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what he had

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A truck horn blared on the freeway outside the motel, followed by the angry beep-beep of a smaller car’s horn, and Dean scrunched his face up against the noise, his whole body hurting. Traffic went on, wheels thumping against pavement, the rumble of bad mufflers and squealing brakes that needed replaced. Dean rolled to the shady side of the bed and burrowed his head under a pillow.

It wasn’t too long until there wasn’t a shady side of the bed.

The flimsy curtains were drawn and didn’t offer much resistance to the morning sunlight. Dean’s head throbbed in time with his pulse. His whole body throbbed. He needed to piss and his mouth felt like dried scraped shit, so he stumbled out of bed to the bathroom.

Gulping palmfuls of tepid water from his hand, Dean splashed some over his face, ran his fingers back through his hair. His eyes were red-rimmed in the mirror.

There was an AP Chemistry textbook open on the wobbly table in the living space. Dean wasn’t going to return that to the school that it belonged to. Kicking his way through a pile of dirty laundry on the floor, almost half of it was Sam’s. The canvas jacket slung over the back of a chair was, and the sawed off and Taurus sitting in a pile of cleaned weapons spread out the counter surface.

Well, he probably wasn’t going to need guns in Stanford. Could probably do better for himself than the second hand clothes on the floor that was the best Dean scrape together with what little he had to offer.

It was really fucking quiet in the motel room after the shouting match between Dad and Sam last night. Dean could still hear it echoing around. And his own silence, unable to take a stand. He wanted to back his Dad up because he always did and because he needed Sam to stay, but Sam was right about a lot of things he didn’t want to think about.

Dean picked up the chemistry book and threw it against the wall hard enough to put a hole in the drywall. Then he picked up the empty bottle of Wild Turkey and threw it because breaking glass was a lot more satisfying than throwing Sam’s books.

The whiskey wasn’t really Dean’s. He liked having a beer now and then, but the whiskey, that was Dad’s.

The next thing he picked up was the lamp, because why not, but it didn’t feel that good to hear it break against the wall. Dean kicked the bed askew, stomped through the room. He didn’t really have a say in the matter. Sam did what he wanted and when he made up his mind he wouldn’t change. And Dad wouldn’t be found if he didn’t want to be, it’d probably be a few days before he got in touch with Dean.

So there was time to kill and a whole lot of nothing in his chest to fill.

-

He was tall, shaggy brown hair down to his shoulders, eyes a little too green to call hazel, thin, but his smile was bright and dimpled. Dean just wanted to be next to him, play a game of pool with him, buy him a few beers and forget his name every time that he said it.

‘Course, Dean wasn’t too good at follow through with what he meant.

Found himself pressed down to the rough sheets of a motel, as unfamiliarly familiar as they all are, head swimming with stuff harder than he usually drank, feeling hollow and needy and he hated that he couldn’t sew up this kind of wound. Couldn’t patch it and call it a day and move on.

So he let this guy, what’s his name, hold him down with a hand between his shoulder blades and one on his hips, pushing in to him, voice a little too rough, touch too insistent and confident. It kinda felt good. It was nice, in a way. It was noise and warmth, and that made it better than nothing.

Dean woke up alone the next day, used condom splatted on the floor next to the mattress and there was that at least. This time, the motel room only had his stuff in it. And what few things of Sam’s he’d shoved into the bottom of his duffel. It was fine.

There were no new messages on his phone.

Dean brushed his teeth and showered and there was a small ache between his legs that was at least distracting while he drove, so he didn’t have to think too hard or long on how empty the Impala was.

-

He’d left some messages on Dad’s phone, and some on Sam’s phone. Didn’t get a reply from either, and wasn’t it just funny how Sam always wanted to insist that he was different from Dad.

Dean found a case for himself, something to keep him busy. A salt and burn, something he could do in his sleep, although it took him a little longer on the research without his little whiz kid brother to do the mind work. But he managed, only a little bruised, and the swell of pride as he stood over a burning grave was for the first time something all his, that only he had earned and worked for, and he almost thought that he could make it.

Later, after he’d struck out with his too sour mood at the bar, sitting on a motel bed in the wash of neon green light with a bottle of Wild Turkey, Dean thought. It wasn’t really what he was used to and it wasn’t really what he had expected, but they really didn’t give him a choice. So he had to figure out what he could do, with what he had.