.

“Dude, what the hell!” he demands, as soon as he’s within earshot.

“I changed my personalized ringtone on your phone!” Sam says, so obviously pleased with himself that it’s gonna make Dean sick.

He’s about to say, No shit, Sherlock, but Sam’s still giggling intermittently—yes, giggling, like a six-year-old—and he’s pink-cheeked from it, that and the below-freezing temperature, and the steady gusts of wind that are making an absolute mess of his hair. He can’t remember the last time he’s seen Sam this uncomplicatedly happy; lately, it seems like letting their guard down is just begging for something terrible to happen. It chooses to hit Dean then, as it usually does at the least opportune moments, just how much he loves his stupid kid brother. All the enormous, sappy feelings he can never let Sam see fill him up like a tidal wave and threaten to break his chest open. It’s all he can do to keep a straight face, and not worry Sam by allowing his furious expression morph into an adoring one. For one thing, he doesn’t want to encourage this sort of behavior. And he’s pretty sure Sam won’t accept Dean tackling him to the ground and smothering his face in kisses like he did when they were really little. He wouldn’t even think Sam remembered that, if not for the mortifying time he’d recounted the old habit to one of Dean’s high school girlfriends—yeah, he used to cuddle me. Like a puppy. If I went to the bathroom in the middle of the night without waking him, he’d holler and wake our dad up soon as he noticed I was gone.

Suddenly, his brain decides to connect kissing Sam with its earlier rumination of mutually assured orgasms, and oh. Oh. Dean’s a big boy now, and the part of him that wants to kiss Sam is no longer childlike and innocent. He really wants to kiss him, preferably while kinda naked. And then orgasms. Or something.

Dean carefully sidesteps this new revelation, and sequesters his impending, gibbering meltdown in a safe corner of his brain, where he can deal with it later. “Yeah, I noticed you changed my ringtone, dumbass,” he says, and hopes Sam assumes that his fuming silence was just a result of being too angry to speak. “What I mean is, what the hell are you doing, fucking around like that in the middle of a case? I bet they ain’t gonna allow me back in that library, and that shit you just pulled is a great way to get the whole town talking about us. How’re we supposed to do undercover, Sam? Also,” he adds, noticing the lack of it for the first time, “where’s the food?”

“Don’t worry, Dean,” Sam says, still annoyingly self-congratulatory from his successful prank. “Case is closed. You don’t have to absorb anymore library books through your forehead.”

“The case is—what? How?” Dean splutters. “And hey, if you hadn’t woken me up with your freaky Lance Armstrong impression—”

“That’d be biking.”

“—and brought me my damn coffee, maybe I’d be a little more functional! And how is the case closed, Sam?” he asks. “What the hell did you do?”

Sam gives a little half-shrug, grin still firmly in place. “For once, the police solved it. I picked it up on the scanner.”

“Yeah, right,” Dean scoffs. “Since when do the police hunt ghosts?”

“Well, it wasn’t a ghost. All the victims had the same home security. One of the guys just had a thing for offing lonely, old widows. We probably would’ve seen the connection ourselves if we weren’t working the supernatural angle,” Sam explains, although he might’ve just said that last part to make Dean feel better about getting one-upped by cops.

Belatedly, Dean starts walking towards the car, where he can turn the heat up full blast. “But all the victims were locked in. Deadbolts, windows, everything. No sign of forced entry. How’d he manage that?”

“Get this—electronic deadbolts,” Sam says. “He installed them in the victims’ houses. None of them had the chain, right? It was the little bar kind. On the outside, they looked normal, but inside, there were little motors. He locked the doors behind him and reset the alarms.”

Dean lets out a low whistle. “Wow. You sure it was him?”

“Yep,” Sam nods. “I swung by his house and talked to the lady across the street, pretended I was a new neighbor. It’s already starting to hit the local media, and I really don’t think a ghost would need an electronic deadbolt.”

They’re silent for a moment while Dean starts the Impala, shaking his head in disbelief. “You know, Sam, ghosts have their MO, and I get that. But people? People are fucking insane.”

Sam makes a vague noise of agreement. “So, I thought we could grab our stuff and stop by the diner on the way out of town, eat some real food.”

“Yeah, and where does scandalizing all the grannies in the large-print section fit into this plan?” Dean quips.

“Oh man,” Sam laughs (great, he’s set him off all over again), “you should’ve seen your face! I’ve been planning that for weeks.”

Dean shoots him the longest bitter look he can manage while driving. “Well, just remember, Sammy. You started it.”

“Nope,” Sam says, shaking his head vehemently. “Oh, no. You started this, Dean, and honestly? You’ve been giving me crap for my hair or my music or not getting laid as often as you think I should my whole life. I’m not letting you get off that easy.”

Word choice, Dean thinks, swallowing uncomfortably. “Whatever,” he says. “So, breakfast?”

Sam huffs. “Dean, it’s three in the afternoon.”

“Well, I want pancakes,” he decides. “And eggs. And bacon. And you’re buying.”

“What, with our joint pool winnings, or one of our scammed credit cards?”

“It’s the gesture, Sam,” Dean says, pained. “It’s the gesture.” Really, he shouldn’t have to explain that.

Next job, Dean promises himself, they’re going someplace warm.

*

“Ahah!” Dean says, brandishing his new shampoo bottle like a prize. “I knew you’d never let me win that easily.”

From his spot on the second queen-sized bed, Sam meets Dean’s eyes long enough for his forehead to crinkle disdainfully, and then turns his attention back to his laptop. “As I said before, if you can’t handle one joke about your precious manhood without throwing a tantrum, I’m just gonna ignore you until you’re done.”

“This is not ignoring me, Sam!” Dean insists. “This is phallic!”

Sam regards the bottle in Dean’s hand with mild incredulity. “Dean, that’s shampoo.”

“It’s not what I asked for!”

“It’s the store brand, which is what you asked for,” Sam reminds him patiently.

Sam’s patience is the worst prank he’s ever pulled.

As far as Dean’s concerned, the only appropriate course of action after Sam’s ringtone change was to respond in kind. He painstakingly laid the lines of superglue inside Sam’s favorite jacket, barely hiding a grin as Sam shrugged it on, but his brother simply wore it all day, giving no indication he was aware that his shirt and jacket were stuck together. He’s pretty sure Sam cut away the shirt later and tossed it while Dean was out getting food, depriving him of his chance to gloat. Next, Dean spent fifteen minutes while Sam was in the shower figuring out how to wipe all the content off his iPod, but, as he neglected to delete it off the laptop itself, Sam grabbed it out of the backseat once he noticed the problem and synced his iPod again in about two minutes. An entire bottle of hot sauce found its way into Sam’s pasta while he was retrieving his laptop charger from the car. Dean held his breath while Sam took the first bite, and quaked with silent laughter while he downed half his cup of water in one go. Then, he watched in dismay as Sam took his plate up to the counter, secured a new order, and charmed their waitress so well for the rest of the meal that she wouldn’t even look at Dean, much less offer him a tour of the bathroom. (If he’s honest, he cared more about gauging Sam’s reaction than getting his hands up Cindy’s skirt, but he’ll admit that the day after never.) Finally, he’d poured honey between the pages of Women in Love, which he privately thinks was in Sam’s best interests. Sam mildly told him later how easy it was to download a free Kindle app to his phone and thereby download a free copy of his “mysteriously” ruined book.

Women in Love?” Dean read scornfully when he glimpsed the title. “I swear to god, if that doesn’t have some hot girl-on-girl action, I’m disowning you.”

“Actually, that was its prequel, The Rainbow,” Sam said. “This book’s more about the guy-on-guy.”

And Dean nearly swallowed his tongue.

Back in the present, Dean holds his shampoo bottle aloft. It’s beige, cylindrical, and has a rounded cap, fire-engine red. “It looks like a penis!” he hisses.

“It looks like a shampoo bottle,” Sam says, “and you look like you’re going crazy.”

Dean continues to glare at his brother for another minute, practically vibrating with pent-up rage. He’s aware he’s being completely ridiculous. That only makes this worse. “This isn’t over,” he warns, retreating back into the bathroom.

Before he closes the door, he hears his brother’s much-aggrieved sigh.

*

A clown approaches them at a Mississippi county fair, honking its red nose with enthusiasm. Dean feels Sam tense beside him and smirks broadly.

“Whatcha got there?” he asks, though it’s fairly obvious going by the balloons pouring out of his bag.

The clown points to a sign reading, “BALLOON ANIMALS. $2 EA,” with a large, red-mouthed, clown smile.

“Sammy here loves balloons,” Dean says, nudging his brother. “I bet he wants a pony.”

“I don’t like balloons,” Sam snaps, before the clown can even reach into his bag. “Or clowns.”

The clown sticks out his lower lip in a convincing parody of sadness, but Sam appears unmoved.

“But I’ll tell you what.” Sam claps Dean on the shoulder and continues, “My brother loves tormenting people. So how about you two exchange tactics.”

“The hell’re you going?” Dean shouts at his brother’s retreating back.

“Lunch!” Sam replies shortly.

Dean cups his hands around his mouth to yell, “Hamburgers!” and smiles awkwardly at the clown.

Sam catches up with him while he’s scanning the main rollercoaster for EMF. “Any luck?” he asks.

“Nah,” Dean says as Sam hands him—two corndogs. “Sam! I asked for a hamburger.”

“Well, we’re low on cash, and corndogs were bogo,” Sam tells him, biting into one of his own.

“Not that low,” Dean grumbles, raising the corndog to his mouth, and then stops, because. Because Sam’s still facing him.

Raising an eyebrow, Sam swallows thickly before asking, “What?”

“You’re doing it again!” Dean accuses. “The phallic thing!”

“They’re fucking corndogs!” Sam protests, gesturing widely with the half-eaten item.

Dean points to one of his, still untouched. “It’s a phallus on a stick, Sam!”

Sam rolls his eyes and sighs like he’s channeling his inner thirteen-year-old. “Eat your corndog, Dean.”

There’s no point in arguing anymore, Dean knows. Sam won’t admit to his treachery, and the food’s already been paid for and is getting cold. So, he means to eat it. He really does. But he can’t, not while—

“What!” Sam demands again, in response to his nervous, sideways glances.

“Don’t look at me!” Dean says, hating himself and Sam more by the second, and Sam’s stupid boxers most of all. “I can’t eat it while you’re looking at me!”

“You’re not serious,” Sam says flatly. And then, “You’re serious. Oh my god.”

Dean’s aware that he’s blushing scarlet, and that he likely deserves Sam’s look of disgusted incredulity.

“Ok, fine,” Sam acquiesces in defeat. “I’m gonna go . . . look around. And try to forget this conversation ever happened.”

Left in peace, Dean devours his corndogs as fast as he can and continues his sweep of the allegedly haunted coaster. In his opinion, it probably needs something supernatural to stay together. If anyone inspects these things, he’s surprised this rickety, wooden frame managed to pass. He’s nearly decided to call this hunt a bust when EMF flares up under the center loop of the big three, and he texts Sam to get his ass over.

A few minutes later, Sam’s ass gets there, along with the rest of him and a pink balloon twisted into a shape like no animal Dean’s ever seen.

“It’s a sword,” Sam says, handing it to him with a perfectly straight face.

The “sword” has two distinctly round circles on either side of what Dean supposes is the hilt. “You braved a clown for this. I don’t know whether to pissed or impressed.”

“I’ll be impressed if you can get it to the car without any parents complaining.”

Dean flashes his best devil-may-care grin. “Yeah? You dare me?”

Sam leans in close, raising the hairs on the back of Dean’s neck. “I double dare you.”

“Well, can’t do anything here until tonight, anyway,” Dean says, and then points his “sword” in the exit’s general direction. “Onward!”

Sam shakes his head, laughing, as he follows.

*

For the first few moments, when Dean beholds the monument rising like an erection before them, all he can do is gape in silent bewilderment and rage.

“Sam!” he shrieks, recovering a second later.

Looking up from the map spread across his knees, Sam says, “What?”

Dean points to the building with a trembling finger. “You’re making me drive into a giant dick!”

His brother groans, head thumping back against the seat. “Dean, will you stop. When I told you that there was a hunt in Florida, you objected on account of, ‘the entire state is America’s penis’.”

Which is true, but he’s not gonna argue it when there are more pressing matters. “Sam! You cannot honestly look at that and tell me it doesn’t look like a giant fucking dick!”

Sam sighs and stares resolutely at the Impala’s roof.

“It has testicles, Sam!” Dean protests. “I’m not crazy!”

“It’s the State Capitol,” Sam needlessly informs him, squinting out the windshield. “Those are domes.”

“They look like balls!” Dean insists.

Sam opens his mouth to say something else, probably about how Dean’s seeing things that aren’t there and needs to calm the fuck down before he tranquilizes him, but he makes the mistake of catching his brother’s furious, overwrought expression, and the corner of his mouth twitches. Very slowly, by inches, Dean watches Sam’s face collapse in such an ugly, contorted way that he’s convinced for a strange instant that he’s crying. Then, Sam laughs. Uproariously, banging his fist against the window as an outlet for his overabundant exuberance, until he’s bright red and tears are leaking from his eyes. Dean pulls over into the nearest parking lot and sits, astonished, watching his brother’s complete, hysterical breakdown.

Inexplicably, he’s half-hard by the time Sam’s laughter dies out and he’s wiping the tears from his face, and he doesn’t know whether he wants to strangle him or kiss him senseless more. Paralyzed, Dean does neither. He has no idea how his kid brother managed to fuck him up this badly.

“Motherfucker,” Dean says faintly. “This whole time! You’ve been fucking with me for weeks!”

Still bright-eyed and red-cheeked, Sam grins. “Now, wherever would I get that idea?”

He’s beautiful and Dean’s heart hurts and he’s going to fucking murder him.

“God, I hate you,” he sighs. “And your underwear.”

“My underwear?” Sam echoes. “Are you suggesting I walk around with no underwear?”

Dean’s not even going to grace that with a response. “Is there even a hunt here?”

“Nope,” Sam says with a pop on the final ‘p’. “It’s been quiet. There isn’t one for a thousand miles, and a little birdy told me what’s out there is being taken care of by hunters already in the neighborhood. So, I thought we’d stop by and see the sights.”

“Sam, it’s fucking Tallahassee,” Dean says. “There aren’t any sights, unless you wanna count the poorly designed giant dick building.”

“Yeah, that was literally it,” Sam confesses.

“I hate you,” Dean says again.

*

In a convenience store in Panama City, Dean buys a ruler.

It’s blue and rubber and bends easily without breaking, and will serve much better than wood or metal on sensitive skin. (There’s a tape measure in the Impala’s trunk, but the thought of releasing the catch at the wrong time and sending the metal edge zipping back into its plastic case makes him vaguely nauseous.) He considers buying a calculator, too, but they’ve got both their cell phones and the laptop for that, and Dean’s already self-conscious and certain the cashier knows the reason behind his single purchase.

As self-proclaimed winner of the prank war, a position he upheld with an hour’s worth of arguing that reminded Dean soundly why his brother would have made an excellent lawyer, Sam decides they can’t leave Florida without a trip to the beach. That’s where Dean finds him, bronze and getting bronzer, the bastard; Dean himself is pink and peeling after the first day out, no matter how much sunscreen he slathers on, and his freckles have multiplied and spread across his nose like an invading army.

He spends the second morning on the beach anyway, keeping his skin hidden underneath a t-shirt and the beach umbrella they rescued from the shallows, presumably lost at sea. The motel has blackout curtains, air conditioning, a television, and Sam’s laptop, where he can watch anything from porn to B horror movies at his leisure. None of that explains why he’s here instead, scowling behind dark sunglasses and barely pretending to read Sam’s Star Wars novel.

For the past twenty minutes, Sam’s been standing waist-deep in the shallows, talking to a girl. Before that, they swam farther out, dunking each other into the water and laughing like children, and before that, Sam accepted her offer of a reclining beach chair and spent what Dean derisively considers a skin-cancer-inducing amount of time tanning. Yesterday, Sam briefly introduced her as “Gina” before she damn near bodily dragged him off to a volleyball game to which Dean was pointedly not invited.

Half a year ago, Dean would’ve flirted with her anyway, just to see if he could get a reaction or piss off his kid brother, always a worthy cause, but fucked off soon enough to find his own fun among the myriad of bikini-clad women on the beach. And he could now, theoretically; sometimes, he fools himself for about half a second into believing it would make him feel better. In reality, even the thought tastes sour. Most of him wouldn’t be there, preoccupied with Sam, if he was fucking Gina right then, what they looked like together, how he must feel pressed up against her, buried deep inside her, if he’d gone down on her first—In time, it might get easier. This crazy, desperate pull towards Sam, the painful desire to be close to him in every way possible, could fade into a dull ache, easily ignored in favor of Sam’s well-being and his continued presence in Dean’s life. But it’s too new, raw and insistent, and he can’t shove it back behind whatever door contained it in the past. He can remember little things, now, and identify them as part of this huge and terrifying thing he feels for Sam, going back for years and years, even before he left for college.

Dean flops back on the towel, letting the forgotten novel fall on his chest. God, he was happy before, he was fine, he didn’t need to know he felt like this about Sam, before those stupid boxers came along and ruined everything.

He’s barely starting to doze off when something grabs him.

Suddenly, Dean’s wide-awake and flying through the air, or bouncing through it, tossed headfirst over someone’s shoulder—Sam’s, it had better be Sam’s. His sunglasses fall off, and sky and sand whirl around him, and then water as he’s thrown in. Spluttering, he surfaces to the sight of his brother’s laughing face, and Gina laughing right next to him. He realizes with a shock that she looks uncannily like Jess, except for her hair, darker and hinting auburn. She’s a little older than he originally thought, too, although he’d been mentally categorizing everyone here as a nineteen-year-old college student. But Gina’s mid to late twenties, at least; she could be a local, or a PhD student, or even a young professor out of Pensacola or Tallahassee for the weekend. Really, he shouldn’t be surprised. Even Sam’s getting a bit old to go for girls below drinking age. He likes smart women, too, and likes time to get to know them, to form something like a real, human connection.

For better or for worse, he’s had plenty of time for that.

Dean gets to his feet after a few unsteady attempts, soaking wet and squinting through the sun. The water’s only chest deep, but the waves keep crashing in.

“The hell was that for!?” he shrieks indignantly, still spitting out water.

Sam just shrugs. “I thought it was about time you had some fun instead of falling asleep under your umbrella like a senior citizen.”

And he wants to say, I’ll show you fun, and tackle Sam into the surf, but Gina is smiling next to him, and god, he hates her, hates the way her hand is resting on Sam’s arm and he’s letting it stay there, and feels so guilty for hating her that his guts churn with it.

But Sam gave him hope once, jerked off just because Dean asked him to, hope that she’s slowly destroying.

Dean splashes a half-hearted wave in his brother’s direction for appearances’ sake. “I was tired, jackass,” he says. “I’m going back to the room. Where I can take a goddamn nap without people throwing me in oceans.”

He wades towards the shore as fast as he can, ignoring Sam’s calls behind him until he feels a restraining hand on his shoulder. Dean turns to tell Sam to fuck off already, but stops when he sees it’s not him. It’s Gina.

“I’m sorry, it was my fault,” she says in a rush. “Sam felt bad that you were sitting over there by yourself, so I thought . . .” She trails off, biting her lip.

The way her mouth curls around Sam’s name makes something rise in him, angry and ugly. “What, you like to make guys jealous?” he asks, gratified when her eyebrows shoot up, halfway to her hairline. “You think you can get to me by chatting up my brother? Well, you can go fuck yourself, because you ain’t good enough for Sam.”

Dean doesn’t know how exactly he’s expecting her to react, but he’s surprised all the same when she laughs in his face. “You’re an idiot,” she tells him simply. “It’s a shame, really. The three of us could’ve had fun together.”

Before he has time to process that, she’s gone, wading back towards Sam. Dean stands there pole-axed for a minute, belatedly indignant, before he gathers his sunglasses and Sam’s book and walks the few blocks back the motel, grumbling nonsensically. On the way back, he buys the ruler on impulse.

He does sleep fitfully for awhile, after he strips down to nothing and slides between the sheets, leaving his wet clothes in a puddle on the floor. For a second, he considered leaving it in Sam’s bed, under the covers where he wouldn’t notice until he lies down, but that might ignite another prank war, and Dean just doesn’t have the energy for more phalluses or whatever other horrifying thing Sam has up his sleeve. He barely has the energy to function around him normally, when he’s got this stupid, suicidal urge to kiss him or shove his hands down Sam’s pants or something just to get a definite answer.

The sound of the door opening jolts Dean back into consciousness, and he props himself up on his elbows in time to see Sam appear in a flash of afternoon light, quickly muted as he closes the door behind him.

“You’re back early,” Dean blurts, and winces when it comes out rougher than intended.

Sam huffs, irritated. “Well, you were rude enough to scare off my date. Good job, Dean.”

“Nah,” he yawns, leaning back against the pillows. “Turns out, she just wanted to get spit-roasted. Guess you were one dick too short.”

“She told you that?” Sam asks, a little too quickly.

“Yeah, she—wait,” Dean pauses. “You knew?”

His brother shrugs, depositing beach supplies on the small, corner table. “She might’ve mentioned it.”

“So that’s why you—Jesus, Sam,” Dean groans. “Next time, warn a guy.”

“What, next time I meet a woman who wants to be the filling in an incest sandwich? Sure.”

Dean’s blood pounds in his veins, his stomach suddenly hot and leaden. “She knew we were brothers?”

“I might’ve mentioned it,” Sam says, like it’s nothing. Like they’re discussing the too-hot weather.

Dean gapes, aroused and bewildered in turns. “And that’s not . . . weird at all,” he ventures.

Sam’s face is so perfectly blank, it looks almost forced. “Not really. I’ve already seen your dick.”

The words hit Dean like a punch to the gut. He clears his throat, buying time. “So, what? Am I supposed to make you look better by comparison?”

“Really?” Sam laughs shortly. “You’ve still got a fucking complex about how I’m bigger than you?”

“Well, I might have a complex about you using it to get laid,” Dean says, dragging himself into a sitting position with as much dignity as he can muster. He almost stands before he realizes he’s naked (god, why did he think it was a good idea to be naked?) and quickly draws the covers up with him.

Even in the dim light, Sam looks pissed. “I wasn’t using you to get laid, Dean! I was trying to get you laid because you’ve had a stick up your ass ever since we got here, and when I’m in a bad mood, that’s usually what you try to do for me.”

Dean snorts. “Yeah, and that’s always worked so well with you.”

“Well, you’re not me,” Sam says, throwing his arms out widely before letting them fall to his sides. “Look, I’m sorry, ok? Forget it. It was a bad idea.”

Sam’s shoulders hunch in, oddly defeated, reminding Dean uncannily of his coping mechanism in that one high school, where his short-lived nickname was ‘string bean’. There’s something else there, too, a quiet restlessness about Sam that he can’t quite identify, and it’s starting to grate on him like nails on a chalkboard. Losing his ability to read Sam is akin to losing his vision or hearing, something vital.

“Whatever. You’re not that much bigger than me,” Dean says, running his mouth thoughtlessly, anything to break the tension. “Who knows? Proportionally, you could actually be smaller. Like, what are you? Six-four, two hundred pounds? I’m only six-one, about one-eighty. So, if we did some division—”

Dean,” Sam groans into his hands. “No. Especially not when the only ruler we have is a tape measure. There’s no way I’m letting that touch my dick.”

“Well, funny thing is, I. Uh,” Dean trails off, smiles in a way he hopes is encouraging.

It probably falls short, though, because Sam’s staring at him like he’s grown a second head. But at least that weird, unidentifiable thing he had a moment ago is gone, or at least temporarily forgotten. “You bought a fucking ruler,” he says finally.

“It’s, uh. In the bag. On the table,” Dean says helpfully.

After a series of slow, agonizing seconds, in which Dean fervently hopes the bed will turn into a subterranean monster and suck him down to the depths, Sam says, “Ok.”

“What?” Dean asks, convinced his embarrassment has led him to hallucinate.

“I said, ‘ok’,” Sam tells him again, and oh shit, he really did. “It’s not like I’m getting laid today, anyway.”

With that, he peels damp swim trunks off his skin, bending down until he can kick them off his feet. Dean scrambles for the lamp on the bedside table without looking away, fumbling about the base until he finally finds the switch. Naked, and illuminated by warm, yellow light, Sam grabs the bag off the table and takes a few steps towards him, dropping it on Dean’s bed.

“Scoot,” he says, sitting cross-legged at the foot, and Dean presses his back harder against the headboard. “I’ll get started, shall I?” Sam continues. “That seemed to do it for you last time.”

“Hey! There’s nothing wrong with that!” Dean protests. “It’s like watching porn.”

Sam quirks an eyebrow, hand already around his dick. “Watching me jerk off is like watching porn?”

“Not like that!” he snaps, even though it’s kind of really a lot like that. But Sam would never let him hear the end of it if he knew. “Porn’s this whole vicarious experience, right? So, you see someone jerking off, you wanna jerk off, too.”

“Thought it was about jerking off to people you think are hot,” Sam says, a little breathless. He’s halfway there, now, and Dean realizes that, despite the fact that he hasn’t touched himself at all yet, he’s not far behind. “So, you like to watch porn of guys masturbating?”

“I like whatever I can get for free,” Dean says, leering at Sam for effect. He starts working himself under the blanket, trying to hide the fact that he didn’t really need the extra stimulation.

Sam laughs, eyes half-closed and lazy. “Maybe I should start charging.”

“What, and miss all this?” Dean says, gesturing to himself awkwardly with his free hand.

“All what? You’re not even naked.”

“Sure I am,” Dean argues. “Blankets don’t count.”

“Ok,” Sam says, and yanks them off his lap, almost off the bed entirely, before he has a chance to grab them.

Dean yelps, fighting the absurd urge to cover himself. “Jesus! You’re such a control freak!”

“Thought that made you all tingly,” Sam grins, all dimples.

“Oh, fuck you,” Dean says emphatically, face reddening. He hopes Sam attributes it to exertion.

“Huh, now there’s an idea,” Sam says. Dean bites his lip to keep from gasping. “Then again, it might just aggravate your little inferiority complex.”

“Shut up,” Dean retorts. He thumps his head back against the headboard in exaggerated annoyance, but keeps a hand on his dick, fueled by muscle memory and the same, crazy competitiveness that took over last time. “I don’t have a fucking complex.

“Uh-huh,” Sam says wryly. “Thus the ruler.”

“Really, Sam? Really?” he complains. “Can’t a guy have a little scientific curiosity without you gettin’ all weird about it? ‘Sides, like I said, you’re probably just proportional, and I swear, you looked bigger last time, it was probably just the lighting and y’know, I was kinda dying, and—hey!”

Dean stops short in the middle of his stream-of-consciousness ramble, because suddenly Sam is looming over him, settling in the space between his legs. And then his brain screeches to a halt, stuck at the bottom of a ten-car pileup, because Sam slides his dick alongside Dean’s, wraps one of his huge fucking hands around both, jerking them together, says, “What about now?”

“Nggh, fuck,” Dean manages, too busy thrusting up into Sam’s grip.

Sam leans towards him until their foreheads almost touch, breathing the same air. “C’mon, how’s it look now?” he coaxes, turning his gaze down to where they’re moving together.

The sight of it makes Dean shiver. “Fuck, you’re big, ok?” he gasps. “You’re really—fucking big.”

“Yeah?” Sam’s voice is raw. “Let’s see.”

He pulls the ruler out from somewhere, hell, Dean couldn’t find it now if you paid him, and lines it up with Dean’s dick. The motion of his hand stops as he squints down, and Dean pushes up instinctively before he gets himself under control.

“Oh, Dean,” Sam laughs breathlessly. “You’ve been holding out on me.”

His hips give another involuntary jerk. “What?”

“You said six. I think it’s more like six and a half, six and three-quarters,” Sam says, and presses the ruler into Dean’s hand. “Ok, do me.”

Trembling with nerves and arousal, Dean takes Sam’s dick in his hand—god, he’s touching his brother’s dick—fits the ruler along its length. “Oh,” he breathes, staring uselessly at the ruler mark.

“So?” Sam prompts, after a minute, and it hits Dean that he really hasn’t done this, that he really doesn’t know, either.

“N-nine,” he stammers. “Maybe a little over.” He moves his hand against Sam’s dick experimentally, slightly awkward, absurdly worried that if he moves the ruler, it’ll break the spell and Sam will laugh and this will all be over.

Instead, Sam growls, impatient, and Dean finds himself shoved back against the mattress as Sam resumes jacking them together, and then—fucking kisses him, all teeth and tongue and business, and that’s it, Dean flat-out whimpers and comes, hard.

When he floats back to awareness, Sam’s not kissing him so much anymore as keeping his mouth half-mashed against Dean’s, breathing fast and uneven, rutting against his sweat-slick skin. Dean makes an effort to kiss him back, just the barest hint of pressure; he wants to tangle his hands in Sam’s hair, push his body back against him, make him come, but he’s too blissed out to move, practically melted into the bed. Sam finishes soon enough without his help, though, spilling onto Dean’s stomach. His whole body shakes with it, and then goes still enough for Dean to feel Sam’s heart thudding in his chest, pressed against his own.

Sam rolls over to switch off the lamp on the bedside table, a change in light Dean registers through his closed eyelids. He feels Sam curl back against him, humming contentedly and pressing open-mouthed kisses against his throat. Dean thinks of finding something to clean up the come cooling and drying on his stomach, and then doesn’t. He traces the curve of Sam’s spine lightly with his fingers until sleep takes him unawares.

Dean stirs awake, barely, when he feels Sam move and instinctively shifts closer to him, seeking warmth. Sam kisses the back of his neck, the knob of his spine, and then there’s a dip in the mattress as he gets out of bed. Dean considers waking up fully then, but Sam tucks the covers back in around him, and that’s good, bone deep comfort and a strange ache in his chest. He settles back, asleep again in seconds.

The next time, he drifts back to consciousness slowly, as if he’s swimming to the surface. From the orange light filtering in through the blinds, it’s late afternoon, not quite dark yet. The room is otherwise lit by the glow of Sam’s laptop on the corner table, muted, as Sam has it considerately turned away from him. Dean is content to lie there for a minute, watching his brother’s face, frowning and forehead pinched at his computer. The ache in his chest resurges, fierce and sharp. Dean sits up, stretches. Cracks his neck. Runs a hand through his hair and pointedly keeps Sam in his peripheral vision.

“Hey,” Sam says, glancing at him briefly. He’s dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, and Dean feels an unreasonable pang of disappointment. “I found something. You wanna head out tonight or tomorrow?”

Vacation’s over, then. “What and where?” Dean asks, trying to ignore the increasingly vocal part of him that doesn’t want to leave. Hell, he hadn’t even wanted to come here in the first place.

Sam shrugs. “Oklahoma, and I don’t know. Might be zombies.”

“Awesome,” Dean says. “Motel’s paid through the night, might as well head out in the morning. I’m still pretty tired.”

“Ok,” Sam nods. “You hungry?”

Dean folds his arms and raises his eyebrows in lieu of answering. His forehead isn’t as expressive as Sam’s, but he thinks it’s enough to get the point across.

“Right,” Sam laughs. “Dumb question. There’s a Mexican place down the street, seems local, probably pretty good. Do you wanna, uh.”

Get dressed and we’ll go? Dean mentally completes. They’ve only said it about a million times in their lives, but Sam can’t now, because he’s backed himself into a corner. It hits Dean then; Sam showered and dressed while Dean slept, like he was building a barrier between them, and then he found a hunt. He wants to leave as fast as possible, put this behind them, pretend it never happened.

If Dean gets out of bed now, it’ll all come crashing down. He’s naked, and Sam’s come is dried and flaking on his stomach, and he can’t, can’t walk past him like this.

“Uh, takeout?” he suggests, trying to ignore the sense of dread gnawing at his heart.

Sam stands, too quickly. His chair wobbles, precarious, but rights itself in the end. “Yeah, I’m sure they—takeout. Right,” he says, and practically flees the room.

Alone, Dean gingerly picks himself up and pulls his sorry carcass over to the bathroom, starts the shower, and slumps against the wall, waiting for it to heat. He flashes back to the way Sam kissed his neck earlier and sees it for what it was—a shitty consolation prize. Maybe Sam just meant to coax him back to sleep. Maybe he thought Dean wouldn’t even remember it later.

“Shit,” Dean whispers, dropping his face into his palms. “Shit, shit, shit.” God, he fucked it up. He pushed too hard, and it could be too much, Sam might—

Sam might leave.

The thought almost sends Dean running out after him, clothes and embarrassment be damned, but Sam took the Impala. He’s got too much sense to run off with the car; it’s too easy to track, and Dean would kill him. He’s still got time. He’ll tell Sam he changed his mind and they’ll leave tonight. He can’t sleep in that bed again, anyway. He’ll follow Sam’s lead and pretend they never tasted sea salt on each other’s skin in a Florida motel room, pretend he’s not aching for it to happen again.

But Sam’s more important. All he really needs is Sam riding shotgun, going on like they have for years. He can do this. He can keep Sam with him.

He can keep pretending until it’s true.

*

There’s the road and the hunt and a collage of motel rooms that bleed together, borrowing each other’s features, in the rear view mirror. And more road. There’s witnesses and research and greasy diner food. Dean eats too much and burps at Sam until he tears his eyes away from his wrinkled newspaper and throws something at him—napkins, straw wrappers, soggy fries. Dean sleeps, sometimes. More often, he has nightmares about an invisible monster dragging Sam away into the dark, and he wakes to watch his brother’s sleeping form until morning comes or his exhausted body pulls him back under.

Dean goes through the motions, trying for normalcy. He drives and hunts and eats and sometimes sleeps. Plays his music too loud. Washes the Impala between jobs. Bickers with Sam on autopilot. He thinks Sam’s acting normal, but looking at him is like looking through the wrong end of a telescope, distant and distorted. Everything is strained, now, stretched to the breaking point. Or maybe that’s just him.

They speed north out of San Diego after a standard salt-n-burn leads to an altercation with graveyard security. It’s only nine when the lights of Los Angeles light the sky before them, but a few weeks in Appalachia still have them on Eastern Time. Dean’s already pulling jaw-cracking yawns while Sam dozes intermittently against the passenger side window. He almost drives right past the dive bar before he sees a motel in the same parking lot, reasonably seedy and therefore reasonably priced, and does a quick U-turn to make the entrance.

“Food first,” Dean says, in response to Sam’s inquiry about a room. All it took was one sniff of the grease-laden air, and suddenly he’s starving.

Predictably, Sam brings his laptop in with him and dicks around online with his fancy, new, Internet-providing USB stick, eating his sandwich and fries mechanically.

“Found anything yet?” Dean asks for the tenth time, knocking his foot against Sam’s ankle.

Sam pinches his forehead together, grunts, “Not looking.” Probably because he’s too tired to do a proper search for a new hunt and is scrolling through one of his weird science blogs instead. Nerd.

“The hell are we paying for that thing for, then?” Dean kicks Sam again, only to find his foot trapped between his brother’s calves, which, ok, are surprisingly strong. There are a few tricks that could get him out, but the way Sam’s effortlessly keeping him pinned sends a thrill down his spine, and fuck it. If this is all he can get from Sam, he’ll take it.

“It’s not an ancient cell phone, Dean, it has a monthly fee,” Sam tells him, exasperated. “The amount I use it doesn’t matter.” He releases Dean’s foot as an afterthought.

Dean rolls his eyes, even though Sam’s too engrossed in whatever’s flashing across his computer screen to see it. “Ok, Sparky. I’m gonna find some company in someone a little less boring.”

Sam makes a noncommittal noise and waves him off.

Company arrives at the bar in the form of Marianne, and only costs Dean a few shots of whatever he’s having. She’s tall and athletic, with a few cute, little moles and long, brown hair, and babbles about her local food co-op and her half-finished marine biology degree more and more as she gets drunker. Not that Dean cares—she’s cute, and the way she leans in close and giggles at his jokes gives him a much needed ego boost, warming him as much as the liquor. He’s on the fence about fucking her tonight, though; he’s maybe still too hung up on Sam to enjoy it. Touchy-feely crap aside, Dean would rather appreciate sex with a beautiful woman for what it is than view it as a watered-down version of what he could have, almost had, with Sam.

While Marianne ducks out for a bathroom break, Sam practically materializes on the barstool next to him. “Hey,” he says.

Dean grins broadly, loose from the alcohol and more than a little in love with his stupid kid brother. “Sammy! Want a shot? Hey, can I get another round of shots?” he calls to the bartender.

“No, hey! No shots,” Sam protests, ignoring his when the bartender plunks it down anyway. “I was just, uh, gonna call it a night. Can I grab the keys for a minute?”

“’Kay. You look like shit,” Dean says pragmatically. Usually, he’d bug Sam to stay out longer, but it’s true; his face is all pale and drawn, and he looks like he’s aged about ninety years. He’s always a little weird in California, though, and even a good five hours south of Palo Alto, Dean can’t blame him. “Bring me the spare key when you come back, huh?”

Sam’s forehead does some kind of interpretive dance, which is totally not fair because Dean has no idea what he did this time. “I was thinking I’d just get my own room tonight.

“What? Why?” Dean nearly shouts, momentarily disturbing a few of his fellow barflies.

“Because either she has a room here or she doesn’t, but either way, neither of you should be driving,” Sam says, eyeing the empty shot glasses lined up on the bar.

Dean frowns deeply and petulantly, at a loss for how to counter Sam’s perfectly reasonable suggestion. “That’s stupid,” he says finally.

Sam huffs. “Uh, no, it’s not.”

“It’s a waste of money!” Dean argues.

“Not if I get a single and she’s already got her own room,” Sam argues back. “What’s your problem?”

Dean drops his forehead down onto the bar and groans. This is how it starts, he thinks. First it’s separate rooms, and then it’ll be separate cars, and then separate hunts, and Sam will pull farther and farther away because Dean pushed him. The old fear flares up, that he’s never really had enough to offer, that it’d only take one big fuck-up to scare his brother away again, this time for good. And he’s given him one on a silver platter.

Above him, Sam sighs. “Dean.”

“Just get a fucking double,” he mumbles into the bar.

“No. You’re not fucking her two feet away from me while I’m trying to sleep.”

Laboriously, Dean picks his head up and fixes Sam with a glare. “Why? You gonna get jealous?”

It comes out far too sharply for the joke he intended it to be. Sam scuffs his shoe against the leg of his barstool, contrite. “That’s not your problem,” he says, and hops down, jingling the car keys in his hand as he goes. Fucking pickpocketing showoff. Dean’s grudgingly impressed through the rising tide of panic.

Swearing under his breath, he downs Sam’s abandoned shot (no sense letting that go to waste) and slaps some bills down in the leftover condensation. Dean casts a cursory glance towards the bathrooms to see if Marianne’s reemerged, and spots her—already chatting up another guy at the end of the bar. Before he can even muster reasonable outrage, she catches his eye, nods after Sam’s retreating back, and winks. He shrugs in reply, thinks, so much for that, and hurries out after his brother.

He catches up with Sam near the car, alone in its row near the quiet, motel side of the parking lot. “Uh, hey,” he says, at a sudden loss for words.

Sam just hooks his thumbs in his pockets, shoulders hunched in. His eyes flick to Dean’s face for a second and then determinedly back at the ground.

“Before,” Dean says desperately. “In there, I didn’t mean—”

“Do you want me to go?” Sam says in a rush. Still downcast, his face is perfectly, carefully neutral, like a man awaiting trial.

“No!” he answers reflexively. “Go? Go where?”

“I don’t know,” Sam says, with a trace of bitterness now. “Not here? Other side of the country? Other side of the planet?”

Dean shakes his head. “No,” he says, quietly, clearly. “I don’t want you to go. What, you sick of me or something?”

Sighing, Sam leans back against the Impala, resting his head on the roof. “No, I’m just sick of your stupid martyr complex.”

“I don’t remember selling my soul recently,” Dean says lightly.

Sam makes an irritated noise low in his throat and picks his head back up, folding his arms across his chest. “I know this can be a difficult concept for you,” he says, “but I am, in fact, an adult. I’ve been one for awhile. Which means, you are not responsible for my actions. If I fuck up, it’s not your fault. You let me fix it. You don’t beat yourself up wondering where you went wrong, while treating me like a self-centered kid who’s too stupid to know that he’s made a mistake.”

“Um.” Dean scratches the back of his head, genuinely confused. “So, did you do something? Or is this just a PSA?”

His brother laughs humorlessly. “Ok, so we’re gonna go back to pretending that time I molested you never happened. Great plan. How’s that been going so far?”

“You—what?” Dean splutters. “You didn’t molest me.”

“Right,” Sam snorts. “That’s why you couldn’t get out of bed until after I left the room and you’ve been acting weird ever since. You’re perfectly cool with it.”

“Really? You’re gonna blame me? You’re the one who couldn’t get out of there fast enough,” Dean argues, but by now it’s just on principle. He’s happier than he’s been in years, giddiness bubbling up in his chest.

Sam runs a hand through his hair and huffs, says, “All I did was look for a hunt! Y’know, same thing we do every night, Pinky. I didn’t think you wanted a fucking honeymoon.”

“I didn’t want a honeymoon,” Dean scoffs. “I could’ve stayed there and fucked around for a few days, but clearly, you’re allergic to having fun.”

“Dean,” Sam says, biting his lip like he’s trying not to smile, “you pretty much just described a honeymoon.”

“Did not,” Dean protests half-heartedly. He can feel himself flushing and hopes the light’s too low for Sam to notice.

“We, uh. Still could,” Sam says, all hesitant and hopeful, and Dean feels like his heart’s expanding in time with the universe, so fast it might burst.

“I can’t believe you.” Dean rubs his hands across his face. “I came so hard I kinda passed out, and you thought I didn’t like it.”

“Well, I didn’t exactly ask first,” Sam says, shrugging. “Heat of the moment’s one thing, you know?”

“That’s stupid,” Dean says. “You don’t have to ask.”

“Yes, Dean, because it’ll be such a hardship when I ask nicely to suck your dick. I don’t know how you’ll ever cope.”

Dean grins, all mischief. “How nicely?”

He’s expecting Sam to rise to the challenge. He’s not expecting him to go down on one knee and take one of Dean’s hands in his while he’s still too dumbfounded to do anything about it.

“Dean Winchester,” Sam says.

“Oh my god,” Dean groans, covering his face with his free hand.

Sam presses on, “Will you do me the honor of allowing me to suck your dick?”

“Are you done?” Dean asks, peeking out from between his fingers.

“Now that you mention it,” Sam says, “I’d also like to fuck you later. So you can appreciate how big it really is.”

Fortunately or unfortunately, Dean is saved from answering by a wolf-whistle from across the parking lot. He whips his head towards the direction of the bar, visions of getting run out of town by violent homophobes flashing prematurely through his brain, and sees . . . Marianne. Hanging off the guy she was flirting with earlier and beaming at him.

“Did you say yes?” she yells.

“Uh, yeah. Yes!” he manages. He’s never been more mortified in his life.

She lets out a whoop of joy before disappearing into a pick-up with her soon-to-be conquest.

“I hope he’s more sober than she is,” Dean says distractedly, as Sam laughs and pulls himself to his feet.

“So. Yes?” Sam asks.

Dean nods sharply, heart pounding in his throat. “Yes.”

Sam laces his fingers through Dean’s and tugs him close, kisses him hard and brief. He pulls away with a dimpled smile, so happy brings back the ache in Dean’s chest. Fucked up as it is, he’s grateful they both want this, grateful he can make Sam so happy with something so simple.

“We should get a room,” Sam says, still rubbing his thumbs over Dean’s knuckles like he can’t bear to let go.

“Yeah. Yeah, ok.” Dean sighs and steps back reluctantly. “I’ll, uh. I’ll get it. You grab the bags, ok? See you in a minute?”

He almost flushes again with that, because he sounds so awkward, so stupid. Like a pubescent kid on his first date. But then, Sam nods frantically, like his voice is stuck, and practically sprints around the car to the trunk. Well, Dean thinks, turning and hurrying towards the office to hide his grin, at least he’s not the only one.

The night manager moves agonizingly slow to get Dean’s keys, his eyes fixed on a telenovela playing on an ancient TV set. Dean barely grits out a “thanks” between his teeth before snatching the keys from between the guy’s fingers and hurrying outside. The room’s up on the second floor, and he takes the stairs two at a time, waving from the balcony for Sam to follow.

Dean finds their room near the end of the building and waits by the door impatiently, jiggling his leg and drumming his fingers on the wall, all nervous excitement. He forces himself to stop when he sees Sam rounding the corner and concentrates on getting the key in the door instead. Usually, Sam would complain about being made to carry everything—I’m not a mule, Dean—but now he’s silent, as if he doesn’t even notice the extra weight.

“Oh,” Sam gasps, once they’re inside and he’s found the light switch. He drops the bags heavily and stands rooted to the spot, gawking at the single, king-sized bed.

Shit. He’s gone too far. Maybe Sam wanted to sleep in his own bed after, maybe he’s forcing them too close—“Is it ok?” he asks tentatively.

Sam blinks and shakes himself out of his stupor, turns to Dean like he’d momentarily forgotten he was there. “Yeah. Yeah, it’s great,” he says, licking his lips and staring at Dean’s mouth with an odd sort of determination.

Heat like hellfire rips through him; he’s pretty sure he’s gonna explode if Sam doesn’t do something soon because he can’t move, fixed like a deer in headlights under his brother’s gaze. And then, finally, finally, Sam cups Dean’s face in his hands, tilts his head back to kiss him, slow and deep and thorough. Dean sighs into Sam’s mouth, kisses him back like he didn’t get the chance to in Florida, like he’s been thinking about ever since. He regains his mobility around the same time his back hits the wall, uses it to tangle his hands in Sam’s hair, Sam’s stupid, too-long hair that he’s never complaining about again.

Dean gets lost, caught somewhere between Sam’s teeth in his lower lip and Sam’s fingers deftly unbuttoning his jeans. His breath hisses out in relief as Sam’s hand finds his dick, head thumping back against the wall as Sam mouths his way down Dean’s throat, worrying a mark over his pulse point. He thinks vaguely that they’re letting a perfectly good bed go to waste and he should maybe say something about it, but Dean’s too content where he is. He just wants Sam, as much as Sam wants to give him, and he’d gladly turn around and let Sam fuck him right here against the wall if he asked. The bed will still be there later.

But Sam has other ideas; he makes a low, impatient noise, which is all the warning Dean gets before Sam grabs his ass and lifts. Dean scrambles to get his legs around Sam’s waist so he doesn’t fall when he no longer has the wall at his back for support. Sam’s hard-on grinds against him, an added bonus that keeps him distracted, so he’s completely unprepared when he’s unceremoniously dumped on the bed. Dean goes sprawling, comes back up on his elbows. It must not be a wholly bad look, though, going by how Sam’s staring at him, like he’s trying to bore holes through Dean’s clothes with his eyes.

“C’mon, get naked,” Sam says, voice raw, and Dean hurries to comply. He gets down to his undershirt and one sock before Sam’s on him, still wearing half-undone jeans and shoving him up the bed, far enough to kneel between his legs.

Sam hauls Dean up by the back of his neck to kiss him again and then pushes him down, running his hands over Dean’s body, worshipful enough to make his breath catch in his throat. It’s too much, Dean thinks, he’s not good enough, sooner or later Sam’s gonna realize it’s just him, just Dean, and be disappointed, he doesn’t deserve—but then Sam ducks down, kisses the soft inside of his thigh and bites, soothes his tongue over the spot in apology when Dean grunts, pained. Sam grins up at him, eyes dark with arousal, holding his gaze as he tongues the head of Dean’s cock, teasing little licks. He lets out a noise close to a whine and thrusts up, mindlessly seeking more of that wet heat, until Sam mercifully takes him in his mouth.

Sam goes too fast at first, gags hard and pulls off halfway before resolutely bearing down again. He bobs his head a few more times, gradually taking Dean into his throat until his lips stretch wide around the base of his dick.

“Shit,” Dean curses weakly. He brings his hand up with the intent of carding his fingers through Sam’s hair and then thinks better of it, fisting it in the sheets instead. Most of the girls who’d blown him in the past hated being touched when they did this.

Sam must have seen him, though, because he pulls off, says, “S’ok, you can touch me,” voice all rough (because he’d just had Dean’s cock in his throat, Jesus). “Jus’ don’ force me down, mkay?”

“Kay,” Dean agrees breathily, tentatively resting a hand on Sam’s head. Sam hums around him in encouragement and bobs his head faster, working his tongue and throat as well as any hooker Dean’s ever paid for when he was too tired to go out to a bar and pick someone up. Hell, Sam’s better; he’s doing this for Dean, because he wants to, not for a few dirty bills at the end of the night. (Yeah, Dean’s impressed, more than. He’d hire a poet to compose odes to Sam’s mouth if he were willing to share this with anyone else.)

Idly, Sam rolls Dean’s balls in his palm and he gasps, suddenly close. Heat builds in his stomach as Sam keeps playing with his balls, rolling and tugging them gently, and then inches a finger back to press teasingly against his hole. It’s just a hint of penetration, too dry, no way Sam’s sticking it in, but it’s enough. Frantically, Dean grabs Sam’s shoulder in warning, trying to push him away, but Sam just sucks him in deep, swallowing around his length, and that’s it. Dean comes down his throat, whole body convulsing.

Sam lets Dean’s softening cock fall out of his mouth, tongue darting out to catch a dribble of come he hadn’t quite managed to swallow. He lays his head on Dean’s thigh for a moment, eyes closed, a small smile tugging at the corners of his lips. Dean fervently wishes he had a camera. He cradles Sam’s face in his hand, thumb tracing the line of his cheekbone reverently. At his touch, Sam opens his eyes and smiles wider, crawls languidly up Dean’s body to kiss him. Dean can taste himself on Sam’s tongue, feel his cock rubbing against his hip and shivers, remembering what Sam said he wants to do with it next.

“Where the hell’d you learn to do that?” Dean asks, when he’s remembered how to speak.

Sam folds his arms on Dean’s chest and pillows his head on them. “College.”

Dean snorts. “They got a special class?”

“No, smartass,” Sam says, rolling his eyes. “I had a boyfriend.”

Dean’s surprised, which is stupid, and slightly jealous, which is just plain absurd. “Really?”

Sam rolls off of him, mostly. His dick’s still hard and still pressed against Dean’s thigh, which he’s pretty sure is deliberate. “You’re jealous,” he accuses playfully.

“No, ‘m not,” Dean mumbles. “That’s stupid,” he adds, because it fucking is.

Laughing, Sam leans down to kiss him. “Awww. That’s adorable, Dean. Honestly.”

“Fuck you,” Dean snaps, but there’s no real heat behind it.

“Mmmm,” Sam intones. “Thought it was fuck you.” His fingers are back at Dean’s hole without any warning, rubbing insistently. Dean gasps and feels his dick twitch, trying to fill.

“Lube,” he says. “We need—in my duffel.”

“Yeah,” Sam agrees. He drops another quick kiss on Dean’s mouth before getting out of bed and nearly tripping over his jeans, still clinging halfway down his thighs, for his trouble. Cursing, he kicks them the rest of the way off while Dean laughs, and then laughs harder when Sam flips him off. Belatedly, he remembers his undershirt, uncomfortably rucked up under his arms, and yanks it over his head.

Dean rolls over on his side with the intention of telling Sam how to find his lube—inside pocket, nearly invisible along the bag’s zipper—but he’s already turning back to Dean, grinning triumphantly, with the small bottle in his hand. Of course Sam knows, Dean realizes. Sam bought that bag for him after his last one was so threadbare you could see the engraved pattern on his favorite Glock right through it. Sam knows him, right down to how he organizes his duffel. Sam knows him.

And Sam’s tossing the lube on the bed, kneeling between Dean’s legs and giving him this dopey, adoring smile that just might tear him apart at the seams. He tugs Sam down to kiss him, still in shock and awe that he can, that Sam wants this. He’s still kissing him when he hears the bottle’s lid snap off, and feels the first, cold touch of Sam’s fingers trailing down behind his balls.

A distant part of his brain flares up in alarm, nerves jittering, but Dean decides to ignore it. Ok, he’s never really thought about this before, not concretely, as something he wants to do with Sam or anyone. But the way Sam’s touching him now, barely, just sliding his finger in to the first knuckle—it’s making him hard again, pushing buttons he didn’t know he had. It’s easy enough to lose himself in the sensations, so he does. He’ll leave Sam to worry about the logistics.

Naturally, that’s when Sam comments, “Been awhile, huh?”

“Huh?” Dean grunts. He’s got a lubed finger working in and out of his ass, and Sam doesn’t expect him to talk now, does he?

But apparently, Sam does. “C’mon, how long?” he persists. “You miss it?”

Dean makes an unintelligible noise and pushes back against Sam’s fingers—two of them now—in lieu of answering, hoping it’ll distract him enough to stop fucking talking.

Instead, Sam removes his fingers entirely, ignoring Dean’s sound of protest, and peers down at him with forehead-contorting concern. “Dean. You have done this before, right?”

It would be just like Sam to have a heart-to-heart in the middle of foreplay. “Sam,” Dean groans, tossing an arm over his face.

“Jesus, Dean,” Sam sighs. “You’ve really never—”

“For fuck’s sake,” Dean says, letting his arm drop to his side again in favor of glaring at his brother. “Look, if a girl wanted to add some prostate stimulation to your standard blowjob, I never said no. But no, I’ve never had a dick up there. Plastic or otherwise.”

Sam licks his lips distractedly, which, on top of everything else, is infuriating and completely unfair. “Ok, well, just because we, uh. You don’t have to, I don’t expect—”

“I want to,” Dean blurts out. It gets Sam to shut up, which is a step in the right direction. “I mean, yeah, it’s never exactly been on my bucket list—”

“That doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, Dean.”

“But I want to now, ok?” he continues.

It must not have been as convincing an argument as he’d thought, though, because Sam still looks doubtful. Dean almost says that now he knows why it’s so fucking hard to get Sam laid, but doesn’t.

“Just—I need to know you’re doing it for you, ok?” Sam says quietly. “Because you like it. Not because you’re trying to make me happy.”

“I can’t do both?” Dean quips. “Ok, ok. I like it. I promise,” he says, more sincerely. “And if I don’t like it, I’ll tell you. What you were doing before felt awesome. Now, can we get back to that sometime this century?”

At long last, Sam grins, joy and lust, and reaches for the lube again.

“Seriously,” Dean says, while Sam’s pouring more out on his fingers. “How do you not have blue balls by now? You’ve gotta take care of that thing before it falls off.” He gestures towards Sam’s impressively still-hard cock.

Sam slots his fingers back in and leans down to kiss Dean, rolling his bottom lip between his teeth. “Maybe it’s the demon blood,” he says, like a secret against Dean’s mouth.

Dean snorts out a surprised laugh that breaks off into a gasp when Sam’s fingers push against his prostate in slow, deliberate circles. “I’m never—oh—gonna live that down, am I?”

“Nope,” Sam says cheerfully, biting playfully at Dean’s jaw.

He spends a few moments trying to think of a comeback, but gives it up in favor of pushing back against the intrusion of Sam’s fingers, stretching and filling him and so much better than any of the girls who’d tried this in the past.

“How’s that?” Sam asks breathlessly, even though he’s not the one having his ass played with.

Fuck, how do you think?” Dean groans. God, this is worse than crappy porn dialogue. At least that doesn’t require thinking and effort.

“Dunno,” Sam says, and shit, he sounds serious. He’s probably concerned, so concerned he’s somehow missed how Dean’s dick is leaking a kinda gross amount of precome onto his belly.

Dean narrowly avoids rolling his eyes and decides to make a show of it, pulls himself down the bed and fucks himself on Sam’s fingers with abandon. “It’s, ah, good,” he gasps out. “Really good.”

Sam brushes his lips against Dean’s, murmurs, “Think you’re ready for more?”

“Yeah,” he breathes. Seriously, how is that even a question?

Sam’s fingers pull out of him with a squelching noise that makes his ears burn. Fuck, he’s so empty, all wet and open and desperately hard. Dean bites his lip and squeezes his eyes shut; he took his clothes off half an hour ago, but he hasn’t felt naked until now, vulnerable and oddly exposed. The sensation of Sam’s dick wipes even that thought from his mind as it slides lube-slick along the crease of his ass, the head catching a couple times on the rim before Sam gets it, starts to push it forward and in. Dean’s heart pounds in anticipation. It’s big, and yeah, he knew it was big, but Sam was right—he’s got a whole new appreciation for it now. Just the head hurts, fucking burns, but he keeps his eyes shut, does his best to relax and breathe through it. Sam’s a sight away from hitting his prostate with that thing, and he bets that’ll feel one hell of a lot better. After all, people who do this on the regular must do it for a reason.

“How, how’s that feel?” Sam pants, when he’s worked it maybe halfway in, maybe three-quarters if Dean’s lucky.

Dean blinks up at his brother in blank incredulity, groans, “Like you’re shoving a baseball bat up my ass.”

Panic falls over Sam’s face like a door slammed shut, and he starts to pull out.

Oh, hell no. That is unacceptable after coming this far. Gritting his teeth, Dean hooks his legs behind Sam’s back and forces himself down in one push, with an awful, strangled, alley-cat cry that he is denying until his dying day.

Recovering enough for speech, Dean says, “I didn’t—fucking—say—to stop!”

Sam clenches his jaw, a violent tremor running through his body before he manages to get himself under control. When he opens his eyes, they’re dark and hungry, bottomless pits, all his careful consideration gone or buried.

“You tryin’ to make me finish before we get started?” he demands so quietly Dean has to strain to hear.

His dick, half-softened from the shock of taking Sam inside him, starts to harden again. “Hey, I just wanna get the show on the road before we both die of old age.”

Sam laughs, not meanly, but not kindly, either, all wicked lust. “Alright,” he says. “That’s how you want it, that’s how I’ll give it to you.”

That’s all the warning he gets before Sam draws out almost completely, just the head holding him open for a long, teasing moment, then grabs Dean’s hips and fucking slams back in, punching the air out of his lungs as he goes.

In the far-off part of Dean’s upstairs brain that’s still working, he concludes Sam’s dick must have supernatural properties, because there’s no way having something this big repeatedly shoved up his ass should feel this good. He’d tell Sam, if he could catch his breath and he wasn’t too busy matching his pace to meet Sam’s thrusts, fucking himself back down every time Sam fucks in. He’s probably going to have a lesser cousin of rope burn across his shoulders tomorrow from the cheap comforter beneath him, and in a fucked-up, big brother way, Dean’s kinda proud. Sam fucks like it’s going out of style, hard and steady at this breakneck speed that keeps forcing out little moans and whimpers as he goes. Dean would be embarrassed if he still had the mental capacity to feel anything that wasn’t near-painful arousal.

Another few thrusts, and Sam’s pushed him so far up the bed that his head thunks against the corner of the headboard. “Ow,” Dean mutters, and Sam pauses mid-thrust to manhandle him into a better position, roughly stacking a few pillows behind his head before resuming fucking him into next week. It’s still not the most comfortable thing, but at least Sam won’t knock him out before he can finish.

Sam tilts his hips, changing his angle so he’s hitting Dean’s prostate head-on with every stroke instead of just brushing past it on every third pass. Dean makes more noises he’s never owning up to, will claim his brother was having auditory hallucinations if Sam ever makes him try.

“How’s that feel?” Sam asks, and seriously, what is it with him and that fucking question?

“Oh my god,” Dean moans. It comes out more like please don’t stop than shut the fuck up, and Sam’s responding laugh is fucking unnecessarily gleeful.

Arms bracketing the sides of his head, Sam ducks down to kiss him, screwing even deeper into his ass, which Dean would have thought was impossible. “That good, huh?”

“Fuck you, smug bastard, fuck’s sake, you’re not that—oh, fuck, fuck, fuck.” The rest of Dean’s tirade disappears into a moan as Sam finally wraps one of his huge paws around his dick, stroking in perfect time to his thrusts. Sam has him surrounded, until Dean doesn’t know whether to thrust up into the sweet friction of Sam’s hand or shove back against his cock. He’s so close, he needs to come, but Sam’s pushed him somewhere past pleasure, playing his body like he’s holding Dean’s spine in his hand, lighting up his nerves like a live wire. It’s too much and too good and he can’t take anymore and he’ll fucking die if Sam stops.

Bright pain brings Dean halfway back to himself, Sam’s teeth digging into the part where his neck joins his shoulder, hard enough to break skin. He arches into it, gasping as Sam mouths over the spot idly, still jerking his dick and pounding his ass like he’s a machine specifically built to drive Dean crazy.

“Close, huh?” Sam pants into Dean’s ear, letting up the assault on his neck. “Yeah, you are.”

Dean whines, fucking writhing on Sam’s cock. He’s going to punch Sam if he keeps teasing him and doesn’t make him come soon, he’s going to explode right out of his skin.                                                                                              

Sam grins against his throat. “C’mon, come,” he urges. “Come for me, wanna feel you.” His teeth tear back into the bite mark on Dean’s neck, pain bleeding into pleasure, and that’s it, that’s enough. He comes and keeps coming, world slowing greying out and floating back into focus as his dick adds a few weak spurts to the mess on his stomach, wrung completely dry.

After that, it’s all he can do to hold on. Sam’s barely slowed down, still fucking him deep and hard, chasing his own orgasm now that he’s satisfied Dean’s. He catches it soon enough, bottoms out and shudders his way through it, cursing weakly.

Sam’s body blankets his for long minutes after, cock slowly softening and sliding around in the load of come Sam just dumped in his ass. It’s getting difficult to breathe, and the load leaking out of him and smearing on his thighs is all kinds of gross, but Dean’s happy and sated and he doesn’t want Sam to move just yet. Until the no breathing thing becomes a problem, and then he pushes at Sam’s shoulder until his brother gets the hint and rolls off of him.

“You good?” Sam asks faux-casual, a few minutes later. His eyes are closed when Dean looks over, but there’s a thread of tension running through him that would be easy to miss if analyzing Sam’s moods hadn’t been a staple of the past twenty-odd years of his life.

Dean gets it. He needs affirmation as badly as Sam that Florida won’t happen again, that he’s not alone, that he won’t have to live with the guilt that Sam is stuck with him because they pretty much don’t even know anyone else. “I’m awesome,” he says, grinning, and knocks his wrist against Sam’s.

“But if I’m as sore as I think I’ll be tomorrow, I’m making you buy me one of those donut pillows for people with broken tailbones,” Dean continues playfully.

He’s rewarded when Sam laughs, all the tension going out of his body. “Dean, the last time you were shot, you told me to save the painkillers for something serious.”

“Oh, so now we’re not serious,” Dean gripes. “Here I thought you’d respect me in the morning.”

Sam snorts and makes a poor attempt at elbowing him in the ribs. “Wanna shower?”

“Nah,” Dean yawns. “Too tired.”

“Want me to grab a washcloth and at least clean you up?”

Dean smiles. “Yeah.”

By the time Sam comes back a few minutes later, Dean’s already half asleep. He lets Sam move him, the warm cloth wiping over his soft cock and between his ass cheeks and down his thighs. Too long without getting injured on a hunt, and he’s usually missing this, Sam’s hands on him, grounding him and putting him back together. The only time he trusts someone to take away the burden of being the leader, being in control, and the only person he’d trust to do it. It’s surprisingly nice without the searing pain.

It doesn’t last, of course; Sam has to go and ruin it by trying to roll him over. Dean grumbles and groans and whines his displeasure without doing anything physically to either help or hinder, until Sam sighs, exasperated, says, “I’m trying to get you under the covers, you big baby.”

Dean thinks he’s just fine where he is, but he goes along with it grudgingly, and, ok, he is a lot more comfortable under the soft sheets instead of rubbing against that scratchy comforter. It’s even better when Sam crawls in with him, presses his body along Dean’s back.

“’M not sleeping in the wet spot,” Dean mumbles.

“You were in the wet spot,” Sam tells him. “I should’ve left you there if I knew you were gonna be this much hassle.”

“Fuck you, Sam,” Dean says, on principle.

Sam kisses his shoulder. “Mmm. Tomorrow.”

Dean shifts over enough to look at him. “Yeah?”

“Yeah.” Sam smiles and kisses him again. “And I won’t need a damn donut pillow, either.”

He’s lucky Dean’s tired enough to let that slide. “You say that now,” he mutters, and reaches over to flip off the light.

“Sam?” Dean asks a few minutes later, when he’s not particularly sure if either of them are still awake.

“Huh?” Sam grunts.

“Tell your underwear it’s forgiven.”

His brother huffs out a laugh and tugs him closer, and Dean sleeps.

*

“Here,” Sam says, tossing him a wad of material as he exits the bathroom from his morning shower. Dean catches it out of reflex and runs the towel through his hair one more time, yawning, before letting it fall to the floor. He blinks down at the object in his hand, willing away the residual grogginess from the sleeping pills Sam convinced him to take so he’d sleep through the night-long car ride to their next hunt.

Although, the fact that yesterday mostly consisted of letting Sam fuck him against every available surface in their last motel room and fucking Sam against a few himself might have some influence over his energy levels.

Nothing a strong cup of coffee won’t fix, Dean thinks, and almost drops what he’s holding on top of his discarded towel.

He turns to Sam, already half-dressed and rooting around in his duffel for a shirt. “What am I supposed to do with these?” he asks blankly.

Sam gives him an appreciative once-over that does not make him blush, shut up, before saying, “Uh, put them on?”

Dean pulls the SAXX label on the waistband wide between his fingers and then lets it snap back into place. “These are yours,” he says, half-convinced Sam’s made a mistake.

“Yeah, I know,” his brother says, banishing that idea. “I want you to try them.”

“Fine,” Dean sighs, bending over to pull them on. Maybe Sam thinks it’s hot. Maybe Sam’ll get all hot and bothered and fuck him over the table. Maybe he’ll withhold sex until Sam buys him a nice, big breakfast with bacon and eggs and pancakes and coffee. Definitely coffee. Maybe hashbrowns, too.

Dean examines himself in the bathroom mirror and frowns; he doesn’t really look any different in Sam’s boxers than he does in his own. His private self-evaluation is cut short when he sees Sam’s reflection, coming up behind him, and then feels his arms wrap around his waist.

Grinning, Sam kisses his neck and cups Dean through his underwear. “Comfy, huh?”

“Shit, burlap’s comfy when you’re doing that,” Dean jokes, and makes a noise of protest when Sam stops touching him. “Ok, yeah, it feels nice,” he says hurriedly. “Better than mine, anyway. You happy?”

Apparently, Sam is, because his hands return to Dean’s crotch, squeezing him gently through the material. They rubbed off against each other an hour ago, too lazy and tired for anything else before the sun came up, but Dean’s getting hard again, just from this.

“We’ll get you some,” Sam promises, pressing more open-mouthed kisses down the side of his neck. “And some pink, satin panties.”

Dean snorts. “Well, Sammy, that’s a little kinkier than I gave you credit for.”

“Rhonda Hurley,” Sam retorts.

“What?” Dean asks, blinking at his own dumbfounded reflection.

Sam smirks like the proverbial cat. “You heard me.”

The conversation gets cut short abruptly, by Sam’s hand coming down on his ass. Dean jumps, but refrains from yelping, and resolutely ignores how that sends a thrill to his half-hard dick.

“C’mon, let’s go,” Sam says, grabbing his phone and wallet and pistol from the nightstand, like putting Dean in his boxers and groping him is a normal part of their morning routine.

Hell, maybe it is now. Dean decides he’s pretty ok with that.

“Any more of your clothes you want me to wear?” Dean snarks, and then he does yelp, because Sam’s shoved him up against the wall.

He kisses him good and hard and deep, tongue-fucking his mouth as he keeps a hand across Dean’s throat, gentle but solid, holding him in place. Just when Dean’s about to either melt or spontaneously combust, Sam pulls back a few inches, breathes warmly across his mouth.

“Don’t tempt me,” he whispers, and Dean shivers from the rush of comparatively cold air as Sam pulls away.

Dean notices in satisfaction and disappointment that Sam’s as hard as he is, going by the bulge in his jeans. “We need to establish some ground rules about you getting me all worked up when we’re on a job,” he says.

“Yeah, ok,” Sam says, fast and insincere, and then, “I’ll wait by the car.”

“He’s gonna kill me,” Dean announces to the empty room, and distracts himself from his annoyingly persistent erection by hunting for clothes.

Halfway to the car, Dean takes in the scenery, the scrublands and the mesas in the distance, and stops in his tracks. God, he really was out of it last night.

“Sam!” he shouts, “this isn’t Oregon!”

“Change of plans!” Sam calls back.

Dean glares suspiciously, but completes his trek over to the car. “So, where are we?”

“It’s a surprise,” his brother says, getting into the driver’s side before Dean can object.

“The hell, Sam, you drove last night,” Dean grumbles.

“Well, if I told you where we were going, it wouldn’t be a surprise,” Sam replies pragmatically.

Dean rolls his eyes and takes to staring out the window for any hint of their location. “Don’t get used to it,” he says. “Baby pines when I go too long without handling her.”

“If you two need some alone time, you just let me know,” Sam says mildly.

“Aww, Sammy,” Dean ribs, “I wouldn’t shut you out of my alone time.”

Sam shakes his head and turns the radio over to NPR, and This American Life keeps them droning company until they reach the highway. There’s a green sign a mile down, large and promising, and Dean squints until it comes into view, reads—

“The Grand Canyon? Seriously?”

“Yep.” Sam’s grinning out the windshield, broad and happy.

“There’s a hunt here?” Dean asks.

He’s answered with a long-suffering look. “Dean, remember when you said you didn’t want a honeymoon?”

“Yeah?” he prompts.

“Well.” Sam shrugs. “I do.”

Dean gapes, thinking distantly that if he were driving, he’d pull over and blow Sam right here. “You fuckin’ sap.”

“You love it,” Sam says confidently.

“Yeah.” Dean clears his throat and amends, “Yeah, whatever.”

Sam just smiles at him like he’s won something, and drives them forward into the sunrise.

 

 ~End